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Old 08-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
llODIEll

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Speaker Choice Alpine, JBL, or Pioneer.

So this is my first post here and I just wanted to get an opinion on which speakers I should get. I'm looking at 4 different ones and leaning towards either the JBLs or the 3 way Pioneers. I don't know much about car audio and I also want to know which ones would work best with my head unit. This is all going in an 02 GTI and I've got a JVC KD-R530 which is a 20wrms x 4 unit, it's not a great unit but I don't think it's trash. I also won't be getting an amp any time soon.

Pioneer TS-A1674R 3-Way
JBL 2-way
Alpine SPS-610
Pioneer TS-A1684R 4 Way
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
basicxj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by llODIEll View Post
So this is my first post here and I just wanted to get an opinion on which speakers I should get. I'm looking at 4 different ones and leaning towards either the JBLs or the 3 way Pioneers. I don't know much about car audio and I also want to know which ones would work best with my head unit. This is all going in an 02 GTI and I've got a JVC KD-R530 which is a 20wrms x 4 unit, it's not a great unit but I don't think it's trash. I also won't be getting an amp any time soon.

Pioneer TS-A1674R 3-Way
JBL 2-way
Alpine SPS-610
Pioneer TS-A1684R 4 Way
Out of that list of entry-level speakers the JBLs will most likely sound the best, with the Alpines running a not so close second followed by the Pioneers which will sound pretty disappointing.

With that said, every speaker truly needs a proper amplifier to sound it's best...20 watts x 4 worth of head unit power will have you listening to distortion from clipping shortly beyond the halfway mark on the volume knob and will not properly control the cones of the mids for decent midbass output. Give those speakers the 60 watts RMS that they require (or close to it) and they should sound much better than their price would have you believe.

http://www.woofersetc.com/p-6855-fd-...amplifier.aspx

^^ It doesn't take a lot of money to find a good quality amplifier- this one is older stock on sale at a fraction of it's original MSRP.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
llODIEll

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Thanks for the reply, do you know if that amp would be good for later add-ons? I plan on getting another 2 of whatever speaker (probably the JBLs) later on of the rear. I guess would need another amp for, say, 10" subs though. Would it be better if I just bought a better amp to start with, or would I always end up needing two amps two run the 4 speakers and 2 subs?
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llODIEll View Post
Thanks for the reply, do you know if that amp would be good for later add-ons? I plan on getting another 2 of whatever speaker (probably the JBLs) later on of the rear. I guess would need another amp for, say, 10" subs though. Would it be better if I just bought a better amp to start with, or would I always end up needing two amps two run the 4 speakers and 2 subs?
I don't bother with rear speakers- they hurt more than they help. Just because the car manufacturers have conditioned the owners of those cars to expect rear speakers doesn't mean they should have a part in an upgraded sound system that is reproducing 2 channels of stereo information. In a car like the GTI I would do upgraded front speakers with a 2 channel amp (or bridged 4 channel amp if there isn't anything decent in 2 channels), a nice subwoofer powered with a mono amplifier. If you have modest listening needs, you can bridge 2 channels on a 4 channel amp to power an entry level woofer and front speakers off a single amplifier. If you have visions of big bass and multiple woofers, go with a separate monoblock amp to power the subs. I really wouldn't expend time or energy or your hard earned money putting rear speakers into the mix, especially amplified rear speakers. If the goal is to step up performance and overall sound quality, consider doing some better quality component speakers up front as they are ultimately responsible for about 80% of the audible spectrum of frequencies.

This may sound counter-intuitive to you, but the sound arriving at your ears in the driver's seat comes in two ways- direct sound that is in the recording that gets radiated straight from the speaker locations to your listening position, and indirect sound aka echoes as that sound bounces around against surfaces inside the enclosed listening space that is your vehicle and arrives at your ears after what is truly in the recording. Having subwoofers (whose frequencies sound omnidirectional) behind you doesn't matter, but the higher the frequency, the more directional these sounds become so high and midrange frequencies reproduced behind you will be very distinctly heard as such and this muddies the overall clarity, hurts sound quality, sense of stage and stereo image. IMHO, amplified rear speakers only really have a place in surround systems (don't laugh, they exist for cars but require that capability be included in the head unit or DSP) where they have dedicated and distinct rear channel audio information that is supposed to be there. Search "rear fill" using the forum's search feature for some good reading and debate on the subject- if you absolutely have to have it, leave the stock speakers in powered by the head unit for rear locations.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
llODIEll

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Thank you very much for your input, I'll just buy some good JBLs and an amp, would it damage the speakers if I ran it at a lower power (head unit) until I could afford an amp or would it be worth just buying the amp and speakers at the same time?
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llODIEll View Post
Thank you very much for your input, I'll just buy some good JBLs and an amp, would it damage the speakers if I ran it at a lower power (head unit) until I could afford an amp or would it be worth just buying the amp and speakers at the same time?
Damage? There are two ways of damaging a speaker...thermally, where you put more power by way of watts into the speaker than it is designed to thermally dissipate (it's RMS or continuous power handling rating), and mechanically, where a speaker gets overdriven by way of distortion and too much uncontrolled excursion. The latter can happen if the speaker is simply dropped into factory locations with no efforts to seal up the door, and is made worse when fed a clipped and distorted signal from an extremely weak amp (like that found in head units).

If you want to avoid damage, install the speakers properly and turn it down at the first signs of distress (such as hot smells from the speaker, distortion or mechanical noises). If you want the sound quality and power handling you expect from a speaker, install it properly in a sealed up door, add a proper amplifier and set it up properly (high pass filter on the mid to roll off frequencies it's not designed to play, say below 80hz, and proper gain structure).
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
llODIEll

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Thanks, amp and speakers it is! Guess I will postpone my upgrade till I can afford them both.
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