Upgrading Speakers

Summary

While the speaker system in the 600 is quite adequate for most people, for the audiophile there is always room for improvement.
If you are looking to upgrade the stock speakers in the 600 to somemthing a bit better, then this guide is the one for you.
For a more adventurous look at what can be achieved with the In Car Entertainment in the 600 click here.

It is widley accepted in audio circles that to correctly stage your sound, the front speakers be the primary source of sound and are often "amped". The rear speakers should be disabled or faded low providing "rear fill" while a subwoofer provides the low frequencies.

If a subwoofer is not fitted, rear 6x9 speakers are often used to provide some of the lower frequencies at the expense of sound quality.
In cases where both a subwoofer and rear speakers are fitted, the rear speakers should be isolated from the subwoofer by either baffling or boxing them to avoid the sub "driving" the speakers and damaging them.

In this system the rear speakers will be boxed, and run from the headunit and a subwoofer fitted. The front speakers are amplified and therefore new wires have to be run to the doors.

Requirements

To do this job you will need:

  • Good qualiity speaker wire
  • Front Speakers 6 or 6.5
  • Rear Speakers 6x9
  • Tweeters around 1 inch if you are using components
  • Medium Density Fibre board

Wiring Colour Code

SpeakerPositive wireNegative wire
Front Left Blue/Green Grey/Black
Front Right Red/Green Brown/Black
Rear Left Blue/Yellow Grey/White
Rear Left Red/Yellow Brown/White

Procedure

Front Speakers

First Remove the doorcards and the old speakers.

Upgrading the speaker wire

The original speaker wire is quite thin and should be upgraded to a low resistance oxygen free speaker cable for the best performance.
While it is possible to run the cable directly to the door - a much neater solution is to use the existing door plug and socket, and rewire the terminals to take the new cable. This will allow the door to be easily removed if required.

Unplug the door connecter and remove the door.

Untape and release the plastic loom holder, the cable can now be fed through from the inside of the car to the plug.

Use a small screwdriver to release the speaker cable pins from the plug and withdraw them. The new cable can now be soldered to the pins and the pins replaced in the plug.

Repeat the procedure with the socket connector on the door.

The speaker wire can now be run to the crossovers.

In this instance an excellent location for the crossovers is behind the glovebox. A bracket was fabricated to mount the crossovers to the blower unit.

Fitting tweeters

Remove the original tweeters by gently prising up the inboard edge of the grill. The grill can then be removed and the speaker wires disconnected.

The exact procedure for fitting tweeters will depend on the particular brand used. In this case some work was required to fabricate mount for the tweeter using 1 1/4" wastepipe and aluminium brackets to hold the tweeter to the original grill.

The new speaker wire can be run down to the crossovers, and the tweeters connected.

The uprated tweeters are mounted in the original locations with no visible alterations.

The wires for the tweeters and mids can be connected to each crossover and the feed wires run to the amp, in this case located in the boot.

The wiring for the crossovers can be concealed and the glovebox neatly hides the crossovers.

Fitting the mids

For the best results speakers should be mounted on something dense - MDF is ideal and easily workable.

The standard speaker is a slim line type which limits the upgrade options when using the standard plastic mount, manufacturing a custom speaker mount allows a wider range of speakers to be fitted from the common 6 or 6.5 inch range. The thickness of the mount must be sufficient to allow the window mechanism to clear the speaker magnet. There is considrable space between the speaker cone and the speaker grill in the doorcard - a spacer ring of an inch thick still gives clearance between the grill and the cone.

MDF rings can be made easily with a router or a jigsaw. The ring provides a dense mounting point, appropiate spacing to clear the window mechanism and a perfect fit for standard 6 or 6.5inch speakers depending on the diameter of the hole.

Fix the ring securely to the door using the original screw holes.

Mount the speaker with plenty of small woodscrews.

Rear Speakers

Remove the speaker grills by prising the front edge out of the clips, then slide the grill fowards to relase back. Remove old speakers

As with the front speakers, a ring is made to mount the speaker in.

A subwoofer will be used in this installation so it is important to box the speaker in

A "box" can be constructed using MDF layers

The box is designed to fit the speaker with cut outs for speaker terminals

MDF should be painted to reduce the water absorption and improve aesthetics

The "box" can be screwed through into the mounting ring and sealed with gripfil to ensure it is airtight

Fit the speaker with woodscrews and refit the shelf trim.

The uprated speakers are mounted in the original locations with no visible alterations.