One of the common anomalies about systems and their purchasers is that they are normally owned by people who have cars that they want to perform well.
However a stereotypical high quality ICE install can often cause major issues from a weight perspective. This is a bad thing. Your car sits down at the back, it looks stupid and handles like a dog. Therefore you under steer like crazy and your fuel economy and throttle response goes through the floor (especially with a small light car such as a 106/Saxo).
OK so the first thing you need to do is to consider weight of kit. A good sub will be 10kgs, the box a further 10kgs, the amp 5 and wires can all add up.
However this is not the real killer - it is the distribution of the weight - behind the rear axles. You screw the aerodynamics of the vehicle and also the weight distribution, killing performance and also handling.
The first thing to do is to plan the system before purchase. If I wanted to fit a simple system with good quality components, a single 10\" sub with both amped then I would look for an amplifier or pair of that fitted under my front seats. Then I would consider building the box for the sub out of fiberglass. This may cost £150 to be fabricated by could save 80% of the weight of the MDF equivalent.
The weight of the sub should also be considered - if you only need sensible output then a sub with approx 50-60oz of magnet should work well.
The other thing people permanently forget is that the alternator is a load on the car - your car WILL produce more power if the alternator is not working hard. So running a small amplifier on an efficient subwoofer will work wonders from a performance perspective.
The next option, if you are prepared to push the budget and envelope further is 1 or 2 8\" subs in the cabin. Either a pair one in each rear quarter panel, or 1 in the passenger foot well. Done correctly this can give true audiophile response and keeps all the weight in the correct areas.
Anyway - those are some of the first things to consider. Also do not discount the KISS rule (keep it simple stupid) and go oldskool with running 2 speakers and a sub tri-mode off the amp. With lower power systems the passive crossover network is not that hard to engineer in and would only cost £30 or so in components.
Written by Dave Wilkins. (Aka the Troublemaker on most forums)
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