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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting my journey down sound quality lane and need a little help. I have decided that I am going to start with the sub(s) first. I have a scion tc so trunk space is fairly limited as well as available power for the amp. My budget for the sub portion goes up to about 6 or 700 dollars.

Subs I have been looking at

1. Dayton HO 10
2. JL 10W7
3. IDMax 10
4. JBL w10GTi


I prefer sealed enclosure as they seem more accurate to me. If I went with the Dayton's I think I would need two to get the ohm load I would need to make a class-d mono block amp put out any decent amount of power. I would use a class d because they are more efficient and I think I need that in this install as there will be no alternator upgrades at this time. Thanks for your help.
 

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From my experience, you cant get wrong with idmax .
 

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Why are you starting with a sub? Usually that's the last place you go...

It's generally the last thing I'd tune/add to a setup anyway. That's like getting a velodyne to go with your crappy built-in TV speakers and then slowly adding the rest of the home theater. It's going to sound goofy until everything's there and even then it may not be right.

Replace your head unit, get some components and an amp first. Then worry about bass. Most of the "kick" in music comes from midbass anyway... not sub-80hz. I've run a number of subless systems, none of them severely lacked in bass reproduction for music once properly amplified and tuned.

I'd urge you to rethink this.

Edit: forgot to add. DEADEN. You need to do this beforehand anyway. You're going all backwards!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why are you starting with a sub? Usually that's the last place you go...

It's generally the last thing I'd tune/add to a setup anyway. That's like getting a velodyne to go with your crappy built-in TV speakers and then slowly adding the rest of the home theater. It's going to sound goofy until everything's there and even then it may not be right.

Replace your head unit, get some components and an amp first. Then worry about bass. Most of the "kick" in music comes from midbass anyway... not sub-80hz. I've run a number of subless systems, none of them severely lacked in bass reproduction for music once properly amplified and tuned.

I'd urge you to rethink this.

Edit: forgot to add. DEADEN. You need to do this beforehand anyway. You're going all backwards!

I was wanting to change the sub first because the one on my system right now is horrible. It is so sloppy I cannot stand it. Maybe I should list what I have now and work a plan from there.

Head Unit - Kenwood 719dvd - I don't want to change this because I need the gps so I will be putting in some sort of external processor.
Front Speakers - 6.5 Infinity Reference Series
Sub - Cheap JBL I forget the model right now. 10 inch in a sealed box.
Amp - JBL a6450.

I am completely open to changing the other stuff first, just the head unit has to stay for now because of the qps. Sound deadening is coming soon. I guess with that current setup what would you suggest I get first? I know I am going to have to do this in stages.

I am willing to take suggestions on this, I must admit I am still some what of a noob at this stuff. I understand quite a bit, but have not taken it to the level you guys do and I know I want to.

Thanks in advance for all your help.
 

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I was wanting to change the sub first because the one on my system right now is horrible. It is so sloppy I cannot stand it. Maybe I should list what I have now and work a plan from there.

Head Unit - Kenwood 719dvd - I don't want to change this because I need the gps so I will be putting in some sort of external processor.
Front Speakers - 6.5 Infinity Reference Series
Sub - Cheap JBL I forget the model right now. 10 inch in a sealed box.
Amp - JBL a6450.

I am completely open to changing the other stuff first, just the head unit has to stay for now because of the qps. Sound deadening is coming soon. I guess with that current setup what would you suggest I get first? I know I am going to have to do this in stages.

I am willing to take suggestions on this, I must admit I am still some what of a noob at this stuff. I understand quite a bit, but have not taken it to the level you guys do and I know I want to.

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Oh gotcha. I thought you were starting with a factory system and I immediately thought "uh oh" :D

However, the sub being sloppy probably has more to do with the install and tuning than just the driver. I've never heard a sub that sounded terrible in any and all situations. The model of your current sub and specs on the box would be helpful. Is it all 3/4 mdf or fiberglassed or is it a premade enclosure? You may be able to remedy the boominess for the time being and who knows, it may make things a LOT better. Have you tried turning down the gains on the sub channel of amp a bit? Where is the sub crossed over?

