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Old 12-01-2016, 05:29 PM   #1
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Upgrade Speakers and Amp?...or not?

Hello all,

This is a question to all those who have upgraded your speakers and maybe even the amp, BUT have kept the factor deck in place.

I would prefer to keep the factory deck to preserve the look and feel of the car, but I'm wondering if a speaker upgrade will be a big deal or not. I'm not an audiophile, but I'm close to it (there are way worse folks out there), but I am sensitive to good quality sound.

Will there be a measurable improvement in the sound with a speaker upgrade over the factory speakers? I have a 1997 Boxster. So the speakers are freak'en old and even though the car has always been garaged, they can't be great. YET, the sound is reasonably good. I don't feel like I need to rush out and spend money, but it's hard to know what I'm missing.

Has anyone did this upgrade and been blow away by the change or was it just ho-hum?

Thanks!!
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:49 PM   #2
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I have the stock Becker CDR-220 HU, with dash and door speakers. I added rear speakers which were originally powered from the HU, I then added a 6 channel amp from a 996 to power the rears at 40W vs 15W from the HU.

In my opinion, the rear speakers make a huge difference to "fill out" the sound, especially after adjusting the forward/back fade/balance. I would install rear speakers first, because I think they make the biggest difference. I was not able to notice any difference going to the 6 channel 996 amp, however the 6 channel amp gives more flexibility if/when I upgrade my speakers. However, I have been happy with my stock HiFi sound plus the rears. I use my HU almost exclusively on AUX with an iPod hookup, so I have never felt the need to upgrade the HU. I'm sure a newer one could make a difference, but I'm not enough of an audiophile to give up the OEM look of the Becker HU.

At the end of the day, the speaker/HU/amp part is very subjective, but I would definitely recommend adding rear speakers.

Hope that helps!
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:06 PM   #3
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Yes actually its very interesting to me, but now I feel dumb...where do the rear speakers go?

Do you have to also install a larger/more powerful amp in order to do this? What specific rear speakers did you install?

I really like this idea. Can you provide more details?

Thx!!
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:46 PM   #4
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The rear speakers install inside the rear shelf cubby, most Boxster's have them, but some of the early years did not. (You can see a picture and install instructions here). You can power the rear speakers from the Becker HU, but will only get 15W, if you want more power you need a larger amp. I used a 6x40W from a 996.

There is a lot of information on rear speakers online, if you search for '986 rear speakers'.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:57 PM   #5
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+1 on installing rear speakers if you had none. Although I'm running the rears just off the HU, (Pioneer) it is a major improvement in sound separation. Also replaced the stock rears with pioneers. You may not even care to go any further after this mod. The stock door bass is sufficient to me. Of course I'm 63 and love the bass of the flat/six over the music.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:22 PM   #6
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I'm at the moment doing this mod. I changed the midrange speakers in the doors (now audio system as130 evo), quieted the doors. Now i will change the dash speakers (100mm combo system) and change the haes 4x40 amp in the trunk. My new one is a ETON SDA 150.4.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:31 AM   #7
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deleted text b/c it is a duplicate

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Old 12-02-2016, 01:34 AM   #8
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it depends on your sound quality goal. If today is 'fair,' adding rear speakers will improve to 'good.' New dash/door speakers and a 5 channel amp will move you to 'very good' with the 5th channel driving the speakers in the doors. A high end head unit and sound deadening in the doors and dash will move you to 'excellent' after time alignment and a lot of additional fine tuning.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:21 AM   #9
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I replaced both the doors and dash speakers and it was an improvement. As far as an amp it depends on the year. If you have a MOST car the amp is connected by fiber and I don't know if you can buy an aftermarket amp with a fiber connection. Pre MOST is no issue. I also replaced the headunit which forced me to replace the amp since I have MOST. With it all done the sound is great.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:31 PM   #10
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After hearing several other brands, I replaced the dash speakers in my 02 Boxster with Helix speakers. Hugh improvement even with stock amp and door speakers.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:49 PM   #11
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^ I might have to look into those.

I thought it was worth adding, to replace the dash speakers requires some customization as the 986 uses a non-standard bracket to mount the speaker to the grill. Someone made some adapters a few years ago, not sure if you can still find them.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:01 PM   #12
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Doing it this way will work, also if you use a combo system - you hast have to adjust the things in this video like you need it with your speakers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0LPyCoq5k8
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