Monday, June 22, 2020

New Speakers - Kenwood Sound Cruising System?

In an earlier recent post, I mentioned that I had begun researching speakers and speaker locations after I had removed the overly complicated Pioneer CyberNavi system, and that I was looking to replace it with a simpler 1 DIN deck.

And yes, one of the tasks for Nismo Omori Factory this time is to remove that mess of wiring, remove the Morels in the A pillars and the doors, and move the old 3 way coaxial Pioneers in the rear deck to the front doors, so that whatever deck I choose can be installed very easily.  But these Pioneers are not a permanent solution, as I'm sure there are newer speakers on the market that provide better sound quality.

In my research for new speakers, one option I DID in fact think about was the optional Kenwood Sound Cruising system, which in fact was standard on the 4 door Autech GT-R (and it's something I became aware of several years ago). Described in the catalogs as "200W, 8 speakers, 1 DIN AM/FM electronic tuner, single CD player (with CD auto changer capability)" putting something like this back in my car would be cool - OEM yet digital sound, and with 8 speakers!

Buttons look faded, and the scratches on the display...
Ah, but what about the speakers? We would need good ones for digital sound, right? Well, previously.  I had discovered the fronts are separates and go into the A pillar and that all cars are prewired for it.

But I had never realized (despite the description of 8 speakers) that the REAR deck speakers were also a bit different than the norm, until I came across this on Facebook.
Credit to someone on Facebook, apologies! Send me your name and I will add...
So my takeaways - looking at this photo, at the very least, these speakers appear to NOT have cones made of paper, but maybe a slightly better plastic (or a plastic coated paper cone)?

Compare with regular OEM speakers from my car that I still had saved!

And it's interesting that the fronts utilize the same plastic door mounts as the regular speakers, but the rears have independent tweeters next to the mids, or maybe they are subs.

Clearly the small tweeters that go up front seem a bit small.
As above, taken from a Facebook post - apologies for the lack of credit (let me know if this is your photo!)
So the question now is, whether these speakers are actually placed optimally with sound quality and imaging in mind, much like the modern systems of today, or whether Nissan put these tweeters here for convenience.  In other words, if I choose separates again to replace the Morel speakers, is this where I should be placing the tweeters?  Somehow I doubt that optimal sound staging was the idea here...

Then again, I have no idea why they decided that separate tweeters were necessary in the rear - it's common knowledge that staging is more of a front position speaker thing, with the rears, if used at all, providing fill.

Further, I'm sure both speaker design and material quality has substantially improved in the 25 years since the Kenwood system was designed.  Those tweeters look very small, so my thinking is that given their sound dynamics, they NEEDED to be placed as high up as possible in order to provide some decent sound.

I'm also curious about the 200W Kenwood amp that came with this system. How good it is and how does it compare to a modern Class D amp?

In any case there was one very simple and OCD reason I decided not to go with this system in the end - if you look at the photo above, you will notice that the white lettering on the buttons has turned brownish orange. If I'm going to go OEM, I'd at minimum want it to look brand new...

And so my search continues...


Jason said...

Depending on how far you want to go, you could have restoration done to the CD player to make it look new.

Something like these examples done by Ito-san

AC Panel (Built by Legends Spoon EG6)

Interior Switches (Built by Legends Spoon EG6)

Interior Panels (R32)

Aki said...

Wow that DOES look fantastic, indeed! I may reach out to him - sharing the same last name, must be a nice guy! lol. Thanks for posting this information!

SashaECR33 said...

Hi aki! I used alpine dddrive, and sound was good! U can check! :)

Aki said...

Thanks Sasha! Very useful information. Something to add to my list!