Help me build a sound system for a foxbody vert

silverlx50

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Apr 4, 2007
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Can someone with experience help me get some decent sound from my foxbody? I've replaced the head unit,, dash, door and rear speakers in my 93 LX a couple years ago and have highs but essentially no mids and no lows at all. I am not using an aftermarket amp either and when I turn the volume up, the highs get distorted.

Can anyone help me build a good system? I'm not looking for bass banging around my neighborhood, just a nice evenly distributed sound system that I can crank up that sounds good.
 
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derek1993

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Sep 13, 2020
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I have a vert that I plan on adding a system to.
New head unit (TBD)
4 channel Amp probably no less than 50w per channel rms.
Will look at speakers when the time comes.
Powered sub such as a bazooka tube or similar, 8" or 10".
An option is also a powered Fosgate 10" like my son's, 300w, nice clean kick (sealed box).
Your distortion issue is from not having enough power from your head unit.
 
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silverlx50

Active Member
Apr 4, 2007
153
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I have a vert that I plan on adding a system to.
New head unit (TBD)
4 channel Amp probably no less than 50w per channel rms.
Will look at speakers when the time comes.
Powered sub such as a bazooka tube or similar, 8" or 10".
An option is also a powered Fosgate 10" like my son's, 300w, nice clean kick (sealed box).
Your distortion issue is from not having enough power from your head unit.
Thanks for the reply, when it comes to sound, I have no knowledge at all.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Yep. You must have an amp. Crutchfield.com is where I get my stuff from. My friend owned the local sound shop here and I could still buy cheaper from them. They are also happy to chat with you about what you need according to what you want out of the system. Don't buy junk and use quality wire. Good luck with it.
 

tulowd

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Nov 28, 2010
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To the OP:
I started installing car audio in the late 1970s and was around it until 2000. Recently got back into the hobby as I miss it and have been restoring my Foxbody vert since 2010 as well. Owned a GT hatch prior to that since 87; I competed, was an IASCA judge and also worked for Pioneer Electronics as Product Manager for the car audio division for 6 yrs. Have built hundreds of decent sounding mid level systems, which is the most satisfying - giving customers more than they expected.

Now, Fox vert......that's a real challenge, since the car is noisy inside, the windows likely leak air, the exhaust is loud and there are limited good OEM locations for speakers........especially subs. Good equipment installed incorrectly will not sound good, and crappy equipment installed properly has it's limitations.......


First things first. Best dollar value and result will be to use a component setup in the front, with a woofer in each door and a tweeter in the dash; all OEM locations. Fitting the largest diameter woofer pays real dividends, as does Dynamatting and Dynalinering each door fully and properly. An outboard passive crossover for each channel is also needed.

A real amplifier is not an option, it' an absolute necessity, as is a decent signal source, ideally a CD, but high quality digital files can be used as well.

That's what I would start off with; either a 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" (if you can trim the door metal cutout slightly) component system. Amp wise, you're going to want 50 watts rms per channel across the bandwidth at below 1% distortion.

I would try that for starters, including trying wiring both tweeters out of phase with the woofers to see if it clears up the mids, since they are on a different plane than the door speakers. Set the amp gains up so there is no distortion at all at full signal level, this will ensure you don't blow up the woofers (distortion kills speakers, not power at the levels we're talking about).
Obviously, the amp needs direct power from the battery, a good ground and half way decent RCA cables from the source unit.

Once this is done and you want more, the next thing is going to be some kind of sub. Easiest is a Bazooka tube strapped in the trunk or on the floor behind one of the front seats if you are ok with that. Ghetto, but it works and it's cheap. Otherwise, you can build a front wall and use the entire trunk as a bass enclosure ( I did 4 tens that way in my ex gfs Fox coupe a few years ago), you can build a box and have it sit in the trunk, or you can raise the floor and use the spare tire well for a ten or a 12 or you can build a rear seat delete like I did with a pair of 15"s lol. You will also need another amp and electronic crossover (built in or separate) for this portion of the emerging build. If you have an old school 2 channel amp (like a Punch 45 or Orion HCCA or SX) running the fronts,you can passively make it a 3 channel and run the sub bridged and the front still stereo. Need caps and coils and some tuning skills tho.

I believe the first stage is what you should do, ensure it is tuned and setup correctly. I've bought a bunch of vintage car audio equipment the past 5 yrs,; you should be able to find a speaker setup for $100-200 new or used, depending and an American made amp like an Orion or Rockford for maybe $100-200. Add another hundred or two for proper Dynamat and Dynaliner, fuse holder, power and RCA cables etc and you're off to the races.

After the sub, it would be rear fill in the 5x7 or 6.5" OEM rear locations, depending which trim level and year the convertible is. That isn't nearly as critical tho. I've attached some pics of my current vert stereo build. It's using Boston Acoustics 6.5 Pro front components, Dynaudio / Amega rear fill, Dr. Crankenstein 15 and 10 inch subs and midbass, all run with either Orion HCCA or Rockford power (havent gotten that far yet).

Hope this hard earned wisdom helps you and any of the interested readers out a little bit.
 

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tulowd

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and some more pics
 

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tulowd

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Nov 28, 2010
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Excellent post man! :nice:
Thank You Wayne, I have a real soft spot for audio in the Fox world, since 99% of ppl have no clue how to do it right. Here's a couple of pics of the ex g/f s install and my :poo: can, still under forever construction, lol
 

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tulowd

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Nov 28, 2010
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and mine
 

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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Cool. That audio in those pics is way over my head.
 
