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6 or 4?

baugh009

New member
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Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue (Base)
Hello, I am new to Buicks, new to this list but, unfortunately, not new to life. I recently purchased a 2003 Park Avenue (base), that is in excellent shape. I am enjoying it, immensely.

Looking to upgrade at least my front speakers, I went on-line and (from numerous sites), found that my base has six (while the Ultra has nine). Those sources also maintained that my front door speakers are 5 i/4", my rear doors 4', and my rears 6x9's. To my surprise, this (apparently), is not the case with mine.

The only match to their specs are my rears. The fronts, located in the "northeast" (driver's), and "northwest" (passenger), corners of my panels, and have about 3 1/2" by 4 1/2" grills. I haven't pulled the panel, yet, but I don't see Buick putting those grills on 5 1/3" speakers. More interesting, my rear doors have no grills, at all.

If someone could enlighten me as to whether Buick put-out some base models with only four speakers or, perhaps, that I am just too senile to be contemplating such an upgrade, I would be very appreciative.

Thanks,

John
 
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bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
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11
18
Montana
Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
Your Base model has 6 speakers: the front doors each have a tweeter with the small grill you mentioned, and a 5 1/4" midrange/bass. There are two 6 x 9's in the rear shelf that I think are full range (someone correct me if I am wrong).

The Base model does not have speakers in the rear doors (unless it has the optional 9 speaker system), nor a speaker in the center of the dash (again without the option U99).

The front door 5 1/4's are near the bottom front of the doors (SEast & SWest), and are covered by carpet (and perforated plastic), but not grills. When you remove the door panel you will see.

The pics below are from an 03 Ultra door, same for a Base with the U99, which has a grill covering the lower speaker. The U99 package upgrades the rear 6 x 9's to "subwoofers," more a mid-bass, but they are actually quite nice IMO...just not true subwoofers.

In the pics, I disconnected the door tweeters and put Boston co-axials in the bottom. Upgrading the speakers will help greatly and is not that much work once you figure out how to remove the door panels.

Another upgrade is to change the head unit to aftermarket. It is easier to do this in these cars compared to modern day cars, and some members here have installed some really nice ones. A steering wheel adapter is available if you want to keep the steering wheel buttons functional.
 

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baugh009

New member
3
0
1
Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue (Base)
Your Base model has 6 speakers: the front doors each have a tweeter with the small grill you mentioned, and a 5 1/4" midrange/bass. There are two 6 x 9's in the rear shelf that I think are full range (someone correct me if I am wrong).

The Base model does not have speakers in the rear doors (unless it has the optional 9 speaker system), nor a speaker in the center of the dash (again without the option U99).

The front door 5 1/4's are near the bottom front of the doors (SEast & SWest), and are covered by carpet (and perforated plastic), but not grills. When you remove the door panel you will see.

The pics below are from an 03 Ultra door, same for a Base with the U99, which has a grill covering the lower speaker. The U99 package upgrades the rear 6 x 9's to "subwoofers," more a mid-bass, but they are actually quite nice IMO...just not true subwoofers.

In the pics, I disconnected the door tweeters and put Boston co-axials in the bottom. Upgrading the speakers will help greatly and is not that much work once you figure out how to remove the door panels.

Another upgrade is to change the head unit to aftermarket. It is easier to do this in these cars compared to modern day cars, and some members here have installed some really nice ones. A steering wheel adapter is available if you want to keep the steering wheel buttons functional.
Thanks a lot, Big Sky. As you said, I would have found the 5 1/4's (and, by implication, the tweets), upon removing the door panel. However, being skeptical of my mechanical/electrical abilities, I might not have begun the project without knowing.

Why did you go from the component tweeters to a two-way coax? Also, back in '89 when I was a, "young man" of 44, I put an upgraded system into my new Toyota Tercel. It included MB Quartz 6" coax with independent tweeters. Although not an audiophile, then (or, now), that up-front system (infinity 6x9's in the rear), sounded so crystal clear: no tinny highs, and sharp snail drums through mid-range, that I couldn't believe it.

I have read that MB Quart was bought out, and now the product has been downgraded in quality. Do you happen to have heard any of the new MB Quartz speakers, or have an opinion from others who have?

Again, thoughts so much for your time and effort, and for the pictures.

John
 

bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
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Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
Why did you go from the component tweeters to a two-way coax?
Mainly ease of installation, and being just a half decade shy of yourself, the holy grail does not have that huge appeal in light of many other life demands...

Component systems are still the "it" from what I follow on the subject. A member here tried a set in a PA and was not impressed. The lower door speakers are mounted in a sort of plastic resonance fixture. Will look for the thread.

With component setups, one needs to mount the crossovers, and the door is not a good place to do that. So...running lots of wiring. I figured I would try the coax and if not content I would reconsider. I did keep the factory tweeter also connected for awhile, but decided I wanted to hear the Boston sound as true as possible, even though the staging suffers with the low firing tweeter. The SR 55's I used are designed to negate some of that.

Another thing, the U99 option also includes a trunk mounted factory amp which does the crossovers.

Just remembering... when I had a PA with the 6 speaker setup, I just put in an aftermarket mid-grade Pioneer headunit, and kept the factory speakers. I did replace one of the 6 x 9's with a U99 option 6 x 9, which has a heavier magnet and better bass.

