Speaker suggestions for a decent sound system

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  1. Kern Dog

    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    My 2007 Ram has the stock Infiniti 7 speaker system and works quite well. Our '15 Challenger has a mid level sound system and is decent but not quite as good as the truck. Both do have a decent midrange tone to them.
    My '70 Charger has a traditional Kenwood AM/FM CD player with 2 6X9s in the rear deck and 4" speakers in the lower front kick panels. The sound is not very good. Newer cars seem to have a fuller sound. My Charger sounds tinny and hollow. I do have sound deadener under the carpet. For awhile, I had a home made box under the speakers but it seems to sound about the same without it.
    I put this stereo in several years ago and while it is much better than the AM radio and a single speaker in the dash, it is still not that good. I don't need window shaking bass. I just want a decent setup to enhance the driving experience.
    I don't know what brands are good nowadays. Years ago I remember people with Clarion, Sony, JVC, Pioneer and Kenwood speakers but today, I am not familiar with what people are using.
    I wish that I could test some speakers without feeling like a jerk for returning the ones I don't like.
    What are you happy with?
     
  2. Lionized

    Lionized Well-Known Member

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    JBL
     
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    • Kern Dog

      Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Thanks for that extensive explanation.
       
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      • 1972GY8SE

        1972GY8SE FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        The most significant mistake people make with car audio is the speaker selection: mostly speaker power requirements (not brand names).
        Folks think a higher wattage speaker is the best choice because bigger is better, and this is not the case.
        The speaker's performance is relative to amp output.
        You are better off overpowering a speaker than underpowering. (within reason)
        I bet you have a set mega watt triaxles in the rear of your charger; If so, they are consuming more power (wattage) than the in-dash unit can provide, not to mention the energy your front speakers are consuming. As a result, they sound weak and tinny.
        I would try a set of low wattage 6x9s (minimal wattage requirements).
        One of the best sounding systems I had in my 70 was a set Jenson coaxials with a 200-watt amp.
         
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        • BSB67

          BSB67 Well-Known Member

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          I made the mistake described above for my boat just in the last month. The wattage output rating on your Kenwood head unit, despite the "rated wattage" output is probably 15 watts per channel. Generally the better the speaker, the more wattage it needs to perform adequately. So as backwards as this sounds, don't by a "good" expensive speaker unless you have an amplifier, or you have a D series amp head unit, which I'm guessing is unlikely.

          I have not fixed my problem yet, so I don't have a specific recommendation. But this is what I'll be looking for in a 6.5" diameter speaker: 4 ohm, 30 watt RMS, 90+dB sensitivity. Probably less than $40.
           
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          • Curiousyellow71

            Curiousyellow71 Well-Known Member

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            I think infinity discontinued what I have...and it's been 10 years so my memory may be fuzzy on the details....but I am running a infinity 200 watt subwoofer that has its own enclosure and amp...it delivers what it sounds like your are looking for....it's not for the boomy low bass...its high quality mid bass(hq bass). I also am running a Sony 300 watt amp running my 6x9s in boxes and 4" rounds in the dash. The radio is a older custom sounds that has a input jack for plugging in your phone or a CD changer,etc. The quality of the recording is huge as far as sound quality. The way it's set up it pretty well blows away the new cars and it will thump...just not like sub in a box. Try looking for a amplified subwoofer that produces high quality bass. Anything with a big box is for hitting the lows and rattling the roof. A reasonably priced amp for your other speakers will make it crisper with more volume. In my 07 mega cab I took out the storage box behind the back seat...built my own box and am running a 12" kicker with a 300 watt amp. It will vibrate your skull...which is really helpful when I list to talk radio. Lol. I don't really care for it...would do it differently if I did it again... the infinity amplified subwoofer with a sony amp running the other 4 channels sounds great...I like it better then my boomy kicker subwoofer box. Haven't looked at what is offered now to recommend much.
            But if I was looking I would get a amp for the 6x9 and front speakers and look for a self contained subwoofer that has it's own amp...and is designed for high quality bass.
             
