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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello DIY! I need help spending money :)

I am in the planning stages for what I would consider a major project in my Subaru. The problem with this particular car is the head unit is also part of the climate control. There are various parts and harnesses that need to be purchased to have the ability to change the OEM HU with an AM. I have all the part numbers so these parts will be on the way soon.

For planning purposes I will have a double din area to fill directly above the climate control and I also have a cubby area that would hold the OEM nav if my car was equipped with it. I have not chosen a HU I am leaning one way but I will leave that out of this discussion for a period of time so that I may get suggestions without any bias. But back up camera, NAV capability, Blue tooth etc.

DIY is really interesting to me. I hate the idea of paying a huge amount of money for a name brand when I could put together a DIY system that rivals or surpasses that of a name brand set. I would like to go three way active. I do have a very professional installer on retainer, I just dont want to bother him until I need install help :). So now I am in need of some help figuring out how to find components that will compliment each other rather the fight with each other. Tweet, 4 incher and 6 plus incher or whatever is the optimum set up, (I cant get 8 inchers in my doors) Many people are of the school of thought that the rear stage should be left out and the front stage should have more $$ thrown in to it. I agree however with this project I am in need of a rear fill. As for sub I am leaning towards one 10. The box will be a stealth box made from WCAS in NH. It fits perfect behind the pass rear wheel well.

Now for amp selection, I would like to only use one amp many people with this car mount the amp under the shotgun seat due to the lack of space in the back and wanting to keep the car functional. I am also in need of function before form. I am an active mountain biker and hiker so I need the back of the car for "stuff". I realize that powering a 3way set up, coax in the rear doors and a sub calls for a pretty substantial amp in regards to power and footprint. I am hoping the suggestions could keep this factors in mind. My goal is for the car to have a great SQ system that I will enjoy for many years. To give an idea budget is a factor I cant spend 4 grand on an amp but would consider 2000 and under.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Why wouldn't you consult your installer during the planning stage? I'm sure that this individual probably has a vested interest in pushing a few particular models/brand names that may not be on your agenda, but for a comprehensive job like you are talking about I believe that you would be better off cooperating through the entire process.

If the installer isn't willing to work with you on the condition that some product will come from outside sources, then your business there probably isn't as important as it ought to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why wouldn't you consult your installer during the planning stage? I'm sure that this individual probably has a vested interest in pushing a few particular models/brand names that may not be on your agenda, but for a comprehensive job like you are talking about I believe that you would be better off cooperating through the entire process.

If the installer isn't willing to work with you on the condition that some product will come from outside sources, then your business there probably isn't as important as it ought to be.
Hi Chaos,

It is not his unwillingness to lend a hand it is my unwillingness to take him away from his paying customers, nothing more then that. I do have suggestions that he has made I am just looking for many other opinions. The more I know the less he has to help :)

Any suggestions on equipment?
 

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Ah.

In that case, it sounds like your big issue is where to install the amp(s). How much space do you have under the front seats?

The JL Audio XD series might be good for your application.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah.

In that case, it sounds like your big issue is where to install the amp(s). How much space do you have under the front seats?

The JL Audio XD series might be good for your application.
That is certainly in the discussion but for some reason I am against JL amps as it seems like everybody is using them around my area, obviously because they work but I want to try something different. He suggested the Hertz HDP5. The area under the shotgun seat is fairly big with that said there is not enough room to put a 30 inch amp. I have the measurements but I forgot then at home. :bash:
 

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Well if you wanna go 3 way active plus rear fill and a sub, you're gonna have a hard time using a single amp. I would say get a couple of small buy powerful class D amps like the Hertz you mentioned above. That amp, plus another 4 channel amp would be perfect and you could easily fit them under the two front seats. I have a 2010 Subaru (WRX) and have a 5 channel under my driver seat and a 2 channel under my passenger seat. You will also need to consider what you want to do as far as processing (very important). Most of the really nice processors have 8 channels available. If you wanna go 3 way active up front, you will probably have to ditch the rear fill if you wanna have subs too, unless you want to have multiple processors. Or stick with a 2 way front or even a 3 way setup with the tweeter and midrange on a passive (quasi-3way). There are a lot of options. Since you wanted to have rear fill for sure, the JBL MS8 is probably your best bet as it is designed to use rear fill. You could run the quasi-3way up front, plus rear fill, and a sub and be good to go. With the MS8 you could even stick with the stock head unit and still have great sound if you are happy with the features and aesthetics of it.

Edit: Another option up front is to use a wideband speaker in place of a tweeter+midrange to keep the number of channels down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So it seems going 3way full active with rear fill is an issue, should i ditch the idea of rear fill?

How does the "quasi" 3 way work?

This will most likely determine what direction I go in regards to drivers.
 

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It depends on whether or not you want to add a JBL MS8 type of processor to handle the rear fill and if you can mount the tweeter and mid very close together (on the a-pillar or in a kick panel for example) so they can receive a common time alignment value. If you are going to do both, then rear fill and the quasi 3way setup will work fantastically. So the first thing to decide is what processor you will run.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok I am starting to get it. :)

Quasi 3 way has a cross for the small mid and tweet and then run the mid bass active, am I getting this right?

