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View Full Version : 3-Way Component Front Stage - Recomendations?



Mommy Wagon
05-13-2012, 05:19 PM
Hello All,

I know brands of amplifiers and speakers are all opinion based, though I'd like to hear some.

Currently I am gathering materials for an SQ build in a 07-12 style Escalade, and am wanting your opinions and recomendations for a 3-way component front stage. Though I do know many of you do not believe in 3-Way component systems - I do, as I like the fullness that can be achieved. This is for a daily driver, and I do spend a great deal of time driving.

Unfortunately, I more than likely will not be able to review before purchase, so I will be going off of the reviews here an through searbching online.

Musical tastes are everything but country. I like loud. I like clear. I like full.

I did see a few 3-Way Component options through an online vendor from JL (C5-653), Focal (165), Vibe (Space 3D), none of which I have heard myself. I would like to maintain a matching coaxial speaker in the rear doors, only as a filler - especially for the kids when they wach movies and that also is very, very rare as this is not a "family vehicle".

Here's what I'm working with (theoretically on the TBDs):

Dual battery
Dual "Big 3" upgrade
0 ga. Power to amps
Kicker 650.4

Front stage 3-Way TBD
Rear fill - Coax TBD
(Budget for components + coaxial speakers <$1,000)

Head Unit TBD
Sub TBD
Sub amp - Kicker 2500.1


Please recommend, bash, criticize or review as you see fit.


Thanks!

Why So Cereal?
05-13-2012, 06:02 PM
JL C5 3 ways get great reviews. They have a very laid back sound that some ppl hate and some love. If u like a REALLY laid back sounding front stage, they're a nice choice.

Also, look into DLS 3 ways and Eclipse SC8365s.

Mommy Wagon
05-13-2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks princ3cmo,

I guess I should have also clarified my listening preference beyond what I did previously.

I do like clarity, and a very natural sound to my front stage, without the tweeter overpowering and becoming too bright at hight volumes. That said I do not want a dull or overly flat sounding system either.

Yeah, I want my cake and I want to eat it too.

Years ago, and probably my favorite set of components were a 6 1/2" Alpine DDDrive at around 100w. The ony real drawback was the lack of midbass- they performed quite well above 150-200hz but had difficulty with anything lower.

Princ3cmo, you mention Eclipse; I haven't heard anything from them in a few years, though a friend whom had been big on Eclipse stopped buying their product 3-4 years ago from a lack of quality.

Years ago I had bought Soundstream, JBL, JL, Phoenix Gold, Kicker, Alpine - all with great results. Though over the past 20 or so years the game has changed; what was great is now bad, quality is lower, among a multitude of other things. It would seem some manufacturers have gone more to "bling" than what musicality is all about.

I remember when I heard my first set of MB Quart components, it was near life changing - though with manufacturing changes they definitely do not offer the same reference quality.......

Ok. I'm getting too nostalgic - back to te task at hand:



3-way component front stage.

07denali
05-13-2012, 08:12 PM
Good thread. I'm researching components for my 2007 Denali now. Boston acoustics are nice. I had a set 10+ years ago and they were loud, full but the tweeter was overpowering IMO. I know it sounded like nothing but treble when I played them but at that point I took my subs out so that could have been one reason why. I'm not sure how they're newer models are but I've read a lot of reviews and they get a lot of praise.

Why So Cereal?
05-13-2012, 08:14 PM
A few of those companies still make some decent quality stuff. Eclipse is out of business, but u can still get some of their products on ebay and occasionally on other sites.

On the note of the JL's I wouldn't say they are "dull"...but I think its best someone hear JL comps before buying as they are usually hit or miss. Its just a sound some ppl like and some hate. One thing is for sure....JL has been doing very well in the SQ competition lanes with their components, subs, and amps, so obviously the product quality is still there. I wouldn't count them out completely.

