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Old 06-10-2009, 12:30 PM   #1
mzinz
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H/K Audio. Where can I go from here?

I've got a wicket trunk rattle going (I even did the tennis ball trick but it didn't seem to help - maybe I did it wrong?), my passenger door (lower) speaker no longer puts out any audio, and I can hear one of the rear left speakers starting to get some interference.

More than anything, I just want to get anything working. If I'm going to be spending some money, then I figure I might as well do what I can to improve the audio.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I know this is generic, but I'm a total noob to audio so I don't even know where to look. Maybe I should just get a new sub and amp? Maybe I should replace all the speakers? How much would new speakers cost, and how much would install be?

Any advice is appreciated! My car is in _perfect_ condition, so having the audio sound crappy is completely pissing me off!
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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go to local car stereo shop, and listen to speakers to form an opinion of what you like and your price range. my opinion and personal taste would cost you probably 1k or more, my personal set-up would cost you 5k+++ all depends on your budget, tastes, music choices ect. give people an idea of all 3 budget, music style, personal sound preference(ie high, tinny, warm, natural,boomy, balanced, deep bass, tight bass ect). without those it is hard to give you any sort of ideas.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:09 AM   #3
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+1 I also run a 5K plus setup, but music is one of the great passions of my life, as I grew up in a recording studio, so I enjoy quality. It all depends on money....That's the differential, how much do you have to spend?

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go to local car stereo shop, and listen to speakers to form an opinion of what you like and your price range. my opinion and personal taste would cost you probably 1k or more, my personal set-up would cost you 5k+++ all depends on your budget, tastes, music choices ect. give people an idea of all 3 budget, music style, personal sound preference(ie high, tinny, warm, natural,boomy, balanced, deep bass, tight bass ect). without those it is hard to give you any sort of ideas.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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I'd be running a 5k plus setup if I had that much money to spend on my setup. Unforunately I don't, so I went with a simple yet solid setup that costed about 1500 instead. A lot of it is about getting the most out of the equipment you do have by insuring the install is done properly (which means, do it yourself).
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
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I agree DIY for the best result. Even if it takes you longer. There are a lot of things you can learn about your factory system on here that most shops don't know about. You need to read a lot before you do anything and don't take any one persons advice. Get a second oppinion before you go cutting wires and pulling stuff out. I just have a really hard hitting sub and that gives me the ability to cut all the low bass out of my factory speakers. This gives me way more clarity and volume. It's not perfect sound quality, nothing like a 5k dollar system would sound. But everyone I know talks about how bad ass it is bass wise. But it was pretty cheap and I'm very happy with the results.

You can tap into the factory system before the amp and splice those wires into RCAs and hook them into an aftermarket amp.

Don't waste your money on a LOC unless you find out your amp wont work with the factory signal. I haven't found one yet that is a problem, and we tested several just to debunk the "balanced differential issue" stuff I kept hearing.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:27 AM   #6
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I have less than 400 in this setup and it really hits hard

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=681581
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the comments. I like music, but I'm definitely no audiophile, so I don't plan on investing too much - maybe 500-1000.

Interesting thread Daniel. Maybe I should consider getting my front speaker fixed and pumping the bass up some. Now I need to find a way to fix that #*&$ing truck rattle...

Edit: In your thread you said your friend would consider putting together a box for someone else. Is that offer still on the table? I would be very interested. How much did everything cost you total?
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:42 AM   #8
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Yes he will do it for anyone. That's what he does all day. He's a pro builder for MECA competition teams. I have under 400 in mine (sub/amp/box) and it blows the $700 BSW sub out of the water that my friend bought. Not even in the ball park. You need to start with a good comp sub. I can hook you up with him and he can lead you through the process. PM me.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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To clarify mine hits over 135db in the cabin. Thats about 11db louder than the BSW Sub. When you consider that every 6db increase is the equivialent of adding another sub and doubling the power, it's pretty freaking loud.

He says he will build and ship one with the Amp for 475. All you have to do is splice into the wires before the factory amp and hook up the power and remote wires.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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Daniel, not to pick on you or your reply, but your setup shows the cheap way for a person who only really cares about adding lots of bass, and not balancing the system.... Which for some is ok, and if that's what you like, I'm not gonna say your wrong..... However, there is no end all answer the question the op is asking, and that's why a few of us here ask questions like what kind of music do you listen to, because your vented sub box setup, though spl producing it may be, is definately not the way to go for music that requires accuracy.... For example, if you listen to lots of ludacris, vented enclosures are great, if you listen to lots of coldplay, not so great. There are a few of us who have actually done this professionally, including myself, and before you hook the op with "your boy that can build a box" I'd figure out what the op is really looking for, because it's better that he knows he has to spend $800-$1000 to get it right the first time, than throwing $400 at trial and error and being pissed off that it doesn't sound right with what he listens to. Also, competition subs are great for competition, but aren't necessarily the answer for an everyday listener, and sometimes a reference series sub will have a broader frequency response range, which, if you are trying to subsidize a factory system that purposely attenuates frequencies below say 100hz, you need a broad range of response, not just a sub that hits 63hz but does it extremely well to, well, win competitions.

