02 caravan speaker and sub questions / use dash speakers?

Quasimodo

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I’m upgrading the speakers in an 02 caravan, without the infinity system, and I’m unsure what to go with. The van has 5.25” in the dash and 6”x9”s in the front doors and rear area. The first option is a component set for the front, put the tweeter in the 5.25” dash hole and 6”x9” coaxials in the rear. The second option is using coaxial speakers in the dash, doors and rear. The door area has a depth of 3” and the door panel is pretty close to the speaker so spacers can’t be used. I did find a 6”x9” to 6.5” plate made for the vehicle so it should work if needed. I will be running the speakers off the head unit, alpine iLX-W650, for now but could get a dedicated amp for speakers in the future. I will also be installing my old Diamond D5 600.1 mono amp with a subwoofer during the speaker install. I currently have a 10” kicker sub in a sealed box that was used in my previous full-size van but this might be unusable due to space. I’m mainly needing suggestions for the speaker install but tips for a subwoofer/box would be great too. Thanks
 

hispls

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I do not like firing speakers up on the dash. Never really thought it sounded good and the location is often a nightmare to access. I'd also ditch the rears and just throw your whole budget into some nice 6x9 components for the front and call it done, or add a small amp if needed.

Then again, I'm not the one who has to listen to it every day so if you want to just put something in all factory holes you may be happy with that. Lots of people do and seem happy enough.

I don't see anything wrong with using your sub in a sealed box. Should be pretty fool-proof, if you decide you need to get louder you certainly have space to do whatever you like unless the van is loaded with cargo most of the time. Sub should be in corner at the very rear of the vehicle for best results.
 
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Quasimodo

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Missouri
I do not like firing speakers up on the dash. Never really thought it sounded good and the location is often a nightmare to access. I'd also ditch the rears and just throw your whole budget into some nice 6x9 components for the front and call it done, or add a small amp if needed.

Then again, I'm not the one who has to listen to it every day so if you want to just put something in all factory holes you may be happy with that. Lots of people do and seem happy enough.

I don't see anything wrong with using your sub in a sealed box. Should be pretty fool-proof, if you decide you need to get louder you certainly have space to do whatever you like unless the van is loaded with cargo most of the time. Sub should be in corner at the very rear of the vehicle for best results.
Thanks for commenting! I was wondering how the 5.25” in the dash would work out using an actual speaker that size or tweeter on a plate, I’ve never had upward firing dash speakers before and usually do components and install the tweeter on the door or pillar. The van interior trim is taupe and every component tweeter I have checked out is black so I was hoping to avoid it showing. However, after thinking about it I would prefer better sound over looks. Another problem I’m going to run into is the front door depth is 3” and the grille is really close on the door so spacers can’t be used. I was checking out a CDT 6x9” component set that is slim and I’m thinking about going with that. The speakers are pretty low in the doors so I’m worried using coaxials won’t sound very good upfront unless I use dash speakers too but I’m thinking that raises the ohm level and an amp would really be necessary to achieve the best sound.
 

hispls

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Can't you get 6x9 components with the woofer that'll fit your mounting depth and just mount the tweeters up high and somewhere where they're not firing off the glass? CDT also has the "up stage" or whatever they call it just a tweeter + passive crossover on its own that might help if you opt to go with coaxials in the door but need to bring your soundstage up. I've heard good things about them.

Again, you may well be able to get those dash mounted speakers to sound good, but I've always found that location has issues. Also in general less is more. The fewer sources of sound at any given frequency the fewer opportunities for peaks and nulls to form where those sound waves meet as they bounce around your vehicle.
 
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Quasimodo

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Missouri
Can't you get 6x9 components with the woofer that'll fit your mounting depth and just mount the tweeters up high and somewhere where they're not firing off the glass? CDT also has the "up stage" or whatever they call it just a tweeter + passive crossover on its own that might help if you opt to go with coaxials in the door but need to bring your soundstage up. I've heard good things about them.

Again, you may well be able to get those dash mounted speakers to sound good, but I've always found that location has issues. Also in general less is more. The fewer sources of sound at any given frequency the fewer opportunities for peaks and nulls to form where those sound waves meet as they bounce around your vehicle.

