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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
 
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Default Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

As the title states, trying to decide which. I was pretty much settled on a 2 way bc it seemed like that was the safe way to go. I'm still fairly green when it comes to running active. This is my 1st time doing it, but knowledge wise I feel very comfortable after the last 16 months and being in the hobby for almost 20 years.

It's the actual tuning that I'm green with. I havent done a real tune before so I know there will be a bit of trial and error. Equipment wise I have a Dayton Audio DSP-408 that gets its signal from a Pac Ap4-gm61. I also have the Audiofrog Umi-1 tuning kit and will follow Andy's awesome write up when it comes time. I do pretty much everything DIY, I installed my entire system, the only thing I subbed out was my enclosure. So I feel like once I start playing with the DSP & tuning software I will get the hang of it pretty quickly. My vehicle is a 2018 Silverado Double Cab. If I go with the 2 way front stage I'll be putting 6.5s in the door locations & tweeters in the dash locations for my 1st try. If I go 3 way front the 6.5s would stay in the doors, tweeters I think I'd move to flush mounting in the sail panels and then I'd put a mid or full range in the dash, something for around 500hz-5,000hz ballpark range....

Equipment

- Tang Band 2525-2176s 1" tweeters

- SB Acoustics SB17NRXC35 6.5s

- Memphis 15-PRX275s 2.75" Full range (Currently installed in dash location- Wouldnt keep in 3 way active setup unless theyd really wow me. Would rather have dedicated mid, 2-3".)

I just cant decide what I want to do. I'd say start with the 2 way and go from there, trial and error. Which will in all likely hood prob happen, but I just get so little freetime that installing speakers and doing a proper tune is a big project. It's not easy for me to swap out and do trial and error... Wish it was.... But I know a lot of guys have this truck or the Sierra version so I know I can get some input. I'm just worried about the stock dash location when it comes to my tweeters, how is the off axis aiming going to sound vs running a 3 way n putting the midrange there...

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I can't tell you which way to go, but it sounds like you're like me and don't have a bunch of spare time... I went 3-way, did it once and done.

Regarding tuning, I know you have an AC DSP, but there are alot of DSP tuning videos on Youtube done by Kyle Ragsdale that contain info you should be able to use.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Personally, I made the mistake of thinking that tuning an audio system was done via some easily repeatable, "scientific" steps - but I've found that there is much more to it than that. You can't really just follow a series of documented steps and end up with a great tune. There are tons of variables - and tuning something properly takes a LOT of experience (and knowledge, of course) to really get things right. I've been trying to tune my car for 6+ months now and while I'm finally actually happy with the results, I'm sure that a real tuner would find TONS of issues with my tune and that it could be WAY better than it is.

So as someone that is new to tuning, don't think that you'll install some good equipment, get a calibrated MIC and use the REW application to come up with a fantastic tune in a few hours - it's just not going to happen. :-)

When I first installed my JL Audio amp, Rockford Fosgate DSR-1 DSP and new speakers, I was expecting it to sound great right away. It actually sounded WORSE than the factory system (a factory "premium" sound system, which utilized it's own DSP, etc) until I spent enough time to finally get it to where it is now - "good" (to me at least), but *far* from optimal. :-) Tuning a car is definitely something where experience is the most important aspect (IMO). I've got to the point where the tune is good enough that I'm happy driving around while I keep learning little by little how to make it even better - but it's a very involved process and takes time - especially for someone that is completely new to it.
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I had the same question as I was looking to update my system. I was leaning towards keeping my 2-ways until I read this thread and this thread.
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I have a 2014 Silverado crew cab. I started with a two way and it sounded really good. I used the same 6.5 that you have and the corresponding SB 29 tweeter in the factory dash location. I would ditch the 2.5 and put a tweeter in here that can dig deep like 2200 Hz. I actually ran that tweeter down to 1500 Hz. at one point. You will lose a little output going that low. I now run a three way which does sound and image better, but the two way was no slouch.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
I can't tell you which way to go, but it sounds like you're like me and don't have a bunch of spare time... I went 3-way, did it once and done.



Regarding tuning, I know you have an AC DSP, but there are alot of DSP tuning videos on Youtube done by Kyle Ragsdale that contain info you should be able to use.
Yea I've seen a lot of good tuning videos. I think when u say AC DSP you mean Audiocontrol?? I have a Dayton DSP-408...theres some good videos done by a member on our forum using my Dayton DSP-408. Very detailed with parts for a basic newbie tune or very advanced tuning. It's a great video series... and like I said I also have Audiofrogs Umi-1 USB Mic tuning kit and I plan on using Andy's awesome tuning write up as well...

