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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So have searched back quite a bit on speaker upgrades for the 8.4 Base Stereo 6 speaker (no sub)... lots of threads but it gets confusing. I need to replace a rear speaker so just going to upgrade them all. Not going to upgrade the head unit, nor add an amp or sub. So, trying to decide whether to go with a combo of the 77KICK41/42 Kicker Mopar upgrade (aprox $270 or so), or skip the dash speakers and just get four Kicker KS or maybe JBL 6x9's...

Mopar Kickers:

Mopar Kicker 77KICK42 -Component Set for Front/Dash

Mopar Kicker 77KICK41 - 6x9 2-way (Front) - Even though they state for Front, I assume these could be used in the rear doors with no issue?

But, several threads say replacing the factory 8ohm dash 3.5" with the 77KICK42 set 4ohm 3.5" (or any 4ohm 3.5") make them sound too bright and tinny - and people have suggested just leaving the stock dash speakers and just upgrading the 4 6x9's only. So just buying 4 KS series 6x9's or similar, a set of 1/2" spacers for the front, and some Metra pigtails to cleanly connect to factory wiring.

Going with standard Kicker KS is cheaper, heck I can get a KS 6 speaker set cheaper than the Mopar/Kicker kits, actually, ie

Kicker Dodge Ram Crew Cab 2012 & up speaker bundle- 2 pairs of KS 6x9" speakers, & a pair of KS 3.5" speakers

or the Same in the CS Series, about $50 cheaper. Or just grab 4 Kicker, JBL, etc 6x9's

With the stock 8.4AN, no amp, no sub - would the CS or KS series be the better choice... have no idea of the 8.4 output, but I know it's no-where near the high range of either of these. Not looking for boom boom, those days are past me. Better sound, more efficient/more clean volume, mainly is all I am after.

Edit - or, I could just pick up the Crutchfield-recommended for RAM 1500's Pioneer 3-way 6x9's (due to fitting front door depth), which are on sale...
 

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Crutchfield had the JBL's on sale right now 20% off. I put the club series in my truck and love them. I put the 3.5" in the dash and the 6x9's in all four doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TBH I'm leaning towards just grabbing 2 pairs of Pioneer TSA6966R's which do fit the fronts even though Crutchfield says they don't. They have larger normal sized magnets and are one series nicer than the shallow Pioneers Crutchfield suggests for our RAM Front doors. And they are inexpensive enough I can just try those, and decide later if I want to bother with the dash speakers or going nicer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to follow up, I went with the Pioneer TS-A6966R in the doors. I also bought some Kicker KS 3.5's for the dash but due to the ohm difference they are way to loud and drown out the other speakers, a common complaint for 4 ohm front speakers put in the base 6 speaker setup. I put the OEM dash speakers back in for now, and have ordered some 4 ohm resistors to try with the Kickers.

Overall it sounds nice, not an earth-shattering improvement, but they do sound better than the paper cone stock speakers, and I can push more volume before they start sounding bad. Only issue now is I have that pesky driver side rear rattle I'm trying to figure out.
 

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I added some 4 ohm resistors to mine and I'm much happier with them now.

Where did you buy them? I see on Crutchfields they no longer sell them. Aftermarket speakers do sound better. I haven't been able to turn my radio up load enough that mine sound bad. They sound good at all volume levels.
 

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Where did you get the speakers?
 

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Crutchfield had the JBL's on sale right now 20% off. I put the club series in my truck and love them. I put the 3.5" in the dash and the 6x9's in all four doors.
I keep reading that the front door 6x9's are frequency limited by an internal crossover on the radio? Did you get the full range sound swapping these out?
 

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I keep reading that the front door 6x9's are frequency limited by an internal crossover on the radio? Did you get the full range sound swapping these out?
The front sounds better then stock, but the rear does seem to put out more bass.
 

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Just to follow up, I went with the Pioneer TS-A6966R in the doors. I also bought some Kicker KS 3.5's for the dash but due to the ohm difference they are way to loud and drown out the other speakers, a common complaint for 4 ohm front speakers put in the base 6 speaker setup. I put the OEM dash speakers back in for now, and have ordered some 4 ohm resistors to try with the Kickers.

Overall it sounds nice, not an earth-shattering improvement, but they do sound better than the paper cone stock speakers, and I can push more volume before they start sounding bad. Only issue now is I have that pesky driver side rear rattle I'm trying to figure out.
wish I had read this a few weeks ago. I bought all the same stuff. So glad its not just me... those Kickers are waaay too harsh. Way too harsh.

The Pioneers sound excellent. I already have the Kicker sub under the back seat of our Crew. The kit# escapes me at the moment, but its the "Mopar" sub kit. The Pioneers complement the sub very well. I'm just going to look for a different dash speaker with a lower sensitivity first. They just don't work that well in this truck.
 

