Went Stereo Shopping & Got Some Ideas/Answers

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by ninefivezero, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Went to two places, Car Toys and Magnolia Audio Video. As you may be able to guess by the websites, Magnolia is a pretty high end store, and is actually the place I bought my first pair of speakers and reciever.

    Anyways at Car Toys The guy recomended getting a 4-channel amp, which would fit in the back storage compartment of the car (small-ish space build into rear corner), power the front seperates with that, the subs by bridging the other two outputs, and the rear coax speakers just off the deck. For subs, he showed me some JL 10"s in a generic sealed box. I listened to some Focal speakers there, and liked them a lot, much better than the Alpine or Infinity componants they had.

    Then I went off to Magnolia, who sell much better gear. There I listened to some Boston Acoustics and Diamond speakers. I thought the Bostons were much better. He recomended both Alpine and Kenwood decks, and agreed with Car Toys on putting a 4-channel in the back storage box, and two 10"s in the back. Unlike Car Toys, this place builds all it's boxes when it installs, and I totally support a custom box, because I know the importance of a good enclosure. They also replace all stock wiring. So in addition to the 6 1/2" componants up front, I plan on replacing the 5 1/4" coax speakers in the back doors, you know, to give the other people in the car some love too.

    So here is what I'm looking at right now:

    Alpine CDA-9851

    [​IMG]

    I am flexable on the deck really, I just want something with good quality, a decent amount of power for the rear speakers, something that is not full of stupid blinking lights and ugly animations, and has a AUX input.

    Boston Acoustic Pro60

    [​IMG]

    So these are $600, but I found them on ebay for $350... I could not directly compare them to the Focal speakers, as they were at different stores, but I really liked them, and they blew away the cheaper Bostons and the Diamond speakers.

    Boston Acoustic SX55

    [​IMG]

    The only perfect match fo the front speakers would be to get another $500 or whatever 5 1/4" componants which does not really make sense, so these will do fine.

    Alpine MRV-F345

    [​IMG]

    75 watts RMS x 4, again, two for the front seperates and two bridged or whatever for the subwoofers. Fits perfectly into the storage compartment, allowing me to use only one amp, and to have it hidden. Seems like the pefrect solution to me.

    Kenwood eXcelon KFC-XW1002DVC

    [​IMG]

    I am flexable on the subs as well, but this is the 10" they had in store and was recomended to me for the power it they will be getting.

    Custom Built Dual 10" Box, NOT shown here:

    [​IMG]

    So I know I want dual 10"s in a sealed box, I talked to the install guy who thought a downfiring box would be good. Also hides and protects the woofers a bit. Yah yah, I could make my own box, I know this...

    On top of this gear, I need to pay for all the wires and extra parts which is up to $200 or something like that.

    So that is what I'm looking at. I will probably get a bunch of the parts online as I can save so much money, it is still pretty flexable what I buy, but that looks like a very good system to me and I am excited to replace the stock POS.
  2. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    I have the 9821 head unit and i can honestly say it rocks, i can only imagine what the newer models are like.

    And it looks like you have a good set-up there, if you get someone to install it for you make sure that they replace all the speaker wiring. The stock stuff is usually crap.
  3. sims

    sims walls of text

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    Boston's are very nice speakers, I still prefer the focals myself but my bother in law swears by boston, and he's somewhat of an audiophile(best know for his 5K setup in a 3K barreta :p)

    The only thing with boston is stay aware from there lower end stuff, the high end is still top notch but over the last few years they have reeeeallly started cheaping out on the low end to cut costs and boost sales.

    If you get the chance, try and listen to a set of CDT components or adire Koda’s, both are very nice, and a little bit cheaper because there a much less recognized name brand then boston, diamond or focal

    The deck and amp are not bad, I have some strange personal vendetta against Alpine through no fault of there own, they really are decent products but everyone around here(local) is under the impression that ALPINE is the one stop best audio solution possible in every application and that you are crazy to consider anything else, also that the type R sub is on some godlike level not understood by other manufactures in the industry.

