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Aftermarker Sound Upgrade of 3 Front 4" speakers

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by smagicmans, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. smagicmans

    smagicmans Member

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    I finished changing all 3 speakers that are 4" in the front underneath windshield. These are the midrange speakers and after changing did notice some improvement. Gotta thanks to flashflooder and all the others that did before me. This guide includes a lot of notes from previous threads that I read. I hope this is another guide that can be helpful for anyone wanting to upgrade.

    Tool Needed:
    -Neiko 01325A Ultra Low Profile Offset Torx20 <Need this to remove screws of middle speakers
    -Infinity REF-4022cfx 105W 4" Reference Series x 3
    -Short Feather Male Headers - 12-pin and 16-pin
    Need this to solder speaker wires to pin and from pin to model3 cable harness.
    -Soldering tool set needed , some extra speakers wires since the Infinity I brought didn't come with wires.

    Tutorial to remove grill and access speakers are already shown, search for thread
    Details / Specs on PUP audio system by @flashflooder

    Removing original speakers from harness: If you use a flat screw and push on bottom, it will unlock the original speakers from car harness, as shown in picture.
    Like other has mentioned, the wiring does not have any extra length that you can pull out and easily splice the wiring in so I used the method of soldering like other people here. Using the short male headers I solder into speaker wires and form this plug into the car harness female plug, shown in picture.

    In order for the speakers to sit more flush, I had to bent one side of the metal for screws, or else could hit the top grill. Easy to do with a pliers, see pic. I think I did this on the left and right speakers.
    I only used two screws to for infinity speakers and that's adequate after screwing tightly.

    Middle Speaker 1: this is where your special ultra low torx20 neiko comes in handy. With this you can remove the speaker.
    Middle Speaker part2: There's less depth here so after you remove the speaker, you need to reach inside a pull the clip that holds all the wires set. After doing this, you can push the wire set next to the side so it will ultimately create enough depth for the Infinity speaker to sit. See my blurry pic.

    20190404_224847.jpg 20190404_225003.jpg 20190404_231129.jpg 20190404_231313.jpg 20190404_232548.jpg 20190406_104037.jpg 20190406_104844.jpg 20190404_224656.jpg
     
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  2. zhu-

    zhu- custom title

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    How much better does this sound?
     
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  3. smagicmans

    smagicmans Member

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    #3 smagicmans, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    Sound is better and vocal music sound fuller to my ears. Maybe 15% improvement. Especially when I turn volume to 40-50%, I don't notice to much harshness in the vocal.
     
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  4. RoccoX

    RoccoX Member

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    Hey smagicmans how did you know the polarity of the wires when you hooked these up? About to do the rear door and dash speakers myself.
     
  5. Armee_1

    Armee_1 Member

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    It’s marked on the old speaker, so you can figure it out by the connector.
     
  6. RoccoX

    RoccoX Member

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    Awesome thanks!
     
  7. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    #7 dfwatt, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    As one of the folks who did this many months ago, I can say that the sound is a lot better, particularly if you replace the 4-inch drivers in the rear doors. Although all of these 4 inch drivers are described as mid-range they actually have significant treble output. Whereas previously I needed to add some treble output to get vocals to have adequate punch and clarity, now I run the system flat. Initially it even sounded a bit bright, but after a break-in, it now sounds nicely balanced not bright but not muted.

    If you're looking for 15 Hertz fundamentals that will rattle your internal organs you're going to be disappointed in the stock premium system - and even more disappointed in the SR system - and you're going to have to upgrade the subwoofer with a separate amp and a larger driver, but if the bass output is adequate for you, replacing the 3 front dash speakers is going to make you pretty pleased with the stock premium system and offer some of the best bang for your audio Buck I've ever seen. And at this point if you want to do the rear doors I would strongly recommend the Faital 4 in driver here, due to its much smaller rear magnet and virtually identical size to the stock driver. You will still have to find a way to secure that to the door- I used a hot glue gun and it worked really nicely, although getting the Infinity reference 4022 to fit was a beast and I would not attempt it again if I had a better option that involved less grief and work.
     
