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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for ideas to get better bass without dropping big bucks, hopefully utilizing existing power. I'd also like to improve the front stage sound. The door speakers sound 1/2" thick. I don't want to give up the stock HU cuz I like the display and steering wheel controls. Thanks for any help, I haven't messed with the car stereo stuff in a while. Just power mods.
 

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I thought about doing this for sometime as well, but i havent had the funds yet. anyway try doing a search and you will get a whole lot of info about the bose system, wiring, etc. For the bass you could either get a powered sub or a sub and amp. I would only recommend the powered sub if you dont plan on upgrading the speakers in the car. If i were you i would get a decent 12in sub, and a multi channel amp. I also believe what you might have to do is get some Line out converters (LOC's) and use the front speaker inputs going to the bose amp (which is under the passenger seat). Hopefully other members can make more suggestions and correct anything that i told you that might be incorrect. Good luck!
--Shadd
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm really looking to replace the speakers in the car with something that will sound better. I'm guessing going with speakers with a 4-60watt range would sound best. Crutchfield is offering 1/2 off second pair on many speakers.
 

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I'm the same, don't want to change a lot, just get new speakers that will sound nicer than stock with the stock HU. I want to keep the stock sub as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Searching doesn't show a ton, but this thing has a .75" tweeter? Every component set I've looked at for the front includes 1" tweeters. I don't want to go custom, so I'm guessing I'll be looking for good 6.5" separates. It says we have 6.75" front door speakers on Crutchfield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jenny at Crutchfield knows her stuff. I listen to gospel, disco, and rock and roll. She recommended Boston Acoustics speakers, about $379 for tweeter, 6.5", and 5 1/4 separates.
Boston Acoustics Neo Type-S 1" Kortec Dome Tweeters
18187650 S&G Tool Aid 87650 Door Trim and Panel Removal Tool
065S65RC Boston Acoustics S65RC 6-1/2" 2-way Speakers Shallow Mount
065S55 Boston Acoustics S55 5-1/4" 2-way Speakers
 

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Lots of discussion on this. I posted my experiences in earlier threads (here's one: http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=62949 )

but here's a summary (I have an '06 MazdaSpeed6 that came with Bose stock):

1. Replaced front door components with Infinity 6010CS. 6.5" woofers are direct bolt-in (into special holders that are weird shaped). I wrapped the external crossover boxes in plastic (and sealed edges with electrical tape) and velcro'd plus duct taped to inside of door shell below woofers.
Took out stock tweeters, removed plastic trim and grilles on Infinity tweeters and they fit into stock holders without having to modify holders. Stock clamp holds tweeter in but used a chunk of foam just in case they come loose and rattle.
2. Replaced rear door speakers (they're 5.25" speakers in 5x7 adapter plates) with 6x8/5x7 compatible Infinity 6810cf (two way coaxial). No external crossover so basically direct bolt in.

I didn't use any wiring adapters but instead did "western union" splices into existing wiring. Exception was front tweeters, where I ran new wires so as not to cut stock harness, in case I ever wanted to go back.

Everything else was left stock, including rear Bose sub (with built in amp). I didn't want a big sub box in the trunk so I wanted to see how it sounded first with my first mods. I'm not a bass junkie (I usually prefer good, natural acoustic tunes vs electronic, mangled and mushed up tunes) but if it wasn't enough then I was going to swap out the Bose sub for a 8" or 10" deck mounted sub with aftermarket amp.

Note 1: the Bose sub is 9" in diameter, so any aftermarket sub will require modification and adapters to fit into the opening.
Note 2: the trim cover over the Bose sub cannot be removed from above, even though it looks like it might be able to taken off. It's attached to the deck trim cover from below by screws. The whole rear deck trim piece has to be taken off to access the sub.
Note 3: the door panels come off relatively easily (fairly well detailed and discussed in this and the Interior Mods forum) but I had problems with the power window switch connectors, especially the driver's side.

In addition to the speakers I put RAAMmat and acoustic foam to the inside of all 4 door outer skins (I will do the rear deck and trunk at a later date). The RAAMmatting was a lot of work, as it requires the complete disassembly of the inner door skin panel including the latch mechanisms and power window motor.

