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DIY dash speaker install procedure and pics


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I was fed up with the crappy OEM speakers. So this is what I did.

Requirements:

1. Hand tools with hex bits and a 90° screw driver

2. speakers

3. solder and soldering iron

4. pliers, scissors, electric drill

I initially started with VDO 4'' two-way speakers. But then changed my mind on a shopping spree and bought another set of Jaycar Response Precision speakers.

Specs:

Factory (Nokia) - paper cone, no tweeter

VDO (Siemens VDO) - injected polyproplene cone, PEI tweeter dome

Jaycar (Australian brand) - Kevlar cone, titanium tweeter dome, adjustable tweeter angles

Unfortunately I had cut up the factory speakers by the time I got the Jaycar units. But I took some photos anyway. Just look at the difference in the size of the magnet (not to mention construction material).

post-1432-1128507502_thumb.jpg

post-1432-1128506524_thumb.jpg

The install is relatively straight forward:

1. Remove the grills using a 90° screw driver with a hex bit, it's difficult to get the inner screw out otherwise due the windshield getting in the way.

2. Disconnect the plug and unscrew the two screws holding the OEM speaker

3 At this point, I tested out the two new sets of speakers (VDO and Jaycar). You only need to insert the speaker wire into the factory plug to do this. I took my time here trying to spot the differences between the two new sets of speakers - I decided on the Jaycar units after half an hour of listening because they provided much clearer treble while retaining a strong base. The VDO units were pretty good too - I might use them for a rear speaker project at a later date.

4. If you look at the OEM speaker carefully, you will realise that this is a speaker built into a bracket designed for the grill. I decided to reuse the bracket so that the speakers mount nicely onto the grill and plugs in the dash can still plug into my new speakers when I am done.

5. This means discarding the speaker itself. Cut up the speaker around the rubber surround of paper cone and then pull out the middle coil. The speaker base containing the magnet is severed using a combination of pliers and drills - taking care not to cut off the socket from the bracket - you will need this obviously.

post-1432-1128507107_thumb.jpg

post-1432-1128507310_thumb.jpg

6. Next, tear off the default mounting plates on my new speakers - this results in a 10.2cm speaker with some remaining edges from the mounting plates poking out the side. This fits the OEM speaker bracket perfectly (11cm diameter).

post-1432-1128507169_thumb.jpg

7. Now solder the new speaker wires to the factory socket on the speaker holder.

post-1432-1128506973_thumb.jpg

8. Then mount the speakers in the reverse order of removal.

9. What a difference in sound quality. I was amazed. The speakers sounded good during testing, but actually sounded better after I installed them - I guess that's related to its installation position - the dash space acts as a base amplifier.

Edited by Jinster
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nice work. i wonder how your system will compare to a bose one.

I doubt his system compares to a Bose - what Jinster did was add some clarity and highs to his 2 dash speakers using existing speaker grills and mounting hardware. What Bose did was replace the behind the seat storage box with a horking big horn, modify speakers, replace stereo headunit, add an amp, etc. I never listened to the Bose while driving with the top down, so I probably didn't give it a fair shake, but my impression of the Bose in the showroom was that it created a sound profile with overwhelming, somewhat muddy Bass and no noticable mid-range strength.

I think the more interesting comparison is to the Premium Sound upgrade. This came stock in my S so I have two extra speakers in the kick panels of the doors, an amp in the front trunk to drive them and a CDR-220 in the dash. I also thought I had heard tweeters from my dash speakers, had seen the tweeter port on the grills so assumed the factory had installed a 4" speaker and a tweeter behind my dash grills.

Today I was curious and removed one of my dash speakers to have a look. As far as I can tell, the premium system used the same 4" speaker and added a separate tweeter alongside. I didn't see any resistors or crossover parts, the wires to the speakers are in parallel, so I guess the speakers self-select the sounds they will reproduce. I suspect those Jaycar Kevlar cone speakers are a superior dash speaker pair.

I don't have a digital camera right now, so here is a snapshot I took with my Palm

dash_speaker.jpg

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I must say I was very shocked to discover Porsche had used paper cone speakers in their cars.... when you realise that their profit since the early 1990s is about the same as the giant VW, they really could've, and shoud've used better material/parts in their cars.

