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KnightOwl

Speaker recommendations

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I am extremely happy with my Sony AX-100 2 din head unit, but I think it might be overpowering my old stock speakers. It sounds good under most conditions, but if you try and crank it a bit (we all got our fave tunes to blast) the speakers start showing their age.

 

 

 

Crutchfield says 5.25 up front and 6.5 or 6x9 out back. I'm not worried about a sub or amps, just a good set of speakers that are up to the head unit output. I recognize a lot of brand names like JVC, Polk, Kicker, Rockford-Fosgate, and Pioneer but have no clue which is worth the coin or not.

 

 

 

I'd like to install them in stock location, keeping the stock grilles for factory appearance.

 

 

Thanks in advance guys!

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Well, you definitely got options. I got lucky and found a full set of infinity components with crossovers in the junkyard. Might be worth a check there. If you want more power upfront, you can make three cuts and fit 6.5" on the stock bracket if you're ok with cutting the door a tiny bit. Still fits and looks oem. If you have the bose system, you have 6x9s and 4" duals, and I think 5.25" doors? (Idk on that, I have a coupe). personally, I find there's plenty of good used aftermarket speakers for cheap or the junkyard so I rarely buy new.

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The best advice I can give is to get speakers that are efficient.  When I used to install stereos people would pick speakers because they handle 200W!  However, only running 50W they didn't always sound good.  However a nice quality pair of the same size speaker that is rated for 75W sounded much better on the 50W being delivered.  Also keep in mind your head unit output is overrated.  Your head unit will likely never put out the 55W peak it is rated at.  I would doubt 20W rms is even good, but not too far off.  Just remember these things when looking at speakers.  

 

Also, I have never seen a speaker blown from too much power.  It was always from clipping and distortion from people turning things up too loud.  This is more of a problem when the speaker is underpowered.  I would not be concerned with overpowering a speaker.

 

I personally like Infinity speakers.  I have also had some Polk that were really nice as well.  A good clean balanced sound.  I was never a fan of JBL.  Their highs always seemed harsh and too "bright" and had to adjust amplifiers and equalizers to try and tone that down.  Alpine aren't bad either, but I have never personally had a set in my vehicle.  

 

Much of this is personal preference.  Go to a car audio store and use their demo setups.  See if you can listen to some speakers that are connected to a headunit with similar power output as yours and no amplifier.  See what you think of the sound.  What you like is what matters.  If there is an amplifier used the speakers will sound different than just off of a head unit.  

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All very good info...Thanks!

 

 

So I'll assume whoever had the car before me did some "over-cranking" and the speakers were already suffering from age and abuse. I'll swing back by Audio Express where I had the head unit installed. I know he has some demo stuff set-up in the showroom. I think Best Buy has some too.

 

 

I don't mind doing a bit of snipping as long as the door panel goes back on no sweat. I've seen some combo kits that include 2 6.5s and 2 6x9s...that could work.

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All very good info...Thanks!

 

 

So I'll assume whoever had the car before me did some "over-cranking" and the speakers were already suffering from age and abuse. I'll swing back by Audio Express where I had the head unit installed. I know he has some demo stuff set-up in the showroom. I think Best Buy has some too.

 

 

I don't mind doing a bit of snipping as long as the door panel goes back on no sweat. I've seen some combo kits that include 2 6.5s and 2 6x9s...that could work.

Yeah. I had 5.25" and did notice a difference in sound. Best part is that the door panel doesn't need modified. I'll try to find some old pics and post them. Happy hunting!

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The best advice I can give is to get speakers that are efficient.  When I used to install stereos people would pick speakers because they handle 200W!  However, only running 50W they didn't always sound good.  However a nice quality pair of the same size speaker that is rated for 75W sounded much better on the 50W being delivered.  Also keep in mind your head unit output is overrated.  Your head unit will likely never put out the 55W peak it is rated at.  I would doubt 20W rms is even good, but not too far off.  Just remember these things when looking at speakers.  