The RAAMmat made quite a significant improvement in cleaning up the overall sound (less resonance, cleaner and crisper sound, much tighter bass) and together with the Infinitys made a very significant overall improvement. I'm happy enough with the sound quality now that I'm not doing any more changes, only RAAMatting and acoustic foam to the rear deck and trunk.

The Infinitys I chose are from the Reference Series, which are 4 ohm speakers. Yes, the Bose system (at least the 4 ch amp and 4 door speakers) are 2 ohm, and some people may tell you that using 4 ohm speakers will sound terrible. Not necessarily true. For further explanations on how impedance, sensitivity and overall sound pressure levels are related see link above.

With the Infinity Reference I'm typically listening at a volume setting of 18-20 on the HU, whereas with the stock speakers, with the same music, the setting would have been 14-15. So, the Reference series are less efficient, but with a theoretical max setting of 32 on the HU I'm still not maxing out the system. If you want LOUD, then you would have to replace the amp.

Why did I choose the Reference series, where Infinity makes a 2 ohm series of speakers, the Kappa (60.7cs and 682.7cf would the equivalent models)? Because I prefer the soft dome (silk) tweeter used in the Reference series to the metal matrix tweeter in the Kappa series. Personally I find the silk dome tweeters smoother and not as harsh as the metal dome tweeters. This is a personal thing.

If you want max bang for the buck, and don't mind a bit more "zing" with your highs, go with the Kappas. You can get both sets for less than $300US, and install is pretty straight forward with no cutting or modification. The Kappas are 2dB more efficient than the References (due to the more powerful neodymium magnets used in that series) so would be closer in efficiency to the stock speakers (ie. volume setting on the HU would be closer to the stock speakers than with the Reference series I used). The sound deadening cost about $100 in materials, and 6-8hrs per door of labor (it's a lot of work).

One other point, and this is a pet peeve of mine. Power rating, power draw, etc, etc, is not directly correlated to how loud a speaker will play. A speaker rated to handle 100Wrms will not automatically play louder than a speaker rated at 50W. How loud a speaker will play is based on it's Sensitivity rating. The power rating only gives a rough idea how much heat (as in dissipated power) the parts in the speaker can handle before something fails.

Keep in mind these are my experiences, set up according to my listening tastes. If you like LOUD, and want to impress your friends, you won't do it with the stock amp. Period. But if you don't want to do a lot of modification, you can still get good sound by swapping out the stock door speakers and deadening the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the help! She said our tweeter is 1.49", so all 1" tweeters will work with a bracket. I spoke to her about wattage range, thinking the lower average range would be most efficient, which is correct. She said 2-50 watt range is what I would want. Her first recommendation was the Infinity Ref's, but the rear doors wouldn't accept the Infinity's, so she changed to the BA's. I'm thinking the Infinity reference tweeters and 6.5's in the front, leave the stock ones in the back for now. Maybe Infinity will make some later that fit or maybe there's another brand that would mix well. It's only $149 for both tweeter seps and 6.5's at Crutchfield.
 

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Another person getting ass raped by crutchfields rediculous prices. and just because it "does not fit" does not mean it wont fit. You should also consider just taking the rear speakers out, you would be surprised how inaudible they actually are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On some things, they're as cheap as anyone. They're offering 1/2 off you 2nd set of speakers on the Infinity's and some others. Got any links for me? Very few people seem to sell the BA's.
 

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Thanks for the help! She said our tweeter is 1.49", so all 1" tweeters will work with a bracket. I spoke to her about wattage range, thinking the lower average range would be most efficient, which is correct. She said 2-50 watt range is what I would want. Her first recommendation was the Infinity Ref's, but the rear doors wouldn't accept the Infinity's, so she changed to the BA's. I'm thinking the Infinity reference tweeters and 6.5's in the front, leave the stock ones in the back for now. Maybe Infinity will make some later that fit or maybe there's another brand that would mix well. It's only $149 for both tweeter seps and 6.5's at Crutchfield. [/b]
Infinity's will fit in the rear doors, as I explained above. If you have the Bose system, the rear door inner skin will have a cutout for a 5x7/6x8 speaker, which would bolt right in, but the Bose system uses a 5.25" round speaker mounted into a 5x7 adapter. Take both out and you can fit the REference 6810cf or Kappa 682.7cf. The 6810cf is inexpensive; I think they typically sell for about $70 a pair. The stock rear Bose speakers are pretty muddy sounding, with an exaggerated hump where the human voice is. For not much money the improvement is worth it IMO. Because I bought the speakers at different times, I installed only the rear speakers first, and ran with them for a couple of weeks before the fronts came in. I hadn't done the sound deadening yet either. Changing only the rear door speakers made a noticeable improvement in the tightness and definition in the mid bass.

