Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy


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zeoran
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Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:51 am



One of the first things I wanted to add to my 'new' 99 Aspy after I got it was rear speakers. After doing research on here, the consensus was that the best option was the Polk DB401's. From what I read, they were not only good speakers but also didn't require any modifications to make them fit.

As it turns out, when I went to get the parts for my rear speakers, I initially just ordered a "kit" from Cyclemax which is the Big Bike kit, which came with two speakers, the wiring harness and the fader. Some of you are familiar with the issues I faced with my reverse lever when doing the install for all of this, but I eventually got everything installed and working, although the speakers did require some 'modification' to the bottom area and it still isn't a perfect fit as the top armrest piece doesn't sit evenly on the bottom as it used to.

Not to be outdone by my own hindsight and mistakes, I wound up buying the Polk DB401's anyway a week or so later. I was hoping that they would not only provide better sound, but as the previous posts had stated, they wouldn't require any modifications to make them fit. Yet that's turned out to be severely not the case. Granted, the sound difference is minimal and is likely to stay that way until and if I got a more powerful amp to drive them with. But they also not only didn't fit better than the Big Bike speakers, they actually fit WORSE. I tried only one speaker over the weekend and even after making more "modifications" I couldn't get the Polk to even fit as well as the Big Bike speaker that had been there previously. And when I hold the speakers next to each other, the diameter of the magnet/driver is the same and is actually taller/deeper on the DB401.

Any idea why my experience with these is so much different from what previous posters have had?

God bless,

~Mark



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Rambozo
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by Rambozo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:43 pm

There was some talk awhile back about the Polks being discontinued and for a time they were unavailable from the usual suspects. Perhaps they just did a redesign and now they are no longer the plug and play solution they used to be. I'm sure there are photos on GW forums, and you can post photos of what you have to compare the differences.

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zeoran
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:41 pm

Here are pictures of the cavity (after modification) with the Polk still installed... and it STILL doesn't sit flat enough or even as flat as the Big Bike speaker on the opposite side that required far less "modification". Also including pictures of measurements showing the diameter of the back of the speaker (magnet) and the two of them with a level showing that the Polk is actually taller/deeper than the Big Bike.

According to all the posts I read on here previously, the Polk DB401's should have been able to be installed without ANY modification, that was one of the key advantages.

At this point, I'm considering sticking with the Big Bike speakers and finding a way to sell off the Polk's.

I'd love some feedback/suggestions/comments.











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zeoran
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:45 pm

Anyone have any information on this with the posted pictures????

According to the thread "Sound System" from 2015, the Polk DB401's shouldn't have required "any" modifications or very little. Yet mine are requiring massive modification and they STILL don't fit so the arm sits flush back into the cavity.

"You might be able to find OEM speakers, but your best bet is to replace them with a set of Polk speakers. They can fit perfectly with very little modification, sound far better, and are weatherproof.
The front takes 5 inch DB501's: http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-5-Inch ... ingdocs-20
The rear takes 4 inch DB401's: http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-4-Inch ... ingdocs-20"

"what would be required?"

"trimming a little of the mounting flange"

"The rears don't need any modification at all, using the Polk 401's. It's literally a 10 minute job.
The Polks are fairly expensive, but they are totally waterproof (designed for use in open boats - supposedly, they're even submersible!) and make far better sound than the OEM ones."

I'm obviously not calling anyone a liar, I'm just wondering how/if Polk changed the DB401's so drastically from 2015 to (whatever I just bought on Amazon in 2020) so much so that they not only don't fit without modification, but are taking FAR MORE modification than the 'Big Bike' speakers that came in my 'kit.

I'm really wondering if finishing the switch to the Polk DB401's is going to be worth it at this point. I haven't even finished one side yet because it still won't sit flush (or close enough) and the sound quality (without a new amp) isn't going to be that much of a difference. But now I'm also worried that those who also claimed you could swap out the DB501's in the front speakers without modification won't be accurate anymore.

Help???

God bless,

~Mark

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Rambozo
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by Rambozo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:31 pm

As the Polk 401s were completely non-available about a year or so ago. I would say it is very likely they went through some kind of redesign. You can try to find older photos to verify this, but it really doesn't matter since all you can get now are the current versions. You might have to look into other brands. Since the Polks were unavailable when I wanted to switch I got something else that was an easy fit. I'm not sure what brand, but I know I still have the box somewhere. They were very much like the Polks your typical coaxial marine speakers. Since I didn't buy them from Amazon I can't just look them up in my history. I only got the fronts there. I might have had to slot the mounting holes on the speaker frames, but to be honest I don't really remember. I do not believe I had to do anything to the plastics on the bike. I also bought foam speaker baffles, but was unable to fit those in the back. Just not enough room. I also can't comment on the sound quality as I have yet to power them up. Waiting to do the fronts.
To the best of my knowledge the 501s have always been available so they might still be the same. Again search out some photos to compare previous installs with what they sell today. I went with something different that will require extensive modifications, but I think in the front the better sound will be worth it. There are a few threads here about getting a 4x6 speaker into the front, and while not easy the results look fine and sound even better.

