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#1 of 13 Jonathan T

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Posted April 09 2005 - 03:08 PM

Does anyone have custom component speakers installed in their cars? I want to do a custom install in my car with a tweeter, midrange and a midbass. I just want to see what you guys did, what speakers you used and what your powering them with.
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#2 of 13 Jachin

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Posted April 12 2005 - 03:11 PM

WHat kind of car do you have? The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the room for enclosing all of the drivers. Maybe you could put the mids and the tweets in the doors an build some kicks for the midbasses. A setup like this isnt always neccessary though, most people like to keep things as simple as possible. Look for cdt, morel, focal, jl audio and a few others might sell sets with 3 drivers in them

#3 of 13 Steve Rabbit

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Posted April 13 2005 - 06:13 PM

a frankenstein component set is nothing to shake a stick at. It can get comlicated! For a beginner, active processing is an absolute must. This will allow you to try many crossover points and even slopes for some crossover models. I find it nice to purchase a unit that lets me choose different crossover points for different drivers (altomobile) rather than a crossover that only lets you choose one crossover point for two drivers (audiocontrol). This will let you experiment with underlap between drivers as you attempt to find an ideal crossover point.

I prefer units that have seperate gain knobs per channel as well. this allows me to run drivers with different efficiencies, as well as experiment with gaining left and right differently. something I couldn't do if I had to rely on my amp gains alone to equilize efficiency!

on top of crossover points you will have to worry about all the things you would have to worry about if you purchased a store bought built set. position, frequency response, phase, sound stage, all of it. So any piece of equipment you planned to buy anyways, such as an EQ, time alignment, and assorted signal processing youll need on top of your crossover/linedriver.



now, as for me myself (you were looking for examples), I started a frankenstein set with a pair of drivers, 6.5 and 1". I used the crossovers on the amplifiers themselves. Fortunately my amp choice alloed me to run a bandpass crossover to the 6.5 (this is important!) and a highpass crossover to the tweeter. Its jsut as important for me to limit the highs from my 6.5 as it is to keep the bass out. keeping the highs out probbaly has a whole ton of benefits, but the ones I can think of right away are improvements ot tonality, preventing cone breakup at lower volumes, and preventing a peaky response due to overlapping frequencies. Anyone who has tried to play 30 Hz through a 6.5 knows the benefits of a highpass filter!

I soon wanted more control over my set than I had. I purchased an audiocontrol 6xs to give me enough tunability to play with a midbass driver. the midbass driver needs its own bandpass crossover! anyways, I was having problems with peaks near the crossover frequencies. the suggested fix was to try crossover underlap. not possible with particular audiocontrol crossover!

I ended up getting an altomobile Drive 30. the tunability was rediculous. more features than I could possibly need, and some I even didnt need. it actually turned out to be so much machine, I wasnt using the thong to its potential. more time was spent tuning the EQ than was spent working on speaker positioning and staging. the units have a minor noise problem as well which finally bugged me at low volumes enough into trying a different route.

Now I am going for a simpler route, building my own passives. its a long painful process, and I don't recommend it especially of you are just starting out. Furthermore, I dont recommend midbass support, especially if you havet purchased drivers yet. its not difficult at all between a subwoofer, midranges and tweeters to get a full frequency response. why bother with midbass drivers? They ruined my soundstage.

I have to admit though, if all you listen to is progressive rock, tool, rage agasint the machine, loud pop music, and all those other heavily compressed genera's, midbass support could be a beneficial addition, in my opinion.

umm, thats all I can think of off the top of my head, did that straighten out any of your question marks?

#4 of 13 KenWong

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Posted April 14 2005 - 06:50 AM

Usually, with a 3 way set up, assuming you can fit 6.5 in the door, you do that and keep the woofer in the stock speaker location while building kicks for the midrange, usually 4' and the tweeter. Also, if you want to make life easier, see if Qlogic has some kicks premade for you, but since their pre-made kicks usually feature a 6.5 woofer in it, just build a ring or trim piece to fit the 4' inside of it.

