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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got an '01 Escape to be my new daily driver, so it's time to start looking into audio upgrades. I have some parts that have been moved around between some of my past daily drivers, and now they're going into the Escape (at least I think so). Here's what I've got to work with:

JVC KD-AVX2 HU
Pioneer DEH-P690UB HU
CDT Audio ES-620 Components
Audison LRX 2.150 (for front stage)
Audison LRX 1.400 (for the sub)
IDMAX 12" @ 1 Ohm in a sealed box
1 Farad Capacitor (big can style)
Dynamat Xtreme

I was originally running all of these parts off the JVC HU, which I liked, but my Escape came with the Pioneer HU. After using the Pioneer for a while, I've concluded that the iPod interface is much better, but it lacks some of the fine-tuning controls that my JVC has (time delay and a couple others). I think I would be happy using either HU.

Here are some questions I have come up with so far:

1) Do you guys/gals have any opinion on my HU choices available?
2) My car came with black tweeter pods near the A-pillar. Is it a good idea to gut them and install my CDT tweeters?
3) I can remove the factory sub and fit both of my amps behind that rear panel. Is there any better place, or should that be fine?
4) Does anyone know approximately how much wire is required to go from the battery to the rear of the car?
5) What's a good grounding point near the rear of the car?
6) Do I need to worry about upgrading any of the big-3, or my alternator?
7) Are there any pre-made baffles to adapt the stock oval speakers to my round speakers, or should I just make my own?

Ok... I think that's all for the moment. Looking forward to having good music once again :)
 

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Good questions you got there! Here is my two cents.... :)

1) Do you guys/gals have any opinion on my HU choices available?

- When it comes to headunits, I'm a Pioneer kind of guy, I haven't had one complaint with my DEH6000UB, but in this, I think it comes down to personal preference.

2) My car came with black tweeter pods near the A-pillar. Is it a good idea to gut them and install my CDT tweeters?
- If the stock tweeters are installed, they do a pretty good job, especially if they are powered by the headunit. When people do component setups, that's when you tend to see tweeter replacement. If the pods are there but there is no tweeter, then yea definitely throw some in.

3) I can remove the factory sub and fit both of my amps behind that rear panel. Is there any better place, or should that be fine?

- This can go either way. Good would be that they are out of sight, so less chance of theft, (I don't know if that is a concern in your area) and they are out of the way if you decide to throw anything big in the back. Bad could be ventilation, two amps back there might cause some heat build-up. If not, then I don't see why not.

4) Does anyone know approximately how much wire is required to go from the battery to the rear of the car?

- No clue, I would say just buy as much as you want so that you don't run out halfway down the line.

5) What's a good grounding point near the rear of the car?
- I'm grounded to one of the bolts for the rear seats. Very easy to get to...just sand down to metal and test.

6) Do I need to worry about upgrading any of the big-3, or my alternator?

- I wouldn't think so. I'm on stock big 3 and alt and doing just fine. If you wanted to it couldn't hurt, but its not imperative.

7) Are there any pre-made baffles to adapt the stock oval speakers to my round speakers, or should I just make my own?

- I thought I've seen some on eBay, but they were just garage made things.
 

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mspiegle said:
I just got an '01 Escape to be my new daily driver, so it's time to start looking into audio upgrades. I have some parts that have been moved around between some of my past daily drivers, and now they're going into the Escape (at least I think so). Here's what I've got to work with:

JVC KD-AVX2 HU
Pioneer DEH-P690UB HU
CDT Audio ES-620 Components
Audison LRX 2.150 (for front stage)
Audison LRX 1.400 (for the sub)
IDMAX 12" @ 1 Ohm in a sealed box
1 Farad Capacitor (big can style)
Dynamat Xtreme

I was originally running all of these parts off the JVC HU, which I liked, but my Escape came with the Pioneer HU. After using the Pioneer for a while, I've concluded that the iPod interface is much better, but it lacks some of the fine-tuning controls that my JVC has (time delay and a couple others). I think I would be happy using either HU.

