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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, DIYMA....Been lurking for awhile, but just now getting in the mobile SQ scene. Home theater has always been my thing, but why not transfer that to my vehicle now? The vehicle is a 95 Toyota Avalon, and I listen to (honestly) any different kind of music there is.

Anyways, I'm on a limited budget. Not really set in stone what that budget is, but i'm more about buying once, and adding instead of replacing. I have a very particular ear, so I was going active appeals to me. I am planning on buying a Kenwood KIV-700 at 145 bucks, and already have a sub and amp. I really need a nice set of fronts and another amp at the very least. But, I'm unsure of which way to go. Should I find a nice 2/4 channel amp and passive speakers for the front, or should I go all out and get a 4/5 channel amp, crossover, and speakers for an active set up from the get go??

Basically....if it came down to spending 200 dollars on a passive setup/amp, or 300-400 dollars on a crossover/amp/front speakers for an active set up, I would probably go active. The HU does T/A, and an external crossover would do the rest, with an EQ being added later.

Let me know what you all think would be best.
 

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You're on the right track. The key to whatever you do is to leave the door open for future upgrades without having to re-think/re-do/re-spend.

That HU does do digital time alignment, and that's a good thing. I think if you're careful with your amp selection you should be able to avoid needing an external crossover. There are actually a whole slew of amplifiers available today that have the capability to actively cross a set of components.

That being said...what kind of car is this going in?
Speaker sizes, positions, and your willingness to perform custom work all play a role in what might be suggested.

What are you using for your subwoofer and amplifier currently?
Are cosmetics important?
Who's doing the install, you or a shop?
What do you already have for wiring in the car?

There's nothing saying you can't buy a decent set of passive components, and a decent amplifier with a good crossover section in it and try it both ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. It's good to know I'm at least going in the right direction.

The car is a 95 Toyota Avalon, and I will be doing all the work myself, but I have done many installs before. As of now, its completely stock. The fronts consist of a 4" component system, the mids lower in the door with the tweeter mounted towards the top of the panel. The rear is just a 4" mid in the doors. Each of the speakers actually has its own little enclosure which seems to work well. I was planning on keeping the stock rears if they get used, and then trim the fronts to use a 5.25 component system and use some deadening mat on the enclosures. I just don't want to spend the money on a passive set of components if I end up going active.

The sub can either be a sealed kicker 12" or a DIY ported enclosure I built for 2 10s awhile back. Going to see which I like better when the time comes. The only amp I have now is a small Cadence 2 channel.

So, with all that said, where are some good places to start for a nice amp with bandpass capabilities, and also what to look for in a budget component system for an active crossover?? And also, for my rear fill, will my stock speakers be run off the amp or the HU? If I got a 5 channel amp, would the front components take the first 4 channels and the sub on the 5th?
 

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Like this?

Those stock locations suck. The path length differences from a mid mounted half way up the door are horrendous. Plus...4" speakers? ARRGGGG! In an enclosure? YUK!

Do you know or can you get the volume of the front enclosures? Also, are they sealed?
Unfortunately you've got A LOT working against you here. The enclosures actually work against you as most off the shelf component sets are made to work in much larger volumes than the enclosures will probably supply. If you know the volume of them you have a better shot at finding something that will work with them, but being limited to a 4" or 5" speaker reduces your chances of getting any real midbass up-front Is it possible to remove the enclosures and make a baffle to hold a 6.5 or larger driver in it place with the back and front waves still remaining separated in the door?

Are you opposed to making kick panels or A-pillar pods?

Don't bother amping your rear speakers. If you insist on hooking them up just run them off the deck. If you were to get a 5 channel amp, you would use the font 4 channels for the 4 speakers that make up your front stage (IE 2 tweets and two mids) and the 5th to run a sub. But if you already have an amp capable of running your chosen subwoofers, I would focus my budget more on a 4 channel and the speakers for the front.

The new amplifier offerings from epsilon all have pretty impressive crossover capabilities (IE the PPI phantom 900.4, the PPI Power class 4 channels, I think some of the soundstreams, amongst others.)
 

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I just got the bigger version of this processor. This is the 2x4 and it has everything you need for $99. I will be running the 2x8 version for a 3 way active + sub system.

http://www.minidsp.com/images/documents/Product Brief-MiniDSP.pdf

Right now my mid bass is shut and I am running a two way with 4" mids. I have redone the crossover points to adjust for the lack of mid bass but it is not the same. I strongly suggest not to do a 4" two way system, it does not sound as good as a 5 1/4 or 6 1/2 components. The "punchiness" is gone without my mid basses.

Also, there are plenty of single speakers that you can buy to mix and match that are as good and less expensive than packaged branded systems. Ask around an the folks here will help you out. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great sounding system, but you have to know what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
toyotanation .com/forum/154-1st-generation-1995-1999/189820-97-avalon-door-speakers-pics.html

Take space out before the .com since I can't post links yet....

Here is what it looks like behind the front door panels. Yes, I know things are against me with this car. I'm trying to make It look good using factory position and look though. No kick or a pillar locations as I will return it to stock one day to sell. But, I'm not against building a new baffle and removing the stock enclosures. They are vented, but I'm just not sure how it will work without th the enclosure. I need to look more into it. If that was the case, I have a friend who will sell me a set of HAT imagine 6.5" components for 80 bucks.

