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Old 08-01-2014, 05:34 AM   #1
UnknownAlly
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northern California
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
Blue

Default Stock Front Door Speakers vs Aftermarket

Model: 2004 WRX Sedan (no OEM subwoofer)

Stereo: Pioneer AVH-P1400DVD

Amp: Jenson XA2250 400 watt

Speakers: Stock

Subwoofer: Pioneer TS-WX121 (IMMP 10")

Comments: Is it worth the $40 plus amount of money to upgrade the front door speakers, or are the OEM ones pretty good?

I'm not getting a good high pass and vocals are unclear. Too much distortion on the vocals and highs.

Let's say I go 5 1/4".
Worth it or nah? Also, would it be better to hook the amp up to it or should the aftermarket stereo be enough in terms of watts?
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:20 AM   #2
millertime359
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2014 Impreza Sport

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To those speakers, no.

To a different set of aftermarket speakers, yes.

What is your actually budget for the speaker upgrade? Ideally, set it around a couple hundred dollars and find yourself a nice set of component speakers. Something like these Polks:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107DB65...b6501&skipvs=T

There are other options than those, just an example. Your best off listening to them first at a local audio store, but those will get you way closer to your goal than those cheap used OEM speakers on Ebay will or even your stocks.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
Thefifth
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Speakers under $100 won't be better, and speakers under $150 will be questionable.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
UnknownAlly
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That makes it simple then.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
Learjet45
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I would agree with Millertime and disagree with Thefifth.

$40 speakers probably won't be much improvement. Most car audio stores will have cheap $20-$40 speakers that they compare to stock speakers.

Speakers under $100 do have the potential to be better. I recently purchased a set of Infinity speakers for $90 (on sale from the normal $120 though) that I thought are a huge improvement over the stock speakers. I also purchased a set of component speakers (also Infinity) for $190 (on sale from $250) that are even better. The $90 components still are a HUGE improvement over stock.

The best thing to do would be to find a car audio store and listen to some speakers in person. I can all but guarantee you would be able to find a set for under $100 that you find to be an improvement over the stock speakers. They'll likely be $60 or so at minimum I'd guess, but it is doable. Just don't do what I did and accidentally end up listening to the really expensive speakers without realizing their cost and realize you don't want to compromise on cheaper speakers with slightly decreased sound quality.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:32 PM   #6
millertime359
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Nice follow-up Lear. Right on point. For your front speakers, it is good to go ahead and invest a little more into them as they provide the main soundstage in your car. I think that is what Thefifth was trying to get at. He could have provided a little more explanation though.

Also as Lear points out, it is good to understand your budget before going as you don't want to get sucked into listening to a $600 pair of speakers when you don't want to spend that much.

I'm going to quote this again, it is lengthy, but it is very sound advice for anyone getting into car audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXwrxWagon View Post
I will take a minute and rehash something I have said over and over:

I've been in car audio for over 30 years. Owned a shop, sold in several, installed for nearly 35 years. Im just sharing what I feel are the pitfalls we all do when auditioning speakers.

Its MUSIC trust YOUR EARS!!!

Now that said. there are my Top 10 "rules"

1. SET A BUDGET!!!!! this could be a 3-page post all by itself. But know where you are wanting to end up and set a realistic goal. Building in stages is not only fine, its logical and its rewarding. A Head Unit will make the stock speakers sound better. A sub with amp will fill it out. then get the new MAIN speakers, leave the rears stock. Next decide if you want to NEED rear fill. etc. Do you need a prmary amp? I think you get my point. BUDGET first.

2. Take your OWN music and go LISTEN! think about it. A sales's guy/gal's job is to sell speakers. Won't they have good sounding tunes there? But if you listen to Yanni, or Steve Miller Band, or Tone-Loc? What if Trance/electronica is your thing? Get my point? TAKE YOUR MUSIC and do it following rules 2&3

3. Take it in the format you plan to use most so if you are an iPod/iPhone/Android phone listener, take THAT with you to listen. If you are old school and still depend on CD's for Sound Quality (yes there are those of us who do this) then take those.

4. Tell the sales person, respectfully to be quiet and let YOUR ears tell you what to hear. NOT "you will notice these have amazing highs" or "the dynamic range of these is better". ****! and let you listen. Nicely.

5. Do not rush. Listen to as many as you want, as many times or tracks as you want. Period. Does back to #3. ****! and let me listen.

6. Use as many items on the sound board that mimic match your car's expected system. No point in listening through a $2,000 unit and $1,000 amp if you have a $500 total budget. Refer back to #1

7. Try to go when the store first opens and there are fewer people. Refers back to #5. Less likely to have hassles.

8. Try to go when you haven't been to a concert or had a shouting match with the GF that morning. Fatigued ears LIE to you. You will hear the crap they tell you to listen for if you or your ears are tired. Also don't blast the stock tunes on the wy over...duh.

9. Be honest with the sales person. If you are only shopping. Say so. Dont tell him "I am here to buy today" because they will do everything to stop 1-8 above. If you don't like a piece on the board, ask them to help you change it. Make #6 as close as possible. If something is not working for you, say it. Do NOT let them start you at a price above your budget. Again, if you only have $150 for the main front speakers (the most important ones!) than don't even listen to $200 let alone $500 sets. It will dissapoint you. That's their job. Upsell. Again its all about being honest about steps 1-8.

10. NEVER buy on the listening trip. EVER.

Now all that said: you've done most of this already and big pat on the back and a cookie. I mean that seriously. So many don't. Refine your listening expectations and go back with your own music/source(s) and listen again.

Name brand has little to do with it any more. Cedarlinks might be a brand they have custom taylored for their customers as a house brand. Take the word "Focal" or "JL" or Alpine" off the cone and stickers, and save tons.

OH! also ask the store for references or even BETTER, ask if they have done an install in your car or a similar car. If they have done a MazdaSpeed 3 or Focus ST? those are VERY close and leagues better than a sound board.

Last tip: #11: Always consider NOT replacing rear stock speakers and moving that budget to the main speakers. The bulk of your speaker budget should be as close to you as possible and in the main meat of the music you listen too. That is NOT the subwoofer system part of your car.

-Rob
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