 

This is old school thinking from when (some) people had common sense. More power to move less efficient drivers = more wasted energy and a lot more wasted money. Off a head unit that's probably 25W per channel a 50W speaker would be difficult to hurt unless you force it to distortion.

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Keep in mind that when purchasing speakers the power ratings are usually peak, and that the stated rating is generally for a pair, not just a single driver. Most auto speakers are sold in pairs,

To find out what that single driver is capable of in RMS use the formula peak x .707 = RMS, divide by 2 to get the single speaker more realistic rating ( and I say that loosely) the auto market for sound equipment is still a grey area where a set standard for wattage handling ratings is concerned.

 

Try to look for items that meet the CSA-2006 standard.

 

here is a pic of my Alpine head unit specs,

 

note that the RMS rating is only 18w x 4 channels and that's at 14v

 

https://blog.sonicelectronix.com/power-rating/understanding-peak-and-rms-power-ratings-on-car-speakers/

 

40dvyG5.jpg

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This is old school thinking from when (some) people had common sense. More power to move less efficient drivers = more wasted energy and a lot more wasted money. Off a head unit that's probably 25W per channel a 50W speaker would be difficult to hurt unless you force it to distortion.

 

 

Yep.  I used to see people that had 200W or more 6X9's running off their head unit and talk about how awesome they sound.  When I would hear them pull up all I could hear was distortion and clipping, but they swore it sounded great.  Shortly

after they would all complain they were blown.  Even when working right they didn't sound great because they were underpowered.  

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So if my head unit is 20w output/55w peak, then a 20w speaker is more than ample to handle the load?

 

 

 

Whats crazy is looking online and pretty much cant find a speaker rated for less than 260W LOL

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Well like I stated......... generally speakers are rated as pairs & the manufacturer (trying to impress you all to hell) rates them at peak power & not RMS, so the #'s are grossly pumped.

I also like Infinity, had a set of 6x8 & 5 1/4" Kappa's (682.11cf) in my old Shadow and they stood well up to the aftermarket Sony head unit in the car. Don't over drive the amp in the head unit & you won't cause it to clip. Speakers don't hold up well to A/C current.

 

Crutchfield is a reliable source for sound system items.

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I used to sell/install stereo equipment back in the 80’s, when there wasn’t very much good stuff. I agree with Trucker, the first thing I looked at with speakers was efficiency, then frequency range, then after culling the choices down based on the specs, listening to them to determine what I liked best. You really can’t do a terribly effective job picking the best speakers for you through a catalog, in my opinion. I’ve found many speakers that sported impressive specs on paper, but were simply terrible. 

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Keep in mind that when purchasing speakers the power ratings are usually peak, and that the stated rating is generally for a pair, not just a single driver. Most auto speakers are sold in pairs,

To find out what that single driver is capable of in RMS use the formula peak x .707 = RMS, divide by 2 to get the single speaker more realistic rating ( and I say that loosely) the auto market for sound equipment is still a grey area where a set standard for wattage handling ratings is concerned.

 

Try to look for items that meet the CSA-2006 standard.

 

here is a pic of my Alpine head unit specs,

 

note that the RMS rating is only 18w x 4 channels and that's at 14v

 

https://blog.sonicelectronix.com/power-rating/understanding-peak-and-rms-power-ratings-on-car-speakers/

 

40dvyG5.jpg

 

Great article...thanks for that

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I have a set of Fosgate component speakers in the front doors. They are ran off a fosgate 4 channel amp. They sound amazing. Also have 2 fosgate 10" subs powered off a 500w mono block fosgate amp. It's got plenty of power and bump. In the rear deck is a a set of fosgate speakers that run off the amp powering the front component speakers. They're 6" in the doors. I had to do some trimming to get them to fit, but they are in there. The tweeters are mounted in the pillars down by the dash.

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