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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a mandate from my girlfriend that we had to have music on our trip for spring break, so I did a rush job to throw my 3-way components in with my CD player and an amp... WOW it was a real pain to install. The amp is pretty easy because of the nice opening near the battery in STs, but the speakers were anything but easy. I followed vaboom's tutorial on speaker installs, but its not the best car for component speakers by any stretch. I have speaker sorta hanging out of the doors from the 6.5" speakers and tweets, and I slapped the mid ranges onto to plastic kick panels. I found the hard way that there is little or no space for extra things in the car. The mids are going in and out because of the wire harnesses on the right side in the kick panel area and they keep dislodging the disconnects from the speaker. The tweeters are also more than a tight fit with the mounting bracket provided by DLS.

Even though I spent 5-6 hours today doing something that should have taken at least half the time, I did learn a couple things:
The tweeters in the final install will be in the A-pillars.
The mids and woofers will definitely be in kick panels.
Don't buy stuff to hook up an amp at Radioshack... it costs a LOT of money, especially when I had an amp kit coming!
 

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Ya gotta hate rush jobs.

I didnt have any problems fitting my components in. The tweeter is literally the same size as stock (maybe 2mm bigger) and the 6.5" with the adaptor fell into place. I knew fitting bigger tweeters was going to be a biotch.

The 3 isnt all that great for SQ either. The tweeter placement sucks and the spoeaker in the door fires into your legs. I going with a 7" in the door with a 6.5" coax in the kicks. Thought about moving the tweeter to the A Pillar but we'll see.
 

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You're good Vaboom, that's a darn good idea with going with 7" in the front door. keep in mind, that the speakers were 5 x 7, so it would be less work. :) Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dang it, I just re-read what I posted and forgot some key words... (stupid cold!)

It should say that the speaker wires are hanging out of the door. This was due to the stupid wire harness on the hole connecting the cabin to the door.

I'll probably do something similar to Per Soder's design for the tweets, but will slap that idea into the a-pillars : http://bilstereo.just.nu/
 

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If your going simple A Pillars, youll want to surface mount them.

For a little more work, but cleaner outcome, flushed them in. But you will need to cut (very little) of the A Pillar.. or possibly a hole.

For the best, imaging and will look awesome, is glassing them in. Takes the most time, most effort, and will be hard to color match. But at least you can angle the tweeter anyway you so desire.
 

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After all these years, I still don't understand why kickpanel installs are so popular. It's a poor location just about everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LeeLee said:
After all these years, I still don't understand why kickpanel installs are so popular. It's a poor location just about everything.
Couple reasons:
1. Gives you the closest thing to equal path lengths from both channels
2. Its about the farthest point you can get the speakers while keeping them in front of you. This makes for the widest and deepest soundstage (at least in theory)
3. Much easier to point the drivers where you want them.
4. Don't have to worry about sound deadening the hell out of the doors (on the other hand, a good amount of work for the fibreglass).
 

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bknauss said:
LeeLee said:
After all these years, I still don't understand why kickpanel installs are so popular. It's a poor location just about everything.
Couple reasons:
1. Gives you the closest thing to equal path lengths from both channels
2. Its about the farthest point you can get the speakers while keeping them in front of you. This makes for the widest and deepest soundstage (at least in theory)
3. Much easier to point the drivers where you want them.
4. Don't have to worry about sound deadening the hell out of the doors (on the other hand, a good amount of work for the fibreglass).
1. The equal path length argument is rather old. The lower doors location is what, 6 inches closer to the driver? I don't see how slightly less unequal is significantly better. On the other hand, kick panels are the narrowest points on the car's interior, resulting in an artificially narrow stage, which leads some to erroneously conclude that kickpanels improve imaging.

2. Only the driver-side is further out, and not by much. Also, the driver-side speaker is now almostly directly in front of the listener.

3. Looking at the on/off-axis responses of drivers, it is typically the upper midrange to high frequency response that suffer the most. Thus where the mid-bass driver points doesn't matter much. And you can certainly point the tweeter anywhere you want regardless of location. Also, the off-axis roll-off nature of drivers is useful for off-setting volume bias of the closer driver. This is the reason for cross-aiming of tweeters.

4. Yea, the work involved in doing kickpanel installs is my primary beef with this set-up. For all intents and purposes, the doors can be considered free-air applications since the volume of the door is so huge compared to driver size, and the door is far from being sealed. On the other hand, a kickpanel install would necessitate an artificially small pod in order to preserve a reasonable amount of foot space. Such a small enclosure reduce the allowable driver size and consequently low end extension. Some people go as far as putting a true mid-bass in the doors, and then a mid-range/tweeter in the kickpanels, but it just seems like a lot of work for questionable benefits.

Maybe I am old school or something, I remember when kick-panels started becoming popular, it was all the rage. Then came compression horn drivers (what a load of crap)...
 

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I'm hoping some speaker adapters and some HU dash kits will come out in the future but I emailed metra and they said none in production at this time :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LeeLee said:
Maybe I am old school or something, I remember when kick-panels started becoming popular, it was all the rage. Then came compression horn drivers (what a load of crap)...
If you don't like horns, I suggest you speak to all of the people that compete with ID horns. They seem to be fairly good at winning competitions.

