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Monsoon questions

This is a discussion on Monsoon questions within the Stereo and Electronics forums, part of the General Help category; I've got a rattle coming from my rear passenger seat speaker (in the pillar). It's really annoying. I started to ...

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Monsoon questions

    I've got a rattle coming from my rear passenger seat speaker (in the pillar). It's really annoying. I started to change it, measured it as 6" and just happened to have a pair of 120W 6" 3 ways in the garage someone gave me a couple years ago. Anyway, I pulled out the factory speaker and quickly noticed it has 2 2 wire connections (4 wires)? What's up with that? There are no mids or highs coming from this speaker, just bass (and annoying rattles now). Is there some special connector I'm supposed to use, or do I just hookup 2 of the wires, and if so which 2? Also, does anyone know the factory rms wattage rating of this speaker?

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    I found a factory replacement ( http://www.conquestauto.com/servlet/...l-Panel/Detail ). This claims that the speakers have been improved since the factory ones i have. BTW - I'm calling BS on the 500 watts Monsoon claims to have. Maybe 50 watts. Not bad for a factory system, but leaves a lot to be desired in clarity when cranked...

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    Rock-n-Roller White Rascal's Avatar
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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    The speakers in the B-pillar are the factory subwoofers (subwoofers?.... yeah, right). In a Camaro they are single 2ohm voice coil speakers. In a Firebird they are dual 4ohm voice coil speakers. This is why each speaker has 2 sets of wires going to them. The speaker in the link you provided looks like a single voice coil Camaro speaker to me.
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    cool that theirs some factory replacably speakers but i would get aftermarket speakers they probably sound better, just get a very low wattage speaker, i belive when the signal is a 2oh and you put s 4 ohm speaker the 4 ohm speaker runs at half power, or somthing like that, you can get more info at crutchfield.

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    You will need to replace the speakers with dual 4ohm voice coil speakers (if such a speaker exists in the aftermarket), or replace it with a factory Monsoon speaker. Your other option is to install an aftermarket amplifier, but that would only make sense if you are replacing all of your speakers. At worst case, you can install your aftermarket speakers, and only connect 2 of the wires, but your speaker will only pull half the current, and sound much quieter.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Ok, I've been to the local audio shops. Everyone I've spoken with has told me to scrap the Monsuck system. I'm starting with the blown sail speakers. They're getting 6" Kicker midbass replacements in the next couple days. The Kicker midbass also come with a set of kicker tweeters. I guess I'll use them to replace the stock tweeters in the front door (assuming I can get them to bolt in there).

    Considering these are all 4 ohm speakers, I'm probably going to go ahead and replace the 4" in the rear and whatever is in the doors (5.25, 6, 6.5?) too. I guess I'll go matched Kickers all around. They carry truck boxes for L5 Kicker 10s that will fit on the shelf about the t-top storage area. I think I'm going to pick up one or two of them too. They tell me they hit hard off of the curved hatchback glass. I'll have to add an amp for the Kicker 10(s). I guess I'll try pulling the inputs from the sail speaker rear leads and run the remote wire from a key activated accessory somewhere (maybe the power antenna?).

    My theory is that if I replace all of the speakers with 4 ohm, I can crank it up to compensate for the volume loss until I'm ready to replace the deck and amp. I expect the aftermarket speakers will sound better cranked than the stock ones. We'll see....

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    Rock-n-Roller White Rascal's Avatar
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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    I recommend forgetting about the hatch area speakers all together. That's money that would be better spent elsewhere on your install. I only have the door speakers (6.75" also called oversized 6.5") and a pair of subs in my car. Even so, after I demo my setup for people they always ask what speakers I'm using in the rear. They're always shocked when I tell them that there are no rear speakers. I've even had to pop off the grills just to prove it to them.

