View Full Version : Need help with improving overall sound staging

01-31-2012, 12:10 PM
I installed my first car audio system 3 weeks ago and I'm pretty happy with it. However, most of the sound is coming for the back of the car. The speakers are on the rear deck right under the rear windshield and the sub is underneath, in the trunk. When I say most of the sound comes from the back I really mean most of it. You can barely hear the front speakers. I'm thinking they might not be strong enough compared to the rear speakers. I was wondering if the RMS wattage of the speakers still influence the output of the speakers even though the same wattage is pushed through both the front and rear speakers? Like for example, my front speakers have a 45w rms and the rear ones have 75w rms, but the head unit is pushing 25w rms on each of them, so logically they should be running at 25w, correct? I'd like the front speakers to sound louder but I'm kinda lost in this. If I have to change my front speakers, please suggest me something under 100$. I live in Canada. Also, I have some poly fill too if I need to add some (allthough I already added some in the doors where the front speakers are).
My setup:
Sony CDX GT-550UI (Head unit)
Alpine SPS-410 (Front speakers)
RE Audio RE65FR (rear speakers) (I'm very happy with these. I wasn't sure about the brand but I was surprised, very good for the price, bass is deep, mids are right on and the high are punchy but not too much.)
Sony XM-ZZR3301 (amplifier)
Pioneer TS-W309D4 (Subwoofer) (I was surprised at how hard it hits for the price.)
Sound Ordnance Ported 12in box

Thanks in advance!

01-31-2012, 05:51 PM
It's not the power ratings that matter, it's the efficiency (sound level per watt). There may be more efficient 4" speakers that will be louder for the same power. However, I think you're up against the limits of a 4 inch speaker v.s. a 6.5 inch.

I gotta ask a couple q's:
What happens if you fade the rears out a bit?
Is it posible to install bigger speakers in the front?

01-31-2012, 06:12 PM
Take the polyfill out of the doors. That has no place there.

To get more sound up front you either need to fade the sound toward the front, which will result in everything getting quieter, or add cone area and power up front. 4" coaxials can't do much regardless of how sensitive they are, so upgrading those isn't going to help much.

01-31-2012, 11:18 PM
agreed with both above.

also, the 4" installation may be part of it. a 4" coax can get plenty loud if properly sealed off and on-axis.

what vehicle make/model/year?

you can use your fader (as mentioned) to decrease level from the rear. but you are relying on your rear speakers for midbass. you could fade to front and then increase the sub crossover frequency to compensate.

note that how you wired your sub depends on if the fader will also attenuate the sub. your HU has 4 channel pre-outs, but you need to set the rear as a sub so it is non-fading.

take some pics of your install, including pics of the front speaker install and we can comment further.

02-01-2012, 12:09 AM
If you care about sound staging and imaging, then you shouldn't run rear speakers unless you employ some kind of advanced processing for them. One standard recommendation is to have then played time delayed L-R difference signal. Having a DSP with surround sound processing (something along the lines of Logic7 or Dolby ProLogic) would take care of this. But without the DSP, you should fade out the rears until your stage is solidly in front of you.

Also realize that 20watts is very little power for front speakers. Even the cheapest speakers improve considerably with more power running to them. With the right speakers and good amount of power running to them, you could safely high pass them as low as 60Hz, relieving the subwoofer from playing the higher frequencies. Finally, the subwoofer should not be low passed very high. For most cars, 50-80Hz low pass frequency is the sweet spot. The higher you let the subwoofer play, the less transparent it will be.

However, these recommendations are pretty hard to follow with only a 4inch speaker installed in front. Any chance you could move to a bigger woofer?

02-02-2012, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the replies. If I fade the rear, the overall sound quality decreases. As for the front speakers, I really think they aren't very powerfull. I could upgrade to a bigger size, but I'll have to mount them differently (no big deal). Will getting bigger/louder speakers solve my problem?
Thanks again

02-02-2012, 04:45 PM
Are you 100% positive your front speakers are in-phase? Additionally, are you 100% positive that they're mounted correctly with no big holes or gaps close to the speaker?

RMS ratings have absolutely nothing to do with how loud a speaker can get...nothing.

The last thing no one really talks about is your seat position. Do you drive with a gangsta lean? That'll affect SQ big time. Nothing wrong with having your seat back on the sliders, just don't recline so much and you'll be shocked how moving seat can affect how your system sounds to you.

02-02-2012, 11:09 PM
Thanks for the reply again!
No I don't drive like a ganster lol it feels uncomfortable to me. I've tried changing position and didnt notice any difference really...As for the way the speakers are mounted, there is huge gap. I used the included sticky foam to prevent leaking. The sound barely leaks out. I tried fading to the front only today and I really have to put the volume higher to make it sound loud enough, like really loud. Just as an indicator, the volume usually sites at around 20-24 which is pretty loud. At 28-30 with the fade in center position, my ears almost bleed (well not really lol but you get it). When the fade is at front 100%, I have to put the volume to around 32 for it to sound like all 4 speakers at 20...It really isn't loud enough. I rechecked the connections too just to make sure everything is wired correctly and it seems fine. I could probably be able to mount some 6 inch speakers instead. If I buy loud enough speakers this should solve my problem right? Also I forgot to mention my car is a Toyota Tercel 1999.
Thanks again!

EDIT: Also I did set the sub to the sub out so the sub still kicks when I fade to the front.

02-03-2012, 03:15 AM
take some pics of your front speakers for us.

02-05-2012, 10:04 PM
Here is a pic of the way my front speakers are mounted. I'm expecting you guys to laugh at me so idc lol. Even though it looks pretty ghetto, it actually works ok, I guess. The exterior is sealed with the foamy tape that came with the speakers and the speakers are mounted on the wood directly without any gap. The reason I had to make this custom bracket was because the stock speakers had a particular design I haven't seen yet in aftermarket speakers so my new speakers wouldn't fit. It doesn't really matter in my opinion since theres a cover on top of this anyway so we don't see it.
Thanks again and sorry for the delay I've been super busy with school.

02-05-2012, 11:49 PM
Looks like a nice mount, well done. Airtight is what matters. Dash corners aren't as loud as on-axis.

You could add an amp for more output.

02-07-2012, 04:17 PM
I thought it was ghetto, lol. It is tightly sealed indeed, but they don't sound very loud unfortunately... I know adding an amp would help but would a 100$ amp + these speakers beat my head unit's onboard amp + 100$ speakers? All I want is the front speakers to sound louder right now (I'm concerned with SQ too but right now loudness matters more). Thanks again

EDIT*: Also, do you have anything speakers to suggest for 100$ or less? Or an amp if that's better, I'll combine it with the speakers I already have. Thanks
EDIT2*: How would these sound? Alpine SPR-50 and Rockford Fosgate T152. Tell me what you think. Thanks

02-09-2012, 05:50 PM
Just bumping to see if anyone else can help. Thanks

02-10-2012, 02:07 AM
An amp will give you more volume and better sound compared to a HU. Even a "small" amp rated 35W or more. You can get almost 12W out of a HU, but realistically, about 5W is actually listenable.

02-10-2012, 02:16 AM
sothavok -pc BF3 add me