Ford Escape Automobiles Forum banner
1 - 20 of 82 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I am starting this thread to track the progress on my system upgrade for the 09 Escape with factory navigation. I posted this on the 03 Escape upgrade thread but I figured I would break it out to its own thread.

Here is the system I am looking at:

I am talking with a local shop in Kennesaw GA that has done a lot of custom work and seems to be pretty solid called Area-41.

Here is what I am looking at getting done:

Peripheral PCH8 processor
Alpine PDX-5
Alpine SPR-17S Front
Alpine SPR-57C Rear
JL Audio SB-F-ESCP/10w1v2 Stealthbox

I want to retain ALL of the factory functionality, including volume control from the HU. But the "audiophile" system is a joke.

I did my own install on my 2004 Mazda3 Hatch, but I am getting a bit older now and don't think I really have the patience to go through all of that again and I am also a little scared to take apart the new ride

So I am going to have this installed, and I am getting quoted somewhere near $2400 tax included.

Any thoughts good/bad/indifferent?
I also sent a PM to fourthmeal as he seems to be the resident expert on these things. Thanks fourthmeal btw, there is some excellent reading on these forums.
Here is his reply:

Hey there,

The pricing is outrageously high, but otherwise it is a decent system. A few quick notes:

You are missing deadening. This IMO should be your foundation. Look at http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com for the right approach, and either purchase there or at Secondskin for the right products.

I advise to not run rear speakers at all. The stock speakers sound just fine for most ambient background listening, which is what they are for. Focusing more intently on a well designed front door can lead to a much more fulfilling sound stage for the driver and passenger.

Running components is definitely a good idea, but consider running them active for fine control, and to get rid of the pesky crossover box.

You are considering a "processor", but it doesn't really do anything except take in a signal and regurgitate it. If you are going to add a processor, put one in that will let you EQ, time align, and adjust your crossover points finely. That's money better spent, and the control you have will let you fine-tune the system until it is perfect.

The Alpine PDX5 is a decent amp with great power, but sadly many who use it find it to be noisy, and a little rough when pushed. I respect the PDX lineup and thought of them first myself, but after reading review after review among my DIYMA forum peers (and these guys know audio), I can't recommend one.

The JL Stealthbox is a fine option. Just keep in mind with an 09 you can easily make the whole system disappear under your factory cargo floor height. A false floor can hide the subs, the amps, and everything else, and there will be NO visual cues that it even exists. That stealthbox just isn't as stealthy! Probably costs a whole lot more, too.
I wanted to go through these points and give my reasoning behind them for discussion or just to have it out there for anybody else looking for advice.
My main objective is to have clean bass, clean sound, but also loud when I want it to be loud. Main objective 2 is to keep all of the factory function of the system. No aftermarket HU, everything works just like it would stock.

Sound Deadening: I did miss this. I have ordered a bulk pack of dynamat xtreme from amazon for $140. Whatever I end up getting they are going to install the dynamat while they are installing the rest. Doors, lift gate, rear quarter panels. I hope 1 pack is enough..

For the PCH8:
This is what the shop recommended and they say they have used it frequently and with great results. I was/am wary of this, because I have researched RF's 3sixty.2 and Alpine's PHE-H650 and from what I can tell the PCH8 only lets you flatten the response curve and normalize it for the amps (and you have to tune it with your own RTA and tuning CD according to the owners manual). But, after looking at the options, I realized 1 major thing: both the 3sixty.2 and the H650, you cannot use the factory volume dial anymore, which is a huge problem for me. With the H650, you have to use a remote (seriously?), which can get lost, fall between the seats, etc.. and I am not hunting for a remote to turn the volume up and down every time. The 3sixty.2 you use a separately installed dial to adjust the volume and bass, from what I can tell. Better, but still sucks because then you can't use the steering wheel controls. If I am wrong here, let me know.

Cost is also a factor here, PCH8 (retail) is $199. The other 2 are north of 300 to close to 600. Right now I am just hoping to get a clean signal to the amps. Later (stage 2), I am assuming I can add a xover or similar between the PCH8 and amp. At least I think I can?
PDX-5: My intent is to have this and the PCH8 installed in the area where the stock sub is now. Once you remove it, there looks to be enough room. My main selling point with the PDX is size v power. 75x4 and 300x1 is perfect for what kind of sound I am looking for, punch but not over the top. Also, all the certificates I have seen online are showing 100+x4 and 370+x1, and I do not expect to have the gains to high on this amp, so hopefully I can miss out on some of the noise fourthmeal mentioned? JL 900/5 is also worth a look but I don't want to wait for it, and it seems they are pushing it back, either way it is not available right now.

