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post #1 of 19 Old 10-23-2010, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been trying to get recommendations on non mainstream components from auto audio forums but feel I am getting is people pushing brands for their own personal gain. I truly believe in capitalism but how do I differentiate from genuine help and personal promoters. I realize that there will be differences based on sound tastes and experience and thats actually what I am looking for. I trust the members here, as you helped pick my home audio which I have been perfectly happy with (Ascend Acoustics, HSU sub, Onkyo receiver). I now come to you for help for setup on my Accord:

6.5 components up front
6x9 rears
looking to amplify them so suggestions for a 4 channel (or 2 channel if you feel this is better).
not looking to add a sub (unless you can convince me otherwise)
Budget about $600

I am not totally against mainstrem brand but after reading the forums I found that there are better deals out there, and that is where my trouble started.

Thanks very much for your help!
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-23-2010, 10:38 PM
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I would say that it totally depends on your
A.budget
B. what do you want from these speakers
and C.Are you going to compete in any sort of audio competition?

There are some really nice brands out there. The Hybrid Audio (HAT) line are true comp winners for sound quality. The thing is almost all speakers can sound good. And for most of us, finding the best value can really be important.
Here is a decent lower mid priced set for your front.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...stics+S60.html
6X9's
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+-RSd690-.html
or
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...se+SC6900.html

This sub
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+-RSd12d-.html

Amps.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+RUB4.600.html
or
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+ONX4.125.html

I would use the front two channels to power the front component speakers with 100+ watts per channel. Let the head unit power the 6X9's

bridge mono channels 3 and 4 to power the sub. the sub will give you that good foundation. put it in a sealed enclosure of about 1.5 cubic feet. And it will go low while the rest of your system will play the rest. as for convincing you you need a subwoofer, you have one for your home system. If you've listened to music on it and been happy, then i can't stress enough how much you will enjoy it in your car. its getting late and I can provide an infinite amount of selections. So if you need more, let me know.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much cub. I definitely enjoy the music on my home audio so I would probably like it in the car as well. This is a very manangeable system you have put together for me. The reviews on the Boston's were mixed. Any reason not to go with Phoenix gold for fronts also? I have recommendations for a company called Crescendo for speakers and amps. I am not in an area where I can go listen to a lot of speakers so I really rely on your suggestions. I will see if I can find an installer to make a 1.5 cubic box for me. Probably have to travel to best buy as they are the only installers nearby. Thanks again for the suggestions. This really helps.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 09:29 AM
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Actually I have heard some good things regarding crescendo amps. Also some bad (but that is for any brand). I just looked at their entire website. I can't see anything wrong with going with an entire Crescendo system of 4 channel amp, set of their 6 1/2 components up front and their 5 1/4 coax's in back. I would still stick with the RSd sub because of price or even 2 of them in a sealed enclosure for that reinforcement! I recommend sealed because they are easy to build, are very forgiving on sizing. and generally compliment the cabin gain in a car. I personally love ported. but they can be a pain to design correctly


You can go with all Phoenix gold speakers. it's just hard to find the RSd line of speakers.

Another place to look for speakers is Parts express and Madisound. Both sell raw drivers (just the speakers) I think they also sell packages from such companies as MTX etc... I am a huge fan of the Dayton line specifically the RS.
Good speakers, using actual engineering. Low distortion motors etc..

Tony,

no worries on my advice. I do tell all to research research research. I try to only give my seal of approval on things I have actually had in my hands. Otherwise, I have to myself just go on hearsay unless I truly trust their input. I am a bang for the buck guy. I got back into car audio about 3 years ago and hadn't had a system since the mid 90's (amazing what wife and kid's do). When I got back into it, I was still thinking capacitir and this brand and this sub because this size is faster. And pretty much all my understandings have been rendered false or correct only in "this" situation. So now I have a better understanding and do not fall for the magical claims of brand marketing. Gotta love voodoo magic and snake oil.

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Cub. I am in no way considering competition, just want an improvement on factory because I spend 2 hours/day commuting. I am looking really hard at the PG sub. I just don't have any knowledge on building a box and I will have to go to Best Buy to see if they would do it for me or if they have one already assembled. Is there someone who sells subs already enclosed like the retail stores do?

Still up in the air about the amp and speakers. The Soundstream you recommended looks promising. Lots of choices for 4 channel amps out there. They all seem to comparable in the <$300 range. You were right on the PG components. I can't seem to find them anywhere new. The Crescendo package seems like a good deal but I cannot find enough reviews on them. Still looking. I did see Image Dynamics CTX65CS that alot of people seem to like.

I am going to do more research on amps and also see if I can find a box for the RSD 12".