    That is obviously not the case. But in all honesty they do make decent decks and amps, I wouldn’t run there speakers though. The Type R sub actually is pretty decent as well, but there are better drivers out there for the money. You could probably find something for around the same price range for both that would probably be a little big nicer, something like maybe Nak/Phoenix gold. Boston and Diamond actually have some really nice amps to, but they are pricey. PPI is great to but again kinda pricey. For your system I’m sure the alpines would be fine. JL audio actually also has some pretty decent amps in the same price range so you might want to give them a listen to. Coustic is another great brand you should be able to find locally pretty easily I would give them a listen, that’s probably what I would run if I was playing with your budget, my bother in law had a coustic amp powering his Boston sub for a while, they are a pretty well regarded amps.


    I’d go 10’s aswell, and having a box built to the spec’s of a specific sub will make a world of difference!

    I don’t however like Kenwood much, None of the “big” name company’s make really good subs, but of all of those brands kenwood would be one of my last choices….

    My personal preference is towards Adire audio, I’ve always liked there subs, they sound soo sooo nice and they have amazing power to them, but there are ton’s of good sub brands out there resonant engineering, Soundstream, Image Dynamics, adire, you could go on and on. The vast majority are smaller companies though, brands you likely won’t find locally in a store. Boston, focal and dimond all have awesome subs to, more focus towards SQ then power, but they do sound beautiful, expensive though.

    If you want to stay in the kenwood price range I would look at some JL subs, I don’t like there speakers but all of there sub’s and amps I’ve heard were actually really nice. You should be able to find them locally without problem.

    Take a look at Adire though, the Brahma is there signature line, but its going to be out of your budget, they do however have a line called the shiva, for what it costs its an amazing sub, it will blow anything in its price range out of the water IMO.

    Take a look at there website http://www.adireaudio.com/Mobile/index.htm
  4. PeNZ

    PeNZ Tweak OG

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    Boston Acoustic speakers are nice, I had a 2.1 setup on my old comp. I know its a different application but I have nothing but good to say about Boston.
  5. sims

    sims walls of text

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    I was a little dissapointed with there computer speakers actaully, they sounded really nice, but they had like... no power to them
  6. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Deck:

    For under $300 what do people recomend? I'm really up for any brand as long as it is quality, but I have to like the looks too ;)

    Speakers:

    I can get the Boston Pro60s for $600 retail or $400 online, or the Focal 165V2 for $450 retail or $250 online, however none of the stores have much history at ResellerRatings. I should really bring a CD of my own tracks and listen to both speakers again, but I think I like the Bostons more. As for those other brands, there are no CDT dealers in Washington, so that pretty much kills those, and I am curious about the Adire Koda but can't find any info on them. They are not listed on the website, and I can't find anything on google but forum posts asking about them...

    Amp:

    I looked at a JL Audio amp at Car Toys, another 75x4, so pretty much the same specs as the Alpine. The biggest issue with the amp is that it be small enough to fit in the small box. Beyond that I'm not too picky as long as it is faily powerful. I can get the Alpine amp for $260 at a good online store ($450 at the retail shop) and the JL Audio 300/4 is $500 retail, and I'm not seeing it for less than $400 at any place online I'd give my money too.

    Subs:

    Car Toys had the JL Audio 10W0-4 subwoofer, which the guy recomended, for $100, I think the Kenwood at Magnolia was $120. I like the Shiva 10D4, and know the company from their home audio gear, but I just realized I'm going to have to spend $2,200 for insurance, so I'm leaning towards the lower priced JL subs. I'm going custom box for sure.
  7. sims

    sims walls of text

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    for the deck, at $300 it really won't matter, in that price range anything should be decent. there is nothing wrong with that alpine but if you want some other options, Pioneer is good so is clarion, even the mid priced JVC decks are allright. again, just bring a cd and give them a listen, the the one with the features and options you like best, just check an online review or 2 before you do there are a few decks out there that have common problems, for example on one of the more recent pioneer decks they were havings Tons of overheating problems. Everyone I know who's gotten a new model of clarion deck has been happy with it.

    for the speakers, you can't really go wrong either way, both are very good speakers, bring your own CD and go with the ones you think sound best. as for the KODA's i'm guessing they may have stoped making them... witch sucks because they were good speakers at a really good price.

    for the amp, both are pretty similar in quality, get the one that sounds best to you, if you go with a JL sub though, I would pair it up with a JL amp.

    for the subs... if your looking at W0's and similar subs.... honestly, wait until you have a little more money to spend. Both of those subs are pretty bottom end, there not brutal but there no wear near the quality of speakers and amp's your pairing them up to. Your system is only going to sound as good as its weakest component, so you would really be limiting yourself with those subs. I’ve heard W0’s myself and they were bland and unresponsive, the bass sounded exactly the same for every song. I know it sucks to have to wait, and its a lot nicer to have a full setup, but I think you’ll be left unhappy and wanting more in the end.

