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156 SW speaker upgrade

Hi guys, just a few things to establish at the start of this post....

1/. I'm quite poor (Baby number 1 on the way)
2/. I'm a bit of an audiophile.
3/. I'm am also a complete muppet when it comes to I.C.E. never done any upgrading at all.

Off we go then....

I have a limited budget, probably the darker side of 50 quid. I am looking to start upgrading the speakers in my car to go with my sony mp3 head unit. (http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=2152)
What I was thinking of doing was replacing the lower door speakers in the front first, then moving on to the tweaters, then stick some in the rear doors later on. I can't use the boot of the SW for anything other than a pushchair.

So with those limiting constraints, what can I do???? I was looking at some Pioneer TS-E1775 17cm 2 way speakers for the lower front doors. (http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_detail.jsp?product_id=526&taxonomy_id=25-131). If these were not suitable then i was looking at some cheaper pioneers TS-G1746(http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/product_detail.jsp?product_id=690&taxonomy_id=25-131).

Will these fit in my doors ok? Are they suitable to replace the standard factory fit speakers? How do I go about fitting them??? Will i need to do anything else with crossovers etc in this initial stage? Am I likely to be able to fit the cool covers? Most importantly, are these speakers any good??? What are the tweaters for in two ways? Are they midrange tweaters or something?????

Sorry this is a bit of a muppet post, but hey, i'm new to this game. Please try and keep the replies down to a level a 5 year old could understand Thanks in advance for your help!
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I take it from your post you have already invested in the Sony Headunit, oh well.

you are right in that you want to start with yout front doors, then if necessary move to the rears.

two ways are full range speakers just as components are but in a single piece rather than separate tweeter plus crossover. The coax's use a capacitor to filter low-frequency notes from the tweeter - but let the mid run full range - not good. the crossover in the components cuts the high frequency from the mid and the low frequency from the tweeter. I cannot reccomend components over coax's enough.

The non bose 156's actually have a VERY cheap component set with a tweeter in the door handle (using a capacitor to protect the tweeter) and the mid in the bottom corner. The bose systems have the tweeter integrated into the mid.

You will not want to put a set of coax's in the front without disabling the tweeter otherwise you will have way too much treble.

The front components are key, sat in the front seats over 70% of the sound you hear will come from them, with the rears adding a bit of depth.

There is better kit out there than the pioneers, they are not brilliant speakers.

In my old 156 I had a set of infinity 655cs components and these sounded brilliant in the car, the new model is linked here.

without having to hack at the door pod I could fit the inifinity's or kenwood dual mags (which I didn't liek the sound of), ALpine's wouldn't fit nor would focal's. did not try the pioneers (its the depth plus diameter of the magnet that count).

If you do front components you can leave the factory rears for a while, or put some cheap coax's in...

In the old 156 I took the door cards off

start by removing door handle cover, take out little cap, remove crosshead behind it. hold handle open and slide cover back and out.

remove speaker grille, remove speaker (4 screws)
There are two screws holding speaker pod to metal of door, remove these.

in the bottom of hand hold in the door where the window buttons are there is a little rubber mat, take this out there are 2 bolts, (torx T40) lift the unit with the window buttons out, disconnect (make sure you knwo how it goes back together) and put to one side. There are two bolts holding the frame to the door undo these.

The door is now held with sets of clips at side and bottom, which you can lift by gently prying door card away from door at bottom/side. when these are released, the door card can be lifted off the lip at the top of the door.

Using adhesive velcro you can attach the crossover to the doorcard. wire mid bass signal to crossover in run 2 pairs of wires one to the mid bass mount and the other up to the door handle hole.

The current tweeter will twist out of the mount, and using a screwdriver you can unbend the mesh that is holding the grille in place. this leaves a circular hole with a lip in the tweeter mount. Using one of the fitting options for your tweeter and some double sided tape fit the tweeter to the handle mount as the original was.

fit door card back, wire new mid bass speaker to the wire you ran, attach tweeter to the tweeter wires then refit handle mount.

Hope this helps,


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Simes - the Alfaowner formerly known as Alfa156man
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Are the main drivers on those Infinity 6500's a straight fit or does the factory fit speaker hole need any modifying to get them in ?
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great post matey..thanks for the reply.

removing the door panel seems a bit extreem to me...is there a nice quick fix? For example, what are dual cone speakers, and would i just be able to drop one into the bottom speaker hole and run them with my current tweaters. Do I need to bother with fitting a cross over? surely if I have tweaters already there must be some sort of cross-over in there...or am I just hopelessly confused? How much is a speaker upgrade likely to cost if i got it proffesionally fitted?

Is there an easy option available to just replace the bottom door speaker?
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Just to close down this thread and let you guys know the outcome (i don't think this happens enough on forums - people post the question and then never say what they actually did!). I went to the local shop, who were pretty useful (http://www.carelectronicsltd.co.uk/). They had some Alpine SXS1757 component speakers for 100. For some reason they decided that they had an offer on them and gave them me for 60. The offer wasn't marked, wasn't on the net or anything like that, so I wasn't complaining. These speakers have a range only as low as 60hz and are 150W. They also have an inline crossover, so no messing around with wiring!

I put the speakers in that night, really easy. To fit the tweaters, simply remove the little cap behind the door handle, using a small screw driver in the notch. Then undo the screw behind the cap, open the handle and slide the black cover off. To remove the tweaters, prise off the mesh cover which is crimped at the back. Then there is a little catch that you must push in to allow you to twist off the tweater, like a jar lid.

Unfortunatley the alpine tweater covers wouldn't fit, so I went for the stealth option. I placed the uncovered tweater in the mount and replaced the existing alfa mesh cover. I made a small hole in the polystyrne in the door panel and dropped the speaker cable down.

Replace the door cover and that is the tweater fitted. Next, put a small screwdriver into the side of the bottom covers, release the catches (3 of them, 2 on the sides, one on the top) and remove the cover. unscrew the exisiting speaker, pull the wires through. I cut the exisiting alfa block off and simply wired them to the speaker. If you look carefully the block has a 1 and 2 marked on it. I used the one marked 1 and the positive (dunno if this is right, sounds ok to me, and nothing has exploaded!!!!) I then pulled the tweater wire through and attached that to the main speaker (as I mentioned, they use an inline crossover so they just plug into the main speaker). I had to fit the alpines upside-down. Be careful here, as if they speaker magnet is too large it won't go in the hole, and if it is too long, it seems the window catches on it when you put it down. The alpines come with a spacer bracket that when mounted behind the speaker pulls it out enough so nothing catches. Simply screw the speaker in, replace the cover, and jobs-a-good-an!

I listened to the alpines for a few days to-and-from work and decided that it seemed that the audio was totally coming from the front of the cabin. The noise seemed to cut off at the front seats, and there wasn't very much bass. Decision made I dropped into a local shop and bought some sony's. Went for a cheapish 2 way option for the rears. Again, theses were 17cm speakers. I opted for the sony's because although their sound reproduction isn't great, they are quite bassy sounding speakers. Dropped those in to the rears easy as pie, took ten mins each speaker.

The end result is audio that simply fills the car, a really rich sound. The alpines are so clear and sound superb. The sonys provide more on the low end making the whole thing more enjoyable. Whats more, at the volume I listen to the stero at, I can still hear the alfa purr!!!!

Thanks everyone for your help, and I hope this helps others in the same situation!

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