I really appreciate you taking time to help me with my decision. I understand about keeping the family balance as I have a wife and two kids of my own. I started this whole thing because I had my mind made up on Alpine type S across the board and I just had to check the internet for better pricing and this is where I am. Again thank your help. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-24-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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OK I found this sealed box that is close to the dimensions that your recommended: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...K+CARPET-.html

So if I order the sub and the box my installer will do the rest? The reviews say feed the sub a minumum of 300 watts so will the 4 channel amps we looked at work or do I have to get 2 separate amps? 4 channel would save on $$$. With the sub do I still need the 6x9's? If not I could put more money into components or amp. Sorry for all the questions, but I am finally starting to see it come together. Thanks again for your help.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 01:41 PM
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Just jumping it to say either of those amps powering a single 12" should be fine. I'm running about the same levels in my VW Passat right now and it does the job. I've got a Kicker ZX350.4 with Polk MM 6501s up front and a
Polk MM 1240 sub in a custom .8 cu ft sealed enclosure. Oh... and I also run a HSU sub in my theater setup

The only issue I see is that box is a touch too big as the sub is recommend to be in a 0.78-1.20 cu. ft. sealed, this would be better:
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...Y+CARPET-.html
or this
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+-12SQTC-.html
...unless cubdenno has experience with the sub and knows it will perform better in the larger 1.5 cu ft box he recommended. The sub displaces some air but in a sealed enclosure of this size its not enough to effect performance much. In general small boxes = louder, bigger box = deeper bass, so going to 1.5 might be an advantage. I usually model the subs output using WinISD to see the differences.

Are your 6x9s on the rear deck? If so with a sub in the trunk the sound/air pressure is going to distort them so I would take them out entirely. If you can seal them off however you could run them off your radio's rear output like cubdenno said, no need to amp 'em. They provide some rear fill but its not necessary. The sub on the hand is a must have in my book, if the size of box becomes an issue taking up space in your trunk you could drop down to a 10" and still be happy I bet.

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post #8 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow I was just about to order when I saw your post. Thank you for explaining the dimensions to me. I'm sure Cub had a reson to go with 1.5 ft^3, but since I am new to this I don't know why. I'll do more research.

My 6x9's are in the rear deck. I will take your advice and remove them altogether. Thank you.

I am still up in the air about the amplifier. From reading on the Honda forum I need an amp with "Balanced Differetial Inputs" to get around the factory amp. Obviously I have no idea what that means, but I have only seen JL amps with this in their description and they are expensive. Are there any non mainstream amps that have this feature and will power my components and sub?

Thanks again for your help. I am getting anxious to get my system upgrade but I am being patient. I want to make sure I get it right. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1970 View Post

I am still up in the air about the amplifier. From reading on the Honda forum I need an amp with "Balanced Differetial Inputs" to get around the factory amp. Obviously I have no idea what that means, but I have only seen JL amps with this in their description and they are expensive. Are there any non mainstream amps that have this feature and will power my components and sub?

There are two ways to do this:
1) keep the factory amp and use its speaker level outputs to drive an aftermarket amp.
2) by pass the factory amp and use radio's output to drive an aftermarket amp.


The best way really depends on how the factory system is setup and what adapters are available to get a clean signal. What amp are guys on the Honda forum saying works with the factory signal? Once you've got an adapter in place you can use any aftermarket amp. FYI - Kicker ZX amps as well as some others allow Balanced Differetial Inputs, so there are choices other then JL.

I would check Crutchfield for more info specific to your car's factory system: http://www.crutchfield.com/g_318850/...&tp=6870&avf=N

Or you could eliminate the factory radio altogether and buy an aftermarket deck. Figure an extra $200 to the budget if you go that route.

Also don't buy the sub until you've figured the amp out. You'll need to get the right ohm load on the amp. A dual 4 ohm sub might not work with a bridged 4 channel amp. For example all the amps linked above would require a dual 2 ohm or a single 4 ohm sub!

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 04:16 PM
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Sorry guys for the delay. In mexico for work for the next two weeks and the internet connection rivals 9600 baud dialup.

JMII noticed something I missed. As that sub has dual 4 ohm coils. Now you can wire it up 3 ways. Series for an 8 ohm load (truly not a big deal BUT it does double the Inductance of an already high inductance sub), parallel for a 2 ohm load (which if your amp is not stable bridged to that load will cause trouble), and simply leave the amp wired stereo. left side goes to coil one right side goes to coil 2. Basically same power as wired in series. I just remembered... I mentioned at some point getting two as they are cheap enough...

As for box volumes, JMII was close but actually the smaller the box, the more power it takes to get loud. You do get the increase in power handling though. Ever wonder why (those of us who played with this stuff in the late 80's and early to mid 90's) a 10" sub required almost across the brand board 1-1.5 cubic feet sealed or ported adding 20%? They all had 250-500 watts of power capacity. Now the woofers can take 1000-1500 watts but they want you to put it in a .3-.5 cubic foot sealed enclosure.

