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I had put a full set of Alpine Type-R components all around in my friend's 4th gen. F450 4ch alpine amp, and then one single 15" Type-R sub in a custom built ported box with an alpine PDX series 1000watt rms amp with 3 1 farad capacitors. And for the deck we went with a 9853 Alpine. He had to buy everything retail cost which ran about 2800 or so. It was quite nice, but that's a bit extreme. The problem with getting Type-R components is that they just barely fit in the doors depth wise and width (6.5" models).

If you don't want to go crazy I'd recommend (if you need a deck) an Alpine 9846 which will run you around $150. It has preouts just for subs, so if you ever decide to get a 4 channel amp setup, you will need a new deck - but for the average person, it's unnecessary. And for speakers, Either go with Alpine Type-S's which will give you a decent frequency range, kind of a middle of the road speaker, you get bass and highs. They are around 100 a pair. If you are definitely getting subs, I would recommend getting some Pioneer 3 or 4 way speakers. They don't handle bass well - but obviously you won't need them to. They are a bit cheaper, around 80 a pair. If you wanted to, you could get the speaker grilles for the rear deck out of an older accord (I actually have a pair laying around) that can take 6x9's, just check the clearance of the hole in the rear deck.

As for subs, if you want a decent mid level system, I'd probably go with rockford for the subs, some nice Punch P2's with dual 4ohm coils. And grab a rockford Punch 450.2 amp to go with it. That's what i had put into my girlfriend's car and it pumps - you will definitely need at least a 1 farad capacitor with that amp or you're going to be damaging the subs at high volumes. Those subs and amp will run you probably close to around 600ish.

If you want to step down from those, I'd jump to Alpine Type-E's or Type-S's. Either of which would fair well with the M450(400rms @ 2ohm) mono block alpine amp. However you could juice them up a bit more with a bigger amp as well, such as the M650(600rms @ 2ohm).

Currently I run two 12" Type-R's and two MRP-M650 amps for the subs in my accord in a vented box. It kicks very hard, i'm glad my mirror is attached to the roof and not the glass :D
 

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Also, different impedances are going to make the speakers sound.. different. Because the lower the impedance, the faster they can suck up electrical energy and convert it to movement/sound. And generally for impedances lower than 2ohms in a subwoofer application, you need one badass amp to throw that power to the sub as fast as it can get it. I've seen a 0.33ohm sub setup and it was absolutely rediculous because of the tremendous amount of power that amp was throwing out.
8ohms you don't see very much in carfi, mainly in the house - but that's a bit more in depth since it deals mainly with the different classes of amps and what they are meant to do. But generally speaking in car audio Class D = for subs, and Class A|A/B is for mid/high.

But as for Parallel and Series wiring like rnstein69 said, the equations are simple.

Parallel meaning - stringing all of the (+) terminals together and all of the (-) terminals together and hooking them to the amplifier as one speaker.

Parallel is: Avg impedance of all drivers/number of drivers

So lets say as an oddball you have a Dual coil 4ohm sub and you want to wire it up in parallel with another 6ohm driver. So you basically have two 4 ohm drivers and one 6 ohm.
4+4+6 = 14 |14/3 = 4.6667 |4.6667(avg imped)/3(drivers) = 1.5556ohm load

That means the combined load of all of those drivers in parallel is putting a 1.6ohm load on the amp.

Series on the other hand is simple, it's just addition.
When you wire in series with say.. our same 3 drivers as stated in the parallel example, you simply take a lead from the positive output of the amp, to the positive of the first driver, and the negative of the first driver to the positive of the second driver and etc...

And as for calculating impedance totals, it's just:
4+4+6 = 14ohms
 
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