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Discussion Starter #1
Searching for Replacements

I wanted to do a speaker upgrade....badly....the stock speakers are so poor and my daily 1.5hr commute was getting tiresome without good sound.

I looked for the four speakers listed here on the website and it appears that they may be all old models that aren't produced any more. I found the Eclipse and Clarion for sale on Ebay, but they weren't all that cheap and the specs weren't up to my liking. Not that specs are the be-all, end-all, but geez....$140 for a pair of 6.5" speakers, they better ROCK. (FYI: the Eclipse DO have excellent sensitivity...)

After using a well-known car audio website to do the research, I was able to find a really decent speaker for....$50. The speakers are new this year, the Pioneer TS-G1647. 6-1/2", less than 2" deep, so I knew they SHOULD fit. Specs were equal-to or better than the four here on the InsightCentral and I was able to match the website price at a local brand-name electronics store. Sweet.

I was extremely apprehensive about buying something NOT listed here on the website. I wasn't 100% positive they would fit and I really did NOT want to make any modifications. I wanted to be able to put the stock speaker grilles back on over the dome tweeters and had no desire at all to alter the Honda's door panel. I didn't want the aftermarket speaker grille look on the door, but I might have to use them because I wasn't sure the tweeters would clear the stock grilles. Most importantly, I had NO plan to swap out the stock Honda radio, since I couldn't afford that kind of money right now. These speakers need to improve the sound NOW without requiring another $300 on a decent quality stereo deck.

As I thought of all the glitches that could happen at the fitting stage of the installation, I was sweating bullets. Heck, even if it fit perfectly, how good could a pair of $50 speakers be? I talked myself into being happy with only marginal improvement...

But the low price of the speakers urged me onward. Buying them locally, maybe I could trade-up to a higher-end speaker if these didn't fit. I knew they wouldn't be the "perfect drop-in replacement" mentioned on the website, but as long as they got me 90% there, maybe I could fix any problems that might crop up with the installation.

Installation

Sure enough, the speaker grilles popped off easily and you can quickly remove the stock speakers with three phillips-head self-tapping sheetmetal screws. Noting the really cheap paper cones and useless "whizzer" cone that passed for a tweeter, I understood why the stock speakers were so bad. I dropped them out and disconnected the wires....and my heart sank when I saw Honda's wildly custom speaker connector. No way was I going to just "plug in" the aftermarket speaker.

I disassembled the Honda connector, and like all things Honda, found it to be a tiny engineering marvel - like something in a James Bond movie. I was able to easily extract the speaker spade-lugs from the connector body. I thought if I could remove the basic spade lugs, they would just slip onto the new speakers and I'd be home free.

But then I tried to slip those connectors onto the new speaker. Dang: the negative terminal on the new speakers is "half width". The positive one fit fine, but the negative one was never going to work. What the heck?

I looked and looked at how I could make the new speaker completely compatible. After all, the website said some speakers were "drop in" replacements, right?

No way were these "drop in". I wondered if I could modify the new speaker by removing the connector from the Honda speakers and replacing the spade lugs on the new speakers with it.

No dice. I could remove the connector from the Honda speakers easy enough, and I could solder the wires on the new speaker to that connector, but I couldn't come up with a way to rivet the new connector to the speaker frame. Just too tiny a space to get a rivet gun into. You have to remove the connectors and solder on the ones that are supplied with the speakers, but that's not difficult and the extra connectors for the speakers are included.

I decided to just snip off the connectors from the Honda speaker wires and solder on the "pigtails" that came with the new speakers. Turns out that's the only way to do it anyhow, because you needed at least 3 inches more wire length in order to pivot the new speaker to match the hole pattern.

The pigtail job came out ok, and I even used shrink wrap when I was done for a near-perfect job.

I was able to rotate the speakers about 30 degrees from their "horizontal" position and match up with the speaker holes just fine. I re-used the existing screws and they fit, being careful not to over-torque the plastic they "drill" into.

