Speaker suggestions for 2005 Elise - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question Speaker suggestions for 2005 Elise

So I will start by saying there are a number of posts on this topic but most are old and the suggested speakers are not even available any more. I need to know what people think about speakers available in 2018 and 2019 that I may be able to still purchase. So here goes, ground rules:
  1. I want to replace front and rear factory speakers, not because they are blown or sun deteriorated or even aged, just want cleaner sound
  2. I do not want to modify my dash or rear panel, my original speakers are "ok" and if I sell the car the buyer may want to put them back, "No Cutting Required"
  3. I am not an audiophile but I do want something that sounds decent without breaking the bank
So is there anyone out there that can make some good suggestions?!?
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2005 Chrome Orange Elise, BWR supercharger, TR Motorsport F1 rims and R888s, Nitron NTR40 Single Adjustables with Eibach springs,Sector 111 308BBL brakes, BWR Silent Touch exhaust, CF side scoops, front splitter, and engine cover.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 03:25 AM
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We've done a number of setups, pretty much always with JL Audio. Just had good results with them. Not sure how you feel about using the JC Fab Speaker rings. They are very unobtrusive and the sound difference between 4" and 5.25" is huge. With those they look OEM. Otherwise, they have multiple lines you can choose from. Our current street setup, we did a small 4 channel JL digital amp mounted behind the passenger seat back with separate woofer and tweeter up front with the JL rings and the rear are 6.5". We have the option for the JL sub. I need to figure out an android auto and Pandora head unit.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 03:57 AM
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I bought from a forum member one of those amplified all in one subs that can fit behind the seats.

My head unit allows me to set a high pass filter to the front and rear speakers. [edit]

The factory Alpine speakers sound fine when the head unit is not burdened with trying to create bass and that duty is turned over to a unit designed for it.

Recent addition of a louder exhaust has buried the sound quite a bit, so I may need to upgrade

Last edited by exigegus; 05-20-2019 at 05:21 AM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 07:35 AM
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After owning my Lotus 10 years I finally decided to upgrade the sound system. I'm gonna build something really close to whats on my Jeep which shares terrible acoustics like the Lotus and even has similar sized speakers.

Having built many systems in the past, no matter how good of a speaker you buy you will not get good sound unless the speakers are amp'd. Underdriven speakers will distort when you turn up the volume so in my opinion its pointless to spend money on a good speaker without having the power to run them.

As Exigegus stated, another key is not to ask a little speaker to put out lower frequencies, even amped, they have a hard time playing such a wide range, so adding a little sub is a good idea. I have an amped 8" sub on my Jeep and its more than enough bass (for me) and lets the 4 little speakers play the higher frequencies.

I would recommend getting this little amp that should fit next to the headunit, I havent gotten mine yet but highly confident it will fit in back of the dash after I took a look back there, and the wiring is really easy as you don't need to bother with RCAs or power to the battery if you dont want to.

Alpine KTP-445U (or the 445A if using an Alpine deck).

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500KTP..._pack&skipvs=T

Alternately, if you don't mind running cables and want more power, the Rockford Fosgate PBR300x4 is what I run in my Jeep but I doubt this one will fit in back of the dash even though its only a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes but it will definitely fit in back of the seat or many other places.

Depending on your budget I would start with the Alpine amp at just a little over $100 and pair it with your current speakers and if your still desire a little more add a sub and some new speakers like Polk, JL, or Focal speakers and even a better headunit.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:04 AM
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+1 on the Alpine Power Pack amp. I used industrial style plastic “Velcro” loop fastener to mount the amp onto the shelf near the head unit. Worked great.

I did get a set of Jim’s speaker rings and added some Focal 5 1/4” speakers up front and 6 1/2” speakers on the rear bulkhead. The front install turned out to be a bit of a pain. Despite my best efforts, the speakers were “just that much” too deep so I had to use a heat gun and bake the ac ducting enough to melt it and allow the speaker/ring to sit flush. Imagine smoke coming out of the ac ducting! That was NOT FUN and wouldn’t want to do it again. Having said that, the sound is 10x better with upgraded speakers/sizes.

I topped it off with a powered Kenwood sub on the back bulkhead which handles all the lows while the four speakers take the mids/highs.

If you don’t want to “cut”, I would not change the front speakers out with larger ones. The rear bulkhead will require cutting too but really that’s a non-issue. Just remove it completely from the car and get it all fit before reinstalling. Easy peasy.

