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Thread: Small Car, budget complete setup advice

  1. #1
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Small Car, budget complete setup advice

    As you can see from my pic and signature i am driving a 306 and i am looking for advice on my audio set up as i have never done any car audio before.

    At the moment my car is completely stock with a Clarion hea dunit, door speakers and parcel shelf speakers and to be hones is not a bad sounding setup.

    Things i would like (in no particular order):

    1. replace the door speakers (eventually) with better but same size units (4 or 5 inch i think)

    2. add some tweeters to the door (where the mirror trim plate is fitted as i am fitting electric mirrors so will lose the adjusters) - these gonna help much??

    3. replace the parcel shelf with a thicker one to house my laptop and some better speakers (so size is not an issue here)

    4. am amp! losing my headunit and using the stereo laptop output initially and possibly working up to a USB2 soundcard later. Amp needs to be compact (slim better than anything)

    5. I would obviously like something that sounds ok but i am not too bothered about ultimate volume. I never have my current stereo above 20 (goes up to 33 which i know doesnt mean anything but its just to give you an idea) not only because my speakers start to sound nasty but i can't hear anything else.

    5. I would like to get some decentish bass as i do think that it really makes your music sound good. I dont have the room for a large sub enclosue so wondered
    a) what the smallest home built enclosure would be to get an ok result (would i be best getting a separate amp for this or just get a 4+1 amp)
    b) what those compact self active subs were like
    c) if it is likely that large parcel shelf speakers will surfice for my modest
    needs

    As I say i am complete noob when i comes to car audio (but I aint stupid) but would like to know additional things like how to wire tweaters up to the system (do i use a cross-over linked to the front door speakers?)

    So if anyone could take the time to give me a little bit advice it would be much appreciated. Things i am looking for are some general advice on what setup will be a good option for price v's space v's quality, sizes and types of speakers to go for, recommended power handling of speakers and amp outputs and finally some reccomended brands (bearing in mind i will be sourcing all this stuff in the UK)

    Oh one more thing, i really have to try and maintain most of my boot space. I very rarely take the parcel shelf out but frequently flatted the seats so i figured i would mount my PC in the parcel shelf or alternatively i have the usual small areas behind the rear wheel arches which i can use. I would rather not mount anything to the backs of my seats although i might end up doing this and making a cover to protect the stuff when i slide stuff in.

    Bit of a long post but thanks in advance for your help and i am sure it will benefit other people looking for an entry level setup.

    Andy

  2. #2
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Hey Andy,

    1) if you want a cheaper solution, get Mac audio. If you are willing to spend more, like twice, get MB Quartz (incredible). but then you'd have to sound proof your doors for the best results.

    2) tweeters: major improvement on the sound quality. The speakers I mentioned before are in most cases component speakers (the ones I recommend). This means you have the woofer (along with a crossover) and the tweeter (of course with its crossover too). As for the tweeters, try and place then as precesi as possible to your ears' level.

    3) You could make one out of MDF, and cover it with some vinyll or something...

    4) for an amp, I always recommend Hifonics, but they are a bit pricey. You could go with an Alpine or Magnat amp.

    5) don't worry, theese amps don;t go very high on volume, but they do reproduce a clear sound.

    5.a I've seen enclosures smaller than what the manufacturer recommende, and they sounded pretty good. But, I'd say, stick to the calculations in terms of building an enclosure. You could mount it in the spare tire well, or on one of the sides of the trunk. As for the diameter of the sub, it actually depens on what type of music you're listening to.
    5.b do you mean, free air subs?
    5.c You could mount the sub on the parcel, but I can't guarantee you'd get the best results, especially if it's a 3 door car (too much air loosing around), so not quite recommended.

  3. #3
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Cheers Cris, i was waiting for a response from you

    1 & 2. so i get a plan 4/5" and a tweeter (will be mounted as close to ear level as possible where I am putting it. What are these coaxial speakers? tweeter and mid? I take it these are instead of the above combo but as usual seaprate entities are better?

    3. Yeah i got no probs with the shelf - i am a structures and materials man - gonna use carpet on the shelf though - no shiny vinyl.

