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Audio 101


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So i am stereo novice at best but I thought I would improve the sound of our minivan with some after market speakers. I bought what others on the minivan forum used. They are clearly nicer speakers than stock!! Stock are paper and light and the clarion speakers feel much more robust. I put them in with the speaker wire adapter and they sound worse than stock! Is this common? Is here something else I should do? Somewhere you suggest to read about installs

The minivan forum is not very active so I thought I'd try the experts here first

Here's the new speakers http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00HSETKMA/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1452378607&sr=8-1π=AC_SX118_SY170_QL70&keywords=clarion+6933

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I bought what others on the minivan forum used.

That's part of the problem. People on the internet have different expectations than you do. There may also be other circumstances such as a factory amp, and the factory speakers were 2 ohm. The speakers you installed are 4 ohm, so that changes the output of the amp.

This is a perfect reason that you should go to a dealer and here for yourself. A good shop will tell you what you can and cannot install in your van. The internet will not. They just want your money, and they'll sell you anything, whether it's compatible or not.

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There isn't a shop near me that I know off. Kind of a small town and the nearest city that would have a good shop would be about an hour so I thought I'd try myself. It was with 50.00 to try. Btw no factory amp and both factory and replacement speakers are marked 4 ohm.

So is the consensus this is just not diy? Too many variables?

Edited by saburkhart
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OEM radios are doing a lot more than most realize. They typically contain 50-100 EQ curves in them. One is selected depending on many factors, body style, 2/4 door, leather/cloth seats, convertible top up/down, type/number of factory installed speakers, external amps, etc. All this effort put in by the design engineers to optimize the system is altered when anything is changed.

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Have you checked the sensitivity rating on both speakers? The lower the number the more power you will need to drive them. Example.....it you took out 92 and put back 87, your music will lack detail and bass. If you are driving your speasers with just the head unit, you want speakers with a high sensitivity rating.

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Typically factory speakers, especially those intended to run off HU-only power are using thin paper, have light cones, and with smaller voice coils, all elements to increase sensitivity. It's not uncommon to upgrade to an aftermarket speaker and get what you perceive as a decrease in performance off the factory HU.

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Yes. That is often true.

As mentioned above, the aftermarket replacement must match the impedance of the original factory speaker in order to ensure that the factory HU is at optimum power and stability.

Past that there may be a dramatic sensitivity difference, also mentioned above. Rarely is the higher performance aftermarket speaker as sensitive, although it will sound far superior when accompanied by a power upgrade.

If your factory originals are separate components then it's possible that the factory HU can contain more channels of a specialized range. Something to verify and eliminate as a possibility.

Another consideration is that sometimes the factory speakers have a uniquely molded bezel to fit its mounting. And this may serve to make it airtight in its front to rear isolation, or elevate it off the metal door and seal it against the back of the door panel or grill. If your new speaker and installation doesn't provide the same you may hear a major reduction in performance.

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Thanks for all the responses. This is a 2014 Chrysler town and country. I do not have the premium Bose audio package. It has a six speaker system. Small tweeter on top of the dash and 6x9's in the door and rear. It sounds like either way I need to return the speakers. I need to match impedance and sensitivity (is that the same thing) to the factory speakers. Anything else to look for?

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