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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good morning everyone,
I recently got into the car scene and now I am trying to improve my night drives with the sound of music. I mainly listen to jazz and classical, but have other odd genres like hip hop, house, O.S.T, etc. and they are played through my Walkman Z (NW-Z1070-B). So if I can get steered in the right direction with these information that would be awesome.

My goal is to have components that I can replace easily without having to switch other parts; like a module. I love hands on experience and would like to be in control of everything to my liking. Once those requirements have been achieve, I am looking for hi fidelity in my sound.


I own a 02 Acura RSX - Type S. Currently loaded with:
-Sony GS Series MEXGS610BT
-some odd x2 6.5" db drive speakers rated at 120W
-x2 Polk dX Series 6
-Polk Audio DB1001 1-Inch tweeters (unopened)

Researching took more time than I perceive and it's eating into my health which I would like to preserve whatever's left for the Navy, thus need your assistance.

It started with my tweeter breaking > research > Amazon > amp> Googlex50> Crutchfield> YouTube> multimeter> other components> rusted trunk> sound deadening>...>bcae1]>
arrive at DSP (゚・✿ヾ╲(。◕‿◕。)╱✿・゚) > bought JBL 660GTi (help).

By the end of the day I had more questions and few answers; and a JBL 660GTi.

1) Are there any ideal philosophies in building a sound system (i.e Build around DSP, speakers, amp, etc)?

2) Is it better to have each component rather than a DSP that is a jack of all trade?

3) It's too late, I am going to carry the JBL 660GTi to my next car and eventually to my grave, but will these speakers be adequate on their own? Besides an amp, do I really need other components? I know I have to find the min and max of the speakers RMS, but even multiplying .75 for the min of the JBL speakers, my low tier speakers would be obliterated. It would be a shame to have no rear speakers. I would like a well-rounded sound rather than just coming from the front. How should I approach this?

4) I really like to have options and customization. By now if you read this far, I must have shown how intrigued I am by DSP. Ironically there are too many options listed online. May I get any suggestions for active DSP crossover for my next upgrade in a century or so?

5) For sound deadening, I found applying patches does a decent job. Would it be more effective if I applied every inch of my door?

6) There is a labor Day Warehouse clearance at Sonic Electornix, if you have bought anything or have seen anything interesting, please chime in; I have no clue what I am doing.

My left over budget is 300 dollars but I wouldn't mind having suggestions of components that work well with my goals so the budget is imaginary at the moment (Nothing too crazy in the 1Ks please, something that is functional, worth the dollar per xyz; not paying just for a name if possible). This is also a dream project so I am trying to write down components for my future purchase so any suggestions in the general directions would be much appreciated.

I am a total green horn at this but I am willing to learn. I don't mind if you can give me any brief information or long-winded explanation if you have the time for any of my questions. I apologize ahead if these questions makes no sense, I shall clarify once I get some rest.

Thank you for your time!
 

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Well, the JBL 660 gti's are a great set of components. Do you plan on using the crossover that comes with them? If yes, then getting into a sophisticated DSP at his stage of the game may not be all that necessary.

Look into the Pioneer 80prs headunit. https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-DEH-80PRS-Receiver-Crossover-Alignment/dp/B006Y44DAY

It has very good DSP built in and will allow you to ditch the JBL crossover if/when you want to go active.

As for amps, the more power the better. Those JBL can handle some serious power when used appropriately. What is your budget? There are many options out there depending on budget.

Rear speakers are optional and most will tell you to not use them.

Are you going to add a subwoofer? This is additional cost...but far more recommended then having rear speakers.
 

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Wave Shepherd
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Good morning! Welcome here.

1) Are there any ideal philosophies in building a sound system (i.e Build around DSP, speakers, amp, etc)?
Most people start with a goal. From question #3 is sounds like you want a traditional setup with front and rear speakers and a subwoofer. How loud do you want to play music? How much bass do you like? How do you store and play your music? (on your phone, cds, an mp3 player, on a usb stick or hard drive?) And most importantly, as jriggs asked, what is your budget?

2) Is it better to have each component rather than a DSP that is a jack of all trade?
Not really. As jriggs mentioned you can get similar functionality (though much less flexibility) by using a head unit with some processing built in like the 80PRS. You might be thinking of the concept of separates in a home stereo or home theater build. In a car, that doesn't translate very well since our gear doesn't get outdated nearly as fast.

3) It's too late, I am going to carry the JBL 660GTi to my next car and eventually to my grave, but will these speakers be adequate on their own? Besides an amp, do I really need other components? I know I have to find the min and max of the speakers RMS, but even multiplying .75 for the min of the JBL speakers, my low tier speakers would be obliterated. It would be a shame to have no rear speakers. I would like a well-rounded sound rather than just coming from the front. How should I approach this?
Those speakers are well reviewed and should be a good place to start, if not keep. You could just install an amplifier and be done with it, sure, but your goals in question #1 will determine that. Don't worry too much about RMS power ratings. We can better guide you on that when you define your goals. You could use the factory rear speakers in addition to the JBLs in the front to get a well rounded sound by having them powered from your head unit and using an amplifier to power the JBLs. The rear speakers won't play as loud as the front, but the difference won't be huge.

4) I really like to have options and customization. By now if you read this far, I must have shown how intrigued I am by DSP. Ironically there are too many options listed online. May I get any suggestions for active DSP crossover for my next upgrade in a century or so?
I think a head unit like the 80prs would be a good balance of functionality, complexity, and cost for what you want to do. It has built in active crossovers.

