View Full Version : Not happy with the way my components sound. Help!

12-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Okay so here goes,

I have a 2004 Jetta. Installed in the Jetta are two sets of Polk DXi 6500 components, all installed in factory locations. Tweeters are mounted up near the mirrors in the front doors, and rear are near the door handles for those of you who aren't familiar with the way these cars are set up speaker wise.

I have a DEH-80PRS source unit, halfway decent RCA cables (a cable is a cable, they're twisted pair, non shielded to avoid RF) and a Nakamichi PA-1004 running these components. Heck of an amp, originally designed and built for Nakamichi by Stephen Mantz of Zed Audio.

Back to the issue,

I did some research and found these sets have a 2nd order butterworth crossover design, and there's a common understanding that these designs yield a 180 degree phase shift in the tweeter output. so after the first round of not being happy with their sound and tinkering, i tried it, flipped the polarity of the tweets, and it made a difference. everything sounds much more in line as far as timing goes, but it's still not perfect.

I'm having a hard time getting these to sound good enough for me to be happy. And I'm wanting to blame it on the fact that I have no deadening in the doors right now (weather got cold and nasty before I could install it) but I'm still not certain that's the issue.

Up to about half volume, they sound pretty darn good. after that, they seem to get kinda muddy sounding, especially in the vocal range.

I intend on installing CLD on both the inner and outer(on the inside duh) door skins, and experimenting with a deflex pad(or similar) and/or possibly egg carton foam behind them. But as I said, weather is kinda crappy now, no garage.

I know the dampening will help ANY component set I put in the doors, but I'm just not certain these polks are really what I'm after (i bought them after reading TONS of high rated reviews on multiple websites) A friend of mine has a set of Infinity Kappa components(not the Kappa Perfect line either) in his front doors with no deadening and tweets in the dash aimed up at the windshield (different vehicle with different door structure as well) and they sound much more detailed and accurate to me than I can ever seem to make my Polks sound.

I used the "Auto EQ" to get the curve real close, and manually tweaked for midrange by ear, ended up pulling 3db out of 315Hz and 1-2db of the immediately surrounding frequencies on the EQ. that "helped" take some of the issue out, but it's still not right.

I have a ECM8000 mic, ART USB Dual Pre, and software with an RTA that I'm planning on setting up in the car once I get some time, but I'm not certain that will solve it all either.

I guess what I'm looking for here is, Is deadening my doors PROPERLY going to make enough difference that I will finally be happy with these components (they sounded great free air in my house, and in the wall at the store) or should I seek other components anyway. and if so, can anyone recommend me something that's going to give me the range, and detail that I'm looking for on a non SQ competitor budget (200 per set or less).

I was looking at sets like the Pioneer TS-D1720C (these seem to be pretty stellar for the money from what I read from owners as well as specs) and also heard great things about the Morel Maximo 6 series. Both are in my price range(more so the Pioneers at 100 a set), But I'm not the type to gamble.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.


12-12-2012, 08:08 PM
what exactly dont you like about your current components? I would suggest deadening and sealing up your doors, I think sealing up your doors is probably the most important thing you could do and in my opinion makes a night and day difference if your car has access holes in the door panel.

12-12-2012, 08:09 PM
Deadener is always a must as far as Im concerned. It helps a ton with the midbass, not so much the tweeter frequencies. Even if you switch components they wont sound optimal either until the treatment is done.

Play around with placement. Often times stock locations arent ideal.

Why So Cereal?
12-12-2012, 09:48 PM
Like you said deadening will help any speaker so do it regardless. Those Polk DXIs were always less than stellar in my experience too but I'm not sure what your ears are looking for or are accustomed to.

I say deaden

12-12-2012, 10:58 PM
Thanks for all the replies! I really wasn't expecting much feedback, I Like this forum more every time I visit.

Okay, I plan on deadening the doors/trunk no matter what, just waiting for the right temperatures outside, or access to a heated garage over a weekend.

So, that being said... I found a way to get almost all, if not all of my money back from these Polk's and I'm really leaning towards that route regardless...

So, Let's say I have 400 +/- 50 dollars to spend on TWO pairs of 6.5" 2 way components, looking to be mounted in the stock locations (driver in bottom of door, tweeter up near ear level, aimed towards the seating positions) What would you guys recommend I spend the money on, don't have to buy two identical matching sets. I'm open to a better more expensive set up front where it really matters, and something still decent but lower priced (maybe even used?) for rear fill.

Keep in mind that I was pretty happy with a pair of Kicker KS60.2 components I used to own, and I'm quite pleased (for the most part) at the sound quality of the Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components my friend has. Also heard a pair of Kenwood Excelon series components at a local shop and was very impressed with how good they sounded (can't remember model number, but around 220 retail cost)

I've got 50W RMS per chan at 4ohms (it's actually more like 70RMS clean according to ohms law and my oscilloscope) and the amp is 2 ohm stable per channel, rated to 100RMS per chan at 2ohms.

I'm looking for something to compliment my 80PRS, and clean output Nakamichi amp. I want something that's going to reproduce the source signal as close to as intended as possible, looking for accuracy, clarity, detail, no harsh highs or mids, and decent midbass. I hear lots of good stuff about Focal and Image Dynamics, but can't play with them locally, and I really don't like shipping stuff back...

Also bear in mind that I'm running an L7 with 1000RMS to it for a sub stage, so they have to compete against that, if I could get something 2ohm and take advantage of all of my amplifiers available power that would be even better.

I've never purchased anything higher end than what I could typically get locally, and we don't have a lot of stereo shops with good components at a reasonable price.

If it helps any, my music preferences vary from instrumental stuff like The Piano Guys, to electronic, dubstep, rock, some less ridiculous metal type music once in a while, but it's mostly electronically manufactured, and real instrument produced (almost like classical music) type of stuff... I have some odd preferences in music I know. So I need some components that can deliver on every level and musical style on a budget. If it wasn't for the fact that I can't spend more than 500 absolute maximum total with tax and/or shipping I'd be buying something along the lines of a 400-600 dollar set up front, and a 200+ dollar set for rear fill... probably from Focal or ID, or leftover Boston stock before it's completely gone.

The drivers and tweeters in my factory locations are probably close to 24" (maybe more) apart center to center, definitely not on the same axis or plane, but not insanely far off. I really don't want to build custom panels, or put any additional holes in my factory leather wrapped door cards. Whatever gets put in this car, most likely will NOT be staying with it if I ever sell it.



Why So Cereal?
12-12-2012, 11:04 PM
Use that money for one set and consider going active. Waaaaaaay more bang for your buck. Don't bother with rear full until ya perfect the fronts