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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy y'all! New here, looking for some basic advice.

I started out just planning to install a cheap head unit in my 2001 Suburban so I could hook up my iPod. Now I'm looking to replace all the speakers and do a modest subwoofer upgrade. It grows like cancer I tell ya'!

I've gotten a few pieces installed and the results are better than stock, but I want more. I could use some input on improving the sound quality. Mainly I'd like to know if I can do better with the equipment I already have by improving the installation. I also would like to know any challenges specific to getting good sound in this particular vehicle.

System requirements:
  • Low cost (Total investment so far $277.00)
  • Speakers behind stock grilles and/or out of sight
  • Best sound quality for the money
  • SPL is not an issue

Head unit: Pioneer Premier DEH-P400UB
Front doors: Kicker DS650 6.5" components, stock locations
Rear doors: Stock. Kicker DS 6.5" coaxials waiting to be installed
Suboofer: None (see notes)

Install Notes:
The head unit is connected directly to the door speakers via the stock wiring. I have bypassed the stock amplifier, so the subwoofer and 3.5" d-pillar speakers are inactive. (Subwoofer is Phase II)

The front door midrange drivers are screwed directly to the metal door structure. There is no baffle board in place at this time, but the flanges do fit properly in the holes. There is a foam ring on the back of the woofer flange where it meets the door. No vibration damping material has been installed.

I used the factory tweeter housings as a mounting bracket for the new tweeters, so the tweeter holes in the door panel are covered. Tweeters are angled a few degrees straight up using the supplied angle mount. (I think it's 15 deg.)

Listening Impression:
Decent considering the door is not sealed up and there's no damping material in place. Also not bad considering the front speakers were only $69.00. My two biggest gripes are:
  • Harsh tweeters. My fault for going with titanium domes. Just not my taste. They sound decent with the attenuation switch on the crossover set to -6 db.
  • Boomy in the vicinity of 180 Hz. Really sounds like a resonance issue. Certain tracks really bloom in this frequency range. It very much depends on the program content.

Next steps:
  • Construct MDF baffles for the midranges
  • Install RAAMat or similar, covering holes in door in the process

  • Will the next steps improve the boominess around 180 Hz.?
  • If not, is there anything that will aside from replacing the drivers?
  • Does anybody have experience with Kicker DS series drivers? Am I wasting my time trying to tune them?
  • Should I also use weatherstripping or some other material to fill the gap between the front side of the woofer flange and the back of the door panel?

Any other observations you can offer would help tremendously. I'd especially like to hear from anybody who has done a budget install in this generation Chevy/GMC full size truck/SUV. I'm open to replacing drivers if there are any low-cost suggestions. Keep in mind I intend to stick with a passive 2-way arrangement.

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