DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I am a noobie poster here, but have been reading quite a bit, especially lately. I am sort of an old school car audio guy. Back when the 225HCCA amp was the best ever built and Soundstream was a dream only the richest people could afford! I have been out of the loop for several years, but alas the bug has bitten again.
Last year I did a very basic low dollar build on my truck, a 99 Ram quad cab. I bought MB Quart comps, MB Quart ONX480’s and 2 MTX 10’s. I was heartbroken! The system sounded worse than stock. I bought an EQS in a desperate attempt to fix things. It helped, but still disappointed. I dont want to go through that again.
Now I am planning 2 more builds: a 2000 300M, and an 07 PT Cruiser. I decided to try and seek some advice here. I am more about sound quality and staging than bass and volume. Both vehicles will be lined significantly using second skin products (the posts supporting second skin far outnumbered any other products). The area I live in is completely devoid of any reputable shops, or even shops that carry products I may be interested in. And all the systems around here are completely bass & volume oriented. Im talking 6 15’s and stock coaxials! So, unfortunately my decision is going to be based entirely on advise since I don’t have the ability to listen to the products I may buy.
I still have my MB Quart amps, and the HU for both vehicles are taken care of. First question is about amp’s. Should I reuse the Quarts or invest in new? IMO the amps I have are ok, and amps are going to be the easiest to upgrade down the road. But, if they are going to kill the speakers and sound quality, I can buy new amps. Budget is about $1500 per vehicle. All installation myself. As little fabrication as possible (attempt to utilize factory speaker locations, no custom door panels and readily available kick panels). So far I’m thinking Focal Access 165’s, Rockford P3D subs and maybe CDT amps. There are tons of brands out there that I know nothing about: Massive, Realm, RE, Memphis, Rainbow, etc.
My budget isn’t set in stone, so I can spend more $, if the difference will be phenomenal. I want the best bang for my buck. Any suggestions, opinions or advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Three letters you need to consider: DSP

This is the major difference between car audio in the 80's-90's and now. You NEED this to get sound that is going to be much better than what those cars have stock.

Those amps are fine. I would focus your budget on good DSP, quality speakers, and solid installation. With a 1500 dollar budget for those things you should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
since you have those mb amps. you could go active. it takes a lil time to tune it but it will open up the option to use more speakers. you can get great diy drivers (mid and tweeters) under $200 a set and sound better than a lot of higher end stuff. read up on the board about active drivers. i used those amp for a while they will work fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,033 Posts
Like mentioned above, invest in some sort of DSP (JBL MS-8), & maybe look at raw drivers on Parts Express & Madisound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice guys, and anyone else feel free to chime in. Ive been kicking around the idea of a DSP. Either MS8 or Alpine PXE H660. From what Ive read the MS8 is heads & shoulders above the rest (not including bitone or zapco, they would take 2/3 of my budget per vehicle). Anybody have any experience with the 660? or 650 for that matter?
As far as going active, Im kind of lost on exactly what you mean. Are you meaning to run an active crossover inline, after DSP and use that to completely seperate signals? For example: instead of channel 1 being front and channel 2 being rear, use channel 1 to control tweets and channel 2 to control mids? Wouldnt that sort of undo what the DSP would be doing? Or damage my staging? If I essentially look at every mid and tweet as a component set (even if Im using raw drivers) then I would basically be placing an active crossover anywhere is passive is (or should be) correct? Wouldnt that get very costly? Or am I completely off base on what you mean? Im sure asking this will make me seem like a total dumb*ss, but pretending I know is not going to help me out at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
As far as going active, Im kind of lost on exactly what you mean. Are you meaning to run an active crossover inline, after DSP and use that to completely seperate signals? For example: instead of channel 1 being front and channel 2 being rear, use channel 1 to control tweets and channel 2 to control mids? Wouldnt that sort of undo what the DSP would be doing? Or damage my staging? If I essentially look at every mid and tweet as a component set (even if Im using raw drivers) then I would basically be placing an active crossover anywhere is passive is (or should be) correct? Wouldnt that get very costly? Or am I completely off base on what you mean? Im sure asking this will make me seem like a total dumb*ss, but pretending I know is not going to help me out at all.
By going Active you are going to run each of your speakers directly to an amp (or to a MS-8 built in amp) channel. The HU will run to the DSP via RCA's or Line Level. Your output from the DSP via RCA's will be divided into 8 channels going into your amps (if using ) as follows (not necessary in this order or configuration using 3 way as eg.)
Channel 1 FR Tweeter
Channel 2 FL Tweeter
Channel 3 FR Midrange
Channel 4 FL Midrange
Channel 5 FR Midbass
Channel 6 FR Midbass
Channel 7 Center Channel
Channel 8 Sub

