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intheflesh
Nov 4, 2008


um excuse me posted:


Rockford Fosgate P600X4

Anyone with experience with the brands who can give me objective advice on what I should get please post. I will also consider other brands, but those two seem to be top of their class in amps. I'd prefer to stay south of $500, but I'm after quality so...

I've heard nothing but great things about JL audio, but my personal preference is Rockford for amps. I've had the P600X4 for a little over two years now; front two channels powering some 6.5" Infinity Kappa components and the rear channels bridged to a Rockford Fosgate p2s2 15" sub, all 4 channels at 2 OHM; and it has been nothing but solid. I listen fairly loud nearly every day, typically for 20ish minutes in the morning and up to 90 minutes in afternoon traffic. Only once have I hit the "thermal warning" during a longer road trip where it got noticeably quieter for about 10 minutes, then came back. Rockford Fosgate also tends to under-rate their amps: for example, that amp is 600 watts rated, but mine came with the "birth sheet' (if it is to be believed as something more than just a marketing gimmick) stating it is at 864 watts RMS at 1%THD.
If you stalk Amazon for a while, you will probably find a good deal on that amp. I paid about 265 for it, I think I've seen it as low as 230 and as high as 280, so just keep an eye out.
The Prime series of Rockford Fosgate amps is a fairly large step down from the Punch series if what I've heard from people both in person and on the interwebs. The Prime series also seems to have fantastically high power numbers for the price point, at least on their sub amps, so I'm thinking they are going after the idiot teenager crowd who buy stuff based mainly on the bigger number=better principle.
I'm on my 4th Rockford Amp, I think 10th overall, and I'll likely not go back unless the quality drops. I've had JBL, Rockford Fosgate, Kenwood, Sony, and MB Quart amps, and the Rockford are by far the best and more reliable. MB Quart apparently used to be amazing, but started sucking after some Chinese investment company bought them.

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Pimp Cauldron
Aug 3, 2002

A twisted pictoral of phoenix, AZ



powderific posted:

That's exactly what I did on my last two vehicles, but I didn't replace the rear speakers and, while they're connected to the HU, I normally keep it faded all the way to the front. You could easily stay under your budget doing that.

Current setup:

JBL P660c components in front
Stock rear, unused
JL Audio MicroSub 8"
NVX 50w 4 channel micro amp, 2 channels to the front, 2 channels bridged to the sub

Awesome, thanks. That looks like the kind of setup I'm after.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


intheflesh posted:

MB Quart apparently used to be amazing, but started sucking after some Chinese investment company bought them.

They're owned by MaxxSonics now, same company that bought Hifonics, Crunch, and Autotek.

And yeah, MB Quart is garbage now. I admit I have a Crunch amp, and the claimed output is hilariously overrated, but it works okay for pushing a single sub. Whenever it finally shits I'll get a decent amp. This sub (Polk) has now outlasted 2 cheap amps, this is the 3rd.

Aquila
Jan 24, 2003



I am trying to figure out some component vs coaxial speaker decisions and wanted to ask for some advice. My FJ Cruiser has four speakers currently, 6x9's in the doors and ~3" in the dash. Putting in aftermarket 6x9's and 3.5" is not too hard so I am thinking of doing so to improve the poor sound quality. I'm seeing both combination speakers with multiple drivers (and presumably built in crossovers?) and component speakers and cannot decide which to put where. I'm hoping to go mid range here, so for example I could do JL C2 Coaxial speakers all around for about $300, which is right around what I'd like to spend. Do I need or want to have coaxial speakers in both the doors and dash? I have no desire to have any additional speakers outside the existing spots.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


What is the deal with Android powered head units vs Windows CE or whatever it was?

I'm looking to get a double din touch screen, preferably with a volume knob because like physical control and I lack steering wheel controls.

I don't want to spend a ton of cash putting a new unit in, but I kind of want a gps unit, so an Android one that would tie into my phone with data and I can use Google maps on a better screen. I keep looking at Chinese units but I really know better and want to get something quality.

