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 FAQ: Installing Front Speakers

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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:03 pm

Abaddon wrote:
I covered the tweeter holes with Dynamat....and cut the wires. I'm certainly NOT putting the factory junk back in, ever.

What kind of 2-ways did you install? do the tweeters sit flush or do the extrude from the the 5.25? I assume they fit ok with no modding?



Gunmetal, silly question but, why didnt you pull the jewels before the Riv got scrapped?
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:14 pm

gunmetal wrote:
Does anyone know what kind of power the stock stereo puts out?

If I had to guess, I'd say about 8 Watts... peak.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:16 pm

AA wrote:

gunmetal wrote:
Does anyone know what kind of power the stock stereo puts out?


If I had to guess, I'd say about 8 Watts... peak.


No way..... I have this old clarion POS that says it's 50w 4 channel. Stock is only 8!? DANG!
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:23 pm

1) Aftermarket head units' power ratings are often less truthful than politicians' campaign promises. Here's how we know: speaker impedance for a car has been 4 ohms for a long time, rather than 8 ohms like speakers for home. Why? Because in a car you only have 12-14 volts, which limits how much power you can produce.

Ohms law lays it out: I = V/R (Amps = volts/ohms), so...

14.4/4 = 3.6 Amps

^^^ That is the max a 4 ohm speaker will draw from a head unit, per channel at 14.4v power.

How much power is that in Watts? W = V x A (Watts = volts x Amps), so...

14.4 x 3.6 = 51.84 Watts

That is a peak power amount. RMS power is usually 2/3 to 1/2 the peak, so depending on the quality of the head's internal amp, it will likely put out between 25 and 35 Watts clean enough to listen to. Still the distortion levels are going to be high compared to a dedicated outboard power amp.

BUT:

That's only for one channel. If the head unit is played with all four channels driven at once, which is how we usually listen to music in a car, the demand is 4 times 3.6 Amps, or 14.4 Amps! Check your fuse rating on the Clarion. If it's 15 Amps, you might get 25-35 Watts RMS into all 4 channels. If it's only a 10 Amp fuse, you'll get between 18-24 Watts RMS/channel. A 5 Amp fuse will permit 9-12 Watts RMS/channel before it blows.

A dedicated power amp sounds better because it creates more clean RMS Watts with much lower distortion (if your head unit has 1% TDH, an amp might have only 0.1%). It also makes more power into 4 ohms, because it has a power supply that boosts output voltage to 20-30 volts, or more. Because it operates at higher voltage and current, it can offer reserve power for "peak" situations. Many amps will double their RMS output for short periods, and then some if the speakers demand it!

Example: the legendary Orion HCCA 225R (red) amp from the early '90s - here are the specs:

25 x 2 RMS @ 4 ohm, .1% THD
200 x 1 RMS @ 4 ohm, .1% THD
400 x 1 RMS @ 1 ohm, .1% THD

Fuse rating: 45A, good for 650 Watts!

2) I estimated 8 Watts peak, or 4-6 Watts RMS, based on the output level and distortion I heard with the stock head driven hard. There are really only 2 downfalls for the stock head: the cassette player breaks, and the power output is very low. They designed it for listening to music with the windows up at freeway speeds, no more.

But 4-6 Watts RMS is more than you'd think. It sounds pretty loud in the mid-range/treble ranges. Bass sucks more power to get loud, and the speakers aren't very large, so Concert Sound II won't pound out the lows. Here's how sound level builds with power. Most people will find ONE Watt of power pretty loud:

(RMS power, based on an average efficiency speaker, mid-range frequencies)

1 Watt = 85 dB (about as loud as an alarm clock)
2 Watt = 88 dB
3 Watt = 89 dB
4 Watt = 91 dB (long-term exposure = hearing loss)
6 Watt = 93 dB
8 Watt = 94 dB (decent, but not super loud)
16 Watt = 97 dB
32 Watt = 100 dB (lawn mower)
64 Watt = 103 dB
128 Watt = 106 dB
256 Watt = 109 dB
512 Watt = 112 dB (train engine)
1024 Watt = 115 dB
2048 Watt = 118 dB
4096 Watt = 121 dB (rock concert)

You hear about car audio systems going louder than this. 130, 140 dB or louder. This happens in the bass frequencies, where the car interior acts to amplify low bass. This is called "cabin gain". Also subwoofers have bigger cones and magnets, so they are more efficient. With only one Watt you might get 95 dB. At 10 Watts, you'd be at 105 dB, and 1000W = 125 dB.

