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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Haven't been on in a while.. But I'm guessing I could use some help from the more knowlegable members here, and members hoping to upgrade in the future could get something out of this thread.

I updated my door speakers (High Performance Sound) to Polk DB6501 components front and back..( 100Wrms, 300Wmax, 4ohm, 92dB sensitivity). The system now is truly sweet, and all of my friends compliment it.
However, I do feel that these speakers could sound much better if they were given more power, and I wouldn't have to turn the bass and treble down so much to blast them at high volumes (which is where they really shine).
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-lQV60k3PPaY/p_107DB6501/Polk-Audio-db6501.html?tab=review#overview-tab

The biggest reason I'm doing all of this however is because I want an auxillary input, drives me nuts having 184 CD's in my car.. (yes I counted...)

So here is what I'm doing:

1. SIGNAL PROCESSOR
a) JL Audio Cleansweep
OR
b) Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2

This would allow me to tap the speaker signal between the amp and the speakers, nullifying any factory EQ adjustments in order to get more pure sound, they also have like 30 band EQ's for tuning.
They would also allow me to hook up an auxillary source, In addition to sending the tapped signal to Amplifiers.

2. AMPLIFIERS

These have already been selected and purchased.

Front Speakers => Polk Audio PA D2000.2
http://www.polkaudio.com/products/pad2000_2

Chose this amp because I like Polk Audio, Class D efficiency, ample power, small size and great reviews.

Rear Speakers => Boston Acoustics GT 2200
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-FZJHkKtI5qw/p_065GT2200/Boston-Acoustics-GT-2200.html

Chose this amp because after some testing, I realized the rears receive the full signal 20Hz & up, while the fronts cut off at 60 or 80Hz. (This was done by the factory amp, and the only way to send a full signal to front and back would be to buy a signal summing device, JL audio has one for the Cleansweep.) Because the rears play the full spectrum, I wanted an amp that has more than enough headroom to provide the speakers with enough juice to hit low notes with ease (Frequency response of the DB6501 goes down to 35Hz)

SUBWOOFER:

Not going to install one. Had one before, and it got impractical because it took up trunk space and took away from the clean sound of these amazing speakers.

BATTERY:

Most likely adding a small Kinetic Battery to the trunk to power the amplifiers because I read that capacitors are pretty much useless.

This is more of a progression thread and I will post up pictures & a writeup of how I went about all of this as I do it. I would more than appreciate your feedback and questions.
 

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Beware this makes a long read, pretty much everything has been kept layman.

Signal Processing:
I haven't used any of the current OEM integration units, so I can be of much help there. From what I hear the JBL MS-8 is one of the major players in that arena; it maybe worth taking a look at.

Your Amps:
Both amps you purchased are good. However it would seem you're running them in the wrong stages. The BA GT-2200 is a class AB amp and has every little distortion. This normally would be used in the front sound stage for best audio quality where most time is spent. Then using the Polk Class D amp for rear fill, where the additional distortion and break up doesn't affect the sound stage as much. The usual SQL stage would be Class AB F&R and D on sub. Or old school audio / SQ stage running Class A or AB everywhere. I wouldn't expect clean highs or even mid-highs from a Class D, traditionally those are sub amps.

My Thoughts & Experience with Speakers:
In my S60 I have some Kenwood 6.75s in the doors that "claim" to go down to 30 or 32hz < thats a joke / marketing ploy, imo. The speakers may produce those frequencies on the low end of their recommended power with lower SQ and at a Db level that isn't worth mentioning as it will be drowned out by other frequencies. Don't expect the speakers to hold up to high power and low frequencies very long. Most 6.5/6.75s get staged at 100-120Hz HPF on 100w+ per channel systems. Even mid bass/woofer 8s are usually limited to 60-80hz. At the end of the day if you want low notes you'll need at least one 8" subwoofer that can go deep. It would be worth the $10 to get a proper test CD and find out how low the speakers will really go and what they sound like/where the speaker breaks up under power. One note on testing is avoid sine waves, that more punishment then you should ever dish out on an amp. Its just a really easy way to over heat the rails.

