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Old 04-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #1
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Stock Tweeter Mod - CHEAP

I'll start by giving credit to Steampunk for talking about the stock tweeters on the thread where he installed new Infinity tweeters. That is what sent me down this path.

I have a 2012 with the Infinity system and you guys are just going to have to fill in the blanks for Alpine systems or non upgraded systems. I think there is a decent chance that they all have basically the same factory tweeter.

The stock tweeter has a 3.3uf capacitor and measures at 3.4 ohms (1 of mine was 3.5). If you do the math on that (cheaty link here: Car Audio - Speaker Crossover Chart and Capacitance vs. Frequency Calculator(High-pass) ) you end up with a -3db point of 14171hz on a 6db per octave slope. Its a horrible crossover for a tweeter in a car where reaching freq of 15k are almost non existent anyways unless you have a super high end system and are using master recordings. The chart below shows how little happens above 15k.



I decided that I would remove the 3.3uf and put on a 10.0uf capacitor to get a -3db point of 4676hz which puts the slope beginning around 5k. I think these tweeters can handle those frequencies without too much trouble.

SO:

I stopped by Fry's electronics and picked up 2 non-polar 10.0uf 100v capacitors for a whopping $2.79. I told you it was CHEAP.



Then with a very small flat screwdriver, I removed the first tweeter from the tombstone.



Once I had the tweeter out of the tombstone, I removed the connector which is easy.



Then in to the house where it was COOL and began the capacitor swap. I don't have any pictures of the un-solder and re-solder due to using both hands and nobody was here to help. If you are mildly handy with a soldering iron this will be easy. Just do not overheat the terminals as voicecoil damage can occur.



I used a small needlenose pliers to assist with the removal on the first one... The second one I just cut off with small dykes and let the iron remove the leads. You can see the grey capacitor under the little plastic flap.

Here is the new cap installed on the tweeter. It is a little larger so I moved it over to the other side of the tweeter and soldered it in place.





Then I went back out and plugged it in and it goes right back in the tombstone with no issues.




So then the fun began... I checked it out myself and noticed a significant improvement in high frequency performance and female vocals were a lot better. So I brought my wife out and said "ok honey, One of these tweeters is not like the others, One of these tweeters just doesn't belong, Can you tell which tweeter is not like the other"... (ok, she's a school teacher). I gave her a blind listen (she didn't know which one I had done) with many different types of music and let her sit in both seats and she 100% accurately picked the modified tweeter side as sounding noticeably better. Even more so when using the balance control from left to right.



Sadly, this doesn't suddenly make your system sound like you have MB Quart's installed. But it took me all of 20 minutes including the time with her listening tests.

We did go for a ride and she came back and said wow... you should sell a kit online... Uh, no honey I will just show the community how to do it, because that's what we do.

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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good idea...you should post in the cheap mod thread too!

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:48 PM   #3
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Nice write up! Thanks for testing that, I think I'll give that a try!
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:00 AM   #4
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Very cool! I'm going to try it if I can find an electronics shop somewhere around me that sells some.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:11 AM   #5
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Hey!

Awesome writeup Pressure......you 'da man!!!!!!
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:25 AM   #6
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We live less then 10 miles apart let me know if you get bored and want to do mine.

Great write.
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:00 AM   #7
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The only place around me I would think that would have them don't show up as
non-polar 10.0uf 100v capacitor....
This is a very nice mod and I am ready to do it....
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:37 AM   #8
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So that's how you get to the tweeter. I figured you had to disassemble the entire dashboard.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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Do they need to be non-polar caps? I think if you knew which terminal was positive, you could use polarized electrolytics no?
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeperjk View Post
We live less then 10 miles apart let me know if you get bored and want to do mine.

Great write.
I'm in, I'll pick up the caps next time I am in that part of town and PM you when I have them and we'll set it up.

For those looking for the caps, here is a great source.

10uF 100V Non-Polarized Capacitor | 027-340

The caps are super cheap but you have to pay $3-$4 bucks for shipping.

Also, I did go pull one of my OLD master recordings and holy cow, I thought I was listening to a full high end custom system...

This is a 31 year old recording but blows away what they do today.

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Old 04-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pressurized View Post

I'm in, I'll pick up the caps next time I am in that part of town and PM you when I have them and we'll set it up.

For those looking for the caps, here is a great source.

10uF 100V Non-Polarized Capacitor | 027-340

The caps are super cheap but you have to pay $3-$4 bucks for shipping.

Also, I did go pull one of my OLD master recordings and holy cow, I thought I was listening to a full high end custom system...

This is a 31 year old recording but blows away what they do today.
Oh this is awesome. I'm definitely a noob a soldering but worth a go IMO. Great write up.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
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Seriously, thank you for taking the time to write this up. This one is on the calendar.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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Do they need to be non-polar caps? I think if you knew which terminal was positive, you could use polarized electrolytics no?
It's been 30+ years since this was a hobby of mine, but I was taught that you always used non-polar for crossover networks. That may have changed, but I chose to bank on experience...

Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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I'm just a couple miles north of ya. Let.me know when you do the other jeep. I would live to help/watch.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #15
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Just got home from 3 electronic stores and came home empty handed...
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:52 PM   #16
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Just got home from 3 electronic stores and came home empty handed...
Well that sucks... I know Radio Shack lists them, but I doubt that they would have them in a store these days, they don't stock much.

In Phoenix we have Fry's Electronics and in Tucson I would use Elliott Electronics. Both would have them on the shelf.

SpeakerWorks has them too: Capacitor Electrolytic: 10uF, 100V
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:16 PM   #17
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Yea Radio shack sucks now a days... I wanted to do it today but no luck..
Thanks for the link I just ordered them... I can't wait to get them now..lol
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:49 PM   #18
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Oh this is awesome. I'm definitely a noob a soldering but worth a go IMO. Great write up.
Since you have the newer Alpine system, can you pull out a tweeter and see what the factory capacitor is and put an ohmmeter on the tweeter and see what it is? I want to make sure you get the correct capacitors.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Since you have the newer Alpine system, can you pull out a tweeter and see what the factory capacitor is and put an ohmmeter on the tweeter and see what it is? I want to make sure you get the correct capacitors.
Alpine here, and mine tested at 5 ohm, and say 2.2 u on the capacitor.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:29 PM   #20
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At 5 ohms, a 6.8uf capacitor would give the exact same crossover point as I put on my Infinity system. A 4.7uf cap would give a -3 db point of 6765 if you wanted to go more conservative. The 2.2uf is way up there around 15,000 hz and basically making the tweeter useless.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:41 PM   #21
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At 5 ohms, a 6.8uf capacitor would give the exact same crossover point as I put on my Infinity system. A 4.7uf cap would give a -3 db point of 6765 if you wanted to go more conservative. The 2.2uf is way up there around 15,000 hz and basically making the tweeter useless.
I noticed a huge improvement when I replaced them with new Alpine tweeters.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:26 AM   #22
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I'm going to have to try this. Thanks, Pressurized. I have the base stereo and anything will help.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:18 AM   #23
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Awesome! Thanks for the mod idea!
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:25 AM   #24
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Alpine

I havent even picked up my jeep yet, but this will be one of the first mods I do. Just so i have my facts correct with the Alpine tweeter I should use a 6.8uf capacitor? Thanks in advance Pressurized! Again Great CHEAP Mod! Love this forum.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:03 AM   #25
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I havent even picked up my jeep yet, but this will be one of the first mods I do. Just so i have my facts correct with the Alpine tweeter I should use a 6.8uf capacitor? Thanks in advance Pressurized! Again Great CHEAP Mod! Love this forum.
It sounds like the Alpine system will use the 6.8uf cap, but it is really easy to pop the tweeter out and measure the voicecoil with an ohmmeter to be sure.

So far, to get the 5k crossover point we have:

Infinity - 3.4 ohms - 10.0uf
Alpine - 5 ohms - 6.8uf
Basic - ?? - ??
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:15 AM   #26
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It sounds like the Alpine system will use the 6.8uf cap, but it is really easy to pop the tweeter out and measure the voicecoil with an ohmmeter to be sure.

So far, to get the 5k crossover point we have:

Infinity - 3.4 ohms - 10.0uf
Alpine - 5 ohms - 6.8uf
Basic - ?? - ??
Do you measure across the 2 outside connections? If so, I'm getting 7.9 on the basic.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #27
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Do you measure across the 2 outside connections? If so, I'm getting 7.9 on the basic.
Yes, it would be the 2 outside terminals. That's very interesting, what is the rating on the capacitor that is installed? If it follows the pattern it should be a 1.something uf.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #28
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Yes, it would be the 2 outside terminals. That's very interesting, what is the rating on the capacitor that is installed? If it follows the pattern it should be a 1.something uf.
It's glued in and I can only see part of the first number which looks like a 3. On the bottom it looks like it is stamped 34 CK.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:29 PM   #29
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Would this be the correct part for an Alpine based tweeter?

http://www.parts-express.com/68uf-10...citor--027-336
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Do you measure across the 2 outside connections? If so, I'm getting 7.9 on the basic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pressurized View Post
Yes, it would be the 2 outside terminals. That's very interesting, what is the rating on the capacitor that is installed? If it follows the pattern it should be a 1.something uf.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14Sport View Post
It's glued in and I can only see part of the first number which looks like a 3. On the bottom it looks like it is stamped 34 CK.

I pulled apart my 2012 Sport's non-upgraded tweeter a few minutes ago.

I can validate the above resistance value. My tweeter came out to about 8.08 ohm.

On my particular example, I was able to see the printed value of 3.3uF. (Like 14Sport's, mine was also glued in)

Doing the math, the crossover frequency is just below 6Khz, which should be good here.

Kinda sounds like when they put in the upgraded system, someone forgot to change the capacitor value!

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