I am not doing a full speaker/amp rewire job, just replacing a head unit for something better and more useful.

Also for someone that doesn't care about sirus/xm, how viable is HD radio?

Molten Llama
Sep 20, 2006


Roundboy posted:

Also for someone that doesn't care about sirus/xm, how viable is HD radio?

Viable in what way? HD Radio is literally just the same source audio compressed into a digital format and flung over the same airwaves.

If you live in a market with HD Radio, you'll get maybe-clearer-than-FM FM radio on stations that support it. That's about it. If you live in a ClearChannel market, you'll also gain a few extra ClearChannel-programmed "sub stations" for even more variety in lovely overplayed music (and at lower bitrates with lower audio quality to boot!).

As far as head unit features go, playing audio from your phone is way more useful than an HD Radio tuner.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


Molten Llama posted:

Viable in what way? HD Radio is literally just the same source audio compressed into a digital format and flung over the same airwaves.

If you live in a market with HD Radio, you'll get maybe-clearer-than-FM FM radio on stations that support it. That's about it. If you live in a ClearChannel market, you'll also gain a few extra ClearChannel-programmed "sub stations" for even more variety in lovely overplayed music (and at lower bitrates with lower audio quality to boot!).

As far as head unit features go, playing audio from your phone is way more useful than an HD Radio tuner.

What this guy said. I jumped on the HD Radio bandwagon, and the only benefit I've found is the one AM station I listen to (news/traffic/weather, I'm at the tail end of tornado alley and they're my go-to during nasty weather) broadcasts on an HD subchannel on FM. And if my dashcam is even plugged in, forget it, HD drops out entirely. I'm also in a ClearChannel (now iHeartRadio) dominated market.

It's especially annoying if your stereo keeps jumping back and forth between analog and digital (which many will do if the HD signal is weak) - there's a slight time difference between the broadcasts, so it winds up sounding like you're on a bunch of LSD and everything is echoing. That hosed with my head for a couple of months until I figured out what the hell was going on.

Just stick with a well known brand. Alpine, JVC, Kenwood, and Pioneer are what I stick to.

If you do ever decide to hop on the SiriusXM train, if you have unlimited data on your phone and don't usually drive in the middle of nowhere, their streaming plans are a bit cheaper.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


That was the push I needed to not worry about hd radio, and it opens up my options.

Hands free BT is my main get, as well as a nice screen to see the song that is playing and who is calling and a dial pad. Nav would be nice, but not $400 upcharge nice.

MikeyTsi
Jan 10, 2009



Roundboy posted:

That was the push I needed to not worry about hd radio, and it opens up my options.

Hands free BT is my main get, as well as a nice screen to see the song that is playing and who is calling and a dial pad. Nav would be nice, but not $400 upcharge nice.

I'd just try to find a headunit that has app support for your mobile device of choice. There's some pretty cool stuff happening in that space now where the headunit basically works as an extension of your phone, using your phone apps with the display and control being sent via the head unit. You don't even need to take your phone out of your pocket for most things (Windows Phone need not apply).

Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

I have a pioneer avh p5900 DVD in my car that cuts out intermittently regardless of source. I guess I should check for a loose wire? It doesn't seem to drop power but it does seem to think I should be stopped or something.

Lightbulb Out
Apr 28, 2006

slack jawed yokel


I need a single DIN, amber/red, bluetooth/USB head unit. Does anyone have any suggestions? For an E30.

Boaz MacPhereson
Jul 11, 2006

Day 12045 Ht10hands 180lbs
No Name
No lumps No Bumps Full life Clean
Two good eyes No Busted Limbs
Piss OK Genitals intact
Multiple scars Heals fast
O NEGATIVE HI OCTANE
UNIVERSAL DONOR
Lone Road Warrior Rundown
on the Powder Lakes V8
No guzzoline No supplies
ISOLATE PSYCHOTIC
Keep muzzled...


