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JohnHinerman

Help with updating my sound system

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Hello everyone.  It's been a while since I've posted here.  I've been driving and enjoying the stereo in my truck for awhile, and now I wanted to make a couple of changes and I was looking for some advice and/or guidance in doing so.

 

The current situation...

I have a Ram pickup which currently consists of the following:

Stock Uconnect head unit -> JL cleansweep -> front channels Audio Control DQT -> Alpine PDX-F6 CH1&2 150x4 -> ID XS-65 Components (using the XS x-over and tweeter. The 6.5 has been replaced with an Eminence Alpha after blowing the XS6" mid) . Rear channels go from clean sweep to PDX-F6 ch 3&4 -> ID CTX69 6x9's.  Front channels also split directly out of the Clean Sweep to a Alpine PDX-M12 -> 2 Fi SSD 10 subwoofers (not the current version. Mine have the "funnel??" looking motor structure.

 

Proposed update:

I was thinking about using all 4 channels of the PDX-F6 for the front speakers.  Instead of using CH1&2 going to the XS crossovers and then to the mid and tweet, I was going to use CH1&2 to the mids, and 3&4 to the ID XS-28 tweets that came with the XS-65 components and  probably either FI N.7's or one of the two PRV 6.5 options in the attachment, and letting the rear fill run off the head unit power or possibly a small 2ch amp. I also recently picked up SounDigital black EVO SD3000.1 which hasn't been installed yet, but will go-to the FI 10's. The PDX-M12 will go on the shelf I guess.  It seems like a great amp,  but  @ 1200Wx1 , each subwoofer only gets about 600w each. The people are FI tell me these woofers are happiest with about 1000w each, which is why I bought the SD3000.1 , which I guess I'll have to turn down a little bit to not kill the woofers.

Is this a good idea to use the 4 channel completely for the fronts instead of just 2 channels and the passive xover? Or should I keep it the way it is power and xover wise? I'm going to replace the Eminence 6's either way, I just haven't decided which speaker to use. I like the FI N.7 by the description, but I'm not sure if the $150 is for a pair, or each.  I'm trying not to break the bank. The PRV looks interesting with the neo mags, but I don't know anything about them.

I've never used components with individual amp channels powering each component.  I know that there is power loss by using a single channel with passive crossovers, but maybe the 150w/ch is sufficient for that setup?  Next question is if I do use the 4ch for each speaker along with active crossovers, where would a good starting point be to set the HP filters for the Tweeters?

Lastly, I'm getting some buzzing from one of the rear 6x9 speakers, so I was looking to replace those.  They are rear fill, and depending on the setup will either use 2ch of the F6, or run of either head unit power or possibly a much smaller 2 ch amp it the head unit does not provide enough power.  Im looking for speaker recommendations.  If I stay with the F6 on them, I need something that will handle the power.  I saw that PRV makes a 6x9 rated at 250w RMS with a 1.5" coil, which seems like it would handle it. Freq response is only rated for 500-12k which I don't know is ok for rear speakers. Is there another recommendation which isn't super expensive?

I'm attaching photos of the two PRV 6's and the one 6x9 that I am considering.

I'm sure that someone will tell me I'm doing everything wrong.  In trying to learn and that is why I'm asking these questions.  Any and all advice is warmly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance guys!

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I have the same era of Q series subs I got back in 2009, been running strong ever since. 

The idea you have is called running “active”, and the preferred way a lot of us run our equipment. The passive crossovers don’t do the original drivers from your component set much justice but they sure as hell don’t do other random drivers any justice at all. All your thoughts are pretty much right on the line of thinking we typically recommend to folks with the same kinds of questions. 

The Fi N.7 mids are sold as a pair for that price. The SSA Evil mids are a great option as well and you can always look into raw drivers from Seas, Scan Speak, Peerless, Dayton and so forth. 

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Active... Thanks! I wasn't sure exactly what to call that.  The Fi's for $150 sound like a great deal.  I would just have to make sure they will actually fit.

If I do to active, where would a good starting point for the crossovers to use on the Tweeters?

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Can't help with crossover points without knowing the drivers.  That being said, rear fill is 1000% a waste of time and money. Add to that the PRV mids sound like serious ass in any 2 way.  So we need to start with getting some actual logical choices then we can dial things in.

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I don’t think wanting to use the XS-28 tweeter from the Image Dynamics components and the Fi N.7 mid as he originally suggested aside/outside from/of the PRV mids were necessarily illogical choices. Maybe not ideal or what either of us might do but not illogical. 

I definitely agree with Sean to steer clear of the PRV equipment, it’s just not going to perform in a fashion that coincides with rest of your build. 

What do you have for processing power?  A DSP of some sort such as the miniDSP or the JL Audio TWK88 are great choices and on the more budget friendly end of the spectrum. 

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21 hours ago, altoncustomtech said:

I don’t think wanting to use the XS-28 tweeter from the Image Dynamics components and the Fi N.7 mid as he originally suggested aside/outside from/of the PRV mids were necessarily illogical choices. Maybe not ideal or what either of us might do but not illogical. 

