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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I'm still relatively new to car audio, but not to car electronics. I own a 1978 VW bus which we use for overland journeys, made a 10k mile trip to Beijing in 2008 and a 15k mile trip to South Africa this summer. In our vehicle space is at a premium but we do like to listen to some good music.

I have a pretty decent audio setup running at the moment. It actually sounds nice and clean but I'd like to be able to crank it louder. My current setup is as follows:

Head unit:
- Pioneer 5100UB

Amp:
- JBL GT5-A604 (4x 60W rms)

Speakers:
- Sony XS-HT170SN, component set, 17cm woofer with tweeter. Woofer is mounted low in the front doors, tweeters are on the dash, facing up, to the windshield. Powered by the amp.
- Sony XS-HT170SN, 6x9 4 way speakers, mounted in a cabinet in the back, facing down. Powered by the head unit.
- JL Audio 8W3v2 sub, powered by the amp, bridged 160W

Now here is the proposed new setup:

Head unit:
- Pioneer 5100UB

Amps:
- JBL GT5-A604 (4x 60W rms)
- Rockford Fosgate T600-4 (4x 100W rms) with Rockford RFC1 capacitor (already own these components)

Speakers:
- Rockford Fosgate T1652-S (same mounting positions) 17cm comp set, 100W rms, powered by RF amp
- Rockford Fosgate T1692 (same mounting positions) 6x9 2 way set, 100W rms, powered by RF amp
- JL Audio 8W3v2 sub, powered by the JBL amp, bridged 160W


Now I have a couple of questions about all this. The first problem we have at the moment is that the 6x9's in the back produce very little low's. I'm not sure what the problem is here, there are mounted in rather small boxes, which are not airtight. Besides that the speakers are angled vertically and actually pump their volume straight into the bed that is below it. If you lay down below the speakers you actually do hear some bass, although it is not nearly as much as the speakers in the front doors put out.
Can this be fixed by building a proper enclosure for them? Maybe vented? Or is their position just never going to work?

Here is a picture:


Another question I have is about possibly adding a center speaker in the dash. The stock factory radio had a single speaker in the center of the dash, facing up to the windshield. (5.25" mount) I was thinking about mounting a new speaker here and maybe power it from one of the (soon to be) free channels on the JBL amp, this will also allow me to turn it to a low volume since it would only need to fill the center of the soundstage a bit. What do you think about this idea? Worth the effort?

Then I have one last question about the tweeters in the comp set. I have read the best place to position a tweeter is actually as close as possible to the center of the main driver. In the current setup the woofers are low down in the doors and the tweeters are up on the dash.



Couldn't find a much better picture, but you can see the windshield there. Now I have also read the winshield can broaden the soundstage so this position might not be completely stupid.
In the new setup would you keep the tweeters on the dash or move them close to the woofer, on the door? Here is a picture of the current woofer location:



(not actually my own car, but we use the exact same location)

When we mount the tweeter there I'm a bit concerned all the highs will be lost in your legs being very close to them.

Then I have one more question. In my current setup I have a JL-audio subwoofer under the rear seat. Now, the problem is, it is pretty loud in the back, but not so much in the front. So the centre seating position sounds really good, the front lacks some bass and the back has too much bass. I built a custom center console two years ago and I am now considering to build a new one to accommodate a second subwoofer. (I'm thinking about the JL audio 6w3v3, a small subwoofer that can pack a punch in only a 4 liter enclosure, I will have 2 free bridgeable channels on the JBL in the new setup anyway) However, I am not sure how much of a difference the new Rockford front woofers will make in bass output. So, do you think adding a sub would still be necessary with the new front woofers? Or maybe it will always be better since the front woofers can handle more mids and less bass if I add a sub there.

Ok, lot's of questions here, I hope you may have some answers and or suggestions for me. Thanks in advance!
 

