Bass Blockers?


Car: 1998 Nissan Altima

I just had Best Buy install a very good pair of 6.75" rear deck speakers as direct replacements for the crummy factory speakers. I don't have a subwoofer, and I don't plan on adding one. The head unit is the better factory model--nothing spectacular, but decent. There are no additional amplifiers.

As part of the install, the Best Buy boys added a Bass Blocker to each speaker--anything below 190Hz gets filtered out. They claim it protects the speaker and prevents low-end distortion. In a system with a subwoofer and/or high-powered amps, I would agree with this completely.

But are these things really necessary in my case? It seems like I'm losing a LOT of low end.

Typically, I don't have the volume very high, and the new speakers are rated for peaks of 225 watts anyway. And I'm smart enough to know when an amplifier is clipping or when a speaker starts to distort. I mean, geez, I've had the crappy Nissan factory speakers (rated at 30 watts peak) for about a year without any problems at all.

So what do you think? Should I take the bass blockers out? Or would that be a mistake?

The Bass-blockers are definitely not neccessary in your case. They are designed to lower intermodulation distortion for relativly small drivers. Your system can only deliver 15 clean watts, maybe. That's definitely less than 225 peak watts.

I have a 96 Altima and have gone through many iterations of speakers. Trust me. Remove them.

Hope this helps.

Derek man! Who the hell are you? I've never seen anyone with such a commanding knowledge of the subjects here and willingness to help out! When my friend and I open an electronics store, we're hiring you. Name your price! :)

Don't be too quick to take those bass blockers off.All it does is attenuate the bass by 6db/slope, so you may be able to boost the bass on the radio to adjust it to a satisfactory level.Which means if you turn up the bass knob about 3 levels(assuming your radio has a 2db increment on the bass)your back to the same level as if the blockers were not there.Since your radio only puts up about 15 watts RMS(all radios are around this amount,no matter what they boast)if you still don't like the sound output,it may be time to get a larger outboard amp.The main reason I say don't mess with the Bass blockers is that if you remove them,you may void any warranty that came from the installing shop.

I took them out--about a 45-second procedure for each speaker. What a difference, and what an immediate improvement. Granted, I'm not getting bass that blows the doors off, but I didn't expect that anyway. What I did expect was a decent improvement over the factory speakers, and now (with no thanks to Best Buy's installers) that's what I've got.

I know there are many instances when these things are good to use, but I think the Best Buy boys were more interested in selling me a subwoofer and an amplifier, rather than taking a minute to evaluate what I really wanted/needed. Bottom line: I didn't ask for bass blockers, Best Buy installed them anyway, and they substantially degraded the performance. Realistically, if anything needed the "protection" these things offer, it would be the old paper-coned factory speakers, right? Certainly not the new ones that provide 7 to 9 times the power handling capacity of the old ones.

Oh well. I guess it's my own fault for going there. Best Buy's been questioned on their installation practices before, so I can't say I'm too shocked. It's just disappointing that such a straight-forward and easy half-hour job couldn't be appropriately handled.

Yeah, you don't need those things. If your speakers can handle 225 watts peak, they can handle 30 watts peak. The bass-blockers absorb the energy probably bellow 100 Hz or 50 Hz. That alteration of the response without some way to make up for it (like a sub) is a form of distortion. You will never be able to approach any tyoe of fidelity. Turning the bass up will not fix the problem because the bass control is probably CENTERED at 100 Hz. This will cause a broad peak at 100 Hz and you will still end up with a 6db/octive falloff below that - even more distorition. Also because they absorb bass intermodulation distortion will increase as you turn the thing up and aproach clipping.

Best Buy should have removed them for you and refunded your the money. Maybe it's a new policy to get customers back in the store to by subs. Huhmmm... I wonder...

hey while we are discussing bass blockers...I have been contemplating them myself. I have a abrand new system I installed. Kenwood mp3 deck 4x50 output. rampage 240 watt amp (don't laugh it was cheap) and polk speakers all around...gxr 4inch in my sound bar (jeep wrangler) gxr 4x6's in the dash adn a single polk ex 12 sub. I have the 4x6's directly out of the deck, the 4's and the sub are out of the amp. Do i need the bass blockers installed on my 4inch polks in the soundbar? thanks for the help...and oh yeah Best buy chraged me for stuff they NEVER put in my jeep ($17 faceplate)??? I returned everything for a 100% refund (install refunded also) and I went to crutchfield (the best as far as I am concerned)
thanks for the help as to needin ghte bass blockers or not?

i got bass blockers put in my grand am because everytime i would turn the base all the way up on the speakers it would make a tapping noise the only reason i turn them up is because it adds power to my subs along with the bass boost . was that a good move are not really

New Here
Unregistered guest
I just recently bought a deck from Best Buy and was also told to buy "speaker savers" or "bass blockers" for my stock speakers. I haven't gotten the deck installed yet, should I return the bass blockers? Or should I keep them since I have stock speakers?

