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      04-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
mob17
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Which setup is better? Desperately need expert help!

Hi

I am considering two upgrades to my existing system and really want some of your thoughts on each one.

Currently i have the ms-8, with a vibe slick 4 as the centre channel, hooked up in my base system. all speakers apart from the vibe are stock. i now want to add components and a 4/5 channel amp powering the components and woofers and maybe the centre vibe.

1st setup

For this option i would add an alpine pdx-f6 which would give me 150wrms x 4 @ 14.4 volts (so a bit less at 12.5v). I would also add morel dotech ovation II 4" components which are rated 100wrms but i think would be happy with a bit more power this amp will give. the other two channels would be turned down a little to give roughly 80w rms to my stock 6.5" woofers (like the oem alpine upgrade). The centre channel and rears would have to be left to ms-8 power.

2nd setup

For this setup i would add a jl xd600/6 which would give me 60wrms x 6 @ 12.5v. So a lot lower/channel than the alpine. I would have to get some different components that are rated at 50wrms (focals/rainbows not really sure) which would have a channel each. the underseats would receive a little less power at 60wrms each. The centre vibe would be powered nicely by 60wrms. the last channel i would leave disconnected and the rears would be left to the ms-8.

So these are my two options. The first set up will give me better quality components, more power but my centre channel will be on ms-8 power. I dont think this will be too much of a problem it should still be audible? not saying that this will definately happen, but personally i dont really like a narrow front stage. The second setup i will have the front 5 channels all amplified but with less power and lower quality components. i may be wrong.

My gut feeling is to go with the first option as a) it has more power (and headroom which is good?!) and better quality components and b) IF i upgrade woofers at a later date, the alpine would have sufficient power for them.

I would be really interested to hear what u guys think of these two set ups.
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      04-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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I'd go with the morels and xd 600/6. Your voltage should be around 14-14.4 with the car on so it's a little more power than your calculating. Anyways you'll never turn up the volume enough to use all that power unless you want your ears to bleed.
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      04-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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Not sure why your changing speakers with amps

Not sure why your changing speakers with amps
Most people here would call the Jl xd a better and its
used here more often.
I would go with Morels over Focals because they are noted
to be less harsh (if they fit they don't fit in the coupe)
I would consider upgrading the under seats with something that
can handle the power better and sound less muddy though they will
sound better with more power(you might blow them to).

The weak points you have now are the under seat speakers
(underseats are both small cheap and underpowered)
and not really a lot of power if you upgrade the doors.

Last edited by ctuna; 04-25-2012 at 07:27 PM.
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      04-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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I am going to upgrade the woofers but in due course.

I prefer the morels too. the reason why i dont want the jl xd with the morels is i think the morels will be better with more power. they are rated 100wrms and i dont want to bridge as underseats will be underpowered then
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      04-26-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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The Morels sound fantastic with the JL600/6. No need to worry about them being under-driven.

In fact, because they are direct line-of-sight to your ears (rather than down by your ankles), they are plenty loud and I can't imagine wanting to go with more amplifier.

The same JL600/6 will drive the underseats quite well, and will still have enough power if you upgrade to Jehnert/SWS8.
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      04-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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I have that setup

I have that setup
I can turn it as loud as I want it.
Which I would characterize as moderately loud .
Loud enough that I can drown out the air noise with
the Windows open.
I don't have the under seats bridged and the bass is plenty loud.
But I am not trying to rattle the frame bounce the car or the ground
and I am not a bass head.

Dotechs front doors and Jehnert Floors. no bridging
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      04-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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so the general consensus is going for the xd. well having the xd does give me the advantage of having a channel for the centre. I just assumed that 60-75wrms wasn't enough for aftermarket/oem woofers and the morels and the xd would be strained. but from what you guys are saying it should be fine.

So what are your reasons for choosing the jl xd over the alpine? Because you're right, they must sound really good with the xd, but im thinking they might sound even better with the alpine or a higher powered amp:

I've had someone telling me to go with a Soundstream Reference amp. These are class A/B and i think better quality? Assuming that this amp is 115wrms x 4 and the same physical size of the xd (which of course they are not), wouldn't this be a better choice?
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      04-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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I was reluctant to go class D

I was reluctant to go class D, it took me awhile to go to CD's to.
But the xd sounds very good responds well across the entire frequency range. You could also get one or two of the higher
power JL's I hear the HD Series wins car shows.
If you are going to go for class AB consider a Zapco

The more exotic amps are not as well reviewed an it starts to get into
the boutique custom electronics area not to mention the cost.

The Jl's accept the balanced inputs from the stock head unit no questions
asked they are small and compact and in the case of the xd fit perfectly in the
stock location and have the exact number of channels( xd 600/6 )for a Hi Fi replacement.
This may not apply to you if you already have an ms-8 .
Jl is very well regarded in the US.

If you have the room for an amp with more power and the money
to get by all means go for it. Its the old question of price performance.

Last edited by ctuna; 04-27-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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      04-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input

I have considered the HD series but they are too expensive for me

I have the base system (not hifi) and the ms-8 so i suppose the balanced inputs aren't an issue for me. Regarding space, i will gladly give up a little space for a class A/B if it means a huge performance increase. I will have a look at zapco amps as well.

I get what you're saying about price performance. The cheapest i can get a JL XD600/6 is 360 ($580). The cheapest i can get a Soundstream Reference 4.760 is 310 (this will be ordered from america and includes all shipping and taxes).

