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Old 9th March 2009, 00:28   #91
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@blueraven, how about favorite budget SQ amps on tbhp- kenwood? or blau?
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Old 9th March 2009, 00:38   #92
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Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
@blueraven, how about favorite budget SQ amps on tbhp- kenwood? or blau?
You wanna run a BMW 3 Series with an Esteem Engine ?
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Old 9th March 2009, 09:27   #93
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You wanna run a BMW 3 Series with an Esteem Engine ?
Well, at least better than 800's engine (PA). Whether it is BMW or Audi, I am buying it for what is more like esteem budget at best! If I get nothing better than, say a kenwood, then don't tell me to downgrade speakers just for the sake of avoiding the "joke"!

On a serious note, does amp really make so much of difference (given SPL is not the aim)? I am aware that specs are not to be trusted, especially for stuff like PA, and that there may be no match between specs on paper and the real performance. However, I thought amp would be least impacting item in the scheme of things, so any decent amp would do. If I choose an amp that is rated for 50+RMS @4ohm and 100+RMS bridged for sub, and it is "CEA-2006" compliant spec which I believe means less than 1% THD at rated power across whole 20-20K Hz spectrum(??), then wouldn't it be decent enough for any speakers, even high quality ones? If I remember correctly, kenwood/alpine does provide CEA-2006 compliant specs for their amps.

To make it more clear, consider following 3 setups (assume wiring is good in all cases)-
1. All 3, HU/amp/speakers are mediocre.
2. All 3, HU/amp/speakers are top notch.
3. Amp is mediocre but HU and speakers are top notch.

Here, it is obvious that 2nd setup has to be superior to 1st. Question is about 3rd one, I believe it should be closer (prbably very much) to 2nd setup. Though, it may not "bring out the best" SQ from speakers (and vitamine-M from my pockets). Right?
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Old 9th March 2009, 09:44   #94
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Santosh, I think Satya has put what needs to be said very beautifully.

I have the idea you don't plan any future HU, comp or amp upgrades. Am I right? If so, you should plan your setup so all the equipment is a good match for each other.

No sense pairing a very good set of comps with a middling amp. You will have wasted the money on the comps as they will never perform the way they are meant to. And the money spent on the amp will also be wasted as it will never drive the comps to their potential.

With those comps, over time you will want a better amp. For sure.

When building a system within a budget (assuming there will be no upgrades), I'd suggest you get reasonably good speakers and a good amp. Reasonable speakers + good amp are likely to sound better than reasonable speakers + reasonable amp. Great speakers + a middling amp will probably sound the worst of the three.

When buying equipment, we tend to look at the trees and not the forest. Which is wrong. The ultimate goal is the best sound at the budget. Not to buy the best speakers you can, and then settle on an amp and HU with the rest of the budget. This is, if you plan on not upgrading any of the equipment you've already bought. If you don't mind upgrading the amp later, then, buying an ok ok amp with good comps is all right.

As Satya said, only experience will tell you what kind of equipment you will need. In my case, I've had to change my stuff item by item over time to learn what was good and what was not. The last time I bought speakers, I found my amps were not good enough, so the amps had to be upgraded. Now overall, I find that my HU is not a good match with the changed euipment, so I'll need to look at a new HU soon. So on and so forth
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Old 9th March 2009, 11:35   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
On a serious note, does amp really make so much of difference

If I choose an amp that is rated for 50+RMS @4ohm ..less than 1% THD at rated power across whole 20-20K Hz spectrum(??),
not all amps sound the same even when they measure the same. Even Bob Carver (seethe Great Carver Amplifer challenge) will agree to that.

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The ultimate goal is the best sound at the budget.
some amps mate better with certain speakers. the combinations are too complex to go into here and lot of data in this field is emperical.
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Old 9th March 2009, 12:56   #96
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Navinji,
Yes I had gone through some kind of amp challenge discussion(s) a few years ago, and a similar one started here by LBM I think. Absolutely no point in entering into something like that.

This time, I am seriously looking for advice to make practical buying decisions. I need to finalize everything by the end of this week so that purchases can be made well in advance. Regarding transportation, my stars seem to be shining right now as I have a "bunch" of colleagues who will be on a short visit to US soon for a conference, so they can lug back pretty much anything for me. No need to worry about luggage weight limits or custom limits! What's more, there is another "bunch" permanently staying in US who will get plenty of time to make purchases which makes life easy!!

Because of the "amp challenge" effect, I have never bothered so much about amps. Apart from mid-end (kenwood/infinity/blau) amps versus costlier amps, I need some suggestions regarding 4-channel versus 2/4 channel + mono. Later would obviously be preferrable if there were no budget constraints, but I need to decide it keeping budget as an important criterion (along with implicit SQ criterion).

