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Helix Match PP52DSP

Plug and Play digital signal processor with built-in 5-channel amplifier

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  • Helix Match PP52DSP

    Front

  • Helix Match PP52DSP

    Aux outputs and Mode switch (adjusts gain)

  • Helix Match PP52DSP

    DSP PC-Tool Software control panel

  • Helix Match PP52DSP

  • Helix Match PP52DSP

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Item #: 975PP52DSP
 
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Our take on the Helix Match PP52DSP

by Buck Pomerantz
HELIX

Upgrade your vehicle's stock system for high-fidelity sound

The Helix Match PP52DSP signal processor will greatly improve the sound quality of your factory audio system without cutting a single wire or changing your vehicle's look. After the PP52DSP works its magic, you'll be able to hear music like you were in a recording studio, instead of a noisy vehicle on the road.

The vehicle-specific Helix Match Plug and Play system

First, you'll need to purchase a Helix vehicle-specific adapter harness that plugs in between your car's stock radio and speakers, then connects to the PP52DSP. The PP52DSP then takes the signal from the factory radio and transforms it into focused, clear, and powerfully moving music that'll veritably dance across your dashboard.

Power features

The processor's built-in amplifier puts out 35 watts RMS to each of your car's four speakers and sends another 160 watts RMS to an optional Helix Match subwoofer, so you'll definitely feel big improvement in your music's impact. For you subwoofer fans who want more bass than that, the PP52DSP also includes outputs for hooking up your own larger amplifier and sub.

The ultimate tune-up via PC

Helix Match PP52DSP

The main control panel for the PP52DSP, as it appears on your computer screen

If you're a constant tweaker who's crazy about sound quality, then you will have a blast with the PP52DSP. It works with your Windows-operated personal computer to offer a world of sonic adjustments that can maximize the performance of almost any car audio system.

Once you've downloaded the application and software from Helix, you plug your PC or laptop into the processor's USB port. A detailed control panel will appear on your computer screen that lets you set virtually every tunable audio parameter, so you can enjoy the highest musical fidelity possible in your car. The visual display shows the resulting sound curve of each setting, so you'll know for sure how your adjustments are affecting audio output.

EQ, time alignment, and more

The PP52DSP includes a 30-band graphic equalizer on every channel, to compensate for all the dips and bumps in your speakers' responses inside your car, so each speaker will sound its best. The EQ section also features a fine tuning adjustment that lets you get in between the preset bands to smooth out any rough spots. The time alignment feature lets you correct for each speaker's placement, so the sound from each speaker gets to you at the same time, centering the stereo image for your sitting position.

Detailed filter section for fine tuning

You can configure almost any type of high-pass and low-pass filter on each channel. Not only can you adjust a crossover's frequency, but you can also choose the slope, its "filter characteristics" (see Highlights below), and adjust its "Q-factor," which widens or tightens the bump at a particular crossover point. Filters and EQ can be set separately for each channel, or channels can be linked together for common settings.

Save your settings

Don't worry, you won't have to drive around with your computer plugged in. You simply download your settings to the PP52DSP, after saving them on your laptop. The PP52DSP can store two settings at once, so you can toggle between them to see which sounds better. You can also use an optional microSD memory card to store and transfer settings to your PP52DSP, which comes in handy when you want to switch settings without plugging in your laptop.

Additional features

An auxiliary input lets you plug in other sources like an MP3 player or a navigation device. The PP52DSP senses when a signal is present there and automatically switches to AUX mode to play it. If it hears nothing for 2 seconds, it switches back to the receiver's signal.

You can use the URC-2A remote control (not included) to control several functions of your processor from the front seat, without having to plug in a computer. You can adjust the main and subwoofer volumes, switch between your receiver and auxiliary sources, and even quickly switch back and forth between two previously saved processor setups. You can re-configure some of the URC-2A's functions using the DSP-PC Software.

Power Save Mode

Many newer vehicles feature accessory circuits that remain on for several minutes after the engine shuts off, so an aftermarket amplifier could possibly drain your vehicle's battery. The Match PP52DSP solves this problem by turning off the amps connected to its remote output after not sensing music for 60 seconds. It will turn them back on within a second after sensing the signal.

