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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having my Dad's 66 truck restored, and it's time to pick out the audio equipment. I'd like to keep the dash looking original, so I'm looking at one of the Retrosond head units that looks original, but has digital AM/FM channels and blue-tooth capability so I can access Spotify, SIrius, etc via my phone. The inside of the cab will be heavily sound-deadened, so there will be fairly decent acoustics for such an old truck. Here's what I'm looking for:

  • Pair of 5 1/4 inch coaxial speakers
  • One 8-10 inch sub - i.e. behind the seat box enclosure
  • One 4x50 watt amp - bridge 2 channels for one sub)
The key is to get the most bang for my buck as I'm sinking a lot of money into the restoration. TRANSLATION - I'm looking for budget, but "quality", items (e.g. entry level JL Audio, Alpine, etc.).

Any suggestions regarding component choices? Thanks in advance for all input.
 

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I have a 65 F100. Are you keeping the gas tank behind the seat?

I got rid of the gas tank, an mounted a fuel cell inside a tool box in the bed. I put my 10's and an amp in a box behind the seat. If you still have the tank behind the seat, you will have to fit something under the seat.

I'm running a 5 channel JL XD amp with a pair for tangband thin 10's behind the seat. This is an older install, something like the 10TW3, that I have in my new truck might be better. That are any of the better 8's out the, like the 8W3V3, ID8, or one of Sundowns 8s.

Are you planning to use the vents in the kick panels?

If not, they are the perfect size to put 5 1/4 speakers. I mounted mine to 1/4 MDF cut to the size of the vents. I wrapped it in black vinyl and put baffles behind the speakers. I'm using components with the tweeter mounted up by the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like a great setup. We have moved the gas tank to under the bed and I we've closed off the air vents in kick panels just as you did - 5.25s will fit nicely there. Did you go with a ported of enclosed sub box? Were two 10s too bassy? This is for my 77 year old dad...he won't appreciate too much base!

Thanks
 

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What's your total budget for everything?

Have you considered skipping the radio and streaming directly to an amp?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My budget is somewhere around $1500...give or take a couple hundred dollars.

Given my dad is "old-school" he'll want a radio - he still uses a flip phone so tech is not his friend.
 

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Sounds like a great setup. We have moved the gas tank to under the bed and I we've closed off the air vents in kick panels just as you did - 5.25s will fit nicely there. Did you go with a ported of enclosed sub box? Were two 10s too bassy? This is for my 77 year old dad...he won't appreciate too much base!

Thanks
I went ported with my subs, but the tangbands were really optimized for small boxes. They are in about .5 cu ft tuned to the mid 30's. Most of the thin 10's won't do well in a small ported box, and work better in sealed. My Raptor has a pair of 10TW3's under the back seat. I don't consider either too bassy. The TW3's get louder than the tangbands, but they are more robust and are powered off a 1000 watt amp vs 300.

I would look at 5 channel amps rather than 4, they will be close in price and you usually get a little more power on sub channel over bridging a 4 channel. You should be able to bridge most 5 channels down to 3 and get a little more power to you 5.25s, or you can go active if you'd like. Several of the better 5 channel amps have crossovers capable of going active. On the budget side there is the NVX JAD900.5, the next step up would be something like the XD700/5v2 that I'm running.

If you are worried about bass being to much, make sure to get something with a remote bass knob. I have an aftermarket AC in my 65 that puts all the controls under the dash. I used one of the holes left from the factory heater controls to mount my bass knob.

You might look at a ported 8. You could build a box the width of the seat, mount the amp in the box on the passengers side, then make the other 2/3 a ported box for an 8.

You need a baffle behind the 5.25's, that area is open to the cowl vent. I prefer components with the tweeter placed higher, but a good coax speaker or convertible component should work.
 

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With a $1500 budget, I would start with something like this...

Morel Tempo Ultra Integra 502
Kicker CompRT 10
(I typically don't recommend Kicker, but these things are inexpensive, really shallow (great for an old truck), and work well in small sealed enclosures.
NVX JAD900.5

The components, subwoofer and amp will run you less than $600. That should leave you plenty for things like the enclosure, cabling, etc. Maybe even enough to add a Dayton DSP-408 for tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now that the holidays are over...I've come with a potential list based on the above comments (see below). Here's my question...I know this isn't "audiophile" status - too cheap and simplistic - with that said, I'd like to know whether these components will work well together (i.e. sound quality, enough power to push the sub, the meshing of sound between Morels and JL Audio, etc.). Any thoughts?

