Looking into setting up a SQ system
Posted 18 August 2012 - 03:10 AM
So, I'm not totally new to car audio, but I have been out of the "game" for 6-7 years. Before I was just rocking Kickers and stuff...but as I've matured, I've come to realize I fall into the SQ category. Don't get me wrong, I love loud music...but it needs to be as clear and crisp as possible.
With that intro, here is where I'm at. I've been trying to learn more and do a ton of research, but am having a hard time finding the info I need.
I recently purchased a 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with a 7 speaker system (no nav) and want to upgrade it.
First off: are there any really good articles that could help me understand audio electronics, quality, and such more? Such as how to use crossovers. What matters in bass. What matters in mids. What makes the major differences. What's the difference between Burr Brown and regular DACs...
So some articles on that would be awesome. Second...I need help building. After 4 or 5 days of research, I'm leaning toward a complete Morel system"
Tempo 6 mid-ranges and tweeters.
Ultimo 12" sub.
I really want a touchscreen Head Unit (for various reasons), but apparently none of them have good DACs. Is it possible to get an external quality DAC? How about carputers? Does the DAC make that much of a difference?
My budget is about 2000 USD, but if I can get it a bit lower, that'd be best.
SQ is the most important, followed very closely by loudness. I want aural bliss inside my car, without breaking it apart though.
Thanks guys! Any and all help is very much appreciated!
Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:40 AM
I'd be looking for a JBL W12GTi mkII (if their still available) http://www.sonicelec...12GTi-MkII.html
For fronts I'd be looking at these http://www.madisound...-car-audio-kit/
Posted 18 August 2012 - 11:02 AM
If you're chasing SQ I'd settle for a headunit which isn't touchscreen and spend more money on something that will be able to process your system properly.
Posted 18 August 2012 - 11:34 AM
Also look at the tutorials on this forum >> http://www.mobileele...cle-discussion/
The main thing I suggest you keep in mind is
1. Installation is critical, doesn't matter how good the equipment is, if you don't spend the time/effort & some of your budget to get that right, then you're wasting your time. The better the equipment is installed, and with particular focus to the speakers, placement and understand how to get the most from them, the better your system will sound.
2. Understand your music and build a system around what you want. EG would you buy a truck if you wanted to go F1 racing? Would you get small sports car if you wanted to tow a boat around? Silly right? but like wise would you get a million woofers of you only want clean/clear bass? Buy quality pieces of brands you trust that suit what you're trying to achieve in the overall sound.
3. One good quality amp or headunit, is a much better investment than a whole heap of lower quality gear for the same price. Generally speaking, quality gear lasts for years and is easier to expand and build on.
4. Go a listen to equipment. Gear on a forum makes no sound at all ... see if you can find a car similar to yours and see if you can listen to what sort of sound they get... Comps or social meets are really good for this.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:26 PM
Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:55 PM
In this case the first things I'd be looking at is your own vehicle:
1. Where will the mids go (how flexible are you on angles?)
2. Where will the tweeters go (how flexible are you on angles?)
3. How much boot space do you have for the sub, and how big an enclosure can you fit while still being satisfied with practicality
4. Do you have room for multiple amps, or would you rather keep it the install simpler and run a single amp?
5. Does you budget include installation and accessories (cabling, sound deadening, fusing, etc) - if so are you installing it yourself or getting a pro install?
If you want to get deep into the advanced stuff you can check out my other thread (linked further down in this one), but if you can answer those six questions, it's a great starting point
Edited by muzzy66, 19 August 2012 - 06:45 PM.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:05 PM
Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:19 PM
I have moved this response to a seperate thread (as above) to avoid clogging this one up unecessarilly. Mods please delete this post
Edited by muzzy66, 19 August 2012 - 08:24 PM.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:43 PM
Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:50 AM
Here are my answers to muzzy's questions:
1. I'm trying to go for a fairly stealth install, so just replacing the speakers in their current location.
The front mids are on the inside bottom of the door (facing straight in) - I could probably tweak that angle a little. The rear mids are behind the rear seat, facing straight up. I could teak those angles fairly easily as long as its not trying to put them straight forward.
2. The tweaters are in the front corner of the front doors, at the base of the side windows. They currently face directionally at the drivers and passenger seats. (not too much room to change the angles on these)
3. We want to save as much boot space as possible (for the fiance mostly ), that's why I'm thinking just 1 sub in an enclosure. The Morel seemed to like about a 1cu. foot sealed box, so that shouldn't be too bad. I'm trying to figure out how to best position it though. Either having it facing the rear, forward, or to the side (the side would make it easiest).
4. Multiple amps won't be difficult to install. I was already thinking of at least 2: 1 for the mids and 1 for the sub. I'm planning on building a mounted shelf right below the rear speakers in the trunk to house the amps, and whatever other things I might want there (eqs, processors, etc).
5. Yeah, the budget includes everything. But I will be doing the install myself. I've done quite a few in the past, so I'm comfortable with the wiring and such. Just trying to do my own now and customize it to my sound taste and personal look.
Thanks for the help guys! I'll read that other thread too.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:13 PM
6. Are you planning to run active or passive?
7. Are the rears necessary, or not too important?
Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:44 AM
As for the rears, I'd like to have them, but if I could get a lot better sound by holding off on them, that might be ok. My only concern with that is is the rear passengers will hear the quality of music as well from the front.
Also, not sure if I mentioned it, but, one of the reasons I chose the Morel Ultimo is because I was clear bass, but I also want it loud and strong. I'm a basshead... But, I might be able to go with the SC and save a little money that way.
