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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys/gals. I have been doing some extensive research/shopping to upgrade my sound system in the car. Had a few questions that I hoped you could help with since most of the threads I found myself reading were 3-4 years old and I'm sure there must be newer parts/info out there.

First things first: I just bought my car. Front speakers are blown which is why I am upgrading so soon. I will be upgrading my speakers first, followed by the head unit shortly after that. At first I will be running everything through the stock wiring but that will change. Eventually (probably later this summer) I will be pulling everything out again and doing it right (amps, etc) but I have to rebuild my savings a bit after blowing most of my 'mortgage down payment' fund on the car last week :hihi:

I am planning on running a set of Boston Acoustics 5.25" components up front with Boston Acoustics 5.25" 2-ways out back. The component tweeters will be flush mounted directly above the component woofer in the doors. I am going to try and stop by a store this weekend and listen to some different options but I am leaning towards BA stuff for now since I have heard (and liked) their stuff in the past.

Anyway, now for the questions:

  1. First off, are there any good threads that you would suggest reading on this subject? I will be checking out diymobileaudio later but figured I could get more car specific stuff here..
  2. The speakers I am looking at are rated for 75W or 125W for the front (I have a couple options) and 50W in the rear. Will I run into any sound quality issues by running significantly stronger front speakers than rear speakers? I don't think so but I can't say I have any experience with a setup like this.
  3. The biggy: the 8" subs in the doors... I have read that there are numerous options here:
  • swap the sub out with a shelby (kicker) sub for a direct swap
  • install a spacer and go with an aftermarket 8" subwoofer or midbass
  • cut up the ford enclosure and install aftermarket subwoofer (though this approach will either ruin the enclosure or require some custom fiberglass work to re-seal everything)
I'm not afraid of some custom work so the 3rd option is actually sounding pretty good to me but again... most of the threads I have looked at are getting older. Have there been any new speakers to come out recently that fit this enclosure w/o modifications?
And would you folks recommend a subwoofer in the door or a midbass speaker? Keep in mind eventually I will be getting a 10" or 12" subwoofer in the trunk to compliment the rest of the system.
 

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I'm probably not as much of an audiophile as most. I actually think the shaker system sounds pretty good on its own.

That said, I would probably just leave the head unit, replace the factory speakers with some junk yard take-offs of the same kind, throw one of those MTX Thunderforms 12" subs in the trunk and call it a day.

No fabbing or creative wiring involved! :bigthumbsup

-HD
 

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I'm not very informed on wiring or anything of the sort, so most of this is over my head, but addressing your concern on the front versus rear speakers being overpowering, there's a nice little trick the Shaker systems have: You're able to adjust the volume of each set independently to a specified level. Just go hit the menu button a couple of times, and you'll be able to choose between all speakers on the same level, rear speakers preferred or front speakers preferred.
So, you shouldn't have to worry about either set being too weak or too strong for it's counterpart, because you'll be able to change and match the volume levels of each independently!

I think it's a pretty cool little trick that the Shaker systems have :gringreen
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That said, I would probably just leave the head unit, replace the factory speakers with some junk yard take-offs of the same kind, throw one of those MTX Thunderforms 12" subs in the trunk and call it a day.

No fabbing or creative wiring involved! :bigthumbsup

-HD
Thanks for the input however as far as I am concerned stock units are not an option. At the very least I will be putting higher end 2 or 3 way speakers in place of the stock stuff. On your 2nd point though... how are the Thunderforms? I was looking at those and decided I may try and build a custom fiberglass sub enclosure and pick that up if I fail miserably :laugh: I was looking at the JL Audio option but would rather not spend $900 on sub/enclosure even though I'm sure it's an amazing unit.

