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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just installed a new Alpine CDA-105 into my 03 Taurus. I also added some Infinity Reference speakers into the front doors. I am also about to add a subwoofer enclosure into the truck.

My question is about the rear speakers. Should I replace the stock speakers? A conversation with someone at Cartoys said if a sub is going in the trunk better speakers in the rear would not make a big difference in the sound. The sub would mask the sound a bit.
 

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I just upgraded the system in my 05 Sable with new Polk fronts and rears with an amp, a Pioneer head unit, and two 12 in. subs...and I have to admit, the workhorses in the system are definitely the deck speakers. I don't even notice the front speakers that much, and the sub do their job as needed, but it feels like I'm listening to the deck speakers most of all...so it definitely couldn't hurt to upgrade those as well.
 

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I just upgraded the system in my 05 Sable with new Polk fronts and rears with an amp, a Pioneer head unit, and two 12 in. subs...and I have to admit, the workhorses in the system are definitely the deck speakers. I don't even notice the front speakers that much, and the sub do their job as needed, but it feels like I'm listening to the deck speakers most of all...so it definitely couldn't hurt to upgrade those as well.
Your front speakers should be the main thing you hear, not the rear speakers...When a band plays do you turn around the other way?? Your front stage should be your focus and rear deck speakers are basically unnecessary unless you have a lot of rear passengers. I say just take the rear speakers out so more bass can pass into the cabin.
 

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With a subwoofer you wont be able to tell if you have rear speakers at all. Rear fill is fine if your just running with speakers and no sub or if you want a more ambient feeling. People who are in sound quality competitions rarely have rear speakers, coincidence? I think not. It would be fine if cars were 5.1 surround sound but in a car there are only 2 channels, a left and a right. I'm personally not a huge SQ person so I run rear speakers just because I have people in my car quite a bit and I don't notice a huge difference with them on or off. If was the OP I would just get a set of cheap 6x8's and call it good unless you got money to blow.
 

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With a subwoofer you wont be able to tell if you have rear speakers at all. Rear fill is fine if your just running with speakers and no sub or if you want a more ambient feeling. People who are in sound quality competitions rarely have rear speakers, coincidence? I think not. It would be fine if cars were 5.1 surround sound but in a car there are only 2 channels, a left and a right. I'm personally not a huge SQ person so I run rear speakers just because I have people in my car quite a bit and I don't notice a huge difference with them on or off. If was the OP I would just get a set of cheap 6x8's and call it good unless you got money to blow.
"Sound competitions" are about pure volume and nothing else. I have a factory JBL sub and aftermarket Pyle Drivers all around, original JBL sail-pane tweeters. The rear deck speakers add an ambient fullness that would otherwise be missing in a "fronts only" scenario. Getting the Fade set just right makes a difference too.
 

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I just installed a new Alpine CDA-105 into my 03 Taurus. I also added some Infinity Reference speakers into the front doors. I am also about to add a subwoofer enclosure into the truck.

My question is about the rear speakers. Should I replace the stock speakers? A conversation with someone at Cartoys said if a sub is going in the trunk better speakers in the rear would not make a big difference in the sound. The sub would mask the sound a bit.
In my opinion, in most cars rear speakers are not worth upgrading unless your plan is to impress your rear passengers or unless you have a surround sound processor like Dolby Pro Logic or such. In general, you want to have a rich front sound stage. Strong rear speakers will shift it to the back of the vehicle. In the past, when I had Infinity References in my front doors, I still felt that my front stage was not "rich enough" and kept running rear speakers. I attenuated them just enough so that they added enough ambiance without shifting the sound stage to the rear. However, if the volume of the rear speakers is kept low, then what is the point of upgrading them or to even connect them to a good amplifier? Factory speakers or cheap coaxials hooked up directly to factory amp or the head units amp will serve well enough for this "rear fill" purpose.

Next, I upgraded my front stage to 110 watt Alpine Type R component set just last week. I ditched amplification to rear speakers, and bridged amp channels, which individually provide only 60 watts. I am pushing 160RMS watts to each side of components. I also deadened my front doors with Dynamat and Dynaliner. I have effectively sealed the middle divider in the door. Now, it is clear to me, that the rear speakers are not necessary even for the "ambiance". I can see now that you might want to turn up the volume of the rear speakers if your front doors are not deadened and your front stage is lousy and probably lacking midbass (Infinity speakers are notorious for having weak mid bass, and having them in untreated front doors does not help either). Right now, I am still running rear speakers, but they're hooked up to the head units amplifier (22watt RMS) and their volume is low enough that they don't seem to make any effect on my listening experience. I have them just to entertain an occasional rear seat passenger.

So, my advice is to invest a lot into your front stage first. These are the most important speakers in your car. Then add subwoofer, and then if you wish fiddle with the rear speakers. If down the road you upgrade your front stage to components, perhaps you could move your Infinity speakers to the rear, but make sure to attenuate their tweeter volume switch, if there is one, because the high frequencies are supposedly the ones that are most responsible for the localization of sound source in human brain.

