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View Full Version : I've had enough! I'm going active!



emilimo701
07-12-2010, 03:06 AM
So I'm str8 thuggin in a '92 subaru :fro:

I replaced the stock speakers with some Alpine Type-R's.

My amp is giving them (up to) 180 watts RMS each. The R's are rated at 100w. I basically have them being pushed to their limits. And I'm not satisfied. Believe it or not, I'd like my music to be even louder! I was thinking of buying a get of JBL c608's so i can squeeze in an extra 50+ watts, but how much of a difference will 50% increase in power make? I realize that the laws of physics limit just how much power a 6-inch component set can handle, so i'm thinking that it might be time to delve into the art of fiberglassing and run multiple components in my frontstage.

So while a plan on doing this, why not just do the "audiophile" thing and build a completely active system, separating the amplification of each component?!?

I'm new to this hobby, so i'll probably have tons of questions that you on this forum will hopefully be willing to answer. Instead of creating new threads for each new question, I'll just keep everything here in one thread. Once I get started with the build, i'll switch over to the build log thread. But right now i'm in the planning stage. Had a long day at work so i'm hitting the hay. But i'll start off simple.........

What do you guys think... I want LOUDER, so is multiple speakers a good idea? or too over the top for a first project in a vehicle that might not last the summer?

:veryhapp:

fasfocus00
07-12-2010, 03:24 AM
so you really don't know what you're doing and you're gonna spend a lot of money on a sound products in a car that is junk? sounds like you need to learn some money management first than do some reading on car audio setups.

Mattd0344
07-12-2010, 03:24 AM
I think you got going active confused... read here

http://www.caraudio.com/forum/speakers/146726-active-vs-passive-attempt-me-explain.html

Might just want to get a super tweeter if your stuff isn't loud enough.

Crescendo Audio :: Tweeters :: XST2 Supertweeter (http://www.crescendoaudio.com/product.php?productid=17521&cat=0&bestseller=Y)

misfit138
07-12-2010, 03:28 AM
Passive crossovers suit me just fine.

DarkScorpion
07-12-2010, 05:23 AM
Stick with passive crossovers.

subzero
07-12-2010, 05:57 AM
Passive crossovers suit me just fine.


Stick with passive crossovers.

X2. Active = no more rooms for **** cuz teh amps be taking up all meh room

Active in a van or something would be alright.

misfit138
07-12-2010, 06:15 AM
X2. Active = no more rooms for **** cuz teh amps be taking up all meh room

Or if you're running about 3 Hifonics Falcons in your front stage.

Did I mention my new minty fresh Falcon in this thread yet? I got a minty fresh Falcon, y'all. WOOT! :)

subzero
07-12-2010, 06:20 AM
I would do all that, but dats alot **** to have in your daily driver. Maybe when I get a SPLMONSTA I will go active in the front stage. Get me sum them ol skool active 4way crossover thingies and a whol lottavagina, and awholelottaamps.

misfit138
07-12-2010, 06:24 AM
Let's start a pool. How long til the OP "goes active". I got my money on NEVAR! :)

subzero
07-12-2010, 07:14 AM
I bet money that he/she fry's sumthin first.

T3mpest
07-12-2010, 08:21 PM
Going active doesn't really take up much more space. You get slighty bigger amp and dont' have to worry about mounting a crossover, IMO it's a better trade off if anything. A 50% increase in power will not be audible. By the time you factor in power compression your looking at less than a 1db gain. If you want louder you need more speakers, or more effecient ones. IMO more effecient is the way to go, I'll compare to my car as I use higher effeciency drivesr.

The Type R's are 87db's 1w/1m at 4ohms. The usual standard is an 8ohm driver in the rest of the world, so to compare it to what I'm using for example, we need to drop it by 3db's since 1watt of voltage at 4ohms is actaully .5watt at 8. So now your looking at a 84db/1w/1m to get an apples to apples comparison. My drivers are 97db/1w/1m. That's 13db's louder with the same input voltage. That's means you need 16x the power I do to get the same SPL as me (2x2x2x2=16 and each doubling of power is 3db's, it's actually more like 17x, due to the difference being 13 and not 12, but close enough)

