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Old 28th January 2010, 18:54   #1
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Default Suggestions for a $1000 setup

I'm looking to upgrade the audio setup in my santro. The santro would be around for a year or 2 at the max. After that i will move this setup to a new car. I have a budget of $1000 for the upgrade and I plan to source most of the equipment from USA, if not all as they are cheap there.

I listen to indian film music, trance, hip hop and a bit of rock. I do not want earth shattering or car rattling bass and i'm not crazy for big RMS numbers. I would like more music for the car's occupants than the outsiders. Ofcourse I would like some bragging rights for the setup but definitely not in a poser's way, those days are long gone.

My requirements are
1. Clean and clear sound, in essence good SQ
2. Good midbass and vocals
3. Good bass - I wouild like to feel the thump while i'm inside the car
4. Even distribution of sound in the car.

Setup in my mind is to have 2 pairs of component speakers (F + R) , a subwoofer and an able amp to support the speakers.

HU - Pls suggest any good HU under $200. I dont want to invest more on the HU for now since i have plans of going in for a 2 din HU while i get a new car.

Component speakers
I have a budget of $300 to 400$ for 2 pairs of components. I have heard infinity ref6030 and polk db6501 setups (both the setups were powered by HU and not by an amp). There was a good balance btw highs and mids in the infinity, singer's voice can be clearly heard, overall it was like listening music thru a pair of good headphones. Polk on the other hand had a good mid bass and decent highs but the voice sounded a bit distant. My preference would be to have something that sounds like the infinity but with the punch & energy of polk .... maybe i'm asking for too much.

The infinity kappas, infinity perfect 6.1, polk mm6501, db6501, rockford fosgate T162S and maybe even entry level Focals, all these would fit in my allocated budget. Pls suggest speakers which suit my requirements.

Subwoofer - Due to budget constraints I plan to use my existing pioneer sub for now. But if there is budget I wouldnt mind going in for a new sub. Nevertheless, i'm open to suggestions on this too.

Amplifiers
Budget for amp is $200 - $400. I originally planned to have a 5 channel amp as it would save some space. Available options are the Infinity 5350a, JBL GTO5355, Infinity Kappa FIVE, Boston Acoustics GTA-1005, Alpine PDX-5 and Polk Audio PA1100.5. Which of these would the best suit for my kinda of setup. Crunch and Hifonics do have some 5-ch amps, but I have no idea how they perform. But i'm open to them too provided they are good & VFM.

But a spanner was thrown in which has left me confused abt amp setup. The car would be used by my parents as well and they are not fond of loud music. To address this I was thinking of powering the front compos and sub through an amp and leave the rear components to be powered by the HU. This way I could power-on the amp when i travel alone and switch off amp & power only the rear's while traveling with parents. Two options to support this setup but not sure which is better,
a) A good high end 4ch amp, 2 ch powering the front compos and the 2 ch bridged to power the subwoofer.
b) 2ch amp powering the front compos and mono powering the sub.

Gurus & fellow bhpians, your sugestions / thoughts about this upgrade plan would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Arun
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Old 28th January 2010, 19:28   #2
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Hey Arun,

First of all, congrats for deciding on all new ICE setup

if i can suggest you the following;

HU - Clarion DXZ785USB or Kenwood X693 / 993

Front & Rear Compos -
  • Boston Acoustic SL60
  • DLS R6A
  • Infinity Kappa Perfect 6.1
  • Rainbow SLX265
  • Zapco i6.2
Amp - 4 Ch
  • Alpine MRP-F600
  • Boston GT-42
  • DLS RA-40
  • Infinity Kappa 4/5
  • JL Audio 300/4
  • Rainbow ipaul4.300
  • RF T600-4
Sub:
  • 10" ID V3
  • 10" Boston G5104
  • 10" RF Punch P3
  • 10" JLW3
All fit into your budget. All ar SQ-oreinted

My choices highlighted in bold

keep us posted

Last edited by Technocrat : 28th January 2010 at 19:33. Reason: Please avoid quoting an entire long post especially when its on the same page, thanks
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Old 28th January 2010, 19:52   #3
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Quote:
But a spanner was thrown in which has left me confused abt amp setup. The car would be used by my parents as well and they are not fond of loud music. To address this I was thinking of powering the front compos and sub through an amp and leave the rear components to be powered by the HU. This way I could power-on the amp when i travel alone and switch off amp & power only the rear's while traveling with parents. Two options to support this setup but not sure which is better,
a) A good high end 4ch amp, 2 ch powering the front compos and the 2 ch bridged to power the subwoofer.
b) 2ch amp powering the front compos and mono powering the sub.
i wont suggest brands because to be honest i have no preferences but i want to comment on this part of the situation

since you will not be using and amplifier for the rear components and will be actually only powering those from the headunit onboard power might i suggest using a cheaper set of coaxials here because you will be wasting the potential of the speaker if you use a great speaker here. the headunit power will actually work slightly better with an average set of cheap coaxials then it would powering a topnotch component set

whatever you save can then be diverted to getting a better set of component speakers for the front so when you do switch on the amplifier and you are using the car the sound is better to you where you are sitting

in terms of the amplifier if you are not going to use any rear channels the only way that a 5 channel would make sense is if you run the front stage as active otherwise i recommend a 4 channel amplifier at the same price but with fewer channels maybe with more power or features to better match your speaker selection

only decide on equipment when you have finalised your system design so you avoid getting equipment that is not optimal for your setup or waste money on stuff that you would be tempted to get rid off to start over again (a trap which ive fallen into many a time cos i bought something with the idea that i might not be using it optimally now but probably will upgrade to using it optimally in the future)
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Old 1st February 2010, 19:46   #4
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@Mi10 - Thank you very much for your detailed suggestions. Will definitely consider the options you have suggested.

