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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, looking for advice on where to go with this project. I picked up a car and half the audio equipment was left in, that I am in process of getting back working. Speakers are still in the car, but everything else (amps, EQ, etc.) were removed. Apologize for the long thread, but trying to share as much as I know about the car, what's left in it, and how it was setup before.

What's Still In
Car: 2002 Focus SVT 2dr Hatch
Front: Kenwood DualMag XR-60P components (mids in kick panels, tweeters in A pillar), Kenwood KFC-X688C in the doors with LPF (Alpine 6254)
Rear: Kenwood KFC-X688C
Thorough sound deadening job (complete door skins, floor, roof, etc.)

Gone
Headunit: Kenwood KDC-X869
Front stage amp: Kenwood 501T 4 channel
Sub: Image Dynamics v3 12", Kenwood 401M
Processing: Audio Control Epicenter, Audio Control ESP2, Audio Control EQT

From what I can tell unpiecing the wiring, two channels ran the front components with the passive crossover (low cut on the mids, tweeters attenuated -4dB). Two channels ran the door speakers in the front, which has an Alpine 6254 crossover set as a LPF. Rear speakers were just run off the HU for fill.

New Equipment
This is what I've purchased so far to get this back working:
Headunit: Kenwood KDC-X704
Amp: JL XD600/6v2
Processing: miniDSP C-DSP 6x8 (think I got the last one from Parts Express 馃槀)

Need Input
With the DSP I don't think it makes sense to stay passive (please correct me if I'm wrong); worst case I am active and mimic the Kenwood crossover points (5k 12dB). Should I bother using the door speakers in the front at all, or just stay with a 2 way? I could use the doors for midbass and kicks for midrange, but unsure if there's any value in using the 688Cs as a midbass. Rears I will remove or just run off the headunit. Nothing planned in the short term for a sub (want to get this all working first).

Appreciate the help and advice. I have the specs and frequency graph for the components if helpful, nothing on the door speakers.
 

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First,
Welcome to the forum!!!

1) I agree that since you have a DSP, you don't need to stay passive.
2) Using the door speakers or not is kind of entirely up to you. The door speakers may help add more midbass punch (especially since you don't plan on a sub right now).
3) Without actually hearing what they can do.. it'll be a wild guess. I say wire them up and listen to them. It won't hurt to have wires ran to them from the amp. You'll have it ready if you want to upgrade to better drivers.
4) Agree with rears.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First,
Welcome to the forum!!!

1) I agree that since you have a DSP, you don't need to stay passive.
2) Using the door speakers or not is kind of entirely up to you. The door speakers may help add more midbass punch (especially since you don't plan on a sub right now).
3) Without actually hearing what they can do.. it'll be a wild guess. I say wire them up and listen to them. It won't hurt to have wires ran to them from the amp. You'll have it ready if you want to upgrade to better drivers.
4) Agree with rears.
Thank you!

Thanks for the advice as well - That's what I was leaning towards (run them and see how it sounds). The DSP should hopefully make that an easier job by being able to adjust from the laptop in the driver's seat, rather than running back and forth to the hatch to make analog changes. Easy enough to mute that channel and/or unhook them if they don't sound great.
 

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I mean.. as long as you don't expect it to sound like a $10,000 system.. If its already there.. why not use them until you have the funds to change them out to what you want.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean.. as long as you don't expect it to sound like a $10,000 system.. If its already there.. why not use them until you have the funds to change them out to what you want.
Nah, no delusions there. From what I can remember, this car sounded great in its day, and I've been driving it with no audio at all for some time. I'll be happy to have everything working again. With my inexperience, I didn't know if my plan to tie-in the door speaker would cause more harm than good to the sound stage.
 

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Nah, no delusions there. From what I can remember, this car sounded great in its day, and I've been driving it with no audio at all for some time. I'll be happy to have everything working again. With my inexperience, I didn't know if my plan to tie-in the door speaker would cause more harm than good to the sound stage.
It could be either way... But with a DSP I think you'll be able to change it quite easily. Later on down the line.. you can swap out the components for really good budget drivers and sound even better. I think your choices in amp & dsp are a good base.

Are you planning on getting a mic to do RTA?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It could be either way... But with a DSP I think you'll be able to change it quite easily. Later on down the line.. you can swap out the components for really good budget drivers and sound even better. I think your choices in amp & dsp are a good base.

Are you planning on getting a mic to do RTA?
I had planned to set delays with a tape measure, but haven't looked into RTA yet. Would something like this be sufficient for RTA (and I assume works well with their same brand DSP):

I am really curious how these will sound. In my other car, I upgraded the factory components to set of Focal PS 165FX, DSR1 for processing, and the same JBL 6 channel, and I've been very happy.
 

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Yep I have the UMIK-1.. and Free REW works great. Also.. UMIK-1 directly from minidsp ships from china and costs nearly the same as if you bought it from Parts Express. Also PartsExpress has coupons if you are over $100 I believe. So I bought minor install things to hit that like ring terminals and speaker terminals.. etc..


