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Thread: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

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    This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    So the title says it... I'm planning an active SPL/SQ build and would like any suggestions, tips, advice... FIRST priority for the setup is loud and low, and then as clean and clear and quality as I can get it


    -2005 Altima (already own)

    -a single Sundown SA-12 (already own)

    -Orion HCCA D2400 Competion amp (already own)

    -Precision Power PPi 900.4 for mids and highs 145 RMS 4 (already own)

    -Upgrading the H/U to something modern like a Kenwood. Something with 4V preamp output

    -Dayton 408 as a DSP

    -a Dayton umm6 mic to fine tune things using rew

    -Oscilloscope to set gains and such

    -going active, so some SB Acoustics SB17 (will have to do more research on exactly what model and what type of cone)

    -Some sort of nice tweeters (haven't gotten to researching these yet)

    -sound deadening and sealing front doors

    -Big 3 and any other electrical upgrades*

    -tons of research on how to properly tune and adjust all settings (will be doing this before installing)


    Looking for info on if the SB17s are a great choice and/or other mid woofer options that would work well with my SPL, while still SQ, setup?


    As well as if theres anything important I'm missing from the list above? Is there another step or piece of equipment I need to buy?

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    Noob LBaudio's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    You would probbaly gain some loudness going 3-Way front + Sub......
    One of most important aspects is a good rigid install, maybe some sealed or ported door panels would be nice too, but it takes a lot of additional work to fab them.
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    BURNED OUT Hillbilly SQ's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    While I think the SB17 (coated paper in particular because I have experience with them) is way up there for sounding really good on a budget I don't think it's anywhere close to being up to the task for your spl needs. If your goals leaned the other direction towards SQ I'd say it would be as good as you're gonna get on a budget. Here's an option that I've had my eye on for a while that might fit your needs. It's designed to keep up with the horns Eric Stevens sells if that tells you anything so output shouldn't be a problem while still sounding pretty good. I don't know how low it will play in your car with any authority but you could always have a tune optimized for SQ and then a tune set up to scream at the cost of SQ.
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    For a tweeter I would look into Morel for the sole purpose of them being extremely durable while sounding really good. I think the SB Acoustics SB29 would be a good option too if you can fit it. Just remember for SPL you'll need to cross your mids and tweets accordingly so your don't smoke them by accident. I think those Stevens MB6-4 midbass drivers would be your best bet for getting loud without needing a ton of power to do it like you would with a speaker that's terribly inefficient like the Anarchy for example.

    For 3-way if you don't want to do fab work in the pillar area I'm sure they make q-form kick panels for your car. My mom has the same car (05 Altima bought new in 04) so I know the kicks have plenty of room. Only think you'd have to be careful of is to keep the sound coming from the back of the of the cone from interfering with sound coming from the front of the cone. You can accomplish this by either making kick enclosures a sealed enclosure or sealing them to the car metal and venting them to the outside of the car through the kick panel metal. This is extremely olskool but the way your car seat sits I think it would work extremely well in your car. Everyone is putting midranges above the dash these days for the most part. For kick panel midranges I'd suggest a smaller version of the SB17 like the 5.25" version of it. If going with pillar or sail pods above the dash I'd use something like the mighty Audiofrog GB25. Yes the GB25 is expensive at over $400 a pair new but I think they're a really good value for what you get in such a small package.
    Last edited by Hillbilly SQ; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:34 AM.
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Thanks for the reply. Can you make some recommendations on some good mid bass and midrange speakers to go 3-way? Also would I need a third amp(just my noob thinking, maybe can run tweeters off the H/U)?
    Last edited by Maxmil982; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:36 AM.

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    BURNED OUT Hillbilly SQ's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxmil982 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Can you make some recommendations on some good mid ass and midrange speakers to go 3-way? Also would I need a third amp(just my noob thinking, maybe can run tweeters off the H/U)?
    I updated my post but will add another update here. I would stick with something that has high power handling and output capability for midbass so my Stevens mb6 suggestion stands. Going 3-way you can skimp on the tweeters because you normally won't need the tweeter to play much below 4000hz. It takes a real badass of a tweeter to play below 2500hz in a compact form. There are plenty of large format tweeters that can play at or below 2000hz cleanly to meet with most midbass woofers but being large format a lot of the times their diameter is over 4" wide with a HUGE magnet on the back.

