jglawnyc

Speak(er) Up

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Hi all.  I'm about to upgrade my 1991 Reatta coupe's speakers.  Searched on ROJ, but the shop manual and other sources are confusing.....is it a 4 or 6 speaker system?  The car seems to have 6 places for speakers (left and right upper doors, lower doors and rears).  The shop manual makes reference to a Bose system but I think that's only for the Riviera.  Is it 4 or 6, and does anyone have any speaker recommendations?  ALSO, there are many bits of info I give thanks for in this Reatta community of ours, one is applicable here: on ROJ while researching this speaker topic a few days ago, I came across a posting saying there is a hidden LOUDNESS function for our radios (press down volume and rear fader together).  Now I have significantly better sound AND the radio display which was working on-and-(mostly)-off now functions properly! Thanks one and all for your responses.

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2 hours ago, jglawnyc said:

a few days ago, I came across a posting saying there is a hidden LOUDNESS function for our radios (press down volume and rear fader together).

 

I've never heard that before. I tried it repeatedly this morning on my '88 and I can't get it to work. I wish it would. I guess the radio on latter models is different.

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It is a 6 speaker system and you are correct the Bose was only available on the Riviera.

Each door has a 5 1/4 inch round speaker that is probably shot unless some previous owner replaced them.

There is also a small "tweeter" in the door, seems to be made from different materials and I have never seen a bad one.

In the rear......coupes used 6X9 (pretty sure) and convertibles used 4 X something   again the rear speakers seem to last better than the door speakers.

You can change the door speakers without taking the door panel off......... pry loose the bottom of the door panel and it will flex enough to get your hands and tools in there to remove

the speaker... I use a scrap of 2x4 to hold it out when removing the screws   .it is in a plastic adaptor, unplug the connection and remove the speaker and adaptor together.

Once out remove the speaker from the adaptor.......unsolder the wires from the speaker and transfer them to the new speaker, reverse the procedure.

 

Just notice Ronnie's comments and they probably apply to the 1988-1989 with the CRT radio control

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Ok,  the 90 and 91 model coupes have:

 

5.25" woofers on front doors (down low behind cloth grille) and a component tweeter up high (behind slotted plastic grille). I recommend replacing the woofer and leaving the factory tweeter hooked up, even if you install a 5.25" coaxial or triaxial speaker in the woofer position. If you disconnect the high mount tweeter, imaging and high frequency response will be poor.

 

The rear speakers are common 6x9 type mounted to a plastic adapter panel behind the grille. A good coaxial or triaxial speaker system is recommended, and there are many to choose from.

 

On convertibles, the front speaker complement is the same as on coupes. The rear speakers are 4x10. There are a few models available in this size, but don't expect overwhelming results as a cone that size cannot generate much low end, so your bass response will bottom out around 60-90hz, leaving it sounding a little thin. Good bass performance needs to extend to at least 35Hz, and preferably as low as 20-25 to do a good job of accurately reproducing most music. 

 

If you want really good sound in a convertible, a slimline powered subwoofer (Kicker makes a decent one that isn't obscenely expensive) is pretty well required IMHO, even with new 4x10's installed.

 

As to the purported loudness function, there is no such capability referenced in the Delco service manual for these radios (I have the manual) and the 88/89 uses the same base radio module as 90/91, the difference being that the 90/91 version has it integrated into an assembly with a control panel and in-board tape deck, so all capabilities are identical irrespective of whether it is a CRT car or not.

 

 

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I did the speaker upgrade and it worked out well for me. The difference in sound was amazing and well worth the trouble. The stock Reatta radio unit really puts out a high quality sound and with the right speakers, perfection! I think I used JBL speakers but there are lots of quality speakers out there. Good advise on the subwoofer upgrade. In a convertible it fits perfectly between the trunk and the storage area for the top. The Kicker Bassmaster is the slimmed down version and gits almost anywhere. Tough call whether to mount it in the storage area inside the coupe or in the trunk. Great advise to keep the tweeters in the door. They almost always work and best left alone. Good luck!

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I will try to take a picture tomorrow, there is a" LD" just above the "STEREO" display.  The ROJ forum thread is " 90 Radio has Loudness Control, Really" and the posting is by Tinker, who on 11-29-16 wrote 

 

       " I am an electronic technician, was the service manager in a HiFi Stereo store, and build speaker systems as a hobby. I first got my Reatta in 1995, and was very impressed with the quality of the stock Delco audio system. After a few months I noticed the sound just wasn't as full and rich as I had become accustomed to. It turned out that there are some hidden controls on this radio, and the Loudness had been inadvertently turned off. Here's how to fix it:

Press the "Volume Down" (lower the volume) & "Fade Down" (send more sound to the rear speakers) at the same time. This will restore the loudness so that the audio  sounds as great at low levels as it does at very high levels.
    Another hidden control affects the DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction) for the cassette player. The restore procedure is:
Press the "Volume Up" & the "Fade Up" at the same time.
No, I don't use the cassette player, and Yes, I prefer the CD's
It would be nice to know if any others out there appreciate quality audio."

 

I (jglawnyc)  was amazed at the results.

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jglawnyc , Thanks for the information. I hope someone will verify this will work on all '90-91 models. If so I will add it to ROJ's tutorial section.

 

BTW, It's good to know someone is still reading the ROJ forum. I didn't think so and I've thought about deleting it.

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Posted (edited)

I just tested it on a 91 head unit I have setup on the test bench, and it does work. I did some detailed reading of the service manual and it makes no operational reference to the loudness function. The only thing I can find referenced is that the primary control IC  has two pins labeled "right loud out" and "left loud out". I suspect all this is doing is activating a preset equalizer contour, as the same effect can be achieved by boosting and cutting the equalizer settings.

