When Rockford Fosgate announced the launch of their latest

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When Rockford Fosgate announced the launch of their latest
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When Rockford Fosgate
announced the launch of their latest
processor, the 3Sixty.3, it created a lot of
excitement in the industry. For those who
don't know, the RF 3Sixty.3 is a digital
signal processor that functions either as
an OEM integration unit or as a complete
surround sound DSP.
The unit takes high-level, low-level and
optical inputs. Both the high-level and
low-level inputs have up to 8 different
inputs and if need be, the unit is able to
sum up all of these inputs to create the
full audio spectrum, including signal
sense turn-on and remote turn-on in/out
function with adjustable turn-on delay
(when used with high-level input).
Other features include 31 bands of
equalization on each of the eight
channels, full phase control, time delay,
auxiliary RCA inputs, programmable dual
function remote (Master Volume, Sub
Volume or Sub EQ), up to four programmable EQ presets, Bluetooth connectivity
with A2DP wireless audio streaming,
selectable balanced/unbalanced output,
auxiliary RCA and optical inputs, up to
12dB of output gain (up to 8V out),
multiple slope and class independent
crossovers, interactive graphic user interface controlled via laptop (Windows PC).
The installation of the unit is really
quick and easy. Before I received the
unit, I downloaded the user manual and
software off the internet. The installation
was quick and effortless and the best
part was that it allowed me to play
around with the software without even
owning the unit. As far as the actual
hardware installation went, that too was a
walk in the park. Zoltan Nemeth from
Rockford Fosgate practically did the
installation in about five minutes flat (all
the wiring was in place already) and with
the software already installed, all that
was left to do was to configure the
system.
The software has a built-in distortion
detector and it tells you the input voltage
of each channel that goes into the unit.
With that said, I saw that one of my
high-end RCA cables were faulty, as it
had a 5dB drop compared to all the other
RCAs. I also realised up that my Alpine
117IR was clipping at volume 29 with
everything set flat, later to be confirmed
using my Steve Mede distortion detector,
which proved to be spot on using the
3Sixty.3’s built-in detector.
The time alignment (TA) is pretty
straight forward and in case you're a
noobie, they also have an explanation of
how to set it up in the user manual. You'll
pick up a lot of functions that the unit has
by looking at the screen shots on the
next page.
On the EQ side, there are 31 bands
of EQ per channel (there are 8-channels)
and you're able to adjust the frequency
as and how you want to. If you’re looking
to bump or drop 38Hz, type in closest to
the electronic slider and you're done.
There's also an Adjustable Q which
allows you to change the curves and
center frequency as you wish.
Aside from the nifty software, there's
also a great looking dual function remote.
This remote links to the 3Sixty.3 via a
network cable and comes with a
multitude of mounting options, which is
something that I've always admired about RF
products. If you're ever planning on flush
mounting the remote onto a custom panel or
dash, the manual further explains how the
casing should be stripped or just mount the
included bracket to slide the unit into place.
Another option is mounting the remote upside
down without having to worry about the controls
being the wrong way around. The not-s-cool
part is that depending on the level the woofer is
set on, turning the knob all the way down does
not mute the subwoofer. I also think a digital
screen would’ve looked way classier.
I did notice a few things which may have my
life a tad easier such as an integration to smart
phones platforms, including Tablets and iPads.
Let's face it, laptops are bulky and Tablets/iPads
are the new thing. The other irritating feature
was the pop sound when the unit was turned
off, but that's really a small price to pay for the
gains you receive in the every other department.
Overall, the unit is really amazing and I do
believe that it will make any sound system
sound like a million bucks, irrespective of what
the listener enjoys. In fact, the unit impressed
me so much that I actually purchased a unit for
myself. The new 3Sixty.3 is simply amazing.
I had a 3-way split system with
the mids and tweeters running
through a passive off two
channels of the amplifier,
midbass speakers off another two
channels and the subwoofer on
the mono channel. The system
allowed us to assign a channel
for each speaker after which we
were left with three free channels.
This screen shows you the
distortion levels for each input.
When the green lights turn red,
it means you’re picking up
distortion from your head unit
and you need to back off on the
volume a little. When it shows
green, it means the signal is
clean.
The Assign Main Input
Channels are pretty self
explanatory. You select the type
of input you’re using between
Optical, high-level (speaker
outputs from the head unit) or
low-level (RCA outputs from
the head unit). I used low-level
inputs only.
The Input Attenuator Control
allows you to adjust each input
individually if need be, or you
could just click auto range and it
will level set each of the inputs
to match the next. In other
words, it level-sets all inputs
and makes them equal if
required.
There are 31 bands of EQ per
channel (x 8-channels). The
cool part is that if you select
35Hz, and you only need to
adjust 33Hz, simply type in
33Hz and then adjust that
specific frequency.
The Assign Source Preset
screen allows you to have set
presets for diferent inputs. For
example, if you’re using the
Bluetooth streaming, the audio
output will be lower than a CD
so you could bump up what
ever you need to on the BT to
improve the audio quality.
There's also Adjustable Q
which allows you to change the
curves to your requirements. If
you need it peaky, increase the
Q. If you want to be able to
tune a wider band, simply
decrease it. There’s also a
detailed graph that shows you
all the processes
These show you the various
types of crossovers, networks
and slopes that the unit has to
offer. Sadly, even when changing
between the networks, there still
isn’t an 18dB slope. What I did
like was that it doesn't have fixed cross-over points, for
example, if you want to cut your slopes at 197Hz (not
200Hz or 195Hz), then it is possible.
Product: Rockford Fosgate
Product Details: 3Sixty.3
Distributor: Audiomotive Distributors
www.rockfordfosgate.co.za
Expect to pay: R8499.00
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