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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I was planning on doing one of these stealth projects myself, I have an 05 Limited with the spare tire under the car. What sub do you recommend would sound good in a stealth enclosure? Your second build is def what I'm leaning towards. Not 100% sure on my budget right this second, but any advice on equipment that you've heard in this type of enclosure would be appreciated!
 

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Well, going slim is tough, because most slim subs are pretty "peaky" in normal sized boxes. That is, they tend not to have a flat response and they boom a bit. However, I know of a few decent slim subs.

Tangband 10" "pancake" sub, you can find it at http://www.partsexpress.com

Kenwood's slim eXcelon sub, 10"

Pioneer Premier 10" slim sub

JL Audio slim sub.

The Tangband is designed for tiny boxes, but they aren't very powerful. Ideally, I think two to three would work OK with the right amp. The JL Audio sub is expensive but has excellent sound quality and power. Overall if you have the money and wish for the best in this particular situation, I'd go with that. The Pioneer and Kenwood options are solid middle-ground choices. I'd recommend a pair of them as well.

If you noticed in my second build, I made slats so the subs could play through the factory carpet. Also, if you notice, there is a good amount of space just in front of the rear seatbacks. I didn't plan on it initially, but that space really helped the sound get out from under the stealth location.

Ideally you'll need to deaden the vehicle properly (which we can cover in depth), and then you'll have to pick up some fiberglassing materials and do just a tiny bit of fiberglass work. Don't worry, its not rocket science if you've not done it before. This box should take about $100 in materials if you have woodworking tools like a saw and drill and stuff. You'll also be able to integrate an amp rack in just like I did, and if you go with smaller, more space efficient amps you'll have a more tidy install than mine was.

Next question is,...what do you already have that we can use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I want to go stealth is the only option i have shallow subs? What is the mounting depth I am able to go up to and still keep it stealthy?

I don't have anything we can currently use. I am starting from scratch and am going to buy it piece by piece!

What I looked at so far is:

Subs: Image Dynamics IDQ12V3 and Fi-Q

Amps: Zapco DC500.1, Alpine PDX, JL 500/1

Components: Not sure

Head-unit: Alpine 9886
 

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Simple depth measurement is about 3" in the well, and you have about 2" more from the plastic spacer. The problem here is that most subs you are mentioning are well above that.

If you noticed, my 2nd build uses Fi Audio SSD subs (specially made for tiny sealed boxes, incidentally.) These just BARELY fit in my fiberglass enclosure, but they did indeed raise the floor level about an 1.5 inches above stock. To mitigate this lift, I had the amp rack cover at a slight angle to lower the backside down to near stock height...so it would look believably stock when you opened the tailgate. You could feasibly do this to your build, but I encourage you to compromise a bit with your sub choice and make it up somewhere else. For instance, in the EQ tuning. Besides, most subs are simply amazing compared with what was available just a decade ago.

The Zapco amps are processors in their own right, so if you can afford to play with them, I would. If you can't, you can match their sound quality with ARC mini amps or perhaps JL's HD series. The PDX series are very nice as well, but some complain that they are "cold" and somewhat "digital" in sound quality. For the record, I am a firm believer that any modern solid-state amp sounds just fine*, but your ears may be more discerning.

For components, before you decide what you want you must first decide what type of sound you prefer. In other forums I have had excellent success with a simple form I have people fill in. With it, I get to peek inside your head for what musical style you are tuned in to. Here's the form, just fill it in to the best of your abilities:

I need to know your car, your max budget, your needs for space, and your musical listening preferences.

For car - I need the year, make, model, and trim that it comes with. If you already know what speakers it fits stock, that helps.

