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All very informative reading! I’ve just began to stick my toe back into the car audio world after being out for 25+ years. I did a number of builds (RF equipment) and even competed a bit back before wife/family/mortgage. Wow things have changed in the last 25 years! I am trying to educate myself although I don’t know how deep I’m gonna go with it all. I’ve been listening to basic factory stereos for 25+ years so I’m sure I’ll be easily impressed with any upgrade.

I’ve currently got the bare bones “6 speaker” set up on my 13 R/T. I rented a car a while back that had Apple CarPlay in it and decided I liked it. My plan was just to buy an aftermarket head unit with CarPlay and call it good. Well I went into a couple of stereo stops to look around an it kind of grew from there. Got the bug again I guess.

So now I’m looking at doing a simple all-over makeover (without going overboard...for now) and figure I can build from there if I wish. I’ve bought most of the equipment and this is where I’m gonna end up.

Sony XAV-AX1000 Head Unit.

Focal PS-165F3 3-way components up front. 6 1/2”s in the door, 3 1/2’s in dash, and I’m thinking I’ll flush mount the tweeters in the A-pillar. For now, these will just be ran through their supplied passive crossovers and powered by...

Kicker KXA 400.2 two channel amp. (will be 100wx2 at 4 ohms running just the focals).

Rear speakers (rear fill) - I don’t care to put much money/effort on it at this point. For now thinking I’ll just put some mid grade Kicker coaxials ran off the rear channel deck power. Figure they will be faded down so much anyway it really won’t matter.

Subs will be 2 10” Kicker L7T square subs. I liked the “shallow mounts” because they don’t need as large of an enclosure and I don’t want to eat up a ton of trunk space. Powered by...

Kicker KXA 800.1 mono amp. (I like the Bluetooth remote bass knob).

That’s it for now. Pretty basic. I’m in the process of building the enclosure and amp mounts but it all came to a halt when my car went in the shop with a rear main seal leak.

Relatively simple system but should be a nice upgrade from my bare bones stock system. In the future I might give some thought to bi-amping the focals and going with an active set-up through a DSP. It all sounds very interesting and I generally like to tinker with this stuff - at least I used to many moons ago. I’m enjoying the enclosure design/building process again. I supplemented my income in college building sub enclosures and always enjoyed it. I’ve got about 3 different ideas I’d like to try with the subs - but this time I’m looking for more of a well rounded tight clean system rather than SPL like my younger days. I’m 52, not 22 this time around....however I’d still like to feel the kick drum.

Anyway - I’ll keep following this thread
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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All very informative reading! I’ve just began to stick my toe back into the car audio world after being out for 25+ years. I did a number of builds (RF equipment) and even competed a bit back before wife/family/mortgage. Wow things have changed in the last 25 years! I am trying to educate myself although I don’t know how deep I’m gonna go with it all. I’ve been listening to basic factory stereos for 25+ years so I’m sure I’ll be easily impressed with any upgrade.

I’ve currently got the bare bones “6 speaker” set up on my 13 R/T. I rented a car a while back that had Apple CarPlay in it and decided I liked it. My plan was just to buy an aftermarket head unit with CarPlay and call it good. Well I went into a couple of stereo stops to look around an it kind of grew from there. Got the bug again I guess.

So now I’m looking at doing a simple all-over makeover (without going overboard...for now) and figure I can build from there if I wish. I’ve bought most of the equipment and this is where I’m gonna end up.

Sony XAV-AX1000 Head Unit.

Focal PS-165F3 3-way components up front. 6 1/2”s in the door, 3 1/2’s in dash, and I’m thinking I’ll flush mount the tweeters in the A-pillar. For now, these will just be ran through their supplied passive crossovers and powered by...

Kicker KXA 400.2 two channel amp. (will be 100wx2 at 4 ohms running just the focals).

