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New speakers sound bad

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Rdsnead258, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Aug 10, 2020 at 5:12 PM
    #1
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    Okay so I have a 2nd gen Tacoma. I installed a new Alpine ILX W650 Head Unit with its amp counterpart (KTA 450). I later installed 2 sets of Kicker CS series speakers, 2 6x9s for the front and 2 6 3/4 for the back. After installing everything and listening to everything I can’t really explain why but everything just sounds bad. I have no bass and I feel like I am missing mids too. I kept my tweeters stock for now as I didn’t feel like paying for the kicker Subaru tweeters I have heard a lot about in this fourm. I feel like all of my aftermarket speakers now sound bad and honestly the tweeters may sound better. I have also tried reversing the polarity because I have seen some places it may help certain things and nothing changed. On top of that I have spent a lot of time messing around with amp settings and eq settings and no matter what I do everything still just sounds bad. I haverun out of ideas so any help is obliged.
     
  2. Aug 10, 2020 at 5:59 PM
    #2
    destin_meeks

    destin_meeks I used to fix people's crappy stereos

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    We’re going to need more than “it sounds bad”
    So much of it comes down to radio settings, but we gotta have more to go off of
     
    Coma 13 likes this.
  3. Aug 10, 2020 at 6:02 PM
    #3
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    I can try to put it all into words but I am not that amazing at putting audio stuff into words. I know I have basically no bass, and everything sounds very tinny and harsh. I feel like low mids and low highs may also be missing if that makes any sense.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2020 at 7:18 PM
    #4
    amansker

    amansker Willie Dixon - God of the blues.

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    I'm a lifelong audiophile in regards to home equipment, but not so much auto so I will comment using basic/global audio experience.

    1.) Unlikely polarity change will be audible unless they are out of polarity (out of phase) - meaning one or more channels have reversed polarity compared to the other speakers. Confirm and reconfirm all speakers are in the same polarity. Out of phase typically throws the soundstage off/blurs imaging. It can "smear" the sound closer to mono than stereo. It probably won't "eliminate" bass or frequency range.

    2.) Reset the head unit to defaults. There should be an option that will do that for you. Set equalizer to flat.

    3.) Disconnect the tweeters if they aren't designed to work with the new speakers.

    4.) Is that amp an "in-line" amp only? Are you using the head units live speaker wire outs into that amp? If so that is not a good thing at all, even though the amp is built to allow it. Much better to use the rca outs (pre-outs) into the amp. I don't have the time to review your whole setup.

    5.) I don't really know those speakers, but at $100 per pair, they are probably way outclassed by the amp. Maybe they are just "cheap". Read the reviews if you haven't. It seems to me the head unit and amp should be able to pump out a decent signal. Maybe temporarily attach some other speakers. Heck, even some inexpensive home speakers might give you a clue for troubleshooting.

    6.) Maybe you have a $20k home audio system and are expecting too much.

    Good luck and enjoy the music!
     
    Larzzzz likes this.
  5. Aug 10, 2020 at 9:35 PM
    #5
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    I am using rca to connect my head unit to my amp and the amp is toggled to use rca instead of in line. The thing that makes this sound so bad to me is the fact that my old factory gear sounded better than all of the new gear.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2020 at 10:00 PM
    #6
    slowlane

    slowlane Well-Known Member

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    "Bad" sounding audio is so subjective.
     
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  7. Aug 11, 2020 at 9:31 AM
    #7
    amansker

    amansker Willie Dixon - God of the blues.

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    FYI I just replaced the non-JBL factory head unit in my 2010 and left the stock speakers. In my opinion it does not sound as good as factory. Just a bad match. Rolled off on top, weaker imaging, less presence. I'll add an amp/speakers soon.

     
  8. Aug 11, 2020 at 11:28 AM
    #8
    dolbytone

    dolbytone Well-Known Member

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    I installed Kicker CS series speakers, a component set in front and coaxials in back, in my step-daughter’s car in late 2015 to replace blown ones, and I thought they sounded like shit. They had no sack whatsoever, the low-mids and the lows just weren’t there.

    At the time I deemed it necessary for these speakers to have proper speaker adapters and baffling to bring any body out of the sound they make, but I didn’t have time to mess around with it, they were installed with the shitty plastic speaker mounts that Crutchfield sent.

    It is because of this experience that I will never buy Kicker anything ever again.
     
  9. Aug 11, 2020 at 11:32 AM
    #9
    Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Well-Known Member

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    Kicker speakers aren't great but they should sound better than OEM when matched with that headunit and amp combo.

    How did you mount the speakers? Baffles? Sealed well to the door?
     
  10. Aug 11, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #10
    dirty deeds

    dirty deeds Big Blue Nation!

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  11. Aug 11, 2020 at 12:57 PM
    #11
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    My speakers are mounted with the metra brackets Crutchfield sent me.
     
  12. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM
    #12
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    So I swapped one of the 6x9s in the front and one of the 6 3/4 in the back with the old speakers and here's what I learned. The old 6x9 sounds way fuller than my new one, it has more bass and is a good bit louder. With my 6 3/4 when I swapped them, that noticeably worse sound was not there. Could I have been sent a bad batch of 6x9s?
     
  13. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:08 PM
    #13
    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    Are you using new speaker wire, or the existing stock? Does your HU have on-board speaker power? If so, could wire the new speaks to the HU and see if they sound the same. If so, you know it's in the speaker or the wiring to the speaker. Best way to check these things is to change/swap out one part at a time and try to isolate the problem.
     
  14. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:09 PM
    #14
    Rdsnead258

    Rdsnead258 [OP] Member

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    I am using the stock speaker wire, and I am fairly certain that my HU does have on-board speaker power.
     
  15. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:13 PM
    #15
    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    The stock speaker wire to the door has the stock 6x9 and the "tweeter" wired in series. If you are not picking up the right leads you may be getting some interaction there. Try getting some speaker wire and just run a short test line from the amp to the speaker and see if the speaker clears up.
     
  16. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:13 PM
    #16
    Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Well-Known Member

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    One issue is the metra adapters are a "one size fits all", which means they really fit none.

    The stock speakers are molded to fit the door opening exactly, and they seal with foam.

    The door is then the speaker enclosure, stopping standing waves, cancellation etc...

    The new speakers with the metra adapters probably have gaps you can stick your pinky finger through, that's costing you midbass and bass.
     
  17. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:22 PM
    #17
    Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Well-Known Member

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    Re: above....

     
  18. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:25 PM
    #18
    Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Well-Known Member

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    Also...what are the filter settings on your amp?

    If the stock speakers sound better swapping straight over it shouldn't be an issue, but just to eliminate the possibility.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:41 PM
    #19
    Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Well-Known Member

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    Oh and one last thing, with the Kicker CS series you now have EIGHT TWEETERS in your truck lol.

    One of the reasons I don't like the suggested Kicker package here in the forum.

    It's way too much and there's no way to avoid it sounding more harsh running those.
     
  20. Aug 11, 2020 at 1:57 PM
    #20
    dirty deeds

    dirty deeds Big Blue Nation!

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    Exactly what I did as well.

    You bought from Crutchfield and came here to ask for help lol! Please do yourself a favor and call them, they will help you. That's way more helpful advice than what anyone can give you here, honest truth.
     

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