Edit:
In the future.. since you have a DSP and amps.. you won't have to be tied down to specific components..

Silver Flute 6.5" woofers * SB Acoustics 1" tweets come out to $121.20 before shipping.. and they sound great. The world is your oyster...

Though Morel Maximo 6 are pretty darn impressive for ~$170.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep I have the UMIK-1.. and Free REW works great. Also.. UMIK-1 directly from minidsp ships from china and costs nearly the same as if you bought it from Parts Express. Also PartsExpress has coupons if you are over $100 I believe. So I bought minor install things to hit that like ring terminals and speaker terminals.. etc..


Edit:
In the future.. since you have a DSP and amps.. you won't have to be tied down to specific components..

Silver Flute 6.5" woofers * SB Acoustics 1" tweets come out to $121.20 before shipping.. and they sound great. The world is your oyster...

Though Morel Maximo 6 are pretty darn impressive for ~$170.
Excellent, thank you. And agreed, I only listened for a few minutes this weekend (just verifying everything works, still need to set gains with the DSP and amp), but excited to hear how they sound. I wish I could find more places to audition speakers, it's hard to buy online.
 

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Due to "advancements" in technology.. everyone walks around in airpods.. or some other form of wireless headphones...

Sound Quality has become less and less important nowadays in cars. Everything is about quick media consumption. I'm guilty with that as well.

I see lots of people (dangerously) wearing beats or other headphones while driving. Though I'm sure there are plenty members here that listen to music to the point of drowning out road noise. I don't do that.. but most of my days at work on in earbuds as well.

So a lot of car audio shops have effectively died out. There are probably only one or two really good ones in the Greater Houston area.. but most of them make money off tint jobs than true audio installs.

There seem to be only two types of people left.. Those who opt for the oem audio upgrade from the factory.. and those who put giant subs to rattle the street.

I guess a third would be the too poor to opt for the oem audio upgrade (me included)... JK I knew I could put together a better system for the price of the oem upgrade.. which was tied to leather seats, sunroof, etc.. which I didn't want for an extra $6K

Also Covid probably killed the rest of the surviving shops off.
 

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Due to "advancements" in technology.. everyone walks around in airpods.. or some other form of wireless headphones...

Sound Quality has become less and less important nowadays in cars. Everything is about quick media consumption. I'm guilty with that as well.

I see lots of people (dangerously) wearing beats or other headphones while driving. Though I'm sure there are plenty members here that listen to music to the point of drowning out road noise. I don't do that.. but most of my days at work on in earbuds as well.
honestly, I get better imaging from my car stereo than any earphones I鈥檝e ever heard. Unless you鈥檙e a fan of having Pearl Jam perform right behind your eyeballs. Soundstage from a properly set up car install has ruined me for headphones forever.
 
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so, two-way or three-way.

From personal experience, three-way isn鈥檛 as worth the hassle as it would seem. Work on getting set up for a two-way and get that tuned proper. Then ask yourself if you can even comprehend it sounding better, and whether trying is worth the expense and time.
Basically, tuning is a huge part of it all, and if you can鈥檛 get a two-way sounding great, adding another set of drivers is only going to make it more frustrating.

That said, a three-way can sound awesome, in the right hands. It sounds like you鈥檙e on the right track; utilize the equipment you have, get a DSP and maximize/learn with that, then start to fill in the weak points from there. And then, years later, when you鈥檙e a wise old grey beard spreading wisdom on DIYMA, you can plan/execute your dream three-way system. 馃榿
 

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Also, don鈥檛 be married to the crossover point in the components that Kenwood set. Go by REW and what your measurements dictate. Crossovers and EQ are as dependent on the environment as the equipment.
 

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honestly, I get better imaging from my car stereo than any earphones I鈥檝e ever heard. Unless you鈥檙e a fan of having Pearl Jam perform right behind your eyeballs. Soundstage from a properly set up car install has ruined me for headphones forever.
I 100% agree.. but most people young to old, nowadays, place convenience above other factors. If I could get away with having nice bookshelf speakers in my office I would.. but that doesn't fly with my company's values.


As for the 3 way comment.. If you have the space, time, and capability to do so.. I think a 3 way front stage can sound more effortlessly better than a 2 way.. Every driver will shine in their own well defined area instead of overreaching in areas they are weaker in.

Not to mention.. an 8" midbass is kick a$$... just saying. If you can fit it.. and have the tuning & amp channels for it..
 

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I 100% agree.. but most people young to old, nowadays, place convenience above other factors. If I could get away with having nice bookshelf speakers in my office I would.. but that doesn't fly with my company's values.


As for the 3 way comment.. If you have the space, time, and capability to do so.. I think a 3 way front stage can sound more effortlessly better than a 2 way.. Every driver will shine in their own well defined area instead of overreaching in areas they are weaker in.

