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Old 02-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
stea1thbear
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3 Way Active without a Subwoofer

I've tried to google this, but haven't found much. Basically I am wondering if you can get a decent amount of bass by running really good 3 way component speakers that fit the stock locations (for example the Hertz HSK 163) in active without using a subwoofer?

I don't want to give up trunk space for a sub woofer and want to run 3 way active. My head unit (Pioneer DEH-80PRS) allows 3 way active with auto time alignment and EQ which I would like to take advantage of, but my only options are 3 way active with no sub woofer OR 2 way active with subwoofer. Any insight as to the amount/type of bass that can be achieved with only 3 way component speakers powered by an external amp would be very helpful.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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It kinda depends on what you mean by a decent amount of bass. I would say yes, but it also depends on your budget, power putting to the speakers, if you're willing to do a little custom work, etc... You may be able to fit an 8" shallow mount sub in the door for a mid-bass, by doing a custom 3-way vs. one already put together. It does require more work to find just the right ones to match together, but that me be your best route. I think a 7" speaker will fit fairly easily at least. I'm doing a 3-way active setup also, but will have 2 8's for the trunk.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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it would be a must that you insulate the doors, but I believe it will work, Im actually going to buy that exact set of speakers, (Hertz HSK- 163). My buddy in his S2000 with just alpine Type Rs and 150w amp'd to each speaker puts out enough base that he does not care for a sub any more, and he's always had a sub in his cars.

I've done endless amount of research on this subject since buying the car, I too don't want a sub but really prefer decent base with my music.
this spring I will but beginning to pc it all together.

im down to these speakers

Hertz HSK-163 or CDT Audio HD-642
CDT audio set does require at least 150W each to properly perform.
probably going to cheap out on the amp a bit and run Alpine PDX-F4.(if I go CDT might have to step it up a bit)

and either Fat Mat or Be-quite light sound dampening in the doors.

The head unit will also be upgraded as well.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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In such a small car, you could get decent bass from the door speakers as long as you kept the windows up. It's likely not going to be thundering, but decent.

I'd treat the doors really well. CLD tiles on the outer skin (www.sounddeadenershowdown.com is great, super helpful owner), a reflection reducing pad directly behind the speaker, and a solid sheet of dense foam/rubbery material between the door metal and the doorskin, plus sealing the speaker grill in the door to the driver so that less sound can resonate between the skin and the door and you seal off the sound waves from the back of the speaker cone from interfering with the ones from the front.

Do all this and use a nice high throw woofer and you'll have decent results.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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P.S. Ive listened to the S2000 with the amplified Type R's.
best description I can give you is ive always had 1 single 10" sub in all of my cars, to me that has always been enough as I just like the right amount of base.

The base from just the speakers were satisfying enough that I would not need a sub so that's what made up my mind when I decided to go this route!
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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You can achieve an amazing midbass in our cars, but thats as far as your gonna get. Dont expect sub bass from 6.5"s in the door, its not gonna happen.

I would say, get the HSK163 set, if its not enough then add a sub and get an actual DSP. While the 80prs is nice, it has its draw backs one of which is its "auto T/A" sucks.

Dont take this the wrong way but the fact that you are asking if you should get a sub, means you more than likely are gonna want one. So if you enjoy hearing anything below 60hz while driving, just get the 2 way HSK165 set and a nice sub.

Also I do have a 3 way set full active, Im not just talking out of my ass.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
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I've been doing car audio competition for quite a few years, and was curious... what advantage have you guys noticed with full active?

I've run it in past vehicles, but the SQ was never noticeably superior to a proper passive setup (crossovers and L pads) with time-align head unit. Driver selection and placement have always trumped any other factors.

@ OP, there are some seriously good 6.5"-7's out there. If you're crossed over high, try something like the Dayton Reference LINK to Freq Resp. If you're crossing over low, try something like the Peerless SLS LINK to Freq Resp.

Both will get you down near 100 Hz. If space is an issue, just get a shaker LINK to Aura Shaker or bite the bullet and get a shallow 10 LINK to Pioneer Shallow. Obviously, cross them over low and set gains properly.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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I have the Hertz 163s, but I also have subwoofers installed in the taillight cavities of the trunk to maximize trunk space (I still have a lot of the original trunk space). I have never tried listening to them without the subwoofers. I will try that soon to see what the bass is like.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shankenstein View Post
I've been doing car audio competition for quite a few years, and was curious... what advantage have you guys noticed with full active?

I've run it in past vehicles, but the SQ was never noticeably superior to a proper passive setup (crossovers and L pads) with time-align head unit. Driver selection and placement have always trumped any other factors.
A passive eq can work just fine, but as you hinted time alignment can suffer; not everyone is willing to go with custom driver locations. Normally each driver is a different distance from the listening position, making it impossible to time each driver correctly if they're paired to a single channel.
The other benefit is that you simply have more control. I agree it's not always necessary, but it's nice to have.

OP, you could build a custom passive for the mid and high drivers if they will be right next to each other. Since they are typically positioned so close they can function as a single driver as far as that channel is concerned. This would free up the other channel pairs to independently run the mid woofers and a small 8" sub that wouldn't impair trunk space much at all.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wheelhaus View Post
A passive eq can work just fine, but as you hinted time alignment can suffer; not everyone is willing to go with custom driver locations. Normally each driver is a different distance from the listening position, making it impossible to time each driver correctly if they're paired to a single channel.
The other benefit is that you simply have more control. I agree it's not always necessary, but it's nice to have.