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
Personally, I made the mistake of thinking that tuning an audio system was done via some easily repeatable, "scientific" steps - but I've found that there is much more to it than that. You can't really just follow a series of documented steps and end up with a great tune. There are tons of variables - and tuning something properly takes a LOT of experience (and knowledge, of course) to really get things right. I've been trying to tune my car for 6+ months now and while I'm finally actually happy with the results, I'm sure that a real tuner would find TONS of issues with my tune and that it could be WAY better than it is.

So as someone that is new to tuning, don't think that you'll install some good equipment, get a calibrated MIC and use the REW application to come up with a fantastic tune in a few hours - it's just not going to happen. :-)

When I first installed my JL Audio amp, Rockford Fosgate DSR-1 DSP and new speakers, I was expecting it to sound great right away. It actually sounded WORSE than the factory system (a factory "premium" sound system, which utilized it's own DSP, etc) until I spent enough time to finally get it to where it is now - "good" (to me at least), but *far* from optimal. :-) Tuning a car is definitely something where experience is the most important aspect (IMO). I've got to the point where the tune is good enough that I'm happy driving around while I keep learning little by little how to make it even better - but it's a very involved process and takes time - especially for someone that is completely new to it.
I'm very aware that theres no 1+1=2 simple solution when it comes to tuning. Theres just too many variables in a vehicle to establish "correct settings"... Plus a lot of ppl finally get the curve their looking for and arent totally satisfied & make adjustments based on what sounds good to them. Trust me when I said I was a newbie with tuning I meant it in the using the equipment part. When it comes to knowledge & understanding I'm completely aware of what I'm getting into, what realistic expectations are, etc... I also know all the YouTube videos and write up guides are just that "guides". They're a baseline to get you in the correct area so you better understand the process and then just like pretty much all other aspects of this hobby the little details come down to user preferences...

At the end of the day as long as it sounds good to me then I'll be happy. Well I take that back, like many of us sick bastards on this site, I dont think were truly ever happy/satisfied. It's why we constantly change equipment, setups, tunes, installs, vehicles, etc... We may be content for the moment but were always looking to get a lil bit closer to perfection... But with my lack of time I have to curb my expectations these days. And as of right now I'm not competing, I may get back into the competitive circuit again someday but this setup is for my own listening pleasure. So the level of accuracy n detail of my tune isnt nearly as important bc I'm just tuning it to my listening pleasure...

I do still know I will have a steep learning curve & I'm sure its gonna take multiple tunes & a lot of trial & error before I get the hang of it. Like I said I'm very aware that I'm not just gonna follow some step by step instructions and end with a perfect JBL House curve and achieve musical perfection... But thanks for the input because a lot of ppl that dont know better expect that n then think the DSP is at fault or that DSPs are a waste of $, a gimmick money grab tool... Which we all know they arent


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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I'm certainly no expert, but commit to a 2 way or 3 way and run with it. The choice of drivers will be different. Can it work, absolutely but converting to a 3 way you spend even more money and end up compromising in the final build.

I'm very happy with my 2 way, next car prob a 3 way- just because.
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchc1113 View Post
I'm very aware that theres no 1+1=2 simple solution when it comes to tuning. Theres just too many variables in a vehicle to establish "correct settings"... Plus a lot of ppl finally get the curve their looking for and arent totally satisfied & make adjustments based on what sounds good to them. Trust me when I said I was a newbie with tuning I meant it in the using the equipment part. When it comes to knowledge & understanding I'm completely aware of what I'm getting into, what realistic expectations are, etc... I also know all the YouTube videos and write up guides are just that "guides". They're a baseline to get you in the correct area so you better understand the process and then just like pretty much all other aspects of this hobby the little details come down to user preferences...

At the end of the day as long as it sounds good to me then I'll be happy. Well I take that back, like many of us sick bastards on this site, I dont think were truly ever happy/satisfied. It's why we constantly change equipment, setups, tunes, installs, vehicles, etc... We may be content for the moment but were always looking to get a lil bit closer to perfection... But with my lack of time I have to curb my expectations these days. And as of right now I'm not competing, I may get back into the competitive circuit again someday but this setup is for my own listening pleasure. So the level of accuracy n detail of my tune isnt nearly as important bc I'm just tuning it to my listening pleasure...

