MyLittlePony2022

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I was not completely satisfied with the B&O speakers so decided to replace my speakers. My intent is to document in detail the replacement of the speakers for others to use if they to decide to replace their MME speakers. The subwoofer was replaced within a month of me owning the car. I followed the thread @markboris wrote and that was an easy installation. This helped, but I still wanted to replace the rest of the speakers to get even better sound.

Summary: I replaced the dash (not the center) and door speakers (front and rear) with Infinity Kappa 603CF components. The speakers are a 6.5” mid with a ¾” tweeter so they are “direct” replacements. I was looking Morels in addition to the Infinity brand but chose the Infinities since they fit within my budget. The installation did require some modifications and was not a plug and play scenario. The sound quality of the new speakers is better than the OEM speakers, which is to be expected. The caveat being that the OEM digital signal processor (DSP) is tuned to the OEM speakers, so the sound is not optimally configured. I am going to install a six-channel amplifier with DSP. I would recommend the same or at least a DSP to get the best sound from any new speakers being installed.

Full Write-up: I did the installation over a few weekends. I replaced the passenger front door speakers first. I followed the MME manuals to remove the door panel and it came easily, compared to previous car panel removals. I would highly recommend getting a good set of trim removal tools. I bought some cheap ones for $6 on Amazon and they are thin, and the tips flex. I picked up some quality ones from Mobile Solutions. I ordered both sets as quality investment in tools. I also recommend spending some time learning about speaker installation via the great videos on Car Audio Fabrications. I got some great tips and learned about sound deadening.

The front passenger door speaker swap was the test case and my learning curve for the speaker replacement. In addition to new speakers, I also put sound deadening material from Sound Shield on the plastic door panel. The plastic door panel holds the 6.5-inch speaker, the window wires/pulleys and covers the access opening in the door. I also wanted to put sound deadening on the inside of the door. This requires removal of the plastic door panel. I used Sound Shield slim on the plastic door panel and standard inside of the door. I used up all the standard sound deadening, and I still had half a roll of the slim remaining. Going to put down more in the trunk and under the passenger seats with the left over. To get inside the door the plastic panel has to be removed which means disconnecting from the door window. I recommend caution and taking your time, follow the MME manual. Breaking a door window (tempered glass) would not be a good idea. Disconnecting the window from the panel was not difficult (caution if you are not mechanically inclined) and worth the effort, to get sound deadening within the doors. Besides, I got the opportunity to clean the bottom of the window, below the door. It was dirty.

In my research, I knew the front door speaker (6.5 inch mid) was powered by the rear amp and the dash tweeters were powered by the stereo itself. When I replace the OEM amp, with a six channel, I will power the two front channels separately and the rear speakers together. Actually, if you look at the manuals wiring diagram, this is how Ford also powers the speakers. The rear speakers are a single channel.

With the end in mind, I decided to install non-directional capacitors on the front speakers since I will not be using the Infinity active crossover that comes with the speakers. I reached out to Infinity to get the resonate frequency (FS) of the speakers. They do not publish it in their literature, and it did take some effort for them to provide this to me. The tweeter FS is 1850 Hz, so I want to have a capacitor that is to two times the FS. This provides a factor of safety. The capacitor will restrict the base and mid-level frequencies and the tweeter will only see high frequencies. I chose to use a 17-microfarad capacitor since it got me to ~1.7 times FS and it would only allow frequencies above ~3100 Hz to the tweeters. The mid speaker FS was 82.5 Hz so I used a 330-microfarad capacitor to have the base cut off around 160 Hz. When I install the amp with DSP, I can work on the dB slope to ensure that I have frequency overlap and no holes.

The 6.5-inch speaker is a direct replacement, but the OEM has a larger mounting bracket. The Infinity does come with a mounting ring and the three holes “somewhat” line up to mount the bracket to the plastic door panel. However, you have to extend and enlarge the holes, which is the first modification required. A drill, file or Dremel tool will work. I used a stepper drill. I put foam tape between the bracket and the plastic panel and between the bracket and the speaker. This sealed up the many holes on the bracket, created an acoustic seal and should reduce the introduction of unwanted noise.

