Subs & Amp -- What to buy?

Discussion in 'Mustang Sound & Shine All' started by stangmom, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Can anyone tell me what is the best setup for the Mustang? My daughter asked for 2 12" subs and an amp for Christmas. I went and purchased Rockford Fosgate 12" subs, amp and box. Got home and the box would not even go into the trunk, and have since taken them back and bought 10" subs.

    Since I know nothing about stereo equipment and am the mercy of my local stereo shop...can anyone please give me some guidance as to what I should be buying.... I do not want to spend more than $600 (including installation).

    By the way...she has th Mach 460 now.
  2. I guess I'll be first in saying welcome to the board. Sounds like your daughter will have a nice Christmas.

    She'll probably be quite happy with 2 ten inch woofers, the box, and the amp. The trunks are small, however the 10" should be just fine for her needs.

    If you already have the box, speakers, and amp you'll just have installation to take care of. With the mach 460 system, it will require a line level convertor (assuming the factory radio is in place at this time), the proper cables (power/ground/remote), and an RCA cable of proper length. Labor charges vary by location, but assume 1.5-2 hours at most shops. Your installation parts could total around $50-100 plus labor. Don't know what you have spent already or how this fits your budget.

    If your uncomfortable with the shop your dealing with for any reason, get another estimate elsewhere.

    Again, welcome, and hope this helps,

  3. Thanks Alan.... I did check around at a couple of different places and I hope I made a good decision on the Rockford Fosgates... there is just so many different options, thought i would seek advise from the experts.

    Thanks again....
  4. well i would recommend 2 alpine type r's , running off a jbl 1200.1 amp. i have this setup except with 12's. sounds nice and can hit hard if i want it to
  5. Stangmom -- Thanks for your support of our products! As one of the fanatics at Rockford, I'm obviously a little biased. Unlike the norm, our woofers and amplifiers are designed, engineered, and manufactured right here in the USA. We've built subwoofers in Grand Rapids, MI since 1984 and we've been manufacturing amplifiers here in Tempe, AZ since 1973.

    Over the years, we've learned lots about how to manufacturer world-class products and our products have led the industry since their inception. Rest assured your daughter will enjoy the equipment. Proper installation will be the key to her getting the most performance so be sure and work with your dealer there to get it done.

  6. I use rockford subs and amplifiers.. 5 years and going strong.. I"m not a big fan of the newer rockford equiptment but considering you are buying it for your daughter (who probably doesn't know much about car audio either), what you got her will be just fine..

    I'm just glad you didn't buy her any " Sony Xplod " equiptment. Amen to that.
  7. DaFeared -- I'd be interested to learn why you feel the way you do about our newer products . . .
  8. i wish i had a mom like you!
  9. I know this is probably a little late since it's past Christmas, but i'd find a Kicker retailer and buy some Comp VR2 12''s and if you've got the cash to spend, get a JL 500W amp to push'em. That's just about all the bass you'll ever need.
  10. There's no love put into the new products! :rolleyes:
  11. I guess I"ll give you a little better of an anwser.

    The fact is.. there is not one real anwser... but I do have a few...

    1. Personal preference -.. I hate the way the new subs sound.. I realize that the new subs powered with the new amplifiers can hit way harder than my older ones but I"d rather have my old stuff anyday.

    Components - rockford has never had any decent components.. I"ve heard the highest end rockford fosgate components and they are nothing compared to most companies medium lines.

    Head units - 5-10 years ago.. used to be pathetic.. not to mention the ugliest things out there... the last 3 years they have been comming around.. new designs... lots of improvements.. i"ll give you that..

    Wiring - not the best, but right up there with the best.. I'm proud to be using rockford wiring.

    2. Mass production - I don't think all rockford products are made in the united states.. i"ve heard many many many people say that a lot of it comes from over seas... Where is the love? .. Rockford is a mediocre company with mediocre products... most people in the car audio world would agree with me when I say they are in the middle of the pack. C'mon rockford has been around as long as anybody... when are you going to put some love into your products and become a high end car audio company? I like rockford but for the price, you can find aequal/better product to purchase. Rockford lives off it's name too much.

