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Alright boys and girls, I have been off of Maserati life for a few months now because I have been living in Japan, and the only Maserati I have seen was a yellow coupe for sale used at a strange used car retail location here in Yokohama near Mitsuzawa Kamicho.

This was all posted on a previous thread, however Photobucket decided to change their linking system, the pictures for that installation were lost. Also, the thread itself started out originally on the topic of shopping for speakers, and went off on strange tangents, so I thought I would make a new, more refined thread, that focuses simply on the selection and installation of speakers, so it is easier for everyone to find and use.

I have re-written everything for concision... it was too wordy before. I apologize for this being separated into multiple posts, but I am only allowed to post four images per post.


------------- Maserati Speakers for Dummies -------------​

Anyone who has listened to the stock Maserati Spyder stereo system, knows that it is woefully inadequate, and in fact absolutely atrocious. In fact, I would say that it is the single worst properly working stereo I have ever heard in an automobile, ever. I am not an audiophile, I do have experience and knowledge about automotive acoustics, though I really do not care all that much about it in my cars so long as it is “good enough.” I, for the most part, listen to AM talk radio, so it really doesnt matter all that much. The stock system in my father's Spyder howver, was SO bad, that it drove both me, and him insane.

I took a look at the speakers in the Spyder to make sure that they were all working properly, and to examine their construction. I found that one of the tweeters was malfunctioning, but more importantly, that the stock speakers were an absolute joke.

Take a look for yourself.







Compare the construction of the stock speakers, to these aftermarket Alpine speakers. Look at the size of the magnet in the driver section. If somebody has told you that size doesn't matter, she lied. Next look at the material that the stock speakers' cones are made out of... paper.

Something needed to be done.


------------- Speaker Selection For Dummies-------------​

The front speakers in a Maserati Spyder are 6.5 inch component speakers. This means that the mid bass driver, in the lower door panel, is 6.5 inches in diameter, and there is a tweeter higher up in the door panel. You do not have a ton of depth in this vehicle, so be open to returning speakers you purchase if they don't fit even with spacers. I suggest shopping for open box speakers at a store with a good return policy.

Your rear speakers are 5.25 inch coaxial speakers. This means that the tweeters are part of the mid bass driver.

Coaxial speakers are easier to install, and take up less space.

Component speakers require mounting of two different drivers, mounting and configuration of crossovers, and cost a bit more. Component speakers sound far better than equivalently priced Coaxial speakers.

There are many options out there for speakers, from many different brands, and at many different price levels. I suggest Infinity brand speakers around for around $200 - $400. They are not too low sounding, not too high sounding, are easy to find, have good support, and for some reason sound as good as speakers twice the price.

Also realize, that when you listen to speakers in a store, they will sound nothing like when they are installed in a vehicle. The variables such as the size of the listening area, the position of the speakers, the direction they are pointed, the airspace behind them that they are working with, the acoustics of your car, etc all come into play and to an extreme. You are listening to speakers in the store relative to each other, not getting an idea of what they sound like in your car.

Technically, rear speakers are supposed to be used for fill only, and for pure sound quality you should run a good set of front components, with no rears. I however, prefer and enjoy being engulfed by sond, rather than having it blasted at me. My installation was based on listener enjoyment, and not sound quality competition. If you do not have a sub woofer, rears will help you to fill out the lower spectrum of your listening experience. Also, in a Maserati Spyder, the rear speakers are very close to your head, and factor a great deal into your listening experience.

Finally, be honest with yourself. There are extremely expensive speakers out there. However, if you are an average Maserati owner, meaning a middle age or older male, be honest with yourself and realize that you will not be able to hear much of a difference between 300 dollar speakers and 1000 dollar speakers. Your money is better spent on sound deadening and/or a sub woofer solution, than on the speakers. I am not your average Maserati owner, in fact I am simply working on my father's Maserati, but I do have relatively good ear health. I do not go to loud concerts and use hearing protection when working on loud race cars, and can clearly hear the difference between the 300 dollar range speakers and 1000 dollar range speakers. However, they only sound different, not better. After about four hundred dollars, your wasting your money.
 

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------------- Speaker Installation Options For Dummies -------------​

The speakers in the front of the 2003 Spyder are 6.5 inch components, with the mid bass drivers in the kick area of doors, and tweeters higher up in the panel with built in crossovers. This makes things super easy if all you plan to do is replace the driver, or go to a coaxial speaker. I chose to go with a component speaker system, and to leave the current crossover/tweeter in place, and use the new component drivers in the doors.

There are three methods of upgrading your front speakers easily.

