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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I think I'm going to bite the bullet and upgrade the speakers in my xB. I have been researching this weekend, and have narrowed it down to a few choices. Can anyone give me any comments from personal experience on any of these. I know it is best for me to go listen to them, but so far haven't found anywhere nearby who sells them. What I'm looking for is clear, clean sound from 6.5" components for less than $100. Here are the finalists:

Alpine SPR-17C
Boston Acoustics s60
JL Audio TR 650CSi
MB Quart ONX216

BTW I don't have an amp, but will probably go for one this summer. I also plan to upgrade the rear doors. Used Polk Audio Dxi's are less than $30 I may go with those.
 

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I have the Polk db 6.5" in all four doors. They don't deliver a lot of low tones without help, so I added the sub/amp. Now, I can bump down the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now I'm thinking about a sub (maybe 10"). I hate to lose cargo space. The only other place is under a front seat (if it will fit ). I know subs are omnidirectional as far as the sound, but would someone sitting in the seat feel their butts vibrate from the bass?

So if you have read my previous posts, I started by looking for a spare set of factory speakers for the rears. That turned into wanting better non-stock rear door speakers, which evolved into wanting new components for the fronts, and now a sub for the back. This is NUTS! :p

ALSO... I can probably only do a sub/amp or components but not both at the same time for $$ reasons. I thought the components first because that would give me better sounding speakers right off the bat. A local audio store recommended I do a sub first and that would make the rest of my factory system sound better. Would anyone care to throw out an opinion on what order to add audio components?
 

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I started knowing zilch about audio so I did a lot of reading. With a limited budget I bought my pieces from eBay.

Starting with the Pioneer Premium head unit...

I went with the sub/amp first. The sound from the stock system improved a lot.
It's an underseat sub so yeah, my front seat passenger does feel the bump from the bass.

I wanted more sound from my speakers so a couple of months later I installed a set of Infinity Kappa components. I hooked them up to a 2-channel amp and I think my system sounds really good now. I read that components need more power than the head unit can offer so you may want an amplifier to produce quality sound.

Next on my list is 6.5" speakers for the rears. I'm not looking to add another amp so I'm considering 2ohm speakers to run off of the HU (most likely I'll get Infinity Reference). I'd just like a bit more rear fill for passengers.

Betcha I'm gonna end up buying a 4-channel amp and running all 6 speakers from it. May end up with a different HU too if the price is right. :p

Yes, this is NUTS!
 

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A couple thoughts here -

SurfMOMster - I just put the Infinity Reference in both front and rear doors of my 2011. It sounds a lot better, especially in the rear seats. The stock rear speakers are especially rubbish. It does play slightly louder, but I will still be adding an amplifier. I didn't mess with the tweeters in the sail panel because you have to make your own mounting bracket. One of the elements of the Infinity's that I like is that you can angle the tweeters and there is a treble boost built in if you want it.

zinger - Regarding subwoofers that don't take up cargo space. I am fortunate enough to afford the JL Audio Stealthbox. It fits into the passenger side rear quarter panel without blocking access to storage, etc. I will be driving it from a JL Audio XD600 mono amp. Pretty expensive, especially including the amp.

A good solution if you're not really trying to get huge base, but just a solid bottom end so the music sounds right is the Bazooka powered subwoofer built for the Gen 2 xB. It is more reasonable at $350 (including power) and will fill out the music if that is what you're after. It can connect right into the stock wiring harness. The install looks best left to pros, though as it involves messing around with the rear quarter panel.

Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I've seen the stealthbox online. It looks great and I love how it fits over in the side like that. If I knew how to fiberglass I would try to build my own! I already have plenty of mdf and I can pick up a used Polk Audio 10" sub and nice amp for around $100. Maybe when summer rolls around and I'm looking for a project, I can try to build a fiberglass one to swap out the mdf box.

How does the stealthbox actually fasten to the car so it won't rattle?
 

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The stealthbox fastens with a bolt through a hole drilled through the quarter panel into the wheelwell. It is not hard to do, but you do want to go about it carefully. You insert the bolt from the outside and it screws into a threaded insert in the stealthbox.

I haven't heard it yet, I'll be installing the amp this weekend. Generally I look for musical accuracy a lot more than volume from a subwoofer. I am using the JL Audio XD amp because it stays cool and I can mount it under the seat.

I am planning to take some photos as I go, so I can do a DIY post on the amp install.
 

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Install instructions JL Stealthbox - 500W, around $650
http://mobile.jlaudio.com/pdfs/15429.pdf
Install instructions Bazooka VSE - 100W, around $180
http://www.trdsparks.com/install/PTS20-52080inst.pdf

An underseat sub can run you as little or as much money as you can afford and can be totally custom to suit your needs.

