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Old 13th June 2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default Anyone want to help me im new to all this

I already have an alpine 12 inch type R sub that I got from my brother so I plan to build my system around that. I only plan on having that one subwoofer, should be enough power right? I am not looking for the huge boom but just want some bass. I bought 4 new infinity reference speakers about 2 months ago and they lack in the low end so I just want more bass. Any suggestion on which amp I should get. Also is it worth getting another amp to power the speakers or its to my understanding that I can use a multichannel amp. But is it enough gain to bother doing this. My car has a factory amp in it to power the 10 speaker system so im really not sure how I would handle that. Also I have read a little bit and dont quite understand crossovers and equilizers, are they necessary for a decent setup. I am not looking to spend a ton of money here but enough to make a good setup. Thanks and sorry for all the questions.
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Old 13th June 2007, 06:57 PM   #2
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It is hard to overestimate (does that word exist???) the importance of crossovers. I prefer active which means that you have the crossover before the amplifier. if you are looking for fat low end i would recommend a big amp and a low crossover point. probably between 60-80hz and as steep crossover as you can afford. 24dB linkwitz-riley is my personal preference in most situations.
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Old 13th June 2007, 08:28 PM   #3
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What Mikael said.

My recommendation is a mono or bridgable stereo amp with active xover. For that sub, 250W (claimed by marketers) bridged is enough, and will give you plenty of bass. I prefer a 10" over a 12", but whatever you have should be fine. With an Alpine 12" sub, the quality of the amp is not all that critical, IMO. If you're going to save money, do it here. Not on anything below.

For the upper end, recommend another stereo amp or (best) 4-channel bridgeable amp, again, with active crossovers. They should give you adjustability and various topologies. I envision at least $300, though $600 is not out of the question for a good name brand.

You said you bought 4 speakers. Maybe you could clarify. I strongly recommend a set of separates up front. Coaxial is okay if that's what you got, but I don't recommend anything for rear speakers. Don't install them.

The amp would be set up to run the fronts HP at around 80Hz or so. Hopefully the amp is flexible enough to run separates actively, though I recommend a modified approach with the supplied passive crossover. We could discuss that more when you get around to specific equipment.

Depending on your head unit, you may need either amps that can input speaker level, a converter, or obtain a preamp signal from somewhere inside the head unit. Depends on what you have. Easiest is of course an amp that can handle it, but few nowadays have that capability, and the sound quality does suffer a bit.

Best choice is replace the head unit, though this might be way outside your budget.
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Old 13th June 2007, 10:05 PM   #4
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Wow thanks for the quick responses. For some reason I forgot to mention that I do also have a Clarion DXZ765MP Headunit already installed. Also the speakers I have installed I believe are coaxials. I will look into getting a crossover now as well, it clearly is quite important. So you recommend running two different amps one for the sub and one for the speakers? Also what does an equilizer do and is that important to have as well.
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Old 14th June 2007, 12:53 AM   #5
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Nice. You're golden with that head unit. Now you can get down to business.

The head unit has 6 RCA outputs (3 channels, left and right, I suspect) There is a LP output, with a head unit adjustable xover from 50Hz to 150 Hz. Nice. That means you can use the crossover on the head unit, and no longer require an amp with an internal xover. So basically, a mono or bridgable amp is all you need. The head unit puts out 4V out of its preouts, so this will be more than adequate for the amplifier.

As far as the front speakers (and only front speakers), coaxial is fine for now. You will use the other set of RCA outputs to feed into the second amp. I strongly recommend it have a crossover built into it, as the head unit cannot provide the HP function. This will be set somewhere around 80Hz to remove the bass from the front speakers.

I recommend separate amplifiers for a number of reasons, among them better power supply regulation and greater flexibility. Sometimes this does end up in greater cost.

For 99% of car audio, I feel any kind of equalizier or tone controls as useless and undesirable. I have always had my vehicles flat, and no one ever complained about the sound quality (or volume). If you design the system correctly and use good quality speakers, an equalizer is not needed.

Once you spend about $3000 - $4000 on your audio system, I would suggest exploring equalization.

Selah.
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Old 14th June 2007, 07:04 AM   #6
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since it sounds like you are just starting with car audio, i'd like to say don't use rear speakers. its horrible for your soundstage (if you don't get this, simply ask). just get a decent of components (depending on budget). you can just one amplifier if you want. i don't think it matters all that much really. what you can do is buy a 4 channel amp, use two channels to power your front components and bridge the other two channels to the sub (for most amplifiers when bridging, you'll need to have the sub at a final impedance of 4 ohms).
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Old 15th June 2007, 04:52 AM   #7
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alrihgt I think I may just go with a four channel amp because it seems to be a bit cheaper. Also I dont quite understand all of the outputs. Also I already have the front and rear speakers currently running so you just suggest removing them completely. I also had to turn down the bass a great deal from the setting on my headunit becuase the front speakers were sort of crackling. They sound fine now though. Also is bridging the amp hard to do?
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Old 15th June 2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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A four channel amp is fine as long as it is flexible enough to fill your needs.

The crackling you head was severe distortion as a result of being asked to play bass. By decreasing the bass control, you applied excessive equalization to produce what a crossover does better. Once you get your amp installed, you will be surprised at the improvement in sound. No bass/treble controls will be needed. No speaker outputs will be used out of the HU. Just the RCA outputs.

Yes, remove the rear speakers. Save them as a spare for if you ever blow the fronts.

Bridging is very easy; take the + from one channel, and the - from another. The instruction book will be very easy to follow. Some amps also have you flip a switch for bridgable mode.
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Old 15th June 2007, 07:33 PM   #9
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Alright that sounds good. I will remove my rear speakers, and then get a four channel amp, use two channels for front speakers and bridge the other two for my sub. As for the amp, are there any particular models you guys really like, it seems like Hifonics, Infinity, Alpine, and maybe Clarion are good. Also I have a stock amp to power my 10 speaker system, should I just disconnect everything (old amp and all other speakers, mids, and tweeters I believe) and only have my new amp active with the two coaxials. Also I can use the sot of built in crossover on my headunit right so I will not have to buy one of those either correct? Thanks
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Old 15th June 2007, 08:46 PM   #10
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Correct, you will not need to get an amp that has built-in crossovers. As far as name brands, I have been out of car audio too long to have an opinion (my days were the days of USA-made PPI and a/d/s). The names you provided do not impress me much. If you're using coaxials, I would think the amp of choice would not be too critical, though $400 does not seem extraordinary to me. If you spend only $200, either you're buying something with too little power, or you're buying a piece of garbage.

I would not use any other speakers than the front coax. It is up to you if you want to leave all other components in place and wired, in case you sell the car someday.
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