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Ok, I finally upgraded my speakers on my 2006 GL1800. I like the Polk db501s in the rear. I don't like the db651s in the front. They are wicked tinny and I have to turn the stereo up to 26 to get decent cruising volume.

My question is: Does anyone know if I install an amp, will this help the situation? Do I need a 2 or 4 channel amp? What is a respectable Watts per channel for these Polks & that will work w/ the 2006 Stereo?

Thanks for your help!!! :thumbup:
 

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The 2006 has an amp, as you might know, not sure any speaker will help that issue.

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I just installed an EC four channel amp. Works quite well. I can here the music going down the Freeway without any problems.
 

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Like the man said, you already have an amp. The resident expert on audio on this post is LarryM. There are many possibilities such as problem amp, wiring, settings etc. You could p.m. him or try your post after the holiday to see if he can help. 26 with an amp sounds very high to have to set your volume. The polks are known to be very good speakers, so it sounds like you have a definite problem. A good start in the meantime would be to check/recheck all wiring.
 

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Adding more power won't help a frequency response problem. You would just be throwing away good money.

I have not heard the db651 in the 06 and later bikes, so I can't offer an opinion as to how they sound, but I have never heard of a Polk speaker being described as tinny. So I suspect there is a problem somewhere.

Did you double check to make sure you hooked the speakers up in phase? It is an easy mistake to make, even if you know how to hook them up. When hooked up out of phase, the speakers have a tendency to cancel each other out. This happens primarily with bass.

Does the music sound tinny in FM as well as Aux?

Even though the smaller db501 sounds good up front in the older bikes, there is a possibility that the db651 wants to see a bigger cabinet to sound its best. One thing I would make sure that you do is make a sealing gasket for the speaker out of some window insulation foam. And I would also plug the hole in the bottom of the cabinet. I have found that Polk car audio speakers sound their best with a sealed cabinet.
 

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In phase? What are the options? Colored wire to the positive terminal and the other to the negative? Or vice versa?
 

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If you left the original spade terminals on the speaker wires intact, all you have to to is make sure that the larger ones connect to the larger terminals on the speakers.

Since the Polk terminals are slightly smaller than the OEM ones, they can be hooked up backwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Adding more power won't help a frequency response problem. You would just be throwing away good money.

I have not heard the db651 in the 06 and later bikes, so I can't offer an opinion as to how they sound, but I have never heard of a Polk speaker being described as tinny. So I suspect there is a problem somewhere.

Did you double check to make sure you hooked the speakers up in phase? It is an easy mistake to make, even if you know how to hook them up. When hooked up out of phase, the speakers have a tendency to cancel each other out. This happens primarily with bass.

Does the music sound tinny in FM as well as Aux?

Even though the smaller db501 sounds good up front in the older bikes, there is a possibility that the db651 wants to see a bigger cabinet to sound its best. One thing I would make sure that you do is make a sealing gasket for the speaker out of some window insulation foam. And I would also plug the hole in the bottom of the cabinet. I have found that Polk car audio speakers sound their best with a sealed cabinet.
Thanks Larry! I hear you are the pro on this. So, I think what you are saying is that I need to stuff the area around the speaker w/ poly foam? I will check w/ the installer to make sure he hooked them in phase. I'm not quite sure exactly what that means, perhaps you can give me more specific detail so I can pass it along. I know there must be a glitch somewhere as I used to only have to put the stock speakers on 18 to sound loud. Now I have to put the Polks on 24 before they present equal volume. Both the db501s and the db651s are tinny, but I would expect the db651s to put out more mids/bass. I will check it out and then post my findings. Thanks again for your assistance Larry M. Ride Safe and Happy 4th of July! :biker:
 

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Thanks Larry! I hear you are the pro on this. So, I think what you are saying is that I need to stuff the area around the speaker w/ poly foam? I will check w/ the installer to make sure he hooked them in phase. I'm not quite sure exactly what that means, perhaps you can give me more specific detail so I can pass it along. I know there must be a glitch somewhere as I used to only have to put the stock speakers on 18 to sound loud. Now I have to put the Polks on 24 before they present equal volume. Both the db501s and the db651s are tinny, but I would expect the db651s to put out more mids/bass. I will check it out and then post my findings. Thanks again for your assistance Larry M. Ride Safe and Happy 4th of July! :biker:
"In phase" basically is audio-talk for wired correctly. i.e. the positive lead from the bike is hooked to the positive lead to the speaker, negative speaker wire to the negative post on the speaker. When your speakers are connected in phase, the drivers in each speaker move in and out at the same time. When they're out of phase, one speaker moves in, while the other moves out. Out-of-phase speakers sound "not quite right" — imaging is vague and there isn't as much bass.
 

