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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Well after a prolonged period of darkness that is not owning a Saab, I have finally seen the light once more and have recently acquired a nice '95 2.0 CSE.

Now I am wondering about upgrading the speakers in the car, but I thought I would get advice off those rather more knowledgable than me!

Currently there is a basic Panasonic radio cassette unit. This is not very good and tells me nothing abouth the speakers. I am going to change this for my Kenwood head unit and changer.

A quick look at the rear speakers shows the fitted Saab speakers, 2 each side, woofer & midrange speakers?

So, is this the standard set up & how good are they?

I am not looking to start putting in amps and subs, I'm too old for all that, but I do like to turn the music up on occasion

Many thanks in advance for advice and comments.

Dave
 

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In 2002 I changed the head unit in my 97 9000 from the original to a good quality Pioneer with CD changer.

I asked the chap at the shop about upgrading the speakers and in a most unsalesman-like manner he suggested I listened to it with the new head unit before I though about changing the speakers.

There was indeed a marked change in sound quality and I saved my pennies and have stuck with the original speakers.

My one dislike is the fact that when parked up the rear 6 x 9 cones provide more than adequate bass but when moving road noise drowns this out. Hence my desire for a nice little sub for the boot to give some assistance with lower frequencies.
 

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The 9k suffers a bit from a lack of bass up front. If there are 1 or 2 people in the car, thats ok as you can balance out with the rears. With 4 in the car, the sound in the back is not too great so you end up with no bass in the front to keep those in the back happy. There's no cheap way of getting larger speakers up front.

This would be my order:

1) On a smallish budget I reckon moving to CD and a decent headunit will make a huge difference. If you are not carrying back seat passengers much, I'd upgrade the front dash speakers with good aftermarket components (not a big investment) - avoid the halfords line up though.

2) I'd get a good brand 4 channel amp to drive everything. No matter how much power the headunit 'claims', the control and smoothness of a decent amp will way surpass it.

3) I'd do the rear speakers - again good quality 6x9s

After that its diminishing returns - you could add a sub but you'd be surprised how good a decent amp and the 6x9s can generate. Plus getting the bass out of the 9k boot into the cabin can be an issue too = (big sub and another amp)
 

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In my last 9000 I had a Sony 12" sub in a sealed box with Clarion Amp (120 Watts I think).

This provided more than adequate bass for music, even considering the fact it was a CD so the boot was probably even better sealed.

Probably wouldn't be sufficient in a Nova though
 

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I went through this process with my 1994 CSE. I installed a new Alpine head unit and wanted to “upgrade” the sound. I got $200 Infinity 6x9 speakers for the back and $120 JBL’s 4” for the front. However I installed them only on the driver’s side and left the stock SAAB speakers on the other side. Now I could compare them by changing the balance left to right and back.

The stock SAAB 6x9 sounded better than the Infinities and the JBL were about the same. My conclusion is that the original SAAB speakers are pretty good. The only problem is the 1” cheap tweeters in the front. I replaced them with 1” dome silk tweeters ($45). The sound is now unbelievably rich and crisp.

My recommendation is to leave the original speakers and just change the front tweeters to good quality 1” silk or Titanium units.
 

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I found the standard SAAB rears to be useless! In my CSE they where single cone card efforts that could not handle much bass at all. They performed slightly better when I changed the head unit from an aging Sony radio cassette to a new Kenwood CD with more power, but not much.

I ended up replacing the 6x9 rears with some 150 watt Kenwoods (with built in mid range and tweeters) and disconnecting the rear mid-range speakers altogether.

Now, with the fader adjusted to 80% rear 20% front I get an acceptable performance.

However, with the speakers located in the standard position (i.e. boxed in next to the C pillar with no air space below), any speaker will struggle to perform. I reckon that you'd get a massive improvement by installing the 6x9s in the rear shelf. (until that it, you have to put the seats down, or until some scumbag decides to "borrow" them with the aid of a brick through the window.......)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thanks for the replies guys!
With the kenwood head unit and changer installed I found the sound is mainly coming from the front speakers and when I set the fader to the rears they sounded bloody awful!
Now I am gather there is a 4x32w amp under the passenger seat (well the owners manual says there is). Before I go and change the rears for some nice infinity 6903i's that Halfords have on sale at £49.99 (sounds a damn good price to me!)
I wondering if it could be the amp as the sound is very weak compared to the front?

I have to say, the fronts do sound very good though, just lacking in base, but that is to be expected.

Once again, many thansk for the advice, much appreciated.

Dave
 

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Just a thought, are you 100% sure you have the rear speakers wired up correctly?

For example, if you had accidently cross wired a speaker on the left side (i.e. put the negative wire to the positive speaker terminal and vica versa) and had wired the right hand side up correctly, the speakers will effectively cancel each other out, producing a very shallow sound.

To test this, adjust the fader to 100% rear, then adjust the balance completely to one side. If the sound quality noticeably improves, then I'd say you have one speaker wired up incorrectly. Remedy: swap the wires on one of the speakers. It doesn't matter which wire is connected to which terminal, as long as both sides are connected the same.
 

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treble from the back is non-existant but once cranked up you should get quite some deep (if woolly) bass.
I find sitting in the front with a 60/40 rear front fade and a bit of volume sounds good.
Also - if you had a head unit fitted by someone I bet they are using the headunit amp and bypassing the under seat amp (which is probably on a par with the head unit amp anyway).

Thought on the speaker phase - remember the rears need to be in phase with the fronts too, so it is important to check which of the rears is actually 'correct' and not change change 1 at random.
tbh, if the head unit has been fitted using a proper adapter then I very much doubt there will be a phase problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the speakers are the originals so I doubt there is a wiring problem. The previous owners of the car have always had things done properly at Saab specialists, so I am pretty certain it is the speakers.
The head unit has been professionally installed so I am confident that is ok also.
So I am ledft with the prospect of going to buy speakers from Halfords!


I will let you know how I get on, and once again thank you for the advice.

I am just hoping I can help someone in return one day!

Dave
 

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not sure if it results in speaker damage, but the classic boot open / water drip might cause the untimely demise of the speakers. If the car has been in a wet climate and the boot has been opened a lot, then the cones may be knackered.
 

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Originally posted by Dave Taylor:
[qb]Well the speakers are the originals so I doubt there is a wiring problem.  [/qb][/b]
Probably not true for Saabs, but I wouldn't necessarily assume the wiring was correct as shipped. I had a (new) Alfa years back where they forgot to connect the rear speakers at all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I finally got to installing some nice new Infinity 9603i's over the weekend, and how much of a difference did they make?



Ye gods they are good speakers!!

I have to say the front Saab originals compliment them perfectly!

The sound quality is amazing, I have been gently bedding them in, but now, oh the sound is beautiful, and just gets better as I turn up the volume!

For £49.99 from Halfords (slightly less online) they are a bargain!

I have realised I need an amp to really get the best out of them. The Kenwood head unit is good, kicking out some 45w rms per channel, but I need more!


Any suggestions on amps will be much appreciated as I have never done something like this before.

Thanks

Dave
 

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I use a Infinity BASSLINK active subwoofer in my cse, and it is by far the best setup I have ever had, I will be getting one for the Griffin as it is so easy to fit and takes up so little space, the sound quality of it is astounding for the size and price, i now use the rear 6 1/2's as midrange now and get a great sound now.
 
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