So here's a stupid question for you audio guys: what kind of speaker wire should I be looking at? I figure all copper is better than copper coated aluminum and obviously the bigger the gauge the better, but I'm not looking for high-dollar top-tier poo poo here. I don't plan on running an amp or any subs (at least not initially), so I figure I don't need anything too crazy. Do you think 14ga would be ok or should I bump it up to 12? Any preferences on brands?

um excuse me
Jan 1, 2016

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


That's a tricky question because it's a slippery slope to audiophile like answers. Most of the practical advice I've seen says to use whatever as long as it's thick enough for what you need. The only thing you need to get aluminum wire to perform like copper wire is added thickness to reduce the resistivity to similar ohms/meter. Speaker wires only need to transmit <100w signals, so it's not too critical what you get. Paying for better brands will get you better build quality, though. Better quality sheathing, better construction, more wear resistance, etc.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011





Considering the cabling in my PA system is plain copper 12ga and runs ridiculous volumes all night long I think it's safe to say that in a car you're safe with similar and much else is pointlessly overkill.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle


Grimey Drawer

If you really want to get into it, the relationship between the amplifier, the speaker wire and the speaker itself is relatively complex. By far the most important parameter is impedance, which should be as low as possible (within reason, of course). The thicker the cable, the lower the impedance.

The impedance of the cable has some impact on signal loss, but that's mostly inconsequential. The biggest impact comes when determining the damping factor or in other words, how good the amplifier is at keeping extraneous movement of the speakers cones under control. If the combined damping factor is too low, the relatively heavy woofer cones will be out of control, and you will get flabby and bloated bass response.

You can calculate the damping factor by taking the amplifier output impedance and speaker cable impedance together, and compare them to the speaker's impedance rating, and there are various opinions on how high the damping factor should be.

The basic answer is that anything 14 AWG or thicker should be more than plenty for any kind of residential or car use. Don't bother with copper-coated aluminum, you'd have to upsize it to get the same performance as pure copper, which more or less negates the lower cost.

Roundboy
Oct 21, 2008


Tried my hand at the cheap-o Chinese Android head units, and gave it a weekend before I hit the button to return it to Amazon. Good idea, poor execution, even worse qa.

I'm currently looking for your average double din Kenwood unit, but I am curious about spending a tad more for an Android auto unit. The only things stopping me are the sporadic "this sucks and everything sucks" reports, and the lack of an easy to hit volume knob.

Realistically the only reason to go Android auto would be Google maps on a bigger screen, and the other notification stuff, but I could easily spend less on a unit without it, use it 99% the same way and still gmap on my phone on the rare time I need it. I could even probably get the voice prompts I've the speakers, I think.

Is it the next big thing or is it the next thing Google puts 110% behind until it drops it quietly?

mariooncrack
Dec 27, 2008


I'd wait and see how it goes. The only company that has really supported Android well has been Google and maybe Motorola, which was owned by Google at one time.

MrCodeDude
Aug 31, 2005


I built a ice-chest speaker awhile back and it's worked well thus far, but the bass heavy songs definitely start to distort at higher volumes.

Current configuration is an Alpine MRV-F300 powering a pair of 6x9s and a pair of 6.5"s.

If I replaced both the 6.5"s with a subwoofer, would that help with the distortion?

wallaka
Jun 8, 2010

Least it wasn't a fucking red shell


MrCodeDude posted:

I built a ice-chest speaker awhile back and it's worked well thus far, but the bass heavy songs definitely start to distort at higher volumes.

Current configuration is an Alpine MRV-F300 powering a pair of 6x9s and a pair of 6.5"s.

If I replaced both the 6.5"s with a subwoofer, would that help with the distortion?

You need more power. 6x9's are thirsty and prone to distortion anyway because of the oval shape. I'd keep the 6.5's and bridge both channels into an 8" subwoofer. It's what I did on my cooler speaker rig, except I used a 12" because I had it just lying around.

Probably still need more power.