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No, I'm not recommending filling the cavity with poly. I'm just talking about sealing off the cabinet. Making a foam rubber gasket around the edge of the speaker frame will seal air leaks in that area. There is also a big hole in the bottom of the cabinet where the speaker wires come in. It is about 3/4" in diameter. Considering its size, I think Honda was making some kind of bass reflex port with it. The Polks don't like it, so I stuff foam inside the hole.

Many speaker builders recommend poly fill in a speaker cavity, and in many cases it is a good idea. But I don't recommend it for this application.

I will make a separate post to describe phase.
 

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This may be more information than you are looking for, but it will explain phasing, and you might find it interesting.

Phasing is something that is very important to 2 channel stereo. It is just as important with your home stereo and boom box as it is in your car and on your motorcycle. It is an acoustic phenomenon only. You aren't going to damage anything with your stereo if the speakers are hooked up wrong.

When speakers are in phase, it means that both speakers cones are physically moving in the same direction in unison at any given point in time. When one cone goes outward towards you, the other one should move outward as well. When speakers are in phase, the sound being emitted from the two speakers adds together and the volume will be louder than with just one speaker.

When one of the speakers are hooked up backwards, this is called being 180 degrees out of phase. One speaker will be extending outward, while the other one is extending inward. This is something you usually can't see with the naked eye. It happens too fast.

What happens when speakers are out of phase is that instead of the two speakers complimenting each other and adding volume, they actually subtract, or cancel the audio signal. There are many subtle effects. But the one even the most casual listener notices is that there is no bass.

This effect is the entire basis for noise cancelling headphones that you can get on airplanes and now at retailers. They actually use microphones to detect ambient noises, and recreate audio that is identical, but exactly 180 degrees opposite of the ambient noise.

You might be asking yourself, why does only the bass get cancelled and not the higher frequencies? There are a number of reasons, most of them beyond the scope of this discussion. But to simplify it, the lower the frequency, the less directional sound is. Your ears can detect which direction a bird's chirping is coming from much easier than you can detect the direction of the low rumble from thunder.

For that reason, most bass in the music we listen to is recorded monaural. The same signal is sent to both speakers. The midrange and highs however, are in stereo. A different signal is sent to each speaker. So if the speakers are out of phase, the mids and highs don't cancel each other. The upper frequencies are affected, but not as easy to detect. Imaging is poor, and the music sounds less clear. My ears are very sensitive to phasing. They actually plug up.

This is why music will sound tinny if speakers are hooked up out of phase.

One unique thing about phase is that if you were to hook both speakers up with the wires reversed, you would magically be back in phase. It is only when one speaker is hooked up correctly, and the other one hooked up wrong that sound quality suffers. It isn't as important which way the speakers are hooked up as long as you are consistent and hook them both up the same way. This is why I told you to pay attention to the large spade lug instead of telling you which colors are positive. I don't remember which is which. I just know that the larger lug is the same polarity on both sets of wires. If you pay attention to that, your speakers will be in phase.

Does your brain hurt yet?:lol: Are you sorry you asked?
 

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:thumbup:Wow...Thanks for the lesson Larry! Appreciate you the taking the time to type all that in and give a bunch of us some useful info.
 

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I too put the 651's in front and 501's in the rear, and wasn't all that impressed frankly with the difference from OEM. I've always been conscious of wiring correctly, but I'll check anyway...and plug the holes.

