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What have folks found to be the best bang for the buck in terms of audio upgrades? I am not so much interested in brands but in general approaches--especially speaker locations where they will not interfere or take up valuable storage space.
 

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It shouldn't cost you an arm and leg to upgrade, as technology and competition in the market have made stereo equipment pretty inexpensive. So far, I replaced my front door speakers with some $60 Polk Audio speakers, and the difference is night and day compared to stock speakers. As far as location, everyone has different ideas, and purpose for how to build out their van, so you will have to decide what works best for you, as most speakers will not take up much room.
 

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I plan on the speakers below. Ideally you want just a woofer in the door unless you decide to turn off the tweeters up top, then you can go with 2-ways in the door. I dont plan on replacing the tweeters because ive seen people say its a real pain. Last time I looked this head unit was the best bang for the buck on a Android Auto capable unit. A must for me.

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-Component-Speaker-System/dp/B00IFAX38S[/ame]

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Metra-95-6523-Installation-2014-Promaster/dp/B00OAXN8TI[/ame]

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-AVH-2300NEX-Multimedia-Bluetooth-SiriusXM-Ready/dp/B073BKPWNC[/ame]
 

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I insulated doors with Thinsulate and replaced the factory speakers with these $44/pair JBL's for a significant improvement.

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OYGV4HE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
 

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Dave,

I'm a JBL guy.. those look like a good upgrade to the factory door speakers. Did they mount easily in the factory holes? Did you use factory grill on top or use JBL grills?

Very interested!

As far as better sound in the back, I added a Kenwood "house radio" and 4 Kenwood shallow mount speakers in the ceiling... I really like the no-CanBus-issues, and it sounds great!


.
 

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I also did an installation like 30 Ounce, same speaker set and thorough deadening /dampening, absorption, and blocking. Then I added a small amp and a compact sub under the driver seat connected to the stock UC5 head unit. Best system I have installed. Enjoy the upgrades.
 

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I insulated doors with Thinsulate and replaced the factory speakers with these $44/pair JBL's for a significant improvement.
Promaster is a fairly easy audio upgrade.

We offer a kit which includes 3 linear ft of Thinsulate(TM) (enough for both cab doors) and our CNC machined PVC (not mdf) adapter rings (with proper bevel) for a variety of after-market speaker cut-out diameters. We offer these to Transit and Sprinter folks so didn't want the ProMaster crew to feel left out. Our adapters (as you can see below) provide a much more secure mounting than a flimsy plastic ring. We also back our adapters with VHB tape for a secure rattle free connection to the door structure. Great way to improve audio quality and also reduce road noise with a bit of thermal benefit also.





A good place to compare speakers is on Crutchfield. Then shop on price at the other online stores. Or go to your local Car Stereo Shop. If retaining the stock head unit, look for speakers with more efficiency and lower watt ratings. Many of the higher end speakers will demand more power than the factory audio system can deliver. One way to offset this is to add a powered sub like the Alpine PWE-S8. The amp in the sub will drive the bass tones which then reduces the need for the door speakers and head unit to create the power hungry lower audio frequencies.
 

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Dave,

I'm a JBL guy.. those look like a good upgrade to the factory door speakers. Did they mount easily in the factory holes? Did you use factory grill on top or use JBL grills?

Very interested!

As far as better sound in the back, I added a Kenwood "house radio" and 4 Kenwood shallow mount speakers in the ceiling... I really like the no-CanBus-issues, and it sounds great!


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Eddie, I used the adapters from...wait for it...Hein. They simplified mounting and put a good angle on the speakers, as well as getting the speaker frame off of the door frame. I do believe that the Thinsulate in the door really helps. I replaced the factory grille-works great, doesn't attract attention.

I also picked up one of the JBL Charge 3 bluetooth speakers for indoor/outdoor use with my phone/laptop for music, audiobooks, etc. I think I saw a comment here somewhere about U-Connect bluetooth being a little not-user friendly with devices other that phones, so we shall see about that. Nonetheless, I wanted a separate source for tunes etc instead of depending on the U-Connect 3. I may get one more of these, they can be doubled or tripled. Fat sound in a small, rugged, portable package.

JBL has weathered the times, they're currently owned by Harman. I well remember the mid 70's, spinning vinyl on a Dual table and listening to my brother's L-36's. And then there were the $5000/pair (circa 1980) custom speakers with all JBL components at Honkers Sound in Berkeley...wow. Good times.

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F24RHF4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
 

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Dave,

Any pictures of the door with the new speakers?.... when you say replaced, I think you mean that you used the JBL grills instead of the factory ones.

1974..a few years out of college... Washington's Birthday sale... I bought 3 pairs of JBL L-100's... saved up for a long time...
2018.. a few years later ... use 4 of the L-100s in my home theater, 2 in the family room... sound as good as the day I got 'em!


.
 

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Dave,

Any pictures of the door with the new speakers?.... when you say replaced, I think you mean that you used the JBL grills instead of the factory ones.

1974..a few years out of college... Washington's Birthday sale... I bought 3 pairs of JBL L-100's... saved up for a long time...
2018.. a few years later ... use 4 of the L-100s in my home theater, 2 in the family room... sound as good as the day I got 'em!


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Ah, no, I did keep the factory grille, fits back on fine with this speaker and the adapter.

Three pairs of L-100's? Holy mackerel, that'll get it done!

I need to remember how to post an image....
 

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Try this...it shows the bevel of the adapter well. And yes, I used the original wiring, just crimped on new connectors-the original is a plastic plug in connector, preserve wire length, there was not a lot of extra on mine! I even remembered to remove the little plastic protector;)
 

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Dave, thank you for the added insight.

I sold JBL, Teac, Bose, Pioneer, Onkyo, Marrantz, Technics and others working at a (mom & pop) stereo/appliance store while in college. Reel-to-Reel and those egg-crate speaker grills were all the rage. Anyone remember the RCA video disc players and when Pioneer released the first laser disks. Betamax then portable VHS with black and white cameras. And microwaves ovens came out in force. It was the start of the consumer tech explosion. Rotary phones were being replaced with cheap pulse dial and eventually tone dial models.

Now Nvidia can put 21.1 billion transistors into a die of 818 sq mm. (little more than a square inch)
 

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Dave, thank you for the added insight.

I sold JBL, Teac, Bose, Pioneer, Onkyo, Marrantz, Technics and others working at a (mom & pop) stereo/appliance store while in college. Reel-to-Reel and those egg-crate speaker grills were all the rage. Anyone remember the RCA video disc players and when Pioneer released the first laser disks. )

I sure do remember laser discs! I had a buddy who worked in a high end audio shop in Los Angeles, used to love me some Dahlquist DQ-10. I was a Bang & Olufsen guy early on, with S-75 speakers and a 3400 table, home-made sub with a 40oz magnet 12" Becker, bi-amplified-my neighbors loved me. Way ahead of my time:D
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
 

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Noico + Thinsulate in the doors along with a $100 component set from Crutchfield made a big difference.

A $100 all in one subwoofer installed under the seat made an even bigger difference. The stereo now sounds great, with plenty of bass. Sounds good enough to where I'll probably not even bother with a bluetooth speaker for the inside and just use the stereo instead.
 

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There is a fantastic video on YouTube to change out your door speakers and tweeters. Everyone here including me has stayed away from changing them out because of the perceived difficulty. I previously put new door speakers in a while back, but now with this video, I’m changing out the tweeters to Focal TWU 1.5
 
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