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Thread: Audio upgrades?

  1. #21
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    The Kenwoods I put in the Mark VI were better at mids and lows than the Pioneers in my other cars. The headunit wasn't as good about driving the power though. Sounded fine at low to mid volume levels. Getting a good match between the speakers and the headunit/amp does make a big difference. If the power rating of the speakers is higher than what the amp can produce cleanly, you get crap sound. If it's the amp is too powerful, you can risk blowing the speakers if you crank it up too high. Having amp headroom can be a good thing though. For my cars, I prefer to match (+/- 5%) nominal (RMS) watt ratings. It helps loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  2. #22
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Kenwood vs Pioneer isn't saying much. Although the last time I listened to either brand, the Pioneers with basalt woofers weren't too shabby. It's been my experience it's better to overpower a speaker than to underpower one. What killed every speaker in my experience was sending them bass signals they shouldn't have been seeing.. Just because they respond to 150hz or less doesn't mean they'll live or like it for extended periods of time lol -use a high pass filter! My general rules of thumb are to start with the gain somewhere around 2/3's for you front & rears and then start to dial in your high pass filters.. If you hear distortion, begin to increase the high pass set point or the dB attenuation until it goes away. Ever since I wised up, I've never lost another speaker.
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  3. #23
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    You also have to consider that a car is not really the best place for listening to music, so the difference between decent and great speakers will be limited. Bad will stand out for sure though, but nothing I've unsed in the past 15 years has been bad. Also, most of the folks that have sat in my car (granted, I have subs that fill in the bottom end), say it's better than the old JBL stuff in panthers. I did spend a lot of time tuning the crossovers for the speakers and the subs to blend things nicely. And it's all Pioneer speakers. None of them are paper cones though. They're all stiff materials. The speakers in the doors and rear deck aren't bad at reproducing the low end, they just don't. Like the roll off is at about 80Hz and you literally can't really hear much below 60Hz from them. But since I was building the system to incorporate subs, I didn't care. I wanted good mids and highs from them and they accomplished that.

    The Mark VI however, the 4-way Kenwoods were actually really good until the amp in the head unit started clipping at higher volumes.

    Like I said, you have to match things up. The JBL speakers work great with the JBL amp and head unit because they were tuned together. Aftermarket amps for the JBL speakers would be hard to tune because there's very little chance of matching the JBL amp's EQ settings that were designed into it. I've heard gadget talk about how non-flat the response from those speakers are and for aftermarket stuff, it just makes sense to not have to deal with that.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  4. #24

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    Have read all this with interest; I put new kenwood coaxials with butyl surrounds in the back of my 08 a few days ago and there is instant improvement in linearity and clarity. The old ones have whizzer cones only and foam surrounds bonded to the upper plastic mesh cover. But still hankering for a low cost bang for my buck to get a couple more octaves down below. The mysterious hole in the center of my rear shelf beckons...Today I looked in my friend's Honda accord and found hanging dead center a round woofer with a giant magnet on it fed by a monoblock behind the rear seat. It was open to the rear chamber as were the two ovals at the corners. This is exactly how I would do mine. A $70 monoblock and a $50 driver will provide nominal functionality I am certain. Will I be the first person on here to do that?
    "In an insane society a sane man would appear insane." --Spock to Kirk
    2008 GM LS in Smokestone Metallic

  5. #25

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    Slight hijack--my '86 LTD CV has no rear speakers and no rubber bands. I'm guessing the way to go is to pull the rear deck, drill holes and and screw the speakers, undermounted, with the screws from the top?
    Anyone got experience with putting in aftermarket speakers?
    I've got an Alpine head unit and MB Quart 6.5s and 6x9s that were in my Mustang; time to drag them out of the box (the 6.5s were in my 300ZX before that...have speakers, will travel!)

  6. #26
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    You also have to consider that a car is not really the best place for listening to music, so the difference between decent and great speakers will be limited. Bad will stand out for sure though, but nothing I've unsed in the past 15 years has been bad. Also, most of the folks that have sat in my car (granted, I have subs that fill in the bottom end), say it's better than the old JBL stuff in panthers. I did spend a lot of time tuning the crossovers for the speakers and the subs to blend things nicely. And it's all Pioneer speakers. None of them are paper cones though. They're all stiff materials. The speakers in the doors and rear deck aren't bad at reproducing the low end, they just don't. Like the roll off is at about 80Hz and you literally can't really hear much below 60Hz from them. But since I was building the system to incorporate subs, I didn't care. I wanted good mids and highs from them and they accomplished that.