Rear speakers (rear fill) - I don’t care to put much money/effort on it at this point. For now thinking I’ll just put some mid grade Kicker coaxials ran off the rear channel deck power. Figure they will be faded down so much anyway it really won’t matter.

Subs will be 2 10” Kicker L7T square subs. I liked the “shallow mounts” because they don’t need as large of an enclosure and I don’t want to eat up a ton of trunk space. Powered by...

Kicker KXA 800.1 mono amp. (I like the Bluetooth remote bass knob).

That’s it for now. Pretty basic. I’m in the process of building the enclosure and amp mounts but it all came to a halt when my car went in the shop with a rear main seal leak.

Relatively simple system but should be a nice upgrade from my bare bones stock system. In the future I might give some thought to bi-amping the focals and going with an active set-up through a DSP. It all sounds very interesting and I generally like to tinker with this stuff - at least I used to many moons ago. I’m enjoying the enclosure design/building process again. I supplemented my income in college building sub enclosures and always enjoyed it. I’ve got about 3 different ideas I’d like to try with the subs - but this time I’m looking for more of a well rounded tight clean system rather than SPL like my younger days. I’m 52, not 22 this time around....however I’d still like to feel the kick drum.

Anyway - I’ll keep following this thread
Assuming the enclosure is correctly sized and soundly built, those two 10" L7s will definitely crank out some low frequency sound waves, no doubt about that. Before you mount everything, you should consider how you will mitigate the rattles and vibrations which that setup will no doubt cause in the trim pieces, body panels, and various other body items back there in the trunk, above the trunk, and outside the trunk, because you will have some unwanted noises for sure when those L7s are rocking and rolling.

Off of the top of my head, these measures come to mind:

1) Sound deadening covering all the sheet metal from below the rear seat to the back of the trunk lid (and everything in between) is a must.

2) Something like weatherstripping for door jambs may be needed on the rear-most edge of the rear deck trim piece cover which stretches from behind the rear seat backs to the bottom edge of the rear windshield.

3) The trunk lid's inner and outer skins may vibrate against each other if the bass is heavy enough. Something which I used spray foam to address (although there is some vibration remaining on the rear-most, vertical section of the trunk lid which I cannot use the foam on, and frankly it's got me befuddled how to deal with it so far).

There are others I'm sure, but i just wanted to make note for you so you could plan ahead instead of getting everything in place and then have to take some of it back out to try to lessen the extra rattles and unwated vibrations.
 
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b
Assuming the enclosure is correctly sized and soundly built, those two 10" L7s will definitely crank out some low frequency sound waves, no doubt about that. Before you mount everything, you should consider how you will mitigate the rattles and vibrations which that setup will no doubt cause in the trim pieces, body panels, and various other body items back there in the trunk, above the trunk, and outside the trunk, because you will have some unwanted noises for sure when those L7s are rocking and rolling.

Off of the top of my head, these measures come to mind:

1) Sound deadening covering all the sheet metal from below the rear seat to the back of the trunk lid (and everything in between) is a must.

2) Something like weatherstripping for door jambs may be needed on the rear-most edge of the rear deck trim piece cover which stretches from behind the rear seat backs to the bottom edge of the rear windshield.

3) The trunk lid's inner and outer skins may vibrate against each other if the bass is heavy enough. Something which I used spray foam to address (although there is some vibration remaining on the rear-most, vertical section of the trunk lid which I cannot use the foam on, and frankly it's got me befuddled how to deal with it so far).

There are others I'm sure, but i just wanted to make note for you so you could plan ahead instead of getting everything in place and then have to take some of it back out to try to lessen the extra rattles and unwated vibrations.
Thanks - all very good points. Now would certainly be the time to address it. In my mind I won’t be driving the subs very hard - just like the idea of having the extra power for dynamics and headroom. (Honestly I initially planned just a single 10” sub...and still may end up doing that.) But I’m sure the volume and bass knobs will eventually get cranked up a bit when the right song comes along.
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Thanks - all very good points. Now would certainly be the time to address it. In my mind I won’t be driving the subs very hard - just like the idea of having the extra power for dynamics and headroom. But I’m sure the volume and bass knobs will eventually get cranked up a bit when the right song comes along.
If you would like to take over the honors of being Capt Trunk Rattle, I’d be glad to step down and let you have it. But you will need to get some seriously annoying vibrations going back there to be able to represent Rattle Nation!

