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Old 11-10-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
murso74
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2008 4WD LX AT
Tangerine Metallic (TM)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: queens, ny
Posts: 983
not satisfied with my sound after upgrading my head unit and speakers

after putting my polk components in front and coaxials in the rear and upgrading my head unit, i feel like the sound is suffering if i don't turn the volume up over the half way point. is that a case of the speakers being under driven? would an amp solve this or would i have to keep the volume up high even with an amp?
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EX conversion checklist: 2010 cooler console: done. storage armrest: done. sun visor with mirrors: done. rear aux outlet: done. overhead console: ordered. sound system upgrade: aftermarket. center console sub: done
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
Audiophyle
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2004 4WD EX MT
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Can you elaborate on whats got you disappointed? The E is an insanely loud vehicle inside from road noise, wind noise, and panel vibrations. Its no surprise that you need the volume up louder to fully enjoy the dynamics of music, and the higher power speakers mean the volume on the deck needs to be just a little bit higher also to get to a similar volume because of the speaker's reduced efficiency. (lower efficiency at the cost of greater power handling and capability)

The issue could also be install related. I dont know how well your speakers fit or how you mounted them, but the OEMs had a perfect snug fit into the door panel. To get the most out of these speakers you need to mount them better than the OEMs were, which means a little more work than just screwing them into the plastic.


There is no such thing as under powering a speaker, if there was then no one would ever be able to turn the volume down without risking their speakers.
What most people equate to under powering is actually hard clipping, where the volume is driven past what the deck/amp can provide cleanly, which can very quickly overheat a voice coil and kill a speaker (even one rated a lot higher in power). Typically never an issue unless you have the volume pegged & still want more, at which point you need to turn it down a bit & then find some amps. (or larger)
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
murso74
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i feel like i'm almost missing a whole dynamic range in the middle unless its cranked. it could be the noise inside the cabin is drowning it out. as far as mounting goes i used a small metal bit to drill through the plastinc and into the sheet metal behind and drove the screws through the speakers and into the metal. i may need longer screws for the front however so i'm going to try and get those and remount.

i never have the volume pegged, as it would be way to loud but i find myself at about 3/4 and it starts to get very "bright" however i'm worried that if i attenuate the tweeters down 3 db on the crossover i'll have difficulty making out anything at lower volumes. it just seems like at low volumes i could actually hear the old crappy LX system better.

reading that other thread you're posting in i'm now also wondering if i should even drop this stock sub in place. i just ran the power cable the other day, but maybe i should use that power for a 4 channel amp
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EX conversion checklist: 2010 cooler console: done. storage armrest: done. sun visor with mirrors: done. rear aux outlet: done. overhead console: ordered. sound system upgrade: aftermarket. center console sub: done

Last edited by murso74; 11-10-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
Audiophyle
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Have any pics of the speakers & how you installed them? Luckily the grills just pop right off, and pics would really help.

The lack of midrange you are experiencing is the same thing my E had when I bought it, which was poorly installed speakers. (not saying you did it wrong or anything)
The door opening is not very friendly to aftermarket speakers, and is probably a part of the issue. I could be wrong though, which is why I would like to see pics.

Are the speakers wired correctly? Are you sure the polarity is correct on all speakers?
Is the speaker polarity correct behind the radio too? With a single speaker wired backward you can almost kill any low end sound, which was also the case with mine when I got it. It sounded HORRIBLE, and then fixing polarity issues made a little bit of a difference, and then revisiting the speaker mounting made a huge difference.

Do you have the "loud" feature on/off on the deck? If its on (some do by default) it can do similar things to the sound, by boosting highs & lows at low/mid volume which would make a weak midrange sound even weaker by comparison.
Try using the EQ to raise various regions of sound and see if you cant get it to sound a little better, but mostly record what freq range seems to be your problem area.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
murso74
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2008 4WD LX AT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophyle View Post
Have any pics of the speakers & how you installed them? Luckily the grills just pop right off, and pics would really help.

