Please forgive me if this sounds stupid, but is it possible to change out the speakers in the doors without having to remove the door panels?  Is it possible to just use the original speaker positions? Why can't you just drill out the speaker mounting rivets and use new clips for replacement attachment points? I would appreciate your comments/suggestions.

Bert

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okay, my next query is...I did have the upgraded, dealer installed, #10 smart radio system which I am lead to believe, has a better head, a sub system under the driver's seat, better(?) speakers in the door and some tweeters somewhere up under my dashboard?
I wasn't satisfied because the reception sucked, so I put in a new head (Kenwood) and if I buy new door speakers (some folks say I don't need to do that if I have a new head...that is sufficient, but others say the speakers should be replaced also), do I replace the tweeters too?
Do they make woofers with the tweeters in the woofers or are the tweeters always separate? Then, if all speakers systems have tweeters separate from the woofers what do I do with the #10 tweeters that were originally installed by the dealer?
I must admit and you can probably tell, I know nothing from woofers to tweeters to subs and whatever. All I want to do is to turn my system on and receive great sounds.
When I look at Crutchfield all the speakers look the same except for the prices and they are not too far apart, so how do you tell which ones have the best sounds? Then while looking around somebody has an entry suggesting a speaker system named, "Focal," for 300-plus bucks which is way more then the Crutchfield's. I am now so confused I need to go sit in the corner of my garage and drink a beer!
Bert: Well.... in regards to everything with the Radio 10, the head unit i don't believe is really any better quality than the Radio 9... the only difference is the 6-disc changer. The tweeters, if they were in fact installed, would be visible in one of the small parts along the very front edge of the dashboard closest to the windshield. Can usually see them from the outside. the speakers in the doors, as far as i'm aware, don't really change no matter what factory system you get. As for the sub.... most don't even really consider it a sub. While it can do some decent bass.... it's only like a 5-6" speaker in a hollow box.

You can buy regular 6.5" speakers without tweeters as far as i'm aware.... then there are the Component speakers which have the tweeters and the crossover, and then there are Composite speakers, which have the tweeter sticking out from the middle of the door speaker. To be honest.... if you're not fond of trying to do it yourself, i'd look for someone who can do it..... but i'd say if you want good sound quality, Component speakers are the way to go, not only because they tend to focus on high quality audio, but because i feel the stock tweets are just as crap as the stock speakers in the doors. Not only that, but they're at a horrible position from the start. Too much of the sound gets redirected right towards your face by the windshield, and it just makes the tweeters sound overpowering. The audio shop that installed my speakers for me originally had the tweeters tucked into the stock position, but i took the car back a week later and asked if they could put them on the pillar for that very reason. They did, and even they agreed that even though they were still pointing in your general direction, they didn't seem nearly as loud.

As for pricing.... typically it's just like anything else.... you get what you pay for. A lot of people are happy with the Polk Audio speakers (Think it's model DB651 or something like that). Relatively cheap, but supposedly great sounding. I probably went a little overboard, and got a set of Hertz HSK-165 component speakers.... cost me like $400 for the pair. Expensive, yes, but sound fantastic, and can handle bass extremely well.
Ryan,
Thanks for responding to my questions...even though you have certainly deflated my ego and erroneous belief that I had made the wise choice in opting for the radio upgrade for my smart...I'd have been better off to tell them no radio at all instead of taking their hook when they sold me on the #10 system!
Overall, I am very pleased and impressed with the many quality features of my smart, but they should be ashamed for selecting that radio system to be placed anywhere near their automobile. I strongly hope that whoever was responsible for it is rewarded with my thoughts and hope for evil things to happen to him/her/them!
In questioning the company rep at the Wisconsin Dells smart rally last year he admitted they knew that their system was a piece of crap and had already been working with Kenwood for an aftermarket replacement system...all for only about another thousand bucks or so more we could spend...how thoughtful of them.
Somehow, even though I knew better, I guess I have been hoping that someone would step up and bolster my ego by stating that my not so smart decision to take the dealer's offer to upgrade to the #10 was really a good choice after all...just ain't gonna happen! I must face reality and bite more of the bullet (after all, I have already replaced the head unit), and select woofers and tweeters and probably a new sub if I am to finally get to enjoy a really good sound system that I can maybe brag about
and tap my toes to!
Thanks,
Bert
Ryan said:
Bert: Well.... in regards to everything with the Radio 10, the head unit i don't believe is really any better quality than the Radio 9... the only difference is the 6-disc changer. The tweeters, if they were in fact installed, would be visible in one of the small parts along the very front edge of the dashboard closest to the windshield. Can usually see them from the outside. the speakers in the doors, as far as i'm aware, don't really change no matter what factory system you get. As for the sub.... most don't even really consider it a sub. While it can do some decent bass.... it's only like a 5-6" speaker in a hollow box.