As I see, 2/4 channel + mono would roughly cost me double relative to a single 4-channel, irrespective of their class. Want to know how much "extra" benefit I would get for additional cost. Is it 1.25x, 1.5x or more? Also, I believe benefit would be in mid-bass/bass area. I know this question has no straight answer in this subjective wolrd, but hope my point is clear. I am trying to define "diminishing returns" with respect to my personal aspirations.

(PS. I am busy at work, so may not be able to respond quickly)
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Old 11th March 2009, 09:17   #97
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Guys, my apologies for taking amps more lightly than I should have. After a bit of homework on my part, I was soon convinced that I need good 2-ch + mono amps, regardless of extra cost. (BTW, If I remember correctly, amp challenge was about "distinguishing" sound from two amps with identical specs, it never meant to say that amps with lousy or overstated specs will sound good).

While I will be looking at all the suggested options, following two kennys looked good to me:

For compos-
Kenwood KAC-7204 - Kenwood 2-channel 1000 Watt Amplifier
170Wx2- @14.4V, 4-ohm, 20-20KHz, 0.08%THD; 83dba SNR @1W into 4-ohm.

For sub-
Kenwood KAC-8104D - Kenwood Mono 1000 Watt Amplifier
300Wx1- @14.4V, 4-ohm, 20-20KHz, 0.5%THD; 83dba SNR @1W into 4-ohm.

Both are reasonably priced, have excellent specs on paper and are backed by high user ratings. Mono is a desirable class-D which should be light on battery/alternator, and should indirectly avoid heating issues with the other amp too. Would these be a good complement for rest of the equipments? Unlike PA, I hope Kenwood numbers should be trustworthy, so they should have enough so called "juice" even for the most power hungry speakers and subs (even after factoring in degradation due to 12V versus 14.4V).

While I remind you people to comment on 10" versus 12" SQ, I have another related question-
Which one would be better in terms of bass flow from boot to cabin? The car is baleno, and I notice that there is no free space below rear seat, so a pair of small speaker openings on the parcel tray is the only free path. Is that a concern?
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Old 11th March 2009, 09:26   #98
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@santosh, good choices for the budget, and the type of system you are targeting.

For a Baleno, I'd go with a 12" sub. Better low-freq response than a 10" sub generally and more loudness for the buck. Though the subs don't really need openings form the boot to the cabin, leaving the rear-speaker mounting holes open will definitely improve things.

Have you decided on the sub yet?
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Old 11th March 2009, 13:46   #99
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Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
For a Baleno, I'd go with a 12" sub. Better low-freq response than a 10" sub generally and more loudness for the buck.
Did you mean to say that you would have recommended 10" if it was a hatch back? Loudness is absolutely not a requirement. I always listen to music at low-to-medium volume. Though I like bass that extends very well to the bottom end, loud bass (and any loud music in general) is more likely to trigger migraine than any enjoyment for me. I am usually not excited by bass that is bone-rattling, felt rather than heard. I would also prefer not to make my car rattle and to catch attention of the neighborhood, while being able enjoy lowest notes cleanly. That is why I was thinking about a modest 4-ch solution in the beginning. But based on feedback received, it looked like a crime! So I changed my mind. Choosing high power amps/speakers just so that they don't become bottlenecks for SQ at my listening levels and to prolong their life, rather than actually pushing them to limits.

Based on my requirement described above, I tend to think that SPL wise even 10" would be more than enough (unless it has some bearing on sedan versus hatchback). Therefore I would go with 10" if there is even a little possibility of cleaner bass as compared to 12" (costs are close anyway).



Quote:
Though the subs don't really need openings form the boot to the cabin, leaving the rear-speaker mounting holes open will definitely improve things.
In absence of any free path for air, how does it reach cabin? Most likely region should be through backrest of rear seats. For what I know, sponge/upholstery may not oppose bass much, but what about plywood or metal sheets that could be a part of backrest? Wouldn't that hamper the sound, both in terms of quantity and quality?


Quote:
Have you decided on the sub yet?
He he... I am still working on amps, sub will follow. Meanwhile, here is my thought process that went behind initial choice-
First of all they are made by well respected company, which has a reputation of making high quality speakers even for their lowest product line. Secondly, they are cheap in spite of that. Given that all their speakers are known to have hard hitting mid-bass, it is my gut feeling that there should be no reason why their subs would be bad. I couldn't find many reviews, but what ever I could, claimed that they are SQ oriented that SPL. A guy even said JLs look little boomy in comparison. I am not sure what the cone material is in selected models, but their earlier entry level subs used carbon fiber cone (which says something!), while some others are using kevlar-paper sandwitch.

As per my knowledge so far, ID and JL make excellent subs. Regarding IDs, I don't think IDQ or IDMAX can fit into my budget, so is true for JLs. I have not really gathered any data as to how their low priced subs are, as compared to costly couterparts. I thought at price as low as $100, CDTs should be at least close to other available options, if not better. So, there shouldn't be much to loose even in the worst case.

