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Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Elmnt80 posted:

So, after finding out the factory bose system in my 04 mazda 6 wagon is hosed without the amp and sub and the cost of replacing the missing components will make it pointless to replace them only to rip it all out later, I'm looking at just building the system now. I'm hoping to do it in stages, head unit and speakers (6 1/2 s in the front, 5 3/4 I think in the rear) first, then a amp running to a sub (2x10" or 1x12"), then a deadicated amp for the speakers and possibly upgrading the speakers .Is this a terrible way to do it? Also, if this isn't a terrible idea, what are some brands I should be looking at? I love the factory rockford fosgate system in my friends eclipse and their entry level options don't seem to be priced too terribly high. I've also heard good things about kicker and polk audio. Do I have this all wrong?

Edit: if it helps, my taste in music includes a bit of everything. However I mostly want some speakers with a nice mid range and some decent bass, at least until I can get a real sub wired up.

Hey not sure if you're still watching this thread, but if I were you I wouldn't bother with the head unit, as the bose unit outputs a flat 2v line level output, has available auxmods, and you'll lose too much by going for a facia kit (like the lcd for the climate control and steering controls etc)

Just get the wiring diagram for the factory amp and solder 4 RCA pre outs to the 4 wires under the seat that would have plugged into the lovely bose amp. Get an amp that's 2 ohm stable and mount it under there, and you can literally just do that for starters. By all accounts the bose amp is the weakest point for sound quality. Get one with a line out and you can run a sub.

If you want a sub woofer level control in the cab, get an active crossover with remote sublevel and get the bonus of being able to fine tune your crossover points.

Do what you want ultimately, but IMO this would be an easy and cheaper avenue

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Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

I'm under the impression those Arsenal decks are now discontinued, and that JVC now brands their (inferior in comparison) head units under the Kenwood brand.

Shame.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

If it simply won't do it, then you could always do what I did and buy a cheap behringer USB DAC and an OTG cable and go OTG > DAC > Aux in, but then you lose the ability to charge while listening which is kind of balls with a phone (I use an 8" tablet so not a biggie).

Honestly, by this point you really need to consider whether you can even tell the difference in sound quality between Bluetooth and and the head unit's on board DAC, given the source is already a lossy compressed stream. To be honest in my lexus with its spiffy premium system and my Samsung S5, I can't.

I really do wish there were better options for Android users. iOS just don't do it for me.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Yu-Gi-Ho! posted:


I don't think you'll need anything beyond a socket+wrench set and a screwdriver, but Lexus interiors tend to require quite a bit of disassembly to get to the radio, so budget a couple of hours.

For the first gen IS, you will need a Phillips head, 10mm socket and a 6” or so extension, and something to pry the HVAC vent assembly up with. I use a trim removal tool but a taped flathead screwdriver or a butter knife would do.

Good vids all over YouTube.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Picked up the Alpine CDE-W265ebt the other day on sale for $233 AUD, for my IS300

I haven't figured out the facebook integration yet, and tbh I don't really care - but I have to say this thing was a huge leap forward vs decks I've had in the past. It's going to take me a while to get the EQ really dialed in, and I'm still futzing with the xovers at the moment. It's cool that you can do an active 3 way tweeter/midbass/sub setup using the onboard xovers and even the onboard amp if you want. It drives the factory splits far better than the stock amp did, and I'm getting way better low frequency response out of my sub now I'm not running it off hacked in RCAs.

Overall pretty happy. Being able to control Spotify via bluetooth is a huge improvement over my factory HU + hacked line in + bt reciever setup I had. It's definitely built for people looking for a versatile base for a low-cost SQ setup.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

So here's one for any installers/SQ spergs that may be floating around:

I'm slowly working on deadening my IS300, concentrating on the front doors for now and buying a sheet at a time, just doing a bit here and there when I have a spare half hour. I'm at the point now where the outer door skin is pretty well sorted, and I'm thinking about sealing up the window mechanism access to improve the midbass before I start looking at upgrading the splits, as I've been told that even the factory 6.5s do a lot better after. It's a much smaller opening than usual on this car - only about 6" square, so I'm wondering if I can get away with just running double sided tape around the outside, sticking a trimmed peice of 3-6mm MDF on there and then deadening over the top, rather than buying an expensive threaded insert tool to bolt it down, or permanently sticking it down with silicone etc.