1.You could disconnect your tweeters, and replace the kick drivers with Coaxial speakers that will do both mid and high frequency sound. This is the easiest and probably the best method for most readers.
2.You could replace the tweeters and kick panel speakers both, and install your own crossovers (which were no doubt included), but this requires a good deal more work and finding a place to mount the crossovers. This will provide you with the best sound.
3.You can install a new component mid bass driver in the kick panel, and keep your old tweeter, assuming that it is in proper working condition. This is what I did.

I chose method number three, because components typically sound far better than equivalent coaxial speakers, I had a lot of faith in the assumption that the Maserati tweeters weren't the the problem, but the mid bass drivers were. In retrospect, I would have simply gone to a simple coaxial setup, and have been done with it, since I discovered later one of the OEM tweeters were not so hot either.


------------- Front Speaker Installation For Dummies -------------​

Here are directions on for how to do this yourself... roughly. I decided originally to take pictures of the entire process, to help others who are less mechanically inclined, or less hesitant than I to tear apart a Maserati, but then a few things came up. First, I myself really getting into it, and forgetting to take pictures. Second, I had no Redbull. Third, I found it to be pretty basic except for a few key steps, so I decided just to show pictures of the important parts. There rest is self explanatory.

The victim, a 2003 Maserati Spyder.



To begin the process, grab a small flathead screwdriver, or if you are a dentist/tinkerer, a nut or dental pick. This next step is highly technical, pry the cover for the door speakers off. Simple eh? Now unscrew it, and cut the bastard out.



Now you have two dangly little wires, one negative, and one positive. Strip those wires, and crimp on some spade connectors.



Wait! Don't plug in the new drivers yet, its not that simple. The way to get this particular set of drivers to fit is to use a set of spacers. These spacers probably came with your speakers, and as such, are universal, not Maserati specific. You will have to modify them to fit most likely. I had to break all the little tabs and snaps off of the universal connectors, to a the simple ring.

 

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Next, the only holes that line up with your speakers, are the four copper threaded ones in on the outside of the ring. Unfortunately, Maserati had better taste than alpine in this department, and used beefier hardware than Alpine. You now how to ream out these holes with a Dremel or a drill. I used a dremel, it took a while longer than a drill would have... I didn't have a drill, such is life.



Now you have your spacers. Scamper back out to your car and slide the spacers onto the drivers, you will be able to tell which way is right. Now, line up the newly enlarged holes in the spacers, with the Maserati holes, and your Speaker's holes. Once aligned, screw everything together, and assemble the parts in reverse. Pop your cover back on, and your done.



Your front speakers now suck less! Whoo!


------------- Rear Speaker installation For Dummies -------------​

Here is how to upgrade the rear speakers.

This is a bit tricker, but slow down, take it easy, make sure you don't push or tug to hard, and everything will go just fine, and the rewards will fantastic.



First, you need to take apart your roll bars' covers. You see the part that is covered in the leather that matches your interior? That pops right off. Grab it by the base, yank, make your way around, and it all comes right off with just some tugging an jerking.

 

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Now it gets more fun, The painted portion of the roll bar cover consists of two pieces. They can be split apart with the removal of a couple of big screws, a couple of small screws, and some love. Unscrew all the parts, and the sides just pop apart. Now the painted pieces are separate, and can be removed.



At the base of the painted portions of the roll bar, is a little rubber grommet, with a little twisting motion, these can be removed. Now you can see all four big black screws that hold down the big black piece of plastic that covers up the rear speakers. Remove them, yank out the black plastic cover, and now you see your rear speakers.

You can figure out how to remove the speakers from here without pictures, there just just some self explanatory screws. Its not rocket surgery, It's Italian sports car surgery.

Here is an important trick. If your replacement speakers are anything like mine, they take full advantage of their 5.25” of radial space. In the picture below, you can see these little gold slide on sheet metal nut things, your nice new speakers, should they have nice large drivers on them, will not fit with these devices installed.


You will need to remove these parts, strip the wires, connect spade connectors, drop them in, and then fasten them with bolts with nuts on the bottom. This will give you enough space to mount everything. Having to reach under the speakers with the nuts is tricky, but its possible.

Note, be very careful on the passenger side, there is a device that is extremely warm near the speaker that can burn you! Wear gloves or work slowly and cautiously.

You can now assemble everything in reverse, and you are done.


------------- Installation Thoughts -------------​

It took me about 30 minutes to install the front speakers, most of that time was spent with my dremel modifying the spacers, and about 45 minutes in the rear. I could do it again, with a drill and a correctly sized drill bit, I could do front and rear coaxial speakers, in about an hour.

I noticed before that my fathers mid driver speaker covers fit poorly from the factory. I used some foam tape at the bottom of the grille, and on the top tab , and now they fit like they should. Simple fix to get rid of rattles, and fix a factory fitment issue if anyone else has the same problem.


