Friday, 14 August 2009

Front Door Speaker Upgrade

The standard speakers in the Rover 25 don't exactly give Focal anything to worry about, so out came the wallet (after having cleared the cobwebs). I searched around, comparing brands within the same price point, then settled on the Vibe SE K-series 60 (ironic name).

A few tech specs for those interested:
  • 6.5" component speakers, 1" tweeter + crossover
  • Peak: 660 watts per set / 330 watts each side
  • RMS: 230 watts per set / 115 watts each side
  • 4 Ohms impedance
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
Following some head scratching over wire colours and their polarity, determining that the pink trace was positive and the black trace negative, I cracked on.

First job is to get the door cards off, it's worthwhile checking out my Door Cards - Removal and Refitting guide if you're tackling this job yourself.

Turns out it's a bit of a game, but doesn't take long once you get the hang of it.

With the door card off it was pretty clear why I wasn't hearing any sound coming from the 'tweeters', there weren't any... Rover chose just to fit a tweeter grille with no speaker behind it.

New car parts!

Vibe SE K series 60 speaker box

Vibe speaker grillesVibe 1" tweeter

Vibe SEK60 SpeakerVibe SEK60 Speaker Magnet

Vibe SEK60 Speaker CrossoverVibe SEK60 Speaker Crossover Internals

They are quite a bit more meaty than the factory woofers.

Standard Rover 25 speakers compared to Vibe SEK60

Starting small, I fitted the tweeters first. With no factory fixing method to piggy back, and nothing supplied with the speakers, the thinking cap had to come out.

My Dad came up with the winning design, a beautifully simple bit of engineering. He made a metal ring from some sheet metal that would be clamped tight when the two sides of the tweeter housing are screwed together. You fit the visible bit of the tweeter from the visible side of the door card, and the other half from the back. This alone left the tweeter a bit loose in the door, leaving just enough room for the pictured rubber o ring to squeeze in and keep it solid.

Vibe tweeter bespoke bracketVibe tweeter bespoke bracket

Vibe SEK60 Tweeter

Now, you might have noted that the original woofers had a moulded in bracket with three fixing locations, the Vibes have a number of fixing arrays but none were suitable.

Enter Dad.

We traced the original speakers, marking the hole positions and cut some new adapter brackets from 9mm ply wood. The added thickness of wood also helped stand the speakers further off the door metal work, giving clearance for the deeper magnets.

To ensure a good seal against the metal, he attached some foam to both sides of the adapters. He's not just a pretty face...

Plywood custom Rover 25 speaker adaptersPlywood custom Rover 25 speaker adapters
Plywood custom Rover 25 speaker adapters with vibe speakers fittedPlywood custom Rover 25 speaker adapters with vibe speakers fitted

Next up was mounting the crossover, handily there was a space just big enough right below the tweeter, made to measure in fact. I attached it with some industrial double sided sticky foam, pretty sure the things not going to budge any time soon...

Applying double sided tape to Vibe crossoverVibe crossover fitted to Rover 25

And finally, wiring everything up. I wanted to make life easier for any future jobs, so made the door card plug and play. Crimped and soldered spades on each of the wires, then put those into some plastic clips, made for a much neater install, almost like a proper job.

speaker wire connectors crimped onRover 25 speaker wire connectors

Rover 25 speaker wire connectorsRover 25 speaker wire connectors

Rover 25 door casing removed

Overall I dead chuffed with the new speakers and install, much clearer sound and a far improved wiring solution than standard, well worth the £49.99 paid for the speakers and the time taken to install.


  1. wasn't there a pre-fabriced rover speaker seating???????????

  2. The original speakers, shown in the old vs new picture, have the seating designed into them.

    As you can notice there are three holes, whereas after market speakers have four, at various degrees of rotation from each other.

    So to make sure they fit right I made my own, the foam also helps stop rattle in the door and produce a better seal onto the door as well.


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