Note I'm in a warm, dry climate where it rains about 5 days a year so MDF should be okay, I'm just wondering if that's going to seal it up adequately.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

MikeyTsi posted:


It really doesn't take much to do screws though, you just drill your holes then put in those threaded clamps so you can bolt the piece in. Then you just need foam tape around that area so it doesn't rattle or vibrate.


Threaded clamps? I'm only really aware of the threaded rivnuts, for which the cheapest tooling will cost me $70AU, for a tool that I might use once. Can you link me to the things you're referring to?

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Ahhh apparently Speed nuts in Australia.

Yes I think this is doable. Thanks folks!

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Run a cable. There is no way you're going to find even 8awg power back there, and that's the bare minimum, for even a small 100w amp. I'd run 4AWG or up in order to future proof, and if you need to, get a fused 4 into 2x8 distribution block to get it down to size so you can actually get it into the terminal on the sub. You're going to need RCAs anyway, so just buy a 2ch 4ga wiring kit from your local parts store and it'll have everything you need.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Some people do the whole outer skin, some people just aim to cover like 70%. You can just do the tap test - rap a knuckle on the outer skin and if it rings, cut out and apply a sheet of deadener, rinse and repeat. You might find you get away with much less coverage. You probably won't make an appreciable difference to road noise, but if you can drop the resonant frequency of the door panels to somewhere below human hearing, that'll probably help your sound some.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

It looks like 6x9ish units in the front, and the standard toyota 6.5 mount in the rear doors (if you have those) - but if you buy the speakers from Crutchfield, they throw in the mounting hardware for free apparently so that's nice.

As Humbug said though, if you want midbass you're not gonna get it from a speaker swap alone. You'll definitely improve clarity, but stock stereo units don't put out a huge amount of wattage, and even the discrete amp in my IS300 got stomped all over by the cheap Alpine double din I replaced it with. Unless you're willing (and able) to swap out the head unit, or buy an amp and run a Line Out Converter or speaker level inputs, I'd be hesitant to just swap out the stock speakers.

What you could do is throw some sound deadener in the door and seal up your inner skins, which will improve bass response and clarity from your woofers, as they're no longer flopping around in front of a giant steel echo chamber. Done properly, this will also prevent the "back wave" from behind the speaker from ricocheting around the cabin and phase-cancelling the front-wave (I'm sure someone in here can explain it in more scientific terms). It costs less than a set of average coaxials (but it does take a bit longer), and will definitely improve the stock woofer performance. It'll also quieten road noise, which means you need less volume to overcome it, which is nice. As you're not trying to prep your car for big SPL, you won't need to worry about applying any to your door cards, trunk or anything like that - just get enough on the flat surfaces on the outer and inner door skins to stop it from ringing when you tap on them. If you can put some eggshell foam behind the speaker in each door, that will also help prevent that back wave from being a problem.. Then, if you can get hold of a jigsaw, you can cut out some blanks to cover the access holes in your doors. I drilled a couple holes and used speednuts to hold the blanks on, then covered them with a good butyl-based deadener to seal them up and prevent rattling. What this does is turn your door into something closer to a sealed speaker box, which will drastically improve your midbass, improve the power handling of your speaker a tad, and reduce distortion at high volumes.

I just finished doing my lexus, which still has stock speakers, and the difference is pretty huge. Bigger than the speaker swap I did in my last car. I've actually put off buying speakers for a bit, because I'm so happy with it for now. I used a combination butyl/closed cell foam deadener on the outer skins, and a typical dynamat-style on the inner skins.

Here's a couple pics I took during the affair:




I didn't get a pic after I'd finished applying the mat and properly smooshed it down, but you get the idea. If you want it to look real flat and fancy, use a heat gun and a roller.

