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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks. First, thanks in advance for any guidance - I used to be very into car audio 15 years ago, but nowadays I'm far enough out of the loop that I don't recognize most non big box brands, so your insight is invaluable.

My friend and I both have 2004 Mini Cooper S JCWs. We both autocross them and mostly use them for "spirited" driving. But lo and behold, in both of our cars, the front speakers have blown, so it's a perfect opportunity for an upgrade.

We're aiming to get 6.5" components in the front (stock is 5.25" + 1 3/8" tweeter) with 6x9s in the rear. There's enough room in front to fit the 6.5" with a 2.5" mounting depth if I make some spacers. There's a teeeny bit more wiggle room than 2.5" for depth but not enough for 2.75" depth speakers. Rear 6x9s have plenty of depth to spare. No subs, because racecar. (despite the fact that I have 2 12" Elemental Design 13Ov.2s sitting in my garage in my old ported box that I built). We're also keeping the factory stereo to keep the car's looks original - we're big fans of the styling on these cars. So the amp will need speaker-level inputs or we'd do a LoC if that's preferred. I'm planning to keep it under 75 Watts RMS/channel since that seems to be the limit of the stock wiring.

What would you recommend for a $400-$450 budget, amp included? I was a fan of CDT some time ago, but I also see a lot of people recommending Morel nowadays.

Thank you guys!
 

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The Toro RX4 would be the perfect amp for your budget. $80 for 65 watts x4 at 4 ohms. For components I'd go with the Morel Maximo 6 at $170, or the Maximo 5 which still sounds great and would make installation easier. Then I'd go with matching Maximo 6x9s at $109. For a LOC I'd go with the Rockford Fosgate RF-HCL4 for $43 just to keep it within budget. It's simple and does it's job.

This puts you at $402 for equipment, which leaves you $39 plus some for the KnuKonceptz 8 gauge OFC wiring kit. If you go with this you'll have a great sounding system that's basically right on your budget. ($442)

4 channel
Front speakers
Rear speakers
Wiring
LOC
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the thoughtful recommendation! I have a few questions. Does a rear coax make sense in the Mini, given how close to the rears the driver position is, and how rare rear passengers are? I’m worried rear coax speakers will just add too much chaos on the high end. Thoughts?

Second, is there an advantage to a LOC vs an amp with built in speaker level inputs? I’m not averse to either, just curious about it.
 

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Thanks for the thoughtful recommendation! I have a few questions. Does a rear coax make sense in the Mini, given how close to the rears the driver position is, and how rare rear passengers are? I’m worried rear coax speakers will just add too much chaos on the high end. Thoughts?

Second, is there an advantage to a LOC vs an amp with built in speaker level inputs? I’m not averse to either, just curious about it.
1. It's possible that it could, but you can always cut the low pass filter on the amp. Morel tweeters are very smooth and detailed, so much so that it's almost an acquired taste to some, but just do a search for Morel on here and you'll find nothing but good reviews.

2. I would normally suggest a powered LOC or an amp like the Kicker KEY 200.4, but those would quickly exceed your budget. A passive LOC will basically do the same job as a high level input on an amp, but for the total cost of $123 I don't think you'll find a much better amp than the RX4 paired with a passive. Plus, those Morel speakers sound great even off a head unit, so as long as you don't compete in sound quality competitions with this car any changes in SQ will be negligible that you might get from a higher input voltage.

As a side note, depending on where you mount your LOC you'll also need to get a short set of 4 channel RCAs. I personally use both that wiring kit and the RX4 amp, and while the RCAs it comes with are great, I'm running a mismatched pair, half Walmart half KnuKonceptz. You could probably get by with 6 feet if you mount the LOC behind the head unit and your amp under the seat.
 

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Thanks for the thoughtful recommendation! I have a few questions. Does a rear coax make sense in the Mini, given how close to the rears the driver position is, and how rare rear passengers are? I’m worried rear coax speakers will just add too much chaos on the high end. Thoughts?

Second, is there an advantage to a LOC vs an amp with built in speaker level inputs? I’m not averse to either, just curious about it.
no and no.
 
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