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audio upgrade: kappa vs. mb quart + +


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Update: April 18, 2006

Quarts installed in rear (practicing). (pics soon)

Received the CleanSweep from SubieGT05 (good to deal with).

Got a StealthBox in the works.


Found a Montreal based JL Audio retailer today. It was not as easy as it sounds.

http://mobile.jlaudio.com/dealerfind.php Dealer find pages do not work for Canada, not even Quebec.

In the Contact Us page there is a reference to a distibutor, GemSen that handles Playboy, Hustler, Guiness and JL Audio brands.

Got some $CAN prices for JL Audio amps. I would post the prices but it seems that this is not appropriate. PM me?

Originally I was hoping to get one e6450. Dealer told me that 2 x 25 watts for the rears would not be enough.

Leaning towards 300/4 for fronts / rears (4 x 75 watts) and 500/1 for sub. Considered the 300/2 for the sub but no sub remote / gain control.

Found out I also need the following:

4 AWG power kit.

Distribution Block.

2 fuses.

Ground kit.


Speaker Wire.

Total: $CAN 2250 + tax

Installation $CAN 450 + tax (don't ask me what our sales tax is, it will only depress me)

Converted to $US approx $599.






Update: April 7, 2006:

Just received some MB Quarts from PatagonianGT.

Got a CleanSweep on the way from SubieGT05.


Looking for a JL e6450 or similar. (Preferably from a Canadian source.)




.......original post below........

I want to upgrade the audio system in my LGT Ltd. 5mt wagon.


I'm a legacy, forums and car audio noob.

I've been through the "interior forum" and paid close attention to the FAQ sticky and the "speakers" thread: http://www.legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11465


Still, I thought it might be good to share my research for other noob's and get some feedback from those who may have already looked at similar things.


I've been to three local boutiques and here is what they've recommended (all in $CAN).


1. Rockford Fosgate 6.5" and tweeters up front (Punch line), P3001 amp, 8" sub installed in passenger side cubby. $1000


2. Infinity Kappa components with crossover for $350 + $90 installed. JL sub W1V2 in a box for $260 with a Clarion amp (AP 250) for $150 +$140 installed. Total: $1000. (approx)


3. MB Quart reference line components up front ($750) + similar coax speakers for rear ($300). + Alpine V-Power MRP-450 ($459). And for the sub an Alpine MRP-M450 with a 10" JL sub in a box. Add dynamat ($300) + wiring ($200) + labour 12 hours @ $55/hr ($660) and the package comes to $3528 or $3000 after some negotiation.



You will note that there is no Cleansweep in the 3rd quote. This seems negiligent according to the forums.


I will be purchasing a StealthBox. (I have the wagon for a reason -clubs, boards, skis, lumber etc, etc, etc,)


My thinking at the moment is:

Add the Infinity Kappa components (and some coax's in the rear) and running them off the stock unit. Upgrade with CleanSweep and an amp in the future if that is still not satisfactory.


Add the StealthBox with an amp (not sure what kind...).

Total cost: <$2000 without CleanSweep and Amp for front and rear.


Thanks in advance for your feedback. Cheap (CANADIAN) sources for components, a good installer in Montreal etc.

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Take a read through all of msmith's posts here in the Interior forum. There's lots of important info there. Feel free to go with the component speakers if you're set on them, but I believe the coax's up front will sound more coherent. Because of the spacing between the mid range and tweeter, you get some interesting sound artifacts with components. Careful listening with even the stock setup will bring this to light.


I have coax's in my car and I'm very happy with the performance. No more strange detached high's either.


The most important thing you can do is spend lots of time listening to your possible options. Listen to the different amps with the same speakers, different speakers with the same amp, etc.


I've noticed a big difference in sound quality with my Cleansweep. If you're not adding an aftermarket head unit, I think it should be on your buy list. You're just not going to get loud clean sound out of the stock unit. I was skeptical that it would make that much of a difference, but after using it I'm a believer.


If you're on a semi-budget, I would suggest:


- CS

- good set of coax's for the front (skip the rear, or upgrade later)

- good 4, 5, or 6 channel amp

- stealthbox

- some dampening material for the front doors


If you go with a >4 channel amp, you can add the rear coax's later and still have them amplified.


Good luck and tell us what you decide!

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Thanks for your suggestions.

I was under the impression that the CleanSweep was only beneficial if I was going to be installing a new amp. My bad.

I have read a little on coax vs. components.

There seems to be some debate on which is better.

