Problem with JBL speaker system

Hi everyone

I recently bought a Peugeot 406 Coupe which had a factory fitted sound system consisting of a Clarion CD/Tape/RDS radio and JBL speakers. It's likely the same system as fitted to the SE version of the 406 saloon.

I find this system sounds very disagreeable to me; the more so at low/medium volumes. :mad: Bass is OK, top hi's are OK, but the midrange sounds bad. It sounds 'tight' and it sounds 'hollow', like the musicians are playing in a potty. We have two of these cars in the family, and the audio systems sound exactly the same, so it's a generic issue rather than a fault.

I think it's a speaker or a crossover issue, but where and how? :(

The rear speakers are two JBL 9"x6" (or possibly 8"x5") fitted in the rear parcel shelf. Permanent rear headrests obstruct any sound except that reflected off the rear window. These speakers have very little air volume around them because they sit in shaped recesses pressed into the body steel, with only the magnets protruding into the boot space. I find this suspicious.
In addition there are two rear tweeters, angled forwards, mounted where the rear doors would be if there were any. I'm also concerned about difference in path length here.

The front speakers are two (probably) JBL about 8" round mounted in the lower front corners of the doors (with unknown air volume behind them, and two tweeters mounted on the front dash, firing upwards. My old Opel Kavalier had a similar setup in front with about a 6-7" round and a dashboard tweeter, and this modest system sounded much better than the (supposedly) superior JBLs in the Peugeot.

When I cover the tweeter, the main speaker still sounds bad, I don't know what sort of crossovers they use in car audio nowadays, but I this could also be a problem area. Bad choice of crossover frequency, perhaps?

Has anyone had a similar experience with the sound systems fitted in these Peugeots and could recommend what action to take.


Regards

John
 
There's a chance the speakers just...aren't any good, that's the way it is with all of the stock car systems I've ever seen, except of course for the high end ones. They're probably just $5 speakers with no real crossovers powered by a measly 7-10 rms each. I can't speak about that system in particular, but most of the ones in the US use extremely cheap generic speakers (normally not even made by the audio company that's advertised, jbl in your case). The mids have no lowpass and the tweets have a simple cap in series to keep them from being damaged, that's it. Your best bet is probably just to replace the speakers with something respectable, I haven't found a stock system I agreed with in a long time.
 
Yes, you're probably right.
The Clarion itself it quite a reasonable system: I would estimate 25W-45W rms x 4 based on listening to it and observing the size of the heatsink fitted to the power amp module in the boot. It really rocks (and sounds a lot better) if you wind it up.

When I'm feeling brave and don't mind dismantling half the car I'll try taking out one of the main speakers to have a look at what it is.

John