My Experience with the GT-2200 as a Sub Amp:
I actually have the BA GT-2200 bridged running three 10s @ 4ohm. And it's a beast to be reckon with; I cannot make this amp clip without running it on totally stupid settings. Which I am yet to try.. IMO best bang for the buck i've seen new. ATM I run the 10s in the 24db mono filter setting ~35hz HPF and ~150Hz LPF the amp doesn't introduce any dirt. Extremely clean power, open E ~41Hz sounds the same as my bass guitars, drums sound like I've got a drum set on the back seat and this is on some mid level MTX which is pretty much a SPL oriented sub enclosure...

More Thoughts and Ideas on Car Audio:
It wouldn't surprise me if you ended up wanting another GT-2200 for F&R stages and throwing the Polk Class D on a/some subs by the end of your project. There are a few 8" subs that will run in ~.15 cu ft sealed enclosures. Even some that end users claim to reproduce 20Hz with. That could give you the full spectrum you desire, at least the low end of it. If trunk space is a necessity there a a few Free Air/Infinite Baffle subs that could be mounted on rear shelf. I'm a S60 owner so its hard for me to be vehicle specific on the S40. But on the 60 we have 7.7" co-axial on the rear shelf sitting on 8" capable brackets. Its an easy drop in there without any loss of trunk space.

Fast Discharge Systems:
A fast discharge battery like the Kinetic is the right approach vs a cap and easy to maintain; no nonsense to charge/discharge every time the electrical system has to be touched. Make sure to get terminals so that is pulled out of loop when the stock battery is.

More Thoughts on Batteries:
Another vehicle specific comment; the S60 were also used as police cars and those vehicles got bigger alternators and batteries. But all S60 have the mounting braket threads for both batteries and the alternators are a direct swap for most (we have two types of pulleys ???). In the case of the civilian S60 Group 48 is the standard battery size, but using the other mount hole a Group 49 can be installed. Not sure if there is anything like that on the S40, but worth taking a look into. A larger deep cycle may give you the same cranking amps or CCA, but take more abuse than beefing up the stock battery with a fast discharge in parallel.
 

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This sounds like a good plan and I hope to see the progress. I have been pondering replacing my speakers and highly considering Polk Audio mainly because I have been a long time fan of their products (mainly home but some car audio). Please post pics if you got them.
Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for the delay in my reply, I had a busy weekend.

First off,

Thank you Slow60 for your advice, I enjoy a thorough read and appreciate your contribution!

Updates:
I have selected the Alpine PXE-H650 Audio processor over the other two as I found one for a good price, and it also is unrivaled by the other two in terms of tuning capabilities. 512 band equalizer, aux input, time correction, microphone tuning, presets, and even a remote control for on-the-go adjustments.
I will do my best to install as much of the system as possible tomorrow, and will connect the amplifiers to the factory battery via a 0 gauge wiring kit and a distributor block. Once I get the Kinetic battery, I will make the necessary adjustments.
I will also follow your advice as it seems logical, and power my fronts with the BA GT2200 and my rears with the PA D2000.2, and I'll also thoroughly be considering adding a small sub to the back and using the PA D2000.2 to power it.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that I plan to mount everything above the spare tire and under the trunk floor by adding a frame around it to support the trunk floor thus creating a "false floor" that will be about 4 inches high, which allows some clearance for air circulation.

MYNameIdeasWereTaken & Durry, thank you for your interest.

AutoGeek: MY experience with Polk Audio has been nothing but outstanding. These speakers are truly capable performers and all the reviews I read online prove this. I would definitely recommend the DB6501's , and there probably is no point in getting the MM6501's unless you plan to upgrade your amplifier also. The sound out of the box will be different than what you are used to! However, with time you will learn how to adjust your EQ slightly and also your Treble/Bass settings and you will be truly pleased with the result, I promise! I don't have any pics on my iphone of the speakers, but they're really cool looking and I've posted links to some good pictures:

Will update soon! (I will note the colors for the signal wires that go from the Amp=>Speakers because I feel they could be of much use to others! Whether it be installing just subs, or a full system like mine.)

