Front Speaker Replacement Query - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Front Speaker Replacement Query

Hi All

Bought an '06 R171 three weeks ago but it had blown woofers in the front doors. Dealer has just replaced them with Phillips PHICSP630 three-way speakers. (I didn't have a say in the replacement speakers or fitting as I left that to the garage and their expertise. (not a Merc garage))
So far so good!

Before the car went in I had a look to see what was actually behind those large grilles etc to see if it was in fact the woofers or something else such as loose/ frayed/ corroded wiring etc. All looked brand new apart from obviously knackered paper on both woofers - definitely the culprits.
As you experts know, there were two speakers mounted in a single bracket per door, which have a copper 'crossover(?)' mounted in between to which there was a wire coming from the door feed into it and then from that into the woofer connector.

When i jiggled the paper cone, it sort of connected and there was a lovely bass sound, my heart leapt as together with the other door speakers it sounded pretty damn good for OEM.

But here is the problem...
Since replacing these blown woofers, the sound is way lacking in that lovely balanced bass that the original woofers put out (when I held my finger on the busted paper cones.)
Very mid-rangey sound and virtually no bass with the roof down, just a lot of harsh midrange and treble. The woofers are working but they don't even come close to sounding like 'bass' let alone the richness of the knackered OEMs.
So last night I whipped the door off the N/S to see if it was a simple phasing issue and just needed a quick swap to the wiring.

First up, the copper crossover is now gone and in it's place is an odd wiring combo that I just can't figure out.
The pictures should hopefully show you what i'm worried about....which is;

......was the copper crossover the item that was 'channeling' the bass-only elements to the big woofer, which then allowed the midrange and tweeters to handle their elements perfectly in balance with the woofer? Has removing the crossover simply made the whole door one big midrange / tweeter with only a bit of bass coming out of the woofer( which is actually a three way coax)????

Even if i turn the Audio 20 up to near full power, the sound is loud yes, but it's almost all midrange and treble. I think as the wiring loom from the Audio 20 is now going unfiltered to both the lower door speakers they are, essentially working together to produce the same sound.....by turning up the whole system, all I am doing is driving the woofer ( which is basically a three way ) to generate the bass parts of a three way, but at the same time chuking the same volume into the little mid range as weel as the door tweeter and the rees seatbelt tweeter, in other words just basically filling the car up with mid to treb and the bass gets totally lost in that three way as the other 7 speakers are all predominantly mid/ trebs??

Does this read right and would it explain the serious lack of bass but serious bias of mid and treble , creating a very brash sound.

I would welcome anyone advice on how to rectify this as the car is lovely, I just wish I could slam on some loud tunes and really enjoy the music too.

Much appreciated!
( i have no idea what the black wiring is coming out of the top of the Phillips to the connectors, perhaps they are the to get signals to the midrange and tweeter in the same single speaker????
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#2 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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#3 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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While I'm not sure about the crossover the speakers mentioned do not sound like the correct ones for this application.
OEM speakers are actually not expensive you might want to give them a try.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youarewhatyouis View Post
Hi All

Bought an '06 R171 three weeks ago but it had blown woofers in the front doors. Dealer has just replaced them with Phillips PHICSP630 three-way speakers. (I didn't have a say in the replacement speakers or fitting as I left that to the garage and their expertise. (not a Merc garage))
So far so good!

Before the car went in I had a look to see what was actually behind those large grilles etc to see if it was in fact the woofers or something else such as loose/ frayed/ corroded wiring etc. All looked brand new apart from obviously knackered paper on both woofers - definitely the culprits.
As you experts know, there were two speakers mounted in a single bracket per door, which have a copper 'crossover(?)' mounted in between to which there was a wire coming from the door feed into it and then from that into the woofer connector.

When i jiggled the paper cone, it sort of connected and there was a lovely bass sound, my heart leapt as together with the other door speakers it sounded pretty damn good for OEM.

