About the JL Audio FiX™ 86
To build a high-quality sound system, start with a clean slate
To build a high-quality sound system, start with a clean slate
You want to upgrade the sound system in your car with new speakers and amps but replacing the factory radio is just not an option. However, your factory system uses unusual EQ curves and preset time alignments that work well with the inexpensive factory speakers, but will prevent your aftermarket gear from reaching top performance. JL Audio's FiX 86 digital signal processor removes the factory system's equalization, crossover filtering, and time alignment, providing you with a completely flat and focused audio signal that your aftermarket amplifiers and processors can turn into high-fidelity music.
Integrates into almost any system
The FiX 86 gets its input signals from your vehicle's speaker wiring — no outboard level-matching devices are necessary. The FiX 86 automatically re-synchronizes any signals that have been time-delayed, returning precision to the sound. It takes your factory radio's 2-way, 3-way, or 4-way outputs, matches their levels, and combines them into six full-range stereo signals. Then 1/3-octave equalizers automatically flatten the frequency response, leaving the system ready for your custom processing and amplification.
Digital features and calibration
It doesn't come much easier than this: pop the calibration CD or loaded thumb drive into your receiver, hit play, push in and hold the FiX 86 calibration button, and all the processing is done in about 30 seconds. The 24-bit 48 KHz digital processor ensures clean, low-noise signal handling and output.
Add customized tuning via PC
You can plug your laptop running JL Audio's TüN™ software into your FiX 86 to visualize and correct the system's frequency response. The graphic displays the response curve before and after the FiX 86's corrections. The 10-band graphic equalizers on the front and rear channels let you fine-tune the sound to fit your car's acoustics and your musical tastes. The TüN software helps when you're setting up your FiX 86, giving you direct control over its factory calibration processing and allowing you to correct the polarity of any of the inputs.
Optional remote for volume control
You'll set up your FiX 86 with the factory radio's volume control at 3/4 full. Once the system is calibrated, you can use the optional DRC-205 Digital Remote Controller (sold separately) to control your system's level while maintaining the processor's EQ restoration. You can still use your radio's volume control without a DRC-205, but the factory volume-dependent equalization will affect the tone at different settings.
In addition to volume control, the DRC-205 features a Handsfree Optimization Mode that disables the FiX 86's time-correction and adds a high-pass filter to the audio to clarify the sound when making hands-free phone calls. A multi-colored LED on the remote reports the operational status of the FiX 86, so you'll know what's going on from the driver's seat.
Important Note: Some factory radios and amplifiers will not work without sensing that its speakers are connected to their outputs. If you don't have output from your factory system after installing this FiX processor, you'll need a FiX-LSA-4 load-sensing adaptor (sold separately) to correct the issue.
JL Audio's TüN software lets you adjust 10 bands of equalization for each channel and see the results.
- system integration digital sound processor with automatic time alignment, channel summing, and equalization
- removes factory sound processing for aftermarket speakers and amps
- 8 speaker-level inputs (ch 1-2: full-range; ch 7-8: subwoofer)
- 6 preamp outputs (3 pairs RCA) for connection to external processors and amplifiers
- 24 bit/48 KHz digital audio resolution
- calibration CD included
- digital signal processing via Windows PC and JL Audio's TüN software
- displays frequency response before and after processing
- 10-band graphic EQ on front and rear channels
- control FiX calibration process
- reverse polarity of any input
- high-pass filters on front and rear outputs
- signal-sensing and DC offset sensing turn-on eliminate need for remote lead
- optional dash-mountable remote (#13698128) controls Master Volume, Handsfree Optimization, and displays system Status LED
- optional LSA-4 adapter (#13698124) may be necessary in order to defeat a factory radio's load-sensing mute function
- dimensions: 4-3/8"W x 1-15/16"H x 6-3/16"D
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 98103
What's in the box:
- Four 4-pin Euroblock (Phoenix) connectors
- One 5-pin Euroblock connector
- Owner's manual
- Calibration disc
JL Audio FiX™ 86 reviews
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More details on the JL Audio FiX™ 86
Overview: The JL Audio Fix86 is a digital signal processor designed to give world-class sound from a factory audio system without replacing the OEM radio. Its 24-bit DSP processor can combine 2-, 3-, and 4-way factory outputs, while automatically level matching into a flat, full-range stereo signal to be passed on to an aftermarket amplifier. The Fix86 will automatically correct factory time delayed outputs before summing the signals and equalizing them with dual, 30 band, 1/3 octave equalizers. Its differential-balanced inputs accept virtually any OEM analog audio signal, from low-voltage line-level to high-power, speaker-level outputs (up to 30V RMS). The Fix86 offers three sets of Left/Right RCA outputs; Front, Rear, and non-fading Subwoofer.
Calibration: Basic calibration of the Fix86 is done using the Calibration button on the top panel of the processor. If the button is pressed for 5 seconds, the unit will start the calibration process which takes approximately 30 seconds. The button also serves as an EQ Bypass if pressed for 1 second. By connecting the processor to a PC (via USB) and running the included TuN 2.0 software, you can also access a complete suite of diagnostic panels that will show the frequency response of the input signals, as well as the corrected outputs. This also allows you to adjust the input polarity, muting, and filtering as well as initiating a new calibration. The output can be user-adjusted with a pair of 10-band graphic equalizers.
