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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Workshop 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012 Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 18th August 2012
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Talking 2008 9-3 Convertible Speaker Upgrade

Hi all,

Thought I'd do a write up on my speaker upgrade since I finally got to it today.

The front dash speakers were upgraded to Boston Acoustics SE35s, while the back speakers were upgraded to Alpine SPG-13C2s since the sound shop does not stock Boston Acoustics (very rare in SA in any case):




On that note, the rear speakers in the convertible are NOT 4", but 5.25". We only found out I had the wrong speakers when we took apart the rear panel. Also, who designs a car so that you have to remove the rear seat bench and take apart the rear panel just to swap speakers? #epicfail

First we tried the JBL GTO528 (2 Ohm), but I preferred the sound from the Alpines (4 Ohm) - the sound is much richer in tone whereas the JBLs tend to 'spit' at the high frequencies.

Now for a comparison, although I'm not sure the quality is good enough in these clips to hear the difference. Of course, all volume/equaliser/fade/balance settings were kept the same.

OEM - Iron Maiden
http://youtu.be/Wa_sKmTHQN0

Upgrade - Iron Maiden
http://youtu.be/EqI86C02LVw

OEM - Adele
http://youtu.be/CTj_RCwtx3c

Upgrade - Adele
http://youtu.be/d_BAqV-cRaE


Verdict:
Very, very, very satisfied. The sound in the car is *much* improved, I am now hearing sounds that I did not before, especially in the mid-range. Roof up or down, the sound now kicks some serious behind

I cannot believe how simply changing the speakers to something decent changed the sound system

Total spent: R1975
BA SE35: R850
Alpine SPG-13C2: R650
Installation: R475

The next step is to replace the standard radio with a touchscreen double DIN with Bluetooth and navigation. Unfortunately these cost an arm in SA, so I'm looking at close to R15k for an Alpine or Kenwood unit
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Old 18th August 2012
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you will benefit from a subwoofer if you dont have one already. I went with a JL 10" on the rear cubby hole (factory fit).

Its great having a (somewhat decent) boot for a change.
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Old 18th August 2012
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you will benefit from a subwoofer if you dont have one already. I went with a JL 10" on the rear cubby hole (factory fit).
Cool.

Which feed did you take to the sub, the rear speakers or a direct feed from the amp?
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Old 18th August 2012
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Cool.

Which feed did you take to the sub, the rear speakers or a direct feed from the amp?

i redid the entire system, ran new speaker cables to all speakers, two amps (one JL 6 channel for the two in the dash, two in the front doors, two in the rear quarter panels), and a mono for the sub.

I combined everything using an audiocontrol LC8i (instead of trying to use LOCs). That way I bypassed the factory amp and converters/equalizers and I control everything in the amps.

Some people have had luck tapping into the front door signal since it outputs bass (its been mixed and crossed over already)
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Old 19th August 2012
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i redid the entire system...

Jah, not keen on that
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Old 20th August 2012
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Question

Do you guys hear the difference on the clips I posted?
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Old 27th August 2012
SaabinATL SaabinATL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96mn12 View Post
you will benefit from a subwoofer if you dont have one already. I went with a JL 10" on the rear cubby hole (factory fit).

Its great having a (somewhat decent) boot for a change.
What model JL Sub did you go with. My audio guy says the 10W3v3 2 ohm that I bought, even if I amp it at 500 watts, will sound like crap because it wont be sealed. I'm working on getting the seat out right now to see if I can seal it but I'm thinking that's grim.

BTW, the back of the seat is not coming out with ease like the base. is there a trick?
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Old 27th August 2012
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What model JL Sub did you go with. My audio guy says the 10W3v3 2 ohm that I bought, even if I amp it at 500 watts, will sound like crap because it wont be sealed. I'm working on getting the seat out right now to see if I can seal it but I'm thinking that's grim.

