Speaker Locations & Head Unit Wiring

Majoraslayer

Original poster
Member
Oct 18, 2012
28
I just got my '03 TB less than a week ago, and the first thing I decided to do was replace the stock H/U with my aftermarket CD player.

The stock radio wasn't installed long enough for me to notice if the rear speakers worked with it, or if they just stopped working when I installed the aftermarket CD player. Either way, they don't work now. I've noticed that seems to be a common problem, so I'll probably find out more when I reach the point to install my aftermarket speakers. Its not a huge deal anyway; my final goal is to install all new door speakers and run them off of a 4-channel amp, so they may receive new wires directly to the amp anyway. I do have a couple of questions, and if I've overlooked a topic where these have been answered, please forgive me.

1) This may seem dumb, but are there any factory speaker locations other than the dash tweeters and the door speakers? Mine is an EXT model, non-BOSE, and I was curious if the third row got an extra set hidden somewhere.

2) What is the purpose of the black plug that goes into the back of the stock head unit? I picked up one of the wiring adapter units at Walmart that retain the chime etc., and I noticed it doesn't include anything to plug the black plug into. My TB doesn't have OnStar, or (unfortunately) steering wheel controls. Do the rear speakers run through this plug by any chance, and thats why I don't have rear sound?

3) I'm assuming the door speaker holes should fit about 6.5". What size are the tweeters?

4) My aftermarket 4-ch amp provides 60-watt RMS to each individual channel. I found some blue Pyle 3-way speakers on eBay that seem to be matched to those capabilities for fairly cheap; has anyone had any experience with Pyle speakers powered by an amp other than their head unit? If so, how did they sound/last? Most of the negative reviews I've read seemed to be about pushing them with factory head units.

5) I keep getting conflicting information on it, so once and for all, does the non-BOSE system have a factory amp?

Thanks for any tips you can provide!
 

Border Walker

Member
Oct 13, 2012
18
I can't really answer any of these questions as I'm learning to, but I still got all of my four speakers to work. They didn't work at first, but I noticed that after I had to get a burnt out wire replaced, they worked again. Just a fair warning.
 

BRomanJr

Member
Dec 9, 2011
371
Majoraslayer said:
I just got my '03 TB less than a week ago, and the first thing I decided to do was replace the stock H/U with my aftermarket CD player.

The stock radio wasn't installed long enough for me to notice if the rear speakers worked with it, or if they just stopped working when I installed the aftermarket CD player. Either way, they don't work now. I've noticed that seems to be a common problem, so I'll probably find out more when I reach the point to install my aftermarket speakers. Its not a huge deal anyway; my final goal is to install all new door speakers and run them off of a 4-channel amp, so they may receive new wires directly to the amp anyway. I do have a couple of questions, and if I've overlooked a topic where these have been answered, please forgive me.

1) This may seem dumb, but are there any factory speaker locations other than the dash tweeters and the door speakers? Mine is an EXT model, non-BOSE, and I was curious if the third row got an extra set hidden somewhere.

No other locations even in the EXT and SS.

2) What is the purpose of the black plug that goes into the back of the stock head unit? I picked up one of the wiring adapter units at Walmart that retain the chime etc., and I noticed it doesn't include anything to plug the black plug into. My TB doesn't have OnStar, or (unfortunately) steering wheel controls. Do the rear speakers run through this plug by any chance, and thats why I don't have rear sound?

That plug is for XM Radio, OnStar works through the Data line. (on the 2004-up anyway) All speakers run through the one plug.

3) I'm assuming the door speaker holes should fit about 6.5". What size are the tweeters?

That is what I hear, a lot of members using the 6.5. Don't know the tweeter size, looks like 3-3.5 to me.

4) My aftermarket 4-ch amp provides 60-watt RMS to each individual channel. I found some blue Pyle 3-way speakers on eBay that seem to be matched to those capabilities for fairly cheap; has anyone had any experience with Pyle speakers powered by an amp other than their head unit? If so, how did they sound/last? Most of the negative reviews I've read seemed to be about pushing them with factory head units.

No experience with that.

5) I keep getting conflicting information on it, so once and for all, does the non-BOSE system have a factory amp?

Thanks for any tips you can provide!

No amp without Bose, all the work is done in the head unit. This means the wires at the HU go directly to the speakers. Unfortunately, without Bose, there are no existing wires to the dash for the addition of speakers.
 

tblazerdude

Member
Dec 4, 2011
321
lol, do not ever buy "pyle" or "pyramid" or any of those kind of brands. If you are looking to save some money and learn about what you need for your truck try Crutchfield: Car Stereo, Speakers, Home Theater, LCD TV, Digital Cameras. They have helpful videos and how-to's. I always like to price match crutchfield with Car Audio Stereo - Car Subwoofers - Car Amplifiers and Speakers and Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. When I installed my amp (off the factory head unit) I used the factory speaker wiring. It was more than adequate to handle 75w RMS/channel.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
6.5's will work in your doors, i have them in all of mine... and if your nonBOSE, you should not have tweeters in your dash, and no you dont have an amp...

and my philosophy about cheap products... basically do it right the first time, and buy the items once... Pyle is a name brand product, but just not at the top of the list, say compared to Kicker, Pioneer, Polk Audio, Rockford Fosgate, etc...
 