    The Mark VI however, the 4-way Kenwoods were actually really good until the amp in the head unit started clipping at higher volumes.

    Like I said, you have to match things up. The JBL speakers work great with the JBL amp and head unit because they were tuned together. Aftermarket amps for the JBL speakers would be hard to tune because there's very little chance of matching the JBL amp's EQ settings that were designed into it. I've heard gadget talk about how non-flat the response from those speakers are and for aftermarket stuff, it just makes sense to not have to deal with that.
    Huh? Before I put aftermarket JBL's in my Town Car I had factory JBL's- they sounded fabulous. You might want to revisit those threads from gadget about the JBL amps & speakers, he was referring to the amps themselves.. The JBL amp was tuned to work with the crappy deck, least that's my take on it. The JBL speakers from that vintage are much like the JBL speakers I have in my house from the same decade, slightly forward on treble but once dialed back, they are warm and accurate. Which is why I continuously say that at best, aftermarket speakers will only yield a marginal improvement over the factory JBL's, and I say that from the perspective of a car being a not so great environment for listening to music. Yet I've seen speakers, Focal specifically, which had pairs listed for $600+. That is downright ludicrous.

    A car isn't perfect, but is just fine for listening to audio when standing still, it's just the speaker placement which gets in the way and all those other technicalities people like to point out. But, a terrible speaker is still a terrible speaker. And if all someone is comparing their "upgraded" setup to is old factory stuff then it's much like walking into a Bose store in search of something better over your TV's speakers or that soundbar someone got you on clearance for Christmas that one year- Of course it'll sound better! But again, what were you really comparing them to? In the case of Bose specifically, that's why you never see any other speakers in their stores...

    If you were using the amp in your headunit to push those Kenwood speakers, it's no wonder you getting distortion, especially with no crossover(HPF) in place. "Most of the folks" who said the JBL stuff was better.. Hmm, I can't speak for them yet highly doubt they knew what was in there to begin with. And when I replaced my factory tape deck for the Sony (which may have shit the bed already, aftermarket shit..) it was a world of difference in tonal quality and clarity. I don't have too much experience with other people and their set-ups, but the ones I have listened too, boy oh boy, screechy treble and just a bunch of thumpa thumpa from their over boosted sub(s). No midbass/warmth. My poor ear drums. "Doesn't this sound great Derek???" "..er..yeah man, totes!" "Told 'ya you'd love it!"

    Paper is actually wonderful for creating a warm, natural sound. That's why at least Bose speakers usually do great reproducing the spoken voice. It's when manufacturers go nuts with the polymers and plastics that things drift away from warm & natural. If you look closely at the JBL 6x9's, you will notice that the cones are treated with some sort of polymer for stiffness and long life. It's not all bad, but like most other things, it's a science. Like you said about your speakers rolling off and such, you still want to use a cross over(HPF) to "numb" that signal going to them. A 6.5" woofer firing 60hz into an open door cavity will be less stimulating than a 12" woofer firing that same signal into a tuned ported or non ported box. Which is why none of the speakers in my Townie, save the sub, are trying to reproduce 60hz or less. Even my 6x9's, I think the HPF starts at around 90 or 100hz. You can turn that thing all the way up with no distortion, although that's also because I don't have the gain at 100% on the external amp either, you need to leave some "room" in the amp for the audio tracks which are more demanding than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by bgreywolf View Post
    Slight hijack--my '86 LTD CV has no rear speakers and no rubber bands. I'm guessing the way to go is to pull the rear deck, drill holes and and screw the speakers, undermounted, with the screws from the top?
    Anyone got experience with putting in aftermarket speakers?
    I've got an Alpine head unit and MB Quart 6.5s and 6x9s that were in my Mustang; time to drag them out of the box (the 6.5s were in my 300ZX before that...have speakers, will travel!)
    I'd go to a yard and find the rubber bands and such rather than drill holes. I used the rubber bands to mount my aftermarket speakers in my box..
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  7. #27
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Don’t forget the fancy (using the term loosely) cardboard insulation padded covers that go below the rubber bandded speakers in the rear deck.