    4. Alpine and magnat where what i was looking at. 4 channel with between 45 and 65 RMS per channel 4ohm ok? Did see a Kicker xi4..(or summit) and Sony one on ebay - these any good?

    5. thats good, but am i best getting a separate amp for the sub (5 channel seem hard to find)- thinking maybe i get a 4 now with new fronts, rears and tweeters and upgrade to a sub later.

    5.a will look at some sizes. music i listen to is very varied from Counting crows to Chili peppers to Linkin Park......

    5b. nope i mean those all in one thingys you see by people like pioneer that sometimes come as a cube or a tube with amp built in etc (like the sub i got with out KEF house sytem - new egg series - pretty good for watching films in my dads medium living room hooked up to a nice Yamaha amp)

    5.c. What i meant was i basically if i use large parcel shelf speakers will these be sufficient for most peoples bass needs. I have no idea what rear shelves i am looking for either. I see all these ones with little speakers mounted in them etc or shall i just get some plain ones - what size would you recommend. Car is a 5dr by the way.

    Thanks again.

    Do you happen to reccomend a few shops in particular? Or at least someone with a good range i can look at.

  4. #4
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    Cheers Cris, i was waiting for a response from you
    Hehe, thanks dude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    1 & 2. so i get a plan 4/5" and a tweeter (will be mounted as close to ear level as possible where I am putting it. What are these coaxial speakers? tweeter and mid? I take it these are instead of the above combo but as usual seaprate entities are better?
    Get component speaker wth crossovers. Without these crossovers, they're useless. Coaxial speakers have bass, mids and highs in the same unit. Get component. From what I've seen, heard, and used they are far better than coaxial... separate things for separate jobs. For the tweeters, just to make sure I'm being understood, mount them as close to your ears' level, not as close to your ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    3. Yeah i got no probs with the shelf - i am a structures and materials man - gonna use carpet on the shelf though - no shiny vinyl.
    That's the spirit. I don't like vinyl either...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    4. Alpine and magnat where what i was looking at. 4 channel with between 45 and 65 RMS per channel 4ohm ok? Did see a Kicker xi4..(or summit) and Sony one on ebay - these any good?
    Alpine and Magnat are good. You could also get hifonics or RF. Between the two Magnat is cheaper, but performs aprox the same as Alpine. Kicker and Sony...stay away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    5. thats good, but am i best getting a separate amp for the sub (5 channel seem hard to find)- thinking maybe i get a 4 now with new fronts, rears and tweeters and upgrade to a sub later.
    5 ch. are expensive. For the sub, get a two ch or a mono amp...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    5.a will look at some sizes. music i listen to is very varied from Counting crows to Chili peppers to Linkin Park......
    I asked because 10" are for fast music, trance, etc; 12" a good for all but not that good with hip hop, R&B; 15" are good for deep slow bass, hip hop and R&B but not that good with for fast music; 18" for really for SPL freaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    5b. nope i mean those all in one thingys you see by people like pioneer that sometimes come as a cube or a tube with amp built in etc (like the sub i got with out KEF house sytem - new egg series - pretty good for watching films in my dads medium living room hooked up to a nice Yamaha amp)
    Oh, like an Infinity bass link. No, it too expensive for what it can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    5.c. What i meant was i basically if i use large parcel shelf speakers will these be sufficient for most peoples bass needs. I have no idea what rear shelves i am looking for either. I see all these ones with little speakers mounted in them etc or shall i just get some plain ones - what size would you recommend. Car is a 5dr by the way.
    Depends on tastes. In general, some quality rear speakers, through an amplifier deliver pretty good bass. My bet is you'll be satisfied, as you'll have a good control on the speakers due to the fact that you're feeding them through an amplifier. Go for something like MB Quartz (most expensive, but worth it), Rockford Fosgate, of course component speakers also. You could also consider Alpine Type S, Infinity Reference, Jbl GTO series... 5"x7", 6"x9". I think the bigger the better bass. Anyway, the best thing would be to listen all theese and pick wich one you like best. You know the speakers sound worse in a wooden board in a commercial store than in a car.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    Do you happen to reccomend a few shops in particular? Or at least someone with a good range i can look at.
    In the U.k, not in particular, but try www.crutchfield.com for a large range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    Thanks again.
    Anytime, m8. Glad to be of help.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate khemical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    For the tweeters, just to make sure I'm being understood, mount them as close to your ears' level, not as close to your ears.
    Actually, do not mount them any further then 1ft away from your midwoofer, and aim them at where your ear level is. If they are too far away from eachother(each pair tweeter/midwoofer), they will probably seperate their sound stages.

