Car Audio guys... a question

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by sully0812, May 9, 2016.


  1. sully0812

    sully0812 High Wheeler

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    I'd like to add a front channel to my stereo this spring.

    Currently, there are two speakers cut into the rear on either side of the rear passenger compartment, since the previous owner left me with some big old holes there. They make plenty of sound, but the problem is that with the top off, you wind up putting them at a level that is deafening to anyone sitting in the back seat. The obvious answer is to balance that out a bit with some sound up front.

    I'd like to maintain a clean and uncluttered appearance, so I am focusing on using the stock speaker location in the dash. The way I see it, I have two options there.

    I can either use the Retrosound dual voice coil 4x8 speaker or I can make a bracket and put two 4" speakers in the same spot.

    I recognize that neither solution is going to produce hi-fidelity sound, nor is the Scout a hi-fi listening environment. But I'm curious which solution is likely better to produce better sound. My gut tells me that two speakers will do better than one, despite the "stereo input" on the retrosound. But my gut also tells me that 4" speakers are tiny and are going to sound like poop.

    I know a lot about a lot of different things. But I'm no audio expert. So which direction should I take ?
     
  2. MrKenmore

    MrKenmore Y-Block King

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  3. sully0812

    sully0812 High Wheeler

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    I read through your thread, and I'm jealous of your uncut dash. My dash was hacked for a DIN style radio long ago.
    I'm discouraged that you say the sound is "not the best". Where do you feel it is lacking? Is it the low end response? is it tinny sounding? Or is it just the lack of stereo definition from having both channels coming from essentially the same location?
     
  4. MrKenmore

    MrKenmore Y-Block King

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    I think the mono nature of the speaker is what is "not the best". I mean it certainly does the job and you don't have to make a mess of your interior to get there. It just sounds like a small speaker. And you know how that sounds. With the Terra top on, I adjust the fader so it's 100% rear speakers, nothing from the front. I don't know if this will answer your problems (especially with the top off!!!). I saw one post where someone placed enclosed speakers under the dash. Looked OK. Didn't hack anything up. There are those big Philips head 1/4" screws you can use.
     
  5. ScoutHI

    ScoutHI Farmall Cub

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    I've got the retrosound speaker too. It's a big step up from the factory speaker I replaced but agree with MrKenmore that it's just okay. It works around town, but is basically inaudible at higher speeds. I guess it's asking a lot of the speaker size (it is pretty small) and location to expect more since it's behind a thick metal grill, pointing downward, and not in any kind of enclosure. In retrospect I would have put some sort of baffle behind it (you can buy rubber enclosure things for this purpose) which would probably help a bit. As MrKenmore mentioned it is more of a pain to install than ideal especially given the price (not retrosounds fault, they don't claim it will fit a Scout II) though I guess still a bit easier than fabricating a mount for two small speakers. I'm still debating what to do to get a little more sound. If I had an AC truck I think kick panel speakers would be the way to go, but I don't want to lose my vents. The underdash enclosure looks interesting but there's not a ton of space there. I was thinking of doing the 6.5" by the rear seat too, but I'm not sure especially given your feedback on them.
     
  6. customtronic

    customtronic Farmall Cub

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    I've worked in the car audio industry since 1991 and have ran into this issue many times in the past. If you're not willing to modify the door panels, two 4" speakers in the center will be one of your only other option. It is possible to get decent sound out of a 4" speaker if you choose the correct one. One of the things I would look for is the sensitivity rating. This is measured in dB. In a nutshell, the higher the number, the louder it will be with the same power input as a speaker with lower sensitivity. Small differences in that number mean a lot. For example, The Memphis Audio PRX42 has a sensitivity rating of 85 dB while it's big brother the MCX4 has a rating of 87. An increase of 3 db is twice as loud with the same amount of power going into either speaker. Anything in the high 80's will be great. It's not uncommon to find speakers in the low 90's. This isn't the only thing to consider when choosing speakers, just one of the things to look at. I'm not saying that Memphis is the way to go, just using them as an example. There are tons of great sounding speakers out there. I also agree with the previous comment of putting them in some type of enclosure. This will definitely help with sound quality. Another thing that will help is to use a capacitor to cut out the low frequencies. A 150-200 uf cap should do the trick. Here's a link to one at Parts Express. http://www.parts-express.com/150uf-100v-electrolytic-non-polarized-crossover-capacitor--027-364. They're inexpensive and make a big different. You'll most likely find some decent speakers on that website as well. I've used speakers from PE in cars in the past with outstanding results. I would recommend buying from a local car audio shop but if that's not practical you can find what you need from Parts Express or from a company like Crutchfield. If you shop PE for speakers make sure that you filter and look at 4 ohm speakers only.