    Click my sig and check out my door speaker installation. Baffles like the ones I made are highly recommended.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    I was just outside measuring the rear hatch speakers (mainly because I think they're too small) and there is a 3" depth. I can cut them out and drop in 5x8s (if I can find any), 5x7s, 5.25s, or 4x6s. If I do replace them, I'm going bigger. I'd really like a set of 6x9s back there, but they won't fit into the molding to drop in and still use the factory trim. I don't mind modifying what's under the grills, but I don't want to make the interior look bad. Maybe I can bolt a set of 6x9s underneath and still use the factory covers? I'm going to try if i can find a good set of 6x9s that are under 3" in total depth. I think 6x9s would sound nice off the back glass.

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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    Mounting larger speakers in the hatch area panels is a bad idea. The panel is just to light weight and flimsy to support anything bigger than the 4" mid and tweeter that are there now.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    You think so? I'd think something like 5x7s or especially 4x6s would weigh less (and only require minimal material removal). 4x6s would even fit with the stock tweeters remaining. The stock 4" have a huge magnet and mount 2" deep whereas the Pioneer 4x6s, for example, have a much smaller magnet with a sound range of 45hz-22khz and are rated at 50W RMS.

    By changing out the doors and sail panels to 4 ohm speakers, I'd think the ones in the rear would sound bad (if I left them hooked up). At 2 ohms they'd be cranking to get good volume from the others. I figure I'll either have to replace or unhook the rears if I change the others.

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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    It's not the weight of the speaker that is the problem. It's the bass reproduction from the speaker. It will make the plastic panel vibrate and rattle something awful. There's a reason why you never see full range speakers with flimsy plastic panels as a baffle. It would flex too much from the bass frequencies.

    It's been a while since I looked but I think the 4" mids in the hatch are 4ohm speakers. The door mid-woofers are 2ohms.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Since I'm adding at least one Kicker L5 sub, there wouldn't be any bass from the rear speakers. They'd be capped off, as will all but the sail panel midbass. The L5(s) would run from a seperate amp, with all mids and highs crossed out.

    If the stock speakers are 4 ohms, they may work just as well though for mids. They don't say on the back. I had read on several F-body websites that 4 ohm aftermarket replacement speakers in the Monsoon systems were about half the volume of the stock speakers due to the 2/4 ohm impedence variance.

    I looked up the schematics ( http://www.houston-f-body.org/tech/monsoon/Schem1.htm ) for a Firebird Monsoon system. From what I gather, you're right and all of the Trans Am speakers are 4 ohm. The midbass in the sail panels have 2 2ohm inputs. I guess those are the ones that supposedly get quieter with aftermarket speakers?

    What happened to the good old days when you just dropped in a replacement set of 3.5s and 6x9s...

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    Arctic White
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    Well if you're gonna cap them off you're gonna have to do it at a fairly high frequency so there's no point in adding a larger speaker than whats there now. The whole point of a larger cone is deeper bass performance. So if you're gonna filter out the lows whats the point in adding the larger speaker? You're talking about doing all this extra work to stuff a larger speaker in there and you can't even take advantage of their deeper bass capabilities. Seems like a waste of time and money to me.

    I know for a fact that the mid-woofers in the door are 2 ohms. The subs have dual 4ohm voice coils but they are run in parallel so they also present a 2ohm load to the amp.

    The 6x9's from the good ole days were a compromise. Overall having an oval shaped woofer isn't a good idea. Way back in the late 70's I had a set of 6.5" plate speakers made by Epicure. Part of their advertising at the time had detailed pictures and info on how oval shaped speakers had odd distortions due to the fact that the oval cone deformed as it played. They showed how the speaker distorted badly because of the differing lengths from the center of the cone to the speaker's surround. Since a round cone's distance from center to edge is constant they dodn't have this "odd" distortion characteristic.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Larger speakers (larger than 4") generally offer way higher quality mids than the stock 4. They all also have a larger frequency response and better sensitivity (db) than the stock. The stock Monsoon system has good volume, but distorts horribly at just half volume. You can hear all of the voice coils rattling. I attribute the problem mostly to the cheap speakers used. I figure changing them all out would yield much higher quality sound. If it doesn't, the radio and amp are the next to go.