 

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If you would like to take over the honors of being Capt Trunk Rattle, I’d be glad to step down and let you have it. But you will need to get some seriously annoying vibrations going back there to be able to represent Rattle Nation!

😁👍 I did most of my rattling when I was younger. I had 3 15’s in a Mazda RX 7 (walled it off - no back up cameras back then either - really stupid) powered from an “old school” Rockford Fosgate Power 650.

I later sold the car and replaced it with an 89 Ford Thunderbird and ran 5 12’s in the trunk - 3 forward firing and two fired up towards the rear deck. The enclosure literally filled the entire trunk - it was built in two pieces and then had to be assembled in the trunk. I had about 3 cubic feet of trunk space left over - just enough to mount the amp. I was told the back of that car rattled a lot but I certainly couldn’t hear it from my seat. Good times, good times. lol

I’m not after ANYTHING like that this time around. My stereo hobbies in my youth and 30+ years of flying airplanes have done enough damage to my hearing. Shooting for just good quality rather than quantity. Or so goes the plan anyway.
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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😁👍 I did most of my rattling when I was younger. I had 3 15’s in a Mazda RX 7 (walled it off - no back up cameras back then either - really stupid) powered from an “old school” Rockford Fosgate Power 650.

I later sold the car and replaced it with an 89 Ford Thunderbird and ran 5 12’s in the trunk - 3 forward firing and two fired up towards the rear deck. The enclosure literally filled the entire trunk - it was built in two pieces and then had to be assembled in the trunk. I had about 3 cubic feet of trunk space left over - just enough to mount the amp. I was told the back of that car rattled a lot but I certainly couldn’t hear it from my seat. Good times, good times. lol

I’m not after ANYTHING like that this time around. My stereo hobbies in my youth and 30+ years of flying airplanes have done enough damage to my hearing. Shooting for just good quality rather than quantity. Or so goes the plan anyway.
That is what’s left of the rattling I’ve been chasing since putting 3 JL Audio 10” subs back there, and I got most of it, but those were a little too much for me and I now have just a single JL Audio 12” sub back there. But I still have this one section of the trunk lid that I cannot get to quieten down, no matter what I try.
 
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If you would like to take over the honors of being Capt Trunk Rattle, I’d be glad to step down and let you have it. But you will need to get some seriously annoying vibrations going back there to be able to represent Rattle Nation!

Rookie...


A Guy
 
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Decided just to wall it off behind the drivers seat...

998723



Got the doors finished this afternoon...


998724


And finished up the dash speakers this evening ...


998725


🤣😂🤣
 

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Discussion Starter #109
The thirst for bass is growing stronger every day as I get the speakers dialed in.

Also, according to Crutchfield, I screwed up. I actually meant to ask on here but I forgot. I made the assumption that the amp would be sufficient to keep frequency too low away from the dash speakers. They said no no no don't run it again until you put the supplied crossovers in. So I did that this morning. Whoops. I've never used those in line crossovers I guess I spaced on their importance. Lesson learned.
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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The thirst for bass is growing stronger every day as I get the speakers dialed in.

Also, according to Crutchfield, I screwed up. I actually meant to ask on here but I forgot. I made the assumption that the amp would be sufficient to keep frequency too low away from the dash speakers. They said no no no don't run it again until you put the supplied crossovers in. So I did that this morning. Whoops. I've never used those in line crossovers I guess I spaced on their importance. Lesson learned.
Yeah, people talk about blowing speakers all the time, but the only way I have ever blown a speaker was to have a tweeter or similar “high” (like a 3.5”) and send it frequencies lower than it’s meant to play. That’ll do it real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Yeah, people talk about blowing speakers all the time, but the only way I have ever blown a speaker was to have a tweeter or similar “high” (like a 3.5”) and send it frequencies lower than it’s meant to play. That’ll do it real quick.
Well... That's exactly what I did. The amp would only go as high as 250 hz. The speaker is rated at 850.