Not to mention.. an 8" midbass is kick a$$... just saying. If you can fit it.. and have the tuning & amp channels for it..
3-way.
no, I don鈥檛 mean to denigrate them at all, and everything you say is right. My point is just that there鈥檚 a lot of learning to do to get to the point that you鈥檙e not chasing problems around in circles. A mediocre tune on a 3-way is going to be noticeably worse than a properly tuned 2-way. Said another way, if you don鈥檛 understand why your 2-way doesn鈥檛 sound great, you鈥檙e not going to understand it in a 3-way, and there are many more pitfalls with the more complex system.

As for 8鈥 drivers, sure, but more so if you鈥檙e skipping the sub. Placing and crossing them a little higher than a sub (particularly in the rear) gets you benefits of low end plus rear fill. It鈥檚 a great combo.
 

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One of the main issues with going from 2- to 3-way is how the amps blend. Especially at the low to mid end of the price range, getting disparate amps to play nicely in a range of volumes becomes harder. You can get everything set for one volume level, perfect imaging and clarity, then turn it up or down and have it all turn to crap.
 

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One of the main issues with going from 2- to 3-way is how the amps blend. Especially at the low to mid end of the price range, getting disparate amps to play nicely in a range of volumes becomes harder. You can get everything set for one volume level, perfect imaging and clarity, then turn it up or down and have it all turn to crap.
Agreed 100% Luckily.. there are lots of great multichannel amps now. But then also I'm one of those don't listen to very loud music so my amplification needs are much lower than most on here. You are also correct on the 8" mids and trying to go subless. I don't have the space to spare nor the want for subs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So a lot of car audio shops have effectively died out. There are probably only one or two really good ones in the Greater Houston area.. but most of them make money off tint jobs than true audio installs.

There seem to be only two types of people left.. Those who opt for the oem audio upgrade from the factory.. and those
Totally agree. It's too bad, since hearing a particular speaker with YOUR music is so subjective.

so, two-way or three-way.

From personal experience, three-way isn鈥檛 as worth the hassle as it would seem. Work on getting set up for a two-way and get that tuned proper. Then ask yourself if you can even comprehend it sounding better, and whether trying is worth the expense and time.
Basically, tuning is a huge part of it all, and if you can鈥檛 get a two-way sounding great, adding another set of drivers is only going to make it more frustrating.

That said, a three-way can sound awesome, in the right hands. It sounds like you鈥檙e on the right track; utilize the equipment you have, get a DSP and maximize/learn with that, then start to fill in the weak points from there. And then, years later, when you鈥檙e a wise old grey beard spreading wisdom on DIYMA, you can plan/execute your dream three-way system. 馃榿
Appreciate the insight on this too. I may go with the 2 way just to get everything working (the mids and the tweets, cut out the doors for now) and then see if it's possible to blend the doors in.

Also, don鈥檛 be married to the crossover point in the components that Kenwood set. Go by REW and what your measurements dictate. Crossovers and EQ are as dependent on the environment as the equipment.
Will do! I was just going to use theirs as a starting point, but 5k seemed a bit high to me.

One of the main issues with going from 2- to 3-way is how the amps blend. Especially at the low to mid end of the price range, getting disparate amps to play nicely in a range of volumes becomes harder. You can get everything set for one volume level, perfect imaging and clarity, then turn it up or down and have it all turn to crap.
Thankfully just a single amp for now running all 6 speakers, so once I get gains matched I hope it's not too hard to have even volume across all.


The 8" driver comments instead of a sub are interesting. I'm space limited and not adding a box to the hatch would be nice. I discovered the rear speakers aren't even the Excelons I thought, they're just the OEM rears. Makes me feel less bad about upgrading those, and I could easily run those on a separate 2 channel.

Separate topic too, but wow this DSP software is really nice and easy to use (even for a rookie). The DSR1 phone app I am used to using... not the easiest to use and frustrating there's no PC version available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Edit:
In the future.. since you have a DSP and amps.. you won't have to be tied down to specific components..

Silver Flute 6.5" woofers * SB Acoustics 1" tweets come out to $121.20 before shipping.. and they sound great. The world is your oyster...

Though Morel Maximo 6 are pretty darn impressive for ~$170.
Looks like the future is now - One of the front mids is blown. I'll verify it's not something stupid with my wiring, but it's significantly quieter than the other, and crossing it any lower than 400Hz at a moderate volume and it sounds like scratching a record. Other one has no distortion at the same volume with no HPF at all. Something like the AF GS60s look really attractive.

Tweeters sounds decent, and are much more rounded crossing them down to 3500Hz. Once I get a mic and dig deeper, I can see where they fit best.

Flat EQ right now, just the door full range speakers and tweeters going, and it doesn't sound half bad.
 

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Before you buy drivers, reverse the wiring so that it鈥檚 left amp to right speaker and vice versa, to be sure that it鈥檚 the driver and not the amp channel.
 
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