    Next, a small 4-channel amplifier is a good thing to consider. It doesn't have to be huge or expensive. This will allow you to turn up the volume without the speakers clipping and without the nasty distortion that will ruin a perfectly good speaker in no time. Yes, you will fry a speaker quickly using deck power as opposed to a decent, small 4-channel amp. It doesn't have to be huge...25-50 watts per channel. If you decide to go this route I can talk you thru tuning and adjusting the amp after it's been installed to get the best results.

    I could go on for days on this subject. Please feel free to ask any questions or for an opinion on a specific product you're looking at. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  7. jtorre4272

    jtorre4272 High Wheeler

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    I worked with a manufacturer in PA to develop an adapter that will fit either a single 4x6 or two 3.5" speakers in the factory location without any tearup of the dash whatsoever.

    It is now being sold by Sean at AnthingScout and a couple other vendors.

    This kit is nice because it allows you to select from a reasonable range of 3.5" speakers to provide stereo sound that suits your taste and wallet limits.

    http://anythingscout.com/products/dash-speaker-adapter-scout-ii

    Joe
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  8. subldoed

    subldoed Farmall Cub

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  9. MrKenmore

    MrKenmore Y-Block King

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    So how does the new speaker secure to the adapter? I assume you need to make new holes as necessary?
     
  10. jtorre4272

    jtorre4272 High Wheeler

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    There are 3 sets of holes on the adapter to accommodate the most popular 3.5" speakers. 4x6 holes on the other option are also there. They are pretty much an industry standard bolt spacing. I spent a bit of time doing trials with the spacer to ensure a perfect fit.

    The link below has uploaded pictures of my efforts when I was reassembling the dash on my restoration vehicle. I ended up using a Polk component plate speaker (4") as a custom setup. So technically there are 3 options to choose from. The maker of these items just thought a 4x6 or stereo 3.5" would be more popular.

    http://www.speaker-installation-photos.com/International

    Joe
     
  11. MrKenmore

    MrKenmore Y-Block King

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    Nice picks Joe!! You must have that dash of the Scout when you did all that. I know that area was a real pain to work in. I think I am still having neck problems!!! Very slick install. I would probably go that route if I had to do it all over again. But......I never use the front now that my rear Terra top speakers are in full swing.
     
  12. jtorre4272

    jtorre4272 High Wheeler

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    Dash was fully assembled on my kitchen table in prep for final install into vehicle. This is how the factory would have done it. The nice thing about the adapter is that it turns modern speakers into lookalikes of the original 4x8 mounting scheme They install the same way.
     
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  13. scoutpappa

    scoutpappa Farmall Cub

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    I have two 6 x 9's in the seat bases and two 6 1/2's in the back. I get enough sound with the soft top off to do the job. I also have a show bar so another option is a jeep type sound bar pointing down. Just some other ideas that don't involve dash or door cutting.
     
  14. sully0812

    sully0812 High Wheeler

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    So, a little bit of an update.
    I decided to go with the retrosound 4x8 with the dual voice coils. I hypothesized that the larger surface area of the 4x6 vs two 3.5" or 4" round speakers in the same location would be able to move more air, and thus provide better sound. (And yes, to some degree, any attempt to use the stock dash location is "polishing a turd". It also saved me from needing to build or buy an adapter bracket.

    First things first, I emailed retrosound to find out what the difference between the R48N and the R48UK was, since the R48UK was cheaper by about 20 bucks.

    I received the following reply: "The UK means universal mounting bracket. The speakers are the same." So i ordered the cheaper model.

    The bolt holes in the speaker bracket obviously don't match up to the studs on the back of the dash. So I made a template out of a small piece of plywood that had holes in the bolt pattern for the speaker, and also for the studs on the dash. I then bolted it to the speaker and used it as a jig to drill the right holes.

    After that, I simply used some rubber bushings as isolators, bolted the speaker into place, and wired it up to the stereo. Altogether a pretty effortless install.

    First impressions are that it is nice to have a little bit of sound up front. It doesn't seem to make a huge difference, and the majority of my sound is still coming from the speakers on either side of the rear bench. I'll need to play with it some more, but at driving speeds I don't think I'm getting enough of a difference to really make it worth it. Good yes. I'm pleased with the quality of the sound from the speaker. I just don't think there is enough sound to really make a huge difference, and I'm not sure that there is any solution in the stock location that really would.

    Overall, I'm satisfied enough with the product... not quite satisfied with it though as a solution to my needs.
     

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