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Yes he will do it for anyone. That's what he does all day. He's a pro builder for MECA competition teams. I have under 400 in mine (sub/amp/box) and it blows the $700 BSW sub out of the water that my friend bought. Not even in the ball park. You need to start with a good comp sub. I can hook you up with him and he can lead you through the process. PM me.

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Old 06-11-2009, 10:08 PM   #12
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I agree with you for the most part.
However with what he said about how much he wants to spend my solution is the cheapest and easiest and most bang for the buck. I know all the principles you speak of as far as SPL vs SQL setups etc. But it sounds like dude wants a cheep fix that will make a big difference. I had a massive SQ system in my E class and the system I have now isn't as nice as it was as far as accuracy with the highs and esp the staging. But get real. To really improve a h/k system to a noticable difference and have ample bass anywhere near what I have you'll have to spend a lot more money. My friend that "builds boxes" has been a professional installer for over 15 years and blows anyone away I've ever heard him talk to with his knowledge base. The amount of technology he uses to match speakers/enclosures/amps to each specific cars resonance, airspace, etc for comps is way beyond what most "professionals" ever even think of. And that skill and knowledge is great to employ in any systen to get the best bang for the buck even if its not a comp system. I know some SPL comp speakers don't have good frequency response and are made for comps only. However, we used one that does have a good range for this app. The research he puts into EVERY system is mindblowing. Every aspect was chosen for a reason and the end result is awesome for the amount of time and money spent. But I listen to Techno/House/Jungle/Rock/Classic Rock etc. I guess if I listened to Classical or Opera I would't be happy.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:33 PM   #13
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BTW if you're doing a sound quality system it should accurately reproduce any music so it wouldn't matter what you listen to at all. Every kind of music should sound as it is meant to sound when recorded.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:35 PM   #14
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I get where your coming from, I just don't think it's wise to give advise based on assuming what someone wants..... Like I said I'm glad your happy with yours, and it's not just classical that takes a tight bass note. The box your buddy built does look nice, and I'm sure he knows about airspace (I don't want to get into a school yard my daddy is tougher that your daddy thing here) but that has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make, find out what the person listens to, then recommend. He may be better off with a sealed diamond D6 12", it also may fit his lifestyle better because of possibly needing trunk space. Bang for your buck only works if you are somewhat satisfied with the result, and if he has have another box built because it doesn't meet his needs, he will have to spend way more money, and the value goes out the window.

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I agree with you for the most part.
However with what he said about how much he wants to spend my solution is the cheapest and easiest and most bang for the buck. I know all the principles you speak of as far as SPL vs SQL setups etc. But it sounds like dude wants a cheep fix that will make a big difference. I had a massive SQ system in my E class and the system I have now isn't as nice as it was as far as accuracy with the highs and esp the staging. But get real. To really improve a h/k system to a noticable difference and have ample bass anywhere near what I have you'll have to spend a lot more money. My friend that "builds boxes" has been a professional installer for over 15 years and blows anyone away I've ever heard him talk to with his knowledge base. The amount of technology he uses to match speakers/enclosures/amps to each specific cars resonance, airspace, etc for comps is way beyond what most "professionals" ever even think of. And that skill and knowledge is great to employ in any systen to get the best bang for the buck even if its not a comp system. I know some SPL comp speakers don't have good frequency response and are made for comps only. However, we used one that does have a good range for this app. The research he puts into EVERY system is mindblowing. Every aspect was chosen for a reason and the end result is awesome for the amount of time and money spent. But I listen to Techno/House/Jungle/Rock/Classic Rock etc. I guess if I listened to Classical or Opera I would't be happy.