Mounting the speaker to the bracket and ultimately the car, was the second modification required. The bracket has four holes to mount the speaker. You cannot use a screw with a fender clip. There is no place to put the clip and screwing into the plastic was also not an option. I used metric bolts and nuts instead. The plastic door panel speaker opening is not just a hole but has flaring. A large nut or a long bolt will hit the plastic and prevent the speaker from sitting flat or on center. I had to use M2 bolts and the put them slightly offset/angled. Even with a small bolt size it was a really tight fit. I recommend pulling the plastic panel off to install the speaker on to the panel, instead of doing on the car. This way you can get to the back side of the speaker and adjust the locations of the nuts. I did not like how the speaker/bracket was sitting. I put in another mounting bolt to get the speaker to sit flat, since it was flaring up on side. The depth from the glass to the top of the plastic panel is 2 9/16 inches or 6.4 cm so my speakers were good. The OEM speaker wire is about 20-gauge. I premade 18-gauge wiring harness with the capacitor and a new XT60 bullet connector. I cut off the end of the OEM speaker connector and soldered the new connector in place.

The dash tweeter install was fairly simple. I lifted up the dash speaker cover. Be careful and make sure your tool us between the dashboard and the plastic chrome strip and NOT between the chrome strip and the speaker grill. I did not remove the cover but lifted it to get to the tweeter. The tweeter OEM connector is not long and can be easily dropped down into the dashboard if not careful. I taped the connector to the dashboard until I was ready to add a new connector. I recommend soldering a wire lead to the tweeter OEM dash wire since it is easier to solder. The Infinity tweeter comes with several mounting brackets. They supply a simple cup that fits nicely into the OEM mount from the backside. I put a bead of superglue on the top of the cup and pushed into the OEM mount. The tweeter does fit into the cup snuggly, but I wanted to have it hold in place, so I put in two bolts on the backside of the cup. The tweeter magnet back is open and magnetic, so it held in place by the magnetic connection between the tweeter and the steel bolts. Put the speaker into the new bracket, thread the wires through and then solder the connector onto the end. The opening in the new cup is not wide enough for the capacitor nor connector to pass.

I chose not to replace the center channel speaker. Prior to replacing the speaker, I listened to the system in stereo and surround sound mode. I personally, which is my opinion, do not like the center channel sound. I did find an Infinity replacement speaker, but they are sold in pairs. The center channel opening is around three inches. If you chose to replace this speaker, make sure the new speaker will fit the opening. Otherwise, you will have to increase the opening size.

I did not get to the driver’s door in the same weekend. I got to drive the car with the Infinity speakers on the passenger side and the OEM on the driver’s side. The OEM speaker’s sound loader than the Infinity speakers. However, the Infinity speakers have a better tonal quality and when tuned correctly, will sound better.

I completed the drivers front door exactly as I did the passenger door. I did write down the widths and lengths of cuts I did for the sound deadening on the passenger door so I could precut the driver’s door material ahead of time. I also premade the speaker wire leads ahead of time. This reduced the time for the installation.

The rear doors were a bit more complicated regarding the tweeters. I did the same thing for the rear as with the front for the 6.5-inch speakers and sound deadening. The 6.5-inch speaker bolts also interfere with the mounting to the plastic door panel, so you have to use M2 bolts. I did not have to install a fourth bolt to mount the bracket to the plastic panel. The depth from the glass to the top of the plastic panel is 2 3/8 inches or 6.1 cm.

I did use the Infinity active cross over for this installation and not the capacitors. I do not want to buy an 8-channel amplifier and power each speaker with a separate channel. I am going to use a six channel and power both the rear door speakers via a single channel. Thus, the use of the passive cross over. I could have used the capacitors and I may go that route later when I put in the new amp. Oh, when I put in the new amp, I am going to replace the OEM speaker wire with 18-gauge wire. It is possible, based on my inspection of the rubber boots connecting the door and the body.