Have you considered running an active 3 way front stage, in which you buy your own raw drivers and set up your own xover points and all?

also, are u COMPLETELY against a 2 way front stage? There are some really good 2 way sets out now that will give your budget 3 way comp sets a run for their money and even whoop them if the install is up to par. I know u said you like the "fullness" of the 3 way front, but speaking from experience, I ran a 3 way front stage and went back to a 2 way front (both active) and I can't honestly say that I missed the 3 way front stage too much. A good 2 way can give u the sound u want more than likely

Mommy Wagon
05-13-2012, 08:37 PM
My brother just put a set of matching 6 1/2" Alpine components in his car front/rear, they are excessively bright at high volume. Then the same thing as my last set of DDDrive's - missing mid bass. There is a noticeable gap between the sub and components.

I do hear this more often than not on aftermarket components, missing midrange or missing midbass.

Let's say hypothetically I went to a 2-way component system - this is a huge stage that will have many off axis gaps, hence my reasoning for a 3-way, this could mitigate some of the dead space and transition the sound.

For planing purposes, I will be putting all components in the doors and not reflecting anything off of the windshield. This would also leave a massive gap between the midbass and tweeter in a 2-way system. This is my preference, as sound control is difficult off of a windshield, and I really don't like the location of the factory Bose tweeters anyway.

I guess im not completely opposed to a 2-way for a front stage, I have had many before; I would just want something that's pretty phenomenal and have a matching coaxial still for the rear doors. What manufacturers have excellent off axis listening nowadays?

For the coaxials in the rear doors, these can be a 2-way for sure. I only would prefer them to be the same manufacture and same series.

mylows10
05-13-2012, 08:39 PM
Look at some of the cdt 3 way sets on coaxes

Why So Cereal?
05-13-2012, 09:38 PM
My brother just put a set of matching 6 1/2" Alpine components in his car front/rear, they are excessively bright at high volume. Then the same thing as my last set of DDDrive's - missing mid bass. There is a noticeable gap between the sub and components.

I do hear this more often than not on aftermarket components, missing midrange or missing midbass.

Let's say hypothetically I went to a 2-way component system - this is a huge stage that will have many off axis gaps, hence my reasoning for a 3-way, this could mitigate some of the dead space and transition the sound.

For planing purposes, I will be putting all components in the doors and not reflecting anything off of the windshield. This would also leave a massive gap between the midbass and tweeter in a 2-way system. This is my preference, as sound control is difficult off of a windshield, and I really don't like the location of the factory Bose tweeters anyway.

I guess im not completely opposed to a 2-way for a front stage, I have had many before; I would just want something that's pretty phenomenal and have a matching coaxial still for the rear doors. What manufacturers have excellent off axis listening nowadays?

For the coaxials in the rear doors, these can be a 2-way for sure. I only would prefer them to be the same manufacture and same series.

The "gap" your are noticing between the the sub and components can be due to a few things from improper acoustic phase to bad crossover points. This is not something a 3 way front will fix on its own.

The reason you hear missing midbass from aftermarket comps is that the factory seals need to be recreated for proper midbass. You simply will not get good midbass without a properly treated door. You want to deaden the door panel, provide the speaker with a solid baffle, seal up the gaping holes in the door frame with something solid like sheet metal or wood treated with Mass Loaded Vinyl and Closed Cell Foam to keep the backwave of the speaker from causing cancellation which thus results in weak midbass performance.

Theoretcally, yes a 3 way, having the ability to use a smaller midrange driver would be better for off axis response since beaming won't occur at such a low frequency; but, as I'm sure u know...adding extra drivers creates its own issues such as phasing, which leads to cancellation. Whenever you do a 3 way front stage, aiming is crucial. You can't simply choose spots that the drivers fit and have it work out perfectly. The reason a lot of ppl do a 2 way front over a 3 way one is the relative ease of the 2 way. In a 2 way, you just worry about the midbass/midrange and tweeter. In a 3 way, you need proper aiming and phasing of the midbass, midrange and tweeter and when something is not right it will be noticeable. A good 3 way front takes time and even some skilled ppl n the audio world have gone back to 2 ways after they realized that after the work it took to get a truly good 3 way front stage, they could've spent the extra time and money in a 2 way front that would easily rival it. Its all in the install bro.