One more question...I prefer a clean, realistic sound (e.g. listen to a lot of acoustic music)...are the Morels good for that type of music, or is there a better speaker (in this price range) for that type of sound?

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** RetroSound Huntington
Direct-fit digital media receiver for 1966-79 Ford Bronco and 1961-66 Ford F-Series pickup models — does not play CDs (Black front/chrome rear)
$399.99

** JL Audio XD500/3v2
3-channel car amplifier — 75 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
$499.99

** JL Audio CS110LG-TW3
Sealed PowerWedge™ enclosure with one 10" TW3 subwoofer
$399.99

** Morel Tempo Ultra 502 Integra
5-1/4 2-way car speakers
$279.99 (pair)

TOTAL = $1579.00
 

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Now that the holidays are over...I've come with a potential list based on the above comments (see below). Here's my question...I know this isn't "audiophile" status - too cheap and simplistic - with that said, I'd like to know whether these components will work well together (i.e. sound quality, enough power to push the sub, the meshing of sound between Morels and JL Audio, etc.). Any thoughts?
I think the selections you made below are a pretty good start. The one thing I see missing is a little more tunability, especially on the subwoofer side. The head unit will look great in the truck and has some nice features, but the adjustable tone controls (adjustable 3 band graphic) is pretty limited and time alignment could help out quite a bit.

The three selectable tone control bands (Bass: 60/80/100/200, Mid: 0.5k/1k/1.5k/2k, Hi: 10k/12.5k/15k/12.5k) would probably be great for fine tuning if you already had everything pretty dialed in. However, you have no additional processing in the system you have outlined. Not even a parametric "Bass Boost" EQ for the subwoofer. I would suggest implementing more tuning capability, even for a "simple" system as you describe.

One more question...I prefer a clean, realistic sound (e.g. listen to a lot of acoustic music)...are the Morels good for that type of music, or is there a better speaker (in this price range) for that type of sound?
Morels are a very solid choice at this price point. I think you would be very happy with them.

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** RetroSound Huntington
Direct-fit digital media receiver for 1966-79 Ford Bronco and 1961-66 Ford F-Series pickup models — does not play CDs (Black front/chrome rear)
$399.99
I think this is a great choice to keep the aesthetic period correct in the truck. I would strongly recommend adding a DSP after the head unit and prior to the amplifier.

For $185 (with discount code "1A9FTN" exp. 01.31.19) you can get a DSP-408 with remote and bluetooth receiver from Parts Express. This would provide you with more tuning than any head unit could give you. You'll have the ability to really dial in the sound.

While the DSP could allow you to really dig into the nitty gritty of tuning, you don't have to. Simply using the unit for crossovers, time alignment and some basic EQ would should net results head and shoulders above what you could to with the head unit and amplifier alone.

** JL Audio XD500/3v2
3-channel car amplifier — 75 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms + 300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
$499.99
The compact three channel amp is convenient and would power the system well, but I feel like it is a bit overkill/underkill. Price is high for what you get and you lack tuning capability without an outboard DSP. Amplifiers are the last place I would put the money. Especially when you can get a solid 5 channel amp (3 channel amp selection is quite limited) that will give you the power you need for your subwoofer at 2 Ohms for under $200.

Take a look at the NVX JAD900.5 from Sonic Electronix for $200. You can save a couple of bucks on the site using my coupon code "hutsell". At an even lower price point, you might also consider the Clarion XC2510 for $160 from Amazon. Either one of these + the aforementioned DSP can net far superior results than the XD500/3v2 for even less money.

** JL Audio CS110LG-TW3
Sealed PowerWedge™ enclosure with one 10" TW3 subwoofer
$399.99
The TW3 is a great shallow mount sub, and this sub/enclosure combination is probably a great choice if it fits in your truck. You may be able to save some cash here by using a different shallow mount subwoofer in a quality pre-fab sealed enclosure.

** Morel Tempo Ultra 502 Integra
5-1/4 2-way car speakers
$279.99 (pair)
As I originally recommended these, I would agree that they are a good choice. ;):D

If you do find some additional money in your budget, I would also consider upgrading to the Morel Hybrid Integra 502s at $580. You can run these passive, or if you choose to add a DSP and use a 5 channel amp, you can run them active. If running active, you may also consider the Morel Integra 524 from parts express for $332/pair (with no passive crossovers).

