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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I used to think I knew a good amount about car stereo's over 10 years ago when I got my first car and did a little setup but now I want to put a modest setup in my car now and reading these forums its kind of crazy how complex it all is. I started out just planning on getting a head unit and some nice components and calling it good. The head unit I have is the clarion DXZ785USB which has active C/O and T/A so it seems I can go active and use more cost effective tweeters and such.

That head unit is good enough for going active? I was thinking just a tweeter and a 6.5 inch driver for the door. Then later on adding a 12" sub to the trunk. The car is a 2001 nissan altima. Would the head unit be ok controlling all that actively. I know of course I need an amplifier or two.

I don't want to focus on loudness just on sq. I am definitely on a budget, I don't really have any budget at all I should be saving some money but I don't smoke or drink or anything else really at all so I figure I can spend a little on a decent stereo for myself.

I see so much information on differing speaker recommendations. The car currently has 6.5" speakers in the front door and 6.5" speakers in the rear deck. What I've seen recommended quite a lot, at least on some of the other forums, is to just take out the rear deck speakers as they aren't really needed and it works out better when there is a sub in the trunk.

I see the seas tweaters recomended a fair amount and they seem like a great deal for the price. But then I see the ribbon tweeters and how they sound phenomenal and they don't need much power. They may cost a bit more(maybe alot more?) but if they could be powered off the deck then I could get away with just one amp for the 6.5" and the sub. Would that deck provide a clean enough power from its internal amp for a set of ribbon tweeters? Which ribbon tweeters would be recommended for better sound than the seas but also not a crapload more money.

I can't really wrap my head around which 6.5" speakers to pick at all really. I see some people, maybe many on here, go with two midrange speakers one set to handle middle high frequencies and one set to handle middle low frequencies. Is that right? Would that be the best way? Would I sacrifice a ton if I went with just one 6.5" set for the whole midrange? Would anybody be able to give me a recomendation on a good 6.5" set that can handle the whole midrange well?

I feel like I'm asking maybe too many questions so I'll stop for now.
 

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Going active isn't for everyone, and its not always better, although some would disagree with me. It takes a good bit of know how and experience to set up the x-over points and bandpass filters necessary. But if you're up to it, more power to you.

I would recommend a good set of 6.5" components. Seas has some great stuff, as does Morel and many others. It really depends on your budget. You can get a truly great set starting around $400, or you can spend upwards of $3000. I would say get a 2 channel and a mono block amp, one for the components up front and one for the subs in the rear. I'm not a fan of rear fill, so I would just nix any additional speakers in the car.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx for the replies

I would say my budget for the front speakers is around 300 bucks, not including the amp.

I was thinking about getting the alpine SPX-17PRO set before I started thinking about going active as I see people like the set and the price is about at the limit of what I should spend, really more than I should but... Could I do as good as the alpine spx-17pro components for less money, especially since I wouldn't really need the crossover?

I think it would be fun to mess around with trying to get an active system all setup but I do have a 1.5 year old daughter so I would only get a couple of hours on the weekend to work on it. So maybe the alpine or a similar component set would be the way to go for now? I really don't need it to be super loud I want it to just sound really nice and clear. What seas component set would you recommend in my around 300 dollar price range if any? Do the alpines really only need, for all four speakers, 200 watts rms total between two channels, is that enough? Man a big part of me just says go ahead and do the active setup. I am good with electronics and it shouldn't be too hard, would a laptop and the tutorials I see on here help alot?

Sub wise what would provide some oomph but not be crazy and fit with the alpine set? The DIYMA sub? Maybe the dayton HO sub? I was thinking like one 12". I've thought about an IB setup as I've read some good things and I'd like to keep as much trunk space as possible, but I've never heard one so I don't know how it sounds. Would I be able to make an IB setup blend with a 2 way set in my price range like the alpine pro set? Or would I need to get a little beefier mid that can go a bit lower to match up with the IB setup? I don't fully understand all the terms used in the speaker world yet like roll off and the +18db slope and such so I imagine as I learn these terms I'll understand more. I just started reading all about this stuff pretty recently, and I definitely wasn't this into it when I was younger, it usually takes me a short while to get into the swing of a subject when I first start. I'm just so anxious to get something nice in there for my 5 hours of driving every thursday.

