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I've got a 2001 4 door Focus SE with the very basic factory speakers/single CD player. The unit works fine, although the speakers sound mad poppy, and at high volume I need to lower the base to refrain from destroying the speakers. I'm not exactly sure what the wattage handling is, but the result su*ks.

My birthday is comin' up. My goal is adding richness, volume, and base by replacing the amp and four speakers. I'm looking at a 4 channel amp with a decent increase in wattage, bringing the new total to 400-600 watts. Additionally, I'm investigating 6"x8" three-ways for each door.

I'm skeptical about the improvement in sound these changes will bring, compared to the current basic factory setup. I'm also skeptical about a 5 channel amp with subwoofer output. I like the idea of a subwoofer in the trunk, but don't want trunk rattling to interfere with sound quality.

Any ideas? Please let me know what you think. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Gabriel, from NJ
 

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Hey Gabriel,

You have plenty of options for improving your sound, it only depends on how much you are going to spend on it. Just give us a bulk figure how much you have in mind.

You can add an aftermarket deck which already has at least 4x50 Watts (4x22 RMS) output with the 3-way 6x8s you are considering. That would be a simple change and would improve your sound considerably. For like 300 bucks you can get a very good Alpine, Eclipse, Pioneer, etc deck. For about 100 a pair you can get some nice 6x8s as well, so the overall would be like 500 bucks and installation.

If you want more you can also get a 4-channel amp to power your speakers, but if you are going this way I would recommend to get some nice 5 1/4" components at least for the front stage instead of the 6x8s. If you want to add a sub, you can either go with a mono sub amplifier as an addition to the 4 channel or you can get a nice 5 channel amp.

About rattling in your trunk, don't worry as if the sub is installed correctly you should be fine.
 

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400 - 600 watts seems like alot for just the 4 door speakers, especially if you'r not gonna replace the HU. your best increase in sound quality is definitly gonna have to start with a new head unit. just adding 400- 600 watts worth of amplifier (I'm assuming you're refering to actual "usable" RMS watttages, not peak..) to the stock head unit with some new speakers is prolly still gonna sound like ass. loud, mind you, but nasty. for the cost, I'd say your best bet is a high power head unit (4x50 W peak) then a small amp pushin 1 or 2 10's in the trunk (if you listen to rock, 10's sound much better than 12's. much tighter..) I'm runnin a 500w amp pushin 2 10's, my only complaint is the bandpass enclosure i have the subs in. It would be great in a hatch, bit a sealed box would've been better for the SE....



on the other hand, if you really want 4-600 watts upfront, (again, i'm assummin you mean usable RMS, not peak....) then for god sakes, dont blow your whole budget on amps/speakers and remember to insulate the poor doors....
 

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Mr. Wizard
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Shouldn't have a problem with the trunk rattling...I have a 2002 SE with my system, and the worse I get is the liscense plate rattle every now and then (can be fixed by attaching some foam tape to the back of the plate. Otherwise, these are my recommendations.

  1. New Head Unit, nothing will make as much of a difference to the existing stock system as a new head unit. This will also make system expansion much easier in the future if you get a unit with at least two pairs of Pre-outs. My favorites are Eclipse, and Kenwood. There are many others that are good also.
  2. New door speakers. This will allow you to increase the volume load without having to worry too much about blowouts. 6x8's are great for the back doors, components (5 1/4") would be ideal for the front but aren't an absolute must. My personal favorites are Blaupunkt, Rockford Fosgate, and Eclipse. Again there are many others that are good also.
  3. Amplifiers. This is when things start to get tricky. I wouldn't get a 4-channel all by itself. You are going to most likely notice a fair amount of low frequency loss when you do this, since the crossovers will be higher than the speakers should reasonably be able to handle. I would either go with a 5-channel and get the sub at the same time, or I'd go with the 4-channel and a mono sub. This way you can make up for the loss of low frequency with some good dedicated bass. My favorites here are Directed, Rockford Fosgate, and Eclipse.
  4. Subwoofer. Like above, I'd get it at the same time that I amp-power the rest of my system. This is really a matter of personal taste however on your own part, if you want lots of bass, then you'll want different things. I like a rich, deep, smooth bass that is very clean, and reproduces sub-bass frequencies very well, with a nice crisp response. I have a Rockford Fosgate dual voice coil ten. For lots of power handling, Eclipse makes a real nice titanium cone sub, I hear alot of things about JL as well, although I'm not very fond of them. Make sure you get a good box for your sub, this will make or break the sound quality.
  5. Most important have fun, this is your system make it like you want it to be.
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I agree with RPIJG... Get a new head unit first, then new speakers. Listen to this first then if it is still not loud or clear enough, then get amps for the speakers.Then think about subs.
 

