Our take on the Helix Match PP52DSP
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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The processor's mode switches set amp gains and remote control functions.
- 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
- 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