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  1. #1

    Default Recommended speakers for the front dash mounts?

    About a year ago i replaced the stereo in my 86 GT. The speakers were all trashed and i needed something with bluetooth.

    I just went with what recommended.

    The head unit ( a pioneer with BT, i don't know the model off top of my head) does just fine. Exactly what I was after.

    However, the front speakers they recommended were pioneer TS-G1044R's and they sound pretty terrible, especially at anything over a medium volume level. Lots of distortion, etc.

    So, my question is what do you recommend as a really good set of speakers that fit into the stock dash?

    I am not going for anything major here. I don't have an external amp or sub, I just want it to sound clear with a good tone balance.


  2. #2


    I would think the distortion is more likely coming from the deck, check your settings mess with the EQ. You should have some sort of low pass filter I usually never let my mid stage below 80hz especially with cheap speakers anything below that you should have a sub stage for, also if there's a bass boost turn it off that only makes things worse. Play with all the settings in the EQ, pioneer usually has pretty good sound once tuned correctly. Just a few ideas that could save the time and money on new speakers.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3


    Parts express sells high pass inline capacitors that should help.

    Alpine made a 3.5" that worked great back when I ran deck power. Dual cone with no tweeter, sounded good 20K - 100.

    More modern and expensive but will run on deck power, check out Kicker KS series 3.5" speakers. IMO they are outstanding.

    you can get good sound with good speakers. Watch the 1w 1m DB efficiency

    Another thought - make certain you bypass the factory amp and your wires are good. If you have a metal box under the center speaker grill in the dash, you have one. 86 Fox body cars can be a wiring nightmare as many times stereo shops don't know how to make the factory amps play nice with anything except ford radio input. To a point it can be done.

    Ultimately to get what I wanted I had to run all new wires and use those instead on my car.

    i went to a 6 channel amp under one seat and a sub amp under the other in my car. I added door speakers. Alternator is on the ragged edge of too small now, but I run a 1000 CCA battery to help keep things powered up for a few songs anyway.

  4. #4


    Have installed dozens of 3.5"ers over the years... a "forgotten" speaker by the industry. Not widely used anymore so not really a product of good R&D.
    90's era Alpines (maybe had a mylar or some such dome tweeter?) were the boss, with little real competition save for Pioneers. These days the kickers are the only decent ones I've installed. On Foxes, I usually recommend going down to the kick panels or doing door speakers and using the dash spot with an adapter plate for some nice silk dome tweeters. I was usually able to up-sell to an amplified system. Early Foxes are really (factory-wise) terrible in the audio arena comparatively. Snooze is spot on. Most of the distortion is from the on board amp. 92+ S/n ratio drivers will help out, plus nearly all but the absolute cheapest Pioneers have HP filters in the audio menu.
    Erratic is right as well, run your own speaker wires... On this era of car, I usually run everything "new" bypassing all factory wiring altogether. Unless you are the first and only owner, there is NO TELLING what has been dug into under there. Doing the work for over 30 years now taught me the factory cares little for the aftermarket.

  5. #5
    FEP Member Mentok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Portland, Maine


    erratic is 100% correct on the high pass inline crossover. 3.5's can't really produce frequencies below say 500hz at any kind of decent volume. They are also called "bass blockers" Cost between 8-20 bucks. Make sure the ones you get are 4ohm. I amped a pair of cheap powerbass 3.5's @ 65w rms with 800hz blockers and it sounded great with no problems. Speaking of the powerbass speakers if the pioneers are not to your liking I would try the s series. They are only like $25 bucks and fit well. They use a soft silk dome tweeter which has always been my preference.
    owner of the 666th mercury produced in 1983.......neat fact! black on black 5.0 t-5 capri with no other options but fishnet seats.....coincidence.......perhaps

  6. #6


    Another trick I've used over the years is putting tweeters behind the AC vents. Don't block the air but use it to keep the tweets cool. I did this after frying a few pairs while listening to Metallica with the volume cranked up and my sub pounding. Thanks to the air flow I've never burned any again.

    Ive always been a Kicker and Kenwood guy myself. I have some Alpine and Pioneer stuff around too but there's no comparison between an old school C12-4a and subs from other brands back in the day.

    Of of course I totally geeked out on ideal enclosure size vs interior volume vs driver, speaker placement, speaker firing direction, position, etc. But to this day the old school DX350 matched to a 12 running bridged mono will basically blow you out of the car if you don't control your impulse to crank it up.

