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Wisdom requested.

Old 02-06-2009, 07:18 AM
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Question Wisdom requested.

Greetings CCA community. How fortunate I found you all. Thank you google! I have a need for some recommedations from the know-ed here which I hope you can provide. I am in the process of upgrading my system in my 1999 Acura Integra from the mishmash of semi-ok grade equipment to something higher end. I have read extensivlely the pages here going back some time and I would like to thank you all for your willingness to provide detailed reasoning behind your opinions. It made my decisions to this point much simpler. I have a few specific needs that I need met, but need some direction as to where to go from here.

Specifically, I have a desire for good sound. Not loud sound. Yes I like to listen to music at a good volume, but I dont necessarily think everyone else on the road should be required to hear it also.

Secondly I also have a 2 year old, so I really need my subwoofer (which hopefully you will recommend to me) to have an independant volume/gain control (3rd party or otherwise). I know this flies in the face of the "good sound" theory most of the time, but its quite paramount to my plan such that it is.

Thirdly, my wife is hip to my game and is closing in on the wall plug of my dreams. So this needs to happen rather quickly and at a significantly reduced budget from the initial version of my dream.

So far I have the following equipment: Mids and Highs in my doors are Focal 165VR Polyglass line components. I chose this line due to its value for the dollar I was spending. I liked the sound they produced and could afford them to be honest. My deck was a harder choice. I wanted a quality deck that included bluetooth telephone as well as streamed audio, sirius radio availability to continue my current subscription, a clean and simple design that could be viewed as almost factory, and the final cevat, white buttons and display to match my factory dash lights. The last one was the hardest to satisfy. I'm real tired of driving by cars with green dash illumination and a blue strobe light of a radio blinking away beside them. I find it cheesy and it simply advertises the fact that you may have spent money and makes you an easier mark for theft. So I got a Pioneer DEH-P800PRS with the bluetooth module and sirius modules. It managed to meet all my needs without having to sacrifice a single one. How could you ask for more?

Question 1: So now I need to replace the rear speakers which are some Pioneer 2 ways from a few years back. Do I need to replace them with the equivalent Polyglass coaxial to maintain the integrity of the sound? Or can I save a few bucks and go with the Access line? The cost difference is substantial and these are ultimately rear fill. They are also right beside the head of my son in his car seat and will be adjusted down in volume as a result.

Question 2: Along the same lines as question 1 deals with subwoofers. I have a few requirements for this as well. Being a grown up with a child who requires toys, stollers, and all manner of cleaning product I cannot live without my trunk space. I need a suggestion on a good sounding subwoofer that wont require a 3 foot box in my trunk. I'm looking for a single 10". I look at bass as a fullfillment of the frequency range. Not a focal point of the actual sound. So I won't be driving any SPL contests. Its just going to be at a moderate level and as such I'd like the best sound quality I can afford. Perhaps Focal as well? Perhaps you have another suggestion for me to consider. Does the similarly engineered sound of Focal subs compliment what would already be in the vehicle? Or is this simply my overactive mind guessing about what a sound enginner does? A shallow mount would be great except the actual enclosure volume size seems to be the same as a normal depth driver of similar means. So instead of a square I get a short fat rectangle. Not much of an improvment in the size category.

Question 3: For me this is probably the most important as it is really the heart of the system. I am going to go with a 5 (or 6?) channel amplifier. Again this comes down to space. I can easily mount and wire a single average sized amplifier on the rear of one of the seats in my hatch. Keeping it out of the way of strollers and leaving me enough room in the process. Is there any particular brand or line of say Focal, Audison, McIntosh, Hertz or even Alpine that provides a good quality 5 channel amplifier at a reasonable price that wont pervert the sound its producing? I recognise that McIntosh is a pipe dream for me, so you can probably ignore that one. Lord knows my wife will appreciate it. I am open to suggestions of brands I have not considered as well. I just want a flat even sound across the amplifiers' range. I want to be able to adjust the system according to the type of music being played at the time if nessecary using the deck's crossovers, not have the amplifier dictate how it thinks music should sound.

Ultimately you are going to say "its up to you" and "listen and see" which I can promise I've been trying to do. I've done so much reading on the subject that I can't sleep some days. And I've made trips around town with the same CD playing it in as many systems as I can to rule out the ones I wont consider. Kicker, MTX, Sony, the list goes on. All had some aspect that I found unappealing. In some cases several. This is ultimately how I settled on the Focal components I am using now. This community it seems is awash with people who really do know, and are not simply sales reps trying to make a fast buck in difficult economic times.

I appreciate your advice and respect your opinions. Thanks for entertaining my long windedness.