Yeah I should definitely be able to find a set of components that will fit. I did check out the upstage kit and I definitely like having the option if it’s needed. Do you have any other speaker brands I should check out other than cdt? I haven’t really looked into car audio for 15 years and it looks like there’s several new brands out along with the old standbys. I noticed a couple guys mentioned Sundown as a quality product and to stay away from Skar. I also keep seeing a lot of ads for a brand called CT but haven’t really looked into their stuff. Thanks again for commenting
 

hispls

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Yeah I should definitely be able to find a set of components that will fit. I did check out the upstage kit and I definitely like having the option if it’s needed. Do you have any other speaker brands I should check out other than cdt? I haven’t really looked into car audio for 15 years and it looks like there’s several new brands out along with the old standbys. I noticed a couple guys mentioned Sundown as a quality product and to stay away from Skar. I also keep seeing a lot of ads for a brand called CT but haven’t really looked into their stuff. Thanks again for commenting
I'm running CDT in my Jeep at the moment and am happy with them. Dunno if I'd pay MSRP but when you see the 40-50% off deals their stuff is a solid value. Otherwise I'm a big fan of Harmon International, got JBL components in my F250, my Corolla, and in my brother's Civic here that are all great for the price points. JBL is my go-to unless there's some too good to pass up deal on something else and just want a component set with crossover. Haven't run Infinity for ages but my gut tells me they're the same thing as the JBL or close enough in each line/price point since it's the same parent company.

Haven't seen any Sundown components/coaxials in person, but Sundown generally sells good quality equipment and has very good customer service/warranty support. Prices will be on the high side as they have more overhead than say American Bass or Soundqubed, but not quite the economy of scale of Kicker, or Pioneer.

Skar mostly gets hate here because of some shady stuff the owner did many years ago selling b-stock and/or returns as new. I see some of it around here, it's not terrible but not anything good. I don't know what CT sounds is doing these days but early on they sold a bunch of amps that literally caught fire, stiffed their buildhouse in Korea for 350,000$, and generally sold absolute garbage. The old owner I think overdosed on methamphetamine or something after a bunch of dope-fiend drama so perhaps whoever is using that brand name now has their shit together but IMO if you're bargain shopping I've had decent results with the entry level Kicker coaxials... I mean, have reasonable expectations, but they're about as good as you can get at their price point. I have not used higher end Kickers so I can't comment, but I'd expect they'd hang with other stuff in their price point.
 
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Quasimodo

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I'm running CDT in my Jeep at the moment and am happy with them. Dunno if I'd pay MSRP but when you see the 40-50% off deals their stuff is a solid value. Otherwise I'm a big fan of Harmon International, got JBL components in my F250, my Corolla, and in my brother's Civic here that are all great for the price points. JBL is my go-to unless there's some too good to pass up deal on something else and just want a component set with crossover. Haven't run Infinity for ages but my gut tells me they're the same thing as the JBL or close enough in each line/price point since it's the same parent company.

Haven't seen any Sundown components/coaxials in person, but Sundown generally sells good quality equipment and has very good customer service/warranty support. Prices will be on the high side as they have more overhead than say American Bass or Soundqubed, but not quite the economy of scale of Kicker, or Pioneer.

Skar mostly gets hate here because of some shady stuff the owner did many years ago selling b-stock and/or returns as new. I see some of it around here, it's not terrible but not anything good. I don't know what CT sounds is doing these days but early on they sold a bunch of amps that literally caught fire, stiffed their buildhouse in Korea for 350,000$, and generally sold absolute garbage. The old owner I think overdosed on methamphetamine or something after a bunch of dope-fiend drama so perhaps whoever is using that brand name now has their shit together but IMO if you're bargain shopping I've had decent results with the entry level Kicker coaxials... I mean, have reasonable expectations, but they're about as good as you can get at their price point. I have not used higher end Kickers so I can't comment, but I'd expect they'd hang with other stuff in their price point.
After experiencing some mechanical issues that I’m still trying to get worked out I put the system on hold. I did speak to cdt and they recommended a 6x9” upstage kit with the 6x9” in the door and the 3” in the dash using adapter plates or coaxials in every spot for ease. I can’t locate any pre made plates so I’m still deciding between the 2 options they offered or possibly doing a 6x9” component set with the tweeter mounted on pillar or higher on the door and no dash speakers. With the age of the vehicle finding replacement door panels / pillar moldings is getting harder so screwing stuff to them or drilling holes has me worried. I’m more or less worried if I do all coaxials the ohm load up front will be too high for good sound off the receiver and I don’t like having the 6x9” tweeter that low. If I go with the upstage I’ll need custom plates built and I’m relying on the tweeter in the dash vs having something like I’ve always had in previous vehicles. I’m assuming it will be fine since that’s what is recommended. Will losing the 5.25” woofer in the dash make a big difference?
 

hispls

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After experiencing some mechanical issues that I’m still trying to get worked out I put the system on hold. I did speak to cdt and they recommended a 6x9” upstage kit with the 6x9” in the door and the 3” in the dash using adapter plates or coaxials in every spot for ease. I can’t locate any pre made plates so I’m still deciding between the 2 options they offered or possibly doing a 6x9” component set with the tweeter mounted on pillar or higher on the door and no dash speakers. With the age of the vehicle finding replacement door panels / pillar moldings is getting harder so screwing stuff to them or drilling holes has me worried. I’m more or less worried if I do all coaxials the ohm load up front will be too high for good sound off the receiver and I don’t like having the 6x9” tweeter that low. If I go with the upstage I’ll need custom plates built and I’m relying on the tweeter in the dash vs having something like I’ve always had in previous vehicles. I’m assuming it will be fine since that’s what is recommended. Will losing the 5.25” woofer in the dash make a big difference?

