The Eclipse set is well worth the price. But Im going to warn you about them. You MUST have a seriously powerful amp to push them. They are inefficient and hungry as hell. If you dont have an amp that is CEA certified to push 100w rms youll be wasting your time.
I was in the same boat in regards to headunits and processors and all that stuff. The Alpine CDA-117 by far for the money is the best bet. They have another one with a Burr Brown 24bit processor as well with a little screen to show ipod artwork and more detailed info but lacks a cd player.
The IMPRINT system stays wired at all times and the RCA leads that go to the amps acutally come from it instead of the radio. Alpine uses something called 'Ai Net' which is a way to interconnect different systems like bluetooth, cd changer, equalizers, AUX jacks, and in this case the IMPRINT system. You can daisy chain them too!
IMPRINT tunes your vehicle initially once. You sit a mic that you are supplied in the Alpine tuning kit (sold separately) on a tripod and move it around as the software you are given for your computer tells you to. What it essentially does is uses the speakers and shoots out these little blips of sound to do perfect sound correction and flatten the curve as much as possible to give you the best audiophile sound. It will do this for the subs as well. After the tune is complete you will be able to choose a reference curve (which I will be doing) if you like.
Soundman Car Audio shows you the jist of it in this video
though he kinda did a poor job of it. You are supposed to have all of your doors and windows closed and nobody in it(Ill have my sunroof cracked just a pinch to let the USB cable through). He uses the cd-less Alpine I mentioned above. FTR Soundman is funny as hell and has an internet show about the day and the life of car audio installers.
Alpine explains it in
. They talk about some older products like the famous Alpine 9887. The CDA 117 is the updated version and the tuning kit is a little more simplified.
Before you run off and cut your doors up get with me, I have some important things to tell you and watch out for. Ill even give you my number to call in a PM.
In regards to what is making the sound clean? Well, everything working together. The Alpine unit connects to an ipod, completly bipasses the ipods internal sound settings and churns it through its own 24bit sound processor. It then send the info to the IMPRINT unit and from there shoot out 4v pre outs to the Boston Amp I have installed. The speakers receive very clean, true sound and reproduce them. These speakers are an EXCELLENT sound stage. I suggest if you buy them and install them, set the crossover jump to -3db for the tweeter. Ive read complaints that they are 'too bright', act like 'super tweeters' etc. Its because people have the jumper on 0db or +3db. Some have complained that the tweeter will cut out after listening to it too long at loud levels. I baulk at this because I know they are under powering them and or not properly using them. IMO, these tweets are almost as warm as soft domes. Also, these are definitely meant for use with a sub or youll be disappointed. You were right, its what I did exactly. The dash speakers make a poor oundstage and this is exactly why I did this.
Sonicelectronix has only the 5 1/4 model left for like $150.00... go get em while they are hot! Woofersetc.com has the 6.5 model but at a big mark up.