Here are some questions I have come up with so far:

1) Do you guys/gals have any opinion on my HU choices available?
2) My car came with black tweeter pods near the A-pillar. Is it a good idea to gut them and install my CDT tweeters?
3) I can remove the factory sub and fit both of my amps behind that rear panel. Is there any better place, or should that be fine?
4) Does anyone know approximately how much wire is required to go from the battery to the rear of the car?
5) What's a good grounding point near the rear of the car?
6) Do I need to worry about upgrading any of the big-3, or my alternator?
7) Are there any pre-made baffles to adapt the stock oval speakers to my round speakers, or should I just make my own?

Ok... I think that's all for the moment. Looking forward to having good music once again :)
Hey there, nice selection of amps and good call on the IDMAX.

1.) I have decided that really the only thing to worry about with a head unit is...will it do what you want it to do, and does it have time alignment and crossover abilities? If it doesn't, then other units may be better. Brands seem to be all up to spec provided they do what I mentioned.

2.) You should test tweeter locations before installing, but yes the A-pillar / doorsill area is safe bet. By separating the woofer from the tweeter, beware that you need to pay attention to time alignment woofer to tweeter. Because of this, you may want to run your system actively if you weren't already thinking that. You might need another amp to pull that off correctly.

3.) Being an '01, you can't really do what I did (false floor) unless you pull your spare tire. Alternately, you could do a raised floor and make it look nice, with the spare still there. I have some CAD sketches on the forum in the audio/video section, for you to peruse regarding this.

4.) You won't need a cap at all (promise), so that's less wire to contend with. I think my Phoenix Gold kit was 25 feet, and I had quite a bit left over.

5.) This goes back to the cap thing. If you have a very solid ground point, you won't even miss the cap. I'm pushing roughly 3x the RMS power you are, and your amps have better capacitance than mine I'd guess. I would ground only in one place: The rear seat bracket. Undo the bolt to the bracket, grind off the paint at the chassis and the bottom of the bracket, and sandwich your grounding terminal between the bracket and the car itself. This grounding point lets me go full-tilt with my system, with my (overwattage) lights and (overwattage) foglights on, A/C on, and NO dimming whatsoever. A cap isn't necessary at all either, and actually adds strain to the system. After the cap discharges, it pulls an immense amount of current from the system directly. It actually hurts performance from my research and testing, unless you are "burping" the system which is lame.

6. I haven't done the big3, but your car is 7 years+ older, so your mileage may vary.

7. Make your own! That's the DIY way and it makes a big difference since premade junk will rattle. I use cutting board plastic HDPE and go with 1/4". don't forget to make a solid foam or soft rubber gasket between the speaker and the plastic door panel. On my '08, I also had to use a knife to trim the door panel's inner plastic 5x7 ring.

Also, even though you have Xtreme Dynamat, you aren't done deadening. Do your MLV and CCF as needed as we well. Refer to http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com for details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great feedback guys, thanks!

@gmercedesbenz:
#3, Good call on the ventilation. Since there is an existing vent in the panel for the old sub, I should be able to mount a fan that will provide extra ventilation for the amps.

@fourthmeal:
#2, I think that might be a bit much for my initial install, but I would like to investigate it further as I haven't really worked with active systems before. What do you consider to be a good quality active processor? What's your opinion on using something like a Zapco DC amp to handle the entire front-stage? I wish they made simple time delay circuits that you could insert in-between a crossover and tweeter :(
#7, I have plenty of tools available, so I guess it would be a waste not to make my own :) Regarding the deadening, how far should I go with it? Using a front door as an example, do I only need to cover the mounting area, or should i cover the entire door?
 

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mspiegle said:
Great feedback guys, thanks!

@gmercedesbenz:
#3, Good call on the ventilation. Since there is an existing vent in the panel for the old sub, I should be able to mount a fan that will provide extra ventilation for the amps.