thx for the replies Bassbrat and digitalhifi I appreciate it
 

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I've thought about an IB setup as I've read some good things and I'd like to keep as much trunk space as possible, but I've never heard one so I don't know how it sounds.
I'm in the middle of an IB install now. I can't answer your question as to how it sounds because my sub is in the mail, but I can tell you that you'll find a lot of fans of IB here on this site. In terms of saving trunk space, there's no better way (okay, maybe a spare tire install or something like that). I designed and installed my baffle last weekend and I figure that cost me about 2 inches of trunk depth (and about $25.) Depending on your car, you might even have to scarifice less than that. The 15" JBL GTO sub I've ordered has about a 7" depth, so I figure I might lose .15 cubic feet of trunk when all is said and done.
 

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Hey buddy i would suggest an entry level pair of Focal seprates they sound great from a stock H/U but amped they are amazing...

hope this helps

also check out boston accustics SX series components!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thx for the replies. I don't think I'm going to mess with a IB install now as I checked and my trunk uses bars to stay up instead of a strut or shock.

As I think about it more I think an active setup is the way I want to go as I am certain I could get it setup just fine, I'm excellent with electronics and love tinkering with them. I have the head unit capable of doing it so I might as well use it.

What about these tweeters if they ever come back in stock or the other similar ring radiator tweeters from vifa?
Vifa XT25BG60-04 Vifa Ring Dome Tweeter - Double Magnet - 4 ohm from Madisound

or

Vifa XT25SC90-04 Ring Radiator Tweeter from Madisound

Man there are so many options. I'll look at the focal speakers thx.
 

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Speakers are the easiest way to up the quality of your sound and imho should be the largest part of your budget. Buy used! You save big bucks and generally speakers are long lasting without real reason for concern as long as the seller is trusted.

After listening to a lot of different drivers in my own car, I found that the rainbow profi kick midbass and cal 26 tweeter (made by Seas to Rainbows specs if what I heard is accurate) are a great set of speakers that do it all quite well. They had a great midrange and were far superior to any other component set I had in the midrange department, but also did well across the entire spectrum. You can buy better, but a small increment of improvement would cost a disproportionately good bit of cash. The Power series and Germanium Series from Rainbow is also probably in the same sort of ballpark.

I was also quite fond of the ADS line and in particular their older models before Directed bought them out. You want the models that were made in the US or in Japan. The Focal units I used also had great midrange but the high end was quite harsh at times and I couldn't listen to them long without getting a headache - but many people love them. They imaged insanely well and sounded incredible on some music but on other music they didn't sound so good at all. They sounded a lot better when I put them lower in my doors, but then they didn't image as well or sound great on the music that they used to shine on.

I just posted this stuff in another persons request for information, and I am far from bragging, but I want you to know that I did a LOT of experiementing in my little civic. I try to be the kind of person who shuts up and lets others who are more qualified (or think they are haha) answer peoples questions, unless I really feel like I have enough REAL experience to respond. Having used the following in the last couple of years, in this case I probably am safe telling you my opinion!

I've installed the following drivers in a combination of standard door enclosures, highly modified and braced door systems, kick panels, custom glass enclosures and a-pillars trying to find the best option for each. My current set up is Morel MW265 8/9" midwoofers - Scanspeak 12m mids - Scanspeak D3004-6600 tweeters... but it took a while to get there:

- Alpine Type R components, Alpine Type X tweeters - (both vifa rings xt19 and the newer Scan versions)Infinity Kappa components, 3 different sets of older ADS (346 and another I think), ADS (newer models - really not bad for how cheap but still not recommended), ADS PDX tweeeters, Focal K2p 6.5 and TN52 Tweeters, Rainbow Profi Kick Paper, Rainbow Profi Vanadium, Rainbow Platinum Midbass, Rainbow Cal 26 sofe dome tweeter (another lower end rainbow set), and Focal Utopia 7W2.

The pioner PRS series is highly touted too but I haven't heard them. Also the Alpine type X have decent tweeters at least =)

Good luck!

Less
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thx for the reply less I have some kind of mental thing that generally prevents me from buying used. I get some idea in my head that its somehow not as good as it used to be. So I'll be buying new I think.