OEM paper cone

post-1432-1128744544_thumb.jpg

Comparison with a VDO unit

post-1432-1128744582_thumb.jpg

An update on listening impressions:

Much much improved sound. Clearer when turned up, base and treble is actually quite separate and distinguishible now when loud. The sound has more "impact" too. It seems to fill the cabin more now than just sound like they are coming from the dash. I would highly recommend anyone with the factory base speakers to upgrade. I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.

Edited by Jinster
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  • 3 years later...

Old topic I know but I have done this mod with excellent results.

*) I used the Jaycar Response Precision 4" co-axial speakers like Jinster, except now in 2009 the crossover is integrated so no big mess of wires like on those pictures. Speakers available online from Jaycar.com.au, Item number CS-2370. See here: http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?I...mp;form=KEYWORD

post-40926-1238328458.jpg

*) The speakers sit really very nice and tight thanks to the remnants of those metal speaker frame tabs being pressed by the modified plastic bracket -- WARNING if you file the metal tabs down too much, then the speaker falls into the hole in the top/big part of the grill. I accidentally did this on one speaker but could luckily bend and stretch the tabs back to make it fit tight again. Even when I had the tabs too short it was just a little loose, still not at all "rattly"

*) Highly recommend getting a thin 90-degree bitholder for the Torx screws close to the windscreen if you don't have one. I managed to do it all just using a pair of pliers to hold the bit with which I turned the screws, but it was a pain, and had a high risk of scratching the dash of windscreen.

*) I used polyester fill from inside a cheap $5 Kmart pillow as a baffle in the small speaker spaces in the dash. Presumably this improves bass of the 4" speakers.

*) The new speakers are 4 OHM while the stock ones are 8 OHM (now HAES not Nokia for a 2004 Boxster) - this makes my CDR-23 head unit run noticeably warmer, I can tell this when I eject CDs they are hot. I wonder if the CDR-23 can handle the 4 Ohm speakers long term?

Edited by yellowlemon
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  • 1 year later...

Old topic I know but I have done this mod with excellent results.

*) I used the Jaycar Response Precision 4" co-axial speakers like Jinster, except now in 2009 the crossover is integrated so no big mess of wires like on those pictures. Speakers available online from Jaycar.com.au, Item number CS-2370. See here: http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?I...mp;form=KEYWORD

post-40926-1238328458.jpg

*) The speakers sit really very nice and tight thanks to the remnants of those metal speaker frame tabs being pressed by the modified plastic bracket -- WARNING if you file the metal tabs down too much, then the speaker falls into the hole in the top/big part of the grill. I accidentally did this on one speaker but could luckily bend and stretch the tabs back to make it fit tight again. Even when I had the tabs too short it was just a little loose, still not at all "rattly"

*) Highly recommend getting a thin 90-degree bitholder for the Torx screws close to the windscreen if you don't have one. I managed to do it all just using a pair of pliers to hold the bit with which I turned the screws, but it was a pain, and had a high risk of scratching the dash of windscreen.

*) I used polyester fill from inside a cheap $5 Kmart pillow as a baffle in the small speaker spaces in the dash. Presumably this improves bass of the 4" speakers.

*) The new speakers are 4 OHM while the stock ones are 8 OHM (now HAES not Nokia for a 2004 Boxster) - this makes my CDR-23 head unit run noticeably warmer, I can tell this when I eject CDs they are hot. I wonder if the CDR-23 can handle the 4 Ohm speakers long term?

I used the new Response Precision 4" co-axial speakers as well, for both the dash and the rear pastle shelf.

I found a much much easier way to mount in the dash... see the three small holes between the screw hole and the dish on the outer frame? I drilled 8 small mathing holes on the outer cover of the dash mount (yes on the inside you cannot see when mounted), curled the tab on the screw holes into a c-shape to create a 4 point mount on the speaker, the cable tied together with 8 cable ties! no mucking about moding speakers and mounts... Curl tabs, drill dash-mount and cable tie!!! Very thight!!! Sweet!!!

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