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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. My 99 SE originally came with the cassette deck. The deck got replaced with an aftermarket deck panel and a head unit.

The current head unit is JVC KD-320J. Its power output is 18W RMS x 4 channels at 4ohms. (And I believe overall peak is around 200 but I could be wrong).

Right now I have the stock speakers. There is nothing terribly wrong with this setup. However, I wonder if I could increase sound quality even more. Perhaps make the output a little bassier plus make the sound more detailed and consistent, with more spacious feeling, at normal volume level, and also at higher volume levels. For example, right now I occasionally can hear loud cracks while listening some rock CDs kinda loud (about 60% volume on head unit).

Today I was at Walmart and listened to their sample Pioneer TS-A6872R 3-way unit pair and I kinda liked it. The specs are 40 RMS and 240W peak. But now I am really confused. Is this the spec for each speaker or the whole pair? Second, can my head unit drive them? And finally, just based on the specs, are these any improvement over the stock OEM speakers? I am planning on getting 2 pairs, for the front and back of course. Ideally, something _cheap_. $70-$80 per pair, tops.
 

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Power specs are per speaker.
The head unit will have no trouble with those.
I found them to be an improvement over stock, most anything is. (Unless you have Mach or JBL).
 

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The current head unit is JVC KD-320J. Its power output is 18W RMS x 4 channels at 4ohms. (And I believe overall peak is around 200 but I could be wrong).


Today I was at Walmart and listened to their sample Pioneer TS-A6872R 3-way unit pair and I kinda liked it. The specs are 40 RMS and 240W peak. But now I am really confused. Is this the spec for each speaker or the whole pair? Second, can my head unit drive them? And finally, just based on the specs, are these any improvement over the stock OEM speakers? I am planning on getting 2 pairs, for the front and back of course. Ideally, something _cheap_. $70-$80 per pair, tops.
Car audio companies fudge output numbers. Your receiver is rated at 18W RMS at 1.0% Total Harmonic Distortion. That means at 18W it sounds like crap. It's probably OK at 9W per channel. Those speakers will be fine. If you like them and the price is right, go for it.
 

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They have the terminal adapters at Best Buy too!!;)
I used pioneer 2 ways since the front tweeters take the highs anyway.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Car audio companies fudge output numbers. Your receiver is rated at 18W RMS at 1.0% Total Harmonic Distortion. That means at 18W it sounds like crap. It's probably OK at 9W per channel. Those speakers will be fine. If you like them and the price is right, go for it.
I didn't know the meaning of that 1% number. I believe pretty much any aftermarket stereo for under $150 or so, outputs 22RMS or less. (I checked Sony and JVC) Nonetheless, with my factory speakers, I get pretty satisfactory sound quality at 18-20W volume, but I am not an audiophile. At least I know, it's much better than in my brother's 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. If I decide to keep this car for the long haul, I might add a low end 5-way amplifier later, but not immediately now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They have the terminal adapters at Best Buy too!!;)
I used pioneer 2 ways since the front tweeters take the highs anyway.....
I checked a nearby Best Buy but they didn't have this adapter. They were looking for Metra 72-5512. So I just went to amazon.com and ordered the same thing from them.
 

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I have a 2005 Taurus SE I replaced the stock radio with a pioneer. I put a 6 by 8 kicker component system in the front which ran $85 on crutchfield and 6 by 8 kicker coaxials which were $55. That alone produces awesome sound in my car. I do have 1 12' sub out back. The component speakers were worth it as the mids im hearing are awesome
 

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I didn't know the meaning of that 1% number. I believe pretty much any aftermarket stereo for under $150 or so, outputs 22RMS or less. (I checked Sony and JVC) Nonetheless, with my factory speakers, I get pretty satisfactory sound quality at 18-20W volume, but I am not an audiophile. At least I know, it's much better than in my brother's 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. If I decide to keep this car for the long haul, I might add a low end 5-way amplifier later, but not immediately now.
The distortion number represents the variation from 'perfect' sound reproduction. Decent reproduction is less than 0.1% THD. Audiophile could be 0.01% THD. There is not enough surface area to dissipate heat in a head unit, so the only way to actually get 20 Watts per channel of clean power is an external amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ok, so I went ahead and installed these speakers in the rear and I was a little underwhelmed. After all the work, trips to Walmart, and about $80 spent, they don't seem to sound significantly better than the stocks. I even had one stock (left) and Pioneer (right) together and switched between them for a while to see if there is any improvement. At the same volume level, Pioneer is quieter (ok, I can increase volume) than the stock speakers. They also seem to have less bass (ok, not an issue really) but their bass seems more controlled and less moody than Taurus speakers. There is also a different sound stage feel to these speakers, in the sense that with the stocks you feel like you're sitting close the musicians (or their speakers) at a concert, while with pioneers, it feels like you're somewhere in the row 30. Overall, they sound good, but given all the hassle (buying them, the adapters, installation), I kinda feel underwhelmed by them. Give or take a little here or there, I seem to enjoy them about the same as the factory speakers. Perhaps, it's an issue that I don't have an amplifier? I saw at least one review of these speakers, where the reviewer claimed that he tried them with and without amp and they do sing better with an amp. Without amp, they sounded like stock speakers. Also, perhaps I should give them some time to break in. Perhaps, it's also true that the stock speakers are not entirely a bad set speakers. I have been enjoying the originals a lot. I have seen much worse factory speakers on much newer cars. Too bad that installing an amplifier is probably a pain in the neck. I'll probably have a Bestbuy crew do it if I buy it.