Note: Some factory audio amplifiers employ a load detection circuit that looks for a low-impedance load (a speaker load) in order to enable audio output. When a high-impedance load like the input section of the Fix86 is connected to these factory amplifiers, the audio output can be muted. After installing the Fix86 and turning on the audio system, if there is no output from the factory amplifier, a FiXLSA-4 Load-Sensing Adaptor (sold separately) will need to be inserted inline with the Fix86's inputs. The FiXLSA-4 presents a safe and appropriate load to the factory amplifier and corrects the muting behavior.
Turn-On Mode: The Fix86 offers three ways of activation via the top panel Turn-On Mode switch: Signal, DC Offset, and Remote.
- Remote: When the Switched +12 VDC terminal gets 12 volts, the processor powers on.
- DC Offset: Automatically turns on/off by detecting a small DC signal on the OEM speaker outputs.
- Signal: Automatically turns on/off by detecting full-range audio signals on the OEM speaker outputs.
- Input: Factory audio signals are run into the Fix86 through four 4-pin Euroblock connectors for a total of 8 available input channels. Each terminal can accept up to 16 AWG wire. Along with the audio inputs, the processor includes a USB (Type-B, 2.0) port to connect to a PC for running the TuN software as well as doing firmware updates.
- Outputs: The processor has 3 pairs of unbalanced RCA output connections, 2 Front and 2 Rear (allowing retention of the OEM fader control) as well as 2 non-fading Subwoofer jacks. Each channel outputs a 4 V RMS signal.
- Power/Ground Connector: A 5-pin Euroblock connector provides the inputs for +12 VDC Battery, +12 VDC Switched (remote input if Turn-on Mode switch is set to Remote), Ground, Remote Out (provides a +12 V remote signal to trigger aftermarket amplifiers), and a Valet In. This is provided to attenuate the overall output level by 15 dB if the Fix86 sees a ground on this terminal. This keeps other people from possibly damaging the speakers by turning the volume up too high while the vehicle is being serviced or valet parked.
- JLID Port: The Fix86 has an RJ-45 port for use with JL Audio's optional DRC-100 or DRC-205 Remote Controllers (sold separately).
DRC-100/205 Remote Controllers: These are under-dash mounted rotary controls that can be used for quick function adjustment from the driver's seat with options as follows:
- DRC-100: Can add either Master Volume Control or Handsfree Optimization, both with LED Status Reporting.
- DRC-205: Can add either Master Volume Control, Handsfree
Optimization, or Subwoofer Level Control, all with LED Status Reporting.
- Master Volume Control: When used as a Master Volume Control, the OEM headunit's volume gets left at the same level it was at during calibration, and the DRC-100 becomes the main volume control. This maintains a linear frequency response and best signal-to-noise ratio at all volume levels.
- Handsfree Optimization: In this mode, the DRC-100 is used to optimize the clarity of the factory Bluetooth hands-free system. By pressing the rotary knob, this disables the processor's time correction and applies a 100 Hz high-pass filter to the output, making Bluetooth phone calls clearer to understand.
- Subwoofer Level Control (DRC-205 only): When used as a Subwoofer Level Control, the rotary dial works as an attenuator for the Subwoofer output channels. Rotated fully clockwise allows the signal level to be the same as if the controller wasn't being used. Counter-clockwise rotation attenuates the Subwoofer output signal.
- Status LED: The DRC-100's multi-colored LED will show the Fix82's
- Constant green: Normal operation
- Slow flashing green: Valet mode is active.
- Constant amber: Handsfree mode is activated.
- Flashing or constant red: Input signal is clipping (lower volume control on OEM headunit).
Status LEDs: Four LEDs on the Fix82's top panel display both the Input Status and the Calibration Status with two LEDs for each (Left/Right channels).
- Input Status:
- Green: Signal present.
- Amber: Power on, no signal.
- Momentary Red: Input signal is clipping.
- Calibration Status:
- Flashing Amber: No calibration.
- Amber: Ready for calibration signal.
- Flashing Green: Calibration in progress.
- Green: Calibration successful.
- Flashing Red: Calibration failure.
- Alternating Green/Amber: EQ has been bypassed.
- Power Supply Type: Regulated DC-DC SMPS
- Input Operating Voltage: 10 - 16 VDC
- Standby Current Draw: < 1.5 mA
- Operating Current Draw: 0.7 A
- Recommended Fuse Value: 1 A
- Input Channels: 8
- Input Type: Differential-Balanced
- Input Voltage Range: 250 mV - 30 V RMS
- Minimum Input Voltage: 10 mV RMS
- Input Level Setting: Fully automatic
- Output Channels: 6 (Front/Rear/Sub output pairs)
- Analog Output: Unbalanced, stereo RCA jacks
- Digital Output: Optical (Toslink) output (S/PDIF)
- Output Impedance: 450 Ω
- S/N Ratio: 96 dB (A-weighted, referred to 4V RMS output)
- THD+N @ Rated Output: 0.02% (20 - 20 kHz)
- Processing Audio Resolution: 24 bit/ 48 kHz
- EQ Bands for Processing: 30 x 2 channels
- EQ Resolution: 1/3 octave (25 Hz - 20 kHz)
- Remote Level Control: Optional DRC-100 or DRC-205
- Remote Level Functions: Master Volume, Handsfree Optimization, Subwoofer Level (DRC-205), and LED status reporting
- Dimensions: Width = 4.35", Height = 1.88", Depth = 6.15"
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