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  8. maglianera

    maglianera Member

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    dfwatt, What method did you use to get solid connection to the front wiring harnesses? I'd be concerned about the longevity and current using the headers that are referenced above. Were you able to get more wire, or did you find an easier solution?
     
  9. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    20190410_110704.jpg
    I'm not sure how they got those those 20190412_125643.jpg 20190410_110704.jpg to fit into the stock wiring harness without using a lot of force. We used actually of all things sewing needles! They fit snugly but without requiring a lot of Force. If you look at the stock pins on the speaker itself that the wiring harness plugs into they are needle-fine.
     
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  10. Bill Foster

    Bill Foster I'm going home!

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    Lots of great info on this thread, thank you!

    Do we know if all three of the front dash speakers on a SR+ are used? I'd like to start replacing mine
     
  11. smagicmans

    smagicmans Member

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    Yes all 3 active, confirmed in my SR+. I replaced all 3.
     
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  12. Bill Foster

    Bill Foster I'm going home!

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    Awesome, thank you. Wish I could buy three speakers instead of 4 :mad:
     
  13. smagicmans

    smagicmans Member

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    #13 smagicmans, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    Another solution for getting solid signal without soldering is you can try is to use posi-tap. I didn't know about this at first but I think this will work nicely. You just need to twist it into the wire to create a connection.
     
  14. hodor

    hodor Member

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    Today I followed smagicmans original post to the tee and added the 3 front speakers. I am super pleased with the results. Thanks for listing all the parts and tools you used,

    Having an SR+ with the in-between audio, I've never been super happy with the output. Now, what a Huge difference. Even my NPR talk shows sound more full and natural. I'm no audio engineer but I'd say the mids and highs are greatly improved. And Just looking at the original speaker next to the Infinity, it's a wimpy little thing.
     
  15. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    #15 dfwatt, Jun 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
    Actually you should give a shout out to @flashflooder. He was the first one who pioneered the swap out and showed that at least two of the three front dash speakers could be swapped out with Infinity reference 4022. The reason the magnets on the stock Tesla speakers are so small is not because they are wimpy and inadequate but rather because they are neodymium whereas the Infinity 4022 magnets are cheaper and more commonplace ferrite. That was done not to save money but to save space. If you take apart the rear doors you'll see why that was necessary. The larger magnet structure of the Infinity reference speakers really cannot be accommodated without major surgery to the inner door sleeve. The much smaller magnet of the stock speaker barely clears.

    The problem with the stock system is actually not the mid-range but the treble. So many people on the forums mistakenly refer to these 4 inch drivers as solely mid-range. That is absolutely not true. They are run full range except for cutting out frequencies below 200 or 250 Hertz. In other words they're put on a pretty steep high pass filter applied at the amplifier level rather than as a crossover in a traditional sense that cuts out any Bass Drive and protects the drivers and their cones from excessive Excursion. That would get the voice coils out of a linear zone and the driver would start behaving badly. And since they are protected from Bass Drive / Excursion they can handle a full 30 watts of combined mid-range and treble signal. That's enough to play really loudly X 7 drivers.

    All the Bass signal is taken care of by the front seven and a half inch woofers in the front doors and in the premium stereo system also by a dual voice coil 8 inch subwoofer in the trunk. Of course many feel that the really low Bass 40 Hertz and below is not adequately served by this system and that's why there are all kinds of posts on separate subwoofers with separate amplifiers. There are a lot of theoretical advantages to having mid-range drivers run almost full range and supplying the bulk of the core musical frequencies from a single driver. The principal problem with that approach is you often times get into Power handling limitations but with seven of these that is obviated.

    The problem with the stock 4 inch drivers is just not enough output above 3K Hertz. This results in a kind of frequency response hole and a lack of clarity on vocal material that people have typically compensated for by turning up the treble. The infinity has a pretty strong output however because of its separate tweeter and it fills in this hole nicely. The Tesla stock speakers are actually really good they just don't provide enough drive in the treble regions especially from about 3K to 10K Hertz. The tweeters on the doors are really not enough or at least not providing enough, while the drivers on the a-pillars are just for immersion sound functionality.
     
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  16. Rpgonzalez

    Rpgonzalez Member

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  17. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    Not sure what you are asking here? What specifically in that web page contradicts anything that I'm saying?
     
