Tesla Model S Audio Door Speakers and Sound Deadening

The first step in the gradual process of overhauling the audio system in my Model S involved new cabin speakers and sound deadening the doors. (Here is the project page for the audio installation with an outline of the overall project.)

For starters I did some solid internet searching and followed the instructions in these videos for removal of door trim to install door speakers (overall system, front doors and rear doors). Before installing installed sound-deadening in doors and the boot, so I investigated various ‘how to’ videos (like this one).

I used the Dynamat 10435 Xtreme Door Kit to deaden the inner skin and inner side of the outer skin of both front doors. This got rid of a minor vibration in the right hand side door (driver’s side in Australia).

Front right door with Dynamat (and new speaker) installed.

To install the actual speakers, I used the frame of the factory speakers to house the new drivers. This involved cutting out the existing driver. Below is the original Tesla speaker. This is the side that mounts to the door and you can see the various extensions (two on right hand side) and lip (one on left hand side) used to orientate the speaker frame to the door. All door speakers in the Model S with standard audio are the same.

Rear of original Tesla speaker.

Various reports on the TMC forums suggest using the original speakers as mounting frame. Before I went down this path I experimented with making mounting baffles, or using cheap plastic ones, but they were going to be too much work and not get the right (factory) alignment.

Experiments in mounting baffles.

Instead, I cut out the driver and used to mount the new speakers. I’ve included these detailed photos as there was no reply about photos in the TMC post linked above. I tested on the rear door first. The rationale being if it didn’t work then there would be no great loss of directionality and I could use a simple wooden baffle if need be.

Removed factory Tesla driver, snipped the wiring to the original voice coil.

The first time I tried this I left some material (foam from the speaker surround) around the plastic frame. I realised it would be better to scrape all of this out and mount the speaker securely. This created a new problem, where the actual speaker fit in the Tesla ‘frames’ securely except for the screw hole mounting tabs.

The simplest solution was to cut out notches in the factory Tesla speaker frames.


…complete. The above image shows how snuggly the Infinity Kappa speakers fit in the original Tesla speaker brackets if done carefully. Hopefully you can also see there is enough play in the slightly slotted Kappa’s screw hole tabs for a screw to fit in the inner edge.

Speaker wired into original Tesla plug.

Last step involved wiring the new Infinity Kappa 60.11cs speakers into the original Tesla plug so the factory wiring could be used between the door and the kick panel. I fitted foam surrounds around each speaker to seal them with the door trim (you can see this above).

Front speakers are the Infinity Kappa 60.11CS. Rear door speakers are JBL 6520 club series coaxials. Both were chosen for the low 2 ohm impedance to replace the factory Tesla 2 ohm speakers and work efficiently with the factory MCU amplifier.

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