I do still know I will have a steep learning curve & I'm sure its gonna take multiple tunes & a lot of trial & error before I get the hang of it. Like I said I'm very aware that I'm not just gonna follow some step by step instructions and end with a perfect JBL House curve and achieve musical perfection... But thanks for the input because a lot of ppl that dont know better expect that n then think the DSP is at fault or that DSPs are a waste of $, a gimmick money grab tool... Which we all know they arent


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You have the right attitude! There are also some good tuning explanations in the "How To" part of the forum.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

1) A two way Generally requires better speakers more than a three way.

2) Whether you have real estate, or places, to put three speakers is probably the first thing to consider.
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I would suggest you to go 3-way, but there are some other aspects to consider - Space for speakers, amps, and all other stuff needed, active/passive, what processor/amps, source,..... will you be able to tune , etc.....

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

OK,



3-way setups are going to be easier to tune, with off-the-shelf equipment, or in your instance when you've got a bit of mix-matching going on.


I've tuned remotely, and yeah there's a bit of black magic to it, but really, it IS just steps and process, and reacting to the results. The most important part is the measuring. If you do it badly (too much background noise, or with too few measurements points, etc etc), you'll end up with garbage results.



The other critical thing to have is an ideal (for you) house curve. Something that you really like in a car. Without a house curve, you will struggle to find the tune that appeals to you, and eventually you may get there but you're going to likely fatigue before you make it. Remember, you only get like 30-45 minutes of this tops before you need to take a break for a while. So, find a house curve you like or want to start with at least, and set that in REW.



Now, I don't know what you do different with an Audiofrog mic, but my process is as follows:


  1. Set rudimentary, safe crossovers for the speakers, and set baseline SPL by ear so each speaker roughly sounds the same volume (use pink noise.) This is also when I'm finding out the ideal volume output on my laptop, the head unit (or straight to the DSP), and noting all the settings with Google Docs/Keep/whatever so I can store this info and reproduce the same for future testing.
  2. I measure these results against my target curve, and adjust gains roughly as necessary to get in the ballpark. Remember, we're going to cut through peaks and resist boosting troughs, so gain setting at this point can make or break volume output of the system.
  3. Get baseline measurements of each speaker to determine acceptable crossover points. This usually involves running bandwidth limited sweeps (sound blocking earphones on) where I'd have a tweeter run 1k to 20k, a mid from ~150hz to 20k, woofers ~20-20k, sub full-range. From these I'm also learning of any vibration/distortion that could be necessary to resolve or work around.
  4. Once I have baselines, I set my time alignment and my crossover points and slopes, and just listen for a bit. Already, this should sound better than some non-DSP setups.
  5. Now comes the real work - I sweep each speaker individually using the multi-mic measurement sweep technique of several locations around my ears, according to the guide with Bruce Willis' head . I do not use pink noise here, only sweeps (earphones on) These sweeps are critical to get measured right. Remember that these results you get are not going to change no matter the smoothing you use to work in. I've fiddled with smoothing and found that with limited DSP, the Psychoacoustic setting works good. Variable works good with the average DSP, and if you're in need of more exacting results, drop to something like 1/12th or so. But Variable is usually where I end up.
  6. I average the results of each set of speaker sweeps, and those averages are what I use to EQ each channel. I run REW EQ and set my target curve EQ efforts to work on these average graphs. THIS part takes time but really, I'm just working the match frequency response targets in REW EQ up to the target curve, trying to do so with the least amount of boost but some is acceptable. Pay attention to changes recommended near the crossover point, because these might need to be ignored or changed up manually. Remember that steep, narrow troughs are probably not audible and are likely more a result of an acoustic issue in the car, but it is likely you'll not be able to fix that.. Again if not audible, who cares... This is where smoothing differently produces different results to target. I then import my first batch of EQ changes to the DSP. In the case of REW and Helix, I use the "R" command and create text files for the Helix to use. Simple.
  7. I then listen to the results and see how close I am to target. If I'm happy, this may be the end of it right here. Usually though, something needs to be flipped in polarity, or a crossover tweaked or something. With all speakers playing, small changes to the time alignment can be tested, as well as phase (if applicable), and always save each change that sounds better.
  8. Depending on the situation, it may be smart to perform whole side sweeps now, to get a finer tune going. This means running full left front woofer/mid/tweet in a sweep (measure the same as before, multi-point and use as close to the same points as possible), average those, and go back to the EQ screen to perform and additional EQ to get to target. The Helix allows me to do this, to layer one EQ on another, as long as I have the bands. If something is way off, chances are its a polarity/phase thing, or I've got a cancellation effect that might need more attention like adjust the crossover point. This may mean I need to go back to the drawing board, or if everything sounds pretty good, I can continue.
  9. From here, it's usually good to take a break, or have other people listen, and see if there's anything a fresh set of ears can or can't hear.