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The bass is in the back of the bus? Well, move it forward. Might take some modifications. I would get a sub with more output and put it up front in the console you are considering. Maybe SA-8 D4 - Sundown Audio 8" Dual 4-Ohm SA Series Subwoofer

I'm not a big fan of $500 4-channel amps; especially RF. Not that they are bad, but you can get more for your money. MB Quart DSC 480 Class A/B 4-Channel Discus Series Amplifier

Front speakers. Seal those doors as well as possible and mount the tweets above the mids on the door panel. Many many options, maybe:
JBL C608GTi-mkII (c608gtimkii) - 6-1/2" Component Speakers System - Sonic Electronix
RE Audio XXX6.5C 6-1/2", RE Series 2-Way Component Car Speakers
Eclipse SC8365 - 6-1/2" Component Speakers System - Sonic Electronix
Polk Audio MM6501 - 6-1/2" Component Speakers System - Sonic Electronix

Rear speakers are in a bad spot. Too far back. No other options, like sides of middle seats? Also, have you considered not using a coaxial or component speaker set? Instead use a component driver that does not have a tweeter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice guys

I already got the Rockford amp, I got a two month old second hand unit for €200 from our local ebay, including the capacitor. So I got a pretty nice deal on that one. The speakers I haven't bought yet.

About relocating the rear 6x9's, that can't be done because the car is a campervan conversion, so it does not have a middle seat and the sides are blocked by cupboards. Besides that, the holes are already there and I don't really like going round my car with a hacksaw. Do you think that in this orientation they are just never going to work? Or could a small enclosure improve their performance?

Relocating the woofer will again be a problem. The rear woofer is now in unused space, if I move it to the middle of the car it will take away storage space. The second sub I considered buying, the JL 6w3v3 only needs a 4 liter enclosure, which I can create by modifying the center console.

However, it would be possible to just remove the JL woofer and put the sundown 8 inch woofer in the center console, since it only needs a 5.6 liter sealed enclosure. Is it possible to power each coil from one of the JBL's bridged channels? Or do you think I should get a new monoblock amp for this?

One of the reasons I picked the rockford speakers is because they don't look very flashy. Since we own a classic vehicle and originality is part of its value, we don't want anything to crazy. The Polk audio speakers are nice but the grilles won't suit the car. Is the quality of the Image Dynamics or Polk audio speakers that much better?

The 3 way component set from Eclipse does look pretty cool, it looks like the mid is built into its own enclosure right? So I could put it in the door along with the woofer without problems.
 

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i would say the rockford speakers will sound better than the sony speakers you currently have.

however i would also say that polk and image dynamics are more qualified for better sound quality over rockford. the rockfords should sound fine, and do what u want, but since your spending that much money i would rather get what sounds best.

but like i said rockfords should do nicely and not ruin the look too much

as for the 6x9, u said the place they are at currently is not sealed off, or a complete box. just fix that up so that air does not leak and it should perform fine.
 

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First of all, adding some sound dampening products to lower the noise floor in the cabin should help considerably.

Beyond that, I think what you need is some more efficient speakers all around. Have you considered horns? Is there any way for you to build a ported box for the 8W3, or add another one? A single 8" in a van on low power like that is going to have a hard time producing enough output to blend well. Sealing the 6x9's should also help to reinforce the lows.

Just throwing more power at a mediocre install is not going to accomplish much more that amplifying the problems that are already there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We have already fitted dynamat in the front doors, also the nose sheet metal has been covered in dynamat. I also replace the stock engine compartment padding with dynamat and hoodliner. With the new speakers we are also planning on adding dynamat on the cab floor and wheel wells. Also the interior side of the engine bay will be covered in dynamat and a 12mm layer of dynaliner. (The bus is rear engined)

The reason why I put the woofer in a sealed box is because it takes up a lot less space. We do not want to sacrifice even more space for woofers. So an option could be to remove the rear woofer and put a more powerful woofer like the 8 inch sundown in the center console. I like the idea of this since this thing has serious output in a small package. Are there other brands that offer this kind of performance in such a small enclosure?
 