    I don't care what you say... you go to any car audio forum where there are some serious car audio entheusiests and rockford isn't considered a high end product anywhere. Face it, if you want to be a high end company you have to put more love into your products instead of focusing on mass production etc.
  12. DaFeared: First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to give me your honest input. I'd like to address your points below. Let's not get advesarial -- but a little healthy sparring is always welcomed . . .

    OK, fair enough. When you build subs for as many years as we have, you're bound to have people that prefer a prior woofer design. From your sig, I'm guessing you have first generation HX2 woofers -- a great product. I use a pair of the RFD-1218 18 inchers in my home theater system, powered by a Crown MicroTech 2400. I also have a pair of later generation 18 inchers, the RFD-3218 in my 2k3 Stang. On both counts, I love em! I was a rep for RF in North Texas when the HX2 woofers first came out and they weren't the hit they are today. Mainly because we didn't supply our accounts with correct enclosure design information! We finally did arm our dealers with the right ammo to eek every drop of performance out of these awesome subs and they took off. The only "new subs" we have for 2003 are the poly HE and HE2 woofers with the black chrome dust caps, the entire rest of the line is carried over from 2002. The Power HX2 woofer has also been a challenge for us -- again because we supplied incorrect information to our accounts on proper enclosure design for these woofers on their launch two years ago. Would you believe a 12 inch PHX2 performs optimally when installed in a 2.5 - 4.5 cubic foot ported enclosure?

    Rockford Fosgate wasn't a brand established on the fine nuances of classical music. Rather, we've built our name on the fact that you could jack up the bass and treble controls on our amps and get a more "in your face" sound -- "The Punch" if you will -- and our stuff was built to take that day in and day out without failure. Our current line of component speakers certainly delivers on that original philosopy. If you feel they fall short, then I urge you to listen to some of the FNQ components in a car with some juice. Sure, they're not Dynaudios (and they're not priced that way), but these babies flat rock. When auditioning speakers designed for in car use, you have to keep in mind that they may sound less optimal on a typical sound room display -- mainly because they've been designed to have optimal frequency response when listening to them off-axis.

    Thanks! I have a RFX-9420 in my car. Sound quality of this deck is as good as any I've owned -- largely due to the 8 volt preamp section. Have you heard one?

    Thanks again! We have been criticised continually for not reducing the price (and quality) of our accessory products. This is an area that we won't waiver -- we truly feel the RF customer demands the absolute best in this category. If RF isn't it, then what is?

    No matter what you're told, 100% of our amplifiers are built directly next door from my office -- here in Tempe, AZ. 100% of our subwoofers and some RF component speakers are built at R.A.D. (Rockford Acoustic Design) in Grand Rapids Michigan. In addition, these products are designed and engineered domestically as well. So, it is true that we work with overseas vendors for some of our other products.

    Ok, this kind of hurts. Do you have any idea of the talent employed at Rockford? We have the absolute most fanatical people in the world employed at the Rock. The passion of our people is unparalled in this industry.

    You know, you have a point. Let me explain. Turning back the clock to the days of the Punch 45, we set the industry on its ear by building a 45 watt amp that could drive 22 speakers. Nobody had ever heard of this before. We invented the idea of running a mobile power amp stereo and mono simultaneously -- mixed mono. Other manufactures followed in suit, but couldn't figure how to make enough current through the speakers to make it possible. Throw in our 18dB (boost only!) bass and treble knobs and you had an amp that performed SO FAR outside of everyone's expectations that it was a home run. Move forward to the DSM series -- 40 / 60 / 100 / 200 DSM / IX / X2 and you had a line of amplifiers that had to TOP the performance of the industry standard 45 / 75 / 150. They did and in spades. 200 DSMs could make in excess of 700 watts of power when bridged into 2 ohms! Then, let's go on to the series you own, the 800a2. The 800a2 is a reworked 225.2 platform that produces in excess of 1kw when bridged into 4 ohms. Today, the 851s is a reworked 800a2 / 800.2 that is the most powerful 800 platform we've ever built. Problem is, through it all our competiors have closed the gap on the peformance of their products versus ours. We're continually the benchmark they shoot for.