I’m SUPER happy with the Alpine head unit/power pack, Focal speaker upgrade and powered sub. I can make the car thump if I wanted to....amazing sound.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:35 AM
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Good to hear the alpine amp fit back there. I convinced a friend to get one so I could install it on his car so I can hear it just cause I wanted to throw one on the Lotus with an Alpine CDE-HD149BT and a Lopro8 in the back. Might do either the Polk DB522 or Focals depending on the sound I get from the ampd Blaupunkt speakers. Still haven't decided yet, although I might stick to OE size just cause I dont like the elevated look of the 5.25" up front.

@Daveinater
Did you wire the Alpine directly to the battery or ran power off the deck? Have you had any issues with fuses or shutting off if you ran it through the deck?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 04:55 PM
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Morel maximos fit without any modding and sound wonderful as well.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad MaTTer View Post
Good to hear the alpine amp fit back there. I convinced a friend to get one so I could install it on his car so I can hear it just cause I wanted to throw one on the Lotus with an Alpine CDE-HD149BT and a Lopro8 in the back. Might do either the Polk DB522 or Focals depending on the sound I get from the ampd Blaupunkt speakers. Still haven't decided yet, although I might stick to OE size just cause I dont like the elevated look of the 5.25" up front.

@Daveinater
Did you wire the Alpine directly to the battery or ran power off the deck? Have you had any issues with fuses or shutting off if you ran it through the deck?
I went back and forth on that one. Lots of threads suggesting that using the stock wiring/fuse was fine, others say to direct wire it to the battery.

The main concern I had was the Alpine power pack amp said it needed something like a 25 amp fuse. There will be lots of great guys on here who will take issue with this...and they know their stuff...but having said that, I consulted a friend here in the Atlanta area who does award winning sound/media installs in show cars and he said “dude. Just wire it in line using the harness adapters. You’re going to be fine.” I did that and have had no issues with it. No blown fuses. Again, good guys here will tell you that the fuse may be fine but the wiring itself may get hot, cause a fire, etc. I get that, and respect their opinions. Just based on my own research into wiring gauges/max amperage and voltage charts, etc. and the advice of a guy I respect, I wired directly into the harness using the Metro adapter supplied by Crutchfield.

I did wire the powered sub directly to the battery. Getting the wire through the firewall and to the battery was a bit of a chore but there is a grommet behind the driver’s seatbelt inertia reel that allowed access. But getting it from there to the battery without removing the LH rear wheel/liner is almost impossible.

I do love the system, it sounds great, and puts out more than enough volume....too much, actually, and I play it at lower levels anyway. The sound through the amp, Focals and powered sub is great!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I am glad I started this thread for all of you to have so much fun. I am absorbing all the ideas you are throwing about and I appreciate it greatly! Keep the ideas coming. You may still be able to convince me to add amps and powered subwoofers, but actually I only started this post for simple "speaker only" upgrade. But keep the ideas coming! Thanks!!
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2005 Chrome Orange Elise, BWR supercharger, TR Motorsport F1 rims and R888s, Nitron NTR40 Single Adjustables with Eibach springs,Sector 111 308BBL brakes, BWR Silent Touch exhaust, CF side scoops, front splitter, and engine cover.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 05:11 AM
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@Daveinater
Did you wire the Alpine directly to the battery or ran power off the deck? Have you had any issues with fuses or shutting off if you ran it through the deck?
P.S. To be clear, the Alpine Power Pack amp is very cool in that it wires in in-line with the head unit. Stock Harness—>Metro Adapter Harness—>Input side of Power Pack amp—>Output side of amp connects to the input side of head unit. There’s no separate wiring for the amp.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:04 AM
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I went back and forth on that one. Lots of threads suggesting that using the stock wiring/fuse was fine, others say to direct wire it to the battery.

The main concern I had was the Alpine power pack amp said it needed something like a 25 amp fuse.
I installed one on a friends Jeep and it stated it needed a 15 amp fuse from headunit, if not then to run power from the battery.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 09:30 AM
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Hmmm. This Alpine power pack has piqued my interest. Sounds like a great alternative if you're not looking to go all out. I do have upgraded kicker speakers all around which should help that PO did. Need to figure out now where I would mount it since my new head unit alone, barely fit back there. Thanks for that info.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by NoRawkus305 View Post
Hmmm. This Alpine power pack has piqued my interest. Sounds like a great alternative if you're not looking to go all out. I do have upgraded kicker speakers all around which should help that PO did. Need to figure out now where I would mount it since my new head unit alone, barely fit back there. Thanks for that info.
Next to your headunit, towards the drivers side you should find just enough space.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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Nice. I was thinking about that space but just couldn't recall how big it was. Did you still mount yours or just snuggly fit in that area? I wouldn't want to hear it moving around. But I guess the power pack will just drown that out

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fzust View Post

We've done a number of setups, pretty much always with JL Audio. Just had good results with them. Not sure how you feel about using the JC Fab Speaker rings. They are very unobtrusive and the sound difference between 4" and 5.25" is huge. With those they look OEM. Otherwise, they have multiple lines you can choose from. Our current street setup, we did a small 4 channel JL digital amp mounted behind the passenger seat back with separate woofer and tweeter up front with the JL rings and the rear are 6.5". We have the option for the JL sub. I need to figure out an android auto and Pandora head unit.