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Potomus Pete

Gretchen Whitmer is eating at me
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Way over my head too. The stereo in my 90 convertible sounds so bad it's annoying. I have never had a car sound this bad, and I built it myself.
 

tulowd

Member
Nov 28, 2010
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Way over my head too. The stereo in my 90 convertible sounds so bad it's annoying. I have never had a car sound this bad, and I built it myself.
Pete: My initial guess would have to do with the speaker wiring, not the equipment. It is very easy and a common issue to wire them incorrectly, especially when using the factory/OEM wiring.

Here's how to check it: Sit in the drivers seat! Put the fader all the way to the rear while playing a song with some bass in it; leave bass treble and equalizer all in the middle ie) at zero. Listen to the two speakers for just a few seconds and concentrate on the bass.....then select the balance control and go to only one side, so you are now listening to only one speaker. Concentrate on the bass. Go back and forth between the two, then only one speaker. If there is more bass with only one speaker, your rear speakers are out of phase.

Try the same thing on just the fronts. It takes a bit of practice, and sometimes it's not as obvious as you would expect.
Once you have the fronts and rears figured out, it's time to fix it, if you found a problem. If the bass is lower with both speakers, simply flip the + and - wires on ONE speaker only. Sometimes its necessary to try this when you're unsure if the pair is in phase or not.

Once you have ensured each pair is working properly on their own, it's time to ensure they are working together between front and back. Leave fader in the middle turn balance to one side. Then go to only front and then only rear and determine where the most bass is, same as before. If it's in the middle, then the four speakers are wired correctly. If not, you need to flip BOTH pairs of + and - wires on EITHER the fronts or rears only.

That little procedure is always the very first thing I do with any system I look at, before doing anything else. The process also can include tweeters and variations of crossover points, imaging and staging when doing more complex installations.
I found many factory GM wiring harnesses ran the rear speakers out of phase with the fronts in older cars; just flipping the rear wires on the trunk mounted speakers improved the bass and volume levels noticeably on total OEM systems, even while still using the 50 cent speakers.

All we are looking for is to make sure all the speakers are working together to produce the best (and yes loudest) sound together. It's like having two bad spark plugs and wondering why your car burns lots of fuel and is not fast.

Hope this helps. The above process is called hardwire tuning; back in my day, most installers have never heard of it nor did it. Modern guys are addicted to digital and DSP, but this is basic physics and works every time; either confirms everything is wired correctly or not.

Please let us know how you make out.
 
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Potomus Pete

Gretchen Whitmer is eating at me
Mar 7, 2019
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You are exactly right. My wires are reversed, and need to be re done. These tips go a long way to finding out whats wrong. Unfortunatly here in Florida it's 88 degrees at night, and 93 during the day. So garage time curled up in the back seat can be a challenge. But this is easy enough, and early some Saturday I will use the fader system.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
15 Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Cuba, AL
I had a killer system one time in my mustang. Got it from a friend who was selling his fox. I ran the whole system with a Soundstream 305 5 channel amp. Most awesome amp I've ever had. I still have it. A while back I decided it was time to use it again. Unfortunately when I bench tested it there's a dead channel. Both right channels. Very disappointing.

Wade Stewart from Soundstream is the guy who designed this amp. I managed to find him on one of the audio forums. He seems like a nice guy but he had some personal reliability issues with some folks amps and got a bad rep. I've emailed back and forth with him and he sent me a schematic of the amp. I just haven't got my mind in gear to navigate the schematic and do any harm to this amp. I learned after my old home receiver-amp was stolen that the new stuff doesn't have the kick that the old stuff does most of the time.
Anyway, got any advice on what to look for in my amp? I have it apart and can send you some pics by email.
 

tulowd

Member
Nov 28, 2010
6
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I had a killer system one time in my mustang. Got it from a friend who was selling his fox. I ran the whole system with a Soundstream 305 5 channel amp. Most awesome amp I've ever had. I still have it. A while back I decided it was time to use it again. Unfortunately when I bench tested it there's a dead channel. Both right channels. Very disappointing.

Wade Stewart from Soundstream is the guy who designed this amp. I managed to find him on one of the audio forums. He seems like a nice guy but he had some personal reliability issues with some folks amps and got a bad rep. I've emailed back and forth with him and he sent me a schematic of the amp. I just haven't got my mind in gear to navigate the schematic and do any harm to this amp. I learned after my old home receiver-amp was stolen that the new stuff doesn't have the kick that the old stuff does most of the time.
Anyway, got any advice on what to look for in my amp? I have it apart and can send you some pics by email.
If there is no one local who can fix it, I would search around on the old school car audio or Soundstream communities on Facebook. Most of them have guys that repair and recap the old stuff with plenty of reviews. Gotta add shipping and make sure it's packaged like a porcelain Faberge egg. Sorry, haven't been on here; finally driving the car and there's temp sound in it!


View: https://youtu.be/6u34XeILUPs
 

derek1993

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Finally got gear installed, nothing special.
Infinity components up front and in the door (silk dome tweeter, 6.5" in the door and rear powered by a soundstream 4 channel @75w/channel. Fosgate 10" powered sub, 300w. Kenwood deck, pretty happy with it. Just need to figure out how to keep the liner that the top tucks into from sitting on the sub as it flaps a bit from the bass which is annoying. Will post pics in a few.
 
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