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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a new Mazda RX-8 and the stock sound needs upgrading. (Apologies for the longwindedness.)

I am really unsure of how to proceed in the front soundstage department. I want something nice that's not shrill, with a lot of midbass handling capacity, that gets loud and isn't overly bright. I also want a mostly-stealth install, so this means a 2-way install of midranges in doors, tweets in sailpods (I like 2-ways better than 3-ways typically... the fewer speakers the better :) ).

My previous car, I went through two speakers sets, and I didn't listen to either before buying. I instead relied on online reviews. My first set was CL-61as, which were severely lacking in midbass response/clarity. Replaced those with Elemental Designs 6500s and, bam, more midbass, good clarity, but tweets a little bright, and heavy midbass loads breaks it up at higher volumes. Ended up crossing over the fronts at 100-110Hz, which just doesn't seem right.

This time around, I decided that I won't buy component sets until I listen to them. Until I found diymobileaudio today, I was considering only these choices:

1) go with the most badass components. Read: Focal 165 K2V, or Boston Acoustics Z6. $1000!
2) go with medium range components. I heard Boston Acoustics SL60 and liked how they sounded. $350 sticker not bad at all for those.

It seems crazy to dump $1000 on speakers when I'll be playing them off the stock headunit (via a decent LOC, sure, but still), and having them mounted in the substandard "doors & sailpods" configuration (better setups would involve kicks and such, or maybe not having the tweeter so far from the mid). Stock headunit doesn't do time correction, so I won't be able to compensate for phasing issues all that much. So it seems wasteful to go all out on the speakers when the rest of the system isn't quite that high-level. Plus, just what is it that they make them out of to be worth $1000?

Now I am considering DIY. I mean, commercial component systems are typically mids and tweets with a pre-tuned crossover. How much harder can DIY be? It seems that for the same money, I can get some badass speakers.

So could you kind folks suggest some DIY front stage configurations for my car?

The parameters are such:

* looking to spend ~$250-500 on speakers, amps on top of that. Power requirements will drive the amp selection.
* mids in doors. Maximum mounting depth 3.125", but the maximum cutout is something like 8.25". So I can put in a 7" mid easy, 8" probably as well (if not too deep).
* tweets in sailpods, so typical "round tweet" config.
* looking for good midbass, doesn't have to be too punchy, just needs to handle a bunch of volume w/o breaking up. I like brigher sets, but dislike shrillness and fatiguing brightness. Want punchy, snappy snares.
* my music tastes are primarily: drum'n'bass, trip-hop, downtempo/lounge, glitchy electronic IDM (Here is my audio test CD). This is so that I can optimize the system for the commonly played stuff.

I figured since it's a DIY system, I can look into something like an 8" mid. But then those would probably not work as well as a 6.5" or 7" for good midrange, in a 2-way system.

Any suggestions appreciated, thanks folks!
 

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Ok where to start....

I suggest if at all possible going the active route, it will be alot easier outside of passives to limiting the frequencies each driver will take. So i would set that as a high priority, after that you can switch in and out different drivers if you choose so, if one dosent have enough midbass for you try another that may have better response, without having to redesign a passive for your needs to meet your tweeter in the acceptible region.

As far as Midbasses would go, I can fully suggest the Seas CA18RNX, awesome driver if i may say so, dosent hit the bank very hard at all, and has very nice midbass output, (still trying to sqeeze more out myself.) Another suggestion would be the Peerless 8" everyone has talked about. But that would probobly mostly lend itsself to a 3way design better than a 2way. Another suggestion would be the Seas GA18, as i know of it has more throw than the CA series and better midbass output, but not sure about midrange detail and the sorts. But trade off's are the game. Not too sure about any other very highly proven drivers for midbass but those take my vote right now.

As far as tweets i'm not sure if you wanted to go towards ribbons or stay with traditional tweeters, so i'll suggest the LPG lines. 25 and 26 are awesome, havn't heard the 25 myself but i'm in pure love with the 26, soft and airy, yet bright detailed and clean clean clean. Dayton Ref would also be a good suggestion if you can fit the huge mounting diamater.

If you buy both the Seas CA18 and LPG 25/26 thats going to run you right at $200, and its completely worth the money IMO. But i can't say the overall sound compairs to the comp sets you refferred too, as i've never heard them, but they do sound better than alot of stuff out there.