The OEM tweeter has to be removed from the rear and not the front. There are tabs that hold it in place and are located on the back of the door panel. I had to just work my way around to gently push the taps to allow it to drop out. The tweeter is held in place to the speaker grill (bracket) with some mild glue and tabs. I had to break the glue loose and open up the tabs. A bit of prying with a screwdriver and the glue will break loose. The Infinity tweeter with the cup will not fit into the OEM bracket without modification. The cup will not sit flat, and the speaker sits too high to allow the cup to contact the bracket. I chose to use a Dremel tool to increase the opening size to allow the speaker to sit within the bracket. I have never been great at using a Dremel tool, so it does not look pretty. Since the opening needed to be large enough to fit the speaker and was not going to be visible, I did not make a huge aesthetic effort nor to ensure it was that round. The Dremel work allows the cup to sit down and the Infinity tweeter cup to sit flat on the OEM bracket. I put a little bit of black RTV in four spots (tack it) to secure the cup and bracket. I than put a bead of RTV on the top to seal the cup and bracket. I was careful to not put a too much RTV and bleed it into the speaker. This now locks in the speaker to the speaker bracket. With the cup and bracket secured in place, the speaker now can be installed in the door panel.

I used the MME manual to get the speaker polarity associated with the wire color. Note that the rear tweeter speaker wire colors are the same on both sides. The tweeter wire is connected to the 6.5-inch speaker wire later in the harness. Since I was using the active cross over and not the individual capacitors, I did not use the tweeter connection and just secured it to an existing harness. The drivers rear 6.5-inch speaker wire is also the same color wiring as the rear tweeters. See below for the speaker wire colors.


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A few tips. I taped up all the OEM and new wiring to prevent rattling and noise. I also taped up any items that would rattle such as OEM wiring connectors and the door panel plastic clips. To prevent the door panel clips from rattling, I put a piece of tape over the clip hole, cut a slot in the tape and inserted the clip. That little bit of tape prevents the clip from rattling. I also put foam speaker rings around the 6.5 inch speakers to help seal the speaker to the door panel. The speaker ring kit comes with a pad that sticks on the door behind the speaker. I chose not to install it since I had sound deadening and the door skin was not really flat so it would have had to be cut to fit. I took pictures of the Infinity Kappa speakers and the front and rear all in a row. The rear speakers are not impressive, and Ford must have skimped on them since “they are in the rear.”

 

joes723

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How is the sound quality with these replacements vs. the stock speakers?
 
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MyLittlePony2022

MyLittlePony2022

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I think the sound quality is better than the stock speakers. It will be even better with a DSP or amp with DSP. Is the difference huge, no but it is there. I can hear it but others may say it is not worth the effort. I think it was and am willing to continue to add the amp, new DAC and speaker wires. However, I like to work on cars and stock is never good enough. I posted a picture of the front and back of the OEM speakers versus the Infinity Kappa speakers. I think it does show a bit of the difference between OEM and aftermarket.
 

satchel prefect

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Outstanding documentation and photos. We can't thank you enough!

Stopping to take pictures while working on an installation takes a very under-appreciated amount of patience and good will, so major props and thanks. Making such detailed, well-written explanations makes this even more gold. 🙏

You mentioned going with an amp with DSP. Did you have your eye on any in particular, and any thoughts about how well say, an L2Ci would do to clean up the factory signal?
 


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MyLittlePony2022

MyLittlePony2022

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Outstanding documentation and photos. We can't thank you enough!

Stopping to take pictures while working on an installation takes a very under-appreciated amount of patience and good will, so major props and thanks. Making such detailed, well-written explanations makes this even more gold. 🙏

You mentioned going with an amp with DSP. Did you have your eye on any in particular, and any thoughts about how well say, an L2Ci would do to clean up the factory signal?
@satchel prefect Thank you for the comment. I have a few more pictures that I did not post, if someone wants something specific such what the inside of the door looks like, the center speaker, etc. Just ask and you shall receive. I wanted to provide detail so others can easily do this installation or at the least understand what it will take, if it is under consideration. If someone wants to know something, ping me via the thread or via private chat. Glad to help.