I have been reading threads like a mad man I am bouncing around so many ideas in my head. I have been thinking the usher 8945p but I don't think it'll fit in my doors. Its a 2001 nissan altima and metra says 6.5" for the doors. The usher dimensions say 158.4mm (6.22") at the widest part below the mounting flange(think its called that, the part that the screws go into). So when metra/nissan say 6.5" what do they mean? Are they saying the hole is 6.5" across and so the ushers will fit? If not what about the rs180's? They are a bit narrower at 5.75"

The depth on both of those is a bit too much so a spacer could be used right? Could the spacer be tapered a bit and maybe let one of the 7"ers fit since the baskets taper on them? This would be a 2 way setup so I am thinking the bigger the better I don't really see much recommended in 6.5 either.

For a tweeter I am thinking the neo3 it has me intrigued and its not very expensive right now.

thx for reading and all the replies so far, sorry I'm so all over the place. I'm very indecisive even when it comes to something I'm very knowledgeable in let alone something I'm not super knowledgeable in, I know I can't rush this but I want to get it done asap. 4 hours in the car every thursday could be a much nicer trip :)
 

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Speakers are the easiest way to up the quality of your sound and imho should be the largest part of your budget. Buy used! You save big bucks and generally speakers are long lasting without real reason for concern as long as the seller is trusted.

After listening to a lot of different drivers in my own car, I found that the rainbow profi kick midbass and cal 26 tweeter (made by Seas to Rainbows specs if what I heard is accurate) are a great set of speakers that do it all quite well. They had a great midrange and were far superior to any other component set I had in the midrange department, but also did well across the entire spectrum. You can buy better, but a small increment of improvement would cost a disproportionately good bit of cash. The Power series and Germanium Series from Rainbow is also probably in the same sort of ballpark.


I was also quite fond of the ADS line and in particular their older models before Directed bought them out. You want the models that were made in the US or in Japan. The Focal units I used also had great midrange but the high end was quite harsh at times and I couldn't listen to them long without getting a headache - but many people love them. They imaged insanely well and sounded incredible on some music but on other music they didn't sound so good at all. They sounded a lot better when I put them lower in my doors, but then they didn't image as well or sound great on the music that they used to shine on.

I just posted this stuff in another persons request for information, and I am far from bragging, but I want you to know that I did a LOT of experiementing in my little civic. I try to be the kind of person who shuts up and lets others who are more qualified (or think they are haha) answer peoples questions, unless I really feel like I have enough REAL experience to respond. Having used the following in the last couple of years, in this case I probably am safe telling you my opinion!

I've installed the following drivers in a combination of standard door enclosures, highly modified and braced door systems, kick panels, custom glass enclosures and a-pillars trying to find the best option for each. My current set up is Morel MW265 8/9" midwoofers - Scanspeak 12m mids - Scanspeak D3004-6600 tweeters... but it took a while to get there:

- Alpine Type R components, Alpine Type X tweeters - (both vifa rings xt19 and the newer Scan versions)Infinity Kappa components, 3 different sets of older ADS (346 and another I think), ADS (newer models - really not bad for how cheap but still not recommended), ADS PDX tweeeters, Focal K2p 6.5 and TN52 Tweeters, Rainbow Profi Kick Paper, Rainbow Profi Vanadium, Rainbow Platinum Midbass, Rainbow Cal 26 sofe dome tweeter (another lower end rainbow set), and Focal Utopia 7W2.

The pioner PRS series is highly touted too but I haven't heard them. Also the Alpine type X have decent tweeters at least =)

Good luck!

Less
Dito on the used route. I am on my 4th install and finally have a new iteam, the 785usb. I have been carrying the same used speakers over 3 cars now. Yes, I like them that much and kinda afraid to try something else and be disappointed. Just by from someone with a reputation. Ah good one that is.
And do some home work. Not all used stuff is at a great price. Just to give you an idea everything that I have in my car if bought new would be around $3800+ before tax. I spent just over a thousand all said. Only thing I did not get a great price on would be the component but, love them so no complaints and the Tru line driver while maybe not a real steal fair price for age and all. Thats just to give you an idea of the buying power if you go used and shop smart.
 

