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Old 06-29-2015, 01:37 PM   #1
djrasras
 
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Front BA speakers sounding pretty bad

I have seen this problem talked about on the forums before; I'm not much of an audio guy so I am just trying to find out the best way to improve the sound in my car. Basically, if I turn the bass up above 0 with the volume turned up a good bit, the front speakers make loud popping noises. But they sound fine with the bass at 0 or negative. Right now I have the front door speakers and mid speaker disabled, and everything (even the bass) sound fine for now (with all sound coming out from only the rear speakers).

Basically, what is the cheapest way to make my current Boston Acoustics sound system sound good again? Are my front speakers no good anymore (even though they sound fine to me without the bass turned up)?
Or can I just get a better amp to power all the speakers, and possibly a sub in the trunk for the bass?
I am just trying to avoid having to swap out my entire system. Also, keep in mind that I really do not need to best sound quality or stereo experience, since I really don't mind my current setup of only having the rears outputting sound for now.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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I'm not the greatest sound guy (I know just enough to get me in trouble), but I would say replacing your amp with a good quality aftermarket amp, might be just what you are looking for. It will have some adjustability for the speakers and output of speakers is much better. I would buy an amp, FARK (plug and play harness) and the mounting board. I love the sound I am getting out of my stereo.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BkinBlk View Post
I'm not the greatest sound guy (I know just enough to get me in trouble), but I would say replacing your amp with a good quality aftermarket amp, might be just what you are looking for. It will have some adjustability for the speakers and output of speakers is much better. I would buy an amp, FARK (plug and play harness) and the mounting board. I love the sound I am getting out of my stereo.
Ya that sounds good. I am curious though if the popping sounds coming out of the front door speakers when the bass is high means I have to replace them, or if it will be fixed with a better amp. I actually enabled the speakers just now, and the popping sound is actually gone (for now). I doubt it fixed itself, maybe it will come back after a while. Still not a lot of bass coming out the front though.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by djrasras View Post
....
Basically, what is the cheapest way to make my current Boston Acoustics sound system sound good again? Are my front speakers no good anymore (even though they sound fine to me without the bass turned up)?
Or can I just get a better amp to power all the speakers, and possibly a sub in the trunk for the bass?
I am just trying to avoid having to swap out my entire system. Also, keep in mind that I really do not need to best sound quality or stereo experience, since I really don't mind my current setup of only having the rears outputting sound for now.

Your speakers are fine, what you are hearing is distortion. A direct cause of coupling a poor amplifier to a paper speaker.

Unclear what you mean by "cheap" exactly, the lowest costing "fix" would be to replace the front speakers. Front speakers: $20 for adapter kit from Metra + cost of speakers. If you destroy the stock speakers you can reuse the stock adapter and save $20. You can buy the cheapest thing on the shelf with a name brand from Best Buy or Walmonkey and I can guarantee they will sound better than what shipped with the car. If you go this route, I might suggest RF Prime for $60 from Amazon. You will be happier with the Punch P165's, but they are $120/pr. You'll also need a connector kit to use the OEM speaker wire, or splice and solder it. If you do the work yourself, your done for under $100. Best Buy or Car Toys will charge you retail for everything, talk to you about upgrading or why you don't need something and offer you a replacement for more cost and of course, free install with 'life time warranty' (worthless). $300ish


Your alternative or secondary route is to replace the 4-channel amp. To use existing OEM zip cord speaker wiring, you'll need the FARK ($130 + s/h), an entry level 4 channel amp (Amazon/eBay; the RF P400x4 is $211), power installation kit (8 gauge from Knukoncepts) $25, 2 pair RCA's (JL Marine decent), $30. If you do the work yourself, your out ~$300. If you buy a turn key from a retail shop your looking at twice the cost for half the quality.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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Your speakers are fine, what you are hearing is distortion. A direct cause of coupling a poor amplifier to a paper speaker.

