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Old 03-28-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
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OEM rear speaker kit w Polk mods, Polk door spkr, Blaupunkt sub (2000 Boxster)

My experience with installing the Porsche rear speaker kit (OEM), adding a component tweeter and crossover from the Polk Audio db5251 set, replacing OEM door speakers with 5.25 bass units from the Polk Audio db5251 set, and installing a Blaupunkt THB 200A subwoofer in my 2000 Boxster.

1. Trying out the OEM rear speaker kit:
I bought it on ebay and installed it in the rear storage compartment in just over an hour. It was pretty straight forward with included instructions. One highlight -- I found it easy to remove the glue that holds the blank partition that is replaced by the new one with a pair of speakers, by starting on a little section with a cutter and then using a butter knife to wedge-and-peel along, but I was careful enough not to break any plastic. The kit includes a connector that goes into the middle slot out of the three sections in the back of the CDR-220 unit. When I first tried the speakers with the storage box mounted I was not happy with the sound of the rear speakers alone (using fader on the head unit). However, I noticed some improvement in the overall spacial image of the sound in the car, especially with the top down. Dash and door speakers drove the sound quality.

2. Adding component tweeters and crossovers from the Polk Audio db5251 speaker set to the OEM rear speaker kit:
I glued the Polk tweeters to the only place where there was room, on the outer edge of the piece that holds the two OEM speakers on each side, with the tweeters pointing towards the center of the dashboard. First clean the surface, dry it and put glue on the two edges of the tweeter housing that touch the plastic inside the rear storage compartment. You will need to put something between the tweeter and the new front speaker cover you already installed in (1), to hold the tweeter firmly in place while the glue dries. Give glue enough time to dry and you can reapply a little more after the first application is dry.

I mounted the Polk crossover units inside the storage compartment using velcro, one unit on each side. You may have to cut in a little bit of plastic to run additional wires to the crossover units. Obviously, you'll need additional speaker wires and you can connect them using plastic wire connectors. Speaker wires don't need to be thick and it's best if the colors for plus and minus are different. You can test the polarity of speakers using a small battery -- if plus and minus are wired correctly, the speaker will pop out, otherwise it will move back towards the magnet.

OEM kit wires had solid black insulation (no distinction between plus and minus) and the wires were twisted, so testing speaker polarity and labeling plus wires close to where they merge and lead outside the compartment helped, especially before you cut them and add wires for tweeters and crossovers. In my first try, I accidentally swapped the left and the right speakers, but the plastic wire connectors made it easy to reconnect properly. On each crossover unit, tweeter is connected to high, OEM speaker pair to low, and the out goes to the main wires that lead out of the enclosure. The crossovers have a gain switch for highs that can be set to +3db/0db/-3db after the installation is complete, since the crossovers are easily accessible inside the storage compartment.

SUMMARY: My installation of the crossovers and the tweeters didn't make much difference. As expected, this setup didn't do anything for the bass response of the rear speakers, as are only about 3.5in each, but it added clarity to the highs. Most of the sound is produced by your dash and door speakers.

3. Replacing OEM door speakers with component 5.25in bass units from the Polk Audio db5251 speaker set:
Polk bass speaker required a very minor cutout along the edge of the speaker hole, in the self-contained door speaker housing. Any decent car stereo shop can easily make this modification. OEM speakers can easily be mounted back after this cutout is made. We ran the comparison with the door panel off and the speaker housing mounted, with both OEM and Polk speakers, and using a CD with songs that had pronounced bass. The original speakers distorted bass even at relatively low volume where Polks distorted less and sounded better overall. The distortion was not obvious until we got closer to the speaker. Not sure if distortion is due to low-pass setup of the built-in crossover (door speaker produces only bass), acoustics of the speaker housing, etc.
Polk woofer is 4ohm and factory is 2ohm, but there wasn't any noticeable difference in loudness, probably since factory speakers are less efficient (less decibels).

SUMMARY: My installation of the Polk bass speaker didn't make much difference but it sounded a little better so we replaced the OEM speakers.

4. Adding a Blaupunkt THB 200A 8in powered subwoofer:
After the previous steps were complete, I still wanted to improve the bass, so I bought the Blaupunkt sub and had the shop install it underneath the dashboard, right where the passenger's feet are when legs are fully stretched. It had to be mounted horizontally. It's easy to screw the mount plates at the bottom of the sub enclosure (remove the floor mat before mounting), but the top is hard to reach. I asked the shop to put velcro at the top-right-back edge of the sub for now. A custom metal piece can easily be made to mount the top of the sub securely, but I wanted to test velcro first.
I also used a 4in velcro strip to secure the floor mat to the top of the sub, so the floor mat doesn't flip backwards. Sound quality does not seem to be affected with the floor mat over the sub, and it helps protect the unit from dirt and moisture. This setup doesn't look perfect but it's fine for me and very few people get to see that area anyway.

Sub could have been installed in the front trunk, but I wanted to fit it as close to me as possible for best results. It looked like it could also be mounted behind the passengers seat...perceived negatives were loosing knee room for tall passengers, since the seat couldn't go all the way back, also kick-in-the-back effect of bass on passengers, plus the need to remove that panel when servicing AC compressor, belt, etc. The sub did not fit under the seat, and I don't know of a self-powered sub that would fit in the narrow space under the seats.

SUMMARY: Subwoofer made the biggest impact on the sound. With the top down I can clearly hear the music and with a nice bass that can be felt in the chest at the volume of about 30+. Don't expect too much from the 8in sub, but it definitely helps.

Have you tried mounting a subwoofer in the front storage compartment? Replacing door speakers with different components? Any other speaker/amp/sub modifications?

If this helped you and you want to help me with my Boxster projects, I surely would appreciate a small PayPal donation. Thank you.

Last edited by dpsend1; 04-06-2009 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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Lov'n my boxster!

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