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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I have a 2017 GLA250 with 6 speakers (non HK) and would like to change the front doors speakers with a decent components and add a Focal Ibus 2.1 underseat subwoofer as well.
Unfortunately I cannot find any door speaker adapters for the GLA but for the A class there is plenty around, is the A class speakers and adapters are the same as in the GLA?
I also would like to know if the GLA has 2 batteries or only 1 in the engine bay?



I'll appreciate any related info.
Thanks
 

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Welcome to the GLA forum.

There is one main battery in the engine compartment, one auxiliary just under the passenger side firewall floormat.

We're an international forum with a variety of GLA derivatives. Might we suggest you add location, model and year to your member profile as a reference that displays when you post? You can do so from the User CP link on the upper right of most browsers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.


Can I connect the Focal Ibus2.1 subwoofer to the auxiliary battery instead of the main battery? the Focal's fuse rating is 30amp so I assume it will draw maximum current of about 20amps.
Is the auxiliary battery connected in parallel to the main battery?
 

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Nope, you want the main battery. The AUX battery is not likely to be set up to handle the load you are gonna put on it with the stereo. Fortunately there is a standard grommet behind the drivers side foot rest you can use to get the wire through, and the battery itself is easy enough to add a lug to.

As for the driver's door, I can speak for the 45 amg US model only. I don't know if it's the same as your car.

To get the door speaker out, it goes roughly in this order:

1. Remove door card (easy)
2. Remove window (easy)
3. Remove door handle (easy but needs speacial LONG T27 torx driver, a bit-set is not good enough)
4. Remove inner panel by drilling out 10x large rivets (medium)
5. Prep for reassembly by removing the rest of the rivets (painful job)
6. Drill out the plastic rivets holding the speaker in. (easy)

Re-assembly is in reverse order, except you use a heavy-duty pop riveter to replace the rivets. The metal rivets are $1.50 each at the dealer ($60 to do all 4 doors)

Leave it to MB to use rivets instead of screws like Mazda or Honda (or anyone else...)

-------------------------

As for the door speakers, I don;t know if the adapter will fit. I made my own. I also had to cut the inner card to fit, because the hole is very small. Maybe 3-4". Not big enough to fit the basket of modern aftermarket 6.5's. I would almost count on having to do this. Replacement inner panels are ~$150 or so. I consider the work permanent because I'm not willing to buy $600 worth of paneling to restore the car to stock.

I made my own adapter, as can any audio shop in the UK that has a table router or a jigsaw. rings are relatively easy to screw in from the backside of the inner panel, and dampen with butyl rope.

Because my door speakers are HUGE (Morel Elite Ti in the front and Rainbow Reference midbass in the rear), my ring overhung gaps in the inner panel and required filler. If you have a typical 6.5 made by infinity or whoever, you probably won't have that issue. It was easily dealt with.

For me, the hardest part was drilling out the rivets and removing the door handle. Good luck!
 

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Here are some pictures. One of the OEM, the rest of the modification work.

I don't have a picture of the OEM hole size unfortunately. But you can see the part of the door panel at the bottom that is most difficult to deal with with respect to fitting the 6.5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Hi Whiterabbitt....

Thanks for the detailed description, nice job you've done there.


I plan to use an Audiosystem M165 evo or the Eton POW160.2 component speakers (German brands) powered by the 2 extra channels of the Focal IBUS2.1.



As for the auxiliary battery, isn't it connected in parallel to the main battery? if so isn't the powered subwoofer will draw power directly from the alternator (and not from the battery itself) while the engine is runing?
 

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As everything these days there's a computer in the loop to monitor alternator output and battery capacity. The main battery continues to buffer the system for smooth and efficient flow, so it's not just the alternator while operating.

As cited the small battery is computer-dedicated to Eco start/stop to ensure almost immediate restarts and you should therefore plan to tap into the main.

...