To Jachin, you forgot MB quarts! they don't sell the 3 way set, but they do feature a 4' midrange add-on to their 2 ways. I love my premiums.

To rabbit, are you sure active processing is that great for a beginner? Not in the least to say it's bad, but OP asked for enclosures for a 3-way set up and what we powered them with, but you wrote an essay kinda off-topic, it was good nonetheless.


#5 of 13 Steve Rabbit

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Posted April 14 2005 - 08:26 AM

just trying to give him a direction to go. Posted Image seems he is a bit misguided or not guided at all, that he is running on the concept that more speaker will equal better sound, or heard on an audio forum or in a mag someone was running "midbass support" or other terms that have been thrown around. Perhaps he merely has a midbass sinkhole in his car, or wishes the bass guitar and kickdrum were simply louder at high volumes in his car than it is now. Quite frankly, he is about to pursue a fairly expensive audio route, as you must well know! its not worth going for without a clear goal and idea of at least somewhat how he's gonna get there. To do otherwise might end up being a waste of equipment, money, time, and value of his vehicle! So in that respect, the essay was very on topic!

and absolutely for a first timer doing a frankenstien set an active processor would be ideal over running passive. passive sets are really hard to build, require lots of parts to start out testing with, usually to the extent of a greater expense than a mid-level crossover such as the models audiocontrol manufactures! and with a passive crossover, unless your ears are very very well trained measuring equipment and modeling software helps to really pin down what each component is doing in the filter. With an active filter, its SUPER easy to know exactly whats going on with your signal, even if the ear needs a bit of time to figure out how its affecting the stage and what to do about it!

It definitely makes things easier for a first timer to run active! all too often the sensitivity difference alone will make stock passives sound nasally, peaky, harsh, or a combination of the three! not to mention resonance peaks, impedance peaks, and there have to be dozens of factors I don't even begin to understand. However, if you'd like to dip into them, feel free to check out DIYAudio.com. they seem to speak another language I don't understand over there.

#6 of 13 Jonathan T

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Posted April 14 2005 - 09:55 AM

I was exploring the idea of going 3way in the front stage simply because I've heard some well done 3-ways that sounded great. By the way, these systems were running something in the range of 6's and a tweeter in kicks and 8+ inchers in the doors, some guys even fit small subs in their doors.

Frankly, with the release of the Adire Extremis and it's rediculous 13mm of xmax, people who are doing custom kicks installs are achieving great results, I may end up going 2 way after all.

As for building a 3-way, I was aware of the problems and the tools I will need. Build speakers is not that new to me now, but I've never done a "frankenstein" install in a car. Nore have I attempted crossover design. Initially I wanted to keep the midrange in a kick panel cause door mounted drivers are so off axis, it's very hard to correct. Errr, at this time I'm not even close to buying anything, I'm just collecting information about possible project directions. I got this idea from a thread at soundillusions.net. They too, recomended a 2 way setup over a 3 way but for different reasons. So far, it seems that 3 way setups, besides just having an increased ability to move air, just have a cool factor and a good 2 way kicks install with a long throw 6-7 inch midrange would be wonderful. The guys over at soundillusions are even presenting ways to get .5 cubic feet and more from a kicks pannel install, plenty volume to get the most from a driver. We'll see, like I said, I'm just exploring at this point.
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#7 of 13 Steve Rabbit

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Posted April 14 2005 - 10:48 AM

id love to know some of those methods for cramming so much boxvolume into such a small area! that sounds almost too good to be true, .5 in the kick. so they must expand out into aeas outside the kick then? like the underdash? the footwell? into the frame of the car in the kick? its a neat concept

#8 of 13 Jonathan T

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Posted April 14 2005 - 11:33 AM

Yea, they expanded the box to areas behind the pedals, upinto the dash, the wheel wells, etc. I'll have to read up on what their doing.,
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#9 of 13 Chris Tsutsui

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Posted April 18 2005 - 10:29 AM

I've used custom speakers in my car the past 3 years or so.

