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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to build a system in a used sedan that has a center speaker. I am going to do surround sound DVD-A/DTS system like in my old 1996/960 Volvo. I am opting not to go with stock premium surround systems like Acura ELS or Lexus Mark Levinston, although I love the cars and the Acura has a quiet cabin which is key but I want the flexibility to do what I want at a good price point for the car. So I am thinking I need to start with a base system that has a center speaker. Most I have seen are only 3.5 inch but would like larger for more power and minimally two ways up front. My volvo had a lot of flexibility but did not have a center speaker which hurt imaging.

BTW I plan to use my DVD-Audio/DTS head unit integrated with Alpine PXA-H800 processor with amps/speakers pulled from my volvo. The H800 would be a new addition. Tuning was an issue with my Volvo as the JVC head unit was pretty limited in that manner.

Thanks. Jay
 

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Do you plan to set this up for a one seat listening position, the driver's seat, or for a two seat listening position, both driver's and front passenger's?
If for only the driver's side you won't need a center channel, just a good processor.
A one seat listening position is the best you will be able to do as setting up and tuning for a two seat will compromise a few things.

So, what sedans do you have your eye on?

Processors like MS-8 do not consider the center or rear speakers to be just fill and optimally they would be the same size as the front left and right speakers that are covering the midrange and up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wrote a long response the other day and found it did not post! OK well take 2 -abbreviated.

First thanks for replying.

I am just concerned about the one listening position. I am in a high level discussion with myself. Do I build a system from ground up or buy a car that I actually like that already has discrete surround?

I like the 2004-2008 Acura TL with the ELS system supporting DVD-Audio and DTS-CD which most of my surround source material is in. But while I read the system sounds good with discrete surround, it is probably under powered for my taste. Sometime I like it loud however I consider myself somewhat an audiophile so a reference system is good as long as it can crank when I am in the mood. Only rock and jazz for me not low Hz music.

So my current conversation with myself is this:

TL w/ ELS: Pros - Step in with no mods and have a "good" system supporting my source material. Head unit is discrete in case in the future I were to "upgrade" the system (I assume I can get 5.1 analog out of the HU but need to confirm), quiet cabin and I like the car and price is right

TL w/ ELS: Cons - probably under powered and would be a significant job and costly to overhaul to upgrade just for more power

Other option is to take a basic sedan and build bottom up: Pro: Build the system I want to my taste with flexibility, Con cost looking at 3k just to add system to my standard and would reduce amount to spend on car itself. I want to keep stock look so I would use a processor and probably a PC/etc. to get the discrete source material to the processor $$$

BTW I am looking at the Alpine processor as it accepts both analog and digital discrete surround at max bit depth and sampling rate (1 discrete analog and 2 digital inputs). So I could take 5.1 analog output from the TL HU (I think) and still add a PC later so I am not swapping discs all the time and have all my high res stereo in FLAC a click away. I have all my surround source on my CPU anyway (both on disc and harddrive). I would prefer ultimately to use a PC/tablet for my discrete/high res source but that is just a future luxury at this point. The alpine unit would give me that option...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So for discreet surround and I have an option of either using rear doors or rear deck what would be the best? In my Volvo I had components in the front doors with tweet On dash and rear used deck only but I am wondering if it would be better in the next car to Keep it similar with using rear door and tweeters say both the front and back at pillar level or tweets in both dash and rear deck? Again this is for discreet surround so do you want the soundstages front and rear to be similar. In my Volvo the rear soundstage was much better than the front being driving all from the rear
Deck. Most of the other sedans I am looking at have the options of using rear doors and/or rear deck. Another question does using dash/deck distort sound coming off the glass?

I would like to build my own system but I think this time I will consult the experts before I go and spend a bunch money with experimentation!
 
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