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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to improve my sound above stock without having to spend ~$150 on just a new deck and mounting kit. I'm not interested in getting a sub, but I would like to improve bass and mids. The car is a 2002 SES without mach. Any suggestions of speakers or anything else is welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Derek
 

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I'd like to improve my sound above stock without having to spend ~$150 on just a new deck and mounting kit. I'm not interested in getting a sub, but I would like to improve bass and mids. The car is a 2002 SES without mach. Any suggestions of speakers or anything else is welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Derek
You will notice a decent improvement in bass and mids if you replace the stock speakers, but dont expect a miracle, and no one said it would be clean bass, stock rcus with the exception of the mach just dont have the power or clarity to hammer out soild punchy bass. I replaced my back speakers only with pioneer 3 ways and it got me by for awhile until i did a complete change-up of the whole stereo. If you wanna keep it in a good price range with a good speaker i reccomend pioneer 3 or 4-way 6x8s.
 

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also look at some component speakers which are a 6inch sub with a tweeter....these are put together in a 6x8 frame
 

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I was in the same predicament when I first purchased my bull. I spent hours and hours researching what to do to improve the sound quality of the stereo. I originally installed an aftermarket radio with a metra-style kit, but I missed the "stock look" of the car. Feel free to do your own research (and you should), but here's my recommendation:

Get a mach amp and factory tweeters. Install is a snap (literally, in most cases) and you'll have a night-and-day difference in audio quality. Enjoy for a while, and save up for some better 6x8 speakers. I took the standard route and got the highly recommended Pioneer 3 ways. They were just ok in my opinion. Good, but not great.

I ended up swapping those out for a Pioneer Rev series 6x8 all around. In my opinion, the Rev series is perfect for our cars with a mach system. The Pioneer rev series works much better in the lower RMS wattage of our mach amps. The mids and highs are pristine. The bass rounds out the sound well, and is much louder than the Pioneer three-ways. The bass in my car easily shakes the rear-view mirror--but, don't get me wrong, it's nothing that will shake the car. You can feel it and hear it well, but you won't hear it outside the car and it will not rattle door panels, etc... Perhaps mine sounds a tad better because I used Dynamat on the frame where the speakers are installed, but your mileage may vary.

Just my .02, but I think you'd be pleased with that course of action.
 

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It is true that you are not going to get super punchy bass with the stock system. In fact if you really want better sound, you could run a separate amp. I would find a low cost 4 channel amp that can put out at least 25 watts per channel, ideally more. I would feed the stock RCU outputs into the line inputs on the amp, and feed the stock speaker wires off the amp. Its either that or get a Mach RCU and tweeters as recommended above.

Amazon.com: Jensen Power760 4-Channel 760 Watt Amplifier (Grey): Electronics: Reviews, Prices & more
and this
Amazon.com: Scosche SLC4 Speaker Level Converter With 80 Watt Max: Electronics: Reviews, Prices & more
would produce a good quality sound, with good bass response, even though the stock RCU backs off the bass somewhat once you go beyond half volume.


The Pioneers, to put it simply are pretty good in the realm of cheap speakers. They are a pretty good value, but when you compare cheap speakers like Jensens, Kickers, Alpine, and Pioneer to actual high end speakers, you start to see why the high end speakers cost so much more. They deliver. I put a set of Kenwood Excellons on my 1996 Taurus LX to replace the stock door speakers, and I'll tell you what, I have no urges to spend any more money on my stereo, because it pumps out plenty of sound, including a pretty strong bass. It doesn't have a sub, but I really don't think I need one, it sounds that good.

Since you are one a budget, the Pioneers are probably going to work fine. But they won't give you the same results as a top end speaker. The Excellons are in the better value for top end sector. There are better speakers than the Excellons, but you get a diminishing return once you pass them.
 

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Since when was JENSEN considered high end lmfao
 

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PM sent on mach amp package.:)
 

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Yeah, the Mach setup is probably the easiest and cheapest option. The separate amp option is more for a hardcore high output setup that would look stock.
 

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get the most efficient speakers you can afford.
Most automotive speakers are 84-85db at 1 watt while decent aftermarket speakers can be 90-93db.
each 3db will sound louder (actually twice as loud)

The thing with stock radios is they distort and distortion will blow up speakers fast.
 