Last edited by santosh.s : 11th March 2009 at 13:50.
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Old 11th March 2009, 15:36   #100
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1. @santosh, if you prefer bass that complements the fronts and simply supports them with the low-frequencies in such a way that the sub is invisible, 10" would be enough in a hatchback. Not to put ideas into you, but 2 x 10" would be better than a 12". And IMHO one 12" will be better than a 10" for most people. Overall a 12" will be better return on the money than a 10".

In a sedan, a 10" sub may not be able support to the fronts well enough. Not as much as a 12" sub will be able to. There will be a bit of loudness lost by the time the bass reaches the cabin, so a 12" will be definitely better in a sedan.

Even in a hatch, I'd recommend a 12" as you can always turn the bass down to the level you need. The bass from a 10" might be better for the kind of bass you prefer, but I'd play safe and get a 12". They don't cost that much extra, and you can always the dial the bass to be a bit tighter by adjusting the encloure volume (downwards) a bit.

Another thing (not that important, but for the sake of considering everything) is that later, if you want to sell the sub and upgrade, you'll find more buyers for a 10" than a 12".

SK456 runs a 10" IDQ in his Santro (last I heard, but you never know with the Delhi boys, heh heh) and maybe he can comment further.

2. Bass will travel into the cabin even without enough air-space to travel. But some opening between the cabin & the boot will definitely help get more defined bass into the cabin. The openings for the rear-speaker on the rear-parcel tray will be enough. You don't need to cut more openings.

3. The Comps you have chosen are very good, no doubt about that! Your preferred sub options are also very good. ID has a new range (CTX) that starts from 8.5K/9K. Maybe you can try listening to them when they are available (in March end I think). In JL's lower range, I've listened only to the JLW3 which was quite nice. Of ID, I've listened to all of the subs (except the new CTX) and I'd buy them without any doubt for myself (I actually have). The IDv3 is 14K now I think and is a great buy.

You can always wait for a couple of months extra (after you buy the current equipment), research well, and spend 14k to 15K for the sub if current budget is a constraint. Don't let impatience screw with the plan, or with the nice system you're building
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Old 11th March 2009, 17:32   #101
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Found another alternative for 2-ch (probably better than Kenwood 7204, though wattage is less, quality would be better??), it is top of the line MBQuart amp available really cheap (it the same one mentioned earlier in this merged thread) -
MB Quart PAB2100 AMPLIFIER 2-Channel Car Amp PAB-2100 - eBay (item 300295605407 end time Mar-23-09 12:47:30 PDT)

Last edited by santosh.s : 11th March 2009 at 17:34.
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Old 11th March 2009, 18:04   #102
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Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
1. @santosh, if you prefer bass that complements the fronts and simply supports them with the low-frequencies in such a way that the sub is invisible,
Yes, that would be ideal. I would cross over compos at lowest frequency that is recommended as "safe" for them in log run.

Quote:
The bass from a 10" might be better for the kind of bass you prefer, but I'd play safe and get a 12". They don't cost that much extra, and you can always the dial the bass to be a bit tighter by adjusting the encloure volume (downwards) a bit.
In case of CDT, 12" is actually available at a cheaper rate than 10"! Regarding enclosure volume, they have provided response plots for various box volumes, not in free air, but inside a "typical sedan". So I would prefer to go with that without tampering. However, typical sedan by US standard may imply big sedans in Indian context, while my baleno may fit their definition of a "compact"!

Quote:
you'll find more buyers for a 10" than a 12".
You probably meant the other way around?

Quote:
You can always wait for a couple of months extra (after you buy the current equipment), research well, and spend 14k to 15K for the sub if current budget is a constraint. Don't let impatience screw with the plan, or with the nice system you're building
I can't resist laughing! My ICE plan has been on indefinite hold for last three years! Asking for more patience???
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Old 12th March 2009, 12:35   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
I was soon convinced that I need good 2-ch + mono amps
For compos-
Kenwood KAC-7204
For sub-
Kenwood KAC-8104D
Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
it is top of the line MBQuart amp available really cheap[/url]
I'd get the Kenwood amps instead of the MBQ.

The Kenwood 8403/8404 I think are available in India.
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Old 12th March 2009, 13:25   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
You probably meant the other way around?
Yep, a 12" will find more buyers than a 10"

Quote:
Originally Posted by santosh.s View Post
I can't resist laughing! My ICE plan has been on indefinite hold for last three years! Asking for more patience???
All good things come to those who wait I mentioned the need for patience from personal experience.

About the amps, I'd agree with Navin -- Go for the Kenwoods.
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Old 12th March 2009, 15:06   #105
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Originally Posted by navin View Post
The Kenwood 8403/8404 I think are available in India.
Shall I go back to 4-ch amp?

Can somebody tell me about their Indian price with/without B&W?
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