I would definitely lean toward spending more money on my speakers than the amplifier(s). If it is a toss up between adding a DSP or higher cost/quality speakers, go for the DSP.

TOTAL = $1579.00
If I were building the truck for my own dad (also a big Ford guy in his mid-70s), this is the approach I would take keeping budget in mind...

Head Unit: RetroSound Huntington - $400
DSP: Dayton Audio DSP-408 + Controller and BT Receiver - $185
Amplifier: NVX JAD900.5 - $200
Speakers: Morel Integra 524 - $332
Subwoofer: JL Audio CS110LG-TW3 - $400
Total: $1517
 

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Discussion Starter #12
rton20s - Really, really appreciate your feedback - thorough and detailed - just what I needed. You've helped me tremendously.

Thanks again.
 

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rton20s - Really, really appreciate your feedback - thorough and detailed - just what I needed. You've helped me tremendously.

Thanks again.
Glad to help.

A couple things you might also want to take into consideration. With a kick panel install, you'll definitely want some sort of grill to protect the speakers. You don't need anything super fancy. If you don't want or have the ability to press your own, I think either of these could be easily modified (drill holes to match the speakers you purchase) to work in your install.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/grills-for-speakers/madisound-grill-g5.25/

https://www.parts-express.com/steel-mesh-2-piece-grill-for-6-speaker-black--260-418

You'll also need all of the installation accessories, wiring, etc.

For amplifier installation kits, Knu Konceptz provides a pretty solid value. The kit linked below should give you just about everything you need except RCAs. Even though it includes RCAs for the price, I would probably just throw them in that junk drawer filled with cables that we all have and order the RCAs listed below in the sized you need.

Complete 4 Gauge Amplifier Installation Kit - Merchandise

The kit is also available through Amazon, if that is your preference.

https://www.amazon.com/KnuKonceptz-Kolossus-Gauge-Amplifier-Installation/dp/B005CIJBKK

For the RCAs, if you run the DSP, you'll only need one "long" run of 2 channels of RCAs from the head unit (Front) to the DSP. If you want subwoofer level control, you can use the remote level knob from the NVX JAD900.5. If you want to adjust subwoofer level from the head unit settings, then you will need 4 channels of RCAs from the head unit (Front & Sub) to the DSP. Then from the DSP to the the amplifier you'll need 6 channels of "short" run RCAs.

I would determine how you want to configure the system and where you want to place the different component, take measurements, then order your RCA cables. On a budget, I would look at Stinger and Streetwires. Both brands have reasonable pricing and a wide selection. I don't see any need to look at anything above the Stinger 6000 series for your build, but even the 4000 series should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The build is finally to the point where it's time to buy the audio equipment. Before I pull the trigger, I have 2 questions:

1) Any updated suggestions to the ones provided by rton (thanks again):

Head Unit: RetroSound Huntington - $400
DSP: Dayton Audio DSP-408 + Controller and BT Receiver - $185
Amplifier: NVX JAD900.5 - $200
Speakers: Morel Integra 524 - $332
Subwoofer: JL Audio CS110LG-TW3 - $400
Total: $1517

2) Where's the best place to buy these items online? Perhaps one place that carries all items?

Thanks
 

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The build is finally to the point where it's time to buy the audio equipment. Before I pull the trigger, I have 2 questions:

1) Any updated suggestions to the ones provided by rton (thanks again):

Head Unit: RetroSound Huntington - $400
DSP: Dayton Audio DSP-408 + Controller and BT Receiver - $185
Amplifier: NVX JAD900.5 - $200
Speakers: Morel Integra 524 - $332
Subwoofer: JL Audio CS110LG-TW3 - $400
Total: $1517

2) Where's the best place to buy these items online? Perhaps one place that carries all items?

Thanks
Hopefully some others will chime in with their thoughts on the equipment. But, I can give you some options on where to source it. Unfortunately, there isn't any "single source" location where you could get everything.

Crutchfield is a great source for the head unit and subwoofer. I'm not sure of any coupon codes for Crutchfield.

Parts Express is the best source for the DSP and Morel speakers. Coupon code "GGLE15" will save you $15 on your order. There may be other codes available if you do a search.