    BTW - The 6x9 comment I made was meant to comment on how easy it used to be years ago making a change. There weren't many choices, and all worked well in most setups.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    The schematic I found lists all of the speakers as 4 ohm exxept the sail panels. GM lists them all as 2 ohm, with the sail panels having 4 ohms (dual 2 ohm voice coils). Here are a couple replacement ads:

    New Pair GM Door Speakers 97-02 Trans am MONSOON 2 OHM
    2) Left and right Brand New Factory OEM 6 Front Door speakers for 1997-2002 Pontiac Firebird, formula and Trans AM with the monsoon stereo system. These speakers commonly fail as the original design could not handle the 500 watts of power the monsoon system put out; this new design has more handling power and will not blow out easily like the original
    These speakers are designed to be used with the GM Stereo system option codes of W54, W55, and W56. (Monsoon) These are the 2 OHM speakers that are extremely hard to find. Speakers come with mounting bracket.
    Includes factory plug, just plug it in, no hard wiring or splicing required!

    New GM Sail Panel OEM speaker 97-02 Trans am MONSOON
    This listing is for ONE Brand New Factory OEM 6 Sail Panel Speaker for 1997-2002 Pontiac Firebird, formula and Trans AM with the monsoon stereo system. The original version of these speakers commonly failed The original design could not handle the 500 watts of power the monsoon system put out; this new design has an different coating on the cone that gives this updated speaker more handling power and will not blow out like the original.
    This is a 4 OHM Speaker and includes the factory plug, plugs right in no splicing or soldering required!

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    Rock-n-Roller White Rascal's Avatar
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    Arctic White
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    Actually the stock speakers aren't all that bad (as far as factory speaker go). It's the HUGE amount of distortion from the HU and amp that blows the speakers all the time. When I first got my '99 TA I used my oscilloscope and a calibrated test CD to test the system. At only 23 clicks of the volume control (which isn't very loud at all) the HU was already clipping it's output. The higher you turned it up the worse the clipping got. Then that badly clipped signal gets sent to the amp's speaker level inputs and it adds it's own distortion on top of the already badly distorted input signal. This is a sure fire recipe for blowing speakers.

    The schematic you have is mistaken. Unless GM changed everything after the '99 model year. I pulled all the factory speakers from my car and the door mid-woofers were clearly marked as being 2 ohms. The subwoofers were marked 4ohm/4ohm for their dual 4ohm voice coils. Camaros on the other hand have single 2ohm voice coil subwoofers.

    The claimed 500W power of the POS Monsoon system is a MAX output figure (probably at 1kHz) and is totally meaningless. Any amp can put out a lot of power if it is only amplifying a single frequency. What matters is the full range RMS wattage which they conveniently omit telling you. If I had to guess I would say that the amp only puts out about 20W RMS at best.

    Bottom line.... no part of the POS Monsoon system is worth keeping if sound quality is important to you.
    Last edited by White Rascal; 09-10-2006 at 11:12 AM.

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    Member jag42420's Avatar
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    Do you think that I'd be better off replacing the deck and amp before the speakers? I intend to spend $300-500 now. Obviously, the blown sail speakers are getting changed regardless. They do say rev 00 and 4ohm/4ohm on the back (and made in Mexico).

    I love this car, but you can't have something this fast that draws this much attention without a good sound system...

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    My rear speakers are 4 ohm too.

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    For anyone interested in upgrading the sail panel speakers, I highly recommend Pioneer TS-G671M 6 3/4" speakers. They're only $69 at Walmart, and they sound MUCH better than the stock ones. They are 4ways, 50w RMS, 260w peak, 92db, 4ohms, and have a frequency range of 30hz to 30khz. The specs on these speakers is in line with $100-150 speakers. I installed one of these in place of my blown sail speaker to compare them, and it was louder and lower than the remaining stock sail speaker that wasn't blown. It does not distort at mid volumes when the stock speakers do. Much better sound quality. I'm muuuuuch happier without the rattle... Now for the rest of them...

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    So you have a monsoon and replaced the sub with a coaxial speaker? are you still hooked up at the amp? it is crossover lowpass whats a coaxial speaker going to do with that?

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