    If you can get yourself the Shiva’s I would do that, they are amazing speakers for what they cost, if not, I would really recommend waiting until you can afford, at the least a set of JL W3’s, better yet a set of Diamond D3’s maybe. Your buying a nice deck, great speakers and decent amp's, don't pair them up with a set of mediocre
    subs.

    also your going to be really underpowering whatever subs you get if your trying to run them off a 4 channel amp built for speakers, and your wasting your money if your going to run speakers that nice off a deck. I would get a 4 channel amp and run the fronts(and back if you get them) off that and then a second monoblock amp for the subs
  8. Jackalope

    Jackalope NNNNEEERRRRDDDSSSSS!!!!!!

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    quoted for truth.

    especially dual 10"s, if it were a single, it wouldnt be that bad, but 2 is really pushing it.
  9. Nothing.

    Nothing. G-Riot

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    I'm not a big fan of that deck.
  10. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    I've got crazy new ideas, such as going for Focal speakers (will save me $300) and maybe going with a single, higher quality 10" sub. I really don't want two amps, because I have no good place to put a second and want to keep everything hidden.

    More details later, but throw out comments for a better 10" if you would like.
  11. sims

    sims walls of text

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    well you know I like focal :) what model are you looking at this time?

    as for the sub, it do think thats a good idea, something you might want to consider is getting one sub and building yourself a somewhat generic box first and then when you can afford a second sub get a proper box build.

    i'd recommend any of the sub brands I named, I would still look at the shiva, awesome sub for the cost.

    I would still really recommend looking at 2 amps, a 4 channel amp is designed to power speakers, not subs, you want to find a 2 channel mono block amp for the subs.
  12. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    I guess I'm looking at the Focal 165V2 componants up front and the 130CA coax speakers in the back. I've listened to them at the store and they sound pretty good, but I can't find ANY info on them besides what is on the Car Toys site. Not on the Focal website, or reviews or anything... They are on clearence at Car Toys, and can be found for much less at other places online (ie $450 v $180 and $250 v $100). No matter what I do the mains will be run with a seperate amp.

    I think the 'car audio subwoofer state of the world' is totally out of hand. In home audio, for $430 you can get the SVS PB10-ISD subwoofer, 10" woofer, box (duh) with a 300 watt amp that plays 20hz flat and fills a 10x15 foot room with quality bass. In the car audio world, people throw 2 12" subs and like 800 watts into a car about 4x6 feet and still don't think they have enough bass. I see NO reason why good quality audio demands such sub power as car audio people seem to believe.

    That said, I'm leaning towards just one 10" sub, in a custom box, not looking for, or planning to add another later. The Shiva 10D4 driver looks interesting, but on the specs, what does Fs mean? It says 35hz, is that as low as the driver is meant to play or what does that number mean? Because in the world of subwoofers, 35hz is nothing. Granted most music is well above it, but still.

    Then there is this whole god damn amp situation. Both stores recomended a 4 channel for what I'm looking to do, saying that it would be enough power for good bass. If I drop to 'just one' 10" woofer, and get that Alpine 75x4 RMS amp, do the bassheads still think this is too little? I'm looking for good clean sound, not 'feels like a baseball bat to the head' bass. I don't like the idea of visable amps, and hidden, there is only room for one. Otherwise, for a second, it can really only go on the back of the seat, being totally in the way and vulnerable to damage when I fold them down to haul stuff, visable to theives, and of course a few hundred bucks more.

