Unpleasant & expensive Monsoon story

Kind of long, so bear with me. I have a '99 Buick Regal LS w/ Monsoon sound. The rear left 6x9 speaker started to buzz all of a sudden. It would
rattle during decent bassy music. Sat back their quick and verified it was the woofer itself, not the grille. Fine.
Went to Best Buy and asked for a 'comparable replacement' for the speaker. They found some Alpine 6x9's and said they should be replaced in pairs. Fine. On sale for a decent price so had them put it in. Fine.
Worthy note: The Monsoon system by itself with a flat EQ and a good remastered CD signal puts out a very nice sound. Nice impact bass with very good frequency response.
Started it up and the bass is GONE! Nothing! Totally gone. Before I left the install bay, I went right back up to the guy and said 'There's NO bass!' He explained that the factory Monsoon speakers have a certain power requirement that isn't very high (apparently because the system comes with a 200 or 220 Watt 8-channel amp to drive the 8 speakers) and that the new set had a higher power requirement (250W max, 70 RMS/channel). He said I needed to purchase an additional amp to drive just those speakers. Fine.
Went in, and the fun begins. Found an Alpine amp for sale, then I needed a $85 wiring kit, plus the additional labor to put it in. Great. We're up to $400 now to replace a stupid speaker. The spent a LONG time installing the amp (up to about 5 total labor hours) and got to a point where when they turned the key to ACC, both amps would work. When they then started the car, the new amp would cut out, no sound. Lovely. It was 9pm and they said to come the next day (last Saturday) and they would fix it. At that point, here were the issues: when the sound was muted, there was a decent amount of speaker hiss coming from the new speakers...the balance from front to back was TOTALLY in the back, plus, it would intermittently power the new amp every other time I started the car. Bad shape. Fine.
Came the next morning, and the two head guys worked on it and 'fixed' it. They fixed the hiss, fixed the front to back balance. But, one moderate item remains. When the car is on, it works fine. When I switch it to off, the new amp turns off. They front speakers stay on until I open a door. That stinks. Plus, they left one of the right rear panels not back together, just cosmetic. Also, with these new speakers and new amp, the sound quality is as good if not a little worse than before. I guess that shows how good the stock Monsoon system is.
SO, I'm going tomorrow night to have them put it ALL back to normal: take out and return the new amp, take out the new speakers and replace the original ones. I am a decent audiophile, but after this, I'll live with the buzzing for now. My wife is expecting her first any day, and I didn't realize $110 speakers would turn into $450 total parts & labor (and this is after a $50 credit so far for my troubles).
Moral of the story (and point, if there is one) is that sometimes, Best Buy stinks. My main beef is that NOONE at all ever explained to me that these new speakers would have no bass output and that they needed to be powered, and that all this equipment would come to over $450! That's what I'm most pissed about.
Beyond that, if you've read this far, I read a few other Usenet posts saying 'stay away from adding or changing anything on a Monsoon with any non-Monsoon parts,' and a GM dealer would charge $360 for parts & labor to replace both 6x9's in the rear with the correct OEM speakers and labor. I guess that's an option. What's stupid is that I could have spend less money (probably $350 to $375) and got a subwoofer complete setup from Best Buy that includes the box, 2 subs and an amp! Very silly.
Any other options for what I could down the road? Would it be a big help to do a sub-$400 subwoofer addition?
Thanks for reading and for any input.
--
Michael Sovitzky
MCSE: W2K
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I had a 68 LeSabre convertible in 1986 and it had one speaker in the center of the dashboard and one speaker in the center of the rear seat backrest. It sounded better than the 6 speaker stereo in my 05 Park Avenue.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue 91 Bonneville LE, 303,555 miles
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Bullshit.
They say hearing is the first to go....
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Paradox
At least the speakers in the 68 were up high, not buried down in the bottom of the front doors.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue 91 Bonneville LE, 303,555 miles
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C'mon Harry Face, you forgot to mention the killer reverberators we used in those days with the volume cranked to full and a hot babe under the right arm! Oh . . . and it sounded even better when we were a bit wasted! ;-) But now that I actually listen to the components of the music, todays sound systems are far superior IMHO.
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Michael Sovitzky wrote:

Hi Michael...
Not a car guy, an old retired electrical guy who likes cars...
Having said that, perhaps of interest to you and maybe others.
Speakers have "polarity". Even though they work without regard to it, if "out of phase", the bass instantly and completely disappears.
I'm wondering if - when the voice coil on one started rubbing, and you replaced that set - if you didn't install them out of phase.
Easy, easy test. Find something to listen to that is *not* one of the younger folks extreme music; something stereo that us old guys would enjoy. Translated, something with sound coming from both sides and from the center. Sit in the center between them, listening to "where the music is"
Out of phase, it will sound like everything is either extreme left of extreme right, nothing in the middle, and no bass.
In phase, there will be bass, and most noticably there will be music coming from everywhere.
Or, while installing... each of the wires at each set will be different. different colored metal, or a stripe, or different colour.
Each speaker will have it's polarity indicated. Different color metal for the lugs, or a paint dot beside one of them, something.
Make them both the same, and you may (may!) find that simply replacing again the set will satisfy you.
Hope I explained that well enough :)
And while I have you guys, helped a neighbor with an alternator problem yesterday. Got a rebuild kit, then couldn't take the alternator apart. Never saw screws like that before. Can't google them because I can't describe them - only way is to say that they looked like the opposite of torx screws, if that makes any sense. What are they called, please?
Take care.
Ken
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They are called E-Torx for external Torx. You can buy socket sets for them.

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Scott Buchanan wrote:

Hi Scott...
Thanks very much; appreciate it. Off to find a set today :)
Take care.
Ken
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Go to a more modern used parts yard and they will have speakers already removed and categorized in storage.
Brian
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Ah, my favorite subject!
Rule #1: Never get chain stores to install stereo equipment. They obviously hooked the amp up incorrectly, and it SHOULD have taken 4-5 hours for a professional installation. Which they obviously didn't do because they ran their cheap speaker wires along side there cheap power wire to give you a nice hiss in the speakers. Rule #2: Never buy anything but Alpine. Rule #3: More watts is NOT always better. I for instance have a total of 100watts in my car, running 2 - 12" subs and a set of 6-1/2" components. Plenty loud, last time I checked it hit 136dB, plenty clear. Rule #4: Only sub woofers are used for "bass". I like to have my subs play 0Hz to 120Hz (approximatly) and other speakers run 120Hz and up. Rule #5. Speakers are NOT supposed to be oval, and no speakers in the back, throws off the sound stage. Think about it, do you sit with your back to the stage at a conceert? there are too many rules..... Rule #6: First thing I do when I get a car, rip out ALL factory stereo equipment. Factory equipment sucks, period. They are getting better, I've now seen that Pioneer sub in the Cobalt, but they still cannot reproduce sound very well. Rule #7: Internal head unit amps suck. Always go with an external amp. If it has an internal MOSFET amp, like Pioneer, they will be better than most, but external amps are not all that expensive. Rule #8: Which bring me to rule 8, you get what you pay for.
If I was you, I would just find a junk yard replacement for now. Then maybe down the road buy a small sub, 3-channel amp, nice Alpine head unit (nothing fancy just a cheapy model), and a nice set of component speakers and have a professional install it all. If it's a pro job, it should take a day to install.
Steve

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Mike Did anyone check speaker phasing, easy to do, just reverse leads on one speaker and listen to see if it sounds better?
--

73
Hank WD5JFR

"Michael Sovitzky" < snipped-for-privacy@c-gconsulting.com> wrote in message
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To be more precise than listening: Find out which wire is the + lead, easy to find out by going here: http://tinyurl.com/dobwk . Noting that Left Rear (+) is brown, Right Rear (+) is Dark Blue. Take a AA battery, hook it to the speaker, (+) to one terminal, (-) to the other, watch the speaker move. If it pushes out, the (+) of the battery is connected to the (+) terminal on the speaker, so hook the brown or dark blue wire to that terminal depending on which side you are working on. If it pulls in, revese the battery, it will push out. Alpine speakers are labeled (+) and (-) however, they also use different size terminals, big for (+) and small for (-).
Steve

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Good idea but some caveats. If the wires, or connectors are incorrectly done or speakers mislabelled you'll cahse your tail. Its very easy to hear two speakers out of phase with ordinary ears. Hank

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True enough. I assumed all the labels were correct on mine, worked fine, but then again, nothing in my car is factory. I tested afterwards using IASCA test CD. There is a phase test on there.
As for listening, out of phase speakers sound diffused and difficult to locate where the sound is coming from on the sound stage.
Steve

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Out of phase, no presence and no brilliance. Just about anyone can tell something is wrong.

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