@fourthmeal:
#2, I think that might be a bit much for my initial install, but I would like to investigate it further as I haven't really worked with active systems before. What do you consider to be a good quality active processor? What's your opinion on using something like a Zapco DC amp to handle the entire front-stage? I wish they made simple time delay circuits that you could insert in-between a crossover and tweeter :(
#7, I have plenty of tools available, so I guess it would be a waste not to make my own :) Regarding the deadening, how far should I go with it? Using a front door as an example, do I only need to cover the mounting area, or should i cover the entire door?
Hi again,

You have to decide what is right for you, but I can tell you that ever since I started building active systems (and I started about 13 builds ago) I haven't had any time alignment issues (you might call it a non-coherent stage) and my overall imaging and tonality has improved 10x. You need processing power to quell the spikes and dips caused by mounting speakers within the door, low in the door at that, and you need time alignment because you are running your left drivers much closer to your ears than your right drivers. A processor becomes slightly useless when using equidistant kickpanels and coaxial or closely spaced woofers and tweeters (woofer is close to tweeter.) If we were in a home with a proper room and proper speakers, a processor is useless typically because we have everything "right" to start with. A car is a "wrong" place and you have to correct those wrongs to get the right sound, if that makes sense.

IMO, if you don't do an active system up front, consider running the Alpine SPX17PRO woofers or something with some adjustment potential. I only mention the SPX17PRO's because I have them and the crossovers that came with them (which I sold for $80) had a ton of jumper settings to allow for precise tuning with time alignment, tonality, and crossover point. There are other brands out there, but you have to dig. IMO, going active means you have the ability to do whatever you want, which is a nice change.

You have killer amps, good front drivers, and a killer sub. Why not take the sound quality to the next level as well, and enjoy that? You can use either a processor or a quality head unit to do this. Example, I use an Rockford 3sixty.2 processor that bluetooth connects to my laptop for tuning the RF software. But I have also used a Pioneer 880PRS head unit that does the exact same thing. Whatever works for you, I say.

With deadening...well let's just say these vehicles are rattly and need some work. You use your Dynamat Xtreme on the flat resonant metal panels in the door inside and out, and make sure to put it in the trunk area and in flat areas in the back fenders etc. But, that stuff doesn't act as a barrier. Mass Loaded Vinyl is a barrier used in flat areas like the floor of the truck. And Closed Cell Foam will serve as a partial barrier, partial rattle pad to the doors, fenders, etc. So, you've got some work to do but it CCF and MLV is very cheap compared to more Dynamat Xtreme.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, it looks like I have 3x options then:

1) Cheapest Price, but lowest SQ:
- Use JVC HU
- Only basic L-to-R time delays
- Can't add time delay between tweeter and woofer
- Estimated cost: $0

2) Midrange Price, Midrange SQ:
- Use JVC HU
- Upgrade to speakers with better x-overs
- I will get L-to-R delays, as well as woofer/tweeter delays
- Estimated cost: $320

3) Highest price, Best SQ:
- Use either Pioneer or JVC HU
- Keep existing speakers, or upgrade
- Get signal processor and extra amp
- Will be able to control all aspects of time delay including subwoofer
- Estimated cost: ~$800+ (processor + amp)

Is that about right? Do you have any thoughts on using an amp with built-in processors like one from the Zapco DC line?
 

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mspiegle said:
Ok, it looks like I have 3x options then:

1) Cheapest Price, but lowest SQ:
- Use JVC HU
- Only basic L-to-R time delays
- Can't add time delay between tweeter and woofer
- Estimated cost: $0

2) Midrange Price, Midrange SQ:
- Use JVC HU
- Upgrade to speakers with better x-overs
- I will get L-to-R delays, as well as woofer/tweeter delays
- Estimated cost: $320

3) Highest price, Best SQ:
- Use either Pioneer or JVC HU
- Keep existing speakers, or upgrade
- Get signal processor and extra amp
- Will be able to control all aspects of time delay including subwoofer
- Estimated cost: ~$800+ (processor + amp)

Is that about right? Do you have any thoughts on using an amp with built-in processors like one from the Zapco DC line?
You've got the right plan I think, and you understand fully the concept of time alignment which is rough to figure out how much it matters until you get a chance to hear its rewards.

