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      01-12-2014, 04:52 PM   #1
Bicax
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JBL MS-8 - defective unit? Help needed

Hi everyone,

I'm running into some MS-8 desperation, and thought I would post here the same thing I posted over at diyma.

First of all, thanks to kaigoss for all his help (and patience) during the last few months. If it wasn't for him, I would have given up a long time ago.

Some months ago I installed a JBL MS8, tried almost every possible configuration/trick, and I feel I've reached a dead end. The sound is extremely bright and in your face, and it actually sounds better with processing defeated. Imaging is fine, though.

My configuration is as follows:

- BMW E91 (from 2010, with Logic 7)
- mObridge DA2
- Audiocontrol Matrix (my DA2 wasn't outputting enough voltage)
- JBL MS8
- Jehnert flatline kit (underseats + mids + tweets)
- IDMax10 (sub)
- Infinity Kappa 42.9i (center)
- OEM L7 speakers (sides/rears)
- Alpine PDX F4 (ch 1/2 to mids/tweets, ch 3/4 to underseats)
- Kenwood 8405 (ch 1/2 bridged to center, ch 3/4 to sides/rears)
- JBL GTO-1001 EZ (amping sub)

MS8 settings are as follows:

Ch 1/2 = FL/FR Hi
CH 3/4 = FL/FR Lo
Ch 5/6 = SL/SR
Ch 7 = Center
Ch 8 = Sub
Subsonic = 20hz @ 24dB
Front = 80hz @ 24dB
Hi/Lo = 150hz @ 24dB
Center = 150 hz @ 24 dB
Sides = 100hz @ 24dB
Calibration volume = currently -37, but I've tried everything from -35 to -45
Volume after calibration = -6

Everything has been level matched prior to calibration, and I've tried different voltages. Speakers are all in phase. I've also tried reversing phased on the underseats and on the sub, and found that what worked better was sub in phase, underseats with reversed phase.

I've tried both of kai's mods, different filters, different setups (subwoofer in the backseat, with and without a center, etc.), increase gains on the underseats/sub after calibration, even decreasing gains on the fronts/mids, and no matter what I do my sound is always worse with processing active. So bad in fact that I can't listen to it for more than half an hour without hurting my ears.

I am adding a link to a Dropbox folder with some RTAs which I have compiled throughout all this testing (I'm having trouble uploading them, if the folder is empty please give it some time, there should be 10 pictures in total). One for each speaker individually (pink noise from MS8 hidden menu, didn't do right side speakers), two to compare the processing active/defeat post-calibration, and two more to compare the processing active/defeat post-calibration without the center and the sub (to check if the MS8 was running out of headroom).

EDIT: Dropbox is taking too long, here are the links to each RTA:

Processing defeat
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z6idqp.png
Processing active:
http://i40.tinypic.com/hrg75w.png
Processing defeat (no center, no sub):
http://i42.tinypic.com/2lvl3li.png
Processing active (no center, no sub):
http://i41.tinypic.com/2iu6r6o.png
FL Hi:
http://i40.tinypic.com/tan8ko.png
FL Lo:
http://i41.tinypic.com/5oa4u8.png
FL Lo (with LP engaged for calibration, kaigoss mod/trick):
http://i42.tinypic.com/2ekrxy0.png
Center:
http://i42.tinypic.com/avsyep.png
SL:
http://i43.tinypic.com/2rml6ph.png
Sub (for what it's worth...):
http://i39.tinypic.com/id7ng2.png

Is it possible that my MS8 is defective, and that it isn't processing the sound correctly?
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      01-13-2014, 07:13 AM   #2
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Bump. The way I see it, the processor is not making any corrections north of 600hz. I will upload my before/after RTA when I am back home and have access to my ipad. Bit from memory there were quite a few corrections on virtually every frequency band.
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      01-13-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
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When you have processing ACTIVE but L7 OFF do you have a solid center image? (Center speaker wont play but should sound like it is from driver seat)
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      01-14-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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As far as I recall, when leaving the processing active and turning off L7 the image stays in the front but less centered. The main difference is that the sound is more surrounding (more output from the rear speakers), and bass/midbass is less precise.

However, I wouldn't put my money on this one, I need to listen more closely. I'll give it a try asap and let you know.
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      01-14-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicax
As far as I recall, when leaving the processing active and turning off L7 the image stays in the front but less centered. The main difference is that the sound is more surrounding (more output from the rear speakers), and bass/midbass is less precise.

However, I wouldn't put my money on this one, I need to listen more closely. I'll give it a try asap and let you know.
Ok. Report back. FWIW i have as good or better centered image with L7 off just due to time alignment. When ive had issues with the headphones it turns into this mushy "all around" sound. You may have bad headphones or bad connection.

Listen to a vocal track (one that doesnt use effects like 'chorus' or stereo reverb and it should soubd like the singer is a bobble head doll sitting dead smack center on your dash.
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      01-14-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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Ok.

By the way, I should have mentioned this to Kai last week when I was doing the testing, but I noticed that my headphones aren't entirely straight. Meaning that the left earpad is parallel to my ear/head, whereas the right now has a slight outward angle.

