Choosing Car Speakers and Components

• What size wire should I use?

Your Polk PA Series amplifiers accept power source cables up to 4 gauge. Speaker wire outputs accept up to 12 gauge speaker wire. Keep positive to positive and negative to negative on all connections to avoid damage and reduce performance.

• What does Marine Certified mean?

After we made our db, DXi and MM Series products perform superbly in a car, we took them where few speaker components and parts dare go: on the water. Our engineers and designers wanted to put our product to the test, so they subjected everything to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) scrutiny to ensure db, DXi and MM Series product performed as well on the water as they do on the boulevard.

These speakers were put under two grueling tests—B117-03 Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus, and D4329-99 Standard Practice for Fluorescent UV Exposure of Plastics to see if they could stand up to a harsh marine environment.

Under the procedures for the Salt Fog test, components were exposed to a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and a 5% salt solution for 500 hours. Under the Ultra Violet test, components were placed in an accelerated weathering machine and subjected to a series of conditions for a test period of 500 hours. Those conditions included 8 hours of UV-B light, black body temperature of 60 degrees Celsius and 4 hours condensate water, black body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. This cycle was repeated continuously during the test period.

Sea Ray and Correct Craft boats, two leaders in their respective categories, spec Polk products, testament to the quality of all three of these amazing series.

So which marine certified Polk speakers are right for you? Well, the fact is that all of our db, DXi and MM series pass marine certification tests. Work with the professionals at Polk Audio to determine which of these meet your requirements.

• My vehicle is not listed on your fit guide. So what fits my car?

We recommend removing the factory speakers from the door and/or the rear deck and measuring the cut-out diameter or mounting hole in the sheet metal, as well as the mounting depth

For example: Our db651 6 1/2-inch coaxial speakers require a cut-out diameter of 5-inches and a mounting depth of 1 5/8-inches. Some vehicles may require modifications or custom brackets in order to install the speakers. We recommend consulting your Polk Audio car audio dealer.

• What is the difference between a coaxial speaker and a component system?

Coaxial speakers
These are comprised of a driver and a tweeter. This is often referred to as a two-way speaker. The driver reproduces the bass and midrange frequencies, and the tweeter reproduces the higher frequencies. (There are also 3-way speakers available such as our DB691 and our MM691. These speakers use a separate bass driver, midrange driver, and tweeter.) The driver and tweeter are installed together into a single basket or frame, with the tweeter mounted onto a tweeter post, which is attached to the speaker in the center of the voice coil. The crossover used in coaxial speakers is usually a first order filter consisting of a single capacitor and inductor. The crossover components are attached to the baskets of the speaker, so no external mounting is required.
Component speakers
These consist of a bass/midrange driver, which reproduces bass and midrange frequencies and a tweeter which reproduces high frequencies. There is also an external passive crossover which is installed into a small plastic enclosure. The crossover separates the bass/midrange frequencies and high frequencies and sends them to the driver and tweeter, respectively. Some passive crossovers will allow you to increase and/or decrease the output level of the tweeters. The installation is more complicated than a coaxial speaker. The bass driver, tweeter and passive crossover all have to be installed separately and will require more time to install. You also have to make certain that the driver and tweeter locations are identical for both doors and that there are no obstructions that may hinder the installation, such as power window mechanisms, window tracks, window cranks, or a dashboard. When making cut outs, the old rule applies: always measure twice and cut once. The passive crossover can be installed in a variety of locations: under the dash, in the trunk next to the amplifier or under the seats. We strongly do not recommend installing the crossovers inside the doors due to potential water damage. Water damage is not covered under our factory warranty.
The main advantages of a component system over a coaxial speaker are better sound because of the possible installation locations for the tweeter, and a broader frequency response. Be aware that by installing the tweeter higher up on the door panel or dash, you will improve the overall sound stage and imaging of your system. Coaxial speakers do not allow you to do this.
When locating your tweeters, we recommend first using double-sided tape attached to the back of the tweeter and trying different locations on the doors and dash. This will let you hear where the tweeter sounds best before you commit to an installation location
The passive crossovers used in component systems are more complex than those found in coaxial speakers. Most component systems use a second order (12 dB) or a third order (18 dB) crossover slope. This provides a steeper rate of attenuation of outer band frequencies after the crossover point, and allows for better integration between the driver and tweeter. It also improves power handling. The components (resistors, inductors, capacitors and printed circuit boards) used in the construction of our passive crossovers are of the highest quality and are manufactured to very tight tolerances.