JL stealthbox: Pricey. $499 is all you can get it for, no internet specials on this one. But here are my other options: Thunderform with woeful sub which would have to be replaced, making the cost more expensive. Also, it is bigger and takes up more space (albeit with a 12 instead of 10). Also, I have heard the plastic sucks vs glass, but this is hearsay and others might disagree. Maybe replace the current paper 8 with a JL 8? I think the PDX amp is overpowered for an 8, and I am looking for good to great bass (again, doesn't have to be over the top). Either way I don't like this idea. Putting a box in the cargo area is also not an option for me.
This leaves me with JL stealthbox, or custom build by install shop. To be honest, I trust JL subs and a custom build with a 12w1 or 12w3 12 will take up more room on the side, and likely cost more than $500. I absolutely love the complete stealth fourthmeal did (#2), but again I am not going to do the work, and I am thinking that kind of custom work will also cost more than $500.

I did hear one person tell me the 10w1's "f'ing slam".. has anybody had any experience with these? I think I would prefer a 10w3, but mounting depth is almost 1.5 inches deeper and thus becomes a problem on the side well.

Speakers:
The first thing I looked at was JL c5's. Very nice, also very expensive at $550/pair. I am just not wanting to drop $1100 for speakers alone. So the alpine type R's are reasonable at $250 fronts and $150 rears, and I have really heard a lot of good things about the type r's in general.
I think here I have the option to go active cross in the front and let the rears just use stock HU juice, but I think I will stick with passive for now. This seems like an easy option to change down the road.

Cost: Yes I think $2400 is high. But, I only want to buy from authorized retailers. For JL, that is Crutchfield and their brick-and-morter selected dealers. For Alpine, there are a handful of online authorized retailers, most of which charge full msrp ($599 amp, $249 fronts, $149 rears). I did find that Pacific stereo (alpine authorized) had the amp for $475, fronts for $200, rears for $125. A savings of $175 over msrp retail. But, shipping adds about 65 so lets say $110 savings. I feel like, for $110, it is worth it to buy local. If something breaks, I take it back to them. They deal with warranty, they take the old one out, put the new one in, no charge, etc. If I buy from pacific stereo, I have to deal with warranty.. ship the old one back, pay to have it taken out, then have the new one back in.. etc. Basically, I am ok with paying a little more for that peace of mind, and that relationship with the local independent shop.

The cost breakdown is $199 PCH8, $599 PDX5, $249 Fronts, $149 Rears, $499 stealthbox. The rest is install and wiring costs.

Anybody want to throw out any suggestions based on my criteria? Clean, stealth, quality, factory unharmed, not installed by me :) (I did that at least 4 times and I am done, time to let somebody else take over ;)

I plan to do this in the next week or so, either way I will make sure they let me come up there and take pictures during the install so I can post!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
My responses are in BOLD


09Ltd said:
Hi everyone I am starting this thread to track the progress on my system upgrade for the 09 Escape with factory navigation. I posted this on the 03 Escape upgrade thread but I figured I would break it out to its own thread.

Here is the system I am looking at:

I am talking with a local shop in Kennesaw GA that has done a lot of custom work and seems to be pretty solid called Area-41.

Here is what I am looking at getting done:

Peripheral PCH8 processor
Alpine PDX-5
Alpine SPR-17S Front
Alpine SPR-57C Rear
JL Audio SB-F-ESCP/10w1v2 Stealthbox

I want to retain ALL of the factory functionality, including volume control from the HU. But the "audiophile" system is a joke.

I did my own install on my 2004 Mazda3 Hatch, but I am getting a bit older now and don't think I really have the patience to go through all of that again and I am also a little scared to take apart the new ride

So I am going to have this installed, and I am getting quoted somewhere near $2400 tax included.

Any thoughts good/bad/indifferent?
I also sent a PM to fourthmeal as he seems to be the resident expert on these things. Thanks fourthmeal btw, there is some excellent reading on these forums.
Here is his reply:

Hey there,

The pricing is outrageously high, but otherwise it is a decent system. A few quick notes:

You are missing deadening. This IMO should be your foundation. Look at http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com for the right approach, and either purchase there or at Secondskin for the right products.

I advise to not run rear speakers at all. The stock speakers sound just fine for most ambient background listening, which is what they are for. Focusing more intently on a well designed front door can lead to a much more fulfilling sound stage for the driver and passenger.

Running components is definitely a good idea, but consider running them active for fine control, and to get rid of the pesky crossover box.

You are considering a "processor", but it doesn't really do anything except take in a signal and regurgitate it. If you are going to add a processor, put one in that will let you EQ, time align, and adjust your crossover points finely. That's money better spent, and the control you have will let you fine-tune the system until it is perfect.