Back to the components - since there are two mids in a stereo pair, you'll get a 6 dB bonus, so a 30 Watt RMS stereo pair would make about 106 dB (pretty loud). A single sub getting 300 Watts should make about 120 dB, but in a vented enclosure it makes 123 dB on the same power!

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'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
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EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO • 49k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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gunmetalRED
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:46 pm

So I've got the front speaker grilles off and the main speaker itself just dangling-- did you guys cut the main speaker off and wire the new speaker directly in?

I have an adapter set too, but it looks to me like that just goes to the now-useless tweeter.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:49 pm

gunmetalRED wrote:
So I've got the front speaker grilles off and the main speaker itself just dangling-- did you guys cut the main speaker off and wire the new speaker directly in?

I have an adapter set too, but it looks to me like that just goes to the now-useless tweeter.

I just cut em off and wired them for the new speakers.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:55 pm

I replaced the wiring with heavier gauge speaker wire. You should only consider doing this if you're powering the fronts with an amp.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO • 49k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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gunmetalRED
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:00 pm

Excellent. Wanted to make sure before I did something dumb. Thanks much. smile

They're not being powered with an amp or anything. Just a $99 pair of Polks from Crutchfield. I'll do a bigger overhaul later, but until then I was am tired of lows sounding like brrfgghbbrffrrffbbrrfnfffbbgfpgghgbbb
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:08 pm

matt270avian wrote:
The general consensus is to unplug the stock tweeters but leave them in to fill the hole. I'm personally running 2 ways in the front and they fit just fine. Be sure to get the metra adapter for the new speakers so you don't cut your stock wiring.


As Matt suggested these adapters would make it clean & easy.
It would also make it easily reversible..

Jbird

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:41 pm

D'oh!
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:12 pm

I kept the function of the factory tweeters even though I put in a two way speaker for the main door speakers.    Using the Metra adaptor I was able to plug in the 5.25" two-ways into the factory plug.  However, I unsoldered the wires that went from the factory 5.25" to the tweeters.  I re-soldered those wires unto the terminals of the new speakers. This keeps the exact same function as factory. But now I have two tweeters and an upgraded 5.25" driver in each door. If I ever need to take the factory tweeters out, they also have their own separate plug.

If I want to upgrade the factory tweeters, another set of Metra adaptors will be all I need. No more soldering or cutting, splicing will be needed.  Simple as pie and all the wires and plugs are accessible just inside the speaker covers.  

With the Metra adaptor there is no need to terminate any wires nor is there any need to cut any wires.

Anyone can UNsolder wires!  And soldering the tweeter wires unto the new speaker's terminals is as about an easy a soldering job one could ever encounter.

Oh and also using Metra adaptors, I put in nice 3-way 6" by 9" speakers in the back. Now my bass rattles the rear view mirror.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:08 pm

skatterbrane wrote:
I kept the function of the factory tweeters even though I put in a two way speaker for the main door speakers.    Using the Metra adaptor I was able to plug in the 5.25" two-ways into the factory plug.  However, I unsoldered the wires that went from the factory 5.25" to the tweeters.  I re-soldered those wires unto the terminals of the new speakers. This keeps the exact same function as factory. But now I have two tweeters and an upgraded 5.25" driver in each door. If I ever need to take the factory tweeters out, they also have their own separate plug.

If I want to upgrade the factory tweeters, another set of Metra adaptors will be all I need. No more soldering or cutting, splicing will be needed.  Simple as pie and all the wires and plugs are accessible just inside the speaker covers.  

With the Metra adaptor there is no need to terminate any wires nor is there any need to cut any wires.

Anyone can UNsolder wires!  And soldering the tweeter wires unto the new speaker's terminals is as about an easy a soldering job one could ever encounter.

Oh and also using Metra adaptors, I put in nice 3-way 6" by 9" speakers in the back. Now my bass rattles the rear view mirror.

...the only issue might e the factory radio is expecting 8 ohm loads. Do you loads match that or is this for a non-factory radio?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:05 pm

The main door speakers actually read 4 ohms on the back. I am not sure the value of the resistor on the factory tweeter, but if there were no resistor and the factory tweeters are also 4 ohms, that would make the array only 2 ohms as the speakers are in parallel, but he inline resistor not only filters out lower frequencies to the tweeter, but it raises the overall resistance in the speaker array in the doors. There is more of a danger of blowing the amp if the resistance in the speaker circuit is too low than if it is too high.