My thinking was that I would start with the components because they seemed to be cleaner / easier to install into the stock space.

As for listening... it seems almost impossible and therefore almost useless.

Only one of the local shops has a room approaching the size (small) and surfaces (leather and glass) of a car. And they don't have the speakers in a similar position (they are all at ear height and in proper boxes).

As for dampening, I plan to follow the suggestions from Sands' excellent Sound Deadening sticky: http://www.legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7036

Finally, although I didn't state it in my first post, my goal is SQ (sound quality for other beginners like me).

My preferred music is jazz and acid jazz. Roy Hargrove, Soul Live, St.Germain, Zero 7 and Cinematic Orchestra are in high rotation. There is always a spot for Keith Jarret's Koln concert.

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there is no downside to using a bridge-mount separate like the MBQuart PSD216's that I installed. They are separates that allow you to mount the tweeter coaxially....a benefit for SQ in our cars. So many people have done tweeters in the stock position and not been happy.


The CleanSweep does a good job and should be part of long-term planning. There are other similar products coming to market at a lower MSRP, but the jury is out on performance.


On a side note, I have two used sets of MB Quart Reference series bridge-mount separates - one with their 'MusiComp' crossovers (3db more efficient and more musical). Perfect for an LGT owner (or I may keep them for when I buy a MINI for me ;) )

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Sorry, you're correct. You need an amp for the CS. I would recommend an amp and the CS if you're going to upgrade. It's not worth the upgrade if you're going to just swap the speakers.


PGT has a great idea with the bridge-mount separates! Basically, you want to keep the tweeter and mid-range as close together as possible.

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Chief, thanks for the clarification.

PGT, do the bridge-mounts fit in the stock space? (I noticed that PSD-216's are no longer listed on the MB Quart site.)

Where can I get prices for the JL amps and CleanSweep?

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yes....they do fit fine. The stock crossovers are all set to be plug-n-play - preterminated harnesses with the appropriate sized connectors.


You do need to do a few mods for any oversized 6.5" - the door panel has a plastic flange that seals the stock speakers to the panel - that needs to be trimmed with a razor blade. Add some spacer rings and some dynamat, and you are all set.


CleanSweep = $400 MSRP. There are a few for sale here in the classifieds...check em out.


As for the amps....which models?

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As already metoined, forget the components and go coaxial. Coaxial does not necessarily mean a step down in performance (although many are more economical), it just means the tweeter is mounted on the same axis as the mid bass driver.


I have Quart seperates in my other car, they sound great. The Legacy's cabin definately benefites from coaxial speakers up front. I have a pair of Morel coaxials and the SQ is excellent.


I didn't bother replacing the factory speakers in the rear doors as I am more of a two channel purist. The only time they are used is in 5.1 surround playback.

ignore him, he'll go away.
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I got the alpine 4 channel for my F/R but got there 600 mono block for my 10 inch. Much better IMO.


Get the CS, need it for our stock equalization defeating.


I got the alpine Type-X components in the front (6.5s) and I really like the phase adj that they have to make up for the less then optimal placement. It takes a bit of fiddling but they are the best seperates I have ever had (for imaging).

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You guys, al-gorithm and LittleBlueGT, have convinced me to get the CleanSweep.


You've also sold me on the coaxials versus components.


Now, I've just got to decide on amps.

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see if you can track down a used CS in the classifieds.....hardly a wear item, so a fair deal used.


you could pick up one of the used sub amps Enlight is selling. Plenty of power for the JL sub. I picked up an MBQuart 100x4 amplifier for around $225 off eBay in addition to a JL 500/1. Lots of options.....what's the budget for amps?

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I wouldn't be so quick to go with the coax's. 99 times of 100 seperates will have far better sound because of a much better crossover - that's the key.


What you want to do with this car is mount your components as coax's like PGT recommends. Whatever you do, don't mount tweeter in the stock location! This will turn your brain to oatmeal.


As always, you need to audition different speakers & see what sounds best to you - it's different for everyone. Given the choices above, I'd do the Quarts, but that's me.


Doing the CS & an amp & sub is the next step, but it's a big one if you're on a budget. Just starting with front speakers is fine, it'll give you a good reference when you do upgrade the rest.


I haven't looked at that sticky about damping materials in a while, but I don't think it mentions sealing the doors. I found my mid-bass was really poor up front until I sealed EVERY hole & gap in the front doors with dampening materials. Now the midbass has a lot more punch & the overall sound is far better.

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