Intermediate / Advanced car audio meets newbie carPC'er
So, I apologize in advance for the long post, and any repitition or hard to folllow areas... I wrote it late at night, and had many questions!! Update:: (I think now I realize that I can for sure switch the video input on a
screen.. but still don't know about switching the object it controls... )
Anyways, I have questions from carputer, to possible 'car music server' / prebuilt and configured media center (the cable box kind - only mini), to possible display and control of pocketpc as if it had some sort of vga output, to optical signal receiving amps & elmination of ground loop from the source due to RCAS, to *please don't give me crap about wanting to keep my library as much FLAK as possible, all the way down to what Portable Player should I get next, high quality speaker opinions, and money-saving recommendations!!!
SOOO I have experience with 5 complete systems (replaced everything, HU to RCAs to preamp to RCAs to 1-4 amplifiers (my best with 2,600 Watts system total RMS and 235 amperage pull) to 14 gauge newly ran speaker wire all around to front components, plate or mid-woofer rears, and of course subs....
(remember I said intermediate / advanced... not trying to brag, but i do miss my 3rd system A LOT)
AND I have plenty of experience building computers, tinkering with electronics, custom fabbing all sorts of nice (stock appearing) mounts for amps, and stock looking boxes... some fiberglassing, but not anything I would put my name on yet :yield:
BUT I have little knowledge on combining my knowledge of cars, general electrical engineering, computers, and "high-end budget audio", as I call it :) -- into one.
First off let me tell you about my current system:
2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R
-Entry-level (IMO) Sony Xplod HU CDX-GT400 [went cheap here as I never use the HU, I always had an ipod... until thieves... multiple, theives... :censored:
-Maxxsonic's Hifonics HFEQ (Decided to go into this Pre-amp/EQ in one in order to bypass the HU when using ipod/mp3 player/stereo plug input, as it had 2 selectible inputs)
-Maxxsonic's Crunch GP880.4 880 Watt Ground Pounder 4-Channel Amplifier (4chx4ohm)
-Maxxsonic's MBQuart RUA 216 2-Way Component System, 6.5" mid-woofer & 1" tweet
-(2) Elemental Designs eD 7Kv.2 D2- Used at midwoofer Freq. (approx 400 hz - 150hz) in Stereo, Mount IB in rear deck, taking place of rear speakers
-Sub-woofer & amp: on hold while I rethink what I want out of my system:
most likely Elemental Designs Nine.1 amp + (2) Elemental Designs 13Ov.2 D4 subs
(due to the fairly high quality and low cost... opinions on eD's quality???)
**HIFONICS HFEQ SPECS**
**CRUNCH GP 880.4 SPECS**
**MB QUART RUA 216 SPECS**
**eD 7Kv.2 D2 SPECS**
WHY I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH MY CURRENT SYSTEM:
-My HU is decoration.... I should have combined the cost of the preamp and Sony HU to purchase a better HU like my previous clarion unit, with timing adjustments, dolby 5.1processing, etc, etc... I loved that unit. I thought that by going with a 9-volt pre-out w/ cross-over I would receive less interference (more voltage in my RCA signal means more resistance to interference.... NOT that true...). Although I still like how easy it is to tune my system from genre to genre, song to song....
-I like to stick within only a few different brands of audio equip, when possible.... you can see here it was Maxxsonics (owns 4 brands... www.maxxsonics.com) and elemental designs. The Crunch Ground Pounder Amp, is either a fake that I was screwed over on... or is put together horribly. The Monster Cable RCA's I have are high end, and have the slant cut for the ground of the RCA tip to provide a tight ground connection. This was so tight, that upon removing the cables... the metal RCA input came out inside of it. This outer ground connection on the amp only passes current by a mere fraction of the metal touching the ground posts within the amp, and our obviously not even clipped in that well. This may have caused my other issue with the GP 880.4 --- It used to send alternating current straight to all channels, but only when turning my car off.... they would all burp in an out approx 8 times rapidly upon turning off ignition. Also, the mosfet turn-on does not always seem to function properly, and ocasionally I get the 'pop' associated with turning on an amp instantly. I found the amp on maxxsonics that matched the power I needed.... but ordered it from an online company I had not previously done buisness with.... does anyone else have experience with the GP amps that have the side covers (to cover wire connections)?? Did I get a fake with just the shell of a Crunch amp, or is it just ****ty??