As you can see, I didn't go crazy on the fitment, and I may find I have to go over it again when I do upgrade my splits - but overall I'm really happy with the improvements. Definitely recommend this before going out and buying a set of good components.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

mungtor posted:

Regarding Bose systems, I just went through a ton of posts trying to upgrade the sub in my G37. The most important thing about replacing the sub amp is that the signal to the amp is "balanced"... which to my non-electrical brain basically seems to mean that you have signal+ and signal- instead of what most other amps are expecting, which is signal and ground. That allows the amp to compare the two signals and clean/filter out any introduced noise. However, most other amps aren't expecting a balanced signal so you need a transformer to convert the signal to what the new amp is expecting. The Radio Design Labs RDL TX-1A was linked in a couple threads and can be found pretty cheap.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RDL-TX-1A-A...r-/282177199356 for example.

I removed the sub amp, spliced into the signal+, signal-, and remote wires from the harness. Then the signal+ and signal- to the TX-A1, and then patched that out to RCA cables for my ancient Alpine amp. Whether it was 100% necessary, I don't know. But it does work well and sound good without any of the issues that other people have reported (low gain, distortion, etc).

And that pretty much exhausts my temporary expertise in replacing components in a Bose system. Hopefully it's useful.

I did a bit of research into this when I was looking at buying a Mazda 3 (1st Gen) with the Bose system, and after a pretty exhaustive trawl through forums, I was able to identify that, yes, you can totally cludge aftermarket amps and speakers into the stock Head Unit if you so desire. But based on my own experiences with OEM integrations in my Lexus (which has significantly better OEM sound all round), you shouldn't bother.

Just save for a while longer, get a fascia kit, a nice head unit (double din Kenwood and Alpine units are cheap, good and plentiful atm), ISO harness kit, and some cheapish speakers, and you'll gain bluetooth, USB, 9 Band EQ, time correction, way WAY better volume, and heaps better sound quality. Then you can just add a sub the traditional way. You're going to be disappointed with the results if you just graft a sub on to the OEM system, and you'll save heaps of time by just going aftermarket. You might lose your external temp readout on the Mazda, but then I think there are workarounds for that now anyway.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Laserface posted:

I have been looking at a few others and found a 10" 180W RMS underseat subwoofer that also has 2ch 50W RMS output for the door speakers. Seems like a good alternative and if the need arises I can always add a 2ch or 4ch amp to power all 4 speakers later.

Theres also the factory option of a Rockford Fosgate 10" in a plastic box for the trunk, but my trunk space is already small enough so I am trying to avoid going that route. Plus I figure having the sub in the cabin will mean it doesnt need to be driven as hard to get decent results.

Perhaps, but then you have cabin loading in play, which allows you to use the acoustic characteristics of the car to improve the effectiveness of the sub. In a wagon or hatch this is as simple as firing the sub into the back window. In a sedan it's a bit more complicated and usually a bit of trial and error. Trunk-located subs as a rule have either more power or more box volume/cone area, so typically you overcome those issues fairly easily. Underseat subs will always be a compromise, and rarely do more than boost the low end a bit - you'll never get the kind of pleasing thump you get out of a boot install with a 1-2cuft MDF box - but ultimately, space is a commodity.

Given the propensity of most door speakers to stop producing bass under 80hz, you will definitely notice then benefit from it either way.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Ok folks. Looking for a bit of expert advice here.

So I might have a bit of money left over from a few projects to upgrade the components in the front of my IS300 finally. the fronts are 6.5 and there should be room for a 3/4" tweeter in the sail panel stock tweeter mount. Budget will be about $300-350AUD.

I have a 12" Type R in the back (in a sealed box, because it's what I had), Alpine HU which will be driving them to start with, but I've got a really nice 4x50WRMS amp I'll probably install later that bridges to something like 160 x 2 @ 4ohm due to wizardry. I've already deadened and sealed the door skins up, so it's ready for whatever I can afford to throw at it. I'm going for sound quality over raw SPL. I just don't know the market right now.

This site is basically the only local supplier now that doesn't mostly carry pure trash. I've pre-filtered the search results based on my criteria, now I just need a good recommendation: https://www.ryda.com.au/car-audio/s...&price=68%2C353

Thanks, goons.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Open cell foam is also kinda useful for stuff like rear decks where you have a plastic or cardboard layer on top of a steel layer to stop poo poo from rattling.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

There's a YouTube video out there of a guy in which he builds a transmission line box around an 8" Cadence subwoofer and sticks it in his car. The resulting window flex is getting on for dual Type R 12s and a ported box territory.

