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Old 08-13-2008, 10:28 PM   #1
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Relative newbie looking for SQ system build advice for an SQ Ford Explorer

I'm new to posting on forums so please forgive me and advise me if I'm breaking etiquette here. I'll be building a new truck in the fall and need advice. My budget including install right now is $3000, but could adjust this a bit. I'd love to spend less, and if you think I can build a credible step up SQ-wise from my previous system for less, please let me know. I'm happy to shop Ebay or other online classifieds. If I'm completely off-base with the $3K, feel free to call me a dumbass and give me an attitude adjustment!!

My current truck (if it isn't attached to my signature below) - Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Kenwood Excelon head unit (unsure of model #- bought new in 2006)
Diamond M-series 5.25" components
Memphis 5x7 coax for rear fill
Single 10" Kicker sub in a sealed box under the rear seats - one disappointment in the truck, but colin at Autoworks warned me about this
4 Channel Memphis ST-300.4 4 channel amp - 75 X4 RMS (not sure about the exact model # - going by memory)
Fosgate 2 channel amp bridged to mono for the sub
Dynamatted doors and firewall

I'm returning this truck in about 2 months (it's leased) and will be buying my cousin's 2004 low mileage Explorer SUV (not sport trac - regular SUV body).

What I listen to:
60's-70's British Bands- Stones, Zeppelin, Floyd, The Who
Springsteen, Bob Seger, Hendrix, Neil Young, The Hip, 54-40, etc.
Acoustic: Neil again, James Taylor
Heavier: AC/DC, ZZ Top, Kid Rock

I want a step or two up from my current truck. Quite happy with the sound, but would like to take things to the next level. As I will own this, I'm not worried about cutting into the dash or other bits if absolutely necesary.

I will be using the fold down seat capability from time to time, so thinking a sub box that is removable on occasion is a good thing.

Want components in the front. Have Diamonds now, thinking of upgrading to the HEX - know anybody who retails them in Ontario? Completely open to other premium brands as long as they are accessible within a 2 hour or so drive of Toronto. Like Focal and DLS, and hear good things about some other brands I haven't heard, like Hertz, SEAS and Rainbow. After all, never heard of Diamond until 3 years or so ago......Looking for value, will pay a good dollar for top stuff, but if you think there are great emerging brands out there that are a little less, bring them on

Can move the Diamond M-series to the rear for fill, or the Memphis, or not do anything at all for the rear - let me know what you think.

Subs, I am open. Again, would love to find something reasonably local that I can go listen to, or can go with CCA readers' advice, and/or possibly buy online. Looking for a nice tight musical sub or two. I figure if I put it in the right enclosure and power it properly, I will get some nice thump. I'm thinking a prefab box with a pair of 10s or 12s - preferabbly something sealed as it will make for a smaller box - I will still carry some stuff in the back fairly often, evne if I don't need to remove the box

Amps: Open, could carry my Memphis over - love it as it is the cleanest amp I've owned (previously used mostly JBL) but not sure if all 75W per channel are all accounted for. Would love Arc or Audison or some other audiophile level amp, and also see some good prices on Audiosavings.com for JL, but will I really see much of an upgrade here? Please steer me towards a solid mono amp for the subs, again, try to think bang for the buck

Headunit: Open. Have owned several Pioneers in the past and love them. Good tuners too - I do listen to the radio a fair bit. Love the Kenwood I have now except for the tuner - the factory head unit I had before the build had a better tuner than the Kenwood. Given the dash design of the 2002-2006 Explorer, what size of HU would it take?

Guys, so sorry for such a long winded post. If I've seriously violated protocol here, I do apologize. Please simply send me a mild rebuke or constructive criticism. If you prefer that I break down my advice request to into specific pieces (ie: a post for components, another for head units, etc.) please let me know. This is my first post and don't want to get off on the wrong foot

Thanks all!!
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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I won't give you any recommendations on equipment, only on the experience of what you're planning to do.

An SQ system is all about compromise. Even if you want to spent $40k on a system, there will still be compromises, but they seem to get smaller the more you spend. Set yourself realistic goals, don't buy 2 12" and a huge-*** amp if SQ is what you're after. A single 10" with a quality front end is a better bet. KNow what SQ really is, and tailor your equipment to match. Many guys are surprised at what a well-balanced SQ system really sounds like, and it often ends up being nothing like they thought.

Set yourself a budget, and keep it simple. If SQ is what you're after, make that a #1 priority right off the bat, and never deviate. Good install and tuning with modest gear makes for a better system than wizzy gear poorly installed with little to no tuning.

Look for a shop with a proven track record for SQ systems. Ask to see/listen to their work. The proof is in the pudding as they say.

I think you have a pretty decent handle on car audio, so this is only partially aimed at you.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:15 PM   #3
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No worries on the post length, detail are good.
I wont help much but here it goes.

Deck, I'd try the one you have in the new dash, tuners don't have enough of a difference to say one is that much better than the other, make he antenna work better, so if you like the deck you have, keep it and make it work.

Amps, the amp you have is just fine, don't buy into the "audiophile" thing, it's a vehicle.

Rearfill, I hate it, but it's personal choice, I'd definitely not spend any money on it.

Front speakers, this is where I'd spend the money, but don't buy into hype, make the trips and listen to CARS and if you hear stuff you like, get details about the install....for example, I bought Rainbow kickbass' without hearing them based on reputation and hated them....so do your homework before you spend your money on those.

Subs, only comment here is get something halfway decent and have a box built to the sub and vehicle...don't do the prefab thing. as for the amp get a solid reputable brand that powers the subs you chose properly and don't buy hype.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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Thx! I figured that the front components is where I would make my real investment. Will shop around.

That, and probably spending some $ on sound deadening for the explorer. Does anybody have advice for sound deadening materials, particularly from a bang for buck perspective?

thx!
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:35 PM
 
 
 
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