New member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 523
Registered: 12-2003
high-pass filters (bass blockers) will help prevent components from distorting or ottoming out.
particularly for people who use subs or lack subs and try to compensate for it by turning up the bass knob.
even if the speakers are cut off at 100Hz, there's still roll off to take into account, and if the bass knob is centered at 100Hz (common place) then the curve will be further affected reducing that roll off when the bass is turned up, and causing the full range speakers to distort.

also remember that head units only put out about 9 to 11 watts per channel RMS (only exception being the Alpine Vdrive models which at 27wRMS x 4 and use a dedicated 10AWG line from the battery for power, bypassing the fusebox and factory wiring entirely for +12V)
regardless of the power ratings for the speakers (and most factory speakers are rated for about 15 watts) turning the volume of the ehad unit up past about 3/4 of full volume will put the head unit's amplifier into clipping, which will damage the speakers regardless.

New Here
Unregistered guest
So are you saying I should keep the bass blockers for my stock speakers? For both the front and rear speakers? Should I take them off when I get new speakers?

New member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 536
Registered: 12-2003
I'd leave them in place for any speakers if you don't have an electronic crossover and amplifier to handle the job.
if you want more bass, get subs, and let the subs handle anything below the high-pass filter point.

New member
Username: Josh_heller

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2003
i have a question, GlassWolf. When it comes to wiring the +12V, the constant power and ground wire, where is the best place to wire them to, for max. performance. i have a 2002 sable

New member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 646
Registered: 12-2003
for an amp?
+12 straight to the battery terminal with in-line fuse and distribution block as needed.
ground to bare chassis metal within 24" of the amp. shorter the better.
use the same gauge cable for power and ground.

Kevin Thompson
Unregistered guest
I have a dodge dakota with 6 3/4 speakers and two 12's and a 760 watt amp. When i got them installed they didnt say anything about bass blockers, so i blew the front right speaker(It rattles when the bass hits) Would bass blockers fix this?

Silver Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 970
Registered: 12-2003
replacing the speakers would fix that.

reid rutherford
Unregistered guest
my new 24' sea ray boat came with a clarion head unit & 4 -6.5 speakers i have added a 400 watt clarion amp left the 4 origianal speakers to the head unit. tied 2- new 6.5 to the amp & bridged the front to power a 10" clarion sub- the 6.5 sound bad but the sub sounds great . today i bought a few diffrent capaciters @ radio shack should i try these on the new 6.5 ?

Bronze Member
Username: Tbone

Post Number: 76
Registered: 02-2004
Yes, but what is frequency response of the 6.5's? I would match the capaciter up the lowest rated frequency response of the 6.5's you added. Did you adjust the gain on the amp to the 6.5's. lets say the lowest frequency by the 6.5's is 60 hz, using a capaciter will provide a 6 db rolloff at 60 hz, and an octave lower, 30 hz, you will have 12 db of filtering, and each octave lower will add 6db of filtering. Having used Marine Speakers in my Sunsation, most of these speakers are coated with waterproofing, which will not them reach the frequency response of normal speakers, I think my 6.5's are go only down to 125 hz with the waterproofing. Of course, I have them cut off so the 6.5's will not have to produce the lower frequencies.

I got 4 4 x 6 and 2 twelves in my 1990 GMC reg cab and i can hit 200 db but i get distoration on my front poineer speajkers should i cap them ( BASS BLOCK)

Unregistered guest
i have a jvc head unit with no rca, just regular output and two alpine type R 12" subs to a 900 watt 2 channel amp, and my speakers are stock. when i put loud rap on the back speakers sound really bad. im thinkin about gettin bass blockers for the back, but should i get them for the front too? also would it be better for my system if i got an alpine head with 4 volt preouts and subwoofer controls?

200 db? Doubt it.

Unregistered guest
Instead of bass blocking the front right pioneer you should get your SPL meter checked!! You sure it didn't say 20.0db

Unregistered guest
if you are blowing the speakers you need bass blockers but the bass on your deck dont need to be at +max the bass setting at 0 or lower - should help get rid of the distortion in the back speakers until you get bass blockers I would get them for the front to and yes a better deck 4v output will help if you want to spend the money? hey Anonymous 200db would satter the world record in every stereo comp catagorey and probily stop your heart or make your ears bleed and make you vomit are you sure that you dont have ten 18's in your gmc 200db is 5 feet away from a rocket launching pad at take off are you sure it didint say 120db well to each his own!

New member
Username: Iamagas

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-04
I put bass blockers in mine because I have a hereditary high frequency loss and I cannot hear the trebles very good -Also I love jazz and classical which are heavy on the treble. By removing the lower sounds I have actually made it easier for me to hear the highs - to many people it may sound too bright but I love it

Norm Macdonald as Bob Dole
Unregistered guest
200 db has only been achieved when spaceships launch. And that has to do with the heat displacement and all that physics stuff. I highly doubt your 6x9's even hit 75 db
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