For budget - keep in mind a good system starts with a "big picture" point of view. Therefore, all systems will need various ancillaries that can't be avoided (deadening, wiring, etc.), so a COMPLETE from the ground up system sometimes runs higher then you might see advertisements for in your local paper. I can build something worthwhile as low as ~$550 or so, depending on the car. Keep in mind, there are significant advantages to raising your budget. More power, more clarity, better efficiency, less wasted space, more features, etc. all come into play. And with all things, you MUST PAY TO PLAY. Equipment from systems will probably outlast the car and might go into your next car or two, so keep in mind that it is an investment not just throw-away money.

Your needs for space - I value, above all else in systems I build, usable space left over. I think even the most powerful and showy system still deserves to be livable in a daily driver. If you are building a show car, my thread isn't for you, this is all about stealthy and hidden daily driver solutions, where possible.

Your musical preference - we all listen to different music and at differing volumes. A while back, I composed a list of "this or that" and a sliding spectrum between the polar opposites, and I'd like you to use it to help me figure out what you expect. Here's the list:

Laid Back - 1 2 3 4 5 - In your face

Detailed/Intricate - 1 2 3 4 5 - Smooth and blending/ambient

Loud - 1 2 3 4 5 - Subdued

Concert/Live sound - 1 2 3 4 5 - DJ/Premixed Sound (meaning, do you prefer your music live and natural, or more pre-recorded and boosted in some areas to accentuate the music?)

For the dollar, whatever that number might be:
Power/volume 1 2 3 4 5 Clarity/Detail

Next, tell me your favorite genres of music to go along with these scales.

Lastly, do you care about rear passengers and their sound? Yes/No

One more thing...If you have ANY audio gear now that you'd consider using, list it.

I've found with these essentials understood, I can usually provide some suggestions that will impress as a total package. GO!


Obviously I lifted that from my other threads, so we already know your car and other important info. But, complete the rest for me to patch some ideas together.

And, give serious consideration to the JL pancake subs if you are playing with brands like you've mentioned. Your budget sounds like it is nearly ideal for it...and the JL pancake is the ultimate flat-panel sub currently out. Stereo Integrity is working on a special one called the BM, but it is not ready yet!

* The point is that while one amp may sound different from another, the difference can be corrected with minimal EQ work.
 

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Darkscape did you lose interest?
 

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You could always use the stock spot for an 8' sub.. then do the opposite on the other side of you rear side hatch area.. I know there's enough room to fit 2 on each side. I usually find that small subs combined like that have a very tight low end. Even listening to heavy rap or hip-hop, one 8' wouldn't be able to cut it at a high volume.. But if all that bass is displaced amung 4-8' subs, it'll sound great.. I've done this before to conserve space in an extended cab pick-up truck I had and ended up selling them to a friend so he could use them in his dodge stratus.. And they deffinately cut it. Then all you have to do is worry about placing your amp, and that shouldn't be too difficult.

Idealy in car audio, 12's are the way to go if you have the time to fit them to lose the least amount of room, and the money to buy decent ones as to not get a real loose over-boomy low end sound.. But I found with research, 4-8' subs will put out about the same power and volume as 2-12' subs and maybe a little more depending on the placement of the speakers and the type of box you use to dispurse the sound. Usually, you get more volume out of a bottom loaded cabinet. Front loaded is the most common in vehicles.. And what I've personally always used.

IMO, load the sides of the 'cargo' area with 2-8' speakers on either side, and find a place to hide the amp. If you're going for a stealth look, (This is just presuming you're getting an aftermarket head unit for more power to the door speakers) invest in a second smaller amp to hide to power the 4-6x8 speakers in the doors and leave the stock head unit and just use it as a reciever. An aftermarket anything that you can see at night from the outside of the car screams !STEAL ME STEAL ME! depending on the neighborhood you live in.

Then tell the ricers that it's stock. :lol:
 

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Ryan, I can validate what you're saying 100%. In fact, I've used 6.5" TangBand sub drivers to great effect in a small pickup quite recently. 3 of them in a sealed box right behind the seat, firing down. The only thing that must happen when you use small subs is that you must EQ the mid-bass peak out so the response matches that of a subwoofer, OR alternately you can use these small subs and their mid-bass potential to your advantage by dialing out some midbass from your front stage, provided you cross over appropriately.

