Taking the plunge, new system going in - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Hi all!

Well, I am taking the plunge and doing the audio system for my car. Been doing car audio off and on since 1994, including a few seasons of IASCA competition, just before mindless SPL dragracing took over the whole scene.

What I already have is a Rockford Fosgate Punch AUDIOphile RFA-104 10" sub, circa 1994. These were in fact the first pieces of high end car audio I ever purchased. I think they were like $150 each back then. Gosh do I feel nostalgic. Anyway, this sub is made for a small sealed box, with rubber surround and a 60-ounce magnet structure - small by today's heavyweight sub standards, but a very hefty structure considering the sub's 100 Watt rating. Came close to winning a few SQ competitions with two of these mounted in a USD Audio aperiodic membrane enclosure. As someone who once had three JL 10W6s stuffed in the truck of a Corolla, I do appreciate the concept of A Lot of Bass (tm), just not this time around.

The sub is in a $60 sealed box I bought from Circuit City.

I found a great deal on an Xtant 403a amplifier on SoundDomain.com. They are closing this out for $169.95. Xtant is like the BMW of car audio - not super exclusive, but something that most aspire to owning. The 403a is several years old but it is still a very desirable amplifier. This thing puts out 50x2 plus 100x1 at 4ohms, and doubles into 2 ohms. Of course, Xtant underrates their amplifiers just as most other high end equipment manufacturers, so real world numbers will be more "interesting". Xtant claims that the amp needs a 60-amp fuse, so draw your own conclusions. Among the host of high end features on this amp is balanced floating ground line input of up to 17V, which allows the direct connection of speaker level outputs from a OEM head unit. That means I don't even need a line level converter - just a direct hook up to the stock head unit. Not only do I save the cost of a Navone 774V, but also the cost of RCA cables.

I just ordered a pair of the off-color CDT CL-61a components from thezeb.com. They are running a 15% off anniversary special so it was only $127.31 plus shipping :O. I chose the silk dome tweeter version because I've always liked textile tweeters over metal dome tweeters, which tend to be overly bright.

So my tally so far is:
Sub - $150
Box - $60
Amp - $170
CDT - $130

Total: $510

I figure I'll need to spend another $100 on wires, cable, and a fuse holder. But this is going to be one of the cheapest systems I've ever built, but you'd never be able to tell from the equipment list. It's amazing what can be done for so little money when the right deals come along.

Lee


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 02:04 PM
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Mmm, nice price on the amp. We sold our last 604x for $299 because we were making room for newer Xtant amps. Keep in mind that the 604 was once $1k... along with the matching 1001x.

CDTs, good choice at a killer price. You will notice with the crossover set at -0, the tweeters get a little bright. -3 would be my starting point.

Cheap wiring, swing by Walmart. They have 8ga and 4ga Scosche kits that are under $50 for an entire kit. Cant say much about the quality, but it works (besides.. wire is wire).

vB

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Just got some el-cheapo wire off of eBay... Mobile Spec? WTF?

Anyway, it was $23 shipped for an amp kit, 20 ft 4 gauge power wire, 3 ft ground, AGU fuse holder, 20 ft RCA, 20 ft 12 gauge speaker wire, and a bunch of spades and doodads.

I am going to use cat5 cable as the "balanced line" from the head unit to the amp, only wish that the wire was stranded, but heck its cheap.

Pretty much the only speaker wire that will be exposed is the one going to the sub box. I am eyeing the KnuKonceptz 8 gauge twisted wire. . I once swore that I would never buy anything from a compoany that chops up English for the sake of a cheesy played-out company name. But it just looks so neat, and only 1.50 a foot. Some eye candy doesn't hurt.

I plan to take a look at the stock wiring under the hood, possibly run a new 4 gauge wire from the alternator to the battery. I am just so psyched about getting an Xtant amp. Any idea how much Xtants are typically under rated by? Haven't been able to find a review of one of their class A/B amps.

One more question: how did you handle the remote turn-on? Does the stock radio have such an output.?

Lee


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 07:28 PM
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

The yelllow with silver dots wire on the headunit harness works well as the remote lead. vaBooM has about the only full walk through on installation. I went extreme cheap and just threw in my old ancient MTX8000 10" dual bandpass enclosure (only 80lbs worth) w/a custom 922watt amp peiced together from other amps.....thats only untill I do a side enclosure like Oxi's. The stock headunit works for now, only problem is the frequency of the bass adjustment, more like higher midbass. Im going to need some x-overs real soon. And maybe a better LOC!!!


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 01:25 AM
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Yes, the accessory wire behind the radio works fine.

Xtant has always been underrated. Expensive, but damn fine quality. Only thing that bugs me is: they dont make any amps higher than 1kw. Although the 1001x does put out about 1100w @ 2ohms.

Of the amps Ive tested, they have killed their posted numbers by, at least, 50~150w over rated. Both our 2ohm and 4ohm dummy loads are damaged, so I havent been able to bench test anything.

If I remember correctly, the last time we tested a 101x (that little dinky amp you always wondered about... with only 1 RCA in) cranked out 160w.. rated at 100w. Perfect amp for a center channel or powering a set of components (though you will need two).

vB

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 01:26 AM
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Oh yea, if you upgrade to 4ga to the alternator, you will need to upgrade your ground to the motor and the chassis.

vB

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Quote:
Originally Posted by "vaBooM"
Oh yea, if you upgrade to 4ga to the alternator, you will need to upgrade your ground to the motor and the chassis.

vB
Of course A 4 gauge from negative battery post to chassis ground, and an 8 guage from motor to chassis.

I looked at the battery post, there is already a chunky stock battery terminal so I won't need to buy one of those fancy polished ones.

A question about the yellow wire with silver dots, is that actually switched by turning the radio on or is it just a switched ignition wire. In other words, that line is powered on as soon as ignition is turned to accessory or on. I guess it's not a big deal anyway...

Lee


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2004, 12:18 AM
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Taking the plunge, new system going in

Its an accessory wire. I accidently put Ignition in my guide...

Oops

vB

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