Edit: Now I'm not phone posting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM18jf6GFyM

Don Dongington fucked around with this message at 07:15 on Aug 30, 2017

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

dahkren posted:

This is a pretty simple question, but the videos I've watched don't really answer it. I'm installing an Alpine CDE-W235BT headunit and I'm wiring it up to the metra harness. The only thing is the black ground wire has a crimped loop to ground with a bolt, but the metra harness has a black wire coming off it. As well, the illumination and antenna wires off the new HU have crimps on them like they are to be plugged in to something, the harness has orange/blue wires for those.

Do I just cut off the crimps and the metal piece on the ground and join the wires to the metra harness?

As a rule of thumb, don't ground an aftermarket head unit to the harness ground - they're often lovely and you'll end up with EM noise half the time. Just bolt the Alpine's ground wire to anything that's physically connected to the crash bar (usually the DIN support brackets are fine for this) and you'll get a perfectly good ground that way. Leave the metra ground tied back out of the way.

For illumination and ant, you could either get matching crimp connectors for the metra harness, or just as you say, cut those crimps off and solder/use your own crimps/etc.

Crimps are fine by the way - most of the high end tuner guys these days swear by crimp connectors v. solder, as the lead free solder we use these days tends to melt when used in warmer environments such as engine bays/behind the dash, and if it's good enough for ECU wiring and sensors, then it should be more than good enough for speaker wires and power.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Pull the head unit, check the signal (with a known working driver) at the back of the head unit. If that's working then you get the awesome task of figuring out where your wiring is hosed.

Thing is though it seems unlikely that the speaker wire would be damaged without the rest of the loom in that particular area being damaged, so you should definitely investigate, lest you have a short.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Oddhair posted:

I think if I just had a line level converter with a bass knob or if the stereo had a sub level asjustment that might be sufficient, or maybe the L2CI with its bass reclamation algorithms, and I really do need to tweak it a little still outside of these minor complaints, but does anyone have anything they could offer me as far as advice to have my factory radio while also eating aftermarket thunderbass cake?

The issue with tapping the rear speakers off a stock deck is always that manufacturers build in a high pass filter to stop you from blowing the rears listening to Lil' Jon at half volume. It sounds like you're not getting hit too badly by this, so it sounds like it's not a particularly savage roll off.

If you're just after a sub level control, I think some sort of LLC or signal processor with a remote level control that you can double sided tape under the dash/next to your console sounds like the ticket. I've read some good reviews about the Boss US BX series crossovers. Normally I wouldn't touch that brand, but for $30~$50 you get a full 3-way active crossover setup, a pretty tidy sub level/bass boost remote, and some bass tuning capability. That would probably let you dial in some missing low end if you went for the higher end one. You would also have to stick an LOC in front of it if you're currently using the speaker level inputs on your amp.

I don't think those have the bass reclamation engine stuff, and having a separate LOC is a pain, so the L2Ci with the optional remote is probably your best option - you just seemed to be looking for alternatives so I just thought I'd throw that out there.



RIP Paul Walker posted:

Does anyone have a head unit recommendation that meets the following criteria?:

- Color matches a 1999 Grand Voyager's dashboard (or color changes)
- Has the ability to dim when you turn on the headlights
- Bluetooth
- No more than $100 (preferably $80 or under)
- Not Kenwood

I know what I'd want if I were buying from the JVC or Pioneer product lines, but I'm curious what else is out there that I might be overlooking.

Try get an Alpine on sale or second hand. Super happy with my W265EBT RGB double din thing. They make a single din version that's pretty similar.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

JVC and Kenwood merged and are the same company now. It looks like JVC do the lower end stuff and Kenwood does the mid range*


*there is no high end

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

It really depends on what you're going for, SQ, big bass /high volume (SPL), or good value.

For value, Pioneer digital range amps are super good right now, an their class D monoblock subwoofer amps are the best value on the market, so while not exactly the highest quality they're great and easy to install for a novice.

For head units, basically pick the one that has the features you want and will work with your interior. Most of them let you tune the lighting to match somewhat now. Alpine and Pioneer are probably the most popular, with Sony and Kenwood offering slightly cheaper stuff with good features, but kinda awful to look at.

You need one with 6x4V preouts, because anything with 4x or 2v pres is going to be garbage, and will prevent you from running a sub, which you want to do if your going through this effort.

