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Need advice for car audio, please help

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello Audiophiles!

So my question is the same as the thread title.
I'll start by explaining what I've got, what I want and what I've been told. The guy I'm looking at going to says that he has over 20 years experience and does allot of high end cars. I haven't given the guy my car or a dollar yet.

I've got a late 90's Holden Commodore.
And I've got a JVC Arsenal KD-A615 head unit.
A review for it here is what convinced me to purchase it.
I want high quality crystal clear audio and I don't care so much for thumping bass but I do care about being taken for a ride price wise.
So I've been told not to worry about the back seat speakers and to focus on the front which is understandable.
The guy at the car audio shop recommended
Focal 165V30 6.5" component speaker set - Limited Edition 30th anniversary edition's. He's told me $600, the Focal website says $529... What do you think? I'm pretty set on the Focal brand because I like how high quality it looks.
I insisted on the Focal Solid 4 amp because it received the 2009 inCar award for best amp under 1k however the guy at the shop didn't agree with that amp.

What's making me nervous is that every price he's told me for speakers, amps, subs and head units has been above regular retail price not including installation.

The guy has said that he can do the whole lot...
Focal speakers, Focal amp, doors Dynamat fitted, the doors and boot wired with large gauge cable for future sub installation.
for $1500 if he doesn't install or tune the head deck 'because I'm supplying my own'.
He's said that it's $50 install/tune for the head deck if I buy one off of him or $100 if I supply my own taking the total price to $1600.

Please help with your opinions or professional advice
Edited by Aussie Alex - 7/20/11 at 8:50am
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post #2 of 14
Alright, First of all, why are you spending $500+ on a component set when you bought a cheap headunit with absolutely no features to cater to SQ oriented people built in?

What exactly are you looking for out of your sound? Pure SQ? SQL (some sound quality, but loud too)? Or just Good sound with plenty of volume?

Edit: Also, are you willing to do a little work on getting speaker placement in your vehicle sorted out? If your speakers are in your doors or in your dash, you could benefit from some good kick panels. > I could walk you through building your own out of fiberglass, or you could buy some q-logics and prep them up with some sound deadener to make them sound better.
Edited by sanitarium - 7/20/11 at 12:52pm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanitarium;14284304 
Alright, First of all, why are you spending $500+ on a component set when you bought a cheap headunit with absolutely no features to cater to SQ oriented people built in?

What exactly are you looking for out of your sound? Pure SQ? SQL (some sound quality, but loud too)? Or just Good sound with plenty of volume?

Edit: Also, are you willing to do a little work on getting speaker placement in your vehicle sorted out? If your speakers are in your doors or in your dash, you could benefit from some good kick panels. > I could walk you through building your own out of fiberglass, or you could buy some q-logics and prep them up with some sound deadener to make them sound better.

I can always re-sell the thing on ebay. Sound quality is what I'm interested in so which head decks would you recommend? A couple or one from each brand, I don't necessarily like brand loyalty unless there's a reason for it.

These are the features that looked good to me at the time, if you don't mind could you convince me why it's not a good head unit? Otherwise I can't see the point in replacing it.

Source-specific volume control
3-Band parametric iEQ
24-bit DAC
Balance and fade control

I'm just planning on having the factory speakers replaced in the stock location so placement isn't an issue, except for the tweeters but I suppose that would be up to the installation guy and his recommendation.
Edited by Aussie Alex - 7/20/11 at 9:44pm
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Alex;14289864 
I can always re-sell the thing on ebay. Sound quality is what I'm interested in so which head decks would you recommend? A couple or one from each brand, I don't necessarily like brand loyalty unless there's a reason for it.

These are the features that looked good to me at the time, if you don't mind could you convince me why it's not a good head unit? Otherwise I can't see the point in replacing it.

Source-specific volume control
3-Band parametric iEQ
24-bit DAC
Balance and fade control

I'm just planning on having the factory speakers replaced in the stock location so placement isn't an issue, except for the tweeters but I suppose that would be up to the installation guy and his recommendation.
When bringing in yoru sound stage, especially the mid bass, time alignment is your friend. Also, the SQ snobs will tell you to steer clear of little EQ's like that. Hell the competition SQ setup guys may even run a 30+ band eq through a microphone and try to pull in those natural harmonic up's and downs for as flat a curve from 20 to 20,000 hz as possible.

