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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm getting ready to install some new stereo equipment in my 2011 WRX. Here's the plan:

- Stock Head Unit
- JL CleanSweep (processor)
- JL XD700/5 (5-channel amp)
- Focal IS165 (Component Speakers) for the front
- Stock 6.5" speakers for the rear
- 10" Sub (this will be "Stage 2" and the sub will depend on how much bass I think I need)

The Focal component speakers have built-in crossovers, so there is no separate box to install. I would like to run the tweeter and woofer from the front amp channels 1 & 2. I would then use channels 3 & 4 for the rear speakers.

My questions are:

1. If I run the tweeter and woofer on the same channel, what is the difference if I run them in series (Amp to woofer to tweeter) vs. in parallel (Amp to woofer, separate run from Amp to tweeter)? It seems like the stock components are run in series...they have the same color code, and I think they are spliced together somewhere in the wiring harness - correct me if I'm wrong.
2. Do I have to limit the power to the front channels since the tweeters can't handle as much power as the woofers, or will the speakers be able to limit the power by themselves? I think the speakers each have their own cap and/or resistor built-in, and the rating on the box just says 70W RMS. The amp puts out a max of 75W RMS per channel.

Thanks in advance for the help. If no one knows, I'll just have to play around with it at low gains and gradually go up.

-Chris
 

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The front "soundstage" stock is one coax speaker and a second tweeter on each side. I don't know exactly how the stock second tweeter is crossed over but they are run in parallel. If you run your focals in parallel, you lower inpedance by half, so you will get more power out of the amp (with more distortion, generally) and the amp will run hotter and may not be able to handle a 2 ohm impedance.

As far as the power handling goes, it's always safer to run more than less. I have almost the exact same setup as you (cleansweep, boston pro fronts, stock rear, JL 300/4, and 250/1) and I'm running mids and tweeters separately, using all 4 channels to run 1 set of components, and it sounds amazing with no clipping.

Hope this helps...
 

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Why aren't you changing out the head unit? That is the single best improvement you can make.

Don't bother amping the rear stock speakers...no matter how much you polish a piece of ****, its still just going to be a polished piece of ****. If the amp is putting out a max of 75W, it's probably going to push closer to 35-40 RMS (meaning average continual amount of power). Putting a little more power to the rear speakers would improve them (similar to an aftermarket HU putting out more nominal power than the stock HU), but over a longer period of time, 75W max would eventually blow them out.

What you need to pay attention to is the ohm rating you'd get when you wire things in parallel and in series. Series will net you a larger ohm load which in turn accepts less power where as parallel wiring will lower ohm load and draw more power (which is louder per say) but increases the chance of overpowering speakers if the amp is not rated for that particular ohm load. My guess is that the speakers will come with instructions that work best for them for how they best work.
 

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I kept the stock head unit.I initially got the JL cleansweep but found something way better.Look into the JBL MS-8.The system sounds fantastic ,way better & a lot more sophisticated than any aftermarket HU.

The MS-8 is expensive but can be purchased for half the price at sonic electronix.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I went back and forth a million times over a new head unit vs. the CleanSweep, and I honestly just couldn't find an aftermarket head unit that did everything I wanted for the right price.

I think I am going to forget amping the rear speakers and do like you guys mentioned...I'll put the tweeters on separate channels from the woofers.

And unfortunately, the speakers did not come with any instructions whatsoever. And the Focal website doesn't have much on installation either.

Thanks a lot,

-Chris
 

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Why aren't you changing out the head unit? That is the single best improvement you can make.
I decided against it because for one I'm not a fan of the giant, touchscreen navigation unit that you need to occupy the hole made by the stock unit. The Cleansweep has 8 volt preouts (which is better than all but the highest level of headunits), my phone has as good of navigation as those headunits do, and I really like the steering wheel, bluetooth controls, and IPOD interface. I know that the sound quality is a little compromised using speaker level inputs but in all honesty, my ears aren't good enough to notice the difference. I had my doubts at first, but with high quality stuff in every other area, I was impressed in how well it sounded, and in my younger days I had some pretty high end car audio for comparison

I kept the stock head unit.I initially got the JL cleansweep but found something way better.Look into the JBL MS-8.The system sounds fantastic ,way better & a lot more sophisticated than any aftermarket HU.
I looked into that too but I felt like I'd be paying extra for an amp that I wouldn't use, but an overall great product. If I end up unhappy with the cleansweep, I'll be looking into one again
 

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Makes plenty of sense. I personally like the all-in-one touchscreen systems. I feel they are cleaner looking and much more functional and generally easier to use. But obviously the prices are a downfall as well as some of them really do suck...
 

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Ok so I know you all will see my posts and say this guy knows nothing but I'm just new to this forum and car. I did Hughes audio for all makes and models and I'm also RTTI certified( Rockford technical training institute ) I've been to CES etc..

Now always carry heavier gauge ground and power than you will need. Why ? You won't over heat your system. Or have a melt down

Technically speaking they claim you should replace all peripherals first I.e. door speakers and tweeters etc. I know that doesn't seem to make sense and someone above did mention that you drive higher quality sound out of the AM unit than the factory but it still isnt the smartest way to travel.

