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Discussion Starter #1
Last year, I installed some Alpine SPX-177R Componants. Since the time I have heard many stock systems, and the midbass ouptut was much stonger than what I have. I want upgrade, but I don't want to lose the midrange capabilities of the SPX 177's. I have thought so far:

1) Get the Midbass upgrade kit and install them in the rear doors.
2) Get the Midbass upgrade kit and install them in kick panels.
3) Upgrade the woofer from the set.
4) Upgrade the entire system.

Any recommendations.
thanks, db
 

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Well, for starters it could be that what you have already is fully capable to out-do those stock systems you heard...it just isn't being optimally utilized at this point. For starters, try re-tuning everything as best you can. This can literally take several hours. I suggest doing it in 30 minute spurts as your hearing will start to fade after a while and it gets to be pointless.

Next, what are you powering them with? A properly sized 4 channel amp is a must for anything close to good midbass. Did you properly sound deaden the doors? you may want to consider that to help enhance the speakers if you haven't already.

I personally have not run Type X Alpines, but they should do great. I highly doubt you need to upgrade them...unless you really want a TON of midbass. If that ends up being the case, I suggest the upgrade kit and find a way to keep it all in the front....kickpanels, custom mounts, whatever. Just don't put them in the rear.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Yeah the doors are sound dampened to the extreme. I also have deflex pads. They are running off of an Alpine MRV 545. 100x4 rms at 12 volts. 2 channels to the components and 2 channels bridged to my IDQ 12.

Maybe i should screw with the crossovers some more. They have about a million and one adjustments.

I don't know but i was kinda embarrased the other day. A guy with a Mazda 3 wanted to here my system. We first listened to his. You know, a stock system, sounded pretty descent. He said he wanted to upgrade his speakers because he wanted more bass. Cool. We then took the same CD and took it to my car. I cut my sub off so it was components only. I was shamed. Hardly no midbass output compared to his stock stereo. These are suppose to be $400 speakers. Something has got to give.\

db
 

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Your first problem was turning off the sub. It's a "system" that's supposed to "blend" together.

6.5" woofer cones are a smaller surface area than 5x7, 6x8, or 6x9; depending on what he had. But the stock speakers sound like arse, even the bass is crappy.

Your 6.5" woofers will have a more defined midbass output, not boomy. That also makes some people think it's less, when it's actually more realistic.

With all that said, you should have plenty of midbass output from those speakers to "blend" well with the IDQ12, especially with that sub. You still need to dial in the settings.

Try setting the SPX woofers HP 63Hz/24dB, then the sub to LP 80Hz/12dB, and see how that blends. You might need to boost 100Hz one or two on the PEQ; provided you have that option on your HU.

Now overall, neither of those systems has great midbass. Really great midbass with really great midrange will require a 3-way front. But that's a whole different monster to tackle, with install, power, wires, etc.

Since the stock location blends well with a-pillar tweeters, I'd add dual midbass drivers in each door where the lower pockets are, in a sealed custom enclosure. The other option is to put 7" or 8" midbass in the stock door locations with midrange in the kickpanels, but keep the tweeters in the a-pillars to raise the stage. To really make a 3-way system work and blend the best, it's prefered to be fully active with plenty of 31-band EQ tuning options, crossovers, time-alignment, etc. There's a reason I chose to stick with a 2-way front. [:D]

Your system will work just fine, so keep working with the settings. Double-check those passive crossover jumpers. It's possible you have the midbass cut-off way too high.

What HU do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks FocusinCali.

If you remember, i was the one last year who installed the 5.25 type x kit. My MDF door baffles were too thick and ruined one of my midranges from not enough clearance. Anyway..

Great insight, as usual!

I have an Alpine 9855. So you know that it is not 31 band eq's or nothing, but does have descent flexibilty and features.

You are right. There is absolutely no boom coming from the front 6.5's. However, there is a fairly solid 'taaaat' and 'buuuuu' sounds coming out. If you can imagine what i am saying, is that midbass, upper midbass or lower midrange?

I have my x-over set at
front components - 63hz/18db
rear stock - 125hz/24db
sub - 63hz/12db

I usually run my EQ flat - cause that is the best setup I have found for the system to sound very good given most types of music. Usually I keep the same CD in my player for 2-3 months, and sort of toy with the EQ to make it sound ,what 'I' think, sounds best.

If you are familiar with the HU it has level controls. I have the sub set at full level. The fronts set @ -3, and the rears @ -6. For some reason that it just how I have it set.

The amp i have is set at +4 [email protected] for the sub.

The alpine x-overs are set like I don't know. I tryed every possible combination and really couldn't tell much differnece. Maybe the crossover settings are using to get optimal RTA readings.

Anyway, I hope we can get my system sounding as good as it can.
 

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Turn off the amp sub boost (your +4 @40Hz setting).
You can always boost that with the 9855 and also change the Q wide or narrow.

Try the fronts, 63Hz/24dB at 0 (not -3, never drop this level).
Set the sub, 80Hz/12dB at a much lower level, then bring it up until it blends well. This will actually allow you to hear the midbass. You're are way over powering the midbass with your sub, and thus not blending well. It took me a while to figure this out as well.

You can set the 9855 PEQ to 100Hz, +2 or +3, with a Wide Q to affect the surrounding frequencies and help the sub/midbass blend.

Make sure the SPX crossovers are for the mid/tweet settings only and not affecting the mid HP as it should be only controlled by the 9855.

Hope that helps. Then you can fine tune from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FocusInCali.
thanks man, the system blends a whole lot better. My sub sounds much clenaer and tighter, and the output has not been compromised. I will tinker a little longer and let you know the final verdict. If I went to a high end audio shop, how much do you think it would cost to get my system RTA'd. Would I notice the difference.

thanks db
 

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some will do it for free, some will charge you $40 or so

RTA will let you know the major spikes and dips for you to EQ

generally the major spikes and dips are car environment related
 

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I sold it to another Focus owner.

I had planned to build a 4-way active system and multiple Zed amps were too big. I found good deals on a few (7) Arc Audio amps for flexibility, and they would fit the planned install. I paid the same for them used as the Zed is new (referring to 4ch).

The Arc XXK amps have a slight edge in dynamics and neutrality, but the Zed is obviously the better buy if you go new. The difference in SQ is not worth paying twice the money. But if you can find good deals on XXK amps, then by all means jump on it.

My system plans changed, so I stuck with a single 4ch amp setup with the 4150XXK, and sold all the other amps.
 
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