All in, sometimes a tune takes 30 min, sometimes it takes days. I am sure you'll find your own way to tune in short order, once you start running through the process. It also depends on your DSP. For me, Helix and REW gets it done.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stycker View Post
I have a 2014 Silverado crew cab. I started with a two way and it sounded really good. I used the same 6.5 that you have and the corresponding SB 29 tweeter in the factory dash location. I would ditch the 2.5 and put a tweeter in here that can dig deep like 2200 Hz. I actually ran that tweeter down to 1500 Hz. at one point. You will lose a little output going that low. I now run a three way which does sound and image better, but the two way was no slouch.
Nice. Yea if I would decide to run 3 way I would not use the Memphis 2.75, I'd go with a 3" midrange or something around 2.5-4". I was actually pretty set on getting a pair of Dayton RS75s & mounting them in the dash and flush mounting the Tang Band tweeters in the sail panels. I've seen a few of our trucks that utilize that little gap that isnt covered when the door shuts. It's a perfect spot for a 1" tweeter IMO (aesthetically speaking). Looks stock to me and it seems like the aiming is better than the dash...

As for the Dayton like I said I was pretty set but in the past 2-3 days I've read a few posts on here that have made me rethink them. Some ppl seem to really like them while others say they arent very impressed and downright unimpressed when they hear another midrange. So I'm kind of stuck... for the price I feel like what the hell? For around $50 it might be worth it to see if I am satisfied with them, but then it's like well if I don't that's another $50 down the drain. I've made some haste decisions during this build, purchasing equipment w/o really making sure it's the right decision... and it's not so much I end up with bad equipment, it's that I keep telling myself I'm not going to go all out on this build, that I'm not competing anymore so I dont have to have a high end system. That I'll be perfectly fine with an above average system... Yea, right.... 4 subs & 3 enclosures later I think I finally have the low end... I dont want to do the same with the mids. I'd rather spend more upfront bc if I'm not happy I'm just gonna end up purchasing in the end what I just should have from the beginning and I spend more in the long run...

So as for that around 3" midrange, full range, something that will excel in the 500-5000hz range what are some recommendations? I know right off the bat Audiofrog GB25s, but unless I can score a really great deal on new ones or can get a hold of a good used set I cant spend that much... I'd really like to not go over $150 or so. I'm open to raw drivers, whatever, does not have to be car audio specific. I have raw drivers for my front stage already as u can see.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhtunes View Post
I'm certainly no expert, but commit to a 2 way or 3 way and run with it. The choice of drivers will be different. Can it work, absolutely but converting to a 3 way you spend even more money and end up compromising in the final build.



I'm very happy with my 2 way, next car prob a 3 way- just because.
If I commit to the 3 way I wont skimp elsewhere because of it. I mean money is always a factor, but I've devoted over a year and a lot of $ on this build + the rest of the truck in general. Finances will have no bearing on whether I choose a 2 or 3 way setup... I'm by no means rich, but I make a very comfortable living & with not having much free time anymore this is my only hobby so to speak at the time. My truck is the only thing I spend $ on for myself...

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchc1113 View Post
If I commit to the 3 way I wont skimp elsewhere because of it. I mean money is always a factor, but I've devoted over a year and a lot of $ on this build + the rest of the truck in general. Finances will have no bearing on whether I choose a 2 or 3 way setup... I'm by no means rich, but I make a very comfortable living & with not having much free time anymore this is my only hobby so to speak at the time. My truck is the only thing I spend $ on for myself...

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IMO, use what you got to determine what (if anything) you need. Just like I was saying in that big post earlier, you need to see through basic measurement and listening (post-tune) where any issues lie. You may end up extremely happy with exactly what you have. Some people go overboard thinking it through, when in reality its ready to go (minus a bit of tuning) right there. Those Memphis speakers, for instance, may be the ultimate midrange. You never know until you start testing/tuning.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaudio View Post
I would suggest you to go 3-way, but there are some other aspects to consider - Space for speakers, amps, and all other stuff needed, active/passive, what processor/amps, source,..... will you be able to tune , etc.....
I know my posts are kinda long so ppl skim thru them so to speak. I'm guilty of it too sometimes, but if I'm going to reply to the OP then I make sure I read the entire post so I dont end up making a comment or comments that the OP has answered or established in his OP...

I said I have a 2018 Silverado and also stated exactly where I'd mount a 2 way setup & if I went 3 way how I'd change my tweeter location to allow for a midrange. I was quite specific with this info, so that answers the 1st thing u said. My amps are all already mounted/installed. I have 2 4 channel amps dedicated to mids/highs.

