Good aftermarket speakers - 6.5 inch using factory headunit?

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This is the "setup" I went with. They should be here within the week. Install is a whole another story haha. Thank you for the suggestions as always!
Just keep in mind the speaker break in period, and using something to create a "funnel" between speaker and door panel if you don't rip up the old one and use it as a frame. I preferred to keep the original speakers intact, so I did it the harder way, by using a 6.5 inch by 1/2 in spacer to bring it out from the panel, then cut a long strip of closed cell foam and wrapped it around the speaker, taped it so it made a 'funnel', then installed the door panel. Most people just gut the OEM speaker and use it as a frame to mount the new speaker to. Just different ways to skin a cat.
 
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I remember Clarion and Audia being good in the mid 80s. I have no idea who even makes car stereos anymore.
Clarion is barely around - they do mostly OEM work for Nissan, Subaru(Hitachi connection), Ford and Honda. Fareucia bought them out - makes sense due to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

By Audia = Alpine? Still around, BMW is their primary customer, not so much Honda as in the past. Pioneer also did some major Honda business, but now Toyota counts more. For OE audio, Panasonic rules the T1 OE. Samsung’s Harman also does major OE business. Pioneer, Clarion, Alpine, Visteon and Denso Ten(formerly Fujitsu Ten) make up the rest.
 
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Clarion is barely around - they do mostly OEM work for Nissan, Subaru(Hitachi connection), Ford and Honda. Fareucia bought them out - makes sense due to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

By Audia = Alpine? Still around, BMW is their primary customer, not so much Honda as in the past. Pioneer also did some major Honda business, but now Toyota counts more. For OE audio, Panasonic rules the T1 OE. Samsung’s Harman also does major OE business. Pioneer, Clarion, Alpine, Visteon and Denso Ten(formerly Fujitsu Ten) make up the rest.
I think Audia was Clarion's flagship brand (maybe around 1986?).
 
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What’s the impedance in ohms of the factory speakers? If you have 4 ohm speakers, look at the Rockford Fosgate Prime series, JL Audio C1 series or Focal Auditor series - they have “high” sensitivity(90-92db) vs most aftermarket speakers.

If you have 2 ohm(like many Nissans and newer Toyotas with JBL “premium” sound), there is an OE-replacement option on Crutchfield.

In any case, I would recommend getting fast rings and foam tape for sound deadening and to “focus” the sound into the passenger compartment like this video:

I was gonna comment a couple posts up but figured I’d go here. You’d think higher sensitivity would be a win-win, but it’s not. Especially in open, uninsulated doors with anemic “factory” watts, as one mentioned, will make the bass sound weak, which you then attempt to compensate for using the tone controls, and pretty soon your music isn’t anything like the artist intended.

Without getting into the actual acoustics (because that’s above my pay grade) a very high sensitivity speaker will have SEVERE low-end roll-off if it is in too small or too leaky an enclosure. It’s one of the reasons if you check specs on serious subwoofers (no flea-market subs need apply), they generally have a sensitivity in the 82-85dB range. It allows these subs to be put into a somewhat smaller box than recommended without sounding like 💩 .

I went over the top and put a set of Focal PS165 components & coax’s in my ‘19 F150 and paired it with a Kicker Key 200.4. I used the DSP tuning function, and while not perfect, it does sound better to my ear than the B&O system in the 2021 Expedition Max Platinum I lived in for a week. I snatched them up from Crutchfield on a 50% clearance and am happy!
 
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I went over the top and put a set of Focal PS165 components & coax’s in my ‘19 F150 and paired it with a Kicker Key 200.4. I used the DSP tuning function, and while not perfect, it does sound better to my ear than the B&O system in the 2021 Expedition Max Platinum I lived in for a week. I snatched them up from Crutchfield on a 50% clearance and am happy!
I’ve watched a video of a full speaker and sub replacement in a Ford with the B&O Play system - it looks like an absolute chore.

Many new cars are using heavy DSPs or other processing in their sound systems - with start-stop & active noise cancellation, it’s a trick the aftermarket is trying to work around like that Kicker Key can do with a OE audio signal.
 
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I
I’ve watched a video of a full speaker and sub replacement in a Ford with the B&O Play system - it looks like an absolute chore.

