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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 07 2004 - 09:21 AM

Hello,
I'm new to these forums and was reffered here by a friend who used the provided resources and knowledge to build his home entertainment system. My question however is regarding the installation and overal product selection for a car audio system.

More specifically I am looking to install 2 subs and an amplifier into a 2002 Grand Prix. My car, only 2 years old, has a decent CD player and decent car speakers so I am not at this time looking at replacing those, only adding subs. I want something that kicks at a reasonable price, nothing over $500.
Pretty much I have narrowed it down to the following components:

2 Rockford Fosgate 12'' P212S4 Subs
1 Rockford Fosgate P6002 2 Channel Amp

I have found both of these to be moderetly priced and could very well fit under my $500 dollar budget - I have looked at eBay mainly. From here is where my questions start to arise. First will the amp provide sufficient power for those 2 subs? Enough power to provide decent sound and kick? Also what kind of box would be prefered in this type of situation (2 subs in a trunk)?

Furthermore regarding the instalation - What other components would I need - ie. Cables ect.?

Lastly has anyone ever experiences any problems when ordering these types of components off of eBay?

Thank you for reading, all and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ismar

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 08 2004 - 08:11 AM

Anyone?

Posted Image Posted Image

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 08 2004 - 11:38 AM

Those subs are 86db sensativity so the amp will power them nicely. However, you will find that this option is sort of a "back end" approach.

Typically, you should start with your source and go from there. The factory deck might be good, but it is lacking in some prerequisite options that you require.

Specifically, to do the amp sub setup you should be running RCA outs to the amp. As it stands, you will have to do a speaker to RCA conversion to hookup that amp you have chosen. Not good.

You will find that improving the source, then the speakers, then the amplification to those speakers, and then adding the oomph via a sub setup is the most typical approach as you need a good starting point (HU) to start noticing significant improvements.

You will have to run a fused power supply to your amp, ground it, install it, and ensure that your box for your subs is volumetrically correct, etc, etc.

If you are only looking for some bottom end "oomph", I'd suggest that your chosen components are superb but will show your weakest link in your particular chain - the stock setup in the rest of the car.

I don't mean to sound discouraging, it's just if you are going to go through all the trouble of hooking up your amp and sub the right way (non-ghetto), you should seriously consider doing it right the first time and go for the source first.

Have you considered other cheaper alternatives?

Bazooka or a similiar product might simplify things as a pure add-on, but you still have the power supply issue. These tubes (and others) will take line level inputs directly so that could work in your favor if you want to leave the rest of the system stock.



So yes, your amp and subs will do the trick (quite nicely). But for your intended purposes, it does sound like overkill when you consider the factory setup that remains.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted November 08 2004 - 11:59 AM

Ismar,
I would take a good look at Adire Audio's line of products. I have a single Shiva ($125) in my car (powered with 400W) and it has plenty of output for me. The Shiva is capable of better SQ and more output than the RF option (but it doesn't look as cool). Adire's Tempest ($150) is the next step up followed by the Brahma line. You can find a lot of used v1 Brahma's out there (people are selling to get the v2). All of these subs have won numerous car SQ and SPL competitions. IMO you are better off with 1 ported Tempest than 2 of the RF subs (plus it will save you space and $$$ on the enclosure). Check out Adire's site for more info.

As for the amp, consider buying a used unit (DEI 2400, etc.). Pheonix Gold's X600.1 is a good new option for under $500. Whatever you amp choice, make sure your car's wiring and electrical system can support the load.

Quote:
Also what kind of box would be prefered in this type of situation (2 subs in a trunk)?
That depends on the driver you select. Each driver manufacturer should specify an optimal enclosure volume. Ported enclosures are typically a little larger but are capable of significantly more output. Sealed enclosures can be more musical and take less trunk space than the ported enclosure. Are you buying a pre-built enclosure or building your own?

Good luck on your install!

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 08 2004 - 02:17 PM

Thank you for the responses, they are appriciated.
Like I said I am somewhat a noobie at this but like anything in life I am starting to learn the basics as we go along.

