Factory speakers out of phase?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by billshadow00, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. billshadow00

    billshadow00 Junior Member

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    I have a 2010 Prius IV with the Nav system. I have always been marginally disappointed with the sound quality. I have come to suspect that the phasing of the speakers may be out of phase (eg, the positive and negative leads on one side may be backwards). I have experimented a bit, and I hear the telltale sonic deadzone in the center of the car whether I have the front or rear speakers going. That would sure explain the marginal sound quality, but is thateven possible with the standard harnesses that Toyota must use? I explained my suspicion to the dealer and all he determined is that the sound comes from the left when you select the left speakers (he didn't get it!).

    Any one else heard of this problem? Am I imagining it? Any suggestions on how to test it or fix it?

    Thanks in advance!

    Bill
     
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  2. artnc

    artnc Junior Member

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    I too have been very disappointed with the sound quality in my gen 3 III. Maybe you are on to something re:eek:ut of phase. Best I can tell is a real weak sound coming from the rear speakers. I recall long ago having a vinyl record that helped adjust a home stereo system and one of the things it had was a phase test. I wonder if such a test CD exists. if my memory still works it may have been a test record put out by the people who made Shure phono cartridges.
     
  3. 924danimal

    924danimal New Member

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    There is a setup CD available as part of a CD lens cleaning kit. Just search for "CD lens cleaning kit".

    I have a 2010 Prius Model III and have noticed that stereo is very bias toward the front speakers in the dash or at the very least it sounds that way. I haven't found a good balance between the front and rear.

    The main reason that I bought a Model III over a Model II was the stereo since I spend about 45 minutes driving (more like sitting) to and from work.

    I'm all for finding ways to make the stock stereo sound better.
     
  4. ukaussi

    ukaussi New Member

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    I once had a 2002 VW GTI and had some similar issues but with comlete lack of bass. Turns out it was a wiring harness issues and it must have been a batch of harnesses that were bad as I discussed with VW dealer and a few months later a TSB was issued. (google search for "UKAUSSI double-din")

    Mine is fine as bass is good but if you have a lack of bass (which is most affected by "out of phase" speakers) then it may be possible.
     
  5. Much More Better

    Much More Better Active Member

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    To test phase, play some pink noise. An out of phase speaker will sound like the noise is all around you and "inside your head". Try on a home speaker to know what to listen for.
     
  6. Hawk5000

    Hawk5000 New Member

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    I recently purchased a 2010 Prius V, my second Prius. I also noticed the audio in the new care is heavily weighted to the front. I have the fader almost all the way to the rear to make it sound good.
     
  7. GeoGeek

    GeoGeek Member

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    The strongly weighted sound coming from the front speakers is by design. The factory amplifier does digital signal processing (DSP) and the targeted sound environment is one where the sound "appears" to be coming from eye-level and out in front of you. The DSP uses time alignment, cross-over frequency settings, and volume leveling independently for each individual speaker in the car to achieve this effect. The rear speakers are drastically reduced in output relative to the front speakers; this is actually a good thing because the rear door tweeters are very close to the ears of the front seat listeners and would otherwise screw up the sound field.
     
  8. Econ

    Econ Member

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    I did not suspect out of phase as hear it. The stage is very narrow with very poor imaging . I did suspect that some engineering tricks are played and perhaps the out of phase is in the mix.
    There is something going on. . . .

    To test for this you have to remove the speaker. A VTVM meter can be used to verify that the factory polarity on the connector is correct.
    You would follow the black and red probes as the negative and positive source. Secondly, you can take a AA battery to verify the terminals on the speaker matches that polarity of the factory connector. Observe when the voltage is applied to that the speaker terminals that they PUSH Up... when the positive of the battery is applied to the positive of the speaker. This can be reverse the battery ( - to +) and the speaker cone will PULL down..
    This is done very quickly so to establish the initial state . ( perhaps the speaker has a colored dot painted on the speaker frame to tell us what is the + and - Polarity.


    good luck
    j
     
  9. GeoGeek

    GeoGeek Member

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    If you want to test phase on the speakers you can use a 9-volt battery (an old installer's trick); simply connect speaker wire to the terminals of the 9-volt battery and then connect the other end of the wires to the terminals of the speaker. If you've got the + terminal of the battery connected to the positive terminal of the speaker, the cone of the speaker will pop out.....if you've got it backwards the cone of the speaker wil retract inward....you just need to touch the wires intermittently to see which way the cone is travelling. Of course, to do this, you need access to the speaker to see which way the cone is moving and access to the speaker wire leads to attach wires to. You could access the wires by disconnecting the wiring harness at the amplifier and attaching your wires there. To see which way the speaker cone is travelling, you'll need to either pop off the factory grill (for the dash) or remove the door panel (for the door speakers). There are phase tester devices available that can help make this easier to determine without having to see the speaker cone...most reputable car audio installation shops should have one on hand.
     
