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  • Need advice on car stereo speakers

    I want to upgrade my four 6.5 coaxal speakers in my car. I don't think building them would be very feasible for me so I'd like to purchase 4 for 150.00-300.00. I have mid-grade Alpines in my other car and they are not bad but I'd like a little better. Now if any of you know a good speaker that is a sleeper price wise that would be great. It has been a really long time since I have purchased any car stereo speakers and I know there is a lot of junk out there, even under the tried and true brands. I'm going to upgrade the entire system, but I want to start with speakers.

  • #2
    Three questions: 1. What car and head unit? (ok, that's really two) 2. What's the maximum speaker depth? and 3. Do you have a sub-woofer?
    "Everything is nothing without a high sound quality." (Sure Electronics)

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    • #3
      2112 Subaru Outback, stock stereo for now. 3in. mounting depth, I don't plan on a sub. Going to install a 50x4 amp. Unsure of what head unit I will be buying. I have basic needs, just one that will do an Aux cord, Bluetooth, CD, and XM. Don't care about or want navi.

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      • #4
        Do you want to install upgraded coaxials or do you want to upgrade FROM coaxials? Most would choose the latter.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DanMan View Post
          Do you want to install upgraded coaxials or do you want to upgrade FROM coaxials? Most would choose the latter.
          +1. Separate tweeters mounted high are much better than coaxes that shoot the highs at your knees.
          Now if any of you know a good speaker that is a sleeper price wise that would be great.
          By and large good quality auto sound drivers are way over priced. Stay away from them, go with standard drivers, keeping in mind they should be high Q (at least .50) with poly cones. There's a huge selection in the 6.5 inch size, including 2 ohm if you need that.

          www.billfitzmaurice.com
          www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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          • #6
            Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
            +1. Separate tweeters mounted high are much better than coaxes that shoot the highs at your knees.
            By and large good quality auto sound drivers are way over priced. Stay away from them, go with standard drivers, keeping in mind they should be high Q (at least .50) with poly cones. There's a huge selection in the 6.5 inch size, including 2 ohm if you need that.
            I have tweeters in the corners of the windshield that I haven't addressed yet, but will so tweeters up 'high" will be taken care of. I don't have to have coaxes but what about crossovers? If I just buy some nice 4ohm drivers they will need something, as well as the tweeters... Will a simple cap do? I don't mind at all going the "make it myself route" but having made a couple of pairs of speakers, crossovers can get mighty expensive. I do notice in bought car speakers they are just using caps so if it works for them? I'm not trying to blow my mind with car audio, I just want good sound, I suspect road noise covers up most of the small nuances one hears out of our home speakers anyways.

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            • #7
              You need crossovers, preferably 2nd order LP/3rd order HP. With the 3kHz or so crossover you'd use from 6.5s the component cost would be reasonable. Stock systems tend to use 1st order HP, using NPE caps, with no LP at all, because that's the cheapest way to do it. It works, but it doesn't work very well.
              www.billfitzmaurice.com
              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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              • #8
                If you want to go the commercial route the Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System seems to get good reviews. At $160/pair on Amazon (crossovers included) it's just slightly over your budget. However if it was me I'd be looking at the Zaph Audio ZA5 Autosound component system (also with crossovers) over at the Madison Wisconsin based retailer. It's a 5 inch woofer versus 6.5 inch, but I am biased toward it. Yet another approach is to put more $$$ in the up front pair and less in the rear. I don't like to consciously like to hear the rear speakers and I'm alone most of the time.
                "Everything is nothing without a high sound quality." (Sure Electronics)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ernperkins View Post
                  If you want to go the commercial route the Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System seems to get good reviews. At $160/pair on Amazon (crossovers included) it's just slightly over your budget. However if it was me I'd be looking at the Zaph Audio ZA5 Autosound component system (also with crossovers) over at the Madison Wisconsin based retailer. It's a 5 inch woofer versus 6.5 inch, but I am biased toward it. Yet another approach is to put more $$$ in the up front pair and less in the rear. I don't like to consciously like to hear the rear speakers and I'm alone most of the time.
                  Even my less expensive alpines sound good enough in my other car. I'm sure these are nice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                    You need crossovers, preferably 2nd order LP/3rd order HP. With the 3kHz or so crossover you'd use from 6.5s the component cost would be reasonable. Stock systems tend to use 1st order HP, using NPE caps, with no LP at all, because that's the cheapest way to do it. It works, but it doesn't work very well.
                    This all sounds really cool but how am I going to design a crossover? You guys are truly the gurus and although I do understand (somewhat) what is going on with all the caps, resisters and coils, I am light years behind. Another way I look at it is my 90.00 a pair Alpines sound good with just caps, the ones I make should sound better. But if you are talking a simple (inexpensive) crossover I could do that to.

                    This is what I'd like to use

                    https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...-ohm--264-1472

                    https://www.parts-express.com/goldwo...4-ohm--290-308

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                    • #11
                      I like to use JL. I have C3 650's in the front and C2 570's in the rear. They might be somewhat over priced, but my local dealers discount 30% or more.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ernperkins View Post
                        Alpine SPR-60C 6.5" Car Audio Component System ... $160/pair on Amazon]
                        IMO that's an example of way overpriced. It may be a good enough system, but since Alpine doesn't publish a single meaningful spec how is one to know?
                        They might work well, better than OEM for sure. A generic crossover would suffice, it's not like you'll be able to tell much difference in a car.
                        www.billfitzmaurice.com
                        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                          IMO that's an example of way overpriced. It may be a good enough system, but since Alpine doesn't publish a single meaningful spec how is one to know?
                          They might work well, better than OEM for sure. A generic crossover would suffice, it's not like you'll be able to tell much difference in a car.
                          I was thinking the same thing. I'm going to look at generic X0's and post some examples to see if they match the tweeter and the woofer. Lets see if I know what I am doing. Ha.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by breadfan View Post

                            I was thinking the same thing. I'm going to look at generic X0's and post some examples to see if they match the tweeter and the woofer. Lets see if I know what I am doing. Ha.
                            I don't like the generic stuff, rather just build a simple cap and coil, it looks like it would be less expensive. Any advise on a simple X0 for these two speakers? I will also see what I can come up with.

                            https://www.parts-express.com/peerle...-ohm--264-1472
                            https://www.parts-express.com/goldwo...4-ohm--290-308

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                            • #15
                              The secret to getting the best results starts with the head unit. Get one that offers active filtering and EQ, and forget about the passive x-over stuff. If you ARE going to go for the passive x-over approach, just bear in mind that there's a lot more involved than just tossing caps and coils at the problem, if you want to get the best results. Mounting the tweeters high for example sounds great - unless you cross them over just ***slightly*** too low, which results in your car stereo sounding like almost all the sound is coming from your nearest tweeter. The only way to correct something like that is to use a deck that has time alignment capabilities AND individual EQ options for each channel.

                              ​I took some hints from my car's OEM setup and designed my main speakers to be full range as possible (read: DIY coaxials), and the tweeters in the A pillars were crossed over pretty high, around 8~10kHz @6dB. I also use active EQ to trim the upper frequency output a bit and deal with a peak @1kHz which would have made the passive x-over a lot more bulky and expensive if I chose to deal with it passively. I used REW and a good mike for frequency response measurements and DATS for impedance measurements, and use the results in XSim to design the x-over. My car's system is always a "work in progress", but I'm pretty happy with the results.
                              Brian Steele
                              www.diysubwoofers.org

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