Unclear what you mean by "cheap" exactly, the lowest costing "fix" would be to replace the front speakers. Front speakers: $20 for adapter kit from Metra + cost of speakers. If you destroy the stock speakers you can reuse the stock adapter and save $20. You can buy the cheapest thing on the shelf with a name brand from Best Buy or Walmonkey and I can guarantee they will sound better than what shipped with the car. If you go this route, I might suggest RF Prime for $60 from Amazon. You will be happier with the Punch P165's, but they are $120/pr. You'll also need a connector kit to use the OEM speaker wire, or splice and solder it. If you do the work yourself, your done for under $100. Best Buy or Car Toys will charge you retail for everything, talk to you about upgrading or why you don't need something and offer you a replacement for more cost and of course, free install with 'life time warranty' (worthless). $300ish


Your alternative or secondary route is to replace the 4-channel amp. To use existing OEM zip cord speaker wiring, you'll need the FARK ($130 + s/h), an entry level 4 channel amp (Amazon/eBay; the RF P400x4 is $211), power installation kit (8 gauge from Knukoncepts) $25, 2 pair RCA's (JL Marine decent), $30. If you do the work yourself, your out ~$300. If you buy a turn key from a retail shop your looking at twice the cost for half the quality.
Thanks for all the info. Where can I buy the FARK? I am having trouble finding it online. And how long do the RCA cables need to be?
If I am thinking about putting in a sub in the future, do I need to be looking at 5 channel amps?
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:31 AM   #6
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Actually I found where to get the FARK, but apparently using it makes your rear tweeters not work? Is there a way to keep them working?
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:37 AM   #7
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Actually I found where to get the FARK, but apparently using it makes your rear tweeters not work? Is there a way to keep them working?
No. Welcome to General Motors refusal to cooperate with aftermarket stereo! Hey, the good news is that the human ear does not really 'hear' highs from the rear. Our brains trick our ears using the back 6x9's as filler. So you can do the tweeter delete or replace the rear 6x9's.

You can buy the T-Harness instead of the FARK (save 40%), pull the zip cord out of the car then run your own wiring throughout the entire vehicle from your 4-channel, but this is another level of installation (about the same cost on materials). The center front channel is worthless, forget it.

Knukonceptz today is as good or better than the original StreetWires from the 80's (for you old schoolers), better than others and half the price. They sell a twisted 16 gauge 100' roll for like $36. You'll need a wire strippers, crimp tool and some connector thingies. I'd suggest Parts-express or ebay. The white JL Audio Marine RCA's are 4' I believe? Should be more than long enough, or you could even go with the Karma SS Kables from Knukonceptz (also good). Measure and buy the length you you need now and what you might need in the future.

Sub; the easiest (and cheaper) plug and play option is to purchase a 5 or 6 channel amp from RF or JL now and add the sub later. There are valid arguments to do a separate amp for your sub, but you will need to upgrade your power kit from 8 to 4 gauge, introduce a fuse block and the like as well as additional amp mounting/rack. All very easy to do, but you will need to learn how or pay someone to do so.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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So I should just get the 4 gauge kit now instead of the 8 gauge? And everyone on C5 recommends the JL XD400 amp, but the cheapest I can find it at is $250 refurbished.
Wouldn't a small amp like this suite my needs better?
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Cha.../dp/B006OCBW1Y

Then I can just get a powered sub later on
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by djrasras View Post
So I should just get the 4 gauge kit now instead of the 8 gauge? And everyone on C5 recommends the JL XD400 amp, but the cheapest I can find it at is $250 refurbished.
Wouldn't a small amp like this suite my needs better?
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Cha.../dp/B006OCBW1Y

Then I can just get a powered sub later on
Yes, you can start off with a 4 gauge kit and only connect 1 amp on 1 of the 2 power outputs.

The XD400 is no longer produced which is why you are having trouble finding a good price on one, though a few places have the discontinued item for sale. Refurbished is fine, so long as it comes with a warranty. "They" are recommending (or popular) the XD series because it comes with a "RCA line out" for the sub amp, not all companies do this. The new amp is the XD400/4v2 (don't ask, I don't know the differences) and available for $330 at Amazon.

That polk...something strange with that amp. They are advertising 400w x 4 into 4 ohms on their product page and their manual clearly indicates 125w x 4 into 4 ohms. Amp uses two different sizes of fuses (eh?) and wants a 4 gauge power power all to itself. Regardless, a) there are no line level outputs so you can not "add a powered sub later" and b) at 200w x 4 into 2 ohms (per manual) you will most likely blow any replacement 6.5" and 6"x9" you put in the car. Most speakers are 2 ohms and rated for 75-100w RMS these days.


