Ok, so I'm going to have my first custon install done on my new A4. I've been into home audio for a while; my current setups are: Arcam Alpha 8SE CD Player, Alpha 9 amp, and Vandersteen 2Signature speakers; and a NAD L40 with Linn Tukans. The Linns are my favs, more warm and mid-forward than the laid-back Vandys.
That said, I know almost nothing about car audio, other than what I have listened to.
I have auditioned BA 5.5 Pros with a PPI amp and have been fairly happy with them. However, my experiece with home audio tells me that demoing in the store is not very useful; you have to get the components in the space they are to be used in. However, the BA pros seem to be what I'm looking for. If I'm not happy with the bass once installed, the plan is to add a 8.5" BA pro sub in a small box later. It will be mounted to use the ski-sack "port".
As for amp selection, the PPI is supposedly good for speaker-level inputs (I am planning on retaining the Symphony head unit and CD changer). Lots of folks here seem to use Xtant amps, though, so what are the pluses and minuses of these?
Sorry for the rant.
04-18-2000, 01:44 PM
Good clean tight accurate mid-bass, like you have at home, is very had to achieve in the car. Of course, because of the space and acoustics. I'm sure you chose the Bostons because of the mid-bass reproduction in the store... It's a good choice, just make sure you power them...
My advice is this. Go with the PPI, and over power the speakers RMS, the gain them down. that way you will get a little more current running through for a more accurate mid frequency push... You are probably going to want to do the sub as well, I'm sure. If you do, set the x-over setting to over lap the frequency range by alomst 20 hz, and use the same power rule of gaining down extra power...
I'm currently running my system like this, and I have a tight 10in in the ski bag, but my car is a bit bigger...
'93 S4 (340hp MTM stage III+)
04-18-2000, 05:11 PM
I'm interested in your sub setup. What sub, box volume, arrangment in trunk... etc?
04-18-2000, 06:13 PM
I agree, you have to get them in the car...which makes choosing very difficult. I have a pair of Proac 1SC's at home. Love them dearly. Chose MB Quarts in my last car, and that was a mistake for me. They sounded too bright, and not at all musical to me. I previously owned a pair of A/D/S speakers, and that's what I will be installing in the A4. They do vocals very well, never bright and brassy. As the other poster mentioned, be sure to feed them well. PPI, Xtant, Alpine, etc. should do nicely.
One caveat...a car is not the same as a home system. I spent thousands trying to prove otherwise, this time around I'll be more realistic.
04-18-2000, 06:15 PM
If you are big on home audio, then you may want to check out car amps by Adcom or McIntosh. I have an Adcom 50 X 4 in my BMW 318ti and it sounds amazing! Wonderful imaging and fantastic clarity! Just a plug...
04-18-2000, 06:28 PM
04-18-2000, 06:36 PM
I have only moderate expectations of what I'm going to get for $1000. I'm sure some folks will flame me for this, but I expect that it's damn hard to get the same kind of sound in the car as you can at home.
Road noise is the obvious problem. I can quiet my listening room all I want and install acoustic panels to keep the reflections at bay, but not so in the car.
I listen to classical / baroque / early music, jazz, folk, and techno (yeah, weird, eh?) at home and in the car. I guess I'm expecting something to sound somewhere close to my NAD/Linn setup - warmer sounding, solid mid-bass and lower-midrange, but not the full extension that the Vandersteens can provide (8" woofer, 10" coupler, true 100W amp), up-front and warm mids, and highs that don't sound like blowing ice crystals in my face. I don't expect to be blown away for $1000 (or even $5000) at home, so I sure don't expect it in the car.
That said, I am sure that I can get a solid setup what will be waaaaaayyyyy better than the stock setup (Symphony / 4" / non-bose) for less than one large.
04-19-2000, 04:42 AM
I own a 603x, the big three channel and i have also owned several PPI amps over the years. The biggest plus to the xtant in my opinion is the clean power you get, i am aware you should never hear a difference in an amp, all amps should be invisible to the ear, but the xtant just gives out pure power over long periods. THe minuses (of this model in particular) are 2 really. One is the thing is HUGE, the footprint of the amp is really large. 2 is it is a 3 channel amp and some ppl prefer a 4 or a 5 to run all 4 plus a sub.
