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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I haven't done much with car audio since the mid-'90's, and have no experience with DSPs. I'm doing a mild upgrade in my daily driver (2002 BMW 325 wagon), will a DSP make a difference in this application? I want to leave the stock head unit in the car, and my current plan is to intercept the factory wiring at the level of the front seats and put an NVX XLCA2 LOC, NVX VADM2 2-channel Class D amp, and NVX QBUS8P subwoofer under the front seats. I have NVX VSP65kit speakers for the front doors, and I'll leave the rear door speakers running from the factory amp.

In this simple system, would substituting a DSP for the LOC provide noticeable improvements with the time delay and EQ functions? Is there a DSP that you could recommend for this application? In this case since the DSP is under the front seats, I'd want to adjust setting via computer rather than trying to get access to analog dials.
Thanks in advance for the education.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The speakers are 2-way components with 6.5" mid bass that mounts in the door and 1" tweeter that mounts in the sail panel: info here. I just realized I forgot to add the "kit" to the end of the description that designates the component set.
 

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I’m going to disagree… the speakers you listed are coaxials and I don’t think adding an expensive dsp will do that much for coaxials. If you actually have components, then yes, a dsp would help.
Why would a DSP not help a system with coax speakers?

I have coaxes in my system and a DSP & the DSP makes alllll the difference.
 

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Any speaker in an automotive environment will benefit from a DSP. It doesn't matter if it is factory speakers, coaxial, components, etc.
The budget options

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the helpful information. So I guess I'm going to go with a DSP. The question is what would I notice different between the budget units vs higher end units? Is it ease of use or actual sound? I'm not averse to spending a bit more for better sound, but don't know how to choose. Sorry for the newbie questions, but I have no experience with DSPs and "don't know what I don't know"!
 

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Build the best system you can without the DSP. Its not hard to add one later.
 

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Compared to higher-priced DSP, it boils down to three main factors. Higher-priced DSPs will have the better processing power, higher quality Dacs, and more software features/functionality.
These factors can translate to better sound. Then again, it's all relative to other components in the system and installation.
Look at a few DSP options, download the software, and play around with them to see what you are comfortable using.
Please don't get too caught up in spec. They are all very capable. It all boils down to need and price, and ease of use is always good.
I suggested these because I am familiar with them. I currently use MiniDSP 8x12 because it fits my needs. If you are planning to go waist-deep or neck-deep into the hobby, consider a higher-priced DSP with more functionality to grow as you grow. The MiniDSP 8x12 or helix are good options; many here prefer the Helix. If you want to keep your feet wet and not get into all the madness, the Dayton 6x8 and the MiniDSP 6x8 are good options.
 

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There are quite a few head units out there with various degrees of processing. One of those might fill the need if you don't need all the bells & whistles. It'll be an improvement with actives and passives although you'll get a lot more control active. I prefer the 80 PRS, but good luck finding them.
 

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I would add a DSP before i even swapped speakers...
You also know all the in’s and out’s of dialing one in. Clearly the most important part!! This can be a huge learning curve and time consuming struggle for first time dsp users (myself included) as well as most shops/professionals, At least in my area.
 

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Yea the learning curve is substantial I just bought my first dsp and doing a active setup for the first time. Been doing some wiring when I have time but I’ve gotta learn the software. I can tune a turbo ls or coyote, ecotec Chevy or Porsche on aem all day long but rookie with this stuff. Fortunately I have a friend who is proficient with the helix software to help me out. I believe though you can make any system sound better with a properly tuned dsp over anything else
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea the learning curve is substantial I just bought my first dsp and doing a active setup for the first time. Been doing some wiring when I have time but I’ve gotta learn the software. I can tune a turbo ls or coyote, ecotec Chevy or Porsche on aem all day long but rookie with this stuff.
That's exactly the boat I'm in. I can weld, fab sheet metal, and construct roll cages, but I don't have any experience with car audio recently. But I'd like to put together a nice system and I like to tinker, so perhaps a DSP would be a good fit instead of an LOC to get the sound from the factory head unit to the new speakers.
 
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