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Old 05-22-2004, 02:39 AM   #1
Chelica
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Sound System Question (Advice)

Hello,

I have a stock 01 ZX3 Hatchback speaker setup.

The only thing that I have new as far as sound system goes is a JVC Head Unit. Model number is JVC KD-LH1000.

The sound coming out of the speakers sucks right now, I want something that is in good quality but not something that is going to blow a fat hole in my bank account.

So I am thinking of getting a nice Amp and some speakers to go in the trunk. Nothing bigger than some 10s. I used to drive a Celica with a pretty nice setup given from Toyota and the damn thing started to rattle like crazy.

If I wanted something to match and compliment the Head Unit that I have, what would or should I be looking for? How much am I looking to spend anyways, or at least get away with without purchasing something super crappy?

I am totally new in the whole auto field including sounds so bear with me. I wanted to get into cars but instead I got into building and modding computers, so yeah, this is a whole new direction.

Thanks!!


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Old 05-22-2004, 12:01 PM   #2
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I'm not completely sure what you are looking for, are you saying you want an amp for subs and your door speakers? or just new door speakers, subs, and an amp for the subs? Either way, if you want an upgrade for cheap the most effective thing to do in my opinion is stick to one sub, like a good quality 12 in the appropriate enclosure. another cost effective thing is to do your own install, you seem to be capable of that skill-wise so the only question isdo you have the tools? you'd need a razor blade or wire stripper to cut wire insulation off, a crimper or bench vise or a hammer, a jigsaw or something to cut dense wood for building an enclosure and possibly door speaker size adapters (6"x8" to 6" round), and a few other small items that are really cheap that you'll have to pick up (like wire, butt conectors, terminals, etc). also do you have the time? if you do it'll cut down on the cost alot. if you are going to do your own install take a look into this system.

$115 shipped - one elemental designs ed10o.14 - http://audiohole.com/detail.asp?id=569

~$130 shipped - from ebay - one used (but in good phyiscaly and internaly) rockford fosgate punch 360a2 (from 1999), trust me on this, the amp can give your subwoofer 500+ watts RMS

$50 shipped - cdt cl-6x's http://www.thezeb.com/detail.aspx?ID=1087 - you won't get amazing clarity but way better than stock, the high end of the audio spectrum should clear up majorly

$75 shipped - EVERYTHING else you need (amp wiring kit, enclosure building supplies, etc)


That's about $375 for every last detail item that you will need. Let me know if that doens't work for you though.

- Scott
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Old 05-22-2004, 02:46 PM   #3
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Scott, Thanks for the input.

You know what, I went to the garage last night because I remember that my g/f aunt gave me a 12" Kicker in a box enclosure. I found the box and now I am wondering if I am able to use that as my Sub? The input on the box is a negative and positive black and red input.

I am not really sure what the specs on it tho, it just says Kicker.

But now I really do want a nice/budget friendly Amp. I checked out the one you told about, but there is only one on Ebay right now, anything else comparable? I do not mind getting it second hand so that gives me more choices correct? What am I looking for in terms of specs on Amps? I know that Rockford is a really good brand, any other ones are dependable?

So when I get an Amp, I will just be using that to power up the 1 twelve in the back trunk correct? The new Amp will have nothing to do regarding the 4 speakers inside the side panels right? I would just have to straight replace that with that $50 dollar one you recommended. I can do this later down the line couldn't I? What I was thinking was to setup the Amp and Sub first. Then save up for a nice set of speakers on the front driver and passenger side. I think that the rear side speakers I will keep stock because the Sub is so close to it.

As for that $75 bucks on everything else that I would need, where can I get that exactly? I do have tools that can be used, I am sure. My uncle is a mechanic and my pops is an electrician.

But basically, my goal is to have an Amp and a Sub (I can use the kicker right?) then work my way up from there.
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Old 05-22-2004, 03:34 PM   #4
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if the sub works to can use it, but to find a good budget amp for it you need to know two things, it's imedpance and it's model number. the impedance resitance of current flow, if there is less resitance (lets say 2 ohms) there will be more current flow and the amp will work harder and get hotter, some amps can't handle 2 ohm loads because it creates too much heat. with a 4 ohm load (configuration) you won't be creating as much heat and most amps can handle it, but you get less power output compared to 2 ohms. it's kind of confusing, especaily when you add in the fact taht there are SVC (single voice coil) and DVC (dual voice coil) subs which can be wired to give did loads to the amp. my basic point is that you need to find what amp works for your sub, your sub is most likely either a 4 ohm SVC or a 4 ohm DVC sub. one yeilds a 4 ohm load and one yeilds a 2 ohm load, if your sub is DVC (yeilds 2 ohm) the RF 360a2 or almost any other 2 channel amp bridged into mono mode will not work for you because you will overload the amp, so you'd need a specific mono amp that can handle the heat. if it's 4 ohm you won't find any better amp for the price than the 360a2, i guarentee it. no other amp selling for less than $130 will put out close to 550 watts @ 4 ohm. i have been watching those amp seires on ebay myself because i need a 360a2 or 400a4, a few auctions for the 360a2 just ended a couple days ago, they come up on there pretty often, i'd just wait a little. any way...you can find the impedance a bunch of ways, you can take the sub out of the enclosure and see if there are any markings or stamps on the magnet or around there and check how many pairs of connections tehre are (neg post and pos post = one pair), if you get the model number i can help you find the impedance and also find the important RMS powe rating so you can figure out what amp to look for. you said your dad was an electrician correct? i can almost guarentee he'll have a multimeter then. if he does you can hook the positive/red probe to the red terminal on the enclosure, and the black/negative prode to the black terminal, then switch the dial to resistance/ohms, sensitivity to under 20 (that's usualy what it is on most multimeters, but you just want a senesitivity over 4 ohms but at least under 20 ohms), then it will tell you what the resistance is.