You can buy regular 6.5" speakers without tweeters as far as i'm aware.... then there are the Component speakers which have the tweeters and the crossover, and then there are Composite speakers, which have the tweeter sticking out from the middle of the door speaker. To be honest.... if you're not fond of trying to do it yourself, i'd look for someone who can do it..... but i'd say if you want good sound quality, Component speakers are the way to go, not only because they tend to focus on high quality audio, but because i feel the stock tweets are just as crap as the stock speakers in the doors. Not only that, but they're at a horrible position from the start. Too much of the sound gets redirected right towards your face by the windshield, and it just makes the tweeters sound overpowering. The audio shop that installed my speakers for me originally had the tweeters tucked into the stock position, but i took the car back a week later and asked if they could put them on the pillar for that very reason. They did, and even they agreed that even though they were still pointing in your general direction, they didn't seem nearly as loud.

As for pricing.... typically it's just like anything else.... you get what you pay for. A lot of people are happy with the Polk Audio speakers (Think it's model DB651 or something like that). Relatively cheap, but supposedly great sounding. I probably went a little overboard, and got a set of Hertz HSK-165 component speakers.... cost me like $400 for the pair. Expensive, yes, but sound fantastic, and can handle bass extremely well.
Bert, No one set up is wright or necessarily wrong. its really how you fine tune it. the stock #10 tweeters have a very low power handling and thus would suffer distortion with a head unit or amplifier that has more output. With that said they can be used to create a center channel if you choose to add better speakers in the doors. As a quick mention think of the sound system as highs emanating from your tweets, middle to lows emanating from your mid/base, and your low end base comes from your sub or subs. in our cars that have just door speakers we can reproduce the musical stage witch should be in front of us with ease. by replacing the OE door speakers with a pair that has a higher Db rating (louder) and a better power handling (according to how much your head or amp puts out per channel) you will be able to also widen the musical stage that you are listening to. as you put in aftermarket door speakers you have a couple of options with your Kenwood radio. It has four channels out so you can buy a 2way or 3way speaker to place in the door with NO additional modifications or separate tweets to put elsewhere... with this set up you would connect your front tweets to the front 2 channels and the two door speakers to the two rear channels... Its OK the radio does not know front from back... then upon fine tuning you would put your fade all the way to the rear (door) speakers and gradually introduce the fronts ((OE tweets) until you feel the music coming more from the front by a little than the sides.
Keep in mind that the better the door speakers the less need you might have for a dedicated sub woofer... that can cost you anywhere from a couple of hundred to about a grand extra. speakers brands are many and range from absolute crap to unaffordable. you have to factor in your style of music, the volume you like, how good your ears are (truly), and of course your budget. Hertz, Focal, and some others are on the high side of the spectrum and without a separate amp to drive them, they are being wasted on a head units internal amp. I am partial to Polk's MM series due to their use of composite speaker baskets and neodymium magnets that are smaller but more powerful than ferrite magnets. they are used a lot in marine situations and thus are certified to take more climatic abuse than others.
Bottom line is dont over spend on a system that YOU will never put through its true paces. install what you need and save the rest of your money for some other aftermarket doodad for your smart.. you know there is always one more thing!
PM me if you need any help deciding on speakers from Crutchfield.
Again, my thanks, for the guidance. As a novice in this world of tweets and woofs, I really am at the mercy of what others want to sell me or tell me.
Being somewhat (a mild understatement), long in the tooth, my ears have no doubt been affected by my war years, too loud of volume selections with my ear phones and whatever else has an impact on the ear canals over these many years.
Although there is some music that you can sit back and enjoy at a moderate if not low volume, I usually find most music impacts better at a higher volume and with some good thumping mixed in. My tastes run all over the place, so my music selections follow suit. I may not qualify as an audiophile, but I can recognize quality sound systems. Therefore, I'd rather not make another mistake on what goes into my smart yet I'd like to keep from any spousal criticism over what I spend for whatever I select. That's a tough balance! Your insight and suggestions are really appreciated. I shall keep you informed as to what I select once my intelligent research (hopefully), shopping spree has taken place.
Bert



