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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, all:

I'm basically new to car audio (did install a small system back in 2007, but that's it). I'm looking to install a small-ish system in my car but am lost on what I should get. I have a 2003 Ford Mustang (Basic Stereo). Was planning on installing a 4-way amp in my car and power a pair of 6x8's and two Massive audio 6" subs in the rear deck. I bought everything back in January and installed the 6x8 speakers but never got around to installing the amp or subs yet. The 6x8 speakers I bought ended up blowing for some reason (they were Cerwin Vega's capable of handling 75watts RMS and hooked to a cheap aftermarket Boss stereo, so I'm not sure why they blew). I also ended up making the rear deck holes that were orginally designed for 6x8's bigger since they were going to hold the subs. In the end, I wound up scrapping this whole idea.

Right now, what I'm wanting is just some good 6x8's in the front doors, a pair of nice 6.5" or similar size mids in the rear deck, and maybe a couple small 10's or 8" subs in the trunk (which I'll do down the road, for now I want to focus on the mids and front 6x8's). I don't need anything EXTREMELY loud, but I'm also not someone who listens to their stereo at 30db. I want something that is well balanced, and has smooth thumping lows (of course most of this will be taken care of by the subs, but I expect the other 4 speakers to be able to produce a good balanced sound with decent lows.

So right now I have a Pioneer GM-D8704 amp sitting around and not sure what to do with it. I'm not certain if it's TOO much power, or whether it's fine and can be used. I know power amps don't put out a continuous amount of wattage the entire time they are on, but can the amp I have be set so that it doesn't draw a lot of amps or putting out near 100watts all the time? I heard it's usually better to have an amp that puts out more power than what the speakers are capable of (to a degree) in order to have an increased headroom.

I'm sure it's probably pretty obvious that I have no clue what I'm doing. The main thing I'm wondering, basically, right now is if I can use the amp I have, or if I should get a small 50watt x 4 or 75watt x4 amp or something else?

If I were to use the pioneer amp, what power handling should I be looking for on my 6x8 front speakers? I was thinking about getting something like the Kappa 86CFX, which can handle 100watts RMS at 2.5ohms. The pioneer amp can put out approx 125ish watts at that ohm load. So I figured that would provide enough headroom, and wouldn't be way overpowering to the speakers.

Any advice, information and guidance is greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much
 

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First thing, keep the amp. The amount/number of watts are not a problem in most scenarios and this is an affordable amp that puts out rated power. (Not that stupid max power they put on the front of the box.)

For the rear speakers, most people on here would probably recommend no rear speakers for now. You can always add them at a later date if you still want them.

Focus your money and effort on the front speakers. Are you set on coaxials up front because of money, easy of installation, or something else? Again, most people on here are going to recommend components speakers up front instead of coaxials for sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First thing, keep the amp. The amount/number of watts are not a problem in most scenarios and this is an affordable amp that puts out rated power. (Not that stupid max power they put on the front of the box.)

For the rear speakers, most people on here would probably recommend no rear speakers for now. You can always add them at a later date if you still want them.

Focus your money and effort on the front speakers. Are you set on coaxials up front because of money, easy of installation, or something else? Again, most people on here are going to recommend components speakers up front instead of coaxials for sound quality.
I was thinking about coaxial because that's what I'm used to and never used components. I'm not against installing them though. I have been looking at some components and the ones that seem to have the same quality as the coaxials I was looking at are quite a bit more. Maybe I can find something decent that will handle the power of the amp and produce the results I want, but not sure what speakers those may be. For many speakers I've heard of the 6.5 and 6x8 range they sound too thin. I'm wanting something that produces good mids and bass, but that's hard to know which ones do without testing them.
 

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If you are going for a small basic system then stick with coaxials. If you plan to eventually upgrade to a larger system then I say do components now for future flexibility.

The 6.5 and 6x8 speakers sounding thin could be the speakers themselves or some head unit or amp settings, but the quality of the install, regardless of coax or components, makes a big difference with bass/midbass response. Most of the installs in the Builds section are examples of how to do doors properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ended up just going with some MTX Thunder 681 components. Not the best component set, but handle the power of my amp, good sensitivity rating and response range. They should be a good speaker for the front.

The main concern I have is just the amp, I suppose and drawing too much power. It's rated at 100watts x 4 @ 4ohms. I can't imagine it CONSTANTLY puts out 100watts all the time, even at low volumes, right? As far amp draw, I found this on the manual:

Current consumption............ 29 A (at continuous power, 4ohm)
Average current consumption..................................................... 3.1 A (4ohm for four channels), 4.4 A (4ohm or two channels,BRIDGE), 4.4 A (2ohm for four channels)

From this it seems like if I was running 100watts at 4ohms across all 4 channels simultaneously, I would be drawing 29Amps. Considering there is an "average current consumption" this tells me it's not always drawing 100watts. Am I correct in assuming that at reasonable levels, I'd only be drawing 3.1amps across 4 channels at 4 ohms? Seems awfully low. Again, my main concern is drawing too much power for my car to handle.
 

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At reasonable/lower levels you wouldn't be drawing the 29a. Music is dynamic, it's not going to draw that constantly unless you're playing sine waves and test tones at full tilt.

The higher you crank the volume knob, the more input you give to the amp, the more the amp amplifies the signal for output.
 

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3.1amps sounds about right for normal listening levels ... most people don't realize that they can easily hit 90dB with less than 5watts of power (per speaker). That being said, even 400watts is only about 35amps ... the weakest stock alternator can handle that all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, my components are almost here and so I will be trying to install the Pioneer here in the next few days. In the future I do plan on adding a ~500-600watt RMS 2ohm or 1ohm amp such as the NVX BDA7501 - something that wouldn't draw an enormous amount of amps but would suit my needs at fit the 40/60 or 50/50 split that the the guy from the CarAudioFabrication channel on YouTube recommends:

Since I will be installing the power wire here in the next couple days, I have do have an old 4ga. Kicker power wire I was thinking of using that is silver-tinned OFC. I also have a 1/0 NVX power wire I purchased earlier this year that hasn't been installed. Would the 4ga. work well to power both the pioneer and an amp such as the NVX BDA7501 together, or should I install the 1/0 NVX power wire? I suspect the 1/0, but if I can install the old stuff I have laying around from an old install I rather use that than the new stuff I have.
 

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FYI check out this neat calculator for voltage drop. Rule of thumb is to keep your voltage drop percentage below 3%. The biggest factor (besides wire size), especially with 12V systems is length of the wire. For a 15 foot run of 4 gauge you will have 2.98% drop at 48 amps (576W @ 12V). If you are planning to run a 600W amp for the sub on top of your 400W amp then it would be better to use 1/0 from the battery to the distribution block at your amps. You are now looking at over 80 amps total, might be wise to put in a stronger alternator if you will be pushing the system hard while driving.
 

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If you got the 0 gauge already, I'd use that.

Will be useful if you upgrade in the future and having more flow ability is helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your support and help. It's nice when people actually help and don't put down or alienate people who are new (happens a lot in the internet world).
 
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