But here is the problem...
Since replacing these blown woofers, the sound is way lacking in that lovely balanced bass that the original woofers put out (when I held my finger on the busted paper cones.)
Very mid-rangey sound and virtually no bass with the roof down, just a lot of harsh midrange and treble. The woofers are working but they don't even come close to sounding like 'bass' let alone the richness of the knackered OEMs.
So last night I whipped the door off the N/S to see if it was a simple phasing issue and just needed a quick swap to the wiring.

First up, the copper crossover is now gone and in it's place is an odd wiring combo that I just can't figure out.
The pictures should hopefully show you what i'm worried about....which is;

......was the copper crossover the item that was 'channeling' the bass-only elements to the big woofer, which then allowed the midrange and tweeters to handle their elements perfectly in balance with the woofer? Has removing the crossover simply made the whole door one big midrange / tweeter with only a bit of bass coming out of the woofer( which is actually a three way coax)????

Even if i turn the Audio 20 up to near full power, the sound is loud yes, but it's almost all midrange and treble. I think as the wiring loom from the Audio 20 is now going unfiltered to both the lower door speakers they are, essentially working together to produce the same sound.....by turning up the whole system, all I am doing is driving the woofer ( which is basically a three way ) to generate the bass parts of a three way, but at the same time chuking the same volume into the little mid range as weel as the door tweeter and the rees seatbelt tweeter, in other words just basically filling the car up with mid to treb and the bass gets totally lost in that three way as the other 7 speakers are all predominantly mid/ trebs??

Does this read right and would it explain the serious lack of bass but serious bias of mid and treble , creating a very brash sound.

I would welcome anyone advice on how to rectify this as the car is lovely, I just wish I could slam on some loud tunes and really enjoy the music too.

Much appreciated!
( i have no idea what the black wiring is coming out of the top of the Phillips to the connectors, perhaps they are the to get signals to the midrange and tweeter in the same single speaker????

Not sure if it helps but I change mine with oem and those are the pics
https://imgur.com/a/a1UiI#0

I can help with the installation of DAS/Star Mercedes, XENTRY,EPC, and WIS PM me.
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#5 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Front Speaker Replacement Query

Quote:
Originally Posted by VII7 View Post
While I'm not sure about the crossover the speakers mentioned do not sound like the correct ones for this application.
OEM speakers are actually not expensive you might want to give them a try.
Thanks VII7,
I have looked online for the OEM replacements and we're talking about 180 ($200) for the pair 2nd hand, which is quite a lot. Or maybe it isn't and I'm just being cheap haha:laugh ....I may well go down that route and drop them in and save myself some grief, but before that I may try to bypass the mid and tweeter on the 3 way that the dealer has put in , and simply have the feed from the head unit go straight to the separate OEM mid-range and straight to the woofer part of the replacement - see if that cuts out some of the awful mid/ treble that is taking over the whole sound field.

Then if that fails then yes, i'll head to ebay and buy the OEMs and drop them in and be done with it.
(i'm sure the missing copper crossover has something to do with this degraded sound....but im not a car audio hound, maybe 30 years ago I just love my music)
Thanks!
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#6 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by i860 View Post
Not sure if it helps but I change mine with oem and those are the pics
https://imgur.com/a/a1UiI#0
Thanks for the pics i860, I have managed to undo the door panel and pull out the OEMs to see how they are configured prior to giving the job to the gararge to replace the busted woofers. But your pics are a clear reminder of how they looked 'prior' to the replacement work which has done away with the cross-over somehow? Very useful pics.
I'm probably going to do what you advise and buy the OEM 2nd hand and be done with it but i'm just trying to see what could be done with the three-ways they have put in before forking out 180-200 maybe more with delivery.
Thanks!

(It's not the garage's fault, I can see what they were going for which was to simply get the stereo working without eating into their slim profit margin, and that's what they had to do to comply with the sale - they are really good, but perhaps they didnt know that the cross over was integral to the whole EQ mix.....ah well....they sell cars, not audio )
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I paid 74 for mine at the main dealer.