 

Near as I can tell, the only way to activate this hidden function is via E&C serial data sent to the RIM module, which then internally activates the loudness function via the ICVT chip. The control panel used on 90/91 radios simply takes button presses, converts them to their respective  E&C commands which are then sent to the RIM module,  resulting feedback such as display changes are then returned to the control panel (or CRT in 88/89 cars) to reflect any needed changes.

 

Obviously, the combination button press of VOL down and FADE rear decodes to "loudness on" which indent via E&C command and then acted on by the module. I'll do some playing around to see if this can be done on CRT cars,  but have doubts that it is an available feature unless I can find an undocumented combination of buttons that will do it.

 

In any case,  I'd reiterate that the same effect (essentially a boost of the audio signal primarily in the low and high end) can be achieved by setting the EQ accordingly, making the loudness function redundant. An interesting discovery nonetheless, as this is the first I've ever run across it.

 

 

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)

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I'm using the stock unit from a LeSabre. I like the set up of the radio front better. I still have the AM/FM/Cassette and have a jack [made by Mc_Reatta] for my MP3. And then of course I move my Kicker woofer from car to car.

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Something in the back of my mind tells me there's a way (pressing two buttons) that gives you MUTE. Anybody know?

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39 minutes ago, harry yarnell said:

Something in the back of my mind tells me there's a way (pressing two buttons) that gives you MUTE. Anybody know?

 

Touching the UP and DOWN volume buttons at the same time will mute the radio in my '88.

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^ yes, and on 90/91 radios, pressing the volume rocker inward at the center [raised portion)  will activate and cancel the mute function. 

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Does anyone know anymore radio tips, tricks or secret functions that I can use in a tutorial? 

 

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29 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Does anyone know anymore radio tips, tricks or secret functions that I can use in a tutorial? 

 

i wish someone would tell the secret for keeping the radio in 'tape' mode even after a dead battery.

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Neat discovery of the hidden 'loudness' and DNR functions!

 

Kevin - have you found any 4x10s that stand out from the rest?  I replaced one of mine some years ago with a NOS "parts number matching" Delco.  But now the other side is getting buzzy.  I should have bought two at the time...

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On 3/3/2018 at 2:31 PM, handmedownreatta said:

i wish someone would tell the secret for keeping the radio in 'tape' mode even after a dead battery.

I don't have that problem. I leave the power to the cassette deck and then I plug on my MP3 lead to the cassette's speaker pigtail with the plug I took from an old cassette deck. The BCM recognizes that there is power to the deck but doesn't know I bypassed the cassette's speaker plug. I get the "clicking" [indication the belt is bad] for about 15 seconds but then it plays my MP3. 

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Dave, do you have to keep a cassette in the tape player all the time?

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I have a cassette in all the time but I have broken the cassette tape so it doesn't play. 

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Regarding 4x10's,  I bought a pair of Kenwood's for my roadster. They sound decent, but are limited in low end response simply as a function of the cone size. None I've ever heard in a 4x10 form factor are truly standouts, and there isn't that much selection to begin with. Thus, my recommendation for a powered subwoofer to round out the low end.

 

You also lose some oomph in a convertible with the top down, so it becomes an even bigger issue for quality sound. I'm not the sort who needs to break the body pinch welds with an audio system, but I do enjoy good sound so I invest in the gear necessary to a achieve that.

 

One tip regarding "spoofing" The tape deck is to take an old junk cassette with a screw together case (some are, others are molded together), disassemble it and remove the tape spools. Then reassemble it and use it to trigger the tape in function and hook up as Dave outlined above. This precludes the possibility the tape deck may try to play and wind up the tape in the works.
 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

I don't have that problem. I leave the power to the cassette deck and then I plug on my MP3 lead to the cassette's speaker pigtail with the plug I took from an old cassette deck. The BCM recognizes that there is power to the deck but doesn't know I bypassed the cassette's speaker plug. I get the "clicking" [indication the belt is bad] for about 15 seconds but then it plays my MP3. 

my cassette player reverses every second so i had to leave it unplugged.i made a lexon plate that bolts in where the player was and mounted a usb port and phone mount on it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N6S2SNM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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I've added a tutorial about speakers sizes to ROJ: Speaker Sizes   If someone would check it for accuracy it would be appreciated.

 

A tutorial is soon to come about the hidden radio features. Loudness, DNR, etc.

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On 3/6/2018 at 5:06 PM, Ronnie said:

I've added a tutorial about speakers sizes to ROJ: Speaker Sizes   If someone would check it for accuracy it would be appreciated.

 

A tutorial is soon to come about the hidden radio features. Loudness, DNR, etc.

 

Ronnie - the rear speakers in the ‘90 and ‘91 coupes have 6x9s.  But I think the earlier cars are 6.5” round.

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Posted (edited)

If I remember right, I bought a set of 6x9 rear speaker mounts from a 90/91 Reatta, and they bolted in my 89 with no problem.

Edited by rogold99 (see edit history)

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The stock rear speaker setup for  88 and 89 cars is a 6.5" woofer and a component tweeter, the latter being nearly identical to the one used on the front doors. In 1990 and 91, conventional 6x9's were used instead, excepting the convertibles which had 4x10's.

 

Since the rear speakers on coupes mounted to a plastic adapter baffle, the 6x9 setup could be transplanted into the 88/89 cars easily enough by getting the baffles out of a 90/91. I've done that in my 88's as a 6x9 provides better low end response than a 6.5' woofer due to the increased surface area of the cone. There are also many 3-way (a.k.a. triaxial) 6x9's available  that incorporate a midrange and tweeter as well, for better response across the entire frequency range than is provided by a two way (woofer/tweeter) combo.

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Kevin, I tried to incorporate your last post into the tutorial on speaker sizes. Could you take a look at it and see if I have it right this time?

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