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Discussion Starter #1
My first post here :)

I got a Toyota Prius few months ago, standard non-JBL package, and first thing I did is to upgrade the HU to Kenwood DNX9980HD.

Second thing I did is to built a custom fit fiberglass enclosure for a subwoofer. I got Hertz HX 250D. The sub is still not powered as I don't have the amp installed yet.

I am not a fan of a loud music, so most of the time I am listening to music (mostly progressive and hard rock) at 16-18 out of 36 as it is on Kenwood unit's volume scale; and this is without subwoofer and with OEM speakers.

Now it is time to upgrade the speakers along with some sound deadening for doors and trunk.

My first idea was to install a 5-channel amp (something like JL HD900/5) that will power front and rear speakers and subwoofer; replace front speakers with 3-way components like Hertz HSK 163 or DLS Ultimate UP 36i and rears with coaxials like Hertz HCX 165 or Audison Voce AV X6 (I can get pretty good price for Hertz from my local installer, and I heard good things about Hertz). The problem is that now I started thinking that since I don't listen to music loud, I probably will be better going with just a monoblock for subwoofer and power the front/rear speakers via HU as they are now. I am not sure how the HU built-in amp compares with 900/5 but I guess the 900/5 has much better specs in therms of S/N ratio, frequency response, dynamics etc. Will I actually HEAR this difference if I go with 900/5?

Other thing that I can't decide is should I go with 2-way or 3-way component speakers for the front. Toyota Prius comes with 6x9" installed on the door and 2.5" speaker on the dash close to windshield. I know that there are people that successfully installed the above Hertz and DLS components midrange speakers on the dash location and tweeters on A-pillar, so there is no doubt that these sets will fit. The question is how big is the difference in terms of SQ between 2-way and 3-way speakers and how difficult is to set them up properly? Should I go with 3-way or better with comparable 2-ways? As I can see, most companies sell 2-way models, maybe it is too difficult to get a proper sound stage with 3-ways?

If I go with monoblock and power the front/rear speakers off the HU, is it good idea to look for a set of speakers with higher sensitivity like Focal 165 VB? Focal's tweeter is also larger than usual and employs a aluminum tweeter dome I heard is better for rock music.

What do you guys think? I am not an audio expert, but I really enjoy good sound :)

Any help, comment, suggestions welcome!
 

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If you are going to invest the $ and effort into installing damping material and high-end aftermarket components, you really ought to include outboard amplification in order to get the most out of your system.

On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the sound of the stock speakers running off the 9980, then maybe you will be content with simply adding the damping along with a small subwoofer amplifier and leaving it at that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you are going to invest the $ and effort into installing damping material and high-end aftermarket components, you really ought to include outboard amplification in order to get the most out of your system.

On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the sound of the stock speakers running off the 9980, then maybe you will be content with simply adding the damping along with a small subwoofer amplifier and leaving it at that.
I am not satisfied with the quality of stock speakers at all. What I was saying is that the volume level I am getting from the HU is enough for my taste so I don't really need much more attenuation from external amplifier unless it will provide significant improvement in terms of SQ. Stock speakers are out of question.
 
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