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Getting the Most out of Component Speakers


JL Audio components

Another common question is about improving the sound and/or balance of component speakers in a vehicle. Here are some common issues and methods to correct them.

Tweeters sound harsh or bright

  • Check passive crossovers for level adjustment (attenuation) of tweeters. Try lowering the level of the tweeters in relation to the midrange speakers.

JL Audio passive crossover

  • Avoid large separation between the tweeter and midrange speaker. This can often make the tweeters sound overwhelming in relation to the midrange.  It's ideal to keep the tweeter and midrange as close as possible.
  • Avoid pointing tweeters at close reflective surfaces such as glass windshields.
  • Consider soft dome tweeters (often silk) rather than a hard dome tweeter (typically metal such as aluminum or titanium).  Soft dome tweeters tend to be smoother out of the box (not that metal domes cannot sound smooth with tuning).

Midrange/Mid Bass is weak or undefined

  • Make sure midrange is mounted to flat surface.
  • If a gasket is not provided with the speakers apply foam tape to the bottom of the mounting flange for a better seal when mounted.
  • Treat the midrange mounting locations with sound deadener. Take care to seal all holes near the mounting surface of the speaker to decrease the likelihood of cancellation (read more about Improving Mid Bass).
  • Check the crossover point on amplifier to ensure that the High Pass setting is not too high, limiting the midrange speaker’s lower range. 80 Hz is a good starting point for most midrange speakers.
  • Flip the polarity of the midrange speakers. Sometimes reversing the polarity on one side increases midbass.
  • Check the passive crossovers for midrange adjustment (presence) capability. Try different positions to see if they improve midrange.

JL Audio passive crossover

  • If the midrange speakers are designed for free air application, make sure they are not in a very small enclosed space. This could limit their low frequency capability.
  • If using a subwoofer, make sure that the subwoofer Low Pass crossover point is matched up in relation to the Midrange speaker’s High Pass crossover point. 80 Hz is a good starting point.
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