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302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it has begun! My journey to the dark side - of DIY audiophile wannabe

Ok guys, before anything else, I must thank you for even reading through the whole post!

Its pretty much a completely new install starting from scratch, I am trying to build the highest VALUE-performance system. please choose my shopping for me :)


My experience: newb, first install in car audio, good experience with high end home audio, but not DIY (i.e. know what good sound is but know nothing about driver parameters).
Vehicle: Nissan Xterra SUV 2006.

Different options considered:
Simple 2-way, 1" on dash, 6.5" in front doors, 12" sub in trunk.
3-way possibility: 1" on dash, 6.5" in doors, 8" under front seats, 12" in trunk
Looked into putting Ribbons on dash/pillar.
Possible to put 2" on dash factory tweets locations.

I had nothing until last night, when I ordered a DIYMA R12" as the sub.
I am also planning to get my hands on the M&K D26NC-55-06 6 Ohms TWEETERS (vifa) for cheap from Ebay.
Will be auditioning the ZUKI eleet amp soon to decide if I want it.
So now I have SOMETHING to base my build on. (as opposed to starting with completely nothing)

Reasons why I chose the DIYMA R12 is because of the good reviews and the ease with which it is supposed to blend with the front stage. The D26NC-55-06 are ultra cheap and apparently are good tweeters. The choice of the ZUKI is due to its value. It is infact way higher than my original budget, but if it is indeed the best value-performance on the market, I am willing to spend the money.

HU selection:
Pioneer AVIC-F700BT or Clarion DXZ785USB
other suggestions welcome. And help me choose between the 2. Obviously very different beats, comparing apples to oranges. I do want the double din, nice screen and the GPS, but I can sacrifice all those if it means impairing the SQ of my system significantly. (I can give up the vitamin C from oranges if it means they will leave me still hungry as compared to eating the apples)

Amps considered:
Kenwood eXcelon KAC-X4R (cheap, TA and XO that will be good for my GPS HU)
Zuki Eleet 4ch. (waiting to see in person how good it really is)
same analogy as choosing between apples and oranges.
Or BOTH amps if I go 3 way active?

So what are the best drivers to compliment those tweets,sub, and amp? What is the best setup for me?

I am also happy to use other tweeters if there are better choices for this high value system. I might not even end up getting them, I have not won yet :) I am hoping them to be about 10$ for the pair including shipping.

I have read most reviews on 6.5" midbass - Seas Excel, Peerless SLS, Dayton RS. But I would like to hear your opinion on this particular setup.

I listen to: everything, from classical to jazz to rock to metal, pop, electronic, indie, trance, house, rap, everything. (but not country!)
Favorite artists: MUSE, coldplay, radiohead, Mobbie, BassHunter, Katy Perry and Pink (don't diz!)

Looking for: HIGH VALUE/performance setup, ultra clear, open highs with good air, max clarity at all frequencies, quick, punchy, high level clean bass that I can feel, I lust for that thump in mid bass as well as that feeling of wholeness in sub bass. The ability to pick out every instrument individually in the music, even the scratching of guitar strings, rubbing of lips. Can play loud without distortion.
Not wanting to totally ruin the back passenger's enjoyment.

What I hate most: too 'warm' mids (muddy), boomy lows.

My platform (everything is stock):
Nissan Xterra SUV 2006 with Rockford Forsgate audio package. currently has factory 6x9 in front doors,
2" on dash? (every source says its 1" on dash, I opened up the grill and it looks like a 2" - I KNOW the non RF package has 1" there, but I have the RF package, which may well have caused the difference),
8" in shallow custom sealed box under driver seat,
6.5" and 1" on rear doors.
Double din HU with rockford amp under passenger seat.

My view on the importance of VALUE:
I don't have much money, I don't want to spend much money, but I don't have a solid budget either. What I am looking for is ultra value. Trying to spend THE LEAST to get THE MOST. - thats why we are all here right? :p
I believe the components I have chosen so far has the highest performance to the dollar. I don't mind spending $400 for a zuki amp if I'm actually saving myself 2k. The difficulties come when I consider that I can have a Kenwood eXcelon KAC-X4R for $180, and its only (lets say) 10% less in performance - obviously that is still to be judged.

Personally I'd like to keep my setup (raw component cost) to be around 1k, but I guess if I get the zuki then that kind of blew everything apart.

Thank you all again.

Best regards


302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After rereading all that I guess I'm asking a bit too much, maybe I should try doing this in steps :)

2 way or 3 way active with 12" DIYMA in back?
2 way would be 1" on dash 6.5 in doors,
3 way would add shallow 8-10" under front seats.
What do I gain from having shallow 8-10" under the seats? Will it bring the sound stage forward? that is beneficial to me I hate listening to the bass coming from the back.
Obviously I can shift around a bit - say 2" on dash, 5" in doors, 8" under seat etc. Any opinions?

I am looking for a high value system so I guess the Dayton offerings look most promising?

I normally listen to low SQ systems with +3 treble (say scale from -5 to +5), everything else flat. I'd boost the bass if it wouldn't distort beyond +1!

9,702 Posts
I look forward to meeting you.

One thing I will say is that you should not attempt an active 3-way front stage until you have learned how to tune an active 2-way front stage. You'll be getting in way over your head. Another thing I'd like to bring up is that you didn't mention any sound deadening. I promise you that you will be throwing money down the toilet with ANY speaker you buy, if you don't put some effort into deadening at least the front doors.

If you decide to go with the Zuki, you won't have enough flexibility to run a proper active system. I'd go with the Kenwood, unless you want to buy a hu with active crossovers, or a separate processor. And for the price, I think the Kenwood would be the smart first step.

302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah gijoe, half of me is keep telling myself to keep it simple, the other half keep making me feel that I'm going to miss the thump from under my seat. I just have heard too much badly setup SPL subs in my frined's cars that keep reminding me how much I hate just hearing the bass from the back, and nothing else. I guess all that perception will change when I come see you :)

You just convinced me (see i am so easy to sway - both ways :D) to keep it nice and simple, good old 2way up front. After all I want high value, and spending $500+ to get the 3rd way which I probably won't even be able to tune right is not worth it.

So. good value drivers with good reputation that I have researched on here are: (in 6.5)

Peerless exclusive
Peerless SLS
Seas Excel
Dayton RS

Which ones need to pair with tweets that go low? And here my other half kicks in again.... I feel like I am pairing a midbass with a tweet and I am missing the midrange somewhere...... makes me want to use 5" instead....and then add a 8....NO...STOP....2way it is!
You see I can make the DIYMA play higher and get a smaller midbass to play midrange better on the doors, but that pulls the stage back, again, I don't want that.....
And then I worry that if I have to get a tweet that goes low to pair with those 6.5 midbasses, my tweet will get muddy trying to play low. And I like really really clean clarity good treble. So then my other half steps in and say, fit a 2.5" on the dash to help the midbass out, and add ribbons to ......NONO! no 3 way!

You see why I can't make my mind up now?

I said I'd like to keep it 1k, but then I don't mind spending more, simply because I want high value-performance. It just looks like all the best value components on the market seem to add up to around the 1k mark and it makes sense to me.

And all this assumes I have perfectly deadened everything - not that it has been done yet, but it will be. I never forgot about it. :)
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