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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on upgrading my system. I currently have the stock 430N Media package that includes 7 Boston Acoustics speakers and a sub. I want to keep the factory head unit. I talked with a local audio dealer and this is what he recommended based on my wants and needs in a system that we talked about:

Audison SR4 Amplifier
Focal IC 165 Integration Coaxial Speakers for the rear deck
Focal PS 165 Component Speaker set (includes tweeters for the dash and 6.5's for the doors)
Stock dash center channel will remain and be powered by stock amp.
JL Audio 12w3v3-4 sub w/ custom box powered by Audison SR1D
Stock sub removed
PAC SNI-15 Line output converter

Everything installed including wiring came out to $2655.82. This is the absolute limit for what I want to spend. I'd prefer to be under $2500 though.

My main focus is clarity, seperation and fullness. Loudness is important as well, but I know it will be there as a byproduct. I mainly listen to rock.

Thanks for the input!
 

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And people wonder why the shops can't survive, unless the box is fiberglassed it seems way high and you have no eq. I would look at the Audison Bit.one, JBL MS8, Helix P DSP, etc instead of the LOC. You also have good dash locations to use a wideband speaker instead of a tweeter check out H Audio/Audible Physics and Hybrid Audio.

Amps i would probably go with the new PPI Phantom's, JL Xd's, or Alpine X Powers all are pretty reasonable and have good power for the cost.

Sub or subs are limitless, i like the ARC Audio Arc series, JBL Power or GTi, JL W6v2, etc.

Hope this helps may check with some other shops too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The box will be fiberglass made to fit behind the wheel well.

When I started the quote with the guy he had me originally going with JL Audio 6X9s in the doors and rear deck. I don't remember which ones. He was also going to put Hertz Dieci DCX 165s in the dash. They were also going to power the sub with a jx 500/1 and the rest with a jx 360/4.

When I stressed clarity was most important to me that's when they said I would be better off with the above mentioned stuff. They also threw in the audison amps for the same price as the JL amps.
 

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I wouldn't give that dealer a dime. Look around on the site. You can do much better at half the price. This site use to be about DIY......If you need a starting point and serious, myself and many of the guys are willing to help you.
 

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I wouldn't give that dealer a dime. Look around on the site. You can do much better at half the price. This site use to be about DIY......If you need a starting point and serious, myself and many of the guys are willing to help you.
where... the.. hell.. have... you ... been?

good to see you again!
 

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where... the.. hell.. have... you ... been?

good to see you again!
Hey bro! Good to see you again! I said I was finished with car audio, but I'm just like a Vegas hooker, doesn't know when her time is up!

Glad to be back. Wondered what happend to my 3,000 posts.....I'm back down to the 500 range!
 

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Hey bro! Good to see you again! I said I was finished with car audio, but I'm just like a Vegas hooker, doesn't know when her time is up!

Glad to be back. Wondered what happend to my 3,000 posts.....I'm back down to the 500 range!
they made OT not count.. fine with me :D I'd be up to 30K now if it weren't for that.

PM's shut off here, but I think you got my email and all, shoot me a sudden line every now and then to let me know that you are still alive :D

Teaching more at the uni now, we should share war stories :p
 

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How I see a $2K and up build planning stage:

Start with DSP unit. MS-8, BitOne, etc. Around $500
Amps. Lets say 5 channel JL HD, $700
Sub, 12w6 should do the job, $250
Integration parts. $xxx
Rest on front speakers, install, and hire a tuning pro. Should have $800 or more left for this.
 

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they made OT not count.. fine with me :D I'd be up to 30K now if it weren't for that.

PM's shut off here, but I think you got my email and all, shoot me a sudden line every now and then to let me know that you are still alive :D

Teaching more at the uni now, we should share war stories :p
Nice! That's all good with me, too! Oh yeah, we have some stories to share for sure. How did they talk you into teaching?!!!!!! I've been suckered in too! Budget cuts... Shoot me your email and contact info again Chad.. Hell, you're one of the main reasons I came back to diyma.

Sorry for the thread jack!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How I see a $2K and up build planning stage:

Start with DSP unit. MS-8, BitOne, etc. Around $500
Amps. Lets say 5 channel JL HD, $700
Sub, 12w6 should do the job, $250
Integration parts. $xxx
Rest on front speakers, install, and hire a tuning pro. Should have $800 or more left for this.
What is a DSP?

