AudioControl DQ-61

Factory sound processor with equalization and time delay (Black)

  • AudioControl DQ-61


  • AudioControl DQ-61

  • AudioControl DQ-61

  • AudioControl DQ-61

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Item #: 161DQ61B

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Our take on the AudioControl DQ-61

by Buck Pomerantz

Your factory receiver can drive an aftermarket system

You want good sound in your vehicle but you can't (or won't) change out the factory receiver. Audio Control's DQ-61 6-channel digital processor hooks up to your vehicle's speaker wiring, and transforms your factory radio's output into a balanced, equalized, and time-aligned signal that'll get superior performance from your aftermarket amps and speakers. And the DQ-61 will work with just about any factory setup, even amplified systems.

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Perfect tone and balance

You need a lot of tone control to achieve high-quality sound in the quirky acoustics of the mobile environment. With seven bands of equalization on each pair of front, rear, and subwoofer channels, the DQ-61 can tune the complete audio spectrum almost to perfection. Its Signal Delay function centers the musical image so it sounds balanced at about windshield height, instead of down around your left knee. An included wired remote lets you make adjustments and control the sub level from your front seat.

Bring back the bass

Many factory radios turn the bass down as the volume increases, protecting the vehicle's cheap factory speakers, but losing low-end power and punch. AudioControl developed a patent pending AccuBASS™ circuit that restores the bass the factory system erased, giving you much fuller and more enjoyable sound. The AccuBASS works on the DQ-61's subwoofer output channel, so your sub amp can work with a totally restored bass signal.


    General information
    • 6-channel factory sound processor with EQ and Signal Delay (Espresso Black)
    • designed to work with any factory stereo
    • 6 speaker-level inputs (each can handle up to 400 watts RMS of power)
    Signal processing
    • input level controls with maximization indicator LED
    • 7-band graphic EQ on front, rear, and subwoofer channels
    • Signal Delay control adjusts time alignment for left-to-right and subwoofer-to-front balance
    • AccuBASS bass restoration circuitry
    • AutoMode creates subwoofer channel when needed
    • internal signal summing available when used with factory systems with crossovers
    • output level controls to match amp inputs
    • maximum output level: 7.5 volts RMS
    More info
    • ACR-3 Dash Control Remote included
    • GTO™ (Great Turn-On) signal-sensing turn on
    • 12-volt 1-amp turn-on lead output
    • recommended fuse: 2-amp
    • dimensions: 8-5/8"W x 1-1/4"H x 5"D
    • warranty: 5 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • 6-Channel Line output converter/Equalizer
    • ACR-3 wired remote control
    • 18' Remote cable (RJ-14 plug on both ends)
    • Owner's manual
    • QC checklist
    • Quick reference card

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.


    Overview: The DQ-61 is a 6-channel active line output converter, with built-in signal delay circuitry, equalizer, and AudioControl's AccuBASS processor.

    Line Output Converter: The six channel active line output converter allows you to keep the factory radio, and still dramatically improve your car audio system performance. The DQ-61 accepts up to six channel (front, rear, and sub) speaker-level input from your factory radio or amplifier(s), and converts to six high voltage pre-amp signals, to feed aftermarket amplifiers. The speaker level inputs are compatible with nearly any factory stereo system, even most Bose systems. There are three pair of inputs that will accommodate up to 400 watts per channel.

    Time Alignment: By delaying the left speaker output a few milliseconds, the Signal Delay feature lets you effectively center the listener (driver) between the left and right speakers, thus optimizing the sound stage. The Signal Delay feature also allows adjustment of the front speaker output relative to the subwoofer, to effectively bring the subwoofer forward in the car. AudioControl offers a free set-up app for iPhone and iPad, available at the AudioControl website.

    Equalizer: The front, rear, and subwoofer outputs have independent 7-band equalizers. The front and rear EQ bands are centered at 125 Hz, 175 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 8 kHz. The subwoofer bands are centered at 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, and 125 Hz. Each dial is continuously variable from -12 dB to +12 dB and there's a notch at the center position so it's easy to return to the flat setting.

    AccuBASS: AccuBASS automatically corrects the intentional bass roll-off common in many factory installed audio systems. This patent pending (as of 10/2/13) circuitry maintains and restores the bass output level as the volume is turned up, improving the overall audio performance.

    Remote: The included ACR-3 wired remote gives you easy access to the subwoofer output level. The remote is also used to program the Signal Delay circuit, and to bypass the signal processor, for an A/B comparison with and without the Signal Delay, equalizer, and AccuBASS circuits. The remote is designed to be dash mounted, within reach of the driver; it can be mounted under the dash with the supplied bracket, or the bracket can be removed and the knob and LEDs can be custom mounted through the dash. Dimensions:

    • Width: 2.558"
    • Height: 1.477"
    • Depth: 1.811" (2.465" including knob)

    Input/Output Level: The input gains and output levels are set independently for the front, rear, and sub channels. To help correctly set the input, a Maximized LED lights to indicate the input is just below clipping. The adjustable output level allows you to increase the source line voltage to the top of your amplifier's input range; up to 7.5 volts RMS.