I tried out the aftermarket speaker grilles just to see what they looked like and it was awful. The grills fit very closely around the speakers and would NOT cover all the holes that hold on the stock speaker grilles. NO WAY could I use the aftermarket grilles.

Sound Check

POP!, and on go the stock speaker grilles, with NO PROBLEM. Yay. At least the speakers would physically fit. I wondered if this was what "drop in replacement" really meant, and that people were simply omitting the detail of the connector modifications.

The the moment of truth: powering on the stereo and listening to see if there was any improvement at all..."click", and on came the stereo. Sound came out of both speakers....whew....at least they were hooked up right.

I put in a cassette tape: "Plastic Compilation 1", and cranked up the volume control. WOW: WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I was completely stunned.

Switching to the FM radio, the difference was even more apparent. While the cassette tape frequency response was audibly limited, a quality FM station started to show the real benefit of the speaker upgrade. Super highs and lows, with great dynamic range on stations that don't use a "compander" :) Sometimes you could get the doors to rattle if you cranked the radio up hard, but the sound from the speakers was true and clear all the way to the end of the volume control. And the sound intensity improvement wasn't an illusion: it was MUCH louder than the stock speakers.

Conclusion

The Pioneer TS-G1647, with a tad bit of soldering (small butt crimp connectors would also work fine) is an excellent $50 speaker replacement choice for the Insight. 1-5/8" deep with a flush-mounted tweeter and multiple mounting holes, it fits the stock speaker enclosure perfectly. (There are some mounting ears from 6 3/4" enclosures that are scored and need to be broken off.)

Please understand that I'm in-no-way connected with Pioneer corporation and I didn't get these speakers any cheaper than you can. I'm just a satisfied customer, pleased with a low cost solution.

Street price on the speakers is $49.95. Specs are good: 92 db/w sensitivity (higher is better), frequency range of 35-22,000 hz, nominal power of 30W, peak 150W.

Happy Upgrading;
JKB
 

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Good detailed report there. One thing though, that special Honda wiring harness is just the standard honda connector. For about another $8 at Best Buy or wherever you could have picked up a pair of adaptors that plug right in to the connector and then give you the spade connectors that go on the replacment speakers. If you ever decide to upgrade the deck do yourself a favor and just get the plug, it's the same as any other Honda and that way you don't have to cut any wires.

I may be recommending these to a fellow local Insighter looking for a stereo upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the Connector Tip!

Rick said:
that special Honda wiring harness is just the standard honda connector. For about another $8 at Best Buy or wherever you could have picked up a pair of adaptors that plug right in to the connector and then give you the spade connectors that go on the replacment speakers. ......

I may be recommending these to a fellow local Insighter looking for a stereo upgrade.
Rick;

Thanks a ton for the heads-up on the adapter cable. I wish like heck I'd have known that, it would have saved me about an hour in installation time (had to hunt down and fire up the butane soldering iron). If I do a deck upgrade, you can bet I'll go for the adapter, hands down.

I don't think you can go wrong recommending these speakers to anyone else. They are cheap and readily available and sound just great to my non-audiophile ears. The improvement is quite dramatic: you can feel the sound all over the door panels and the air moving back and forth briskly through the speaker grilles.

I'm very happy with how they make the stock radio sound, absolutely great even with the BASS and TREBLE controls at their default detents. Although it gets dissed because of the "mere 6W RMS" output, the deck itself seems to be good quality (I think Honda OEMs Clarion?) and I only wish it had been a CD player too so I'd never have to upgrade. I'm so sorry Honda's putting a tape deck in these cars just when cassettes are literally vanishing from the market. A CD deck would have been much more appropriate to the technology of our Insights, and a CD player that does MP3's would have been a magnificent finishing touch. As it is, we didn't even get the pleasure of a front-panel audio input to easily add a portable CD player. Owch.

There is a Pioneer 6.5" speaker priced above these that has a triple tweeter assembly giving perceptibly clearer high-frequency response. It's on sale at the store I bought from (initials are "BB") for $79 right now. Warning: that triple-tweeter sticks out another 1/4" or so-I didn't buy it because I feared it wouldn't clear the stock speaker grilles.