Polk Audio DB6501's:
http://team-crm.com/photos10/audio/DSC02504.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff78/slammedblack99/DSCN0255.jpg

Also, if anyone needs a speaker or tweeter ect for their High performance system ( or would just like to add a tweeter to the rear doors of their "Performance System") just send me a PM, I have the old parts lying around and wouldn't mind sending them to your for the price of shipping.
 

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I'd love to see pics of how the tweeters are mounted if you can post them somewhere.
Stan
 

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Been a whiles since I last logged in. It'll be interesting to see how it all came together. 512 band digital EQ is pretty serious. The more sound proofing you do the better the auto tune and time adjustments / slew rates will get, generally speaking.

If you don't feel like dropping an arm and a leg on Dynamat products. RaamAudio is decently priced and is generally considered the best bang for the buck among those that have actually tested several types. Second Skin seems to stay top dog for overall dampening, iirc it still comes in cheaper than Dynamat per sq ft. If you use one of these stick to a butyl product, for the best results. Those products are good and most often overly done/used. With the power you're looking at even if you add subs powered to match. One layer could borderline overkill. If you don't have any vibration resonant frequency issues its just novel to get that "mega thud" when closing the doors. Chances are with the power you're running to the doors you'll have issues around 40hz, if you run them that low or add subs.

Closed Cell Foam (CCF) and Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is where the auto tune will really receive its help. Rather than sound (vibration) dampening. These products are more sound absorption / barriers to aid in noise reduction / "sound proofing". This will actually drop the db level of other sounds coming in and prevent your audio from going out. Where as NR from a "Constrained Layer Damper" CLD product like Dynamat, RaamAudio, Second Skin, etc. Really changes the panels resonate frequency. Usually resulting in less perceived noise, but actually not blocking much other noise, that your mic will pick up.

If you go for / have a manual preset. My favorite tune is the traditional "flat" or neutral, a quick way to some it up is set everything to flat on the HU. Then start playing tones watch the db levels for each frequency on a RTA. Then dial them in on the EQ so they all have the same output level. When dialing in an EQ I prefer to cut before boosting. I don't really like going more than -/+3db for anything "fixed" on the first run. Usually I play every frequency I can dial in record the numbers, then go back and work within that range if possible.

For musical preference I like to use either the HU on an in dash EQ to change settings on the fly. These setting I'm not a fan of pushing more than -/+ 6db. IMO if the settings get pushed much harder than this, There has been a failure to match amps / components correctly. Sometimes there is a huge gap in speaker sensitivity or signal to noise ratio of one amp to another, miss matched power levels, and most often of all it's just not easy to perfect sound stage in an automobile (speaker placement itself). While others times it could be install related. Signal cable maybe terminated poorly or pinched and grounding out, undersized wire vs length and load, etc. All I'm trying to get at here is don't overlook the small things, that's where your refinements are ;)

I'm sure you have noticed already that the BA amp has 4ga in and iirc the Polk amp does as well. I wouldn't bother with reducers. 4ga (pure copper) is good for ~150 amp, but generally fused around 125A to protect the wire to a distribution block. The Polk has 3-20A fuses iirc running the 0g rated ~300A (copper) to a 2 or more 4g out fuse block would be fine. I'd also start dialing back the fuses in the block of added protection. BA is usually fused well, actually the reason why most people have doubts about their power output. The majority of amps are over fused (to large for protection), hence being why amps tend to burn out after many fuse failures. I'm a fan of dialing back the fuse until they burn, then stepping, but never more than mfg recommendations. IMO I'd rather burn a few dollars in fuses finding the sweet spot for my settings rather than allow the amp to run to hard an blow it. (often after leaving an idiot in the car who turns every knob up) Keep in mind that fuse has to get hot enough to burn, before it blows, that could be 10 minutes of overpowering a device for each fuse burnt.

I wish you well it "sounds" like you're off to a good start, have fun.
 
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