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About zako

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    CarAudio.com Elite
  • Birthday 06/14/1978


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  1. I value practicality above the alleged SQ benefits, so I wouldn't buy subwoofers that don't cooperate well with reasonably sized sealed boxes. However, if I already had those subs, I'd just use 1cu ft per chamber, or maybe 1.4cu ft at best. It takes too much space otherwise. In the end, you normally can't buy a sealed box bigger than that. If I was willing to have a 2cu ft sealed box or bigger, I'd get the SWS-15 in a sealed box, or possibly something else in a ported box.
  2. zako

    Alternative to JL c5's?

    I normally think that there is no free lunch IMHO. Sometimes I see C5 comps for like $300 online, so they're not that expensive, but once you look at speakers that cost like $200 or less, there are a lot really crappy ones among then. If you want to make more or less a lateral move, consider some of these: Image Dynamics XS Focal Polyglass (various) Hybrid Audio Unity Hybrid Audio Imagine (nearly the same thing as Unity with inferior passive crossover, but works just as well active) One important thing is that if you move to any of these speakers, you can unleash quite a bit of sound quality by switching to active crossovers. (this means having an active capable head unit or external DSP). If you want to save a bit of cash for DSP, it could make sense to go with cheaper speakers though. For example, JBL MS speakers sometimes go for like $200. A JBL MS set will probably sound better when combined with an active head unit like Pioneer DEH-80PRS compared to a more expensive speaker without DSP.
  3. Getting the sealed box size off by 10-20% is not a big deal. Besides the box volume, you want to get a box with thicker MDF material. For prefab boxes, the best you can have is usually 3/4 inch MDF, but there are a lot using cheaper thinner MDF. However, I must say that Alpine's sealed box recommendation is not optimal for the 12 inch SWS models. The rule of thumb is to set the box volume to get the box qtc as close as possible to 0.7, which results in the best tradeoff between low end extension, power handling, and transient response. Getting it off by a little from 0.7 is not a big deal. The problem with Alpine's SWS sub is that in a 1cu ft box, its qtc is like 1, which is considered way off by some. They list the qtc value in the manual for each box. To get the qtc under 0.8 with the 12 inch SWS sub, you need like a 2cu ft box according to the box modeling software. An Alpine engineer mentioned that they aimed for a high qtc setup to provide a stronger thump appreciated by some car audio enthusiasts, which however, does not explain why the 10 inch and 15 inch SWS subs have a more reasonable qtc in the recommended boxes. Anyways, just get the box that's most convenient to you. Try to stuff it with polyfill. The rule is thumb is that stuffing up to 1.5 pounds of polyfill for each cu ft of space can increase the apparent box volume by up to 30% and lower the box qtc. If you haven't bought the subs yet, consider just one 15 inch SWS if you can fit the box. They're considered to be the gems of the SWS lineup. People have got phenomenally good sound with 2 15 inch SWS each in 2cu ft box.
  4. zako

    Infinity Kappa 120.9 or Kicker Comp VR

    Infinity Kappa is a good all-around subwoofer. It sounds tight and deep. It looks great. It works well in a 1cu ft sealed box. 1.2 or so is optimal for perfect qtc, but 0.2cu ft shouldn't spoil the sound. But the design is supposedly "medium q" implying that they work well in either sealed or ported. The SPL potential is decent, 17 mm xmax. The power rating is 350watts, but I had no issues with running 600watts of power to it. Clearly, the SQ was a target for this sub as verified by the low inductance proudly advertized on the spec sheet.
  5. zako

    Upgrade from MM651??

    Those Polks are coaxials right? You could improve upon them with a component set. One popular speaker has been JBL MS-62C components. Supposedly they have pretty natural sounding tweeters and sound good with their stock passive crossovers. As for DSP, is this head unit compatible with Alpine's Imprint processor? That could be a cheap way to go. If it's not, the next more affordable option is to get the Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit. This one is active capable with automatic tuning capability. You can expect an instant improvement in sound with most components. Normally, the auto eq feature clears up the highs and mid-range pretty well. After that you can fine tune bass, time alignment, etc.
  6. zako

    Looking for a 5 channel amp

    The PPI P900.5/Soundstream TN5.950D family are excellent for the money. Very compact, clean power, and they run cool. The Polk D5000.5 and an NVX class d are a similar design. Kicker and RF products should be good, but more pricey. Ideally, get the sub that can be wired for 2ohm.
  7. zako

    Adding rear speakers, recommendations?

