Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trivia and a Mystery Solved: the Kenwood Sound Cruising System

So I was looking for something on the internet, R33 GT-R related of course, and found this:
Huh? Well upon reading the description at this person's blog, I found out that these were the tweeters for the optional "Kenwood Sound Cruising System" which was a factory option for R33 GT-Rs (note: it was the only stereo system offered on the limited edition Autech 4 door R33 GT-R).  Of course I had seen passing reference to this in the catalog, but c'mon, the best sound in a GT-R is the RB26DETT, right? So I hadn't paid much attention until now.

Intrigued, I searched a bit more, and found this photo of the amp for this Kenwood system.  The description claimed that this amp was apparently situated "on top of" where the fuel pump is - in other words, in the trunk, on the right side of where the battery is located.
Here it is, removed.
The head unit though, didn't appear to be anything too special, an AM/FM/CD with CD changer controls:
Check out the photo of the interior front and you can see the tweeters in the A-pillars too.
Anyway, this solved a long standing mystery for me. You see, a while back I had spotted some faint markings on the inside of the A-pillars:
It's very faint, and not indented... just a suggested cut-out template?

Initially, I thought this was used to access something on the inside of the pillars...I was going to investigate but then promptly forgot about doing so.  But now, I finally know what these were supposed to be used for!

Very natural and OEM looking, I wonder if it’s possible to order just these tweeter covers? Of course it’s probably better to retro fit with better aftermarket tweeters, but the covers are cool.

But here is my question to all of you audio experts out there - if Kenwood and Nissan decided to put the tweeters here, does this mean that this exact location is the best location for tweeters? Say if I was to, sometime in the future, upgrade the Pioneer tweeters I put next to the door mirror covers, would moving tweeters to the A-pillar result in an improvement in sound (assuming all other variables remain the same)?

Looking forward to some input! Thanks and stay tuned, should have some more updates soon!


マット said...

I personally think as long as the tweeters are placed near ear level, and not drowned out like the stock speaker location at knee level, then it will sound fine.

Cars with the B&O sound system have the tweeters rise up from the dash at both corners. Some cars have one rise up from the centre of the dash too. I suppose having it on the dash is the ideal location, as it best mimics the location of conventional speakers placed in a room (rather than having them on the sides).

In any case, find a system that have the tweeters angled towards you for the best sound. I haven't seen the A-pillar versions in person, but to me, it seems like the tweeters fire sound at each other rather than to the listener.

Aki said...

Hi マット

Well yeah that's what I thought too, hence I mounted the Pioneer tweeters I have now right next to the triangular plate that covers the side view mirror area, and aimed them at me. BUT, I've seen reference in various audiophile forums that in cars, sometimes it's good to aim the tweeters at each other, for soundstage reasons. Guess I have some studying to do... thanks for the comment! (and no, while tempting I won't be going the rising tweeter route LOL...)

Karl said...

Mine also has this shape in it, so I have just had an 'ooooh' moment.

Michael said...

These were actually designed for the factory clarion system though I guess they would've have been used for some optional systems as well(Although a couple of dealer option setups I've seen install the tweeters in holes cut in the door cards :S). I parted out a '94 ECR33 that had these with tiny clarion tweeters and brackets that bolted onto the A pillars, if you pull your A pillar trim off at any point you'll see a brownish plug attached near the bottom which is for these Clarion tweeters. I still have the tweeters and the trim pieces that slot in those holes if you'd like to see some photos

Aki said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for commenting, and YES would love to see those photos you have! I did recently see a wiring diagram and was astounded to learn that the stock Nissan wiring harness has the wiring pre-done for those pillar tweeters... in all cars! I wonder if they are quality enough to use with high end tweeters?


PS you can email me at aitoh at hotmail, thanks!