does your sub look like this below? if not can you describe the colors, shape (square or round - kicker makes both), and if there are any other words such as "comp" on it.



for speakers you can wait if you'd like, those speakers i linked to aren't amazing but for unamp'd speakers they will be the best for the price. if you ran real good speakers off a hu they won't sound much different from mediocre speakers because there isn't enough wattage to make them perform differently. so running speakers off the hu will give you mediocre sound with expensive speakers or just okay speakers. that's why i suggest the cdt cl'6x's. but if you wanted to make them better you could add a small amp for the fronts but then you need more wiring and a more difficult install (running new speaker wire from the amp up throguh the car). but bottom line, if you arne't going to amp the speakers i wouldn't buy more expensive speakers. and don't bother with the rears because that isn't very cost effective, you want the sound to be better where you are sitting, no need to mess with the rears, i don't even run any rear speakers, it helps make it sound more like a concert because it helps imaging, of course that's a whole other topic and this post is long enough already so i won't go into that unless you want to hear about it.

the $75 material estimate i gave doesn't really apply anymore becuas ei was including costs for building an enclosure for the sub, so really all you need is an amp it (i suggest walmart's $24 4 gauge 4 channel kit) and a few other small things that you probably don't need to buy like electrical tape, soemthing to crimp 4 gauge wire terminals (bench vise - your dad probably won't have a crimper for that size of wire - 4 gauge is bigger than stuff used throughout houses), screw drivers, screws/bolts, etc etc.

- Scott
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Old 05-22-2004, 03:46 PM   #5
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Ah, thanks man, you are being very helpful with my stance of noobiness.

I will pop open the enclosure box and give you the info on the Sub by today, I think I'll jump in the garage after this. From there, we can find the right Amp correct?

O yeah, are there a nice website with guides/how-tos as far as setting up an Amp and a Sub?? I am confused, do I run the wire from the trunk all the way up to the HU?

And I do understand exactly what you mean regarding the Amp for the side speakers. But the difference between the stock side speakers and the one you linked me to is pretty big right?

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:12 PM   #6
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Got it, here is the info that I picked out from the back of the Sub.

4 OHM
Competition C12A
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
I will pop open the enclosure box and give you the info on the Sub by today, I think I'll jump in the garage after this. From there, we can find the right Amp correct?
correct


Quote:
O yeah, are there a nice website with guides/how-tos as far as setting up an Amp and a Sub?? I am confused, do I run the wire from the trunk all the way up to the HU?