If I were you, I'd save the cash you would spend on a budget 3 way and get an even better 2 way front or look into running active crossovers if u like...

just my 2 pennies lol

keep_hope_alive
05-13-2012, 09:45 PM
I love an active 3-way. Dayton Audio Reference 7" midbass, 4" midrange, 1.125" tweeter front stage, with 4" full/mid rear fill is the best performance for the money, IMO.

Mommy Wagon
05-13-2012, 10:13 PM
Touché princ3cmo!

Ok, I'm starting to sway - lets create another hypothetical situation for a 2-way, as there are significantly more options in this arena.

As an example, Alpine has their X-Type line which has a 2-way component offering but no equaled coaxial. This would leave me stepping down to a Type-R for a rear coaxial - unless I were to install a component system in the rear. Again, this is now something I am under consideration of. Though it seems that many other manufacturer 2 & 3 way component systems do not offer a simple 2-way coaxial as a filler for rear areas.

Sound deadening and addition of baffles is definitely in the cards, as this sometimes is all it takes to make mediocre systems seem great.

What brands are really killing at SQ Comps now?

Since the option of 2-Ways are on the table, that perform "like a 3-way" in off axis presentation, what other brands are in the price range that operate well above their pay grade?

Why So Cereal?
05-13-2012, 10:26 PM
Touché princ3cmo!

Ok, I'm starting to sway - lets create another hypothetical situation for a 2-way, as there are significantly more options in this arena.

As an example, Alpine has their X-Type line which has a 2-way component offering but no equaled coaxial. This would leave me stepping down to a Type-R for a rear coaxial - unless I were to install a component system in the rear. Again, this is now something I am under consideration of. Though it seems that many other manufacturer 2 & 3 way component systems do not offer a simple 2-way coaxial as a filler for rear areas.

Sound deadening and addition of baffles is definitely in the cards, as this sometimes is all it takes to make mediocre systems seem great.

What brands are really killing at SQ Comps now?

Since the option of 2-Ways are on the table, that perform "like a 3-way" in off axis presentation, what other brands are in the price range that operate well above their pay grade?

I, personally, think its ok to run a cheaper line of speakers in the rear. The main focus goes into the front stage since that's where the focus of the stage should be. The rear fill is just that, rear fill. It should create an ambient, spatial effect. I'm not saying completely cheap out on the rears, but, IMO, since they aren't the main focus, unless you really want to, they don't necessarily have to match the fronts. It can be good for tonality but with the right processing, a "lesser" speaker can work just as well.

What keep_hope_alive mentioned up there would give a lot of ppl a run for their money, but thats provided u run active.

Some brands that are doing well in SQ comps are Blues Audio, Morel, Hybrid Audio (HAT), JL, Dynaudio, Focal and Hertz off the top of my head. A lot of SQ guys run active with raw drivers as well.

What exactly is your price range, btw?

keep_hope_alive
05-13-2012, 11:14 PM
Dynaudio is my recommendation, if you need passive crossovers.

Mommy Wagon
05-13-2012, 11:28 PM
Princ3cmo & keep_hope_alive,

As in the first post; I had hoped maintain a budget of <$1,000 for both front an rear sets of speakers - this is not includive of the sub budget.

If a $500. Component set is musically similar to an $800. set then why spend more? Though if a $1,200 set is found discounted for $800 or less and is superior in every way then it's understandable that the budget may wiggle a little.

As far as an active processor or crossover network; my preferene is to maintain what what the speakers come with and adjust the crossovers to suit - as best as they may be capable.

Again, this is a daily driver, will never be utilized in any sort of competition (except worst gas mileage - if ther is such). I want to drive it and not fiddle with it, my next project is the toy and will also incorporate near infinite adjustment.

Keep_hope_alive, Dynaudio - is this available in Canada (as car audio, I know home theater is)? Online order only? Where would/could I listen?

I am very much open to suggestion...........