I'm also a bit confused as to how this is all wired. That JL a6450 appears to be a 6 channel amp. I'm guessing you're running it in 3 channel mode? 150 rms to each component set and to the sub?

There's a basic EQ on your Headunit so you will be able to tune some stuff if you have some nasty peaks. You're going to want to grab a test cd with a bunch of frequencies. You can search on here or google or something and find one. Most of them have like 40-60 tracks of 10 second 0db sine waves of frequencies between 20hz-20,000khz. Using this cd you'll POTENTIALLY be able to determine if there are any significant peaks or dips in your system's response. Probably getting ahead of myself though a bit so just answer the questions above that you can and I'll try to help you further to the best of my ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh gotcha. I thought you were starting with a factory system and I immediately thought "uh oh" :D

However, the sub being sloppy probably has more to do with the install and tuning than just the driver. I've never heard a sub that sounded terrible in any and all situations. The model of your current sub and specs on the box would be helpful. Is it all 3/4 mdf or fiberglassed or is it a premade enclosure? You may be able to remedy the boominess for the time being and who knows, it may make things a LOT better. Have you tried turning down the gains on the sub channel of amp a bit? Where is the sub crossed over?

I'm also a bit confused as to how this is all wired. That JL a6450 appears to be a 6 channel amp. I'm guessing you're running it in 3 channel mode? 150 rms to each component set and to the sub?

There's a basic EQ on your Headunit so you will be able to tune some stuff if you have some nasty peaks. You're going to want to grab a test cd with a bunch of frequencies. You can search on here or google or something and find one. Most of them have like 40-60 tracks of 10 second 0db sine waves of frequencies between 20hz-20,000khz. Using this cd you'll POTENTIALLY be able to determine if there are any significant peaks or dips in your system's response. Probably getting ahead of myself though a bit so just answer the questions above that you can and I'll try to help you further to the best of my ability.
I am exaggerating a little when I say it sounds horrible all the time. It only really sounds bad during complicated bass lines. If there are kick drums and bass guitars at the same time they tend to run together. I cross the sub over at 80hz I have tried to go lower and it did not seem to help. The box is a prefabbed box with 3/4 mdf 1 cubic foot. Sub is a JBL GT4-10, the box is the correct size according to JBL.

You are correct about how I have the amp wired up currently.

I will look for a cd, is there a good guide you would recommend me read about basic tuning?
 

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Signal getting to the amp clean? I'm curious about the amp too...I'm assuming you mean the 6 channel JL? (not JBL).

the big boy subs are gonna be power hungry so you'd probably need to get a dedicated sub amp if that's the route that you wanted to go. i'd agree with what someone said earlier that it's pretty rare to hear a sub sound bad all/much of the time.

Since I'm not too sure of the sub that you currently have....are you sure it's getting enough juice to keep up with the fast bass notes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Signal getting to the amp clean? I'm curious about the amp too...I'm assuming you mean the 6 channel JL? (not JBL).

the big boy subs are gonna be power hungry so you'd probably need to get a dedicated sub amp if that's the route that you wanted to go. i'd agree with what someone said earlier that it's pretty rare to hear a sub sound bad all/much of the time.

Since I'm not too sure of the sub that you currently have....are you sure it's getting enough juice to keep up with the fast bass notes?
It is JL sorry, I don't know why they make the two names so close. The amp according to JL puts out 220 watts RMS for that sub. The JBL sub handles 200 watts RMS. So I am assuming it is enough. I do have an old school alpine V12 expert MRV-T505 that would put out 300 watts that I could hook up to the sub.

With the new sub purchase I already know I would need a separate sub amp.

If I could make the sub I have now sound better some how and work on the front stage instead that would be awesome.
 

