Why is the bass not as good as factory speakers?

Hi guys I'm new here.

I am a Auto Technician so I am very good at understanding some stuff BUT sound is not my specialty.

I just got a 1998 Civic as a project car for my kid and I. We are starting with the sound system. We are not going for crazy loud but we are going for quality and clear sound. First we got a Alpine head unit UTE-62BT this unit has 18 RMS x4 and it works great with the factory speakers but the highs were terrible. The next step were the speakers.

I got;

Polk DB+ DB6502 6-1/2" Component System for the front
Polk DB+ DB692 6" x 9" 3-way Speakers for the rear

I also got Speaker Baffles for the front and rear. I didn't make holes on them only for the wires.

I left the driver's speaker factory to compare (the only one not blown) and I noticed that the bass is WEAK on the Polk woofer on the right side compared to the factory left. I also noticed that the Polk woofer barely moves at max volume (before speaker distortion) while the factory speaker is going crazy. My guess is that the Polk woofer needs more power to be able to produce bass. I am not expecting to sound like a sub-woofer but at the very least BETTER that factory.

Don't get me wrong here I love how the highs sounds, its super clear!!

I'm sure I would need a Amplifier but I am not sure what amp rating I sound get. the description for the front says that it handles up to 100 watts RMS for the front and 150 watts RMS for the rear. Is that per speaker? or combine?

What amp do I need?
100 RMS x4 4 channel amp?
150 RMS x4 4 channel amp?
50 RMS x4 4 channel amp?
75 RMS x4 4 channel amp?



Thank you

I have some pics of the front install.
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Comments

  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 1,342
    100 watt RMSx4 will be plenty. I personally would only amp the front speakers and leave the rears on HU power, but that is personal preference. I would also advise to think about installing a simple sub stage if you really are looking for bass performance. A single 10" sealed will satisfy most
    2 Channel - Dual Purpose system in the works

    Polk LSIM707 I Polk LSIM 706C I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Marantz AV7707 I B&K Ref 200.7 I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Rega Fono MC I Audience Ohno ICs/Audience Forte F3 Power Chord/Acoustic Zen Satori I Cambridge 851N


  • You are correct, a 10” sub will be good. Now that I have a better idea, I will get the 4 channel amp and see how everything sounds before I install the sub. I’m also planning to put some sound deaden. I work on Audi’s and I’m used to see lots of sound deaden in doors and panels which keeps out road noise out of the car and helps sound quality but when I took this Civic’s Door panel out I laughed lol. I’ll probably post some pics here. The people at Crutchfield told me to open a 1” hole at the bottom of the speaker baffles to help with the bass but if I’m going to put a sub I don’t know if I should do that.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,858
    Chuck the "baffles", the Polks (as with most car audio speakers) are designed for infinite baffle install. Having the foam cups behind the speakers sucks up all the back wave energy.

    I'll agree with @stangman67 , concentrate on the front speakers for external amplification, and do research on you amp! If you have a model in mind, look it up on YouTube to see how it stacks up against a dyno. I like "big D-wiz's" channel. He pulls no punches. If you're after sound damping, start in the rear and work forward.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,751
    Removing the rubbers and going with a 50-75w x4 or even just a 50x2 for the fronts only will go a long way toward improving their performance. There's a huge difference in 18w/channel coming from a head unit, and 50w of clean power coming from a dedicated A/B amp.
  • I will cut out the baffles and check out the YouTube channel.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,751
    @nbrowser I get that the foam/rubber baffle is to protect the back of the woofer from water exposure that it'll see in the area inbetween the door. It seems like this is at the expense of dynamics and low frequency response though, due to it stifling the ability for the woofer to move air around as it normally would.

    Is there another way to protect the backside of the woofer from the elements, while at the same time not affecting it's acoustic performance?
  • Ok... I cut some of the foam. I left some of the top to protected from water since the Water seals are old and don’t work that well.

    The result is outstanding!!! Now the speaker moves like it should. The mids and lows are good. Whole door rattles now LOL
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 1,342
    If you really want to improve the sound, seal the door. This creates finite space to act as the enclosure. I did this to a 95 so if I had in college with a bunch of deadened and the results were fantastic
    2 Channel - Dual Purpose system in the works

    Polk LSIM707 I Polk LSIM 706C I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Marantz AV7707 I B&K Ref 200.7 I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Rega Fono MC I Audience Ohno ICs/Audience Forte F3 Power Chord/Acoustic Zen Satori I Cambridge 851N


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,751
    Even in newer cars, water gets inbetween the seal at the bottom of the window and drips down into the door cavity.
    nbrowser wrote: »
    If the seals on the door are working correctly, you shouldn't have issues with water hitting the back of the woofer.