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            • moparmarks

              moparmarks FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              I have 6.5" Kicker speakers in my Dakota with a JVC deck and the factory amp. Sounds real good. I also have a small 80 watt amp feeding a 10" sub. Doesn't rattle the windows 4 blocks away but I don't need that. I also have 6 Kickers and a 12" sub with 2 amps in my 72 Dart.
              Kicker are real popular speakers. They have 3 levels. I used the mid-level ones. Kicker, Alpine, Polk Audio, JBL and Infiniti are today's good American speakers. I never cared for Sony, Pioneer and Kenwood speakers.
               
              Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
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              • 69L48Z27

                69L48Z27 Well-Known Member

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                You’re looking to outfit the Charger correct? Two things you need to consider before speakers. One is the head unit and/or amps, that’s where the quality starts. Second is the acoustics of the car and it’s surfaces, reflecting off that big back window isn’t helping. Sound barrier on the floor only isn’t going to cut it IMO. Everyones definition of audio is different and really comes down to budget. For contrast, I just did a RetroSound radio with their dual speaker center speaker with Pioneer 2-way 6x9s (cheap) in the package tray under the deck (no cut) and under the package tray. Sound quality is good for what I was looking for and budget, they have a quality head unit. I used to do competition car audio in the 90’s, this is nowhere near any of that.

                Decide what you want to spend and go from there. Also, you can take 5 speakers and test them all in the same environment and you’ll be hard pressed to find a difference when powered from a head unit.
                 
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                • moparmarks

                  moparmarks FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  A sound system is only as good as your ears.
                   
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                  • Billccm

                    Billccm FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    I'd call Crutchfield and discuss. They give good advice and believe it or not, they don't always recommend the most expensive.
                     
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                    • Paul Boucher

                      Paul Boucher FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Kern, I would be glad to help. I worked for years in high school and college selling and installing auto audio and have had everything from a small system in my mom's Town and Country to $5000-8000 systems competing in DB drag races and Sound Quality Competitions. It has been a while, but the principles of sound still apply. Wattage and DB kind of like HP and Torque.

                      :lol:

                      If you are running your speakers in your Charger from your head unit (even though probably a good head unit (I used to run only Kenwood high end head units)), then they probably still don't sound that great. Reason being is that your head unit is probably only capably of putting out 15 to 40 watts per channel at the most, and you are most likely under powering your speakers.

                      If you added a small 4 channel amplifier you might be surprised at the pick up in the sound you gain. Though it does depend on the speakers you have now. If they are decent and have a good Wattage / DB rating, then you might be OK. If you have the specs I can definitely let you know what you might be able to do with them.

                      If you are looking to upgrade all around, then I would definitely suggest a 4 channel amp in addition to speakers. I think based on what you said, you would not need a subwoofer as you can get a decent amount of bass from a good pair of 6x9s. Plus you can always add one later if you want to push it.

                      Something you need to be aware of with the rear deck speakers is that you need to be sure you are looking for ones that are made for your application. If you have them in a box, or they just protrude through the package tray into the trunk. If you do not have a box, you want ones set up for a "free air" application. This it the same concept for home "in ceiling" speakers. They are set up to use a larger volume of space in order to help control the cone. This can make a difference in your sound. And with the volume of the old Mopar's trunks, this can make a huge difference! If you can build a box around them, then this might help with the sound, again depending on what speakers you have now and if that is how they are meant to be set up boxed or free air.

                      Also, your front speakers in the kick panels may have issues if they are the standard plastic kick panels. This is due to the fact that they don't seal against the fender wall and allow sound to leak out. Also, the kick panel will vibrate as the cone moves back and forth affecting the sound. The sound deadener is good, but is being negated by the faults of the kick panel. If you can put a foam gasket (like the window or door gasket foam you can pick up at the hard ware store) around the inside edge of the kick panel to help seal them and make sure they are torqued down well, that alone may help with the sound. Some added fiberglass to the back side of the kick panel to stiffen it up would help as well.

                      I think your speaker size would give you exactly what you want, it's just in the application/installation. Like trying to put a 273 in front of a Dana 60 4.55. Just not going to do much. But put in a 440, then your cooking. Or in your case put a nice 383 in with a 8-3/4 3.55 and you can still have fun, but not over do it. Same concepts.