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Ok I did a quick search because 1 cu ft sounded ridiculous to me for that sub. I'm seeing .75 cu ft recommended for the 10 and 1 cu ft recommended for the 12. I'm at work so I can't model it, but I'd be more likely to believe .75 cu ft would sound better.

http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/CAR/Boxes and Parameters/GT4-10_f.pdf

Steps and order I'd take:
1.) Check any bass boost type stuff on your headunit. Set it all to flat.
2.) Turn down sub gains on the amp a little bit. See if that does anything.
3.) Put some ballast inside the sub box to decrease its volume. You can use wood scraps or something to accomplish this..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok I did a quick search because 1 cu ft sounded ridiculous to me for that sub. I'm seeing .75 cu ft recommended for the 10 and 1 cu ft recommended for the 12. I'm at work so I can't model it, but I'd be more likely to believe .75 cu ft would sound better.

http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/CAR/Boxes and Parameters/GT4-10_f.pdf

Steps and order I'd take:
1.) Check any bass boost type stuff on your headunit. Set it all to flat.
2.) Turn down sub gains on the amp a little bit. See if that does anything.
3.) Put some ballast inside the sub box to decrease its volume. You can use wood scraps or something to accomplish this..
What do you use to model subs?

It was pretty late when I was writing that and I was browsing subs online, I somehow got the wrong number stuck in my head. It is .75 which I at first thought was a little big for the sub, but after checking JBL's website it was correct. I was expecting a smaller enclosure. I also have a JL sub that I may put in it's place. It is the cheap JLw1. The other problem with this sub for me is it seems to only really respond at a very narrow range.

I am woundering if putting my alpine on it to give a little more power would help. It would only be about 100 more watts give or take.

I think I am going to hook the JL audio sub up this weekend and see if it sounds any better. It is an older JLw1 because I bought it several years ago.
 

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What do you use to model subs?

The other problem with this sub for me is it seems to only really respond at a very narrow range.

I am woundering if putting my alpine on it to give a little more power would help. It would only be about 100 more watts give or take.

I think I am going to hook the JL audio sub up this weekend and see if it sounds any better. It is an older JLw1 because I bought it several years ago.
I use WinISD. LinearTeam

I checked your amp and it's got:
# variable high- and low-pass filter (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
# switchable bass boost on ch. 5 and 6 (0, 6 dB at 48 Hz)
# optional wired remote bass boost

Is the crossover set on your amp or on your headunit? Both can do the same job. Make sure the bass boost is off. Make sure your channels 5 and 6(I'm guessing these bridged are going to your sub) are set to LOW-pass at 80hz. You may even want to try bringing it up just a bit and see how that sounds. Also try dropping the gains a bit. Have you high-passed the infinity components? You may want to do that around 80hz or so as well.

Honestly, I don't think power is your issue, but you can give it a shot hooking up the alpine amp.

I found some test tones you can burn to a cd:
Test Tones (20-20khz)

Your car also has a bit of cabin gain. Somewhere from 20hz-200hz there's going to be resonance due to the size/shape of the passenger compartment. EQing this down a bit may help with some of the "sloppiness" as well. You're going to have to find out where it's happening though. Running those test tones should give you some idea of what your sub is doing. Just watch it, don't go crazy with the volume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I use WinISD. LinearTeam

I checked your amp and it's got:
# variable high- and low-pass filter (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
# switchable bass boost on ch. 5 and 6 (0, 6 dB at 48 Hz)
# optional wired remote bass boost

Is the crossover set on your amp or on your headunit? Both can do the same job. Make sure the bass boost is off. Make sure your channels 5 and 6(I'm guessing these bridged are going to your sub) are set to LOW-pass at 80hz. You may even want to try bringing it up just a bit and see how that sounds. Also try dropping the gains a bit. Have you high-passed the infinity components? You may want to do that around 80hz or so as well.

Honestly, I don't think power is your issue, but you can give it a shot hooking up the alpine amp.