OP, you could build a custom passive for the mid and high drivers if they will be right next to each other. Since they are typically positioned so close they can function as a single driver as far as that channel is concerned. This would free up the other channel pairs to independently run the mid woofers and a small 8" sub that wouldn't impair trunk space much at all.
Thanks for the response. Time align + EQ + gain for each speaker can give you plenty of control and (with some tuning) quality sound.

I'm just concerned that once you factor in the cost of Hertz 3-ways, a DSP, 3 noise-free amps, a ballin' head unit... you've used more $$, space, and weight than the OP probably has available (considering the cost and purpose of this vehicle).

Personally, I love doing my own tuning... so my setup will probably involve the following:
  • Seal the door panels and install something like the 7" Dayton Refs or similar.
  • Mids and tweets will get the suction-cup and tape treatment to decide which position and direction. Try ring tweets first, if they just can't work, I'll go dome.
  • Run the frequency sweeps on individual speakers and decide optimal crossover points.
  • Build crossovers w L-pads and set levels with a meter, fine tune by ear.
  • Use headunit for time align and EQ (with car on and off).
  • Stretch the midbass to see if sub is necessary. If I'm doing a sub, it will probably be ported 10 tuned for low extension (TC Sounds Axis, Sundown SA-10, Type R, etc).

Everybody's path is slightly different, and I wish OP well in his choice. I just wanted to prod the discussion, since the 86 community is pretty intelligent and DIY-savvy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, once I have everything purchased and installed I will update this thread with my results. OP will deliver. I personally don't really care about feeling a lot of vibrations from the bass, my main goal is sound quality in terms of clarity and producing results as the artists of the tracks intended them to be heard, I mostly listen to R&B, some of these tracks do have heavy bass but it's not intended to be overwhelming like dubstep. Based on my research so far the plan is:
Since my head unit (already purchased Pioneer 80PRS) has 3 sets of RCA's for low, mid and high I will power a separate channel for lows, mids and highs (So either a 4 channel amp + a 2 channel amp OR a single 6 channel amp OR three 2 channel amps)
Any recommendations would be great. Will spend whatever it costs to power my speakers adequately.

Only running front, no rear, no sub.
- 6.5" with a 3" depth speakers in the doors for lows. Looking for something to minimize my loss of sub bass frequency.
Any recommendations would be great.

- 3.5" with 2" depth speakers in the dash for mids.
Any recommendations would be great.

- 1" tweeter in the dash for highs.
Any recommendations would be great.

Will spend up to $600 on all speakers total.

The reason I'm going with those sizes is because I want to minimize any cutting of the stock speaker holes and depth wise that is what we are limited to based on measurements by another forum member. I don't want to order speakers that don't end up fitting. Thanks again.

Last edited by stea1thbear; 02-05-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shankenstein View Post
I've been doing car audio competition for quite a few years, and was curious... what advantage have you guys noticed with full active?

I've run it in past vehicles, but the SQ was never noticeably superior to a proper passive setup (crossovers and L pads) with time-align head unit. Driver selection and placement have always trumped any other factors.

@ OP, there are some seriously good 6.5"-7's out there. If you're crossed over high, try something like the Dayton Reference LINK to Freq Resp. If you're crossing over low, try something like the Peerless SLS LINK to Freq Resp.

Both will get you down near 100 Hz. If space is an issue, just get a shaker LINK to Aura Shaker or bite the bullet and get a shallow 10 LINK to Pioneer Shallow. Obviously, cross them over low and set gains properly.
I like running full active because I can go to parts express or madisound and order raw drivers to fit my needs and mix and match them as I see fit and not have to worry about coming up with my own crossover components/designs for each combination. It just makes things simple and easy to play around with. Plus, if you have a passive splitting a single output channel to a tweeter/mid, you loose T/A between those two drivers.

For this car, if I do a system, I'll likely do a 3" mid with a very small tweeter crammed into the dash with a very simple passive crossover, crossed actively to the door speakers and/or sub.

Nathan
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:27 PM   #13
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The biggest gain of active is that you have complete control per speaker of xover, eq, time alignment gain/volume and on top of that you dont have a passive sucking up the power.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stea1thbear View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone, once I have everything purchased and installed I will update this thread with my results. OP will deliver. I personally don't really care about feeling a lot of vibrations from the bass, my main goal is sound quality in terms of clarity and producing results as the artists of the tracks intended them to be heard, I mostly listen to R&B, some of these tracks do have heavy bass but it's not intended to be overwhelming like dubstep. Based on my research so far the plan is:
Since my head unit (already purchased Pioneer 80PRS) has 3 sets of RCA's for low, mid and high I will power a separate channel for lows, mids and highs (So either a 4 channel amp + a 2 channel amp OR a single 6 channel amp OR three 2 channel amps)
Any recommendations would be great. Will spend whatever it costs to power my speakers adequately.

Only running front, no rear, no sub.
- 6.5" with a 3" depth speakers in the doors for lows. Looking for something to minimize my loss of sub bass frequency.
Any recommendations would be great.

- 3.5" with 2" depth speakers in the dash for mids.
Any recommendations would be great.

- 1" tweeter in the dash for highs.
Any recommendations would be great.

Will spend up to $600 on all speakers total.

The reason I'm going with those sizes is because I want to minimize any cutting of the stock speaker holes and depth wise that is what we are limited to based on measurements by another forum member. I don't want to order speakers that don't end up fitting. Thanks again.

Your still best of going with the HSK163. Tho you need to factor in an amp for powering them as well. And if you do plan to go active you would be better off going 2 way unless you have the cash for 6ch of amp.
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