  • From my understanding the rms has always been per speaker. I have always used an amp that put out more rms the speaker's rating. Better to have more power than needed then needing the power and not have it.
    Epson 3020 projector. Da Lite screen. Oppo 103. Yamaha CXA5000. B&K 7250ii. HSU VTF2. Def Tech Supercube 4000. Polk Rtia9 CsiA6 FxiA6. Monster hts 2600. Home theater.

    Bedroom consist of NHT model 2 powered by Parasound hca1200ii coming from my computer.

    Stuff laying around. Too much to list but don't want to sell either.
  • verbverb Posts: 10,276
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Even in newer cars, water gets inbetween the seal at the bottom of the window and drips down into the door cavity.
    nbrowser wrote: »
    If the seals on the door are working correctly, you shouldn't have issues with water hitting the back of the woofer.

    @Clipdat is correct. It's actually a water barrier, not a seal. All doors leak some water at times. The barriers are designed to manage the water and keep it away from critical components originally designed for the car, not new ones added later.
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cables, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, Northstar Designs Intenso DAC, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    From my understanding the rms has always been per speaker. I have always used an amp that put out more rms the speaker's rating. Better to have more power than needed then needing the power and not have it.

    I agree with you but this car doesn’t have a lot of space and all 4x100 rms amps are big. I’m thinking of putting 4 channel amp under pass seat and one mono amp under driver’s seat and I still don’t know where to put the power cap yet. 1pvkqgafolrq.jpeg
  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    DSkip wrote: »
    Don't get a cap. It's a waste.

    Really? I put one in my car when I was in high school many moons ago and it worked. Before cap i had strobe headlights lol
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,751
    I've never used one, but I think the thought is that the battery is already a big capacitor. So if the battery/charging system isn't up to snuff, then adding a capacitor on top of that isn't going to help.

    I think the old suggestion used to be put money toward "the big three", instead of just adding a cap. The big three being Battery, Alternator, and bigger/better grounding cables.

    https://www.crutchfield.com/S-m1taXotSLvm/learn/learningcenter/car/stereo_power_ups.html
    ngv1515 wrote: »
    Really? I put one in my car when I was in high school many moons ago and it worked. Before cap i had strobe headlights lol

  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I've never used one, but I think the thought is that the battery is already a big capacitor. So if the battery/charging system isn't up to snuff, then adding a capacitor on top of that isn't going to help.

    I think the old suggestion used to be put money toward "the big three", instead of just adding a cap. The big three being Battery, Alternator, and bigger/better grounding cables.

    Yes you guys are right. I can’t do the alternator yet because car will get a engine swap, I’ll have to wait. Battery is in the list, Optima, along with wires. I want to take interior apart ONCE. Sound deaden, wiring, amp install, etc. I’ll wait on the power cap, it may not need it.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,858
    J35.... Go big or don't bother
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,290
    K series swap and turbo.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    Lol no need for over kill. B20B is the plan. Just enough to keep up with traffic.
  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    Told my friends about the project and one gave me an amp and another one a box with 2 12”s the amp was on the floor in my friends garage... hasn’t been used for years and box was sitting in the attic for years too. They’re not high quality but it would do the job.

    Notice some difference after putting sound deadening on the right rear. I can hear the right rear speaker better but I ran out of it so I’ll add more later.
  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 3,858
    Thank your friend for the box and 12s, that's a nice gesture, but if I were in your shoes, I'd use just one in a better box, or trade it off for an 8 or 10 in a transmission line configuration. 2 12s will be too much for the cabin size.
  • ngv1515ngv1515 Posts: 16
    FestYboy wrote: »
    Thank your friend for the box and 12s, that's a nice gesture, but if I were in your shoes, I'd use just one in a better box, or trade it off for an 8 or 10 in a transmission line configuration. 2 12s will be too much for the cabin size.

    Yeah, it is a little loud but at the same time not very clear and takes up 80% of the trunk space. I just lower the Sub volume from the radio. The subwoofer brand is “Vision” never heard of it and it looks old. I’ll take a picture of it soon.
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,759
    Listen dude, you already have too many subs for your car, so you should go whole hog for bass head and source... I dunno, 10 more? Then you could blow the windows out at stop lights :mrgreen:
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,856
    JasperRichten reported
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
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