In fact, some of the most capable systems on the SQ comp circuit use 6.5" subs, usually 4 of them.

About 3 equals a single quality 10" sub. You can model these things and anticipate how it will sound using WinISD and validate the use of small subs in multiples yourself.
 

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fourthmeal said:
Ryan, I can validate what you're saying 100%. In fact, I've used 6.5" TangBand sub drivers to great effect in a small pickup quite recently. 3 of them in a sealed box right behind the seat, firing down. The only thing that must happen when you use small subs is that you must EQ the mid-bass peak out so the response matches that of a subwoofer, OR alternately you can use these small subs and their mid-bass potential to your advantage by dialing out some midbass from your front stage, provided you cross over appropriately.

In fact, some of the most capable systems on the SQ comp circuit use 6.5" subs, usually 4 of them.

About 3 equals a single quality 10" sub. You can model these things and anticipate how it will sound using WinISD and validate the use of small subs in multiples yourself.
It also depends on the amp you use.. Some bypass higher freq. to make the selected speakers run only lower freq.. As done in one of my old vehicles.. I could cut back higher freq. in the back of the car and run them only in the 6.5' speakers in the front... Where as I could also blast it full range to get the dynamics of a fuller system..

So in theory and also in personal testing with the 4-8's in the past.. Using 4-8' subs would work just using the right amp (and right speakers to handle it of course) to seperate freq. from the sub out and the main out on the amp.. Certains ones have it, some don't. I do see what you're saying.. And it is 100% correct, I just like to find ways around having to EQ.. Because I don't really believe in them. You should always run things as FLAT as possible, and that's very capable without the use of any sort of in-line EQ or analyzer/computer.
 

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RyanRage said:
fourthmeal said:
Ryan, I can validate what you're saying 100%. In fact, I've used 6.5" TangBand sub drivers to great effect in a small pickup quite recently. 3 of them in a sealed box right behind the seat, firing down. The only thing that must happen when you use small subs is that you must EQ the mid-bass peak out so the response matches that of a subwoofer, OR alternately you can use these small subs and their mid-bass potential to your advantage by dialing out some midbass from your front stage, provided you cross over appropriately.

In fact, some of the most capable systems on the SQ comp circuit use 6.5" subs, usually 4 of them.

About 3 equals a single quality 10" sub. You can model these things and anticipate how it will sound using WinISD and validate the use of small subs in multiples yourself.
It also depends on the amp you use.. Some bypass higher freq. to make the selected speakers run only lower freq.. As done in one of my old vehicles.. I could cut back higher freq. in the back of the car and run them only in the 6.5' speakers in the front... Where as I could also blast it full range to get the dynamics of a fuller system..

So in theory and also in personal testing with the 4-8's in the past.. Using 4-8' subs would work just using the right amp (and right speakers to handle it of course) to seperate freq. from the sub out and the main out on the amp.. Certains ones have it, some don't. I do see what you're saying.. And it is 100% correct, I just like to find ways around having to EQ.. Because I don't really believe in them. You should always run things as FLAT as possible, and that's very capable without the use of any sort of in-line EQ or analyzer/computer.
Perhaps we should drag this one outside of this particular thread, but I disagree with your EQ statement. I can assure you from many RTA tests that "flat" on a head unit or an amp will not be flat in a car. The car's size, reflective materials, etc. will all change the response plot. So, an EQ is your best friend. Trust me, with 31 bands of EQ available per speaker (per tweeter, per woofer), and about 15 on my sub, I can assure you it is not flat.
 

