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Discussion Starter #61
Alright so I finally got the AP F8.9 installed, only had time to play it for about an hour over the weekend but my early impressions are VERY good! The output of the 12w3 in that HO enclosure blew me away. I'm thinking it being in a hatch and that it's a ported enclosure accounts for most of it but wow, my gf said it had more bass than the 2 12's fed by 1800w in a sealed enclosure in my other car and she may be right. I was really wanting to go with the w6 instead too but I'm feeling good about the decision. I played it mostly with the gain on the sub amp all the way down, I only turned it up maybe 15 degrees, it has an indicator light when it clips, didn't care to find out where that was. The Audison defaulted to gain setting (somewhere in the lower third, don't recall the value), it has indicators as well, I took it up a hair and left it.

I did some early t/a adjustments with a tape measure. I'm really happy with the staging in the driver seat, passenger seat not so much but it's not a priority. I still have a lot to learn in this world but honestly, I'm happy with how it sounds right off the bat. I bought the Dayton Audio iMM-6 (cheap I know, gotta start somewhere) and am going to use that to eq, otherwise I wouldn't eq at all, just wouldn't know where to start. Other than that it's just time to put the car back together and start working on whatever standoff solution for the sub box.

There will still be lots of room in the trunk. I plan to build something out of mdf that follows the lower contour of the box so it can sit securely into it and up against the back of the seat. I have banana plugs on the speaker wire and want to easily be able to remove the sub if ever I care to.

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I really don't like the wire harnesses these use. Makes wiring a pain. I know they basically have to for the space. I cut the dumb crappy oem all weather mat, don't care about it at all. That picture is with the seat all the way forward though, it's completely covered with the seat in the normal position. I'm considering making a small carpet wrapped board that's maybe two inches tall to block anyone's feet from kicking it, though I can only recall one time in the last 3 years anyone sat there. I just put a few strips of Velcro on the bottom of the amp, that stuff is surprisingly strong, it's not going anywhere. Certainly not pro quality but it's decent for one of my hack jobs.

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One thing I ran into again though, I tried running the mid woofers bridged and the amp was not having it. It plays at really low volume but once you turn it up a bit the amp flashes red and the output cuts out. I really don't understand why this is happening. I should be able to run those channels bridged. I took a reading of the resistance of the Hertz Legend 6.5"s and got 3.5 and 3.2 ohms. Really don't know what's up with that. Maybe it's unwise to pump 260w to each of those anyway, idk. So for now I have 8 available channels and I'm only using 4, which will forever bother me.

One funny side note is that my girlfriend decided to have a local shop do a full build in her 2015 GTI, presumably to spite me. We haven't landed on anything yet but as of now it's probably going to be active 3 way with a JL 13tw5 in a custom enclosure in the spare tire area. It'll probably be done sooner, sound better, and look better. I'm still pumped about it even though I'm likely to be super jelly.
 

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Nice build!

If she can do slightly deeper, the JL 12TW3 has quite a bit more output capability than the 13TW5 due to 10mm vs 15mm of excursion. A sub will have better sound quality (less distortion) if it stays away from its output capabilities and a single 12/13 with low excursion won’t exactly put out a lot of bass.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Nice build!

If she can do slightly deeper, the JL 12TW3 has quite a bit more output capability than the 13TW5 due to 10mm vs 15mm of excursion. A sub will have better sound quality (less distortion) if it stays away from its output capabilities and a single 12/13 with low excursion won’t exactly put out a lot of bass.
Highly doubt there’s any possibility of putting any full size 12” sub in the spare tire area. She wants to maintain full trunk space. Also she hauls me and my **** to and from the airport from time to time so, it’s kind of a priority for me as well.

I’m hoping the 13tw5 surprises me.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
One thing I forgot to mention is that I’m still using only the front left and right mid channels as inputs. The plot clearly shows at least second order rolloff at 80 and 3000hz.

Either the Audison level matches or my ears are very dumb because there is absolutely no lack of low and high frequency reproduction. I’m hoping to show this with my first go with an RTA soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
So a lot has happened since I last updated this thread. After the basic tuning and time alignment during that initial setup months ago I was reeeally happy with how it sounded. So much so that I basically just left it and went on with my life. At times though I would notice this odd smell that to me was like the smell of new plastic. I demoed a song with some really low frequencies and cranked it way up, smell got worse, popped the trunk and saw a good amount of smoke coming from the enclosure. That's just a picture of it in after putting the car back together, never got around to the integration solution I was planning, good thing I guess.

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I backed off on the gain and did some more tuning. While playing around with it I got some crackling noises out of the passenger tweeter. At that point I stopped and took the car to the shop that did my gf's car so they could, if nothing else, analyze the input signal, see where my safe levels are, and set my gains with proper equipment. Long story short, I guess I was over driving the 12w3. The XD600 amp was actually putting out roughly 750w rms @40Hz and I guess she couldn't take it. They were able to recreate the crackling from the passenger tweeter so we replaced the Hertz 28.3's with the 280.3's, not used to spending this much on tweeters, oof. They also fit perfect though, not a fan of the silver ring but oh well.

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Got it more properly tuned, and played around with different subwoofer options. One thing they did though I was really happy about was bridge my mid woofer channels so I'm now sending a proper 260w rms to the mids. Definitely quite a bit more punchy now, don't know why I was having issues with that, must've done something stupid in the setup.