What do you think about adding rear speakers? I haven't gone with adding them because of the recommendations of other Insighters, but the rear hatch area of the car sure does seem to be begging for something that'll give good bass response. I doubt that I'd want any extra amplification in such a small space. Just doesn't seem to need it for comfortable listening.

If you are able to get the adapter cable you mention, then these speakers ought to take all of 10 minutes per side to upgrade to.

JKB
 

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I've heard an Insight with the door and rear speakers upgraded, it was better than just the two I guess, but left something to be desired. That and the seats do an excellent job of muffling any sound that comes from the rear ones anyways. My setup consists of a Kenwood deck that for the moment is also powering the front Infinity speakers, there will eventually be an amp powering them. Then in the storage hole I have an Infinity Kappa Perfect (way overkill) 10" sub woofer being powered off of a 180 watt JBL amp.

It sounds a lot better when you have two speakers up front adequately powered from a clean soure and a sub woofer in the rear. I'd say upgrade your deck next to something with a CD player or whatever. Then get a sub and an amp that can push it and the door speakers and you'll have some good tunes going.

As far as speaker size, no huge deal to me. I had to cut plastic behind the speakers to make room for the magnets on mine and then had to get out the dremel to make room for the tweeters inside of the grills. Well worth it in the name of better audio in my opinion. And it won't effect how the stock spekaers would go back in when and if I ever decide to sell the car.
 

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Thanks for your post JamesKB.

Did you see my post "My Experience Upgrading my Speakers" ? - I did a similar upgrade to you but I went for the Pioneer TS-E1675; like you, my stereo sound has shown a vast improvement. The catch with mine was that the speakers had a 'deep' basket which meant I had to cut away part of the speaker cradles but worth it to go from 15W to 50W+ a speaker (x4).

I now have great fun entertaining my immature self by playing the intro (& great bassline) from "Rapper's Delight" really loud. Honda are using the song advertising the new Accord and the Honda brand in general with a superb two minute long advert in the UK. Has the advert been shown in the US / Canada?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, thank YOU

The Silver Streaker said:
Did you see my post "My Experience Upgrading my Speakers" ? - I did a similar upgrade to you but I went for the Pioneer TS-E1675; like you, my stereo sound has shown a vast improvement.
Chris;

It was YOUR article that encouraged me to GO FOR IT. See, I got kinda "hypnotized" by the four speakers in the list and felt I should go for those, until I found out they were all very old models and not sold commonly any more (found the 8263's and SRR1624's on Ebay....but why would I do that and pay more for shipping than just buying locally) Seeing you go with a Pioneer brand and getting great results encouraged me to look for myself, and the TS-G1647's were just the ticket.

I THINK the ad you're talking about, the Accord ad, is seen here in the US.

But...I lived through the disco 70's era, did a lot of roller skating. so that bass line is deeply ingrained and triggers my gag reflex. Those supressed memories of bellbottoms and brown polyester make me sick to my stomach....:)

JKB
 

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Thanks for the good post with a lot of helpful info. Even though I myself haven't had to go through upgrading the speakers, I get to fix what the last guy messed up :?

Question for those of you who had to cut into the plastic (on the door, not the grill) to get your speakers to fit; Does water leak into the interior thru the speakers?

My speakers were upgraded by the previous owner, the speakers are good but they had to cut into the plastic (and the metal behind it!!!) to get them to fit. In doing so they also cut a little foam rubber gasket that sits between the inner metal part of the door and the plastic door panel and now I gets small amounts of water leaking inside the car and the speaker frames are rusting.

A fix I am going to try is to put a "bubble" of plastic inside the door sealing the speakers off from the outside world. Either some heavy trash bag plastic or a large baggie with a bit of silicone to seal it to the inner metal part of the door ought to take care of the leaking. The only problem I can think is if there is not enough space in the bubble to allow the speakers to move without the plastic making some other noise. I will post pictures when I get it all in place.
 