                      As for brands, I can say most still apply: Stay away from cheap brands like Dual, Boss, HiFonics, etc. (especially those claiming bogus wattage ratings like 2000 watt rated for $50). Good Entry to Mid Level Brands: Kenwood, Memphis Audio, JL Audio, Kicker, Infinity, JBL (owned by Inifity, and what I had in my last system), Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, Polk, Focal, Diamond Audio, and a few others. Again, like with most anything, it depends on your budget and most brands have mid and high end versions within each brand; Like Mopar think 440, 500, or R/T; good, better, best.

                      If you have a budget and an idea of what you are looking for, I would be glad to help give you pointers and let you know if it will meet your needs. I think, if you make some mods to how your current speakers are installed and add a 4 channel amp, you might be there with out having to redo your entire system. Just let me know what speakers you have now and I can let you know if they can work or you should consider replacing them. Paul
                       
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                      • biomedtechguy

                        biomedtechguy Accelerati Rapidus Maximus FBBO Gold Member

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                        DISAGREE! At least you qualified that with "generally". One of THE best 6x9 speakers in the 70s and 80s was the Cerwin-Vega 6x9. VERY efficient. Speaker efficiency rated in dB/watt will outperform almost any inefficient, high powered amp speaker combo, because amps have to double the power output for each dB the speaker efficiency is rated at.
                        I have exclusively Klipsch speakers throughout my house, including the theater room that was published in a magazine.
                        I am not up on modern car audio equipment, but the rule of efficiency is constant.
                        JBL has made a consistent, high efficiency, high quality sound product for decades.
                         
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                        • moparmarks

                          moparmarks FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          I've used a few Memphis Audio and JL Audio amps. Good stuff. In my Dart I have a JL powering the sub and an old Punch Fosgate powering the 6 speakers.
                          The big thing to be careful when adding amps to a 50 year old 35 amp charging system is to avoid burning your car up. Need to take the power requirement into play.
                           
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                          • moparmarks

                            moparmarks FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            I have a set of Klipsch towers. Sound is amazing. Had a set of Cerwin-Vega home speakers back in the 80's. "Loud is beautiful if it's clear. " was their motto.
                             
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                            • Paul Boucher

                              Paul Boucher FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              This is the only place I disagree. Done right a curved glass can work well for you. I was able to hit 136db in my 1990 Dodge Daytona Hatch Back throwing the woofers off the glass using only two 75 watt rated Precision Power amps (American made versions) Took the class (75-150 watt) due to the low watt ratings. Two 12" Cerwin Vegas port tuned to 35 hrtz. with PPI amps and Soundstream (American made versions) SPL components in the rear, front kick panels, and dash. Man, that was a great system!
                               
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                              • Paul Boucher

                                Paul Boucher FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                Yes, I forgot, if you upgrade too much you will definitely need to address your power system.
                                 
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                                • Curiousyellow71

                                  Curiousyellow71 Well-Known Member

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                                • BSB67

                                  BSB67 Well-Known Member

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                                  I'm eager to hear your recommendations.
                                   
                                • Paul Boucher

                                  Paul Boucher FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  Yeah, I always loved Cerwin Vega, I used them for years. I had everything from JL, PPI, Cerwin Vega, Sound Stream, Kenwood, JBL, Infinity, Diamond Audio, Memphis Audio, Orion Audio, and probably some others I am forgetting. Never ran Kicker, but always liked the sound of a SoloBaric sub.

                                  My favorite set up, which was more for sound quality than DBs; it was my US made set up of 4 Sound Stream Exact 10's in a sealed box with Sound Stream Exact components in the rear, doors and dash, all running off PPI amps and a Kenwood eXcelon Head unit. My favorite tuning song for that system was Metallica's One. Holy cow that system rocked!

                                  I just wired my house we built for two 5.1 and one 7.1 surround systems, along with 6 other zones. Love my music and sound! I almost went with Klipsch, but went with Sonance. I have Elemental Designs in my theater. Unfortunately they went out of business due to bad management, but made some really high end stuff. If I ever redo it, I plan to build my own speakers and cross overs based on an MTM design.
                                   
                                • moparmarks

                                  moparmarks FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  Bet your house sounds awesome. I remember back in the 70-80's Mcintosh amps were about as good as it gets. How are they today?
                                  I still have a set of Polk Audios that I bought in the 80's. They were some of the first digital ready speakers on the market at the time.
                                   
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