Curious what JL digital amp you went with, I wasn’t aware they made a digital amp?

Many do love alpines power pack. My understanding is yes it can be run off the factory wiring harness especially if the amp doesn’t need to play low frequencies. Like when adding a separate powered sub the power pack will play over 100hz all the time thus not a heavy load for the wiring in the car. If two channels of the power pack are powering a sub, that’s when w/o a doubt it needs to be run directly to the battery.

There are also several other similar amps compared to the power pack from kenwood, kicker and several other companies. Masconi makes a Picasso (I think that’s the name) which is a fraction of the size vs the power pack. There is another company called sounddigital which makes only small class D amps. I haven’t been able to listen to them bust they usually get great reviews. I am debating on using their amps in my Jeep or JL’s VXI line or Audiocontrol.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:33 PM
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Asking people about their audio components can be like asking them what their favorite oil is, but here are the details of my setup (installed late 2017):

Rear Speakers - I enlarged the rears to 6.75" as many people do and am running a pair of Rockford Fosgate T1650's. I'm running them on a Fosgate R150X2 amp, located behind the passenger seat. It's way too much amp for a pair of 6.75" speakers, but it sounds great and it *just* fits behind the seat.

Powered Sub - I'm running a Fosgate PS-8 powered subwoofer. It fits perfectly on the rear parcel shelf. I have it secured through the map pocket brackets that it sits in front of.

Front Speakers - I left the stock Alpines (car is a 2008 and has Alpine instead of Blaupunkt). With all the power right behind me, there is no way I would even hear the fronts, so I didn't bother enlarging them or amplifying them.

Head Unit - Pioneer DVH-885AVBT. It has a 3.5" tft display and I wired up a backup camera to it. It can also play DVDs, display album art, etc.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:36 PM
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Unfortunatly changing just the speakers will not prove overall sound quality. You need to feed power and clean sound that starts with the head unit. I saw it here on LT a suggestion to use a powered head unit like the Sony MEX-XB120BT. The Sony need a 15 amp power lead but will put 45 x4 RMS which will drive any mid range speaker very nicely. I used kicked front and back the DS series. All sound much better than stock. Good luck
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:39 PM
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Amazon!

I put these in and think they sound great without breaking the bank! I know my fronts and rears are a tad bigger than stock so you will have to get the correct size speakers. These affordable speakers have great reviews as well. Hope this helps.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad MaTTer View Post
I installed one on a friends Jeep and it stated it needed a 15 amp fuse from headunit, if not then to run power from the battery.
Yes, that sounds right. The issue is the Power Pack requires a 15 amp fuse. The Elise radio has a smaller fuse (10 amp if I remember right) in the fuse block. There are all kinds of ways to deal with that:
1. Replace the fuse in the car’s fuse panel with a 15 amp fuse....not generally recommended, as you’re now allowing more amperage to feed the car’s wiring, which may not be rated for that. Resulting in possible fire.
2. Direct wire to the battery and fuse with 15 amp
3. Use the existing fuse and wire it in using the harness and adapter. That’s what I did.

As for mounting location for the amp, I found a large area behind/near the gauge cluster where the amp would mount. I bought the stiff plastic industrial strength “Velcro” (not the fabric type...the hard plastic type that’s super strong) and used that to “stick” the amp to that shelf/wall area behind the cluster. Won’t go anywhere but pulling it will allow it to come loose if you need access to it.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 07:53 AM
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agree completely on the 5.25" vs 4" and I don't think minor modification would affect resale. Sound quality was my one compromise where I added wait but added tremendously to the enjoyment since I daily drove for years. I installed component speakers vs coax with the tweeters surface mounted and the crossover tucked under the dash. If you're trying to get better sound you have to replace the head unit, not just the speakers. If you really want to hear the sound (in a loud convertible with the top down) a pretty significant upgrade is needed. I have Polk component speakers front and back, JL audio sub in passenger footwell, pioneer 3500NEX for head unit and an 800W class D Alpine 5 channel amp wedged behind the driver's seat.
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