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Is it worth it?

Hey guys, My first time in this section. I apologize if this has been covered before. But my question isn't about how to install anything, but about if it's worth

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Old 08-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is it worth it?

Hey guys,

My first time in this section. I apologize if this has been covered before. But my question isn't about how to install anything, but about if it's worth to do the job.

I have a non-bose base sport and I wanted to know if there would be a significant improvement in sound quality if I just changed the speakers without touching anything else.

If the speaker swap isn't really worth it without a new HU and amp I won't bother touching anything. But in my car now it's sort of hard to listen to music when the speakers start to distort so easily.

tl;dr?

Would there be a big enough improvement in sound to just swap the speakers without a new HU and amp over the stock base speakers?
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hey Nick- here's my comments... and yes, it is worth the effort.

1. keep stock HU and swap out speakers (polk DB6501's components are drop-ins).

2. keep stock speakers and swap HU. get a HU like my pioneer (i have the older gen 3100DVD) with great EQ control. im happy with this cause now not only i have improved sound, i have USB playback, and rear view camera.

3. swap HU and speakers - even better.

4. swap HU and speakers with amps, add sub - best.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I appreciate the response.

As far as the polk's being a drop-in replacement. Do I just need to replace everything in the same manner as the originals are installed? Or is the wiring completely different? I'm totally new at this as far as doing audio work goes.

And if later on I decided to put in a HU would these speakers still be adequate?

EDIT:

Also, do you think I would get a better sound out of a cheaper HU(older model) with stock speakers? I would assume yes.. But I figure I should ask(assuming this would clear up my distorted sound problems as well as improve sound quality).

Last edited by Nick911sc; 08-11-2011 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick911sc View Post
I appreciate the response.

As far as the polk's being a drop-in replacement. Do I just need to replace everything in the same manner as the originals are installed? Or is the wiring completely different? I'm totally new at this as far as doing audio work goes.

And if later on I decided to put in a HU would these speakers still be adequate?

EDIT:

Also, do you think I would get a better sound out of a cheaper HU with stock speakers? I would assume yes.. But I figure I should ask(assuming this would clear up my distorted sound problems as well as improve sound quality).
you will need to route the wires from the HU to the Polk's crossover, then the tweeter and woofer wires split. depending on where you place the crossover (either in the kickpanel or in the door) you will need to route a new wire through the door grommet which is a pita at times. they are drop-in replacement for the door (no spacer needed). you will need to modify the tweeter basket to make them fit which is really no big deal.

yep, most HU will have plenty of output to power these polks.

you and i are both music people so we both know that better speakers will generate better, natural sound vs processed sound. so ideally you want to swap out the speakers. but from convenience point of view, as long as you have a HU with good EQ and audio processing, the stock speakers can be manipulated to sound decent.

if you want to go loud you will want to lessen the burden on the door woofer and put more bass output from the future subwoofer. if you're planning to do a sub you should do this together with the speakers so it will be easier to find the crossover point between the sub, woofer (mid-range), and tweeter.

hope this get you started.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey,

Im in the same boat here, Nick. Im looking at all my possible choices regarding updating the sound system. Having just bought the car, Im not in the best position to spend a lot right now. Still, I find it hard to believe that a car in this range can have such a crappy sound system.

Im thinking of updating the speakers to components, and possibly replacing the headunit with a Pioneer. I dont really need NAV, as Im not sure how well it would work here in Puerto Rico... As long as it has good sound quality, and ipod connectivity, Im good to go. For sure, Ill go for a good, small (maybe a 10") sub in the future.

Back to the speakers, though (this question going to kenchan)... I used to install car speakers in all the previous cars I had, however, Ive never installed a component speaker system. Were would you recommend to place the crossover (Id definitively like to keep it out of view)? Could you maybe be a bit more specific as to how you did your install?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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just go for the whole thing, i upgraded part by part in one of my older cars, including adding components to a non component car and it was fantastic, just the head unit alone brought out better quality from the stock speakers. then i got some new fronts, got better, then i got new rears, even better, went component up front, continued to get better, added and amp to the speakers and some subs and an amp, it was 1000% increase in every way shape and form.

Now i have a base with sport with the non bose system. i have a whole pile of stuff just waiting to go in, it can all be found here: Lots of toys showing up lately....

I love having a system. the bose is nice but i miss having a complete audio system thats properly powered. Nothing beats crystal clarity and a nice boom !
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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After seeing everything that's going to be involved. I think I might just wait until I possibly just do the whole thing at once. Thanks for the help guys
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes Romulus, I saw that thread!

You seem to have an amazing system going in! Maybe Ill wait a while and do something similar. Although I wouldnt go for dual subs. I usually listen to rock music, maybe now and then electronica (well, dual subs would come in handy there)... But I usually prefer sound fidelity and clarity over booming bass any day.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well the whole reason i went with the sundowns is i can still have some boom with great clarity too. my type S's and type R's complemented rock nicely but to each his own. 1-12" is probably more than sufficient lol im going to have 1000 watts right behind my noggin.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenchan View Post
you will need to route the wires from the HU to the Polk's crossover, then the tweeter and woofer wires split. depending on where you place the crossover (either in the kickpanel or in the door) you will need to route a new wire through the door grommet which is a pita at times. they are drop-in replacement for the door (no spacer needed). you will need to modify the tweeter basket to make them fit which is really no big deal.

yep, most HU will have plenty of output to power these polks.

you and i are both music people so we both know that better speakers will generate better, natural sound vs processed sound. so ideally you want to swap out the speakers. but from convenience point of view, as long as you have a HU with good EQ and audio processing, the stock speakers can be manipulated to sound decent.

if you want to go loud you will want to lessen the burden on the door woofer and put more bass output from the future subwoofer. if you're planning to do a sub you should do this together with the speakers so it will be easier to find the crossover point between the sub, woofer (mid-range), and tweeter.

hope this get you started.
What amp would you recommend for those polk speakers? I want to get a 4 channel amp to power up a component set + bazooka. Do you know any other speakers that are drop ins (don't require spacers) ?