Majoraslayer

Original poster
Member
Oct 18, 2012
28
Well, as far as pricing goes, you can spend up to three times as much as you need to for speakers. A lot of that stuff is made for competition-level sound systems, and that isn't necessarily what I'm going for. I just want a nice, full, and rich sound I can comfortably rock out to on a long trip. Or, when the mood strikes, maybe get a good thump from some of my older CDs.

But, my point isn't to argue; those are good brand recommendations. I just didn't know much about Pyle; I had heard of them, but never tried them. I don't want to overspend, but I don't want junk either.

I'm thinking about just starting my sound system from scratch and using the parts I currently have in another vehicle. While browsing on here I learned that you can buy amps with more than four channels (I know thats dumb, but they don't sell them locally). Rather than use the spaghetti of wiring and giant sub box from my last setup, I think I want to clean things up a bit and use one amp with a lower profile sub box than my current one.

The amp I'm considering is a 5-channel Jensen. I've heard of Jensen for headphones and home audio; how are they on quality with car audio? I may try to find a 6-channel if I can find a way to comfortably fit two subs in the rear. Unless you lower the third row seats, the EXT doesn't give a lot of room to work with in the cargo area. I don't want to install something that I'll have to move around every time I use the third row seats, and I don't want to run completely out of storage if I do use the rear seats.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
Majoraslayer said:
Well, as far as pricing goes, you can spend up to three times as much as you need to for speakers. A lot of that stuff is made for competition-level sound systems, and that isn't necessarily what I'm going for.

The amp I'm considering is a 5-channel Jensen. I've heard of Jensen for headphones and home audio; how are they on quality with car audio? .

you must not be used to searching then :raspberry:... you're right, you can spend way more money then you bargin for... but thats just due to you (or the consumer in general) not knowing about the products on the market... there are PLENTY of name brand speakers out there well within a budget thats comparible to what you're looking for... for example... I have AutoTek components in each of my doors (6.5" speaker with a tweeter and crossover) and i paid $40 for a pair.. so $80 total for my door swap... and that was over 2 years ago now...

and Jensen... :rotfl::crackup: IMO they're lower the pyle :rotfl:.. i had a Jensen radio.. lasted all but about 3 months for me before it crapped out... my recommendations.. stay away from Jensen... others have success, but most dont... so it's up to you
 

Majoraslayer

Original poster
Member
Oct 18, 2012
28
This is the first system I've actually built online, so no, I haven't shopped around a lot until recently. Most of what I've built in the past was scrapped together from what I could find at Walmart, back when they first started selling Sony Xplode stuff. To be fair, I built that system in 2008, and with the exception of upgrading the head unit, it lasted until I traded it away with the speakers last week. I kept the amps, sub, and head unit, so if I don't start from scratch I could just find more door speakers and it would still serve its purpose. That may still be what I do, if I find a smaller box that will fit my sub.
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
For A build On a Budget, I will always recommend the Kicker DS series(DS650 in the TB) Best speaker for the money $44 on ebay daily.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
Majoraslayer said:
This is the first system I've actually built online, so no, I haven't shopped around a lot until recently. Most of what I've built in the past was scrapped together from what I could find at Walmart, back when they first started selling Sony Xplode stuff. To be fair, I built that system in 2008, and with the exception of upgrading the head unit, it lasted until I traded it away with the speakers last week. I kept the amps, sub, and head unit, so if I don't start from scratch I could just find more door speakers and it would still serve its purpose. That may still be what I do, if I find a smaller box that will fit my sub.

ahhhh the days of Sony... i too had Xplode speakers, well subs, and amps :rotfl:... they served there purpose well... but times have changed...

whatever you find, feel free to post it up for us to offer our advise and opinions to help you on a decision if you're uncertain on which to get...
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
Majoraslayer said:
Do the rear speakers run through this plug by any chance, and thats why I don't have rear sound?

If your EXT has rear seat audio, the signal for both rear speakers goes through the rear HVAC controller.
 

Majoraslayer

Original poster
Member
Oct 18, 2012
28
MAY03LT said:
If your EXT has rear seat audio, the signal for both rear speakers goes through the rear HVAC controller.

By "rear seat audio", are you referring to rear audio controls? If so, mine doesn't have that; just the HVAC controls.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
Yes indeedy. In those RSA units the signal to the rear speakers are turned off when the rear system is used. There have been reports where the switch in the unit sticks and keeps the rear speakers off.
 

Majoraslayer

Original poster
Member
Oct 18, 2012
28
Well, I've not found any audio controls in the rear, so I'm assuming I won't have this problem. If I'm misreading your post, just let me know. Either way, I'll probably start by hooking up a test speaker to the rear wiring to see if the speakers are blown or if there is a wiring problem.

I finally settled on some 6.5" Dual TS65 3-way speakers. You can criticize the brand all you want for shoddy manufacturing, but I had these particular speakers for years. I bought a set of them in 2007 and transferred them between 4 vehicles over the years. They always sounded great and are still working great, but I unfortunately sold that set with my old Blazer. I just found out Amazon has them on sale for $30 per pair, and they are exactly matched to my amp's specs (RMS and Peak Power). My experience is apparently common, as most of the reviews are very positive. In fact, the specs AND reviews are better than a lot of the more expensive Pioneer and Alpine speakers I looked at.

The glow feature looks pretty cool, but I didn't use it after the first vehicle I installed them in. I didn't want to cut up door panels to show them off and they tend to be blinding at night, so I'll probably leave that feature disconnected in the Trailblazer as well.
 

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