BTW i have never bought a comp set, i've done DIY from day one. Started DIY in the HT departement, and moved over to cars not long after. I'd much rather spend less money to put things together myself, and have the ability to fit the sound that i'd like, not worry with a premade sound, and be limited by whats already there. DIY is the best for the money, but a deeper knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes is required to get things to sound right. But in the end the result will most likely be much better, for much less than normal costs.

Sorry to be so longwinded as well. Go DIY you won't regret it.
 

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Sounds like you are a good candidate if you are willing to do the work for it. You will need a way to do active crossovers with the DIY, so add as cheap as 50$ for a 2xs system from audio control, but you will need some patience getting everything to work and sound well.

Added expenses to DIY:

Active Crossover ~100$

Some sort of Equalizer, maybe not necessary, but probably not going to be happy without any equalization. ~100$

You might try the JL Audio Clean Sweep in order to get a good LOC so you have a flat response as most OEM vehicles have convoluted outputs at different volumes.

I would say the price of a good set of premade speakers is well worth the cost for the amount of work required... You are not gauranteed a good sounding system after all the money you've invested.

If you're not electronically inclined, it's going to be a very large learning curve requiring alot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks fellas for your advice!

Ok, looks like 25NFA and CA18RNX are crowd favorites. I have to see how much room I have in the sailpod area to see what my "upper limit" is on the tweeter size.

$200 for speakers that sound great, though, sounds pretty tempting. Plus the flexibility of upgrading comopnents.

I just found this crossover in my closet: MTX RT-X01A. Would this work for the front speakers? (looks like it takes 1 left/right pair, outputs two left/right pairs) How is the sound quality on that MTX? It also has high-level inputs, so it doubles as an LOC.

The RX-8 stock (non-Bose) headunit can output flat signal at all volume levels, so I don't need a Clean Sweep type of a unit.

So far I have LPG 26na, Seas CA18RNX combination for $200. Assuming I can use the MTX crossover I just found, I can hold off w/o an EQ for a little while.

The next thing would be to amp everything. What kind of power should I be sending to the tweet and component?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bah, I just realized that I don't really want to run two pairs of cables into my doors. It's a real pain in the ass, drilling into stock molexes and such. I was hoping to reuse the existing speaker wiring. But then everyone says not to run passive :)
 

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yeah when going DIY and seperate picks for your mids and tweets its much easier and more efficient to run active,,, also where you powering those edi 6500 set with only the headunit power,,, that might of been effecting the sound you were getting.. I just decided to also switch out some edi 6500's ( although I loved the set) im always looking for something better,,, however I didnt have any problems actively crossing them at like 80 hz or 75 hz and giving them lots of power,,, just curious
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Demonbane23 said:
yeah when going DIY and seperate picks for your mids and tweets its much easier and more efficient to run active,,, also where you powering those edi 6500 set with only the headunit power,,, that might of been effecting the sound you were getting.. I just decided to also switch out some edi 6500's ( although I loved the set) im always looking for something better,,, however I didnt have any problems actively crossing them at like 80 hz or 75 hz and giving them lots of power,,, just curious
I was powering my edi 6500's with Profile CA600/AP100's... so they were (supposed to be, at least) getting 160W per channel. crossing over at 80hz, they would not be able to dish out the midbass at volume levels that they were fine at when crossed over at 100.
 

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I would suggest putting some of that money into a hu with build in XO's with a min of 18db slope.


diy can be for you if you have the patience to set it up right. If you're looking for plop and play speakers then maybe diy isn't the path for you. It takes quite a bit of time to dial them in especially to a novice. Just remember that it's going ot sound like poop when you first install them. I know alot of ppl who buy all these expensive diy speakers and expect it to sound amazing right out of the box which won't be the case with diy.
 

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daitrong said:
diy can be for you if you have the patience to set it up right. If you're looking for plop and play speakers then maybe diy isn't the path for you. It takes quite a bit of time to dial them in especially to a novice. Just remember that it's going ot sound like poop when you first install them. I know alot of ppl who buy all these expensive diy speakers and expect it to sound amazing right out of the box which won't be the case with diy.