Tough call. Coaxials in the factory holes is definitely the most plug and play option but the locations are typically rather poor for good imaging. I've never heard mids mounted on the dash firing into the glass sound good to me, but you may well either get lucky or like the sound of them there. Sadly this is all rather subjective and there's no way to know but to test, but I'd say if you're worried about drilling/cutting panels or adding complexity just fill the factory holes and see how it goes. You can always add the upstage stand-alone tweeter down the road if you really aren't getting any highs out of your factory locations.
 
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Quasimodo

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Missouri
Tough call. Coaxials in the factory holes is definitely the most plug and play option but the locations are typically rather poor for good imaging. I've never heard mids mounted on the dash firing into the glass sound good to me, but you may well either get lucky or like the sound of them there. Sadly this is all rather subjective and there's no way to know but to test, but I'd say if you're worried about drilling/cutting panels or adding complexity just fill the factory holes and see how it goes. You can always add the upstage stand-alone tweeter down the road if you really aren't getting any highs out of your factory locations.
I got mixed up, the kit cdt recommended is a wideband system with slim 6x9 and a 2” tweeter for the dash. I’m unsure if placing the tweeter so far from the 6x9 would cause an issue but cdt said it would be fine and sound excellent. I watched a couple videos on upgrading caravan speakers and it seems like a lot of people do this type of upgrade so maybe it is a good way to go. The stock speaker wiring for the front is in a series so with 2 svc 4ohm speakers it’s a 2 ohm load on the radio, is this okay on the oem or aftermarket radio?
 

KicktheSDbasshead

2 builds 2 feet
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San Diego
I do not like firing speakers up on the dash. Never really thought it sounded good and the location is often a nightmare to access. I'd also ditch the rears and just throw your whole budget into some nice 6x9 components for the front and call it done, or add a small amp if needed.

Then again, I'm not the one who has to listen to it every day so if you want to just put something in all factory holes you may be happy with that. Lots of people do and seem happy enough.

I don't see anything wrong with using your sub in a sealed box. Should be pretty fool-proof, if you decide you need to get louder you certainly have space to do whatever you like unless the van is loaded with cargo most of the time. Sub should be in corner at the very rear of the vehicle for best results.
I know what I'm about to say isn't the case in this situation but I heard a beautiful award winning build with a center dash speaker and it was something I had never experienced before in my life with music. It wasn't loud but the clarity and placement of the sound was astonishing. @hispls I know you know your ish but I had to say this. Please don't roast me.
 
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Quasimodo

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I know what I'm about to say isn't the case in this situation but I heard a beautiful award winning build with a center dash speaker and it was something I had never experienced before in my life with music. It wasn't loud but the clarity and placement of the sound was astonishing. @hispls I know you know your ish but I had to say this. Please don't roast me.
Cdt has this exact setup for the ram truck, which is the exact setup as the caravan. Their version is an oval speaker that mounts on the dash by the windshield. I was also thinking about doing this but have never seen or heard something like it in a vehicle. I’m not a fan of the red though.
 

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hispls

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I know what I'm about to say isn't the case in this situation but I heard a beautiful award winning build with a center dash speaker and it was something I had never experienced before in my life with music. It wasn't loud but the clarity and placement of the sound was astonishing. @hispls I know you know your ish but I had to say this. Please don't roast me.
Not saying it can't be done or will necessarily sound bad and have heard reliable sources say they've had it sound good. I just never sat in one myself that I thought sounded natural.

Bear in mind you're dealing with reflecting and almost sort of horn loading mounted up on a dash like that so literally anything can happen with all those sound waves trying to propagate from the coil to your ears. I absolutely believe it can be done and made to sound good, but it's far more of a dice roll than mounting in kicks or A pillars or other more common locations.

If you're trying to get it to work, don't be surprised if it takes a lot of fiddling to make it sound good or depending on the shape of your dash+glass you may just never get good results in your particular vehicle.

Now if a reliable brand like CDT sells it for your exact body style vehicle it'll probably sound good as they have picked driver and crossover points and such to work well in that exact application.
 

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