Online manual

For more details and tips, check out Audiotec Fischer's DSP Special Sound Tuning Magazine, which includes the operation and adjustment manual for the Match PP52DSP.

Important Note: This Helix Match upgrade system plugs in between your vehicle's factory radio and speakers, so it will not work in a premium sound system equipped with a factory amplifier. You must identify your vehicle to order a Helix Match Plug and Play upgrade system online. Or, if you prefer, call an Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to make sure you get the upgrade system that works in your vehicle.

Match PP52DSP

The processor's mode switches set amp gains and remote control functions.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • digital signal processor plus 5-channel amplifier
  • DSP adjustments and settings made via computer (Windows only), microSD memory card, or optional remote control
  • download DSP PC-Tool Software from helixhifi.com
  • built-in amplifier (35 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 160 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • Plug and Play connection for optional PP7E subwoofer
  • auxiliary inputs and outputs
  • Burr-Brown AD/DA converters
  • channel settings can be separate or linked together
Adjustment details
  • time alignment in 7 millimeter increments
  • 30-band graphic EQ with fine tuning
  • adjustable high- and low-pass filters (20-20,480 Hz)
  • selectable filter slopes (6, 12, 18, 24, 30 dB/octave)
  • selectable filter characteristics
    • Butterworth: sharp transition, suitable for most applications
    • Bessel: gradual transition, suitable for smooth speakers, but not subs
    • Linkwitz: recommended for high-end speakers only, not subs
    • Chebyshev: very sharp transition, useful as high-pass for tweeters or low-pass for subs
    • Self-Define: selectable Q-Factor, 12 dB/octave slope only
  • adjustable Q-Factor in Self-Define mode (0.2-2.0) increases signal at crossover point
  • phase adjustment: switchable 0/180 degrees on front and rear channels, adjustable 0 to 360 degrees on sub channels in 22.5-degree increments
Other Features

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • PP 52DSP amplifier/digital signal processor
  • 7' Input/Output cable
  • 20 amp ATO fuse (installed)
  • 5' USB cable (USB Type A on one end and USB Mini-B on the other)
  • Four 3/4" Self-tapping screws
  • Instruction manual (German/ English)

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.

Features

Overview: The Helix PP 52DSP is an amplifier and digital signal processor, designed to be used with a Helix vehicle specific adapter to create a plug & play upgrade to a factory stereo system. Once the PP 52DSP is installed, the vehicle specific profile containing customized EQ and time alignment data is downloaded from the Helix web site to a MicroSD card and loaded into the DSP (be sure to check their site before purchasing to confirm they have a profile for your car). This allows you to upgrade your vehicle's factory sound, while leaving all the factory features and controls intact. If no profile is available for your vehicle, extensive adjustments can be made to the EQ, crossover, and time alignment using Audiotec Fischer's DSP PC-Tool software, downloaded free from their web site.

Connections/Controls:

  • Left Side:
    • USB: connect to your computer using the included cable (not used for USB storage devices)
    • Micro SD: operating software updates and complete DSP settings files are downloaded using the MicroSD card slot
    • Control Input: input for optional URC 2A wired remote control (item number 975URC2A, sold separately)
    • Mode Switches: 6 DIP switches adjust multiple settings; amplifier gain, relative sub level, and optional wired remote function
    • Line Output: two RCA jacks for connection to another amp; can be formatted full range stereo or subwoofer outputs
  • Right Side:
    • Subwoofer Output: connect optional PP 7E subwoofer (item number 975PP7E, sold separately); also compatible with the Helix B ONE blue subwoofer amplifier (item number 975BONE, sold separately) using the PP-SC 4 cable (item number 975PPSC4, sold separately)
    • Aux Input: 3.5mm mini-jack input; a signal sensing circuit automatically switches to the aux input when a signal is present
    • System Connector: 20-pin port for use with the included cable
    • Remote Output: spade terminal; used to turn an external amp on/off

Computer Controls: These controls are on the Helix PC-Tool software, downloaded to your computer from their web site (If a vehicle specific profile is downloaded, its settings cannot be changed using the PC-Tool):

