bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/1/18 2:46 p.m.

SInce I'm driving the Sierra now daily, I can't handle the stereo in it any more. Back in '07 we replaced the stock single disc head unit with a Sony that had (don't laugh) a nice iPod cord built in. Worked fine. Stock speakers (non-bose truck) were obviously terrible so I replaced them at the same time with some 6.5" Pioneer 2-way's. 11 years later..... and the rears work randomly and when they do they are half static, the fronts have always been very tinny and it's NEVER had any decent midrange or a hint of lows. It's just terrible. 

So... suggestions on making it livable again. I want bluetooth connectivity, decent sound and god damnit I want some bass again. I'm ok with an underseat sub or even a behind the rear bench slim box. Doesn't need to be show quality just clean, clear and crisp. I'm planning on adding some sound deadening on the doors and rear bulk head at the same time. 

And go!

barefootskater
barefootskater HalfDork
11/1/18 3:00 p.m.

Good stuff here: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/more-stereo-questions/135581/page1/

Ended up with two tiny 3-way 4x6 pioneers (that's what fit without trimming) and 100w pushing a little voxel sub. EQ control is important, most decent HU's have pretty good control these days. Sounded great in my s10 for pretty small investment. 10/10 would do again.

FWIW I have yet to hear a decent sound come from a bluetooth connection. Hard cables are my only method. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/1/18 3:10 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

MAybe I'm spoiled by the wife's car. Factory BT audio is really good. The truck doors are made for 6.5-6.75" speakers. The front has placement for a tweeter to run a component set up. The rear is just a single 6.5-6.75" hole.

Consensus of running 6.5" components in the rear without the tweeter hooked up to it's crossover? Run the components up front with tweeter, rears just being a 6.5" midrange? 

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
11/1/18 3:16 p.m.

The Sony headunit is probably still fine.  Does it have an aux port?  It'd be trivial to add a bluetooth aux adapter like a Himbox or  SoundSync that do handsfree calling and audio streaming.  That frees you up to add an amp for the speakers and a sub, which I know less about.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/1/18 3:36 p.m.

I'll be honest, I've never liked this head unit. The layout and beeping when you exit feature is bad. Adding an amp is easy peasy. Done that a few times. I've been looking at the slim under seat powered units for a sub. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/1/18 3:57 p.m.

If you really want to get some decent sound out of it you'll probably also want to pull the carpet/door panels, and maybe a few other things and add some sound deadening.

EDIT: I skipped your very last sentence where you mention that. It made a HUGE difference in interior comfort when we did it in my E30.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/2/18 7:01 a.m.

thoughts on the speaker foam surrounds for the doors? I've never used them before and have no experience.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/2/18 9:25 a.m.

Do you mean something like these?

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_237XT652/XTC-6-1-2-Speaker-Baffles-Slim-line-2-3-8-depth.html?tp=2809&awkw=75735300985&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=48387289705&awdv=c&awug=9026271&gclid=CjwKCAjw6-_eBRBXEiwA-5zHaT6_fc6R9xAaJJ0NAtGNunNCp3YX9H9QE-gJtwJpvAL3Nh9KylgYwRoCMbwQAvD_BwE

 

Those are really more for weather protection than anything. My old 300ZX ruined a pair of very high end components back in the day, when the window seal suddenly started leaking and ran all over the 6.5" 

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
11/2/18 10:00 a.m.

Interested in the sound deadening part of the equation.

The internet seems to just throw Dynamat (or other MLV equivalent) at every surface that it can find.

I when we discussed it here last, the consensus was that Dynamat is just used to change the frequency at which an object resonates, so you don't need a ton of it. Then overlay other surfaces with the fiber like stuff for the frequency range you're trying to get rid of.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
11/2/18 10:06 a.m.

Hardcore here. The system below is all built with craigslist parts. But one sub and two really good door speakers and it will blow almost any factory system out of the water and then some. On a smaller scale in a truck I would suggest a hidden box under the rear seats with a single 8 or 10. Front and rear door speakers and a decent 5 channel amp. 

Sound deadening makes a difference, you don;t need to add 400lb's of it but knock a panel with your finger if it resonates then slap some on and then move to the next panel. 

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/2/18 1:26 p.m.

The truck is fairly decent with road/wind noise. The doors have a liner between the plastic and the metal that has padding so they're not bad. The roof though.... heavy rain and you can't hear your own thoughts. Same with the rear bulk head behind the rear seat. It's very hollow/tinny sounding and lots of noise comes in there. I've thought the spray in to help the doors, a couple of squares for the roof and lining the rear bulk head is what I hope to get done. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
11/2/18 1:41 p.m.

Last time I built out a budget stereo setup was in my 2009 WRX about 10 years ago now (wow, it's been that long!). I had mid-level Kicker 6.5" speakers in all four doors, a small 300w Kenwood amp that I've had forever powering a 12" Pioneer sub in a truck wedge box, and an Alpine head unit in the dash with an iPod Classic cable interface. It was about $350 total for everything and sounded really good, especially at that price. I slapped it together the weekend I brought the car home from the dealer. 

