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Old 08-25-2004, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Upgrading Speakers

It has been a long time since I have done any work to a car audio system. I like my HU in the 2004 but would like a better speaker system. From what I have read the first item I need to replace/install is the amplifier and not the speakers. I do not really want to run is all new wiring but I am afraid that if I install an amplifier I will need to do just that.

I am looking for a little feedback with regards to replacing the speakers and maybe an Amp later. Not so much as the speaker brand but the logic with replacing the speakers then the amplifier. From my limited exposure, pre 1980 believe it or not, having decent speakers on a low output HU will not damage the speakers but I may not receive the full benefit of the speaker sound because I am not driving them with enough power from the HU. I do not see me installing any subs. I need the trunk space.

I either want to replace the speakers with JBL, Rockford Fosgate, or JL Audio. All three brands seem to get good reviews from this Forum. I might consider Pioneer speakers which are also well thought of on the Forum.

BTW I have spent a lot of time during the last two weeks reading posts in this section and there is a lot of great information contained in the threads.
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Old 08-26-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
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You may want to take a look at CD-Technologies too.
They tend to have higher sensitivity, and IMHO they sound better than the brands you mentioned.
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Old 08-26-2004, 05:47 PM   #3
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I do installs for friends, and recently experimented with my new car. I found that you should replace the HU first, which you know is quite easy if you get a harness adapter. Next, the speakers make a big difference as well. To help with powerful bass and hard hits, upgrade the power supply and ground wire to your HU (splicing it into your harness converter deal, preferrably a new 14-16 gauge wire).

All that can be done for well under $500, and yeild awesome results.
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:10 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I actually like the HU and the way it is integrated into the car. loudness is not what I am really looking for in a car stero. Do you know where I can go and hear different speakers to see how they sound? I was thinking of attending the upcoming SLAP event in Hagerstown, MD to see what is going on in the custom audio world. Started to look at CDT speakers, thanks for the tip.
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Old 08-31-2004, 07:47 PM   #5
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Sorry bud, with the Bose system you really need to get a new HU, I've heard that there are ways around it with decent results, but if you want good improvement gotta get all aftermarket stuff. You can always add an amp later just need new HU and speakers for now.

Go to that SLAP show, it'* the Finals, nothing but the nicest stereos there, I was going to go but can't get the time off work, next year though I'm going to finals.

CDT is good, so is MB quart, Rainbows are great but $$$$
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:28 PM   #6
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TaylorD
I don't think I have a Bose unit. the unit has 6 speakers not 8 like the Bose units. The Bose is only available in the GXP in 2004. Would I still need to replace the HU or can I start off with just the speakers?
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:08 AM   #7
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Infinity is a nice affordable speaker with good SQ, but if you don't mind spending a tad bit extra you might try Diamond Audio, Focal, Eclipse, or even some MA equipment.
I too have read some decent reviews of Pioneer speakers here on BC. Very affordable and they do have a good reputation in the entry level of the car audio market.
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Old 09-01-2004, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SLE
TaylorD
I don't think I have a Bose unit. the unit has 6 speakers not 8 like the Bose units. The Bose is only available in the GXP in 2004. Would I still need to replace the HU or can I start off with just the speakers?
Well in theory if you don't have Bose you can start replacing speakers with no problems, that is if there is no external amp, just using the headunit to power the new speakers everything should be fine.

I don't know if the non-bose 2K'* have the ribbon cable to the back of the radio. and if it does, so what there'* way'* around it, who needs door chimes and on-star.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:08 PM   #9
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Ill keep the OnStar till my year is up. After all I paid for it in the cost of the car LOL. Thanks for the help. Once my manuals arrive I will feel a lot more comfortable taking off door panels and playing with the wiring.
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Old 09-07-2004, 03:43 PM   #10
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2k B'Ville factory Delco stereo & Head Unit

* Speaker Install - Rear Deck / 6"x9" Drivers *

Installing some new drivers in the rear deck of the B'ville is a straight forward
swap but it'* not exactly a "drop in" replacement. The factory speaker grilles
will need to be retained. Unless of course one does not mind the factory slots
cut into the cover material or just recover the rear deck altogether.

I kind of perfer the "sleeper" look with the factory speaker covers anyway.

As tempting as it may be to just un-screw the old drivers and rip them out
take a second or two to consider the options. It seems during assembly
the drivers are mounted to the deck then the laminate/wood cloth cover
is then installed and lastly the deck is secured to the car.

This created an opening too small to easily remove to old speakers or
to even install new drivers without risking damage to the wood/cloth
deck cover or worse yet the new or existing factory drivers (speakers).
There is a high likelyhood of tearing out the material where the grille
slots into the deck cover rendering the cover unusable or way too
loose to conform to the unusual curves of the deck itself.

So while the factory speakers are still in place, some careful cutting
of the wood (laminate/particle/pressboard) and fabric cover needs
to be performed. After digging through the usual collection of
cutting tools... Dremel - RotoZip - Die Grinder etc... a simple pair
of side cutters was employed for such a tight and confined area.

The 6"x9" opening can be roughly opened up enough to remove
the factory drivers, then a more careful and closer cut can be made
to the preformed speaker mounting holes. The exposed wood edge
was finished with a small drum sander and hand paper, topped off
with some black paint on a Q-tip to cover the bright wooden edge.

The factory grilles have 5 tabs that fit into slots about the speaker
opening. They "grab" the back side of the moulded plastic deck
that has the driver opening. Remove them by first prying up the
rear and the outer side (these tabs have a placement detent) then
work up the other three tabs to remove. Re-install in the reverse
order. (I think it'* the outside tab... one of the sides!)

Take some great care and verify the tabs have located -behind- the
driver opening the wire mesh tabs would kill a new driver in a hurry!
Best to check at night with a flashlight!

The original speakers really sounded muddy and weak and are quick
to distort and pop or bottom out. This is really a result of some rather
heavy material covering the speaker elements. Low pressure waves no
doubt cancel the speakers movement with all the trapped waves trying
to escape the "dust cover". A marginal gain could be had with factory
speakers if one were to remove the cloth dust cover.

Other than cutting the opening to make room to remove and install a
new pair of speakers, the replacement was a speedy affair taking all
of a few hours. But then again some care was taken not to use rotary
cutters (they like to pull runners in material) and some time was spent
trimming and finishing the openings as well.

I'm still considering more securely fastening the deck to the speaker
openings. There is a notable gap between the plastic deck former
and the wood/fabric cover. Enough to warrant some adhesive filler
or caulking. Depends upon the buzz/rattle factor as the system
moves into production with higher power levels.

Lastly the factory drivers are reasonable units for delco.
Paper cones with a rubber surround and a wizzer midrange.
Didn't get the magnet weight but it'* a light duty driver.

Don't forget that the factory drivers are rated at 8ohm and most
replacements are 4ohm. Give you a good excuse to buy into a
power amp, even at low RMS levels (60 watts or so) it makes for huge
improvements in the primary sound drivers. Not to mention it weasels
around the resistance issues with factory head units.

HowY
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