The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought an 06 Elise (finally, after years of lust - wow!) and was appalled at the terrible sound that the stereo produced. It was simply painful to listen to. I normally keep my cars stock, and of course the engine sounds lusty, but this was so bad I felt I had to do something about it. Here is some very long-winded comments about the installation that may help someone - especially if you want to keep the stock speaker covers on all four speakers.

After researching the various threads, I decided to install the Polk speakers that a number of you have chosen. I went with the DB501's in front and the DB651S ("slim mount") in the rears.

I did not want to have to add an amplifier or change the head unit. Therefore, I appreciated that the Polk speakers are efficient at 93dB (manufacturer's) rating. They are also relatively inexpensive. Needless to say, the Polk units are significantly superior.

The "5 inch" front Polk units are grossly misrepresented. They appear identical to their "4 inch" units (which are themselves barely 3.5 inches), but sell for $10 extra and without covers. You can probably assume that the "4 inch" units are fully equivalent, if not identical, and they DO come with the Polk speaker covers.

I went with the "5 inch" ones anyway because they are rated at higher efficiency (a probably dubious claim as well, but whatever) and because I wanted to use the stock covers (I don't like the crazy silver Polk covers). They are an exact drop-in fit, without any trouble at all. They fill the opening better than the stock speakers too, with only a tiny gap left. They are a pain to swap given the limited space, and thus requires a lot of patience. They are much more substantial than the cheap stock speakers and sound vastly better.

Now to the my more interesting comment: I managed to install the rear speakers while retaining the stock speaker covers. I'll get to that in a moment.

The "6.5 inch" rears are also more substantial and are significantly larger than the stock units. The "slim mount" rears are mandatory if you want any hope of installing them without cutting the foam sound-deadening material that the touring-pack cars have against the firewall. Even so, they are a tight fit, requiring some non-trivial pressure during installation.

As some of you have commented, these speakers have a hole pattern which does not match either the stock covers or the holes in the Elise's plastic that they would mount to. The speaker's holes are very close to a stock fit, but not quite close enough. Most of you who have installed these have probably drilled new holes in the Elise and have gone with no covers or the Polk covers.

What I did instead was to first note that the speaker's holes needed to be just slightly closer in, by maybe 1/8 inch or so on each. I noted that there was just enough room left on the speaker's mounting flange to enlarge these holes so that a stock fit became possible. Therefore, I reamed the holes on the speakers to enlarge them in the inward direction. I just used a drill bit that fit the stock hole and applied pressure inward. You have to be judicious in doing this, since you will come perilously close to the rubber speaker surround. However, if you are careful, you can do it while leaving a margin of safety. Do this a little at a time and check by placing the stock Blaupunkt cover flange, with screws, onto the speakers, until the screws can be inserted without splaying outward or distorting the cover flange.

After this, the speakers will easily go into the car without drilling new holes, and the stock covers can be used. Again, I prefer to keep cars stock, so I appreciated that there is essentially no external cue that the speakers were swapped. I also like the subtle and elegant stock covers over the somewhat ridiculous silver Polk covers.

One final caution about the stock cover installation: The stock speaker cover ring extends half-way over the rubber speaker cone support. It does not interfere with the cone itself or the sound. However, under the highest possible volume and very heavy bass, it may be possible for the rubber cone support to touch the speaker ring. I have looked for this and have not seen it happen, but it's at least possible.

In the end, the new speakers made a very substantial difference. It's still a little lacking in bass, but it's quite listenable now with the top off. As an inexpensive upgrade, this swap is hard to beat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Grepmat,
Thanks for the info. I too bought an '06 Elise last Fall and am thinking of doing the same. Do you have the stock Blaupunkt speakers ? I do not have the touring so my stock headset may be lower end than yours ? and I thus am thinking of changing the whole setup.
Thanks for the installation tips.
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Mike,

I had the stock Blaupunkt speakers in my car, now swapped for the Polk's.

My head-unit is the Blaupunkt Acapulco MP54. I don't believe there is a difference in the sound system between the touring and non-touring versions.

The speakers were the weak link, relatively speaking. The head-unit is far from the very best, of course, but it should power the efficient, 4-ohm Polk speakers quite well (I find that it does). If you install very inefficient speakers, or 2 ohm speakers, then the head unit will likely suffer.

However, I really dislike the ergonomics of the head unit. Tiny little arbitrarily-placed buttons, stupid flashy hard to access menus, etc. Give me a real volume knob and some simple, direct, controls, please! If I swapped the head unit, it would mostly be for the sake of better ergonomics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,208 Posts
We've got the slims in back as well and JL's in front.

HUGE difference over stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top