For the tweeter, she doesn't know what she's talking about. Stock is NOT 1.49". I didn't measure mine, but I seem to remember people saying they're .75". The Infinitiy Reference 6010cs tweeter will not fit all the way into the recess in the stock holder, but will sit squarely on the ridge that forms the recess (ie. the diameter of the Infinity tweeter is larger than stock, I think 1", but is the same diameter as the ridge that forms the recess). However, the 6010cs tweeter has to have the plastic housing removed (I used a Dremel with cutting wheel to split the plastic housing to remove it) and then the grille removed. Doing this reduces the tweeter down to it's bare basics, ie. the magnet and the driver. The thickness of the Infinity tweeter after removing the housing and grille is such that the rear bracket on the holder will clamp down firmly and hold it in place, but there will be an open space between the back of the tweeter and the low spot on the bracket. I put a chunk of foam in just in case.

Another person getting ass raped by crutchfields rediculous prices. and just because it "does not fit" does not mean it wont fit. You should also consider just taking the rear speakers out, you would be surprised how inaudible they actually are.
[/b]
The rears do fill out the mid-bass. Swinging the fader all the way forward will demonstrate that. They also add some "ambience" (due to rear sourced signal), which may or may not be desirable, based on personal taste.

Many people will suggest leaving out the rear door speakers because it creates a more solid, front biased image, replicating where the sound would be coming from if it was live. Again, as stated, this is a persnal taste kind of thing, especially when taking into account the screwed up acoustics of a typical car interior and the stock location of speakers.

In the case of the MS6, based on my personal experience, the front image is a compromise at best. The location of the tweeter in the corner of the door frame puts them firing sideways. The driver's side actually fires into the side of the instrument binnacle. The passenger's side has a more direct shot at the driver's ear. To get a decently centered image in the stock system I had to tweak the tweeter level to shift it to the driver's side, in order to get a simulated center source. The passenger side tweeter was louder since it had a more direct shot to my ear, skewing the image a bit to the right.

With the Infinitys the crossover allows you to select two tweeter settings, 0dB or -3dB. To get a decent center image I ended up installing the passenger side at the -3dB setting, while the driver's side was set at 0dB. It's still not a great center image, especially when listening to small ensembles (btw the image is pretty centered from the passenger seat too with this setup; I tested in both seats). If there is equal signal to both tweeters the source seems to be in the center of the windshield, but it's not a very "solid" image (due to reflections caused by parts of the car, the instrument pod, the steering wheel, etc). When the sound shifts to an instrument or singer off to one side, the whole soundstage collapses to one side or the other. I have a recording of Peter, Paul and Mary (Leaving on a Jet Plane, Puff the Magic Dragon, 500 miles, etc). The image shifts all over the place, from hard left to vague center to hard right. What is really needed is a speaker in the center of the dash to anchor the soundstage. Unfortunately there is none, and to add one would require major modification to the dash, if there could even be space to put one.

Essentially I'm just stating that with an automotive environment you're working with huge compromises at best. Unless you're willing to do lots of custom work, I wouldn't worry too much about getting the kind of imaging and soundstage you'd expect from a well setup two-speaker home system. Make use of what's there and get it to sound the way you like.
 

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Many people will suggest leaving out the rear door speakers because it creates a more solid, front biased image, replicating where the sound would be coming from if it was live. Again, as stated, this is a persnal taste kind of thing, especially when taking into account the screwed up acoustics of a typical car interior and the stock location of speakers.