    One thin metal hanger hold those guys in place.
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    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  8. #28

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    would someone put up an image of these rubber bands? I have no idea of what you speak.
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  9. #29
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Huh? Before I put aftermarket JBL's in my Town Car I had factory JBL's- they sounded fabulous. You might want to revisit those threads from gadget about the JBL amps & speakers, he was referring to the amps themselves.. The JBL amp was tuned to work with the crappy deck, least that's my take on it. The JBL speakers from that vintage are much like the JBL speakers I have in my house from the same decade, slightly forward on treble but once dialed back, they are warm and accurate. Which is why I continuously say that at best, aftermarket speakers will only yield a marginal improvement over the factory JBL's, and I say that from the perspective of a car being a not so great environment for listening to music. Yet I've seen speakers, Focal specifically, which had pairs listed for $600+. That is downright ludicrous.

    A car isn't perfect, but is just fine for listening to audio when standing still, it's just the speaker placement which gets in the way and all those other technicalities people like to point out. But, a terrible speaker is still a terrible speaker. And if all someone is comparing their "upgraded" setup to is old factory stuff then it's much like walking into a Bose store in search of something better over your TV's speakers or that soundbar someone got you on clearance for Christmas that one year- Of course it'll sound better! But again, what were you really comparing them to? In the case of Bose specifically, that's why you never see any other speakers in their stores...

    If you were using the amp in your headunit to push those Kenwood speakers, it's no wonder you getting distortion, especially with no crossover(HPF) in place. "Most of the folks" who said the JBL stuff was better.. Hmm, I can't speak for them yet highly doubt they knew what was in there to begin with. And when I replaced my factory tape deck for the Sony (which may have shit the bed already, aftermarket shit..) it was a world of difference in tonal quality and clarity. I don't have too much experience with other people and their set-ups, but the ones I have listened too, boy oh boy, screechy treble and just a bunch of thumpa thumpa from their over boosted sub(s). No midbass/warmth. My poor ear drums. "Doesn't this sound great Derek???" "..er..yeah man, totes!" "Told 'ya you'd love it!"

    Paper is actually wonderful for creating a warm, natural sound. That's why at least Bose speakers usually do great reproducing the spoken voice. It's when manufacturers go nuts with the polymers and plastics that things drift away from warm & natural. If you look closely at the JBL 6x9's, you will notice that the cones are treated with some sort of polymer for stiffness and long life. It's not all bad, but like most other things, it's a science. Like you said about your speakers rolling off and such, you still want to use a cross over(HPF) to "numb" that signal going to them. A 6.5" woofer firing 60hz into an open door cavity will be less stimulating than a 12" woofer firing that same signal into a tuned ported or non ported box. Which is why none of the speakers in my Townie, save the sub, are trying to reproduce 60hz or less. Even my 6x9's, I think the HPF starts at around 90 or 100hz. You can turn that thing all the way up with no distortion, although that's also because I don't have the gain at 100% on the external amp either, you need to leave some "room" in the amp for the audio tracks which are more demanding than others.
    You should note your OWN setup is JBL to JBL... Yes... that will sound good and fit because it's the same brand. Those of us that don't have that luxury have to build out. If you use JBL speakers in a car WITHOUT a JBL amp... you will have peaky frequency issues because the amp isn't tuned to work with the JBL speakers. Regular football amp with JBL speakers will sound better than the stock speakers, but won't be as good as other speakers. Most aftermarket amps are a little flatter than the JBL speakers that have been used in these cars need.

    Also, Bose uses DSP in all of their system to EQ all the speakers. I work for the company that makes the sound processors that Bose uses.

    "Distortion at higher volumes" because I was using the built in amp on the headunit. I pointed that out. It wasn't distorted until it was actually getting close to the "too loud to listen to" area or running ultra-low bass techno. So it makes perfect sense if you stop to think about it instead of getting bent because I said there's something better than old JBL speakers.
    Last edited by sly; 04-09-2019 at 01:37 PM.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  10. #30

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    SLY I read your replies with piqued interest now that you tell of working at firm that makes sound processors. I have been on crutchfield site today looking at alpine monoblock amps (which have adjustable parameters) and a JBL woofer to go on my rear deck where empty hole exists. When you say "football" do you mean the factory amp and sub that hangs on those three metal ears and fires into the foam hole in center of rear deck? I would tap into the rear spkr wires to drive the alpine. I am a true analog vacuum tube guy here for what that is worth.
    "In an insane society a sane man would appear insane." --Spock to Kirk
    2008 GM LS in Smokestone Metallic

