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Discussion Starter #1
Well, after my happy post about upgrading my stereo (shoebox sub, Eclipse amp, Kenwood Excelon components in the doors) I've decided my speakers actually sound like crap.

Not the shoebox sub - it's great.

It's the door speakers. The Eclipse 3-way coaxials that were in there before (prev. owner) had a lot of "honk" to them, sounded cheap and cardboardy, and thinking these Excelons were better, I replaced them. But they're just as honky - only in a different frequency range.

What's wrong? They sounded great at the dealer. And the speakers in my Prelude aren't all that special (factory in fact) but they sound worlds better than these. Ditto my wife's BMW 325.

Could it be the wires? I ran new 14-ga. speaker wires to the dash, where I butt-spliced them into the existing Honda wires. Inside the doors, those Honda wires are butt-spliced again into a section of 14-ga. serving as an extension to reach the crossover, from which point it's all 14-ga. Those Honda wires are pretty thin and kind of crusty looking.

Could it be that the plastic speaker baskets in the doors are negatively affecting the sound? Maybe I should cut them out altogether - just leave enough to screw into. When doing my install I mistakenly thought I had to cut the small (3" or so) back out to fit the speaker in. I did this on one door before realizing I didn't need to - so one door has it cut out, one doesn't. Can't detect any real difference between left and right, but maybe I need to cut out the entire basket.

Or, could it be that's as good as this car is going to get? Or as good as 6" speakers are going to get (even components)?

I'm frustrated and disappointed. Anybody out there have some advice?

- Bob
 

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Riiiiight! The openings for the door speakers form a plastic cup where the magnets of the drivers are. If you don't cut away the plastic you are effectively turning woofers into closed back mid ranges, only without the benefit of acoustic packing that midranges have. Yup, they are going to sound almost unbearably bad. The sound off the back of the woofer ricochets around between the plasic enclosure and the back of the cone creating standing waves which is most likely producing the "honky' sound that you are noting. The good news is that you have good ears! Either drill a bazillion holes in the plasic or remove the bulk of it with a Dremel tool or some other appropriate tool. I used the Dremel as the cutting bit merely warmed the plastic up enough to cut through without generating dust or plastic "sawdust". You really dont want a door full of water and dirt retaining material that can plug up the drain holes at the bottom of the door. The door itself won't rust as it is aluminum but the motor and window guides probably would. Some brave souls took the inside door liner off. That gives you complete artistic licence. By the way, I went for a smaller long throw speakers in the doors, with strong magnets. I machined a couple of aluminum plates to adapt the 4 hole configuration of the 4.5 inch speakers to the 3 hole configuration. They sound great. that's why I know yours should too. Don't give up. :)

If you go for the bazillion holes with the drill option use a vacuum and some kind of stop on the drill as the plastic will grab the drill with possible dire consequences! It is prefferable in my opinion to remove a portion. Email me if you need a photo.
 

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b1shmu63 wrote: "The openings for the door speakers form a plastic cup where the magnets of the drivers are. If you don't cut away the plastic you are effectively turning woofers into closed back mid ranges"

Have the door panels changed with time?
If so, I want the new ones !!!
My car is a 2000 (serial 45) and the speaker is not is a cup. The back of the door panel is opened except for the upper section that is supposed to channel rain.

The first year, I had to glue a margerine box in the back to avoid water infiltration. Because so much water goes into the door that when it hits the internal parts, it splashes through the speaker opening and out of the grill or lower door section into the rubber seal and on the floor.

Can you confirm that the back is fully closed?

For the speaker sound, are you sure that you respected the speaker polarity (left/right/front/rear).
 

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bug girl
If your door panels vibrate you need to put something behind them to absorb any vibration. Make sure it's the door panel and not the speaker though. I added some to mine for road noise reduction and it also made the speakers sound better in the process by absorbing the sound created by the back side of the speaker. Worth considering, but I'm guessing the speaker is just clipping or the woofer is bottoming out against some plastic in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The back is not fully closed - there's a rectangular (iirc) opening at the lower part of the back of the plastic cup through which the wires pass.

It's my impression that the cup is there to keep water off the speakers. But I don't recall the exact config of the plastic sheet in the door - maybe that does the trick.

Mine is an '00 Insight, so it's far from the "new" design.

I guess my first crack will be to dismount one of the speakers and position it out in the air. I can do a left/right balance comparison and see if the honk is de-honked.

Thanks!

- Bob
 

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I've got a 2000 Insight and I installed some Infinity Kappa 3-ways up front along with Alpine 3 ways in the rear and have a JVC El Kameleon headunit. In order to fit the Kappas, I used a dremel to cut the plastic behind the speaker as well as a little of the metal (I know now that I should have made some MDF baffles so I didn't have to cut the metal). The speakers clear the window by about 1/4-1/2 inch. The crossovers mount on the bottom of the door panel and have worked fine even though the rain has left them as well as the speakers wet. One last thing is that I can't use a speaker grill because the Honda one nowhere near clears the Kappas and the Kappa one's don't clear the Insight's door panels.

Now that the installation part is over with, now onto their sound. Their frequency response is 45-22k Hz and it shows. The bass is remarkable (I added some Dynamat to the back of the door panels because they rattled) and the highs are lifelike. I played around with the 3 band EQ on the headunit and everything is nice and flat. I'm using some Alpine 2 ways for some fill in the back. The headunit's 19 watts rms/50 watts peak works great and I'm using the stock speaker wires. I'm not using a sub and want the music to as accurate as possible. How much power are you putting into the speakers. If you have them amped, the stock wires may not be able to handle it. The honking, I expect, comes from the speakers and changing them may be the only way to fix it. Some speakers just have too much midrange and others have too much highs. It just depends on the brand and what your headunit or amp can do to change the EQ.
 

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Yves, thanks for pointing out the rain issue. I'll have to check and see if mine are being soaked. You are right about the phasing. Get it wrong and your bass is toast!

I'm sure the cup is there for water protection but it is a really bad idea accoustically. Perhaps a thin sheet of rubber from a cut up surgical glove would provide some rain proofing without trashing the sound?

Bob, don't forget that reversing the speaker requires that you reverse the wiring polarity, and use some kind of putty around the edge to seal it.
 
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