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Ouch! No, it was only a few square inches of plastic where the speakers magnet goes. I think if you go much deeper you have an issue with the window hitting it when it goes down. I deffinitely would not have cut any metal. Your best bet might be to pull the door panels off and see what you can fix, if anything. I do not get any water leakage at all, I'd attribute that to the cut metal.
 

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I cut into my door about a week ago, but didn't have to remove any metal.
Been alot of rain here lately too, and I haven't had any moisture leaks, or
any moisture build up on the speaker. (I'll check from time to time though)
here's a pic:http://www.installerassist.com/archive/insight/radio/car_002.jpg
Someone makes an aftermarket basket for car speakers, but I'm
at a loss to remember who the manufacture is. The purpose is for acoustics, but it would
also seal out any moisture from your speaker or outer door panel.
 

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That picture shows what I am missing, that little lip in the metal behind the plastic. They cut through both plastic and metal all the way to where the plastic starts coming back in towards the cabin. :evil:

At least the stock grills still fit.
 

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jameskb said:
Searching for Replacements
(snip)
After using a well-known car audio website to do the research, I was able to find a really decent speaker for....$50. The speakers are new this year, the Pioneer TS-G1647. 6-1/2", less than 2" deep, so I knew they SHOULD fit. Specs were equal-to or better than the four here on the InsightCentral and I was able to match the website price at a local brand-name electronics store. Sweet.
(snip)
JKB
I have the TS-G1645's that I installed back in 2001 and were discontinued sometime ago. It looks like these are the replacement and they have a higher power rating. I have been debating about putting in a set of rear speakers and I have been trying to decide whether or not get the Honda speaker kit or go with OEM's such as these. After seeing the Sony rear speaker installation in one of the other threads, I think I may get a pair of TS-G1647's along with a pair of Metra Dashwork's DW-7800SH harness adapters and install them in the rear speaker holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
rschaffrath said:
I have the TS-G1645's that I installed back in 2001 and were discontinued sometime ago. It looks like these are the replacement and they have a higher power rating. I have been debating about putting in a set of rear speakers and I have been trying to decide whether or not get the Honda speaker kit or go with OEM's such as these. After seeing the Sony rear speaker installation in one of the other threads, I think I may get a pair of TS-G1647's along with a pair of Metra Dashwork's DW-7800SH harness adapters and install them in the rear speaker holes.
I say go for the aftermarket speakers. I don't have the slightest clue what the rear speaker holes look like, and I had the benefit of pulling the existing speaker to check what I needed to buy to fit. But after going through the experience, I am encouraged by the fit I was able to achieve with the 1647's.

Weeks after the install, I continue to be very satisfied with the $50 Pioneer speakers. I've had to twiddle the base and treble controls to compensate for roll off in the stock Honda radio's final amp, but the improvement is still very much worth the money, effort and time. If I have any regrets, it might only be that I wish I'd tried the next speakers up for $79. The extra high-frequency response would have been useful.

I guess at this point, either I can go with extra rear speakers and/or upgrade the deck. That's well in the future. Although there's been a little bit of talk on the BBS about adding rear speakers, please, please update us when you do the upgrade.

Thanks;
JKB
 

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jameskb said:
(snip)
I say go for the aftermarket speakers. I don't have the slightest clue what the rear speaker holes look like, and I had the benefit of pulling the existing speaker to check what I needed to buy to fit. But after going through the experience, I am encouraged by the fit I was able to achieve with the 1647's.

Weeks after the install, I continue to be very satisfied with the $50 Pioneer speakers. I've had to twiddle the base and treble controls to compensate for roll off in the stock Honda radio's final amp, but the improvement is still very much worth the money, effort and time. If I have any regrets, it might only be that I wish I'd tried the next speakers up for $79. The extra high-frequency response would have been useful.
(snip)
JKB
I ordered a set of TS-G1647's etronics.com for $37.95 including tax (New York based company) and shipping. I'll try to install them next weekend though I am taking a red-eye back from San Jose Friday night so I will probably be too wasted to do much on Saturday.