5) For sound deadening, I found applying patches does a decent job. Would it be more effective if I applied every inch of my door?
This is a very highly debated topic. One of our members here (toostubborn2fail) has done some testing that shows all you need is to cover 25-50% of the broad flat areas you are interested in, and using a single medium sized piece of damping material is much more effective than lots of small pieces. Covering every square inch might have some performance gain, but is certainly in the realm of diminishing returns and is generally not worth the time or money.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@jriggs:

Yes I plan to use everything that comes with it.
The DSP will have to be in the near future because I used a good chunk of my budget on it. My remaining budget-- would be 300 dollars T_T. But I wouldn’t mind if you provided me suggestions pass the budget so that I can know what is out there and eventually work towards it. It’s more of like a dream goal.

If I do purchase an 80PRS, will it be useless once I have enough for a dedicate DSP?
I shall not use a subwoofer for now. Most of the music I sample to are not bass heavy but I believe it is my misconception.
Could a subwoofer it help out with the genres I listed above?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Jazzi

Hmmmm, I see. I shall update everything on my original post.

My main goal would be a have components that I can replace easily without having to switch other parts; like a module (slightly future proof?). Once that meets the requirement, I would like those components to help me achieve clarity in my music. For example, really distinct between the first and second violins and so on. Or hear beats that could only be picked up by using high quality headphones. I guess I would be looking for hi fidelity?

To clarify, I never like to blast my music to the point that people could hear my beats from the outside even though my windows are up. Just at the volume where it is comfortable, clear and concise, and where I can have a normal conversation with my passenger.

I am not too much of a bass. I don't know if there is a level chart of bass but it would be around medium to low.

My device that I will be playing on will be a Sony Walkman Z (NW-Z1070-B.

I would prefer flexibility. Are there any set up that dedicated DSP that is powered by a dedicate amplifier that powers everything in my car?

And thank you for really clarifying on the sound deadening question. I keep searching forums after forums but no dice.
 

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Wave Shepherd
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I can appreciate wanting to keep it modular and changing things as you go. These are the pieces that can be changed: the head unit, the processor if you have one, the amplifier(s), the speakers, and the installation of the speakers. You can do any of these without changing the other, though you will likely have to spend some time tuning the settings to get the new configuration to play best. The only thing that would make your system obsolete in the future is the interface to your music (CDs, the sony walkman, a bluetooth device, satellite radio, etc).

Getting high fidelity is not hard to do and can be done with minimal cost and equipment. You can get the overall frequency response to suit your needs with something simple like the 80prs, a four channel amplifier, and your speakers.

Going beyond that and adding a dedicated DSP will allow you to really hone the performance of the system and let you develop better staging/imaging where you can visualize the individual instruments as if the band was playing on the hood of your car. This requires much greater investment in both money and especially time.

Since you want to listen at reasonable levels, a four channel amplifier with somewhere around 50-100w per channel would be suitable and inexpensive. A subwoofer may or may not make a difference with jazz and classical music, but it will certainly make a difference with house and hip-hop music. You don't need to install a subwoofer right away, that can be one of the modular pieces you add later. You can do the same with a dedicated DSP if you choose too.

Try starting with something like the 80prs, a 4 channel amplifier with around 50-100w per channel, and some sound treatments in your doors. That'll likely be within your budget and a good base to build from. Later add a subwoofer and/or a DSP if you desire more performance from your system.
 

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Yes, even for jazz and classical a subwoofer matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, even for jazz and classical a subwoofer matters.
If that is the case, for future reference I would like to look into a compact subwoofer. By any chance do you know of any decent subwoofers? Seems like you are a fan of the subs.
 

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If that is the case, for future reference I would like to look into a compact subwoofer. By any chance do you know of any decent subwoofers? Seems like you are a fan of the subs.
I am a fan of reproducing music accurately. Which among other things includes being able to play the entire range of sound. A compact sub? Not sure what you mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am a fan of reproducing music accurately. Which among other things includes being able to play the entire range of sound. A compact sub? Not sure what you mean.
Well, the ones I have seen in cars are space hoggers. I was wondering if you know any company that makes tiny subs. I would like to still use my trunk even though the hatch does have a decent trunk size.
 

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Well, the ones I have seen in cars are space hoggers. I was wondering if you know any company that makes tiny subs. I would like to still use my trunk even though the hatch does have a decent trunk size.
Take some time to explore the build logs on this forum. Many have been able to successfully incorporate subwoofers, in a variety of ways, that take little to no space (infinite baffle, false floors, fiberglass enclosures tucked back into wheel wells, etc).

Here are a few examples:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/298265-ferrari-f12-custom-subwoofer-re-installation.html
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/298017-catalyxs-mkv-gti-build-illusion-mosconi-flux-morel-brax-kenwood.html
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/278545-simple-sq-upgrade-2016-honda-accord-mosconi-arc-morel.html


But at the end of the day, as Jazzi said before, you need to have goals in mind so you know where you want to end up with your system. Once you have some concrete ideas of where this is headed, for you, then look into how others have achieved similar/same goals.
 

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Wave Shepherd
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But at the end of the day ... you need to have goals in mind so you know where you want to end up with your system. Once you have some concrete ideas of where this is headed, for you, then look into how others have achieved similar/same goals.
That right there is some fantastic advice that will save tons of time, money, and headache.
 
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