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After market speakers with stock h/u?

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Old Jun 27, 2011, 08:10 PM   #1
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After market speakers with stock h/u?

Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone has run a decent set of speakers off of the stock stereo and if it makes a big difference? I understand that replacing the h/u and speakers would ultimately make the best sound quality difference, but I would rather leave the stock h/u where it is. I used to be a huge audiophile. I dumped about 3,000 into my first cars stereo. My last car had a 9 speaker bose system...and I'm a little spoiled by that. I don't want to go that far this time around, but I would just like some clarity to my mids and dynamics to the bass (not just a loud muffled woof). I have a child on the way so I don't want to go over $500. If I did go with a new H/U it would be post child birthing after medical bills are paid and I would probably spend about 1200 on a gps/dvd thingamajiggy.
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Old Jun 28, 2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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I have stock h/u with 2 x 12" subs & 800w amp.

My speakers are stock however. I plan to update them, and have no intention on replacing the h/u within the near future.
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Old Jun 28, 2011, 06:01 AM   #3
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Thanks friend. I am not looking to get subs. Had plenty of those in my prime. Looking for (preferably) component speakers.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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Same here, I was thinking of replacing my stock speakers. let me know how it turns out and what kind of speakers u use.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by goldendragoon84 View Post
Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone has run a decent set of speakers off of the stock stereo and if it makes a big difference? I understand that replacing the h/u and speakers would ultimately make the best sound quality difference, but I would rather leave the stock h/u where it is. I used to be a huge audiophile. I dumped about 3,000 into my first cars stereo. My last car had a 9 speaker bose system...and I'm a little spoiled by that. I don't want to go that far this time around, but I would just like some clarity to my mids and dynamics to the bass (not just a loud muffled woof). I have a child on the way so I don't want to go over $500. If I did go with a new H/U it would be post child birthing after medical bills are paid and I would probably spend about 1200 on a gps/dvd thingamajiggy.
You already know the answer to your question. I can tell you from experience that on my 2006 Lancer an aftermarket deck with stock speakers made a great difference for the better, I was pleasantly surprised. That unit was only $100, I got it because the cd player in the stock deck died. Check Craig's list and Kijiji. That head unit maybe more affordable than you thought when you get it from a current audiophile who is upgrading.
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Old Jul 19, 2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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Generally speaking... the stock speakers can take a small amplifier with no problem (so there is no warranty work expended for 'blown speakers'). Stock speakers are generally paper and get worn after a few years (moisture cycles).

Aftermarket head units put out more watts but not 'much more'. Don't believe the hype that a deck will have 80W/ch. Read the very fine print...

If not 'loud enough' get a small high quality amp (80W/ch x4) and it will make a big difference.

If the highs are not clear enough, bass not defined enough... then new speakers will make more of a difference than an amp. 1" tweets will fit in the front with minor mods. Consider Boston Accoustics separates...

BUT both together is much x2 better - the new head unit will have RCA outputs (cleaner for the amp) and the new speakers will be more capable of the higher power output.

(my $.02 worth)
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Old Jul 20, 2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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on the stock h/u on my 2011 GTS, I turn the volume all the way to 42 -_- and max is 45... and its still not loud enough for my liking. I don't want to swap out the h/u because of blue tooth fuse which I use. Thinking of swapping out the 4 speakers that are on the doors, probably leaving the tweeters alone... stock h/u really sucks!
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 05:49 AM   #8
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^new speakers won't make it louder. Get a four channel amp and use the 'adapter' to make it RCA low level inputs. Or use the the high level (speaker) inputs.
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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^new speakers won't make it louder. Get a four channel amp and use the 'adapter' to make it RCA low level inputs. Or use the the high level (speaker) inputs.


Just lost me on the "adapter" and everything after that....
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Old Jul 29, 2011, 07:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the help guys. I think what I really want to do is get some boston accoustic separates, at least for the front. I will likely get coax speakers for the rear unless someone can offer me a solution for tweeter placement. I've seen some nice low power (300-400w RMS 4ohm) Alpine amps going for a reasonable price. My one reason for avoiding all this work is it seems pricey. First off, without a head unit the main thing i will be missing is the surround sound equalizer and probably a small degree of SQ. In such a small car this might not be a big deal. I don't want to purchase a new head unit because I don't want to lose my factory bluetooth. While it isn't a great bluetooth system (I have to talk up loudly, but then again, most car phones aren't great) I have heard that head unit bluetooth systems are worthless, plus you lose the steering control for the phone, plus you have to string that stupid ugly mic somewhere. I would think with the incredible pace that technology moves and the fact that bluetooth technology is approaching a decade old, they could come up with something more effective, but whatever. Anyhow I drive a manual, so I can't hold a phone up to my ear, and I don't want to wear an earpiece.

*side note: Has anyone heard anything about the durability of the 2011 gts manual cluth and syncro system as far as durability goes? I can tell that it isn't a high end tranny (which honestly isn't a big deal), but I have heard nightmares about the 2009 and 2010 clutches wearing out in 10k with normal driving by a seasoned manual driver. I like mine, it is a bit whiney, doesnt have synchro in its reverse gear (much like a 90s 5speed) but easy to drive and i get about 28city/37hwy.

Back to the stereo: It sounds like getting power into the car is semi dangerous as the spot you have to drill is wicked close to the brake lines. Furthermore, hooking up the speakers to the amp requires like 200ft of wire and poking holes all over the inside section of the weatherstripping of the door. Furthermore, it sounds like crap unless you do a good soundproofing job on the doors.

So we are looking at a complex, tedious, dangerous job that will cost $1,500 and take around 50 hours of work. Man it would be great if they could find a way to make a headunit that can adapt to the phone steering wheel buttons and the stock mic. Then I could just get a nice ~$700 higher powered head unit, nice speakers, and sound deadening. It would probably cost more, but it would be nicer, and be a much easier install.
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Old Aug 9, 2011, 11:06 AM   #11
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Just lost me on the "adapter" and everything after that....
Google 'line level adapter' (takes the speaker output from the headunit and converts to the RCA inputs on the amp).

Some amps already have an input for speaker level inputs. If the amp doesn't accept the speaker (wire) inputs then you need the line level adapter.
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Old Sep 9, 2017, 11:46 AM   #12
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Same here, I was thinking of replacing my stock speakers. let me know how it turns out and what kind of speakers u use.
Replaced all 4 speakers with top of the line JL C5s with a 10" JL sub and a 400w amp for the C5s and a 1000w JL amp for the sub. Stock head unit. Although I am about to get the 10.2" Sygav Android with dvr front and reverse camera. That head unit is only $490ish and fits perfectly. Final Edition #451.
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Old Yesterday, 07:31 PM   #13
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If you're going to add separates I would add an amplifier to power them. The passive crossover networks will absorb some ppwer and the cleaner sound they make also drops volume since there's no frequency overlap.
Stock head and a good line level adapter are fine as long as you don't drive the volume past clipping.

I usually put twice as much money into the front speakers since they are the important ones in a stereo (L-R)
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