The Alpine PDX5 is a decent amp with great power, but sadly many who use it find it to be noisy, and a little rough when pushed. I respect the PDX lineup and thought of them first myself, but after reading review after review among my DIYMA forum peers (and these guys know audio), I can't recommend one.

The JL Stealthbox is a fine option. Just keep in mind with an 09 you can easily make the whole system disappear under your factory cargo floor height. A false floor can hide the subs, the amps, and everything else, and there will be NO visual cues that it even exists. That stealthbox just isn't as stealthy! Probably costs a whole lot more, too.
I wanted to go through these points and give my reasoning behind them for discussion or just to have it out there for anybody else looking for advice.
My main objective is to have clean bass, clean sound, but also loud when I want it to be loud. Main objective 2 is to keep all of the factory function of the system. No aftermarket HU, everything works just like it would stock.

Sound Deadening: I did miss this. I have ordered a bulk pack of dynamat xtreme from amazon for $140. Whatever I end up getting they are going to install the dynamat while they are installing the rest. Doors, lift gate, rear quarter panels. I hope 1 pack is enough..
You are missing the vital ingredients of a mass-loaded vinyl layer, and a closed-cell foam layer. The Dynamat Xtreme simply serves as the first layer, and you should not just have them slather it on. In fact, I recommend that THEM is YOU. It only takes time, no skill at all required. If you don't have the time, I understand someone else doing it, but it will cost you. Anyway, re-check that link I showed you, and observe how to lay mat down, and how to use CCF or MLV appropriately on top. Just because a shop is good, it doesn't mean they know how to deaden properly. Major advancements have been made through research of how to do this right, and some people just don't know it yet. I learned just a few years ago, and I've been doing this since I was 18.

For the PCH8:
This is what the shop recommended and they say they have used it frequently and with great results. I was/am wary of this, because I have researched RF's 3sixty.2 and Alpine's PHE-H650 and from what I can tell the PCH8 only lets you flatten the response curve and normalize it for the amps (and you have to tune it with your own RTA and tuning CD according to the owners manual). But, after looking at the options, I realized 1 major thing: both the 3sixty.2 and the H650, you cannot use the factory volume dial anymore, which is a huge problem for me. With the H650, you have to use a remote (seriously?), which can get lost, fall between the seats, etc.. and I am not hunting for a remote to turn the volume up and down every time. The 3sixty.2 you use a separately installed dial to adjust the volume and bass, from what I can tell. Better, but still sucks because then you can't use the steering wheel controls. If I am wrong here, let me know.
You are mistaken. The 3sixty.2 install I had used the factory radio volume in a normal way, and the separate volume knob served as the subwoofer adjustment. The only important point to note is that the stock HU (and this was the non-nav model, keep that in mind) was distorting the signal very early on, so only about 9 clicks up in the volume dial (on screen marks), the 3sixty.2 would read clipping on the signal. That meant that I was able to get very loud, but the changes in volume happened quickly. That's not a big deal, but it took a bit of getting used to. Your head unit, being a different model, may perform better. Either way, you do not need to worry about losing anything. As you probably well know, I highly, HIGHLY recommend having an active processor like the 3sixty.2.

Cost is also a factor here, PCH8 (retail) is $199. The other 2 are north of 300 to close to 600. Right now I am just hoping to get a clean signal to the amps. Later (stage 2), I am assuming I can add a xover or similar between the PCH8 and amp. At least I think I can? You can, but adding more parts to the chain weakens it, and causes more and more distortion. Coming off the stock head unit, you can't afford much of this. Aftermarket head units can, but even then, the phrase "less is more" rings true here.
PDX-5: My intent is to have this and the PCH8 installed in the area where the stock sub is now. Once you remove it, there looks to be enough room. My main selling point with the PDX is size v power. 75x4 and 300x1 is perfect for what kind of sound I am looking for, punch but not over the top. Also, all the certificates I have seen online are showing 100+x4 and 370+x1, and I do not expect to have the gains to high on this amp, so hopefully I can miss out on some of the noise fourthmeal mentioned? JL 900/5 is also worth a look but I don't want to wait for it, and it seems they are pushing it back, either way it is not available right now.You are missing the critical spot to install everything. UNDER the factory carpet. Unless your model differs from mine (and this IS possible), you should be able to lift your factory carpet, pull out that ugly black plastic spacer, and be greeted with many cubic feet worth of free space, which you can have a false floor built in a couple hours. That way you can use whatever amps you want within reason, and enjoy the added benefit of more space to let them breathe. BTW, the issues with the PDX come mostly from the design aspects. It just seems to be a noisy amp. I've owned a couple ICEpower amps other than the PDX, and they don't have the same noise, so it is a design flaw. Conversely, the Pioneer Premier PRS ICEpower amps are quiet, powerful, and still small. Cheaper, too.

