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Discussion Starter #1
2 questions, one on component speakers and one on a subwoofer. These will be installed in a 2000 BMW 740i. The doors have 5.25" factory speaker openings.

At the $400 - $500 price point per speaker pair, what would you recommend for 5.25" 2-way component speakers that produce a very dynamic, musical, natural sound. Clear, but not bright high range. Clean, tight, vibrant mids. I've been told by a couple of dealers to go for the Alpine SPX-13REF or PRO. I can't find a dealer anywhere near me that has these set up that I could listen to them. Another dealer is recommending JL Audio's C5, which I've never heard. I've had the JL XR components and they're very good, but lack some lower frequency punch. JL speakers are clean but I feel they're overpriced. My main objective is sound quality. For mid bass, I'm planning on a pair of JL Audio 6W3 subwoofers on the rear shelf (enclosed) to handle the 80-200Hz range, so I'm not looking for my 5.25" to crank out any low end punch. The components will be driven by my JL Audio HD 600/4 amp. I'd prefer to have 6.5" components in the front doors but I don't know if they can fit. Haven't had a chance for a professional installer to determine that.

2nd question is which subwoofer would you choose at the $500-$600 level? Again, I want a true SQ sub in a sealed box. Tight, clean bass, but must be able to go down deep. I haven't heard these with my own ears but I've narrowed it down to either a JL Audio 12W6 or Alpine SWX-1243D based on research of reviews and dealer opinions. Will run with either a JL HD 600/4 amp or Alpine's PDX.

Initially I'll be using the OE head unit, but plan on upgrading to Alpine's IVA-W505 head unit later this year.

My musical tastes cover light rock to pop to new age/orchestral to opera (anything but hard rock and rap).

Will consider any other brands/products you can recommend. Many thanks for any help.
 

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start reading the reviews section.

you may want to get familiar with the site before you start new threads. it could get ugly.
 

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If you're not in a hurry to get speakers my best advice would be to sit back here for about a month and just absorb as much information you can from this site. You may already know alot but there is so much knowledge on here you can gain. I'm sure tons of other people will help with speaker selections but just reading and doing some homework for a while will be the best thing for you.

I know a friend of mine had a similar 740i and put in some diamond hex (eton made I think) 5.25's in the sealed enclosures that the 740's come with and they sounded amazing FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice falkenbd. But I have done that. I have spent dozens of hours pouring through the different threads over the last several weeks, especially the reviews section, and that is what has led to my posting as I haven't found something on point.

I have seen some of the back-handed responses by some of the so-called experienced members, and because of that I have made a significant effort here. But I'm still coming up short.

I know there are great component speaker manufacturers (subs too) such as Hertz, Diamond Audio, Dynaudio, Morel, Genesis, Scan-Speak, Focal, etc., but I can't find any dealer within a 2-3 hour drive that has these set up to listen to them. The one thing I have learned over the years is that we all hear speakers differently, so the best way to make a decision is to hear them yourself and not rely on the sonic impressions/preferences of others. But unfortunately I may have to rely on others' feedback to narrow my choice.

Having said that, today I found a Diamond Audio dealer 130 miles from me that has the Diamond Hex components set up for demo, so I'll be driving there tomorrow to test them out. I was in Italy last week and stopped in at a Hertz dealer and listened to their components. The Mille were outstanding, but out of my price range.

So if anyone has some advice, I will be most grateful. Otherwise I'll keep plugging away at my research and take advantage of business trips to visit dealers in other cities to get first-hand impressions.

Regards.
 

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Are you going to be running them active or passive? What kind of processing will you have?

One thing I can tell you regardless is that speakers can sound totally different on a demo board compared to when they are installed in a car. I'm sure that, while reading, you've noticed that this stuff seems pretty complicated. It's not just that we're OCD. I know it's hard to believe, but you can buy the best equipment in the world and when you drop it in a car it sounds terrible. Acoustics is a real can of worms and even the best minds in the industry have to resort to endless experimentation to find something that works well.

Having been in your position, the best advice I can give you is this: find previous installs (preferably competition winning and/or expert) using your vehicle and see what others have tried. Others have gone through months -- if not years -- of experimentation with different speakers and setups in your car. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel. I guarantee you will have far better results than just listening to random speakers on demo boards and hoping your choice will sound vaguely similar once in your car.
 

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Are you going to be running them active or passive? What kind of processing will you have?