I bought the drivers from Parts Express when they were on sale. I got some Vifa 7" PL series drivers along with Vifa classic Titanium dome tweeters. I went the passive crossover route and designed it so the drivers didn't overlap too much. (When it overlaps too much, it can sound pretty harsh and shouty)

Then I just tweaked the crossover by adding resistors to the tweeter to level match them to the woofer, and that was pretty much it. (also kept into account that the tweeters were a little closer to my head than the woofers)

I used a Linkwitz Riley 4th order, with a Zobel network. Most of my crossover parts were decent ones and I think I spent about $30 per crossover. The 7" Vifa drivers were normally like $60ea and I got them for $30 or so, and the tweeters were $15 ea.

After about a year of loud music, one day I played some rock music really loud and I blew the VC of one of the tweeters. hehe So I replaced both tweeters with some spare Tag band 1" silk Dome neo-dymium tweeters and they worked even better. They were like $15ea i think, and they had the same sensitivity so I didn't need to modify the XO at all.

After about a year in my car (I always park it outside) it seems like all the parts are still holding up fine, even in the hot sun.

I'm powering the speakers with 40 watts each using a Soundstream amp. I also have a 15" tempest powered by 350 watts integrated into my system with an alpine prepro. My sub is in a 3.5CF box tuned to 24hz with dual 3" flared ports. The enclosures for my speakers are custom bondo/fiberglass enclosures I made to be close to about 1CF in volume because that's what gave me optimal response for the drivers when I modeled it.

If you go the passive crossover route, don't expect it to be that easy... this wasn't my first speaker design and I still had some issues along the way.

The active crossover might be ideal if you can turn knobs and switches to integrate the drivers together... Personally, I'm not the one to tinker, and I just wanted some speakers that could get really loud, and sound like home theater speakers... I'd say the end product turned out pretty well... My only concern is that the drivers probably won't last as long as car audio drivers, but that I can replace. Posted Image


#10 of 13 eddie-M

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Posted April 29 2005 - 05:20 AM

Just get a set of DLS Iridiums 6.3's and call it a day, use the passive crossovers until your ready for the next level, and go active. Mine sound great, midbass in the doors, mids and tweets in the kicks.
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#11 of 13 Jonathan T

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Posted May 01 2005 - 10:52 AM

They are good speakers, but that only solves one of my problems; crossovers. I wouldn't need to worry about buying an outboard active crossover, nore would I need to worry about crossover functions in my headunit. I still would need to take the time aligning and instaling the drivers, using fibreglass and MDF, in teh doors and in kicks. Frankly, using a passive crossover is just as easy as using the crossover function in a headunit or in an outboard active crossover. Not to mention, those Iridiums are almost 700 dollars. I could go active, with either an outboard crossover or with a headunit with the proper functions (an eclpise CD8455 hopefully) for less. Id' have the freedom to pick the drivers I want, adjust any settings I want, talor the crossover for my car. Not to mention, there's a cool factor in choosing your own drivers. Posted Image Thanks, though. I'm sure those iridiums sound great (they damn well should, their 700 dollars), but I think I'll stick with fully diy components.
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#12 of 13 eddie-M

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Posted May 05 2005 - 09:17 AM

My eclipse 8443 has time alignment already. Alot of the high end units do. DIY comps are definitely a cheaper way to go, but since I can get DLS stuff for a very reasonable price, that is why I went this route. I currently have a set of 6.2 if anyone is interested (shameless plug).
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#13 of 13 Jonathan T

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Posted May 08 2005 - 02:50 PM

Hmmmm, well the guys over at www.caraudio.com say that the new Eclipse HU's are completely differnet from the old ones as far as the crossovers go. Basically, the only useful HU is the 8455, which is also the most expensive. errrr.........
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