MrCodeDude
Aug 31, 2005


wallaka posted:

You need more power. 6x9's are thirsty and prone to distortion anyway because of the oval shape. I'd keep the 6.5's and bridge both channels into an 8" subwoofer. It's what I did on my cooler speaker rig, except I used a 12" because I had it just lying around.

Probably still need more power.

Keep the 6.5s in over the 6x9s?

If I need more power, would it make more sense to bridge the four channels to the two 6.5s (or 6x9s) and forego a subwoofer? Or should I be looking for a new amp?

wallaka
Jun 8, 2010

Least it wasn't a fucking red shell


MrCodeDude posted:

Keep the 6.5s in over the 6x9s?

If I need more power, would it make more sense to bridge the four channels to the two 6.5s (or 6x9s) and forego a subwoofer? Or should I be looking for a new amp?

I don't think that the 50W output can adequately power the 6x9's. Easiest route is to get a new amp to power all four speakers adequately vs. cutting new holes. The 6x9's would probably be good in bridged mode with the current amp but you couldn't power the 6.5's. Decisions, decisions.

MrCodeDude
Aug 31, 2005


wallaka posted:

I don't think that the 50W output can adequately power the 6x9's. Easiest route is to get a new amp to power all four speakers adequately vs. cutting new holes. The 6x9's would probably be good in bridged mode with the current amp but you couldn't power the 6.5's. Decisions, decisions.

Seems like the obvious first test is to the bridge the two 6x9s and see how they sound.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


Boaz MacPhereson posted:

So here's a stupid question for you audio guys: what kind of speaker wire should I be looking at? I figure all copper is better than copper coated aluminum and obviously the bigger the gauge the better, but I'm not looking for high-dollar top-tier poo poo here. I don't plan on running an amp or any subs (at least not initially), so I figure I don't need anything too crazy. Do you think 14ga would be ok or should I bump it up to 12? Any preferences on brands?

My home stereo has 14 gauge copper going to all of the speakers (it came with 18 gauge wire), and it pushes a hell of a lot more power than a typical car stereo. Bump it up to 10 or 12 for your sub if you have one, otherwise 14 (or thinner, even) is fine. If you're running your regular speakers from the head unit's built in amp, there's no reason not to use the existing wiring in the car.

Brand doesn't matter, the electrons don't care if your wire is Monster Cable Oxygen Free Copper or an extension cord that you cut the ends off of. Your typical aftermarket head unit is 18W RMS/50W peak, which really isn't a whole lot.

Scrapez
Feb 27, 2004



MrCodeDude posted:

I built a ice-chest speaker awhile back and it's worked well thus far, but the bass heavy songs definitely start to distort at higher volumes.

Current configuration is an Alpine MRV-F300 powering a pair of 6x9s and a pair of 6.5"s.

If I replaced both the 6.5"s with a subwoofer, would that help with the distortion?

I would add a subwoofer. Keep in mind that it's going to create a lot of pressure in the cooler. When I built mine I had a pair of DC Gold 4s and a Polk Momo 12. Powered by a audiobahn a6601x I had laying around bridged to 220x3.

I ended up having to use ratchet straps to keep the cooler lid sealed well due to the power of the sub.

It was all in a 120 quart igloo with the pneumatic wheel attachment. Worked great but I tore it apart as it never got used.

Edit: the one I built before that was a pair of 10" DC Gold speakers (Babb at that time). They reproduced all frequencies and are waterproof. Used that one for rafting/floating and it was amazing.

A little spendy as the dc gold 10s are around $350 a pair. That one was in a 100 quart igloo. Worked great.

Scrapez fucked around with this message at 04:26 on Apr 22, 2016

duffmensch
Feb 20, 2004

Duffman is thrusting in the direction of the problem!

