***See Update Below***
I bought a pair of Polk Audio DB652 speakers to replace the Concert Audio speakers (not the Premium Concert Audio).
I went with the 652's over the 651's because of their slim profile in hopes to save a little room in the bags. As the pictures indicate, I did just that.
These speakers will NOT mount directly without drilling holes in the speaker frames.
1. Before removing the stock speaker, mark the 5 mounting holes that are actually used. Remove the stock speaker. NOTE: I left the stock tweeter in place, unused, for aesthetics.
2. Put the stock speaker face to face and centered with the Polk speaker with the stock speaker on top.
3. Rotate the stock speaker so the 5 mounting holes do NOT align with any existing holes in the Polk speaker. Mark the holes to be drilled in the Polk speaker.
4. Wrap the magnet with paper. This will help the clean up of the metal shavings.
5. Carefully and slowly, drill the 5 holes. You will be drilling into a metal channel that is about the same size as the drill bit so be prepared for the drill to catch if you use too much pressure. If it catches, reverse the drill, raise it slightly and get the bit spinning at full speed. Then slowly and lightly continue. It should drill through cleanly.
6. The Polk DB speakers are marine certified but they do not have a water tight seal to keep rain out of your bags. You will need a sealant like Permatex Form A Gasket #2 Sealant. It's non-hardening.
7. Apply sealent and mount the speaker. You will need to cut the existing speaker wire and splice in the included wires with attached connectors.
My observations: After installing 1 speaker, I fired up the sound for a side-by-side comparison. I set the fader to full rear and listened to various music that had good bass and good vocals.
Keep in mind that this is a non-scientific and extremely subjective comparison between two individual speakers.
The first thing I noticed right away is that The DB652's do not carry as much bass as the stock speakers. This is not surprising as the stock speaker cone is deeper in size. I hear lows very well and even to my ears, the difference is negligible. However, others may disagree. The DB651's have a lower frequency response, 35 khz vs 40 khz for the 652's. If you are not looking for extra room in your bags and prefer more bass, the DB651's may serve you better.
The Polk Audio DB652's definitely win the contest for crispness in the mid and high ranges and had less distortion at higher volumes. They are known for their crisp sound and overall sound quality for speakers in this price range so that did not surprise me either.
Overall, the switch was worth it to me. The sound is noticeably better overall and the little extra space to put things in the bags under the speakers has value for me. I think it is much less of an improvement than replacing the stock fairing speakers with the DB521's or DB522's and probably about the same as replacing the trunk speakers with those as well.
One more note before I close. I am using the stock Concert Audio amplifier. I may switch that out in the future for a more robust amp. If I do, I will update.
When I wrote the above post I had not yet installed the Polk speaker in the right saddlebag. I finally had some time to do that yesterday and as such had to update my review. The side-by-side comparison I did seems to be flawed. Now that both saddlebags have the Polk speakers installed, I will say that the sound improvement is VERY good. I noticed it right away and was shocked as I did not expect that.
While the DB652's may not carry as much bass as the stock speakers, the bass is very clean and sounds great.
I did decide to remove the tweeters from the grills. I don't know if that made a difference in sound quality...I can't imagine that it would. The tweeter would block a tiny amount of sound but relative to the speaker size...maybe it makes a difference. Also, the magnet of the stock tweeter was relatively close to the Polk tweeter. Could that have an effect? I don't know. What I do know is I am very happy with the modification.
From the pictures you can see that the DB652's are shorter than the stock saddlebag speakers. Even so, you may be thinking that they are not significantly shorter. I will say that it made a huge difference when loading up the bags yesterday. For instance, my helmet would not fit under the stock speaker but fits easily under the Polk but more importantly, I was able to put more in the bags after the grocery store run.
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