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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Please go easy on me as I'm a newbie and I searched as much as I can and I still feel like I need help here.

The following is what I have for speakers and amps:

Focal Utopia 165W component set.
1 Image Dynamics IDQ 10" Dual 8ohms Sub.
JL Audio 300\4 to run the components
JL Audio 250\1 to run the sub.

I'm thinking of picking up an Audio Control DQXS processor to aid in tuning everything.

The car is a 2002 Mazda Miata and the doors have 3 layers of Xtreme Dynamat and Deflex pads behind the Mid driver but the holes on the inner panels have yet to be sealed.

The problem, ... I'm not happy with the set-up and would like to make my system into a 4-way setup. The doors can accept 8" for the mids as the factory Bose was an 8" driver.

I'm thinking of retaining the TN51 Focal tweeters and using a set of 4" JL Audio mids from the XR653 component set but don't have a Midbass driver yet.

I was told by the local retailer who carries Seas, Peerless, Scan, ... etc. to look into either the Seas W22EX001 or the Scan-Speak 18W/4531G00. But he said that he'd recommend the Scan 18W/4531G00 cause it'll go a little lower in the frequency without distorting whereas he said that the Seas W22EX001 will start to sound a little distorted lower than 50hz so he'd recommend I cross it off at 60hz especially if I like to play it loud.

My concern is that the Scan driver is only a 7" driver and that it won't move as much air as the Seas driver. But I don't have any real listening experience of these speakers in a car so I'm hoping that you guys can help guide me.

Sooo, ... what driver would you guys recommend even if it's not one I mentioned. Also what frequency range would you recommend I cross all my drivers at?

I was thinking the Sub to play 60hz and lower, ... the midbass to play 40hz~400hz, ... the mid from 400hz~3Khz and finally the highs from 3Khz and above. Does this sound reasonable?

I would REALLY appreciate any help I can get in sorting out my system and getting it to sound pretty decent, ... I'm more into having an SQ setup rather than SPL setup.

Thanks

Thuwa
 

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IMHO, if youre happy with those tweeters, i think you should work on your install and tuning.

SEAL UP THOSE HOLES! Midbass should pick up about x2! ;)

Then tune it from there. The Utopias are some very good mids, some people just like to jump on the bandwagon to hate "Focal" because of their older TN45/47 tweeters, then suddenly everything "Focal" sucks..

Seriously, your going to have to seal them (holes) up anyways (if you want good sound) might as well try it with what you already got then to drop money on something else only to get the same results..

BTW, My SEAS L18's (7") have about the same output and lowend extension as the SScan 18W's that ive used. The 18W had a little more lowend, but they didnt sound as smooth/clean as my L18's (both in doors). I would imagine the L22/W22 should beat out the SS18W's in lowend extension and output because of more cone area with same amount of excursion, but ive never used the L22/W22's....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The reason I'm considering an 8" driver is that my Focal Utopia 6.5" driver's Voice Coil is shot, or atleast that's what they tell me, ... and the local dealer said that it can't be repaired and has to be replaced. The replacement driver costs $100CAD more than either of the SEAS or SCAN drivers that I referred to ealier, so I figure I'm better off upgrading now.

The reason that the Focal mid blew twice now, was probably related to my previous amp that was running the components, and I just got the JL amp last week so 300\4 was a little late to the rescue. The first time one of the Focal mid blew, it was under warranty, but this time around it's not due to the set being 2years old now.

The reason I want to upgrade is that I'd pay $500CAD for a pair of 8" midbass drivers that are either SCAN or SEAS, where as I'll have to spend $350CAD for 1 replacement 6.5" Focal Utopia Mid driver. In my eyes, if the 8" drivers would sound better in the cabin of the Miata compared to the 6.5" drivers, then I might as well pay the extra $150CAD now and upgrade.

What I want to try is running my car without a Sub in the trunk, but with a good 3-way setup in the cabin, ... if I like the way the car sounds and I'm happy with the lowend of the midbass, then I'll forget about the subs all together, ... if it's not enough, then I'll build a custom enclosure for the sub in the trunk.

As for the tweeters, ... the TN51 sounds good but it does get REALLY sharp at times and I'm hoping the Audio Control DQXS can help make it sound a little smoother. I don't think I'll be able to tune the DQXS by myself cause I don't have the proper equipment so that's when I'll get a professional to get it done.

What's better for Car audio use, ... the Seas Excel or the Seas Lotus? I LOVE the look of the Excel driver they showed me, especially the magnesium-copper parts here and there on the driver's magnet and stuff. Too bad it'll have to be out of site behind the doorskin. But if the Lotus sounds similar to the Excel and is more suitable for Car Audio use, then I might as well go for the Lotus.