I've always done full range so never had to worry about it
 

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For what it's worth, the Kenwood 3.5s will play much lower than 800hz. I've run them at very high levels as low as 350hz. Most 3.5's will play down to 350hz (and every lower) easily. Kenwood is the only one I've seen list a 3.5" coaxial speaker with a 800hz lower spec for frequency response. Most list freq response down to like 150hz or even lower. I've run my Kenwoods at 400hz for months at all volumes and never had an issue.

In fact, there is a huge dip in these cars at around 600hz or 700hz - and if you use a 800hz xover point, that big dip will get in the way. Using a 500hz or lower xover helps a lot to get an nice smooth freq response.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
Well I figured I'd be safe and installed the supplied crossovers. Only took about twenty minutes should have just done it initially. I don't know that the crossover itself is actually rated at 850
 

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Just to give you an idea of how powerful a DSP can be, below are two different frequency response charts (I'm sure you've seen them before with home and car speakers). The car "environment" has a lot of hard surfaces and glass that causes a lot of sound reflections, etc (much more than you'd get with a home audio system). So EQ is really important in a car if you want great sound quality. These charts show the frequency response of the left door/dash speakers and the right door/dash speakers - one before any EQ with my DSP and one after EQ with my DSP. Granted, EQ is just one aspect of sound quality, but it's a huge aspect! These graphs also show how well the left and right speaker responses match each other at the listening position. The better they match, the better the staging (you can tell where the instruments are on the virtual "stage" in front of you) and how good the "phantom center image" is (if a sound in a stereo recording is played via both the left and right speakers at the same level, it should sound like it's coming from the center of the dashboard).

With the OEM system, you simply have Bass/Mid/Treble controls to control the EQ of the sound - so you have 3 bands of EQ that affect ALL speakers by the same amount). With a DSP, you get "per-channel" EQ bands - so you can control the EQ of each channel/speaker separately. My DSP has 30 bands of EQ per channel (instead of OEM 3 bands for ALL channels) - so I have a total of 30 bands * 6 channels = 180 bands of EQ - vs the 3 bands of EQ of the OEM system. :)

The is what the frequency response of my door and dash speakers looked like before I did any EQ work:


This is what the frequency response of my door and dash speakers look like now, after I did my EQ work:


Obviously, the DSP system would sound a lot better - and the staging would be WAY better. Plus, I have complete control over the "tonality" of the sound. I can raise/lower ANY frequencies I want - on ANY speaker - with my DSP EQ. DSP's also have Parametric EQ vs the normal Graphic EQ - and Parametric EQ is infinitely more powerful than graphic EQ.

Plus, like i said, you also get per-speaker level control, time-alignment and other cool features with a DSP. It's the ultimate tool for a sound-lover and someone who likes to "tinker" with things. :)
What are you using to measure the frequency response? That DSP have a mic/spectrum analyzer in it as well?
 

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What are you using to measure the frequency response? That DSP have a mic/spectrum analyzer in it as well?
You can measure the frequency response with a calibrated USB MIC (best option - MiniDSP UMIK-1 is a good option) - and by using the Room EQ Wizard (aka "REW") software. It's 100% free software and is extremely powerful. You can take measurements and then even use REW to "auto EQ" the response for you (towards a pre-defined "house curve"). Makes it quick and easy to EQ your system.

Generally, you'd want to measure individual speaker responses, pairs of speakers and the whole front stage. You really need a DSP in order to quickly and easily enable/disable certain speakers for the measurements. But the DSP itself isn't involved in the measurement process - software on the laptop handles that (via a USB MIC connected to the laptop).

