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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Preface:

First, I do realize there are multiple threads covering most aspects of Saab audio. I went through them and didn't find the specific answers I was looking for. Apologies if I overlooked the obvious answers.

Okay, I am not an audiophile, so I'm looking for some dumbed down answers if possible.

The situation:

1998 900 SE Convertible. Passenger door speaker is blown. From everything I've read and been told, replacing this is not straightforward, so I decided I'm just going to replace everything (I've already replaced the dash speakers).

In my head, this process roughly goes like this:

1. Install new deck using GenuineSaab Fill Kit/Wires
2. Install 6.5" front speakers, requiring a rewire.
3. Install 6.5 rear speakers

But when I research doing this and what to buy I'm hit with crossovers and components and ohms, and a bunch of other stuff I know nothing about. I just want a straightforward setup. I listen to old punk, so I don't need some monster setup.

I guess I'm asking, 1) how far off am I in my concept of the install 2) are the rear speakers in the convertible just swappable, or is there more wiring that needs to be done, and 3) It looks like everyone installs components in the doors, so what exactly is the downsode of installing 2 way speakers?

Thanks for any and all help.
 

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xjerryx said:
In my head, this process roughly goes like this:

1. Install new deck using GenuineSaab Fill Kit/Wires
2. Install 6.5" front speakers, requiring a rewire.
3. Install 6.5 rear speakers

But when I research doing this and what to buy I'm hit with crossovers and components and ohms, and a bunch of other stuff I know nothing about. I just want a straightforward setup...

I guess I'm asking, 1) how far off am I in my concept of the install 2) are the rear speakers in the convertible just swappable, or is there more wiring that needs to be done, and 3) It looks like everyone installs components in the doors, so what exactly is the downsode of installing 2 way speakers?
What kind of headunit do you intend to install, brand, model.

It's not too difficult to install an aftermarket setup as long as you have that Saab install kit, it comes with a wiring harness that will be used to wire up the speakers, in this case the front dashboard speakers and the rear speakers. If you have door speakers, those will not be used unless you lean towards a more advanced setup that will require additional amplifier and wiring fun!

The normal aftermarket headunit wattage output these days is in the range of 45-55 watts per channel, 4-channels (4-speakers, left front, right front, left rear, right rear), rated at 4 ohms each. You don't need to worry about crossovers with a standard setup, crossover is if you're going advanced and want subwoofers aswell, ect.

So all you'd do is change the speakers to match the output of the headunit, wattage and ohms, then follow the install kit wiring diagram to match up the wire colours with the aftermarket wiring, and you're done.

Now if you wanted to go advanced, you could get a headunit that has subwoofer pre-outs and a built in crossover (most do now), which you could use to control the door speakers. You'd have to get an amplifier, mid-bass 6" woofers for the doors, and have someone do the wiring for you because you'd need to find the door speaker wiring, splice into it and wire it up to the amp, then use rca wires to connect the amp to the headunits subwoofer preouts. Then from the headunit you could control the amount of bass from the doors, or even turn them off if you'd want to. This setup keeps the rear trunk/hatch area empty and still provides very good sound without a subwoofer box.
 

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If you're happy with your system the way it is and just want to replace the door speakers, it's actually very straightforward. You just remove the door panel, unscrew the speaker, put new connectors on the speaker wires, and screw in the new speaker. The only downside to putting two-way speakers in the doors is that the tweeters won't work. The factory amp has a built-in crossover that only passes low frequencies to the woofers.

If you do go for a full-blown system with a new head unit and all new speakers, you will have to make up a custom wiring harness if you choose to reuse the door speaker amp. Search for door speaker amp and you should quite a few posts I've made about how to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cool, already this thread has been totally helpful. Since I'm not rich, I'll be doing things in a piecemeal fashion, so I'll install those new door speakers now, and rewire when I get a new head unit. The back speakers aren't on the convertible aren't crossed over are they?

Head unit wise, I have no idea, but I will look for the sub pre-outs. My only must haves are a usb port, aux in, and a somewhat clean look.
 