  11. #31

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    Should it be easy or hard to put this in my 08 MGM LS where there now is a hole in the metal deck?
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/03-04-05-07....c100005.m1851
    Or should it be possible to put this in my car?
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2003-2011-L...G/182427883821
    Is this self contained unit what people on here call a football? If I were to get just a speaker only, I would buy a monoblock amp and rig it up with signal from nearby rear full range ovals.
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  12. #32
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The rubber band

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-1986-19...QAAOSwpJ5cNd1D

    If you look on either side of the short direction of that 6x9 opening you'll see hooks. The band goes there. The magnet sits in the open hole in the middle of the strap.



    As for the amp EQ thing, the curve is tuned to a mix of the speaker, vehicle, and what the designers wanted it to sound like. I very much doubt it was ever intended to be a flat 20-20k listening experience at your ears. Every part of those systems was specific to the vehicle it came in. The speakers do work fine without the stock amp though. I'm running a pair of 80s Towncar JBL rears in mine from a Kenwood 4 channel amp, though I suspect the stock EQ curve gets the most out of them. Despite the significant bump in power and theoretical quality in the Towncar, I'm not sure that I actually prefer how it sounds to the Continental's setup with ancient Radio Shack rears with dead tweeters, those cheap Kicker dash speakers, and a mismatched pair of late 80s Mark VII JBL door speakers.
    Last edited by gadget73; 04-09-2019 at 07:07 PM.

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  13. #33

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    The rubber band cars then precede the ones like I have where the speaker is screwed in from the top; thus requiring removal of seats and parcel shelf. I think I get it now. Thank you. Still hoping for answer on what exactly the football is? And I do not mean the nuclear codes. I know about that one.
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  14. #34
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    Football amp is the older style premium sound amp. It’s shaped like a football

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  15. #35

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    This looks way foreign to the deck environment in my 08 MGM so thank you for putting that up. Trying to put all this together in my brain before I tear my car apart and hope I get it back together and sounding better.
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  16. #36
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    You should note your OWN setup is JBL to JBL... Yes... that will sound good and fit because it's the same brand. Those of us that don't have that luxury have to build out. If you use JBL speakers in a car WITHOUT a JBL amp... you will have peaky frequency issues because the amp isn't tuned to work with the JBL speakers. Regular football amp with JBL speakers will sound better than the stock speakers, but won't be as good as other speakers. Most aftermarket amps are a little flatter than the JBL speakers that have been used in these cars need.

    Also, Bose uses DSP in all of their system to EQ all the speakers. I work for the company that makes the sound processors that Bose uses.

    "Distortion at higher volumes" because I was using the built in amp on the headunit. I pointed that out. It wasn't distorted until it was actually getting close to the "too loud to listen to" area or running ultra-low bass techno. So it makes perfect sense if you stop to think about it instead of getting bent because I said there's something better than old JBL speakers.
    Easy there Sly, don't confuse getting bent with being passionate & participating in the conversation. I'm not insulting anyone.

    My Lincoln was premium originally. It went from that to Ford/JBL, then to aftermarket JBL Power Series. First thing I did in my Lincoln was toss the premium amp for the JBL one since it's plug & play and that made the biggest improvement. I have to admit that even the Ford Premium speakers aren't too shabby. But I gained a lot of low end from installing the JBL 6x9's in place of the Premium ones. Bass was tighter & deeper and the highs were clearer too. Further improvement was had going to the JBL Power Series stuff but if I remember correctly those things were nearly $300/pair. Compared to Focals those are cheap, but compared to your typical junkyard price of Ford-JBL's at ~$10 bucks, they're expensive and the sound improvement is minimal over the factory JBL's. This is coming from a guy who has played with speakers from Boston-Acoustics (remember when they made car speakers?? Good sounding stuff, SL95's...) Kenwood, Pioneer, Alpine and Sony to name a few. Those were personal experience, others I simply demoed at Car-Tunes or Mickey Shores, two local car audio chain places near me. Boston Acoustics made some of the best speakers I've ever listened to, but I blew at least two sets of those SL95's in my old Grand Am before I learned things such as how to use a high pass filter and such. It wasn't until I chanced upon JBL Power Series that I came across another speaker which sounded almost as great but could actually live when fed low bass that the box advertised it could handle..