Where can I get a 5 channel JL HD amp for $700? The cheapest I can find via the interwebs is $849 for the HD 900/5. It would be ideal, but not at that price. Unless I could make up the money somewhere else. I don't want to break the bank but I don't want subpar components either. I'm not worried about loudness - just sound quality. I know the volume will be there regardless of what I do.

I need it just loud enough that I can't hear myself sing when I'm jamming along with a tune!
 

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DSP stands for Digital Signal Processing. It allows the user to alter the signal prior to amplification to account for things like: Response dips or peaks due to speaker location (Equalization), Different distances between speakers and a listener's ears (Time Alignment), Bandwidth a speaker is capable reproducing (Crossover).

With your goals, this should be your FIRST priority. The automotive environment is very different than the home environment in that the options for the position of the speakers are very limited. That fact, coupled with the fact that 99.99% of the time (unless you drive a McLarren F1) the listener is off center from the speakers makes it very difficult to achieve a stereo image as you do with home speakers without sometimes drastic modifications to the car. DSP devices allow you to account for these variances electronically before the sound is produced.

Devices like the MS-8 take things a step further and automatically make the necessary adjustments for you via a calibration sequence using a microphone that simulates your ears.

The best equipment, in stock-locations, will not perform even close to it's potential without some form of DSP. This is not to say that installation isn't important, as a solid installation is the foundation of any system sounding good, but appropriate DSP will take it to the next level.

Based on what Andy Wehmeyer of Harmon says about the MS-8, you may just want to start by installing that device with all of the stock components. It can make that big a difference.

Don't take my word for it though, do a little research. It's worth the effort. Honestly, you won't be happy with the system that installer is recommending for long and you'll find yourself on the endless upgrade path if you don't put the time in now to learn about this stuff.


Sidenote: You can get a prefabbed fiberglass enclosure from these guys, I've heard nothing but good things about their enclosures.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have heard multi-channel amps tend to overheat more than single channel amps. Is this true?

Also, how many speakers can you put on one channel?
 

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Re: overheating - That's a broad generalization. There are so many factors that can lead to an amp overheating you can't say that 5 channels overheat more than 4 channels. Certain amps have a reputation, and should be researched on a case by case basis.

Re: Speakers per channel - Generally speaking you need one channel for each frequency band you wish to reproduce x stereo or mono. IE: 2 channels for tweeters (stereo at say 4000hz and up) 2 channels for midrange (stereo ~300-4000Hz) 2 channels for midbass (stereo ~63-300hz) and at least one channel for subwoofers (mono ~63hz down)

You can run multiple subwoofers per channel of amplification, but they need to have appropriate impedance to load the amplifier properly. You can run multiple speakers (IE mid and tweet) on a single channel with a passive crossover.
 

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That's a very reasonable price. You guys do understand the shop is giving him Audison amps and Focal speakers right? Add the fact their using a JL sub, custom fiberglass box, and the installation on everything, $2600 is ok.
 

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Where did you go for the original quote? If near Nashville check out HiFi Buys.

And yes, $2600 is not bad for everything installed. You could save some dough with a less expensive subwoofer, amps, and raw drivers. That then should afford you the DSP unit under the same budget. Guess the next question is what other brands do they carry?
 

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I am very happy with the integration of the MS8 to my 730N HU in my Ram. Let us know if you need some help installing it. I strongly endorse that product.:D

$500 JBL MS8
$500 JL Audio XD700/5 or

$300 XD400/4
$300 XD600/1 if you need a little more subwoofer kick


That leaves about $1500 for speakers and installation accessories. Either way, ditch the factory center ran by the factory amp. It's just a blend of both L&R speakers. You can run a real center off the MS8.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Where did you go for the original quote? If near Nashville check out HiFi Buys.

And yes, $2600 is not bad for everything installed. You could save some dough with a less expensive subwoofer, amps, and raw drivers. That then should afford you the DSP unit under the same budget. Guess the next question is what other brands do they carry?
I know they carry Hertz, Audison, JL, and Image Dynamics. I think they also carry Kenwood. I'm not sure what else they carry.
 
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