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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys - just bought a 2012 S and went for some audio upgrades right off the bat. Shopped all speakers and parts online but had a shop do the installation. Basic setup as follows:

Head unit: Kenwood KDC-BT955HD
Front speakers: Kicker CSS69 2-way 6x9 components
Rear speakers: Kicker CS65 6.5" coaxials
Sub: Polk MM12 @ 500W RMS
Amp: Mono Pioneer GM-D9601

Opted to power the speakers from head unit (at least for now) to save some cash. Problem I'm having is the components up front seem pretty unbalanced. Tweets are too bright--seems like volume is considerably higher than on the front woofers so I'm ending up with really crappy mids and distorted range. The woofers themselves are practically on the floor given the Xterra's door design but really expended them to put out a lot more sound either way. Put new tweeters in factory dash location.

Is this a crossover issue? I know they're underpowered but the lack of range seems too pronounced to just be an amp issue. Thoughts on fixes would be much appreciated!
 

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Although I have no idea whatsoever about how to balance sound properly, my X has a full alpine speaker and deck system in it with 2 12" subs in the back.sounds amazing. but can you put something like a resistor in between the front tweets and the deck? forgive my ignorance.
 

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Tweets are too bright--seems like volume is considerably higher than on the front
According to the specs for the front speakers (you're calling them woofers?), the tweeters have 3 adjustable levels:

external crossover network with 3 tweeter levels (0, +3, +6 dB)
I suspect that they come from the factory set to +6dB.
Try a lower setting.

No idea if the "dash board tweets" are the issue.

ETA: My limited experience with Kicker speakers (from friends vehicles) is that they require quite a bit of power to perform. Perhaps the head unit isn't supplying enough at low volume to provide the sound experience you are expecting?
 

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Speakers might be out of phase. Not sure how technically inclined you are but you could check the polarity of both front speakers(+/- is wired the same to each speaker). If its not the same on both, the speakers will be out of phase with eachother and the sound will be distorted and bass response will be pretty muddy. Play with the EQ in the deck too. That Kenwood head has a ton of adjustment and presets you can play with. Im no expert by any means but if youre on here asking it probably doesn't sound like it should in a pretty bad way. Swing back to the shop and ask them to listen. Should be on them to get it sounding the way you paid for it to sound.
 

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When I went aftermarket in my X with a high end Pioneer HU the sound quality was awful until I did some custom equalizer tuning. The presets sounded like garbage so I would recommend give this a try first before spending any money on anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Really helpful, thanks guys. I'm betting it's the tweeter DB settings, just annoying that the crossovers have to be pulled back out to adjust. In the mean time I'll fiddle with the EQ some more but am not super optimistic I can fully correct it that way, and as far as I can tell the Kenwood doesn't allow for adjustments between the tweeters and attached woofers (meaning the front door speakers since they are components), just front/back/sub and right/left.

On a slightly unrelated note, anyone that's put in an aftermarket stereo in the 2009 and up have any issues with the fit on the dash kit? I went Metra and while it looks good, it's apparently a little tight around my windshield defroster button and keeps hanging up despite removing it a couple times to adjust. Just curious if others have had that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I went aftermarket in my X with a high end Pioneer HU the sound quality was awful until I did some custom equalizer tuning. The presets sounded like garbage so I would recommend give this a try first before spending any money on anything else.
Interesting, sounds like a similar issue. Did you add aftermarket speakers as well? I'm far from a pro on this stuff - what EQ adjustments turned it around for you? Did you get into band and crossover setting adjustments or just play around with levels and gains?
 

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Take a minute and bring the manual out with you and play with the deck. Im betting there is a ton more you can adjust than you're finding. Kenwood has a boat load of EQ options and sound adjustment. Not just front/rear/bass and all that. You can set just about anything including Hz response to each speaker. It might not work to fix your problem but youll get to know your head unit and once its ironed out you'll enjoy it more. Good luck and happy modding:eek:ccasion5:
 

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play with your crossover. I have components up front also but mine are powered by a power acoustic amp. It was a matter of adjusting to cross over. The location of the tweeters has a lot to do with the setting on the cross over as far has how loud they sound in respect to your proximity to that tweeter.