cite>SATO said:
Bert, No one set up is wright or necessarily wrong. its really how you fine tune it. the stock #10 tweeters have a very low power handling and thus would suffer distortion with a head unit or amplifier that has more output. With that said they can be used to create a center channel if you choose to add better speakers in the doors. As a quick mention think of the sound system as highs emanating from your tweets, middle to lows emanating from your mid/base, and your low end base comes from your sub or subs. in our cars that have just door speakers we can reproduce the musical stage witch should be in front of us with ease. by replacing the OE door speakers with a pair that has a higher Db rating (louder) and a better power handling (according to how much your head or amp puts out per channel) you will be able to also widen the musical stage that you are listening to. as you put in aftermarket door speakers you have a couple of options with your Kenwood radio. It has four channels out so you can buy a 2way or 3way speaker to place in the door with NO additional modifications or separate tweets to put elsewhere... with this set up you would connect your front tweets to the front 2 channels and the two door speakers to the two rear channels... Its OK the radio does not know front from back... then upon fine tuning you would put your fade all the way to the rear (door) speakers and gradually introduce the fronts ((OE tweets) until you feel the music coming more from the front by a little than the sides.
Keep in mind that the better the door speakers the less need you might have for a dedicated sub woofer... that can cost you anywhere from a couple of hundred to about a grand extra. speakers brands are many and range from absolute crap to unaffordable. you have to factor in your style of music, the volume you like, how good your ears are (truly), and of course your budget. Hertz, Focal, and some others are on the high side of the spectrum and without a separate amp to drive them, they are being wasted on a head units internal amp. I am partial to Polk's MM series due to their use of composite speaker baskets and neodymium magnets that are smaller but more powerful than ferrite magnets. they are used a lot in marine situations and thus are certified to take more climatic abuse than others.
Bottom line is dont over spend on a system that YOU will never put through its true paces. install what you need and save the rest of your money for some other aftermarket doodad for your smart.. you know there is always one more thing!
PM me if you need any help deciding on speakers from Crutchfield.
I didn't have a choise about having the top of the line smart system on my orphan,it came with the radio 10 and upgraded speakers.Within 2 weeks I changed out the door speakers for Polk 651 slim mounts.I mounted those from the outside because that was the way evilution and others were doing it.They gave a dramatic improvement in sound but I still wasn't satisfied.I changed the headunit when I received an iphone as a birthday present;that is the unit I sold to you Bert.Nice unit but I then decided I wanted Nav and video so I up-graded that unit again.
I found a used underdash sub on E-Bay and also a 2 channel amp for under the passenger seat.Had Best Buy install those because I don't touch electronics.Finally had the thump thump that I wanted but didn't like being behind the sound field so I added Polk 351's in the back.Good sound but still not quite right. I recently found some Polk 5 1/4" on E-Bay again for $16.00 and had custom pods made to replace the 351's.Now I have the sound system I wanted.All along I kept the factory tweeters because I want the sound field off the floor,my feet don't care what is on the radio.I think the factory tweeters work just fine.I like a "bright" sound and use the headunit to acheive that.
Bert, I can help you install new speakers if you like,we'll make a pic-a-nic out of it! I highly reccommend the Polks and E-Bay has the best prices.Or, you can take the speakers to Showtime Audio,who did my interior, and they can install them for a small fee.I think it was only $150.00 to install and wire up my first set of rear speakers. I'll find the receipt and let you know the exact price.
Finally looked up the price to mount and wire my rear speakers,it was $100.00.So it should be around that for the doors.And the Polks 651 slim mounts are around $65.00 on E-Bay.
CLIFF, THANKS FOR THE INFO...MY ONLY CONCERN WITH SOME COMPANY INSTALLING MY STUFF IS IF THEY KNOW SMART CARS...TAKING THE DOOR PANELS OFF AND SEALING THE "SKIN," AFTER THEY CUT IT, ETC.

