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Thread: SQ judging criteria

  1. #1
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    SQ judging criteria

    since someone was asking about this on another forum, i thought i'd just copy and paste my length response here, in case anyone was interested. basically someone asked if you could place high and get invited to finals without crazy fiberglass and a ton of video components.



    for the big boys, you have 2 choices, totally outrageous, or totally stealth. thankfully you don't need to go all out with crazy fiberglass ****, if you don't want to. i was going to build my amp rack with fiberglass, but decided to take an old school approach to my install and build it all out of wood nobody takes the time to use math to calculate angles and what not, they just wrap it with fiberglass. not me, i'm making mine stronger, simpler, and basic. nothing flashy or fancy, just practical.

    here's a breakdown of the score sheets:

    all get 5 points for being an iasca member and displaying the logo on the vehicle.

    street smart/pro, street X, ultra SQl, ultra Pro, and ultra X
    277 points for sound quality:
    1)tonal accuracy 100 pts
    2)sound stage 65 pts
    3)imaging 50 pts
    4)sound linearity 30 pts
    5)absence of noise 25 pts
    6)ergonomics 4 pts
    7)ergonomics bonus 3 pts

    street and above all can get up to 277 points for the listening portion.

    the installation section is where it is broken down differently.
    street smart/pro
    everything is either 0 or 5 points, nothing in between
    system safety 35 pts
    installation integrity 25 pts

    the presentation score is part of installation judging, and is variable from 1-5 pts.

    so for street smart/pro, there is possibility for 5 IASCA points, 277 for sound quality, 65 for installation judging, and up to 35 pts for SPL. that's 382 points possible, and none of it has to do with how the install looks.

    for street X they add craftsmanship and attention to detail to the installation judgind for an additional 10 points possible. they also remove the "safety equipment not compromised" part of the system safety, so that removes 5 possible points. the total possible is 387, and only 10 have to do with how the system looks.

    now the ultimate classes are where you have more to worry about.

    they remove the "safe to operate while driving" block, which takes off 5 points. they also remove the "safety equipment not compromised", so that's another 5 points removed. but they add in a whole bunch of other stuff:

    system integrity:
    source unit 5 pts
    amps 10 pts
    speakers 10 pts
    other devices 10 pts

    they also add in cosmetic integration, for a possible of 40 pts.

    craftsmanship is broken down, and adds up to 20 pts.

    presentation scoring is 25 pts.

    creativity is added, 20 possible for SQl, 30 for pro, and 50 for X.

    they remove the SPL scoring for ultimate.

    ultimate has many more things to be judged on. i am building up my truck based on the ultimate guidlines, but will be competing in the rookie classes. i am doing this because after a year in rookie, you have to move up to street. and it also means that i'll hit on all the judging criteria for the rookie class

    here's the rookie class judging, broken down in detail:

    SQ judging:
    representing iasca 5 pts
    tonal accuracy:
    sub bass 1-10 pts
    mid bass 1-10 pts
    mid range 1-10 pts
    high frequencies 1-10 pts
    sound stage:
    listening position 1-15 pts
    width (stage) 1-15 pts
    height (stage) 1-10 pts
    imaging:
    left 1-5 pts
    left center 1-5 pts
    center 1-5 pts
    right center 1-5 pts
    right 1-5 pts
    sound linearity:
    soft volume 1-10 pts
    moderate volume 1-10 pts
    loud volume 1-10 pts
    absence of noise:
    turn on/off noise 0 or 5 pts
    floor noise/hiss 0 or 5 pts
    alternator whine 0 or 5 pts

    total SQ: 150 max

    installation judging:
    system safety:
    battery properly vented 0 or 5 pts
    safety equipment intact 0 or 5 pts
    safe to operate while driving 0 or 5 pts
    appropriate size wiring 0 or 5 pts
    appropriate power wire fuse 0 or 5 pts
    all wires protected properly 0 or 5 pts
    all wires terminated properly 0 or 5 pts
    installation integrity:
    wiring 1-5 pts
    source unit 1-5 pts
    amps 1-5 pts
    speakers 1-5 pts
    other devices 1-5 pts
    system presentation 1-5 pts

    total for installation: 65 max

    RTA: 30 max
    SPL: 35 max

    grand total: 285 max


    if anyone wants further break down, let me know

  2. #2
    Going broke in style.
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    You asked for it...

    1) Can you explain what sound linearity is? I'm not really sure what you mean by that.