The better DSPs (Helix, etc) also have built-in RTA software and auto-EQ functionality - but I personally prefer using REW for everything.

I do all of my tuning using pink noise and a "moving MIC" method (sit in drivers seat and move the MIC from ear to ear while REW is averaging the measurements). It's a quick, easy and accurate way to measure. Measuring via sweeps is a lot more involved and not really needed. It can give you a little more info than pick noise, but generally speaking, pink noise is fine for tuning - it's how most people tune their systems.

Hope that helps.
 

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You can measure the frequency response with a calibrated USB MIC (best option - MiniDSP UMIK-1 is a good option) - and by using the Room EQ Wizard (aka "REW") software. It's 100% free software and is extremely powerful. You can take measurements and then even use REW to "auto EQ" the response for you (towards a pre-defined "house curve"). Makes it quick and easy to EQ your system.

Generally, you'd want to measure individual speaker responses, pairs of speakers and the whole front stage. You really need a DSP in order to quickly and easily enable/disable certain speakers for the measurements. But the DSP itself isn't involved in the measurement process - software on the laptop handles that (via a USB MIC connected to the laptop).

The better DSPs (Helix, etc) also have built-in RTA software and auto-EQ functionality - but I personally prefer using REW for everything.

I do all of my tuning using pink noise and a "moving MIC" method (sit in drivers seat and move the MIC from ear to ear while REW is averaging the measurements). It's a quick, easy and accurate way to measure. Measuring via sweeps is a lot more involved and not really needed. It can give you a little more info than pick noise, but generally speaking, pink noise is fine for tuning - it's how most people tune their systems.

Hope that helps.
Very informative- thanks!
 

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Well my stereo build is on hold - Dealership has been trying hopelessly to fix an apparent rear main seal leak that only got worse after their initial attempt.

They called me today to tell me they’ve tracked down the leak - it is a hairline crack in the block in/near a bolt hole on the rear of of the block. Soooooo....they are going to be giving me ANOTHER new engine - this one has only been in the car for about 3,000 miles. They said it was a manufacturing defect. I could be without the car another couple of weeks or more, so I’ll just continue to buy equipment and plan things out. Thinking about going with a 4 channel A/B amp up front on my Focal 3-way separates- at least separate the 6 1/2’s from the 3 1/2’s and tweeters. Or I guess I could put the Kicker 400.2 amp I have on then 6 1/2’s and use a 4 channel for the 3 1/2’s and tweeters so I can have a separate channel for all of my front stage speakers so I could add a DSP later(?). I dunno - I’ll keep reading and investigating. I’m not really a Sound Quality snob - but I certainly want this install be to much more SQ-ish than anything I had when I was younger. Back then my midrange/tweeters were all just an afterthought. Usually just low-mid grade front speakers and otherwise just all head pounding bass and SPL.
 

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Tell ‘em to JB Weld that sucker and give it back to you, cause you’ve got an audio system build waiting to go!! 😉
 

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Tell ‘em to JB Weld that sucker and give it back to you, cause you’ve got an audio system build waiting to go!! 😉
🤣😁. I guessing the small crack/leak got worse when they were trying to torque things down a bit more trying to fix what they thought was a rear seal leak. What was an annoying drip/spot on my garage floor turned into a steady pouring stream of oil when the engine was running. On the bright side - I hit the Service Manager up about the possibility of using this opportunity to swap the 5.7 out for a 392 (I’d pay the difference). He didn’t know if the warranty company would go for it but he is going to check on it.

Anyone have any opinion of Morel class A/B amps? Their specs look really good (signal to noise and THD). Not huge amps at 70 watts/channel but might be the clean power I’d like for the mids/highs. I’m still unsure of running a class D amp on the mids/highs. I know they’ve come a long way but years ago we thought of class D amps as being just cheap, dirty power “k-mart” amps.
 
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