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  1. #1

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    Default Need advice for car project

    I recently bought a 2012 Scion xB with the entry grade Pioneer HU. I've Dynamatted the four doors and the rear hatch and replaced the stock speakers with Polk db 651's in four spots. I also kept the stock tweeter in the door. I think it sounds terrible! Music is chesty with nearly no mid range at all and the highs get very shrill and piercing no matter the volume. Right now the Polks with the stock HU are not going to cut it for me. My budget for speakers, amp, HU and wires is about 3K.

    I am a newb when it comes to car audio and have a few questions:
    Would a good amp bring these speaks to life or does one have to replace the HU at the same time to extract the most out of the speaks? I only have experience with home audio.

    Should I consider upgrading the speakers to the mm line? I listen to jazz and classic rock but am not interested in megasubs for the bottom, although I would entertain a sub at sometime in the future.

    I'd like some input on possible choices and recommendations on how to proceed next. Thanks,

    Gordon
    2 Channel -
    Martin Logan Spire, 2 JL Audio F112 subs
    McIntosh C1000 Controller with Tube pre amp, 2 MC501 amplifiers, MD1K Transport & DAC, MR-88 Tuner
    WireWorld Eclipse 6.0 speaker wire and jumpers, Eclipse 5^2 Squared Balanced IC's. Silver Eclipse PCs (5)
    Symposium Rollerblocks 2+ (16)Black Diamond Racing Mk 3 pits (8)

  2. #2

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    You at least have a nice budget to go with, I would say you could easily stay under $1000 and be fine. First I would looking into a head unit around the $300-500 range(maybe cheaper if you get last years model) Depending on what you want, bluetooth, mp3, video, ect. Then you could get a set of MM6501s 6.5" comps for around $200. Then find a amp that is around 2x200 at 4ohms and just run the fronts to start. If you need more rear fill after you could always connect the rear DBs to your headunit for a little more fill.

    Just there should sound good for only around $800 max. If you want a little more kick I would go for the MM 12" sub, would be a small box for your trunk area. This is where you can spend more and have someone make a nice fibreglass one(this is what I did, it cost me around $400) It makes your trunk more usable then and looks better. All in all I would say you could get a very nice setup for $1500. This is if you install everything yourself besides having someone make a box for you.

    Just my 2 cents

  3. #3

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    if ur serious about it....
    Eliminate the rear speakers all together.
    Get a JBL-MS8, Bit-One or Bit-Ten, Mosconi DSP 6 to 8
    Solid pair of components up front
    And a Sub or 2.

    My advice... go to a few local meets and listen to what people have in their car.
    U wont find a speaker you like unless you hear it.
    2013 Toyota Prius - Planning this one out.

  4. #4

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    I do agree with everything said above, but the speakers, and HU, and amps are a good start, just dont forget you will need wire to power the amps, and RCA's from the HU to amps. I would suggest getting good wire, not super expensive, but not dirt cheep either. somewhere in the middel is good. I am not trying to open a can of worms on the wire stuff, just putting it out there. Hope it helps

    Thanks.
    2006 Prerunner Access Cab
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I recently bought a 2012 Scion xB with the entry grade Pioneer HU. I've Dynamatted the four doors and the rear hatch and replaced the stock speakers with Polk db 651's in four spots. I also kept the stock tweeter in the door. I think it sounds terrible! Music is chesty with nearly no mid range at all and the highs get very shrill and piercing no matter the volume. Right now the Polks with the stock HU are not going to cut it for me. My budget for speakers, amp, HU and wires is about 3K.

    I am a newb when it comes to car audio and have a few questions:
    Would a good amp bring these speaks to life or does one have to replace the HU at the same time to extract the most out of the speaks? I only have experience with home audio.

    Should I consider upgrading the speakers to the mm line? I listen to jazz and classic rock but am not interested in megasubs for the bottom, although I would entertain a sub at sometime in the future.

    I'd like some input on possible choices and recommendations on how to proceed next. Thanks,

    Gordon
    Your main problem right now is that you kept the factory tweeters. This is a BAD idea! That is why the highs are shrill and you can't hear the body of the music. Disconnect those tweeters and see how it sounds. I would move up gradually with the upgrades, only go with a processor if you really want to become OCD about how your car sounds. The MS-8 will auto tune for you but it costs a lot of money and it still requires a lot of tweaking afterwards to get right. A nice option for you would be to buy a new pair of MM6501's ($200) and run them active off of a 4 channel amp ($200) in the front, add a MM sub($150) and amp($200) and be done with it.

    What are your EQ settings right now? That could be an issue too.
    Audison Bit Ten
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  6. #6

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    Thanks for the insight and sorry it took so long to get back. I've replaced the HU with an Alpine CDEHD138BT. I also tried fitting the tiny 45X4 mini amp, but as small as it is, I just couldn't mount it well enough to prevent rattles and bangs, so it goes back.

    So far (2 days) the HU is a vast improvement. Still playing with the eq along with the stock tweets still in the system. Not there yet, but getting much better.

    Next month I'll be looking to get an amp. I've read differing opinions on speaker wires. Is it a must to run new wires from amp to speaker or is it possible to use the stock runs? I really don't want this to turn into a wire debate but would like a reason for one way or the other.

    Gordon
    2 Channel -
    Martin Logan Spire, 2 JL Audio F112 subs
    McIntosh C1000 Controller with Tube pre amp, 2 MC501 amplifiers, MD1K Transport & DAC, MR-88 Tuner
    WireWorld Eclipse 6.0 speaker wire and jumpers, Eclipse 5^2 Squared Balanced IC's. Silver Eclipse PCs (5)
    Symposium Rollerblocks 2+ (16)Black Diamond Racing Mk 3 pits (8)

  7. #7

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    Stick with the stock wire runs for what you're doing. Factory wire only needs to be bypassed if it is old/problematic, or if you're running serious quantities of power. For the wiring, I highly recommend knukonceptz.com, as do a few others on here. You don't need the expensive top of the line stuff, just a step or two up from the cheapest.

    Some general suggestions, absolutely ditch the factory tweeters. As others have suggested, run a pair of MM6501's up front and put the tweeters in the stock location. Or if you really want to get into it, experiment with some painter's tape and put the tweeters in different locations and see what you like. The MM tweeters can get very loud while still sounding smooth and non-fatiguing.

    I know you're not looking for earth-shattering bass, but for classic rock and especially for jazz (my two favorite genres), you are missing out on a lot without a sub. You don't need anything too serious, but a single 10" MM sub in a small box won't take up much space and will really, really fill out the presentation of your music. It can make the difference between listening to a recording of Ellington and feeling like the bassist is in your backseat. Power it with a small class D pushing 500 watts RMS and you won't need to turn it up past halfway. With that, you can filter out the lows and sub bass from the components up front, which will be able to push some very nice mids and mid bass without risking distortion from the sub-50 hz range.

    Since space is an issue and budget is not (relatively speaking), you might take a look at Polk's 5 channel D class. Small enough footprint, only one amp to push the sub and all four doors (or bi-amped components if you want to go that route).

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