Right now my mids are on a 150 watt amp, and suffer from little to no power compression as they are AES rated at 200 watts. They are very conserative in pro audio as the speaker must handle pink noise at 200 watts with very quick bursts of 1600 thrown in for good measure (like .1 of a second worth) for 2 hours. 150x16=2400watts RMS. SO assuming your speakers could handle infinte power and just get louder and louder you'd need about 2500 watts on each speaker to keep up with my mids on 150. To match a 13db gain you could also double the number of mids in your car and keep power to each set constant. You'd need 4 sets of mids and 4 amps as well. You also run out of mounting locations and get very bad imaging and overall sound due to cancellation from each set of mids. If you want loud that doens't sound bad then get out of car audio speakers, they are all overpriced junk anyway. My car can jam at near rock concert volume levels and the only thing holding me back is my amp. It also images on top the dash with cues outside the car on most good tracks, depth to mid hood and the mids images make it to the mirrors, horns stop at pillars edge which is my car's biggest weakeness right now.. Try doing that with 3 sets of cheap speakers.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:22 AM
I think you got going active confused

nope. amping each component separately is what i meant


I bet money that he/she fry's sumthin first.

truth be told, i'm not the threshold of destroying my current speakers. and today, my amps kept cutting out! :-/


Going active doesn't really take up much more space. You get slighty bigger amp and dont' have to worry about mounting a crossover, IMO it's a better trade off if anything. A 50% increase in power will not be audible. By the time you factor in power compression your looking at less than a 1db gain. If you want louder you need more speakers, or more effecient ones. IMO more effecient is the way to go, I'll compare to my car as I use higher effeciency drivesr.

The Type R's are 87db's 1w/1m at 4ohms. The usual standard is an 8ohm driver in the rest of the world, so to compare it to what I'm using for example, we need to drop it by 3db's since 1watt of voltage at 4ohms is actaully .5watt at 8. So now your looking at a 84db/1w/1m to get an apples to apples comparison. My drivers are 97db/1w/1m. That's 13db's louder with the same input voltage. That's means you need 16x the power I do to get the same SPL as me (2x2x2x2=16 and each doubling of power is 3db's, it's actually more like 17x, due to the difference being 13 and not 12, but close enough)

Right now my mids are on a 150 watt amp, and suffer from little to no power compression as they are AES rated at 200 watts. They are very conserative in pro audio as the speaker must handle pink noise at 200 watts with very quick bursts of 1600 thrown in for good measure (like .1 of a second worth) for 2 hours. 150x16=2400watts RMS. SO assuming your speakers could handle infinte power and just get louder and louder you'd need about 2500 watts on each speaker to keep up with my mids on 150. To match a 13db gain you could also double the number of mids in your car and keep power to each set constant. You'd need 4 sets of mids and 4 amps as well. You also run out of mounting locations and get very bad imaging and overall sound due to cancellation from each set of mids. If you want loud that doens't sound bad then get out of car audio speakers, they are all overpriced junk anyway. My car can jam at near rock concert volume levels and the only thing holding me back is my amp. It also images on top the dash with cues outside the car on most good tracks, depth to mid hood and the mids images make it to the mirrors, horns stop at pillars edge which is my car's biggest weakeness right now.. Try doing that with 3 sets of cheap speakers.

just how accurate are these ratings in regards to their efficiency over the full frequency spectrum? I tested alpine type s (89 db) and type r (87 db) side by side, and one after the other, and the type r seemed just as loud, if not louder.

I think I'm going to buy a set of those JBLs, since i've seen no other components in my price range (< $250) that can handle more than 150 watts. Now they don't seem to be very sensitive (89 db at 2.83 volts, not 1W), so if you guys know of any other component sets that will definitely get louder than the JBLs at their rated power let me know. If I find that i can't find speakers that will get loud enough at ~150 watts, I'm going active! hah


I bet money that he/she fries sumthin first.

i iz a dude.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:24 AM
X2. Active = no more rooms for **** cuz teh amps be taking up all meh room

Active in a van or something would be alright.

the Subie is a wagon; i have plenty of space to spare. and if i get a new car, 90% it will be an SUV

fasfocus00
07-13-2010, 03:28 AM
the Subie is a wagon; i have plenty of space to spare. and if i get a new car, 90% it will be an SUV

still doesn't change the fact that you don't know what you're doing and that you wont have enough processing to make it even worth it.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:28 AM
so you really don't know what you're doing and you're gonna spend a lot of money on a sound products in a car that is junk? sounds like you need to learn some money management first than do some reading on car audio setups.

i wouldn't plan on buying top-top end products, and i think it would be good to gain some experience on a car that i don't care about if i **** up the cosmetics.


so you really don't know what you're doing and you're gonna spend a lot of money on a sound products in a car that is junk? sounds like you need to learn some money management first than do some reading on car audio setups.

that's why i'm here. to learn, and gain some constructive criticism :nerd:

misfit138
07-13-2010, 03:29 AM
I said we've had enough
put Walk Among Us on and turn it up