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SE Michigan


    Am pretty fussy, being into stereos home and car since the late 60's.
    I have these. Great clear sound. Fit fine no mods needed.
    They come with bass blockers already wired in.
    Ordered direct from the site back in August 2015.

    Good price:

    They offer newer versions with similar specs.

    Car never had a factory premium amp.
    Current radio is factory 90's DIN Ford am/fm no tape, cd. Has knobs, tuning bars, and buttons.
    Radios have to have a good amp to get the music level up higher without distorting.
    Added a JBL 50w/ch rms x 4 amp direct to radio speaker outputs. Amp gain is turned down to 1/3 f+r.

    Turning radio vol knob past about 1/2 vol setting, the radio seems to roll off bass.
    That's about all these small speakers can take anyway. Any more would also be too loud outside the car.
    Am more into sound quality vs sound pressure. Just to the point you can start to feel certain bass notes in the seat.

    Amp also has high pass freq. adjustment, which I set around 90hz for fronts.
    Fronts handle mid bass to highs, rears are set at full range.
    New larger wiring was installed and speakers are phased, important steps.

    Did clearance the speaker cutouts in the dash pad by removing the foam and gluing speaker cloth to reinforce the holes from underneath.
    The black speaker cloth was obtained from factory car speakers in the salvage yard.

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member smitty54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    North Attleboro, Ma


    I've had good luck with these Rockford Fosgate speakers.

    Whatever you buy, don't buy speakers with a paper cone.
    "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac."
    George Carlin, Rest in peace

    84 GT Convertible
    68 Cougar XR7
    14 Ford Explorer Limited

  9. #9


    I Just put Kicker 41KSC354 in the dash of my LTD. While I had the upper dash off, I dynamatted most of the surfaces include the speaker openings. The upper dash is like reverberating tin can otherwise. $40 off of Amazon and they sound incredible compared to the 20 year old blaupunks they replaced. +1 on the base blockers, my Kenwood head unit has a built in cross over but still not completely effective on songs with a lot of base.

  10. #10
    FEP Member Mgino757's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Virginia Beach, VA


    On my 85 GT vert, I have Pioneer TS-A878's in the dash and 5.25" Infinity Reference's in the rear quarter panels. I also have a 10" Rockford Fosgate P1 in a sealed box in the trunk powered by a 180W amp. I have my high pass filter for the main speakers set at 100 Hz and my low pass filter for the subwoofer set at 150 Hz. 100 Hz is about all you're going to get out of a 3.5" speaker. A 10" subwoofer is good up to about 200 hz, so there's plenty of give with my setup. Even if powered by a 180W amplifier, it has plenty of SPL for what I like. I use the subwoofer mostly to produce the lower end frequencies of the music that the smaller speakers just aren't good at making. Having high pass and low pass filters really help when you're somewhat limited on speaker choice when you don't want to modify the mounting points on the car. My head unit is a Kenwood KDC-HD458U.
    Last edited by Mgino757; 02-08-2017 at 09:28 PM.
    1985 Mustang GT conv. modified 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, 180* thermostat, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch. Garage dweller.

    1998 Mustang GT auto. Stock and slow daily driver.

    1996 Thunderbird LX 4.6L V8. Wrecked, drag racing in heaven. RIP Oct 1995-March 24, 2016.

  11. #11


    I installed a new sony deck in my car. 4x100 and 4x40RMS. Only 3.5" speaker I could find that claimed to take that kind of power was pyle:

    Surprisingly, they actually sound pretty good. In fact, I have the deck set to dead centre, not faded to the back at all. Rears are jbl 6x9. I'm also running a bazooka sub woofer (needed room for the t-top glass).

    I am very happy with the pyle's. In consideration that my daily driver is a Jeep Wrangler with the factory 600w pounding system. Mustang sounds better.

  12. #12


    I dropped 3.5" Kicker KS's in and paralleled them to 6.5" CS series Kicker door speakers (all 4 ohm) and they all get fed by deck power. I pair that with a CompR 12, and an old amp (was 1000w 20 years ago but who knows now) with a half farad stiffening cap. Overall I'm happy with the sound. It's surprising a 5 speaker setup in a ragtop IMO. I want to get some 5 1/4"s (or similar) for the rear, but hasn't been a priority lately.

  13. #13


    Rear firing the sub and installing a full length and height bounce board at the rear of the car makes all the difference in the world. When is the last time you sat in a rag top with the roof down running a single 12 yet you could totally feel the sound?

    this trick works outstanding on notchbacks and hatchbacks too btw. The old school kicker 12 and matched amp in my hatchback will nearly blow you out of the car if you turn it up.

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