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Explorer Audio upgrade(s)

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by deewan, March 10, 2012.

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    1. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Not familiar with the differences between the the 9 speaker in the xlt and the limited. I can speak from a little experience that the 9 speaker in my F350 Platinum sounded very similar to my Explorer. I replaced the door speakers as well as the center speaker keeping the factory sub and amplifiers and it is a major improvement. The factory amp isn't actually a bad amp, it is the paper speakers that are the down fall. Take any of them out and you will know why just be looking at them.

      I'm thinking of bypassing the sub in my truck and adding an aftermarket amp/sub to get cleaner bass because the factory sub is pretty lacking.

      Replacing the speakers is the first thing I'd do and see if you are happy there. Beyond that, it can get very complex very quickly trying to bypass the factory amp for the inside speakers because of how it is tied into the whole car system.
       
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    3. chazglenn3

      chazglenn3 Active Member

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      The system in our Platinum is pretty bitchin'
       
    4. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I have merged your thread with this one I found using the Forum's 'Search' program. There should be some useful info here.

      Peter
       
    5. jtversky

      jtversky New Member

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      Great info. One clarification to point out though

      The premium sound system in the XLT does not have a sub if i recall correctly - only the Sony system in the higher level specs has one.
       
    6. champco

      champco Active Member

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      Yea the sub thing is not what I am interested in. Do not need thump. Simply need a clear range from 20-25000 hz ability in the speaker. I would bet the range is being produced but not reproduced by the speakers. What ever filtering system used for the tweeters/mid range probably looked good on paper but performance is lacking.
      Anyone have a picture of the stock door speakers??
       
    7. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      As blwnsmoke stated above, simply replacing the OEM door speakers would be a pretty big step up in performance. HOWEVER, almost no 6x9 or other sized 2 or 3-way speakers will have the 20-25000Hz response you are looking for. The good news is, you simply do not need it. If you are listening to pop, rap, country, classical... 98% of the music doesn't go below 40Hz nor above 15,000Hz.

      A $49.99 pair of Pioneer speakers purchased at Wal-Mart would be a good improvement on the factory speakers. If you get a chance go to a car stereo shop and demo some speakers to find what you like best. This is key as every speaker sounds different and every person has difference sound preferences. You could be surprised at how good a pair of $99 speakers sound and how much different they sound than another brand of $99 speakers.
       
    8. champco

      champco Active Member

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    9. champco

      champco Active Member

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      The 2%. Plug this into your Explorer...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qahHKhkLQak
       
    10. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      Consider the instruments. The bass tuba may play down to 35Hz. The double bass to 40Hz. Most kick drums hit around 60Hz (that thumping in your chest freq). Now on the other end a concert flute or piccolo usually doesn't go above 4000Hz. I don't see anything on that stage that would make me think above 2500Hz. Your best bet if you want the largest frequency spread is organ music. I have a reference recording with the worlds finest organ and the frequency response was somewhere around 19Hz-8000Hz.

      If you want to get an idea of Hz and the sound, watch this on a good set of true full range speakers. You may be surprises at how low sound is below 50 Hz or how high it is above 2000Hz
      https://youtu.be/qNf9nzvnd1k
       
    11. champco

      champco Active Member

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      Deewan...... "If you want to get an idea of Hz and the sound, watch this on a good set of true full range speakers. You may be surprises at how low sound is below 50 Hz or how high it is above 2000Hz
      https://youtu.be/qNf9nzvnd1k"

      Cool link Thanks.

      You enjoyed the Tuba I hope. The CD Gravity has one song that literally destroyed the speaker cones in my Durango. Of course they were already old but you could almost hear the paper tear. I bet this freq is below 25hz on the one song. Only thing i could listen to after that was talk radio. I peddled the truck.

      My experience with sound, frequency, all types of distortion, equalization, span more then 50 years. My Boston Acoustics are a reference monitor I push with a old school Phase linear Amp with electronic equalization that can bring whatever I chose to the front. Sounds like a studio in my play room.

      What I did for most of my life is pursue good sound. I chose Macintosh speakers over Bose 901's back in 79. They have much better fidelity.

      My Malibu has a Bose system in it. I am used to it. My wifes Lexus is a standard system that is lacking. The 2013 Explorer is lacking. My sons F150 is a XLT that also needs upgraded speakers.