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:31 AM
still doesn't change the fact that you don't know what you're doing and that you wont have enough processing to make it even worth it.

so, because i don't know what i'm doing (yet), i shouldn't try?

my mantra is that whether or not you think you can or can't do something, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy

but basically, in a nutshell, i want louder music. biamplification isn't rocket science. it's something i want to try :cool:

misfit138
07-13-2010, 03:36 AM
In the darkness where the angels cry
Give us water, give us back our eyes
Our bed's this concrete floor and it's all we have left to live for
A day we'll never face
We're only second-handed, sick, and lonely
Fighting back the tears, and every urge to Van Gogh both our ears

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:40 AM
In the darkness where the angels cry
Give us water, give us back our eyes
Our bed's this concrete floor and it's all we have left to live for
A day we'll never face
We're only second-handed, sick, and lonely
Fighting back the tears, and every urge to Van Gogh both our ears

not a misfits fan, sorry :crap:

reason for lyrics :confused:

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 03:44 AM
okay, so...

if i do this, i'm not planning on doing it just yet. like i said, first order of business is seeing if i can find an amp/speaker combo that satisfies me.

the first thing i should do is search for a passive component set, right?

any suggestions? how about the JBL set i mentioned?

misfit138
07-13-2010, 04:03 AM
Ain't no misfits in this here thread but muhself, son...

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:08 AM
yo op, post jbl **** if you want opinions...

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:14 AM
JBL C608GTi-mkII Owner's Manual (http://www.jbl.com/resources/Brands/jbl/Products/ProductRelatedDocuments/en-US/OwnersManual/C508_608GTiMKII_OM_%28web%29.pdf)

http://www.jbl.com/resources//Brands/JBL/Products/ProductImages/en-US/C608GTI%20MKII/C608GTI%20MKII_IMG1_450X350.GIF

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:17 AM
150rms, 600peak.... Go with 200rms amp. what amp do you have?

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:17 AM
Also considering this...

Polk Audio MM6501 Owner's Manual (http://www.polkaudio.com/downloads/manuals/car/MM2008_FullRange_WebMN.pdf)

http://www.polkaudio.com/images/car/medium/black/mm6501.jpg

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:18 AM
150rms, 600peak.... Go with 200rms amp. what amp do you have?

right now i'm bridging @ 180 watts RMS @ 4Ω

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:20 AM
it's an infinity 475a

skittlesRgood
07-13-2010, 04:20 AM
going active will get you louder. i did it for about $100. each speaker gets its own channel and you hook up a crossover inline with the RCAs. it will get you louder and sound a lot better doing it.

i dont know the JBL set you want but a lot of sets can take more power than they say. i ran 150w to the pioneer PRS720 for over a year. its a 50w comp set and it handled it just fine. in fact that set was around $250. look into them, they sound GREAT and everyone ive seen who owned them was amazed at how good they sounded.

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:20 AM
what amp.... post amp so I can research it.

misfit138
07-13-2010, 04:20 AM
I like the Polk MM's.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:24 AM
what amp.... post amp so I can research it.

infinity reference 475a. i'd consider upgrading in the near future. two i have in mind:

Hifonics Zxi200.2
Soundstream TRX2.820

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:25 AM
If you had more power on a four chan, you could do active, it would get louder, but you need to becareful not to fry that tweet.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:27 AM
going active will get you louder. i did it for about $100. each speaker gets its own channel and you hook up a crossover inline with the RCAs. it will get you louder and sound a lot better doing it.

i dont know the JBL set you want but a lot of sets can take more power than they say. i ran 150w to the pioneer PRS720 for over a year. its a 50w comp set and it handled it just fine. in fact that set was around $250. look into them, they sound GREAT and everyone ive seen who owned them was amazed at how good they sounded.

4 realz?

i'm giving my alpines 180 watts (rated 100) and if i crank it up too high they start to pop

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:28 AM
that is a good soundstream amp. but that wont be active cuz its two chan... you will still needs that JBL xover I have the 4.880 it does SPECS of the amp

RMS Power: 4 x 130 Watts @ 4 ohm
RMS Power: 4 x 220 Watts @ 2 ohm
RMS Power: 2 x 440 @ 4 ohm Bridged
THD: <0.05%
Frequency response: 10Hz - 35Khz
S/N Ratio: >105dB
Damping factor: >300
Input Sensitivity: 200Mv - 8 Volts
Crossover slope: 12dB
Low crossover frequency: 50Hz - 150Hz
High crossover frequency: 50Hz - 500Hz
Variable 18dB bass boost
Phase control: 0-180

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:28 AM
you still needz mo powa

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:29 AM
If you had more power on a four chan, you could do active, it would get louder, but you need to becareful not to fry that tweet.

how much power can tweeters usually take? 30-ish watts?