    Well just as you point out things that I didn't mention in my responses, you said you used your radio's built in amp yes, but you didn't say anything about realizing it couldn't drive the speakers. Only that "it started to clip at high volumes" so I pointed out why. And yeah, bass is what demands the most from an amp and what kills a speaker prematurely when the amp can't meet said demand and clips.

    Whatever Bose uses, I still think they suck. Overpriced crap with snob appeal packaging.. "No highs or lows, it must be Bose." All of their home audio stuff has left me less than impressed, and this is coming from a guy who grew up around their crap. My dad, that's all he's run since the 80's.. My personal experience with them was their 201 series compared to JBL Northridge N26's. I had the 201's for about six months when I got a pair of N26's to compliment the Bose on front B. The 201's always distorted, but I distinctly remember switching between front A & B and then running them together only to notice how much better the JBL's sounded and that there was absolutely no distortion no matter how much Metallica I threw at them. I was astounded, especially since well, Bose. They were higher in price, raver reviews and yet mediocre in actual comparison. I cringe any time I see a "Bose" badge. I dunno, maybe the stuff installed in cars is ok, like I've always wondered how that stuff sounds in a C4 'Vette.. Perhaps their headphones are good, people rave about them but people rave a lot about things which are actually pretty terrible, especially when compared to other similar things. I really like JBL, but have been equally impressed with Klipsch, Polk, Infinity (Owned by Harmon, yes..), and B&W. B&W's are about the best speakers I've heard, also the most expensive though. I've said/admitted there are things better than JBL. But the point I'm trying to make coincides with things many have already said, such as a car not being the best environment and such; Given the price of aftermarket speakers vs the price of Ford-JBL stuff found in scrap yards, I don't feel there is a better way to go for our cars. Waste of money. I'm trying to help people here, as Greg from Vanguard Motor Sales would say, "Let my experience help you select the best [speaker] for your money!" ..or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    ...As for the amp EQ thing, the curve is tuned to a mix of the speaker, vehicle, and what the designers wanted it to sound like. I very much doubt it was ever intended to be a flat 20-20k listening experience at your ears. Every part of those systems was specific to the vehicle it came in. The speakers do work fine without the stock amp though. I'm running a pair of 80s Towncar JBL rears in mine from a Kenwood 4 channel amp, though I suspect the stock EQ curve gets the most out of them. Despite the significant bump in power and theoretical quality in the Towncar, I'm not sure that I actually prefer how it sounds to the Continental's setup with ancient Radio Shack rears with dead tweeters, those cheap Kicker dash speakers, and a mismatched pair of late 80s Mark VII JBL door speakers.
    I suspect the receivers are different between the two set-ups. Amps make a difference, yes, but in my experience a quality receiver makes a night and day type of difference. I thought things sounded pretty decent with the factory set up but the next upgrade I made was going from the stock Ford tape deck to that Sony receiver. I had to attenuate so much of the lows and then highs, much like an inverse of the curves you've posted in other threads.. When I saw those curves I finally had my answer as to why I had to do that.. Lastly, I noticed a similar difference when I took my Ford-JBL amp out of the equation for the aftermarket JBL unit. I once again had to restore lower bass and mid to upper treble to balance things out again. Then, with those changes in place I replaced all speakers (except for the dash units) with JBL Power series and noticed that slight improvement in sound quality. But realistically for what it is, if I was going to do it again, I'd change the amp and MAYBE the headunit as the stock look is hard to beat and might be more important to me now than overall sound quality.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  17. #37
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    Just be careful your passion doesn't blind you. Just because you think one brand is crap, doesn't always mean all of their stuff is crap. Case in point... the head unit I used in the Lincoln was suited for purpose for about 80-90% of my listening needs. If I had been able to find a low end Kenwood eXcelon model (without all the "bling" features) like I was looking for, I wouldn't have had the distortion until much higher volumes because those models use a much better amplifier chip on the output stage. I have old eXcelons in my 93 and the Expedition (formerly in the Mad Marquis) and those have been stellar, even without subs. I've had similar experiences with Pioneer headunits. Some work great. Some of the even cheaper ones ... not so much. I've even had good experiences with cheapo JVC. Hell... even the Daewoo I got from Walmart for my first car was decent after tweaking the bass/treble settings.