I'll certainly wait with the upgrade of the front door speakers now, until this set in the rear breaks in.
 

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Definitely need an amp, this is what I ran into when I upgraded to the Mach RCU, at low volume, it's alright, at upper volume, ugh. Go ahead and decide what you want in the fronts and find an amp that feeds whatever power the speakers call for at RMS, not peak.

Perhaps one like this ;)

 

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Make sure you have the polarity(+ and -) right. If a speaker is wired backwards it will have the symptoms you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Make sure you have the polarity(+ and -) right. If a speaker is wired backwards it will have the symptoms you describe.
I believe it's pretty much impossible to get polarity wrong in my case. I used the Metra wire plug adapter for Fords. One of its sockets is narrower than the other, and speaker's male connectors are also, one wide, one narrow. It's just impossible to switch polarity as is. So I'd hope, the connector has it right.
 

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Rear speakers are just fillers to balance out the sound and add some bass. Pioneers sound better in front on these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Given that the back of the car started to rattle when I play some of my music CDs loud, I guess the new speakers are an "improvement". The old ones never quite managed to do that. Now I have to identify all parts that make rattling noises. Oh joy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I have hooked my rear 40Watt (RMS) Pioneer TS-A6872R speakers to a 70watt amplifier. I also installed 2-way Infinity Reference speakers in the front. I must say now that these Pioneers are phenomenally good, specially given their price. The music is very vivid, the mids and highs are very good. But the bass is the most amazing thing about these speakers. They produce loud and clear bass. I would say that four of these, when hooked to a proper amplifier, can produce more bass than what most people would like to take. I kind of regret that I didn't buy two sets of these and a four channel amplifier. (Instead I got a five channel amplifier, so I now _have_ to hook up a sub to the fifth channel). Four of these and a $100 four channel Sony amp from Walmart are enough to rock this car.

On the other hand, the 60 watt Infinity Reference speakers are a little disappointing. I hooked them up to my 70 watt amp channels too. I knew that they are somewhat bass shy so, I put them in the front doors (too much bass seems to rattle the doors). However, their bass seems very weak, even with the amp. This would have been a huge disappointment for someone who is not planning to have a sub or at least one set of bassy speakers in the rear. The highs and mids of these Infinity speakers are supposed to be pretty good. However, based on my experience, you'd have to play the same track over and over on only the Infinitys and then only on Pioneers to tell the tiny difference. On the other hand, the difference in bass is pronounced and you don't have to have a trained ear to tell right off bat that Pioneers are much better. The only bad thing about these Pioneers is that their RMS power rating is only 40 watts. Given that they are clearly meant to be used with an auxiliary amp, I am surprised their rating is not at least 60 watts. A relatively low end amp could probably overwhelm them, though you'd have to use a very high volume for that to happen. Overall I am happy with them. I should have gotten them for the front doors too.
 

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Get the Kenwood Excellon speakers, they deliver. They are rated to take high power, but they are very efficient, they will produce 86 decibels at just 1 watt. They are fairly well rounded, but will produce good base.
 

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pioneer is usually one of the better headunit brands. unfortunately your going to be limited with the bass running only speakers. if money isnt a problem i recommend getting a 3 or 5 channel amp and running a small sub to satisfy your bass needs. an amp paired with components in the doors will do wonders to your ears. i dont even have speakers in the rear deck and i cant even tell.

powerbass makes awesome stuff. i have the asa 200.2x powering my speakers right now which are some 2 way kenwoods. powerbass also makes awesome affordable components.
 
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