I have mine set at a natural db +0 and even had to adjust the high pass filter on my head unit along with digital EQ. Having a adjustable cross over and a adjustable digital EQ in your head unit will allow for a proper tone. You just gotta play around.

Once or if you add an amp to those front speakers....your amp too will have a fully adjustable EQ.

Its really a matter of tuning.....think of a piano out of tune, you gotta turn them chords until it becomes back into tune... same with your truck, you have to sit down...play some high fidelity music and make adjustments. My pioneer avic d3 has different EQ profiles I can setup for rock, hip hop, jazz, whatever. That is the major advantage of a aftermarket head unit. Full customization of music and tone.
 

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I still have the stock speakers running on an Alpine Headunit, Alpine Amp, and an Infinity Basslink in the bak. Sounds very ruch and full. Not going to win any bass competitions.
 

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Hey guys - just bought a 2012 S and went for some audio upgrades right off the bat. Shopped all speakers and parts online but had a shop do the installation. Basic setup as follows:

Head unit: Kenwood KDC-BT955HD
Front speakers: Kicker CSS69 2-way 6x9 components
Rear speakers: Kicker CS65 6.5" coaxials
Sub: Polk MM12 @ 500W RMS
Amp: Mono Pioneer GM-D9601

Opted to power the speakers from head unit (at least for now) to save some cash. Problem I'm having is the components up front seem pretty unbalanced. Tweets are too bright--seems like volume is considerably higher than on the front woofers so I'm ending up with really crappy mids and distorted range. The woofers themselves are practically on the floor given the Xterra's door design but really expended them to put out a lot more sound either way. Put new tweeters in factory dash location.

Is this a crossover issue? I know they're underpowered but the lack of range seems too pronounced to just be an amp issue. Thoughts on fixes would be much appreciated!
i work at a stereo shop in arkansas idk how you hooked yours up but to really make your fronts the way they need to be you have to hardwire them straight to the head unit. nissans in general use some wired crossovers and the only way to really make things right is to hard wire them when putting in aftermarket speakers. :eek:ccasion5:
 

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Interesting, sounds like a similar issue. Did you add aftermarket speakers as well? I'm far from a pro on this stuff - what EQ adjustments turned it around for you? Did you get into band and crossover setting adjustments or just play around with levels and gains?
No I just put in the HU and backup camera, I had to do the custom graphic equalizer which lets you adjust each channel. From what I remember I had to increase both the low end and high end with minor adjustments in the middle. I don't know if yours lets you do that but here's a video showing my controls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWbeyeEl3OE

I think I also decreased some across the middle according to whatever sounded better. When I started playing with I had no idea what I was doing but I can say you'll be a pro in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wanted to post a quick update since you guys were kind enough to give me some tips.

Decided first step was to search for the crossovers so I could check the tweeter volume setting and make sure it wasn't set to +6 db. Pulled off a door panel, pulled out the tweeters themselves, and pulled out the dash kit - of course, no crossovers to be found.

Started playing with the EQ/crossover settings and made some progress. It's hard to argue with the overall sound, it's just a matter of expectations, as many of you know that have installed aftermarket parts. Tracks with a lot of high and low end sound great...tracks that really sit mostly in the mids don't have quite the same punch. But overall an improvement after playing with EQ, so thanks for the suggestions.

Took it back to the shop as well, because figured it made sense to have them double check the fundamentals in the install (phase, etc.), and mainly cause I was mystified about the crossovers. Turns out they put them behind the kick plates, which apparently takes a good deal of excavation. And they set them to +3 db, which they insisted would be better in the long run (probably because they didn't want to dig them back out).

Anyway, still have some fine tuning to do but I think the upshot is you can only do so much with components running on head unit power, especially in the Xterra where the door speakers are practically on the floor and you're sitting pretty high. For what it's worth, the shop guys thought it sounded great (take that with a grain of salt for sure).
 
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