Ultimately I will be replacing the deck and the inside speakers, but just not right now as I was told (by people from BestBuy and a Local Audio install place) that the inside setup I currently have is sufficent enough to run the subs and amp for the time being untill I am able to buy a new deck and speaker. But as I read the post I am getting the idea that that might not be the case. So I ask you this in regards to this statement:

Quote:
Specifically, to do the amp sub setup you should be running RCA outs to the amp. As it stands, you will have to do a speaker to RCA conversion to hookup that amp you have chosen. Not good.

These RCA outs how are they changed and why would I need to convert the speakers when the speakers dont run off of the amp? Or do they?

Also when you refer to the source, do you mean the CD deck? Specifically what would a new deck provide? More amplification to the individual car speakers? Do most new decks have these RCA outs in which case if I was to do it the preferred way I would not have to deal with converions? Also does the instalation of car speakers and a new deck entail any special process?

I realize this is alot of quesitons but so far you guys have been nothing else but helpful and I do greatly appreciate the help. If any of you are willing, my AIM is jumpman23ik, please AIM me as it would be great to discuss this in a somewhat realtime enviornment.
Once again thank you.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   StephenHa

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Posted November 08 2004 - 05:31 PM

car stereo decks have very little in amplifier power, what they do have tends to be grossly exaggerated, also to hook up a good amp you will need rca jacks, converters work, but usually are noisy (they tend to introduce a ground loop where you get the infamous whistle) rockford fosgate makes fine products, I'd be careful buying off ebay for a newbie as some of the products are not as advertised (I've found a few hundred false ads and ebay won't do a thing about it) also factory radios tend to have a limited frequency response

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 08 2004 - 06:04 PM

So how do I get the amplification that Jason was reffering to to the speakers? Also does a new deck get rid of the RCA conversion process?

P.S.
As if I havent asked a billion quesitons already, but what decks do you guys prefer?

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 09 2004 - 11:37 AM

Quote:
as it would be great to discuss this in a somewhat realtime enviornment.


Sorry, can't help you there. Here today gone tomorrow.

Anyways, all decent HU/source/decks have RCA jacks outputs on them. These pass the signal to an external source (amp, eq, etc). The benefit of this is that an external amp is usually much better than the internal amp of the deck. So you pass the signal to a quality amp, and from there, to quality speakers.

Turn up your stock radio to a fairly loud level. There will be clipping and distortion present. The dynamic range will also be limited due to the lack of power present in the stock setup. Do the same with a decent aftermarket setup (new deck, external amplification, capable speakers) and the clipping will be gone, the distortion gone, and the dynamic range will be better. A much "cleaner" "open" "tight" sound. Pick your adjective.

DO NOT BUY OFF OF EBAY UNTIL YOU KNOW THE BASICS. You WILL get hosed/screwed/etc. Research tons (better boards than this one for pure car audio).

Try:
Canadian Car Audio Board
12 Volt
Your new bible - check out the index on the right side of the page

A new deck install can (should) eliminate the speaker feeds by directly using an external amp. From this amp, you can power your front stage and rear. In addition, another amp could be used to power a dedicated sub setup (your original question). Note that quite a few aftermarket decks will give you two pairs or more of RCA outs to specifically address dedicated amps for stage and subs, etc (in the past, we ran electronic crossovers and split the signals to dedicated amps from there).

My preference for decks Eclipse, Pioneer, or Alpine. Pioneer for entry leve, Eclipse for high end, Alpine for the middle.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted November 10 2004 - 05:40 AM

I disagree with Jason about never using the amps in the head unit. The decks he mentioned (Alpine, Pioneer, Eclipse) are capable of driving your front speakers to normal listening levels. Will an external amp for the front speakers be better? Of course... but we're trying to keep you on a budget!

For the subwoofers, you will need an external amp. You will drive this amp with the RCA output of your head unit. If your head unit does not have RCA outputs then I would suggest getting a replacement.