    I don't fully understand your point here. We build bullet-proof products that were built to perform when properly installed! Did you know the 800a2 in your car can suck in excess of 100 amperes of current when making rated power? Can you imagine how poorly this amp would perform in a late model honda civic with the stock charging system?

    In closing, I'd like to assure you that we've looked long and hard at ourselves most of this year. You sir will be a full-boar Rockford Fosgate fanatic all over again when you see what we have up our sleeves for you in 2004 . . . 'nuff said.

    I welcome your comments.
  13. I used a Punch 45 from 1987 to 1999. The Best Amp Ever Made PERIOD.
  14. First of all I want to thank you for your reply!

    Yes you are correct, I am using the origional HE2's, I like them the best.

    See I think this is why I initially fell in love with rockford... but unfortunately.. lately I"ve been getting more into Sound Quality and don't you think it would be nice if rockford products were not only built like a rock but also had immeasurable sound quality as well? (It may be rockfords strongpoint but also their downfall at the same time.)

    No I havn't heard one in a car... on a soundboard yes.. but do you think you are really getting 8 volts? no. For instance, my eXelon is 4.5v, do you think i"m even getting 2? no. Please don't try and tell me you get what it says cuz it's been tested and it falls short.

    Honestly, I"m more than happy with the rockford accessories.. no complaints at all.. Lots of people like other products over rockford and don't give rockford enough credit for their wiring and other accessories.. truely underrated... most people don't know what they are missing out on....


    I agree to a point. I think rockfords goals are all wrong.. I realize there are a lot of good employees with rockford but they can't put out their best work if you don't let them. Why quanity over quality? Why ground stomping bass without the finest SQ in the industry? Who wants something that's loud if it can't be clear? Any bigtime car audio entheusiest would rather take 5 clean watts over 10 loud ground thumping watts anyday. So why would anybody want to settle for second best?

    Why make your products for the uneducated when the bigtime car audio entheusiests spend the most money?

    Like I said.. intitially people (like myself) get into rockford because rockford products will take a beating and last forever.. but when they decide to get into SQ, they ditch rockford, why do you think that is? It's because Rockford is mediocre when it comes to quality sound quality products. Rockford has so many big gun employees, why aim for the moon when you can aim for and hit all the stars?

    I'll tell you right now.. If rockford's products were built for SQ just as much as they were engineered for 'loud in your face, rock solid music', I wouldn't own any other product.

    Unfortunately you have been long surpassed. Rockford is no longer a "benchmark" as far as I"m concerned (and any other big car audio entheusiest). How can Rockford be a benchmark company when they are virtually the oldest company around, yet only sit in the middle of the pack? Ever hear of soundstream, zapco, or xtant?? (amplifiers) Boston, Focal etc (speakers)?

    Like I said.. The day Rockford's sound quality can equal or surpass it's amazing rock solid design and in your face loudness, (only) then will rockford be a "benchmark" in my opinion.

    I don't fully understand your point either (by the way I have two 800a2's in my car not one). I really don't care what it sucks out.. I know it sucks a lot.. that's why I got myself a 152 amp alternator and the biggest deep cycle battery on the market. I"ve owned these amps for over 5 years and don't plan on buying new ones until they die on me, which I can't see happening anytime soon.

    You know what i've seen a lot from rockford lately? A lot of show, with little go (sq wise). What are you going to impress me with? the new rainbow wolf lights you plan on istalling on your amplifiers? or how about a new shiny plastic emblem design on your woofers? or the Shiny crome RF cover on your 6 x 9's?

