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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been toying with the idea of getting an aftermarket system. I'm going for sound quality cause I don't listen to music that loud. I was thinking about a new headunit, components up front, a 2-channel amp and dynamat the car. So you guys with systems, did you notice an increase in sound quality?
 

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one word answer: YES.
After getting some quality speakers and amps you'll realize how awful the "premium" sound package sounds.
 

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Yes, there is a huge increase in SQ. Even just upgrading your door speakers to some nice ones will yeild a great sounding car. Moving those mids into the kicks and the tweets into the A-pillars is a sound you wouldn't believe. The sound stage is life-like (if done properly).

I have my 5.25" mids in my kicks right now. I'm re-finishing them this weekend, then I'll post some pics. And if you are thinking that you don't want to remove your dead pedal, you don't have to. I have FULL use of my dead pedal. The speakers are tucked back into the kicks.

When looking for a head-unit, try to find one with a strong pre-out voltage. Something like 4V or more is great. All decks sound the SAME!! Don't be fooled because the salesman says a certain deck sounds better than the other one. The only part of the stereo that makes the sound is the speakers (DUH). Processors obviously change the sound, but that's intentional. You could even get a head-unit with a built-in EQ. That helps in making the system sound better.

Before you get an amp, get your speakers first. If your speakers have an RMS rating of like 100-watts, get an amp with an RMS of 150-watts. This extra power won't hurt them (unless you listen to bass notes all day long).

Also, make sure you get some decent quality RCA's. A twisted pair helps to minimize noise in the stereo system, and often those twisted ones have a higher build quality. Again, there is NO sound to wires (some idiots think there is). If the package says something like "superior sound," just laugh with me. If you don't believe me, I can point you to a guy who will give you $10,000 for your awesome ear. :)

There are tons of different setups possible to get great sound. It all depends on how much time you have to get it right.

HilfigerCelica, you should get your car together and checkout IASCA.com. They are holding their World Finals in Memphis this October 18-19. I'll be there, and I hope to see your car there, too.

If you've got questions, feel free to PM me or something.

Curt
 

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I'd be really interested in seeing those pics of your kicks man... I've been wanting to do this for a while. :)
 

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I'm putting one in...

Alpine 7995 hu, 12" JL Audio W3V2 sub, JL TR comps, JL TR coax, JL 500.5 amp.

You guys think I should get a cap with that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for the advice guys, I'm not sure whether I want a system or HIDs yet.

SQ GTS, you said that speakers are what makes sound, doesn't an amp also affect the sound quality too? What brand do you recommend for the system if I were to get one? What do they mean when they say a certain amt. of output at 2 ohms and a different output at 4 ohms, I took physics so I know ohms is a measure of resistance but can you adjust the ohms or something? Let me know when you're coming down to Memphis, I'll be there.
 

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Hilfiger, there has been lots of debate about if amps have a "sound" to them. Using electronic measuring devices, there is a sound that shows up. To the human hear (unless you are Superman) there is no audible difference as long as they are played with in their linear operating range. Or basically as long as you are not clipping the signal or getting distortion. Amps all sound the same, end of story.

Amplifier choice is basically personal preference. I'm running Alpine and Blaupunkt because they are efficient and have low power consumption. That and the fact that I got a badass deal on it. My brother-in-law is currently running last years Pioneer amps (the ones with the purple endcaps). He was running a strong 4-volt signal into them. With all the gains all the way down, and the deck at half volume, the system was too loud for us to listen to. As we cranked it up, it hurt our ears, but still no distortion. I've also dealt with Profile amps. They have plenty of power and I haven't had distortion problems. The point is, going from a class-T Alpine to a $50 Profile amp, there was no difference.

When you look at amps, look at size, current draw, POWER, and features. If you are planning on using onboard X-overs, try to get a high slope (something like 18dB/octave). Beyond that, whatever gets you excited. If you like the look of RoadGear amps, get them. If you like chrome, get some Xtants. Basically, they will all sound the same.

