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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a new DX-VP civic on Saturday. Love the car, well everything but the audio. I had an 06 mazda3 hatch which I had outfitted with top model Image Dynamics components, sundown amps, JL sub and deadening job. I switched cars because I gave the old one to my daughter and gas mileage is important to me. When I go to new audio equipment, I want to keep it lightweight and simple. I play my music fairly loud but I really just want the music to fill up the interior nicely with some better SQ. I don't expect or need this new system to meet my mazda's SPL or quality levels, just something to get me by on a commuter car that was bought for reliability and mpg figures. I want to keep it as inexpensive as possible but can go up to 2 grand +/-. No need for overkill, light, simple with a noticeable improvement over stock in sq and spl.

Do you guys have any suggestions that work well with this car?
 

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Sounds like you have some past experience with higher end components. So much of it is install dependent, as well as your personal preference. If you have some specific components in mind, I'm sure the guys on here would be more than happy to give you their opinons.

Welcome to the forum,

Hans
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome. have owned quite a few sets of components, amps and subs. I've installed all of the systems but I want this one simple, maybe even coaxials will work this time? I just want to be able to turn it up a little when going to work out or when heading in to work for the day and not hear the mud I'm hearing now. I can do the install correctly but like I said, I want to see how nice I can make it sound while keeping it as light, small and simple as possible. I'd love to hear from someone that has done or heard of a minimalistic install that got great results. I just can't take the sound of the stock stereo much longer even though I just got it 2 days ago.

Sounds like you have some past experience with higher end components. So much of it is install dependent, as well as your personal preference. If you have some specific components in mind, I'm sure the guys on here would be more than happy to give you their opinons.

Welcome to the forum,

Hans
 

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Well you can't get much lighter or simpler than doing an install off of deck power. For thes types of installations, my go-to speakers are the Polk DB series. They are very efficient, and work well with the 15ish watts that a head unit can deliver. Obviously, it won't net you output or dynamic range equivalent to a high power install, but if you're really trying to stay simple, cheap, and light, it may be worth considering. I would say that to get a reasonable amount of output volume, you will want to run all four speakers, not just the front two... which can mess up your imaging and soundstage - but everything's a compromise. Obviously, there are other speakers that will work just fine for a deck power install... but for "average joe" installations, the DBs are my personal choice.

That, coupled with a modest woofer amp and a small sub in a well designed enclosure, would be about the most minimalist setup you could run that would give you decent range (without a lot of custom fab).

Hans
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the suggestions, it's helpful and I may end up going that route. I could always upgrade later if I needed more.

I've been thinking about doing something like this. i want to keep the stock HU so I could add one of these and pair it up with a nice dual band Active EQ for the front stage:

JL Audio: Products

I could use one compact 4 ch amp to power the front off 2 ch's and power a small 8" sub in a ported box with the other 2 channels. That wouldn't add too much weight and be relatively simple and easy. Opinion?

I'm still having trouble deciding on the front speakers however. I could just go with some good coaxes or get some components that mount brax style. I'd rather just do the coax thing(I've heard they can sound good with amp power) but it may be worth the effort to do the brax comp thing.


Well you can't get much lighter or simpler than doing an install off of deck power. For thes types of installations, my go-to speakers are the Polk DB series. They are very efficient, and work well with the 15ish watts that a head unit can deliver. Obviously, it won't net you output or dynamic range equivalent to a high power install, but if you're really trying to stay simple, cheap, and light, it may be worth considering. I would say that to get a reasonable amount of output volume, you will want to run all four speakers, not just the front two... which can mess up your imaging and soundstage - but everything's a compromise. Obviously, there are other speakers that will work just fine for a deck power install... but for "average joe" installations, the DBs are my personal choice.

That, coupled with a modest woofer amp and a small sub in a well designed enclosure, would be about the most minimalist setup you could run that would give you decent range (without a lot of custom fab).

Hans
 

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Obviously, there are a lot of options, I'll give you my input on what you mentioned...


As for the head unit, you could certainly go that route, but for roughly the same cost as a unit to piggy back off of the factory head, you could pickup a decent aftermarket unit. Personally, I've, never been one to apply processing to a factory head unit - to me it seems counter-productive, but many people want to retain their factory head for one reason or another. To each their own.

Speaker wise, a nice set of higher end coaxials (or components that allow the tweet to be mounted on the phase plug) could be made to work well. In fact, given a clear path to the listener, the imaging and alignment of them is close to perfect since all sound is dispersed from the center of the cone at a single point of orgin. If placed in properly designed kick panel pods, for instance, high end coaxs can sound quite good. Then again, if you are going through the work of building kick panel pods, I would probably run a nice component set, especially since it allows for so many more options.