    steve

  6. #6
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khemical
    Actually, do not mount them any further then 1ft away from your midwoofer, and aim them at where your ear level is. If they are too far away from eachother(each pair tweeter/midwoofer), they will probably seperate their sound stages.

    steve

    Not necesarily. For example, in my megane i have the bass down and the tweeters deep in the dash...more than 1ft away...Yes, they're supposed to aim at you ear level, but it's very hard to mount tweeter in their ideal position in a car...depends from car to car...

  7. #7
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Hehe looks like i started a small argument over tweeters. Thanks for the info guys. I will be putting my tweeters just below ear level at about the same distance as my steering wheel pointed back and about 1.5 feet up from the door speakers - hos does that sound for a compromise???? Well its the only place i can put them so it will have to be okay! Gos some new blanking plates off a guy on ebay which i am gonna stiffen up with glassfibre and use to mount the tweaters on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    That's the spirit. I don't like vinyl either...
    Good to hear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    Alpine and Magnat are good....
    Alpine or Magnat is is then - role ont he January sales or unwanted Xmas pressies on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    Oh, like an Infinity bass link. No, it too expensive for what it can do.
    Thought so. Will get basic set up running first and see if i want to add a sub and second amp later.

    Gonna look for a component set up for the front which will fit in my doors with a small amount of modding and another one for the rear i think with large speakers. I guess the trick is, like with home audio stuff, just to chose carefully and you can end up having a nice clean sounding system without spending the earth. Just have to remmeber to add the usual overheads for wiring, fuse boxes etc but i am only going for a modest setup so i ain't gonna need uber thick wire or anything.

    Crutchfield was useful for finding out what is available. Now as i said before role on January sales!

    thanks again. (god i feel like such a noob when it comes to car audio but there is soo much crap out there! - i guess it is like other people when it comes to computers - I forget what it must be like for my mates who can't even fit a graphics card or memory!)

  8. #8
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Hey Andy, glad to be of help. Good luck in your searches, and please let me know how it works out. If there's ever anything else...I'm here.

  9. #9
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Quick amp wiring question for you....

    Looking at Alpine amps F340 and F450 (4 channel and 5 channel). For now i am using stereo output and splitting the left/right to feed them into the front/rear but how would i conenct a sub? Do i just use a low pass filter from the left and right into a sub or from the pre-outs? if so which ones.

    As for the 5 channel F450, thought this might save me some wiring and room if i want to add a sub later (has 200W 4ohm RMS for sub)...just reading the manual for it as i wondering if you could set channel 5 to use the normal inputs and you can so this woudl seem to be ideal for reducing the amount of messing around. Whats your view on this kind of set up? Manual: http://www.restricted.alpine-electro...F450%20540.pdf

    I don't really like the idea of splitting the the 2 channel to make it 4 as those splitters always seem to sound crap so will probably opt for a USB soundcard eventually.

    Thank you so much again, slowly getting to grips with this car audio stuff - these damn carpcs are gettign in the way of my phd!!!!

  10. #10
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Sorry, just reinstalled my windows, and I don't have Acrobat Reader installed yet.
    Get an USB sound card. I'd recommend the Creative Audigy NX2. Most people around here use it, and they're very satisfied from what I've read. This way, you'll have clean 4.1 sound. I don't have it yet, but I'll get one soon.
    The F450 is an awesome amp, massive power. But also, a good looking piece of equipment. It assures a clean install, as you see no wires... Good choise.

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