Might I suggest the following upgrade strategy:
- Upgrade head unit (MAJOR improvement of most stock car stereos)
- Add an external sub amp and _one_ subwoofer. Get an amp that is capable of driving 2 subs. During this process you will need to run some thick wire from the battery back to the amplifier location (with fuses and distribution blocks in appropriate areas). You should also upgrade the ground wires from the battery to the car body and engine block.
- Upgrade the front speakers and either disconnect or upgrade your rear deck speakers.
- Add an amp to drive the front and rear fill speakers.
- Add the 2nd sub driver. If you get a good 1st sub you may find that a 2nd is overkill. However, some people like overkill Posted Image

If you are looking for sound quality then you will need to add a bunch of sound deadener and absorber to the vehicle (reduce rattles and metal ringing).

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 10 2004 - 07:04 AM

Quote:
The benefit of this is that an external amp is usually much better than the internal amp of the deck. So you pass the signal to a quality amp, and from there, to quality speakers.


Quote:
I disagree with Jason about never using the amps in the head unit.


Not quite what I said but I'll second using the internal amps - but only for rear fill, if at all.

Jason

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 10 2004 - 10:19 AM

Cool Cool, lots of good info. Are speaker amps different than subwoofer amps?

Also what should I look for when buying off of eBay to avoid getting shafted? The prices there seem most favorable.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted November 10 2004 - 11:45 AM

Quote:
Are speaker amps different than subwoofer amps?
No more different than HT sub amps vs HT main amps. Some amp designs are optimized for max power (vs. sound quality). I would suggest getting a sub amp <600W unless you want to make significant changes to your electrical system (additional battery, upgraded alternator, etc.). When you pick a subwoofer driver and enclosure solution, make sure that it is effective with your amplifier (some subs like to have 1500W+).

Quote:
Also what should I look for when buying off of eBay to avoid getting shafted? The prices there seem most favorable.
First, identify quality amplifiers. This can be done by browsing reputable forums and searching for info (you might also find some deals in their 'for sale' areas). Next, make sure you're dealing with a reputable seller who has sold car audio products in the past (someone sells 1000 glassware items and is now selling a car sub = likely scam).

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   StephenHa

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Posted November 10 2004 - 11:45 AM

look for luck when buying off ebay, basically look at their feedback, any negatives for bad description be wary. Speaker amps and sub amps the difference tends to be power subs need more power,the filters used may differ some

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 10 2004 - 03:31 PM

When I first got into car audio back in the 90s (been out now for a while), I ran down to the local library and read every car audio magazine I could get my hands on. I suggest the same for you.

There are some boards out there (prior posting) but there's a lot of junk to sort through.

You'll pick up all the basics and more in one afternoon, assuming you have access to a library that stocks these magazines.

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   JoeGibs

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Posted November 11 2004 - 12:56 PM

I dont think you should really rely on the car audio magazines to make any decisions on product choice. Alot of the stuff written in the magazines are due to the manufacturer paying advertisment dollars to have their stuff written about. There isnt much real feedback on the items or side by side comparison. Try looking into a dedicated car audio forum, the help you're going to get here is minimal because its mainly a home theater forum. I'm into car audio and attempting to get into home theater, asking HT questions on a car audio forum didnt work, so thats why im here.

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 11 2004 - 03:57 PM

My mention about the mags was to be used as a source of information only, not product decision.

For instance, wiring in series or parallel, active or passive crossover, 18db or 24db slope, etc, etc, etc, etc.

You'll find all this theory in magazines.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Aaron Smithski

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Posted November 11 2004 - 07:04 PM

Ismar,

To get back to your original request, yes, you can keep your stock head unit and simply add a sub(s) and amp!

While I was aquiring the equipment for my future install in my '04 Ford F-250 Crew Cab, I put together a "bridge" system to get me by. This consisted of coaxial Infinity Reference 6x8's and an MTX 6152 amp; along with a ported box holding two Resonant Engineering 8's that I originally planned on running.

The components I ended up with for the permanent install are of a much higher pedigree - Vifa 7" mids and 1" tweets, and a stout Nakamichi 6-channel amp with built-in active crossovers for each channel - but, the sound quality was so good on the temporary setup I'm just going to go ahead and run it! Not too even mention how much work I saved (custom door mounts, pulling new speaker wire, etc.).

I'm not familiar with your '02 Grand Prix, so I can't advise whether or not it has ample power to drive your front speakers. My Ford's stock 6-disc indash unit had plenty of output to drive the Infinitys to loud levels w/o distortion.