Built-in amps, especially the Zapco DC, are awesome. However the DC isn't cheap and your amps are premium. If you were considering replacing them anyway, well sure then I say go for DC's. But, don't do it just for processing alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
fourthmeal said:
You've got the right plan I think, and you understand fully the concept of time alignment which is rough to figure out how much it matters until you get a chance to hear its rewards.

Built-in amps, especially the Zapco DC, are awesome. However the DC isn't cheap and your amps are premium. If you were considering replacing them anyway, well sure then I say go for DC's. But, don't do it just for processing alone.
Ok, so let's suppose for a moment that I got an extra amp (probably another Audison 2.150) and the 3sixty.2 to do the full active network. Would I use the FRONT output on the 3sixty.2 to control the woofers on one 2.150, and use the REAR output on the 3sixty.2 to control the tweeters on the other 2.150? Do the tweeters need an entire amp dedicated to them? If I were doing this entire thing from scratch, I would have been better off to start with a 4-channel amp, right?

Also, what are your thoughts on the tweeters for the SPX PRO set you mentioned? I really like the sound that comes out of my CDTs (especially the silk tweeters which aren't harsh), but I wouldn't mind giving another speaker set a try since the CDTs are still in a different vehicle.

Edit: After some more pondering, I have yet another question :) Are these sound processors digital, and if so, why don't they have the same problem with high-frequency audio as an all-digital amplifier?

btw, thanks for all of the advice :)
 

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mspiegle said:
fourthmeal said:
You've got the right plan I think, and you understand fully the concept of time alignment which is rough to figure out how much it matters until you get a chance to hear its rewards.

Built-in amps, especially the Zapco DC, are awesome. However the DC isn't cheap and your amps are premium. If you were considering replacing them anyway, well sure then I say go for DC's. But, don't do it just for processing alone.
Ok, so let's suppose for a moment that I got an extra amp (probably another Audison 2.150) Excellent choice, though you could do with far less power if you wanted to and the 3sixty.2 to do the full active network. Would I use the FRONT output on the 3sixty.2 to control the woofers on one 2.150, and use the REAR output on the 3sixty.2 to control the tweeters on the other 2.150?I do it the other way around but essentially you got it right. Do the tweeters need an entire amp dedicated to them? yes, they are channels in the system. That's why I suggested a less-powerful amp, since tweeters barely draw 10-20W of power at full-tilt. If I were doing this entire thing from scratch, I would have been better off to start with a 4-channel amp, right? Yep

Also, what are your thoughts on the tweeters for the SPX PRO set you mentioned? The SPX pro uses a ring-radiator tweeter like the Polk top-of-the-line home speakers do. It has also been proven to be the exact same tweeter as the extremely powerful F#1 Status Alpine tweeters, though in a smaller configuration. Ring radiators have their own distortion issues like all tweeters, but you can research what you like at http://www.zaphaudio.com I really like the sound that comes out of my CDTs (especially the silk tweeters which aren't harsh), but I wouldn't mind giving another speaker set a try since the CDTs are still in a different vehicle. I have always liked the upper end of CDT, as they use Vifa drivers and simply label them "CDT". Make no mistake, CDT themselves is nothing but a rebrander, just like a lot of brands out there. Alpine included! However, the reason I picked the Alpine SPX17PRO's themselves was that for only ~$318 plus eBay bing cashback of 8%, I got a high-end ring radiator, and a decent woofer to match...and I knew that I would be selling those crossovers for a pretty penny as well to make up some cash. The tweeters swivel in their cups which a lot of car tweeters don't, so this let me image them perfectly. The woofers are so-so in performance compared with, say, the Pioneer TS-C720PRS components...but compared with average ~$250 retail component sets they are mind-blowing. You can always sell the woofers and buy some other type of woofer in its place, of course. That's the beauty of going active. You have amazing control over how the system is put together. Hell, you could quite literally pick out your favorite home woofers (some are 4ohm so they work perfectly in a car), and your favorite home tweeter, and build your own component set to your likings...usually quite cheaply I might add. For the sake of simplicity and somewhere safe to start, I would recommend doing this in the future depending on how you feel about the SPX PRO's themselves.

