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Door Speaker Amp and Sub Recommendations

4239 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  iamstubb
Hey everyone,

Still waiting on my Car to arrive from the factory, but based on some of the posts here and my own listening I decided to not get the Harmon Kardon premium sound and get my own setup for about the same $2000. I'd like to not spend any more than that. I've been trying to find a guide on speaker sizes, Crutchfield seems to think the dash is 3 1/2" and the front/rear doors are 6 1/2 or 6 3/4?

The last few cars I've had I've usually gone with Infinity Kappa's for the speakers and Amp. But the last time I bought them I wasn't nearly as impressed with the speakers and it seems like the front 6x9's had a messed up tweeter and woofer within a year and a half.

This time the setup I was considering was the following, let me know your thoughts.

PAC Interface?
JL Audio C3-600 - Front
JL Audio C3-525X - Rear
JL Audio HD600 or XD 400 Amp
RF 4 Farad Cap

Ported 1.5ft^3 Enclosure
Alpine Type-X 12" Sub
JL Audio XD1000 Amp

Edit: Also, had a question, is PAC the only one that makes a "Nav" unlock so you can enter Nav info while not in park? On the Kenwood units it just required you to short the ground wire for the sensor....was hoping maybe something similar?
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The front dash speakers are 3.5" and pretty much any 3.5 coaxial with no more than about 17mm mounting height will fit easily. Mine are 19mm and that is about the limit. You can also consider using a wide-band 3.5" speaker from Dayton.

The doors have built in 6x9 speaker enclosures. If you get a component system you should plan on sealing up the enclosures pretty well. I know a lot of people like to use component with passive crossovers, but honestly I don't think it sounds as good for the following reason. Most of your stereo image starts with frequencies around 400 Hz on up. That's the bottom end of the human voice. So your leg and that of any passengers is essentially blocking any sound that your ears use to localize an image. Component tweeters don't start until about 3000Hz, which is pretty high. You will notice most competition setups end up with a mid-range high in the door or on the A pillar. The door speakers should really only play up to around 200-400 Hz. Even though I have coaxial's in the doors, I am using a DSP and they are only playing 70Hz to 350Hz. My sub plays below that, and the dash plays above. Just enough to give the mid-bass punch that feels good. After that the image is up at the windshield across the dash and the image is very sharp and clear. JL C2 6x9 or the C3/C5 coaxial 6x8's can accomplish that for the same price.

The PAC adapter, if it is the C2A-CHY5 has pros and cons. Although you get a low level signal for your amps, I find it a little nosy and I have read others stating that as well. It does odd things like at one volume setting it will pick up some noise, but dial up or down a step and background goes completely silent It is inherent in the electronics that are also trying to read the CAN Bus signal. The alternative is the Audio Control LC6i or lC7i or use direct speaker inputs. I have and LC7i sitting in my garage because I have been debating trying that out instead. That will preserve more of your head unit features like EQ, but has the issue of pulling a signal that has been EQ'd and crossed over, then reassembled and crossed over and EQ'd again. If you have ever converted an image from a .tiff to a .jpg to a .tiff again, you get the idea of what that does to the sound. With speaker level input, you are stuck with whatever signal you have.

Your whole system is maxed at 120-130 Amps so I am not sure you really need the cap. Most people on other forums think it isn't necessary. You can wait to see if your headlights dim but the alternator is 180 amps. The HD is a Class D amp and is efficient.

What you don't have on that list is a DSP for EQ and time alignment. You will have the capacity for a lot of SPL, but nothing makes a system sound good like tuning. Anywhere near the RMS abilities of what you have listed will make you deaf. If you are a DIY type of person, think about adding miniDSP's to your system. High quality components and very cheap. Otherwise, the RF 360.3, Alpine PXA H800 or the JBL MS8 might work and have simple setup interfaces.

Not sure about the NAV issue. I don't have that with my 8.4 Uconnect.
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I haven't heard a system with the LC7 or LC6 but I also have never read any complaints about it either, only good stuff and Audio Control is a solid company. I used their home stuff years ago. I think if some errant background noise is going to be something that bothers you, try the LC units first. Are you going to install yourself or pay someone? If you have the basic 4-channel setup now, Audio Control might be the way to go. If you have any OEM amp like the alpine 276 Watt 6 channel or up, the PAC might be the way to go.

I was also considering the EQX when designing my system. There is a drawback with the EQX and other Audio Control stuff and that is that the crossovers are fixed and the EQ is graphical. You can't really customize them with respect to slope and frequency and that can make a difference in tuning. The EQX does not do time alignment or polarity reversal, which can be the difference between good and great. If you like to do things yourself and don't mind learning a little about tuning software and real time analysis, I can't recommend the miniDSP highly enough and you will save a bundle of money. It is a great unit with highest quality components that will do justice to the JL equipment you are planning on using. The manufacturers and others that I didn't mention are all very good and what you end up paying for is convenience. So it depends on your own personal taste.
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That's probably a good approach and you can find a pro that is familiar with the equipment. But actually with a Laptop and a $20.00 calibrated microphone using the free RTA program called REW, you can do a lot while not knowing anything! That's how I learned, but I can see how that isn't for everyone. Sometime you just want to turn the key and go!

I wrote up my install adventures in a couple old threads. They are for a 2012, but I think they would be the same.
You can search "speaker upgrade thoughts" and "amp upgrade thoughts" for info and tips with pictures.

The DIY mobile audio forum has a lot of info on it and you can ask there for DFW tuner availability. it seems a lot of pro's are on that forum.

I think the difference between that and the LC7i is that the clean sweep flattens the overall signal with EQ that you cannot adjust yourself, whereas the LC sums the signal and divides it out for F, R, and sub. The mini and other DSP's will let you tune each speaker individually, change the timing/phase, and EQ the overall signal. So it's a little more flexible and would be more in line with what a real pro tuner would want to work with. Two miniDSP's with all the stuff for install and software would be about the same price and give you more flexibility.

If you went with the Rockford 3sixty.3 or the MS-8, you might not need the LC7 so keep that in mind for pricing. You can run your speaker outs from the amp into the processors. The LC6 or 7/MiniDSP solution is still cheaper, but fewer parts and more convenience with the others.
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Just wanted to follow this up and say thanks for all the help,

I ended up going with a RF 3sixty.3 and JL C3-600 Front and JL C2-690tx Rear and a JL XD400/4v2 amp and it sounds great. Next paycheck it should be a simple matter of adding the Sub and Sub amp for a great setup. Thanks for the suggestions!
Thanks as well. That looks like a nice system. Although, if you get the urge, putting the JL C2-350x or similar in the dash might be worth a try ne day and with the RF processor it should be easy to adjust. The imaging and detail from mids high up is amazing. Keeps your legs from blocking the sound.
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