In the case of the MS6, based on my personal experience, the front image is a compromise at best. The location of the tweeter in the corner of the door frame puts them firing sideways. The driver's side actually fires into the side of the instrument binnacle. The passenger's side has a more direct shot at the driver's ear. To get a decently centered image in the stock system I had to tweak the tweeter level to shift it to the driver's side, in order to get a simulated center source. The passenger side tweeter was louder since it had a more direct shot to my ear, skewing the image a bit to the right.

With the Infinitys the crossover allows you to select two tweeter settings, 0dB or -3dB. To get a decent center image I ended up installing the passenger side at the -3dB setting, while the driver's side was set at 0dB. It's still not a great center image, especially when listening to small ensembles (btw the image is pretty centered from the passenger seat too with this setup; I tested in both seats). If there is equal signal to both tweeters the source seems to be in the center of the windshield, but it's not a very "solid" image (due to reflections caused by parts of the car, the instrument pod, the steering wheel, etc). When the sound shifts to an instrument or singer off to one side, the whole soundstage collapses to one side or the other. I have a recording of Peter, Paul and Mary (Leaving on a Jet Plane, Puff the Magic Dragon, 500 miles, etc). The image shifts all over the place, from hard left to vague center to hard right. What is really needed is a speaker in the center of the dash to anchor the soundstage. Unfortunately there is none, and to add one would require major modification to the dash, if there could even be space to put one.

Essentially I'm just stating that with an automotive environment you're working with huge compromises at best. Unless you're willing to do lots of custom work, I wouldn't worry too much about getting the kind of imaging and soundstage you'd expect from a well setup two-speaker home system. Make use of what's there and get it to sound the way you like.
[/b]
I cant disagree with you...I guess I am just the type of person that is going to do what is necessary for my soundstage to be setup properly.

Then I'd probably just go withe the Refs front and rear doors and leave the stock tweets. Thanks, I'll shop now. www.etronics.com?
[/b]
woofersetc.com

sonicelectronix.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks! Those sites are good. So the Kappas would be more efficient? I don't care if I have to turn it up more as long as it doesn't distort. Now my question is Boston's or Infinitys? I'm sure whichever ends up being cheaper will still blow away the Bose.

So far I've found Etronics to be the cheapest. The Kappa 62.71 is $87, the Kappa 6827 is $92.95. They have the Infin Ref 6810cf for $59.
 

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Thanks! Those sites are good. So the Kappas would be more efficient? I don't care if I have to turn it up more as long as it doesn't distort. Now my question is Boston's or Infinitys? I'm sure whichever ends up being cheaper will still blow away the Bose.

So far I've found Etronics to be the cheapest. The Kappa 62.71 is $87, the Kappa 6827 is $92.95. They have the Infin Ref 6810cf for $59.
[/b]
Bostons are very good speakers too. I'm using a set of their higher end computer speakers and they are excellent considering the size and price. In general, they're pricier than the Infinity's though, from my experience. I was going cheap (read spend as little as possible) because I was experimenting and didn't want to invest a lot in speakers and then find out I needed to spend more (ie. stock amp not sufficient requiring new 4 ch amp and associated removal/installation) so bought my speakers off ebay for about $90 total for all 4 (two sets, 6010cs components up front were the most pricey). Infiinity Reference and Kappas are very common and easy to find on eBay, compared to Boston car speakers.

I'm not sure of the impedance of the Bostons, or their efficiency, so I would suggest taking a good look at those specs first. If the sensitiviyt is 92dB or more, then they would be equivalent in sound output to the Infinity Reference (the Kappas are 94dB to 95dB depending on the model). Remember that the sensitivity tells you what the SPL is at 1 meter with 2.83V 1kHz signal applied across the speaker. This is taken to be equivalent to 1 W of power, but that depends on the impedance of the speaker. The speaker draws current from the amp, which translates to power. The key word is DRAWs. The amp doesn't push Watts, it applies voltage to the speaker terminals, and depending on the impedance of the speaker a correlating amount of current will be drawn from the amp by the speaker, which translates to power (Voltage x Current = Power)

Are you thinking of using 6.5" coaxials up front? the Kappa 62.7i is a coaxial speaker. My concern about this is that having highs coming from both the lower door panel and the corner of the window will drop the overall image down almost to knee level. Also, having two tweeters going up front on each side may make your highs too strong in relation to the midrange and midbass. You might be able to tone it down with the treble control on the HU, but this is a compromise as the crossover frequency is unknown as well as how the tone control works overall.