    I think Rockford should be focused on quality and not looks. Ever hear them Eclipse decks? they look old, they look plain.. no 16 year old would buy them, but guess what? they have amazing sound quality. I have more respect for a company that is committed to putting out quality products rather than giving up some quality for looks. It's Very Sad, but looks sell. I know. But I really hope Rockford doesn't turn into Sony Car Audio.

    I won't be impressed until Rockford Fosgate can match or exceed the Sound Quality of the new benchmark companies. I already know they are built like a tank, now I want to see some high end sound quality!!!!

    P.S. I am fully aware that the setup can make or break a stereo.

  15. Keep in mind that sound quality is totally subjective. What I think sounds good, may not sound good to your ears. Having said that, setting up a vehicle for sound quality is something I'm quite familiar with. My 'stang has a Power 1051s that powers the FNQ 6.5 inch separates in my front doors. From Nora Jones to Project Pat, my system delivers the goods. Maybe as a company, we've fallen short in the area of teaching our accounts how to properly set up a vehicle to sound good? Trust me when I tell you that if I put you in a chair in a room with a pair of $100k loudspeakers connected to a RF amp and ANY other brand of car amp in the world, matched the gains, then switched back and forth between the two amps, your ears (and mine) would be hard pressed to hear the difference. We've done this in front of huge crowds, only to reveal that the RF amp they thought they were comparing to a Soundstream Reference 500 was actually the internal power of one of our head units!

    DaFeared, you need to understand that I am an ordinary guy, just like you. I was a car audio consumer as far back as 1984. I've spent a long, hard road in this industry to get to the Rock. I have ZERO reason to lie to you in a public forum. The preamp voltage of our source units is also a demonstration that we do in front of crowds. You see, Rockford is one of the few decks that can deliver UNCLIPPED output from its' preamp section under any condition. Our RFX-9420 will make 8 Volts, unclipped from the front / rear / and sub outs simultaneously -- all with loads connected to them. This can be easily measured by using a disc with a 1Khz test tone recorded at 0dB. All you need is a digital volt meter. An oscilloscope can display the waveform so that you can see it it cleanly reproduced. I don't know where you've seen a 9420 measured that fell short. There is at least ONE other source unit company that can deliver similar performance.


    Da Feared, I think your confusing sound quality with power. When you hear distortion in a system, it is typically because the power amplifiers have exhausted their ability to make clean power. A watt is simply a watt -- no differently than one horsepower is simply one horsepower. At some point, the power an amplifier makes is no longer suitable to produce an audio signal cleanly as its output becomes distorted. This is common on the street as the typical consumer believes they can damage their speakers from sending too much power to them. The opposite is really the truth. Again, I refer you to my input above on sound quality . . .

    We do not build products intended to lure consumers into the trap of buying lesser quality goods. Our 2003 line-up has some flash no doubt, some of that because of efforts on our end to keep up with the ever changing consumer. But fact of the matter is that our current HE2 woofer with the silver poly cone and black-chrome dust cap may not look like you think a RF woofer should look, but it absolutely, positively will out perform your original HE2 woofers in every conceivable enclosure. That was our primary intent with this new design. The same thing can be said for our coaxes with the black chrome trim around the tweeters that you brought up later in the post.

    Again, I refer you to my input on sound quality above. Did you know that at the USAC finals two years ago, Rockford took best of show in every Sound Quality category? At the USAC finals this year, we also did quite well in Sound Quality.

    Sure I've heard of these competing brands, I'm not a newbie here. We're not a benchmark, we're THE benchmark. Every one of our direct competitors has had both barrels aimed at us since the first day they hit the street. Maybe we're more guilty of allowing ourselves to become comfortable than anything else.

    Did you know that a division of Rockford Corporation is this well-known sound quality company MB Quart? If sound quality is what ye' seek, then you'll surely find it in the MBQ line . . . I for one do not think that Rockford Fosgate should mean all things to all people. We're The Punch and proud of it. We're comfortable being who we are and will continue to develop products that will more clearly define that.

