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Speaker Upgrades

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by NicholasJB, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. NicholasJB

    NicholasJB Member

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    I'd like to replace the entire stereo system in my Roadster 2.5, but that's a financial impossibility now. So I'm thinking of just putting Morel Maximo 5.25" components in the front and Morel 4" in the back, hoping to improve the sound quality enough to listen to it.

    I was wandering if anyone had done a speaker upgrade before and could share some tips and potential pitfalls. My biggest points of concern are enlarging the front speakers (planning to use Front Speaker Adaptor Rings) and in locating the front crossovers to replace them if possible. I'm wondering if the stock crossovers will work, and if there will be any problem getting the grills on after installing 5.25s. I'm also wondering how to get those front grills the heck off without destroying them...

    I've been searching the forum and found some helpful pics and posts, but they're often light on details, and most cover a larger install that just a few speakers. I'm still a novice at stereo installs and don't want to get in over my head.
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    HERE is a relevant thread, in case it got missed in the search.

    Replacing the front 4" speakers was kind of a pain simply because the windshield doesn't give you much room to attack the screws. In fact I seem to recall very little clearance when putting on the 4" speaker covers. I'd be a little concerned about trying to fit something bigger in there. But I haven't tried it.
     
  3. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I'd drop the 4" in the front/back and call it a day, especially since you don't have much experience messing around with stereos and speaker installations. Going bigger up front means you have to cut some sheet-metal to make them work.... Also cross-overs are specific to the range of the speaker they were designed for. If the speaker/tweeters you're installing are in the same range that's fine, but most likely they're not. I don't have tweeters in my doors, have the wires ran from the factory. Talking to the professional stereo shop they said not to install them, that I'll just be taking away from the sound and the dynamics the speakers already offer and designed to work with.

    The Roadster is not a car or cabin-space designed for auditorium style acoustics, so throwing money there really doesn't make sense. You can improve quite a bit what you had installed from the factory dated back from 2008-2011 time-frame, and the best way to do that is install a head unit that has enough amps to drive the later model speakers. Both the head unit and speakers need to work together to get crisp, clean, and responsive sound.
     
  4. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    If you have the upgraded system with the factory amp above the passenger footwell you should really start with replacing that. That thing is junk no matter what speakers you put in. I used a Clarion 5 channel XC2510 which is small enough to mount just below the factory amp. Adjustable crossover and level on each channel, so even with the stock speakers it sounds a lot better. Throw in some 2 way 4" in the front and some 4" mids in the rear and you will be set. The stock subwoofer is fine if you get the crossover set right (other than the location near your left ear). Less than $400 for everything.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. NicholasJB

    NicholasJB Member

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    Thank you all for the responses.



    I remember seeing that one when I searched months ago but somehow missed it this time. Thanks; that's a great help.



    I considered doing that, but it looks like half of the work is just getting the dang covers off up front; and the adapter ring looks pretty easy to install. 5.25s have 70% more surface area than 4s, and I feel like that's really needed for the mid-bass that seems most missing from the factory install.

    And I would love to replace the head unit, but another one with nav will cost me some $1,000 just for that. I just can't afford it right now. The new speakers I'm looking at will run around $300.



    I do have the upgraded system but haven't been able to find any information on the amp that comes with it, how much power it provides to each channel, if there's a separate amp for the sub and speakers, and where the amp(s) is/are. Any details you can give me would be very very appreciated. How do you get to the amp above the passenger footwell? Is that where the front speaker crossover is located as well?
     
  6. NicholasJB

    NicholasJB Member

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    Also, is anyone able to provide details on how to remove the factory grills? All of the threads I've seen simply refer to "removing" them, or "prying them off". I tried using a small flathead screwdriver but I was making no progress and damaging the dash around the grill. I tried using a small putty knife but it was too wide given the curvature of the opening. And I'm not even sure how far down I'm supposed to try to get a tool in order to grab the grill.
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    The grill is just the metal inner piece, not the outer ring. The inner rings if you gently get under them will come right off. Sounds like you were getting under the outer ring if you're doing any type of damage to the dash.

    Also the 4" JL's will outperform a good bit of 5 1/4 speakers in terms of base, they have HUGE magnets and again when you drive them with proper amps from your head unit you'll get some good bass from them. If you really want bass put in a sub, not 5 1/4's.

    I don't like pulling any more energy from the 12v system than stock. I don't have a factory amp, never had, and don't really want it. So for me I'm still within that threshold of pulling energy from the car. The switchpack is what you'll really want to be concerned about. People who put in bigger amps & subs typically put in a separate 12v motorcycle battery to support the audio system which they charge separately.

    MAUTOs suggestion sounds like a good route as well.
     
  8. NicholasJB

    NicholasJB Member

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    Thank you for that; I'll go down and try again. There's a rim that's part of the dash (1), then a space, then a plastic ring (2), then a small space, and then the grill (3). I was placing a wedge between (1) and (2) and trying to lift out (2). I'm reading your response as saying I should actually be placing a wedge between (2) and (3) and just lifting out (3)?

    Yeah, I've read about some of those systems and they sound great. Unfortunately I don't have the money to do a fully audiophile-level system with a separate battery so I'm trying to make do with what power and components I have. I don't want to replace the amp and pull any more power than I need to, but I wouldn't say 'no' to inspecting the wires and running new ones if necessary; and would love to be able to get the crossovers to replace them.

    I understand your point about the JL's and don't disagree that they would be a nice step up. But I'm still leaning towards the larger Morel's for a few reasons:
    • I feel like the bass is decent already (I would like more, but more is probably out of my price range and the stock sub does really well considering its size). What's really lacking is mid-bass, and 4" just don't have nearly as much air displacement to work with. And the voice coil info I can find shows the Morels to be far superior to the JLs: http://www.morelhifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Maximo-2-way.pdf
    • The Morels are rated with a much much higher sensitivity. Since I don't have much power to work with here I feel it's important to get as much bang for my buck (sound for my watt?) as possible.
    • Possibly the most important: Morels have a very smooth, laid-back sound to them. I'm apparently far more sensitive to harsh mids and highs than most (I never listening to the stock stereo because I feel like it's piercing my brain), and I'm afraid of going through the work and expense of installing JLs only to end up with a better sounding system that's still too harsh for my personal sensitivities.
     
  9. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    Place a couple of sewing pins into the holes of the grill as close to the plastic ring as you can and gently pry them off. Just the part with the holes in it is what pops off.
     
  10. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    The stock amp is buried under the dash above the right side of the frame and is a pain to remove. It is a Blaupunkt unit for the JVC head and an Alpine one for the Alpine head unit. The Alpine unit is just plain silver like the rest of the electronic modules. Here is a pic of the Blaupunkt one to show you where it's at. The top of the pic is towards the seat. You are better off to just unplug it and splice in a new amp if you decide to go that route. You don't have to worry about the switchpack, as the purple and black power wires (visible) to the amp run off the APS, not to the switchpack. I don't remember ever seeing any specs for the amp. The other two pics are of the Clarion XC2510 I installed. SAM_4065.JPG SAM_4067.JPG SAM_4068.JPG
     

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