The rear speakers read 10 ohms on the back, and the ones I replaced them with are 8 ohms.
There is no ohm information on the speakers I put in the doors, but most aftermarket car speakers are either 4 or 8 ohms, so all should be good as far as protecting my amp in the head unit from overheating.

I installed another Delco radio from an Aurora as all the Buick units of this particular design that I have owned (including the one in my 96 Riviera) the CD player skips and sometimes even shuts down for a few seconds. The design used on the Auroras (and other Olds models) are much better units.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:09 pm

skatterbrane wrote:
The main door speakers actually read 4 ohms on the back.  I am not sure the value of the resistor on the factory tweeter, but if there were no resistor and the factory tweeters are also 4 ohms, that would make the array only 2 ohms as the speakers are in parallel, but he inline resistor not only filters out lower frequencies to the tweeter, but it raises the overall resistance in the speaker array in the doors.    There is more of a danger of blowing the amp if the resistance in the speaker circuit is too low than if it is too high.

The rear speakers read 10 ohms on the back, and the ones I replaced them with are 8 ohms.  
There is no ohm information on the speakers I put in the doors, but most aftermarket car speakers are either 4 or 8 ohms, so all should be good as far as protecting my amp in the head unit from overheating.

I installed another Delco radio from an Aurora as all the Buick units of this particular design that I have owned (including the one in my 96 Riviera) the CD player skips and sometimes even shuts down for a few seconds.  The design used on the Auroras (and other Olds models) are much better units.
Can you post a picture of the Aurora radio installed in the Riv?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:56 am

Yes, I can do this within the next couple of days. I use the same radio in my Roadmasters because their original radios had faulty CD players too. I bought several Monsoon versions of the Buick radio and they all skipped too! The CD module used in the Buick radio is not very good.

On the other hand the CD modules in the Olds radio have been good to me. I have had 8 of them so far, all excellent.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:34 am

And when you insert a CD, it automatically turns on the unit and starts playing the CD.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:40 am

Rod, would you share the pinouts for the Olds and Buick radios so others (I) can make the swap?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:01 pm

Are the steering wheel controls still functional then?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:43 pm

I did not modify the pinouts to install this radio. (Except ADDING the 12 CD Changer, which worked on both the Buick and the Olds radios). But the steering wheel functions are different now (and more useful IMHO):

Left top: Fan                 Right top: Volume
Left bottom: Temp         Right bottom: Select (Seek).

So you lose scan and gain temp. And Radio controls are on right, HVAC controls are on left.

My next project concerning this is to find steering wheel controls where the labels match the functions.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:49 pm

If you want, later I can take a photo of the Factory Shop Manual I have for 1998 Riviera/Aurora that shows the pin map. The two are almost identical, except Aurora has additional information for the Bose option, which would not apply to the Riviera.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:45 pm

First two are Riviera. Last two are Aurora:




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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:37 pm

skatterbrane wrote:
I did not modify the pinouts to install this radio. (Except ADDING the 12 CD Changer, which worked on both the Buick and the Olds radios). But the steering wheel functions are different now (and more useful IMHO):

Left top: Fan                 Right top: Volume
Left bottom: Temp         Right bottom: Select (Seek).

So you lose scan and gain temp. And Radio controls are on right, HVAC controls are on left.

My next project concerning this is to find steering wheel controls where the labels match the functions.

That's the easy part - you install an Aurora steering wheel with teh properly labelled switches from the late '90s.

The switches are not that special. I was told that each one puts a certain resistance across a pair of wires, that sends a request so to speak to the controller. I've never verified that. If that is true, by wiring up a keypad with each key presenting the needed resistances one could access the hidden functions. I'm not that interested, but maybe someone else is.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:51 pm

Yes and it turns out that Cadillac Eldorado wood steering wheels have the same switch functions in the same place as the Aurora. So, whenever I stumble upon a suitable steering wheel I will have those functions I mentioned above. Until then, I removed the steering wheel switches. (To tell you the truth, having owned 4 Auroras and a 2001 Cadillac ETC, I never used the steering wheel switches anyway).
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:58 am

You can use 4 ohm speakers with our car's stock head. It will play louder than 8 ohm, which can by compensated for with the fader control (fade to rear if you want it to sound more like factory).

The components on the tweeters are filter capacitors if memory serves. They should not change the load from the tweeters, except below the filter point (as resistance rises, response drops off).

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO • 49k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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skatterbrane
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Installing Front Speakers   Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:09 pm

The stock door speakers ARE 4 ohm. The rears are 10 ohm (at least it is so in 1996).

FYI: I have my head unit set totally neutral. Centered on bass, treble, balance and fader is where it sounds the best.
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