As for the auxiliary battery, isn't it connected in parallel to the main battery? if so isn't the powered subwoofer will draw power directly from the alternator (and not from the battery itself) while the engine is runing?
 

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So, don't let me stop you, but when I design autosound, I take a holistic approach. So some things to consider:

What happens when you run the stereo with the key in the accessory position? is the AUX battery connected or not?
What about the IGN position with the engine off? Engine on?
What happens when you are driving and stop at a stop light with ECO mode on? What happens when you have an extra drain on the AUX battery?
If you drain the AUX battery, how does the car behavior change when driving? how will the stereo behavior change? will it change?

These are all non-issues when connected to the main battery because that is how 12v autosound components are designed to be hooked up.

If you decide you don't care about the answer to any of the four above questions, then there is no reason not to consider hooking up to the AUX battery. For me, I cared about the answer to ALL of those questions. So much so I don't even care what the answer IS. it's enough to decide to make the effort to hook up to the main battery.
 

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Charles, I'm not a good person to ask about that, and avoid talking about our OEM systems because of it. I am (was) an autosound competitor in IASCA, later MECA, in the Sound Quality Pro division.

My approach to OEM sound is to appreciate it for what it is, understanding the financial and design limitations placed on OEM designers. They do the best they can, and frankly often provide results that exceed what I could do with the same budget in the aftermarket, retail markup or no. Ditto on what top install shops in the country can do. We blow away OEM sound because we have a 4-5 figure budget and know how to use it.

It's the same approach used by people like Jeremy Clarkson who can appreciate a Miata or M5, having already driven a majority of super cars and hyper cars on and off the market today.

While I have not competed yet with this car, it sounds better than any car I've built in the past, so I expect high marks on audio performance. A drop-in speaker replacement is not going to yield mind-blowing results I come to expect from a competition-ready car. I didn't even try. Within 6 months of ownership the car was stripped down for a full installation. The CD player up front was retained as a media source, and the rear amplifier was retained only as a MOST-to-Analog converter (saving me $350 on a separate box). Everything else was stripped out and replaced, and no less than three signal processors were also incorporated to deconstruct the OEM sound and provide tuning options to further correct problems that even top-shelf speakers cannot correct in a car environment.

Even then, all the optimization is done solely at the driver's seat, a luxury that any OEM designer is not allowed to use. Sitting in the passenger seat of my car, all the music sounds like it is coming from the vent next to the tweeter in the front door. Tonality is pretty nice, but the overall experience is pretty poor. I can fix it by panning 4 points to the left, but then the driver side has a similar problem, with sound coming from over the steering wheel. These kinds of problems can be psudo-fixed for a single seat, but not every seat, and so OEM's use compromises to get 75% of the way there for everyone in the car.

That "75% there" is subjective, and person A might like it lots, where as you wish it were 80% of the way there, or 90% or more. So, really, I can't answer your question. If I were to speculate, simply dropping in Morel Elate Ti 602 2-ways in the front, and Rainbow Reference W160's in the rear would yield no realistic improvement in the sound. Potentially a reduction in tonal balance, sacrificed for improved power handling (so it 'sounds louder'). For a cost reference, you can google how much it would cost you in speakers alone (installation extra) to make those drop in replacements happen. It's alot of money to spend for "probably no improvement" in sound. In short, if you want to truly reduce your disappointment in the audio in your car, you're probably looking at a more holistic solution than just dropping in some speakers in a couple spots.

Sorry for the kinda poor answer
 

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Well, for me, it is worth it. It is part of a Total Solution that replaces the entirety of the audio system except the Source. I would be proud to take this car to a MECA competition and I believe I would do quite well factoring the sound and the install together. We have some world class cars here but I am sure this one would place 3rd or 2nd in it's class and the 2x or 3x point events.