Are there any 8" subs out there that can sound good up to 300hz? If so then maybe I can throw those into the doors and use the JL 4" drivers to run from 300hz ~ 3Khz and the Focal TN51 to take car of the highs and this way I have all the drivers in the Cabin. But sadly enough I think the 4" mid driver is too drastic of a transistion from an 8" sub to keep the sound even. But then hey, I'm a newbie and I'm probably talking outta my ass, so please help guide me in the right direction.

Again the equipment that I have but not necessarily using is as follows:

Focal TN51 tweeters
JL XR 4" mids
Focal 165W Mids (one of them has a bad Voice coil)
Image Dynamics IDQ 10" dual 8ohm Sub (only one sub wired 4ohm mono)
JL Audio 300\4 amp (front powering the tweets and rear for the mids)
JL Audio 250\1 amp (for the Sub.)

Audio Control DQXS (thinking about picking one of these up so I can tune everything).

I'm currently running a replacement 6.5" mid driver in place of the blown Focal mid.


Thanks

Thuwa
 

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Zalytron.com had the older 7" W cone woofers on sale a while back, you might check with them. They were around $100 each iirc.
 

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IMO, i dont think anything under 8" will take the place of a subwoofer. even if you get 8" "subwoofers" molded into your doors youll pick up a little lowend up front, but you also pick up a whole lot of door resonance.. but if your a basshead, i dont think youll tell the difference..

IMO, the Lotus is better for car use for the very reasons why they designed it for car use.

For a dedicated midbass, i dont think you should you waste your money on highend drivers that are known for their ultimate midrange performance. Dayton Ref 8" or SEAS L22's would be my immediate chioces for an 8" dedicated midbass. Honestly, even the midrange on these two drivers are as good as youll need for car audio...

(sorry, had to keep this short)
 

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Its all up to YOUR taste, really..

If you like the bass extreamly heavy, then youll hardly ever hear the door resonance.. honestly, if you like your bass extreamly heavy, its kinda pointless buying high quality speakers because everything that your buying them for is just going to be drowned out (its bad enough theyre inside the car environment).

If you like your sub to blend with your mids; then properly installed 6.5/7's will work fine.

If you like your mids to keep up with your subs; then maybe properly installed 8's will be best for you.
 

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IMO, Thuwa, you're going crazy. Installing a 4-way setup into an NB Miata is foolish at best. Here are the real problems with your current setup:

1) Focal speakers just aren't very good. However, they're better than most stuff branded as car audio, so that's the lesser of the two issues by a large margin.
2) The nature of the NB doorpanel simply does not allow for an uncolored midrange to emerge from the lower door position. There's a nasty cavity resonance that ruins that spot for anything about 800Hz or so.
It doesn't matter what you do BEHIND the driver, because it's the cavity in front of it (that little foam ring does basically nothing) that ruins everything. Not only that, sympathetic vibrations from the inner door panel are a problem.

IMO, you need to take a step back and radically SIMPLIFY your system. Instead of scaling up to 3.1-way, with all of the install headaches and IMO questionable benefit in any car system - let alone a small, lightweight 2-place roadster! - that entails, scale back. I've posted a few times here on my setup in my Miata - a 2001SE with the same doorpanels as yours but a slightly different acoustic environment due to reflections off of the wood steering wheel. While perhaps it's a bit arrogant, I'd recommend you read some of those posts. Also search under the name "Decapotable" on miata.net, which come to think of it I haven't frequented since I moved. Other people to search on in miata.net are "Jason C SBB" and "y8s matt". Both of them are seasoned, knowledgeable audio hobbyists who happen to drive Miatae and will offer you perspectives that differ in some regards from mine.

All I really have to add beyond the above is that short of literally taking your middle doorpanel off and installing a matrix bracing scheme to the door - like B&W, Tannoy, and others do with their home speakers - any really good woofer will overpower it. The woofers I run (Peerless SLS213, with relatively heavy cones and 8.5mm of xmax I think) do, and if I were doing the system from scratch I'd probably have chosen the Peerless CSX "car" 8 with its 5 or 5.5mm of xmax instead even though it would've cost me about $20 more the pair. If you want to spend more for that last few percent in linearity, look at the 8" Aura woofer.

Also, a subwoofer playing below 60Hz in a Miata is pretty laughable, because you won't hear it except for at the top of it range. Even if you keep a hardtop on, decent good 8's in the doors can reach 16Hz and lower with authority, making the sub irrelevant anyway. IMO, you'd be better served to do one of two things bass-wise:
1) Forget about everything below 40Hz or so. Simply high-pass it out of the picture, so as to lower distortion in the rest of the bass and midbass.
2) Forget about having a trunk. If you want serious bass, you'll have to SEAL your trunk, as in literally weld it shut, and turn it into a ported or bandpass subwoofer enclosure with multiple woofers.
 
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