    DaFeared, I can be a resource for you if you like and I'm really quite interested in the information you've provided. Let's not insult each other. Make you a deal, we'll revisit this topic after 2k4 is underway.

    DaFeared, did you buy your Mustang because it was the most comfortable car on the lot at the ford dealer? I'm betting you chose it for a whole different reason. So, you started out with the boom and moved on to SQ. OK, fair enough, it happens to us all. Rockford Fosgate are two words that bring to mind words like LOUD, BONE-CRUSHING, BRUTAL, and of course The Punch. My point to you is that great quality car audio products can be installed and tuned in such a way that they can deliver the goods no matter what the software you put in the system. If I tuned the system in my car to sound good with Marilyn Manson, ya' know, it ain't gonna sound real good on much else. Now, if I took the opposite approach and tuned my system to correctly produce the wide dynamic range of the best Sheffield Lab CDs, when I pop in the Manson CD, it'll take on a whole new meaning!

    You are SO RIGHT! DaFeared, have you ever heard a REALLY killer home stereo system? No, I'm not talking about your buddy's MCS rack system his dad got from JC Pennys in the 80s . . . I'm talking about a GREAT two channel system that consists of four components at most -- source, preamp, amp, and speakers that have been painstakingly set up to deliver the finest of details in any recording. If not, then you owe it to yourself to educate your ears on what "sound quality" really can be. It'll re-define your perspective on audio as a whole.

    Over and out . . . let's keep the thread going.
  16. First of all, I would like you to explain to me how a watt is a watt?
    I am no sound technician at all and I do not have any degree in music.. I just want to know what you mean by that. I realize a horse power is a horse power and a watt is a watt but there is a reason that one amp may be cleaner than the next.

    Does that mean that if you power the same set of speakers with a sony amp, and then power them exact same speakers with an xtant amp they should sound the same? or create the same amount of "loudness" or something like that??

    We both know that a component set powered by rockford will sound better than an amp made by sony, equal power (or even a rockford amp with less power), can you explain why that is? I don't understand this watt is a watt deal in terms of clarity when my ear can notice a clarity difference. Explain to me why one amplifier sounds cleaner than the next if they both truely put out the same amount of power and only the brand names are different.

    Secondly, is it possible to notice a difference between two brands of subs? or am I just imagining things? I can notice a sound difference between rockford subs, pioneer, phoenix gold, etc... and this so called "know it all" is trying to tell me that you shouldn't be able to. Okay maybe 99.9% of people in this world can't notice a difference in sound but I can. :shrug:

    Yes I have heard the most expensive home audio systems... at Canadian Hi Fi here in Regina sk. They have show rooms and home audio systems that are worth $10, 000 - $250, 000 with all class A power... Amazing sound...I"ve never heard such high quality sound in my entire life until I walked into that place!! It sucks because no car audio amplifier would compare. So yes, I guess you could say I know what true "high end sound quality" really sounds like.

    I"ll write back later, I just wanted to drop a quick line, I"m going to watch the Canada vs Czech Republic game :nice:
  17. Yeah I know how it's tested, I guess I'm just surprised that it really does make 8 volts, kudos to Rockford.

    Yeah I guess this half anwsers my question earlier... but if 2 amps are equal power and one sounds better, how does that explain the difference in clarity if neither of the amps output has become distorted yet?

    Yes I am well aware of this. I actually really like the SQ of MB Quart.. a little harsh but I don't think they are very hard to tame.

    ... But anyways what i"m getting at.. is how can you sit here on a public forum and tell myself and virtually the world that rockford still is the benchmark company when they are in the middle of the pack? I want you to explain this.

    You sit here and explain to me how good your engineers are etc, but you still havn't explained to me why huge IASCA guys are using Xtant, zapco and a ton of other brand names rather than rockford? I'm really not seeing how Rockford is a benchmark when most of the top guns won't even consider using rockford products. Yes I see the product is built like a tank, I won't argue there, but back to the sound quality thing, why are all the big guys are using better products than rockford? and don't give me the big spiel about how it's all about setup because that has nothing to do with the reason why the big guys chose other products.

