View Full Version : Go with Coaxials or Components? Budget system suggestions wanted (First post w00t)

11-18-2006, 11:07 AM
I have a 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R SpecV with the "mid" level stock stereo system. It has 6.5" "mids" and ~1" tweets in the A pillars, and in the rear there are 6.5 coaxials and an amplified 6.5" sub. (This is the NON-Rockford Fosgate upgrade.) I plan to upgrade my system in peices, because I have just gotten to the point where my stock system really leaves me feeling unfulfilled. I listen to a lot of radio (sorry, I am old) including talk radio, but my musical taste is mostly rock and alternative (think all the way from John Mayer/Jason Mraz through Nine Inch Nails/Linkin Park).

Anyway, I want to do the upgrade one thing at a time. I want to do a small sub first (have an SAS Bazooka already- just need to install) and to add new front speakers and a new HU. The rears don't have to ever change out, really. If I do coaxials in the front and then upgrade to am amp and components, the coaxials can move to the rear. I may upgrade to a dedicated sub and amp later, but I need my trunk space, and with a new baby I don't want to have a huge sub box and tons of bass. I just want clean, rounded-out sound.

I will be disconnecting the stock sub, and want something up front that will sound okay and will (hopefully) fit in the stock locations. I would prefer some efficient components that can use the stock locations, but will settle for some coaxials. (If I do coaxials, should I keep the stock tweeters hooked up?) Stock locations in the doors have limited mounting depth. 2.5" is about all that I have to work with.

I would like front speakers that provide good sound for the money- I don't need the best- just what sounds good off of HU power and is reasonably priced.

For a head unit, I think that I have decided on a Pioneer Premier DEH-P580MP (http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069882_291093650,00.html) due to its features (like the eL display and red illumination) and my past experience with Pioneer (2 headunits each lasting 3 years or more under heavy use). I also like the large display and the fact that the radio display still has the tuner preset buttons on the face (some high-end units do not). The warranty and power output are also pretty impressive. If there is a huge problem with this selection, please let me know. I found it for $157 from an authorized retailer, so that is my go-to, as of now.

I have looked into efficient components, and don't know if I can run ANY components off of simple HU power. I know that coaxials will sound okay, but I was HOPING on an inexpensive setup that can still utilize the stock tweeter mounts to keep the soundstage up high. Am I best to just stick to coaxials while on HU power? If so, what are some suggestions for runnning off of the HU?

I have looked into the Pioneer Revs, which look like they meet my needs, at least on paper. They seem to be held in high regard on here, as well. Any other suggestions?

Quick notes: I used to be BIG into car audio, back in the glory days of the RF Punch amps/subs and all MB Quart highs/mids (1994-99). During that time, I had lots of big systems. I have moved on and just fell out of touch with who makes good gear, who makes crap, and who has good bang for the buck. I want something that keeps all but the tiniest fraction of my trunk, and I want to limit the use of amplifiers due to space constraints. I actually HAVE some old amps, but just don't want to have wires running everywhere. That is my MAIN reason for wanting to use HU power. I MAY get bitten by the bug again, but for now, I am starting small. Like I said, I want solid, basic sound.


11-18-2006, 12:33 PM
Regarding the REVs...

What is the difference in these two speakers in the REV line?

TS-D161R (Basic Pioneer line 6.5" w 2-5/16" mounting depth):
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069898_191756456_tab=B,00.html?compName =PNA_V3_ProductDetailsComponent

TS-D601P (Premier line 6.5" w/ 2-5/16" mounting depth):
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069900_192089293_tab=B,00.html?compName =PNA_V3_ProductDetailsComponent <----Costs the same as the above speaker, and specs are IDENTICAL, as far as I can see.

11-19-2006, 02:56 AM
They're pretty much the same, but the Premiers are probably distributed differently because it's Pioneer's flagship line.

The Revs are nice, and they are also available in component format. Really, any speaker will run off the head unit power and sound OK. Will you be making the most of them? No. And it will sound pretty bad if you crank the head unit it all the way up and draw in all kinds of amp distortion. But if you're just going to listen to music at normal levels that you can talk over (or that won't wake up the baby), any set of components will work reasonably well, with those with higher sensitivities working better.

You might also want to consider Crystal Mobilesound, Oz Vectors, and Peerless Definitions. Audiojunkies.com is clearing out their selection of Rainbow and you can probably find a good deal there. All will perform well and will fit the bill. DLS Magnesiums might be an option as well.

