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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have been out of car audio for a couple years and am trying to get a decent sound system set up in my S2000. Problem is, I now realize why I got in trouble the last time I was into car audio(addicting, more power, etc)

I already have an Alpine CDA 9884 as a starting point on the oem components. This was supposed to be a budget system but it's getting out of hand...

So the proposed setup is:
  • CDT EF61- NEO or CL61 components up front
  • ARC KAR KS300.4 or Alpine PDX 4.150 to power components and sub
  • ED 11kv.2 in a ~1 cuft. ported box in the trunk.

I didn't want to go with an active setup, but now that I have been fiddling with the 9884 I don't know that it will have the adjustment range that I would need to tune this setup flat. Another issue I might have is the incredible amount of ambient noise coming from top down driving. I don't drive it top up unless I'm already sunburnt :D. The floors and doors are already damped (the biggest sources of road noise in this car).

Anybody ever tried to tackle an install in a convertible? Anything I might be overlooking here?

Thanks,
Parker
 

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you cant do it right half way.

get 300 watts either side on your speakers (and speakers that can handle that) and accept that your not gonna hear the sub unless your parked, or run a 15 with 2000 watts.
 

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Heya Bro ^_^ Fellow S2000 owner (MY2005) and I would say I have a decent set up so far...but I am going to redo the entire thing this winter. Here is what I have learned...

1. Get a hardtop.
2. GET A HARDTOP
3. Use your choice of deadener and cover the floor in the cabin
4. Same with the doors (Focal Blackhole foam works wonders here)
5. Do not bother with the after market behind the seats or behind the headrest speaker mounts....they are too small to do any good and will destroy staging
6. You will have to trade a little bit of SQ for volume if you want to hear anything with the top down. Tons of speaker recommendations out there. For my $.02 for a budget set up, Morel Hybrid Ovations, Boston Accoustics, Infinity Perfect/Kappa.
7. Dont bother with the door tweeter pods. Mount them under the dash as seen here, or in the pillars. http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37583&highlight=s2000


Good luck!
 

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you cant do it right half way.

get 300 watts either side on your speakers (and speakers that can handle that) and accept that your not gonna hear the sub unless your parked, or run a 15 with 2000 watts.
Mmmm not entirely accurate... Im running simple AVI 2-ways off of a single trutech b-2110 (110x2) and <75 I can hear fine with the top down. There is also a section of the convertible tray that can be ported through which will deliver the bass into the cabin...a JL 10w(i think 6??) is the most common sub ive seen as it fits perfectly in the trunk tool well. It is of course no where near as "thumpy" as if was in the cabin with you, but it definitely can be felt with the top up.
 

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a JL 10w(i think 6??) is the most common sub ive seen as it fits perfectly in the trunk tool well. It is of course no where near as "thumpy" as if was in the cabin with you, but it definitely can be felt with the top up.
Yep that's exactly where JL's stealthbox is at as well. Probably the most effective place to mount a sub in those cars.
 

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you cant do it right half way.

get 300 watts either side on your speakers (and speakers that can handle that) and accept that your not gonna hear the sub unless your parked, or run a 15 with 2000 watts.
I can hear my sub with the top down, but i do have a 15 with 1100 watts
 

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Well, having taken the convertible plunge myself this year, and having installed a fairly decent system in it, here is my observations:

1) Sound Deadening - Only do the bare minimum required here, as anything more is a HUGE waste. With the top up or down, unless yours is a hard-top convertible, you will get deminished gains compared to a hard-top car. There is just too much outside noise to have sound deadening overcome it. I have run with no deadening, minimal, and all out, and honestly, minimum deadening was the most effective to solidify the doors a bit. Don't even worry about the floorpan or anything else outside of maybe right where the sub will sit, and that is to reduce vibrations and noises more than increase percieved output.

2) Speaker Placement - It is much more critical to have them installed in more near-field than far-field, as in use upper door/a-pillar positions for tweets vs kickpanel mounting. Same goes with the sub, the closer to you, the driver, the better. In this regard I have found a custom fabbed sub box right behind the driver/passenger was the most effective in relaying the 'sub' effect with the top down in my setup. With the top up it is also better, as with a soft-top you just loose quite a bit.

3) Power - It is your friend, and you really can't have enough in a convertible. This is true for the front stage as well as the sub stage. As you have very few reflected sound-waves compared to a hard-top car, it becomes blatently obvious that a speaker setup with 100 watts a channel sounds more like one with 25 watts a channel. On the subs it is even worse, thus getting the subs as close to you as possible helps.

4) SQ - Now, here is where I am certain a bunch of people with chime in, but do not expect to get anywhere near perfect SQ in a convertible, as it just isn't going to happen. And I am not talking the sitting and enjoying your favorite parking spot here, I am talking the actual driving experience. There is just far too much road and wind noise, as well as the whole 'acoustic environment' being non-existent on the top half to properly convey a SQ environment. I mean, honestly, it would take a custom processor to increase bass output and EQ actively based upon ambient noise conditions in real-time to compensate for the 'environment' that a convertible presents. I have found that the best cruising EQ settings make the sound heavy, thick and boomy and somewhat shrill when parked and worse with the top up. But while cruising it seems to sound 'right' as much as a wind tunnel can sound.

Now, if you only care about how it sounds parked and demo'ing it to others, ie, not enjoying it while driving it, then ignore everything said here and setup your system to be used with the top-up only and with the car off and then go nuts on everything, just don't expect anywhere near the same results while you are actually driving the car.

I think that is the problem with a large part of the 'experience' in car audio, too many people setup thier system to sound good while parked. When actually driving, even with the windows down, the sound is drastically changed from where they set it up due to environmental factors. Well, that is unless you have the ability to crank it well above and beyond all the outside noises, or unless you only drive around with the windows up (I know a few folks that do just that, all year long, they never have the windows down as it adversely affects thier puristic SQ). Personally I prefer my systems to have enough headroom to overcome outside noises, but it is absoloutly futile in a convertible, that is, unless you want your system loud enough to be heard 3 city blocks away.

I have found my setup with 200 watts a channel for each front component set, 110 watts a channel for the rear components, and 1200 watts for the subs (dual 12" in boxes right behind the driver and passenger replacing the rar seat-bottoms), along with 6.5" components front/rear and a nice headunit with crossover/time-alignment/auto-EQ capabilities has done wonders in balancing out the sound and allowing me to have multiple setups for when the top is up or down. This is in a 1995 Camaro Convertible. I will also say, for the sake of the commentary I will get from the purists, a set of rear components are most certainly needed to provide sound re-inforcement as you need as much help as possible in a convertible.
 

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I will say that in my convertible, I have a hard time hearing my music when driving with the top down. so much so that i have driven the mids to their mechanical limits a few times just for not being able to hear the music. Im considering adding a set of rear speakers, even though ive never ran them before, just to get the volume where i need it to be without pushing the front comps (pio 720s) to their limits
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the tips guys! Seems like the more power, the better. Either that, or quit while I'm ahead :D
 

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Ways to overcome noisy environments:

-Use your dash and windshield as a giant built in waveguide.

-Arrays

-Don't skimp on midbass either. The bigger the better.

-Power was already mentioned.
 
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