I definitely agree with Sean to steer clear of the PRV equipment, it’s just not going to perform in a fashion that coincides with rest of your build. 

What do you have for processing power?  A DSP of some sort such as the miniDSP or the JL Audio TWK88 are great choices and on the more budget friendly end of the spectrum. 

I *think* that the ID xs-28 tweeters are actually pretty good? These still work work fine, and if I can avoid having to buy a whole new set of tweeters, I'd rather keep what I have.  When I had the XS components complete with the XS mids, Tweets, and xovers, it seemed to sound pretty darn good. Those XS 6.5's are expensive to replace though, and that's why I bought the eminence that I have now which are going buh-bye. They don't sound nearly as good as the ID's did, but they play loud.  I assume the FI N.7's are probably good speakers? But I don't know.  I was looking at the PRV originally simply because of the power handling and the cost.  Now that I see the FI's are $150/pair vs each, that is something I'd be fine with. I can afford $150/pair, but not $300/pair like I originally thought they were.  I know that FI makes good stuff, but I haven't seen any reviews of the N.7's. It seems that these are SQ CAR speakers and not PA speakers like a lot of the other offerings. From what I understand, PA speakers are generally louder and allow for higher powered amps, but don't sound nearly as good? That would make me lean toward the FI.  I just need to verify that those 7" speakers are going to fit.  If they won't, I'll have to go back to a 6-6.5", and then again I'll need some help since the PRV are no good. A friend recommended the Crescendo's, not sure which one, or the Evil? 

My ideal options then would be the Fi N.7 along with my current ID XS-28 tweets for the front stage. Then I need to find some 6x9's to fill my rear doors. I may end up running those off the head unit for now, and then maybe get a compact 50-100w small 2CH to power those in the future.  Again, I want a good value that will work well for the rear speakers without breaking my bank. 

As far as processing, right now I have the OEM head unit running into a JL Audio Clean Sweep CL441DSP to flatten the factory EQ, then the front channels run into a Audio Control DQT 1/3 octave digital EQ. People have told me that this EQ is junk, but it's what I have, and with 1/3 octave plus a couple of parametrics built into it, it is going to have to work I can't afford to buy another new EQ on top of the other items I need to put this together.   The subwoofers and rear channels we're just coming out flat from the Clean Sweep and into the amps without any further processing.  To go active on the front stage, I believe that I need to get another active Crossover since the crossovers on the PDX-F6 limit to high pass to 400hz, which I would think is far to low for the Tweeters.  So right now I'm in the market for some sort of quality crossover in order to setup the active front stage.  Any recommendations that are good without costing a fortune?  And again, with those ID tweeters on the Fi n.7 mids, where about would the tweeter hp need to kick in?

 

I have already spent a lot of money (for me, this is a lot of money. I'm not rich) on the current amps, subwoofers, etc.  Add to that the $450 I spent on the new SoundDigital subwoofer amp, plus the money I need to spend now - $150 for the Fi door speakers, $???.?? On some sort of crossover, $???.?? On rear 6x9s, $???.?? On more wire and cables, etc.  This will be the most money I've spent on any car stereo.  I know that it's not going to be anywhere even close to what a lot of guys have into there systems, but to me it's a lot of money and it's what I can afford, so I am proud of it.  I just want to update it and improve it a little bit with this new stuff and have something that is going to sound pretty good and play pretty loud.

And to sum this up, I need help with:

- knowing that I would be making a good choice in the FI N.7's for the front doors, and if I cant make those fit, a recommendation for some 6-6.5" speakers that sound good and can take the power and stay in that $150ish area.

-that my ID XS-28 tweeters don't suck and will work well with the FI 7's and active power

-recommendation for a active cross over to allow me to run my fronts actively.  I think that I just need an active 2-way cross over for this? The sub amp has it's own built in crossover, unless it would work better to get a 3-way and use that for tweets, mids, subs?

-recommended cross over freq for the front tweeters and mids

-recommendation on some affordable good 6x9s for my rear doors.

Thanks guys for all of your help. I appreciate you guys taking your time and sharing your knowledge to help me get this together the right way since so many of you have so much more experience and knowledge on this stuff. I can't express my appreciation.

Im sorry that my posts are so long. I have a hard time trying to get everything that I'm trying to say into a short post.  I'm just not good at it.

I've also attached a few pictures of what I have now. Those 6" ID speakers that I built a 6x9 adapter for are no longer being used. Since one blew, I replaced them in my front doors with some Eminence crappy PA speakers because of how much the replacement ID XS speakers cost.

 

 

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Edited by JohnHinerman

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Ditch the 6x9s in the rear door, put that money elsewhere. I have the eminence and love them myself but wanting them for a 2way setup in a daily is useless. Yes just like the PRVs, they get loud on limited power but they have a narrow bandwidth vs car audio/raw drivers. Also everything doesnt have to be ugraded at once, do what you can now and some later. That's the joy of car audio, it's never ending. 

Nice equipment man :fing34:

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Oh yeah as far as frequency points, 3500hz is good start and work your way down for the mids. Some people like to overlap frequencies on mids and tweeters (ie.  Mids 2500hz, Tweeters 2000hz), others underlap frequencies (ie. Mids 2500hz, Tweeters 3000hz). While some just keep it simple and cross them off at the same frequency (ie. Mids 2500hz, Tweeters 2500hz).