Edit: After some more pondering, I have yet another question :) Are these sound processors digital, and if so, why don't they have the same problem with high-frequency audio as an all-digital amplifier? There are analog processors, but we're not talking apples-to-apples with what they actually DO. A digital processor works fine because the signal is taken in, processed in the digital domain, and then output in analog format. Much like the original signal you are sending them. Think about it...CD's, MP3's, etc...all digital. If you are thinking about the sound quality issues exhibited by some amps out there (Alpine PDX?!), just keep in mind that there are some top-of-the-line digital amps that sound perfect, and then there are some that exhibit what I would call a "cold" or lifeless sound quality. I think this is something you can blame on the amp itself and not the technology driving it. For instance, the extremely awesome Leviathan 6ch amp that Zed Audio (Stephen Mantz) came up with recently is indeed a digital amp on all channels. But it has no distinguishable artifacts or sound quality issues at all. Its as a Zed should be, faithful to the original source.) Same too with ARC Audio minis, and Genesis' new amps too.

btw, thanks for all of the advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, it's all starting to come together. Again, thanks for all of the info :)

It just occurred to me that the car came with a small MTX RT202 amp powering a pair of bazooka tubes. I thought I might be able to use this to power the tweeters, but I don't imagine it's a high-quality amp (in fact, I think it might even be a Class-D amp). Since this amp would only be powering high-frequency tweeters, it would probably be a bad choice - right? Are you aware of any cheaper/smaller but good quality amps that I could use to power my tweeters?

I think at this point, I'm pretty decided on getting a set of SPX pros. At a minimum, it should hold me over until I get some more funding together to do a full active system. I'd like to run my system in passive mode first, then add in the processor so I can see/hear the difference (assuming I've set everything up properly).

I started doing some more research on processors and came up with a couple others that look interesting:

1) The 3sixty.2 that you mentioned - lots of great reviews on this unit. One of the comments I hear most is that it has a ridiculous number of adjustments (a few have complained that there are TOO many adjustments) and it's a tweakers dream.

2) The Alpine H-650 (imprint) - lots of good reviews here too. It sounds like it will automatically configure itself with the microphone. Some people like the automatic feature, but some people complain that it doesn't have enough manual settings. Other complaints I've heard are a low pre-out voltage and weak bass.

3) The Audison Bit One - This thing looks really cool. I've heard nothing but stellar reviews on it. It's well-connected and has lots of tuning features. I think there were some issues with the first revision of this unit, but the newer version is good.

Hopefully I can get the SPX pros ordered within the next couple weeks. For now, I'm just living with the stock in-door speakers. I supposedly have some 1/0 gauge knukonceptz wire coming tomorrow, so I can finally hookup my LRX 1.400 to my IDMAX. I can't wait to get that thing bumping again :)
 

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The little rt 202 is a class a/b amp, standard issue and is probably PERFECT for a tweeter amp. You can completely use it in my opinion.

There aren't too many adjustments on a 3sixty.2. Too many adjustments are adjustments you don't use. I use every single one of them to get my acoustic image. The software that runs on a laptop makes it easy because you just click and point what you want, and build an EQ curve for each speaker (or speaker pair.) Don't let complexity deter you, as it isn't complex. It just does its job and its job is a bit in-depth, that's all. I can tune these things in my sleep.

I'm all for you trying a set of SPX pros. I bought my set on Ebay from this company:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ALPINE-SPX-17PRO-6- ... .m14.l1262

Honestly some people don't like eBay, but I LOVE it. If you engage bing cashback and shop smart, you will end up way ahead and still with good warranties (squaretrade warranties if you want them.) I just buy from well-known vendors and people that answer my questions honestly and quickly.