Can anyone recommend a stereo for a Sienna that you can read the display of during the day (if it helps, I live in the desert so it's always bright here)? Beyond Bluetooth and readability, I don't care about features and options.

wallaka
Jun 8, 2010

Least it wasn't a fucking red shell


Scrapez posted:

I would add a subwoofer. Keep in mind that it's going to create a lot of pressure in the cooler. When I built mine I had a pair of DC Gold 4s and a Polk Momo 12. Powered by a audiobahn a6601x I had laying around bridged to 220x3.

I ended up having to use ratchet straps to keep the cooler lid sealed well due to the power of the sub.

It was all in a 120 quart igloo with the pneumatic wheel attachment. Worked great but I tore it apart as it never got used.

Edit: the one I built before that was a pair of 10" DC Gold speakers (Babb at that time). They reproduced all frequencies and are waterproof. Used that one for rafting/floating and it was amazing.

A little spendy as the dc gold 10s are around $350 a pair. That one was in a 100 quart igloo. Worked great.

Forgot about the pressure part. I have turnbuckles on mine to keep the lid down.

VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009



Looking to put a subwoofer into my 07 GTI.

I've had many subwoofers before in other cars and actually designed and constructed a baffled enclosure to the specific demands of the drivers I was using in it etc but that was all about 8 years ago now and I've been totally out of the loop. I have a couple questions for the thread:

I would like the same bass performance as I had years ago using 1 or 2 middle or low tier 12" subs. It was a long time ago and I expect that technology has come a long way. My budget is also pretty high (I'd spend up to $800 on this). Most options for enclosures that fit nicely into my car are shallow mount 10" at the most. Are shallow mount 10" subs going to satisfy me in terms of providing decent low range? I don't think previously I'd have been happy with 10's. Any recommendations?

I'd like to avoid having a large enclosure in the trunk but if 10's aren't going to give me the low-range reach I want I'll just buy a nice 12" and an enclosure that matches it and just stick it in my trunk and deal with having less room.

Thanks in advance.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011





Hoffman's law regarding speaker building:

1) Bass Extension
2) Efficiency
3) Small Enclosure

You get to pick two.



You can have a sub that's small and goes low but it won't be loud. You can have a small sub that goes loud but it won't go low. You just can't have all three... Decide what's actually important to you and go from there. Run your songs through Audacity and analyse the bass content thusly:



Fire up Audacity (which is free and fantastic)
Load a song in
Drag and select a section of the track that is bassy (15 seconds or so)
Hit Analyse in the tool bar at the top and select 'plot spectrum'
At the bottom of the plot, select 'log frequency' and change the 'size' to 4096 which will give you a better view of the section of track.

In the photo above I've got the cursor on the last peak before it all drops away and that's 45hz. Do this with a few of your favourite tracks to see what sort of frequency you need to be hitting in order to hear all the bass in a song and then decide whether you need all the reproduction or not. As I mentioned it's entirely possible to get small subs that go low, they just run out of steam at decent SPLs. If you need all the SPL and all the bass content then you're going to need a bigger boat. On the plus side, cabin gain in a car is very helpful...

VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009



88h88 posted:

Hoffman's law regarding speaker building:

1) Bass Extension
2) Efficiency
3) Small Enclosure

You get to pick two.



You can have a sub that's small and goes low but it won't be loud. You can have a small sub that goes loud but it won't go low. You just can't have all three... Decide what's actually important to you and go from there. Run your songs through Audacity and analyse the bass content thusly:



Fire up Audacity (which is free and fantastic)
Load a song in
Drag and select a section of the track that is bassy (15 seconds or so)
Hit Analyse in the tool bar at the top and select 'plot spectrum'
At the bottom of the plot, select 'log frequency' and change the 'size' to 4096 which will give you a better view of the section of track.

In the photo above I've got the cursor on the last peak before it all drops away and that's 45hz. Do this with a few of your favourite tracks to see what sort of frequency you need to be hitting in order to hear all the bass in a song and then decide whether you need all the reproduction or not. As I mentioned it's entirely possible to get small subs that go low, they just run out of steam at decent SPLs. If you need all the SPL and all the bass content then you're going to need a bigger boat. On the plus side, cabin gain in a car is very helpful...