One thing I can tell you regardless is that speakers can sound totally different on a demo board compared to when they are installed in a car. I'm sure that, while reading, you've noticed that this stuff seems pretty complicated. It's not just that we're OCD. I know it's hard to believe, but you can buy the best equipment in the world and when you drop it in a car it sounds terrible. Acoustics is a real can of worms and even the best minds in the industry have to resort to endless experimentation to find something that works well.

Having been in your position, the best advice I can give you is this: find previous installs (preferably competition winning and/or expert) using your vehicle and see what others have tried. Others have gone through months -- if not years -- of experimentation with different speakers and setups in your car. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel. I guarantee you will have far better results than just listening to random speakers on demo boards and hoping your choice will sound vaguely similar once in your car.
x2

I will also add that I would ditch the idea of putting midbass in the rear shelf and instead focus on getting good solid midbass components in the doors, properly installed or course. Running a midbass 6" in the rear deck with 5.25" component in the front doors would make a nightmare of tuning. When you say you plan on running the comps off an HD600/4, do you mean you will be running the passive comps in the front doors off two channels and the 6" in the rear deck off the other two channels? Again, I would ditch the 6"s in the rear deck and either run active or passives comps up front. If it were me, I would run a good active 2 way up front off that 600/4. In your price range, if you ditch the 6's in the rear deck, you could put even more money toward deadening the doors and nicer comps. Try to fit a 6.5 inch woofer in those doors (I don't know much about your car, but technically anything is possible).

That being said, on top of all the great brands you mentioned, I would also consider hybrid audio technologies, do some searching on here for some reviews.

I don't know if any of that made any sense.
 

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x2

I will also add that I would ditch the idea of putting midbass in the rear shelf and instead focus on getting good solid midbass components in the doors, properly installed or course. Running a midbass 6" in the rear deck with 5.25" component in the front doors would make a nightmare of tuning. When you say you plan on running the comps off an HD600/4, do you mean you will be running the passive comps in the front doors off two channels and the 6" in the rear deck off the other two channels? Again, I would ditch the 6"s in the rear deck and either run active or passives comps up front. If it were me, I would run a good active 2 way up front off that 600/4. In your price range, if you ditch the 6's in the rear deck, you could put even more money toward deadening the doors and nicer comps. Try to fit a 6.5 inch woofer in those doors (I don't know much about your car, but technically anything is possible).

That being said, on top of all the great brands you mentioned, I would also consider hybrid audio technologies, do some searching on here for some reviews.

I don't know if any of that made any sense.
from reading the expert opinions on this site, rear deck midbass is quite acceptable with the right tuning/ processing capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been focusing on passive just to simplify the search/decision process. But I would go active if I could identify a good combination of raw drivers. But since I haven't really researched for an active set up, I would have to learn what the options are through more research.

Processor wise, planning on using Alpine's IMPRINT with their IVA-W505 2-DIN unit.

I agree about speakers sounding very differently installed vs. on demo boards. Even OE transparent, plastic woofer cones can sound half good with good tuning (think Honda Accord).

Your advice on finding a competition install in a 740i is an excellent idea. I've stumbled across some competition web sites so I'm sure I can find more to reach out to others.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Trevor, you made perfect sense. I've had that same concern about running mid bass drivers off the rear shelf. That suggestion was actually made by my professional installer. He didn't think the tuning would be a problem. That's probably $400 for the rear shelf I could re-direct to an active set up on the front doors. Was planning to have installer add more deadoning to the doors, though this car is incredibly quiet. The HD 600/4 will be used to drive the 4 doors (150w per ch). If I did the rear shelf mid bass, I would use a separate amp for that. Frankly, I'd rather have a high end 2-way up front and remove the 4 OEM woofers from the rear shelf and just use the openings to port the sub in from the trunk.
 

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from reading the expert opinions on this site, rear deck midbass is quite acceptable with the right tuning/ processing capabilities.
Not impossible, just more difficult, and for what purpose if there are capable mids that can do the job in the price range he specified? Why not just keep it simple with a good two way up front? Further, 200hz coming from the rear will make localization of those rear speakers very apparent.
 

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I can't comment on much more than what I own, but I do own the PRO Alpines in 6.5" flavor. I love them! They don't have near the midbass of some other sets I've used, but having a sub cross higher (like the DIYMA) solves that problem perfectly. What they DO have is a stellar midrange, and the best sounding tweeter I've ever heard. The ring radiator used in the PRO's is just...awesome.

I'd recommend either these or the Polk SR's for a premade solution with a truly smooth character.
 
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