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jl 8w7 but it costs a lot more
 

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The sundown SA-8 is gonna be much nicer than the 8W7 AND be MUCH MUCH cheaper...the SA-8's are only 130 dollars brand new, I have one in my car now in a temporary ported box on 1000 rms and it sounds fucking fantastic and KILLS the 8W7 that i have used in the past
he asked if there was anything else, thats pretty much the only other thing i know.

he didnt ask is there anything better than the sa-8.
he didnt ask is there anything cheaper than the sa-8.

so i gave him what else i know of. i didnt suggest he buy it, hint hint i said it will cost a lot more.

i know you can read right?
 

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Most 6x9 seem to be for IB use, meaning huge sealed. Using them for mids I had the best luck with a better brand but the lower power versions. Generally the high power had less bass, the cheap brand high power near no bass. Problem is you are mostly in the dark with 6x9 they don't publish specs; you have to listen to them. So I would not recommend small boxes, on the other hand you do need a solid baffle to mount them in and it must be closed rear to front or any bass you get will cancel. You can try aperiodic, I would with a smaller enclosure.

Another trick you can use is get a small RCA level EQ to run on them, you can pick up old quality name units cheap. You should be able to set it up and hide it someplace. If your HU can do it great, but sometimes its better to only have it on those speakers. If you don't play it at the max it should not degrade quality even if its not the best brand, but don't get a cheap brand unless someone used one and recommends. You could boost 80Hz on the 6x9 even the doors if you wanted I'd try it either way.

I would try another sub in front, but I'd want to use the same one as the other not a different sub. Make sure you test the phase on the mids and subs to get the most bass.

Far as tweeter placement, it depends on how it sounds to you I'm not familiar with that vehicle and have run both ways depending. The tweeters up high tend to raise the stage while they might have better separation near the mids, but it is usually the reflections in the vehicle and how bright the tweeters are that matters to me and where I like them.

You could try IB subs if you have a place to mount them, then you need no box and they can get deep. You would need a minimum of say pair of 10s or a 15 to get some good bass for 50rms on mids/highs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the advice again

We have decided to kind of raise the stakes here. We want to roll with the JBL MS-8 to gain full control over the soundstage. This is what I am considering now:

- RF 1652-s component set in front doors and tweeters up on the dash, also considering the Eclipse SC8365, not sure yet, any experience with these?
- RF 1692 6x9 two ways in the back, mounted in small sealed enclosures
- RF T600-4 with RFC1 cap powering the above speakers
- Sundown SA-8 subwoofer in the center console
- RF T600-2, bridged to 600W rms on the sub
- Center speaker 4 or 5 inch center speaker, yet to decide which one
- JBL MS-8 to tune the lot

So I decided to ditch the JL sub and install the sundown in the center console. I'll also ditch the JBL 4 channel amp I have in my current setup. I can get a good deal on a used RF T600-2, so I am considering that to power the sub in bridged mode. Do you think this would work out ok?

Would it be possible to power both the amps through the same capacitor?

Do you have any recommendations for a center channel speaker? I only have very limited space, so it must fit in a very small enclosure, ie smaller than 1 liter. I haven't fully read everything about the MS-8 yet, but would it be possible to power the center channel with the MS-8? I read it has 18W rms output channels?
 

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he asked if there was anything else, thats pretty much the only other thing i know.

he didnt ask is there anything better than the sa-8.
he didnt ask is there anything cheaper than the sa-8.

so i gave him what else i know of. i didnt suggest he buy it, hint hint i said it will cost a lot more.

i know you can read right?
ROFL, I can haz readingz skillz when i wants to...

Lol seriously though, I know what you were getting at, the W7 IS a nice woofer in all senses BUT in my experience with both of them the SA-8 perfoms as well if not better and is probably a 1/3 of the cost...I dont know what they go for retail as I havent bought electronics retail in at least 13 years
 

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ROFL, I can haz readingz skillz when i wants to...

Lol seriously though, I know what you were getting at, the W7 IS a nice woofer in all senses BUT in my experience with both of them the SA-8 perfoms as well if not better and is probably a 1/3 of the cost...I dont know what they go for retail as I havent bought electronics retail in at least 13 years
What u think and what u have experiencned are irrelevant. He asked a question I answered it. Ur absolutely right the sa-8 is better even if it is slightly less output. It's way way cheaper! But again doesn't matter he asked if he had any other options, no one would recommend him to buy anything other than the sundown but doesn't mean I can't tell him his other options...
 

