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Old 05-05-2016, 07:34 AM   #1
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How to remove Clarion speaker grills?

I'm going to install Polk DB651 speakers and need to know how to remove the grills from the stock Clarion speakers. This is a 2016 FC
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:34 AM   #2
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Your best bet would be to call the dealership or the Airstream customer service line and ask them. (877) 596-6505.
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:10 PM   #3
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I'm at JC so I asked a tech - he said they twist off. Doesn't work. So if someone has had them off on a 2015 or 2016, please pass along the secret.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
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This would be helpful to know....
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:22 AM   #5
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Some speaker grills are attached with the same screws that hold the speaker in place.
Sometimes you have to remove the actual grill from the surrounding trim to gain access to the screws.
Sometimes it is simply a compression fit or has some type of sticky goo material to hold it in place.
I agree that Polk Audio are good speakers at a reasonable price point as I have a pair of Polk tweeters in my 1999 Nissan Pathfinder, but I would think the Clarion speakers are also of a decent quality.
Why the change?
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:30 AM   #6
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Pardon my French, but the Clarion speakers suck. Night and day between them and the Polk Audios, I have some in my car. But I have an extra set of Bose AM5's at home, and was wondering if anyone has found a way to hook up 110 volt speakers to a car audio system which is what we have in our trailers. Some kind of a converter? I'd like to replace the Clarions with the cube Bose since I already have them.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:57 AM   #7
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The Polks are so much better than the stock Clarions. I replaced mine, in the trailer, last year. The sound is clearer, not tinny, better for music and voice. In fact they are so much better, I can actually hear the TV sound through them with the AC running. On my 2012 the grille is screwed the cabinet and the speaker just is press fit into the top of the grill. After I removed the grill, it was clear that the Polks would not fit into the grill so I had to use the one that came with the Polks. That required new holes in the cabinet, of course.

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Old 05-06-2016, 01:00 PM   #8
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Speaker Grill Problem

I have the opposite problem. On almost every trip, one of my speaker grills falls off, not competently, it will hang by a thread. I just keep pushing it up in it;s place and start all over again in the next trip. Being the rear bedroom speaker, I'm guessing the back of the trailer does a lot of jumping up and down because we can't keep clothes hangers on the closets, either.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenrms View Post
I have the opposite problem. On almost every trip, one of my speaker grills falls off, not competently, it will hang by a thread. I just keep pushing it up in it;s place and start all over again in the next trip. Being the rear bedroom speaker, I'm guessing the back of the trailer does a lot of jumping up and down because we can't keep clothes hangers on the closets, either.
Centramatics, maybe?

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Old 05-06-2016, 01:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfrez View Post
Pardon my French, but the Clarion speakers suck. Night and day between them and the Polk Audios, I have some in my car. But I have an extra set of Bose AM5's at home, and was wondering if anyone has found a way to hook up 110 volt speakers to a car audio system which is what we have in our trailers. Some kind of a converter? I'd like to replace the Clarions with the cube Bose since I already have them.

Using your Bose speakers shouldn't be a problem at all.
Is the input RCA cables?
If so, RCA cables out of the car stereo to RCA in on the Bose speaker with the amp in it.
Then plug the Bose speaker with the amp in it to a 110 receptacle.


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Old 05-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #11
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The Bose subwoofer doesn't have it's own amplifier, or 110 power cord, it relies on the sound amp. Needs minimum 10 watts per channel 4 or 8 ohms. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the standard Sony deck has enough power.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:43 AM   #12
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The Sony's internal amplifier should be 4 channel 50 watts per channel.


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Old 05-08-2016, 10:09 AM   #13
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Polk Audio

The grill on the Clarion speakers does sort of twist off, but one has to know which way to twist, and they are tough to get a good grip on. Once removed, before the Polk's are installed in the aluminum areas, it is a good idea to glue closed cell foam around the opening between the outer and inner skins, thus damping the potential resonance, and making the mounting surface for the new speakers much stiffer, improving response.

My example:
Bose speakers replacing Clarion by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:28 AM   #14
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Thanks Tommie! Very helpful!
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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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