For the ohm ratings, let's look at Ohm's Law: V=I*R where V is voltage, I is current, and R is resistance. Let's start with a voltage of 50-volts:

50(volts)=I(amps)*4(ohms); I=12.5 amps
50(volts)=I(amps)*2(ohms); I=25.0 amps

Just looking at that, the amperage doubles with a lower impedance. Most amps follow this rule, but some amps won't. There are some amps out there (cheater amps) that will quadruple the power with half the resistance. They are large, high current, and expensive amps. The way you get the lower impedance is by putting speakers in series or parallel. A quick example, two 4-ohm subs (single voice coil) in parallel would give you a 2-ohm load.

Hopefully this answers your questions. I could keep going, but I don't want this post to be too boring. :eek:

Curt
 

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Hey 2000GTSDRAGON, are you planning on checking out the SLAP Championship? It's October 11 & 12 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville, Georgia. From what I've been told, it's just outside of Atlanta. I'll be there. If you stop by, come find me. I'd like to take a listen to your car, if you don't mind.

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Dragon, I'm probably going to HIN in Chicago this year, you should come too.

SQ GTS, if sorry if I'm asking really newbie questions but you're basically telling me that if someone where to wire their system in parrallel or series, their system will sound better cause it'll have less resistance, right? Also I have never installed a system in my life so is it hard to wire everything. I can get the panels off but I'm a little scared of wiring things.

I kinda like this deck: http://www.onlinecarstereo.com/caraudio/product.asp?sku=12199
what do you think about it?

I also kinda like your JL components, are you a happy camper with them?
 

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I'm putting all JL in my car. Except I'm using the TR line of JL components and coax, where as SQ is using XR. TR is the low end JL speaker, VR is middle and XR is the top of the line.
 

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HilfigerCelica, asking questions is the only way you can learn. So please, feel free to ask questions.

As far as the resistance causing different sound, sorry to say but no. All it does is changes the amount of power. A single 4-ohm sub on an ABC amp might get 500-watts, while a single 2-ohm sub on that same ABC amp will get around 1000-watts. That's it. There isn't a "quality" to the sound, just perhaps a volume difference. You want to get enough or more power than the RMS rating of that speaker. This way, with the power, it will be able to "move" with ease to easily re-produce the sound.

As far as wiring, it's not that bad. For a basic system, it's cake. Doing a very elaborate system gets tough. The head-unit is straight forward. All the wires are already in the dash and there are wiring harnesses that make it even easier. From that, you run an RCA (or two) with a blue remote wire to the back of the car. You also need to get a power wire from the battery to the rear of the car. Just make sure you have a fuse under the hood. :)

If you have one amp, run the main power into it. Otherwise, get a fused distribution block and then go into the amps and any procesors you might have. Also, the remote wire is either going into one amp, or split to multiple items.

The RCAs can get fun. If you are going from the deck to an amp, simple. Just plug it in. In the case of my system, I have an RCA from the deck to my equalizer, then from the equalizer to a cross-over, and 4 RCAs from the X-over to my 2 amps. This is still simple, but just make sure you label the RCAs. :)

For speaker wiring, my system is basic. I have 7 4-ohm speakers with 7-channels of amplification. So I just plug one speaker into each amp output. Other systems get more elaborate and messy, but I prefer running a seperate channel for each speaker.

As far as my JL's, I love them. I have had the chance to switch to Quart, but these JL's just sound amazing in this car. I installed my tweets, mids, and subs (all JL) and it sounds so good, that I will probably only need to tweak a band or two on my EQ.

Well, hopefully that helps some. Again, please ask questions.

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How bout the rear speakers, I know that they are only for rear fill but should they be replaced with aftermarket ones?
 

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Well, rear fill is something for personal preference. In the competition world, rear fill is very rare. If it is used, it is so quiet you can hardly hear it. I actually removed my rear speakers for weight reduction, and also for my amplifier cooling system. Yes, I said cooling system. I know when my friends ride in my backseat (if they can fit) they complain there is no music back there. I tell them screw you.

If you want rear fill, or want them to play loud at shows or something, then you could also upgrade them. The stock speakers won't be able to handle your 100-watts. :) If you don't use them, don't worry about them.

Curt
 
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