Read up on Hoffman's Iron Law.. here are some quotes out of it.

"Hoffman's Iron Law states that the efficiency of a woofer system is directly proportional to its cabinet volume and the cube of its cutoff frequency (the lowest frequency it can usefully reproduce). The obvious implication is that to reduce the cutoff frequency by a factor of two, e.g. from 40 Hz to 20 Hz, while still retaining the same system efficiency, you need to increase the enclosure volume by 23=8 times! In other words, to reproduce ever lower frequencies at the same output level you need an extremely large box! "

"Summarizing, Low-frequency capability, box size, and efficiency form the three key aspects of system design. To increase any of the three, you have to give up something from the other two, with box size being the most sensitive. The often unpopular bottom line is therefore to plan on using the largest box you can comfortably live with. "

Now that said, I do have a bit of experience with the RSd and the RSdC line of subs. While they give you a recommended box range, I have found that especially sealed, increase the volume to around 1.5 cubed for that 12. You will be rewarded with a bit lower Fs and increased efficiency. That lower Fs combines nicely with most cars cabin gain and the sealed box roll off dang near matches the rise you get from the cabin gain. So it is almost flat to 20 hertz.

As for forgetting the 6X9's, you sure can forget them. Also give a look at the harman audios ebay site. (Harman audio owns JBL, Infinity Harman Kardan etc) this store is where they sell their factory refurbed equipment. Easy to pick up a 4 channel and a mono sub amp for about what you would pay for a single amp. I have bought both my son's JBL14001 1500 watt monobloc amps, a JBL 300.1 300@2 ohms amp that is still sitting in my amp drawer, an infinity 4 channel. All worked fine and are still working or waiting to be put to work.

Hopefully this has helped. I will be continueing to check in here. I will also inquire from an associate regarding what it takes to connect to the factory head unit. I am all for an aftermarket unit with bluetooth and ipod/mp3 player controls. But I love my bluetooth.

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post #11 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you JM and Cub for your responses. You guys really have this stuff down to a science...literally . Now I know I need to look at amp 1st. The Honda forums recommend the JL lines because of the differential balanced inputs but they do mention that you can buy a $30 adapter for any other amp and it will work just the same. So I have 1 part of the system picked out. I am going with the Image Dynamics CTX65CS components. Good reviews across many forums and about $180. Now I need to decide on an amp which is proving to be a difficult task. I assume that a 400rms amp would be enough for the fronts and power a sub as you suggested earlier. What about two separate amps, a 2 channel for the fronts and a mono block for the sub. I went to the HK ebay site and found a 400watt mono amp currently going for $77. Would running 2 amps hurt my electrical system or is a 4 channel a cleaner setup? I really don't want to add another battery.

I really want to keep OEM radio. The car already has bluetooth and an auxillary input for MP3. I'm getting closer guys. Thanks again for your help. After I decide on an amp I will look at the sub and enclosures again. What a journey.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 06:21 AM
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running a two channel and a mono or even a 4 channel and a mono for sub duties is not going to kill your electrical system. Especially in that power range. Honda has an interesting electrical control called ECL or something of that nature. As a power savings for better MPG I believe it lowers the voltage output or something. Been a while since I read about it.

Waiting on a response about the Balanced outputs to RCA convertor. I believe Zapco also has those inputs. But if they already recommended a solution, heck go with that. Especially if it has the features you want and it give a much more stealth appearance.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 08:43 AM
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Either amp configuration is going to draw about the same amount of current, so your electrical system will be fine as is. Some more stuff to consider...

2 amp configuration -
Drawbacks: you'll need a distribution block to split up the wiring and in some cases two amps take up more room then a single 4 channel once you calculate the wiring for each. Also you might need to buy an external crossover to split the signal between the two amps. You have to buy two amps so it might be more expensive.

Advantages: you can upgrade one amp at a time and get alot of power cheaply with a mono block Class D amps that has built in low pass crossovers and remote bass level controls. Such mono blocks can drive lower ohm loads so your good for multiple voice coils, or multiple subs.

4 Channel amp -
Advantages: one compact space saving unit, easy to wire, almost always includes a built in 2-way crossover. Cheaper then two amps + a separate crossover.

Disadvantages: not as powerful for the sub and limited to a 4 ohm load bridged. Upgrade path is not as flexible, but can still be done. You need to find room to mount one large unit instead of two smaller ones.

Bottom line: for simple systems I normally recommend 4 channel amps, its one unit that is perfect for driving a set of components up front (@ 50-100 watts) and single sub in the back (@ 200-400 watts). I've found this power level and ratio gives balanced output but still gets plenty loud with good bass response due to cabin gain.