I was plenty happy with this setup, which is essentially the factory component speaker setup in the front. The grail search is long and I believe it has diminishing returns...but rewards as well.

Really, the factory setup (even the 6 speaker), is not that bad for the low-grade audiophile; everyone I think needs to find their own sweet spot considering all the factors. Will look for that thread...

EDIT: Check out this thread & Post #7:

9 speaker wiring question
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2007LucerneCXL

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Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
baugh009 just a small note, which if you have done this in the past you may know but others may not, the factory unit may sound fine but the speakers are usually a weak spot. I replaced all of mine, added two rear door speakers and it made a real difference with a factory sat/nav system.

The problem is that factory systems speaker OHM'S come in to play when matching it to the original head unit. I'm from a time when you just bolted a 8 track under the dash and slapped a pair 6x9 8 ohm in the rear shelf and you felt you were living the dream LOL. I updated my Lucerne and got a pair of rear door panels with the HK speakers, surprised to see they were 2 ohm, needless to say that they had to be replaced.

And before someone says how great their stereo was in their Lucerne, remember that they had a basic and a Harman Kardon. The basic speakers were junk, so comparing the two is like comparing the V6 to the V8, just because they came in the same car doesn't mean they are the same.

OHM'S law comes into play unless you are going with a completely new system, amp, crossovers, sub, etc. otherwise it may not sound correct or put a unnecessary strain on the OEM stereo.

Here's a quick link for anyone who wants to find out more.
Speaker Impedance Explained - Ohms
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
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943
113
Illinois
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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Any speaker will work, even the HK, but it has to rated for the OHM's of the system to sound proper, see the link above for more information.
 

PA2013

Full Member
56
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8
The Midwest
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Ave
...It is easier to do this in these cars compared to modern day cars, and some members here have installed some really nice ones. A steering wheel adapter is available if you want to keep the steering wheel buttons functional.
"Easier" ≠ easy, however. If your aftermarket set isn't fairly shallow, hacking and sawing will be required for proper fit. Also, your climate control's display will lose its ability to dim at night and there's no adapter for that.
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bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
443
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18
Montana
Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
Also, your climate control's display will lose its ability to dim at night and there's no adapter for that.
True & good to know... (personally that has not been an issue for me).

I remember reading that someone claimed to put the OEM radio in the trunk and run wiring to it so the climate control display would dim even with the aftermarket unit installed.
 

Bronzeback5

Buick Newbie
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Buick Ownership
Buick
What about them 6x9's in the deck of the 9 speaker system that only play bass, anybody know what a guy can replace them with?

I'm surely not gonna spend $300 for a pair of the stock Delcos. I replaced them with a quality 6x9 in my 99PA years ago and they sounded like garbage, I didn't know any better.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
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943
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Check the OHM's of the original speakers as on some of these systems they vary between the different locations. The amp can also be the other area that is using a filter circuit for levels, but a 3-way 6x9 matching the original OHM's they may add additional high and midrange. Again it may not be exactly what you are looking for in the sound range given some limitations of the system, hope that gives you some ideas.
 

bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
443
11
18
Montana
Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
What about them 6x9's in the deck of the 9 speaker system that only play bass, anybody know what a guy can replace them with?

Also available on ebay.

I used one of these...inexpensive and IMO sounds great. I believe the 4 ohm matches the original, and the mounting holes line up.

I blew a replacement Delco (expensive), and a CDT 6x9 sub/midbass (also expensive, but check them out)(CDT 6x9 a few models are available) The CDT mounting holes did not quite match up,

The right side sub kept blowing so I thought maybe a problem with the OEM head unit or maybe the amp. The left CDT is still working fine. I put in an aftermarket head unit and the inexpensive Magnadyne 6x9 on the right, and so far things have been good. Great replacement in my experience. Check the reviews.

EDIT: I don't think the freq. response on Amazon is correct...a listing on ebay says 65-3k Hz.
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bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
443
11
18
Montana
Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
If you try the Magnadyne, hope you can report back. I figure I can go through 4-6 of these for the cost of one ACDelco replacement.

I thought I heard a little rattle from it on a strongly recorded bass song, and thought Oh No, is it my amp that is blowing these right subs (I already had put in an aftermarket head unit)? Maybe not, just back off the bass EQ.

Lately though, and overall, everything has been good and the bass from the rear has been good (no rattling). I have a CDT CL-69 on the left, and a Magnadyne 6x9 on the right (in the 04). IMO the ACDelco 6x9 in the 9 speaker system puts out some great bass, and I still have both original 6x9 speakers in the 03 (with an aftermarket head unit).

With the Boston coaxials in the front, which keep the soundstage in the front, all that is needed in the rear is some good bass. I have disconnected the rear door speakers and the center dash speaker. It's holy grail enough for me.
 
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bigsky

5.7L LT1 Member
SUPPORTING MEMBER
443
11
18
Montana
Buick Ownership
97 PA (salvage 185k), 99 PA (sold-now 170k), 2K PA (sold-now over 200k), 03 PAU 175k, 04 PAU
To Note: When changing to aftermarket 6x9 speakers for the rear shelf, one does not have the convenient factory connections. I think I cut them off but kept them so they could be spliced back in if needed.
 
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