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zeoran
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:54 pm

My bigger problem is that while I bought the Polk DB401's on Amazon, they aren't returnable. At this point, I'm very much wanting to return them and cut my losses and just put the Big Bike speaker back in the left-rear that I tried to fit the Polk into and call it a day for now. I don't know if I can somehow convince them to take them back anyways, otherwise I'd be out the $50 I paid for the Polk, expecting them to fit like a charm.

I saw another post where a user mentioned being able to install Scosche 4" speakers in the rear without modification, but they weren't waterproof. And I have no idea if those have changed as well. Without a stock speaker to compare it to, I'm not sure how I'd be able to measure out a speaker to see if would fit without modification or not.

If I can't convince the Amazon seller to take back the 401's (only 1 of which is even opened) any idea where/how I could sell them off?

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by Rambozo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:11 pm

There is always ebay. Craigslist, faceplant marketplace, etc.

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terryt
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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by terryt » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:22 am

I cant quite see from your photo but is the speaker fitted between the chrome cover and speaker housing. there is about 1 7/8" clearance for the speaker to fit

mine are fitted like this




If it is fitted like this it will add about 1/4" to the length and the housing and it won't fit properly


Hope this is of some help

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:29 am

Ok, I'm a bit confused now. Are the rear speakers supposed to be mounted BACKWARDS? I have them currently mounted where the speaker is pointed towards the open grill and the back/magnet is facing outwards which is what fits into the bottom cavity. (and in my case is bumping against said cavity and not fitting properly)

Your top picture shows the speaker inside the top piece mounted backwards, where the speaker is facing down. Isn't that the opposite of how it should be? The sound is going down in that scenario. According to the instructions that came with my kit, the speakers were supposed to be mounted facing upwards, towards the grill.

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by terryt » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:57 am

zeoran wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:29 am
Ok, I'm a bit confused now. Are the rear speakers supposed to be mounted BACKWARDS? I have them currently mounted where the speaker is pointed towards the open grill and the back/magnet is facing outwards which is what fits into the bottom cavity. (and in my case is bumping against said cavity and not fitting properly)

Your top picture shows the speaker inside the top piece mounted backwards, where the speaker is facing down. Isn't that the opposite of how it should be? The sound is going down in that scenario. According to the instructions that came with my kit, the speakers were supposed to be mounted facing upwards, towards the grill.
No the top photo show the speaker facing up in the housing. The chrome cover is not in place to show the speaker. the chrome cover sits over it and get screwed together from underneath. shown on the next photo

The last photo show the speaker under the cover if yours are fitted like this under the cover it will hold it up about 1/4inch

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:13 am

Ok, now I feel stupid. I see what you were pointing out. And I think I have been doing it wrong. I mounted the speakers from UNDERNEATH. I didn't rest them in from the top side of the cavity and then screw them in from underneath. I rested them in while the whole thing was upside down and screwed them in from there. I'm not sure how much of a difference that will make or if it will make enough for the whole thing to fit properly, but I'm going to find out later today. I'll update you when I find out. (the Big Bike speakers are still smaller, so I may stick with them as they DB401's do seem to have been enlarged, even if I mounted them incorrectly.

Thank you.

God bless,

~Mark

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by terryt » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:41 pm

While its apart just try the DB401s. sit the housing in place and try the speaker

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Re: Polk DB401's and GL1500 Aspy

Post by zeoran » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:41 pm

Sigh....

Ok, now I feel REALLY stupid.

Turns out they fit just fine, without any modification (probably) if you INSTALL THEM PROPERLY.

You'd think as electronically and mechanically inclined as I am, I wouldn't have missed that one. But damn...

I feel even more stupid than when I forgot I had a Dremel tool when I cut out the hole for my USB charging port that I put in my left pocket. Spent over an hour cutting out the hole very roughly with my swiss army knife and a flat blade, only to remember 2 days later that my Dremel tool was sitting in the trunk of my car and would have made a perfect hole in mere seconds.

At least my stupidity hasn't really caused any permanent damage to the bike yet. (except for the "modification" of the bottom cavity to try and make the Big Bike/Polk speakers fit)

Thanks again, as always guys.

Stay safe, God bless,

~Mark



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