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View Full Version : Stock speakers sounding better than Focals?



sjv13
10-19-2012, 01:50 PM
I have a set of Focal IS 165 speakers that I installed. Also, I have the 4 channel Alpine KTP-445u giving all four speakers 45wrms. The problem I am having is that right now, the 13 year old stock coaxial speakers are giving a better response in the 100-200hZ range than my $300 Focal comps are.

I have a few theories, but wanted to check here to get some other opinions.

Here is what I think might be happening:
- The Focals need more power to come to life (rated @ 70wrms)
- The Focals are junk
- I messed something up (improper install or blown... but I dont think this is right because install was pretty straightforward, they dont sound scratchy or blown, and it's been like this sense I put them in)

P.S. These Focals have integrated crossover, so there is no physical crossover box for me to change settings on. High pass filter is set to 80hZ.

West
10-19-2012, 01:55 PM
What speaker wire did you use?
Try lowering your high pass filter to see if that helps.

You should also try to install some foam weather stripping around the rim of the focal speaker. It directs sound in that frequency range outward instead of into the door.

Some stock speakers on older cars use a cardboard ring to do this.

Yes... you should give them some more power... as well

And make sure they are in phase (+/-) terminals set correctly.

West
10-19-2012, 01:56 PM
I am running some PS 165's and they sound much, much better than stock.

sjv13
10-19-2012, 02:05 PM
I am running some PS 165's and they sound much, much better than stock.

How much power are they getting?

West
10-19-2012, 02:07 PM
I just checked out that amp. Try bridging the amp; you should be able to give those focals more power.
If that doesn't do it for you try using your deck's eq, to turn down the high frequencies (6khz-20khz sloping downward toward 20k hz) and incease the output around 70-300.
Focals can be very bright, you are probably notiching very nice high ranges and dont want to increase the volume further. If you turn down the highs and up the lows you can balance the output.

---------- Post added at 01:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:06 PM ----------


How much power are they getting?

I deliever around 60-80 watts, they are pretty kick ***.

West
10-19-2012, 02:09 PM
But for your system I wouldn't exceed 70watts. That should be plenty loud.

West
10-19-2012, 02:12 PM
The thing about stock speakers is they are designed to preform around 25watts. To really enjoy the focals you want to be around 55+ watts imo. You will want to turn down the high frequencies.

sjv13
10-19-2012, 02:13 PM
But for your system I wouldn't exceed 70watts. That should be plenty loud.

I have the chance to get a BNIB never used/opened Polk PA660.4 amp that delivers 75wrms for $30 (retail for $200). Should I install this? The only thing that I see wrong is that the Signal to Noise level is 75dBa

West
10-19-2012, 02:15 PM
I have the chance to get a BNIB never used/opened Polk PA660.4 amp that delivers 75wrms for $30 (retail for $200). Should I install this? The only thing that I see wrong is that the Signal to Noise level is 75dBa

Are you runing rear speakers?
If you are only powering the front's, just bridge your alpine if you havent already. (Brigding that alpine gives you up to 90watts x 2 @4 ohms.

I wouldn't switch out the amps personally. Unless you were willing to invest $75+, then yes you could do much better.

West
10-19-2012, 02:21 PM
Whats your budget like?

Why So Cereal?
10-19-2012, 02:21 PM
You need sealed and deadened doors.

West
10-19-2012, 02:22 PM
You need sealed and deadened doors.

This ^^^ as well.

-BenBen-
10-19-2012, 02:31 PM
Buy my focal amp? itll help em alot

sjv13
10-19-2012, 05:00 PM
Whats your budget like?

My budget is basically non-existent––which is why I'm jumping at this brand new amp for $20. I just want more powerful mids and have always wanted this. Bass is nice, but low range mids (100-200Hz) are where you can really feel it kick you in the chest. And I want these $300 speakers to come to life. I think I'm going to just bridge this Polk amp to give each side of the front stage 150wrms and just disconnect the rear door speakers. I'd imagine with the front stage running to it's maximum potential I wont even notice the rear stage is missing. I just need to set the gains safely.

West
10-19-2012, 05:06 PM
My budget is basically non-existent––which is why I'm jumping at this brand new amp for $20. I just want more powerful mids and have always wanted this. Bass is nice, but low range mids (100-200Hz) are where you can really feel it kick you in the chest. And I want these $300 speakers to come to life. I think I'm going to just bridge this Polk amp to give each side of the front stage 150wrms and just disconnect the rear door speakers. I'd imagine with the front stage running to it's maximum potential I wont even notice the rear stage is missing. I just need to set the gains safely.

That's sounds good then, just don't exceed 70watts per channel on those speakers!
If you give 70wrms speakers 150wrms they will be destroyed.

sjv13
10-19-2012, 05:10 PM
That's sounds good then, just don't exceed 70watts per channel on those speakers!

Well the Polk amp I am buying is 75x4. But I'm thinking the Focals could take more than their rated for (70w). So that's why I want to bridge it and give each 150w, and then just be smart about setting the gains.

av83
10-19-2012, 05:11 PM
What speaker wire did you use?