    I need food. Then party.
  13. tex

    tex jive turkey

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    sorry been out of touch (ie drunk for 4 days straight. whoooo end of semester)

    all of that looks nice. you'll be fine of the 4ch amp for the sub, like you said about car audio. everyone just wants gobs of bass.
    for subs id look into something else, not a fan of kenwood subs or speakers. try the memphis PRs or mclass, the boston G5 is supposed to be AWESOME, jl w6v3, the cerwin vega vmax is pretty loud if you want a little more bump. i like all the rest of your choices though.

    as far as the focals go, i had them, they rock, if you want a more detailed review, i can write it up tomorrow, but in car audio, its all in the install as far as tonality and staging goes. you can take a $20 set of pyle componets and get good sound out of them if you install them "perfectly" and have good processing
  14. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Which model do you have? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on them and how they compare to the other speakers you know well.

    (and I'm not looking at Kenwood subs, never really was, just that those are what the shop had and showed me)
  15. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

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    Where the hell do you get the money for all of this? I thought you were a college student?
  16. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    I'm a drug dealer ;)
  17. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

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    That's what I thought. Because I don't see any other way:p
  18. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    So no one online has those Focal speakers in stock any more, and I'm not going to pay almost $500 for them retail.

    Now I don't know what to do for speakers. I can get those Boston Pro60 speakers for under $400 if I ebay them but the idea of getting those Focals for $180 (which I cant do now) has made me wonder what else is out there for less than $200.

    The Polk Audio MMC6500 are $300 retail but can be found on ebay for around $160. I've not heard them and would like to give a listen, but anyone know something about these?

    I'm planning on getting the Alpine deck and 4-channel amp, looking at the Shiva 10" sub but am not totally set on that.
  19. basketofkittens

    basketofkittens New Member

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    Is waiting for the Focal's to be stocked not an option? They seem to be the best bang for the buck...
  20. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Nope, they are discontinued speakers and everyone is just trying to empty their stock.
  21. tex

    tex jive turkey

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    the focals kicked ass, sorry you missed out. i had the 165s, they are pretty nice. i used the whole set for a few months, and ended up switching the tweets back out for the MBQ. the woofer is crazy nice though

    my old shop sold polk. i personally think the momo series is shit. the db is alright for the price, nothing special though. the new SR comps are supposed to be awesome however.

    around that price you should be able to pick up a set of alpine type-X. very nice speakers, can be found online for $200ish I believe

    a major thing to consider here is how you are installing the comp set. i dont even bother with soundboards anymore, they dont do too much good. im sure you know the difference between on and off axis response.
    example: my MBQ Q tweets will destroy your ears if you have them on-axis, but off-axis, they are smooth and oh so clear
  22. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Well I can get the Boston Pro60 set for about $350 on ebay, and am thinking pretty hard about getting them. I need to verify my PayPal account to buy them though, and I think it didn't work last time I tried...

    Those Alpine SPX-177R look interesting, and can be had for about $250. I'd be interested in hearing them.
  23. sims

    sims walls of text

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    wow, I forgot about this thread, i;ll try and make a proper post when I have time, but as far as the amp thing, I understand the frustration coming from the home audio world :p

    car audio subs are designed to be fed tons of power, even if your not blasting them, a decent sub is not build to be power by a small 4 channel amp, it will be hugely under powering the sub. any setup I’ve heard running off a small 4 channel amp like that has sounded like crap, very muggy sounding, not hitting hard like they should. Granted they were all running pretty bunk subs as well, so I can't really compare, Anyone I know running nice subs has there own independent amp for them.

    All I’ll say is, when you decide on a sub, have them hook it up and run it at 75 watts, then have them connect it to a good amp and see the difference.
  24. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    It will be getting 150 watts RMS which is not huge, but it ain't no 75 :p

    So I just got an email, I asked them the difference between the two drivers in each size and 10" v 12":

    So I may just get the 12" like they are recomending. That and the Boston Pro 60s and SX55s. The only issue is that I have to ebay them, and for some reason I can't get my bank account PayPal verified which I need to buy them...

    I'm hoping to start buying when I get home from Alaska...
  25. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    Bah!!

    So I walked into a car stereo shop today while I was waiting for my window tint, and they said the rear speakers are 4".

    Now I've gotten three different sizes from three different places. Why the hell doesn't anyone know what it has?? I'm going to call up the dealership tomorrow and get them to find out for sure from Toyota, because I don't want to buy the wrong size online and have to return it, because that will take forever.