I can help with the installation of DAS/Star Mercedes, XENTRY,EPC, and WIS PM me.
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#8 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youarewhatyouis View Post
Thanks VII7,
I have looked online for the OEM replacements and we're talking about 180 ($200) for the pair 2nd hand, which is quite a lot. Or maybe it isn't and I'm just being cheap haha:laugh ....I may well go down that route and drop them in and save myself some grief, but before that I may try to bypass the mid and tweeter on the 3 way that the dealer has put in , and simply have the feed from the head unit go straight to the separate OEM mid-range and straight to the woofer part of the replacement - see if that cuts out some of the awful mid/ treble that is taking over the whole sound field.

Then if that fails then yes, i'll head to ebay and buy the OEMs and drop them in and be done with it.
(i'm sure the missing copper crossover has something to do with this degraded sound....but im not a car audio hound, maybe 30 years ago I just love my music)
Thanks!
For the standard Audio20 speakers, it is only around $90/each directly from MB dealers. HK speakers would be more expensive. $200 for 2nd hand is ripped off!!!
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Stock speakers are cheaper than you think - plus they come up cheaply on ebay now and then too (make sure you get the standard ones - the Harmon Kardon ones, whilst batter do require a little wiring change to get them going ...)



They also have the cpas and coils fitted which act as a crossover for the two drivers in the lower door - unless the new speakers have the crossovers in there somewhere they are getting the full range signal from the look of the pics



Check the wiring too - the stock speakers are mounted 'backwards' in the door and it's easy to wire them up out of phase ...


The stock Audio 20 speaker is on the right....


The Phillips ones fitted are a cheap 3 way co-ax speaker - you've got an extra mid and tweeter in there (assuming the stock tweeter in the door triangle and the mid in the lower enclosure are still wired in) - not really surprising it sounds tinny ..
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If I knew they were going to do that type of speakers I would have told them to not bother and fix it yourself. If you are going to fix it now you might as well do a proper upgrade if you care about sound. If you don't care that much then going back to factory should be ok. Many people are not happy with the stock audio 20 sound to begin with. Parts Express is a great place for speakers, they have a huge variety and buy straight from the factory so they are quite inexpensive. People that build their own speakers buy from there. I have used them on many occasions and their speakers are top notch for the better ones, just read the reviews.
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#11 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i860 View Post
I paid 74 for mine at the main dealer.
Wow, 74 for the whole pod with both speakers brand new?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanhump View Post
Stock speakers are cheaper than you think - plus they come up cheaply on ebay now and then too (make sure you get the standard ones - the Harmon Kardon ones, whilst batter do require a little wiring change to get them going ...)



They also have the cpas and coils fitted which act as a crossover for the two drivers in the lower door - unless the new speakers have the crossovers in there somewhere they are getting the full range signal from the look of the pics



Check the wiring too - the stock speakers are mounted 'backwards' in the door and it's easy to wire them up out of phase ...


The stock Audio 20 speaker is on the right....


The Phillips ones fitted are a cheap 3 way co-ax speaker - you've got an extra mid and tweeter in there (assuming the stock tweeter in the door triangle and the mid in the lower enclosure are still wired in) - not really surprising it sounds tinny ..
Thanks Seanhump, good point, the speakers were wired up wrong on polarity, both doors!...mad......so I resoldered them and then quickly knocked up a temporary seal around the woofers to close of the gap around them. Because they hacked off the basket behind the original speaker to get these in, these are only held in by two screws into two bits of left over bracket which is basically floating the cones in mid air allowing air to flow all over the place in the door and not adding any built in rigidity to transmit the bass through the door itself.

I'm not knocking the garage, at the end of the day the stereo now 'works' job done and for about 50 to them and nothing to me, But had I known before that they were going to cut the pod apart I would have just forgotten about it and bought the OEMs like you have.....