    You are definitely correct on Bose. They use cheap drivers and a lot of EQ/DSP/box shaping to make up for it. They are a high priced midrange speaker with very good marketing wanks. The sound chips we sell them are definitely good bits of kit though. Many other OEMs use variations of them too. Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, Bosch, Delphi, Harmon, and on and on. Most are off the shelf parts from our catalog. Some higher end stuff use some specially modified versions for purpose.

    All this to say... any more, it's really hard to find truly bad head units as far as sound quality is concerned as long as you make sure you get your RMS/nominal ratings at least matched up with, if not higher than, your speakers.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  18. #38
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    heh, Bose. Ever hear a pair of 901's? How about a pair of 901's without the EQ? The EQ has massive low end boost to make them sound right. They do actually sound decent but its like +20db around 40 hz. Unless you've got an amp with lots of horsepower to spare its murder. For reference, a 20db signal increase from 3 watts is 300 watts of power.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  19. #39
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Yes... I have heard 901s. And yeah... no good without the system that was sold with them.

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    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  20. #40
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    Just be careful your passion doesn't blind you. Just because you think one brand is crap, doesn't always mean all of their stuff is crap. Case in point... the head unit I used in the Lincoln was suited for purpose for about 80-90% of my listening needs. If I had been able to find a low end Kenwood eXcelon model (without all the "bling" features) like I was looking for, I wouldn't have had the distortion until much higher volumes because those models use a much better amplifier chip on the output stage. I have old eXcelons in my 93 and the Expedition (formerly in the Mad Marquis) and those have been stellar, even without subs. I've had similar experiences with Pioneer headunits. Some work great. Some of the even cheaper ones ... not so much. I've even had good experiences with cheapo JVC. Hell... even the Daewoo I got from Walmart for my first car was decent after tweaking the bass/treble settings.

    You are definitely correct on Bose. They use cheap drivers and a lot of EQ/DSP/box shaping to make up for it. They are a high priced midrange speaker with very good marketing wanks. The sound chips we sell them are definitely good bits of kit though. Many other OEMs use variations of them too. Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, Bosch, Delphi, Harmon, and on and on. Most are off the shelf parts from our catalog. Some higher end stuff use some specially modified versions for purpose.

    All this to say... any more, it's really hard to find truly bad head units as far as sound quality is concerned as long as you make sure you get your RMS/nominal ratings at least matched up with, if not higher than, your speakers.
    I give credit where it's due. I almost bought a Kenwood receiver for the Lincoln and have had them in the past. Ashley has a Pioneer or Kenny in her F150 that came from her old Town Car. I was hesitant to buy a Sony receiver but did after comparing the features and once I learned Sony made the CD player for Townies with that option. Also why I went with a JBL amp, I'm typically an Alpine guy as I've had better luck with their stuff going the distance than with other companies. I think I had an eXcelon deck in one of my cars before.

    Well, that's like TI instruments' chips.. Those can be found in all kinds of different things, especially in the late 80's through what, the mid 90's? The same dam chip too, like with keyboards and such and even factory radios from what few of them I've actually taken apart. High price midrange speaker.. Hmm, "midrange" might be too much credit in some cases but it's still a great way to describe their products. I think it's safe to say their reputation and status leans heavily on that marketing and packaging combo, bleh.

    Well, I was really trying to emphasize those factory JBL speakers and especially with a stock set-up. I'm not so concerned with the headunit/deck so much if you've got it feeding an external amp and aren't using total trash. Like I thought the stock receiver paired with the JBL amp & speaks was a pretty damn good combo. I didn't think I'd notice much of an improvement when I went to that Sony receiver but that was indeed night and day & I made many an excuse just to drive places or sit in the car and listen to music for extended periods of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    heh, Bose. Ever hear a pair of 901's? How about a pair of 901's without the EQ? The EQ has massive low end boost to make them sound right. They do actually sound decent but its like +20db around 40 hz. Unless you've got an amp with lots of horsepower to spare its murder. For reference, a 20db signal increase from 3 watts is 300 watts of power.
    I believe I have.. Don't those have a bunch of small speakers in a largish cabinet? YEP: http://noaudiophile.com/Bose_901/
    The one set of these I saw at an estate sale had me saying something like, "Yep, Bose quality right there." as not only were the surrounds gone, but those tiny woofers had started to rot away too, crumbly. But the 201's are similar characteristics, muddy bass and distorted highs.. I didn't know that about the requirements of boosting a signal, only that it definitely taxes an amp. Surely puts things into perspective for me and justifies why I typically never boost, only subtract.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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