  18. Rpgonzalez

    Rpgonzalez Member

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    This member says that all three midranges are active in the SR+ and the link I posted says that in the SR+ the middle midrange speaker is not active.
     
  19. Rpgonzalez

    Rpgonzalez Member

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    Sorry, this was In response to smajicmans (see above).

    However, to piggyback on what you were saying, it seems as if the mirror tweeter upgrade may not be as worth it as some say it is. Let me explain. On one hand, I have been a critic of the Bose cube model because the 2.5” cube driver was designed to reproduce midrange AND higher freqs. This never sounded good to me and other audiophiles (like those who spring for speakers like the nautilus 801’s). On the other hand, I have to acknowledge that the vocabulary a normal person uses to describe audio quality is much difference than my own and as such the acoustimass set was described as being amazing. As you mention here, the midranges in the dash are crossed over to reproduce midrange and high frequencies. While this driver is limited in how high it can go, it is certain it can get quite high up into the higher frequencies (you say 3k Hz?) Doesn’t it stand to reason that throwing a tweeter in there with a bass blocker will lead to mid-high frequencies being duplicates and perhaps even phase canceling out? I am 100% positive that the audio engineers at Tesla use a decent virtual 3 way cross over to desperate low, mids and highs. Adding a tweeter, if there is overlap, will only result in a “marginal improvement” to most people.
    And while I’m on this rant, please don’t tell me that people are going nuts over activation of the rear deck speakers because they add “immersion”? I almost full fade all rear speakers out of every car that I have ever owned, because rear speakers (if producing higher frequencies) are most definitely phase cancelling sound from the front. Please tell me those speakers are adding low freq or low midrange only.
    I have wanted a model 3 since the day they were announced. My lease on my a3 etron is up, and I’m not about to shy away from an audio upgrade, but the above rant leads me to believe that this car needs a full 3 way speaker upgrade in the front, and those days are behind me.
    So, what do you think?
     
  20. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

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    #20 dfwatt, Sep 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    Well, there are a lot of confounds and complexities. For starters, the 4 inch midranges are actually full range drivers that are protected from bass signal (which would force the voice coil out of a linear range if there was very much excursion from bass tones under 150 cycles). The frequency sweeps that I did suggested that they still have decent output well into the upper treble range (12 to 14 kHz at least). The problem is that they don't have flat power radiation past about 2k Hz. In other words even though on axis they are really very good (reasonably flat from 350 Hz to probably about 6 kHz), their off axis radiation declines and thus their total output in treble areas is not level with their midrange output. And the tweeters in the doors don't really solve this problem, and aren't optimally spatially located anyway. The infinity 4022 solves this problem with its own dedicated half-inch tweeter. The difference in vocal definition between the stock 4 inch drivers (I replaced 5/7) and the Infinity 4022s is really stunning. It's one of the biggest differences I've ever seen from a simple driver swap out – and I have to conclude that we just ended up with a fluke match between that driver and the sonic characteristics of the car interior, as I have listened to that driver before, and thought it was OK, nothing special, just decent. But in this application, it sounds better that it ever sounded in any test room in any audio store. Not sure how to explain that, but I suspect there's some kind of hidden Synergism.

    For folks who are skeptical I'd be happy to do a 'test listen' to anyone in the Boston area who wants to see what some elbow grease and three sets of infinity 4022 (and you'll have one driver left over) can do to an already excellent sound system. The stock system was really really good (esp. for bone stock), but the system is now the best sound system or at least equal to the best sound systems I've ever heard in any vehicle. It's just that good. The only weakness is a lack of low-end from 20 to 40 Hz. I'm just not willing to chase that down with a subwoofer install that everybody knows is a lot of grief due to the need to isolate the amp from the 12V system when the car is powered off, to avoid the dreaded "can't maintain power" code - which will leave you stranded. The other problem is large amounts of fundamental bass energy in a car with all kinds of panels that can be put into sympathetic resonance just ends up in my opinion with louder mud and just does not sound all that much better. Your best bang for your buck is swapping out the four-inch drivers – and just the three upfront makes an amazing difference, as doing the two in the rear door is incredibly difficult due to speaker magnet clearance issues. You have to cut into the door liner.
     
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