And yes, you could run a single 4 channel amp, with the rears bridged on a woofer (or in stereo on a pair) and the fronts on the coaxes/components. Your limitation in that case would be the passive crossovers on the front stage drivers (not sure how much of an issue that is to you).

You could also pick up a 5 channel amp (JL 500/5, Edesigns Nine.5, or similar.... both are out of production but the 500/5 can be found as NOS), which would allow you to run the front stage drivers full active, as well as power the sub, off of a single amp. The one downside is you are stuck with a mono signal for the sub-stage (Again, not sure of your feelings on that).

EQ wise, If you are realy serious about EQ tuning for SQ, you will appreciate the added flexability of running a pair of 1/3 octave EQs (one on the right channel, one on the left), as opposed to just a single unit summed on both channels. This allows you to adjust for L/R acoustic anomalies inside the cabin. Some digital EQs allow for this from a single unit, but I've always been an analog EQ guy, myself.

Regarding the sub, For pure SQ, engineering the subwoofer into the front stage of the car (center console, dash, doors, etc.) would help imaging, especially if crossed over at a higher frequency. If you are going that far, you may want to consider running a pair of subs in stereo (for which the aforementioned 5 channel amp won't work), and using a sealed enclosure for the drivers instead of ported, for better transients, a smoother rolloff, more natural curve, and improved low end response.



All that said,

Personally, going off of what you mentioned, If I was doing the build for SQ, the following would be my setup:

1 - Aftermarket head (brand of choice)
2 - 1/3 octave (30 band) analog eqs (brand of choice), setup for R/L operation
1 - JL 450/4V2 (to power front stage)
1 - 6.5" component set (brand of choice), run active off of 450/4v2
1 - Pair of kick panel pods (To house the midbass drivers - tweeter location factor dependent)
2 - 8" sub bass drivers (brand of choice), one glassed into each front door panel in a sealed enclosure. These would be run in stereo.
1 - 2 channel A/B amplifier (brand of choice), with built in low pass filter (To power sub bass drivers)

And of course all necessary wiring, cables, electrical upgrades, sound deadending, etc.


Alternatively, If running the front stage passive doesn't bother you, you could also power the whole setup listed above with a single large 4 channel amp... or if you don't mind running the subs mono, you could retain active operation with a single 5 channel unit.


I understand the above involves a good bit of custom fab work, and may be more than you are looking for, but I can assure you that the end result would be quite nice.



Hans
 

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since the civic is already outfitted with stock tweeters I'm going to recommend that to steer clear of coaxials. You already have a place to put the without cutting, may as well use it. There are very small and light 4 channel amps out there... look tot he ARC mini series... very small H-class amps. So small that they use them on motorcycles without modification.

These amps aren't up on their website yet, but they have a 500 watt rms mono amp that measures only 4" x 7" x 2". unbelievable sound from them, too. And this coming from an engineer at a competing company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I bought a DX-VP so there are no stock tweeter locations. I don;t want to cut up my panels or interior unless I have to. I am spoiled with components in all of my past cars so I may have to.

I've had several Arc amps (XXK was pure diesel) in the past. Love to see that mono amp. Is this the series you are referring to?

Arc Audio

since the civic is already outfitted with stock tweeters I'm going to recommend that to steer clear of coaxials. You already have a place to put the without cutting, may as well use it. There are very small and light 4 channel amps out there... look tot he ARC mini series... very small H-class amps. So small that they use them on motorcycles without modification.

These amps aren't up on their website yet, but they have a 500 watt rms mono amp that measures only 4" x 7" x 2". unbelievable sound from them, too. And this coming from an engineer at a competing company.
 

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that' it. GREAT amplifiers designed by Robert Zeff from start to finish. He's the guy who essentially invented G and H-class technology. Back when he was still with QSC he made H-class amps for Ike and Tina Turner because they wanted more power with better sound. This was in the 60's and 70's. He's had time to perfect it. AMAZING sound.

cutting tweeters into the A-pillars is quite easy, and cosmetically appealing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great suggestions. Thank you. typiscal of me to start out talking about keeping it simple and end up with an active system with multiple subs, LOL.

The only reason I wanted to keep the stock HU is I like the looks of a stock car. The JL clean sweep retails for $350 so I could certainly find an aftermarket unit below that which makes it a tough decision but I still like the looks of the stock. It would be really cool to hear some awesome sound coming from what looks to be a factory install. If I switch HU's, I'm going with something that improves the looks of stock, something like a dvd unit. I saw a sony that looks nice and has some pretty decent audio settings for <$600 that may work nicely and improve the factory look.

