Ever since our president lifted the ban on decorating matatus in Kenya, we have seen very many outstanding mathree designs and graffiti. The same also translates to the music system that incorporates head units, equalizers, amplifiers and speakers. Speakers are what stand out in a music system, the customers/travelers never know what type of amplifier or head-unit is being used, but they definitely notice the speakers.
A good music system installed by a professional sounds great no matter what genre of music is playing. Meddle with the dials and you will think the speakers are of bad quality (they are not). So this post goes to all of you that love the music played in Kenyan Matatus be it in a 14, 25 or 33 sitter. Lets start with the mid-range speakers:-
- Sony Xplod XS-GTF1638
If you have never seen these speakers then you do not use Kenyan matatus. They are the most common mid-range speakers in Kenyan Matatus. With a diameter of only 16 cm, the 3 way Sony Xplod GTF1638 are usually hooked directly to the head unit. They produce the best high frequency sound in a mat, a tweeter is not a must if you have these small speakers. They are shallow and therefore can fit perfectly beneath the roof. The mesh protection also protects the delicate diaphragm used
The other 16cm speakers you can find in a mat roof are the 60 watts Kenwood KFC-M1634A and the 40 watts Pioneer TS-G1645R. Umoinner went ahead and installed the pioneers on the seats.
- Pioneer TS-S20 Tweeter
The most vandalised items in a matatu music system are the tweeters. That is why they are usually riveted to the chassis. The Pioneer TS-S20 are the most common tweeters in a Kenyan mathree. They produce the highest frequencies in a music system. They can handle up to 200 watts of music so they are usually hooked to the Amplifiers mid-range channels directly. Do not sit beneath these in a loud Matatu.
- Pioneer TS-A6965S
One of the best 6×9 Inch speakers in the market are the pioneer TS-A6965. They can produce good bass form a small cabinet and the high frequency sounds too from the inbuilt tweeter. since they are not shallow like the Sony speakers, the pioneer 6×9’s cannot be installed on the roof without a customised cabinet. the other place these are installed is below the passenger seats and at the front like the photo below.
- Kenwood KFC-M6934A
Matatu guys like the Kenwood KFC-M6934A primarily because of the complete mesh with no gaping holes. This makes them last longer, the other speakers uually suffer fingering and biro pokes from customers. The reason, only they know. Other than that they are 3 way speakers that produce good bass and vocals too. Power rating is 80W RMS, so these need an amplifier no doubt about it.
- Sony XS-GTF6938
These have the same characteristics as the first Sony Xplod 1638 I mentioned earlier. The only differences are the bigger size and power rating. They are not shallow like the 16 cm so they can only be installed on the beneath the roof with a customised. They are made of aramid/carbon fiber woofer for rich bass and clear vocals.
Then there is the other category of 10 Inch rounded speakers like the pioneer TS-A2503i, I wont discuss them here because they look weird. Yes, they have great bass but sub-woofers are much better and cheaper too.
Thanks for reading, next time we will look at the sub-woofers that rock Kenyan matatus. Featured image credit :Matwana Facebook Page