For speakers, Polk, Infinity, Hertz and Clarion are all pretty decent for the price.

If you want to go high end you probably need to talk to someone with money, but McIntosh, Audison, Boston Accoustic and the higher end Hertz stuff are some brands to look at.

If you just want to build a thumper and annoy the elderly, Alpine JL and Kicker have what you need.

Just FYI: Rear speakers aren't really important, and you can get away with some cheaper pioneers ran off the head unit just fine, but it's super easy to wire rear deck speakers to a trunk mounted amp, so you may as well. Don't go through the effort of running new speaker cable into rear doors though. You'll be wanting to fade them right down to avoid making GBS threads up your stereo image. You want to spend most of your money on front component speakers, then sub, then your amp and head unit, with the rears either left factory or if broken, replaced with cheap stuff.

Some people even remove rear deck speakers entirely to allow more sub bass to get through into the cabin. It's a personal thing though.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Honestly if there's only room for a 6.25" woofer in the back, I'd just get a good set of components for the front and leave the stock poo poo in the back and disconnect it. I don't think you're going to gain much from have 2 sets of woofers firing in different directions. If you could fit an 8" subwoofer or similar back there and cross it over at about 80-100HZ it'd probably be better, but that's not going to work given the space constraints.

What's behind those blown-rear end speakers in the back? does that go straight into the trunk (golf bag hole in your case I suppose)? or is it a sealed cavity?

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

sarcastx posted:

To be honest I'm not exactly sure; there are two higher trims of stereo for this car, both of which have a variation of this housing on each side:



This is from the next trim up - two 6.25" sub-woofers. The top trim adds a small tweeter in the corner of the unit. All three of the speakers fit behind the exact same mesh cover, so I'm hoping this housing is what's under the foam. If not I could just buy these enclosures (this photo is from an eBay auction) and use them - $100 for the pair.

I am pretty sure I'll want more than just the front component set - it does get kinda loud with the top down - unless you think a decent component set on its own is enough?

You'd probably need an amp to drive those, although at worst they'd be some weird impedance like 2ohm and probably <100W so any aftermarket stereo amp that's 2ohm stable would probably drive them. They won't be able to keep up with even a modest set of aftermarket components though. The biggest noticeable difference between aftermarket and factory speakers is headroom in my experience. Stock stuff is designed to work with low power factory head units or small, poorly cooled factory amps (almost all luxury vehicles or upgraded trim stereos I've touched typically have a discrete amp somewhere), so you'll find what bass those things offer won't be able to compete with those Focals or JBLs or whatever you end up with.

Is it possible to remove those units and stick a 10 or 12" sub in a sealed box in your boot space, or is there simply not room for that? even something like a shallow depth pioneer 10" is going to move more air than those things: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_130TS...TS-SWX2502.html

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Martytoof posted:

I have an 08 Mazda 3. I’ve been happy enough with my stock HU and aux input from my iPhone. That is, until I upgraded from my old iPhone to an 8 with no 3.5mm jack. Now I’m looking for a decent BT -> Aux converter.

I have a few concerns that I’m trying to address:

Should turn on and off with my car so nothing battery powered
Would be nice if it either didn’t have a mic or had an external mic plug since I’ll be shoving this into my arm rest console.
Needs to auto connect to my phone without needing to dig it out and push buttons.

I’m sure I’m not the first person with this issue so I’m just looking to see if anyone has a similar setup. I’m not looking to invest any money into a HU since the only ones I’ve found which are stock looking are buggy (from past experience), and honestly it’s a ten year old car so I’ll probably be upgrading soon anyway. If there isn’t a good option I’ll likely just end up finding some kind of lightning breakout cable that does both charging and audio.

There's tonnes on the market that run off microusb. Before I upgraded the head unit, I had a little tp link one running into my aux in, powered by a wired in 12v > USB cable, although if memory serves I had to gently caress around with earthing to keep noise down.

Test it with the car running before you button everything up.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

falz posted:

Is it an upgraded stock stereo branded as Bose or something? Those do weird poo poo, have low impedences and perhaps even have power running to speakers with mini amps.