I don't have time to make kicks and would still like it as factory as possible.

I'm fine with passive x-overs up front and can accept limitations of not going active.

I was planning on using a sealed box for the sub. Wish I could put it where the center console is since it doesn't even have a lid for the damn thing on this car. Ugly as hell.

Your suggestioun is great and if I had someone that would do it all for me, I would consider all that but I don;t have the time (and probably not enough experience ) to do that much custom work.

Obviously, there are a lot of options, I'll give you my input on what you mentioned...


As for the head unit, you could certainly go that route, but for roughly the same cost as a unit to piggy back off of the factory head, you could pickup a decent aftermarket unit. Personally, I've, never been one to apply processing to a factory head unit - to me it seems counter-productive, but many people want to retain their factory head for one reason or another. To each their own.

Speaker wise, a nice set of higher end coaxials (or components that allow the tweet to be mounted on the phase plug) could be made to work well. In fact, given a clear path to the listener, the imaging and alignment of them is close to perfect since all sound is dispersed from the center of the cone at a single point of orgin. If placed in properly designed kick panel pods, for instance, high end coaxs can sound quite good. Then again, if you are going through the work of building kick panel pods, I would probably run a nice component set, especially since it allows for so many more options.

And yes, you could run a single 4 channel amp, with the rears bridged on a woofer (or in stereo on a pair) and the fronts on the coaxes/components. Your limitation in that case would be the passive crossovers on the front stage drivers (not sure how much of an issue that is to you).

You could also pick up a 5 channel amp (JL 500/5, Edesigns Nine.5, or similar.... both are out of production but the 500/5 can be found as NOS), which would allow you to run the front stage drivers full active, as well as power the sub, off of a single amp. The one downside is you are stuck with a mono signal for the sub-stage (Again, not sure of your feelings on that).

EQ wise, If you are realy serious about EQ tuning for SQ, you will appreciate the added flexability of running a pair of 1/3 octave EQs (one on the right channel, one on the left), as opposed to just a single unit summed on both channels. This allows you to adjust for L/R acoustic anomalies inside the cabin. Some digital EQs allow for this from a single unit, but I've always been an analog EQ guy, myself.

Regarding the sub, For pure SQ, engineering the subwoofer into the front stage of the car (center console, dash, doors, etc.) would help imaging, especially if crossed over at a higher frequency. If you are going that far, you may want to consider running a pair of subs in stereo (for which the aforementioned 5 channel amp won't work), and using a sealed enclosure for the drivers instead of ported, for better transients, a smoother rolloff, more natural curve, and improved low end response.



All that said,

Personally, going off of what you mentioned, If I was doing the build for SQ, the following would be my setup:

1 - Aftermarket head (brand of choice)
2 - 1/3 octave (30 band) analog eqs (brand of choice), setup for R/L operation
1 - JL 450/4V2 (to power front stage)
1 - 6.5" component set (brand of choice), run active off of 450/4v2
1 - Pair of kick panel pods (To house the midbass drivers - tweeter location factor dependent)
2 - 8" sub bass drivers (brand of choice), one glassed into each front door panel in a sealed enclosure. These would be run in stereo.
1 - 2 channel A/B amplifier (brand of choice), with built in low pass filter (To power sub bass drivers)

And of course all necessary wiring, cables, electrical upgrades, sound deadending, etc.


Alternatively, If running the front stage passive doesn't bother you, you could also power the whole setup listed above with a single large 4 channel amp... or if you don't mind running the subs mono, you could retain active operation with a single 5 channel unit.


I understand the above involves a good bit of custom fab work, and may be more than you are looking for, but I can assure you that the end result would be quite nice.



Hans
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The only reason it doesn;t look factory to me is because the opening at the bottom is larger than at the top. Only an overly picky person like myself would notice. I've had aftermarket HU's in every car and just wanted to try something different this time.

I'm considering putting in a dvd unit. The overall screens look great and better than the stock radio. Crutchfield has a decent one for $425 and I may go that route, would be just $125 more than the cleansweep although I doubt I will ever use the dvd. That large screen like you have looks really cool. I'll have my mind made up soon.
 

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it's the angle of the picture. From the seats it really looks like it belongs there.

I'll get a better pic for you. That's the Scosche kit (they are the only company to make the Civic kit in blue for my HCHII) and it's the most factory looking piece out there. Best fit and finish and best color match I've seen.
 
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