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Old 05-26-2005, 10:16 PM   #5
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Re: start of newbie info thread

This is a write-up I did on SiN for a guy that had a budget of $1000. NG thought it was pretty good, so I thought I'd post it here.

Front: (~ $170 - $250)
You want something really nice, usually a 6.5" component set. If you can fiberglass or build some kick panels, or mount them in the doors on an MDF baffle, it's better than sticking them in the stock mounts. You should also look for a really good crossover (either active or passive --- active gives you much more control, but requires more amps). Brands to look for are CDT (Don at Island Sound ( has some really good deals, look for the EF series), Resonent Engineering (for both components and subs... the XXX line are some of the best out there - you'll have to call for prices), or Focal.

Rear: ($60)
Some inexpensive 6.5" coaxials will do the trick. Pioneer, CDT, whatever. NOT Audiospawn (=audiobaun).

Amp(s): (~ $200 - $400)
You got some choices here. First of all, you really won't be happy with the sound coming from your components unless you amp them. You can either buy seperate amps for sub and speakers, which many people do because of the bling in your trunk (I mean, 2 or 3 amps does look pretty impressive), or a single 5 or 6 channel amp that powers everything. I don't think an active crossover is in your price range just yet, so I won't worry about it for now. I've got a DEI 1100d5 5 channel amp, that puts out around 1100 watts, ~ 75 on 4 channels for the speakers, and 600 at 1 ohm for the sub. I'm not touting Directed, I'm just going to try it out. Hifonics makes some really good amps, PPI is a good brand, Pheonix Gold amps are really good, and Profile makes some nice ones for the money. Depends on how much power you want.

Sub(s) ($200 - $400)
Again, you've got more options, depending on the kind of output you want. I'm not the expert on this, but I'll do my best. I'll save the enclosure suggestions for the next topic. If you want SPL (just getting loud), go for some Audiobauns... they're gonna sound like crap, but definately be loud. If you want SQ, You can do multiple smaller subs, or a good large sub. Brands to go for are RE (the SE and SX series are good for SQ, the XXX is good for SQL, and the MTs are SPL), Ascendant Audio (Atlas = $150ish, Avalanche = ~$350 both mostly SQ, with the Ava being more SQL), Incriminator Audio (get very loud, ask NGSM13 for a dealer's contact info), and Adire Audio (Brahmas are reputed to be some of the best SQ subs out there, and their other lines are very good as well). Sorry if I missed any, or got info wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's right.

Enclosure: (~$50)
You're probably best off to build it yourself. Most people on the forum here can design one for you for 10 bucks, or you can get a program like BassBox 6 Pro and come up with a design yourself. Buy the 3/4" MDF at Home Depot (or where ever), some wood glue, some silicone or thicker consistancy glue for sealing it (and the carpet), carpetting (walmart - $7 a roll, in the auto section, near floor mats), and a plate connector (for getting wires into the enclosure).
There's always been debates about whether to go sealed or ported, and most decide to go ported, because they like the extra output in the lower frequencies. I'm sure you can find all sorts of debates on this forum and others on the net about this issue. Sealed is probably a good one to start with, because it's easier to do, and harder to fry your sub with. For a 15 inch sub, you'll probably need around 2.5 cubes - 3.5 cubes (cube = cubic foot, aka ft^3). For ported you'll need around 4 cubes to 6 cubes. A 12" sub needs around 3 cubes ported, and a 10 can live with 2.5 cubes.

Wiring: ($30 to $50)
You don't have to do anything fancy here. If you're under 1000 watts, you'll probably just need 4 gauge wire for power, and 12-14 gauge wire for the speakers. Knu Konceptz has some really good deals on twisted pair RCA cables that work wonderfully, and are really fairly cheap. Ebay is a good place to get wire kits as well.

Electrical Upgrades: (~$250)
I don't have much experience here, because my car came with a pretty decent setup. Ok, what I've learned so far is that most people upgrade the big three wires first (the power and ground wires between the alternator and the battery, and the ground to the chassis and the ground to the engine block), then replace the battery (usually with an Optima Yellow Top or a deepcycle of some sort), and finally a new high output alternator. Like I said in the previous post, I don't know too much about it, but this is what people usually do.

OK, I'm sure I missed some stuff, but those are the basics. Good luck!
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