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Discussion Starter #1
I recently found this site and have spend lots of time over the past 2 weeks reading; now its time for a massive 1st post :D

I am not at all satisfied with the current setup in my 02 Miata: Memphis 8" comps in the factory locations powered by an old 75x2 Alpine amp and a Nak 400 deck. There isn't any bass at speed, the midrange is muddy, and the tweeters are just plan awful. In addition, the Nak, while stealthy, has no processing capabilities and is picky with certain CDs. I have done quite a bit of research here and on the Miata forum, but still can't come to a decision. My original plan was to put some IB subs in the rear deck, but I have decided that I should address the components first and possibly eliminate the need for rear deck subs in the process. While I am at it, I figure I might as well give active a try.

Goals:
- improved sound quality & greater bass output
- no interference with operation of soft top(w/ glass window), boot, or hardtop
- not too pricey (ideally less than 1k in components)
- as stealthily as possible

Considerations
- Doors will be deadened/sealed
- Replace Nak deck with one containing active crossovers (Eclipse, Alpine)
- Deck or amp processing only; no space for a 2496, don't want to spend $$ on Alpine deck + PXA-H701
- This is a small convertible, so ultimate SQ is not really achievable
- I have some old amps laying around (50x4, 100x2) and can give up my spare tire, so it is not absolutely necessary for me to buy new ones.

Musical/Equipment tastes
- I listen to just about every thing from classical, through pop, rock, to techno. No rap/hip hop. Miata listening tends toward the pop/rock/techno spectrum
- I am used to metal tweets. My other car has MBQ QSDs and my main home system has Vandersteen 2Ces.
- I prefer SQ bass. I don't know how my bass quantity tastes compare to others, but my other vehicle is a wagon with a single sealed eD10o that provides more than enough low end.

With those requirements and my research, I have identified three major options as follows:

Option 1: 2 way with 8" midwoofer, 1" tweeter, optional rear deck 8" subs
woofers: Dayton RS, B&C 8NDL81, Adire Extremis 6.8

Pro: stealth, less complexity, easier to tune w/o opt subs
Con: hard to find tweeter that goes down to 1-1.5k for Dayton and fits in factory location, Extremis is $$, 88NDL81 is $$$, may still need subs which negates most pros

Option 2: 2 way with 8" woofer, 3-4" wide range, optional passive supertweeter
woofers: Peerless SLS, XLS
wide: Aura NS3, Aura NS2, Vifa MG10

Pro: easier to tune, could be stealthy, bass output without additional subs (no need to cut up rear deck), less amp channels required
Con: lack of high freq without super tweeter, glassing of door required for NS3 or Vifa

Option 3: 3 way with 8" woofer, 3-4" mid range, 1" tweeter
woofers Peerless SLS, XLS
mid: Vifa MG10

Pro: bass output without additional subs (no need to cut up rear deck), all in one solution - don't have to add subs or tweets later
Con: glassing of doors required ($$$, not stealth), more difficult to tune


I am mostly waffeling between 1 & 3. If the bass output of the midwoofer is sufficient, this will be the least complex, cheapest, easiest to tune, and most likely best sounding. If I decide that the bass output is not enough, however, I will end up with a 3-way system anyway. Installation of rear deck subs should be easier and more stealthy than glassed mids in the doors, but there is just something elegant about taking advantage of the available 8" holes in the doors for all low frequencies.
 

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I think you should be able to get enough bass output from a 8" midbass without much problem...

I like the idea of a 2 way with the XLS 8 and a wide range 2-3" driver, and that's what i would like to do on my car...
XLS 8's and a wide range that can play without the need for a tweeter...
Maybe the NS2 would work fine...

You perhaps want to talk to DS-21 as he also have a Miata and is running a 2 way setup like that with no subs...

Good Luck
Leo
 

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At the risk of boorish immodesty, you might want to look at some of my posts at miata.net. Search for "Decapotable", though given many of the components you've mentioned you already have done that! :) That said, here's my (probably rather predictable) take on your options.