As far as where the frequencies for the mids and highs end up, that is going to come down to testing, listening habits and your preferences. Test mids by themselves and vice versa, test tweeters alone. This way you can test the drivers and see where stress at so you can back down. For example at full tilt your mids may not like a 45hz or 63hz low pass filter, they may like 80hz or 100hz, so adjustments on the fly can help if your active settings are at your fingertips. Active is fun, dont be afraid. Ask any questions and we will help, or I can at least try. Haha good luck man

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7 minutes ago, jcarter1885 said:

Ditch the 6x9s in the rear door, put that money elsewhere. I have the eminence and love them myself but wanting them for a 2way setup in a daily is useless. Yes just like the PRVs, they get loud on limited power but they have a narrow bandwidth vs car audio/raw drivers. Also everything doesnt have to be ugraded at once, do what you can now and some later. That's the joy of car audio, it's never ending. 

Nice equipment man :fing34:

Thanks man.  As far as the equipment goes, I think I could have probably got some better stuff if I did more research when I bought it all. I could have saved some money and got some better amps instead of the Alpine PDX. All of the huge power smaller brand amps out there today are insane! I know these mainstream consumer brands that are on store shelves aren't that great. Brands like Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, etc.  Aside from the head units, you never see any of these awesome builds online using any of these Brand Name amplifies or speakers.  I went toward the PDX because of all the fancy tech Alpine describes that they are built with, but more than anything else was the size and that they are stackable.  They fit perfectly under the driver seat in my truck which is very limited on places to put equipment while maintaining the daily use of the vehicle.

I noticed that when I went from the ID to the Eminence, the sound quality changed. The ID sounded very natural and smooth, and things like guitar strings and vocals just had a much more full and clean sound to them.  The Eminence are definitely louder, and sound fine on loud rock music and rap, but everything sounds more compressed together, or maybe muddy. It just doesn't have the same sort of depth and fullness to them. They have been fine for $40/each, but I'm missing the overall sound quality and enjoyment of being surrounded by it.  That is why I'd like to get a more normal type of speaker back in there.

You think that I should just get rid of the rear door speakers completely? Even versus just putting some decent value priced 6x9s in there and running them on the HU or just a small 2ch to add a little more volume and sound in there?  I know that rear fill is really not intended to be listened it, but it does at least put some sound into the back seat.

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As far as crossover goes, I think that a 3way is the best option.  I can run 2 front channels  in and crossover tweets, mids, and subwoofer with a remote level control since the SounDigital amp doesn't have one.

Edited by JohnHinerman

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Definitely ditch the rears.  Even if you drive a suburban they are a net negative.

As far as crossovers, definitely a 3 way.  Get a full processor and then sell the eq.  Only question is which one.

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My $.02...

Don't waste any money on rear fill, with a properly set up front stage it'll only muck things up.

Alpine amps are great, so are Rockford Fosgate amps.  This is a car audio forum and many seek to try the smaller, less commercial equipment, but mainstream companies can and do put out some good stuff, especially amps.  

All the PRV mids you listed are 'pro audio" drivers.  Their purpose is to get LOUD with relatively little power.  The compromise they make to achieve this is limited frequency response.  Pro Audio drivers typically lack midbass and unless you cross your subwoofers off at 120hz, you'll have very noticeable gaps in the frequencies covered. 

To go active you'll need to bandpass your midrange drivers, i.e. lowpass and highpass.  There are a few amps that can do this, as well as a few head units, but your best bet is to get a sound processor.  Many guys on this site use the mini-DSP which is full function and very affordable.  I don't have a PC and really wanted to make adjustments easily so I went with a Stetsom STX-2436 because it was $200, tiny (I have a Jeep Wrangler with very limited space), and a bluetooth app that controls the unit. 

This was my first active system (previously I was a component guy) and I went with SSA Evil tweets and Evil mids.  I'm still making adjustments, but I'm very happy I went the active route. 

 

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You are in good hands, here !
I'm still "new" to the active thing, after a year :)  I had all the help I needed from the helpfull SSA members.

The mini dsp is cheap, but I am so happy with mine. I did hide it in my glove box. And the 2V rca outputs are fine for me. I don't even know if it's 2v or 4v, or whatever volt it is.

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IIRC Eric Stevens said the mid in that ID set rolls off naturally and xover is for the tweeter only. The pic kind of suggests that too. I read that on their forum quite some time ago but you should be able to find the post.

with that said you could find a mid that rolls off smooth on the top and have better luck without a new processor immediately. Especially if you can find out where the tweeter xover is set before picking.

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My suggestion for tweeter xover point is get the mid to play as high as possible and stilll sound good. Then bring the tweeter down to the mid. If they are drivers with a decent frequency response to begin with, only a few minor adjustments should be needed at that point.

Gain settings between the mids and tweeter being an important one of them. That statement correlates with my post above too, which is the minimalist approach.

a dsp running active is a barrel of fun though, if you're into that kind of thing. :)

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