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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer: if you don't like this post, you're welcome to click back. I'm just looking for help from those more experienced willing to share their knowledge. I have very little first hand experience with car audio and just need some help with the basics that I haven't already found by searching the net.

About me: I'm a 31 year old male who happily drives a bone stock '03 VW GTI with a newer mid-level Alpine receiver. My music interests vary from 80's, metal, dance, indie/lo-fi, etc. I never listen to rap or talk about how hard something "hits" or "bumps" ((shutter))..

Part of the reason I am making this post is to make sure I am looking at products designed for people like me and not those people who post videos on youtube listening to horrible polished corporate hip hop trying to capture their sub on video on the verge of breaking. I am at the opposite end of that spectrum and sometimes question the advice I'm taking when I see stuff like that. I don't look down on SPL or hip hop, it's just not my market.

My goal is to spend around two thousand or less total on a system that will deliver tight detailed sound quality and plenty of output when I decide to get crazy. However, first and foremost, I do not want to bite off more than I can chew in terms of complexity (i.e. sound processors, bi-amping, custom mounting large speakers into my tight doors, etc) unless it's truly something I should try to overcome with my limited experience.

In the end, I see myself with a set of 6.5'' components in the front with approx. 100-125w rms each, two coax in the rear (possibly running bi-amped off the deck) and one 10'' or 12'' sub.


Brands I've been looking at so far:

Sundown amps
Hertz/Audison $$$
Fi Audio
Polk
Image Dynamics
SSA


Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jake
 

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I think you have a good idea of the basics for your system.
The most important aspect of your system is going to be the install. Is that something that you want to try and tackle yourself?

You have some good brands picked out but I wouldn't put a lot of stock into any certain brand. The level of quality is less important if the install is solid.

Search for your vehicle on here, I have seen several nice installs in GTIs. Click the link in my sig to my build log. It is super simple compared to some systems on here but I have tried to get the basics right.

Best of luck to you.
 

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In the end, I see myself with a set of 6.5'' components in the front with approx. 100-125w rms each, two coax in the rear (possibly running bi-amped off the deck) and one 10'' or 12'' sub.
i was in the same boat as you about a year ago. same goals. same music. i also drive a hatch. wanted something simple that sounds good. using branded stuff.

word of advice. ditch the rears. i made a mistake of getting rears first then ended up ditching it. also made the mistake of scrimping on my speakers and amp at first (infinity reference speakers + budget no name amp). ended up changing everything.

get a good set of front speakers. get a good 4 channel amp. get 1 small sub. when you feel the itch to improve it some more... maybe another amp or a processor. get a good base of equipment that you won't change but rather add to eventually.
 

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I totally get where you are coming from regarding the not being into the SPL deal...it is something I did as a kid...but I am into the SQ thing now.

BUT>>>>

Even rock, classical, jazz and other all contain low HZ music. Air movement from subs is part of recreating the live performance illusion....so even if you are not into bass, a properly set up system will 'boom' regardless due to cabin resonance and long waves even at moderate listening levels. (*clearly bass CDs/Rap take advantage of exploiting the low end).

You can have a single sub.....and many people are happy with them. But if you have 2 subs they will be working half as hard for the same volume level (*ok, not exactly 1/2 but less). When I had a truck with 12-15" subs when I would demo it for people and play rock my subs with hardly move...even if it was at insane volume levels. Clearly that is beyond overkill or practicality but going overkill is a way to work your system (*amps and speakers) less hard, then making 1 sub do all the work.


Also.....


Forget doing rear fill. It ruins imaging, cost more $ and time.

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For what you are suggesting I would suggest considering 1 multi channel amp and run your whole system.
Take an amp like the Zed Dreadnought or Audison 4.1K. Both have good XO's and are great foundations to be able to expand on in the future. Amps like these with a pair of 10-12" (Or 1 if you are going that route) and a good set of separates up front and you have the foundation for an amazing sounding system that will sound great with all forms of music.

Good luck.

~JH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you have a good idea of the basics for your system.
The most important aspect of your system is going to be the install. Is that something that you want to try and tackle yourself?

You have some good brands picked out but I wouldn't put a lot of stock into any certain brand. The level of quality is less important if the install is solid.

Search for your vehicle on here, I have seen several nice installs in GTIs. Click the link in my sig to my build log. It is super simple compared to some systems on here but I have tried to get the basics right.

Best of luck to you.
I like the direction your setup is headed. I'd love to see the final results. :)

What exactly does "install" entail? I understand the gauge and placement of wires being important, as well as properly insulating the speakers to minimize unwanted vibrations/resonance for the best mid bass. What else should I be thinking about?

Thanks! :)

i was in the same boat as you about a year ago. same goals. same music. i also drive a hatch. wanted something simple that sounds good. using branded stuff.

word of advice. ditch the rears. i made a mistake of getting rears first then ended up ditching it. also made the mistake of scrimping on my speakers and amp at first (infinity reference speakers + budget no name amp). ended up changing everything.

get a good set of front speakers. get a good 4 channel amp. get 1 small sub. when you feel the itch to improve it some more... maybe another amp or a processor. get a good base of equipment that you won't change but rather add to eventually.
Yeah, that's kind of where I was going. I'm looking at amps made by Robert Zeff (i.e. Clarion XH5410) that appear to be an excellent value for the level of SQ.