Option 1: If you must go this route, the neo Vifa MIGHT work with a STEEP (think 8th order Cauer-Elliptic) filter. Also, you'll need some stout EQ to get bass out of the 8NDL51, though it is doable and works quite well. Not that an 8NDL51 plus a Hakuna setup wouldn't be better... :)

Option 2: IMO, there's no way to make NBFL ("NB" = 2nd generation Miata, "FL" = facelift or 2001-2005, for all those wondering about the code) doorpanels look right with 3-4" widebanders. You'll have to change literally everything. However, the Aura Whisper does fit. Another thing is that even with well-treated doors, an XLS8 is IMO overkill. My SLS8's are overkill in that location. A Peerless CSX will be functionally just as good in a Miata's doors as the longer-stroke woofers, and have the advantage of not requiring any inner door-panel surgery. You'll lose extreme HF, but that's about it.

Option 3: Sucks. It's way overcomplicated, and in such a small car all you can end up with by going 3-way is an incoherent mess. And that's only if you really know what you're doing AND you get lucky! If you don't....

My order of preference would be 2, 1, keep your existing system, schedule a labotomy, 3.
 

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As one who took DS-21s advice on the Aura/Whisper combo you need to know that if you put the Peerless XLS in the doors you'll need to make permanent changes to the door. I only went that route as I'd already bought the Peerless and figured I might as well use them. I had intended to do the Hakuna originally but unless you build up the deck they won't go. I can't see putting the 3" Auras in there (door) either. We had to make a mount to put the 2" Auras in and they just made it. Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DS-21 said:
At the risk of boorish immodesty, you might want to look at some of my posts at miata.net. Search for "Decapotable", though given many of the components you've mentioned you already have done that! :) That said, here's my (probably rather predictable) take on your options.
I started there 1st and these ideas came from your Peerless/Aura setup. I considered posting there, but figured there was much more active knowledge here. Plus I was likely to get a number of "just get a set of Polk 6.5" comps and throw a sub in the trunk, mine sound great!" responses over there :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses fellow Miataites!

My current thinking is to go with option 1 with dayton RS drivers. Based on your install expirences, should the 8" RS woofer fit without debucking? Another thread indicates that the plate on the RS tweet can be removed, so it might be able to fit in the stock location with just a bit of massaging. Do those of you with Miata expirence think there will be enough depth for the RS tweeter? Since there is no window mechanism and the door bows out, I would think so. There have been a few complaints on the RS tweeter, so I am also considering one of the Seas tweets that goes down to 1.5k

For extra low end, I will probably start with just the RS 8"s. I picked up 2 eD 6.5" subs for previous plans that I might try in the rear deck IB on ~75w a piece just to see how they work. If I dont like them I can always remove then and replace with XLSs or possibly even extremi.

I am also reconsidering sticking with my Nak and going with the DQX2496, since the computer geek in me is gravitating to its configurability. But, I am 1)not sure where it would go and 2) a bit anxious about the blanaced/unnbalnced conversion. That is a topic for another thread.
 

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ATB said:
My current thinking is to go with option 1 with dayton RS drivers. Based on your install expirences, should the 8" RS woofer fit without debucking?
You have over 5" of depth with which to play. Anything short of a JL 8W7 will fit depth-wise, so don't risk ruining your drivers by de-bucking. However, you will have to drill new holes and do some minor inner-door surgery to get the flange to fit properly.

For the rear sub, while the Hakuna can work well I don't understand why more people haven't gravitated to the Goodwin Racing windblocker-box. (I haven't because I'm content with my 1.1-way configuration.) It seems solidly engineered and ideal for many of the high-excursion 6.5" drivers that have come out recently.
 