Active or passive? Seriously man?? I'm not tryin to pick on u or single u out, this is prob one of if not the only forum/group page around anymore where ppl actually act like mature adults. Where we all actually come to talk about audio, not to troll, brand bash, rip one another off, etc... Basically a true car audio enthusiast's forum. And we're human, I'm not gonna call someone out just to do it, we all misread n miss some things now and again, totally get it. But in this case it's like all u did was read the heading. Everything you said aside from space for amps, not only did I answer, and not someone else asked and I replied with the answer, I mean I literally covered in my OP, and in detail. I must have stated 2 way and 3 way active front stage 3-4 times. Clearly listed that I have a Dayton Audio DSP-408, listed all my drivers as well. I even said that My Dayton DSP-408 was getting its signal from a Pac Ap4-gm61 amp pro which provides a clean/flat stereo out. And I said that I have the Audiofrog Umi-1 USB mic kit so along with all that and some good youtube videos and Andy's tuning guide that I'd be self tuning...

Again I'm seriously not trying to come off as a condescending ass, but if you truly want to try n help somebody out & post a response, you really should read the actual post, or atleast skim enough of it that u have a pretty good idea of what's being asked... Maybe instead of providing what u did you might have been a little more specific & said or asked somethin that may have really helped me... Again really not tryin to be an ass, just tryin to get ya to slow down a bit n really read what ppl are saying/asking... And it is most certainly not only u, like I said were all guilty of it, but some do it on a regular basis.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #17
 
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

For me, the hardest part was the target curve. After "tuning" to many different target curves out there and not being happy at all with the results, it was obvious that I needed to come up with my own target curve. I spent a TON of time trying to get a target curve that I was happy with. It was relatively easy to EQ towards a target curve with REW - the hard part was coming up with the target curve in the first place (to me, at least). Also, being new to this, I really had no "reference" as to what "good" really was. I have never been to a SQ meet and really don't know anyone else into this kind of stuff. I generally know what I like a system to sound like, but I had no idea what the target curve for that "sound" would "look" like.

Even things like knowing which frequency number ranges related to which "sounds" was a steep learning curve. So knowing what I liked to hear and knowing how to adjust an EQ/target curve to get there was a steep learning curve (no pun intended!).

Things like crossovers were also a complete mystery to me. How do I know what the best crossover frequency is? Learning about slopes and phase (still have a long way to go on that!), etc...

As mentioned, the DSP you use plays a big part too. I started off with a RF DSR-1 and it has limitations that higher-end DSP's don't have - so some things were much harder to do with the DSR-1.

I'm *still* not sure how good my system sounds "technically". It sounds good (not great) to me, but I can guarantee that a real tuner could make it sound a LOT better. :-) I also always questioning myself - "Is my equipment what is causing the system to not sound good?". I eventually realized that even relatively-inexpensive gear can sound great when tuned properly - but it's still easy to assume that you need to upgrade speakers, or DSP, or amps, etc in order to get really great sound.

So yes, tuning is just following a series of steps - but there is a ton of knowledge and experience that goes into knowing how to do those steps properly. :-)
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanson View Post
IMO, use what you got to determine what (if anything) you need. Just like I was saying in that big post earlier, you need to see through basic measurement and listening (post-tune) where any issues lie. You may end up extremely happy with exactly what you have. Some people go overboard thinking it through, when in reality its ready to go (minus a bit of tuning) right there. Those Memphis speakers, for instance, may be the ultimate midrange. You never know until you start testing/tuning.
I very much agree with what u said here. In the end it's all about trying to match that curve, limiting any big peaks or valleys and then adjusting to what sounds good to you.

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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

I would highly recommend Pioneer stage 4 C172PRS comps if you indeed will go the 2 way path.


only needed very very little fine tuning after a basic tune to get very good width,depth,height and did not miss a beat ,was extremely happy with the results and was shocked to get such results as it costed 1/3rd the price of high end stuff that it matched or perhaps even out performed

Last edited by audiocholic; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:02 PM..
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #20
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Default Re: Active 2 way or 3 way front stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanson View Post
IMO, use what you got to determine what (if anything) you need. Just like I was saying in that big post earlier, you need to see through basic measurement and listening (post-tune) where any issues lie. You may end up extremely happy with exactly what you have. Some people go overboard thinking it through, when in reality its ready to go (minus a bit of tuning) right there. Those Memphis speakers, for instance, may be the ultimate midrange. You never know until you start testing/tuning.
^sage advice^
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