The Alpine is "OK", but users at DIYMA find it lifeless sounding and weak on bass output. It is also cantankerous to use and tends to forget things you put in at times, according to users.

The Bit ONE was a total failure for a while. DIYMA users reported strange behavior, weird noises with the B1 controller attached, and failures during judging competitions. Otherwise it is a great unit and doing much better in its 3rd revision. It is also really expensive and only available to Audison dealers at full rip. The sound quality is supposed to be much better than anything else out currently.

The upcoming JBL MS-8 will trump them all, but it isn't ready yet. Harmon's own Andy at DIYMA keeps us up to the minute on the unit, and it IS coming (and I'll be owning one!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fourthmeal said:
The little rt 202 is a class a/b amp, standard issue and is probably PERFECT for a tweeter amp. You can completely use it in my opinion.
Wow, that is awesome news! That definitely puts me one step closer. Now, all i need to do is figure out which processor I want.

fourthmeal said:
There aren't too many adjustments on a 3sixty.2. Too many adjustments are adjustments you don't use. I use every single one of them to get my acoustic image. The software that runs on a laptop makes it easy because you just click and point what you want, and build an EQ curve for each speaker (or speaker pair.) Don't let complexity deter you, as it isn't complex. It just does its job and its job is a bit in-depth, that's all. I can tune these things in my sleep.
That's good to know. One thing I noticed in the online PDF manual was the following statement under "Initial Setup":

While 3Sixty will run without an external controller, a Palm® OS device (not included) is required for initial
setup and adjustments for the 3Sixty unit to properly work with your system.


That scared me for a moment because it sounded like you could ONLY perform initial setup with a Palm, but upon second thought, that just sounds dumb. I'm seeing on other parts of their site that they support Windows Mobile (which I do have). Just to confirm, you should be able to perform initial setup from a PC, Palm, or WinMo device, right? Also it sounds like you MUST use bluetooth (no usb/serial interface) - is that correct?

fourthmeal said:
I'm all for you trying a set of SPX pros. I bought my set on Ebay from this company:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ALPINE-SPX-17PRO-6- ... .m14.l1262

Honestly some people don't like eBay, but I LOVE it. If you engage bing cashback and shop smart, you will end up way ahead and still with good warranties (squaretrade warranties if you want them.) I just buy from well-known vendors and people that answer my questions honestly and quickly.
I just made an impulse buy from that vendor :). I usually buy from woofersetc.com (I can easily pickup in person), but that ebay vendor will save me a bit on taxes. Thanks for the tip!

fourthmeal said:
The upcoming JBL MS-8 will trump them all, but it isn't ready yet. Harmon's own Andy at DIYMA keeps us up to the minute on the unit, and it IS coming (and I'll be owning one!)
I'll have to do some research on that one as well. I'm willing to wait to get the right equipment since the SPX speakers will keep me occupied for a little bit.

I'm getting excited over new audio goodies :)
 

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Nice purchase. When you install them, just remember to deaden, foam, and create a gasket around the speaker so the door skin and speaker are as one when the door is back together. You don't want sound escaping into that hollow door panel...it will sound really horrible.

The 3sixty.2 is best run by a laptop, but yes it works only through bluetooth. Normally this is A-OK, and everything is perfect. It can be a bitch sometimes, but when it works it works well. When it doesn't work...well a restart of the software usually is OK. I tune a bit at a time, and save my progress each little bit.

