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Old 05-10-2016, 05:03 PM   #15
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I got the Clarions out - I popped the mesh insert out and then removed the 4 screws that hold the speaker/grill frame in.


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Old 05-14-2016, 09:17 AM   #16
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Two points to wrap this up ...

1) On my 2016, there is no way the rigid plastic grill cover frames twist or pry off - they were screwed down with the speaker driver frames. The Polk replacements are the same.

2) I installed a Pioneer DEH-X8700BS head unit, Polk DB651 front speakers (left the Clarion rears since we don't listen back there often), and a Bazooka BTA8100 sub (8" 100W). OMG - what a massive difference! Well worth the $400 cost from Amazon. The Collins POS subwoofer Airstream installs is complete junk. No more buzzing, popping or shutting off with any serious bass whack.

Oh, one more thing. The Bazooka uses the blue remote turn on wire in the AS factory harness so it turns on when the head unit is turned on. Both the OEM Clarion head unit and the Collins sub were wired the same, so I question the common assertion that the sub is a constant battery drain due to always being powered on. I'm certain there is a microscopic load from both the head unit and sub when "off" to maintain settings and such, but I can't believe it is more than a few mA.


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Old 05-15-2016, 07:56 AM   #17
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Clarion Subwoofer

Yes, this is a very poor unit, but an be rebuilt, primarily this involves disassembly, packing with closed cell foam so as to reduce the space in the cabinet, then reattaching with a good sealing gasket between the case and speaker. Improves the sound by tightening the base.

As to an electrical drain, JC may have changed this on the later models, but my early 2015, delivered in June 2014, had a direct 12v source to the sub all the time. This also caused a hum with the overheads when the dimmer was used.

I did the rebuild, mounted the sub on the fat end, and placed an inline switch so it is on only when I turn it on.

As to the overall sound in my AS, this will get a reevaluation in the next month or so, possibly something like a high end unit installed so I can enjoy my music. At home I am about to go for a pair of Magnepan speakers, and will try to duplicate this in my AS.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:42 PM   #18
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I replaced the stock speakers with Infinity Kappa 62.11L 6.5" speakers on my 2014 28 FC. I chose these because they have a nice musical sound and the price $138/pr) was right. Plus, the tweeter is on a swivel head in the center of the speaker and you can twist it 270 degrees to angle the tweeter where you want it. Helps to direct the sound.

The install is easy. First, remove the four screws holding the Clarion grills and speakers to the cabinet in front (I have the L-Lounge). Next, because the mounting holes are different, drill 4 small holes. Cut the tips off the speaker wires (the Infinity uses bare wire, not crimp ends), strip 1/8 inch of bare wire, and screw the bare wire onto the Infinity. Then use the 4 supplied screws to mount the speaker and base plate to the cabinet, then snap on the grills when done.

The rear bedroom speakers were just a tad more involved. There is a 1" acrylic "base" that Airstream uses on the standard Clarions to add additional depth and it is predrilled for the Clarion's grill; however, the screw holes holding the speaker and grill actually are tapped into the interior AS skin. Infinity supplies some plastic mounting base rings with predrilled holes at various points - 4 of these mapped to the ones in the Clarion speaker grills, but they don't line up with the Infinity speakers. You could just drill 4 new holes into the AS skin, but I like the additional depth added by the acrylic.

No worries, just take the acrylic base and the Infinity mounting plate and line up the stock holes. Then, pre-drill four new holes in the acrylic (make the holes smaller than the threads for supplied screws) to match the Infinity mounts.

For the install, reuse the screws that came with the Clarion grills, and mount the Infinity mounting plate and the acrylic base back onto the AS. Snip and wire up the speaker wires. Then, mount the Infinity speakers using your newly tapped holes, to the acrylic base/mounting plate, and snap on the grills. Voila. Sounds harder than it actually was. The first one took 30 min, the second one took 10. The front speaker grills are very flush with the cabinets, but on the rear bedroom set, there is 1/16" section (comprising the Infinity -supplied mounting plate) between the grills and the acrylic base which is not perfectly smooth. I don't notice it much, and if I really wanted perfection, I'd make a new flush mounting plate out of acrylic or wood painted black, but that's too much trouble.

For the sub, I was going to get a nicer JL Audio box and a separate mono amp, but quickly found out that I would need to use thicker wire. This would mean I would have to either (I) rewire the power and ground cable back from the distribution panel on the AS's converter with 10ga wire, or (II) put in a new distribution block and send 8ga power and ground cables from the new distribution block to the distribution panel. Plus, the fuse on the amp suggests it is a 20-30amp fuse, which kinda stresses the distribution panel's capacity. These mono amps are really mean to be direct connected to the battery. Yes, it could be done, but now we're talking $500 in gear plus probably 2-3 hours of install time. I don't like the sound quality of bass in the trailer that much!

Sooooo....I instead ordered the Bazooka 8100 model mentioned here, plus the optional Bazooka bass control knob to easily control the bass level without having to get into the sofa area every time. From the owners manual, it looks like I can use the existing ground and power and trigger wire, along with the RCA connection, making the install quite easy!

Pix to come when I get the Bazooka delivered.
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:53 PM   #19
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Installed the Bazooka today, it was a simple 45 min job of splicing three wires, installing the mount, and hooking up the optional bass control box.

