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So, I've got the RF 6CD head unit, I'm happy with what it does and not looking to go through the process of upgrading what already 'works' for me, however, I would like a little better sound. So...10 speakers to work with... I've read the articles about with ones to upgrade first etc, but I'm curious. Has anyone with this head unit upgraded only the speakers? I'm curious how far I can push the head unit before it's just not worth the extra speaker investment. Not looking into doing anything with amps either, I'm past that point in my life, I believe, but some better sound, a little deeper bass etc...
 

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Not looking into doing anything with amps either, I'm past that point in my life
You're past the point in life where good sound matters?

Adding amplification doesn't necessarily mean louder sound - but it can often result in much cleaner sound at any given volume level.

For example, by doing all the heavy lifting on the bottom end, an aftermarket amp can reduce the power demands on the original radio - which often means cleaner mids and highs.
 

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Go and physically listen to as many speakers as you can using your music to better define what you prefer. My opinions might not jive at all w/ your ear(s).
IME, silk tweeters are softer/less harsh than metallic while delivering delicate/detailed highs. Brands matter here, though. When listening at moderately-higher volumes for any length of time, many folks claim to experience less listening fatigue w/ silk tweeters as well.
.02
 
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You're past the point in life where good sound matters?
More just part the point of researching, wiring, installing, tweaking and messing with an amp, just for better sound. Of course I say that and I just got done ripping my truck apart to wire up far too many lights...just for looks. So who knows, maybe in time I'll do an amp, but for now just curious what the head unit can handle.

I have CDs that range ALL over, literally...classical, rock, metal, rap, opera, jazz, oldies, country, alternative, bluegrass, etc etc...so I've found finding a setup that "suits" all of that to my liking, isn't always easy...
 

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Go and physically listen to as many speakers as you can using your music to better define what you prefer. My opinions might not jive at all w/ your ear(s).
IME, silk tweeters are softer/less harsh than metallic while delivering delicate/detailed highs. Brands matter here, though. When listening at moderately-higher volumes for any length of time, many folks claim to experience less listening fatigue w/ silk tweeters as well.
.02


Thanks for the great post, it mirrors my feelings and experience perfectly! I also agree with you on the soft dome tweeters, the titanium, diamond, etc vapor deposited or piezo tweeters do cause me fatigue very quickly. I'm a musician and a "music snob" (according to my wife), and since the age of 16, I've taken damn good care of my ears. My ears were ringing for a day or so after a horrible Aerosmith concert at a horrible venue. Fortunately my hearing is still very much intact despite my age , listening & playing hard rock music. I don't go to any performance without hearing protection!
Back to car audio... I've been away from the whole car audio for a long time, since the days when cars came with the worst audio equipment the OEM's could find. My Frontier has a decent sound system, and you nailed exactly what I think is wrong with it, the speakers could be better & an amp will definitely help deliver a much cleaner sound. That said, car audio is kinda tricky with door speakers pointed at your knees and glass makes the high frequencies ricochet all over the place. My goal is to not have to use a subwoofer unless absolutely necessary. I'm hoping that I can modify the door panels and enclosures (empty space in the doors) so that I wind up with clean, tight bass and a soundstage that's like being in the band. I'm just getting started and looking forward to auditioning speakers soon using pieces of music that I know intimately, including some REAL High Resolution Audio from AIX Records. The biggest problem is that the speakers in a display won't sound anything like they will in the truck.
 

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I have to agree with shift-RUSH on listening to as many different speakers as you can. One other thing I want to mention is that I use the song My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen to determine my speakers and equalizer settings by listening to the drum that you can hear in the beginning of the song. I like to get my sound set so that it sounds as close to a real drum as possible and from there, minute adjustments on the equalizers for the rest. BTW, I like the Polks.
 

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I'm no audiophile but after upgrading my stock system doing speakers first, then small amp, then HU, then small sub, I found that, for me at least, the biggest (by MILES) difference in SQ came with the HU upgrade. You can do the speakers first but I honestly think you won't be able to tell much difference. If you're looking for truly better sound I'd highly recommend replacing the HU first, or along with the speakers, for best results. This same suggestion was posted strenuously elsewhere in the Audio forum and I ignored it - I was definitely wrong.

YMMV but speakers alone just won't make much of a difference IMHO.

That said I've been very happy with the 6x9 JBL GX693s GX963|210-Watt, Three-Way 6" x 9" Speaker System in the front doors (KC - rears have the same 6.5" versions). Great bass response for a 6x9 and mids and highs are great as well, but I've since replaced the stock dash tweeters with silk Alpines. I don't think you'll be unhappy with the JBLs if you decide to go that route.

EDIT: And after rereading the OP I should mention I didn't have the RF system, just the stock backup camera-equipped non-nav system - 2014 P4x. That may make a difference but I couldn't say for sure.

EDIT #2: I could have sworn I saw something about JBL speakers in the OP previously and I don't see any reference now, so apparently that was just the vodka talking... Ignore this entire post at your leisure. I apparently enjoy listening to myself type...:nerd:
 

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The biggest problem is that the speakers in a display won't sound anything like they will in the truck.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. Too many times I've loved how speakers sound in the booth, but after they are actually installed it's not quite what I hoped, even with tweaking and adding an amp, that's the main reason I was hoping someone here had some insight as to a "real world" installation before I got into something I was disappointed in.

One other thing I want to mention is that I use the song My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen to determine my speakers and equalizer settings by listening to the drum that you can hear in the beginning of the song.
That's actually a good idea...and great song choice ;) I'll have to remember that...

Ignore this entire post at your leisure. I apparently enjoy listening to myself type...:nerd:
Ha! No worries, I've been there, still, some good advice and appreciated opinions, thank you!
 

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As previously stated above, the internal environment of virtually any vehicle is an acoustic nightmare of surfaces/angles/materials/textures for sampling our fave tunes. Will say it comes down to installation details to make it the best it can be. Definitely start with HU first, then a quality amp for clean power. Speakers + sub = cherry on top. IMHO, a sub is critical to complete the total experience.

Had the system in my '00 XE professionally installed (back in '10) due to my overly unhealthy fear of nearly all things electrical. It was worth every penny. I trusted my installer and will use him again due to his attention to detail from the wiring, to dynamatting, to the actual setup/tuning. My hat is off to anyone who can tackle a project like this on their own.
 

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As far as speaker manufacturers over the years, I've been most impressed w/ Hertz, Hybrid Audio Technologies (HAT), Boston Acoustics & JBL. I've been out of the game since '10, so I'm sure a lot has changed and emerged.
BUT, I think money buys quality when it comes to sound reproduction. So examine the full lineup from a manufacturer. Most of the time the higher end speakers require more watts to drive them, so that in itself costs even more due to requiring a larger amp to get the job done.

DIYmobileaudio.com is a fabulous resource of useful info with tons of subjective opinions. Beware: ADDICTIVE!
 

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Hybrid Audio Imagines are good speakers to run off of HU power and can also be amplified. I run all Hertz Energy now.

Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
 

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Hybrid Audio Imagines are good speakers to run off of HU power and can also be amplified. I run all Hertz Energy now.
Agreed.
Back in '09-'10 I was sold on Hertz HSKs...but at ~$420+/pair AND needing a larger amp to run them, I instead opted for HAT's convertible Imagines and used them in component style (75W), though they can also be run coaxial. I thought the Imagines ($180/pair) were superb for less than 1/2 the cost of the Hertz. If I can/choose to afford Hertz, I'll go that direction. The new ESKs sounded good when I last stopped by the audio shop back in '15.
 
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