Swapping out the stock tweeter does create a bit more work so I'd understand if you didn't want to do it. Try it and see how it sounds. If you don't mind pulling the panel off again you could always go in and disable the tweeter on the 62.7i and see how that sounds, with the stock tweeter up top. BTW, the stock tweeter has a basic crossover in the form of a capacitor, glued to the back of the tweeter, and it's wired in parallel to the door woofer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Infin Ref 6010CS are $114.99 and the 6812cf (6x8) is $59.99 at etronics but are sold out. Woofersetc is $11 more for both, but in stock. Crutchfield as a comp is $250 for the set. Based on what you're saying, the Refs would do me fine and even better if I added an amp. I don't try to impress anyone with my stereo, just enjoy good sound quality. The highest I would normally listen to the stock Bose is 14-16. Normally stay around 11-12.
 

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Sounds like you and I have similar needs in terms of the stereo. I think the Reference series will be fine for you. BTW, I used to own a stereo store specializing in high end home components (Krell, Levinson, Apogees, Sota, Gyrodec, Counterpoint, etc).

For the car, I was not interested in spending a lot of money and effort rewiring and shoehorning in aftermarket components. I'm old and too lazy/tired to contort myself into all kinds of weird positions under the dash and against the firewall. Why did I do the sound deadening? Because I hadn't done it before and my naivete and enthusiasm got the better of me. Would I do it again? I'd have to think long and hard about that one. The gains were noticeable and significant, but the amount of time invested ...

I just wanted to get as good a sound as I could with minimal cost and effort. Swapping in speakers that fit into the stock cutouts was the natural way to go. If you don't want to do the sound deadening, I would at least recommend gluing in some acoustic foam (Ensolite) against the inside of the outer door skin directly opposite the back of the speakers. See here for more details:
http://www.raamaudio.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?p=ht

Swapping out the 2 rear door speakers is pretty simple, and would take about an hour each (if you use wiring adapters). For the $70 investment I think it's worth it. The stock ones are pretty poor.
The front speakers will also take about an hour, or slightly more, if you only do the 6.5" in the door panel. The stock tweeters aren't very good either though. The Infinity Reference component separate tweeters were a lot more detailed, with much better high freq response. Depending on how you wire them up (you can just cut off the stock connector and put on terminals to connect to the Infinity tweeter) it would add about another hour to the install. Finding a place for the crossovers that are part of the 6010cs is a bit trickier. As mentioned, I sealed them up against moisture and put them inside the doors. This, and the addditional wiring needed would add another 30mins to 1 hour to the install, so figure 3hrs total for each front door (if you don't run new wiring for the tweeters).

If you're going to do this, and would like some support, let me know. I can give you pointers through PMs.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the help. I bought my old home audio stuff from Overture Audio in Wilmington DE when we lived there in 94-95. I bought a Denon AVR800, Denon single cd, and Signet SL260 bookshelf speakers. Still have it all, but don't turn it on much, so my car is my music source. They had that sick expensive stuff, Levison, Watt's (or something like that), and many more. The Dupont family was around there.
Any idea how much of that Ensolite I'd need? Very reasonably priced enough to make me buy it. So you spray the back of it with the adhesive? Are you saying put it on the inside of the door between the glass and door or between the door panel and door where plastic normally exists from the manuf?
Since those Ref 6010cf's come with tweeters, I'd probably put them in too. I'd probably wire it up so I could put stock back in as my history of buying cars would prove I don't keep em long, although I've reached the end of cars I want. There's nothing out there I could trade for that I'd like that I haven't already had.
Thanks again!!

Found another good source, they have quite a few speakers, techronics dot com.
 

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A square yard of the Ensolite foam pad would be plenty if you're not disassembling your inner door panels. The foam absorbs some of the back wave, reducing the strength of reflections that would hit the back of the woofer and muddy up the sound a bit. Rick at RAAMmat recommends doubling up on the foam (two layers). The more foam you use, the more absorption of the back wave. Essentially the affect is similar to moving the inside of the outer door skin further away. Ideally there would be no back reflections (infinite baffle in other words).