I still stick to recommending the 6 channel and add the sub system later. Both Rockford Fosgate and JL offer two high quality options. Of the two in this solution I would choose the XD600/6. Do not pay more than $500.

I'm not sure there is such a thing as a 'powered sub' any more. There are "sleeper sub kits" (and of course Bazooka) but I prefer to build my own as the kits can run $750 to $2,000+

You are well beyond any reasonable easy fix at this point....welcome to the Car Audio bug.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:19 PM   #10
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Actually I found where to get the FARK, but apparently using it makes your rear tweeters not work? Is there a way to keep them working?
The same company that makes the FARK has a complete amp replacement kitwith the FARK (plug and play with no splicing to get line level audio from the factory radio) a speaker harness adapter that allows you to connect the output of a 4 channel amp back into the existing factory speaker wiring, and 2 adapters that will allow aa aftermarket amp to drive both the woofer and tweeter in the rear 6X9 speaker. I have the adapters, and they do work.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:48 AM   #11
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Yes, you can start off with a 4 gauge kit and only connect 1 amp on 1 of the 2 power outputs.

The XD400 is no longer produced which is why you are having trouble finding a good price on one, though a few places have the discontinued item for sale. Refurbished is fine, so long as it comes with a warranty. "They" are recommending (or popular) the XD series because it comes with a "RCA line out" for the sub amp, not all companies do this. The new amp is the XD400/4v2 (don't ask, I don't know the differences) and available for $330 at Amazon.

That polk...something strange with that amp. They are advertising 400w x 4 into 4 ohms on their product page and their manual clearly indicates 125w x 4 into 4 ohms. Amp uses two different sizes of fuses (eh?) and wants a 4 gauge power power all to itself. Regardless, a) there are no line level outputs so you can not "add a powered sub later" and b) at 200w x 4 into 2 ohms (per manual) you will most likely blow any replacement 6.5" and 6"x9" you put in the car. Most speakers are 2 ohms and rated for 75-100w RMS these days.


I still stick to recommending the 6 channel and add the sub system later. Both Rockford Fosgate and JL offer two high quality options. Of the two in this solution I would choose the XD600/6. Do not pay more than $500.

I'm not sure there is such a thing as a 'powered sub' any more. There are "sleeper sub kits" (and of course Bazooka) but I prefer to build my own as the kits can run $750 to $2,000+

You are well beyond any reasonable easy fix at this point....welcome to the Car Audio bug.
Wow I wouldn't have noticed any of that stuff in regards to the the amp. Glad I am asking the right people about this. I guess what I will do is get the xd400 amp for now, see if that makes the system sound good, and if it doesn't I'll look into replacing the front speakers with ones similar to the stock ones for uniform sound, and then look into a sub later on.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:58 AM   #12
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Since I am disabling the front mid speaker anyway, would a 5 channel amp like this do the job?
http://www.amazon.com/Rockford-Fosga...=5+channel+amp

It uses 4 gauge power connectors, but is rated 50 Watts x 4 + 200 Watts x 1 @ 4-Ohm / 75 Watt x 4 + 300 Watts x 1 @ 2-Ohm with a dedicated sub channel
Looks pretty big though
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:47 AM   #13
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The same company that makes the FARK has a complete amp replacement kitwith the FARK (plug and play with no splicing to get line level audio from the factory radio) a speaker harness adapter that allows you to connect the output of a 4 channel amp back into the existing factory speaker wiring, and 2 adapters that will allow aa aftermarket amp to drive both the woofer and tweeter in the rear 6X9 speaker. I have the adapters, and they do work.
Was unaware of this, thank you.

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Originally Posted by djrasras View Post
Since I am disabling the front mid speaker anyway, would a 5 channel amp like this do the job?
http://www.amazon.com/Rockford-Fosga...=5+channel+amp

It uses 4 gauge power connectors, but is rated 50 Watts x 4 + 200 Watts x 1 @ 4-Ohm / 75 Watt x 4 + 300 Watts x 1 @ 2-Ohm with a dedicated sub channel
Looks pretty big though
The RF Prime is a solid entry level series, miles higher quality than the stock amp and you should have no trouble selling it for $100-150 or dropping it in another vehicle if/when you want to upgrade.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:47 AM   #14
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Ended up getting this amp
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Powe...ct_top?ie=UTF8

Looked to be the best value
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