My big question relating to speakers is I am in serious doubt about what will fit. According to Crutchfield, the nicest "drop in" speaker that will fit in my car is the Polk MM6501, which kind of boring to me. That really confuses me because my local high end audio shop said they can fit a set of Hertz HSK165s in there with custom fitting which is really what I want. I just really wonder if it's something that can really fit in there or if they were just guessing.

I totally get where you are coming from regarding the not being into the SPL deal...it is something I did as a kid...but I am into the SQ thing now.

BUT>>>>

Even rock, classical, jazz and other all contain low HZ music. Air movement from subs is part of recreating the live performance illusion....so even if you are not into bass, a properly set up system will 'boom' regardless due to cabin resonance and long waves even at moderate listening levels. (*clearly bass CDs/Rap take advantage of exploiting the low end).

You can have a single sub.....and many people are happy with them. But if you have 2 subs they will be working half as hard for the same volume level (*ok, not exactly 1/2 but less). When I had a truck with 12-15" subs when I would demo it for people and play rock my subs with hardly move...even if it was at insane volume levels. Clearly that is beyond overkill or practicality but going overkill is a way to work your system (*amps and speakers) less hard, then making 1 sub do all the work.


Also.....


Forget doing rear fill. It ruins imaging, cost more $ and time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


For what you are suggesting I would suggest considering 1 multi channel amp and run your whole system.
Take an amp like the Zed Dreadnought or Audison 4.1K. Both have good XO's and are great foundations to be able to expand on in the future. Amps like these with a pair of 10-12" (Or 1 if you are going that route) and a good set of separates up front and you have the foundation for an amazing sounding system that will sound great with all forms of music.

Good luck.

~JH
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I would love to have some thick bass that would fill that part of the spectrum. I know that good audio reproduction can and does have an insane amounts of bass in some cases, which I'm all for. My priority is getting things balanced and using my dollars wisely, which you touched on. :)

Yeah, about rear fill, my personal inclination has been to not spend a cent on it to extend my money and focus on power and clarity. Besides, the small amount of power that my Alpine deck produces is complete garbage low power aside. I don't see this being a worthwhile component of this project.




Thanks for chiming in everyone! :)
 

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Your system will only sound as good as the install no matter how good your equipment is....Don't bite off more then you can handle....good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Your system will only sound as good as the install no matter how good your equipment is....Don't bite off more then you can handle....good luck
Will you elaborate on what exactly you mean by "install"? Where do you see people frequently making mistakes?
 

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The term SQ, viewed as a standard or a technicality, has not a dam thing to do with the name in which the equipment is manufactured by.
In other words, wtf is a car door to the environment that a speaker will perform well in? Its like throwing a $500 set of speakers in a aluminum can... What gets me is, the ****ty sound leads some to thinking maybe the $700 set would of been better.

Since you stated your desire's... Aim your attention to: Hybrid-5ch amps, treated/pressed paper cone speakers, subsonic thiele parameters enclosures, silk dome tweeters, sound deadening(second skin, Dyanamat), twisted pair technology wire, to start....

Again, what does any of this mean if you're just replacing what is there? A high end system requires changes to the environment it plays in. Upgrade doesn't apply solely to the equipment...
Kapish?
 

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Here's a guideline that I use. The more expensive the speaker, the more critical the install and the install will be more expensive (DIY or pro).

When people say "the install" is the key...I believe they mean that you have to take time to do some testing with speaker placement and orientation before you do the final install. Other things include routing of wires, electrical/charging system, and noise to name a few.
 

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Define "SQ" in your terms....
If can't, define "sweet" in your cup of coffee.... Is 10g sweet enough for you, or 100g only sweet enough for you? For me, even 1g of sugar are too much for me....

For me, I prefer some old school Pioneer HU, JDM amps and European raw drivers....
Equipment do play some parts on your system, but install and tuning are more important...
 

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IMO a first build should and can be a great learning experience you will get a lot of gr8 advice on this forum. My $0.02 would be to do your build in stages and after each stage completion you will get a feel for what YOU like or don't like, not what your neighbor likes! Remember your neighbors the Griswold family :) My suggestion is to begin by buying a high quality 4 channel amp and a sub setup as factory systems lack base. One 10" sub would be fine to start off in a sq setup. Power both the sub and factory front stage with the amp for starters then replace oem speakers with aftermarket units that you have listened to and researched. Enjoy the journey have a beer or two, pumpout those tuuunes and Complete the fundamentals first. Then look into processing and centre channels....
 

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Will you elaborate on what exactly you mean by "install"? Where do you see people frequently making mistakes?
Definitely seal and deaden the doors and then baffle the mids with something like 1/4" MDF, sealed to the deadener on the door with silicon caulk. That has worked wonders for me in past installs but basic enough for an easy start.
 