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Replacement Speaker

I've redone the entire stereo in my car. I've done the Metra Kit, new HU, new door/rear deck speakers, extra set of tweeters up front, amp, 2 12" subs, box, wiring, everything. The first thing I did for this was buy new speakers and leave them on the stock HU. I bought a set of Kicker DS680's. Kickers 6x8 speaker with a 6x8 mid and 1/2" tweeter. The difference from those alone was amazing. I wired them into the stock wiring harness and even with that the bass response and clarity was phenominal compared to the stock (notoriously crappy paper Ford speakers). Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've redone the entire stereo in my car. I've done the Metra Kit, new HU, new door/rear deck speakers, extra set of tweeters up front, amp, 2 12" subs, box, wiring, everything. The first thing I did for this was buy new speakers and leave them on the stock HU. I bought a set of Kicker DS680's. Kickers 6x8 speaker with a 6x8 mid and 1/2" tweeter. The difference from those alone was amazing. I wired them into the stock wiring harness and even with that the bass response and clarity was phenominal compared to the stock (notoriously crappy paper Ford speakers). Just my two cents.
Good to know! I decided I'm sticking with the stock headunit and getting a mach amp. I asked my little brother who has an A4 with an absurd audio system and he says he only uses alpine but I don't see the point...

What do you guys think of these speakers? They're sony, so that earns points with me and they're cheap. I'm assuming I could do much better but for ~30 bucks a piece, its not bad at all...
Amazon.com: Sony XS-R5743 Xplod 5 x 7 inch 4-Way 190 Watt Car Speakers (also compatible to 6 x 8 inch openings): Car Electronics
 

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Those should work, but keep in mind, with audio, you get what you pay for. Both of my pairs of speakers were $80 and they're OKAY, like your brother, I have my brand of choice; Kicker. For low cost, the Sony's should work and provide some improvement. You could also look into Infinity speakers at a store like a Best Buy. They too are more affordable but offer a step up.
 

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I would be hesitant to buy Sony, just my past experience with the brand in general. The sound quality will be phenomenal until one day it just breaks. Its like the quality is excellent, except that it is delicate. The price is great, but I think you will appreciate a slightly better speaker. Kickers are all right, they will last a while, and with the low power output of the stock system, they will do fine.
 

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Yeah, I myself plan on upgrading to some Focals or Rockfords, perhaps some upper level Kickers, an amp that matches and then all new wiring. But, that gets expensive and the speakers came way before I ever expected to do a full system overhaul. I might keep the speakers I have and just rewire and amp them, they've done amazingly on my new HU for the past 2 years. But yeah, I agree. Sonys are good, good, good, done. There's no middle of the road with them. But, they are good for the price on a stock HU. But Infinity or Kicker would be good (slightly more expensive) alternatives that might last longer on the stock HU.
 

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I'd like to improve my sound above stock without having to spend ~$150 on just a new deck and mounting kit. I'm not interested in getting a sub, but I would like to improve bass and mids. The car is a 2002 SES without mach. Any suggestions of speakers or anything else is welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Derek
As I have learned myself, buying a new head unit alone will not improve the sound quality in most cars if they already come with half decent factory amp. This is because the aftermarket receivers have an internal amp that outputs around 15-22 Watts RMS. This is too little to make most of the aftermarket speakers really sing. If you do not intend to install an amplifier for speakers, then you should go for low wattage speakers that have relatively high sensitivity ratings (that is, they produce a lot of sound with little power). One example of such speakers are the Pioneer G-series. Do not buy anything with a RMS rating of more than 30-35 Watts because it will be a waste. I know this. I put the much touted Pioneers TS-A6872R in the back, a mistake, and they didn't really work noticeably better than the factory speakers until I connected them to an amp (actually that was the whole reason I decided to get an amp). The exceptions to this are speakers whose manufacturers claim that speakers were designed to work well even without additional amplification. For example, Infinity claims that its reference 6832cf should work as a good drop in replacement.


Also, if you want stronger bass, consider getting the 6x9 speakers. They fit in the rear deck with an adapter. Again, you would probably need some good amp to produce good bass with these. The "cheapest" way I know to do that is to buy the Alpine Mini Amplifier KTP-445, about $120, which plugs in the back of most Alpine head units (at least $150, cheaper ones won't work), which will plug into your deck after you install the Scosche kit. I know... it's kind of a pain for think of all these things, but there won't be a significant improvement in sound quality without buying an amplifier, however good your speakers are.
 
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