It sounds great, what you expect it to sound like when someone says they have a sub woofer. To be clear, there are better sounding sub setups, but not ones that cost $190 and easily reuse the Airstream's standard wiring.

I highly recommend the optional bass control - it is only $20 and allows you to quickly control bass volume without having to get under the couch. I ran the wire for mine along the back and sat the box on the back valence (it's the size of a deck of cards).
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:15 AM   #20
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So Keith, did your process destroy the clarion covers?. Do you have any photos of your replacement process?
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:14 AM   #21
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Replaced and repositioned speakers

As is shown here, I not only replaced the Clarion speakers with Polk Audio, but in the front of the trailer, moved them up to a vertical position rather than the bizarre Airstream placement where they blast you out when sitting in the loungers.

Airstream_Audio_TFL_06.03.2016 by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr

The original Clarion speakers are still in place on the lower surface, but not powered.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danecoyer View Post
So Keith, did your process destroy the clarion covers?. Do you have any photos of your replacement process?

No - the metal screens just pop out once you tug on them lightly with a dental pick or similar tool that can fit in the screen. I didn't take any photos since the grill removal was the only thing that didn't seem straightforward.


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Old 09-21-2016, 08:42 AM   #23
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How to remove Clarion speaker grills?

One thing I realized I haven't mentioned in this thread was my discovery of why I didn't have much bass when playing movies via the BD player or my WDTV box versus music via my iPod through the head unit. The problem was when AS ( or maybe Samsung) modified the TV to have an analog output (to route back to the head unit aux input), they tapped off the TV speaker circuit which has a bass roll off to keep from blowing the tiny internal speakers.

My solution was to get a small DAC that is connected to the Toslink digital output on the TV and has RCA analog audio outputs. It is powered by a USB cable and is velcroed to the back of the TV. This way I can still use the TV speakeasy selecting internal vs external speakers in the TV audio menu.

I will post a link to the device I used shortly after I find it in my Amazon order history

UPDATE: Here's the device I used, it comes with a Toslink cable too.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 09-23-2016, 12:55 PM   #24
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subwoofer and Polks

I too replaced the Clarion speakers with Polk Audio speakers. Matched the four screw holes correctly. Use the screws provided with the Polks as Airstream used drywall screws to attach the Clarions. Broke three of them trying to get them out!

The sound is not five times better; it's ten times better! I replaced all four.

Just a note about the sub-woofer. It has a volume control on the box under the seat. Mine was turned all the way up. Buzzing, cracking and distorted. After turning it down a lot (the polks produce a very nice bass) the sub sounds much better. I will be replacing it with the Bazooka very soon, though.

I was worried that the Clarion amplifier/tuner was inferior, but it sounds very nice now.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:01 PM   #25
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I replaced the Clarion speakers with Infinity Reference ones, they work nicely. I also replaced that horrible sub with a bazooka 100w amplified one with remote.

https://www.southernaudioservices.co...Tube-P112.aspx

The sub works very well. Highly recommended. In my 25ft rear bed the sub fits nicely under the dinette seat near the door.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:40 AM   #26
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Clarification

After removing the airstream sub (Collins) i now see the sub has a freq and gain control. Making further adjustments help reduce the buzz. Its not a very suffisticated sub and my Bazooka is on its way.

Two screws remove it, under my dinnette seat. Take out the drawer to get at it.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:00 AM   #27
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OMG, more chatting....LOL

Yup, lots of ways to get the sound better....but, one of the real difficult problems in an aluminum can is how we manage the second reflections which occur and if not dealt with, it makes almost no difference which speaker we install.

I suspect one of the reasons I find my current set up fairly nice sounding, even with the Crapion subwoofer turned off, is the elimination of the road side second reflections with my curtains/shades.
Serenity Curtains_Final_03.27.16 by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr

Listening to music is highly subjective, but IMO I have a high quality system at home to compare to, so I think I am pretty critical, yet also make an attempt to be realistic in just how good the sound in the AS can be. FYI, at home I have NAD C 546BEE, Mark Levinson No.38 and 27.5, Totem Acoustic Element Metal speakers/Thunder II Sub. You can Google this to see what the sound might be like.

For a much better sound experience in a metal box, Grado headphones is what I will listen to instead of attempting to have sound quality while running uphill

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Old 09-27-2016, 05:11 AM   #28
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Always like the Totems, but on tubes. For years I had a high end system (Air Tight ATM3, Aesthetix, Merlins) but it gathered dust until I sold it. Got back into headphones recently, and happy that you can get amazing sound without the footprint and $$$ of a 2 ch. system, plus not having to worry about the room.

Currently rocking a Woo WA22 tube amp, Audeze LCD3's and taking delivery of my first high end turntable (VPI Prime) in 20 years. Vinyl is cool again!

In the AS, agree on the cost/benefit analysis of upgrades. Replacing speakers with some reasonable speakers/sub is a cheap and effective way, without going nuts and having a difficult and costly wiring upgrade. It makes watching movies more enjoyable with the family too. If I wanted high end in the AS, like you I'd bring my headphones and high rez portable player with me.

(Note to Airforums readers who think the the product references in both our posts above are gibberish - they are audiophile code words to signify we are pretty serious and addicted to high end sound. The system MS moto describes for his home is greater than what many here may have spent on their vintage Bambi restoration.)
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