Many new cars are using heavy DSPs or other processing in their sound systems - with start-stop & active noise cancellation, it’s a trick the aftermarket is trying to work around like that Kicker Key can do with a OE audio signal.
If you have ForScan, you can actually alter the factory outputs- B&O has its own settings in the electronics- but the most useful is to make the F&R channels of the factory HU output a “flat” 4V preamp output instead of high level. It’s what I did to mine.

The Key is amazing for what it is- I mounted mine inside the dash behind the 8” factory screen. The DSP was based on the response of the truck cabin & the speakers in that space. I deadened all doors and the rear wall of the cab with butyl/aluminum/CCF but I still have to do the roof.

All told, I think I have about $1k in it, and worth every penny. Still deciding what subs I may go with, but for everyday musical listening the Focals leave very, very little to be desired at sane levels.
 
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I went with Infinity's in my Buick with stock HU and it made it sound way better than I expected. It also took a few months before the full potential of the speakers were realized, better bass mainly.

The reason for Infinity using 3 ohm speakers is the take in to account the wiring which is usually 1 ohm so after installed you end up with a true 4 ohm speakers.

Usually with a low power amp you want higher sensitivity speakers.
 
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I had to look.. I found Audia by Clarion.. on ebay, here's the link

I remember Audia. We carried it at a car audio store I worked at in Hixson, TN around 1985/86. We did not sell much of it. It was very expensive and the head units were difficult to use while driving. It was also kind of all or nothing, couldn't really mix with any other brands or components. Clarion was trying to compete with Alpine and Pioneer Centrate but it just never took off. Clarion made a few good amplifiers and equalizers but their head units and speakers were not so great. You could get better sound for less money with Pioneer or Sony and back then even cheap car audio gear still cost a lot of cash. Clarion was the OE supplier for Nissan, Mazda and Saab back then too. Toyota was usually Panasonic.

When Alpine first got going in the late 70's and early 80's it was kind of branded as a premium high quality niche brand of car audio sold only at small independent shops with installers that had the extra expertise and skills to work with high-end car audio. And Alpine was high quality. It really was. Clarion tried again to take Alpine's place as a high end specialist brand when Circuit City picked up Alpine in the middle 1990's. Back then the general attitude in the car audio world was that Circuit only sold low end junk and their installers were idiots. Clarion and Alpine both kind of went downhill then but Alpine was still the better brand as far as sound quality.

I still remember even today how great Alpine was back then. Pioneer was good too, their old GMA-120 amp was one of the best amps you could buy for the money back then. They rated it at 60 watts a channel by 2 channels but put it on a pair of good 6x9's or a set of Sony XS-880's in the back deck of a Camaro or Trans Am and a home-made metal bias cassette in decent tape deck and man it was loud. Loud and still super clean. I remember the old Pioneer KEA-880 tape deck, it was the first one I ever saw that the faceplate lit up at night. Back then that was a big thing. The 880 sounded great too but it had a huge chassis, a separate little amplifier that could be switched for 2 or 4 speakers, lots of wires and it was kind of a pain to install.

In the early 80's in the first car I ever owned, a '72 Chevelle Malibu I had a Marantz 340 am-fm tape deck, an Alpine 3007 5-band equalizer with 20 watts per channel for the front speakers and a passive rear output connected to an Alpine 3008 80 watt main amp, with Jensen Triax Series II 6x9's in the rear deck and Jensen 6 inch Coax Series II in the front doors. I still remember watching the green and yellow peak output indicator lights on the 3007 eq at night. It one of the loudest systems in town for a while.

Those were the days. Absolutely.
 

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Just keep in mind the speaker break in period, and using something to create a "funnel" between speaker and door panel if you don't rip up the old one and use it as a frame. I preferred to keep the original speakers intact, so I did it the harder way, by using a 6.5 inch by 1/2 in spacer to bring it out from the panel, then cut a long strip of closed cell foam and wrapped it around the speaker, taped it so it made a 'funnel', then installed the door panel. Most people just gut the OEM speaker and use it as a frame to mount the new speaker to. Just different ways to skin a cat.
The OEM speakers, while not blown or anything....I just think they are "worn". I would have zero trouble sacrificing the front door speakers for the aftermarket infinity and use the OEM speakers as a base plate. Could you just break that down a little more for me on how I would use the factory speaker frame for the infinity's? IS it as simple as im thinking and you made it sound 😲 What about the magnet on the factory speaker, sound I remove that?
 

