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Want Replacement Speakers

Discussion in 'Audio & Electronics' started by homesick, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. homesick

    homesick Full Access Member

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    Hey y'all,

    I have a '95 2-Door Tahoe. I had the factory stereo replaced with a new head unit, amp, speakers, and 10 inch sub.

    It plays plenty loud and clean, but lacks finesse; the sound is kind of hard for my poor old ears. My headphones and earbuds both use Planar Magnetic speakers, and I've been spoiled by the detailed yet smooth sound they provide.

    I'm afraid a truck's interior is too harsh an acoustic environment for the sweet subtlety I'm looking for, but I'm hoping some of y'all may have some ideas for me.

    Thanks.
    joe
     
  2. swathdiver

    swathdiver Full Access Member

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    Dump that digital stuff and go back to tubes, much better sounds!
     
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  3. iamdub

    iamdub Full Access Member

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    "Loud and clean, but lacks finesse"?

    My first thought, since you've replaced everything already, is what head unit and speakers have you swapped to? Have you tweaked the EQ settings to your preferences or did whomever installed the parts do it, if at all? You said you HAD the stereo, etc. replaced, telling me someone did it for you.
     
  4. homesick

    homesick Full Access Member

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    LOL I can't argue with that.

    I had to take the reel-to-reel back out because it was banging my wife's knees.

    joe
     
  5. homesick

    homesick Full Access Member

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    The EQ is set as close as I can get it.

    It's a Kenwood head unit, in the 7-Series IIRC. I don't remember the speaker brand. It's been so long since I spent money on car audio, I walked in there expecting not to recognize all the brand names; which is how it went.

    The work wasn't done by Best Buy or anywhere similar. It was a local shop that specializes in car and boat audio, alarms, etc.

    I've done one search for Planar Magnetic speakers for cars, but didn't find any.

    joe
     
  6. Doubeleive

    Doubeleive Supporting Member

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    Might be wise to go back to whoever did your install and explain what you want to do, maybe get some component speakers that's probably what you are after those can provide more finesse for sure.
     
  7. iamdub

    iamdub Full Access Member

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    I was asking about the head unit to try to see what kind of EQ adjustments it had. Some are very basic and have just treble and bass, others have treble, mid and bass (sometimes identified as actual frequencies), some have 5, 7, 10, 12 or more frequency bands to adjust. Then there are the "loudness" and bass and/or treble booster functions.

    Your ears, speakers, and even the amplifier in the head unit change with age and if the system has been installed and not adjusted for a while, you may just need to take some time and tweak the EQ again. If it only has 3-5 bands of adjustment, then you may just need to upgrade the HU to something with more sound shaping capabilities. A new HU would also have fresh amplifier circuitry that may breathe new life into the speakers. I'm not saying you don't need new speakers. But, even if you were to get a $1,000 set of component speakers, well, as the old saying goes, "garbage in = garbage out".

    I would also highly suggest you insulate the inside of the doors with some sound deadener. This alone has been proven time and time again to totally change the sound of even stock speakers for the better. Not only does it insulate the outside noise from intruding, it also attenuates the resonance of the sheet metal that the speaker is firing against. There's a reason speaker enclosures are made of wood, plastic or fiberglass and not sheet metal. There, again, a $1,000 set of components in a tin can of an enclosure (the doors) can sound like some Autozone clearance special speakers and some clearance special speakers can sound like your beloved Planar Magnetics when placed in a proper enclosure. I surprise people all the time by taking their supposed "garbage subwoofers" and put them in a properly-designed enclosure.

    Aside from the HU, I'd suggest some quality component speakers fed off an amplifier. You don't need anything spectacular- just a decent small amp with a solid 50W per channel will do. Since you have a sub, you can get a 5-channel amp and run the whole thing. If the power wire that's currently ran for your sub amp is big enough, you can just swap out the amp, run another set of RCAs from the HU, then run speaker wires to the new components. Or, cheaper still, since you have a 2-door, you could get a 2-channel amp and just the pair of components for the doors. Put the tweeters in the dash speaker locations. Or, if you want full range speakers in the dash, remember: "Sound is round". So, elliptically-shaped speakers such as what would be in that 4x6 hole in the dash aren't as optimal. You can get some plate speakers that have a ~3.5" woofer and separate tweeter that would be powered plenty enough off the HU's line level speaker outputs. Then you could put the tweeter from the 6.5" components set in the door, just in front of the door handle.

    You have plenty of options to get great sound without having to buy a bunch of expensive gear. But first you have to rule out what you currently have that is "good", optimize what you have now/what the new gear will be going into (sound deadener, etc.).
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  8. 08HoeCD

    08HoeCD Full Access Member

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    Deaden (at least) the doors and then gauge the soundstage again. I bet it sounds noticeably improved.

    I did this about a year ago and have been very pleased overall. Sounds as though I added a very good amp to my system. Even my teenage daughter noticed. Cost me $50 for a Dynamat kit and just under two hours of effort to address four doors on my Tahoe.
     
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  9. iamdub

    iamdub Full Access Member

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    You were one example I was thinking of when I was writing. :thumbsup:
    Them "crappy" factory Bose speakers aren't so bad after all, huh? I think it's just the common case of the factory doing the bare minimum and leaving much improvement to be had on the table. But, if they were to insulate it as well as you did, they'd add WAY more than just $50 to the price of the vehicle and justify it with a fancy name like "Premium Ambient Isolation" package.
     
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  10. homesick

    homesick Full Access Member

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    Due to environmental sounds through my working life, I'm real sensitive to harshness in vocals. It's why I love the Planar Magnetics so much- the mid-range is so sweet.

    I've talked to the shop's owner, before AND after the install. He carries what he carries, and I don't think he has any useful familiarity with any other brands or products. I believe he matched my desires as well as he understood them. And... how do I make him hear the metallic glare that I hear?

    I've thought about component speakers. Even if I find them in the correct size, I wanted to tap y'all's brains before I start blindly spending money. I agree, though, with your finesse comment.

    joe
     
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