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The SQ Car Audio Thread V2

212131 Views 500 Replies 67 Participants Last post by  skills4lou
Welcome to Version 2 of the SQ Car Audio thread!


The last thread got buried and full of information. It's a bit daunting to sort through, so I've created a new one to make it a whole lot easier and to consolidate some of this information. Given the sheer number of questions I get regarding this, I figured I'd create a thread to answer them off the bat.

My mission here is to make competition-level sound quality feasible and affordable so you don't spend the thousands of dollars going through parts only to come back to this point. Read this thread, and you can build on my experience.


Getting Started
To start, you'll want a good idea of basic audio principles so you know what I'm talking about throughout this thread. For that purpose, I've created four basic Audio 101 "lectures" on my website, which you can find in the link below. Start from the bottom. If you have questions, post them here. Don't even bother thinking about SQ car audio until you've read these articles.

Audio 101 - The Xtreme Revolution


Expectations
I'm sure some of you came here thinking "The sound system in my Cruze sucks, what can I do to make it better? I want some great sound!" I hear that a lot, and I have an inbox full of these types of questions. Before we proceed, there are things I expect of you. If you cannot meet these expectations, you shouldn't be here.


  1. Cost. As a starting point, you should expect to spend $1000 if you want a good set of front speakers with MDF baffles, a proper install with door and trunk treatment, good wiring, and a good SQ subwoofer in a custom box. If don't have at least $1000 or don't want to spend that much, come back when you have accepted the cost of this endeavor. This applies to total installs, not to just a single subwoofer. Some of you will probably say, "but I can do it for so much cheaper than that!" Really? With a passive crossover front component set, a single 8" subwoofer, custom box, two amplifiers, sound deadening, and an AA-GM44 harness, you're right around $930, and we haven't begun to talk about wiring. If you can build the box yourself, you can save some money. Otherwise, I build subwoofer boxes and MDF speaker baffles at what most consider to be a very good price.
  2. Time. If you want a system installed within a week because you just got your tax return, your bonus, or birthday money and can't contain yourself, don't waste my time. It will take you time to choose the parts that are right for you. It will take you time to learn why they were chosen, and why you shouldn't have bought the ones on the shelf at Best Buy. Since you will most likely be installing this yourself (let's be realistic, most shops do shoddy work by my standards), you will need time for that as well. We have some members on this board who can perform high quality installs should you really not want to pull your own trim panels.
  3. Effort. You need to learn at least the basics of audio. If you don't want to put any effort in, don't expect me to help you. I know this doesn't apply to most of you out there, but I'm saying it as a fair warning to anyone who thinks they can have their hand held throughout the entire process. I'm making tools available to you so that you can learn, have true appreciation for what's going on, and put together an excellent system.
  4. Patience. This ties in the last two points, but it deserves its own point. If you order a box and baffles from me, expect to wait a while as I've never yet had a day where I didn't have a box in progress. If it takes me 2 months to get everything done, chalk that up as part of the cost of getting a competition-ready custom made subwoofer box built for cheap. If you find yourself not understanding how something works or how to do something on your car, don't get frustrated. Ask questions, and wait for an answer. Keep in mind that we all have lives outside this forum.



In my next post, we'll move straight to system recommendations.
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Discussion Starter · #442 ·
Would it better to have 2 separate 2 channel amps to lower power going to tweeters and have more going to woofers? Would tune still be the same? I was thinking of going with the Dayton/Seas and Planet Audio AC600.2 ANARCHY 600-Watt Full Range Class A/B 2 to 8 Ohm Stable 2 Channel Amplifier for seas while using Planet Audio AC1200.2 ANARCHY 1200-Watt Full Range Class A/B 2 to 8 Ohm Stable 2 Channel Amplifier with Remote Subwoofer Level Control for the daytons.
Only reason to do so would be for cost purposes. The tweeter will only take as much power as you feed it using volume and frequency range. You'll be unlikely to give them more than 10W apiece even at very loud volumes. They just don't need much power. The tune will be the same, you'll have to adjust gains like you would on any other amp.
 

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Only reason to do so would be for cost purposes. The tweeter will only take as much power as you feed it using volume and frequency range. You'll be unlikely to give them more than 10W apiece even at very loud volumes. They just don't need much power. The tune will be the same, you'll have to adjust gains like you would on any other amp.
So thisPlanet Audio AC1200.4 ANARCHY 1200-Watt Full Range Class A/B 2 to 8 Ohm Stable 4 Channel Amplifier
would be fine and save $$$ with no concerns for wattage going to tweeters?

And HUGE thank you for all you knowledge and assistance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #444 ·
So thisPlanet Audio AC1200.4 ANARCHY 1200-Watt Full Range Class A/B 2 to 8 Ohm Stable 4 Channel Amplifier
would be fine and save $$$ with no concerns for wattage going to tweeters?

And HUGE thank you for all you knowledge and assistance!
Yeah you'd be fine if you think it's a quality amp. Your tweeters will only get as much power as is needed to play at the volume you're commanding. You'll know you hit their limit due to distortion long before you overpower them.

