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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Gang,

I have a 2010 Chevy Malibu with an underwhelming sound system that is very flat/underwater with no highs or lows. I am trying to isolate the issue/s in hopes to upgrade to a better overall music experience in the most inexpensive way. I am considering just replacing the front and rear speakers myself with new Rockford brand speakers to see if that helps, but I also heard the Kenmore KSC-SW11 subwoofer/amp is great to have in addition.

Is my current sound issue bad tweeters, crappy factory front/rear speakers, burnt out amplifier, bad wiring, old fuses, or maybe all of the above? Can you rule out any of these possibilities based on my description?

If it's the front/rear speakers, I can probably manage that install if it's a simple in and out with the same wiring. I'm no sound system expert though, so if it's the factory amp that is garbage, would I need to replace that amp for a different amp 1:1, would I install the Kenmore combo in its place if I wanted an upgrade, or is the Kenmore in addition to the existing amp? I'm trying to use process of elimination to decide if this is a job for a professional or not.

I would love your expertise on what you think is wrong, and what upgrades are necessary.

Thanks!
 

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Upgrade your speakers front and rear first. Factory are junk, my driver front was dead and rear one was ''rattling''. I was surprised after I did my old '09 LS base radio system speakers. I left factory tweeters in the A pillars and just did coaxial speakers in the doors and deck. Spent less than $100 for all of them and stock radio actually had enough bass to vibrate the inside rear view mirror. I too didn't want to spend money on a high mileage car.
Factory speakers have built in mounting rings to seal speakers to door so unless your good at fabrication a install kit may be a better option. I hacked apart the old speakers and adapted the mounting rings.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome, thank you! I made that same assessment and went ahead and purchased the front and rears.

Is there any difference between the wiring setup for 2-way vs 3-way speakers? I bought 2-ways.

Will the front and rear both use the same wiring harness? I'll assume if that is the case it should be a simple swap out, no extra special wiring adjustments needed, and I can manage the diy fabrication adjustments. I bought these harnesses (one for each of the four speakers)...

 

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Here are the positive and negative wire codes from my '09. Polarity is important on the speakers hook up.
Coaxial or Tri both only have pos. and neg. connections. Polarity being correct a must for the best sound quality. I don't remember what connectors I had but those adapters make things easy. I'm a cut / splice guy myself.
68483

68484
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Update - I replaced the fronts and rears, used the harnesses I mention above, they all work perfectly. 3 of the 4 main factory speakers were completely blown, no wonder my sound sucked. Surprisingly cheap and easy installation for around $100.

Shoutout @tylergarey for the below walkthroughs, super helpful...

Now I may try for the Kenmore KSC-SW11 installation to take my system to another level. Worth it?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Well, I've been on the fence for some time now, so I just ordered 4 Rockford Fosgate speakers and the GM adapters. They should be here in a couple of weeks and then I'll have to set aside some time to get 'em installed.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Update on my speaker project: Received Rockford Fosgate front P675 6¾" tri-axials and rear P1692 6x9 coaxials. I discovered that my original Bose-equipped rear 6x9 coaxials use 4 wires and the RF coaxials use 2 wires with a built-in internal crossover.

I tried using just the subwoofer outputs and got almost no sound. I tried using just the tweeter outputs and got some vocals but no bass. I tried using the positive for the tweeter and the negative for the bass to "bridge" the Bose amp and was able to get measurably more sound, but with the left side bridged for the RF and the stock right side playing at the same time, the real winner was still the stock speaker.

I'm returning the 6x9 coaxials and ordered a set of P165-SE component 6½" speakers with separate 1" tweeters and external crossover. I intend to use just the speakers and forego putting the crossover in the system.

Another week or two of waiting, inside, quarantined, while the rear seat and deck is a complete mess. ?

Waiting is so hard!
 
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