I disagree a bit with the other guys' feeling that you should upgrade the head first. I believe upgrading stock speakers is almost always your best sound improvement; the speaker is the last thing in the chain...and it is directly reproducing the sound afterall! Posted Image

Most manufacturers really cheap out on quality here. I researched alot of budget speakers out there, and can whole-heartedly recommend the Infinity Reference line. They spent alot of time on R&D to get the speaker to sound good w/o a complex crossover. Nice review here. The best part is they are dirt-cheap off eBay; I ended up winning my 6x8's for $23 shipped!

Also, I recommend ditching the rear speakers. I personally dislike sound coming from the back; it messes up the front soundstage. Many opinions on this subject out there, but try fading all the way to the front with your current setup (while imagining your soon-to-be installed sub system!) and see what you think.

This has the added benefit of freeing up your stock head to apply all of it's power to the front speakers. Another plus (if they are in the rear deck) is that the bass from your sub system will be a bit stronger since you've created a couple of access holes to the trunk!

For amps - again going with the 'super-budget, ease of install' theme - MTX makes a quality amp that you can get very inexpensively off eBay as well. If you look for their "Smart Engage" feature, you will not have to run RCA interconnects or a remote turn-on wire for the amp...just a power wire to the battery. You just tap in high-level off the stock rear speaker's wires, and the amp derives it's turn-on signal from there...really simplifies the install by not having to pull the head or dig around looking for a remote trigger!

The one I purchased was the 6152 (325 watts 4 ohm bridged @ 14.4 volts; nice 24 db/octave crossover) off eBay for $74 shipped. eBay seller thestereodirect in particular has some ridiculously low starting bids for MTX amps -- they are listed as remanufactured, but I've purchased four different models from them and they have all been factory-perfect NIB and look like they've never been opened. They look to be some sort of direct liquidator for MTX (actually the whole Mitek group), and I would highly recommend them. I know that many sellers on eBay have to list product as refurbished or remanufactured even if the item is brand-new; so as not to compete with the manufacturer's dealer base.

Subs...I think a single quality ported 12" w/ 300 watts would work great in your car. I run one 12" Dayton Quatro in my wife's Audi A6 Quattro, and it is puts out some nice fat bass off of 280 watts...very good blend with her stock head and speakers.

Woah...that ended up a little long, but I really think a guy can keep the stock head and put together a solid system for very little cash outlay...especially if eBay dollars are factored in! It just takes a little common sense to weed out the good from the bad when shopping eBay; like buying from a seller with many hundreds (or thousands!) of predominantly positive transactions.

I'm not saying improvement can't be had by swapping the head...of course it can. My message is I don't think the head is the biggest shortcoming of a stock system, and I've experienced massive improvement by upgrading front speakers and adding subs on many occassions. This method keeps your cash outlay quite low, and if you aren't satisfied you aren't really out much of anything.

Aaron

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Ismar

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Posted November 12 2004 - 03:31 AM

I'm glad to hear that eBay has worked out for you, as it is most likely the way I will go. Like you stated with enough research of the seller you can end up paying a fraction of the cost you would else where. I'll look into the things you said and esspecially the eBay info you gave.

Thanks for the info it is GREATLY appriciated.

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   David.G

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Posted November 12 2004 - 01:57 PM

Ismar,

The HU is definitely a thing to be changed out but depending on what your immediate needs are you can put it off. If you just want some low end to hold you over, get the sub/amp. The HU will do the most change for your internal speakers. If i were you i'd get an ED 13kv.2 for around 125$ and a Hifonics or JBL 600.1. It'd say if you find the amp on Ebay its around 200$ so 325$ for both. The ED sub has a bit more output and SQ than the Shiva. The Shiva is nice for the same price i'd get the ED. Ben at ED is real nice and you should call them if you have questions.
David is the car audio guy, Jason is the home audio so if you see a post in car audio thats David, if in Home thats more than likely Jason. Confusing isn't it!!! Also i hope i am allowed to put my sounddomain down on my equipment page. Its car audio but you guys might enjoy it.

http://members.sou...


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