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Do you guys have suggestions for a great match for a subwoofer with the dayton/seas combination? I Currently have a jl h.o. Wedge ho110-w6v3 that I got a fantastic deal from a buddy who needed to get rid of it a year or two ago. I had it in my old grand Cherokee (which is on its last legs) which had tons of room in the back but I'm weary of using it in the Cruze due to the sheer size of it, honestly I haven't even tried to check to see if it fits yet. It always sounded great to me, but it was the first subwoofer I ever owned. I'm considering selling it if there's a better match for this system. All I know for sure is if I'm spending money on a sub I want to definitely know it's there, but at the same time I don't want to kill my trunk space. I've looked at the custom fiberglass enclosure in the drivers side pocket which is a 10 inch max. But if there's a small enough box for a bigger sub that would complement my future setup much better then I'm very open to ideas. I also own a Jbl gto-751ez mono amp but if that's not sufficient I could sell that as well. I'm still not sure of the reputation of the JBL amps, I've read good reviews on them but that's just from a general community, not an audiophile community. I also have a JBL 804-ez that (I think) would work for the Dayton/Seabs 4 channel setup. Any thoughts are really appreciated guys. Ive read every single post of v1 and v2 of this thread and I really feel like I'm learning as I go here. It's exciting!
 

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Flex,

I would suggest reading up on some of XR's subwoofer threads. Several have followed the Cone Area is King approach ( dual 18's infinite baffle) to get the most out of the lower frequencies without killing trunk space.

I will be starting with my 10" JBL P1022 sub in a fiberglass box meant for the passenger side cubby of an RX8 that I use to own. I am considering doing that dual 18" sub build.
 

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Flex,

I would suggest reading up on some of XR's subwoofer threads. Several have followed the Cone Area is King approach ( dual 18's infinite baffle) to get the most out of the lower frequencies without killing trunk space.

I will be starting with my 10" JBL P1022 sub in a fiberglass box meant for the passenger side cubby of an RX8 that I use to own. I am considering doing that dual 18" sub build.
Thanks! I'll check it out
that is insane/awesome, but way too advanced for me haha
 

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Just figured I would throw this in here since it is mentioned as part of the build: I ordered some products from sounddeadenershowdown and the customer service was excellent. I unknowingly made a mistake with the quantities and I received an email that day verifying that I was sure in my quantities for each product. I told him what I was planning on doing and he replied very quickly with dimensions for my doors, and how much of what I would need. He updated the quantities and saved me $40. Received the shipment and the stuff looks very high quality. Will update when I get a chance to actually install everything. Very pleased so far.
 

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I agree 100%. My experience with SDS was exceptional. I told them what my build plan was and they were able to help me adjust my quantities accordingly. They were also able to save me nearly $20 on shipping by combining everything into a single box. They were also very prompt with any questions I had. Highly recommend them for anyone doing anything with sound deadening.
 

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This is kind of what I was referring to for pods but utilizing the 1 set of viffa tweetes without the added tweets on the mirror cover. How much trouble would it be to tune them in on axis like this? Need to get a mic & RTA?
Just wanted to post this as I think this is a really sweet install on the pods. Looks very clean.

Link to pod install.
Chevy Cruze A-Pillar Build - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

R-
 

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Discussion Starter · #455 ·
This is kind of what I was referring to for pods but utilizing the 1 set of viffa tweetes without the added tweets on the mirror cover. How much trouble would it be to tune them in on axis like this? Need to get a mic & RTA?
Just wanted to post this as I think this is a really sweet install on the pods. Looks very clean.

Link to pod install.
Chevy Cruze A-Pillar Build - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

R-
Yeah you'd need a complete measurement setup to accurately tune those.
 

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Now that the baffles are on the way, I will be getting much closer to starting my install. I will be doing the big 3 upgade as well. I saw no mention of a capacitor in all the reading in both SQ install threads. Is a capacitor not really necessary? I will be running the Alpine 8" inch type R sub. Still searching for an AMP for this Sub. Not sure if I should stick with a class AB amp or go to a class D amp. Biggest concern is clean accurate sound. Class D seems to be the most popular for subs, for obvious reasons, but is it the best for sound quality. Still learning.
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Discussion Starter · #458 ·
Now that the baffles are on the way, I will be getting much closer to starting my install. I will be doing the big 3 upgade as well. I saw no mention of a capacitor in all the reading in both SQ install threads. Is a capacitor not really necessary? I will be running the Alpine 8" inch type R sub. Still searching for an AMP for this Sub. Not sure if I should stick with a class AB amp or go to a class D amp. Biggest concern is clean accurate sound. Class D seems to be the most popular for subs, for obvious reasons, but is it the best for sound quality. Still learning.
R-
The capacitor is not needed. Caps are generally just bandaids for weak electrical systems, which you are addressing with the big 3 kit. You won't really notice a difference in sound between a class AB and a class D amp for bass, so grab a good CEA rated amp that produces at or over the power level you need and you'll be fine.
 

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Got baffles today. :th_dblthumb2::th_dblthumb2: Very nice! Thank you.
This will be a very meticulous install for me. :hellno: hacking allowed.
This may seem like a trivial question. As i have no experience with MDF, should a pilot hole be drilled for the six screws mounting the speaker to the baffle? I'm under the impression that MDF is not very durable and I want to insure that the screws anchor in nice & strong without splitting the material or being too loose & having the speakers come loose over time with repeated door closings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #460 ·
Yes, pilot holes are needed for the speaker mounting screws. MDF is pretty strong and dead but it will separate if you're not careful. I included coarse thread screws so you can drill a small pilot hole. Once you do, they'll never come out.

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