clicker said:
Finally looked up the price to mount and wire my rear speakers,it was $100.00.So it should be around that for the doors.And the Polks 651 slim mounts are around $65.00 on E-Bay.
he has had my car completely disassembled multiple times so they know how a smart works.

Bert Monsen said:
CLIFF, THANKS FOR THE INFO...MY ONLY CONCERN WITH SOME COMPANY INSTALLING MY STUFF IS IF THEY KNOW SMART CARS...TAKING THE DOOR PANELS OFF AND SEALING THE "SKIN," AFTER THEY CUT IT, ETC. clicker said:
Finally looked up the price to mount and wire my rear speakers,it was $100.00.So it should be around that for the doors.And the Polks 651 slim mounts are around $65.00 on E-Bay.
Great! after the nationals I will look to put this together. I'll talk to them to get a price on doing it all...whatever I decide, "all," is to be.
On another note, I have been tryingto get into the SCOA forum, but I can never get signed in...I finally send them an email about it and hope they can fix it. Every time I try it just loops me around until i have used up all of my chances (5).

clicker said:
he has had my car completely disassembled multiple times so they know how a smart works.

Bert Monsen said:
CLIFF, THANKS FOR THE INFO...MY ONLY CONCERN WITH SOME COMPANY INSTALLING MY STUFF IS IF THEY KNOW SMART CARS...TAKING THE DOOR PANELS OFF AND SEALING THE "SKIN," AFTER THEY CUT IT, ETC. clicker said:
Finally looked up the price to mount and wire my rear speakers,it was $100.00.So it should be around that for the doors.And the Polks 651 slim mounts are around $65.00 on E-Bay.
Well, I selected door speakers from Polk Audio and had them installed by "Showtime Audio," out of Chicago, a well-respected audio installation shop. The sound difference over the factory speakers is remarkable. I have my F'ng #10 upgraded radio replaced with a Kenwood DPX503 stereo which has...
* Wireless remote control
* Power Output:
o Peak: 50 watts x 4 channels
o RMS: 22 watts x 4 channels
* MP3 ID3 Tag Display (Title/Artist/Album)

* Playback of CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, AAC and WMA
* CR-2 Tuner with 18FM/6AM presets
* 3-Band parametric equalizer with 7 preset tone curves
* System Q/E's+ Digital Sound processing to enhance MP3/WMA playback

* 2 Sets of 2.5V preamp outputs (front, and rear or subwoofer selectable)
* Bluetooth Ready:
* SIRIUS Satellite Radio Ready:
* iPod Ready: Front-panel auxiliary input: 3.5mm (headphone jack)
* Front-panel auxiliary input: USB port
* Rear auxiliary input: Optional rear auxiliary Input
* CD Changer control
I am very pleased with the results. I should have done this from the start instead of choosing the smart upgraded radio.

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