      I was hoping to learn of the existing speakers in the Ex. Will replace the doors but still wonder of the quality of the tweeters in the door sills. Another study.
       
    12. champco

      champco Active Member

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      BTW the human voice range is easily 300-3000 hz. Well above 2500Hz
       
    13. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      [MENTION=301805]champco[/MENTION] My experience with sound does not span anything close to the 50 years you have. However, I have been designing and building high performance speakers for 10 years. I've spent countless hours measuring drivers and designing passive crossovers. Running full frequncy sweeps hundreds of times opens your eyes on what is actually needed for a quality sound system. I've replaced my car audio systems since my first car back when I was 16 and have helped several friends improve their car systems. I also sang throughout my high school and college days in groups ranging from a five man a cappella group to a 100 voice mixed choir with full symphony. I feel I have a fairly good understanding of the creation and reproduction of sound.

      Couple of things here with your posts and your desire to improve the sound. While it is possible the tuba on the CD you mention plays down to 25Hz, I think it's doubtful. The fact you tore a stock driver apart in a Durango means very little for the frequency you were playing. Very few stock auto systems have a system capable of playing below 35-40Hz with any authority. Old, dried drivers in a Durango could easily be torn by playing a freq around 250Hz as 25Hz, all depends on the excursion and design of the driver. Depending on the speakers, they may have had a foam surround. The foam will often fall apart after being exposed to the hot, cold and possible UV elements of being inside an auto. Heck, talk radio turned up loud enough could tear an aging foam surround apart. Even a folded paper surround gets brittle after a few years. Most car audio systems have cheap components, even if they are top-tier brands. It's like biggie sizing your value meal. At McDonals you pay $1 more, and they give you $0.19 more of fries and soda. Same this with OEM car audio. You pay $250+ more and they give you $3 tweeters in each door with a $0.50 resistor to block the bass instead of a 6x9 with a wizzer cone for the higher frequencies.

      Getting back to my original statement, a $99 pair of aftermarket speakers will easily improve the sound quality of the system in almost every car. The drivers will be better built, foam or paper surrounds will be replaced with a Non-fatiguing butyl rubber surround. Paper drivers will be replaced with injection cones and small magnets will be replaced with power magnets with quality voice coils.

      But like I said before, listen to the speakers before you buy them and ask a local shop for their recommendations. The local shop will likely know about the system replacing. Bose for example uses inferior speakers, but EQ's the crap out of the signal to create a 'good' sounding system. Bose also normally uses a driver with a very low impedance. This forces an amp to work harder, but also creates more power. In this sort of situation, if you would replace a 2-ohm Bose speaker with a 4-ohm aftermarket, the aftermarket speaker could over produce certain frequencies due to the Bose EQ, and the speaker could play quieter because it's only a 4-ohm load instead of a 2-ohm load. But, assuming no extra EQ'ing is done and you are replacing a speaker with the same impedance, even a cheap aftermarket speaker will sound as good or better than almost any speaker that came with the car.


      A bass singer in a group I really enjoy has been recorded singing as low as 44Hz, quite a bit lower than your 300Hz range. Hitting notes below 300 Hz is very simple for most singers, male or female. Not sure I agree with the "humna voice range is easily 300-3000Hz" range comment. Listen to the youtube video I posted above, skip to the 3000Hz (1:40 time mark). It's takes a special voice to hit those notes.

      Again, this is why I say a speaker that can accurately reproduce 40-15K Hz range is about all you need in a car. Heck, you are at least 50. You may not have much hearing left above 15K. I'm 37 and I know I've lost a lot of hearing in the upper range. It's part of growing old.
       
    14. champco

      champco Active Member

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      Enjoying the conversation Deewan

      It got me to digging and I think I found something that stands up for you well as well as what seems to be a average, I used for years, on voice range. Not necessarily a limit on either end.

      http://www.bnoack.com/index.html?http&&&www.bnoack.com/audio/speech-level.html

      Digging thru some manuals with specs I found the 20-20000 hz were for headphones not speakers. besides that the lowest spec for any speaker I was able to find was 35Hz.