I have been looking for a good budget amp, but not really sure how to tell if it is bandpass capable. I figured It would say but usually I'm just seeing HP and LP.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, there are plenty of single speakers that you can buy to mix and match that are as good and less expensive than packaged branded systems. Ask around an the folks here will help you out. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great sounding system, but you have to know what you are doing.
I will not run a 4" component. The rear doors will stay a stock 4 for now, but fronts will be at least a 5.25 component. But the budget single speakers is exactly what I'm looking for I just dont know where to even start a search. There are sooo many options.

And I checked out the miniDSP the other day. For a 2 way front, stock mids in the rear, and 2 subs, which miniDSP would I need?? Two of the 2x4's??
 

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1. Those doors suck. :-( I would probably scrap the door enclosures, build a baffle to mount your component set to and seal off all of the holes on the interior sheet metal as best as possible to mimic what you get in 95% of car doors. This will allow you to use pretty much any car audio branded driver in your install.

Conversely you can measure the enclosures for volume, port diameter and length, and use that information to work backwards into a raw driver that will work from either Madisound, Parts Express or elsewhere. This will take significantly more thought on what will work though.

2. If you can get a set of 6.5" imagines for 80 bucks and you are unwilling to give up a stock appearance or do major modifications, I would just do that. 80 bucks is peanuts for a decent set of speakers like that.

3. After thinking about it, you won't be able to run the rears on deck power if you are using the time alignment and running active in front. The time alignment within the deck most likely effects both the internal amplifier and the preamp outputs, so any time alignment you applied to your front mids would be applied to your rear 4" ers too. To top that off, if you tried to put the deck's crossovers on those 4's to keep them from distorting you'd be putting it on your front mids, which would suck also. It's probably best to just leave them out of the equation. Without proper processing they're just extra information to mess everything up anyways. How much can a pair of 4" drivers really add in terms of overall volume? not much.

4. Minidsp: Given your budget I'd leave this out. I've owned one, and they are freakin sweet, but the only thing you will gain from this is a finer degree of control over your crossover points and a better EQ. You said an EQ was down the road for you, so I would wait. You already have time alignment, and you're looking at amps that have sufficient crossovers, so you don't need it yet.

5. Band Pass crossovers: The problem is that most websites are set up to provide generic specs, and often don't even call them out in their descriptions. I've found that if I'm interested in an amp, and want to know if it has Bandpass crossovers I typically have to look at the pictures of the endplate. There is usually a switch that goes between highpass, full range, and bandpass. Or something to that effect. A bandpass is basically a highpass and a lowpass applied to the same channel of amplification (ie: 80hz highpass and 5000hz lowpass for a midrange driver)
 

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Was just looking at the Soundstream page, the Rubicon, Stealth and Reference lines all have 4 channel models with the ability to run high pass up to 4k and to bandpass the mids
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Dave, thank you so much for the help. I tried to do all the research possible before posting, but i have learned a lot just in this one thread.

But...the story has sort of changed as of today. My buddy offered me a Zapco AG350 for free. I did some quick searching and it seems they were some pretty nice amps and put out some great power. He thinks its junk but from what I read it seems to be a nice piece, especially for free.

Anyways, now that I have an amp for my sub and for the front channel, I may go with the HAT Imagine 6.5's in the front doors with custom baffles, same Kenwood head unit, and just run a passive crossover set up for now, using the T/A and EQ on the HU. I'm also going to put more of a focus on doing a good install with some sound deadening and properly sealing up the doors, etc etc. I really want to run an active set up, but i think im going to take things in steps. I'm going to do some more research into the miniDSP and may even go active soon if it seems to work as good as im thinking it would.

I do have one question about the miniDSP though....If i were to pick up one of the 100 dollar 2x4 miniDSP boards, is this how it would be connected:

2 'front' preouts from HU to input of miniDSP, then each of the 4 outputs connect to a 4 channel amp to control the 4 front speakers on its own channel, using the T/A, crossover, and EQ built into the miniDSP. But, my question is, could I then run the sub preout straight off the HU to my 2nd amp and use the LPF and T/A thats built into my HU to control just the subs?? And again, the rear preouts (and the rear fill completely) will not be used as of now.
 

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Uhh free Zapco amp? That's a no-brainer regardless of the amps cosmetics or even it's working condition. Those Zapco AG's are very nice SQ amps.

Honestly, I think what your doing is the best thing possible. You're not sinking a lot of money in, so if you later decide to change or upgrade, you're not out much at all. Also, taking the money you were considering using and focusing more of it on making your doors a solid platform is smart thinking if you plan on upgrading to an active set up in the future. And of course, you can start by running the HAT's active when you get there.

The HATs are solid speakers, the Zap is a good amp, the HU is fine.

For the MiniDSP, you'll need the 12v power supply they sell too. At the end of the day after shipping you'll be at closer to $130-140 since it ships from Hong Kong. That being said, it's still a STEAL for what it does. Yes you can use the subwoofer outputs on your HU, but you will need to use the HU's built in time alignment to compensate for the MiniDSP's latency (the amount of time it takes to process the signal) This can be easy or difficult depending on the increments your HU has for time alignment and what the actual latency of the MiniDSP is.
 
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