If I had to do it now, a Bluetooth head unit would definitely be on the list. Last one I bought was for my Dakota; a Kenwood digital media-only head unit that I grabbed on sale for $50 a couple years ago. For that price, it's incredible. It has tons of sound tailoring options and the media streaming sounds great. It also has an aux-in AND a USB port! Only complaint is that if you have a phone hooked up to the USB port, it bypasses the Bluetooth functionality. I wish there was a way for you to shut that off and use it to charge the device without data transfer.  

travellering
travellering HalfDork
11/2/18 4:35 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

I believe These are the rings you are referring to?  I have not had any personal experience with them, but if you think your midbass loss up front is due to gaps between the speaker's front and rear, they should help tremendously.  I will be purchasing some this winter for my Citroen CX, as there is literally no bass coming out of the polk DB coaxes i have up front in there.  They are mounted to the plastic trim panel and there are three large gaps around the edge of the place they mount.  I can improve the midbass just by holding my hands over a couple of these holes, so blocking them off will make music much better in there.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
11/2/18 5:05 p.m.

I went shopping earlier today. Crutchfield has stupid cheap speakers. I was seeing rear speakers for my Corolla from people like jl audio, focal, etc for...150 bucks. Speakers and power have gotten CHEAP. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
11/2/18 6:08 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

Since when is $150 for speakers "stupid cheap?"  Sounds like you might be one of those "one-percenters" we're reading about in that other thread.laugh

travellering
travellering HalfDork
11/2/18 6:46 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

Many of the old name brand car audio companies have either completely sold out to, or are having low end equipment made by, Chinese manufacturers.  This does allow the purchase of what used to be car audio shop level speakers at what used to be the upper end of box store pricing.  

$150 for a pair of speakers is not "stupid cheap" if you are comparing it to a head unit and four speakers for $99, a common price point for Walmart and the like.  It does seem cheap if you are comparing it to a $500 component set from the Rockford Fosgates and MB Quarts of fifteen years ago, but these are not that level of speaker.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
11/2/18 7:00 p.m.

In reply to travellering :

That's where I'm at. In used to speakers being 500$  a set. I am a cheapass, but I dont skimp on audio. 

pjbgravely
pjbgravely HalfDork
11/4/18 12:32 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

... Only complaint is that if you have a phone hooked up to the USB port, it bypasses the Bluetooth functionality. I wish there was a way for you to shut that off and use it to charge the device without data transfer. 

 

Try to find a power only cord, they used to come with USB chargers.

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
11/4/18 1:40 p.m.

But regardless of the speakers if the sound source is inferior you will get inferior sound.  Maybe just more of it.

For so long everyone wanted, no demanded, higher quality sound and then suddenly with the advent of hand held devices like iPods with limited storage space compressed limited playback quality & range became the norm.

So what's your input source?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/6/18 7:19 a.m.

I've never paid more than $60 for a pair of speakers. Ever. I had some decent sounding cars over the years. The old Accent was one of the better. I ran 5.25 components in the front door using the factory tweeter location and a pair of 6x8's in the rear deck ran off of a Pioneer headunit. It didn't have ground pounding bass but it had a nice, clear broad range that made me happy. The old Elantra ran 6.5" 3-way pioneer door speakers and 6x9 rear deck speakers. It was really good. 

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
11/6/18 9:17 a.m.
carguy123 said:

But regardless of the speakers if the sound source is inferior you will get inferior sound.  Maybe just more of it.

For so long everyone wanted, no demanded, higher quality sound and then suddenly with the advent of hand held devices like iPods with limited storage space compressed limited playback quality & range became the norm.

So what's your input source?

12" 78 RPM vinyls with an air bearing based table, or go home.

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
11/6/18 10:26 a.m.

If you're just looking for improved sound, you can do it a bit at a time.  I would ditch the Pioneer speakers.  They're aged and weren't very great to start with.  If you don't like the Sony HU, step up to a Kenwood excelon line.  Mine has the Ipod cord built in as well.  It controls, everything.  The bluetooth is sweet, too.

Speakers:  If you're just running them from the HU, don't spend money on the high-end versions of speakers.  As an extreme generalization, within one brand of speakers you might have the standard line, the upgraded line, and the audiophile line.  Mostly it's cone and surround upgrades, but they also get bigger magnets.  The bigger magnets means they can control the cones better, but only if you have the higher wattage to do it.  Simply putting really good speakers on a HU amp will likely kill bass response since that takes the most power to create and control.

My vanilla suggestion is to replace your speakers with something like Fosgate Punch (mid level) and drive them with a 4 x 50w or 4 x 80w amp.  That will vastly improve things for not much money.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
11/6/18 10:56 a.m.

WATTS are cheap now. IT was darn near a 1$ a watt not even 12-14 years ago. The new speakers are also much much better. A set of 125$ Hertz will go toe to toe with an older set of MB quart references. Especially as you can buy super clean class D amps designed around speakers now for 200$ even from JL. 

 

All of that aside. Installation is where you get your bang for the buck. A 100$ speaker in a well designed enclosure or in a door that is prepped properly will blow a 500$ focal installed normally out of the water every single time. Good sound deadening. Making the door a sealed unit and really picking your crossover points can make a 500-1K system sing where a 5K system falls flat on its face but looks pretty and has good components. 

 

 

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