I posted on how to replace the DAC and amplifier. I have been looking at the JL Audio and Audio Control amps, both have DSP. I am going with Audio Control since I like them a bit better, they have more power (125 watts vs. 75 watts) and I think their DSP is better (my opinion). However, the JL Audio is second only by a little bit. They make great amps. I am just waiting for the DAC to be back in stock and for Crutchfield to put the amp on sale. Not paying full price. I got the speakers on sale too.
 

Al your Pal

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The speaker cover grill on my driver door is rattling a little. I’d like to take it off and add some sort of foam or whatever to stop it. Do I have to take off the whole door panel? Where did you find the MME manuals detailing door panel removal that you mentioned? Thanks in advance
 
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MyLittlePony2022

MyLittlePony2022

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The speaker cover grill on my driver door is rattling a little. I’d like to take it off and add some sort of foam or whatever to stop it. Do I have to take off the whole door panel? Where did you find the MME manuals detailing door panel removal that you mentioned? Thanks in advance
Yes, the speaker grill on the door is a part of the door panel and the entire panel has to be removed. I have a manual for the MME that describes how to remove the door panel, see below for how to remove the panel. It is similar to other car panel removal. A good plastic panel removal tool is best.

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I have been thinking about this, looking around I have enough gear that nothing would need to be bought.

Did you happen to check out what size the center speaker is?
 

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Yes, the speaker grill on the door is a part of the door panel and the entire panel has to be removed. I have a manual for the MME that describes how to remove the door panel, see below for how to remove the panel. It is similar to other car panel removal. A good plastic panel removal tool is best.
Could you tell us where you got the manual?
 

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See attached file for pictures from the speaker replacement.
Excellent write up -- I'm doing systems in both of my vehicles currently. While not exactly a soundstage of note, I setup alpine X series (not as efficient as the kappas) components, 6x9 fronts, 6.5 rears for my F150, on the floor in a room. I've got an audio control D5.1300 for the F150. In my browsing I came across this little JBL DSP amp rated 40x8, for $250 delivered. I bought it for shits and giggles. https://www.jbl.com/car-amplifiers/DSPAMPLIFIERDSP4086.html

After I setup the D5.1300 and tuned it to my liking, I decided, what the hell, let's see what the little JBL can do on the speakers. So I wired up all 8 channels using the tweeter protectors (X series sends full range to woofers, tw tap on the same poles via x-over / protector) I was astounded by the sound I was able to get out of it distortion free, even w/ the 6x9 woofers. My ears were hurting after playing with it for 2 hours. I only had 1 of the JL 10s and it wasn't able to keep up with the sound (powered from the D5, single 10 not able to keep up with the speakers on the D5 either, so not a surprise)

The JBL app was far easier to use than audio control's and even had better EQ options (up to 48db curves) while offering the same functionality (though audio control does have a BT module as an accessory, and its remote is also an additional accessory). It was wasn't laggy unlike audio controls (likely due to the 'live' EQ output -- not to be confused for an actual mic based EQ)

For tapping A2B of the B&O I'm using https://catalog.pac-audio.com/catalog/amppro-amplifier-interfaces/ap4-fd31

It allows separate control of the vehicles 'chimes' as well as allowing you to tailor the head unit's high / mid / bass control if you wish to integrate it as shown below. Works with both of project vehicles. The JBL will be going in the MME w/ a dedicated sub amp as well as dedicated LFP battery (adding one to the F150 as well).

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edit: I'm going to run the amp in the MME as a 7 channel w/ blended center and run line level out to the sub to maintain timing control. I really want to try and use the center as 3" blended mid. If it kills the soundstage I'll just turn it off. front tweeters x2, front woofers x2, rear doors 1 channel each, 3" center mid ch7 and ch8 sub.

The little JBL's performance is such that I'm reevaluating going to a 6 channel in the F150 and adding a dedicated sub amp. The little $250 amp has me questioning the $1000 one, that's just how surprising it is.

 
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