The PPI amps are similiar in the fact both have a regulated power supply (ie it says 4x50, u GET 4x50 some amps rate 4x50 u get 4x70 ish). The regulated powersupply is good if u are running a stock electrical system in the car as most ppl in here are. Ive always thought the ppi amps were quite clean in appearance and sound also.
I suppose it comes down to cost, and the PPI is significantly cheaper than a big xtant, and gives u great sound...perhaps PPI is the choice for you.
Neither is a bad choice.
Xtant 603 - Image Dynamics Speakers & Sub
04-19-2000, 07:20 AM
I have a 10'Orion in a 1.66 cubic sealed box running off of a 200watt PPI mono... It fit right between the rear deck speakers, and fires right through the arm rest. If you pull it down the woofer is right there...
It's not huge bass, but it's pretty good fill and not bad on the low. I am having thoughts, however, of putting two 8's in there instead. Have them run at a sub mid-bass setting, 40-200hz or so, and add a twelve in the trunk. Reason being, there's not allot of air movement. Whatever goes in there needs to be tight because it's sealed and it's hard to get boom.
Part of this is the Orion. I going to try a Solo or PPI, something tighter then the Orion, before I go as far as building another amp rack and box for the trunk. But, if you're looking to do something in the ski bag spot just keep in mind it's not going to bump. It's a good spot if you want tight lower mid-bass, and not allot of boom...
04-19-2000, 08:33 AM
04-19-2000, 08:37 AM
Thats why I want to try a tighter 10' first... If anyone has a suggestion on a tight 10' for my ski bag, I can use it... going with the 8's would entail some good re-working. I would have to add another 4-channel and run it in tri-mode, stereo front and mono rear set-up probably, and build soild 6.5 in the front kick pannel... that would do it.
04-19-2000, 08:40 AM
04-19-2000, 08:59 AM
if you get their PLD1 unit, you don't have to turn up the gain on any of the amps because it supplies a minimum 8v current from the PLD1 to the amps you have installed. Please explain your take/point-of-view . . .<ul><li><a href="http://www.phoenixgold.com/pld1.html">http://www.phoenixgold.com/pld1.html</a</li></ul>
04-19-2000, 10:10 AM
you still can cause excessive pulls on your altenator and its another link in your signal path which can induce noise. As a general rule you should keep the signal chain as simple as possible....
noise gates, DAC's, and signal "enhancers" are best left for the serious audiophile, most ppl want life simpler. Ive had both. And i prefer the simpler approach.... my 24v DAC was great, but was a pain to get set up properly.
But yes, phoenix are nice amps, but do have current issues. Ask most installers.
04-19-2000, 10:25 AM
looks like they took care of the negatives I heard about Pheonix. What I heard is they had a problem with the source conversion. The feeds aren't strong enough from the typical head units. I've only seen one car done with Pheonix Gold amps and the owner did say he had to focus on conditioning the source feed for the amps. Looks like Pheonix knew this and came up with their own way of making their amps more compatable with common head units...
I'm not up on Pheonix equipment. I can only go with what I hear about them from the people I consult with when I shop. There's only one Pheonix retailer in my area and they only stock a subwoofer...
04-19-2000, 10:27 AM
04-19-2000, 12:04 PM
Not yet, waiting for my S4 to come so I can install it. My installer has really worked with me in allowing me to listen to various vehicles they setup with different applications. When a car comes in, he calls me and I listen to the install before the customer picks the car up. I'm happy w/my decision and with the research I've done on various products. I'll probably post pics of the install when I'm done.
04-19-2000, 12:05 PM
04-19-2000, 12:11 PM
04-19-2000, 12:25 PM
04-22-2000, 04:24 PM
04-23-2000, 07:47 AM
Just installed a Alpine CVA 1005 running a Alpine DSP Changer into 2 Phoenix Gold ZX ti amps. Had others in the past but thes are the best I have experienced.Running 2 12" solobarics in the trunk and 2 sets of JL Audio Evolution speakers. The Power core sure does make a difference, 15 farads woth infact.