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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, bear with me. I have not designed a car system in 20 years.

Based on the other thread I have made a few decisions based those comments and y own experience. I decided to focus on a head, two door speakers and an amp to start with. I have not set a cost ceiling for the “wife’s car” project for more than one reason but I would like to keep the basic head, two speakers and amp around about $1000 to $1200. I may add another amp and a sub later. Here goes.

For the head unit I am leaning toward an alpine CDA-9887. This unit for a few reasons. One, it has a good D/A. Two, it has 3 sets of 4v pre-outs for expansion. Three, the internal amp can be turned off. Four, it has a built in crossover (which hopefully I can avoid using but it will be nice to have if I can’t). Five, it has a fairly simple face. And six, It can be had for about $275-$300 bucks depending on the day.

At the risk of taking a beating from you guys, here is what I have chosen for the front door speakers. Seas coax C16N001/F. $260ea. I know, they are expensive….but all things considered are they really? I have rarely been able to bring myself to buy most car speakers for one reason. With the exception of woofers very few companies that make car speakers post T/S parameters or sufficient data to work with them. Not that there are not good car speakers out there, I have heard some that sound VERY accurate. I am just saying that unless you buy them and measure them you are really at the mercy of the manufacturer. I measure all drivers before I use them in any application. I just like to see some numbers when I am considering drivers in the design stage. I chose these drivers because one, the have a decent X-max for a 6” woofer (+/- 7mm). Two, the Qts of .49 should be easy enough to work with in an IB set up (still need to consider the TF of the cabin)and three, I am fairly confident based on the response graph I can build a passive crossover that will allow mw to avoid using much eq or the active crossover. Bear in mind, this is a 2 speaker system to start with no sub.

I bought some stock door pods (2004 Monte Carlo) off of eBay for $100 so I could modify them and just pull the door panels and do a swap. Turns out these drivers (measurement wise) are a perfect fit with just a hand made ½ MDF adapter plate.

This brings me to the amp. This is where I will need some input from you guys. I have not looked at the amp market in 20 years. I have used amps in the past from ZAPCO, Linear Power, Rockford Fosgate, Alpine, Carver, and Adcom.

At this point I am leaning towards a ZAPCO C2K-2.0 although their REF 350.2 looks decent and is more cost effective. I am looking for an amp with high current, low distortion, a decent damping factor and a warm sound. Not much to ask for $400-$600…lol.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. I have already braced myself for comments on the other selections so have at it.

Thanks
MLC.
 

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9887 is a good choice, all of the DSP that you could possibly need for a simple system.

There were a few threads on here about those Seas coax if I remember correctly. Some said they would work OK, others said the response looked pretty messy, but I don't recall anyone actually trying them, so go for it and let us know how they work! ;)

Why do you feel that passives are better? I would just buy a 4 channel amp and use the 9887's internal active crossovers. That way you can tweak a lot easier.

The Zap amps are nice, I don't think you could go wrong there. I'm assuming you want to stay away from class-D so I won't recommend the JL HD or the ZED offerings despite them being amazing amplifiers, but maybe look into the Audison, Hertz and Arc Audio amps as they're in the same class as the Zapcos.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Dave.

I agree that the active x-over would be better and easier to dial in many respects. The reason for the passive is that I won’t be driving the car. If I take the extra effort to design a good passive, then I can bypass the active and leave it off. If the head looses power, (i.e. dead battery, take the car in for service…whatever) the head wont re-set to default. this would be x-over off if it is the same as my 7998.Then, somebody won’t jump in the car, crank the stereo and fry the tweeters. This would be a pain on a $250 driver with an integrated tweeter. the other option would be that I could utilize the active and put a passive safety network on the tweeter, but then I would still have to (when I get time) ret-set the active to the correct settings. So, I would say that my main reason for going passive is to make the system idiot proof.
 

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I'd have to test it, but I'm like 99.9% sure you don't lose your settings when the power is cut to the unit. If you'd like I'll pull the power from my 9887 and let you know if it saves the crossover TA etc.
 

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Yeah Dave's right. The setting stay.
The 9887 is a great unit. I bought mine after hearings Dave's. :)

Hey Dave, been a while. How's your system going? Pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was looking at the ARC audio Class H stuff. In particular the KS300.4. I am normally not attracted to this type of amp and lean toward Class AB stuff but this style of amp "looks" nice spec wise and cost wise. Has anyone actually run this amp? Can you tell me about it from firsthand experience?
 

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All you need is a cap on the tweeter. My 880PRS HU lost the TA but kept the xover and EQ. However I run passive on tweets all the time its just one less amp/wire/complexity. I am willing to swap tweeters and change install to get them right, which usually works out for me. I would run a cap on the tweeter no matter in case the amp had a problem, just a lower out-of-the-way xover point if I ran active.

H-hybrid amp is supposed to be a class AB amp section but the power supply can run various voltage to increase efficiency to near a class D. I think with most current model full range class D, any differences in how the amp sounds are not going to be from circuit topology. Some older ones maybe it would. I'm not saying amps are not different just that class D can work fine today.
 

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Will the 9887 do time alignment without Imprint?
 

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Consider a massive audio 5 channel, bridged to three...small, light, reasonable cost, and gives you power for a simple sub add-on...I'm also a big older Eclipse fan...Eclipse PA5532 is a great choice with great SQ.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice. Thanks for the Input.
At this point I am pretty much sold on the Arc ks 300.4 or ks 125.4 mini. My mind could be changed but at this point they seem to offer what I need for the system design. The 9887 will be the head. The Seas coax in the doors. I think I will still go passive in the doors and just bridge 2 channels for some bass in the rear or run them stereo. I was looking at CDT 6x9 Subs. I am not real sure about these but the manufacturer sent me the data sheet with the T/S specs which is a good sign. A more comfortable rout for me would be to build some adapter “boots” out of ½” MDF that I can bolt to the factory 6x9 cutouts in the rear deck on one side and will take a standard 8” driver on the other side. That way I can select a good 8” woof to run for bass IB as long as the back seat is up. This solution also offers the least amount of space lost in the trunk. I have had decent luck with this in the past.
 
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