The $20 tweeter upgrade!

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Thread: The $20 tweeter upgrade!

  1. #1
    Senior Member coletrain's Avatar
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    The $20 tweeter upgrade!

    OK, so I am a cheap ba$tard and I wanted new tweeters. I could barely hear the stock ones. So I give you the $20 tweeter upgrade!

    I started by looking at the stock tweeter and determined that it has an impedence of 6 ohms. Most aftermarket car audio tweeters are designed to be used with an amplifier and are 4 ohms. I replaced the stock door speakers with a 4 ohm Polk DXI650 and wanted to replace the tweeters with new ones with the same 6 ohm impedance to keep the draw on the stock head unit amp the same or close to stock. I dont know the stock door speaker impedance, so definitely didnt want to increase the load any further by using 4 ohm tweeters..

    My reasoning: Polk DXI650 (4 Ohm load) + Polk DB1001 (4 ohm load) = 2 Ohm load at the amp. This MAY overdrive the amp and cause overheating or possibly failure....therefore...

    Polk DXI650 (4 ohm load) + Dayton Audio ND16FA-6 (6 ohm load) = less load or same as stock load at the amp when compared to all other 4 ohm tweeters.

    Armed with this info, I searched for tweeters with 6 ohm impedance, that had good reviews, and were CHEAP! I came up with the Daytons here...

    Dayton Audio ND16FA-6 5/8" Neodymium Dome Tweeter 275-025

    Then I needed to block the lower frequency sound going to them with a simple inline crossover- a non polarized capacitor. This cap will cutoff the sound below approximately 4khz when placed inline on the positive lead (according to partsexpress tech forum- props to those guys and their audio knowledge)

    6.8uF 100V Non-Polarized Capacitor 027-336

    Total comes out to $20.46!! (plus shipping, of course)

    Here are the tweeters, caps, and the stock tweeter.



    close up of the dayton tweeter- It is a silk dome style and sounds way better than cheap paper cones.


    Now the install!

    Remove old tweet



    Give the new tweeter a test fire!



    Sounds good, time to make things permanent. I soldered the caps in-line on the positive lead. Then shrinkwrapped the connections.



    A little more shrinkwrap for protection:



    Now I hacked up the old tweeter and stripped everything off of its metal frame. You basically pry off the magnet and all the other plastic peices. then I add some sound dampening material to the frame. This is not really necessary but then I thought of a way to use it as a mounting plate!



    stick some material to the frame, lay the tweeter on the FatMat and trace around it. Cut a hole with a razor blade.



    Press fit the tweeter.



    INSTALL!! I used spade connectors that I had to modify to fit the stock connector.



    here is the wiring I used. couldnt find anything on tweeter polarity so I used the leads with red as positive (makes sense but not sure if correct). The foam wraps around the plug and connections to help keep them secure and to eliminate rattles.



    Boom. How you like that?



    Too shiny, added foam for appearance. You could see the silver FatMat through the grill. You could also paint it black if you take the tweeter out first.





    Snap the grill back in place and repeat the process for the other side. The passenger side had a red wire too so again I used that for positive.

    THESE SOUND GREAT! You can now actually hear sound from the tweeters. I had to dial the trebel to +5 and sometimes +8 on the stock tweeters just so I could hear they were even playing. I have the trebel set flat to zero with the Dayton audio tweeters! There is a more airy sound and wider sound stage and stero image. You definitly know theres an upgrade there. They sound great and more accurate to my ears, but might be a tad bright, so I may tweek the trebel settings. HUGE bang for the buck!!! I'll put them up against the kickers anyday.
    Last edited by coletrain; 09-03-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Very nice!

    Sometimes, people don't give the folks at PartsExpress and the Dayton product line a fair shake. They make pretty stuff.



    BTW. Why didn't you match the crossover point on the DXi's?

    And as a future upgrade, you might want to replace the capacitor with a Polypropylene one - they are only two bucks more and I found that they make a big difference to the tweeters. I "upgraded" some Klipsch computer speakers I have by replacing the lower end components in the crossover with the better quality stuff and left the speakers the same and I found that the sound was cleaner.

  4. #3
    Senior Member ironman1518's Avatar
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    WoW! Great show indeed! Thanks for the great input, info and "how to" photos!1 Very easy to follow along.

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    Senior Member coletrain's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nice complements ironman1518!

    Why didn't you match the crossover point on the DXi's?
    rlouie, I didnt even think about taking it that far! I dont know a whole lot about the crossover stuff, just took some advice from people who know. I wanted to get some "lower" sound out of them (4khz plus) as well as the very high freq in order to overlap with the Polks and to bring the sound stage up off the floor and toward the middle of the cabin. Pretty sucessful in that regard.

  7. #5
    Senior Member XVXV's Avatar
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    Wow cool upgrade!


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  8. #6
    This is an awesome write-up. Is it possible that I can re-host the pictures and mirror the info on my audio how-to website as long as I give you credit?

    Link to the appropriate page:

    ’12+ Impreza | Subaru Audio

  9. #7
    Senior Member coletrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phenryiv1 View Post
    This is an awesome write-up. Is it possible that I can re-host the pictures and mirror the info on my audio how-to website as long as I give you credit?

    Link to the appropriate page:

    ’12+ Impreza | Subaru Audio

    Yeah sure and make sure you put coletrain on there prominently‎. And not to toot my own horn, but toot toot. Ha ha. I was just jamming real loud on the way to work this morning, and I was thinking dang this sounds good. I am so impressed with the sound. Cant believe it was so cheap. (dont forget I have Polk DXI650 in the fronts and tons of sound dampening so its not all the tweeters). A friend of mine had a listen and he thought it sounded great - and coming from him that's a compliment as he's had may car audio "systems" in his vehicles over the years. If I get bored I may even try the special audio grade polyprop cap that rlouie mentioned. they run 2-5 bucks each.

    I was thinking for anyone else that would like to do this upgrade and make it even easier: You could skip the use of the sound dampening material and just use a dab of silicone to glue the tweeter to the stock tweet mounting plate. I can solder up the parts to make a plug and play deal if you needed me to... I am gonna try to find a better connector (ie. narrower pins) for the stock tweeter plug first.

    I want to make another pair for a member here so he/she can provide an independent review....looking at you mtnhorserider!
    Last edited by coletrain; 07-01-2014 at 12:31 PM.
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    I think we might have a start of a small independent business...

  11. #9
    Senior Member coletrain's Avatar
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    well i got some spare stock tweets on the way so I will be trying some different caps and different tweeters in the stock frames. The idea is to get the optimum sound for the lowest price. Right now $20 is awesome but I'm guessing a few bucks more wouldn't break anybody's bank if you love good sound. Details to come...

  12. #10
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    Caution...

    Mad Scientist at work!

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