View Full Version : Assistance Choosing 3-Way Component set

05-01-2004, 01:46 PM
My install will be 2 JL 300/2's, 2 JL 1000/1's, 2 JL 12W7-3s, and i was going to get their 3 way component set.. but a good look at the 2004 buyers guide told me there are better component sets out there..

It doesnt matter how big the tweeter or midrange, or midbass is. (ill take a midbass driver. ) Or maybe just a set of woofers, and a component set of Tweet/woofer combo. The kickpanels ill get will fit whatever i have. But my doors can only fit 6.5s.

All i know for sure is that i want to power each side with 150watts+/- from one channel of a 300/2 JL amp. If you know a set thats better and can handle more power, if it needs more power than the 300/2, please suggest amp to go with it.

Of the sets im looking at, 2 i know to have great quality seem to be crossing each other off my list. correct me if im wrong, but heres why.

[All have a tweeter, midrange, and woofer. i chose sets based on having those components, included crossover, and the largest driver being 6.5"
Do you know off hand if any of these sets' midrange drivers are larger than 4"?]

Again, please correct me if any of these #s are wrong. I dont quite trust the magazine i got these figures from because many conflicted in other areas in the mag.

brand..........................model#..........MSR P(+/-).........max RMS
**Focal.......................165V3E.............7 29.......................160
Alphasonik..................PCT6551...........450. ......................175
Audiobahn..................ABC6003Q.........400... ....................320
Audiobahn..................ACIS63..............550 .......................320
Audiobahn..................ACIS62..............460 .......................200
Image Dynamics.........CSI.6MH............589........... ............200
Planet Audio...............V63CK...............279....... ................250
Swiss Audio................SAC650.............200....... ................120

Hope that helps. Thanks alot guys!

05-01-2004, 08:51 PM
**Focal.......................165V3E.............7 29.......................160

That doesn't sound right.... the V line is Polyglass, which is not as good as the polykevlar line nor the Utopia line. And the 3 way component polykevlars are rated at 100wrms. Unless 160 rms refers to the combined wattage of both channels. In any case, $729 is wayyyyyy too much for those. You should be able to get them for a few hundrer dollars less.


05-02-2004, 02:53 AM
**Focal.......................165V3E.............7 29.......................160

That doesn't sound right.... the V line is Polyglass, which is not as good as the polykevlar line nor the Utopia line. And the 3 way component polykevlars are rated at 100wrms. Unless 160 rms refers to the combined wattage of both channels. In any case, $729 is wayyyyyy too much for those. You should be able to get them for a few hundrer dollars less.

Thanks Titanus, i thought these power figures and prices were off. I know retail is almost always lower than the MSRP. The other fire is that the JL component set said it was rated at 90rms. Now the mag had tons of columns, but didnt say whether it was per SIDE, or total. (like you said, combined wattage) so im left to guess. Now JLs site says that their components can take up to a max of 150 watts. which meshes nicely with them having a 300/2 amp.

Bottom line is, I want some bass up front. and i dont want to sacrifice my rear fill.. even if it degrades my front soundstage.

05-02-2004, 11:30 AM
Have you looked into the cdt's? You can get the HD's reasonable at the zeb and they sound awesome. You can get great midbass with a 2 way component set and a have a much easier install. If you want even more get 2 5.25" or 6.5" comp sets and mount one in the doors and the other in the kicks.

05-02-2004, 12:31 PM
Check out CDT Eurosports.

05-02-2004, 03:24 PM
If you want even more get 2 5.25" or 6.5" comp sets and mount one in the doors and the other in the kicks.

you mean of course... to get a set of 6.5" woofers, and a set of 5.25" components with the tweeters?

a 2-way set and the pair of woofs, then install them in kicks and doors? Or did you mean two woofer/tweeter sets. the largest ill go to mount with the tweeters in the kickpanels is 5.25.

05-02-2004, 03:27 PM
Id like my components to be BLACK.

If i buy a 5.25 component set, and then an additional pair of 6.5" drivers, i can use a 450/4 amplifier to power them all huh? In that case i can start to get picky about my sets.

05-02-2004, 06:23 PM
I meant 2 component sets, 4 woofers and 4 tweets. You could get more midbass from 2 component sets than a 3 way setup. Most 3 way set ups cross the 3"-4" mid at 400hz up so they dont help in the midbass range. You could put a 6.5 set in the doors and a 5.25 set in the kick panels and get much more midbass than a 3 way setup. Maybe mount the tweet from the 6.5 set in the A pillar to bring the soundstage up. I like the idea using 4 tweets instead of 2 with that much midbass/midrange. You would probably have to really overwork the 2 and boost the high frequencies to get them to blend well with 4 mids. I would much rather use 4 and cut them down some and get much cleaner smoother highs.

