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I’ve been sitting on some really nice (I think?) car stereo gear for 10-12 years now, and I’ve finally given up on the idea that I’ll ever get the motivation to do another installation myself, as I did in times past. So I’m looking towards having a system put in my 2003 Town Car, probably next year if not sooner. I have a new-in-the-box set of a/d/s/ 345is component speakers and a 5-channel Soundstream Rubicon 555 amp that will comprise the basis of the system.

But in the meantime I’m really tired of the way the stock system sounds. The speakers have a nice “honk” in the 2-4 kHz range that just grates on my ears. So, I’m wondering if it would be worthwhile to go ahead and have the speakers installed now.

I guess I’m wondering of the stock head unit will be able to handle the speakers. a/d/s/ spec’d the 345is at 90 dB sensitivity with a 15 watt minimum power requirement. Does the stock head unit put out enough power to drive them to decent levels, or will there be a significant SPL loss?

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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they should work fine with the factory system. worst case scenario is there might be a possible loss in output (~3db) if there is an impedance mismatch. as in the factory are 2 ohm drivers and your ADS are the 4 ohm variety.
 

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I went a similar route with my car system. I replaced the stock head unit first to get FLAC playback and then upgraded the stock speakers to Focal's. The Focal's played 'OK?' on the Kenwood head unit but it was fairly easy to drive the head unit into shut down if I tried to push the SPL up even slightly above comfort levels. This was also in the area where the Kenwood unit speaker out's would begin to clip. I've since (this past weekend,in fact) had an amp and EQ installed (Precision Power Ion 520.4 & Precision Power E.7 EQ) and those have, of course, made worlds of difference in both output levels and SQ. Bottom line, YES, you can get by with the new speakers on the stock unit as stated by cubdenno. It may, however, just be trading one set of annoyances for another.
 

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Aren't there always annoyances!!! :D




In doing upgrades in stages, I have usually suggested it in this order:


Headunit
Subwoofer and passive highpass crossovers for the rest of the speakers if the head unit can't do it electronically
Amplifier for the factory speakers
replace factory speakers.


Surprisingly, a sub and passives limiting the low end extension on the factory drivers can really clean things up. Then an amp on the factories removes the volume limitation on the interior (non sub) speakers while usually offering a better highpass.


finally changing the interior speakers to something that offers better than the factory drivers. Seems I guess counter intuitive with the interior speakers but in a car driving with road noise etc... Most of the time unless one is seeking a competition SQ vehicle or seeking mobile sonic nirvana... It's good enough.


I should also add that addressing the front doors the front speakers are usually mounted in helps a ton. Sealing up large holes can make a world of difference.
 
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My upgrade path was somewhat directed by my desire to get past single CD playback and led to a digital media player with USB & FLAC support (didn't want to recreate my entire library). Then after a dash into the house during an unexpected cloud burst I realized I had left my drivers side door open (don't ask, I was in the front of the house doing yard stuff and the Xterra was in back). Water damaged my speakers and dictated their replacement. The amp and EQ were a natural evolution from there.

Wayne, I seem to have a 'honk' similar to the one you describe. Can't seem to lose it without adverse impact elsewhere. I have some control on center freq on the 7 EQ bands but no control on Q. I's a sticky resonance in the cab of the Xterra that defies correction.
 
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