Jump to content

Upgrade speakers?

Recommended Posts

Is worth it to upgrade the speakers in a 97 Legacy L wagon?

I have the stock 80W head unit and no amps/subs.


Also, does the 80W rating mean RMS or peak? I know nothing about car audio, a lot about home audio...



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You would not ruin a set of new speakers by having an underpowered head unit, you just wouldn't get the maximum capacity of movement out of them...making less sound/dBs. Sounds like you are planning on using your stock headunit.....so my input may not be very helpful. But, I put 4 Alpine SPS-610's in my doors, each running at 125W I believe, and they sound great when powered by my Alpine CDA-107 (or some low number) deck. They are worth checking out, if you can get a good deal on them.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I hope will be a quick tutorial on power (watts), volume and speakers.

Smallest decibel change in volume human ear can hear = 3 decibels

Wattage change to get 3 db increase is DOUBLE existing wattage. meaning if an 80 watt amp won't play loud enough for you a 160 watt amp will only be 3 db louder. Usually much more bang for buck to get more effecient speakers - particularly for home audio - Klipsch horns anyone?


What generally "blows" speakers is an under powered amp being driven too loud into distortion. Speakers are designed along a power handling curve with most power in the bass region and much less in the high range. When an amplifier distorts or clips they typically shift energy into the higher frequencies - bye-bye tweeter. This is regardless of the wattage rating of the speaker.


I once worked at a highend audio store and would routinely demonstrate this by playing a Phase Linear 1000 watt amp into a set of "15 watt" JVC car speakers with meters showing 500 watt per channel peaks. The speakers could handle the power for a short period of time (minutes), didn't play too long as the voice coil would then begin to overheat. This is where the wattage rating of the speaker comes in. The JVC speakers were designed to handle 15 watts continous power.


Long story short, if your components are reasonably matched and the sound is not distorting you are unlikely to hurt either your amp or speakers. If it is distorting something is looking for an excuse to blow.

As always - use this information at your own risk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use