-Although I have heard much praise about the quality of eD, I have blown 2 of the 7kv.2's. This could be at the fault of the amp.... although I blame it on my own error: A) for not having a subwoofer.... placed in an open air IB mount like the back panel, these little subs do not handle power well below 150-100 hz. Being used to equally loud bass with loud highs, I may have pushed the limits of what were intended to provide me with mid-bass, not sub-bass. Also, I can attribute another error (Recent - not the cause of previous amp problems) to accidentally wiring one sub with a 1 ohm load on one of the channels (GP 880.4) is not 1 ohm stable.... So, what do you guys know about eD??? Is it some good quality??
-And the last reason I am not happy with the current set-up: It does not compare to my previous system... I realize I am missing the vital sub woofer... but the highs and the mids are not as loud, and cannot be pushed as hard without distorting (I never sacrifice noticible distortion for more volume). My previous system made my ears ring!!
(The system I miss):
2002 limited v8 explorer
Some things not listed in the graphic system layout I created one day when I was bored:
optima yellow top (still in use) with 0 ga power running to a distribution block
(1) 0 GA > (4) 4 GA. Each of the smaller 2 channel amps (front and rear speakers) were mounted below the 2nd row folding seats, suspended by wire cables, with the Larger amps (~900 W rms @ 3 ohms digital for SQ 15" and 420W RMS @ 1 ohm A/B for (2) 8" subs) also suspended by cable on the back of the 2nd row folding seats. I was living w/ parents during this install... and nothing cound be modified in a permanent way (eveything had to return exactly to stock)... so this mounting was actually a pretty cool idea... The tweeters up front were locating in the side air defroster vents...Oh, and I had a 1/2 din center channel to make up the 5.1 system, which was clarion, with its own little amp... My explorer had a 3rd row seat, so the 15" sub's box had the min. required air space, but the angle was perfect and the friction from the triangle shape that the back of the seat made held that sucker in place good.... on each side were 8" woofers.... the 8" subs hit harder than the 15", mainly because I listened to rock with bass guitar and drum kicks being the primary bass, and also because the 15" was crossed over to play freq. below 80 hz. The 8" subs were high passed at the HU running off the Rear RCA signal, and then low passed at the amp. The cross over on the HU as well as the amp crossover allowed me to keep the frequencies of the two different subs from overlapping (although they did slightly, but not enough to cause noticible cancellation).
System layout (and specs if you can see them):
OOPS! no picture linking I guess...
THIS IS THE SYSTEM I MISS!!! Literally equivilent to being at a medium venue in the 3rd row from the stage (the venues that make your ears ring for a couple of days after)... I was definately doing some minor ear damage... after extending listening I wouldn't realize it until after exiting the car, but my ears would still ring slightly (and of course i almost never maxed it out unless I was demonstrating its max dB to someone)... and by max out, again... I don't mean distortion. The highs were as loud as the subs... and after hearing all the other systems that only put in a HU, and amp'ed sub-woofer, leaving stock speakers, or replaced the speakers all around but only amped the sub, I got tired of only being able to hear the bass and no words. So in contrast, my explorer was like a rolling concert... It was mostly audiobahn, with the exception of the head unit (clarion) and center channel (also clarion - not in system layout). I feel like audiobahn has lowered their quality these days in exchange for pure chrome and lights (which it had before... tooo) but thats just my personal opinion... maybe you guys have some input on audiobahn stuff?? regardless.. this system WAS LOUD, free from distortion, and kept its SQ even when it was LOUDDDD.
so, I am looking at new options, especially with my ever growing digital music collection
any input, even the unavoidable forum flaming, would be great....
and again, I'm sorry for the heavy repitition!!!
SOOOO now that my background info and what I like in my system is out of the way...
The next two posts are (also strung out) regarding some ideas I have had regarding a carputer or digital based music system for my next step in mobile audio: