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Discussion Starter #1
Here is my dillema. I am planning on replacing my entire setup which consists of:

Alpine 9835
Soundstream xtream 360.2
Tru Technology 2.100
Polk Momo tweets (to fill in for blown seas performance)
Seas Performance 6.5
Infinity Ref 10"

I want to replace it with an active 4 way complete dayton setup. The only problem is $$$$$$$. I would like to do this as inexpensive but quality as posible. I already decided on a deck, processor, crossover and the speakers. The only problem is the amps. I have the TRU which I LOVE. The only problem is I would want a 4.65 to go with the 2.100 but they're so damn expensive. Plus I would still then need a sub amp. I was wondering if you think I should sell the Tru and get other amps, or save and just wait. Help please.
 

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The best upgrade I've made was replacing a TRU 4.100 with Zed Audio Draconia.

Some people don't like the mounting feet/corners of Zed amps, but you can easily get creative with something different if you want.

If you plan to use around 3-350w for the sub at 4 ohms, then you can use 2 Draconia 4ch amps for the whole system. That'll give you ~ 95w per channel for each front component. Then bridge 2ch for the sub.

Less than $400 each, direct http://www.zedaudio.com/products.html

If you want more power, you can integrate the Deuce, which outputs ~ 245w x 2ch, or 850w plus bridged. $400

Minilith ~ 450w at 2 ohms, 650w at 1 ohm. $220
There was an issue with some amps at 1 ohm, but that's been fixed.

If you're in the SoCal area, you can visit Stephen Mantz at Zed Audio in Simi Valley, CA.
 

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Sell the amps. Pick up 2 4 channel amps. A high power/bargain 4 channel like the mbquarts, RF power, etc. for your sub + mid/bass. Then pickup a next 4 channel for your frontstage for like $100.

I'd also consider doing something nice like a Tec planar, MTM with a pair of Aura whispers 2" mids in the kicks or a-pillars, and a pair of Dayton ref. 8's or Seas L18rnx/p 7" in doors :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help.

NPdang, what speakers are you talking about and why would i go with that over the dayton?

Also, why wouldn't i go with a 4 channel for mid and tweet and a two channel for midbass and a mono for the sub?

Lastly, what amps for a good price would you recommend?
 

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It's less money and space to use a 4ch for midbass and sub. You'd bridge 2 channels for the sub. And the sub would need to be 4 ohms, or dual 2 wired for 4.
 

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3 amps is more space than 2. I bought the mbquart raa4200,2400, and 1000 to do just that. In the end I just bought another 4200 cuz it was easier.
 

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foley316 said:
Thanks for the help.

NPdang, what speakers are you talking about and why would i go with that over the dayton?

Also, why wouldn't i go with a 4 channel for mid and tweet and a two channel for midbass and a mono for the sub?

Lastly, what amps for a good price would you recommend?
Hi. I'm not NPdang, but...

If you plan on highpassing the midrange speaker (by the way, what mid is it?) rather low - like around 300-400 Hz, for instance - then you might want to instead get a smaller 4 channel to run the midrange and midbass drivers and a tiny 2 channel for the tweeters. This is to account for the higher power content of "typical" music (whatever that is) in those freq ranges. You'll of course save a bundle if you buy used.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MarkZ said:
Hi. I'm not NPdang, but...

If you plan on highpassing the midrange speaker (by the way, what mid is it?) rather low - like around 300-400 Hz, for instance - then you might want to instead get a smaller 4 channel to run the midrange and midbass drivers and a tiny 2 channel for the tweeters. This is to account for the higher power content of "typical" music (whatever that is) in those freq ranges. You'll of course save a bundle if you buy used.
I see what you're saying and I get ya. I just worry about not having enough power to the midbasses. What's funny is the RS tweet takes up to 100 rms, the mid only 30, and the midbass 80. I don't really need 100 watts to my tweet but I want to get loud. Also, is there a better midrange that can handle more wattage? Also, what about the peerless exclusive 8 vs. the dayton?
 

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foley316 said:
I see what you're saying and I get ya. I just worry about not having enough power to the midbasses. What's funny is the RS tweet takes up to 100 rms, the mid only 30, and the midbass 80. I don't really need 100 watts to my tweet but I want to get loud. Also, is there a better midrange that can handle more wattage? Also, what about the xls 8 vs. the dayton?
I don't have any first-hand experience with that tweeter, but I've yet to encounter a moving coil tweeter that can handle anything even remotely close to 100 watts. Most good tweeters can handle on the order of 20 watts continuous. The actual size of the voice coil is often limited, which in turn limits the amount of heat it can safely dissipate.

Usually, when a tweeter is rated for "100 watts", the manufacturer is citing what's often referred to as "musical power". I've heard alternative definitions for this term - some having to do with the crest factor of the program material. But the definition I'm talking about refers to the size of the amplifier required to deliver the maximum amount of power to the tweeter if passive filters are being used. For example, a 100 watt amp might safely deliver 100 watts to a certain component set, but only 15 watts or so would be going to the tweeter, since the passive crossover sends the other 85 watts to the woofer. The manufacturer may then cite a 100 watt power handling for the set, and even in the spec sheet for each individual driver in the set.

For example, tweeter boasts 200 watts RMS power handling (and 1000 watts peak):

http://www.morelusa.com/renaissance/cr-103.htm

I have a pair of these in my closet. When I ran them with an active filter, they had trouble with a 30 watt a/d/s/ amp I had at the time which wasn't even coming close to clipping.

Interestingly, the 6" woofer that goes with that tweeter boasts the same 200/1000 watt power handling:

http://www.morelusa.com/renaissance/wr-6.htm

So clearly the same numbers don't apply if you've got an active setup!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I see what you're saying because on the site it says with appropriate crossover. I just wonder what the active rms would be then. It's weird though, I run about 65 rms or so to a polk momo and it works just fine. I think mostly, I am just worried that I will go to all this trouble and my new system will not be as loud or louder than my current. My goal is to defeat it in quality AND volume. I know I can do that with bass but i wan't my highs to keep up. Are there better solutions for me (i.e. peerless, seas) than the daytons? Thanks again everyone for the help.
 

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foley316 said:
I see what you're saying because on the site it says with appropriate crossover. I just wonder what the active rms would be then. It's weird though, I run about 65 rms or so to a polk momo and it works just fine. I think mostly, I am just worried that I will go to all this trouble and my new system will not be as loud or louder than my current. My goal is to defeat it in quality AND volume. I know I can do that with bass but i wan't my highs to keep up. Are there better solutions for me (i.e. peerless, seas) than the daytons? Thanks again everyone for the help.
Well, what you want then is to supplement the increase in power with more sensitive speakers. This will help to make more efficient use of the power you do get. However, sensitivity ratings on the spec sheet are so problematic that it's not even worth looking at most of the time.

I wish I could help you with a specific speaker recommendation, but I haven't had much of a chance to install or audition some of the newer speakers in recent years. In fact, every speaker set I've owned in the last 5 years were new about 5 years before I bought them. :) But Vifa and Peerless drivers have always done pretty well for me in terms of power handling - even some of the el cheapo models that Parts Express and Madisound used to sell. Anyway, there seems to be several knowledgable folks in here that I'm sure can answer that question better than I can.

As for power, lots = good. I'm a strong proponent of really adding as much power as you can, typically dedicating about 600-1000 watts to the main speakers alone (not including the sub). But the bulk of that power, of course, should be headed towards your midrange and midbass speakers. If you can't afford to add that much power, then add as much as you can afford. Just keep power distribution in mind when you're doing it. There are some decent power distribution charts around. The ESP (Elliott sound products) pages had one at one point. I think I saw one on passivecrossovers.com, but I'm not sure. I believe there's also one at the most informative (but poorly navigational) car audio site on the net: bcae1.com.

Aside from power and speaker sensitivity, proper installation of the speakers may prove to be the most effective volume increase you'll experience. The difference between an off-axis and on-axis tweeter installation, just as an example, can sometimes give you a greater perceived volume increase than quadrupling your power. The same goes for your midrange speakers. That's not to say that on-axis mounting will necessarily yield the best sonic results, but it certainly will help out in the volume department.

If you're a little light in the midrange but your drivers can't take much more, consider adding another set in your rear doors or rear deck. I know some so-called audiophiles consider this a no-no, but it's entirely subjective and depends quite a bit on the vehicle acoustics, the intended program material, and the relative importance of imaging to the listener. I've personally gone with and without rear speakers, and find certain aspects very appealing and some not so much. Only your ears can decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't use rears and I don't really wan't to. Just a personal preference. I just wonder if 30 watts to the mid and 30 watts to the tweet and 80 to the midbass would match the 65 to the tweet and 65 to the midbass that I have now in terms of db. If you guys think it would then great. Otherwise, what should I do?
 

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foley316 said:
I don't use rears and I don't really wan't to. Just a personal preference. I just wonder if 30 watts to the mid and 30 watts to the tweet and 80 to the midbass would match the 65 to the tweet and 65 to the midbass that I have now in terms of db. If you guys think it would then great. Otherwise, what should I do?
Well, it would probably be a little louder in the 80/30/30 configuration, but perhaps not significantly so. And this is assuming that all watts are equal (ie. that the ratings are accurate). I'm not sure that you'd be gaining enough to make it worthwhile, aside from now having the capabilities associated with 3-way setups as opposed to 2. Why not go balls to the wall and double all your amplifier outputs? You know, like 150 per ch to the midbass, 100 per ch to the mid, and 40 to the tweeter? :)

Quick story about a recent power comparison in my car: I've got a 3-way a/d/s/ set in the front that WAS getting about 125 watts per ch to the woofer, 120 watts per ch to the 4" mid, and 40 watts per ch to the tweeter. In the rear I had a Morel woofer getting 125 watts and Morel dome mid getting 40 watts. So, in total, almost 300 per side in the front and 165 per side in the back. Loud? Hell yeah. I took out my 125x4 amp and left the others in and rearranged things so that the rear speakers were no longer being used and now the fronts are getting 120/40/40 per side. Daily driving, no big deal. Sounds fine. But when I'm in the mood to crank it up, the difference is obvious. That difference in power was the difference between having a system that did everything I wanted to one that's good but doesn't have that last gear.