@naughty001 - Valid points there. I have decided to stick with the 5ch amp setup and will be using the rear channels as well. So in this perspective could you suggest a good setup ... pls ?

@all - I have kinda of zeroed in on three 5 ch amps, which would be a better choice ?
1. Infinity Kappa FIVE
2. Boston Acoustics GT-5750
3. Polk Audio PA1100.5.

@mods - Any suggestions from your side ?
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Old 2nd February 2010, 12:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donarun View Post
@all - I have kinda of zeroed in on three 5 ch amps, which would be a better choice ?
1. Infinity Kappa FIVE
2. Boston Acoustics GT-5750
3. Polk Audio PA1100.5.
why no DLS RA50 or JL 900/5?

specs here...
DLS - Products
JL Audio HD900/5 Amplifiers - Car Audio Amps & Amplifiers
JL Audio G6600 Amplifiers - Car Audio Amps & Amplifiers
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Old 2nd February 2010, 14:53   #6
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I did have a look at them before but DLS & JL cost about $700 in sonic electronics. This would eat up a major chunk of my budget, so dropped the idea. But say if i am to buy the DLS, then which which speaker shall go in for the front fills ? For rear fills i will continue to use my existing 3way infinity ref 6*9.

Btw, is it safe to purchase from sonic electronix ? Has any bhpians bought from sonic till now ? Its mentioned that they are authorised dealers for DLS products. Is that true ?
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Old 2nd February 2010, 15:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donarun View Post
Its mentioned that they are authorised dealers for DLS products. Is that true ?
Authorised Internet dealers for the US. I've had a chance to use their services, all went well.. BUT you dont have a legal recourse if its DOA/like.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 15:53   #8
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Originally Posted by donarun View Post
Btw, is it safe to purchase from sonic electronix ? Has any bhpians bought from sonic till now ? Its mentioned that they are authorised dealers for DLS products. Is that true ?
Bought amps from there all went well. Most of my friends who flew down to US buy from there.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:00   #9
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@panky12345 , @abibh - Thanks for the info guys. Any suggestions as far as the setup is concerned ?
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:06   #10
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Get that DLS RA50 or JL HD900/5, You can probably use your existing 3 ways for rear fills. (Try e-Bay or Amazon for JL Amp - you may get it bit cheap)

Go for Nice set of Compos upfront and HU
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donarun View Post
@panky12345 , @abibh - Thanks for the info guys. Any suggestions as far as the setup is concerned ?
Do you prefer bright, warmer or laidback music ? This can help in suggesting the pair of components and AMP.

Try to audition a few setups to get an idea.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donarun View Post
I did have a look at them before but DLS & JL cost about $700 in sonic electronics...But say if i am to buy the DLS, then which which speaker shall go in for the front fills ?
For the Front (not fillers) I'd consider DLS, Rainbow, etc..that you have already short listed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi10 View Post
Get that DLS RA50 or JL HD900/5, You can probably use your existing 3 ways for rear fills.
see...great minds think alike! even if one of them is senile.

Last edited by navin : 2nd February 2010 at 16:43.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 17:06   #13
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Originally Posted by Mi10 View Post
Get that DLS RA50 or JL HD900/5, You can probably use your existing 3 ways for rear fills. (Try e-Bay or Amazon for JL Amp - you may get it bit cheap)

Go for Nice set of Compos upfront and HU
An honest suggestion stay away from JL HD & Alpine PDX if you are looking for SQ.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 17:21   #14
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donarun: cheapest in most cases would be ebay.. but again, you need to be quite cautious in choosing sellers that match the lowest price!! pay through paypal and you never get wrong!
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Old 2nd February 2010, 18:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Do you prefer bright, warmer or laidback music ? This can help in suggesting the pair of components and AMP.

Try to audition a few setups to get an idea.
how would the below descrption be classified ?
" I have heard infinity ref6030 and polk db6501 setups (both the setups were powered by HU and not by an amp). There was a good balance btw highs and mids in the infinity, singer's voice can be clearly heard, overall it was like listening music thru a pair of good headphones. Polk on the other hand had a good mid bass and decent highs but the voice sounded a bit distant. My preference would be to have something that sounds like the infinity but with the punch & energy of polk"

I have not heard music through high end set ups ... So i'm prepared to go with suggestions from the forum memebers. I would want warm and energetic sound.

@navin - The DLS R6A seems to have a pressed paper woofer cone. Would it survive the harsh indian (hot/wet) weather ?
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