My personal suggestion, wire parallel or series based on what ur equipment is capable of. Secondly I left all stock speakers in my sql(sound quality) which is a VW jetta mkiv and wired in a kenwood excelon 7150 HU with 0-2 gauge power ground run to 2-10" dvc carbon fiber kenwood excelon (special edition) subs all powered by one Rockford t4004 - power series amp.

I can make your ears bleed, and still hit solid 135-138 decibel. Wiring is where you make your power
 

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That one amp runs 2 subs 4 doors and 4 tweeters. All which are 6.5" or 5.25 can't remember good luck and don't skimp on good solid wire
 

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Ok so I know you all will see my posts and say this guy knows nothing but I'm just new to this forum and car. I did Hughes audio for all makes and models and I'm also RTTI certified( Rockford technical training institute ) I've been to CES etc..

Now always carry heavier gauge ground and power than you will need. Why ? You won't over heat your system. Or have a melt down

Technically speaking they claim you should replace all peripherals first I.e. door speakers and tweeters etc. I know that doesn't seem to make sense and someone above did mention that you drive higher quality sound out of the AM unit than the factory but it still isnt the smartest way to travel.

My personal suggestion, wire parallel or series based on what ur equipment is capable of. Secondly I left all stock speakers in my sql(sound quality) which is a VW jetta mkiv and wired in a kenwood excelon 7150 HU with 0-2 gauge power ground run to 2-10" dvc carbon fiber kenwood excelon (special edition) subs all powered by one Rockford t4004 - power series amp.

I can make your ears bleed, and still hit solid 135-138 decibel. Wiring is where you make your power
You contradicted yourself there...you said replace speakers first, but in your vehicle you changed the headunit. Changing the speakers first, to me makes little sense if your using an underpowered amp to run them. At minimum I would change them both at the same time. You say you left your stock speakers in for SQ?, you sure you don't mean SPL? SQ has little to do with volume.
 

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That's exslensive!!! You upgrade the door speakers at all? Or integrate a sub? I just dropped in a 10" Kenwood and the "punch" is perfect. Just want to figure the door speaker problem

I upgraded front speakers & tweeters,added a sub & an 5 channel amp.
 

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1. it looks like the focal site says to hook up the mids and tweets each to their own channel. the stock speakers are wired in parallel, there is only one output for FL and FR from the headunit which is just split. the factory tweeters have a capacitor on them for proper filtering, similar to the integrated crossover of the focals.

2. tweeter power handling according to the manufacturer documents is 15W nominal, 100W max. its perfectly safe so give a speaker more power than its rated for, but only up to a certain point. the biggest no-no is to send a clipped signal by not setting your gains correctly. fyi 100Wpeak = 70.7Wrms. For instance, in my chevy colorado, I had my JL ZR650-CSi front speakers which are rated at 85Wrms, powered by i JL 300/2v2 which is 150Wrms x 2, so i was feeding them almost double the power.

just an fyi, the tweeter is 4 ohms and the woofer is 6 ohms, if you hooked them in parallel its a 2.4 ohm load. i would feel safe hooking them up in parallel to an amp that put out 100Wrms @ 2ohms. which means you could get an XD500/3. and i believe this is what i would do in your situation.

people usually only run mids/tweets on separate amp channels when running active crossovers (think JBL MS-8 or other sound processor) because the speakers they are using do not have built in crossovers, or they came with the external crossover and they ditched it. The sound processor is the crossover, and parameters can be changed in many more ways than imaginable.
 

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I have Focals components all the way around (previous owner put them in) powered by a JL 5 channel, and then 2 JL 10in subs powered by a JL 300.1...sounds incredible in my car :)
 

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people usually only run mids/tweets on separate amp channels when running active crossovers (think JBL MS-8 or other sound processor) because the speakers they are using do not have built in crossovers, or they came with the external crossover and they ditched it. The sound processor is the crossover, and parameters can be changed in many more ways than imaginable.
This is what I'm doing.My components came with an external crossover but I didn't use them as the MS-8 is the crossover.
 

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You contradicted yourself there...you said replace speakers first, but in your vehicle you changed the headunit. Changing the speakers first, to me makes little sense if your using an underpowered amp to run them. At minimum I would change them both at the same time. You say you left your stock speakers in for SQ?, you sure you don't mean SPL? SQ has little to do with volume.
Sq is sound quality. My car had complete excelon in it minus the t4004 amp. Including door speakers

After competing... I removed all door speakers and put stock back in. So it was at one time a dual purpose SQL and spl car.

And I did contradict myself be the engineers say :
1 - subs and amp
2- door speakers / tweeters
3- head unit

I can't say I personally agree with that either as you saw in my thread
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finishing up the install tonight...I'm running the tweeters on Ch. 1 & 2, and the woofers on Ch. 3 & 4. If all goes well, the bad memories of the stock stereo will be gone forever!

Thanks for all the help.

-Chris
 

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Are you guys using a Cleansweep instead of a LOC? Or in conjunction with?
 
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