You might want at very least to deaden the front doors and push an adequate amount of power to your speakers. Even in deadened doors, most speakers will have a decreasing bass output below approximately 50 to 70Hz, so you might need to get a subwoofer to play the lower frequencies. That's the next most important thing. It adds very good color/flavor to most types of music. An ideal amplifier for this setup is a 4-channel amp that pushes around 90-150watts per channel at 4 ohm load, or at least 300watts in bridged mode to the subwoofer. Of course, the more the better (just make sure to set gains approriately for each speaker).
 

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"Sound competitions" are about pure volume and nothing else. I have a factory JBL sub and aftermarket Pyle Drivers all around, original JBL sail-pane tweeters. The rear deck speakers add an ambient fullness that would otherwise be missing in a "fronts only" scenario. Getting the Fade set just right makes a difference too.
Did you even read my post? I said "sound quality competitions" not SPL competitions, there IS a difference.

And Fct hit the nail on the head.
 

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Did you even read my post? I said "sound quality competitions" not SPL competitions, there IS a difference.

And Fct hit the nail on the head.
I stand corrected. Yes, I did read your post. I did not know "sound quality" competitions existed, there has never been one where I live. I would wonder how "quality" can be judged, as it is a subjective matter, and there would be as many differing opinions as there are sets of judges ears. Like "beauty in the eye of the beholder" it would seem sound quality would be in the "ears of the listener". Thanks for the correction, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think FTC is correct. The infinity speakers do bring a nice punch to the sound system, and the sub in the back really does drown out the back speakers in higher volumes.

I do have another question about the amp. I have an old pioneer gm-x55 4 channel amp. Right now I only have one channel running through the sub. Any good links for how to optimize the amps going through the sub? Sub is 500wts by the way.
 

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I do have another question about the amp. I have an old pioneer gm-x55 4 channel amp. Right now I only have one channel running through the sub. Any good links for how to optimize the amps going through the sub? Sub is 500wts by the way.
Your numbers don't add up. A typical 4-channel amplifier provides between 50 and 100watts (RMS) per channel at 4ohm load (a little more at 2ohms). It's not clear how is it possible to run a 500watt sub of such channel without clipping the amplifier. Unless, perhaps, 500watt is a peak wattage, with RMS wattage being somewhere around 200watts. Even if RMS wattage is way lower than 500, your sub is still grossly underpowered. The most obvious way to optimize the amplifier for this sub is to bridge two channels. See your amp documentation for instructions. This should roughly triple the output of the bridged channel, compared to a single channel wattage at 4ohms. Generally you should try to provide at least the rated RMS wattage of the sub.

Also if you head unit has crossovers, turn off the crossovers on the amp and turn them on on the head unit. You can do it also, the other way around. But don't do both.
 

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some decent info in this thread. i, for one, don't run rear fill. a properly set up front sound stage will negate the need. i've yet to have a single person who sits in my front seat believe i'm only running a pair of 6.5" components up front and a 12" sub in the trunk...and nothing else. as for sub output, running a 500wrms sub off 200 watts won't hurt it as long as you don't try to drive the hell outta it, clip your amp and kill it all. my advice would be to build a box designed for that sub to get the best output possible. your sub in a properly built box powered by less than the rated input will sound better than feeding it gobs of power in a crappy pre-fab box.
 

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Easy answer....if you have replaced and added so much, you might as-well disconnect the rears if you aren't going to replace them. They will, sound like sh!t when turned up, as do all factory speakers. However, if you could spend a little more money and get even a $60 set of pioneers, you will be better off for it.

But do one thing, for the love of god!, do NOT be one of 'those' people who run full range signal to their mid/highs. At the very least get some 'bass blockers' that will cut out the low range that small speakers can not reproduce efficiently or without distortion.
 

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I disagree about prefab sub boxes. It's hard to screw up the box design when you go with sealed unless its internal volume grossly mismatches what the speaker needs. You just need a quality box that's not so cheaply built that it will fall apart. I bought one made by a company called Sonic Sub Boxes sold by sonicelectronix.com for like $30 bucks. Works well. For ported, you need to build it yourself. My amp channel is rated 250watts, and the sub is 300watts. I was at first worried that this could be a problem if I clip the amp, but I now see that I will never need to push even 250watts continuously in this car. Perhaps this has to do with the way our cars are built, but in a 3rd or 4th gen Taurus/Sable sedan, a quality, properly powered 12 inch or so 300watt sub is all that you need to add some strong deep bass. I use one made by RE Audio. I suppose that once I install a few square feet of raammat in my trunk, I will need to hammer the amplifier and the sub even less. Perhaps the Taurus/Sable wagon may need a sub stronger setup because of larger internal air volume though. My sub crossed at 60Hz with 12dB slope, and the components are high passed at the same frequency. I did some tests, and it seems like they start rolling off below 60Hz anyways. I suppose, with Infinity References you might need to cross higher because their mid bass is less strong.
 

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Easy answer....if you have replaced and added so much, you might as-well disconnect the rears if you aren't going to replace them. They will, sound like sh!t when turned up, as do all factory speakers. However, if you could spend a little more money and get even a $60 set of pioneers, you will be better off for it.
Perhaps it's a good idea. However, I certainly wouldn't spend more than $60 on rear speaker replacements. $60 coaxial Pioneers seem like a good rear speaker because their highs tend to be veiled and muddy enough that they won't interfere with the front stage much while still adding some mid bass and mids volume. I have one set in the rear deck running off the HU power.
 
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