Lesson learned and it's taught me about the inside of my doors at least.
I'd really like to replace the head unit (audio20) with a blutooth/ SD/ HDD unit but for the life of me I cant find a simple cable / facia/ headunit combo that I can fit without a science degree haha....
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Originally Posted by jet_fl View Post
If I knew they were going to do that type of speakers I would have told them to not bother and fix it yourself. If you are going to fix it now you might as well do a proper upgrade if you care about sound. If you don't care that much then going back to factory should be ok. Many people are not happy with the stock audio 20 sound to begin with. Parts Express is a great place for speakers, they have a huge variety and buy straight from the factory so they are quite inexpensive. People that build their own speakers buy from there. I have used them on many occasions and their speakers are top notch for the better ones, just read the reviews.
Hi, yeah, hindsight eh, I had no idea they would tamper with the pods, let alone the wiring etc...for sure I would've just left it and come here for advice on new speakers. Oh well, new car, new lessons!
I am definitely not happy with the audio20, great for its day, but super limited now, and would love it if someone could give me a shopping list of correct, out of the box cables, fascia's and headunit details to allow me to have a go at upgrading without a degree in wiring and panel beating haha.
I'll check out Parts Express now - thanks for the nod.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youarewhatyouis View Post
Thanks Seanhump, good point, the speakers were wired up wrong on polarity, both doors!...mad......so I resoldered them and then quickly knocked up a temporary seal around the woofers to close of the gap around them. Because they hacked off the basket behind the original speaker to get these in, these are only held in by two screws into two bits of left over bracket which is basically floating the cones in mid air allowing air to flow all over the place in the door and not adding any built in rigidity to transmit the bass through the door itself.
If both speakers were backwards then it was not a problem. The problem becomes if one is one way and one is the other, then they will cancel each other out somewhat.

Quote:
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Hi, yeah, hindsight eh, I had no idea they would tamper with the pods, let alone the wiring etc...for sure I would've just left it and come here for advice on new speakers. Oh well, new car, new lessons!
I am definitely not happy with the audio20, great for its day, but super limited now, and would love it if someone could give me a shopping list of correct, out of the box cables, fascia's and headunit details to allow me to have a go at upgrading without a degree in wiring and panel beating haha.
I'll check out Parts Express now - thanks for the nod.
Lots of threads on here for replacing the system, just do some searching. Audio 20 is pretty east as you don't have the optical junk to worry about like the HK system. The android head unit is pretty popular and ~$350, then get some speakers from Parts Express or your favorite vendor (~$350) and grab an amp (~$150) and you should be good to go. It will sound 10x better than the audio 20 and have bluetooth and all the modern stuff.
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Quote:
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Hi, yeah, hindsight eh, I had no idea they would tamper with the pods, let alone the wiring etc...for sure I would've just left it and come here for advice on new speakers. Oh well, new car, new lessons!
I am definitely not happy with the audio20, great for its day, but super limited now, and would love it if someone could give me a shopping list of correct, out of the box cables, fascia's and headunit details to allow me to have a go at upgrading without a degree in wiring and panel beating haha.
I'll check out Parts Express now - thanks for the nod.

Been there and done that - quite a few times


I've always used Alpine gear - personal preference (but not to everyone's taste)


Have a search through my threads - removing the Audio 20 and adding double din headunit plus the correct canbus kit and fascia plates is all detailed - I've had 3 different ones installed and the first two were 100% plug and play - I just decided to make things more difficult buy doing non standard stuff!

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Been there and done that - quite a few times


I've always used Alpine gear - personal preference (but not to everyone's taste)


Have a search through my threads - removing the Audio 20 and adding double din headunit plus the correct canbus kit and fascia plates is all detailed - I've had 3 different ones installed and the first two were 100% plug and play - I just decided to make things more difficult buy doing non standard stuff!
Thanks! I'll check your posts for the audio20 replacement stuff. much appreciated.
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