You should also try to install some foam weather stripping around the rim of the focal speaker. It directs sound in that frequency range outward instead of into the door.

And make sure they are in phase (+/-) terminals set correctly.

All of this. And if you can get a nicer four channel for twenty bucks, go for it!

West
10-19-2012, 05:13 PM
Well the Polk amp I am buying is 75x4. But I'm thinking the Focals could take more than their rated for (70w). So that's why I want to bridge it and give each 150w, and then just be smart about setting the gains.

No, set the gains to 2/3 volume of the deck to 70watts using a 1khz test tone.
Exceeding 70watts on those focals will destroy them. It IS a good thing to have extra power on hand if needed, you usually can get a little cleaner sound and less distortion and strain on the amp itself.

Some recorded music isn't as loud and you still have some room to turn up the volume. Many HU's start clipping at 70%+ volume as well so that is something you want to watch out for.

sjv13
10-19-2012, 05:23 PM
No, set the gains to 2/3 volume of the deck to 70watts using a 1khz test tone.
Exceeding 70watts on those focals will destroy them. It IS a good thing to have extra power on hand if needed, you usually can get a little cleaner sound and less distortion and strain on the amp itself.

Some recorded music isn't as loud and you still have some room to turn up the volume. Many HU's start clipping at 70%+ volume as well so that is something you want to watch out for.

Are you saying that I shouldnt bridge the amp?

matt_bennett05
10-19-2012, 05:24 PM
DON'T bridge it,
Exceeding 70watts on those focals will destroy them. It IS a good thing to have extra power on hand if needed, you usually can get a little cleaner sound and less distortion and strain on the amp itself.

West
10-19-2012, 05:29 PM
Are you saying that I shouldnt bridge the amp?

I am saying that you should bridge the amp and set your gains to 70wRMS.
When the amp is bridged, there will be less strain on it. If you gains are set to aggressively you do run the risk of blowing your speakers, but if you set your gains properly there is little to no risk.
Even though you have access to 150wRMS, you dont have to use all of it.

Here is a good video on how to set your gains.
How to Set Your Amplifier Gain to RMS Power Using Ohm's Law - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suX13VixU5k)

When you calculate the voltage, make sure to use the correct resistance on your speakers use (4 ohms)

If you ever hear any cracking or popping or distortion in the sound immediately lower the volume of your music and those focals will last you.

West
10-19-2012, 05:36 PM
DON'T bridge it,

If the OP isn't willing to set his gains with a DMM then I agree it should not be bridged. If he is willing to buy a DMM and set the gains properly then bridging is the best option IMO.

West
10-19-2012, 05:53 PM
To touch on the last point here. Those focals are wonderful speakers, but if they are not given clean power they will wear out faster and never sound as good as they are able to sound.

Normally I would recommend getting the best deck and amps you can afford instead of getting the best speakers you can get and trying to drive them on budget amps. If you have an average source and below average amps it will not matter if you have $1,000+ speakers because the signal delivered to them will not yield good SQ...

sjv13
10-19-2012, 06:05 PM
To touch on the last point here. Those focals are wonderful speakers, but if they are not given clean power they will wear out faster and never sound as good as they are able to sound.

Normally I would recommend getting the best deck and amps you can afford instead of getting the best speakers you can get and trying to drive them on budget amps. If you have an average source and below average amps it will not matter if you have $1,000+ speakers because the signal delivered to them will not yield good SQ...

I do have a nice HU. It is the nicest single DIN Pioneer besides their Stage 4 head unit. The limiting factor here is definitely the amp. But running it bridged I think will make it perform better and ease the load. And I think my dad has a DMM or I can take it to a shop and have them use their DMM.

West
10-19-2012, 07:34 PM
I do have a nice HU. It is the nicest single DIN Pioneer besides their Stage 4 head unit. The limiting factor here is definitely the amp. But running it bridged I think will make it perform better and ease the load. And I think my dad has a DMM or I can take it to a shop and have them use their DMM.

Yes I am not trying to say that your HU is bad. I am sorry if it came out that way.
Getting the speakers more power will help you.

I would also suggest you get some good RCA's and speaker wire if you don't already have them.
Just trying to help...

sjv13
10-19-2012, 07:46 PM
Yes I am not trying to say that your HU is bad. I am sorry if it came out that way.
Getting the speakers more power will help you.

I would also suggest you get some good RCA's and speaker wire if you don't already have them.
Just trying to help...

No offense was taken. Just informing.

I will look for some good RCAs, but I was told it's really a waste of time and money to replace speaker wire unless you are going for world-class sound, which I am nowhere near at this point (especially with a budget-friendly amp).

West
10-19-2012, 07:48 PM
No offense was taken. Just informing.

I will look for some good RCAs, but I was told it's really a waste of time and money to replace speaker wire unless you are going for world-class sound, which I am nowhere near at this point (especially with a budget-friendly amp).

These cables should do very well and they are inexpensive.
KnuKonceptz - view products for category Klarity RCA Kables (http://www.knukonceptz.com/productMaster.cfm?category=Klarity%20RCA%20Kables)

I would also recommend their krystal line.