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I think you'd like the use of the MS-8 with your proposed install.

How much space do you have in that center console?
 

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What u think and what u have experiencned are irrelevant. He asked a question I answered it. Ur absolutely right the sa-8 is better even if it is slightly less output. It's way way cheaper! But again doesn't matter he asked if he had any other options, no one would recommend him to buy anything other than the sundown but doesn't mean I can't tell him his other options...
Actually the kicker 8" subs from this years models are rather impressive to say the least, Just recently I installed (6) of the kicker 8" Solo Classics run off of 2 Jl Audio 1000/1's and the output was really incredible

Even 1 of them had some serious output as the kid came in originally with a single solo classic 8 in a ported box on a Jl 500/1 and until I saw that it was an 8 I honestly thought it sounded like a solid 12

Solo Classic | KICKER

I have also installed 2 of the new Polk MM 8's into a vehicle running off of 1 Polk Audio PA880 which does 800x1 at 1 ohm and they sounded fantastic AND they are super super shallow so they can go damn near anywhere and at only 139.00 each they are about the same price as the Sundown BUT they dont have the output "but the shallow mounting depth of only 4 inches!!! DOES have it's advantages

Polk Audio - Mobile Monitor Series - Technical Specifications
Polk Audio - Mobile Monitor Series - Mobile / Marie Speakers
 

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See I don't know about any crappy kicker subs so I answered the question with the only other option I knew of. Instead of trying to tell me the sundown was beter whenno already know this. U should put informative posts instead of bashing posts.

I run the Polk mm 10" subs and sorry hey don't compare to spl subs. The sound much better and have decent output but they don't compare as far as output so I didn't recommend it. Of he asked for sq with decent outpt I would have but I would assume he chose the sundown for more output potential.
 

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See I don't know about any crappy kicker subs so I answered the question with the only other option I knew of. Instead of trying to tell me the sundown was beter whenno already know this. U should put informative posts instead of bashing posts.

I run the Polk mm 10" subs and sorry hey don't compare to spl subs. The sound much better and have decent output but they don't compare as far as output so I didn't recommend it. Of he asked for sq with decent outpt I would have but I would assume he chose the sundown for more output potential.
Not to sidetrack this thread but I NEVER bashed ANY post's...I stated what MY experience was since I have run both the 8W7 AND the SA-8 and think the sundown is a better sub for much less money...

I also posted 2 more brands/models of subs that I have experience with and what did you do? "you just said I was bashing BTW"
You said "See I don't know about any crappy kicker subs" well I just listed them because unlike what you THINK about the kicker sub's they are NOT crappy by any means, Infact they are a rather impressive little 8" sub that is VERY clean and didnt/doesnt need a ton of power to make it happy

I thought it sounded great when all the customer was running was a single 8 on the 500x1, I dont know if you think any of this is new to me but I can assure you that it is NOT new by any stretch of the immagination

I dont know why you seem to take such offense or why you seem to get so angry by my post's but you should really relax just a little bit...you would swear I was on here insulting your mother judging by your reactions
 

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Cruzer relax holmes. Tinctorus was not attacking you.

Madmax, skip the RF components unless you can get a deal on them. If you use the MS-8 you have many/many/many options for drivers. What is the budget?

Also, what service do the rear speakers add when the vehicle is being used for camping?
 

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I'm not mad nor feel attacked. He asked what are other 8" sub options that compare to he sundown. I gave him the only thing I know of. Why u felt neccessary to say it costs more(which I clearly already stated) and it isn't better thanthe sundown(which was not what I said nor what the poster asked for) it just wasn't needed.

Then u see how I turned around and said ur kicker suggestion was crap? That's the same thing u did except I wasn't even suggesting it, he asked for another option and if money isn't of concern and sundown didn't exist he 8w7 would probably be the next best thing.

Anyways I agree Rockford isn't bad but other brands can offer a bit better for the money. And this coming from someone that has used and still owns Rockford subs amp and speakers. Tho I have yet to use the power series
 
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