JL stealthbox: Pricey. $499 is all you can get it for, no internet specials on this one. But here are my other options: Thunderform with woeful sub which would have to be replaced, making the cost more expensive. Also, it is bigger and takes up more space (albeit with a 12 instead of 10). Also, I have heard the plastic sucks vs glass, but this is hearsay and others might disagree. Maybe replace the current paper 8 with a JL 8? I think the PDX amp is overpowered for an 8, and I am looking for good to great bass (again, doesn't have to be over the top). Either way I don't like this idea. Putting a box in the cargo area is also not an option for me.
This leaves me with JL stealthbox, or custom build by install shop. To be honest, I trust JL subs and a custom build with a 12w1 or 12w3 12 will take up more room on the side, and likely cost more than $500. I absolutely love the complete stealth fourthmeal did (#2), but again I am not going to do the work, and I am thinking that kind of custom work will also cost more than $500.It is true a false floor will cost some money, but I completed mine in less than a day, from scratch. I'm sure they can't charge more than a couple hundred for a solid false floor. If they do, I'd walk. Also, you can easily build your own false floor. I mean, really, really easily. This stuff isn't rocket science. I've taught many people from many forums (and of course right here in Vegas) exactly how to do build this stuff on their own. Again, if you don't have the time, I understand. But if it is just a fear or lack of skill that stops you, we can fix that. Promise. To cover your other topics, the MTX box doesn't have a sucky sub, but it isn't all-that either. It is definitely something to replace later, but so is the JL W1. That's a pretty weak sub, IMO. The W6, yeah, that's pretty good. But the W1 is very basic.

I did hear one person tell me the 10w1's "f'ing slam".. has anybody had any experience with these? I think I would prefer a 10w3, but mounting depth is almost 1.5 inches deeper and thus becomes a problem on the side well.With an Xmax of only 9.5mm, I would say this sub is at an extreme disadvantage amongst its peers for "slamming". The only things you need to concern yourself with regarding a sub is that it displaces air. The more air it displaces, the louder it gets. Only two things give a sealed box more displacement of air...excursion (xmax), and cone size. A 10", running only a max of 9mm will not be louder than a 12" with the same xmax (that's the MTX for you.) With a false floor, we could easily run a pair of 10's or 12's, as an example. IMO, either way you go, I think the bass will be "adequate" for most situations. Bass is only one fraction of the audio spectrum to focus on....despite what people think in their head when they first think "audio upgrade".

Speakers:
The first thing I looked at was JL c5's. Very nice, also very expensive at $550/pair. I am just not wanting to drop $1100 for speakers alone. So the alpine type R's are reasonable at $250 fronts and $150 rears, and I have really heard a lot of good things about the type r's in general.
I think here I have the option to go active cross in the front and let the rears just use stock HU juice, but I think I will stick with passive for now. This seems like an easy option to change down the road.You can always change it in the future, I'm just trying optimize your equipment the first time, so you can enjoy it fully without any more expense. Systems can leave a bad taste in your mouth when you have to keep adding money to them after dropping a couple grand. Trust me. Alpine R's are OK. JL is OK. Really, it comes down to what you like to hear in a system. I have my own way of helping people decide what brands are most likely to please them, but one catch-all component that I've had unbelievable success with is the Pioneer Premier TS-C720PRS....active or passive. Active makes them jump to life, however. Also, because the tweeter is typically mounted higher in the door, you REALLY need to consider time alignment as a critical item. Running a 3sixty.2 processor for example will fix this if you run active, but nothing can fix the mis-alignment of the tweeter and woofer if they are run passive. IF you do run passive and you decide that is your only way to go, I can only recommend one possible option...the Alpine SPX-17PRO component set. I have this set (running active), but the passive crossover boxes allow for time alignment in a passive environment, which solves the problem.

Screw rear speakers, BTW. Screw 'em. You don't have the capacity to hear the nuances of better speakers in the rear unless you are actually in the rear. For that, leave them alone and let them run on the stock deck. They only need a few watts of power to play ambient background (for rear fill), and the stock head unit does a fine job with that.


