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Is it possible to build an NSX stereo for $5,000 or less??

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I have been looking around quite a bit trying to figure out how to make my NSX stereo better. The main problem is that some of the music I listen to just does not have the 'punch' or clarity that I enjoy. I listen to almost all types of music, but recently I noticed that some of my techno/trance music as well as some of my Josh Groban CD's (opera/pop type music) sound kind of dull in the NSX, while they rock in my Integra GS-R (which has a high end stereo installation). Looking around and talking to people, I know that the NSX's main challenge is space...it has none. Also, the prices of installs seems to be all over the board....I have talked to people that have spent $1,500 on an NSX stereo remake and have it sound great, and others who have spent over $10,000 and the stereo is louder, but not much better. So...now to my question. Can an NSX stereo be built for $5,000 or less and still rock?? I want to know that when the high notes hit I will feel that shiver down my spine that only quality music can provide. I really just do not know much about electronics and what stuff to look at in order to know what works well. Thank you for your help, and your patience. :)
 
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$5K sounds like an awful lot at first thought but when you start piecing together it soon adds up.
You can get a pretty good system for $5K in component cost that might come close to what you are looking for.You might have to spring some extra for fabrication & install depending on your final selection of components. I have not taken into consideration any video or "toys" as your main focus seems to be on the audio quality. You could also spend a whole lot more, but I think that with that budget you would be reasonably satisfied. Don't compromise on the speakers which will give you the best return.

My (completely biased!) recommendations are similar to what I have but saving a little on the HU (non-DVD/LCD) and the main component amp - you can of course substitute your own personal choices with features that are important to you, this is for budget illustration only.


$1000 - 4-Ch amp - Tru Technology T03-4.150
$ 500 - Sub amp - Tru Technology T2-100
$ 450 - Sub - Phase Linear Aliante 10"
$ 550 - Sub Box - Custom
$ 850 - Speakers - SEAS Lotus Reference
$ 500 - Head Unit (CD/MP3 - not with LCD) - Alpine CDA-9835
$ 300 - Changer (Optional) - CHA-S634
$ 600 - Processor (Optional) - PXA-H700
$ 250 - cables/ connectors
Install/fabrication?? Skys the limit!

You can do without the changer, which is easy to add later if you need it and also the Processor - the HU has pretty good on-board processing features for starters. The processor is harder to add later without refabricating your dash however. You could save one (sub) amp by running 2 of the 4 channel into the doors & the other two into the sub; however you can't utilize the time alignment on your mids/tweets separately & that gives you HUGE imaging benefits.
So without changer & processor you are at $4100 plus fabrication, & you should be able to get a very decent job for ~ $900 including a custom console & trunk install - not a show winner, but an attractive competent functional job.
So yes, quite do-able at $5K for a system I think you would enjoy. Now you could easily spend only half that & still have something pretty good so I'm not trying to tell anyone you HAVE to spend that to get a decent system - based onhow you described your criteria I have upped the ante. You could also easily spend a lot more, too!

http://www.seaslotus.com/referencecomponents.asp
http://www.alpine-usa.com
http://www.phase-linear.de/produkte.asp?p=subwoofer&grp=6&view=landing&lang=EN
http://www.trutechnology.com
 
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5k is a good budget if you are not looking for a show winner, but want better sound quality.
I struggled the most in getting the sound (highs) up off the floor. You mentioned clarity.
Also, you can save yourself grief and money by doing it all the first time, not in pieces like I did.
I also saved a little money by going with a 5 channel amp instead of 2 sep. amps.
I think it is possible to add DVD double din with this budget if it is important to you.
Good luck and have fun with it!
 
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D'Ecosse said:
$5K sounds like an awful lot at first thought but when you start piecing together it soon adds up.
You can get a pretty good system for $5K in component cost that might come close to what you are looking for.You might have to spring some extra for fabrication & install depending on your final selection of components. I have not taken into consideration any video or "toys" as your main focus seems to be on the audio quality. You could also spend a whole lot more, but I think that with that budget you would be reasonably satisfied. Don't compromise on the speakers which will give you the best return...[/url]


In that list of components I am guessing that this is all using the OEM head unit. How much of a difference would I see in stepping up to an aftermarket unit?
 
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Meeyatch1 said:
In that list of components I am guessing that this is all using the OEM head unit. How much of a difference would I see in stepping up to an aftermarket unit?
No, that was using an after-market head (see the list) - the Alpine CDA-9835 which already has some excellent on-board processing features. (time alignment, 5 band para EQ)
If you want a quailty sound that will make the other components worth spending that much money, please ensure you get a modern HU - otherwise cut your budget in a third and save your $$$ and settle for something less than you are describing your expectations to be.
Purists scoff at Electronic Time Alignment* but they strive to create the same thing by fabricating kick panels, while modern electronics can compensate so easily.
I can't tell you how many people when reviewing my system, such is the fullness of the image. are immediately looking behind the seats for the speakers which don't exist! The vocals are right up front & centre too.

*Time Alignment - electronically creates a different time delay in the individual channel output to each component (left mid, left tweeter,right mid & right tweeter) such that it effectively "normalizes" the distance of each speaker element to your ears - this makes the sound arrive simultaneously even though the components are at different distances from your head.
 