Right now I am envisioning the set up to have the large Mid bass in the lower part of the door and the mid in the opening right above the Mid bass and the tweets in the a pillars. The tweets and smaller mid would be less then a foot away from each other.

JBL MS8 seems to be the popular processor. Suggestions?
 

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I think the mid and tweet would need to be right next to each other to effectively use the same time alignment value. Maybe others could give you more insight, but that is my thought. And yea, the quasi 3 way is active on the midbass and then passive on the tweet and mid.

If you are adding rear fill, MS8 for sure (just because it has an algorithm specifically for adding rear fill that will sound great, I don't think other processors have that ability other than maybe the new Alpine H800). If you can live without rear fill, then just get any 8ch processor and you could run the speakers all active, just like you mentioned above.

If you want rear fill, consider a quality 2way setup with the tweet in the pillar like you said, processed by MS8, which would sound great. Does the door already have a spot for a 3-4" mid above the midbass?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Update as of the weekend.

The new JDM parts are on the way: climate control panel, radio surround and hazard button.

I am still torn on what direction to go in with regards to 3 way or 2 active versus passive. For 14 years I had a Expedition with a 6.5 Boston pro set powered by Xtant so I need something of equal or greater sound quality. Preferably greater. The sub was 3 JL 10w6's powered by Xtant. I dont remember model numbers at all. I bought these in 96 97.

If only I could find local dealers for Dyn, Focal, Rainbow, Hertz, Morel. I like the idea of putting together a set for the front but I am not sure I know enough about graphs to match correctly.
 

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If you want to run DIY speakers, and to do what you're intending, an MS8 or other processor is a given.

The JL amps are fantastic, the XD and HD are definitely the best in their class. Not to say there's not other good amps out there, but by taking them out of your list you're kinda making more work for yourself for no reason.

Kenwood has good small size amps, the Vibe liteboxes are fairly popular for small amps (an inexpensive), and Rockford Fosgate's PBR amps are likely the smallest amps you'll find.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you want to run DIY speakers, and to do what you're intending, an MS8 or other processor is a given.

The JL amps are fantastic, the XD and HD are definitely the best in their class. Not to say there's not other good amps out there, but by taking them out of your list you're kinda making more work for yourself for no reason.

Kenwood has good small size amps, the Vibe liteboxes are fairly popular for small amps (an inexpensive), and Rockford Fosgate's PBR amps are likely the smallest amps you'll find.
Thank you for the suggestions.

As far as JL goes its not about me not thinking they are good amps I just want to go a different direction. i will take a look at the models you mentioned. The more opinions the better :)
 

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I would do a 2way active front with rears (passive or just midbasses that can play up to 5kHz or so easily) and subs and let the MS8 process it. Now granted I have not heard an MS8 in person but from what I understand it handles rear speakers the best out of all the processors out currently. Then you could either mount your front tweeters in the OEM door location or in your pillars and have independent time alignment of them. You could either do a 5ch amp and a 2ch or do 2 4ch amps with one bridged to your sub (probably doable since you are just running a single 10). Measure how much space you have under each front seat to help you narrow down amp selection.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I thought about that set up 2 way active with 8 inch mids in the rear doors and then the 10 incher in the rear cargo area. If I was going to go 2 way I would put the tweet in the factory location.
 

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I have a subie and due to space restrictions I would STRONGLY recommend those JL amps. Can't go wrong with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have a subie and due to space restrictions I would STRONGLY recommend those JL amps. Can't go wrong with them.
That is certainly a strong reason to go with JL. I was thinking about the HDP5 under the shotgun seat and I am now leaning towards the 2 way route.

My JDM parts have been shipped!
 

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missed your thread when I posted this:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/system-design-help-me-choose-equipment-my-car/114686-4-channel-amp-choices-short-low-profile-required.html

Just for reference, I have a MB Quart REF 1.800 here I've stuffed under the passenger seat to see if it would fit. It's dimensions are 12-3/16"L x 7-3/4"W x 1-7/8"H. That is the absolute max size, in my opinion. I'm slightly concerned about the space needed for the 4 gauge power wire I'm going to run into the side of it.

The 12-3/16" length spec, specifically, is really as big as you can go, it appears.

I'll be powering a JL Stealthbox with it and trying to squeeze a smaller 4 channel amp under the driver's seat. The front stage will be drivers in their stock locations, run active off of an Alpine CDA-9887 (my car has manual climate control).

It sounds like your budget is much more substantial than mine. If I were you, I would get a MS-8, run the mid in the door and play with tweeter placement....maybe in the kickpanel or see how the stock location works out. I'm not sure where I'd stuff the MS-8, though. Maybe under the dash.

Good luck and please post here and let us know how you make out
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am afraid the kick panel location will not work for me. I am 6' 2" and I noticed just a few minutes ago how I am positioned in the car when driving for awhile I have my left foot and leg pressed against the drivers door and the foot right on the footrest but against the kick panel area. With all that said I think I am narrowing my decision down to 2 way so I can use the stock locations.

I will make sure to keep updating, thanks for the suggestions.
 
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