Cost: Yes I think $2400 is high.YEAH! Wait until you see what I draft up for you...I've got ideas. But, I only want to buy from authorized retailers.I have to postulate that the reason you wish to do this is for the warranty. IMO, eBay squaretrade "swapout" warranties are superior in every way, and well worth considering if you are buying authorized for that purpose alone. Also, online you can do CASHBACK, which is 8% currently. That is like reverse-tax. I saved hundreds using cashback on my build. Enough to buy a new set of wheels,...which I did! For JL, that is Crutchfield and their brick-and-morter selected dealers. For Alpine, there are a handful of online authorized retailers, most of which charge full msrp ($599 amp, $249 fronts, $149 rears). I did find that Pacific stereo (alpine authorized) had the amp for $475, fronts for $200, rears for $125. A savings of $175 over msrp retail. But, shipping adds about 65 so lets say $110 savings. I feel like, for $110, it is worth it to buy local. If something breaks, I take it back to them. They deal with warranty, they take the old one out, put the new one in, no charge, etc. If I buy from pacific stereo, I have to deal with warranty.. ship the old one back, pay to have it taken out, then have the new one back in.. etc. Basically, I am ok with paying a little more for that peace of mind, and that relationship with the local independent shop.Relationships are cool, and coming from owning my own shop I can say that I wish I had more customers like that. BUT...for your hard-earned money you are not exactly doing yourself a favor. I can tell you first-hand that warranties on audio gear is highly overrated, IF you install your system correctly. I can count on one hand the equipment that has failed me over time in my audio career. I can count on the other hand the equipment that has arrived DOA. DOA stuff will be swapped out immediately by a shop that has the gear, but other things will be pulled out, sent out for service, and put back in a few days or weeks later. You'll be dead in the water during that time, mostly. Consider that if you have a swapout warranty, from anybody (online or local), you're back in the game hopefully that day. I recommend looking into this, or just keeping enough money in the till for a swapout at any point. I do know that I can't live a day without my music in my car, so I keep a decent backup amount of cash at most times available in case an amp fails or something.

The cost breakdown is $199 PCH8, $599 PDX5, $249 Fronts, $149 Rears, $499 stealthbox. The rest is install and wiring costs.DAMN!

Anybody want to throw out any suggestions based on my criteria? Clean, stealth, quality, factory unharmed, not installed by me :) (I did that at least 4 times and I am done, time to let somebody else take over ;)

I plan to do this in the next week or so, either way I will make sure they let me come up there and take pictures during the install so I can post!
I'll give this a bit of time to soak in before I post my alternative build strategy. Before I do that, I need to know, do you not want to work on the car due to lack of skills, or lack of time? I can fix one of those, but the other I can't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for all the good info. A few quick responses because I am working today:

I have the locking wet trunk option in the floor of my Escape, so I want to keep that stock. I really think the only place that works for me is in the wheel well. For the JL sub, I am still wondering about the 10w3 fitting the box, but I can not find any detailed numbers on the box online (mounting depth, cu. ft.). It also like the fact that the JL box takes up the least amount of space, as compared to the thunderform.

JL:
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/Item/Photos/Default.aspx?i=13694440&tp=113

MTX:
http://www.mtx.com/caraudio/products/manualsQuickInstall/thunderforms/FESCP01_specs.pdf

I think my real problem with deciding is the PCH8 v. 3sixty.2. I was not aware that you could keep the stock volume function. I know the alpine explicity states that you can not. Also, the 3sixty.2 is very expensive, on top of everything else. This may be something I can swap out (PCH8 for 3sixty) once I save up some more money.

More thoughts later..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Staying passive:

Alpine SPX-17PRO
Eclipse XA4000 amp or Pioneer PRS 4100 amp.
JL Audio stealthbox (IMO, I'd have the guys at Sounds Sensations Auto build you something custom, but I digress)
RF 3sixty.2 (get it online, w/ a squaretrade warranty, or buy one from our DIYMA classifieds as they tend to pop up all the time.) OR an Audiocontrol processor.
Get your MLV and CCF

End up at least 200-400 cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you think of 3sixty.1 vs. 3sixty.2? is the 2 worth an extra 300?

I suppose I could wind up even if I went 3sixty.1 (399) instead of PCH8 (199), then dropped the rears ($149) plus the install ($49).

Sticking with the same amp, I could do the fronts active this way as well.

Pacific Stereo has the 2 for $599, so that would bump me up 200.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HookedOnTronics.com has 3sixty.2 for $399. They are not authorized retailer, but they seem to have very good reviews.

Also, I have a blackjack 2, but RF says Blackjack is incompatible, not sure if that means just the blackjack, or both blackjack, and blackjack 2..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
I love hookedontronics. They are great. I got my Pioneer F900BT from them! Try to enable cashback before you buy it, that's a free 8% right there. Just so you know, no matter where the 3sixty.2 comes from, after its warranty is up they only charge $175 to fix it. I know because I have one getting fixed for someone else.

I also LOVE audiosavings. They shipped out faster than I could believe. Just because these guys aren't authorized doesn't mean they don't take care of their customers.