The lack of midrange you are experiencing is the same thing my E had when I bought it, which was poorly installed speakers. (not saying you did it wrong or anything)
The door opening is not very friendly to aftermarket speakers, and is probably a part of the issue. I could be wrong though, which is why I would like to see pics.

Are the speakers wired correctly? Are you sure the polarity is correct on all speakers?
Is the speaker polarity correct behind the radio too? With a single speaker wired backward you can almost kill any low end sound, which was also the case with mine when I got it. It sounded HORRIBLE, and then fixing polarity issues made a little bit of a difference, and then revisiting the speaker mounting made a huge difference.

Do you have the "loud" feature on/off on the deck? If its on (some do by default) it can do similar things to the sound, by boosting highs & lows at low/mid volume which would make a weak midrange sound even weaker by comparison.
Try using the EQ to raise various regions of sound and see if you cant get it to sound a little better, but mostly record what freq range seems to be your problem area.
i'll try to take a picture tomorrow. i've turned off the loudness and the seating position to try and diagnose the problem. i was very careful with my wiring however it is always possible i made a mistake. may have to get in there with a meter and check the leads to be sure. i tried to get cute with the wiring so i wouldnt' have to run anything through the door. basically i have the harness from the radio goign extended to the kick panels where the cross over is and then back to the car harness for the door mid. i want to shorten these up eventually but i'm having trouble finding a place to put the fairly large cross overs near the center console.
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EX conversion checklist: 2010 cooler console: done. storage armrest: done. sun visor with mirrors: done. rear aux outlet: done. overhead console: ordered. sound system upgrade: aftermarket. center console sub: done
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #6
Rob Dobbs
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This may help to show what will fit under the stock panels when mounting speakers. Always test fitment before making anything permanent. Get some CLD Tiles as well and seal the doors up. The E as mentioned is horrible with cabin noise. The 03 I had was night and day compared to the 07 SC I now have. Even then, after the installer was done with the 07 SC, it again was night and day. In the 03 I had to yell to talk to someone, in the SC especially now, I can hear a whisper.



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Old 11-10-2012, 11:15 PM   #7
murso74
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2008 4WD LX AT
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Location: queens, ny
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was really hoping i wouldn't have to go through all that modification to solve this. i don't feel like i had to turn up the stock system as loud as i do with the aftermarket. going to check the fitment of my front speakers in the morning
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EX conversion checklist: 2010 cooler console: done. storage armrest: done. sun visor with mirrors: done. rear aux outlet: done. overhead console: ordered. sound system upgrade: aftermarket. center console sub: done
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
Wrenchmeister
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You are not using the stock amp...are you?
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:28 AM   #9
murso74
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2008 4WD LX AT
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Location: queens, ny
Posts: 983
nope i have an LX... all being run off the sony head unit
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EX conversion checklist: 2010 cooler console: done. storage armrest: done. sun visor with mirrors: done. rear aux outlet: done. overhead console: ordered. sound system upgrade: aftermarket. center console sub: done
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #10
Audiophyle
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You dont need to pull the door panel & deaden the doors to get better sound.
What Ive done in the past is pop the grill off & with care & a sharp utility knife carve out the plastic around where the speaker mounts. Stay away from the points where the grill clips in & it will go right back on afterwards & no one will ever see the install.
Then just cut out a couple wood rings very similar to RobDobbs pictures. No need to carpet them but sealing with spray paint can go a long way. Then mount the wood baffles & speaker directly to the door metal, and you will notice a dramatic improvement in sound.

The new speakers need a lot more power than the OEMs did, your new deck is putting out more power than the OEM but that bump in power is smaller than the bump in demand your new speakers have. That make sense? Reinforcing the speaker mounting (wood baffles) will improve the speakers efficiency and get you a little more output in the process. Like trying to jump on a treadmill that is on a larger treadmill, the speaker mounting needs to be rock solid to get the most impact from the cone. Any panel flex basically absorbs the cone movement, reduces its output.
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Last edited by Audiophyle; 11-15-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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