  • Crossover: The crossovers are set for each channel individually (Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left, Rear Right, Subwoofer, Line Out A, and Line Out B), or multiple channels can be linked together and adjusted simultaneously (left and right, front and rear, etc.). Each channel has high pass and low pass crossovers; either or both can be bypassed. There are four settings for each crossover:
    • Frequency: The crossover points for each channel vary by how the channel is defined:
      • Full Range: high pass and low pass adjustable from 20 Hz to 20.480 kHz in approximately 1/12 octave increments
      • Subwoofer: high pass (subsonic) adjustable from 20 to 100 Hz, low pass adjustable from 20 to 300 Hz, both in 1 Hz increments
      • Line Output: the crossover on the line outputs is identical to the subwoofer output, but the low pass section can be bypassed, making them full range outputs; high pass (subsonic) adjustable from 20 to 100 Hz, low pass adjustable from 20 to 300 Hz, both in 1 Hz increments
    • Filter Characteristics: Different crossover types exhibit different sonic characteristics:
      • Butterworth: regular impulse behavior, sharp transition, 3 dB gain in the crossover frequency band, suitable for almost all applications
      • Bessel: very good impulse behavior, very gradual transition (drivers must have smooth frequency response outside the frequency band range), less than 1 dB gain in the crossover frequency band, only practical with very high quality speakers, not recommended for use with subwoofers
      • Linkwitz: very good impulse behavior, no gain at the crossover frequency, only practical with very high quality speakers, not recommended for use with subwoofers
      • Tschebyshev: very sharp transition, poor impulse behavior, output exhibits 1 dB ripple, only recommended for a subwoofer or tweeter operating near the resonant frequency
      • Self Defined: useful as high pass (subsonic) in ported subwoofer systems, slope fixed at 12 dB/octave, Q value adjustable from 0.5 to 2.0
    • Slope: the crossover slopes are selectable; zero (bypassed), 6 dB/octave, 12 dB/octave, 18 dB/octave, 24 dB/octave, and 30 dB/octave (Linkwitz is limited to zero, 12 dB/octave, and 24 dB/octave; Self Defined is fixed at 12 dB/octave)
    • Q Factor: using the Self Defined filter characteristic setting, the Q factor can be adjusted from 0.5 to 2.0 in 0.1 increments
  • Output Level: The output levels are independently adjustable for each of the seven output channels. The range is +5 dB to -60 dB (1 dB steps from +5 dB to -10 dB, 2 dB steps from -10 dB to -30 dB, and 6 dB steps from -30 dB to -60 dB).
  • Phase: The phase of each output channel is independently adjustable. The subwoofer and line outputs are adjustable from 0° to 360° in 22.5° steps; the full range outputs can be set to 0° or 180°.
  • Time Alignment: The distance from the listener (for one position in the car) to the speaker connected to each channel is independently adjustable from zero to 353.5cm (approximately 12 feet) in 7mm (0.28") increments.
  • Equalizer: Each output channel has its own 30 band (1/3 octave) equalizer (12 band for the subwoofer and line output channels). Each band is adjustable from -15 dB to +6 dB in 1 dB steps. A fine tuning section also allows slight adjustment of each band's center frequency (eight options in 1/12 octave steps) and Q (0.5 to 15.0 in 0.1 steps).
  • Line Output Configuration: The signal output by each of the line outputs can be supplied by any combination of the four inputs from the factory system (right/left/front/rear).

Specifications:

  • Power Output:
    • Front/Rear:
      • 4Ω: 35 watts x 4 RMS (70 watts x 4 max)
      • 2Ω: 50 watts x 4 RMS (100 watts x 4 max)
    • Subwoofer (2Ω): 160 watts x 1 RMS (320 watts max)
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 22 kHz
  • THD: 0.01%
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 103 dB
  • Damping Factor: >100
  • Line Output: 3 volts RMS
  • Input Impedance: 30Ω
  • Under Voltage Detection: 9.6 volts DC (up to 5 seconds down to 6 volts)
  • DSP Resolution: 56 bit
 
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