Need help deciding on what my front stage is going to be

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Ronin, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    I am doing custom fiberglass kickpanels with wood bracing/frame. Mostly due to need rather than want, my mustangs doors really arent the place for speakers so yeah. And I dont have room for 3-way (well I might have room but that's way too much hassle at this moment in time.

    My budget will be around 6-700 for speakers and maybe a little bit less for an amp.

    Speakers I've been looking at:

    CDT Audio HD-Z series
    Focal 165KP
    Rainbow CS 265 Profi (a little over budget)
    Rainbow CMX 465 Extreme (my current favorite, these things are monsters at 200 watts RMS)


    For an amp I was thinking Zapco, It's just that the RMS of the speakers and the output of the amp dont seem to go hand in hand, I want optimal output so if anyone can explain how much leniency I can have that'd be great. Could I go a bit over the RMS and how much under can i go while retaining optimum output?

    (Recommend other amps besides Zapco)

    I will be running a rear stage with 5.25 alpine type-x components, they were destined for a car that they never went into so now I am going to make them my rear stage.


    I know the Focal and Rainbow prices using a european online dealer and converting the pounds to dollars. Just have to times the number by 1.8.

    Side note: the top of the line rainbows are priced at 12 grand :eek3:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2005
  2. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    As for speakers, you could probably pick up a set of the 165W utopias on ebay for around $700. Should be an upgrade over the K2 line. You could also check out the Seas Lotus. I think that's in your price range and I've heard very good things about it. Rainbows are certainly very nice as well, good choices.

    I don't think you should really ever underpower components, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad thing. So long as you set your gains properly and don't go past 75% volume on your HU, you're not going to blow the speakers. That said, I think overpowering is the way to go. I'm not sure if there is a rule of thumb, but I'd say up to 15% overpowered should be fine for most speakers, maybe even more. When you overpower, you have more headroom, which means more dynamic power. You're much less likely to clip as well, which we all know is the main thing that kills speakers. As far as amp recommendations, if you're looking at Zapco, then I would look at Arc Audio, USamps, and Audison to name a few. They're all in that same range. Of course, always pick an amp for your speakers, and not speakers for your amp.

    Out of curiosity, which online dealers are you looking at for focal and rainbow?
     
  3. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    Ok, overpowering it is, and I will look at the brands you listed.

    I have a hookup for Arc Audio but I cant say who it is :o

    http://caraudiosecurity.com/shop/home.html

    It's based in the UK, over seas shipping would fuck me hard though. I ran a estimate using UPS and itd be 75 dollars via global express for a 700 dollar 10 pound order so I'm going to try pulling some strings and finding them over here if I decide to go rainbow (unless theres a price difference that makes the 75 dollar shipping worth it). :hs: Checked out the Seas Lotus site, the USA dealer site is down ill check back later.


    damn ebay pwns, the k2s are only 450, there are utopias but they are 5.25 :mad: :mad: and only 645 buy it now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2005
  4. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Underpowered is a relative term. Just because a set of components is rated to handle 200W doesnt mean only running 100W is underpowering them. It depends on what kind of output levels you're looking for and the comps themselves. Some drivers work well with lower power levels even if they can handle much more; others need closer to to their maximum to work well.

    Having said that, more power usually doesnt hurt. But don't think you automatically need to run more power than the speakers are rated at to get the best sound. Often times 100W is more than enough power to attain ear splitting levels without clipping.

    Another thing is to look at your own listening habits. If you tend to listen to the system at full tilt on the freeway with the windows down, go for a bit bigger amp. That way you can set the input sensitivity to where the amp will be making just about the maximum power the speakers can handle at full output without clipping. In addition you need to find where the outputs on your headunit begin to clip. Some HUs wont ever clip, but (like Veonake said) most is at ~75%. Once you find that information and carefully set the input sensitivity you can be fairly confident you wont damage your speakers if you have the windows down and maybe couldnt hear the distortion if there was any. Of course you have to control yourself from increasing the volume any higher than where you set the input sensitivity at.

    If you tend to listen at lower levels you wont need as much power. You can buy a smaller amp and spend the extra money elsewhere, like on a good 31 band EQ or something.

    To sum it all up, you are really only underpowering the speakers if you are driving the amp into clipping frequently.
     
  5. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    My listening habits are generally in the upper tier of the systems capability, lets say 80-90 percent of full power. Depends on my mood, sometimes i like medium to quiet levels like for jazz.

    Hmm, thanks for all the info, that should help with my selections.
     
  6. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    You're right XR250rdr (damn you people with complex names lol) about underpowering. My post may have come off the wrong way, but I meant to say that's what I do in my systems and what I try to do for friend's systems. Certainly people that listen to music more softly or to less dynamic music do not need to have an amp that matches the max RMS rating for their speakers. I love a lot of headroom, and I occasionally enjoy cranking it up, so that's why I made my recommendation.

