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 A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...

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xaqmusic
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PostSubject: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:16 pm

I'll start with a bit of history on the Digital Power Station technology:

This audio process was invented in the eighties by Tony Bongiovi so that he could hear music in his Twin Comanche airplane. The cabin noise is quite loud in a small twin engine aircraft and the speakers must be small. To overcome these issues he drew upon his experience in the recording studio (he was hired as an engineer at Motown when he was 17 and it only goes up from there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bongiovi ) and his acoustics background to devise and analog version of what is now the Digital Power Station.

Now the most important thing to consider with the Digital Power Station (DPS) is that it must be tuned specifically for the hardware and environment with which it is to be used. Our latest release, the iHome iP1, is a good example of the DPS applied to a specific hardware unit.

The DPS enables smaller speakers or transducers and unusual or inexpensive manufacturing techniques to be employed while delivering a superior audio experience. We have some prototypes here at the studio where you just wouldn't believe that so much sound could be coming out of something so small!

So enter the KD-S100. As the first application of the DPS to consumers, quality control was very important. This head unit was offered as an upgrade at the car dealer or port level. We custom tuned each vehicle that the KD-S100 was offered with and it was the installer's responsibility to load the proper profile into each head unit as it was installed. Hence the high MSRP you see at Crutchfield. Here is a description from CNET at CES 2008: http://cnettv.cnet.com/jvc-bongiovi-kds-100/9742-1_53-32003.html As a proof of concept, the KD-S100 was performing nicely.

After the dealer option had run its course, Crutchfield bought up the remaining units. This presents an interesting situation for us at Bongiovi Acoustics. Over years of tuning many vehicles, we developed the first Universal Profile that ships with the KD-S100 from Crutchfield. And there have been many satisfied customers. However, we started to get requests for more options. This makes complete sense for a system designed to have a custom tuning.

In response to those requests I petitioned the upper management to allow us to provide a few more options to our customers (we were not able to release the custom dealer profiles). As a music engineer I work with clients all day to make their music sound good so it really became a mission for me to get the very best out of this head unit for everybody! We worked very hard here in the lab/studio and held a public tuning session (see the older forum posts) to really get a broad base of info for the profile variations. So far most folks have found success with the current profile variations. I've made a few attempts to make improvements on the variations but I run into the fact that what I fix for one person is now broken for another. This is especially true for folks with aftermarket equipment.

Aftermarket equipment is anything you buy and install into your vehicle. If you add new speakers to your car, you now no longer have a stock system. Several of the Profile Variations account for this ( VAR 2 or 3 and VAR SUB ) however even installing the exact same aftermarket speakers into two different cars will have a DRASTIC difference in sound, thus changing the effect of the DPS. This is due mostly to speaker placement and interior acoustics.

So in short, I recommend that if you are considering creating a beefy system with new speakers, amps and subs, then the KD-S100 has the possibility of being incompatible with such a setup. In some cases it will be excellent but without a lot of built-in controls, fine tuning is limited. The built-in controls were eliminated because of the custom nature of the KD-S100's original purpose. However, if you have stock speakers, a car with excessive road noise (convertibles or SUVs) or want the nifty features JVC included with the KD-S100 then it is a great unit at a GREAT PRICE! cheers

I hope this answers most of the questions out there. Feel free to ask me any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I guess it's been my goal to keep the KD-S100 out of "legacy" status for just a little while longer because in the right application, it really does rock.

We've got all kinds of really cool things coming down the pike so stay tuned! There is a new forum site that will be starting VERY shortly with a cool surprise for the KD-S100 owners.

I sincerely thank you all for your interest in our tech...

Joe


Last edited by xaqmusic on Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:47 pm

xaqmusic wrote:
great unit at a GREAT PRICE

I think that sums it up there. After inserting the tuning CD that came with my order, the stock speakers really do sound much better than they did with the stock head unit. The MSRP of this unit is overpriced, but the final price is a great deal and that is what counts.
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PostSubject: Re: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:36 pm

So why can't we as an end user change the variables of the program? Sure we may not be able to have a good lab quality setup to measure with or have to burn many multiples of CDs for testing. I'm just a little frustrated that if there's a 30 band EQ and I can easily hear that I need to equalize the sound, then why can't I? I know it's a good buy for the price, but its frustrating that there's functionality I need that's been built in, but not "allowed" to me.
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PostSubject: Re: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:27 pm

eglish wrote:
So why can't we as an end user change the variables of the program? Sure we may not be able to have a good lab quality setup to measure with or have to burn many multiples of CDs for testing. I'm just a little frustrated that if there's a 30 band EQ and I can easily hear that I need to equalize the sound, then why can't I? I know it's a good buy for the price, but its frustrating that there's functionality I need that's been built in, but not "allowed" to me.

There is a very good reason for this:

The EQ section of the Digital Power Station is hard coded into the profile. Its as if the filter is built into a circuit board with resistors, caps and coils but NO KNOBS. It requires much more computing power to create a 30 band eq that is controllable than to just have a hard coded filter set. I don't think I can divulge any more than that. The power of the dsp is much better put to use by creating very nice sounding filters and dynamics. If even a few controls for the Digital Power Station were user controllable then the sonic quality would have to suffer.

I would suggest that if you really need some detailed eq power and you are using external power amps then use something like the Kenwood KGC-4042A (there might be better or cheaper models out there) after the KD-S100 going into the amps. This complicates things but if you want control its just part of the game. The eq can also be avoided by selecting speakers with a response curve that seems to meet your needs.

Joe
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PostSubject: Re: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:22 pm

Thanks for all the info! This helps a lot with understanding the KD-S100 and its purpose.
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PostSubject: Bongiovi DPS rocks in my VW   Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:39 pm

Thanks for the history behind the DPS and the JVC KD-S100 sounds excellent with my stock 2005 VW Passat Monsoon 8-speaker system. I'm considering trying the small vehicle beta profile and figure that I can always reload the standard profile that shipped with my Crutchfield unit. That CD shows that it is an update for the Factory profile: JvcTest Data_00001. Is there a more current update profile available?
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PostSubject: Re: A Brief History of the KD-S100 to answer the aftermarket questions...   Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:00 am

krkingsley wrote:
Thanks for the history behind the DPS and the JVC KD-S100 sounds excellent with my stock 2005 VW Passat Monsoon 8-speaker system. I'm considering trying the small vehicle beta profile and figure that I can always reload the standard profile that shipped with my Crutchfield unit. That CD shows that it is an update for the Factory profile: JvcTest Data_00001. Is there a more current update profile available?

The JVCTEST DATA profile is a place holder profile. Go here to download the universal profile variations: http://www.bongioviacoustics.com/kds100beta.html They should give you plenty of options along with the profile CD that shipped with the unit.
Joe
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