Thanks again! You guys are very helpful.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:38 AM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:03 AM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:13 AM
The first problem with the Ultimo is that it has very poor sensitivity relatively speaking. The average sensitivity for a 12" is probably around 86dB 1w/1m, with some of the higher sensitivity woofers out there (IDMAX, Ultimo SC, Peerless XXLS, etc) being up around 87.5dB. The sensitivity for the Ultimo is only about 84.5dB 1w/1m - that's about 3dB less then the more sensitive 12's out there, and 3dB of output translates to it needing twice the power just to reach the same output level. So to start with, the Ultimo is quite power hungry.
Second problem with the Ultimo is that it's rated '1,000w' power handling tends to lead a lot of people of people to believe it is a good "SQL" woofer, but make no mistake...this is a pure SQ woofer. No matter how much thermal power handling that voice coil is rated to take, the woofer's mechanical powerhandling will always be limited by its xmax (12.5mm) and cone area (471cm^2). These translate into a total displacement that's on par with subs like the Peerless XXLS, Focal 33XK, Rainbow Vanadium and other SQ subs that most would never even dream of using in an SQL application.
Looking at all of the above you might think I'm bagging out the Ultimo as a poor sub, but I'm not at all. It's an excellent SQ sub, and is up there with in the top 3 or 4 of all the subs I've heard in terms of accuracy and definition.
I modelled these subs at the time for an in car response of -3dB @ 20hz, because I decided that's the low end extension I wanted. For the Ultimo to model out with that level of extension I needed to put it in 27L sealed, and in that enclosure the driver reach it's excursion limits off 690W - that seems like a big figure, but remember the 84.5dB sensitivity. By comparison a Peerless 830847 XXLS reached it's mechanical xmax off 310W, but has 2.5dB higher sensitivity (87dB). Take it all into consideration and you're lucky to get 0.5dB or 1dB more output from the Ultimo versus the XXLS, assuming you have an amp that can actually produce 700w RMS. If your amp only makes 600w or less then the XXLS will give you more output.
So consider all of the above, then consider that the XXLS sounds at least as good as the Ultimo and costs only about $300 - much more friendly to your budget!
Oh and no, I've not forgotten about the Ultimo SC! It's got good sensitivity (around 87dB - 88dB) but has very limited mechanical power handling due to the very limited xmax (9.5mm). For equivalent low end extension to those speakers listed above the SC needed 36L sealed, in which it ran out of xmax off 235w input power.
If you really want a sub that will have the potential to sound good and go very loud off modest power, I'd be looking at either an IDMAX 12 (which is Ultimo-like money) or an SB Acoustic SB42FHC75. The IDMAX combines genuine 1,000w power handling (mechanical as well as thermal) with 88dB 1w/1m sensitivity. The SB Acoustics offers about 300w power handling but with a whopping 90.5dB sensitivity for about $400
Also before someone says it, no, 15" subs do not have worse sound quality then smaller subs. Sound quality depends mostly on factors like smooth frequency response and low distortion, and these factors are ultimately determined by the quality of the motor and cone/surround designs. A 15" sub (due to higher cone area) actually needs to move much less then a 12" to produce the same low frequency output, and will also have higher senstivity (as a general rule) hence requiring less power - so a 15" should actually sound better then an equivalent 12".
If pure SQ is what you're after along with the ability to go loud at times, I would go with one of the Peerless XXLS variants - either a single 12 or a pair of 10's (which would still be cheaper then the single Ultimo).
If you want to be able to go very loud but still sound pretty good, I'd be going fo the IDMAX or the SB Acoustics SB42 15".
Hope this helps
If you go with the IDMAX / Ultimo that leaves you about $1200 budget for the entire rest of your system - headunit, speakers and amps. That's not a lot at all once you split it 3 or 4 ways and would limit you to about $300-$400 per component (depending on whether you get one amp or two).
If you go with the XXLS or SB42 it leaves you with about $1600 - $1700 left for the rest of your system, which means anywhere from $400 - $550 per component.
To make the most of the budget you have, I would probably stick to a passive front stage - whatever you save by going active (speaker speaker drivers) you are going to spend back on extra amplifcation. I'd also then make use of the fact that you're running passive and stick to a single decent quality amp rather then a pair of mediocre ones. Far as head unit goes I'd stick to something decent that has a HPF and LPF, unless you can find a nice second hand one in the MEA For Sale section that supports active (nice to have, as it opens you up for future upgrades).
So, I'd be dividing the budget something like:
* Source: $400
* Front Splits: $600
* Amplifier: $400
* Subwoofer: $400
This leaves you ~$200 for install accessories, sound deadening, materials, cables, and/or rear speakers (if you must). On this type of budget I'd be looking at the Focal 165V30 spilts (if they are still around) or the Crescendo's (if they are as good as the old ones). Both are exceptional component sets on a $600 budget that can compete with ~$1,000 offerings from other brands. I also wouldn't count out the second hand market, as there are often some very nice pre-oned speakers that pop up here on MEA for great deals
If you did go active I'd be dividing it up like:
* Source: $400 (second hand)
* Tweeters: $150
* Midwoofer: $150
* Subwoofer: $400
* Speaker Amp: $350
* Sub Amp: $350
Again, this leaves $200 spare for extra bits.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:32 PM
Also,like i said in my first post,seeing the OP is in the USA,this would open up some other options
Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:41 PM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:39 PM
That also means you can also get JL Audio and ARC Audio amplifers very cheap..also opens up some doors.