It's very slight so I always assumed that it was a design issue, but now that you mention defective headphones I was thinking that maybe they came damaged. In which case I assume it would be a pain to get another pair.

I'll take some pictures.
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      01-14-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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Yes, it is a pain to get another pair, I just got my backorder delivered after three months
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      01-15-2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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I've tested with L7 off, and the image is centered. Not as centered as with L7 on, since sometimes it does feel like it's coming from the left side, but even if it's harder to pin point it's centered overall.

I've followed some of Andy's advice over at diyma, but to no avail.
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      01-17-2014, 09:57 AM   #9
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Copying a post I've done at diyma, maybe I'm a bit more lucky here...

Hi guys,

I've done the following:

1) kept the headphones at work to make sure cold wasn't the issue
2) re-wired the center channel (so it's not bridged anymore)
3) set the xovers as follows (as per Andy's advice):

subsonic: 20hz
front: 60 hz
hi/lo: 300hz
center: 300hz
sides: 100hz

Here are the results:

Processing ACTIVE
http://i41.tinypic.com/28u4rq9.jpg

Processing DEFEAT
http://i40.tinypic.com/6fmdqu.jpg

How does it sound? Well, wiring the center differently did make a change. However, the change in the xovers doesn't allow me to do the kaigoss mod anymore, so midbass is clearly lacking again, and the mids still are too present.

And it still sounds better with processing defeat...

What on earth am I doing wrong?
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      01-20-2014, 06:11 AM   #10
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After having exhausted all options, I've contacted the company who deals with JBL's warranty in the UK and I'll send them my unit next week.

I'll post here as soon as I receive and install a working MS8.
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      01-20-2014, 06:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicax View Post
After having exhausted all options, I've contacted the company who deals with JBL's warranty in the UK and I'll send them my unit next week.

I'll post here as soon as I receive and install a working MS8.
From what I understand from users - it's hit or miss if you get a fully functional unit when buying the MS-8

Reason why I didn't go that route - I don't have time to mess around with defective equipment
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      02-07-2014, 10:24 AM   #12
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Just a quick update. The warranty service has confirmed that my MS8 was "BER".

They will send me a replacement unit, just not sure when.

I asked them to check the new unit before they send it to me, let's hope they do and this one is fully functional.
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      02-12-2014, 06:34 AM   #13
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It appears that Harmann doesn't have any available replacement units, so they are sending a PCB to the warranty service for them to repair mine.

No ETA on anything.

I can't begin to express how disappointed and frustrated I am right now.
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      03-06-2014, 06:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicax View Post
It appears that Harmann doesn't have any available replacement units, so they are sending a PCB to the warranty service for them to repair mine.

No ETA on anything.

I can't begin to express how disappointed and frustrated I am right now.
L,

Any updates?
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      03-06-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicax View Post
It appears that Harmann doesn't have any available replacement units, so they are sending a PCB to the warranty service for them to repair mine.

No ETA on anything.

I can't begin to express how disappointed and frustrated I am right now.
I had one on backorder at amazon and it just shipped so you may be lucky
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      03-10-2014, 06:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaigoss69 View Post
L,

Any updates?
Heya,

Sorry, I missed your post somehow. I was going to post an update here some time ago, but didn't want to bump the thread with only bad news.

You are going to laugh (I know I did, nervously), but the warranty company told me a couple of weeks ago that the replacement PCB that Harman/JBL sent them was also defective

So now they are still waiting for Harman/JBL to send them a second replacement PCB, and hopefully fix the MS8 and send it back to me on time for... f*****g Christmas?

I've been driving for over a month without sound now.

I'm crossing my fingers that the unit they send me is flawless (I asked them to check and double-check before they do), and that it stays that way for a very long time, as I don't think I'll have the patience to go through this again.

EDIT: just received this e-mail from them: "We are currently waiting for spares from Harman. This is beyond our control as soon as the parts arrive the unit will be repaired and returned."
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      03-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #17
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Crap.
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      03-17-2014, 04:55 AM   #18
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I just received the MS8 back.

I'll install and calibrate it after work today, if patience permits. And hopefully this week I'll be able to finally appreciate the sound in my car.
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      03-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #19
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Finally! Have strength my friend, and patience!
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      03-17-2014, 05:39 PM   #20
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Installed it, and... the screen now randomly stops working. Or maybe it's the remote control, not sure which. What I know is that sometimes the screen blocks, so I have to reset the MS8. And sometimes the buttons on the remote get mixed (the arrow down works as the "OK" button, the arrow up works as the arrow down, etc.)

Anyways, I've just spent a couple of hours calibrating it. Seats down, sub on the back seat, LP engaged, etc. etc. etc.

Results *drumroll*:

Processing ACTIVE:



Processing DEFEAT:



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      03-17-2014, 06:29 PM   #21
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Seems that you have an LF peak of 20dB with processing defeat. I would try and flatten that as it is beyond the range for which ms-8 can compensate and probably using up most of MS-8s corrective horsepower.
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      03-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #22
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Forget about the RTA for a moment, does it sound better/different? Did they exchange the mic?
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