01rangerxl

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At least in 90s-00s era Ford trucks, Pioneer is my easy choice. My Ranger has roughly 13 year old Pioneers bought at Walmart when the Alpines that were in it started rattling. It had an Alpine head unit in it at the time, but after that broke too I put the factory one back in. My 97 Explorer has some probably older Pioneers with what looks to be an at least 20 year old Sony head unit and sounds pretty good even with no sub of any kind.
 
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Yes, all you want is the shell. magnet needs to be removed, you just need the outside part as shown here. basically turns the OEM speaker into an 1 1/2 spacer. screw new speaker into the old frame. Screw frame back on to door.
 

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If you have ForScan, you can actually alter the factory outputs- B&O has its own settings in the electronics- but the most useful is to make the F&R channels of the factory HU output a “flat” 4V preamp output instead of high level. It’s what I did to mine.
That’s cool - no aftermarket interface needed but you had to solder on RCAs from the B&O amp’s F/R channels and that was it?
 
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That’s cool - no aftermarket interface needed but you had to solder on RCAs from the B&O amp’s F/R channels and that was it?
Nope not even that, I found a T harness that has factory plugs on both ends and came out to two sets of wires that corresponded to the speaker channels. I took the input side and connected to the input of the Key amp, and the output side went to the other half of the harness. That way, if I ever decide to remove it, I simply remove the T harness & Key amp, plug the factory harness back together, and it’s like nothing ever happened.

And my truck didn’t have the B&O, but that’s among the neat things I’ve found in ForScan. Even on a base truck with the 4” screen, you can alter the factory electronics to provide a solid 4V preamp. 👍🏻
 
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At least in 90s-00s era Ford trucks, Pioneer is my easy choice. My Ranger has roughly 13 year old Pioneers bought at Walmart when the Alpines that were in it started rattling. It had an Alpine head unit in it at the time, but after that broke too I put the factory one back in. My 97 Explorer has some probably older Pioneers with what looks to be an at least 20 year old Sony head unit and sounds pretty good even with no sub of any kind.
I have a friend my old Pioneer DEH-P8400BH deck for his Explorer - it still does the job.
 

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Yes, all you want is the shell. magnet needs to be removed, you just need the outside part as shown here. basically turns the OEM speaker into an 1 1/2 spacer. screw new speaker into the old frame. Screw frame back on to door.
Great, thank you. I thought that plastic base plate was separate from the speaker, I did not know they are one piece and that's what you were referring to. This is the route im going to go. I can pick up new OEM speakers on the bay for 25 bucks if I want to ever revert it. I also picked up some quick connections to keep all the factory connectors..
 
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Great, thank you. I thought that plastic base plate was separate from the speaker, I did not know they are one piece and that's what you were referring to. This is the route im going to go. I can pick up new OEM speakers on the bay for 25 bucks if I want to ever revert it. I also picked up some quick connections to keep all the factory connectors..
Cool, let us know how it works out! If it doesn't, I have some extra 6.5 spacers to do it the other way.
 

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Update: The rear speakers arrived today with the wire connectors and I have to say. It wasn’t easy 😂 I feel for the people that do this for a living.

used the rear speakers as a base plate and put in the new speakers inside of that base plate after cutting the speakers out of it. Otherwise even with the small adapter that is included there wasn’t enough space and the speaker frame was hitting the inside walls of the cut out for speaker sheet metal. But all in all, all the clips went back and shockingly not one of them broke all the plastic is good and everything is really secure.


The rear speakers sound so much fuller, the base is a different frequency and it’s tighter mid range sounds phenomenal and the treb is pretty clear without being overly pronounced. As a whole it sounds really great.

If the rear speakers sound this good even on the cut frequency of the factory head unit I am really excited for the front ones.

Oh and here’s a couple photos of the factory 20 W speakers.
173496CC-09A8-4033-985B-BFE6BF45F743.jpeg
DAE98ECE-726C-4740-BEF4-3823DC38DD65.jpeg
 

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Cool, let us know how it works out! If it doesn't, I have some extra 6.5 spacers to do it the other way.
Thank you for the offer, using the speaker as base plate / adapter seems to be working well. Yeah I no longer have the factory speakers.. But why would i want to! :LOL:

EDIT: Also the rears have a couple hours of use, I had volume around 45% for a couple hours while I cleaned up everything and conditioned the leather. The rear infinity speakers already sound even better and not just a little - a very noticeable difference inside the car. They really woke up.
 
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