I installed a Bazooka VSE for my daughter's tC and am not satisfied with the sound. It sounds and feels detached from the rest of the audio. I can hear so many different bass notes in my xB's underseat sub/amp than I hear in her trunk sub/amp. Maybe when she gets a new HU and some different front speakers it'll flow better. But all I really hear is boomboom with no depth and no layers.
I wanted one for my car really bad but the price didn't drop until after I already purchased my audio stuff. Now I'm glad I didn't because for the MSRP of $359 I bought the Boss Bass600 (new), Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components (new), the Blaupunkt THA275 slimline amp (factory refurbished), Pioneer Premium head unit (used), and 2 amplifier wiring kits.
I have 600W of bass and 120W going to the speakers for a cheaper price than the 100W sub made by Bazooka.
It works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think the sub I was looking at would fit under the seat anyway. I would have to put it in the cargo area.

I will probably go for the components first if for no other reason than it is freaking cold here in Jan. and Feb. and my garage is unheated. It is supposed to be -4 tomorrow with wind chills around -30! Running wires for the amp through the firewall and under the panels to the back; plus building a box would take too long in the winter. Installing door speakers should be faster.
 

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I got door speakers while waiting for everyone else before the Columbia, SC scikotics meeting tonight. I got the Pioneer 6.5 they had on sale (all 4 for $100). A chapter member said they were good ones w/ the stock basic headunit (what I wanted).

I'll let ya'll know what I think tomorrow once I install.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience with the Bazooka, it sure makes me feel better about choosing the stealthbox.

Like zinger we have a balmy -4 today. I have a propane garage heater, so I'll do the install on Sunday.
 

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Also nice to see JL updated their install instructions from last week. In step 5, it said to use a 3/4" hole saw. I called JL Audio tech support to ask if they knew something I didn't about how to get a 1" spacer through a 3/4" hole. Nice that they corrected it quickly. Now if I could just get the 15 bucks I spent on the 3/4" hole saw back. :)
 

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Royal Floor Sweeper
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I got door speakers while waiting for everyone else before the Columbia, SC scikotics meeting tonight. I got the Pioneer 6.5 they had on sale (all 4 for $100). A chapter member said they were good ones w/ the stock basic headunit (what I wanted).

I'll let ya'll know what I think tomorrow once I install.
Well . . .
Not too happy w/ them. The stock fronts sound better, actually. Now, I need to save the box and return them once I get something else installed back there. The original rears were destroyed to make mountings for the new rears.

I'm now thinking of getting a set of fronts to install back there . . .
If someone in this thread now has a spare set they don't need, let me know! ASAP . . .
 

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I would add the sub first. Go with the Bazooka "8" with build in amp. I purchase it on ebay for $180.00 "new." Factory speakers will do fine for now. The Bazooka "8" is not that hard to install. I put it in my XB and it sounds ok. But I will be upgrading to the JL Stealthbox. The Bazooka doesn't have the deep bass i"m looking for.
 

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Update:
Modded stock front speakers in the rears.
Good sound (not amazing, but pretty good for a road vehicle where one hears outside noise anyway- no sound deadening and aim more at performance than audio perfection). When playing with the stock one (made by Pioneer, actually) one side and the Pioneer aftermarkets on the other, the differences were:
Aftermarket: slightly clearer mid/high, VERY poor bass
Stocks: Good overall range for a stock unit, somewhat improved sound w/ the bigger fronts mounted in the rears- they are about 1" wider and plastic rather than the original rear paper ones.

I tested them over a WIDE range of music- classical (Stravinsky's The Firebird), Michael Card's "Poiema" (has a nice mix of instruments in mid and high range, with a Celtic flair), "celtic punk" (Flogging Molly), thumping drums (Albannach), crooners (Frank Sinatra), big band (Glen Miller and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy), Beach Boys, electronic (Crazy Frog and Scion samplers), Nirvana, James Blunt (good for high-end sounds), The Eagles, Eminem, and a few others.
For the option of either, I installed the stockers (and returned the aftermarkets for my money back- which made the decision slightly easier, as I could justify the difference in the present application situation).

To get a better sound, you need the upgraded or an aftermarket headunit, then I'd get an amp/sub, THEN worry about the doors. The stocks are pretty good for stocks.

(A more detailed thread will follow when I get time to convert some photos and type an explanation)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My rs6 came with an "aftermarket" headunit - Pioneer Avic F-900BT. I already ordered new door speakers. I chose the Boston Acoustics components. According to UPS, they will be here Monday. I will probably order the Polk PA 660 amp this week. If you saw my other thread, I'm checking into wiring options. An amp wiring kit seems expensive for what it contains. The sub will probably have to wait a few months mostly because it requires purchasing a second amp.

I wish I could afford sound deadener. Everyone raves about how much quieter it makes your car. The cost of the stuff is very prohibitive though.

I'll try to remember to take pictures when I install everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks. We are supposed to get 18-24 inches of snow here Mon night to Wed. I'm normally not a fan of snow days off school, but in this case maybe I can install my Boston's before the weekend. :p
 
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