05-02-2004, 07:38 PM
I meant 2 component sets, 4 woofers and 4 tweets. You could put a 6.5 set in the doors and a 5.25 set in the kick panels and get much more midbass than a 3 way setup. Maybe mount the tweet from the 6.5 set in the A pillar to bring the soundstage up.

HMMmm. 6.5" woofer in the doors. 5.25 or 6.5" woofer in the kickpanel with a 1" tweeter. and another 1" tweet up a little higher ay?

how about in the dash somewhere? i got no airbags, its all hollow. I noticed i have this huge hole up where the roof meets my windshield, i could custom fab a lil pod and put one up there on each side of the car. or how about where the dash meets the windshield. I have room there too. Then use what... a 300/4 amp? or a 450/4.

Should i use any kind of signal processor for the components? Id like to boost the preout voltage if possible. 4v just seems weak compared to 8 or 16.

custom suburb
05-02-2004, 07:53 PM
I would buy a high quality set (like the 2 way JL set or the CDT set) and then maybe add a 6" or 8" woofer in the kick panels on each side also if you want more midbass upfront. I would try to avoid using multiple component sets and mounting them all over (keep em in the kicks). You could use a JL 450/4 with the component set running of channels 1 and 2 and the mid basses running off 3 and 4.

05-02-2004, 11:20 PM
Multiple components can be made to sound very good if the install is done right and you tune it properly. You will probably end up running one of the door speakers out of phase because of cancelation. Mount the tweets facing across the front of the windshield as low in the A pillar as possible. You will probably have to attenuate them 3bd or so. I have a similar setup in my car with 6.5 and 5.25's and the imaging and staging is dead on. Live cd's sound unbelievable and the bass sounds like it is in the front. You can use 6.5 or 8" midbasses in the kicks but they are a nightmare to make work unless you have a ton of room in the floorboard and behind the panel but will also sound great. As far as amp goes I would use the 450/4, its better to have headroom than barely enough power.

05-03-2004, 02:53 PM
Cancellation from what speakers? the tweeters? if i have 2 sets of components up front. Tweet and a 6.5, tweet and a 5.25, each pair together has their own crossover, which i power with a 4channel amp right? I dont see how there would be cancellation. Just because there is 8 components? Could i use a line driver in this case?

My original idea was a 3 way component set. But my backup idea (because maybe i wanted bass drivers that had direct power from an amp.) was to get a 2 way component set, and buy a seperate set of 6.5" drivers. People have suggested that again and again, which makes the idea better every day.

So im looking into a set of 6.5" drivers. and a 5.25" or 6.5" component set.
But the question remains. 2 tweets or 4 tweets? I think Id enjoy 4 better.
So a set of 5.25" components, and a set of 6.5" components??

I didnt want to post yet until i got a picture of the front cabin of my car, specifically the passenger side. Just from my seat i can see theres alot of nice room and paneling to work with. The plastic piece where the kick would go can house a 6.5" easily.

05-03-2004, 05:48 PM
The 6.5's in the door may have cancellation from being directly across from each other. You wont know until you get it hooked up and use a good test cd that uses a track that as been recorded in phase and out of phase. I use the IASCA judging cd and it has a track specifically for that and tracks for imaging, staging, and spl. A line driver is for boosting the voltage to the amp. Most amps have a 4v max input so if your head unit puts out 4v and you are only running one amp per output you shouldnt need one. But if you are running more than one amp per output with y connectors then it may help some by boosting the voltage so you can keep the gains down. I like the tweets in the A pillar because it helps raise the soundstage.

05-04-2004, 11:25 AM
If you want it to sound its best, you DO NOT want multiple drivers on each side playing the same freqs. Midbasses facing each other has zero, zip, nada, niete, to do with cancellation. The pathlength from the speaker to your ear does. Unless you have the pathlengths perfectly equal physically or you use time correction for EVERY driver, you will end up with a peaky response. Also, cancellation does not occur at every frequency. Depending on pathlength and wavelength, some frequencies will have perfect cancellation and others will have perfect reinforcement. As you add more drivers at a given frequency, you create more different pathlengths that you have to deal with. This creates even more peaks and valleys in the response curve and the overall result is your speakers sound much worse than they potentially could. These phasing peaks and more importantly valleys, cannot be fixed with EQ either. If you create a cancellation valley in the response curve, you are pretty well stuck with it. As I hope you can tell by what I have said so far, the install is more important than the number of drivers when it comes to good frequency response.