    Channel Summing: If your factory audio system has separate amplifier channels with built-in crossovers, connected directly to tweeters, midranges, and/or woofers, those signals will likely need to be combined (summed) into a single full range signal. The DQ-61 has internal jumper settings that allow you to select which input signals will be combined (none, front/rear, or front/rear/sub).

    Auto Turn-on: The GTO (Great Turn-On) Circuit turns on the DQ-61 when it detects a signal on the front speaker level input. There is also remote out terminal that provides a trigger to turn on your amplifier. The GTO circuit can be turned off if you prefer a wired turn-on trigger.

    Ground Isolation: The power supply ground is switchable, in case of ground loop noise. The factory position is fully isolated (typically the best choice), but can be changed to Ground or 200Ω.

    AutoMode: Some cars have low level or other unusual signals on their speaker leads that may not trigger the AutoMode circuit and result in signal switching. When this occurs you can manually turn off the AutoMode function by changing the internal jumper setting.

    Terminal Blocks: The power terminal and the three speaker level input terminals are removable; the wiring is attached to the block, then the block is plugged into the DQ-61. Each terminal block will accommodate wire up to 12 gauge.


    • Maximum Speaker-Level Input: 400 watts per channel
    • Maximum Output: 7.5 volts RMS
    • Output Gain: +/-12 dB
    • Frequency Response: 10 Hz-22 kHz
    • THD: 0.01%
    • Input Impedance: 20 kΩ
    • EQ Frequencies:
      • Front/Rear: 125 Hz, 175 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 8 kHz
      • Sub: 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 125 Hz,
    • Signal Delay:
      • Left/Right: 10ms max
      • Front/Sub: 35ms max
    • Output Impedance: 150 ohms
    • Current Draw: 350 mA
    • Recommended Fuse: 2 amp
    • Remote Trigger Output: 1 amp max
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    AudioControl DQ-61 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

    3 people say:

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    5 out of 5

    best piece I have purchased

    Written By glf2, Birmingham, AL on Sunday, October 19, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I purchased this because I wanted to keep my factory head unit and controls, plus audio control has a proven name in quality audio products. I've been planning this setup for a while and this piece really knocked it out of the park. With some set up of the time delays, it moved the sound from the kappa coaxials (door install) to the top of the dash and pulled the bass from the trunk to the front of the car. Now to get an RTA to set up the eq. A must purchase if you are using a stock radio/controls.
    Versatile, clean, audiophile worthy
    Not sure if this is a con, but to take advantage off all the features...take time to read the owner's manual and do a proper setup. This is worth the time.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
    5 out of 5

    Pretty slick piece of equipment

    Written By jadedtundra, Plano TX on Saturday, April 26, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I have tried the 3.sixty and thought about going with a bit one but this device in my opinion was the perfect fit for what I wanted. Concept K.I.S.S. just works out better sometimes.
    Very easy installation. It can handle wattage from a factory amplifier. No laptop needed for turning. Most importantly you control your volume via your factory controls.
    I wish it had more inputs and outputs. Like 12 outputs and 8 inputs. With high and low pass filters on each channel.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great OEM integration piece.

    Written By Juan, San Diego, CA on Wednesday, December 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    This processor is very easy to use, connect, and setup. I wanted to use a processor that would intergrate into my OEM system. I wanted to keep the OEM DVD/Navigation unit in my 2010 Nissam Maxima as several of the car's functions are connected to this setup. I replaced the car's tweeters in the dash & the front door speakers with a set of components & I added an aftermarket subwoofer. I have a 2ch amp for the components & another 2ch amp bridged to the sub. I used the DQ-61 between the headunit & the amplifiers. Once I dialed the gains in, I started with the time alignment of the front speakers & the sub. This process was very easy to do. You basically turn the knob until you get the image where you want it, then push the knob to do the same for the front speakers to sub delay. I was able to get the image right in the center, with the up front bass as well. I them made some adjustments to the EQ section to tame some of the frequencies bouncing off the windshield. This processor allowed me to get exactly what I wanted out of my system without a lot of fuss I highly recommend this unit to anyone looking to upgrade their OEM sound system.
    Ease of use. OEM intergration, line driver, EQ, and time alignment all in one small package.
    8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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    1 question already asked

    Will this help eliminate the static from my receiver input such as bluetooth audio? The receiver picks up static just wondering if this will filter it out as it passes thru [ Eddie  Oct 07, 2014 ]
    4 answers
    • How to replace. Battery [ lewis   Oct 18, 2014 ]
    • The processor will output the signal as it comes in. Granted, the processor allows for time alignment and EQ functions. This processor is dead silent. It will not add any noise of its own. The signal has to be "clean" in order for this to happen though. The static will still come through. I would try to resolve the problem at the source. My car has Bluetooth audio streaming & it does not have any noise issues. [ Juan   Oct 08, 2014 ]
    • I cant afford to shell out the $800 for the upgraded head unit and also i dont like the look. Any suggestions to get this fixed? [ Eddie   Oct 08, 2014 ]
    • Are you using a factory radio and in what car is it on? [ Robinson   Oct 08, 2014 ]

    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the AudioControl DQ-61, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_161DQ61B/AudioControl-DQ-61-Black.html ).