The rear holes are not too difficult to find. When I installed the Honda CD player, I had to pull back the rear carpeting and open the speaker hole, by removing the plastic cover, in order to run the control cable through the car. The same procedure will help in locating the hole but the real trick will be to cut the carpet correctly so that the speaker and grill fit properly without leaving a ragged carpet edge sticking out. I would guess that a perfect 6 1/2" round hole in the carpet will do the trick and possibly a three holes in each side of the aluminum frame to hold the new speakers. The speaker will make a good template for cutting the hole but finding the correct tool to do the cutting will be interesting.
 

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For those of you still interested in the Pioneer TSG1647 speakers, they are on sale right now at Circuit City stores (and on line) for $35. They are also on sale at Best Buy for $46. I would recommend that you listen to them before buying. Although I'm quite sure they sound better then the stock speakers, they did not sound as good to my highly untrained ears as other speakers in the $40 - $65 range, although several of those had a mounting depth of 2-1/2".

I checked Crutchfield and they had three speakers that they said were "Easy Fit", meaning they required no modification to the plastic behind the speaker (or to the stock grill, I think). One was the Pioneer, one was a Kenwood (KFC-1668S), and the last was a component speaker from Rockford Fosgate (FRC4206U). Mounting depth ranged from 1-5/8" to 1-3/4". Interestingly, there were some other speakers that fell in this depth range that Crutchfield claimed required car modification. Could it be that the magnet diameter is too large?

I believe amplifiedmouse put Sony speakers in that were 1-15/16" deep, and only required modification (grinding) of the stock grills. From what I saw elsewhere on this sight I think I need to stay under 2" for the door speakers.

Does anyone know what the mounting depth of the rear (behind the seats) speakers is? I assume there is no similar plastic "cone" behind those speakers.
 

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Jay said:
(snip)
Does anyone know what the mounting depth of the rear (behind the seats) speakers is? I assume there is no similar plastic "cone" behind those speakers.
On the driver side you have almost infinite space as there is nothing behind the speaker hole. On the passenger side it is tighter due to the ventilation system for the battery pack. You might have about three inches clearance. I installed a pair of TS-G1647's in the rear(see http://www.schaffrath.net/photos/New-Speakers.jpg) and there was no problem with clearance on the passenger side. There was certainly room to spare. If you take a look at http://www.schaffrath.net/photos/Bulkhead-Removed2.jpg, which shows the rear bulkhead area exposed, you will see the ventilation assembly in the background. If you look at the junction where the vertical and horiztonal black ducts meet, you will see a depression in the vertical duct (in the photo, it is just to the right of the white tag on the seatbelt assembly). The speaker magnet fits into that depression.
 

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Jay - also look at "My experience upgrading my speakers", hopefully the photolink will still work. Assuming there are not premarked speaker holes, then I would advise placing the rear speaker holes high and to the outside edge of the car. You will soon hit pipework if you go in more than an inch or two from the door frame. Hope this helps.
 

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Pioneer and adapter widget

Thank you for your details on the Pioneer 1647s.

Best buy has them on sale for $39 now (Feb 7), and the Best Buy guy knew right away what the Honda adapter was to convert the Honda plug to the spade plugs and got me a pair for about $5 and the wiring harness for $17.

FYI: I first tried Good Guys and got the cold shoulder and Fry's didn't have the adapters anywhere in sight.

I didn't have to do any modifications to mount the new speakers, as they fit right into the spaces and fit the screw holes exactly.

I got the least expensive Pioneer CD receiver they had there on clearance sale ($89), and installed that too following your posts.

If anyone wants a inexpensive and huge improvement, then this is a great way to go. I am very happy.

My only install comment is that the spring clips are tenacious when one is popping off the dash portion under the radio, and it can be a bit easier to work on it if you slip off the plastic over the gear shift. This isn't required, however.
 
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