Here's another related question. When I put the grille/fairing piece back on, I reconnected the OEM tweeters. I've since thought that if there is a built-in crossover I'm losing much of the performance of the 651's. Any thoughts?

as a followup, if there is a crossover(and I'm losing performance), then if I disconnect the OEM tweeters does the system then send the entire frequency range to the 651's and allow the polk crossover to distribute among the speakers or do I just lose the higher frequencies?
 

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Do not reconnect the OEM tweeters. The crossover capacitor that is built into the OEM tweeter is in a different circuit and should not affect the Polks, but the addition of a second tweeter will throw off the frequency response of the whole system It will make the audio sound very bright.
 

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I'm glad a couple of people have given some input on the db651. A number of owners have installed them, but there really hasn't been much follow up. I have assumed all along that the speakers have worked out ok. But I know there are a lot of members that don't like to be negative, and if that is what is happening, it is a mistake. Negative input is as important as positive.

Mistakes can happen during installation, and there are ways to fine tune speakers to get the best sound out of them. But even though the db501 has been a good choice for the 01-05 bikes, the db651 may not be the right speaker for the 06 and later models. After the checks and corrections are made, it is important that both of you come back to share the results of the changes.

Installing speakers in a car or motorcycle will always be hit and miss. You can't tell until they are installed what they are going to sound like. I hate throwing money away as much as anybody. But sometimes it happens with speakers.

If the speakers were just purchased and aren't scratched up, you can probably return them if you bought them from a place like Crutchfield.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That was very kind of you to explain that in detail. Thanks Larry! I will have the wiring checked & post my results. Also, I would rather spend another $$$ and get a quality low/mid/high sound if someone would recommend a different brand. I heard good & bad about the Sony Xpode. So far all I can find are people who have installed either J&M, Polk, or Sony. Any others suggestions would be much appreciated. :flg: Happy Independence Day to All![/QUOTE]
 

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I'm glad a couple of people have given some input on the db651. A number of owners have installed them, but there really hasn't been much follow up. I have assumed all along that the speakers have worked out ok. But I know there are a lot of members that don't like to be negative, and if that is what is happening, it is a mistake. Negative input is as important as positive.

Mistakes can happen during installation, and there are ways to fine tune speakers to get the best sound out of them. But even though the db501 has been a good choice for the 01-05 bikes, the db651 may not be the right speaker for the 06 and later models. After the checks and corrections are made, it is important that both of you come back to share the results of the changes.

Installing speakers in a car or motorcycle will always be hit and miss. You can't tell until they are installed what they are going to sound like. I hate throwing money away as much as anybody. But sometimes it happens with speakers.

If the speakers were just purchased and aren't scratched up, you can probably return them if you bought them from a place like Crutchfield.

If I wanted to install a Sony XM 4S amp, how do I disconnect the stock amp? Or, not to sound stupid, is the stock amp built into the stereo? I know that my Polks should sound better than they do. The OEM speakers were twice as loud w/ more punch at volume 16 than the Polks are at volume 23. Thanks again... :22yikes:
 

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The stock amp is located under the rear wheel well. It has to be moved to remove the rear wheel. SOme guys have moved it so it isn't in the way. I think, assuming there is no problem with the stock amp, it should be very adequate. I have not read in any posts here about anyone swapping it out. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened, I just haven't run into it.

Based on your last comment about the stock speaker sounding better, I have to suspect a wiring problem or faulty speakers. The stock speakers are famous for being lousy. 25 cent speakers is what some call them!!
 

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Something no one has touched on is what is the OHM rating on the polks. I be leave the stock system is 3 OHM. If the mew speakers are a higher OHM such as 8 OHM you will get a lot less volume out of them
 

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Something no one has touched on is what is the OHM rating on the polks. I be leave the stock system is 3 OHM. If the mew speakers are a higher OHM such as 8 OHM you will get a lot less volume out of them
Without checking to make sure, those should be 4 ohm speakers. Most car/marine audio speakers are 4 ohm. You are correct though. For the most part, an 8 ohm speaker would make the amp put out half the power of its 4 ohm counterpart. The difference between 3 and 4ohms would be a very minimal difference. At that point, the efficiency of the speaker would come into play more than the ohm load.
 
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