Isint that basically DIY, if you don't have the time and patience to put into tuning them and setting them up right then that kinda takes the fun out of DIY drivers. As well as the time spent researching different drivers before choosing the one that would best suit your needs and requirements.

Some people when i was trying to decide what i should use, told me to stay with the mainstream, and i'm glad i didn't, granted right now i have a blown fuse because i grounded my power wire to the chasis when mocking up my box i'm building, but i'm glad i went DIY, i'll never go back to premade components, not that i ever started there in the first place, but DIY is more cost effecient, and the overall goal can be that much higher for a lower price, and that suits me. I started DIY in my HT, with a pair of Vifa P17SJ's and Audax Tm025f1's, in a .3cf sealed enclosure, very soon i'll be swapping out the Audax for some LPG 26NAFM's because i liked them that much when i tested them out in my passive with the Vifa's, but this time the Vifa's will be in each 1cf Towers tuned at 48hz. DIY is the way to go if you want the best sound for the money, and the added excitement to go along with the idea that you put together everything from the ground up.
 

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The difference between diy and retail sets is generally just the warranty and packaging. Other than that, you just have to pick the drivers yourself. Most of the pre-packaged sets I've heard sound pretty aweful as well just thrown into the doors with no tuning.

My recommendation for starters is to get an Alpine or Pioneer with 3-way active crossovers and eq, and a 4 channel amp.

For $500 there are a LOT of options... just browse through the site and you'll come across alot of different recommendations.
 

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demon2091tb said:
Isint that basically DIY, if you don't have the time and patience to put into tuning them and setting them up right then that kinda takes the fun out of DIY drivers. As well as the time spent researching different drivers before choosing the one that would best suit your needs and requirements.

Some people when i was trying to decide what i should use, told me to stay with the mainstream, and i'm glad i didn't, granted right now i have a blown fuse because i grounded my power wire to the chasis when mocking up my box i'm building, but i'm glad i went DIY, i'll never go back to premade components, not that i ever started there in the first place, but DIY is more cost effecient, and the overall goal can be that much higher for a lower price, and that suits me. I started DIY in my HT, with a pair of Vifa P17SJ's and Audax Tm025f1's, in a .3cf sealed enclosure, very soon i'll be swapping out the Audax for some LPG 26NAFM's because i liked them that much when i tested them out in my passive with the Vifa's, but this time the Vifa's will be in each 1cf Towers tuned at 48hz. DIY is the way to go if you want the best sound for the money, and the added excitement to go along with the idea that you put together everything from the ground up.

why are you quoting me? Your post isn't even addressing anything i've said. I never said he shouldn't go into Diy, i merely stated what to expect when going diy. :) DIY speakers is a relatively cheap and effective option for those already with the means to do so, but for those starting off with a stock system then the price adds up. you'll ideally want a HU with built in T/A, Xovers, gain / multiple channel amplification, etc.

The orginal thread starter stated " how hard can it be?" Well, it's not hard at all..all it takes is time and effort.
 

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Ok well yea i wasn't really basing it on what you said i was trying to elaborate a little. DIY takes time and patience to get them to sound right, more than others.

Chill out a little bo, there is a break in the paragraph there, going from something that was based on what you were saying into something different, i was basically stating what going DIY ment for me. But i never did say he shouldn't go into DIY either, it will just take more time to dial them in the right way if he did decide on DIY rather than a premade comp set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright, thanks for the info. I don't really want to touch my stock HU, as I like it, and it's a pain to replace due to non-standard shape of the stocker.

What kind of power should the Seas CA18RNX and the LPG 26na be seeing?
 

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Astral said:
Alright, thanks for the info. I don't really want to touch my stock HU, as I like it, and it's a pain to replace due to non-standard shape of the stocker.

What kind of power should the Seas CA18RNX and the LPG 26na be seeing?
the Seas are fairly inefficient and it all depends on your listening level really. Just get the most powerful, inexpensive and realiable amplifier you can get.
 

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I'm hitting the Seas and LPG with around [email protected] each, and they sound awesome, i doubt you would need any more power than that, but headroom would be good.
 

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personally i think you should copy the coustic idea......i just saw those for the first time a few weeks ago....and thought it was a cool as hell idea....


as long as you can make it a large enough entry into the car....so it doesn't act like a port.....and keep it stable enough....should end up pretty cool....
 
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