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SolaraGuy.com • View topic - Solved the mystery of the blown OEM subwoofers!
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Solved the mystery of the blown OEM subwoofers!

Solved the mystery of the blown OEM subwoofers!

Postby Gangis » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:04 pm

I've noticed a trend in which owners of Solara convertibles with the premium JBL subwoofers complain that they've blown within a couple years of purchasing the car. Well, mine had been blown for a long time already since it was a '02 model, but it was only recently that I decided to take a closer look.

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Here's the subwoofer, out of its box in all its glory. Looks normal. I notice something odd while I was inspecting it.

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The ring comes off easily! I see that the adhesive has deteriorated. I poke around at the edges, and what do I find?

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EUREKA! Therein lies the problem! The cone has completely separated from the frame!

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The foam comes off and falls apart easily, as you can see here. The whole subwoofer is pretty much unsalvageable trash.

Now, I'm shocked because JBL is usually a reputable company. As a company, I would be embarrassed to put out trash like these. This is absolutely bottom-of-the-bargain-bin crap they've been putting in Solaras.

One problem... the sub is 9 inches in diameter. The ones I've found online are 8 or 10 inches. Nobody offers a 9 inch so that'd mean if I want to buy a new sub, I'd need to retrofit (or more likely) build a new box that fit in the place of the old box. Also, this is completely out of my forte. I don't know if I need any other stuff to make it work with what I already have. There's a 4-pin connector. Any suggestions?
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Postby BLACK V6 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:16 pm

This is what I did... LOL

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Postby Aotoyota » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:24 pm

there is a 9" by morel, very pricey thou, you can get it at madisound.com

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/produc ... ts_id=8440
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Postby TLMNICK » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:51 pm

You did exactly what i did bro....only i need to find me a smaller box. The stock sub is garbage....truthfully the whole JBL setup is garbage...but I DO like the in-dash 6.

How did you like the process of getting that bad-boy sub out?....
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Postby Gangis » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:00 pm

It was easy. Only took 5 minutes to take it all out.
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Postby TLMNICK » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:29 pm

its really easy once you know exactly how to take it out....first time lookin at it, it looked like there was a few ways to do it. Heres what i did with mine.

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Postby Gangis » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:54 pm

Interesting... so what exactly do I need to complete the job? I'm completely clueless and it's out of my league. I was born deaf so I never had the need for stereo equipment but in recent years I've started to appreciate "listening" to music by feeling the beats. Thanks!
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Re: Solved the mystery of the blown OEM subwoofers!

Postby hari-bhari » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:21 pm

Gangis wrote: Now, I'm shocked because JBL is usually a reputable company.


That's a joke. Any 'premium' sound system that come stock in a car is 95% of the time going to be crap. In the aftermarket world, companies like Bose (or Blows) or JBL are considered bottom of the barrel. The only two decent speaker systems I've heard in a car were in the LS430 (HK I believe) and my friend's new 335ci (don't know the brand). The imaging on these cars is great because of all the speakers and they have been tuned with the proper delays and equalization to account for reflections off the car's interetior. BUT, aside from the imaging, the midbass is still thoroughly lacking. My motto is, if you want REAL good sound (and I don't just mean thumping bass), you have to go aftermarket. Thats just my $0.02
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Postby theprodigy79 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:26 pm

I agree with the above statement, but will also add that the chances are very low that those are actually manufactured by JBL themselves. Often times these companies license their names out to subcontracting companies to produce the OEM stuff. For example, the "JBL" headunit is actually manufactured by Panasonic... but not only that, it's not even the Japanese division, it's Panasonic de Mexico...

If "JBL" did produce them, it was not the same JBL that you know from their home audio and aftermarket mobile audio markets; it's probably a smaller OEM subdivision of JBL / Altec-Lansing / Harmon International specifically licensed to produce it...

With that said, yes... 99.99% of OEM crap is just that... crap... Even if it sounds "good" for a while, the materials are usually far lower quality than aftermarket equipment (with exception of "OEM replacements" found in auto stores, Walmart and such) and decompose / degrade very easily over time... especially in humid environments such that Florida has (let alone the fact that Florida also has much more directed sunlight than most areas in the US)...
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Postby gnegroni » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:57 pm

Aotoyota wrote:there is a 9" by morel, very pricey thou, you can get it at madisound.com

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/produc ... ts_id=8440

Or get a really good 8" and use an adapter plate!
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Postby theprodigy79 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:58 pm

Aotoyota wrote:there is a 9" by morel, very pricey thou, you can get it at madisound.com

http://www.madisound.com/catalog/produc ... ts_id=8440


Damn, that's actually a nice little speaker! The price ain't bad either!

I haven't heard the Morel nameplate thrown around in a while man, talk about a flash back!! I used to run a pair of Macrom 6.5"s in my Celica, SWEET speakers!! But I, uh, dropped one while pulling it out of my door... and they went belly up in the US and reverted back to Morel so I could never find a replacement...
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Postby GreenSolara01 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:25 pm

Does the 01 have a sub like that in it? where did the factory one mount?
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Postby 01Convertible » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:27 am

Ok, I have a 2001 convertible (hence my username) and don't have clue how to get the subwoofer out. I know it is behind the rear seatback. How do you get the rear seatback out? Do you go thru the trunk? Do you have to remove the plastic trim around the rear window/seating area? I can't believe you can get at it in 5 minutes, this is very interesting. I can't stand the "flopping bass". Please help.
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Postby Gangis » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:51 pm

Ok, here goes... hope I explained this right, as I'm going by memory.

In the back of the car where the top rests while down, there's a thick gray fabric that's attached to the backseat via those plastic plugs. Just pull them all out and pull the fabric away from the backseat. Ooh, just found a couple pics.

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You can see the fabric I referred to on the right side of the picture. Along the backseat are 4 hex nut screws. I can't remember how big but I'm guessing 10mm. Just remove them and give the backseat a good yank and this is what you get.

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I don't think I missed any steps, but it's simple enough, really. Oh, it may help to put the top down after unscrewing the backseat and then pulling it out, then putting the top back up to work in that general area.

If you want to pull out the bottom portion, like so:

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Just find the two places where it anchors (you can see them clearly in the image) and give it a good pull upwards. Likewise, to put it back in, just push them down.

You can disconnect the sub then, or if you want to remove the box, there are four screws IIRC holding the box down. Pull it upwards through the opening you made when you pushed the fabric aside. Hope this helps!
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Postby GreenSolara01 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:25 pm

WOW that’s crazy! I never knew the drop tops came with a sub back there. That’s pretty cool. I guess copes are not so lucky.
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