Sonic Electronix is the source for the amplifier, and they also carry the subwoofer. Coupon code "hutsell" can save you a few bucks there.

All three of those sourced also likely have amp kits and RCAs, so I would just shop around for a 4 gauge kit that utilizes OFC (not CCA) wire.

Optionally, you can check eBay and Amazon for some of these items for potential cost savings. However, there may be some risk there with non-authorized sellers which could create warranty issues for you.
 

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The only other thing I might suggest looking at are the new Morel Powerslim 6 Integra speakers. (Also available from Parts Express.) The Powerslim drivers are obviously larger in diameter, but are so shallow I would be surprised if you couldn't make them work in the truck kicks with a baffle/adapter ring.

These aren't quite as efficient as the Interga 524s and won't really play any lower. However, their frequency response looks smoother and if your kicks are open baffle, or a fairly large volume, the Qts on the 6" drivers will likely work better. If they kicks are sealed and small volume, the 524s are likely the better choice.

Just another thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
rton - Sorry to keep peppering you with questions, but....

1. I've noticed that some online stores don't carry the 524 Integra, but they do carry a 502 Integra (~$279/pair) that's comparable (not the hybrid 502 ~$580/pair). What's the difference?

2. Speaking of the 502 hybrid...I've been thinking about jumping up to this model. Putting money aside...how much better sounding are the hybrids? I usually ask people this way...on a scale of 1-100 (100 is the best speaker you've ever heard), where would the Integra and Hybrid fall on that scale? If the hybrid is a 60 and the integra is a 50, it may not be worth the extra money. However, if it's more like 80 to 40, then that's a different story.

Again, thanks for indulging my questions in advance.
 

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rton - Sorry to keep peppering you with questions, but....

1. I've noticed that some online stores don't carry the 524 Integra, but they do carry a 502 Integra (~$279/pair) that's comparable (not the hybrid 502 ~$580/pair). What's the difference?
The 524 Integra is from Morel's "Raw" driver line aimed primarily at home speaker use, etc. The Hybrid Integra 502 is a variation of the design intended for in-car use. There are some differences in T/S parameters and basket design, but the drivers are fairly similar. The car audio line also comes with passive crossovers and grills, whereas the raw line does not.

The Tempo Ultra 502 is a completely different design. I haven't seen full T/S parameters on those drivers, but I do know they have a smaller, simpler voice coil, a less advanced motor design, stamped steel basket, and no wave guide on the tweeter. I believe either of the Hybrid (raw or car) listed above would be a decent step up.

2. Speaking of the 502 hybrid...I've been thinking about jumping up to this model. Putting money aside...how much better sounding are the hybrids? I usually ask people this way...on a scale of 1-100 (100 is the best speaker you've ever heard), where would the Integra and Hybrid fall on that scale? If the hybrid is a 60 and the integra is a 50, it may not be worth the extra money. However, if it's more like 80 to 40, then that's a different story.

Again, thanks for indulging my questions in advance.
There is far too much subjectivity here to give you answer as to value. If this were for my own build, and I was planning to go active, I would have no problem spending the extra ~$50 for Morel Integra 524s over Morel Tempo Ultra 502s. On the other hand, I would be hard pressed to spend another $250 on top of that to run the Hybrid Integra 502s.
 

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The more power you end up with the better. Someone already mentioned the 3ch JL XD amp, definitely a better choice than a small 4ch.
Classic vehicles have a lot louder drivetrains and more vibrations than new cars so you’re going to want a strong system.

There is a Hertz 5ch HCP5D that’s going for about $300 right now from Abt. You could use this amp to run a set of 5.25 components active. I’m sure the 5.25 is stuffed in a less than ideal spot and the tweeters would almost certainly benefit from being on-axis.

I would strongly recommend a processor like the JL TWK88 over the Dayton. The Dayton has some stability issues.

Lastly, the retro sound stereos are a very cool and convenient solution and great for people who aren’t tech friendly, but if you want real sound signal is the first step. Separately from the head unit, you’ll want to either get a good dac to go straight from your phone to the processor or go with a digital connection between them
 

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I think the NVX and the Hertz amps are both part of the clone series of amps that shares most of the same internals.

The NVX or Hertz amps both have crossovers capable of running active without a DSP. That being said, with the limited adjustments you head unit allows a DSP is still a good idea.
 
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