      The Pioneers I picked out will be just fine I'm sure.
      I have ordered some LEDs for the headlights which is priority over the sound. Once that is done I will revisit the speakers. As much as I read on the subject I am not alone on the disappointing sound. Thanks for the time here. Regards
       
    15. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      Headphones have a much easier time reproducing the 20-20K HZ range. Headphones will often stop below or above the human hearing range because headphones can't add a feel to sound in those ranges. Large drivers can pressurize a room or interior of a car and add a feeling/beat to the music that isn't heard. Same with higher frequencies the human ear can hear. We can't hear them but it doesn't mean the body doesn't respond to them. Not a real need for those freq with headphones.

      But trust me, speakers can easily dig as low or lower than headphones. Here is the measured freq response of the latest pair of speakers I built. As you can see their lower range is useful down to around the mid 20's and all I'm using are dual 8-inch woofers (not subs). The speakers were designed with a target curve slightly tilting down towards high frequencies as I find that preferable to my ear - a flat target often sounds too bright. That's the beauty of designing your own speakers, you can build them to your tastes.
      [​IMG]

      And an idea of the unfinished speakers with teh crossover still a work in process...
      [​IMG]
      Finished speakers and crossover the day I took the above measurements:
      [​IMG]

      Anyways, getting back on track to car audio. Due to all the outside factors that detract from car audio such as the windows down, road noise, engine noise, talking kids... super high fidelity is not a must in many car systems because they hi-fi would be lost. Factor in the fact a lot of music doesn't have notes below 40Hz or above 15K Hz, the full 20-20K Hz spectrum isn't required for a great sounding auto system that can really thump while driving down the road with the windows down at 55mph.

      That's my two cents anyways. If I get a chance sometime I will try to measure the in cabin response of the Sony system. Might be interesting to see what it is so others can see what they currently have and where they might like to improve things.
       
    16. GBot

      GBot Member

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      You may have mentioned this elsewhere, but did you Dynamat your Explorer? If so I'd be very curious to hear your experience with it.
       
    17. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      I have not added Dynamat to the Explorer. It's my opinion that the Explorer is fairly quite in the cabin, at least my Limited is. I'm not saying Dynamite wouldn't help, but I don't find the road noise terrible in the Explorer.

      I have used Dynamite in the past and it's a good reminder how much audio quality is lost to road noise.
       
    18. XLT16

      XLT16 Member

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      When I did the door speakers I put Dynamat Extreme in, just the doors. Had a bunch left from by C7 'Vette which I had just done. It may have helped but like deewan said the Explorer is pretty quiet so not sure it made a whole lot of difference.

      I put Pioneer speakers in the doors , front and rear, still found the sound quality lacking. Put the subwoofer in the back and it made a big difference, glad I did that. The OEM door speakers were dull so the new Pioneers made a big difference but being used to a sub both in the house and in my vehicles I missed it in the Explorer. Just fills that bass gap in.

      My write-up is back a few pages on that sub install. The door speakers are a pain as you have to use the mounts from the OEM's as described by others back a few pages. Good luck with whatever you are doing :)
       
    19. Moonjelly

      Moonjelly New Member

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      Ok all in all what is good

      Ok....I have gone through the 19 pages and there has been a lot " what is good ...opinions"

      I ma so new to this that I will have my system installed at a shop. However, they only carry what they want to carry and cannot diversify there product lines.
      SO that brings me to my question.......WHAT TO BUY?

      I would love to have an amp and signal processor under the passenger and driver seats and a 10' sub in the rear ......JL TW3

      I have a 2016 explorer XLT...no sony stereo.

      good help will be much appreciated.

      I would love to replace the speakers down the road but one thing at a time. I absolutely love EDM music and Hard Techno.....but I still enjoy clear punch.

      I have a thing for Focal speakers and Polk audio. \
      ...recommendations?
       
    20. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      If you are using a shop for the install and as you mentioned they only carry a few brands, we would need to know which brands those are.

      No matter which brands they offer, go to the shop and listen to the speakers for yourself. Don't rely on someone telling you what speakers sound best. What I think are the best speakers may be crap in your opinion because of what we deem as important good sound characteristics. I may just like rumble for bass, whereas you've stated you like quick, punchy bass. So if I recommend Kicker subs (just an example, I'm not saying they are sloppy), you may hate them because of their sound while I'll call you crazy because the bass is "amazing".