You could get away with keeping that headunit and go overboard with something like an audison bitone. But for most of us, a headunit with simple time alignment and imaging enhancements will suffice. Look into some alpine headunits, and a few of the high end kenwoods have this as well (i absolutly LOVED my last kenwood that had this built in, and at $300 it was a steal)
post #5 of 14
You had to seek advice before buying that unit :/ My 8 year old Sony cdx-m850-mp has better outputs. You could get http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_31080_Pioneer-DEH-6300UB.html for the same money or the superior http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_22379_Pioneer-DEH-P7200HD.html for a little more money but has separate outputs for front, rear and sub. Both has better equalizer than yours with high/low pass filter.

h158CDXM850-f_clos.jpeg
Sony CDX-M850MP
Active Black Panel motorized fold-down faceplate
full-motion fluorescent display
plays CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and MP3-encoded discs
CD/MD changer controls
EQ7 (7-band equalizer and 7 preset tone curves)
Dynamic Soundstage Organizer
SSIR-EXA tuner
18 FM/12 AM presets
seek tuning
XM Satellite Radio controls (XM subscription, optional Sony XM tuner, and antenna required to receive the satellite radio signal) — service is available only in the lower 48 states, not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. territories
4-volt front and rear preamp outputs
two 4-volt mono subwoofer outputs
high-pass and low-pass filters
CD text
displays 8 characters of XM Satellite Radio info
auxiliary input
wireless remote
clock
23.2 watts RMS/52 peak x 4 channels
CD frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
CD signal-to-noise ratio 90 dB
FM sensitivity 9 dBf
1-year warranty
Edited by Catscratch - 7/23/11 at 7:39am
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
JVL Arsenal KD-A615

Frequency Response5 - 20,000Hz
Dynamic Range96dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio98dB
Channel SeparationMore than 85dB
Wow & FlutterLess than measurable limit

I can see why I would want 'Time Alignment'.
So the only two things I can conclude from what's been said is that it doesn't have 'Time Alignment' and a third set of RCA outs. Can't the front speaker RCA outs be split for the back speakers?
What are the advantages of having them separate and the disadvantages of having them combined? Or do I split off my amp instead? I'd prefer to stick with one amp for speakers and one for the sub.

Are they the only two major differences?

EDIT: ohh and the extra EQ bands, can't see what the point in that. Unless you'd like to clarify
Edited by Aussie Alex - 7/26/11 at 7:04am
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Alex;14336285 
JVL Arsenal KD-A615

Frequency Response5 - 20,000Hz
Dynamic Range96dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio98dB
Channel SeparationMore than 85dB
Wow & FlutterLess than measurable limit

I can see why I would want 'Time Alignment'.
So the only two things I can conclude from what's been said is that it doesn't have 'Time Alignment' and a third set of RCA outs. Can't the front speaker RCA outs be split for the back speakers?
What are the advantages of having them separate and the disadvantages of having them combined? Or do I split off my amp instead? I'd prefer to stick with one amp for speakers and one for the sub.

Are they the only two major differences?

EDIT: ohh and the extra EQ bands, can't see what the point in that. Unless you'd like to clarify

With only 4 channel out, any onboard time alignment features would either try to mess with the subs (not that bad a thing) or in what you suggested, delay the back speakers just as much as the front and throw it all back off.
Here are some things to think about though.
When you're at a concert, do you have your back to the stage? So why would you want the sound coming from behind you?
Sub bass (under 70ish hz) is pretty directionless sound when done right so you can get away with subs being behind you without it messing your sound up.
Rear fill can be used but it has to have it's level tweaked to make it dissappear in light of the front stage.
SO in conclusion. Splitting any signal will have it's downfalls. Best to have front, back, AND sub outputs on the headunit.
post #8 of 14
jvc
alpine
kenwood
my suggestions.
(i really like alpine though it's more expensive)
Edited by sanitarium - 7/26/11 at 1:44pm
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'll keep the 3 output's in mind but for now I think that head unit is fine, do you agree?

I can't see the point in wasting my time/monet buying another sub $300 one I'll end up replacing and wasting my time selling it on ebay when I can save for something better. Either way, head units are upgraded every year, the speakers wont change at all.
If I can tweak the amp to turn down the volume on the rear speakers then I wont notice as much of a problem with time delay.
I'm in the front seat so that's the most important. Hence why I'm buying the expensive speakers for it.

For the time being I'm just getting an amp for the front speakers, front speakers, large gauge cables and dynamat's for the front doors.
$1500

I'll add another amp and sub later
$1500

Then finally I'll dynamat the rear doors and add some speakers.
< $500
Edited by Aussie Alex - 7/27/11 at 5:31am
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EK-FC1080 GTX Ti - Nickel + Nickel Backplate EK-CoolStream SE 120 (Slim Single) EK-CoolStream SE 120 (Slim Single) Alphacool Eisbecher Lighttower 250mm Reservoir ... 
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AKG K702 Audeze LCD2 Bamboo Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 
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Phenom II x6 1090T Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 rev2.1 BiosF6 Crossfire HD-6970's Ripjaws-X F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL 
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SteelSeries Soft 
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Q9450 Striker 2 NSE 2xGTX260 XFX Extreme ed FAULTY MEMORY CONTROLLER 
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OCZ Vertex2 60gb + 4.5TB Samsung Blu-ray Windows7 Asus 24" LED 
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post #10 of 14
If you want advice from the pros PM Pioneerisloud, that man has yet to fail me =)
Edited by h0thead132 - 7/28/11 at 9:28pm
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Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Home Audio › Need advice for car audio, please help