I'd say get the comps up front. No reason coaxials are necessarily worse, really, but if your car already has a cutout for a tweeter, might as well take advantage.

The Pioneer headunit should work fine.

11-19-2006, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the input. I sort of figured that the differences were slight, if any. My initial impression was that the Premier model was more for label wh0res. The only oddity is that the Premier line actually has MORE size options.

Maybe they are all "Premier" speakers, with Pioneer downgrading some of them to allow them to be sold in their non-Premier dealers without diluting the Premier reputation. This would maximize their ROI while maintaining the prestige of the Premier line.

Regarding your other suggestions, I will definately look into them.

Now, about the component arguement: my initial thought, when I decided to upgrade, was similar to yours. For whatever reason, 47,698 people on other forums told me that I could never run components off of a HU. I know that I had done it before, running MB Quart components for an install on a Pioneer DEH-P835R a few years back. Of course, it performed just how you described- not like MB Quarts sound on a 100 WPC amp, but fine for daily listening.

My only hesitation was not knowing if there would be a long-term problem with the longevity of the HU's built in amplifier. I had been out of the scene for a few years and was not sure if there was something that changed in the impedence draws of current components that might over-run the capabilities of a head unit.

Given that I am on a budget, and that the REV coaxials fit perfecty in that budget ($150, maybe?), are there any suggestions for components that sound okay, are efficient (maybe, 90 dB?), and fit in a budget? I searched in here but have not had a chance to check the sensitivity of some of the suggestions that I read in other threads.

11-19-2006, 12:12 PM
For whatever reason, 47,698 people on other forums told me that I could never run components off of a HU.

What they probably meant was not to do it as the added benefits of components would not be fully realized when running them off of headunit power, thus you would be better off with a set of good co-axials rather than budget-minded components.

DLS, Memphis, Rainbow, Boston Acoustics, those Pioneer REVs are all decent sounding coaxials.

My only hesitation was not knowing if there would be a long-term problem with the longevity of the HU's built in amplifier. I had been out of the scene for a few years and was not sure if there was something that changed in the impedence draws of current components that might over-run the capabilities of a head unit.

No, there is nothing "electrically" wrong with running components from a headunit. No fear of damaging anything.

11-19-2006, 12:17 PM
for coaxials i run crystal ssx. no complaints

11-20-2006, 03:10 AM
I still say you're better off just getting the comps. You won't have to do any install work (maybe minor stuff, like making baffles), because your car is already preped for the tweeter and there's still a chance you may consider adding an amp. No sense in spending money on something you might well upgrade.

Revs are available in component form as well as coaxial:

I find the Audiojunkies sale on the Rainbows intriguing:

Looks like a pretty good deal to me.

Oz Vectors sell for around $150 authorized (Millionbuy) and Peerless Definitions go for about $166 at Madisound. Crystals sell in that range as well, and I think there's a dealer on this board that's fairly well-liked (I've used Crystals long ago, in the days of Ampman Audio, and found them great for the money).

Again, there's nothing wrong with coaxials, but when deals like that are available on components, I don't see a reason to skimp.

Running off the headunit should be fine. Should you decide you want to go ahead and add the amp, you're already set on your front stage.

11-20-2006, 08:58 AM
My only fear is selecting a set of components that REALLY need an amp, and then I am screwed. I need to look carefully at efficienecy specs.

The other thing that I need to look at is tweeter size. I knwo that the location will work with most Infinity component tweets in the reference line (other sentra owners have tried them) so I need ot compare the size of the infinity tweets to those of the sets posted above.

You are right- that price for Rainbows seems great...almost suspicious. The OZ and the REV components are also interesting.

11-20-2006, 09:20 AM
I put coaxials in my vehicle because of budget (and feeling somewhat lazy) at the time, I now wish I had bought components.

Used to have components in a previous vehicle, and have no idea why I did not go that route again this time around. Sure you may find you need to amp them, but reasonable amp's can be picked up for around $100 (and you can always go for a used amp from the classifieds).

11-20-2006, 10:54 AM
Like I said, I actually HAVE old(er) RF amps in storage- I will most likely try components, and hope that I don't need to amp them to get good sound.

11-20-2006, 11:37 AM
I think you can get away with it:)