Kick panels are more or less a standard now. Gary Biggs, Mark Eldridge, and a ton of other heavyweights use them. They never seem to lose, so I'm going to take a wild guess that kick panels are fairly good.
 

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Besides... if you dont want to make custom door panels for multiple drivers, kickpanels is your next best choice.

For a decently competitive front soundstage, components in the door and a good set of coax's in the kickpanels.
 

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bknauss said:
LeeLee said:
Maybe I am old school or something, I remember when kick-panels started becoming popular, it was all the rage. Then came compression horn drivers (what a load of crap)...
If you don't like horns, I suggest you speak to all of the people that compete with ID horns. They seem to be fairly good at winning competitions.
Yea, there are also people who buy $1000 speaker cables. There is a whole industry of people with "golden ears".

If horns are such a good idea, why is public PA the only wide spread use of it? The benefit of compression horns is high efficiency and low end extension. The efficiency side is why PA systems like to use them but it is moot for mobile applications because it doesn't take that much power to run a tweeter loud enough in a car. The low end extension is a good benefit, but there are large tweeters that go almost as low.

Now lets look at the negatives:

* Expensive: anywhere from $300 to $1000 or more for a pair.
* Peaky tonal resonponse that people use dual-channel 30-band EQs to correct.
* Horific transient response with water-fall plots that looks worse than some of the better mid-bass drivers.
* All sorts of weird phase issues since horns are transmission lines.
* Expensive under-dash mounting that that produces an artificially narrow sound stage.

No I am not surprised there are people who give such praise to horns. Heck, we still have people who think they can hear the difference between a Class A, AB, and D amplifier. Horns does sound different than say a pair of good textile dome tweeters. But different doesn't always mean better. Some people prefer the colored sound provided by a tube amp, but that doesn't take away from the fact that tube amps are inherently less acurate than solid state amps.

bknauss said:
Kick panels are more or less a standard now. Gary Biggs, Mark Eldridge, and a ton of other heavyweights use them. They never seem to lose, so I'm going to take a wild guess that kick panels are fairly good.
Gary Biggs and Mark Eldridge are competitors, they build cars that are made to win. If the judges are looking for kick panels, then they are going to build cars with kick panel speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For widespread horn use, check on Klipsch.

As for judges looking for kick panels, the Speakerworks/Harry Kimura Acura Legend had kick panels, and I believe it was one of the first cars to use it. It also used horns :)

I'm not saying that kick panels or horns have their downfalls, but you can't make a blanket statement saying they're not good. They do have their place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And BTW... they don't pay $1000 for speaker cables. They only receive that stuff for nearly nothing because they're on Team ID.

Scott Buwalda paid about $200 for $10,000 worth of Ixos cables! Amazing.
 

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bknauss said:
For widespread horn use, check on Klipsch.

As for judges looking for kick panels, the Speakerworks/Harry Kimura Acura Legend had kick panels, and I believe it was one of the first cars to use it. It also used horns :)

I'm not saying that kick panels or horns have their downfalls, but you can't make a blanket statement saying they're not good. They do have their place.
Klipsch made a name for itself by sticking to horn drivers, just as MartinLogan has done with electrostatics. But that is more of an oddity than widespread use. If horn drivers was such a good idea, then Klipsch and a handlful of estoteric small-scale builders wouldn't be the only ones using it for home audio applications. Look at brands like PSB, Paradigm, Definitive, Boston Acoustics, B&W, Monitor Audio, etc, they all use dome/inverted-dome tweeters. Look at drivers produced by respected manufacturers like Audax, Dynaudio, Focal, ScanSpeak, Seas, Vifa, where are the compression horn drivers for non-PA applications?

Compression horn drivers do have they place: in PA applications such as a sports stadium where high efficiency is more important than tonal accuracy, quick transient response, or consistent phase dispersion. These pros and cons of compression horn drivers make them inherently a poor choice for the close confines of a mobile listening environment. As for kick-panels... I guess if you mounted a big mid-bass in the doors and just doesn't have to space to mount your mids and highs...
 

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Guys, all this discussion is beautiful but too tech... Who would be able to give a roadmap to make the sound better but not perfect using the holes (oops) already available in the car (pls consider the driver out of the car just in case your minds are that dirty...). The setup should improve the sound without costing arms and legs... an amplifier and a SMALL subwoofer to avoid filling the trunk (a small bazooka, maybe)... The idea would be to keep cost at a minimum, let's say, 600.00 to 800.00 max. Is it feasible? What speakers, amps should be used.

Ahh, another desirable characteristic: That the subwoofer can be taken out and left behind during a trip and you, still, have a decent sound.

Thank you
 

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I'd go with a good co-axial in the front. If you want components, then use the stock tweeter mounting location. Build an adapter plate like vaBoom to mount 6.5" drivers in the doors. Leave the rear speakers alone but turn their volume down until you can barely hear them. Add subs to taste.
 
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