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Hey guys,

So after a lot of research I ended up buying 2 pairs of JBL 638 speakers to install in my Elantra after I wasn't very happy with the sound. This is the Limited with Navigation so it does have the factory amplifier.

I bought the speakers because they were 2 ohm impedance, the same as the factory speakers. However, my end result was not satisfactory:

- While the mids and highs sound great, there is either too much of it or not enough bass, I have Mid and Treble at the very lowest settings on the stereo and it's still way too much.
- The bass is actually worse than the factory speakers. I'm not getting enough bass, and when I turn it up it becomes fuzzy and rattles.
- I now have to turn up the volume higher to listen to the same volume I used to, which is weird because the speakers are supposed to be 2 ohm. This problem would have made sense if I had bought 4 ohm speakers.
- XM Radio quality is terrible now while before it was quite good. I get little to no bass and I have to turn it up to about 32 on the volume knob while I used to listen to it at 20.

I'm wondering if anyone's encountered similar problems to me. The only things I can think of are that I may have put some of the speaker wires backwards (I couldn't really find any good sources of info that stated which color wires were actually positive or negative), and that I may need to add some foam buffers in between the speakers, brackets, and car, or ensure that I've screwed in everything tightly (because the speakers might be rattling).

Thoughts? :(
 

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What is the sensitivity rating on these speakers? Believe it or not, some speakers really demand a good amount of power. Perhaps the factory system just isn't putting out the power they need? I know the factory radio starts distorting at around 24 on the volume dial. So when you turn it up to give it the power the speakers need, the radio is also sending out more distortion. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The sensitivity rating is 92dB, I figured that number would be good for it as I remember a Crutchfield advisor recommending speakers with a sensitivity higher than 90dB as it would work better with the amplifier
 

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Hey guys,

So after a lot of research I ended up buying 2 pairs of JBL 638 speakers to install in my Elantra after I wasn't very happy with the sound. This is the Limited with Navigation so it does have the factory amplifier.

I bought the speakers because they were 2 ohm impedance, the same as the factory speakers. However, my end result was not satisfactory:

- While the mids and highs sound great, there is either too much of it or not enough bass, I have Mid and Treble at the very lowest settings on the stereo and it's still way too much.
- The bass is actually worse than the factory speakers. I'm not getting enough bass, and when I turn it up it becomes fuzzy and rattles.
- I now have to turn up the volume higher to listen to the same volume I used to, which is weird because the speakers are supposed to be 2 ohm. This problem would have made sense if I had bought 4 ohm speakers.
- XM Radio quality is terrible now while before it was quite good. I get little to no bass and I have to turn it up to about 32 on the volume knob while I used to listen to it at 20.

I'm wondering if anyone's encountered similar problems to me. The only things I can think of are that I may have put some of the speaker wires backwards (I couldn't really find any good sources of info that stated which color wires were actually positive or negative), and that I may need to add some foam buffers in between the speakers, brackets, and car, or ensure that I've screwed in everything tightly (because the speakers might be rattling).

Thoughts? :(
Make sure speaker connector polarity is correct all around as well (all +'s go to +'s and -'s go to -'s). Otherwise you get sound cancellation effects.
 

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Make sure speaker connector polarity is correct all around as well (all +'s go to +'s and -'s go to -'s). Otherwise you get sound cancellation effects.
Exactly what I was thinking. An out of phase speaker, just finding the culprit.
 

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Could be as simple as the others pointed out that it may be a speaker or 2out of phase that plays havoc on the sound, but I'm wondering if you may need more power. I also installed new speakers in the doors (dB drags I think) and they were rated at 300watt handling power, now I'm not running the setup you have as I've got a 13 GL no nav etc. so I've installed aftermarket sub & amp but I found that the factory deck just can't power the 6.5s enough to give them a nice crisp clear sounds that they're capable of playing. I'm adding a amp for my door speakers so I can fine tune them all & get them the extra power they'll love to have & that will fix my issue, you are better off trying to see if they're all wired properly and none out of phase then go from there in the end you may want to add a small amp for them. I'm only adding an Alpine amp that's similar to a small brick look can't recall model but it's only 40x4 but that's actual power we've hooked them up to alot of customers car's and they sound amazing for the size etc. They have both hi & low inputs so you can just tap into the speaker wires and not have to add a line level for rca's, here in Canada they're about $130 well worth it. Let us know how you made out once it's figured out and sound's like you want expect it to. Good luck.
 

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Could be as simple as the others pointed out that it may be a speaker or 2out of phase that plays havoc on the sound, but I'm wondering if you may need more power. I also installed new speakers in the doors (dB drags I think) and they were rated at 300watt handling power, now I'm not running the setup you have as I've got a 13 GL no nav etc. so I've installed aftermarket sub & amp but I found that the factory deck just can't power the 6.5s enough to give them a nice crisp clear sounds that they're capable of playing. I'm adding a amp for my door speakers so I can fine tune them all & get them the extra power they'll love to have & that will fix my issue, you are better off trying to see if they're all wired properly and none out of phase then go from there in the end you may want to add a small amp for them. I'm only adding an Alpine amp that's similar to a small brick look can't recall model but it's only 40x4 but that's actual power we've hooked them up to alot of customers car's and they sound amazing for the size etc. They have both hi & low inputs so you can just tap into the speaker wires and not have to add a line level for rca's, here in Canada they're about $130 well worth it. Let us know how you made out once it's figured out and sound's like you want expect it to. Good luck.
No, the stock power is fine. I've got Polk Audio and Infinity Refs front and rear respectively, all 4 ohm speakers rated at 45 watts, pushing 92 dB or better. These sound fine (excellent, actually) through the factory stereo. The OP's JBL's are 2 Ohm 60 watt speakers that also hits 92 dB so I have no doubt she'd be happy with the sound from those speakers, and they should also be a tremendous upgrade from stock. The only thing that might still be a little weak is the bass, but it would sure as heck be much better bass than the crappy stock speakers.
 