If you want good midbass response there are a few key things that you must address. first you need a true midbass driver, not just a large midrange. Just because it is 6.5" doesn't mean that it has good low end extension. You want good usable output down to at least 80hz and lower is better. You don't really care about the response above 300-500 hz, you will let the midrange pick it up somewhere around there (exact frequency will depend on the install and the particular drivers). It should have pretty good excursion or be a larger driver like an 8" (it needs to move a good amount of air to produce enough volume to blend in well with the subs). Once you have found the driver that is going to do what you need, you need to figure out the best way to install it. Location is one part of the equation, but probably the more important for a midbass is the enclosure that you put it in. Just like your subs, your midbass drivers need to be properly enclosed for them to perform their best. You should design and build an enclosure for them based on their Theile/Small parameters and you can go either ported or sealed, just like with subs. If you are running large subs or they are ported and pretty loud, consider porting your midbasses as well to give them the extra output they need to keep up with the subs. Once you have figured out how and where to mount them you need to power them. If you are going with a JL amped system, the 450/4 will give you what you need, as you have already figured out. 150 per side should be plenty for most any setup. Tuning the setup is the last and most often overlooked step in getting the sound you want. The biggest concern with dividing the frequency range among multiple drivers per side is getting them to blend with each other to produce a smooth frequency response. This task is made a bit easier with the use of active crossovers with infinitely variable cutoff frequencies and multiple channels of amplification. The first step is to set the crossovers in the ballpark of where they will be in the end. You can guess a bit here. Set the low pass for the midbass and the highpass for the midrange at the same frequency to begin with, although they might be at slightly different frequencies when you are finished tuning. Next set the gains on the different amps to match the levels. Set the gains of each pair of channels normally first and then turn down the pair (midbass or mid/high) that are louder. An RTA can help with this step by showing you which is really louder. Next you want to adjust the crossover points for the smoothest response. By playing with the overlap or gap between the low- and high-pass sides of the crossover, you can do a lot to fill valleys in the response or tame peaks. Try adjusting the relative phase of the individual drivers as well, as this can make a big difference. Remember that just because the wire is labeled + doesn't mean that it will sound best connected to the + terminal on the speaker. We are dealing with AC, current flows both ways, there is no + or -. They switch every cycle. The labeling is just a reference, not a hard and fast rule. If you have done things right up to here, your system should sound excellent. You should have been able to address the worst of the irregularities in the response curve using just location, phase and crossover points. That is what makes a good install. You have given yourself a solid foundation for excellent sound quality. Small bumps and dips in the response can be smoothed from here with a little bit of EQ if you so desire, but for daily listening, it likely won't be required.

05-04-2004, 07:17 PM
I knew there was something else huge and major.

Thanks Helotaxi.

yikes how to sift through that...

Umm, so my first task would be to select the correct mid-bass drivers. *im lost* I'm pretty sure i cannot fit 8" drivers in my doors. 6.5" would fit nicely, and my door cannot fit the product factory grills unless i redo my whole lower door. Sooo... i dont have very many options. Mounting tweeters here and there, i think i have leeway for that.

All these peaks and rises give me a headache lol, i think i understand what you mean though. I had thought about porting the 6.5" midbase's... got the idea looking at the baffles in the thread "newbies guide to custom kickpanels" though i wondered how id do it. How would i make a port for it? So if i were to buy a set of 5.25" components, i would have to tune both the driver and the tweeter? down in my kickpanels?? I dont have all the equipment to test frequencies and stuff. a tuning CD i can buy.. but any additional costs in my plans at this point would be too much. As it is, my equipment cost rivals the customization/installation costs.

I DO want all my stuff bolted down. i dont want loose speakers installed in my doors that were just screwed in by the local audio guy. hell i can do that myself. Now designing pods or something for the drivers, in the doors. thats something i would consider. But i need details, i have no idea how to do that, i mean, i have an idea... but i need to first find out if it will interfere with anything in my door.

Im about ready to start purchasing all my wiring and such.. I want to get my car re and pre-wired for my future installs at the same time i get my radio installed. How much I/0, 4ga, 8ga and so on should i use? Helotaxi you pretty much know my setup right?