    If the guy listens music with windows open on highway, the SQ has already gone out of window. The sound deadening will not help with that. At this point, SPL is the only thing you can optimize, so I'd say add the rear speakers. Hybrid Audio Mirus should be a good choice, specially if the OP already likes the HAT Imagines in front.
  8. zako

    Need Advice before Purchasing Alpine Speakers?

    Coaxial front stage + rear comps? Never heard of that before... Considering the front stage already sounds like a mess involving coaxes and additional tweeters, I wouldn't have put so much thought into tweaking rears.
  9. zako

    Finding the perfect 12" Sub

    Was that the old or the new Alpine Type-S? The latest edition has power handling rating up to 500watt RMS. The RE Audio SEX12D should be a good subwoofer for its price. Some guys on forums hate the company for having "sold out" to Chinese, but for the price $150 it's well built, honest subwoofer comparable to the best in this price range. The Type-R is probably even better: it is supposed to have more xmax travel and lower distortion. I think both will sound awesome if you setup right. The Type-R is optimized for smaller, closer to 1cu ft sealed box, while the RE SEx12 ideally wants something like 1.5-1.7cu ft, as you can check in box modeling software (ignore the recommendations from manufacturer). I am guessing that in this box RE sub may have a slightly better sensitivity and will dig deeper than Type-R in 1cu ft, but Type-R has more room for growth as it can handle up to 1000watt RMS power. Of course, if you listen your music loud, precautions should be taken to make sure that you do not overdrive your amplifier. High amplitude clipped signal can supposedly easily destroy subwoofers. However, I also wouldn't be all the surprised to hear that a properly installed and operated cheap subwoofer stopped working one day..
  10. zako

    Morel vs Infinity?

    Kappa has more linear excursion potential, so the SPL potential will be higher, if that matters. All in all, it's a very nice sounding subwoofer. It depends on how you install it.
  11. zako

    $300 Budget, want 2 Subs

    With this budget, it could be better to get one really nice 12 inch subwoofer, maybe a used one, like an Image Dynamics IDMAX or a JL W7. With displaced air volume (xmax times the cone area) matching that of two $150 10 inch subs in most cases, but SQ will be a lot better.
  12. zako

    Setup amplifier with HU sub-level maxed or 0?

    Set it at 0 unless you have a good reason to believe otherwise. I have tested the pre-out voltage at 0 bass setting on a Kenwood and Pioneer head unit, and in both cases I got exactly the rated pre-amp voltage on the RCAs when playing a 0db test tone. The bottom line here is that if you refuse to test it yourself with a multimeter, then set it at 0. Otherwise, you may get a clipped setting on the bass pre-outs. Don't listen to the posters here. So far, I have no reason to believe anyone has a clue what they're talking about.
  13. zako

    Head unit sub level -6 or +6

    Leave it at 0, plus or minus. For most head units, 0 is the setting where they don't clip the pre-amp setting at full volume. I tested this with a Kenwood and Pioneer. Also setting the amplifier gain at the 0 level, still leaves you some room at actually increase bass level on recordings with weak bass sound.
  14. You can't have a perfect sounding speaker in this price range. Usually something will be lacking. If you want to reverse the speaker properties, check out the Morel Maximo. They have excellent reviews, with bass being the strength of the package, but some people say that the tweeters are too loud or bright.
  15. zako

    Altima Coupe - Infinity/Focal Mixing Brands?

    Just because there is a space for 3.5 inch speaker, you don't have to install a speaker of that size. If you want to go with Focal comps, make a bracket from plywood or similar and install the tweeter you like in the 3.5 space.