BTW, the back of the seat is not coming out with ease like the base. is there a trick?
10wv2-4. Make sure that your MDF brace is very well sealed against the frame of the seat back (metal part) and seal the whole thing with dynamat (i used the quad-layered material from Focal speakers).

There is enough bracing in the rear seat assembly where the woofer will work well as a free-air. You can fill the internals with poly fill as well to help a bit more.

As far as the seat back, did you remove the T40 screws on the top? You have to remove those, theyre exposed once you remove the head rests.

EDIT: i had the sub for a couple years, thats why I reused it. I suggest you make the brace out of 1" MDF, anything bigger and the sub will rub. I had to cut about 1/4" material from the corner of the back of the seatback (the black plastic material, on the corners of the cutout for the sub. It'll make sense once you look at it).

I also suggest you take good measurements, you cant go with a deep-excursion sub otherwise the magnet will hit the frame, and then your magnet will be glued to the car, which is a problem.
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Old 28th August 2012
SaabinATL SaabinATL is offline
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[QUOTE=96mn12;2247559]10wv2-4. QUOTE]

Yeah I had gotten the screws, just wasn't pulling hard enough Got the seat and the panels out and reviewing everything including those rear panel speakers, and I bought those alpines to replace those. They are indeed 5 1/4, . I see what you are talking about.

Questions: on the 10WV2-4, did you mean 10WX or something? As far as I knew, and I don't know JL past the 2010 ish timeframe, they are all like 10W0, 10W1, v1, v2, etc. Did you build a plate out of MDF or another material to mount on the open square hole?

So as far as the MDF for the sealed enclosure, did you cut MDF peices, then seperately insert the MDF sheets into the metal housing and then once they were inside the metal framing somehow fasten them together? That's the only way I see to do this.

Unless I get super creative,10W3v3 is going to be too large to fit that area.

As far as getting a line out, if anyone does this successfully while keeping the other speakers in place, would love to know what you did, if there's a way to get a line out at the head unit somehow is ideal so I don't have to do anything but remove the second amp and 10" stock sub, or do a LOC from the sub amp.. My installer is leary of touching much because he says removing the second amp may disable the whoe amp/speaker system. I know this cant be all true since there is a 150 watt system and the 300 watt system, I assume you just enable the second amp and add the sub and bam.
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Old 28th August 2012
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10wv2-4, look it up on jlaudio.com. The plate is 10x10x1" MDF and the whole thing covered in acoustic sealant/dampening material from Focal speakers., the entire metal frame i had it dynamated before hand.

The above frame fits in the contour of the cutout and lines up with the metal frame, just screw it on.

like I said, cant use a deep sub, look at the dimensions of the sub above and compare it to whatever you want to use. Anything larger/deeper and it wont fit.

Since you have fiber optics I think an loc is gonna be the easiest, tap into the existing woofer feeds (front doors) and amplify from there.

[quote=SaabinATL;2247949]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 96mn12 View Post
10wv2-4. QUOTE]

Yeah I had gotten the screws, just wasn't pulling hard enough Got the seat and the panels out and reviewing everything including those rear panel speakers, and I bought those alpines to replace those. They are indeed 5 1/4, . I see what you are talking about.

Questions: on the 10WV2-4, did you mean 10WX or something? As far as I knew, and I don't know JL past the 2010 ish timeframe, they are all like 10W0, 10W1, v1, v2, etc. Did you build a plate out of MDF or another material to mount on the open square hole?

So as far as the MDF for the sealed enclosure, did you cut MDF peices, then seperately insert the MDF sheets into the metal housing and then once they were inside the metal framing somehow fasten them together? That's the only way I see to do this.

Unless I get super creative,10W3v3 is going to be too large to fit that area.