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Thx for the replies

I would say my budget for the front speakers is around 300 bucks, not including the amp.

I was thinking about getting the alpine SPX-17PRO set before I started thinking about going active as I see people like the set and the price is about at the limit of what I should spend, really more than I should but... Could I do as good as the alpine spx-17pro components for less money, especially since I wouldn't really need the crossover?

I think it would be fun to mess around with trying to get an active system all setup but I do have a 1.5 year old daughter so I would only get a couple of hours on the weekend to work on it. So maybe the alpine or a similar component set would be the way to go for now? I really don't need it to be super loud I want it to just sound really nice and clear. What seas component set would you recommend in my around 300 dollar price range if any? Do the alpines really only need, for all four speakers, 200 watts rms total between two channels, is that enough? Man a big part of me just says go ahead and do the active setup. I am good with electronics and it shouldn't be too hard, would a laptop and the tutorials I see on here help alot?

Sub wise what would provide some oomph but not be crazy and fit with the alpine set? The DIYMA sub? Maybe the dayton HO sub? I was thinking like one 12". I've thought about an IB setup as I've read some good things and I'd like to keep as much trunk space as possible, but I've never heard one so I don't know how it sounds. Would I be able to make an IB setup blend with a 2 way set in my price range like the alpine pro set? Or would I need to get a little beefier mid that can go a bit lower to match up with the IB setup? I don't fully understand all the terms used in the speaker world yet like roll off and the +18db slope and such so I imagine as I learn these terms I'll understand more. I just started reading all about this stuff pretty recently, and I definitely wasn't this into it when I was younger, it usually takes me a short while to get into the swing of a subject when I first start. I'm just so anxious to get something nice in there for my 5 hours of driving every thursday.

thx for the replies Bassbrat and digitalhifi I appreciate it
Joe, I'm in the similar place as you down to the Clarion DXZ785USB sitting in the closet and the child, except mine is a newborn. That's why I have time to be on this site so much waiting for the feedings and the diaper changes.:)
Anyway, like you I've had a few (many several actually) passive systems but never active, so this is my take on things. On one hand Digitalhifi is giving you sage words of advice to keep it simple and go passive and concentrate on install ie. driver positioning, sound deadening, running wires properly, etc. and focusing your monies on fewer yet quality pieces as a road to success for SQ. Why put up w/ the extra complications of added amp channels, x-overs, time alignment and tuning in addition to the basics above?
On the flip side, being on and posting in DIYMA and having an inkling of what 'active' means displays your interest and growing knowledge of the hobby. Like me you've been down the passive road...were you ever truly satisfied w/ the outcome? If not, maybe it would be wise to stick to basics and a simpler system. However, if the answer is yes, then why not try something new. For me there will be mistakes, but the process might be interesting w/ at least the potential for improved soundstage, driver positioning, and tonality from better drivers (for the buck). My one barrier is having to explain to my wife why I'm yet again tearing apart my cars that I finally say I'm happy with. She just won't let me at her Lexus.:(
Whatever you choose, do a lot more reading here, especially the tutorials. And then make a solid plan w/ diagrams which will save you a lot of time, money and frustration. Or learn like I did.:blush: Goodluck.

Oh dang, by the time I finished writing it looks like you decided on Active - Awesome and I'll be following your build.
 

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Did you look at the polk pros. 420ish new, ring radiator thats not set ridiculously high like apline(range goes to 60000:0) also take a look at mb quarts and rainbow.
 

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Components have really different voices.

Focals and Rainbows are at one end, DLS, Dyne, Morel, Hertz, and Alpine are at the other, and Polk and some of those are in the middle.

Where are you planning on installing the drivers in the Altima?

If you go with a 6.5 low in the door, and with a tweeter up high in the door or in the mirror sail or on top of the dash, I personally like a soft-dome with a low xover point (old A/D/S/, DLS, Dyne, Morel, Hertz, Alpine F1 and Pro, and top-end Focal).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the mid base/range in the stock spot down in the bottom of the door and the tweeter up somewhere, thinking about the sail panel.

I'm kind of thinking the neo3 planar tweeter at least for a first try and see how they are the price is pretty decent.

