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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everybody. Im a 2-channel home audio guy brand new to this site needing help with car audio. My current head unit is kenwood excelon 599, 2 old school amps recommended to me for SQ : they are two matching ADS power plate PQ10 4 channel 45 watts/ch and I'm running both of them bridged, one amp on front 2 speakers and the other on back two. Front two speakers are Focal P165 V15 two way with passive crossover (I dont think I can do anything but passive on these ADS amps), and back two speakers are stock honda civic speakers which need to go asap. The ADS amps are nearly as old as I am but sound great. They are mean sounding, great control with a serious grip on the speakers, and a really nice natural sound. I love the focal 6.5 driver but NOT the tweeter. To me a good natural smooth effortless tweeter is essential and I thought i'd get that with a decent Focal, but it's the dreaded harsh/metallic combo. Theyre from JM Labs which is highly respected in home audio so I was surprised. Even more respected in home audio imo are SEAS, Scan Speak, and Dynaudio. I would like to replace the focal tweeter but keep the mid-bass driver. I have no crossover control with the old amps so I have to use a passive crossover (preferably the focal x-over). I think it crosses over at 4.5 ? First question is: Are there any tricks to this ? Can I just throw in a Scan Speak tweeter with similar khz coverage or is this way off and blasphemous ? Or do I have to replace the ADS amps (please say no) ? I dont ever want to replace SQ for features and Im terrified of the cost of anything new out there that would sound as good as the ADS' s.
Next question is: should I replace the stock back speakers with component speakers, coax, or just mid-bass drivers with no tweeters ? And can I drive coax or just a mid-bass driver alone with the old featureless ADS amp or do I have to have crossovers to do that ?
Second-to-last question is: I have 50 square feet of dynamat . Where are the most important places to stick it? Is that enough or do I need more ?
And lastly : The ADS amps are class AB and get REALLY hot, like class A home audio kind of hot. The one driving the focals will overheat and temporarily shut down for about 30 secs when pushed hard for a while. I was planning on installing 2 small computer fans in the trunk, one on each amp. Any suggestions ?
Btw- plan for the trunk is a Zapco DC 500W x1 class D amp to push 2 focal sub P25 10" drivers in a ported box. Any better ideas ?
Big time thx in advance to anyone who can chime in. Hopefully the questions weren't too novice for this forum

K J
 

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that kenwood should have highpass for the front/rear and lowpass for the sub. I would consider keeping the focal midbasses and crossovers, buying a pair of seas or scan tweeters and swapping them out, then using the other ads amp to power a pair of cdt/s midbass drivers, whichever will fit. This would enable you to raise the crossover point a bit on the front speakers and possibly have less overheating, and less distortion as the 6.5 wouldn't be playing frequencies down low it cant really do justice to anyways.

you may find with a high enough efficiency driver out back that you don't need a sub, though I like your plan for sub bass so I say do it anyways lol.

when looking for a replacement tweeter, look for the actual model of your focal unit, tn51, tn52? and see if you can find sensitivity specs for it. matching the sensitivity spec is imo the most important for any tweeter replacement, but some compensation can be gotten with the tweeter level adjuster on the crossover.

on a totally different approach..

replace your kenwood unit with a pioneer 80prs and go active, using one ads amp to power mids and one to power tweeters, nix the rear fill and add subs. This would result in a large amount of flexibility, but also a pretty penny in cost increase..the 80prs is usually around $350 but can be got used a lot cheaper than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lycancatt, thank you very much. I never wouldve thought of any of that. I think plan B sounds the best. I didnt realize that I had any hope of going active since I have the ADS amps of antiquity. Can I go active simply because of the built in processor ?
So if I'm getting this right, one ADS would be bridged and driving the tweeters, and the other would be bridged driving the mid-bass, so the front speakers would be bi-amped, and active crossover done by pioneer processor ?
You said in replacing tweeters that matching sensitivity specs is most important in your opinion, Is that as in matching db ? And would I have to worry about that still if I went active ?
how does SQ typically compare btwn passive vs active crossover ?
and you were saying to go ahead with the subs in trunk plan, but scrap the idea of speakers in back seat, including just having mid-bass drivers alone in back ?
So it would be bi-amped bridged active in front, nothing in back, mono amp and subs in trunk ?

Thx very much again,

K J
 

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yes, the pioneer would do the processing for you, crossover, level, time alinement, and eq. when going active, the db or sensitivity on the tweeter is no longer the deciding factor, you can start looking at what actually fits, how low you want it to play, etc etc.

rear fill is not really needed, especially if its mostly just you in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lycancatt, i have a few more questions when you get the time: I plan to do to the front speakers how we discussed, bridged bi-amped and running active with HU processor. Im planning on replacing the harsh focal tweeters with scan speak D2004. Pretty expensive but it's been difficult to find closely size- matched tweeters, most are much larger than the focals. I love the focal mid-bass , maybe will replace later with scan speak if I do at all. My first question relates to : when I listen to the focals (without back fill) with their passive crossover and my ADS bridged, the image seems right in front of me just past the steering wheel, which doesn't sound right, I much prefer the imaging in the middle and a little higher which im able to make happen by bringing in the back speakers a little, it sounds a lot better this way to me. Do you think this will be an issue when I get better scan tweeters and am active bi-amping ? Next question is: if I go active in front, do I have to be active in back speakers if I do have back speakers ? I definitely want to do active bridged biamping in front bc I think the front is most important, just sounds like in my car that it needs a little balancing of the soundstage with a bit of back fill. And if I do passive in back speakers can I somehow use the HU to power back 2 coax speakers or possibly use a 2 ch amp on back 2 coaxs, considering that the pioneer 80 prs has 3 sets of pre outs including for sub, and that i would already have the 2 ADS amps and 1 amp for subs. Any tricks to work with this ?
So in a nutshell I want to bi-amp active the front, passive power the back (preferably with a third amp), and 1amp mono on two 10" dayton HO in back (speaking of which do you have any experience with these subs? ) for total of 4 amps with HU that only has 3 pairs of pre outs. Any experience with DLS, zapco, arc amps? I was thinking about powering back 2 speakers with Arc 4050 XXK bridged to two ch. Also ive heard class D amps dont sound so hot so im keeping AB in the car, is class D ok to power subs or is AB still better but less power. Once again thanks in advance. I am on an island when it comes to car audio. All my home hifi buddies think im a goof for getting into car audio bc they dont think it can sound good. Easily $ 10k + on two channel home audio but audiovox and factory speaks in the car.
All the best,