    I realize you can make mediocre products such as rockford sound close to high end IF you can get the install right, however I cant see how you can use this excuse for the big boys not using rockfords sub par products. It simply does not add up. I can't see how you can use this as the excuse for rockford not having as good of sound quality as the HIGH end products on the market. Sure.. blame it on the setup. Gotta blame average performance on something right?

    I assure you it's not because they can install the better products easier or something stupid like that... I know there are big rockford teams out there and I know rockford does win sometimes but you are outright lying if you are going to sit here and tell me that rockford is the benchmark for quality products when the underlying fact is that rockford is a mediocre company with mediocre products. You can sit here and give me the spiel about how tank-like your amplifiers etc are but that still doesn't chance the fact that rockford is only recieving average marks from the big car audio fanatics. In fact the word I've been hearing lately is that rockford is going downhill, and it shows... lots of people refuse to buy the new rockford... myself included
    .. like that guy said earlier the rockford punch 45 was the best amplifier built period.

    What happened? you sit here and preach that your guys are the best etc.. well if they are so good why have they let other teams catch up?
    Rockford was never a pretty company... but the last 3 years I"ve seen a huge change in looks... Why would rockford all of a sudden start putting all this money, effort, and wasted time into looks when they could be improving their qualitative productivity? and you wonder why you've been surpassed. The only people who care about looks are the teenagers who have cars that mommy and daddy bought them.

    The real car audio entheusiests would rather have a #1 quality product over a flashy stock of equiptment.. and you claim rockford isn't targeting the younger people who value looks more than anything, yet what are you doing? you are producing flashier products by the year. To be honest with you, the flashier your products get, the less i"ll be interested in purchasing the equiptment. Why? Because I know about the trade-offs.

    Think about it. Rockford has to make money to stay operating as large as they are right? well if they aren't the #1 product anymore, they need to make money somehow right? they need to attract people to buy their product somehow, right? What a better way to attract people than to add some flashy lights and designs to their products.. right.. lets add stupid things to our product that do nothing to enhance the quality of the product. Like I said before.. the last 3 years rockford has = flashy... I smell business, not love.

    I hate to say it.. and I"m sure many will agree..(I understand that you will disagree however this is just my opinion) but rockford is still making huge profits because of their name..(and the added flash) they are making a lot of profit (but not all) because of who they WERE, not because of who they ARE, right now. I realize rockford is advancing just as all companies are.. however, in my opinion they aren't advancing as fast as they could or should be. As previously stated.. word on the street and word on the forums is that rockford is slipping..slowly falling behind the rest of the pack..I agree.. but after all, the leader of the wolfpack has to be replaced sometime, right?

    P.S. does my avatar (wolf picture) look familiar by any chance?
  18. damacman, I participate in several forums such as this and it's amusing the way it seems to be "in" at a given time to bash certain equipment, while others are popular. Of course, this isn't always wrong. Some products need bashing, while others are quite good bargains. But I've never been able to understand the bashing of good equipment, such as RF. I honestly believe people are guilty of passing judgement when they actually have no idea what they are saying. Young people sometimes pass things on because they "heard it from someone else" who didn't know what they were saying. That's reality. There are newbies that don't know an ampere from an ohm, or a power supply from an alternator recommending equipment to other people.
  19. DaFeared:

    Thanks much for your input -- its valued more than you'll know. I've done no preaching to you or any other member of this forum. I've given you no spiels and I'm certainly no liar. I'm sorry that you can't better understand what I'm trying to convey to you.

    Just so you know, if the Punch 45 was the best amplifier ever built period, don't you think that we would continue to build them? I'll take nothing away from its performance in the time period it was offered as it was simply unbeatable. In today's market, it's not a competitive design.

    Again, thanks for your participation. Unfortunately, I think we've exhausted the usefulness of this thread.