    Tell us your install limitations and skillset so we can make more solid suggestions. Right now I'm just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks, lol.

    And yes you'll need amp channels for the tweeters. Headunit power is DIRTY power so not that great for powering anything worth having.
    In the hobby of car audio screwing up from time to time comes with the territory. How you move forward afterwards will determine if you can laugh about it or be furious. Life's too short to be mad so get glad

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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Thanks man I'll look into the Steven's and Morel. LBAudio suggested going 3-way, have you built any 3-way SPal setups?

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    Senior Member chithead's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    I like where this is going. You have some pretty solid equipment already.

    My only recommendation, is unless you are using sealed or weather preventative enclosures, then narrow the choice to mobile audio specific equipment if possible. And I would definitely start with just tweeters and woofers for now. Learn to utilize and tune them to awesome capabilities, then let the dedicated midrange curiosity kick in later.

    What might your budget be for the component set? I've used these before and REALLY liked them - Rockford Fosgate Power T1675-S
    "Pushy" has a completely different definition when Sean Connery says it.

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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Many thanks man. I'm going to archive your posts for future use. I believe its time to stop at a 2-way setup, get some woofers and tweeters and just utilize the amps and sub I have now. I started this journey buying a absolute junk piece of a flea market sub off craigslist, no amp, and some kicker speakers. I stopped and decided to research and do everything right. The more I researched the more my plans changed as an entire spectrum of car audio kept unfolding. I keep reaching for better more challenging builds and it's becoming a "run before you can walk" situation. I really appreciate the advice and I'll definitely use it Iater on for the next build.

    At this time, do you have any suggestions on what to do as far as electrical upgrades?

    I've researched that as well and it was sort of rabbit hole with people recommending, a battery upgrade, a second battery, HO alternator, capacitors, and every possible combination and permutation of those things. Just fyi the monoblock will run at 1200rms, 4ch amp at 145rms each speaker, and 145rms available for each tweeter(even though they may not need that much). I dont have any other major electrical draws besides the sound system. And I will upgrade to led headlights to save a few amps and definitely do big 3

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    Senior Member chithead's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Big 3 is one of those danced around topics, and I've done it on a number of previous vehicles. The main thing that seemed to help though, was upgrading the grounds. The one from the engine block to the chassis especially. That always seemed to help the most since it's often just a flimsy piece of braided wire. Most newer vehicles have increased their factory wire off the battery terminals to quite a substantial size/gauge.

    No need for second batteries, HO alternators, capacitors, none of that unless your factory charging system is severely not up to the task. Being a 2005 car, that end should be just fine. If you plan on extended demo sessions without the engine running, then a better or second battery would be good advice.

    The length of power wire you'll need will determine the recommended gauge/size. With you running that mono amp at 1 ohm though, I'd recommend 1/0 at least, with the split into dual 4 gauge as close as possible to both amps. Then at least 4 gauge ground wires secured to the car frame close to both amps.

    We've discovered a website that you can order wire at a very reasonable price - www.wireandsupply.com - a few fellow audio junkies are using that Excelene welding cable.
    Last edited by chithead; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:59 PM.
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    Aggieland Bound!!! blockrocker's Avatar
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    Re: This Noob's starter active setup...Please advise

    Definitely start with what you have and build slowly. Chithead is bang on about electrical upgrades. Start with improving grounds and connections before investing in big $$ items. A big 3 upgrade is never a bad thing but a high output alternator isn't always necessary, especially in an SQ system. Not to mention, the batteries and cable runs that come with the H/O alt. So be sure to tip toe towards it and make sure it is money well spent. I have a Singer alternator waiting to go into my Frontier truck, but I waited for a year to ensure it was something I needed. Honestly, I probably still don't yet, but with some future upgrades planned it will become a logical upgrade. Not to mention I am planning to keep the vehicle for as long as possible, so I don't mind the additional investment.

    Car audio is a slippery slope and the "run before you can walk" comment is a pretty common thing. But if you can build the system slowly, you will avoid many wasted dollars and efforts. Time and money on installation is definitely how you want to start a quality system build. Gear can be added later.

    Enjoy the process!!!

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