My first post, so go easy on me.
So I bought this 2011 pickup truck new and paid $1800 extra for the factory Nav unit and "premium" sound system with sub-woofer. As you might have guessed, it's awful. I will admit my 2006 Ford F350 was slightly worse, but then I didn't pay extra for that stereo. I guess for $70+K, you should not expect a mediocre stereo. It's actually just below that right now...
Well, I have taken matters into hand, and started making plans for an audio system upgrade. I'd like to be somewhere around a B+ or A- in sound quality when all is said and done. The budget will be slim, but I'm figuring about $8000 for a cap. I'm not sure that spending more than that would produce sound that could be percieved as better in a work truck.
I have some parts already, mostly leftovers from previous builds, but for the most part I need to make my shopping list. So I was hoping you guys could help direct my energies towards the right reference materials, previous similar builds, determining design criteria, and finally the appropriate hardware. Things like when to bi-amp or tri-amp, cabling ideals, decent stuff with a lot of bang-per-buck, and wiring theory (active vs. passive), gauge thickness of power cables vs. speakers, etc.
Here is what I have currently:
stock head/nav unit
stock factory subwoofer (less powerful than a clock radio!)
I've upgraded speakers to Infinity Kappa components 689.0cs (I've now blown up 3 sets of these)
So I downgraded my speakers to Kicker components CS series (very unimpressive also, but less costly for similar output and SQ...considering they only last a few months)
I'm using a 4 channel amp: Kicker ZX650.4 (I've blown up two so far) under rear seat, with 2 computer fans trying to keep it from going into protection
I have an Audio Controls LC6i (speaker level inputs and line output converter)
4 gauge power lead kit by Rockford, and basic 12 or 14 gauge speaker wiress
Oh, and an old Rockford Fosgate Punch series 4 channel amp that is not hooked up (50 or 80 watts RMS, but can't remember for sure...
My speakers don't last long. Sometimes they'll start smoking and burn up, but mostly they become "solid state", and won't move after a while. The system was "professionally" installed. There's a lot of distortion, and the system sounds very "dead" to me. No bass, no treble. Not lively, or "dynamic".
The sound is really awful, and doessn't get loud at all. Might be out of phase?
Here is the direction I am heading in now, to try and move on to another, better chapter. Feel free to comment.
I've acquired a Mosconi Zero One 2-channel amp. I'm told it is 1-ohm stable and can push 4000 watts + RMS. This sounds like it will give me a lot of "head room"? I've considered the Kicker Warhorse also, but was told the Mosconi was better quality, better reliability, better sound, and more honestly rated.
I am told I should get a bunch more of these Mosconi amps, depending on how I want to wire things, or maybe just one more Mosconi AS 200.4, which is a low power 4-channel amp (also 1-ohm stable) but only 200 watts RMS at 4 ohms.
For speakers I am considering 3-way components by either Gladen (Aerospace model), or the Focal Elite 165KRXE 3-way. I could either ignore the back doors completely, or get something cheaper there.
For subwoofer duty, I thought maybe the JL Audio Stealthbox 13.5" sub might be enough. It's supposed to go under the rear folding seat behind the driver, for no loss of my limited cab space. But I'm not sure that's enough, so I'm open to a small sealed sub box between the seats (Kicker L7 or Focal, or Gladen, or ...?) instead of the Stealthbox...if it will be noticeably better. I had dual Kicker 12's in my Jeep, with 1000watt Alpine amp and that was almost good enough (stolen, grrrr!).
I'm not sure if I should go active or passive, bi-amp/tri-amp or standard wiring. Should I get a Digital Signal Processor to replace the Audio Controls unit? I already have dual batteries, and twin alternators, but I'll probably need a bigger ground wire and all new power cables (triple 0?). Suggestions for speaker cables? Should I use the Focal pods, and Dynamat in the doors and/or fiberglass speaker boxes?
I would appreciate any advice, and/or links to the best reference materials. I'll also start searching the forum for any useful pointers. There are no local shops to me (that I'm aware of) that can answer my questions, or allow me to listen to speakers, so I'm on my own and with a limited budget. I don't want to keep spinning my wheels and wasting time/money on more junk equipment.