What do you mean by finding the crossover point between the sub/woofer/tweeter? doesn't the wiring go from headunit to amp.. then amp goes to sub separately and woofer/tweeter together?
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Honestly, the spacers should be the least of your worries. You can usually buy MDF spacers on eBay if you don't want to make them, and they take moments to install. Changing the wiring on the door speakers is a much bigger pain. The stock speakers wire up the front HU output only to the speaker set, so you might want to redo that, but then you need a crossover (included in a component set) or decent amp... it gets a bit muddy.

A 'crossover point' refers to the target frequency where you split sound out so that higher frequencies go to the tweeter and lower frequencies go to the woofer. Usually it would be something between 1kHz and 5kHz. At a certain point, sound is too low for the tweeter to handle well, and at a certain point, sound is too high for the midbass/woofer to handle well. You want to make it so that you have audio across the spectrum, but you want to turn the tweeter off before it gets bass and vice versa. And you want the two to transition naturally too. If say your tweeter starts to performs poorly on sounds below 2kHz but your woofer is good to around 4kHz then you might make your crossover point 3kHz. The same goes for the range between your sub and your midbass.

I think getting a very basic set of speakers plus a very basic Alpine/Nakamichi/similar single DIN headunit for something like $250 total would probably give the most bang for your buck, but I would also want a sub (plus its box, amp, and wiring) if I did that and you're at $500+ at that point.

If you want inexpensive decent quality speakers and are willing to learn a bit, another good option is to take a look at the woofers and tweeters at www.madisound.com. Not just the 'car audio' stuff. The listed cost is generally for a single speaker, and you need 4, but you can get very 4x decent SQ speakers for about $40-60 plus shipping. You would also need crossovers or an amp/HU that can take care of that though.

If you like it you could pick up a Pioneer DEH-P880PRS or P800PRS HU for less than $200, check for the pico fuse issue, and that will cross over internal to the HU. Then get cheap speakers from madisound that have a nice flat frequency response curve, hit the auto-EQ and time alignment to adjust to the car acoustics, and you'll have very good sound. Then add a sub when you're ready. An Alpine HU plus the imprint kit will give you similar sound and processing but you don't get the crossover internal--you have to buy an amp or use a component set to get that, and then you need to bridge the channels or give up output power.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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For the polk db's you will not need spacers. However you will need to cut the old tweeter out of its bracket and use that bracket for the new ones.

I would wait and do everything at once. You will want to run new speaker wires to the crossovers of the polks and you will want to run new speaker wire to the tweeters and woofers.

I am not a pioneer fan when it comes to head units simply because of the pico fuse and other things I have encountered. Some say they have never had a problem I for one have had problems ranging from wining noise form the pico fuse to screens failing to cd's stop ejecting.

I would look at kenwood of if you want something very quick and has a great interface check out the 910 from alpine that is what I am going with.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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What is this "Pico Fuse" everyone keeps talking about on Pioneer Head Units...?
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigaudiofanat View Post
For the polk db's you will not need spacers. However you will need to cut the old tweeter out of its bracket and use that bracket for the new ones.

I would wait and do everything at once. You will want to run new speaker wires to the crossovers of the polks and you will want to run new speaker wire to the tweeters and woofers.

I am not a pioneer fan when it comes to head units simply because of the pico fuse and other things I have encountered. Some say they have never had a problem I for one have had problems ranging from wining noise form the pico fuse to screens failing to cd's stop ejecting.

I would look at kenwood of if you want something very quick and has a great interface check out the 910 from alpine that is what I am going with.
I dont think I saw any kenwood with a 7 inch screen + no navigation... the ones I want have navigation and they're expensive!
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bebenegro View Post
Back to the speakers, though (this question going to kenchan)... I used to install car speakers in all the previous cars I had, however, Ive never installed a component speaker system. Were would you recommend to place the crossover (Id definitively like to keep it out of view)? Could you maybe be a bit more specific as to how you did your install?
hey bebenegro- ive done several speaker installs in the past on other cars, but my Z is still using stock speakers. i just swapped out the head unit and considernig this is a car with a fairly loud exhaust system with the aftermarket muffler im not too picky about the sound. obviously the stock HU was too weak for me though sound and feature wise. im not a big fan of wires hanging out of my deck to hook up MP3/iPhone, etc.

ive been thinking about doing the db6501's for some time but haven't really got the time, or the need really, to upgrade my components yet. i was thinking about upgrading my HU in a yr or so... so will do the components at the same time as it would be easier to wire up a new set of speaker wires from the HU to the kickpanel area where i would house my crossover and then split off to tweeters and door woofers. ive had great luck with the polks in my G35C right now. very clean sound.
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