05-05-2004, 11:48 AM
I am in the process of completely rebuilding the lower doors on my car because the midbasses I wanted to use would not fit in the factory location without hitting the window when it was rolled down or, if I spaced it out to kepp from hitting the window, the factory grill. It pained me greatly to cut into my door panel but I wanted those speakers. I probably would have bought 8's if I had know from the beginning that I was going to be doing this amount of work. You can get most anything to fit, it's just a matter of how much time you want to take to make it fit.

As far as porting the midbasses, if you have the T/S parameters for the midbass you want to use it is simply a matter of plugging it into a box building program and figuring out what will work. Once you have the required volume and tuning, you design the pod/enclosure to those specs.

If you are running a component set then tuning of the system is a bit more simple. For tuning purposes, you can basically treat the set as a single driver. They already have a crossover that should be designed to provide the smoothest transition between the mid and the tweet, all you will have to do is match the levels and figure out the x-over freq between the midrange and the midbass. You might need to play with the phase a little as well. These are thing that you will have to do with any system if you want it to sound its best.

Equipment that you will need to set everything up: a test CD, an RTA (many shops will rent the use of theirs in their bay for tuning sessions.)

For wiring, if you are sticking with JL, you will not need or want any 8ga wire, so you can cross that off your list. To figure out how much wire you need, you need to know the basic layout of the system. How far will it be from the distrobution blocks to the amps? You are going to need at least 1/0 to go from the battery to the trunk. From there distro to 3 4ga (one for each 1000/1 and one to the 450/4). With that kind of power I would consider running a ground wire back to the battery. Many on the board here disagree with me but Manville smith from JL will tell you the same thing. They recommend running a direct battery ground any time you are useing larger than 4 ga primary wire because they have found that the sheetmetal of modern cars is not as good a conductor as it was always believed. It's just too thin and does not give a good return path for a high current load.

05-05-2004, 02:16 PM
Well hmmm if i could fit two drivers in my doors with a port in the middle or something, would that be a good setup? I would spend the time needed to custom cut the door paneling. I will try to get some inside pics of the panels and stuff today so you can see what i have to work with. Basically my door is wierd, the bottom paneling is a molded plastic piece that has a little pocket for stuff (i use it for trash) and the pod for the speaker, with an odd-shaped grill of the same material. Looking at it, it looks as if the speaker i have is right up against the drill, like the driver cone would hit the grill. but it doesnt that i can tell.. perhaps if i put more power through them it might. but my broken stock piece of crap is barely putting out 4 or 5 watts i bet. something also fried inside that cut my bass out by more than half. So im eagerly trying to figure out the wiring i need so i can get it installed with my radio, that way i'll be set, and wont have to spend any more time in the shop, Can probably do the rest myself too.

whatever the components i get for the front, i want them to drive hard, sound clear, and have the best crossovers from the manufacturer. Programmable crossovers are i think the best description ive seen. whatever the case i'll want to get some good wattage too, and put some good power through em. Umm the only other thing i could think of was the crossovers.. i want to pay some good money for brand name stuff. CDT seems like some good drivers, the '04 models. im gunna look at their website now.

Knukonceptz has my vote for wiring, and ill probably get it there. Id like to order it soon.

I saw a battery terminal that has dual 1/0 out, and dual 4ga out. And a nice distro block that takes two 1/0, and splits it to 3 4ga. Does it matter if my distro blocks are fused, if im going to have those big ANL type fuses wired before the amps? I would say its good to have backup. Wouldnt want a .001% chance of my equip getting damaged in any small way.

05-06-2004, 01:03 PM
Each time you step to a smaller size wire you should have a fuse rated for less that the capacity of that wire as close as possible to the beginning of that wire. It is there as a safety catch incase something happens to that wire. The ANL fuse you have under the hood will need to be bigger likely than the rated capacity of the 4ga wire. The wire will over heat before that fuse blows, which is bad. You need another fuse, and ANL is the only type widely available big enough to cover the 1000/1s, but I have seen MAXI type fuses rated at 100A.

05-06-2004, 01:45 PM
if i use a plain distro block, I would want to fuse every line coming out of it.
But if i used Fused distribution, should i still fuse the lines coming out of it? like redundant backup? or will it bottleneck the current going out to the amps?
What if i want lighting or some other powered gadget back there? could i get a distro block that accepts 2 I/0 wires, and 4 ga out? So that i have an extra 4ga back there should i need it later on? possibly for fans?

obviously i wouldnt use 4ga for fans.. id split it down again.

05-06-2004, 02:45 PM
You only need a single fuse on the wire.