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Old 06-12-2009, 12:23 AM   #15
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misread post above.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:13 AM   #16
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So to hopefully give actual insight, op, if you listen to alternative, newer punk-ish (fall out boy type of music) and value your trunk whatsoever, go with something like a diamond D6 12" dual 4 ohm voice coil sub in a sealed box to the spec of about 1 cubic foot, that should set you back no more than about $350, run a JL 500/1 (say what you will about JL but the slash series amps are great, aside from the 1000/1) that should be about $350 if you shop and haggle, you are at about $700, seeing as you said you are willing to go up to about 1K, your $300 under your max, and that will definately make you smile. Now if your a hip-hop rap kinda guy, that will definately do enough to drown out the H/K, but if you want to get stupid with the bass, and not hear anything else, I've seen JL W7's in the JL High Output boxes go for as little as $500 for the 10, and TRUST ME, the 10 hits HARD in the HO box on about 1000 watts, and you'll be at the 1K mark, and your trunk lid will be flexing and you will have no room in your trunk for luggage, groceries, ect. So there you go bud!
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottys209 View Post
So to hopefully give actual insight, op, if you listen to alternative, newer punk-ish (fall out boy type of music) and value your trunk whatsoever, go with something like a diamond D6 12" dual 4 ohm voice coil sub in a sealed box to the spec of about 1 cubic foot, that should set you back no more than about $350, run a JL 500/1 (say what you will about JL but the slash series amps are great, aside from the 1000/1) that should be about $350 if you shop and haggle, you are at about $700, seeing as you said you are willing to go up to about 1K, your $300 under your max, and that will definately make you smile. Now if your a hip-hop rap kinda guy, that will definately do enough to drown out the H/K, but if you want to get stupid with the bass, and not hear anything else, I've seen JL W7's in the JL High Output boxes go for as little as $500 for the 10, and TRUST ME, the 10 hits HARD in the HO box on about 1000 watts, and you'll be at the 1K mark, and your trunk lid will be flexing and you will have no room in your trunk for luggage, groceries, ect. So there you go bud!
+1 personally i love JL subs, clean accurate and loud. Also they last forever as I am still running these same exact 3 Jl 12w6 subs that i bought 16 years ago when i got my first car. Amp wise i have always been and always will be a huge fan of soundstream and precision power. Scottys advise is spot on, and like he hints at i also would not suggest going to big cause it will drown out all. I would agree to stay at the 300-500 watt and single sub category, if you value hearing anything besides just bass. Rap/hip hop uou can go a little less power and pick up a bandpass box for super low boom. Metal, jazz,ect go towards the higher end amp power and a nice sealed box. Just a fyi, a bandpass box will also take up roughly double the space or more killing use of the trunk. So quick recap, sealed= tighter, accurate, punch, needs more power for same output db but sounds cleaner. bandpass = more space, less power needed, that loud boomy, semi-distorted, can hear a mile away bass. Ported= mid point blend of both. Class D amps, prefered for subs, most efficient. Remember to puch out ski pass or you will not be super happy either way.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:05 PM   #18
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My system Has super tight bass dude. It's not a a clunky SPL sounding system by any means. And I didn't mean it wouldn't play the tight bass in classical I was refering to the Crappy highs of the h/k speakers when I said that, btw.

Thinking back, asking what type of music someone listens to is about as ameteur as it gets. So, you're going to design dude an expensive system that only sounds good with one type of music. What if he likes rap and country or rock and Jazz or everything like me?????

The actual first thing to do is find the transfer function of the vehicle interior and design the enclosure to compensate the peak and troughs in the response. The type of music a person plays is actually less important than how accurate the signal form the head unit is. The bimmer box is designed to correspond with the resonances and losses and balance it out, as well as reach levels of sound pressure high enough to blend with the interiors no matter how much ambient noise there may be. and this puts my system in the middle of SPL and SQ for a range called SQL, a system that can play any media and play it at near reference levels of clarity and output. lol. My boy uses an RTA with the TermLab metering system and can accurately predict the output of a system to within 1dB average. He not only does car-audio Hi-Fi, but also Home theater HI-Fi. And he uses both computer based tech and in-field experience.

We could put it on the RTA and video a sweep or just show it's transient abilities if you want to!

We put a lot more thought into customizing it to the specific car that just saying "I like JL subs and this box is about the right size so it should rock in your car" Our setup is matched to every aspect of the application, period.

I think you're underestimating us because we don't have a showroom. He doesn't just build Loud SPL systems. And a True Bass speaker blows any JL sub on the market out of the water. No offense 98mustang!! JL rocks I'm just defending my point with scotty.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:28 PM   #19
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I never said that there was anything at all wrong with customed made subs, customed tuned boxes, custom speakers ect. All my point is that without a "friend" who knows what they are doing you leave the op to guess what specs he wants built, or going to a specialized shop( read not the average shop with the 17yr old behind the counter) which can get mighty expensive very fast. For the avergae consumer they would be better off with off the shelf components, it will save them time, effort, frustration, car downtime, money in some cases(not all), and while a custom built set-up i do agree can be extremely accurate and clean, i feel suggesting that route to some one who has know idea of any aspect of stereo tuning, is about as great an idea as handing a 16 yr old 5 spools of individual strand wire and some conduit and telling them to go wire up their parents mansion. But i dont mean to start arguements sorry if you took my opinion sorely.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:36 PM   #20
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Btw, i dont need to see any real time graphs, i am not doubting that your system sounds nice at all man. I have heard many many many total custom sound systems over the years and most all of them sound superb. I am just trying to give some generically generalized laymans type advice. no need to be so defensive.
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