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View Full Version : How practical an idea is "budget" active 3way?



bangandow
02-27-2007, 03:24 PM
I'm wrapping up the last of my projects on my car, so I'm getting bored and looking for something else to occupy my time... just wondering if this idea would be worth it SQ-wise, or if it'd be on par with the setup I have now...

Current setup:
Pioneer 7800 HU
Kicker 700.5 benched at over 900 running...
kicker CVX10
kicker RS6.5 components (mids in door, tweets in a-pillar)

Haven't heard any SQ vehicles (at all) so I have nothing to compare them to, but I feel like the RS's are the weak link now. I'm running them with a bit more than their rated RMS (crossed at 100) and they're bottoming out on good drum kicks. The mids also seem to get overwhelmed in songs that have alot going on in them...

So I was thinking of going to an active 3way, but on a students budget.

First step would be to get a crossover (advice wanted on basic electronic vs. full-on processor) and put a set of Dayton RS180's in the doors, moving the mids to kicks (6.5's are big for kicks :blackeye: ). Hopefully that would ease some of the pressure on the kicker mids and help out my staging some.

Initially, the components would still be run with their passive crossover coming from one of the 4 channels on the amp, but step two would be to get a small 2channel amp for the tweeters and go to active with those as well...

Step 3 (way down the road) would be swapping out the mids and tweets (mids first), but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Basically, I'm wondering if I can get this beast sounding noticeably better than it does now with the upgrades I have in mind... Like I said, I haven't heard any SQ cars to compare this too, but I feel like there are improvements to be made... looking for feedback :)

P.S. I know I ramble... thanks for reading :D

alphakenny1
02-27-2007, 04:53 PM
do you mean a 3 way front stage or a 3 way setup (2 way up front + sub)?

to answer the question quickly, yes you can run a 3 way up front on a budget setup but the tricky part is the processing. i always suggest getting either an h701 combo or p9 combo for practical use of a 3 way up front. but there are ways around it without getting a combo.

j3bus2k3
02-27-2007, 04:56 PM
Your best budget option for processing is an outboard processor like a Coustic XM7, or an AudioControl piece, even though their both still in the ~$100+ range...

bangandow
02-27-2007, 05:16 PM
Yeah, I meant 3-way front stage... the sub is fine as it is.

I've already asked for some advice about the processor bit, but am still undecided whether to go with a basic electronic crossover or spring for the whole processor thing... just not sure if I'd use that much fine-tuning... but then again, 6 months ago I thought I'd NEVER outgrow the system I have now... :\

In addition to the processing issue, what kinda sound can you really get out of budget drivers, etc...? The more I learn, the more unimpressed I am with these kickers and am wondering if switching over to other drivers would really make much of a difference... keep in mind I don't have nearly enough money to be buying high-end seas drivers;), for instance... Maybe a seas tweet, dayton reference dome mid, and dayton reference midbass?

bangandow
02-27-2007, 05:18 PM
J3bus, I noticed you have two of the three drivers I had in mind... how impressed are you with them versus, say, a $200+ set of kicker components?

j3bus2k3
02-27-2007, 05:20 PM
J3bus, I noticed you have two of the three drivers I had in mind... how impressed are you with them versus, say, a $200 set of kicker components?

Havn't been able to install them yet. The car they were going into blew up :crap: :blackeye:

Waiting for the right car to get it all in...

///M5
02-27-2007, 11:23 PM
You should really do a 2 way first. Also, before you right off the Kickers lets talk about how you have them installed. Almost 100% of the time the weak link in car audio is the install and not the drivers themselves.

bangandow
02-28-2007, 10:30 AM
First, thanks for helping me out...

Now as for the kicker install... I had the tweeters in the factory locations at opposite corners of the dash, but they sounded really harsh and the soundstage made a big arc with each side being below the dash and the center above the rearview... so I put them in the a-pillars, firing across at each other, about 3 inches above the highest point on the dash. Now they sound much better (still way louder than the mids (??)), and the staging is much more even.

The mids are installed at the far bottom corners of the doors, and I've gone through all the steps in the door treatment thread (deadening, open-celled foam behind drivers, plexiglass over holes, MDF spacers with non-hardening clay)

Like I said, the mids are high-passed at 100hz and they're still bottoming out on stronger drum kicks... they also seem overwhelmed when there's a lot going on in a song (think tool)

iceteebone
02-28-2007, 10:40 AM
according to pioneers website, the 780 has a 3-way xover network

bangandow
02-28-2007, 11:22 AM
Sub lowpass, front highpass, and rear highpass... increments between 50 and 200... no bandpass capabilities, and 200 is an awful low cap on the crossovers.

iceteebone
02-28-2007, 11:30 AM
Sub lowpass, front highpass, and rear highpass... increments between 50 and 200... no bandpass capabilities, and 200 is an awful low cap on the crossovers.

is there a switch on the deck itself to switch to a pro mode?

bangandow
02-28-2007, 11:32 AM
Pretty sure there isn't...

headless
02-28-2007, 12:02 PM
Sell the kickers and buy some Rainbow Germaniums. Deaden the crap out of your doors. Feed them 150-200watts per side. Proceed to enjoy.

PatFitz9
02-28-2007, 12:08 PM
you would be surprised what a hundred dollars of deadening can do to your stereo

headless
02-28-2007, 12:29 PM
you would be surprised what a hundred dollars of deadening can do to your stereo

He said he's already deadened the doors...