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I don't like her either! <rim shot> :D

    OK, seriously, where would find some pink noise? AM static do the trick?
     
  11. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    If you can find one. I still have a VTVM on my shelf of antique electronics. I wonder if the tubes are still good.

    :D

    Tom
     
  12. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    I have held off posting my 2 cents worth, to see if anyone actually knew the basic phase test! However Econ and GeoGeek got it right. All you need is a simple DC source a Ohm Meter, VTVM set to Ohms, or I like a "D" cell myself. + to +, - to- Speaker cone better + pop up, backwards pop down, if not, it's 180 out of phase.
    However, you also have to verify the speaker wiring back to the amp output, but it is as simple as a small battery to test speaker phase
     
  13. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    OK. I know this is an old thread, but I have been looking around for answers to this. I have a Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced model (with the 7-8" HDD nav) and I never really "pop" my head in the center of the car (above the center console), nor have I been a passenger in the back... that is until recently when I was curious enough and what a HORRIBLE sound system experience that was!

    I know for sure the rear speakers created this out-of-phase impression. When fader is all the way to the front you don't hear this effect, but when it's all the way to rear you can hear this even from the front/driver seat. You definitely hear this horrible effect no matter what you do when you sit in the back.

    So my question is: has anyone ever brought this up to any dealer's attention or Toyota even? Has anyone tested the phase on these speakers/sound system.

    Thanks!
     
  14. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    BTW, compared to gen 2 (which we also have) JBL system, the new one in our PHV is REALLY bad..
     
  15. JGI

    JGI Member

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    The reason the stock speakers suck is because well, it's stock. It has nothing to do with phasing and more to do with the quality of the speakers. The stock speakers will sound junk regardless of how you wire them.

    Download the IASCA CD and find the track that tests for phase/relative polarity. You'll hear very little difference between the out of phase and in-phase on the stock speakers.
     
  16. lopgok

    lopgok Member

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    I recently upgraded the speakers in my 2002 camry. Though they weren't great, they were far better quality than the speakers in my 2012 prius. The camry had a base stereo system, just like the prius. The magents were about 10 times bigger. Even the 2002 camry squakers were significantly better. If I could have gotten my 2012 pip without a stereo, I would have done so, as the factory parts are really poor. I am getting more and more tempted to pull the head unit, but right now, I am installing an amp. I swapped out the prius speakers first. They were simply dreadful. I doubh they cost more than $1 each to toyota.
     
  17. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    Well, these are the JBL HDD premium ones, they are the Prius' top of the line. If the gen 2 has much better quality (no out of phase), you would think it's not wired correctly, and I am quite sure it isn't because I am pretty experienced with audio sound quality.
    I don't want to debate whether it sucks or not. Sure you can say it sucks, but at least it should not be out of phase.

    I am posting cause I want to know if anyone has found if it's wired incorrectly/flipped or not. Whether there is any dealer that has agreed to this and fixed this, or whether there's a tech bulletin from Toyota.

    I am asking because I had a similar issue with VW Jetta MK4 TDI (I am sure it's actually across all models even non diesel ones). The early Monsoon stereo year 2001-2002 they actually had the harness wired WRONG at the factory. After many complains VW actually fixed it in 2003.
     
  18. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    Is this the advanced stereo? Again, I don't care if the bass is lacking or treble is too much, right now all I care is they don't "collide" in my (passengers') head.
     
  19. lopgok

    lopgok Member

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    As I wrote "The camry had a base stereo system, just like the prius"
     
  20. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    Yeah, but not sure what you meant by "base" stereo? Is it the one that has the slot for the CD and the screen doesn't move/open to change the CD?
     
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