Hey, yeah I'm like super super familiar with audio and freq range and everything like that (already have and use audacity). I was just hoping to hear that the technology has developed in the 8 years I've been out of the industry to the point where 10s can produce acceptable low-range. I absolutely need to be going down to 40hz so it looks like I'll be getting a 12" again I guess. Thanks.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011





My home theatre sub is an 8" and that goes low and loud. Can you guess the downside? Yeah, the cab is a 5ft tall cuboid...

VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009



Yeah I remember building an enclosure with a friend that was a huge angular thing that fit under his couch and had no parallel surfaces (to remove standing waves). It was around 8" tall and almost the same footprint as his couch.

Is there a preferred place to buy mobile audio stuff online (in terms of price)?

e: VV if you're being sarcastic implying that crutchfield is the obvious one, I was hoping there was a cheaper option

VelociBacon fucked around with this message at 09:12 on Apr 29, 2016

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011





VelociBacon posted:

Is there a preferred place to buy mobile audio stuff online (in terms of price)?

This bit I have no clue about!

Anyone??

MikeyTsi
Jan 10, 2009



Advances have been in quality vs. cost and and efficiency. You still have to obey the laws of physics.

I think go-to for most people for online purchasing has been Crutchfield.

powderific
May 13, 2004



Grimey Drawer

Sonic electronix has deals more often, I think. I've bought a lot from them over the years.

MrCodeDude
Aug 31, 2005


wallaka posted:

Forgot about the pressure part. I have turnbuckles on mine to keep the lid down.

I've got two latches that I use, plus I usually weigh down the top with my equipment bag.

Lightbulb Out
Apr 28, 2006

slack jawed yokel


In my E30 I had a stock radio -> high-low converter -> Punch45 amp -> stock speakers installed by previous owners. I replaced the head unit and deleted the high-low converter, and the stereo cuts out at moderate-high volumes, but sounds great down low. Am I missing something?

doogle
May 24, 2003



I had an awful popping sound over the arbitrary volume of around 20 on my head unit so I replaced the speakers thinking they were blown. While I was replacing them I noticed that behind the head unit the front L and R speaker positives were spliced together with vampire clips. I removed the vampire clips and all is well. Is there a reason that someone did this?

wallaka
Jun 8, 2010

Least it wasn't a fucking red shell


doogle posted:

I had an awful popping sound over the arbitrary volume of around 20 on my head unit so I replaced the speakers thinking they were blown. While I was replacing them I noticed that behind the head unit the front L and R speaker positives were spliced together with vampire clips. I removed the vampire clips and all is well. Is there a reason that someone did this?

Because they were an idiot?

MikeyTsi
Jan 10, 2009



doogle posted:

I had an awful popping sound over the arbitrary volume of around 20 on my head unit so I replaced the speakers thinking they were blown. While I was replacing them I noticed that behind the head unit the front L and R speaker positives were spliced together with vampire clips. I removed the vampire clips and all is well. Is there a reason that someone did this?

That's totally how you bridge for that kickin' amp boost, right, yo?

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STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


powderific posted:

Sonic electronix has deals more often, I think. I've bought a lot from them over the years.

The only issue I've noticed with Sonic is they sometimes sell grey market stuff, so you won't get a manufacturer warranty. That said, the grey market stuff is clearly marked as such, and Sonic provides their own warranty (usually whatever the manufacturer warranty would be) on those items.

Crutchfield's online catalog is fantastic for figuring out what will/will not fit in your car. Their install sheets seem to be decent, though the one they sent with my speakers claimed my door panels should have a screw along the edge facing the B pillar, and 1 screw in the armrest. Mine has 2 screws in the armrest, and none anywhere else. I'm guessing they based that sheet on the sedan version of my car, the coupe is a bit different behind the A pillars. The coupe version of my car is pretty rare compared to the sedan, so it's excusable.

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