      If sound quality is your number one concern, then bass, I would recommend a nice aftermarket processor. Maybe the JL Audio Fix. Another great option is if you can find a gently used JBL MS-8 or something along that line. It's a DSP and amp in one and will customize the sound to the interior of your car.

      Then you can add a separate sub amp and your sound will be greatly improved.
       
    21. GeoGeek

      GeoGeek New Member

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      If you send me your email in a pm, I'll send you a write up on what I did in my '16 XLT...sounds like you're interested in doing something similar.
       
    22. Moonjelly

      Moonjelly New Member

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      Thanks for your help. I will look into those sound processors you mentioned. The ms-8 I looked into already as I saw it in the 19 pages. It looks nice and has good reviews . I will look around for sure

      OK here is a really newbie question. If the sub is 400w 4 ohms the amp to power it would need to be a 400w 4 ohms too.?
      Mono amp.
      What is the difference between a mono or class D amp. ? Is there a difference.

      Your rite I really enjoy good quality sounding music.
      I once went into a audio store to ask about a specific tube amplifier and the guy looks at me and says" we do t carry tube amps those are for people who think they can hear the grass whisper, if you want real music come back and get a digital amp."
      Lol .....I believe everyone likes what think they like . And should not be put down for their tastes. ...what a guy lol
       
    23. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      Drivers (subs or speakers) will normally list a suggested power consumption and a peak power consumption. These are guidelines. You can use a 1000 watt amp with a 400 watt subwoofer because of how amps work with drivers. This is not exact, but in real simple terms think of it this way....the driver will reach it's max excursion with roughly 400 watts. but since a 1,000 watt amp doesn't constantly output 1000 watts, the 1000 watt amp will work well with a 400 watt driver until it's outputting 400 watts. There are many other factors that come into play, but that's a down and dirty way of thinking of it. You have a bigger chance of damaging a driver with a underpowered amp than overpowered.

      A mono amp and a Class D amp are two totally different things. Mono means the amp is outputting a single channel. An amp can be bridged to combine the power of two or more channels into a single (mono) channel. Class D amp is a description of the design of the amp. Class D amps are a design allowing high power output in a small design and using lighter part components.

      For a better understanding of all the amp designs, read this: https://www.audioholics.com/audio-amplifier/amplifier-classes
       
    24. champco

      champco Active Member

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      Hi Deewan

      Well after re-reading this entire thread, (did not see it before my first post) I have learned that there are two systems offered in the Gen5
      My 2013 9 speaker is not covered as well as the Sony and the Amp mods.
      My approach was different. I removed the OEM Ford toy speakers from the rear doors. Replacement was with a new old stock Infinity Kappa 63.91 3-way.
      I old school hard mounted them to the door. Using the existing wires I clipped the ends and pieced them out to the Kappas built in crossover. They are not sealed in any way. They also have almost zero Bass.
      I do not know if they are defective. (Don't think so) or if they being mounted so, or that the signal to them is not filtered. I do not think that last part has been answered here completely. It was talked about but not defined. Also are the read door speakers bridged to the third seat mini speakers which could reduce power... Possibly. Looking for a next step. Does anyone know if the rear door speaker wires come directly from the HU?
       
    25. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      So you have the 9 speaker non-Sony system. I'm not familiar with that system so anyone who is, please step in if I state something wrong.

      First, do you have pictures of how you mounted and wired the new Infinity speakers? If the speakers are not sealed in the door, bass will be greatly reduced. Bass benefits from having a driver mounted in an enclosure of some form. From your comment, it almost sounds like the speaker is just attached to the door at may not create a seal.

      Also are you sure you kept the polarity correct? If you have one wired correctly and the other reversed, you'll lose bass with that mixup as well.

      I'm 99% sure the rear door speakers are not wired with the rear speakers in the cargo area. And if they were, it isn't a given that would cause the drivers to get less power. All depends on how they are wired, but I won't get into that because I'd be shocked if they were wired together.
       
    26. GeoGeek

      GeoGeek New Member

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      I can tell you for sure that the rear door speakers are wired in parallel with the 3rd row speakers in the 9-speaker non-Sony system in my 2016 XLT. They are different impedance and the 3rd row also have capacitors on them to block bass. This is for a non-amplified premium system in a 2016...not sure the 2013'same are the same.
       

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