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09/04/2005

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 It is always a pleasant surprise when a newcomer first sits in a Granada and turns on the radio. There is a good sound image, with clear tones and good bass. The sound system was even good enough to rate a mention by car hacks in the motoring press. In all of my four Granadas I left the speakers as they were, but I once fitted a CD changer and a Sony head unit.

It was with some disappointment then that I first heard the sound system in the Scorpio Ultima Estate. The front speakers are the business; with tweeters built into the speakers in the front doors rather than separate in the dashboard like the Granada, but the rear speakers were virtually silent. If I dialed in enough bias to hear them, there was virtually no volume left for the front.

I do a lot of very long journeys and I like my sounds, so something had to be done.

I removed the plastic floor trim, pulled off the two trim plugs on the floor, loosened the plastic side trim and pulled the side luggage panels away to gain access to the rear speakers. And horrible little fibre things they were, too. 20w at 4 ohms is all they were good for. I rather suspect that a previous owner had purloined the speakers before giving the car back, because these pathetic things donít look like premium speakers to me.

Simply adding better speakers would not necessarily have improved the system much. The rear speakers are some ten feet away from the front seats, and some power was needed to provide enough sound to drive through to the front.

I decided on a Sony XM502X amplifier. This has high level (speaker) as well as RCA (pre-amplified) inputs which are necessary because the Ford 7000 unit is not equipped with the pre-amp outputs I would rather use.

 For the speakers, I chose Pioneer TS-A6956 6X9s. With some careful positioning, they would just about fit in the available space. It was worth this extra effort because the three-way 6X9 speaker is about the best overall sound you can get for your money, IMHO.  At 150W max they would be driven by an amplifier at 100 watts per channel max. You should aim to have a speaker rated at about 25% greater than the power of your output. This way thereís no distortion or melted speaker coils if you turn it up to the max! 

EricR

 

 

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