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"Old School" audiophile needs suggestions to complete my SQ system

Old 07-08-2012, 06:45 PM
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"Old School" audiophile needs suggestions to complete my SQ system

First some background. I have Focal Utopia Minis and a REL sub in my house (presently not hooked up, lest my teenagers destroy them both). Most of my listening is thus done through Stax electrostatic headphones, and a variety of tubes further mellowed by a Chord DAC 64. Hence, I'm spoiled with probably a touch too much of that audiophile smugness that goes with the territory.

I do have reasonable expertise on room acoustics, standing waves, speaker design, amps etc. ...but I now see the mobile 12 volt world is exposing my ignorance to in-car acoustics. (Ironically, there are a few high end home audio amp builders that are exploring the benefits of clean power through high capacity 12V batteries that are "off the grid".)

I haven't been around the car audio scene for 25+ years, when I used to make frequent trips back to the Fosgate dealer to repair blown amps on a weekly basis. Back then, when I had my back seat removed in favor of 12" woofers, everyone thought I was a nuts. But I still remember the unrivaled sound form the Nakamichi 250 cassette running through a Fosgate to component speakers properly crossed-over.

Times have changed and now I listen to a lot of classical, anything well recorded from HD tracks, and a new-found appreciation for that complex threesome that call themselves Rush. With the kids about to move out, I've spent the last year restoring a '92 Muitsubishi GTO/3000GT and now it's time to put a decent sound system into the beast. And that's where I need your help:

1) the car is about 550 HP with a tuned pipe (frigg’in loud) and large removable sunroof (almost like T tops)... so I will need some punch and SPL to overcome road noise, but overall, I am strictly concerned with SQ. Good SQ with enough headroom + no digital edge allows you to turn it up without distortion anyway. At least that’s how it works at home.

2) The car has had the rear seats removed, much metal replaced with carbon fiber and other "lightening" to increase performance. So I decided to go with Class D, as the technology seems to allow for smaller and lighter amps and better performance than the mid-fi that Class D used to be associated with. Hence, my first purchase was two JL amps: a 750/1 for the sub and a 600/4 (I try to buy used whenever I can, as divorce lawyers would cost me much more if I ever revealed what I spent on my hobbies or if I had to buy new).

3) The head unit I have decided on is the Pioneer DEX-P99RS as it just seems so simple and elegant, yet with great potential, and single DIN fits the car better anyway. So those two are set in stone: The Pioneer and the two JL amps. Everything else is open to discussion, with about $1500-2,000 left for sound deadening, front components, rear sub(s) and enclosure.

4) I do not want a giant ported box with 12" woofers ...my in-home REL, which is considered most musical by audiophiles, is only a 10". Ideally, I would like 4x8" or 2x10" subs at most. Having the sub "disappear" is most important ...to me a sub should be a low-end extension of the mid-bass of a good two or three-way system and nothing more. Naturally I favor Focal…The problem I have with is so many fakes on the used market...thus making it difficult to buy with confidence. I have also looked seriously at the JL W6 10" which I can buy used for about $300. But other than JL and Focal, I know very little of other SQ subs/enclosures. What else is musical and requires a not-so-large box?

5) I'm open to what to go with for the front components (car comes stock with 6-1/4" doors, dash mounted tweeters and rear 6x9s"). To me, I would like to go 8" mid-bass where the 6x9s are now, and then 6-1/4 in the doors and the tweeters also mounted near the doors (they fire at the windshield now, which seems like a shrill no-no). I do not want to go with Focal Utopias, as I'm not a fan of the Berly. Tweeter and they are out of the price range anyway. (my in-home Utopias are the older design and are less "bright".) But I do love my in-home Utopia’s openness on vocals, and want to get close to that
So, the KRX series? What else should I look at in the under $1,000 range and that I might find used for half that? Is the fake Focal problem wide and should I thus avoid those used at all costs, or buy new (in which case, I admit they are a tad over-priced)? Anyone like the 8” mid-bass in the rear and then 6-1/4 up front with tweeter also in/on doors? (I cannot go with A-pillar mounted mids/tweets, since boost gauges, etc are there already. I’m thinking 6/14 aimed slightly up and tweeters mounted just below shoulder level on the door itself? Again, tell me what you’ve tried …my experience is in-home is that placement is VERY important. Thankfully, the Pioneer 99 should allow for proper time-alignment?

...so, throw me your suggestions to completing the sub and front/rear components. Remember, I have no back seat and lots of space where the current 6x9s are so I can be creative ...not everything needs to be on axis or firing from the front. That said, the Pioneer 99 + 2 Class D amps are designed to keep it simple and light (with the exception of the sub(s).

And finally, I doubt I will install this myself; although I feel I can design and spec well (along with the help of this forum), I 'd rather have a pro do the actual install; any suggestions who's good at tuning high end in the Tornoto area and not overtly expensive? Thanks, for reading this rather long-winded system spec-out. - Lorne

Last edited by fishlips; 07-08-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:29 PM
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great choice on the best head unit available dex99rs undoubtedly one of the best.

I'd highly suggest the hertz mille mlk165 under 1000$ also the audison voce av k6 has impressive results across the board.
try out the krx2 from focal also.

id suggest for a sub go with a focal utopia 8" w21 be (around 700$)
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:21 PM
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I agree - a single 8 (or 10) in a good box can do a very good job and take up little of what little space that car has in the hatch. If you wind up needing a little more 'hit', add a pair of bass shakers under the seats.
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