This is just one of the configurations that the DSP can do. Again you can use a 2 way setup for Channel 1&2 and Channels 3&4 with Channels 5&6 being used for rear fill and Channels 7 and Channels 8 as stated above. When you have a passive setup you are using passive crossovers inline with the tweeter, mid and amp. I hope I didn't cornfuse you any more or me for that matter. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You didn't confuse me at all! That clarifies perfectly. As I said, I have basic working knowledge, just not really up to date with how and why things are being done as far as current trends. Thank you!
If you had the choice, would you chip for the MS8 and use entry level or middle of the road speakers, or buy high end speakers and add the MS8 when funding allows? (I am using the broad term "speakers" to cover any variation of tweeter/midbass/midrange).
Also, because I have zero experience with DSP's, will they automatically set crossover points and/or pick up distortion? Or is that something I will dial in myself using manufacturer specs and my own ears? Like if adv. ferq response for a midbass is 120-750 hz, but they perform best in the 130-715 range, can I dial that in? Or does it really depend on the specific DSP?
And again, I cant thank you guys enough. Im getting a real education here. Forums like this are awesome! Im a member of many other forums (from drag racing to custom firearms) and I share my expertise whenever I can on other topics. Its noce to know Im not the only one willing to help out others :rockon:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Also, I will more than likely be running tweeters and midrange up front, coaxial rear fill, and subs. I really would like 3 ways up front to bring the bass up front and fill in the stage. But, a big problem with that would be fabrication. I couldnt do a 3 way using factory locations. And Im not sure how I would do a center channel. I guess I could attempt to buy some cheap fiberglass stuff and try my hand at making a center channel pod to sit on the dash? Maybe get comfortable with that and make some custom door panels or kick panels down the road? hmmmmmmm lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I, like you have been out of the scene for quite some time (Approx. 6 Years) With that said I have been reading for months to get myself up to speed with what is going on in the world of SQ today (which seems like an eternity) . The best thing you can do is research, research, research. My personal choice is the MS-8 because it will do exactly what I want to accomplish, using the factory nav & sync but accomplish great SQ, it will also allow greater flexibility in the tuning process vrs a standard line driver. My money so far has been spent on the MS-8, HAT speakers ( Unity), and second skin products. Think I will be using Mosconi amps but not 100%. What ever decision I make I will be able to use the MS-8. For the money I think you cant go wrong. Heres the link where I purchased it from. Hope this helps.
JBL MS-8 System Integration Digital Sound Processor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,033 Posts
If you use rears & possibly a center channel later then the MS-8 is definitely the way to go. Plus, you can use some of the 8 channels of amplification from the MS-8 on your tweeters, rears, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,650 Posts
M S 8
Use the amps that you have and a great set of components. Do you not want a subwoofer or did my bathroom reading miss that part?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The sub I am going with (more than likely) will be a fosgate P3D2-10 in a sealed enclosure. Ive had good luck with their subs in the past and everything Im reading says the P3 line is a really good sub for the money.
FISH 7 CUSTOM ADDICTION - I have been doing a lot of thinking and research. I am seriously kicking around the idea of going MS8 active 3 way up front using raw drivers Ive found on parts express. I have never thought of going this route before and it seems like this option will allow much more flexibility with my money. 2 question, though. #1 - are there any particular brands or models I should steer clear of or any that are amazing values? Also, does the MS8 allow me to dial in crossover points electronically for each individual driver? I would assume it does, but we all know what happens when one assumes . . . :laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
there are many post that will give you great set ups. the biggest thing is figuring out what you want your drivers to sound like vs. other people's way of describing what driver sound like. words like warm, bright and detailed you will hear a lot. but for the most part you will kind of pick up what the guys here mean. and you can try drivers out and sell them here until you find what you like. :laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Sorry cant point you in the right direction when it comes to driver selection. Like cheebs said above only you can be the judge of that. Let your ears be the deciding factor not some ones reccomendation. I prefer the sound of HAT over FOCAL but you may feel the total opposite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I understand exactly what you are saying. Unfortunately the only thing I can go by is suggestions and trial and error. As I said above, I do not have the luxury of listening to products before I purchase them unless I am willing to travel 5 hours plus. Being a working man and a family man, that is nearly impossible.
I purchased MBQuart FSA components (which I paid entirely too much for) last year for my work truck and was devastated when I get them installed. I don't want to get burned again. The problem I have with these components are that bass or even midbass is non existent. It basically sounds as if any frequency below a normal human voice does not come through. Its as if there is a huge gap in the music I listen to. Also, the highs are very, very harsh. I have played around with the EQS and amp adjustments and cant seem to fix the problem.
The music I listen to the majority of the time is kind of jazzy/easy listening/vocal. Billy Joel, Diana Krall, Elton John, Eric Clapton, etc. I do listen to some pop and country and occasional classic rock. I prefer a "warm" realistic sound. I like accurate highs, but not overly crisp. Tight "thumpy" bass rather than "boomy". I would like some bass to be brought up front. So, obviously I want good midrange/midbass up front. From what I can gather, it seems that I may prefer a silk or soft dome tweeter as opposed to a titanium or metallic. Ive also been told that poly/kevlar or other material woofers are superior to paper cones in both longevity and accurate bass. I am willing to have highs that are somewhat harsh if the trade off is great bass. The focals have aluminum tweets but kevlar woofers and HAT has soft dome tweets but paper woofers. Maybe Im over complicating things. I'm just trying to gather as much information as I can before I make a purchase. Does anyone want to relocate to southern ohio and open a shop???? Ive been told by owner of the one shop in the area that there is no market around here for sound quality. That is why the don't carry good quality stuff. Its all about bass around here. Just frustrating. But again, guys, thank you so much for your input. It really is helping me.
Oh, and I did figure out the question I had about the MS8. Crutchfield has a cool little feature where you can download the owners manual to any product they sell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
i mix records so i like my detail. i use my truck to test mixes. i do listen to rap but i love music so i listen to lots of different music. here's what i found. the ms8 won't help too much if the install isn't good. sealing your doors is going to be the biggest difference in what you mids sound like. when i got into car audio i had a lil money and went right to the good stuff. i got me a seas lotus set on here cheap. there is a such a thing as too detailed. i found that the seas played back perfectly what you put thru it. the issue was that if you had a recording where the mixes were not that good the seas sounded like @zz. so no mp3s no ipods. i got a focal set next. they were not as bad but the lacked the low end thump that you should hear from a duel kick drum like the use in death metal. so i asked the board for some ideas and they said go active. and i did and never looked back.