The only way I'd run a 3sixty.2 would be with a laptop. The control and power of a laptop running the software is awesome. I have screenshots if you need it.

We need to find a replacement for the PDX5, bro. This thing just disappoints me.

BTW a 3sixty.1 is just like the other thing you are looking at....Useless...just a summer and a flattener.
Oh yeah...if you are running active, get a price (or pick them up online) on a set of PRS720s I mentioned. They will flat-out KILL anything in their price range. Best components I've ever installed, even better than the Alpine SPX-PRO's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
For the record, the overwhelming vote for an ATL builder is Jeff at Sound Sensations. You have to plan ahead, the guy is super-busy. But, he knows pure SQ, and he knows how to build them to perfection. One of my DIYMA members said that Jeff has done his competition cars for 2 and half years, and each one never one lost a point on the install side of scoring. That is high praise.

There's also a guy in NC that would be happy to build you a solid system personally. The thread of this discussion is here:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/diy ... -area.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input and discussion. Sorry I have not responded I was away this weekend.

I guess I got a little crazy and put the blinders on Friday night because I put a deposit on the system w/ Area 41. So then I got nervous of course and started going back and forth on 3sixty.2 instead of PCH8.

I emailed them to ask about the possibility of switching out, and here is what they said:

My installers, shop owner and I have heard nothing but horror stories about that piece. We choose not to use that product because we cannot guarantee it. Everyone here at the shop strongly recommends not using it. We have done many setups with the PCH8, integrating into high end cars such as Mercedes, BMW, and Aston Martin. We know its reliability. We use it over the JL and Alpine pieces all the time.
Well, that plus I had already put down the non-refundable deposit and they charge 20% restocking fee.. ouch.

They had also said verbally that they have had problems with connectivity and bluetooth, etc for the 3sixty.

So, with that said, I think I will be happy with this system. If it turns out that I am really not happy, I think the next step would be to switch to the AudioControl DQL8. I think I like it better than the 3sixty because you can tune from the unit and/or with an optional wired remote. But, that will have to be a later upgrade at that price, with everything else that is going in now.

One thing I will be interested to find is at what level the stock 2009 nav unit (which I think I read is sony) starts clipping. I sure hope it is not as low (1/4) as the non-nav stock units. Also, I am going to take the 10w1 out of the box once I get it back and measure the mounting depth to see what other subs might fit..

Thanks again to forthmeal for the advice, hopefully I will have some pictures and some reviews to share soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Dude..

I don't know what to tell you except they are on crack.

The v.1 version of the 3sixty.2 had problems, but nothing major. Sure, bluetooth was a little weak. I know, my last 3sixty.2 (which I sold to a family member when I installed their system) was a v.1

The new v.2 (sometimes known as a 3sixty.3) is all you'll find these days, and is fully capable, perfectly made. No bluetooth issues, no problems at all.

IMO, these guys are idiots. Sorry, but that's my kneejerk reaction to their inability to comprehend the importance of a processor that does something besides SUM and Send. Besides, who the hell requires a deposit, anyway? You don't EVER pay a single dime for your install until you see it in person, done and ready to go. Not one single red cent. You know why? Because they can royally screw up your car, and now you PAID them to do it. Go google the guy who had his BMW utterly destroyed because of incompetence, and you'll see what I mean.

IMO, time to read the fine print and get your every cent back. You could use the excuse that they are going the wrong direction you want to go, and you have irreconcilable differences in what you want. Also, you can show up with a letter from an attorney of course.

IMO, I'd just hand Jeff lots of money and let him create something special for you. The dude is a master, and wins all the time.

Plus, are these A-41 guys going to actually deaden the car properly? I presume not. If you talk to them about CLD, MLV, and CCF, are their eyes going to glaze over? I don't want you to find out the hard way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here is what I am thinking about now:

1. Take delivery of the equipment I have ordered. This is pretty much mandatory at this point, and I am happy with what I have OTHER than the processor. So I have: PDX-5, SPR-17S, SPR-57C, JL Stealthbox. MINUS the PCH8, get rid of that. I already have 36 sq ft of Dynamat Extreme delivered yesterday. I do not know if 36 will be enough but I guess I will find out.

2. Have installed by shop: front speakers only. 2 reasons are I do not want to cut any holes anywhere to flush mount the tweeters and I do not want to deal with fitting a 6.5 inch speaker into a 6x8 door hole. So let them do that.

3. Do the rest of the install myself.

I know I can do the install, I have done at least 3 in my lifetime. I guess I am just a little lazy now but I am getting more pumped to do it myself.

So, without discussing the amp or speaker selection (sorry fourthmeal), I am now down to 2 major options weighing on me. 3sixty.2 or AudioControl DQL-8.

