So far I have not found enough places that will let me audition high end components. I will be putting the gear in a 2010 Toyota Tacoma double cab. I know some things for certain I will get.
Head Unit: Kenwood DNX 9960
Amp: JL HD 900/5 100Wx4 at 4 Ohms and 500Wx1 at 2 or 4 Ohms.
The above pieces are going to cost me $2100 with current quotes I have. I am looking to stay $1000-1500 for all my speakers.
As for the sub section, front components, and rear coax I dont know what I am getting. I am getting 6.5" components up front and 6.5" coax for the rear.
I am for sure getting rear coax for several reasons. I want to fade it low for music but turn em up for rear seat passengers when needed. Also I want to use them for rear surround on DVDs.
Music will be mostly streamed like Pandora etc or MP3s. I am not willing to do CD for best sound quality as the truck is to be used offroad and on extremely rough terrain. The CD will skip like crazy. Speakers that make MP3s sound like crap but excell with CD wont cut it for my needs.
For a sub or subs I have very limited volume and depth behind the rear seats. I am thinking a single JL13TW5 or IDQ12 v3 or possibly 2 sealed 10s as I want CLEAN bass over volume. I must do a small, sealed enclosure as I want to mount the sub/subs and amp/crossovers on the rear and nothing on the floor. The interior will see mud, water, boots kicking around under the seats, etc. so under the seat is not an option. I also dont want paper speaker cones that wont stand up to the elements as the vehicle will see a lot of the elements.
So far what I have auditioned and thought was as follows:
Polk SR: Horrible off axis. My components will go in factory locations which is mid in the door and tweet at chest level in the door. The SR tweet is SUPER horrible off axis. This will NOT work for my set up. I could do a coaxial mount of the tweet in the door but I would prefer a better set that has better off axis performance. These were not very efficient either. Every other Polk line below the SR Polks ***** to my ear. They are not as good as the SR in any way and the SR is just not good enough anyway so it is all out of the question.
Focal Polyglass series: 165CVX are decent for rear coax. They are overly bright on axis but sound OK off axis. 10X better than the Access coax from Focal which is one of the worst sounding speakers ever IMO. The rest of the Focal polyglass series is washed out sounding at high volumes. They are overly bright. It is very rare the detail they offer makes the music sound better running MP3s.
Focal Access series: This bottom of the line Focal series just *****. Everything in the whole line up is just horrible in almost every way with all types of music.
Focal K2: Some of this was good... need to listen again with MP3 instead of CD and see if they fail to perform with poor quallity input (MP3) the way the Focal Polyglass did. On some material they made me think they were awesome. Sometimes I thought Id get a head ache at higher volume levels when the highs would break up and get harsh.
JL C5: Not bad. When there is a lot of mixed material coming from either the tweet or mid they can sound muddy. Fuller sound than Focal, less harsh. If there is too much midbass mixed with lots of different midrange they get muddy, otherwise great midbass and great midrange. Same for tweet, too much crowd noise at live performances plus electric guitar plus high hats and it gets less detailed and the highs are muddled. When they sound good they sound very good. When they sound bad they are not very good and seem sloppy. They never made me stop and think "wow thats awesome!" but they rarely diappointed me either.
Everything else I can try is low end and I am not interested. The economy seems like it wiped out the soundboards for high end audio gear. Everyone has cheap garbage on the boards. Id love to hear Dynaudio, Diamond, Rainbow, etc. Unless someone has these in a car I can hear in Houston its just not gonna happen.
The only sub I have heard that was close to good enough was the JL 13TW5. VERY clean sound, not as loud as I thought it would be, even with 750 watts, does not do 20-40Hz well at all... very quiet but not distorted there. Overall I though it was pretty good for such a tiny enclosure. If an IDQ 12 will play as clear, louder and do better at 20-40Hz Id go that route. Noone has an IDQ v3 to hear around here. Volume is not such a priority for me... SQ is. A better quality single speaker 12 or 13.5 is better than louder pair of 10s that have a bit less SQ.
I listen to ALL types of music. I know everyone asks that and my answer *****. I listen to rock, metal, rap, techno, pop, acoustic, studio, live, you name it. I listen to very little country or classical, but I do listen to those too.
Based off this if you can offer me any guidance, have any high end system I could hear in Houston, or know of any place in Houston that I can audition any high end components worth considering, please help me. I am SO tired of researching, reading, and going to stereo shops only to not find what I want or need and leave disappointed.