The mids are installed at the far bottom corners of the doors, and I've gone through all the steps in the door treatment thread (deadening, open-celled foam behind drivers, plexiglass over holes, MDF spacers with non-hardening clay)


I didn't do any of that and the germaniums still get the job done...the rattles/buzzing irritate me alot however
I'm preparing to **** myself in ecstacy when i finally deaden the crap out of the doors.

bangandow
02-28-2007, 01:55 PM
Each door has around 30 square feet --maybe more-- of deadening... so I don't think I'm lacking in that department :)

If, for the price, a rainbow or cdt component set would sound noticeably better than an active set costing a similar price, then that's something I'd consider... but, as I hinted at earlier, I really like to have stuff to tinker with in my car, and that's what attracted me to an active setup.

With everything pretty much dialed in now and all my projects coming to an end, I'm looking for something to tinker with more that will also sound better. I wouldn't be surprised if I start cutting power to my HU every couple days just so I have to readjust all the settings from scratch ;)

So... a drop-in, out-of-the-box kinda setup doesn't really appeal to me as much, but if the sound is that much better... well, then that's something else for me to keep in mind.

As always, thanks for your help :D

alphakenny1
02-28-2007, 02:09 PM
as i mentioned earlier, get yourself a 9860/h701 combo, probably can be had for like $600. obviously thats quite a bit of money but if you plan on to stick with an 3 way active front stage, that'll keep you good for a while. do some research on that combo.

as far as budget stuff, i'll name off some popular drivers:

midbasses: dayton rs180,rs225, seas ca18rnx, seas L18rnx, seas P18rnx, peerless exclusive 7".
midrange: dayton rs52, usher 9845, peerless exclusive 4.5", dayton rs125
tweets: lpg 25nfa, lpg 26na, seas neo 27, peerless hd, there's more, lol

here's a great review of numerous tweeters: http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7256

here's a review on numerous midbasses:
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9237

if you are willing to put the time and the effort into it, active > passive all day long.

bangandow
02-28-2007, 02:15 PM
Like I said, the time and effort is what attracted me to active :D I'll be PMing you when I get out of class...

helotaxi
02-28-2007, 02:29 PM
You can get a Coustic XM-6 on eBay for less than $50. If your sub amp has a built in crossover, you can use the Coustic to do a 3-way front stage or you can do a 2-way front and sub all from the XM-6.

The H701 is nice but $$$. I'll might get one eventually, but unless you need the DTS decoder there are other ways to go for less. Find a used 9835 for example, for a 2-way front and sub with time-alignment. If you really want to go nuts with tuning, the Alto Mobile Drive 30 or UCS Pro 2 give you even more control than the H701 and can be tuned with your laptop and used with the HU you already have.

alphakenny1
02-28-2007, 03:51 PM
also helotaxi brings up a good point. i say with this being your first active setup go with a simple 2 way up front + sub first. to get used to tuning your setup with different crossover pts and slopes and also eq settings. because for me at least tuning my 3 way active front stage is no cake walk. that would be my suggestion is to start with a 2 way front stage first. first its cheaper (no need to buy more amplification and processing), less time consuming (tuning and modifications to the car), less space taken up in the car, oh did i mention its cheaper :D?

a simple HU with a built in 3 way xover is great. it'll teach you the basics of an active setup. but if you want to step up to a 3 way active front stage, you are more than welcome to :).

bangandow
02-28-2007, 04:22 PM
Ygpm :D

iamamp3pimp
02-28-2007, 07:08 PM
Each door has around 30 square feet --maybe more-- of deadening... so I don't think I'm lacking in that department :)

If, for the price, a rainbow or cdt component set would sound noticeably better than an active set costing a similar price, then that's something I'd consider... but, as I hinted at earlier, I really like to have stuff to tinker with in my car, and that's what attracted me to an active setup.

With everything pretty much dialed in now and all my projects coming to an end, I'm looking for something to tinker with more that will also sound better. I wouldn't be surprised if I start cutting power to my HU every couple days just so I have to readjust all the settings from scratch ;)

So... a drop-in, out-of-the-box kinda setup doesn't really appeal to me as much, but if the sound is that much better... well, then that's something else for me to keep in mind.

As always, thanks for your help :D


When i forst got into car audio i had coax (as we all do) and then i upgraded to a set of RE RE components, using the passive crossover, running off of deck power.

once i connected them to an amp, it was much better, but still not what i wanted.

I then went with the Pioneer premier 880PRS and it has an active control network. Going active with this radio just made those components scream, like you would never believe. now, i am running an active 3 way upfront network, and its getting even better. so far (on this setup) i have spent 140 on midbass drivers, 70 on the midrange drivers, and about 120 on the tweeters. it will be worth it in the end.

bangandow
02-28-2007, 10:40 PM
well... I'm working on getting a processor now... with that, I'll try my hand at active on the kicker components till I can put something better together. More than anything, I just want to have stuff to tinker with again, so I hope this active thing is as involved as some of you make it out to be :D

Fixxer
02-28-2007, 10:44 PM
AudioControl definitely for the processor. If you don't want to get a stand alone processor the Sundown SAX-100.4 has a sick amount of options for its crossover.. I see you want to go kicker though for amps.

bangandow
02-28-2007, 11:29 PM
Eh, I really don't care about brands... I just got a really good deal on my current equipment :)