Goddamnit I really wish Bose would keep the gently caress away from car audio. They have to do everything in a nonsensical snowflake fashion, and it never results in a better end result than a basic set of speakers an a mid range head unit from a big box store would, with the added bonus of being a loving nightmare to upgrade.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Their little Bluetooth radios are decent I guess, but for the price you can probably get a Sonos One now, which has 10 times the utility.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Only thing I'd be concerned with is that while I've found that newer factory speakers have pretty capable low end, and can handle more power than typically provided by an OEM deck/amp, they generally don't get loud the way anyone used to aftermarket stuff is used to. Which becomes an issue when you're running a big sub setup.

I have a single 12" Type R in my boot, and even in an undersized sealed box and an amp that's missing about 100w, it's too much for the factory is300 speakers. I reckon you're going to find you really won't get to turn those subs up at all without drowning out everything else.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

jonathan posted:

Thanks. Yeah I'll be high passing the door speakers probably at 100 or 120hz which will give some extra headroom, and I'll be level matching the subwoofer +3db. Also I don't listen very loud very often, I just like that "full" sound.

As soon as I get bored with the setup I'll be upgrading the door and tweaters.

My only concern with these mini amplifiers is that you end up doing everything again when you do get tired of stock speakers, but the 45w rms offered by that unit isn't too bad. It should be able to drive a decent set of 'SQ' oriented components to a point where they're actually efficient, unlike most head units.

The built in DSP looks interesting. You should post a trip report and let us know if it actually improves the sound stage at all.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

I mean you're still going to have a hole - typically your crossover will need to filter 4" speakers off around 100hz or higher, and most subs want to be crossed over at about 80hz but you can fudge it if volume isn't desirable I guess.

Rule of thumb should always be to get the largest mid bass speaker you can fit in the space, but there's sealing and deadening to do if you actually want to take advantage of it, and you'll probably get it just right the week before you sell your car so ehhhh.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

You will definitely start to hear bass coming from the direction of your sub at 120hz, but it's not necessarily a deal breaker, especially if it's below you.

I've also found that different types of music might sound better at different crossover points - this wouldn't be the case if the woofers had perfect overlap down to 60hz, but between phase issues from less than ideal enclosures (aka doors), less than ideal accoustic space (aka your car), it's not a perfect environment, and has the potential to make even the best speakers sound off.

Cross those 4"s off at 100hz then move your sub around between 80 and 120hz, and pick which value sounds best for the music you're listening to, at the volume you're going to be listening to it at.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

STR posted:

Clarion was the OEM for Nissan stereos for a long time (still may be their OEM). The stock stereo in my 99 Altima was also Clarion, with Clarion speakers, and frankly it sounded pretty decent once I got the original speakers out (they were paper, and falling apart). Clarion's primarily involved in marine and OEM stuff now - they haven't updated their (US) retail stuff since 2016ish. I think they're still reasonably well known in Australia, maybe?

I'm guessing the 4" speaker in a 5.25" plate was maybe a transition thing during that model year, or maybe something where they'd install 5.25's in a higher optioned model? Nissan's always been a bit funky with their speakers (see: the 4x6 door speakers used in the 1st gen Altima).

Yeah Clarion is pretty well respected here. Up there with Alpine and above Pioneer/Sony for speakers at least. They haven't released a head unit out here for a while though, and the entry level ones were a bit cheap and nasty.

Also I had those 4x6 loving holes in my S13 and goddamn them to hell.

Also if you have a hole that fits a 5.25" driver, you can potentially use an MDF adaptor to get a 6" or even 6.5" mounted in there, if you have clearance behind the door cards.

That's a LOT more cone area, if you ever decide you want some more midbass.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

YOU'RE NEVER DONE.

YOU'RE NEVER DONE WITH THE PROJECT.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

If you wanna be nerdy about it, it's all about resonant frequencies, and phase cancellation.

Light, thin flat panels have relatively high resonant frequencies, so even your 6.5" midbass speakers might cause them to vibrate. Door skins and cards are notorious for this. So your aim is to lower the resonant frequency of the panel to below what your speakers are kicking out. <20Hz ideally. As Olympic Mathlete says, that can often be achieved with a few squares of deadener applied in the middle of large flat surfaces. You rarely need to cover every square inch, and if you have more spare time than spare money, you can do a trial and error. Or you can just wack a bunch of it on and hope for the best.