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Give them time to "break in" (yes, speakers DO need to do this).
 

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I agree with new 2013, check the polarity first, but I suspect that they are underpowered. I put Infinity Reference 4 ohm 6.5 components in mine because I wanted to improve the sound without adding an amp. They sounded weak & had NO bass. I ended up installing an 1100 watt 5 ch amp and a sub, and that made them jump to life.

I have Infinity Kappa 2 ohms in my other car. 2 ohm speakers are power hungry and require high wattage to come to life. I have a 900 watt 4 ch Alpine & an 1100 watt mono block amp for the sub. It's like having a concert in your car lol. Without an amp, 2 ohm speakers will sound awful. The stock amp is too weak to run a good quality 4 ohm speaker, much less a 2 ohm, IMO. So if the wires are correct, start looking for the decent amp, you'll be amazed at the sound quality difference. I hope this helped, good luck.
 

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When I go for an external amp I'd only be looking at maybe 50W RMS/channel for this car. I really don't see the point of megawatt amps in an area that is less than 100 cu. ft. (much less when you add human bodies). I can see that power in a fair sized living/listening room that might have 1500 or more cu. ft.
Of course that kind of wattage might be useful if you want constant front row, concert level sound. And of course your hearing would be shot in a matter of years.
I think most of the megawatt systems are more for the wow factor and bragging rights than anything audiophile related. And again a moving vehicle is never what I'd call a perfect listening room (but not too bad if it's not moving, still I'd rather go inside and listen to music than sit in the driveway with car idling), but I suppose if you turn up the volume enough the system can mask most noises - even the cop/ambulance coming up behind you, and maybe even the collision/accident sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's been awhile since I last posted... I ended up going back into the doors and testing each speaker for polarity, I did have two speakers in reverse, so after I changed them out I definitely got a much clearer and better sound. However, still lacking on the low end. I disconnected the tweeters in the doors to get some of the mids and highs down, but I still have my bass at max and mids and highs at the lowest and I can't get the sound equalized the way I want.

At this point I'm seriously considering buying a second amplifier, as well as a LOC that are atleast 5 channels, so I have the option of adding a subwoofer if I'm still disappointed with the quality. I don't think it will be as simple as adding more power to it and expecting it to magically solve though, it still needs some more equalizing to make it better.

On another note I think the speakers might be too deep, my windows keep knocking on something whenever they get past a certain point haha............
 

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I read somewhere that aftermarket 6.5 speakers are made for mids and highs. There is not a considerable gain in bass due to their design. I was hoping I would find a certain brand that could deliver better bass,, but no luck. My previous Nissan had great stock sound from the stock speakers. I think that an underseat powered subwoofer would be a good option. Good luck with the amp. I hope it works.
 

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Does the tweeters have a level control? For my Infinitys I have them set to 0db, no boost. Depending on the music and sound you're accustomed to, like mentioned by Avante MD, you might be asking too much from these speakers. I'd go the sub route, which I have a feeling it's bound to happen eventually.
 

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Curtis, if I drive over to your place for the weekend, your offer to help me upgrade my sound system to Infinity's and a small amp under the seat still stands, yes?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tweeters are just the stock ones that came with the car, when I bought my JBL 638s I only bought the speakers and not the full component system.

If I go the sub route, what would I be looking at for purchases? Based off my research I would need:

- LOC, something like the AudioControl LC6i which has 6 lines, and it can make a seperate channel for the subwoofer.
- 4 Channel amp for the speakers. My speakers are rated for 60W RMS. Is it okay to have an amplifier with more than that per channel or do I have to stay under 60W?
- Mono amplifier for subwoofer
- Subwoofer

So I would put in the LOC after the factory amplifier, then add the aftermarket amplifiers after the LOC, which then go to the speakers and sub?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am now looking at the Bazooka Tubes, seems like I could get one of those installed for less than 250-300 bucks and have some good results, instead of having to go through the LOC, two amplifiers, subwoofer, etc route
 

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I've got the self powered 100W 8" Bazooka in my trunk fastened to the passenger side rear seatback. Does a good overall job IMHO. Had a 10" 100W first but it was too much bass (plus took up more room than it really should - I hate sacrificing trunk space for huge sub setups).
Both of these subs I got on different Woot!'s and the costs were like less than $150 each.
It was fairly easy to install, but if you go this route I'd suggest 3M T-taps rather the little screw on cap connectors that come with hookup wire set (these are the connectors that tap the wires at the head unit).
 

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SallyDesu,

Did you disconnect the stock tweeters? Reason asking is you might have an imbalanced sound. To my understanding the JBL 638s are 3 way speakers. The additional tweeter likely is altering the sound, sometimes good but most times bad. I know this from experience because my Neon has tweeters mounted atop the dash and at the center post headliner. Getting them to balance and sound right was interesting.

If they are still hooked up, try disconnecting them and see how it sounds. Before taking the sub route, you might want correct what's there and to get most out of the JBLs.
 

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Curtis, if I drive over to your place for the weekend, your offer to help me upgrade my sound system to Infinity's and a small amp under the seat still stands, yes?
With your ability to drive on water, I am not worthy :D
 
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