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Old 22nd May 2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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Well, there's part of the problem right there. If the only crossover component is a protective cap for the tweeter, I should be able to smooth things out quite a bit just by adding a few resistors and caps. The reason I'm tending toward the speaker replacement is that I already have apparently a pretty beefy amp (for stock), and I don't listen at high volume - I just want a higher quality sound. I think the weakest link in my system is probably the speakers. I may check into an amp upgrade after that.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 01:51 PM   #12
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Hmmmm...

Before you replace them, an inductor to LP them would probably help. Cone break-up sounds bad, so if you stop them playing so high, you'll probably get an improvement.
A second order crossover may help to integrate them better, too.

Here's a thought... For a professional, switching head units will be easy. How about you try a different one in, see if you like it. I expect most car audio shops will allow you to do that. You could always use one from the demo wall...
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Old 22nd May 2010, 02:14 PM   #13
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When listening to the system, what is the biggest complaint?

Are you sure that all of the OEM speakers/tweeters are working properly?

What is the impedance of the OEM speakers? Sometimes, low impedance speakers are used to get more power from an amp with limited supply voltage. You may need an amp that can drive 1 ohm if they're using 1 ohm speakers. You can check the impedance of the drivers so you'll know what sort of amp you'll need. If you have to replace low impedance speakers with 4 ohm speakers, you'll lose power/volume.

Many times, the speakers are designed to operate with the limited power available. If you use an aftermarket amp that can drive more power to the speakers, they may not perform any better.

A lot of the OEM amps or head units have equalization built in to compensate for deficiencies of the speakers or problems with the acoustics of the vehicle. Aftermarket amps won't have this equalization and the system may require equalization to sound as good as the OEM amp.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 02:59 PM   #14
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Biggest complaint is some mild distortion - not like a speaker is blown, but like the difference between the sound of my high dollar tube main stereo and the old solid state Sony reciever through old inexpensive speakers in my workout room. This sounds like the workout room.

I'm not sure of the impedence of all the components, but I know the mids in the doors are 4 ohm. They're Pioneer and appear to have a whizzer cone. There are tweeters up high on the doors, then 2 more mids and a 10" sub in the back deck. My understanding is that the amp has 100 watts to the sub and 20 watts to each speaker.

By "an inductor to LP them" I assume you mean put a coil in series with the mids to roll the highs off?

Actually, I might see a big improvement by just doing that with the mids and replacing only the tweeters.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 03:04 PM   #15
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" ... When listening to the system, what is the biggest complaint? ..."

BINGO! Perry hit the nail on the head.

When money is an issue, you need to focus on what needs to be fixed, not what "would sound better" since there are a host of improvements you can make, best done in tandem, that will transform the whole system. But that's expensive.

Factory head amps are not as bad as everyone thinks; if you are not spending $200 chances are all you get are features, not sound improvement. You could spend twice that and STILL end up with bells-and-whistles and no sound improvement.

Speakers are a somewhat better bang-for-the-buck option, but it's also one of the more difficult options to pull off ... especially if sound quality is an issue. Car Audio suffers from a bit of a Jeckyl-And-Hyde syndrome, where the majority of products are there to sound bigger than life, not "real life", which brings up whether you will really achieve your goal of more fidelity within your budget, versus just "more". Still, it's worth exploring.

My personal favorite upgrade on the cheap? A set of "shaker" type transducers mounted under the front seats, coupled with the cheapest 50~100 watt amp you can find. Don't be afraid to bottom-feed with the amp ... these drivers don't need wild amounts of power, distortion figures are a non-issue, and low frequency (as compared to sub frequency, which is actually rare in car audio, despite what people try to sell you) is relatively easy for car amps to produce cleanly anyway. It's the power demand that gets you spending $$$. Make sure the amp has a built-in X-over and level control.

Do that, and you can improve the feel of the bottom, probably turn down the audible LF output of your current system, resulting in a cleaner bass/midbass response, and let the shakers bring back the feel of low bass to the system. The overall synergy works very, very well.

With some convincing LF, you could then add some HF supplement, say, with dash tweeters. The key is balance; you won't be satisfied if the lows or highs are missing when the opposite is present.

Those changes don't require you rip anything out and start over; no matter what you do in the future, you will want to keep the thumpers and that cheap amp under the seats ... guaranteed.

Then take it from there, or not, as your needs and cash allow in the future.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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The shaker idea sounds cool, and I may try that sometime. The lack of deep bass doesn't bother me much though. I really like the idea though, as you definitely know where everyone will be sitting!

I think I'm gonna join the ClubLexus forum, as there have been several discussions about upgrading audio on my model car. I am still in a state of shock to think that in a "premium" sound system they would let most of the drivers run without any crossover components; I'd like to get some confirmation that that is the case before I start planning the upgrade and tear into it.

I'm thinking of using the Vifa OX20SC00-05 tweeters and theTang Band W4-1052SD mids in my upgrade. I'm not sure how the tweeter mounts in there though - it would be nice to find something that is a drop in replacement.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 05:29 PM   #17
Samfi is offline Samfi  United States
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I went this route before, trying to figure out how to improve my system and asking around every where. Just listen to me here. Replace the speakers first. Always. Even the best stock speakers can be beat by $69.99/pr AM speakers.
After trying all the other little recommendations people told me I just went and replaced my speakers and that did the trick. I no longer want to touch my car setup.
Hope this helps.
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Old 24th May 2010, 05:16 AM   #18
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Any reason I would need to use dedicated "car audio" speakers rather than "stereo" speakers? I have picked a couple that are the right size, sensitivity, impedence, etc., then started wondering if I need to worry about any difference in durability in hot/cold environment or other factors unique to car audio.

Here are the drivers I'm considering:
Parts-Express.com:Tang Band W4-1052SD 4" Driver 4 Ohm | full range driver 4" woofer extended range driver tang band tb speakers tangband-41108
Parts-Express.com:Vifa OX20SC00-04 3/4" Fabric Dome Tweeter | Vifa OX25SC65-04 3/4" tweeter vifa vline dome waveguide hf high frequency mtm horn loaded tymphany09
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Old 24th May 2010, 01:44 PM   #19
hispls is offline hispls  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racket Scientist View Post
Any reason I would need to use dedicated "car audio" speakers rather than "stereo" speakers? I have picked a couple that are the right size, sensitivity, impedence, etc., then started wondering if I need to worry about any difference in durability in hot/cold environment or other factors unique to car audio.

Here are the drivers I'm considering:
Parts-Express.com:Tang Band W4-1052SD 4" Driver 4 Ohm | full range driver 4" woofer extended range driver tang band tb speakers tangband-41108
Parts-Express.com:Vifa OX20SC00-04 3/4" Fabric Dome Tweeter | Vifa OX25SC65-04 3/4" tweeter vifa vline dome waveguide hf high frequency mtm horn loaded tymphany09
A well made speaker designed for a car will have great off-axis response (though very few drivers marketed for a car really do). In home applications you're listening position is almost always on-axis, in a car unless you get really custom with your install you're at least 30 degrees off-axis. Also be careful of the mounting depth on that mid. Those neo motors are probably a lot deeper than whatever is in there stock.

The only stuff really designed with "weather resistance" in mind is stuff marketed as "marine"


The tweeter looks like it could be problematic to mount, but I think a couple gobs of hot melt glue would probably get you by.

Otherwise, those components are probably as good as or better than most car specific stuff you'll find retailing for double the price.
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