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pt91 said:
...I also saved a little money by going with a 5 channel amp instead of 2 sep. amps...
The only problem I have with 5 channel amps Paul, is that it is difficult to get enough power from channel 5 for a good quality sub. (no disrespect at all intended!) But if going with a smaller efficient sub, may be a compromise to consider. Definitely get a 2 ohm sub in that case and be sure the amp is 2 ohm stable on channel 5.
For the example in my list that is a good SQ sub and only comes in 4 ohms, so needs more available power. There are not many choices in a 10" SQ sub, trust me, I've looked! I don't know of a 5 channel amp anywhere that will drive 500W out of channel 5 into a 4 ohm load, maybe not even 2 ohms.
 
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Ken,
My amp was a compromise. I will have to dig up the documents (and it is probably more marketing than anything), but the US amps 5600x is supposed to be basically two amps in one box.
Their website has changed and I could only find these specs from the company that I purchased it from:

Five Channel Class AB Amplifier
Total Power Output: 660 Watts RMS
THD at Rated Power: <0.006%
Stereo Separation: >98dB
Signal/Noise Ratio: 102dBA
Frequency Response: 5Hz-50KHz
Fuse Rating: 75 Amps
Weight: 4.76kg / 10.5lb
Variable 24dB Two-Way Active Crossover
Remote Bass Gain
Two Ohm Stable
75 Watts x 4 and 200 Watts x 1 into 4 Ohms
80 Watts x 4 and 250 Watts x 1 into 3 Ohms
90 Watts x 4 and 300 Watts x 1 into 2 Ohms
Available in Black or Chrome

I have my 10" ID wired at 2 Ohms.
 
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meeyatch... %k should do you awesome.....as I and some other have hinted, in a very short time you should be able to buy a plug and play (everythings included except radio) type of set up from a NSX retailer...i would guess it will be in that range..
 
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D'Ecosse said:
No, that was using an after-market head (see the list) - the Alpine CDA-9835 which already has some excellent on-board processing features. (time alignment, 5 band para EQ)
If you want a quailty sound that will make the other components worth spending that much money, please ensure you get a modern HU - otherwise cut your budget in a third and save your $$$ and settle for something less than you are describing your expectations to be...


Sounds like a good idea. I set my expectations high, and when it comes to music I do not like to make compromises. ;)

(*The way I see it, music either sounds perfect, or it doesn't. I want perfect.)
 
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D'Ecosse said:
...*Time Alignment - electronically creates a different time delay in the individual channel output to each component (left mid, left tweeter,right mid & right tweeter) such that it effectively "normalizes" the distance of each speaker element to your ears - this makes the sound arrive simultaneously even though the components are at different distances from your head.


How does the head unit know the distance of the speakers? Does the unit have to be programmed for that?
 
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Meeyatch1 said:
How does the head unit know the distance of the speakers? Does the unit have to be programmed for that?
Yes, and you can either
a) adjust them manually (to your listening preference)
b) measure from each component to your head in normal driving/listening position and convert inches to ms of delay time (there's a table in the users guide) and make the settings manually on the head control
c) do the distance measurements & enter them into the i-personalize utility on the website to do it all automatically for you & download it to the head unit.
 
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D'Ecosse said:
Yes, and you can either
a) adjust them manually (to your listening preference)
b) measure from each component to your head in normal driving/listening position and convert inches to ms of delay time (there's a table in the users guide) and make the settings manually on the head control
c) do the distance measurements & enter them into the i-personalize utility on the website to do it all automatically for you & download it to the head unit.


Okay, thank you. Is it relatively easy to do for someone that is not really good at stereo work (ummm...me)?
 
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Meeyatch1 said:
Okay, thank you. Is it relatively easy to do for someone that is not really good at stereo work (ummm...me)?
You can use a tape measure, right? ;)
After that, then use option # 3 (or even 2)
 
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Meeyatch1 said:
I have been looking around quite a bit trying to figure out how to make my NSX stereo better. The main problem is that some of the music I listen to just does not have the 'punch' or clarity that I enjoy. I listen to almost all types of music, but recently I noticed that some of my techno/trance music as well as some of my Josh Groban CD's (opera/pop type music) sound kind of dull in the NSX, while they rock in my Integra GS-R (which has a high end stereo installation). Looking around and talking to people, I know that the NSX's main challenge is space...it has none. Also, the prices of installs seems to be all over the board....I have talked to people that have spent $1,500 on an NSX stereo remake and have it sound great, and others who have spent over $10,000 and the stereo is louder, but not much better. So...now to my question. Can an NSX stereo be built for $5,000 or less and still rock?? I want to know that when the high notes hit I will feel that shiver down my spine that only quality music can provide. I really just do not know much about electronics and what stuff to look at in order to know what works well. Thank you for your help, and your patience. :)

Mitch, I set a budget of about $3500 and I have my fingers crossed for superb results. Nothing crazy, just clear and louder beats... Ill let you listen on NSX DAY :wink:
 
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BRIDGEWATER ACURA said:
Mitch, I set a budget of about $3500 and I have my fingers crossed for superb results. Nothing crazy, just clear and louder beats... Ill let you listen on NSX DAY :wink:


Cool!! I am pretty picky about music...so we will see how it sounds. :)
 
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01blacks4 said:
meeyatch... %k should do you awesome.....as I and some other have hinted, in a very short time you should be able to buy a plug and play (everythings included except radio) type of set up from a NSX retailer...i would guess it will be in that range..

The suspense is killing me. Why does everyone seem to know about this except me? :redface: Who is behind this? Enquiring minds want to know.
 
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I have been researching those components listed earlier....is that processor of any use if I am not adding DVD or Navigation?? I just want my music to sound awesome, but have no need for DVD or Nav...so would I benefit at all from the processor?
 
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