Can anybody summarize what has to be done with the 3sixty to "flatten" the response so as to have a base to work with on xovers and such? Does it come with a mic? How does it "listen" etc.. Or do you have to use an RTA, which I dont have and dont plan on buying. Same questions for the DQL.

Either unit can be had for about $420. The DQL has an optional $200 wired control unit that I would basically run up to the glove box or center console for "in-the-seat" tuning. I am still not sure if the Blackjack 2 (Samsung i617) is compatible with the 3sixty software, but I did see that it has software for non-touch-screen windows mobile, which is what runs on the Blackjack 2.

I can use my laptop, but I really dont want to, i would rather have hand-held control whenever I want, even when my laptop is sitting at home.

One advantage of the DQL-8 is wired adjustment, no worries about connectivity.. One disadvantage is that it does not have time correction.
The 3sixty manual has a setup guide that talks about using an oscilloscope to set the input gain to just below clipping level (another thing I have no intention of buying), then it goes on to talk about all kinds of scientific sounding stuff that sounds [email protected]!4 complicated.
Whichever one I choose, I will still end up saving over $400 going the self-install route (except front speakers), and end up with a better system overall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As an update, I tried to install the application on my blackjack 2, and it installs fine. Then I try to start it and I get error: "An unexpected error has occurred in 3Sixty.2.exe", the details make it look like there is an error trying to populate a combo box from MyProject.Discover.PopulateList().

Anyways, I think the lesson is the app does not work on a Samsung i617.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
No need to apologize, friend, I'm just here as an adviser. You are the mover and shaker of this project, and I applaud you for taking on some of the install.

IMO, building the 6x8 into a 6.5" adapters is CAKE. In fact, I think your Alpines come with that adapter. If not, they can be made in 10 minutes per side w/ a jigsaw and a piece of 1/4" MDF.

With the 3sixty.2, IMO the only way to truly take advantage of its abilities is with a laptop.

36 Sq feet of Dynamat takes care of an entire car if you follow the 25% rule. This is outlined perfectly at http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com . However, you still need to pick up some CCF and perhaps some MLV, to finish this right. This won't cost much.

The 3sixty.2 does not use a mic. Instead it is taking the electrical speaker level or RCA level signal in, and EQ'ing to flatten as best it can. The speakers and environment still have their own impact, and you can tune that accordingly by ear. I prefer it this way, since most mic-based systems tune flat...and flat sounds like ***. This system at least finds out how much EQ it takes to flatten the factory HU. I have since replaced my factory HU with an aftermarket one, and recalibrated. The difference is BIG. Don't forget, the factory HU will clip early, so when you are tuning, pay attention to the clip lights on the 3sixty.2 and how you can work around that to get the gain you need without distortion. BTW, time alignment is EVERYTHING. Without it, I don't see how you could image properly with this vehicle. You are also going to run into difficulties running a passive network, because the Type R's do not have the right crossover to compensate. The X PRO's do, but not the R. IF you run active with the R's, you can then time-align each channel correctly through the 3sixty.2 and get the perfect image.

When it comes to the 3sixty.2, I know this machine inside and out. IF you get one, make sure it is a v.2 version, not a v.1 (and I don't mean 3sixty.1 and 3sixty.2, I mean 3sixty.2v2.) I can teach you the rest, don't worry about the petty book.

My pics may help you with tweeter placement. http://www.2008tributepics.shutterfly.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really want to go with the 360, but I am just scared as hell about the software and the connection. If you lose that.. the system is completely dead until it is fixed. I would almost want to go ahead and let them give me the PCH8 as a backup ;)

If I buy from HookedOnTronics, how do I ensure they are sending me a v2 revision? Also, my laptop uses Vista and has bluetooth, but I see that they have removed Vista from the supported list. My other laptop uses XP SP2, but no bluetooth.

I also saw that Alpine's come with a 6x8 converter. I am still pretty hard against drilling holes in the doors, and I think my wife would pass out if she saw me getting near them with any type of power tool.. so I think I will still have the shop put in the fronts, for $99.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Totally fine for $99, but you better make sure they put new wire in the doors through the molex connectors. If they dare drill another hole or stuff the crossover in the door and pat you on the back, I say kick their ***. There's things you just DO NOT DO...and I've seen it all unfortunately. The worst stuff I've seen came from supposedly excellent shops. To do this car right, you need to run 4 conductors of wire through the door molex, and to the back of the car or where you want your crossovers. I see a lot of guys running X-overs in places they shouldn't. They need to breathe!

