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Discussion Starter #1
Most days working on my Spider are fairly rewarding, some not so much. Then there are a few days when I make a leap of progress and it just makes me grin for a while.....tonight was one of those times. :D

I just got my sound system working! First time I've had sound in the car since I got it, and my first stereo install ever. :p I got a used JVC CD/stereo off ebay for $20, just got it hooked up tonight.....ripped out the old cruddy hacked-in wiring harness from the broken cassette deck (is solder and heat-shrink taboo for all **Previous Owners** or something...?), checked the '83 electrical diagram, and began to solder. :p I actually ran into considerable difficulty when I didn't have the harness plug in the back of the stereo fully seated.....in the process of diagnosing that, I took the right speaker out. It's a Kenwood, is that standard stuff in Alfas? It looks original, but I was expecting some no-name foreign brand for the stock sound system.

I must say I'm pleasantly surprised that the Alfa's existing speakers sound half decent. The interior looks to have been exposed to moisture and/or the elements in places, I figured the speakers would be old and worn out, if they weren't blown in the first place. They do become overdriven at higher volumes, but this is supposed to be just a quick and dirty sound solution until I replace the carpet and do a totally new sound setup at some point down the road.

I thought it might be nice to get two nice speakers for the back, to get the standard 4-speaker arrangement, but I've already spent enough $$$ on this thing for now....then I remembered one of my 280ZX's previous owners at one time had a heavy-duty custom audio setup in it, and the car still has two Jensen 6x9's in the back doing nothing....hehehe. :) But this brings me to my question.....where to mount extra speakers? I was rather surprised at the dramatic difference in sound with the right stock speaker out compared to how it sounds when installed in its cavity in the chassis....I guess I didn't realize how critical the acoustics of an enclosure are. I recall reading somewhere that the open area of the door towards the lower front makes an excellent speaker-bay, but for my setup wouldn't this be a bit too far forward? Would I do well to mount the speakers in the sides of the car back in the cargo tray area? There's quite a bit of hollow space there due to the shape of the car.
 

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You don't need 4 speakers. The '83 has an excellent location for the speakers and with the proper system, you can get a great sound (and loud if that's what you want). All you need is a good quality system. Many years ago, I installed a top-of-the-line Alpine system in my '84. Even at high speeds, with the top down, I have no problem hearing and the sound quality is very nice. By comparison, my '87 Spider came with the 4-speaker set-up, where the two rear speakers are inside the rear deck. I don't think that such a set-up is really worth the trouble, and I don't like that if you throw a sweatshirt or something back there, it sometimes ends up covering the speaker, and I have to reach back and move it....

Best regards,
 

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Biggy - My 86 Quad had Clarion speakers inside. The two 5 1/4's in the footwell and the two on the rear parcel shelf. I agree with Enrique, a good receiver makes a world of difference. I threw a new Alpine unit in my car about 4 months ago and swapped the original clarion's with new 5 1/4" Pioneer speakers all around. I considered enlarging the rear shelf to allow for the 6X9's but decided against it because I didn't like the idea of those large magnets so close to the elctronics below the shelf.

It sounds fine for me
 

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for your best bang/buck alfa setup, go with infinity's kappa or reference series - and make sure your head unit puts out at LEAST 30 watts. You dont need components, you dont need a sub - - just get 50 watts to two (or four if you can) infinitys and youll get some great extended response.


for volume, the key is power. for clarity, design is the key. For your BEST design, get some 5 1/4" for the front and two 6.5" in the back. Then on your Head Unit (which again should be supplying enough wattage) pan the volume just a touch towards the back - which would give you better clarity while driving with the top down. And try not to use your Head Unit's EQ - it is electronic and will cause distortion/unpleasant crackling at low volume and shorten the life of your speakers.

if you can get an amplifier rigged up, all the better - - but it is not necessary. If you do it, remember - 50 to 75 watts ideal, 30 minimum (per speaker) but watch your wiring, alfas tend to cause ground loops with amplifiers (this will give you an unpleasant whistling sound that gets louder as you accelerate.)

hope this helped you some
 

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I just got my sound system working!

I thought it might be nice to get two nice speakers for the back...
How much of the center console did you have to remove? I can't really see any easy way to get to the radio without removing a bunch of stuff, so if you can apply some guidance I would appreciate it.

My CD player doesn't like any car movement, which is a negative when driving. So I am going tobuy a new one, but I want to get the old unit out first (a Sony) to examine the harness.

I didn't have any factory installed speakers in my Quad, but the PO had built some funky boxes and stuck them back there. He also installed a power amp, which doesn't seem to improve anything - it might soon be a historical artifact if I get a powerful enough radio.

Thanks!
-Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input, folks, good thoughts.....Enrique, I'm certainly not interested in turning my Alfa into a rice-boy rolling jukebox, or anything that will register on the Richter scale... :p but I am quite a music geek and love quality sound (the current sound could certainly stand some improvement). Getting the 4-speaker thing seems one of the more fundamental steps to take in this direction.

I probably won't need an amp, I'm not concerned about blasting the music. The manual for my stereo says "17 W RMS x 4 channels", does that mean I have a weak little 17w unit? Or does the RMS mean something special....or 4 x 17 = 68w? But then I'll probably upgrade the unit anyway once I re-do the sound system later on.

Phil, actually I have the dash out for some other work.......looked like you might be able to reach under their to disconnect the wiring harness, for anything else it's probably better to remove the center console at the least, maybe loosen up the dash too. In my case I had to enlarge the cutout in the dash below the three aux instruments, and I don't see how this would be practical with the dash installed (ditto for bending the tabs on a new radio cage). But if you've already got a standard-sized radio, I'd expect you could just stick something into the sides to release the metal tabs, and pull the unit out. Depends on the model I guess.
 

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One of the stereos I am looking at has the 17x4 specs. Only 99 bucks, it is a Sony - I figure I can get another Sony and have a good chance of just being able to slide the sucker in.

I'll see if I can get away with just bending the tabs back. It has been so long since I replaced a car stereo that I forgot about the tab thing.

Thanks!
-Phil
 
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