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I didn't say to run it flat.. I said to run as flat as possible. I've won quite a few audio competitions. I've never used an EQ. The one time I had the option to, I ran it completely flat with an exception to some higher freqs. because the system was lacking any high end. No pink noise analyzers, none of that crap. Just a good ear for setting gain levels. The only EQ i've ever used was on the stock head unit.. And that was only to bump up the treb. a little bit. Most of it is based on the speaker size/placement ratio. If you're listening to music at extremely high volume, then of course you'll need EQ because some of those 8-16k get pretty harsh. At a reasonable listening level.. You shouldn't really have to touch the EQ.. Trust me, i've set up A LOT of systems and 'dialed' them in. Maybe an EQ works for you.. But I personaly find them a nusence when I can rank at audio competitions and even win some not using an EQ and basing my system on speaker placement, speaker size, and gain levels.

That being said, I agree, what we're debating should be moved to another thread.. And no hard feelings, this is what makes people better themselves, trying new things and discussing them. I like to hear other peoples ideas and how they work things.. You can ALWAYS learn something new, and I know I have. I may never use an EQ, but I'll probably end up screwing around with one now.. Who knows, maybe I'll like it.. Maybe not. :lol:
 

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Before I raise the BS flag, are we talking SQ comps or SPL comps?
 

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Sound Quality Competitions.

W-B/Scranton Audiofile Competition
4- JBL 8' Subs / 2- JBL 6x9's / 2- JBL 5 1/2's / 2- Pioneer 2' Tweeters
IN a 2001 Ford Ranger Reg. Cab.

I ranked 1st in one of the sub-catagories I was in.. (Hard Rock) --13 enteries
2nd in another.. (Blues) -- 8 entries
And 6th at the general competition. [Hard Rock Setup] (All genres) --197 entries

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plymouth PA's Boom Central Competition
2- Sony X-Plod 12' Subs / 4- Sony X-Plod 5x6's / 2- Pioneer 2' Tweeters
IN a 2000 Ford Taurus SE

2nd in the general competition under a rock genre.. --112 entries
1st in the country sub-catagory. --15 entries

Once I find time to dig for the trophies and papers, I'll take pictures and post them. The 2 competitions I won didn't have a lot of people, but it was nice to rank pretty good in a general audio competition.

And just to get this straight.. I do NOT claim to be 'the best' or 'have the most knowlege'.. Nor would I waste my and your time posting BS. I'm not here to pass around BS lies and act like I'm hot s***. I'm here because I own an Escape and love it. You are more than welcome to feel however you would like to feel, that don't really bother me all that much.. But if you think I'd waste everyones time posting BS on here, please keep it to yourself or take it elsewhere. What are you, 10 years old that you think it's impossible for someone to rank at a competition besides yourself? The way you talk, I'm sure you ranked much higher than me a lot more often.. Dude, I don't want to argue and you're acting like I invaded your privacy or something.
 

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No I was just wondering how you placed using basic coaxial speakers and Sonys and what not.

That just doesn't happen very often as you might imagine, so my BS meter was spiking and I decided to act on it. No need to pull out your papers or trophies, I'm not trying to engage that type of pissing match at all. I was just curious how it all happened.

'm a very mellow and laid-back person IRL but my online presence sometimes doesn't match that. Probably because I'm not afraid to say what I think both IRL and online, but IRL it just goes over easier.

RyanRage said:
Sound Quality Competitions.

W-B/Scranton Audiofile Competition
4- JBL 8' Subs / 2- JBL 6x9's / 2- JBL 5 1/2's / 2- Pioneer 2' Tweeters
IN a 2001 Ford Ranger Reg. Cab.

I ranked 1st in one of the sub-catagories I was in.. (Hard Rock) --13 enteries
2nd in another.. (Blues) -- 8 entries
And 6th at the general competition. [Hard Rock Setup] (All genres) --197 entries

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plymouth PA's Boom Central Competition
2- Sony X-Plod 12' Subs / 4- Sony X-Plod 5x6's / 2- Pioneer 2' Tweeters
IN a 2000 Ford Taurus SE

2nd in the general competition under a rock genre.. --112 entries
1st in the country sub-catagory. --15 entries

Once I find time to dig for the trophies and papers, I'll take pictures and post them. The 2 competitions I won didn't have a lot of people, but it was nice to rank pretty good in a general audio competition.