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I keep reading that the front door 6x9's are frequency limited by an internal crossover on the radio? Did you get the full range sound swapping these out?
I can also support this. I replaced all of my stock speakers. The new Pioneers sound a LOT better than stock. The rear doors play FULL range. The front doors clearly have seem to have a built in crossover limiting the low frequencies.
 

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I can also support this. I replaced all of my stock speakers. The new Pioneers sound a LOT better than stock. The rear doors play FULL range. The front doors clearly have seem to have a built in crossover limiting the low frequencies.
Thats why the Mopar/kicker speakers are different for the front doors than the back.
 

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On the base stereo, all speakers run full range. The only ones that are frequency limited are the Alpine systems and that's all controlled with the amplifier.
 

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If been trying to search but have been reading conflicting info so please excuse me if this has been covered although this seems like a good thread in which to inquire:

2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab base audio Uconnect 8.4 Nav:

I've been looking at the aforementioned Kicker speaker kit that comes with the four 6x9s and two 3.5s. In that kit it appears all are 4-ohm speakers which is almost universally the case.

OEM front door speakers are 4 ohms while the dash 3.5s are 8 ohms. Are the front 6x9s and dash 3.5s wired in series or are they on their own separate channels?

I'm really hoping they're on their own separate channels (same signal as doors but different amp channel), that would make things way easier. I could then run inline attenuators to the dash speakers without affecting the 6x9s.
 

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Ok, decided to go a different route instead of the Kickers. The Kickers were billed as a drop-in option that everyone raved about so I figured it would be an easy route but after looking at that setup there are going to be serious SQ issues with that design no matter what. You have 6x9 doors speakers up front with tweeters and then you're adding dash mid-range with a second set of tweeters with higher output to boot. So you're getting more output from the dash and then doubling that again with tweets in the doors which are firing off-axis. You get too much high frequency from the extra tweets and then they are making the imaging and soundstage weird since they're firing from two different locations.

Here's what I'm doing instead of the Kicker kit:

* 3.5" 2-way speakers in the dash location (probably the Kickers). Since I'm not running 2 sets of tweets (i.e. door and dash) I can EQ out the highs if they're too harsh. Need speakers with a sensitive mid-range so the big magnet, high end speakers like JL aren't ideal for low power/limited EQ. The cheaper Kickers, Pioneers, etc. are probably optimal for this. High passed at 150 hz.

* OEM door speakers up front: High and low passed for 80-150hz with inline crossovers - this is critical. They'll work as a mid-bass and should do relatively well operating in that very narrow band and you're effectively doubling if not tripling the power handling by limiting the frequencies. They sound crappy on highs because of the whizzer cone tweeter but I'll block that frequency out and the 6x9 cone has enough surface area to be effective at mid-bass. They sound muddy and distorted on bass frequencies but again I'll be blocking that out.

* Kicker or whatever name brand 6x9 in the rear doors. Not critical on these, they're for rear fill and the harsher notes are blocked by the seats. The better the mid-bass response the better. High passed at 80 Hz.

* 10" subwoofer under rear right seat low passed at 80 Hz. I've got a handful of subs and amps in the basement.

If the OEM front door speakers still don't handle the band-passed mid-bass duty then any cheap 6x9 will do if the specs are right.
 

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Ok, decided to go a different route instead of the Kickers. The Kickers were billed as a drop-in option that everyone raved about so I figured it would be an easy route but after looking at that setup there are going to be serious SQ issues with that design no matter what. You have 6x9 doors speakers up front with tweeters and then you're adding dash mid-range with a second set of tweeters with higher output to boot. So you're getting more output from the dash and then doubling that again with tweets in the doors which are firing off-axis. You get too much high frequency from the extra tweets and then they are making the imaging and soundstage weird since they're firing from two different locations.

Here's what I'm doing instead of the Kicker kit:

* 3.5" 2-way speakers in the dash location (probably the Kickers). Since I'm not running 2 sets of tweets (i.e. door and dash) I can EQ out the highs if they're too harsh. Need speakers with a sensitive mid-range so the big magnet, high end speakers like JL aren't ideal for low power/limited EQ. The cheaper Kickers, Pioneers, etc. are probably optimal for this. High passed at 150 hz.

* OEM door speakers up front: High and low passed for 80-150hz with inline crossovers - this is critical. They'll work as a mid-bass and should do relatively well operating in that very narrow band and you're effectively doubling if not tripling the power handling by limiting the frequencies. They sound crappy on highs because of the whizzer cone tweeter but I'll block that frequency out and the 6x9 cone has enough surface area to be effective at mid-bass. They sound muddy and distorted on bass frequencies but again I'll be blocking that out.

* Kicker or whatever name brand 6x9 in the rear doors. Not critical on these, they're for rear fill and the harsher notes are blocked by the seats. The better the mid-bass response the better. High passed at 80 Hz.

* 10" subwoofer under rear right seat low passed at 80 Hz. I've got a handful of subs and amps in the basement.