I'm not very informed on wiring or anything of the sort, so most of this is over my head, but addressing your concern on the front versus rear speakers being overpowering, there's a nice little trick the Shaker systems have: You're able to adjust the volume of each set independently to a specified level. Just go hit the menu button a couple of times, and you'll be able to choose between all speakers on the same level, rear speakers preferred or front speakers preferred.
So, you shouldn't have to worry about either set being too weak or too strong for it's counterpart, because you'll be able to change and match the volume levels of each independently!

I think it's a pretty cool little trick that the Shaker systems have :gringreen
I actually think that the All/Driver/Rear adjustment just changes the volume so that the seats in mention hear the ideal sound levels from each speaker. If you put it to driver it will adjust the volume of each speaker (and maybe delay to each speaker) to give the driver the best sound quality. Those settings are based on the stock speakers/amps so it wouldn't do much good with aftermarket components.

That said, even if it worked with aftermarket stuff it won't apply since I will be upgrading the head unit eventually and won't have that 'feature' per say though I could manually adjust the timing and volume of the speakers if I get a head unit with those options. :)

In addition, I definitely will be able to adjust the power going to each speaker... I could easily set each speaker to run at 50W max power by adjusting the gain on the amp(s) even though the speakers CAN run at higher power. I was asking the power question to see if anyone had input on running the front speakers at higher power than the rear speakers. I figured this wouldn't be a problem since some people run high end front speakers with no rear speakers... if some people do that I shouldn't have a problem with less power out back but wanted to double check my logic.:bigthumbsup
 

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I actually think that the All/Driver/Rear adjustment just changes the volume so that the seats in mention hear the ideal sound levels from each speaker. If you put it to driver it will adjust the volume of each speaker (and maybe delay to each speaker) to give the driver the best sound quality. Those settings are based on the stock speakers/amps so it wouldn't do much good with aftermarket components.

That said, even if it worked with aftermarket stuff it won't apply since I will be upgrading the head unit eventually and won't have that 'feature' per say though I could manually adjust the timing and volume of the speakers if I get a head unit with those options. :)

In addition, I definitely will be able to adjust the power going to each speaker... I could easily set each speaker to run at 50W max power by adjusting the gain on the amp(s) even though the speakers CAN run at higher power. I was asking the power question to see if anyone had input on running the front speakers at higher power than the rear speakers. I figured this wouldn't be a problem since some people run high end front speakers with no rear speakers... if some people do that I shouldn't have a problem with less power out back but wanted to double check my logic.:bigthumbsup
Ohhh okay :D My bad, slightly misunderstood you. Given what you're wanting, I don't think you would have a problem running 50/75, considering the distances between you and the speakers. Are the rear speakers you're talking about the ones that are in the top of the trunk compartment, going in behind the rear seats?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ohhh okay :D My bad, slightly misunderstood you. Given what you're wanting, I don't think you would have a problem running 50/75, considering the distances between you and the speakers. Are the rear speakers you're talking about the ones that are in the top of the trunk compartment, going in behind the rear seats?
Yes. When I say rear speakers I mean the rear deck behind the seat.

I will be running either 75 or 125 watt component speakers in the doors and 50 watt 2-way speakers in the rear deck.

Will probably be running a 60x4 (RMS) watt amp and just turn the gain down a bit for the rear speakers.

That way I would have 60W front and 50W rear. I may go with a slightly more powerful amp so I can run the fronts a bit higher than 60W but that depends on how much $$ I have to spend (or how many beers I have had) when I decide to order my amps. :D
 

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I think what matters is the sensitivity rating for the speakers. If both the 50 & 75 have the same sensitivity rating, you shouldn't notice a difference until extreme volumes. Like I said though, I think. This is not a fact.

This is a fact, however. I've had two different types of MTX speakers, both were 12s, I think one was Blue Thunder but cant remember for sure (long time ago) I didn't like them at all.

I replaced them with JBL woofers and was happy. I replaced the JBL woofers and Rockford Fosgate amp with JL Audio woofers and Pheonix Gold Amp and I was friggin blown away!