The palm OS stuff came out before they finalized their windows computer software. They all work fine, but the screen size of a laptop gives you way more visual information feedback about your settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
fourthmeal said:
Nice purchase. When you install them, just remember to deaden, foam, and create a gasket around the speaker so the door skin and speaker are as one when the door is back together. You don't want sound escaping into that hollow door panel...it will sound really horrible.
Thanks :) Do I need to worry about water protection? I saw these on woofersetc, but have no idea if they are necessary:
http://woofersetc.com/p6192/SPP514DSF-- ... affles.htm
 

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mspiegle said:
fourthmeal said:
Nice purchase. When you install them, just remember to deaden, foam, and create a gasket around the speaker so the door skin and speaker are as one when the door is back together. You don't want sound escaping into that hollow door panel...it will sound really horrible.
Thanks :) Do I need to worry about water protection? I saw these on woofersetc, but have no idea if they are necessary:
http://woofersetc.com/p6192/SPP514DSF-- ... affles.htm
Not really. Baffles often negatively affect the sound quality since they enclose the speaker.

The factory did fine in there for years, and they are CHEAP.
 

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mspiegle said:
Is this the kind of gasket you are referring to? I imagine I would just layer this up until it hits the backside of the door panel?

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdet ... er=260-540
sorta. I just use weatherstripping tape at lowe's. The wide kind with closed-cell foam and as thick as possible, or I make a second loop on top of the first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
fourthmeal said:
I would ground only in one place: The rear seat bracket. Undo the bolt to the bracket, grind off the paint at the chassis and the bottom of the bracket, and sandwich your grounding terminal between the bracket and the car itself. This grounding point lets me go full-tilt with my system, with my (overwattage) lights and (overwattage) foglights on, A/C on, and NO dimming whatsoever.
I got 25 ft of Knukonceptz 1/0 power wire today. I started by replacing the existing battery terminals with beefier ones, then running the new line to the back. One thing I noticed is that the ground line going to the negative terminal looks like an 8GA wire. Is it the same on your car too? That seems inadequate, but maybe there's extra ground hooked up to the alternator?
 

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mspiegle said:
fourthmeal said:
I would ground only in one place: The rear seat bracket. Undo the bolt to the bracket, grind off the paint at the chassis and the bottom of the bracket, and sandwich your grounding terminal between the bracket and the car itself. This grounding point lets me go full-tilt with my system, with my (overwattage) lights and (overwattage) foglights on, A/C on, and NO dimming whatsoever.
I got 25 ft of Knukonceptz 1/0 power wire today. I started by replacing the existing battery terminals with beefier ones, then running the new line to the back. One thing I noticed is that the ground line going to the negative terminal looks like an 8GA wire. Is it the same on your car too? That seems inadequate, but maybe there's extra ground hooked up to the alternator?
8 ga or so is adequate because it is only going a couple feet. Break out your resistance calculator and you'll see what I mean. You *could* upgrade it, if you want to. But, try what you have first and see if there's any dimming. Doubtful, BTW.
 

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fourthmeal said:
mspiegle said:
fourthmeal said:
I would ground only in one place: The rear seat bracket. Undo the bolt to the bracket, grind off the paint at the chassis and the bottom of the bracket, and sandwich your grounding terminal between the bracket and the car itself. This grounding point lets me go full-tilt with my system, with my (overwattage) lights and (overwattage) foglights on, A/C on, and NO dimming whatsoever.
I got 25 ft of Knukonceptz 1/0 power wire today. I started by replacing the existing battery terminals with beefier ones, then running the new line to the back. One thing I noticed is that the ground line going to the negative terminal looks like an 8GA wire. Is it the same on your car too? That seems inadequate, but maybe there's extra ground hooked up to the alternator?
8 ga or so is adequate because it is only going a couple feet. Break out your resistance calculator and you'll see what I mean. You *could* upgrade it, if you want to. But, try what you have first and see if there's any dimming. Doubtful, BTW.
I just went to http://www.bcae1.com/wire.htm and put in all of my info. According to the calculator for power/voltage loss, I'm losing about 1/2 volt in total with an 8GA wire as the battery ground. I also tried the "Max amp power for given wire size" calculator and found that 1 ft of 8GA wire can move almost 2.5x more than 20 ft of 0GA wire. I guess that answers that :)

Tonight, I'm planning to run my big ground to the seat bracket and I should be able to hook up my IDMAX again. Once the SPX's come in, I'll finally have a reasonable system until I go active. So excited :D
 
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