If the OEM front door speakers still don't handle the band-passed mid-bass duty then any cheap 6x9 will do if the specs are right.
As someone who's replaced his speakers I'll give you my 2 cents worth. When you replace the 3.5" day replace them with a good speaker. If it's an 8 ohm speaker your good. If it's a 4 ohm speaker add a 4 ohm resister to it. Don't cheap out on the front door speaker. Put a good speaker in there. If you don't like the sound you can replace it with the oem or other kind of cheap speaker and put the good speaker in the rear doors, but you won't because you'll like it. Then move on and do the rear door speakers. You don't have to go real expensive, but don't cheap out either. I went with the JBL club series in my truck and love them. They are reasonably priced. I got them from crutchfields and the adapters I needed to plug into the factory harness came with them making the install easy with no cutting of the factory o.
 

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I've come full circle back to a more or less drop-in upgrade with Kickers in the doors. After doing a lot of research into different speakers, I realized I was basically trying to come up with a poor-man's 3-way component set but on the stock wiring with stock HU power. Just not feasible with limited power, no real EQ to speak of (would need at least 11 band), and no practical independent gain control.

Not wanting to go down the rabbit hole of a full system upgrade, I've settled on:

* Dayton PS95 3.5" 8-ohm dash (high passed at 200hz)
* Kicker DS 6x9s in all four doors

Once I have the time I'll install one of my old subwoofers and amps under the rear bench and then high-pass the door speakers at 80 hz.

It's hard to find actual specs on the output of the newer head units but based on previous 6-speaker UConnect models it appears to be 4 x 28w RMS @ 4 ohms. Looking at the 2014/2015 6-speaker wiring diagrams, the front door and dash speakers are wired in parallel, which makes things a little tricky. I believe the parallel wiring is the purpose for the 8-ohm dash speakers as they're acting as a de facto voltage halving circuit. The 3.5 speakers need a lot less power than the 6x9s so the higher impedance causes more current to be diverted to the 6x9s. This also explains why 4 ohm dash speakers dramatically overpower the door speakers because not only are they getting more current, they're diverting it away from the door speakers so the dash gets louder while the doors quieter.

Resistors: I decided to go with 8 ohm dash speakers instead of 4 ohm speakers + resistors. While many have used resistors and are happy with the results, I do not want to purposefully lose fidelity from the dash speakers, I just want to correctly attenuate the output in relation to the door speakers (and not lose door output). Long story short, resistors wired in series with speakers introduce distortion and cause disproportionate frequency roll offs and thus a significant loss of fidelity. Using an 8-ohm speaker will maintain fidelity while correctly attenuating the output.

The 8 ohm Dayton PS95s are full range and basically have a flat frequency response from 200hz - 20khz. They're designed for low power applications which will be perfect with the ~14w RMS they'll be getting.

As for the Kicker DS 6x9s, there are much better speakers out there but the DS line is designed for drop-in applications using limited OEM HU power. In short, they are very sensitive and a little more sensitive than the equivalent JBLs (when researching, note that JBL rates at 2.83v/m and not 1w/m thus inflating the value a little). 6.5" speakers would be better for SQ but again, with limited power, the 6x9 offers more surface area for more bass in an otherwise stock application. The frequency response range and FS are a little lower than most other 6x9s as well. Basically I'll be trading SQ for output with these due to the limited power.

EDIT: Some possibly helpful info for calculating impedance of a parallel circuit: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-paralresist.htm has a nice impedance calculator for resistors in parallel. Granted, voice coils aren't a static impedance (e.g. 4 ohm at FS might be 20 ohm at 10kHz) but for balancing driver impedances this should be fine.

I read some anecdotal reports that the UConnect internal amp is stable to 2 ohms (and I did see a spec sheet for one of the chipsets at ~50w RMS at 2 ohms). The resistance of the front speakers at 8 ohms and 4 ohms in parallel is 2.66 ohms. So just considering the actual driver impedance and not that imparted by the wiring harness, the front channels are seeing 2.66 ohms while the rears are at 4 ohms which is how it balances the front-to-rear door speaker output with the dash speakers wired off the front channels. My rough estimate is 28w RMS rear doors, 28w RMS front doors, 14w RMS dash speakers.
 

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I was wondering how you like the Dayton PS95 3.5" speakers? Did they mount well without modification? I have resistors coming in the mail for 4 ohm speakers, but the Dayton seems to have very good reviews in home audio installations and they aren't expensive either.
 

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I was wondering how you like the Dayton PS95 3.5" speakers? Did they mount well without modification? I have resistors coming in the mail for 4 ohm speakers, but the Dayton seems to have very good reviews in home audio installations and they aren't expensive either.
Unfortunately I've been so busy that I just haven't had the chance to do this yet. I was getting ready to order everything but my free time has been overtaken with other, high priority projects (things in immediate need of repair).

When I finally get around to this, either during or soon after the holidays, that is the route I'm going though.
 
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