so here are some of the mids i have used and liked

Silver Flute W17RC38-04 ohm 6-1/2" Wool Cone: Madisound Speaker Store

Peerless 830875 6-1/2" Nomex Cone HDS Woofer 264-1092

the peerless have the clearer sound and nice round mids.

i didn't include any tweeters because i don't used them. i have been using widebander mids. but i didn't want to add anything different to make your choices harder. and they takes some fabbing to use.

right now i am using Exodus EX-Anarchy mids I love these!

DIYCable.com : Intro » Home » Exodus Anarchy »
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
If your into that "warm" neutral sound that is not colored at all, with a great midbass punch, then my reccomendation would be going with the HAT line. Great speakers for the money that are not harsh on the top end, but produce a great midbass. I have heard from the imagine series on up to the lagetia's . They all have wonderful midbass with a soft sounding tweeter. Of course the lagetia's sound alot better IMO, but be willing to drop $1k plus on a 3 way Ala-carte system with no crossovers. They also have a buy back plan that allows you to trade up to another series and receive a credit for your trade in's. I believe that they are the only company on the market that does this for their customers. The owner Scott is also a great person that will take the time to talk to help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,450 Posts
The Dayton RS line are tried and true as a raw driver
Aura closeouts are some great drivers
Peerless are fantastic
Scans from Madisound and elsewhere are probably some of the best raw drivers out there. At a price.

If you are going to go active and purchase raw drivers (I did it when I got back into car audio after 10 years in 2007 thanks to this site!), realize that buying a solid brand is going to be head and shoulders above almost any "car audio" brand you get.

Are you planning on competing?

Seal your doors up to the best of your ability and be prepared for some rattle hunts.

The MS8 is a solid choice.
I used the Alpine H650 in my brothers truck with great resuts.
If you want to tinker the bit one and alpine h701 are solid reliable pieces. And can be found used.

Sounddeadenershowdown.com has some of the best information on sound treatments.

great advice with the science behind the why his answers as they are. even if you don't buy from him, look at his site. It's a great resource.


At work so bouncing around a bit. Sorry if it looks all ADD. It's cause it is!:laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Cheebs - thanks for the help. HOLY SCHNIKIES!!!! Those Anarchy's look like they are sa-weeeet! Anxious to know how many watts you are running to them and what your crossover points are? I couldn't find requency response info on them. Also, are you running them (or any of your past drivers such as the flutes or peerless) in any type of enclosure?
I will be spending a huge amount of time and expense to properly sound deaden and seal the vehicles up. If I decide to run raw drivers active in a 2 or 3 way setup, do I need to seal the drivers from each other? Or do I not need to worry about their back waves interfering with each other? (Im not sure if I properly worded that question or not). Sounddeadenershowdown.com did provide a lot of info. Thanks, cubdenno. Did you follow his advice on the 25% rule? Or know anyone that did? Does it work?
I will not be competing. This is all entirely for my listening pleasure. Well, mine and me better half's. I will say that she listens to her ipod in the car almost exclusively. Cheeb, I read what you said about the sound quality using the ipod. Is that still an issue with your current set up? Would it be a good idea to maybe go entry level for her set up and it will sound "good" using the ipod, rather than going high end and it sounding dirty?
I think I understand what you mean when you say "wideband mids." Are you meaning something that goes higher into the frequency response range (such as something that goes 80-20khz) so that it covers the frequencies usually handled by tweets? What sort of "fabbing" are you referring to?
Thanks again, guys. I am really learning a ton here. If I am over complicating things, please say so.
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top