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ATB said:
There have been a few complaints on the RS tweeter, so I am also considering one of the Seas tweets that goes down to 1.5k
Only me and Kramerica (something like that) have had trouble. Everyone else seems to sweat by them (racer raul), so I wouldn't write them off just yet. I ordered some Seas 27 TDFC's from madisonsound to try, but I won't have them in until I go home for a weekend from school the 30th. Check out this review, too: http://www.zaphaudio.com/tweetermishmash/ which the author said the Daytons were good, but the cheaper Seas were the measuring stick.

-aaron
 

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It really depends on your musical taste. I like a softer more natural sounding speaker, others may like a more detailed, brighter sound. To give you an example, I like the sound of Paradigm speakers over Klipsch or B&W. If everyone had the same taste in sound there would only be one speaker company.

If you dont like the Daytons you could always send them back, PE has a 45 day money back guarantee.
 

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If you don't mind doing some modding why not get the Peerless CSX 8", Peerless HDS 5.5", and the Seas tweeter John so highly touted at www.zaphaudio.com? This is sort of adding up what some have said before this post.

I turn my subs off to tune sometimes in the car and when I get into my music I do not even realize I turned them off. I turn them back on and I then realize but you can definitely be happy without a subwoofer. I use the Seas L18s in my doors. Depending on how well you treat your doors I am sure the CSXs can do the job for you!
 

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ATB said:
Thanks for the responses fellow Miataites!

My current thinking is to go with option 1 with dayton RS drivers. Based on your install expirences, should the 8" RS woofer fit without debucking? Another thread indicates that the plate on the RS tweet can be removed, so it might be able to fit in the stock location with just a bit of massaging. Do those of you with Miata expirence think there will be enough depth for the RS tweeter? Since there is no window mechanism and the door bows out, I would think so. There have been a few complaints on the RS tweeter, so I am also considering one of the Seas tweets that goes down to 1.5k
Sorry, I missed this one earlier. Depth isn't really the issue; the Dayton RS is less deep than an Aura Whisper. The problem is the diameter of the magnet. At 3.25", I think it will interfere with the metal inner door structure. However, the doorpanels on NBFL's are super-easy to remove (three screws, three plastic thingys) so if you want to go that way try fitting a mock-up up there, with maybe a reflective surface to indicate the location of the dome on the thing.

Also, I don't think you can remove the plate full-time, unless there's something else clamping the butterfly assembly down. Chances are you can take it off in order to trim it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
DS-21 said:
For the rear sub, while the Hakuna can work well I don't understand why more people haven't gravitated to the Goodwin Racing windblocker-box. (I haven't because I'm content with my 1.1-way configuration.) It seems solidly engineered and ideal for many of the high-excursion 6.5" drivers that have come out recently.
I think the main reason for most is cost. I have leaned against it becuase its not very steality in a tan interior Miata and I would loose the ability to use the boot. (Yes, I am one of the cray Miata owners that uses the boot :D) Of course Brian has taken down the pictures of it and I have never seen one in person, so it may not be as bad looking as I might expect.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DS-21 said:
Also, I don't think you can remove the plate full-time, unless there's something else clamping the butterfly assembly down. Chances are you can take it off in order to trim it down.
This guy seems to have done it. The entire plate does not come off, but enough to make it quite a bit smaller
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Okay, down to a 2-way system with the dayton 8 and some tweeter. I am trying to choose between the RS28, Alpine/scan , NS2 and possibly the seas lotus ref. I have a preference for metal dome tweets which is why I am drawn to the RS28 but I fear I won't be able to shoehorn them into the stock location.

Fellow Miata owners, any guesses on the maximum width that can be put into the factory location? It has been said before that an NS2 will fit while an NS3 will not. The RS28 (with front plate rempved) seems a bit closer to the NS3 in size than the NS2. :(

I may just end up trying the alpine/scans. Should fit, get great reviews and are 1/2 the price of the lotus refs. I can always try something else if they are too subtued for my tastes.

(I know the NS2 will probably give me cleaner mid range due to miata doors impact on the 8, but I doubt I will notice it with the top down :D )
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Whoops..edited my post from 9/18 instead of adding a new reply. The post above is new :)
 
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