K J
 

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Hi KJ,

You may want to run one sub instead of two. Two subs only gets you 3 db increase. I'd recommend going with a single higher end sub over two.

Once you time align the front speakers correctly, the center image should be center dash and your sound stage will be above the dash. You will have different time alignment values for your midbass and tweeters on each side. This raises your sound stage to where your rear fill is raising it to currently. Your home audio does not need rear fill and neither should your car audio. It only makes tuning the system harder if you only plan to listen to music.

Lycancatt has a lot of good advice and I'd recommend continuing with it.
 

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I agree with Zippy, not necessarily on having one sub over two, but ditching the rear fill and time aligning the front. Rear fill was intended for passengers in the back seat, not being able to hear the front speakers. Nice choice with the scan tweets, by the way.
 

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As stated properly setup there is no need for rear fill just like how home audio systems are done. I had rear fill in my DD due to hauling my kids around, for me the fill pulled the soundstage in the wrong direction. I had Focal speakers in the back and didn't like them at all, they were the polyglass line.

As stated best bet is to go active either with a new head unit doing that or a external crossover.

Tweeter wise have you been able to listen to the tweeters that you are considering?
 

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agree completely on rear fill, I don't think you will feel the need for it once the time alinement is properly set to put the imaging where you want it. be aware, pioneers auto time alinement is not all that great..so don't rely on it.

personally I like two subs over just one, sounds better to me because of not having to run a sub harder to get a certain level of output. Dayton makes nice drivers, I have heard a good few but to my knowledge haven't heard the ho series.
 

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A good dsp deck like the 80prs or dexp99rs will actually teach you about acoustics and what is going on in a car , it's amazing how much one learns just by owning one and just playing with it and trying diffrent things and listening real time , it's a no brainier for a first time car audiophile setup
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thx a lot guys I REALLY appreciate your input.
So plan at this time is to do as planned with the front two speaks, eliminate rear fill, and do two Dayton 10" HO in trunk with Parts Express kit cabinets (unless you guys have better ideas for subs, I am all ears), and I guess try to do some high amount of class AB power pushing the subs such as an Arc 4050 XXK 4 ch bridged down to mono for SQ purposes, or does it really matter with bass from the trunk ? Should I just do a 500W class D Zapco instead of AB ?

Thx in advance,
K J
 

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Thx a lot guys I REALLY appreciate your input.
So plan at this time is to do as planned with the front two speaks, eliminate rear fill, and do two Dayton 10" HO in trunk with Parts Express kit cabinets (unless you guys have better ideas for subs, I am all ears), and I guess try to do some high amount of class AB power pushing the subs such as an Arc 4050 XXK 4 ch bridged down to mono for SQ purposes, or does it really matter with bass from the trunk ? Should I just do a 500W class D Zapco instead of AB ?

Thx in advance,
K J
Class D can sound very good. Only the best very good class D amps have the SQ of any normal quality class AB. The JL HD class Ds are very good. I don't know about the zapco. If you have the budget and space in your car for class AB and the current capacity , go for it! By all means! If you need to use power sparingly and want gobs of power and little space to put them use the Ds. But don't use the class D just because your concerned it's better than AB, it's not. It can be as good as in some instances.

Low frequencie damping makes a huge diffrance in Ab and D.
 

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If class d works better for your install needs, give it a shot. It's worked out well for me.
 

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Not trying to hijack the thread.... But if you want to try a quality class A/B amp and have the room I have a Phoenix gold elite.2 that I need to sell. I used it for a few years in my Saab which I sold a few months ago due to the car getting old and tired. Its a excellent amp, audiophile grade and does a great job powering subs, it would also kick ass powering midbass drivers :)

I used I to power a morel ultimo 12 then swapped that sub out for a hybrid audio Clarus 10, obviously way to much power for a single 10 but it sounded great. I used their elite.4 to power my other speakers which has been sold. Not sure what the other amps you are considering cost....

I would use it but it simply will not fit in my Miata.

Parts express is a few miles from my house... I have never used their speakers before thus no comment on their products.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Viggen I dont think I'd be able to afford that beast but thx for letting me know. Ive definitely read great reviews on their stuff. Ill probably run something like the Arc 4050 XXK class AB , not totally sure if it'll have enough power...
Anyone know if Arc or Zapco or anyone else makes quality class D monos ?
would I probably need a second battery for a class AB amp in the trunk pushing two 10"s if I'm also running bi-amped bridged active in the front two speaks but no rear fill ?

K J
 

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Arc makes good Class D amps. I've had very good luck with Arc Audio over the years & wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

As for another battery....I'm running two four channel amps & a mono amp in my system with a stock electrical system and an OEM battery. I don't have any issues. I am running 0ga wire to the amps & added a 0ga negative run onto the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok glad to hear that. Thx for the input 1996blackmax. Ill look into Arc's class D stuff. Any in particular that you recommend ?

K J
 
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