So if the Soundstream is a better quality amp AND its cheaper (although I will have no warranty as im in the UK) then i suppose its a no brainer to get it?
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      04-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Some people mention they like those Soundstreams

Some people mention they like those Soundstreams
But they are usually people that have been around here
a long time as that was an amp that was popular before the
full range class D's were out. So you are going to have to get
some of the veterans to chime in on that and do some searching.
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      04-26-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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ill have to carry on doing more research i guess

Unless anyone else knows if the soundstream would be better than the XD?
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      04-26-2012, 08:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Some people mention they like those Soundstreams
But they are usually people that have been around here
a long time as that was an amp that was popular before the
full range class D's were out. So you are going to have to get
some of the veterans to chime in on that and do some searching.
Are you calling me old?

No the Soundstreams that rocked was back when it was a US owned company with the amps made in the states
When the company was sold, the quality went downhill
I've heard a few positive reviews of the new stuff but i haven't tried them myself

I had JL xd600/6 xd700/5 and currently xd600/1
Great amps
I can't think of a better value amp out there
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      04-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #13
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ok the soundstream idea has been binned....

wow, around 80% of the posts ive read would take the xd over either of the alpines, f4 or the f6. ive read other threads on diyma etc, and most ppl reccommend the xd.

is this because everyone got off the old pdx's cos of noise issues and got jl's? as i think the new ones must surely be better? the F6 has been on various threads as a comparison to a JL HD. So surely it must be better than a XD?

i just cant get my head around buying an amp which has about half the power, a lower damping factor, a narrower frequency response and a lower singnal/noise ratio. Ive read somewhere that these factors are important to class d amps.

the only positives i can see in the XD is that i get one 2 more channels and its smaller; but these aren't important to me
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      04-27-2012, 06:01 AM   #14
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.

Last edited by mob17; 04-27-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: duplicate post
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      04-27-2012, 10:27 AM   #15
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i just cant get my head around buying an amp which has about half the power, a lower damping factor, a narrower frequency response and a lower singnal/noise ratio. Ive read somewhere that these factors are important to class d amps.
If that were the case we'd all end up buying the same high spec amps
amps do sound different, and specs don't tell you everything
some people swear by tube amps, even though, spec wise, they don't compare to modern amps.
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      04-27-2012, 11:32 AM   #16
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The only thing JL does is amps and speakers

So that is there area of concentration. They are noted to under spec there
product and considered more honest about what they put out . I would suggest you visit there website and zapco's website. Try to find some reviews on cnet or some of the technical review sites.
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      04-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarei View Post
If that were the case we'd all end up buying the same high spec amps
amps do sound different, and specs don't tell you everything
some people swear by tube amps, even though, spec wise, they don't compare to modern amps.

You make a good point. Im just in the near impossible situation of choosing an amp without hearing them. So i think i'd be a bit silly ignoring the views of loads of bmw owners, and not just from this forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
So that is there area of concentration. They are noted to under spec there
product and considered more honest about what they put out . I would suggest you visit there website and zapco's website. Try to find some reviews on cnet or some of the technical review sites.

You also make a good point. I'll have a look at zapcos but their website isn't the greatest and some of the pages just don't load up
So, i just want to clear out a couple of things on the XD so I can be confident that it will give me what i want:

1) If i decide to bridge some XD channels. How would i wire it up so that say the ms-8 channel 3, which is currently my left woofer, goes into the xd and comes out bridged? Would i wire an rca from the ms-8 channel 3 into the channel 1 XD input, leave channel 2 XD input blank, and then id be able to bridge the channel 1 nd 2 output? Then for the right side woofer, do the same but use channel 3 XD input and bridge the 3rd and 4th output? I'll just bridge if i feel the morels or woofers feel underpowered, but from what you guys are saying it should be fine.

2) Will the XD fit under the boot floor, on the left hand side of the bluetooth module?

3) Does the ms-8 do everything on externally amped channels except amplify them?
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      04-27-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325i View Post
I'd go with the morels and xd 600/6. Your voltage should be around 14-14.4 with the car on so it's a little more power than your calculating. Anyways you'll never turn up the volume enough to use all that power unless you want your ears to bleed.
Ok thats good news, i just assumed that the amp would be getting around 12.5 volts.
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      04-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
If you have the room for an amp with more power and the money
to get by all means go for it. Its the old question of price performance.
Would you put the PDX-F6 in this scenario, if you had the choice between XD600/6 and the PDX? As in, do u consider the pdx-f6 to be a better performer?
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      04-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #20
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My 600-6 will be up for sale ~ 10 days
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      04-27-2012, 01:59 PM   #21
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Tai what are you replacing it with?

Tai what are you replacing it with?
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      04-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #22
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The xd is a perfect fit for the stock location

The xd is a perfect fit for the stock location.(minus the amp rack)
From the systems I have seen right here in the audio upgrade section.
The ms-8 can go next to the TCU and the amps usually go in the
the stock location. Some people add the cd player storage kit then they can get a couple of pieces in that location.

There are multiple examples of an ms-8 plus amps in all the system examples
in the stereo http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641323

I haven't bridged on the XD but you can download there manual from the site . I kind of remember you might need Y Rca adaptors
for the Inputs to make the bridged configuration work.

Last edited by ctuna; 04-27-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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