I made the holes for my doors in about 10 minutes per door, and it is perfect (as you can see by the pics.) Honestly I say do it yourself and KNOW you did a good job. Replacement door panels aren't that expensive, if you are worried about it. A couple hundred bucks for a pair, last I saw. So, if you royally screw up it isn't like you destroyed the whole car.

Don't let the 3sixty.2 scare you. Sure, it isn't perfect. But right now, we don't have a better alternative that fits your price range, that fits your design criteria. Obviously if you had a higher budget, I would have recommended a Zapco piece. Currently, there are precious few processor options on the market with a small price tag and high performance. You can always email hookedontronics and ask them, btw. It will say what it is on the back side of the unit, and probably on the box. Mine does.

You can add a bluetooth dongle to any computer, so that's a non-issue. Also, I've run Win7 successfully with my 3sixty.2, but I know that 64 bit systems give it a bit of trouble. My solution was to use Win7 in compatibility for XP32bit. I haven't tried it again with Vista, but I'm sure there's bound to be issues. Solvable though...you can always run XP in a partition or a VM mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am ordering wires from knukonceptz today. Do I need to run a 12v from the battery for the 3sixty or is there one that I can use near the factory amp in the back? I would like to not have to remove the HU if I don't have to..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is what I plan to order from knukonceptz, have I missed anything?

Karma SS Y Adapter 1 Male to 2 Female
Karma SS 2 Channel 1 Meter RCA Cable (3)
Kolossus Fleks Kable 4 Gauge Black Power/Ground Wire (4ft)
Kolossus Fleks Kable 4 Gauge Red Power/Ground Wire (20ft)
Karma SS 12 Gauge Speaker Wire (10ft)
In-Line Waterproof Mini-ANL Fuse Holder (+ 60A fuse)
Gold Plated 4AWG Ring Terminal -Red
Gold Plated 4AWG Ring Terminal -Black
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK well I took the plunge, no turning back now.

Just ordered the 3sixty.2 from sonicelectronix and got the 3 year SquareTrade warranty just incase I need it. $480 shipped.

Hopefully, everything will be here for this weekend. I am still waiting on the shop to tell me what they have already received and what they are still waiting on. They are not being very responsive at this point, maybe because I told them I am doing most of the install myself. Still, I have already paid them a boat load of money, you would think they would respond to an email. I think I will be making a trip up there this afternoon..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Sorry, been busy.

Looks like you've got some good stuff going on here. I think I would use the 3sixty.2 in signal-out mode for remote turn-on, since you are using the stock deck. This means you are going to open the 3sixty up, and change a jumper. Then, the unit will take in a signal from the stock deck via speaker wire, and turn on itself, AND then the amps in a second or so, with a 12V switched remote out. Do NOT make the fatal mistake I once did and run cooling fans off this output. I mis-judged the milliamp draw of the cooling fan and killed one of my 3sixty's doing that one time.

I think pulling the 12V constant from the factory amp is brilliant, BTW. At least for the 3sixty. I used my multi-distribution block's free spot to make my connection. Either way, it works.

Important here...make sure to use the same grounding point for your amp and 3sixty.2 to avoid ground loop whine. My favorite grounding point for the E/M/T vehicle is one of the rear seat back brackets. I unbolt the bracket, grind the paint off the chassis point, and the paint off the bracket itself on the underside, then sandwich the ground terminal in between the chassis and the bracket. Noise-free, no dimming, and no trouble to make it work.

The lack of response does not surprise me. I've owned a shop before as I said, and I know how they work. I would choose to do it without them, IMO...but it is your call.

I would also get a 4 conductor wire (sheathed perhaps), 16 gauge, and run some from each door to your install area. You are installing components, you do NOT want to install the crossover in the door. For a few reasons, but mainly because they get warm and can fail if they do not breathe. I see this critical mistake made constantly, and I shake my head in shame when it happens. If you wrap a passive crossover in a door panel (especially if you smother it), when the music starts flowing the electrical parts will heat up. Once they heat up, they will change in sound quality, from good, to OK, to terrible. Keep passive crossovers in and around the amps, where they will get some air flow! They can also be adjusted easier this way. You'll need to run two sets of wire to the door to make this happen, which is why I like using 4 conductor wire. Drill through the molex connector in each door on the edge, and run the wire through it. It isn't fun, but it is necessary to do it right.

You need to remove the HU to get a speaker signal to the processor. You should take the signal from the HU out at the front left and front right, straight out of the HU as close as you can. Run either 4 conductor or a pair of wires from the HU to the processor. This is why I mounted my processor under my seat with a trim board. Less wire run = better. To take out the HU, download the installation manual from Metra's website for their dash kits for our vehicle. It is a perfect tutorial.
 
1 - 20 of 82 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top