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The back speakers are run full range. You might look at Blaupunkt radios. Some of the new ones are fairly subdued looking, and quite a few of them have USB ports. All of the ones I've seen have at least one auxiliary input. Some have two, and best of all, you don't really need to rewire anything since they use the same type of plugs as the original radio.
 

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When I was adding door speakers, the installation was not straightforward (although not too complicated :D). Saab speakers have some weird mounting spots, so I had to drill new holes. The shape of my speakers was such that they didn't fit in the original hole (because of "folded" edge) --> had to made a spacer.



Left image shows original mount holes, on the right one is spacer in action.


One more tip: always do door-speaker-job with window fully open, because glass descends really low and may interfere with your speaker (or - as in my case - tears some cables :x).
 

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MarsMan said:
When I was adding door speakers, the installation was not straightforward (although not too complicated :D).
That's the problem with cars that weren't originally equipped with the speakers. Cars that were have a big plastic mounting bracket that spaces the speaker out from the door by quite a bit, shields the back of it from water, and goes from the weird hole spacing in the door to a standard four screw arrangement. They don't sell the brackets separately, either, which is annoying.

MarsMan, you could probably make your mounting rings two or three times as thick as they are. The grille on the door sits pretty far from the metal door panel.
 

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Jeremy R. said:
The back speakers are run full range. You might look at Blaupunkt radios. Some of the new ones are fairly subdued looking, and quite a few of them have USB ports. All of the ones I've seen have at least one auxiliary input. Some have two, and best of all, you don't really need to rewire anything since they use the same type of plugs as the original radio.
I suppose its all about personal opinion and preference. For the longest time over where I am, Blaupunkt isn't considered a "competitive player" in the automotive audio arena; it’s sold at Canadian Tire, that's like a Wal-Mart / Target equivalent in Canada.

I chose a JVC unit, check them out. What’s nice about this model is that its black, not that ugly silver colour, the display screen colour is user selectable so you can match it to the standard Saab instrument cluster colour, I chose orange to match the Odometer, SID, and ACC displays, and it has USB.

 

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Jeremy R. said:
You could probably make your mounting rings two or three times as thick as they are. The grille on the door sits pretty far from the metal door panel.
That's right. Mine are 8 mm thick with diameter of 19 cm and there is still a lot of space.

xjerryx, do you have steering wheel controls for headunit? If so, it is likely that they won't work with an aftermarket HU, at least not without some kind of interface (although I heard that some newer Blaupunkts work without any problem).
 

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When the door sub on my 1997 SE blew, I repaired it and everything sounds good as new. The foam surround had separated from the cone so all I had to do was glue it back together. Something flexible like silicone sealant on the back will do the trick nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, I do not have the steering wheel controls...

Alright, new plan, I'm going to replace the back 6.5's, see if I can fix the door speaker...if that works, that should buy me some time to do everything else correctly and not rush it.

Thank you all for your help, this has helped immensly.
 

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xjerryx said:
No, I do not have the steering wheel controls...

Alright, new plan, I'm going to replace the back 6.5's, see if I can fix the door speaker...if that works, that should buy me some time to do everything else correctly and not rush it.

Thank you all for your help, this has helped immensly.
Sorry to throw a monkey wrench at you this late in the game, but be aware of one physical complication with the rear 6.5's: The proprietary metal Saab mounting bracket does not accommodate many aftermarket speakers without some modification of the speaker basket. The two most common ways to deal with this are to 1) bend the outside edges of the speaker on two opposing sides, or 2) cut them in the same manner as bending them. Doing this will allow the speakers to fit in the undersized brackets which are simply not wide enough to fit most aftermarket 6.5 inch speakers.
I used Channelocks and bent my JL's, being extra careful to not distort the shape of the butyl rubber surround. They sound fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I swear, the more I learn, the less I understand.

I just bid on some Infinity Kappa's on eBay, and now I notice that they are 2 Ohm. So, I'm guessing these would be fine for the doors, but not for the rear? I need 4 ohm speakers for the rear, right?
 

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xjerryx said:
I swear, the more I learn, the less I understand.

