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I just purchased a 2013 Miata with power hardtop and am in the process of selecting amps, speakers and potentially a processor. I realize a convertible is a bit challenging sound-wise, I'd like to optimize for top down sound.

I had originally intended a simple install with a new head unit, amp and component speakers but the mid range size of the Miata (8") led me to a Focal component system that I believe can be bi-amped, which prompted the thought of "going active" with a processor of some sorts in the mix. With a decent processor I thought it might be neat to have tailored "open" and "closed" settings depending on if the top is up or down. I have some latitude with tweeter mounting to help things out.

System sketch:
H/U: Pioneer AVH-X5500BHS w/ASWC-1, SiriusXM Tuner, iPhone integration, shiny bits (purchased)
Speakers: Focal IS 200 components, disable silly rear speakers (or run off head unit potentially)
Amplifier: 2x100W, if passive (Focal FPP 2100??), ???? 4x~100W if active

The headunit and metra bits are on their way and should go in this weekend with the Sirius tuner and Axxess steering control module. I'll wire into the Bose setup via the pre-outs for the time being. I have a month or so before I decide on the speakers, amp and potentially processor.

The Focals appeal due to my experience with their home audio gear and their ability to use the entire 8" speaker cavity. Since I don't plan on using a sub (hello, Miata) having the larger driver could also help in the lows over a 6.5" setup in a fabricated bracket.

It's a Miata, so space is at a premium, I need to keep the amp and processor small. I'd like drop the amp in where the OEM Bose unit is as possibe, the processor I can be a bit more creative with.

Budget:
$1500 (passive) - 2000 (active)

$612 - H/U, accessories, harness, etc.
$350 - Focal components
$125 - Door acoustic treatment (nice install)
$1000 for amp and processor

Questions/Prompts:
1. Is it even worth going active in a convertible?
2. If so, thoughts on a good processor and 4 channel amp for the Focals?
3. Should I ditch the head unit for something that has a built in processor rather than buying a processor separately?

Background:
I've done multi-amp installs in the past on several cars with a mix of halfway decent gear (Alpine, BA, JL, Eclipse, Polk, etc), acoustic treatments, decent wiring and such. However, it's been a decade so I'm rusty and I've never had a full active setup. I do have access to some serious testing gear via an engineer buddy who's a fellow audiophile and speaker/amp designer/builder who I can geek out on this with and get some calibration assistance.
 

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The Zapco DC364 or DC1004, would work perfect for what you want to do, amp and processor in one. Only issue you might have is they aren't small. Focal's partner company Mosconi, makes the Gladen One 120.4DSP that also has a full dsp built into the amp, and it's pretty compact. For separate amp/processor you could use the Mosconi 4to6, and an amp of your choice. I'm sure there's other options out there, but I'm familiar with these and like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Zapco DC364 or DC1004, would work perfect for what you want to do, amp and processor in one. Only issue you might have is they aren't small. Focal's partner company Mosconi, makes the Gladen One 120.4DSP that also has a full dsp built into the amp, and it's pretty compact. For separate amp/processor you could use the Mosconi 4to6, and an amp of your choice. I'm sure there's other options out there, but I'm familiar with these and like them.
Thanks for replying! I'm not familiar with Zapco or Mosconi but I'll spend some time researching it. An integrated amp/processor is appealing and I see a PC interface on both. The DC1004 might be challenging behind the seats but there IS a roughly 27" by 10" depression in the Miata's trunk it would fit right into at the cost of precious cargo space. (I have a sedan as well, so it's not the end of the world). I'm not the sure the DC364 would cut it power-wise?

Any idea on cost on either the Mosconi or Zapco gear?

This Rockford unit looks slick interface wise and has 8 channels but I'm leary of RF gear.
 

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Definitely do your research. I think you'll find both those brands are pretty well respected around here, along with others.

The New DC656 we did, which is a DC364 and a DC362 in one chassis, did 4 x 60watts on the oscilloscope. It's rated at 4 x 50watts, so it's doing 20% over rated power, which is very respectable. Now whether that 60 watts is going to be enough to meet your goals, you'll have to decide. The Integration Series are pretty efficient speakers in general, but we haven't done the 8" component set you're looking at, so I can't comment first hand. We run the Integration IS165 on our display off the Gladen One 120.4 and they're plenty loud. It's honestly almost to much for them.

I have no experience with the new 3sixty.3. I did several of it's predecessor, the 3sixty.2, which was decent but somewhat limited. For it's era, it was pretty good. I've seen some threads on this forum about the 3sixty.3, so I'm sure you can find some good info with a quick search.

For the setup you're looking at doing, 8 output channels are overkill IMHO. Realistically you need a minimum of 4, 6 if you decided to add a true subwoofer down the road. You'd only need 8 if you wanted to go to a 3 way active up front with a subwoofer, or 2 way active front with rear speakers and a subwoofer.
 

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Why not get a deck that can go active? Not sure if pioneer has any in their double din decks but you could do a different brand and use the deck to go active or passive.

I was so close to snagging a miata a few months ago but some money issues raised so I had to pass for a bit, still really want one! I was also torn between the focal is200 or going with a better quality 6.5 component set.... My concern with the 8's was missing the upper midbass range however I also planned on doing a small sub. There is plenty of room behind the seats directly behind the roll bar loops..... I planned on throwing something small and light back there.
 
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