For a mid I was really thinking the usher 8945p but parts express doesn't have stock til the end of the month and my door hole measures 5 and 7/8 and the usher is 6.22 so I'd have to enlarge the hole a little or something to make it fit. I am now trying to decide between the rs180 or maybe the er18rnx or something along those lines. I won't have a sub for a little while so I would like it to have at least fairly decent mid bass. But I will have a sub at some point so I really want it to have clarity overall.

I read differing things about the neo3 and how it sounds down to 2k, my head unit can't do a 24 slope only up to 18. And I've read the rs180 doesn't like to go above 2k some say 1.6 or so. I did see npdang said they worked well together in one post.

I also don't know if it'd be ok to run the neo3w off my head unit since its impedence is a bit low I've seen 2.5 and 3.5 listed as its ohm rating so I don't know if that would be a problem for my head unit. Also my head units(Clarion dxz785) amp seems a bit noisy based on the specs 1%thd and 87 s/n so would it be loads better to run it off an external amp? In a car would I notice the difference much? It would be nice just getting a 4 channel mixed mode capable and running the mid and sub off of it. Most amps seem to put out way to much power for that little neo3w anyway.

I'm still considering something like the alpine pro set but it'd be a fair amount cheaper going this route and probably sound better? I'll probably use this tutorial http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...our-car-using-pc-based-measurement-setup.html to set it up if I go the active route I'm good with computers so I shouldn't have a problem setting it up correctly. How much mid bass and clarity would the alpine pro provide compared to the rs180 or a comparable 7" how fast does madisound usually ship I've read parts express is pretty quick so that leans me in the direction of the rs180?

Thanks for all the replies so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Well I'm still all over the place in picking a mid. I have read a bunch of good about the rs180, npdang said it was great paired with the neo3(I have pretty much settled on using this tweeter). npdang also said it has excellent midrange clarity, something I definitely want. But I have read a number of negative comments in regards to the rs180, some saying it really needs to be crossed below 2k or if crossed at 2k at least at a 24 slope, my head unit will only do a 18 slope. So with my head unit having that 18 slope would I still be able to make the rs180 and the neo3w pair well together? I don't quite understand over/under lapping the frequencies of the mid and tweeter and how it affects the sound especially if theres a sizeable gap.

edit: sorry I kinda forgot I essentially asked all that in the previous post

If people think the rs180 won't be great with that tweeter in my case what about the er18rnx? I see it has a favorable review or two but not a ton of info about it. I also see concerns about its paper cone in a car door that will of course get some kind of moisture in it. I don't mind spending the extra for the er18rnx but only if its going to sound better or sound the same but be alot easier to work with. Will the reed/paper be as detailed as the rs180?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok I wussed out and just got the alpine typex pro set. With my daughter I really don't have time to sit down and fine tune it like it should be so I figure for now this will work.

Now I have another question I had ordered the planet audio bb175.4b amp to go active as I needed alot of power for the 8 ohm speakers and thought that would about cover it. Now that I have this set that only requires 100wrms I am wondering if maybe I have too much power. I know I've read it a million times on here that its hard to fry speakers with too much power and excess power can keep the amp from clipping but I don't know if its too much power for the passive crossover. Would a possible 175wrms per side be too much for the passive crossover? I say possible as I read several things on the amp before I ordered it and they all said 175wrms per channel but then after I ordered it I read some more and found some things and the manual saying its only like 140wrms. I kind of wish I hadn't ordered it now after getting the conflicting information but its ordered and will be here tomorrow. So I just didn't know if that much power might be too much for the passive crossovers. I would of course prob keep the gain almost all the way down, maybe all the way down, my hu puts out what I've read is a pretty good 6v

Thnx for all the help so far.
 

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"Hey, thanks for all the info! I didn't follow it, but now I want more advice! Don't worry, I'll follow it this time..." :)

You have a 4-channel but you are still going passive?
 

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surely there is nothing wrong with having a 4 channel amp regardless of the situation? I mean, he can just let channel 3+4 sit, bridge it for 700W x2 (LOL), use them for rear fill, or a sub, etc etc. If anything, wouldn't it be nice to have the channels and clean power ready for the future in case he wants to upgrade/expand?
 
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