GL 1500 Speakers


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
User avatar
Trikeguy1983
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:54 pm
Location: Berwick PA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Roadsmith Trike

GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Trikeguy1983 »



Hello All! I know this all has been discussed before, but I am looking for a few answers regarding the front and rear speakers. I Sent my radio to Sierra electronics in Ohio to get the aux. input, and had them repair the tape deck while it was there. I would like to replace the speakers this winter as well. I asked the guy at sierra what he suggested, and he said J&M. The problem is, he doesn't have any, and they are on back-order until April. He stressed that you should install a 3 ohm speaker for it to sound it's best. I want the speakers to be waterproof as well. Does anybody know what speakers specifically to use for the front, rear, and what speaker baffles go with them? I would like to do all of this right the first time. :D Thanks in advance!

PS. This Goldwing is the only motorcycle I have ever owned, and I cant imagine riding around without a radio! How does everyone else do it!? :lol:


User avatar
Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 1010
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE
2008 GL1800 with 2018 California Side Car Trike Conversion

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 »

Lots of folks have used the Polk DB501 in the front, including me, with great success, and the DB401 and sometimes DB501 in the rear. Just do a search on this forum for those models, and you should find plenty to read.
They are marine grade water resistant speakers, and I believe 4 OHM, which had no negative effect on the audio from my system. Check Amazon for Boom Mat Round Speaker Baffles, and you should find what you want.
Personally, I wouldn't dream of putting J&M speakers into the wing. If you sat them and the Polks side by side, your eyes alone would reveal all you need to know. My 2 cents.
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 23166
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer
Contact:

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by WingAdmin »

I agree, the J&M speakers really are substandard in terms of build and sound quality.

The best aftermarket speaker that fits is the Polk DB501 - they fit in the front cutouts, sound great, and are weather proof.


The rears are slightly smaller, and Polk DB401's fit in there:


As noted, these are four-ohm speakers instead of the nonstandard 3-ohm speakers that the bike comes with. It is OK to use speakers with higher impedance - it will reduce the available power output of the amplifier slightly. It is NOT OK to use speakers with lower impedance - that will draw more current from the amplifier than what it was designed to handle, and can blow the output stage.

I would also recommend baffles, to tighten up the bass.


The baffles are relatively cheap, and come in sets of two. They will keep the bass from booming, and improve the sound overall: Four inch foam baffles and
Five inch foam baffles
User avatar
Trikeguy1983
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:54 pm
Location: Berwick PA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Roadsmith Trike

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Trikeguy1983 »

Thanks for the help guys! I'm going to give the Polk's a whirl! I will also install the baffles.
User avatar
Trikeguy1983
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:54 pm
Location: Berwick PA
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A Roadsmith Trike

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Trikeguy1983 »

I just wanted to post an update. I installed the Polk db501 speakers up front, and db401 speakers in the rear. As suggested, I also added the foam baffles. The stereo sounds great! They are louder, and much clearer. I also installed a Zumo 655 with satellite radio, and connected it to the stereo Via the aux input that sierra electronics installed for me. I couldn't be happier with the end result. Thanks everyone for the advice.
Mgreenwing
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:52 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Mgreenwing »

I know this is an old post but when you guys used baffles did you mount them or just stuff them in first before mounting speakers into the front. If mounted what method did you use. Thanks.
User avatar
bluthundr31
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:43 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA.
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 Interstate (Cinnamon Beige)

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by bluthundr31 »

I can't speak for the others, but I stuffed the baffles in the hole, then put the speakers in the baffles and pushed a nail through the holes/slots to find the mounting holes, then used a black marking pen to trace the outline of the metal speaker. I removed the speaker and baffles and trimmed the baffles to the outline of the speaker. Sliced a small slot in the baffle for the speaker wires to "feed" to the speaker connectors and it all fits back together great.
Mgreenwing
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:52 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Mgreenwing »

Thanks! Still waiting for the second set of polks to arrive. The first set had a defective speaker and the second set is late.
User avatar
hut1
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:27 pm
Location: Greenwood, DE
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE w/ Hannigan Astro 2+2 sidecar

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by hut1 »

Thanks for this info. I definitely plan to make this upgrade.
Oldserider
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:29 pm
Location: Saskatoon Sk Canada
Motorcycle: 1998 goldwing se

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by Oldserider »

So what speaker has replaced the Polk db501 as it’s no it’s no longer available ?
User avatar
reddeth
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 7:46 am
Location: Asheville, NC
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
2022 Z650

Re: GL 1500 Speakers

Post by reddeth »

I'm also curious if anyone has any suggestions on speakers to replace the DB501 and 401.

At the very least maybe someone could confirm the stock speaker sizes are 5-1/4" up front, 4" in the rear, and stock they were 3ohm speakers, right?

EDIT: Based on this thread it seems like 4" speakers all around tend to fit the front and rear without needing much/any modification. I might just need to pull apart the front and rear speaker grills and take some measurements, seems like speaker manufacturers aren't good about consistency with sizing lol.


Post Reply