The adapter ring is MDF material which I have come to prefer over the materials other amateurs are told are popular: HDPE being the top of that list. I find the polymer materials are too flexible to provide a decent mounting surface for a speaker. I suggest sticking with MDF or baltic birch. Mine is saturated/coated with primer to enhance the water-proof-ness and color match the panel it is attached to. It is screwed in from the back and an adhesive plus sealant hold it in place and prevent air leakage from the back-wave, as well as maintain the integrity of the vapor barrier.

The thickness is 19mm, but I would have selected the right thickness to allow for a 3" deep speaker to be installed while still clearing the door card.
 

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The thickness is 19mm, but I would have selected the right thickness to allow for a 3" deep speaker to be installed while still clearing the door card.
Super, thank you for your feedback, this will definitely help me. I'm also thinking in sound proofing doors in 3 stages, inside the actual door panel (behind the window), plastic cover and door panel for better vibration absorbing as I have Harmon Kardon 10 and front doors really rattles which I hate.
 

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Nope, you want the main battery. The AUX battery is not likely to be set up to handle the load you are gonna put on it with the stereo. Fortunately there is a standard grommet behind the drivers side foot rest you can use to get the wire through, and the battery itself is easy enough to add a lug to.

As for the driver's door, I can speak for the 45 amg US model only. I don't know if it's the same as your car.

To get the door speaker out, it goes roughly in this order:

1. Remove door card (easy)
2. Remove window (easy)
3. Remove door handle (easy but needs speacial LONG T27 torx driver, a bit-set is not good enough)
4. Remove inner panel by drilling out 10x large rivets (medium)
5. Prep for reassembly by removing the rest of the rivets (painful job)
6. Drill out the plastic rivets holding the speaker in. (easy)

Re-assembly is in reverse order, except you use a heavy-duty pop riveter to replace the rivets. The metal rivets are $1.50 each at the dealer ($60 to do all 4 doors)

Leave it to MB to use rivets instead of screws like Mazda or Honda (or anyone else...)

-------------------------

As for the door speakers, I don;t know if the adapter will fit. I made my own. I also had to cut the inner card to fit, because the hole is very small. Maybe 3-4". Not big enough to fit the basket of modern aftermarket 6.5's. I would almost count on having to do this. Replacement inner panels are ~$150 or so. I consider the work permanent because I'm not willing to buy $600 worth of paneling to restore the car to stock.

I made my own adapter, as can any audio shop in the UK that has a table router or a jigsaw. rings are relatively easy to screw in from the backside of the inner panel, and dampen with butyl rope.

Because my door speakers are HUGE (Morel Elite Ti in the front and Rainbow Reference midbass in the rear), my ring overhung gaps in the inner panel and required filler. If you have a typical 6.5 made by infinity or whoever, you probably won't have that issue. It was easily dealt with.

For me, the hardest part was drilling out the rivets and removing the door handle. Good luck!
Hi, I know this is an older thread but I am looking to do speaker replacement on my GLA250. Can you help point me in the direction of the grommet on the driver's side I am having trouble finding it. Using a grommet on that side as opposed to the passenger side one would be better for me, particularly for the battery connection. also, how do I go about choosing the right speaker, particularly finding the right specs (resistance, wattage, etc.)? You seem to be very knowledgable and experienced with this kind of work.
 

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The firewall only needs to be breached for a power wire, you're looking to do an amplifier install, or door speaker replacement?

Beyond that, I wouldn't worry about the resistance or wattage. Everything is going to be in a range that will work with the factory amp, and door speaker resistance is standardized at 4 ohms. You won't find anything that is 2 or 8 ohm unless it's boutique and oddball.

After that, if you do make a selection that is not quite perfect in terms of balance, that is what your fader is for on the car. It's no big deal if you drive everywhere with the fader on 5 clicks forward and one click left as the 'default' setting.

The door will have a door speaker and a tweeter in the sail. You can look at component speakers to replace both, or a biaxial that has an integrated tweeter in the speaker. You'd disconnect the sail tweeter in that case.