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:32 AM
not too sure myself. but, the benefit of a good 4chan, you can turn gain down low...

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:33 AM
that is a good soundstream amp. but that wont be active cuz its two chan... you will still needs that JBL xover I have the 4.880 it does SPECS of the amp

RMS Power: 4 x 130 Watts @ 4 ohm
RMS Power: 4 x 220 Watts @ 2 ohm
RMS Power: 2 x 440 @ 4 ohm Bridged
THD: <0.05%
Frequency response: 10Hz - 35Khz
S/N Ratio: >105dB
Damping factor: >300
Input Sensitivity: 200Mv - 8 Volts
Crossover slope: 12dB
Low crossover frequency: 50Hz - 150Hz
High crossover frequency: 50Hz - 500Hz
Variable 18dB bass boost
Phase control: 0-180

hmn that high pass only goes up to 500Hz. would that be a problem?

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:36 AM
okay so here's a newbie question: how would powering comps actively make them louder given equal amount of power?

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 04:38 AM
that is a good soundstream amp. but that wont be active cuz its two chan... you will still needs that JBL xover I have the 4.880 it does SPECS of the amp

RMS Power: 4 x 130 Watts @ 4 ohm
RMS Power: 4 x 220 Watts @ 2 ohm
RMS Power: 2 x 440 @ 4 ohm Bridged
THD: <0.05%
Frequency response: 10Hz - 35Khz
S/N Ratio: >105dB
Damping factor: >300
Input Sensitivity: 200Mv - 8 Volts
Crossover slope: 12dB
Low crossover frequency: 50Hz - 150Hz
High crossover frequency: 50Hz - 500Hz
Variable 18dB bass boost
Phase control: 0-180

one of the few class AB amps i've seen with phase control. would this come in handy?

subzero
07-13-2010, 04:57 AM
better than switching wires to find out. it does come in handy.

subzero
07-13-2010, 05:01 AM
okay so here's a newbie question: how would powering comps actively make them louder given equal amount of power?

because you can fine tune the freq response and amplify the range that suits your needs. Active is not always better. You could just get a really nice two channel or channel bridged to get you more clean power. I would put 250rms to those and leave it at that. 250rms x 2 chan. @ 4ohms per chan. That is the amp you need.

emilimo701
07-13-2010, 05:04 AM
because you can fine tune the freq response and amplify the range that suits your needs. Active is not always better. You could just get a really nice two channel or channel bridged to get you more clean power. I would put 250rms to those and leave it at that. 250rms x 2 chan. @ 4ohms per chan. That is the amp you need.

great! thanks for all your help! probably purchasing next paycheck. exciting times.

RMF419
07-14-2010, 10:32 AM
Don't start on your next paycheck. Keep reading more, and if you have the ability to save money; do so. I read around this and another forum for a long time before I started buying stuff. This was my first install, and did a 3-way up-front. Not hard to do, took me sometime. The wife complained about the seats being out of the car for over a month. Go active and never look back. Get you some efficient speakers from here partsexpress.com or madisound.com. Spend 100 on speakers at either one of them spots would equal you spending 250 for some branded speakers probally made by the same shop.

emilimo701
07-14-2010, 10:48 AM
Don't start on your next paycheck. Keep reading more, and if you have the ability to save money; do so. I read around this and another forum for a long time before I started buying stuff. This was my first install, and did a 3-way up-front. Not hard to do, took me sometime. The wife complained about the seats being out of the car for over a month. Go active and never look back. Get you some efficient speakers from here partsexpress.com or madisound.com. Spend 100 on speakers at either one of them spots would equal you spending 250 for some branded speakers probally made by the same shop.

Hmn, so you're saying... to hell with buying a component system, build your own?

RMF419
07-14-2010, 10:54 AM
Yes, I found for myself, it was very fun an intresting to do. You have to read alot. I am by no means an expert, or Mr. Goodwrench, probally would be considered a scrub compared to most posters here.

hispls
07-14-2010, 10:58 AM
Has OP considered using a subwoofer? I'd say 75W per channel on components is a lot of power. More efficient mids and tweets would help. Power handling will largely depend on your crossover frequencies and listening habits. Also keep in mind stock speaker locations are typically sub-optimum.

