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What is the Q-Factor and where should it be set??

My new reciever (a Kenwood Multimedia unit) is being installed today and I have been doing all the reading that I can when it comes to set up for the best sound.

You can set all the stuff yourself and I received a lot of good advice from talking to an expert here but I forgot to ask about this Q-Factor thing.

It is located in the section of the manual and tells HOW to set it (easy) but says nothing about what it does and WHERE to set it.

I Goggled it and got a bunch of physics stuff dealing with tone/pitch but it really never came down to any settings. It also has something to do with cycling just for your information (unrelated to sound).

If anyone is an engineer or present or former car audio installer, could you please try to explain this to me in laymen's terms.

I thank you in advance and hope to get a response or two.

Posted by on

  • africanhut Sep 11, 2008

    Thanks so much for the information. I will do the test. Maybe you can help explain another problem.

    The unit has a cross over system setup with HPF and LPF. I learned a lot about what these are and how they work. I even go some settings and was told to make sure my amps match the cross over settings.

    The unit also has an audio setup portion and here you can use a preset equalizer with a bunch of music genres and then a user (or custom) preference. Here it looks like you can set the frequency of the speakers too and this guy gave me another set of numbers that I am not too sure of. I was wondering if setting up both of these is redundant?? Is one the same as the other?? Probably can't tell without looking at the manual.

    Here are the numbers suggested for the cross over and the setup section (if they can be put in there and it looks like it might).

    Two little speakers (probably tweeters) he suggested a freq of 1200Hz and that setting of +2

    The front door = 5000Hz and a -4 (called them mid-range speakers).

    The back door = 5000Hz and a -6

    The sub = 80Hz or 120 Hz (which I was familiar with) and that number he has is 0??

    He also stated that the amps should definitely match those numbers. The same guy installed all the other stuff so I was going to have him look at the amps.

    Now, in the audio settings (and there is where the Q-Factor comes in with the equalizer stuff. Would I set this the same way as custom or can I do this INSTEAD of doing the cross over network setup?

    One other thing on the Q-Factor. I believe it asks for a number, not just on or off. I guess I can experiment with the numbers just like you suggested in your response.

    Sorry this is so long but if you can help, I would appreciate it. I would think that the guy installing the unit would know these answers but I would like to know and learn about setting up the system so I can obtain the crispes sound without a bunch of distortion (especially from the sub).

    I just thought of one more thing and I may post it separately. The unit has an amp of 50W X 4. I have two amps already installed, one for the sub and the other for the mids and highs. The unit has a way to turn off its amp. Is there any advantage to keeping it on???

    Thanks again and I hope to hear back for you of anyone else who may want to chime in.



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The Q factor does have to do with tones and pitches of your music. This determines a Quality factor of how pitches are placed (high tones, low tones, and mid tones) and using the Q factor will use a preset setting to put the tones at a high proformance audio.

Simple test and trick for you.

  1. Put in your favorite cd.
  2. Turn on the Q factor
  3. Play a song and listen to it for atleast 45 seconds
  4. turn off the Q factot
  5. Play that same song for atleast 45 seconds
  6. Now you determine if the quality used by the Q factor is better or worse

For some songs that have close pitch audio, it may not be as noticeable, so you can repeat and test. Give it a try, because then you can understand it more by hearing then reading. Its all about how you want it to sound. Good luck

Thank You

Posted on Sep 11, 2008

  • Tyson
    Tyson Sep 11, 2008

    No, please don't be offended by the length of a question it is VERY helpful

    to everyone who needs details on how to work something they aren't familiar with.

    Yes keeping the amp on the cd player on would be a good thing, and also makes the

    extra amp you purchased for your interior speakers un-needed, almost redundant.

    So using the amp on the cd player will produce more power for higher amounts of sound but

    since you have a amp for your interior speakers, and one amp for your subs, it wont be needed.

    Try it on and off and you'll see a difference in the loudness of your interior speakers.

    Hpf = High Pass Filter witch is noise reduction and Equalizes the High pitch noises in a song.

    Lpf = Low Pass Filter witch is another noise reduction that Equalizes the Low pitch noises (bass)

    On the notes of your amps matching, isn't all as necessary..

    1200w amp for 2 12' speakers that are 800w a piece is okay... Just don't expect to have a 200w amp give you the Bass factor the 1200w amp will. Matching this up is the reason for best sound and performance. Also if you have too big of a Amp for a little speaker can cause the speaker can cause them to blow if you turn them up too loud, but that's if you are blasting them at full volume.

    On the frequency you should use by Hz, is.. the higher the Hz, the louder the sound produced, the tweeters produce Highs and need High Hz. 6in by 9 in rear interior speakers produce mid's and need a mid lever Hz or medium level of Hz. And your Low Hz go to your Sub's for that deep bass in the trunk.

    On the Q factor, i think its in on its own as settings, different from your other settings, its a stand alone setting and you should test it after you have everything else set up on your settings.

    Again, your settings in custom will give you lows in hz, mids in hz, and highs in hz.

    highs should be just above the mids, and lows should be just below the mids settings.

    You can use a pre-set setting but to tune your speakers your way this is the way to go.

    Think of highs as Treble

    Lows as Bass

    And mids are the mono-tones in the middle of it all.

    Also to conclude..

    Your amp will have 2-3 nobs that can be adjusted for you sub..

    They have 1 for bass.. ex- -1 -2 -3 and 0 then +1 +2 +3

    + for stronger bass, - for less bass

    the other 1 or 2 will be frequency levels and one for audio

    The audio one will probably be a little switch.

    If in one position it will play bass and music through your sub

    The other position will produce just bass through your sub (best setting) = less distortion of bass

    this will all be adjusted in your custom crossover settings-

    and for his numbers like +4 for tweeters is right.. It should be +4 from default

    - 4 for front doors

    - 6 for back doors

    and for subs if you want more bass, go into the negitives (-) 0 is just basic

    I hope this helps and good luck..

    Thankyou for the Rating


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