After that, the trick is whether you have to drop out of 5 channel sound because there's no adjustment between the doors and the center. Not sure about considerations for that since I replaced both at the same time.



Anyway, I guess the answer I'd give is to doublecheck the speaker is 4 ohms, ignore the power rating as long as it is in a sane range (like 20-200w), and the size in the door is 6 inches. You can fit anything from 5.5 to 6.5 easily.
 

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The firewall only needs to be breached for a power wire, you're looking to do an amplifier install, or door speaker replacement?

Beyond that, I wouldn't worry about the resistance or wattage. Everything is going to be in a range that will work with the factory amp, and door speaker resistance is standardized at 4 ohms. You won't find anything that is 2 or 8 ohm unless it's boutique and oddball.

After that, if you do make a selection that is not quite perfect in terms of balance, that is what your fader is for on the car. It's no big deal if you drive everywhere with the fader on 5 clicks forward and one click left as the 'default' setting.

The door will have a door speaker and a tweeter in the sail. You can look at component speakers to replace both, or a biaxial that has an integrated tweeter in the speaker. You'd disconnect the sail tweeter in that case.

After that, the trick is whether you have to drop out of 5 channel sound because there's no adjustment between the doors and the center. Not sure about considerations for that since I replaced both at the same time.



Anyway, I guess the answer I'd give is to doublecheck the speaker is 4 ohms, ignore the power rating as long as it is in a sane range (like 20-200w), and the size in the door is 6 inches. You can fit anything from 5.5 to 6.5 easily.
Super helpful information, thank you. Any ideas on how to get speaker connectors to prevent wire splices? Will I need crossovers for component speakers?
 

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yes, all component speakers and "some" biaxials will use an external crossover network. Cheap speakers (and by cheap I don't necessarily mean low quality) will run full-range to the speaker and has just a capacitor in-line to the tweeter. You can call it a bass blocker, or by what it really is, a 6 db/oct highpass filter. Same deal as the external crossover network, just lower tech, shallower slope, etc.

Anyway, all that is moot really.

Yes if you buy a component set it will 99% chance come with an external crossover network. Mine are ziptied above the kickpanels in the underdash. There is only one set of wiring going into the door, so I had to run a second set of wiring from the kickpanel through the door harness and up to the sail panel for the tweeter. A legit audio shop would not take the trouble to do so and just mount the crossover between the door card and the interior door panel. I don't like doing that just because everything in the door has to be bullet-proof and water-proof, so taking the two hours to run 3 feet of wire is worth the effort. You have to decide what is worth it for you. Both ways are legit.

More challenging will be mounting the tweeter in the sail panel. Most of the time the easiest way to do it is to pull the old tweeter, butt the grille of the new tweeter in place, and glue into place with an appropriate glue. Many glues are good enough, some shops use hi-temp hot melt, others use a type of silicone or flex-epoxy, you'll find what works. the key is bulletproof. hi temp and flexible.

WAY easier to install a bi-axial since it's a part of the main speaker. The issue there is the tweeter is down low and that "can" drag your sound to your knees. EQ can compensate if you know how to tune it. Or you may have enough tuning at your fingertips in the car already between gains, center, and other OEM knobs that it's not an issue. No guarantees. My only comment on sound quality here is that a good stage is at or just above the dash level, and flat across the entire dash from left to right. BUT if I could only have one, I'd pick perfect tonality and a crap sound stage any day over a perfect sound stage with crap tonality. Obviously 100% of cars out there are a balance of the two (even world finals cars aren't scoring 100)

There is no real way to avoid wire splices. If you use good ones, it's no big deal. If you use bad ones, you'll chase signal issues forever. That simple. My only two other comment on that is: 1) more expensive doesn't mean better (and vice versa), and 2) soldering is not always the best splice either. If you plan on buying 2-4 kinds of splices looking for the most reliable one, you'll be successful. It'll cost you maybe an extra $15 in parts you'll never use.
 
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