Experts agree that when it comes to improvements and upgrades to an OEM audio system, the biggest improvement per dollar can usually be made by replacing the factory speakers. And, when it comes to getting new speakers that fit, the folks at Pioneer probably do more research and measuring of new vehicles than all the other brands combined. In this review we’re going to take a look at a speaker system designed to be a bolt-on replacement for a wide variety of vehicles, the Pioneer A-series TS-A1683R 6.5-inch 4-way speakers.
In the Details
At first glance, the TS-A1683R’s appear to be just another set of speakers but if you look closely you can see they’re quite cleverly designed.First of all, the stamped steel basket used is designed to be bolt-on compatible with multiple vehicles, because the frame incorporates cleverly placed mounting holes that accommodate several different 3 and 4-bolt pattern configurations. The speakers can be mounted in openings ranging from 128mm to 140mm. And with a mounting depth of only 2.25” (57mm) there should be no window mechanism clearance issues in even shallow doors.
Injection molded plastic grilles are included, and incorporate a mesh screen over the delicate coaxially mounted tweeter assembly. Continuous power handling is rated at 50 watts per channel, again making them perfectly suited as higher performance replacements for factory speakers.
The Pioneer speakers use an IMPP (Injection Molded Polypropylene) woofer cone which has been reinforced with carbon graphite, basalt, and long aramid fibers. The result is a high density cone that is both lightweight and very rigid. The cone is connected to the basket by a rubber surround that is built to handle the rigors of an automotive environment with better durability than a foam type surround.
Electromotive force comes from an 11 ounce strontium ferrite magnet, driving a specially treated heat resistant copper clad aluminum 4 ohm voice coil.
The upper midrange driver is a lightweight ¾” dome diaphragm, for better dispersion and a smooth response. There are two additional high frequency tweeters, with diameters of 7/16” and 3/8” respectively. Each tweeter uses silver PET (mylar) film for the dome material.
Read on for Full Results
After installing the TS-A1683R’s in my listening baffles, I sat down to make some notes on how they sounded. I have to say I was quite impressed at the overall performance considering these speakers retail at about 99 bucks a pair. Bass response was quite good especially considering the woofer diameter is a bit smaller than a typical 6.5” speaker, due to the flexibility of the basket design.
Vocal intelligibility was good and quite natural sounding and the high frequency output proved to be crisp and clean. I noted good definition on plucked strings and cymbals, without any brittleness or bite. Make no mistake, these economical speakers will not be confused for a thousand dollar set of components, but they will be a huge improvement over the junk that comes in factory systems.
Pioneer has consistently provided well made, good sounding speakers that are actually designed to be bolt on replacements for OEM speakers. The TS-A1683R speakers follow in that tradition, and because of the clever design, they’ll fit in almost everything from Aspires to Volkswagens. A definite improvement in sound quality over even premium OEM speakers, these Pioneer A-series speakers should please anyone looking for the maximum performance boost per dollar.