There's a big competition this coming Sunday up in NH, you should head up there, see some things, and get some ideas.

emilimo701
07-14-2010, 10:58 AM
What made you decide, as basically a beginner, to go that route? It's something I would consider. Do you know of any recommended reading off the top of your head where I could get a gist of what the project would require?

emilimo701
07-14-2010, 11:01 AM
Has OP considered using a subwoofer? I'd say 75W per channel on components is a lot of power. More efficient mids and tweets would help. Power handling will largely depend on your crossover frequencies and listening habits. Also keep in mind stock speaker locations are typically sub-optimum.

There's a big competition this coming Sunday up in NH, you should head up there, see some things, and get some ideas.

the one in hooksett? what will it be like?

DBfan187
07-14-2010, 11:16 AM
Let's start a pool.I'm down!

Concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass?

RMF419
07-14-2010, 11:28 AM
What made you decide, as basically a beginner, to go that route? It's something I would consider. Do you know of any recommended reading off the top of your head where I could get a gist of what the project would require?
Just reading around this forum will get the job done. Look at the stickys, and read some of them. Very informative.

hispls
07-14-2010, 11:34 AM
the one in hooksett? what will it be like?

It'll be a car show/SPL show AFAIK. Probably be a big crowd of people with all levels of skill, interest, and equipment. More than likely you'll see a 164db windshield blowout which is worth the drive. There was a great turnout at Boomer McLoud's show last weekend and they were plugging this show pretty hard to could be some ppl will come from that one too.

You'll find MUCH more info on DIYMA.com - Car Audio Forum & 12 volt Community Board (http://www.diymobileaudio.com) on active setups and good components that can be had from madisound and partsexpress on the cheap.

genxx
07-14-2010, 05:22 PM
To the OP. Stop take a break do not spend any money yet. First stop and do research so you fully understand everything or at least understand what going active truly means, how to accomplish it and what you will need to accomplish it.

There are stickies here on active vs. passive and also ton's of info if it is still there on diymobileaudio.com. Also google can help in your research.

Do not get in a hurry that will be biggest mistake you can make.

fasfocus00
07-14-2010, 05:35 PM
so, because i don't know what i'm doing (yet), i shouldn't try?

my mantra is that whether or not you think you can or can't do something, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy

but basically, in a nutshell, i want louder music. biamplification isn't rocket science. it's something i want to try :cool:

with that statement you have clearly proved my point that you have no idea what you're talking about or doing. bi-amp crossover and active crossovers are different. maybe you should "read" up on what the differences are and the benefits on each as well as the proper way to use active crossovers. you'll get better sound and output on a properly setup passive crossover than from a poorly set up active crossover. it may not be rocket science but you created a thread on you going active and have no clue of what you are doing other than putting more power to speakers.

emilimo701
07-14-2010, 08:59 PM
It'll be a car show/SPL show AFAIK. Probably be a big crowd of people with all levels of skill, interest, and equipment. More than likely you'll see a 164db windshield blowout which is worth the drive. There was a great turnout at Boomer McLoud's show last weekend and they were plugging this show pretty hard to could be some ppl will come from that one too.

You'll find MUCH more info on DIYMA.com - Car Audio Forum & 12 volt Community Board (http://www.diymobileaudio.com) on active setups and good components that can be had from madisound and partsexpress on the cheap.

I'm going to make the trip! Thanks for letting me know.

emilimo701
07-14-2010, 09:11 PM
To the OP. Stop take a break do not spend any money yet. First stop and do research so you fully understand everything or at least understand what going active truly means, how to accomplish it and what you will need to accomplish it.

There are stickies here on active vs. passive and also ton's of info if it is still there on diymobileaudio.com. Also google can help in your research.

Do not get in a hurry that will be biggest mistake you can make.


with that statement you have clearly proved my point that you have no idea what you're talking about or doing. bi-amp crossover and active crossovers are different. maybe you should "read" up on what the differences are and the benefits on each as well as the proper way to use active crossovers. you'll get better sound and output on a properly setup passive crossover than from a poorly set up active crossover. it may not be rocket science but you created a thread on you going active and have no clue of what you are doing other than putting more power to speakers.

Yeah basically I want more control over my system. I want it to sound good, look clean, and get louder than I could ever want it. I have a few goals, and I may not be able to complete them all at once, but that's okay.

My first order of business is buying a new amp and a set of components, so I have music to listen to for the time being (and i really want to ditch the coaxials. mainly because my knee is blocking the left tweeter and it definitely makes a difference).

However, by the fall it would be nice to install a system with active components. Who knows, maybe just a better set of speakers and amp is all i need to get a setup that I like. But it would be a fun project. Thanks for the tips guys. You know i'll be posting here with progress (or lack thereof).