**before anything disconnect your negative battery post**

you will run an RCA type interconnect from the hu's preouts/preamps which will give the signal for the amp to repoduce. from the hu you also need to run a remote-turn on wire, which gives a small amount of current to the amp (when the hu is on) and it "tells" the amp to start drawing power from the main power wire, this way your amp isn't on always and draining your battery. you will need to run the main power wire from the battery positive post to the amp's input (usualy labled 12V+), to do this, #1 you'll have to use a drill bit to drill a hole on the firewall (the whole area behind the pedals) about the same size of the power wire (well a little larger actualy) and put a grommet in (small plastic or rubber peice that will protect the wire from getting cut on the sharp metal edges of the firewall). the spot where i drilled was where the steering column bar (not sure what to call it) goes through the firewall and it has a plastic gaurd protecting it. what you do is drill so you are right on the rim of the plastic gaurd, this way there isn't anything behind it that you can hit accidently with the drill bit. to reach the wire after you feed a little bit of it through you might want to take off the intake (black tube with rings on it) by taking a flat head scredriver and unclamping it and pullign it off temporarily. then you can hook the terminal up to the battery, you'll need a rachet or wrench for those connections. then you'll have to pull up the door sills (trim on the sides of the car with little ridges on it). pull straight up one section at a time and the clips will come out. take your time to make sure nothing breaks. you can shove the wire down in the carpet when the sills are off. then feed it through the bottom of the thick plastic rear panels (you'll be able to see where it will slide though), if you have trouble take a metal hanger, straighten it out, tape the wire onto it, feed the hanger through the spot and then go to the spot where it comes out on the other end and pull the wire through by pulling the rest of the hanger out. for the ground wire you'll need to keep it under 12" if possible, i always grounded directly under the rear seats because it's easy to keep the wire short and there is alot of chassis metal there, don't ground to an area that was spot welded on because you won't get enough power to your amp or it will create noise in your system. sand down the ground spot until it is BARE metal, which means there is no visible paint, just scratched up somewaht shiny bare metal. then find a bolt or wide self-tapping screw that is very short (so it doesn't hit anything such as the gas tank), and drill the apprpriate sized hole (hole should be smaller than the screw's threads so it gets some grip), then use a screw/bolt and a washer on the ring terminal (which is connected to the ground wire) that you are provided with. make it tight enough but not so that it strips the screw, it sucks alot when that happens. then go to the other side and do the same thing you did to run the RCA's and remote wire. once you have the rca's and remote wire up to the hu you can read your hu manual and find out what the remote turn on wire is for your hu, then connect your amp's remote turn on wire to that but i suggest fusing it with a 2amp fuse, it's a just in case kind of thing that may save your hu one day. then plug your rcas hu's sub preout/preamp. once that is all done you can put your amp in the car, connect the positive wire up, then the negative wire, then your remote wire, then the rca's (a side note - never plug in or take out your rca's with the hu running or you could ruin your hu - and never plug in your rca's with no ground wire attatched because your amp could attempt to ground through the rca's and kill your hu). then connect the speaker wires (since you have a 4 ohm driver i'd suggest a two channel amp so you'll be bridging the channels into one channel by using one postiive terminal from one chanel and one negative terminal from the other channel leaving you with 2 unused terminals on the amp. connect the corresponding neg and pos wires to the enclosure terminals and you are almost done. reconnect the neg post. turn your hu on, turn off any bass boosts or eq curves (make the eq curve flat, not suuper bass, vocal, pop, rock, or anything like that) turn it to 3/4 volume (or the highest you listen to it), play some normal music that you listen to, find your gain adjustaments on the amp, turn them to the right until your sub sound shity and distorts, and then back off of the gain a little so there isn't any distortion. turn your crossover to about 80hz lowpass. and then i suggest not using any bass boosts or anything of that sort because it distorts the sound waves. and you are done.

i looked at that sub and it's not too great on power handling. it says 150 watts RMS. so i'd suggest the punch 150a2, should give you about 200 RMS. but don't expect major bass, just more moderate bass, noticable but not rear view mirror shaking bass. how big is that enclosure by the way? can you give me an estimate on depth width and height so i can find the volume?


Quote:
And I do understand exactly what you mean regarding the Amp for the side speakers. But the difference between the stock side speakers and the one you linked me to is pretty big right?
the difference is in the high end of the audio spectrum, in that area, stock vs. any aftemarket is a huge difference because most stock speakers have a paper tweeter while aftermarket coaxials (a speaker that has a tweeter and a mid mounted together) have real seperate silk, titanium, etc tweeters that reproduce frequencies much better than stock speakers. since you are running it off the hu you won't notice any difference in the low end or midbass since you'd need moer power for that, but it should definetely be worth the money to upgrade them with the ones i linked to, i think many others here would agree with me.
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Old 05-22-2004, 05:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the step by step guide, that's very helpful. Will be using it once I get the Amp.

Yeah the Sub is not all that great, that is why I wanted an Amp that can work with this one but still have enough room if I was to upgrade and get some nicer sets of Subs. That Fosgate 150a2 will not give me a crazy bottleneck would it? I am not really needing anything with loud bass or anything like that. That moderate bass is what I am trying to get since I really do not want the whole car to rattle.

I tried Ebaying the 150a2 but no luck. I Emailed a guy that said he had 2 for sale for $100 shipped. It was off a search from Google, so I do not know how legit or if he still has them for sale. Do you know a place where I can get one?
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Old 05-22-2004, 05:44 PM   #9
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if you want one that you can use when you uprade your sub try to get a 250a2, there are tons on ebay right now. you can probably get a perfectly working one for about $80-$90 shipped. it'll give you over double the RMS to your current sub though (~300+ watts @ 4 ohm mono). so you'll have to be careful wthe way you set your hu and amp. absolutely no eq mode that has extra bass for one, second, no bass boost AT ALL, you'll be fine without it i'm sure, and make absolutely sure that your gains are set correctly. if you do all taht you should be fine. another thing aobut those amps, they are kind of hard to set the gains, they have two recessed gain screws (one left and one right), you'll need to set each with a very small philip screwdriver. let decreases gain, right increases gain. what it does it matches the voltage of the preamp signal to your amp, it sort of puts them on the same level. make sure you email the seller before you buy one of those amps and ask them if the gain controls are in good condition and don't have stripped heads (because they are small and plastic/nylon, making them easy to strip.

- Scott
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:21 AM   #10
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Is there a more user friendly one compared to the 250a2? Somewhere in the 100 dollars price range? Or should I just try and snag that one still?

I dunno about the whole no bass deal, not that I need it, but in case that I accidentally set it on, what would happen?
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