Anyway, when I came back in they had me listen to it with the 2 Kicker L7's you see pictured before I knew what was in there. Honestly I thought they sounded awesome but the box is huge and weighs ~100lbs and is super awkward to pick up, really can't do it alone. I did love that the enclosure is done in black carpet with red embroidering on the top and red stitching on the surrounds though. Also, the box is trapezoidal, so the front is slanted back and when the box is pushed back over the top of that stupid hump, the front is basically at a 90 deg!

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Ultimately I decided it just took up too much space and was too heavy. I had a prefab ported enclosure, an Alpine Type R 12", and an NVX VCW124 to play with while I tried to decide on whatever I wanted to do with the car sub-wise. I never had any issue with over-driving either of them even with the gain higher than I took it with the 12w3.

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I kept getting drawn back to the kickers for some reason. I found out that their single enclosure version of what I just tried out was over 6" more shallow front to back. I figured with the added space, reduced weight, and hopefully more ability to take the power that it'd be a good solution for me.

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I went ahead and bought it. Listened while driving around for a few days and had mixed results. Some songs output was great, others that I'm well familiar with with other setups were just lacking. I also must have a grille to ensure protection of the sub while it's in the trunk, I put this one over top of it and just hated it. Kicker grills are awful. Pair that with the 'new sub smell' as I'm going to call it, which made me realize I was in the same boat with this sub as I was with the 12w3 and just decided it wasn't gonna work. I never even took a picture of it in the car.

For some reason all this stuff had me wanting to go with a W7. The shop I've been working with ever since had a 10w7 in the JL sealed enclosure, we popped it in, underwhelming on the XD600, presumably from just not having enough power especially considering the 3ohm load. I managed to snag a great deal here on an HD750/1, so I did just that and got back into thinking about what to go with. I looked into the 10, 12, and 13w7 catalog and their respective sealed and ported enclosures. Landed on the 12w7 ported as being the best option but wow, didn't realize how huge and heavy that box is. Could've saved nearly 30 pounds and had over double the cone area with the Kickers for a third of the price. W7's just too big, heavy, deep, and awkward for this car.

I kind of realized I just need something custom. A box built for the car that'll make good use of the space, fit over that dumb hump that keeps giving me grief, and can be secure yet fairly easy to remove for any possible future track event. I decided to get the shop to make me a sealed enclosure for 2 12w3's. I had my heart set on a ported enclosure but figured 2 sealed > 1 ported. Plus 2 12w3's vs 1 12w7 is kind of debatable, cone area is king right? =} Also, 12w3's weigh ~15lbs/ea, 12w6's ~25lbs/ea, and 12w7's ~45lbs/ea, which is a factor for me. I think in the future if I want to upgrade I could pop in w6's and an XD1000/1 or HD1200/1. Sealed requirements for the w3's and w6's aren't that different.

I'm thinking it'll be done this weekend, really hope I'm happy with it. Part of me wished I just did this box myself. I've never built one before but I'm a CNC tech and have access to many machines and material lol. If anything about this flounders that'll be what I do next.

Car has also gotten wheels, tires, lowering springs, and some interior upgrades during this time with more in the works. Also got f*d by a highway crew mowing, the sent a big block of dirt and gravel at my car that flew accross the highway and I hit at probably 70mph. So that's what I get to do as soon as I pick it up from the audio shop, take it straight to a body shop. Car has 1700 miles on it and JUST got paint correction and ceramic. Gonna cost $650, screw insurance.

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Anyway, she's not done yet, more to come. Plus, what should I do with these two extra amplified channels I'm not using? I'd love to go 3 way but I'm not sure I want custom A pillars in this car, not seeing any other good spots really. Maybe rear fill? Center channel? Would it hurt to run some extra mid base in the rear doors? Idk, I probably won't utilize them for a while but it will always bug me.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Oh, for anyone that read my mention of my girl's system here's a couple photos. I wanted to make a dedicated thread here for it but they didn't send me hardly any photos or info. Most interesting thing about it is they (maybe metra?) make a dash kit for this car that integrates vehicle settings. I had no idea stuff like this existed, pretty pricey though at like $350. The oem signal was crap so we ended up going with a Kenwood DDX9950S, absolutely adore the display on this thing.

Car has JL C5's active and a 13tw5 in an enclosure in the spare tire area powered by the VX1000/5i. Not much to look at as I don't have pictures of the doors with the cards off and the tweets are in the stock locations hidden by the A pillars. Completely stealth build though and sounds really good. Just not quite enough bass for me =D

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She also got new wheels and tires as well as paint correction and ceramic, few other goodies too. We're ridin pretty fresh these days :cool:
 

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The Kicker square subs don’t have much excursion due to the difficulty in keeping a square shape with 4 boundaries in perfect alignment. Hopefully the pair of 12W3s will keep you happy. Nice build.
 

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I don’t know about 12w3’s, but a single 12w7 gets rowdy! Good looking install, the Golf looks great too, nice classy clean system.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Well the sub box has been done for a while, it’s not much to look at but it follows the contour of the back seat and fits over the hump perfectly, also retains a ton of trunk space, can still lay a full size suit case flat back there.

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Got some other interior goodies I’m pretty excited about too =D

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Honestly the system sounds great to me. I can’t help but always want a little more in the bass department so if I come across a good deal on an HD1200/1 and a pair of W6’s I’m gonna jump on it.

Also still would really like to make use of the two extra channels I have available on the AP F8.9 but I just don’t have any good ideas to integrate some mid range drivers, really want to keep the appearance moderately stealth. Oh well, for now I’ll just enjoy it!
 
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