As for covering the holes, - speakers move forward and backwards in order to move air and make sound, and the intent there is to prevent the sound waves coming out of the rear of the speaker making it into the cabin, as they're 180 degrees out of phase with the front, and have the really nifty effect of cancelling out all of your midbass. this is why speaker boxes are either sealed, or have tuned ports in order to minimise phase cancellation. I think the speaker rings mentioned earlier in the thread would effectively help channel the front waves out of the space between the door card and door skin and into the cabin, which would help prevent phase cancellation and directional issues I suppose.

As for rear speakers, they mostly just muck up your stereo image, and create a whole load of vibration issues you wouldn't otherwise have to chase, so most SQ nerds either fade them out, remove them to allow more sub bass into the cabin, or run them really low for the benefit of passengers only. I wouldn't bother putting after market speakers in unless the factory units are busted and you have passengers a lot/drive uber/have kids.

Cars are a miserable environment to build a sound system in. You have the issues above, as well as road noise (which also cancels out low frequencies), weird cabin shapes that boost some frequencies and cause others to basically disappear. You might find when you crank your system up, and lean forward to the windscreen you get a totally different EQ curve. SQ tuning is all about trying to compensate the gently caress out of these issues. As with home HiFi, once you wrap your head around some of these ideas and dismiss the snake oil aspects of the hobby, poo poo just gets so much easier to plan out.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

I feel like we need to know more about your box design to make an informed decision.

I've seen a single 8" cadence flex the back window of a wagon; in a transmission line enclosure.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Cloth is probably acoustically superior to leather and this is the car audio thread so

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Also it costs about 15 dollars to replace the wireless N module on an old ex-workhorse HP Elitebook with a genuine Intel combination AC/Bluetooth module from eBay. The HP and Thinkpad sandy/ivy bridge i5 models are mostly still useful for this sort of work and can be found at auction for under $200. Swapping the wireless PCIE card takes 5 mins.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

I feel like that's the first thing I would check.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Why do you feel that an aftermarket amp is the solution to your sound quality woes? I've amplified factory (rear mostly) speakers before, and it really doesn't make a descernible improvement in my experience.

I would definitely consider whether replacing your factory front speakers (midbass and tweeters) with a set of nice Polk or Hertz or similar splits makes more sense. Might be a better choice if you're budget constrained. Alternatively, changing head units can make a big difference. I think the mazda factory HUs are pretty notorious for being a bit poo poo, but often can't be removed so that's a factor.

If you have done some homework and you're sure it's an amp issue, I'd get one of the new integration amps designed to run off factory gear like the Audiocontrol stuff, or one of the little alpine ones.

For your sub, you're not going to get huge bass from and underseat solution, but there's a number of active and passive solutions available. Just consider wiring and amp placement carefully before pulling the trigger on a product.

Note if you have a Bose system, typically the whole lot has to come out to improve anything.

Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Rockford gear is good but usually on the pricey end. JL, Hertz, Polk, Morel, RF and a few other brands have decent mid range stuff that won't break your bank. If you don't want to venture down the rabbit hole of door treatments and dynamat, just get a set of mid range component speakers for now.

I don't know what the head unit in your car is like, but if it isn't a Bose product and has an aux in and Bluetooth, your next step after the speakers may be to get an integration amp like the ones I mentioned above. Audiocontrol stuff comes pretty highly regarded. I think Kicker make a similar product. You can get 2 4 or 5 channel options and the better ones will compensate for the factory head units' tendency to roll off bass as the volume goes up ( so you can't blow the lovely 12W factory speakers).

I wouldn't go out and buy a big honking amp if you're not dropping a big sub in. 50w RMS per channel will be all you need.

Don't upgrade the rear speakers ever. There are so many things that are more crucial to the sound than that that they should only be upgraded if you get some free coaxials or you run out of poo poo to spend money on.

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Don Dongington
Sep 27, 2005

#ideasboom

College Slice

Wokrider posted:

I ended up getting a Pioneer GM-D1004 Amp and some Rockford Fosgate R165X3 For the front and rear speakers. I ended up getting back speakers just because they were on sale so I bit the bullet on those too.

Your front doors don't have tweeters? Because if they do, those aren't a good choice.

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