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Your system will only sound as good as the install no matter how good your equipment is....Don't bite off more then you can handle....good luck
Will you elaborate on what exactly you mean by "install"? Where do you see people frequently making mistakes?
This is 99% of everyone on here's stock answer. I honestly think maybe someone important said it once and now it's gospel and gets regurgitated over and over... ad nauseum.

I'm convinced that this forum hands down has the largest collective SQ knowledge on the planet, but getting anything tangible out of them is like pulling teeth. Lol. Everything is so technical and overthought that an average guy like you (and me) doesn't stand a chance.

If you want the Hertz comps, get them and don't let a shop rape you for the install. Will they sound like ass in a "regular" ol' install? No. Could they sound better if one of these uber geniuses did it? Probably. But they're never going to tell you how. Lol.
 

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This is 99% of everyone on here's stock answer. I honestly think maybe someone important said it once and now it's gospel and gets regurgitated over and over... ad nauseum.

I'm convinced that this forum hands down has the largest collective SQ knowledge on the planet, but getting anything tangible out of them is like pulling teeth. Lol. Everything is so technical and overthought that an average guy like you (and me) doesn't stand a chance.

If you want the Hertz comps, get them and don't let a shop rape you for the install. Will they sound like ass in a "regular" ol' install? No. Could they sound better if one of these uber geniuses did it? Probably. But they're never going to tell you how. Lol.
Don't hold back!!!!
 

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I like the direction your setup is headed. I'd love to see the final results. :)

What exactly does "install" entail? I understand the gauge and placement of wires being important, as well as properly insulating the speakers to minimize unwanted vibrations/resonance for the best mid bass. What else should I be thinking about?

Thanks! :)
Install means more than running the wires under the carpet and hooking them up.
Install starts with a plan for the final product. Install means taking time to test out where speakers will be mounted, it means cutting door metal if it becomes necessary to make something fit. It means taking your car apart carefully so as not to break any of those stupid plastic clips that seem to hold it together. It means knowing HOW to take them apart. :D
It means treating your doors for the best sound http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...7-simple-cheap-effective-door-treatments.html
It means proper gain setting on your new amps http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...orial-gain-setting-amplifier-power-usage.html
After you have done all of that it means proper tuning (which may entail using an RTA) A simple way to tune courtesy of cmusic....... - DIYMA.com - Scientific Car Audio - Truth in Sound Quality
 

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WoofersEtc.com - HSK 165 - Hertz 6.5" 2-Way Hi-Energy Component System
WoofersEtc.com - XD700/5 - JL Audio 700W Full Range Class D 5-Channel Amplifier
WoofersEtc.com - SWR-843D - Alpine 8" Dual 4-Ohm Type-R Subwoofer
https://www.woofersetc.com/p-2920-xa-pcs4-1-jl-audio-4-awg-power-amplifier-kit.aspx
https://www.woofersetc.com/p-5998-shi6320-stinger-20-foot-6-channel-hpm3-rca-cables.aspx
https://www.woofersetc.com/p-1344-10455-dynamat-xtreme-bulk-pak-36-sq-ft.aspx
$1,459.94 price prior to install, you'll need a custom box for the sub and should have money left from your $2k for that and the install. Went for the Hertz comps as you seem keen, JL 5ch amp as plenty of power known good quality and reasonable price + tiny size means it can be hidden if needed, you can also run the 4ch bridged down to 2ch and still go active if you wish at a later date, 300wrms on the 8" will be plenty.

Need to save money off this? Get a cheaper 5ch amp:https://www.woofersetc.com/p-9377-g...rand-touring-series-full-range-amplifier.aspx or go down to a 4ch and buy a sub amp if you decide to go active later.

There's loads of depth in the MkIV doors, so you should have no issues mounting the mids, just use some MDF rings over the cheap plastic crap. Dynamat I've gone heavy with-you can use less, but this will leave you some for trouble shooting any rattles, inner and outers of the doors are most important in terms of getting your speakers to perform.
 

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This is 99% of everyone on here's stock answer. I honestly think maybe someone important said it once and now it's gospel and gets regurgitated over and over... ad nauseum.
If you had any type of hands on experience you would know what we are talking about...Try using the SEARCH option, it just might be your best friend....Quit being lazy:p
 

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I'm convinced that this forum hands down has the largest collective SQ knowledge on the planet, but getting anything tangible out of them is like pulling teeth. Lol. Everything is so technical and overthought that an average guy like you (and me) doesn't stand a chance..
Were you about to have a brain fart when you typed this:confused: :whip::stupid::loser1::z::wrongforum:
 

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Please, for anyone who thinks there isn't "install" knowledge shared in an easily digestible format, check out the Member Build Gallery. Some fantastic photo logs with notes can be found, enough to keep you busy for months. The bottom line is, however, it's not really going to make sense until you start doing it yourself and learn from your mistakes.
 

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If you want the Hertz comps, get them and don't let a shop rape you for the install. Will they sound like ass in a "regular" ol' install? No. Could they sound better if one of these uber geniuses did it? Probably. But they're never going to tell you how. Lol.
I guess you did have that brain fart:laugh:

What is your definition of a "regular ol' install" :confused:

Try some Youtube videos, that might be more your speed
 
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