tim koss

subwoofer blown - need striaight talk

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Subwoofer on rear deck blown. Looked on-line and there are a couple of tutorials on how to replace OEM Mark Levinson with Polk speaker. Too much work so I took to chain car stereo place. they told me to get the replacement woofer. I guess there was some mis-communication because when I showed up with Polk subwoofer they said it wouldn't perform. iIs the difference between refurbished OEM at $500 or the Polk new for $54.

the tutorials on line seem to suggest that the Polk would work just fine. 

what's the straight talk?

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Hello - 

The one this you can not do is throw any 12" sub as a replacement.When you pull the rear seat out and drop the rear deck, you will notice that the stock Mark levingston sub is not in a

enclosure. Meaning that the sub is a free air sub. That being said you can only don three things. Buy a replacement on Ebay but chances are they will be used and you might be buying a sub that needs repair anyway. You could also take your sub out and have it re coned by a reputable place or do it yourself

https://www.simplyspeakers.com/lexus-mark-levinson-speaker-foam-edge-repair-kit-fsk-10m.html.

If you have someone do it, spend the money as you don't want to re do this twice.

What I did was buy a free air sub for a home speaker. It was inexpensive and a off brand like pierless but works fine. I cannot remember the name of the speaker or what site I bought it at but as long as the ohms match you should be fine. I hope this helps. While you are at it put some dynamat on the rear deck. The will help out the bass sound better.

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I bought the Polk Audio DB840 8" replacement speaker that is named in youtube videos about replacing the Mark Levinson subwoofer. There is some discussion about replacing a Mark Levinson speaker with an aftermarket speaker. I went with the Polk($54.00) and it sounds fine. Does is sound as good? I couldn't say because before I replaced the ML blown subwoofer I didn't think to study up on the quality of the sound. I installed the Polk and it sounds fine, maybe great. That's very subjective. But it does sound like a high quality and working speaker system.

 

Interesting comment is that the price of the Mark Levinson is in the design and not the hardware. Old ML speaker weighs much less than the Polk but does not seem to have any distinguishing or different features.

Thus end that debate for me. Polk ($54.00 ) vs. ML(used -$300.00 - minimum) 

 

R&R pretty simple. if by the time you read this , youtube videos still around, they can walk you thru it. One video has you removing rubber ring around new Polk speaker, one has you keeping it. I kept it and modified plastic bracket  that goes BELOW speaker and allows speaker  to seat properly on car deck.. This is the bracket that screws onto your rear deck . I secured this bracket with 3 little screws drilled into the plastic. Don't let these screws be too long as they will hit metal rear decking of car. Otherwise any little screw will suffice. The other bracket that is attached to ML assembly is no longer needed. 

to restate: you throw away one of 2 ML brackets and use only the bracket which screws into car rear deck. drill new holes thur existing holes in Polk speaker and into plastic bracket to secure speaker to this bracket. I only used 3 screws. Like someone said this will only be critical if you roll the car.

 

I don't know the electronics theory  but I followed instructions for 'shorting' voice mail coil. Why do that , I don't know? Does it have to be done, I don't know either?  Its simple though. Get some wire crimpers and connectors and some short speaker wire and get after it.

It took me around 3 hours. if I knew what I was doing , under 2 easy .

Seat removal is simple. However when you start removing and reinstalling trim which is seated with those plastic punch pins, It gets a little frustrating. It is of course not automatic that you can line up pins with holes in car's sheet metal.

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repost of above with additional info. I know how frustrating it can be if things are not buttoned down real tite. 

 

I bought the Polk Audio DB840 8" replacement speaker that is suggested  in Youtube videos to replace  the OEM Mark Levinson subwoofer. There is some discussion about replacing a Mark Levinson speaker with an aftermarket speaker. I went with the Polk($54) and it sounds fine. Does is sound as good? I couldn't say because the ML blown subwoofer was blown for a year before in replaced it, so its not like I could recall what the thing sounded like with the ML subwoofer.  I installed the Polk subwoofer and it sounds fine, maybe great. That's very subjective. But it does sound like a high quality sound system and works fine.

 

Interesting comments by others suggest is that the price of the Mark Levinson is in the design and not the hardware. Old ML speaker weighs much less than the Polk but does not seem to have any distinguishing or different features from ML.

Thus ended that debate for me. Polk ($54.00 ) vs. ML(used -$300.00 - minimum) . Polk won.

 

R&R pretty simple. If, by the time you read this , youtube videos are still  around, they can walk you thru it. One video has you removing the rubber ring around new Polk speaker, one has you keeping it. I kept it and modified the plastic bracket  that goes BELOW speaker and allows speaker  to seat properly on car deck.. This is the bracket that is bolted onto your rear deck . I secured the speaker  with 3 little screws drilled into the plastic. There are holes in the rubber ring, so just line up with several of these holes and drill out a pilot hole  Frankly you can secure the Polk speaker to the plastic bracket with self taping sheet metal screws. It is not a big deal. Don't be scared like I was. Don't let these screws be too long as they will hit the metal rear decking of car. Otherwise any little screw will suffice. The other plastic bracket that is attached to ML sub woofer assembly is no longer needed. 

 

to restate: you throw away one of 2 ML brackets and use only the bracket which screws into car rear deck. Drill new holes thru existing holes in Polk speaker rubber ring and into plastic bracket to secure speaker to this bracket. I only used 3 screws. Like someone said this will only be critical if you roll the car.

 

The  other thing you should do is jump the speaker itself. Why? I dunno but the youtube vids make a convincing argument. Something about 8 v 4 ohms and the receiver and other stuff. Again I don't know the acoustics behind all that, I simply did as they suggest.  Worked fine. In short you connect a jumper between one set of connectors  on the Polk using speaker wire. Using speaker wire, one strand goes from + to - at connector post. Connect the wires in the connector  harness of old ML to  the connector post on the Polk, , red wire goes to + connector post , and to black wire goes to - connector post. 

 

R&R of seats and trim pretty simple. Rear seat bottoms  disconnects by prying up. Back of seats are bolted to frame. Quick and easy. 5 bolts , 3 at bottom , 2 at top behind round caps at head rests. Then remove all the trim that prevents you from removing the cardboard rear deck and accessing the speaker. These are mostly connected with those little plastic push pins .Unbolt plastic bracket holding the subwoofer. 

 

When done pat yourself on the back and have a beer. You just saved yourself $700.

 

 

 

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