    2) About the sound stage... what is the desirable height/width, and what do you listen for to tell those things? Or is that something that I'd have to hear a good setup to have explained properly?

    3) Listening position: what is this judged on? Where it sounds the best? The range of places it still scores well? Something else?

    and finally 4) Installation integrity: what does this mean?

  3. #3
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorion
    You asked for it...

    1) Can you explain what sound linearity is? I'm not really sure what you mean by that.

    2) About the sound stage... what is the desirable height/width, and what do you listen for to tell those things? Or is that something that I'd have to hear a good setup to have explained properly?

    3) Listening position: what is this judged on? Where it sounds the best? The range of places it still scores well? Something else?

    and finally 4) Installation integrity: what does this mean?

    1) "The object of this section (sound linearity) is to evaluate an audio system's ability to reproduce a recording with accurate spectral balance and accurate dynamics at different volume levels" word for word from the rule book.
    in a nutshell, it's the ability to play all the frequencies well balanced at any volume level as well as having proper dynamic impact. the first 20 seconds of the track are low volume (around 81 dB), then it plays the exact same music at moderate volume (around 93 dB), and then finally the same track at high volume (around 105 dB).

    2) "stage height refers to the apparent height of the sound stage and the vertical spread above that level" word for word from the rule book.
    basically it's the ability for the sound system to recreate a stage that is flat, and a bit above the dash of the vehicle. points are deducted for lower or wavy sound stages.
    "stage width refers to the distance between the left and right boundaries of the sound stage" word for word.
    the goal is to make the stage seem as though it is wider than the boundaries of the vehicle.
    yes, you really need to hear it to truly understand both.

    3) "In this category (listening position), a system is judged on the direction of the sound stage relative to the listener and the apparent distance of the sound stage from the listener" word for word.
    you want the stage to sound like it is well in front of you. if the sound stage sounds as if it is behind you, the lowest score will be given.

    4) "In this section (installation integrity), judges will evaluate the integrity of the system's installation. Aspects of the installation that the judges will consider include: proper cooling and ventilation, reliability of the system in both mounting and wire termination, ease of access for service and safe system design." word for word.
    basically making sure the wires are hidden and secured, and everything else gets the 2 finger test. if pushing or pulling with 2 fingers moves any piece of the system, that section will recieve zero points.

    anything else?

  4. #4
    Going broke in style.
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    So figuring out if a sound stage is "wavy" or flat is just a matter of listening to it?

  5. #5
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorion
    So figuring out if a sound stage is "wavy" or flat is just a matter of listening to it?

    yep. there are certain things that once you hear them, you will be able to pick out easily, but until then, you may never know they are there.

  6. #6
    Going broke in style.
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    I sense a trip to Florida coming up...

  7. #7
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorion
    I sense a trip to Florida coming up...


    lol, well my truck won't be done for probably another 2 months but if you are interested, come down for spring break next year. come during spring break nationals and i'll get you in there, as well as introduce you to some really cool and knowledgable people.

  8. #8
    Going broke in style.
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    I think I might actually be able to manage that

  9. #9
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    seriously, just let me know. i'm either going to panama or lousiana for a few weeks durning february, but i should be back by mid march, and SBN isn't till the 3rd or 4th weekend in march my army reserve unit is still working out the details for our annual training next spring. they wanted me in panama for 4 months, in lousiana for 1 month, and then missouri for 2 months. i just started laughing and said hell no, that's a little more than the "1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year"

  10. #10
    The man from Longwood... Pimpprotege69's Avatar
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    What type of music do they play when they test out the systems. Do they play the exact same tones/songs everytime they test out a system? I want the disc if they do.
    2k4 Rally White Mazda 3 Hatchback

    Sound By CDT , powered by DLS-CA23
    Bass by Elemental Design, powered by HIFONICS

  11. #11
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    yep. we use the official IASCA SQ testing CD. the exact same CD has to be used in all vehicles in the category. we aren't allowed to use the competitors discs either.

    before i rebooted my laptop, i had the instruction book that comes with the SQ CD scanned and put into a PDF file. when i get around to scanning them again, i'll let you know

  12. #12
    Going broke in style.
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    Sweet, I want a copy of that too... and at some point I'll get around to registering with IASCA for a copy of the disc and newsletters and stuff. Unless you have an old copy of the disc I could have?

  13. #13
    Registered User blue LEDz's Avatar
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    let me see what i can work out for you

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