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Discussion Starter #1
New fortwo is in the very near future and I'm thinking about replacing the speakers. My last fortwo had the factory surround sound system and I really don't think it was worth the money, even with four additional speakers and an amplifier.

So, I'm exploring replacing the door speakers with aftermarket ones and, while I'm finding lots of info about replacing them, it seems everything shows how-tos about installing them in place of the factory grilles. I'm interested in maintaining the factory appearance so I don't want to use the aftermarket grilles you get when purchasing aftermarket speakers.

I'm also not particularly interested in replacing the factory head unit, so I've been searching for aftermarket speakers with higher sensitivity/efficiency ratings so they'll best exploit the factory head unit's output. I think I've decided on the Soundstream STL.65C as they're both shallow-mount speakers and they have a higher-than-usual sensitivity/efficiency rating. Also, it's my understanding that 6.5" speakers will fit behind the factory grilles.

Any thoughts/tips on this? I'm not looking for audiophile level sound, but speakers that will improve the (very lacking) factory two-speaker setup.
 

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I'm confused. You say that the factory head unit can only power two speakers, but then you say to add rear speakers? Also, the sound stage will sound horrible if the better sound is coming from the rear. The biggest problem, as I understand it, with the factory two-speaker setup is that they are low down in the door and don't have tweeters (I guess that's technically two problems). Since mid-bass is much less directional than treble, having a mid-bass woofer in the factory location shouldn't be an issue if I put the tweeters up in the sail panel where the factory surround sound system puts them.
 

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I'm confused. You say that the factory head unit can only power two speakers, but then you say to add rear speakers? Also, the sound stage will sound horrible if the better sound is coming from the rear. The biggest problem, as I understand it, with the factory two-speaker setup is that they are low down in the door and don't have tweeters (I guess that's technically two problems). Since mid-bass is much less directional than treble, having a mid-bass woofer in the factory location shouldn't be an issue if I put the tweeters up in the sail panel where the factory surround sound system puts them.
You're doing the right thing IMO. I believe you would probably be best served adding a larger subwoofer (larger than the 4" one in the factory surround setup), or a bass tube. But that's IF you want to devote valuable interior space to that addition...
 

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I'm certainly no audiophile, but after buying my smart, I had to change the speakers. The factory units SUCK!!!

I installed 6 1/2" Kickers in place of the factory speakers. I left the factory grills alone, and the sound difference is immense...

All I did was pop off both outer door panels, cut the foam insulation, and unscrew the factory speakers. I had to make small metal tabs to clamp the Kickers in place, but they fit just fine, and I've been very happy with them for the past 6 years. I'm still running the factory radio 9, and exclusively listen to music through my mp3 player. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're doing the right thing IMO. I believe you would probably be best served adding a larger subwoofer (larger than the 4" one in the factory surround setup), or a bass tube. But that's IF you want to devote valuable interior space to that addition...
I may go the under-dash sub route eventually, but for now I'll just improve on the factory door speakers.

I'm certainly no audiophile, but after buying my smart, I had to change the speakers. The factory units SUCK!!!

I installed 6 1/2" Kickers in place of the factory speakers. I left the factory grills alone, and the sound difference is immense...

All I did was pop off both outer door panels, cut the foam insulation, and unscrew the factory speakers. I had to make small metal tabs to clamp the Kickers in place, but they fit just fine, and I've been very happy with them for the past 6 years. I'm still running the factory radio 9, and exclusively listen to music through my mp3 player. :D
So 6.5" speaker DO fit behind the factory grilles? Can you point me to any install info? Like I mentioned in my original post, I can only seem to find install guides for top-mounted installs.
 

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I'm certainly no audiophile, but after buying my smart, I had to change the speakers. The factory units SUCK!!!

I installed 6 1/2" Kickers in place of the factory speakers. I left the factory grills alone, and the sound difference is immense...

All I did was pop off both outer door panels, cut the foam insulation, and unscrew the factory speakers. I had to make small metal tabs to clamp the Kickers in place, but they fit just fine, and I've been very happy with them for the past 6 years. I'm still running the factory radio 9, and exclusively listen to music through my mp3 player. :D
But remember that the RADIO 9's used full range paper speakers while the factory surround units have low, mid, and high range speakers. The surround sound unit is technically an upgrade...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
But remember that the RADIO 9's used full range paper speakers while the factory surround units have low, mid, and high range speakers. The surround sound unit is technically an upgrade...
But what about the newer ('11-up, I think) WITHOUT the surround sound upgrade, those are full range crap...err paper speakers, too, correct?
 

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So 6.5" speaker DO fit behind the factory grilles? Can you point me to any install info? Like I mentioned in my original post, I can only seem to find install guides for top-mounted installs.
My Kickers did. Unfortunately, most folks that have installed new speakers have chosen to show them off by using the grills supplied. I'm like you, and wanted a stealth look. It's been 6 years, and I've slept a few times since I installed them, but as I remember, it wasn't tough. The hardest part was fabricating 4 clips per speaker to clamp them with the original mounting bosses. The Kickers have a slightly smaller diameter than the factory mounting circle.
 

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My Kickers did. Unfortunately, most folks that have installed new speakers have chosen to show them off by using the grills supplied. I'm like you, and wanted a stealth look. It's been 6 years, and I've slept a few times since I installed them, but as I remember, it wasn't tough. The hardest part was fabricating 4 clips per speaker to clamp them with the original mounting bosses. The Kickers have a slightly smaller diameter than the factory mounting circle.
I'm all about the stealth and/or OE-looking mods, always have been with all of my cars. I'm not opposed to top-mounting them, as long as the speaker covers are plain black. None of these crazy spider-looking things that show off the woofers...
 

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I'm all about the stealth and/or OE-looking mods, always have been with all of my cars. I'm not opposed to top-mounting them, as long as the speaker covers are plain black. None of these crazy spider-looking things that show off the woofers...
I used Kicker DS-650's in my car. Even with the factory head unit, I can still make it very uncomforable for anybody in the car when I crank it up. I like bass, and I can rattle the doors & windows with these speakers. No subs either... Good enough for me...:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I used Kicker DS-650's in my car. Even with the factory head unit, I can still make it very uncomforable for anybody in the car when I crank it up. I like bass, and I can rattle the doors & windows with these speakers. No subs either... Good enough for me...:D
Interesting, and they're even 6 3/4" speakers!
 
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