Last edited by bigshooter1974; 02-06-2009 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:00 AM
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With your input and my preference these are my answer
A1: I personally hate rear fill, so I would not even plug the rear.
A2: Go with a sealed box and a good 10, there's a lot of brand that can do what you want but since you already have Focal in front go with a theme and get a Focal sub
A3: Since the rear are not used, go with a 4ch amp (2xfront, 1x bridged for the sub), you can go with a Focal amp or for a very small footprint go with the ARC AUDIO KS125.4 MINI.

If you want SQ don't forget that you'll need lots of sound deadening to stop noise and get a more "neutral" sound

My 2 cents
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:21 AM
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Alpine pdx 5 channel if space is the priority (the thing is the size of a small text book). Otherwise, Audison is the normal choice for Focal speakers. As far as rear speakers are concerned, the Access line is more than good enough for the fill...keep it all Focal to preserve tonality. Subs, might as well keep it Focal as well if you can...Focal subs work well in sealed boxes too which would allow for a smaller box.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:19 PM
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1) I like rear fill and would use a good but entry level Focal speaker for this application.
2) The Eclipse SW7200 is a incredibly detailed subwoofer that requires about a 1.25 cu.ft sealed box or slightly larger. It will deliver exactly what you need. I know I shipped one out to the Scarborough area to a CCA member, perhaps I can find him and let you have a listen. Morel makes hands down the best tonally responsive sub in the industry but your budget is going to go bye bye..... (the Eclipse will be at least half the Morel's price).
3) I have a incredible deal on a 5 channel Boston Acoustics amp. It is enough power to blend the sub with the front and rear speakers and deliver the predictable results that you are seeking. A nice blend of power and not a overwhelming bass machine that you can hear from blocks away.

Interested in a quote, drop me a pm or msn me.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:01 PM
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3 great replies. Sounds like im on the right track for my rear fill, so thats pretty much sewn up.

Also 3 great amp suggestions.

lpchouinard: looks like a very interesting little piece of gear, any idea on where I could find a Toronto or Canada based Arc Audio retailer willing to ship to Toronto? Cheers!

Denonite: theres that line by Tom Cruise that goes "you complete me". I think you are reading my mind here. The PDX5 had already made it onto my short list simply based on its unique smallness and better than average quality. I've found a new retailer in the area mentioned by another member in an older post that sells Focal at a lower price than I previously paid so I'll grill them on what they suggest for a sub along that line. Great advice thanks!

MR2NR: sent you an email regarding your BA amps. I'll look into the eclipse sub you mentioned as well. Greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:13 PM
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good luck with it...take photos and let us know how it all turns out, and what you chose.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:21 PM
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basic theme: quality sound a-la Focal (crisp, clean, detailed) with a significant budget restraint (marriage)

- amps with a remote volume operator OR a HU with presets can help with tuning for the kid in the back seat or not in the back seat. You HU has presets right?

I think the Focal woofers are a tough nut to swallow for those who are price conscious, so keep a look out for eclipse, clarion, diamond, Image Dynamics

I am not a huge fan of rear fill and since this is an issue for the rear seat passenger (it will keep him awake and damage his hearing if you get carried away) I would recommend skipping it and saving $

I am using a Zapco 6 channel right now (50 watts per channel is PLENTY loud and I can still use my trunk) but the Zapco is >$1000, so look to other brands of multichannel. Everyone is making stack-able amps these days (like the PDX) so be open minded. The PDX might be one of the best looking products ever.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:33 PM
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I don't mean to hijack this post but I've seen a few opinions on back speakers.
Can someone tell me the pros and cons of having back speakers.

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Old 02-06-2009, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CheeseToes View Post
I don't mean to hijack this post but I've seen a few opinions on back speakers.
Can someone tell me the pros and cons of having back speakers.

Lets see
Cons - more money, more time tuning
Pros - ????
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CheeseToes View Post
I don't mean to hijack this post but I've seen a few opinions on back speakers.
Can someone tell me the pros and cons of having back speakers.

I can only give you my own experience, not speak for everyone. I have DLS components in the front. They sound wonderful to me. They are getting 200 RMS per side, probably more like 240 at 14.4v. I have rears running at 65 or 75 RMS each.

I miss the rear fill when I unhook them, but that is in MY car (small SUV) and MY ears. Some will say if you need rear fill your fronts arent set up correctly, know what? I tend to believe that statement to a certain degree.

In my car its a pretty good distance from the front to the subs, I like something to fill that.

There are pro's and con's to everything in life. its going to come down to your personal listening preference, not counting the extra amplification, extra speakers, extra wiring, more tuning, etc, etc.


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