As far as getting a line out, if anyone does this successfully while keeping the other speakers in place, would love to know what you did, if there's a way to get a line out at the head unit somehow is ideal so I don't have to do anything but remove the second amp and 10" stock sub, or do a LOC from the sub amp.. My installer is leary of touching much because he says removing the second amp may disable the whoe amp/speaker system. I know this cant be all true since there is a 150 watt system and the 300 watt system, I assume you just enable the second amp and add the sub and bam.
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Old 28th August 2012
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I wouldn't have asked about the sub if I had been able to find it on a search on JL Audio or google Any rate, then it doesn't appear I'd be able to get my hands on that model you mention anyways on ebay or anywhere. Having a hard time finding a sub that would fit in there unless I went 8"

Yes, I've also searched on LOC to the front door AMP1, however, I'm hoping for more detailed info to hand to my installer, since he's a little nervous about tapping it. I've also heard it said a LOC isn't necessary since the AMP1 provides the signal needed to attach directly to a high level input on the amp. Also, I'm confused why tapping AMP2 isn't actually better since it's already geared to power a sub. Also, I know there is some input/output at the head unit that some have tapped into (Dash speakers?) My installer will be installing the bluetooth harness anyways, so he can tap amp or head unit, whatever is best.

REF -Some of the info I'm reffering to tapping AMP1 and with /without LOC http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=205054
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Old 28th August 2012
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My bad, it is 10w1v2-4, ate the 1.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JL-Audio-10W...item3cca22f432

Those are the ones you ideally want, since its a perfect fit. You might also be able (not sure, dont take my word for it) to tap the front woofer speaker and take that signal to your amp, the signal there is already filtered.

You could also consider putting two 8" in place of the 6x9, there are plenty of adapter plates to do that, and since the factory holes, they're recessed, you wont have any fitment issues.

I dont have fiber bus, so I couldnt help you there. I just bypassed the entire factory system, ran new wires to everything including speakers, and added an audiocontrol lc8i. That way I do whatever the hell i want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabinATL View Post
I wouldn't have asked about the sub if I had been able to find it on a search on JL Audio or google Any rate, then it doesn't appear I'd be able to get my hands on that model you mention anyways on ebay or anywhere. Having a hard time finding a sub that would fit in there unless I went 8"

Yes, I've also searched on LOC to the front door AMP1, however, I'm hoping for more detailed info to hand to my installer, since he's a little nervous about tapping it. I've also heard it said a LOC isn't necessary since the AMP1 provides the signal needed to attach directly to a high level input on the amp. Also, I'm confused why tapping AMP2 isn't actually better since it's already geared to power a sub. Also, I know there is some input/output at the head unit that some have tapped into (Dash speakers?) My installer will be installing the bluetooth harness anyways, so he can tap amp or head unit, whatever is best.

REF -Some of the info I'm reffering to tapping AMP1 and with /without LOC http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=205054
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Old 21st September 2012
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Naks-

haven't had time to post my complete setup. But, I did buy a JL JX500/1 D and a JL 10W3v3 500 watts rms. I bought this amp for it's power, but also it will fit directly under the drivers seat. I custom built my box so that it fits directly under the folded up convertible top in the trunk, with about 2" to spare. I disconnected my factory sub, tapped the trunk AMP directly to the JX500 and man, o man, does it thump. I actually have the gain on about 1/10 with no bass boost, and you'd think I have two 10's in the trunk. I dynomat the trunk lid, and dynomat the metal frame behind the rear seat, and I get no unwanted vibration noise in the car. But, you can actually feel the bass vibrate the front seats when the audio is turned up and still only at 1/10 power .

I think in theory you'd have the same success tapping the amp in the rear door panel, most of the threads on the topic tap that amp.

I can get you dimensions on the box I built, it's designed to JL cubic foot specs, although I messed up about 1/10 of a cubic foot.


EDIT:: I actually went with the Boston SE35 for the front, left the door stock (but dynamatted the hell out the doors) and replaced the rear 5.25s with JL TR525s.... I like the JLs so much about to ditch the Boston Acoustics for JLs (hoping to shoot for the C2 350x but I think I may have a clearance issue with them)
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