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Replacing stock speakers in 2003 Ford Focus SE

My 2003 Ford Focus SE 4 door sedan has a 6 X 8 speaker in each door. If you're considering replacing the stock speakers, here's a few things you should know:

Replacing the head unit is a breeze using DIN removal tools. My head unit developed a faulty LCD display, so I replaced it myself using an aftermarket kit.

But if you get ambitious and want to upgrade the speakers, that's another matter. When you look at the interior speaker grille, you can see that a portion of the grille is "open" to let sound pass through. Unfortunately, Ford didn't center the speakers beneath the "open" part. The speakers are surrounded by foam, and held in place by four 6mm bolts. There is another grille over the stock paper cone speaker which has tiny holes, obviously to prevent water from getting into the speaker. You cannot remove the grille.

Unless you know how to remove the door panels yourself, have a shop do it. If a speaker malfunctions, the door panel will have to be removed to replace it. In my experience, when door panels that are mostly plastic are detached, they never seem to fit quite as snug when they're re-installed, but you really don't have an option.

Unless you want to invest a substantial sum in labor ($130.00 to $150.00 or more for the front and rear), I'd leave the stock speakers alone. But whatever you do, don't cut into the door panel yourself to try to reach the stock speakers. The problem is the composition of the door panel: it's a thin layer of vinyl which covers a layer of foam that covers an industrial plastic compound that is very difficult to cut with ordinary tools.

Ford's design for the speaker housing for this model is the worst I've ever seen. The speaker grille isn't molded into the door panel. It's actually held on by plastic "bolts" inserted from the rear of the door panel. It would have cost Ford a few cents in parts to have made the stock speakers accessible from the front of the door panel.
 

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My 2003 Ford Focus SE 4 door sedan has a 6 X 8 speaker in each door. If you're considering replacing the stock speakers, here's a few things you should know:

Replacing the head unit is a breeze using DIN removal tools. My head unit developed a faulty LCD display, so I replaced it myself using an aftermarket kit.

But if you get ambitious and want to upgrade the speakers, that's another matter. When you look at the interior speaker grille, you can see that a portion of the grille is "open" to let sound pass through. Unfortunately, Ford didn't center the speakers beneath the "open" part. The speakers are surrounded by foam, and held in place by four 6mm bolts. There is another grille over the stock paper cone speaker which has tiny holes, obviously to prevent water from getting into the speaker. You cannot remove the grille.

Unless you know how to remove the door panels yourself, have a shop do it. If a speaker malfunctions, the door panel will have to be removed to replace it. In my experience, when door panels that are mostly plastic are detached, they never seem to fit quite as snug when they're re-installed, but you really don't have an option.

Unless you want to invest a substantial sum in labor ($130.00 to $150.00 or more for the front and rear), I'd leave the stock speakers alone. But whatever you do, don't cut into the door panel yourself to try to reach the stock speakers. The problem is the composition of the door panel: it's a thin layer of vinyl which covers a layer of foam that covers an industrial plastic compound that is very difficult to cut with ordinary tools.

Ford's design for the speaker housing for this model is the worst I've ever seen. The speaker grille isn't molded into the door panel. It's actually held on by plastic "bolts" inserted from the rear of the door panel. It would have cost Ford a few cents in parts to have made the stock speakers accessible from the front of the door panel.
I have a ford focus 2003 sedan. How much watt does the stock speaker support? Also is there a amp seperate from the radio on my car? I'm thinking
about replacing radio but want to keep the stock speakers. Here what my radio look. http://www.ecarshawaii.com/images/hosted/2003-ford-focus-zx3/2003-focus-zx3-21.JPG
 
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