    However, I would note that some people who listen to so-called "lighter" music like classical, may still benefit by matching or overpowering their speakers due to the huge dynamic range (on a good recording anyway) of classical music. The case I'm thinking of is if for example you were listening to the 1812 overture. If you are running say 100W to 150W rated speakers, you may need to turn your HU's volume close to 75% to obtain appropriate listening levels for most of the piece, otherwise you may never hear those soft wind instrument lines. But, all of a sudden you have canons going off inside your car, your HU puts a near maximum signal to the amp which in turn clips which then proceeds to blow up your woofers, as well as your tweeters unless you're running an active setup. Listening to brittney spears though, with all the compression going on, you'll be fine. So, case by case. :hs:
     
  7. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Classical music has huge dynamic range in comparison to pretty much all other kinds of music. A good reserve of power is definitely a plus there.

    I was gonna write a bunch but I noticed I missed your last line. That is the whole point I was going to make: don't generalize.

    If manufacturers were more consistent in maximum power ratings this would be a whole lot easier.
     
  8. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    hm, when I finnally order my speakers I'll post in here and ask what you guys would think would be a suitable amp.


    If anyone knows of a USA dealer that sells Focal, Rainbow, Seas Lotus let me know.


    Should I also be considering Dynaudio?
     
  9. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    yes and Morel
     
  10. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    Ah yes, I nearly forgot
     
  11. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    someone beat me, i was going to mention the morels...iirc, car audio and electronics did a review on high end components, alpine type x (F1 i think), morel, rainbow, and dynaudio...i think the alpines rated very high, if not tops overall.
     
  12. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    I would :love: to have a set of Supremos :wackit:
     
  13. bearsdidit

    bearsdidit OT Supporter

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    dynaudio makes a great 3 way component set, 7in woofer, 4in and tweet. my friend ran a set in his scion and it was amazing.
     
  14. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    hmm, ive looked at there 3-ways before, dont want the hassle
     
  15. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    ive narrowed my selection down to this:

    Morel SR6.2s or 8.2 (what would be a better idea?) I am thinking this is what my decision will be unless someone can argue that
    CDT HD-62Z


    I cant find Rainbow anywhere in the US and I dont want to pay for the shipping so screw that.

    Everythng else I see isnt really what I'm looking for, cant find it, or too expensive

    Seas Lotus reference is right out of my budget.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2005
  16. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Do you have any Al & Ed's Autosound in your state? They sell rainbow in their stores. Btw, with 3-ways, it may be less of a hassle than you think. You said you planned on doing kickpanels. It should be easier to glass kickpanels for a 4" mid than a 6.5 or even 5.5, it would also allow more flexibility in tweeter position and angle instead of having to cram everything. As for the 7" woofer that is common to 3-ways, just build some MDF adapter rings to open up the OEM door speaker location. That should be cake next to making the kicks. Good luck whatever way you go.

    I can't give you any recommendation on the Morel's or CDT's as I haven't listened to them for any period of time to be useful.

    Oh, one more curveball. Have you looked at Polk's new SR6500? They are supposed to be killer. Their whitepaper is very intimidating. http://www.polkaudio.com/downloads/SR6500_WhiteSheet_hires.pdf
    Got me drooling anyways.
     
  17. bearsdidit

    bearsdidit OT Supporter

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    i've never seen rainbows at the three local al and eds
     
  18. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    there is no slot in the doors, id have to cut, i have a 66 mustang, thus the kickpanels, im going to dash mount the tweets. The doors would be hard to work with I think, I'd have to look closer.

    and ive never seen a al and eds in my life

    another thing about the 3-ways is that the ones I would want are out of my range.
     
  19. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    The one in Rancho Bernardo told me they carried them last time I was there (maybe 6 months ago). Maybe they lied.
     
  20. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Fair enough, didn't check your profile for the year.
     
  21. Arc

    Arc New Member

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  22. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    i havent ordered and i wont be for awhile

    thanks for the link

    they dont really have what i was lookin for though
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2005
  23. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    http://www.advanceae.com.au/catalog/


    found another site with Rainbow and some other good stuff

    holy shit, wtf is with the markups, ugh

    my search continues

    this pisses me off it should be easier to find high end car audio at an uninflated price
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2005
  24. ledzep73

    ledzep73 New Member

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    When you figure out what you want just search for in in froogle. It will list the cheapest price for the same item, pretty cool if you ask me.
     
  25. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    Froogle is cool but i still cant find what I'm looking for. I contacted Alumapro about how their rainbow branch is down (Alumapro is a USA dealer for RAC) they said they were looking into it and just directed me to the rainbow audio page which is useless to me.
     

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