Originally Posted by RedJellyBean
Gorgeous car, quality thread, great information, thank you.
My system is a crappy Alpine driving two Polk MMC6500s in the doors, two 6.5 do-nothing woofers in the rear, and a home audio powered sub in the front passenger footwell, driven from a 300w inverter. I know, I'm crazy, but... lol, it's enough to keep me from going truly crazy while I deal with crappy traffic in 1.5hrs commuting every weekday.
Yes, that's a little crazy, considering you're converting DC to AC and back to DC to create an AC waveform....
You deserve MUCH better, esp with a commute like that. A self-powered sub would be WAY better and installation is simple. This one from Kicker
has a 10" driver and an integrated 90-watt amp. I prefer a wedge shape over the tube-style enclosures because it's stable on its own and requires relatively little space. Until I complete my custom sub enclosure, I'm running the Kicker 10" ported wedge box and it's pretty decent.
Despite the lofty marketing-driven power claims of most manufacturers (like 50W), typical head-unit power output is honestly about 15 watts per channel RMS. Taking it further requires a 4-channel external amplifier. This gives you the flexibility to run it bridged in a 2-channel configuration to power a coaxial set or component set using passive crossovers, run it in a 3-channel bridged configuration to power door speakers plus a sub, or better yet... run an active setup with one speaker per channel (requiring a pre-amp crossover). A 2-channel amp severely limits your choices unless it's dedicated for subwoofer duty.
I'm extremely happy with Arc Audio's mini series. The ArcAudio KS125.4 mini
sounds great and powers my front stage (woofer/tweeter pairs) perfectly with one speaker per channel. It's small enough to go almost anywhere, including under the seats, and in my case, paired up with the 500.1 sub amp
in the shoebox area. They aren't cheap, but they don't sound like it either. I found mine in the DIYMA classifieds forum with a mix of good timing and patience.
Get rid of the rear speakers. Friends don't let friends have rear-fill. A good car system focuses on the front stage if sound quality is interesting. It might sound counter-intuitive to get better sound from fewer speakers, but trust me on this. A vehicle's interior is a complicated space that poses many challenges to get good sound from.
The Pioneer DEH-PRS80
is a solid foundation head unit and will get you onboard EQ/crossovers for an active front stage at a good price. To get better, you have to spend twice or more. I'm still sort of fighting the urge just to get this head unit for my setup, but I want that P99RS anyways.
The components I listed here add up to $930. Add a decent set of component door speakers for another $200 and now you have the basis for a relatively simple system that will blow away what the Insight came with and make your car something you actually enjoy listening to.