And just to get this straight.. I do NOT claim to be 'the best' or 'have the most knowlege'.. Nor would I waste my and your time posting BS. I'm not here to pass around BS lies and act like I'm hot s***. I'm here because I own an Escape and love it. You are more than welcome to feel however you would like to feel, that don't really bother me all that much.. But if you think I'd waste everyones time posting BS on here, please keep it to yourself or take it elsewhere. What are you, 10 years old that you think it's impossible for someone to rank at a competition besides yourself? The way you talk, I'm sure you ranked much higher than me a lot more often.. Dude, I don't want to argue and you're acting like I invaded your privacy or something.
 

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fourthmeal said:
No I was just wondering how you placed using basic coaxial speakers and Sonys and what not.

That just doesn't happen very often as you might imagine, so my BS meter was spiking and I decided to act on it. No need to pull out your papers or trophies, I'm not trying to engage that type of pissing match at all. I was just curious how it all happened.

'm a very mellow and laid-back person IRL but my online presence sometimes doesn't match that. Probably because I'm not afraid to say what I think both IRL and online, but IRL it just goes over easier.
As I had said.. Car Audio is what I'm good at. That and electrical work in cars. My uncle has been into car audio for 35 years, and he has helped me set up and get started with it. I've been messing around with car audio since I was about 13.. So for about 7 years now. I live by the KISS rule. Keep It Simple, Stupid. The Sonys are a great starting out speaker. I just took it to another level with them.. I took a lot of time out to match what size speakers I should use considering cabin space and styles of music. Since I don't listen to a lot of hip-hop and listen to a lot of rock music.. Mids were my biggest concern. The 5 1/2's worked great up front. Really solid tone. The 6x9's added the little bit of lows needed for some of the guitar crunch and high bass parts. The 2-12' subs added a pop sound to the bass to make it sound real clean. The tweeters help the cymbals. Since I'm a musician.. I usually tend to worry too much about sound. So setting up the system was harder than the install. I got the levels between the 4 sets where I wanted them.. And they pretty much worked themselves. I just boosted the treb a bit because it lacked it.. And for the style, was a little boomy so I pulled back the bass. I think the JBL system speaks for its self. It was a reasonably big system, but very effective in sound responce and accuracy terms.

I'm glad to see your not the kind of person that calls someone out just because they have nothing better to do.. I delt with that too much on the last forum I was on for the Taurus'.

If you want to PM me or something, I could send you the specs and whatnot to the systems I was using if you just wanted to know out of curiousity. I did end up messing with an EQ today.
 

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stone said:
What is your opinion on heavy duty capacitors?. :)
I think they are an absolute waste of money. Often they CAUSE more dimming and more electrical sagging than running without one at all. That's because they are storage tanks for energy, but when they are depleted they automatically "refill" by pulling energy from the battery...often when they probably shouldn't.

So, instead of using them, I focus on very solid ground points, and quality wiring to get me the juice I need from the battery to the trunk. There is NO dimming in my Tribute, even at full-tilt power, even for extended periods of time. One thing that helps is efficiency of your amps. The less current pulled per watt delivered to your speakers, the better.
 

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fourthmeal said:
stone said:
What is your opinion on heavy duty capacitors?. :)
I think they are an absolute waste of money. Often they CAUSE more dimming and more electrical sagging than running without one at all. That's because they are storage tanks for energy, but when they are depleted they automatically "refill" by pulling energy from the battery...often when they probably shouldn't.

So, instead of using them, I focus on very solid ground points, and quality wiring to get me the juice I need from the battery to the trunk. There is NO dimming in my Tribute, even at full-tilt power, even for extended periods of time. One thing that helps is efficiency of your amps. The less current pulled per watt delivered to your speakers, the better.
Agree 150% :yes:
 
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