I would Highly recommend the JL Audio subs! If you're a big audio guy, you'll be happy you paid the extra cash. Just my opinion.

That was when I was a young-in. Now at the ripe old age of 34, I totally happy with the 6disc Shaker 500:bigthumbsup
 

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I ditched the skipper er shaker system long ago. The first thing I would recommend is a quality head unit. Being able to adjust the crossover makes a world of difference even with the stock speakers. Next up is the 6x8 speakers and there are many great speakers available. Pick your posion I went with infinity reference 50w rms units. The subs are a bit of a challenge due to the factory enclosure mounted in the doors. If you have custom enclosures made it will open up many more options. Of course a decent amp will be required to power everything. The amp selection cannot be made unit you have specifics on the speakers choosen. I did the total install myself and it is 1000x better then the shaker system.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think what matters is the sensitivity rating for the speakers. If both the 50 & 75 have the same sensitivity rating, you shouldn't notice a difference until extreme volumes. Like I said though, I think. This is not a fact.

This is a fact, however. I've had two different types of MTX speakers, both were 12s, I think one was Blue Thunder but cant remember for sure (long time ago) I didn't like them at all.

I replaced them with JBL woofers and was happy. I replaced the JBL woofers and Rockford Fosgate amp with JL Audio woofers and Pheonix Gold Amp and I was friggin blown away!

I would Highly recommend the JL Audio subs! If you're a big audio guy, you'll be happy you paid the extra cash. Just my opinion.

That was when I was a young-in. Now at the ripe old age of 34, I totally happy with the 6disc Shaker 500:bigthumbsup
Thanks! All the speakers I have selected have the same sensitivity rating so regardless of how much that matters it should be a non-issue.

And thanks for the MTX feedback.. I knew that JL made quality stuff but was (and still am) trying to justify the cost. Part of me wants to try my hand at building my own stealth enclosure (have build normal boxes before, just not 'stealth') but the other part of me says I should just get one that is professionally built with a sub that it was specifically designed for.

And I'm only 25 but I have got past that 'make it loud' part of my life and would much rather have something that sounds good over something that you can hear a block away. Before my mustang I had a 2008 altima which, I hate to say it but, I think had a better base audio setup than the mustang's shaker. Maybe it's just that my shaker system was abused by the PO but that's how I feel right now. It seems to be lacking mids, have harsh highs once in a while, and saturated lows. Not to mention the 6 CD changer is more or less useless to me since I use the radio or my Zune since I have an absurd amount of music :shigrin

I ditched the skipper er shaker system long ago. The first thing I would recommend is a quality head unit. Being able to adjust the crossover makes a world of difference even with the stock speakers. Next up is the 6x8 speakers and there are many great speakers available. Pick your posion I went with infinity reference 50w rms units. The subs are a bit of a challenge due to the factory enclosure mounted in the doors. If you have custom enclosures made it will open up many more options. Of course a decent amp will be required to power everything. The amp selection cannot be made unit you have specifics on the speakers choosen. I did the total install myself and it is 1000x better then the shaker system.
Normally I agree 110% on the quality HU followed by speakers.. this time around I am doing it in reverse (though the HU will be replaced shortly after the speakers) because the speakers are broken while the head unit is not. In the short term speakers will make the audio more bearable. And yes everything will be properly amplified eventually, though most will be powered off the new head unit until I can justify purchasing amps in a few months.
 

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If you want quality over bass, make sure you get a sub that is SQL over SPL. I have 3 Arc Audio 12's with a rockford prime 1000 amp and I like it. It is not as loud bass wise as you would think. I get many compliments about it. I have upgraded my head unit and that is a must. I did mine originally like you were doing and if I could redo it, I would. The stock speakers are perfectly fine with a new head unit. Trust me on this one. I am considering upgrading my subs to 2 JL W6's in a ported box, but that is because I want a little more bass.

And I would get the box built professionally. It is amazing how much a good box can change how it sounds.
 
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