I found some test tones you can burn to a cd:
Test Tones (20-20khz)

Your car also has a bit of cabin gain. Somewhere from 20hz-200hz there's going to be resonance due to the size/shape of the passenger compartment. EQing this down a bit may help with some of the "sloppiness" as well. You're going to have to find out where it's happening though. Running those test tones should give you some idea of what your sub is doing. Just watch it, don't go crazy with the volume.
I turned the cross overs and bass boost off on the amp and I am using the head unit to cross the sub over and the front speakers. I crossed the front speakers at 80 as well. I downloaded a test cd last night after you mentioned it and was going to try to play with it tonight.

Thanks for all your help this far. :) I will also try the JL sub just for kicks and grins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I use WinISD. LinearTeam

I checked your amp and it's got:
# variable high- and low-pass filter (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
# switchable bass boost on ch. 5 and 6 (0, 6 dB at 48 Hz)
# optional wired remote bass boost

Is the crossover set on your amp or on your headunit? Both can do the same job. Make sure the bass boost is off. Make sure your channels 5 and 6(I'm guessing these bridged are going to your sub) are set to LOW-pass at 80hz. You may even want to try bringing it up just a bit and see how that sounds. Also try dropping the gains a bit. Have you high-passed the infinity components? You may want to do that around 80hz or so as well.

Honestly, I don't think power is your issue, but you can give it a shot hooking up the alpine amp.

I found some test tones you can burn to a cd:
Test Tones (20-20khz)

Your car also has a bit of cabin gain. Somewhere from 20hz-200hz there's going to be resonance due to the size/shape of the passenger compartment. EQing this down a bit may help with some of the "sloppiness" as well. You're going to have to find out where it's happening though. Running those test tones should give you some idea of what your sub is doing. Just watch it, don't go crazy with the volume.

Okay so I used the cd on my lunch break so it was very quick and dirty, but already the system sounds a lot better. I found that there was huge spike around the 40-50Hz range. The eq on my head unit lets me set one point to eq for the bass so I chose 50 and turned it all the way down, then I tried 40 and it sounded better. There is still a little bit of a spike there but way better. Stange how after 50 it tapers off, then comes back again around 60-65Hz but nearly as bad.

After this little brush with tunning I am thinking that I want to get a nice eq/crossover first then I will upgrade everything else. That made all of the difference, I have a feeling that if I had a better eq I could make it sound really good with the junk I have now. I still want to upgrade components though that may be a little further down the line.

Thank you again for your help, it has been invaluable. :drummer:
 

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Okay so I used the cd on my lunch break so it was very quick and dirty, but already the system sounds a lot better. I found that there was huge spike around the 40-50Hz range. The eq on my head unit lets me set one point to eq for the bass so I chose 50 and turned it all the way down, then I tried 40 and it sounded better. There is still a little bit of a spike there but way better. Stange how after 50 it tapers off, then comes back again around 60-65Hz but nearly as bad.

After this little brush with tunning I am thinking that I want to get a nice eq/crossover first then I will upgrade everything else. That made all of the difference, I have a feeling that if I had a better eq I could make it sound really good with the junk I have now. I still want to upgrade components though that may be a little further down the line.

Thank you again for your help, it has been invaluable. :drummer:
Awesome, glad to hear we're getting somewhere. That peakiness in response could also be due to the box itself. Unfortunately, the only way I know to test that is to try it out either in your house or in another car. You could try modeling it, but I think I recall you saying the box was prefab and it may not really be built that well so who knows if you would be modeling it accurately just putting in parameters.

I would recommend trying the sub+its enclosure in another environment before you go too crazy getting a big EQ because an EQ should really just be used to make corrections in response in your specific environment which is your car in this case. You don't really want to use it to cover up flaws in the installation(enclosure) just as a matter of best practice.

If it sounds a little less peaky in your house or outside of the car and you're not having to EQ it quite as much, you'll know it's definitely cabin gain and you can proceed from there. You might do well trying to find someone else on here with a tC and talk to them about their experience with a sub in the back. They may have some better advice for you on what specific frequencies and cuts they made to reduce cabin gain. That will give you a good head start.
 

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you should probably end with the subs.... and maybe you could conceal the amps and sub under the mat but you probably would end up doin a lot of work..... but if you dont mind then go for it.
 
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