I just bid on some Infinity Kappa's on eBay, and now I notice that they are 2 Ohm. So, I'm guessing these would be fine for the doors, but not for the rear? I need 4 ohm speakers for the rear, right?
The stock door speakers are rated 4 ohm nominal. These are nominal impedance ratings, meaning that they are essentially the impedance experienced over the broadest range of frequencies reproduced. The impedance fluctuates over the bandwidth of the speaker, reaching its highest impedance at those frequencies where the speaker is most efficient and its lowest impedance where it is least efficient. This is counterintuitive, as we would expect the reverse. However, it is at the highest impedance where the amplifier is asked to supply the least power to produce a given spl (sound pressure level). As the impedance drops, the amplifier will pump more wattage into the speaker to produce that given spl. Generally, a 2 ohm nominal speaker will be less efficient than a 4 ohm nominal speaker, so mixing in a 2 ohm speaker with several 4 ohms may create a balance or fade issue that you may have to compensate for. The Infinitys are highly regarded and produce very good sound. Mixing and matching components is science and art. Sometimes you have to just try it and see. Hear?
Nearly all major manufacturers produce components that are more likely workably compatible than not.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, to clarify another thing, am I right to assume crossovers and amps are married? Meaning: the Kappas I purchased (2 ohm) come with a crossover and there fore have seperate connectors for tweeter and subwoofers. Therefore and amp is required right? And since the back speakers do not have an amp, I should use these speakers for the doors, which do, correct? I cannot just hook up the crossover to the existing wires for the back speaker , right?

Believe it or not, I am learning a lot through this process. I know these questions are pretty basic, but it's really the best way for a newcomer like me to learn.

By the way, the Kappas fit in the mounting perfectly, there was no bending required, which was a nice surprise.
 

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The function of crossover is to split signal into higher and lower frequencies. These are then parsed to appropriate speakers, meaning that tweeters are designed to reproduce high frequencies (and are useless for low ones) and vice versa for mid-bass.

In theory it doesn't matter what kind of a signal is brought to a crossover. However, in practice, with a better amp, you get better signals -> better sound. On the other hand, a car is very noisy environment by itself and it is questionable whether you notice the difference. As Saaboheme allready said: sometimes you have to just try it.

One more tip: you can try reading Basic car audio electronics page, it has some information that might be usefull to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The reason I asked about the crossover, is that when I installed it, it sounded like crap. I mean it's really bad. I rechecked the connections and everything, and it all looks good. I have no idea what the deal is. 2 ohm speaker replaced with better 2 ohm speaker, and it's terrible. I'm stumped.

I did read that site. You're right, there is a lot of good info.
 

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Wait a minute... you do have tweeters, right? If you use crossover, you must connect both "lines" - tweeter and mid-bass. Otherwise you can destroy the crossover (at least instructions say that, I didn't try it yet :)).
 

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Are you talking about Infinity 6.5 components? There are three pieces: The 6.5 inch midbass, the tweeter and the external crossover. If you try to use these in the doors driven by the factory amp, the crossover and tweeter will have nothing to do, as the factory amp for the stock door speakers has a built in low pass amp. ONLY low frequencies go out, so there is nothing to "cross-over" to the tweeter.The function of a crossover is to split a full frequency spectrum signal (20Hz to 20,000Hz) into 2 (or 3 in the case of a 3 way crossover) separate spectra. So with a two way design where the midbass is designed to run lowest to somewhere near the midrange, the crossover will pass the 20Hz to say something around 1,500Hz to 5,000 Hz to the 6.5 inch speaker and everything above that will go to the tweeter. The separate midbass unit and tweeter need are matched to a degree so there is some overlap in the frequencies they can reproduce effectively. This allows the crossover to roll off the signal amplitude near the crossover point. Near the crossover point, both the midbass and the tweeter will have some audible output of the same midrange frequencies. Thus crossovers can use 6dB, 8dB, 10 dB, and 12dB per octave slopes, and so on, with 6 being very shallow and 24 being very steep.
The Kappa components crossover at 3,500 Hz with a 24 dB per octave slope. The idea is not leave a hole in the frequency response at the crossover.
Since the factory door speaker amp does not put out any signal at 3,500 Hz, if you use these components in the doors, you will have bass/midbass only.
 
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