[Currently working on the amps to give me even more power than I had in the first place :)]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The point is the drivers can't handle more than that according to specs. Ive got a tru 2.100 and a tru 4.65 might go with it. that would be 65/65/100. I'd love to do that setup. I'm just worried about these dayton's handling that. I'd really love to do the daytons though.
 

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That's what he was referring to when he mentioned "musical power". You won't be playing sinewaves, so the speakers won't see the power all the time.

Also, by having more power available, you can keep the amp "gains" turned down, meaning less power to the speakers. This keeps the amp cooler, gives you headroom, and generally a higher signal/noise ratio to keep the noise floor down. It also has to do with your source unit pre-out voltage, and at what volume, prior to clipping.

Not to mention wether the amp is regulated or not. Output changes with rpm and alternator output as well.

To keep it simple, it's totally ok to use an amp that has more power to offer, than what the speakers are rated for. Just because an amp has 100w per channel, doesn't mean you will use it. It's not 100w or nothing at all; it varies with all the above mentioned.
 

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foley316 said:
The point is the drivers can't handle more than that according to specs. Ive got a tru 2.100 and a tru 4.65 might go with it. that would be 65/65/100. I'd love to do that setup. I'm just worried about these dayton's handling that. I'd really love to do the daytons though.
I wouldn't worry terribly about the Daytons handling that kind of power. Others may be better suited to judge this, but even my limited experience with Dayton speakers (and Peerless, by the way) has shown me that they'll handle more than the a/d/s/ 3-series stuff will. And, as I've shown, my a/d/s/ fronts are getting quite a bit of power.

Keep in mind that unless you listen to some exotic kind of music, the ratio between the output power during transients and the output power averaged over the entirety of the song (or even just the passage) is pretty high. What this means is that during peak demands, an amplifier with high output capabilities will be able to deliver the large amounts of power required and won't be driven into clipping while doing it. This will allow you to ride your average power higher.

Lemme throw some numbers at you to make this clearer. Look up "crest factor" on google, and you'll see that it's defined as the ratio of max to average in your audio signal, and that for most types of music it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 dB or more. That means that for a 100 watt amp that's driven to its maximum without clipping, the average power output is only about 10 watts. Of course, some music is highly compressed in this dimension so the difference may not be as significant, but hopefully you get the idea.

Basically, my point is that exceeding the power ratings of your speakers may not be a good idea. However, because of the dynamic nature of music, your 100 watt amp won't be delivering 100 watts to these speakers. If you start overdriving your amp substantially, heavily clipping the signal, your average power is going to continue to increase and that's when you may run into problems. The distortion you'll hear in that case though should provide adequate warning before something like that would happen.

No, I'm not going to say "throw tons of power at your speakers, listen at insanely loud volume levels, and your speakers will live forever." But I also think most quality speakers might be a lot more forgiving than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I really appreciate it guys. It's a whole lot clearer now. Thanks again. I'll update through the next months as I purchase and install all my equipment.
 

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The numbers on the internet for "crest factors" happened before the mastering "volume wars." Unfortunately these days the "crest facotr" is ZILCH. I'm a little biased at the moment, I'm mastering for a band that gave a "fingerprint" commercial CD to "make it sound like this." I had to quit listening after a few minutes and looking at the spectrograph was AWFUL. It was white noise in tune :)

In today's recordings the speakers are getting more average power than they used to, amps are running warmer, and ears are bleeding. From my end of the music industry.... It ain't gonna end anytime soon. That's another rant :)
 

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chad said:
The numbers on the internet for "crest factors" happened before the mastering "volume wars." Unfortunately these days the "crest facotr" is ZILCH. I'm a little biased at the moment, I'm mastering for a band that gave a "fingerprint" commercial CD to "make it sound like this." I had to quit listening after a few minutes and looking at the spectrograph was AWFUL. It was white noise in tune :)

In today's recordings the speakers are getting more average power than they used to, amps are running warmer, and ears are bleeding. From my end of the music industry.... It ain't gonna end anytime soon. That's another rant :)
Hehe, well my number was actually a conservative one - so I thought. If I recall, a lot of the old school numbers thrown around were like 15-20 dB, but I always considered them to be referring to something like classical music. I thought 10 dB was a reasonable estimate, but maybe I'm wrong.

So I have a couple mp3s on the computer I'm at right now and just opened them up with Cool Edit Pro. I highlighted a ~15 sec portion (one of the "loud" chorus parts) and ran the "statistics" analysis. It's giving me average and peak RMS values which are about 6dB away from each other on one song, and 10dB on the other. I tried a couple different analysis windows - 20ms and 50ms...should be small enough to be appropriate. Now this is probably a part of the song that has the lowest crest factor.

Sort of run of the mill rock songs (Jawbox - Cooling Card and Pixies - Where is my mind). I don't think they're terribly far off from what I'd consider "typical" rock music. Is the newer stuff butchered that much? What would I expect to get for a number?
 
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