For additional power to the rear for accessories such as fans and lights and my EQs and remote leads, I got a small distro block for custom hot rods and boats that takes standard automotive 2-blade ATC fuses and am feeding it off the 2nd 1/0 input to my distro blocks with an insert to make it a 4ga output. The wire runs to a terminal ring attached to the small distro block where it is divided to 6 fused outputs. Simple, elegant and inexpensive ($15 shipped off eBay).

05-06-2004, 06:40 PM
whoa with the electrical terms and stuff. I know what a distro block is but i dont understand the setup you have. your 2nd 1/0 gage cable is split to six 8ga or something? or it goes to a distro block and then you run a few wires off the ring ter...minal... ok im lost. Im really slow with audio... im visual/spatial... so i ask that ya dont waste your time explaining it to me unless you believe i should do it in my trunk as well. If i should, and not use a Four 4-ga out distro block, then fire away =) im listening. just.. dont want ya to waste your time.

Respectfully - Jon

For all still viewing this, I AM still interested in finding out the best component setup for my car. SO! i finally got some pics of my door panels and dash and all that good stuff. Heres the links to my pics. i saved them outside of this server so the file sizes could be larger.


any suggestions on cutting my doors, installing dual-woofers, or where to mount tweeters would be cool. You'll notice in one of the pictures you can see the ugly grill and my 3-way pioneer full range behind it. Only nice thing that i can see about the door pods are that they are thick. they bulge out, and pretty far, still leaving inches of room between the lower door panels and the seats. So i can stick em out a little bit more if i have to, say if i was putting some kind of ported enclosure in there for the drivers.. anywho, take a looksee and see what you can

05-08-2004, 10:55 AM
The subs play a very narrow frequency band so you can port them and still have good sq. Please do not port the midbass drivers because they need to have a flat frequency response. Your midbass has a large part to do with sound quality and with them ported it would be almost impossible to eq them flat. For the frequency you tuned them to they would have a steep rolloff below that and a larger peak just above the tuning frequency. Lets say you cross over your subs @ 60hz and your midbass's would run 60-250hz. If you tune them to 90hz for instance you could have 5-10db drop @ 65hz and + 5 db @ 120hz then drop to -1db @ 200hz.(all #'s are theoretical and would vary in car due to midbass boosting properties of car) Punch in the parameters in winisd and to get a ported box for a midbass that would play flat. The box would be about half as large as your sub box at minimum. I'm sure there are people who have done it and made it work but it wouldnt be easy for an average sq setup. As for not having cancellation with speakers facing each other. Lets see you face your subs together and not wire them out of phase. Speakers facing each other can and will have some cancelation if running in phase. You are correct in saying that it will emphasize other frequencies but most of them will be in the mid and upper frequencies. Play a track recorded in/out of phase on 90% of the cars with door speakers facing each other and they will need to be wired out of phase. I was just suggesting something that would be fairly simple to install and have great sq for a daily driver. Component set in the doors and component set in prefab Q logic kicks would be easy to install in his maxima and sound great. Dont believe it come listen to mine and I bet the imaging and staging are as good as your 8, 5.25, & tweet setup and put in in half the time.

05-08-2004, 01:15 PM
A ported midbass in a Besel alignment will exhibit a perfectly flat response to the tuning freq and roll off at 12dB per octave below that. There will not be a peak in the response. Midbasses will not respond to porting the same way that subs will. Subs get their peak from 1) mistuning and 2) cabin gain. The midbass MUST be tuned correctly and does not get much from cabin gain because of the higher frequency involved. The volume of the enclosure is important but the tuning frequency is even more important for a flat response. There is only one combination of volume and tuning that will yeild a flat response for a given driver. You must match the driver to the space you have available and the frequency you need. If you are set on using a certain midbass, your crossover frequency will be set by what the driver can do. You can't arbitrarily pick a crossover freq and then expect a given midbass to be able to work with that freq. Also, not all misbasses are suitable for porting, just as not all subs are. You MUST pick the right midbass for the job.

As for cancellation, learn about basic acoustics and come back. Unless there is sufficient space between the drivers especially subs for the wave form to get out of phase, there can be no cancellation. Cancellation at higher freqs has nothing to do with speaker aiming and everything to do with phasing as do all cancellation issues. There are cancellation nodes for different frequencies at different locations all around the car. You can find a spot in the car for every frequency of the spectrum where it is totally cancelled and one where it is perfectly in phase. That point will be different for every freq. Aiming of the speakers does not affect where that point is. The reason you aim a high freq speaker is not phasing related. Most speakers exhibit a better frequency response on-axis rather than off-axis. By getting the high freq drivers more on-axis to the listener, the frequency response improves.

Basically you are talking about stuff you don't understand.