The foam would go against the inner steel skin of the outside door panel. Take a look at the pics in these two threads:
http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=57959
Post #4 shows the black plastic inner door skin after the inner door panel is removed. The speaker is in the lower corner. Removing the speaker exposes a hole through which you could put the acoustic foam.

http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=50706
The pic in the first post of this thread shows the inside surface of the outer door skin, with black plastic inner skin removed (and pwr window motor hanging free). Note that this pic shows the speaker mounting directly to the metal door skin. On my car (and likely yours too) the speaker mounts to the plastic inner skin, as in the pic in the first thread. The wrinkly, shiny silver stuff on the inside of the outer door skin is sound deadening material (Dynamat, RAAMmat, or equiv). The foam would go on top of this sound deadening material, directly behind where the speaker would be (as shown by the pics in the first thread above).

Since you're not planning on taking off the inner door skin you'll have to work with the space limitations of the stock speaker cutout. I'd recommend trying out to see how well you can get your hand inside the door through the speaker cutout. Then cut foam in appropriate pieces to fit through the opening to cover the surface directly opposite the back of the speaker.

The adhesive that Rick sells through RAAMaudio is a contact adhesive. If you want an instant bond spray both surfaces (door surface and foam) and let dry for a minute or two before applying. This gives you a very good instant bond, but no option for repositioning. When I wanted some ability to reposition the foam I only applied the spray adhesive only to the foam and applied while it was still wet. I also did a a modified tecnique where I applied spray adhesive to the full surface of the foam, but only to a small spot on the door, centered with the foam. This way when I applied the foam (with glue sticky so it wasn't completely dry) it would stick instantly in the center but I could adjust the edges to get it to lay down properly.

I do want to say it will be challenging to apply the adhesive and foam working through the stock speaker cutout. If you have small hands and lots of patience you'll probably be okay. Otherwise it might not be worth the headaches. I'd also suggest some type of work glove, as the adhesive will get on your fingers and then everywhere else.

Hope the above made sense. I think once you take the door panels off and the speakers out it will become clearer.

For the tweeters, I would recommend using the ones that come with the 6010cs. I can walk you through how to modify them to fit in the stock holder. Get some small electronic tie wraps/zap straps and about 8ft (4ft per door) of 2 conductor speaker wire. Route the speaker wire along the existing power mirror/tweeter wire harness and secure with the zap straps. I used bullet style (male/female) quick connectors at the tweeter end to allow for removal.

When you take the front speakers out you'll see a notch cut into the speaker cutout. This is to clear the speaker wire. Enlarge this notch with a small file so that it will clear two sets of wires, if you plan to install the crossovers in the doors as I did. Installing the crossover boxes anywhere else required too much rewiring, so I chose to seal them up as well as I could, to keep rain water dripping down from the window getting in to them. The stock speaker wiring will go to the crossover, and then two sets of wires will come off the crossover, one to the woofer inside the door, the other back out through the cutout to the tweeter up top.

I located the crossovers under the speaker, held against the lower door skin lip (visible in the pic in the second link above). I used two strips of adhesive back velcro (so the crossover can be removed and installed), and a wide strip of duct tape wrapped draped over the edge of the lip. The piece of duct tape pulled the crossover tight against the lip to make sure it wouldn't move or vibrate. I placed it under the speaker as I figured the splash guard of the speaker would provide some water protection.

For the rear speakers, if you're going with 5x7/6x8 you will be bolting the speaker directly to the door skin, discarding the adapter that the stock 5.25" speaker was mounted to. This adapter also incorporated the splash guard, so unless you fabricate one there won't be a splash guard. There may be some risk of rust/corrosion occuring on the speaker from water dripping down. I didn't make a splash guard for mine, thinking I'll take a chance and see if it was really needed. I didn't because the Infinity 6810cf is a pretty shallow speaker. I thought it might not go deep enough into the door space to be exposed to dripping water, because the speaker is mounted quite far out (you'll see what I mean when you take the door panel off). I'll take the panel off in the spring and see how it went. If necessary I'll fab up some type of splash guard if there is corrosion.
 
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