The $30 adapter the Honda guys recommend is most likely the best way to go as then you can buy any amp combo you desire. Just make sure whatever route you take you've get a hi-pass and low-pass crossover in the signal somewhere, either in the amp(s) themselves or with an external unit like this: http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...2+-03KX2-.html

cub - I heard ya on Hoffman's Iron Law, I normally just simplify it to bigger box = deeper bass, smaller box = louder as I'm assuming the same amp. Now to gain those 1 or 2 dBs with the smaller box you lose the low frequency extension, so most people chasing those last few dBs will just go ported since its more efficient.

Today's subs just have huge xmax numbers in comparison to what we ran back in the 80s/90s, thermal power handling has gone thru the roof, no way a 10" could take 800 watts back then, with its paper cone, foam surround and weak basket. Honestly I'm shocked at what modern day subs can do in regards to box size and power handling, 1,000 watts subs in .4 cubes? Bonkers! Same goes for amps, you can buy a 1,000 watt mono block for chump change, often the same price as a good head unit. I remember when a dollar per watt was considered a good deal thus dropping $300-800 on a single amp was the norm.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-29-2010, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome info and feedback guys. I will go with the 4 channel amp with the rms power ratings you suggested. There are hundreds to choose from. I'll let you know how things turn out once I make my final decision. You guys have been great. Thank you!
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-30-2010, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I am thinking of going with this amp:
http://www.woofersetc.com/p7215/G450...-Amplifier.htm

Will this be enough to power my components and the 12" Phoenix sub? The sub is rated 500 watts RMS and the amp has bridged specs of 250 watts x 2 @ 14.4 volts and 180 watts x 2 @ 12.5 volts. How do I know how many volts my amp is putting out? Since I am powering a single 12" would I get double the spec output?

Sorry for all the questions. I am eager to get things started. Thanks you for the education and advice. I really apprecitate it.
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-30-2010, 06:05 PM
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after JMII pointed it out earlier, that Phoenix sub is going to be a problem for that JL amp.

Give this kicker amp a look at. 50 bucks less than the JL, Free shipping, 70X2 for the fronts and 400 for the sub. Free shipping and it comes with a wiring kit...

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...ifier+Kit.html

OR
For 50 bucks more than the jl, you get 4 channels for the interior speakers and 400 for the sub.Free shipping. Honestly this is what I would spend my money on.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+GTA-1005.html

And if you would like me to design a sub box for you, let me know. I can do it.

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post #17 of 19 Old 10-30-2010, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I will go with the Kicker you recommended because I will be removing the stock 6x9's and won't be using all 4 channels. I would love for you to design a box for me, but I am no good at building things and at this point not patient enough. Is the 1.48 cubed box not a good design? I have relied on your recommendations so far so let me know your opinions on this. Thank you for your help.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-31-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubdenno View Post

Give this kicker amp a look at. 50 bucks less than the JL, Free shipping, 70X2 for the fronts and 400 for the sub. Free shipping and it comes with a wiring kit...

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...ifier+Kit.html

Man I should have gotten that amp instead of the ZX350.4 I have currently... more power + free wiring kit + remote bass all for what I paid for my amp. Its a killer deal for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1970 View Post

I would love for you to design a box for me, but I am no good at building things and at this point not patient enough. Is the 1.48 cubed box not a good design?

If your not the box building type just grab the pre-fab one cub recommend for that sub. Designing the box isn't hard, but building one can be difficult if you don't have tools (table saw, band saw, etc.). Sadly the box I have in my car now is most likely the last custom one I'll make myself as I don't have the patience or the tools these days.

For $100 bucks you can get a custom looking enclosure that is 1.4 cu ft for one 12": http://srqcustoms.3dcartstores.com/H...ure_p_151.html
You can also mimic that look pretty easily by getting a generic box and just adding a "beauty panel" which is nothing more then a custom cut piece of plywood covered with carpet or vinyl to make it look more integrated. A jig saw, some screws and contact cement is all that is needed.

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post #19 of 19 Old 10-31-2010, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMII View Post

Man I should have gotten that amp instead of the ZX350.4 I have currently... more power + free wiring kit + remote bass all for what I paid for my amp. Its a killer deal for sure!



If your not the box building type just grab the pre-fab one cub recommend for that sub. Designing the box isn't hard, but building one can be difficult if you don't have tools (table saw, band saw, etc.). Sadly the box I have in my car now is most likely the last custom one I'll make myself as I don't have the patience or the tools these days.

For $100 bucks you can get a custom looking enclosure that is 1.4 cu ft for one 12": http://srqcustoms.3dcartstores.com/H...ure_p_151.html
You can also mimic that look pretty easily by getting a generic box and just adding a "beauty panel" which is nothing more then a custom cut piece of plywood covered with carpet or vinyl to make it look more integrated. A jig saw, some screws and contact cement is all that is needed.

^^^^
He speaks da troof!

That sealed box will work fine.

get some polyester fiberfill from "the walmart" (pillow stuffing) and throw about a 1 lb bag in the box.

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