------------- Retrospective Thoughts-------------​

If I were to do this again, I would have installed high quality coaxial speakers in the front door panels, and disconnected the tweeters. I really wish the mid range was stronger, and this technique would help with that. Also, the stock Maserati tweeters suck pretty significantly, and I would think that even a cheap component speaker would result in better sound quality.

If you do put coaxials in the door, be sure to disconnect the ones in the upper door. These can be simply popped out with a screwdriver and some gentle prying If you leave them in they will cancel out your higher quality new speakers, and your sound will be too bright.

If you want to make your system sound WAY better for very little money, and not even touch the front, just put in some new rear speakers. They surprisingly made a huge difference, I suspect because in the Spyder they are so close to your ears.


If anyone has any questions, you can post in this thread, send me a private message, or email me at ej25goddess (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you want help doing this, I would be glad to when I return the USA in late April. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area I will help you do it... all you have to do is buy me a nice dinner :) Untill then, if you live in Kanagawa prefecture or Tokyo Japan, I would be glad to help you out too.


-Colleen
 

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colleen, your writeup is nothing shy of EPIC! why o, why would you be taken to japan, when clearly you're needed here in the good ole US!

Again, absolutly awsome writeup!
 

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except for inviting a bunch of "middle or past-middle age men" to ask her to dinner!
 

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Not that they wouldn't be appreciative!

In any event, again outstanding work and post, thank you.
 

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your right...back on topic.....

back on topic... back on topic.. back on topic.. back on topic.... speakers.. speakers... speakers.... speakers....speakers.....speakers...... ahhh there thats better......
 

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Roof cover up?

I noticed the roof cover is up in the photo - will i need to do this to access the screws fro the speaker cover/
Also are the screws under the rubber grommet at the base of the head restraint/
Net are there two screws accessible from under rthe roof cover and two under the grommet?
Thanks for a really really helpful post.
2003 Spyder CC
 

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The OEM drivers are indeed pathetic for such good cars and are exactly the same as used in Ferrari's.Bear in mind that when you change out a bass driver and use the existing tweeter and crossover network you are changing the crossover frequency.

It's always best to change a tweeter and woofer simultaneously with a crossover network designed for both those drivers.

This will optomize the frequency responses of both drivers and will yield an optimum crossover frequency.
 

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This was a FANTASTIC post!.
Colleen or anyone out there... .. Question. I ordered the speakers but they have not arrived yet... so I do not know if they will come with spacers... So what size spacers ( 1/2 inch? ) are you showing for the front speaker job?... Also, Do you need spacers for the rear?
 

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This was a FANTASTIC post!.
Colleen or anyone out there... .. Question. I ordered the speakers but they have not arrived yet... so I do not know if they will come with spacers... So what size spacers ( 1/2 inch? ) are you showing for the front speaker job?... Also, Do you need spacers for the rear?
1.) Your new speakers should come w/ spacers...but it depends on the size of their magnet, as to whether or not, they will be needed up front.

2.) The rear speakers will not need the spacers @ all .
 

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Maserati speaker job

Thanks for the info about the spacers. The front Alpines did come with a pair but I didn't need to use them. So replaced all 6 speakers as the Alpine 6.5 front speakers also came with tweeters... I hooked them up to see if they would work & sound better... and they did... so now I have it all working good. Tomorrow I will button the car back up and take a cruise to listen. Mille Grazie!! BQ
 

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Thanks for the info about the spacers. The front Alpines did come with a pair but I didn't need to use them. So replaced all 6 speakers as the Alpine 6.5 front speakers also came with tweeters... I hooked them up to see if they would work & sound better... and they did... so now I have it all working good. Tomorrow I will button the car back up and take a cruise to listen. Mille Grazie!! BQ
A wise decision to swap-out all the speakers :thumbsup: But alas, in order to get the best "bang for your buck", w/ regards to your new Alpines...you'll need to upgrade that POS, OEM amplifier :thumbsdown:

IMO, these cars came equipped w/ the absolute worst audio system imaginable...stereo-wise, I can only applaud Maserati, for keeping their atrocious NIT unit~ the hell outta my GranSport!

Not too long ago, I myself, bit the proverbial 'bullet' and decided to totally re-config the sound system in my car: 5 months of installations later~ I ended-up w/ 11 Focal Utopia Be speakers, that are each being powered individually (i.e. 11 channels of amplification...6 of which, are vacuum-tube enhanced), and (w/ the exception of the subwoofer, located in the trunk), are all 'actively'-crossed & processed, via a Pioneer P99RS HU :autofahrer:

 
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