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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As in previous posts regarding the highest performing touring motorcycle available, the audio speakers output does not meet the engineering of the K1600 GTL-E. The difficultly I had was upgrading the speakers and also a power amplifier to improve on the anemic factory amplifier output. The major issue was fitting a 2-channel power amplifier under the one-piece factory heated seat. The commonly used Alpine Compact Class D 4-Channel Amplifier KTP-445U amplifier is too large. Best I could do for $120.00

I have been able to substantially improve the sound system of the 2016 GTL-E by installing these components that I found on Amazon.
  1. JBL GX402 2-Way GX Series Coaxial Car Loudspeaker, 4"
    Frequency Response75Hz – 21kHz
    Sensitivity90dB
    Power Handling (Peak) 105W
    Nominal Impedance 2.3 ohms, cost ($34.95)
  2. DS18 CANDY-MICRO2 CANDY-MICRO2-Amplifier Number of Channels: 2
    Frequency Response: 19Hz - 39KHz
    2 Ohm RMS Power (14.4V) Per Channel: 2 x 80W
    4 Ohm RMS Power (14.4V) Per Channel: 1 x 160W
    4 Ohm RMS Power (14.4V) Per Channel: 2 x 65W
    Stable Ohm: 2 Ohm Stereo Mode Stable Minimum Ohm Bridge: 4 Ohm
    Signal-To-Noise Ratio: ≥80dB THD: <0.1%
    Product Dimensions (LxWxH): 5" x 3.3" x 1.5", cost ($84.95)
The speakers have a metal frame which is preferred because the mounting tabs can be bent. The Factory BMW speakers have an odd three tab mounting frame. Two tabs on these speaker line up with the recessed mounting position on the speaker housing. The top two ears of the frame can be trimmed to fit the bottom left tab is carefully removed. The bottom right speaker tab is bent straight up, then while holding the speaker into the recess. bend the tab back over the edge over the housing. Drill a new mounting hole and connect the appropriate wires to the back of the speaker and mount securely with (3) screws.
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This is the only amplifier that I found which is small enough to install under the seat near the factory Alpine Amplifier. The DS18 Amplifier fit perfectly when fastened to the bottom of the seat recess above Alpine factory amplifier. The DS 18 Amp has a very short wiring harness. It is however, perfectly suited because, it is designed to be spliced directly into the Alpine Factory Amplifier output speaker wiring. I purchased 4 feet of shielded 18 gauge copper four-conductor cable, from Home Depot, to make the wiring harness for the speakers, then 16 gauge copper for the grounds, power and switched power. Below is view looking up at bottom of seat. These 2.3 Ohm speakers system is far superior to the factory system. At 2 Ohms this amplifiers' output is 80 watts RMS per channel. Additionally, I found the best speaker sound performance setting the DS18 Micro Amplifier Gain Control to MAX level. Sounds great.

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Nice write up and review. You didn't happen to check the sound quality with out the amplifier?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After I first installed the speakers, even with their lower 2.3 Ohm rating and being very efficient, the sound would start clipping at slightly past half volume. At 3/4 volume it was obviously clipping. The estimated 8 watts RMS/channel of the factory system was not sufficient. My first intention was to just up grade the speakers, but while they are much brighter at lower volume, it was obvious that a power amplifier would be needed to make a significant improvement over factory system when riding.
 

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Interesting write-up. Well done. There was a time when I would've done the amplifier you suggest (have replaced speakers), but now usually only listen to music thru the helmet phones. But, there are still a lot of us who will find this info very useful!
 

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I have the Rockford fosgate amp. Have not installed it yet. Heard it over heats. This might be a better. Option. Like the price tag.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Alpine BMW AMPDS-18 AMP AUDIO INCABLE BMW AMP SPEAKERS IN
LEFT + YELLOW/BLACKL+IN WHITEL+ GREEN
LEFT - YELOW/REDL- IN WHITE/BLACK STRIPEL- WHITE
RIGHT + BLUER+IN GREYR+ RED
RIGHT – BLUE/REDR-IN GREY/BLACKR- BLACK
BMW SPEAKERSDS-18 AMP AUDIO OUTCABLE BMW SPEAKERS OUT
LEFT + YELLOW/BLACKL+OUT GREENL+ WHITE
LEFT – YELLOW/REDL- OUT GREEN/BLACK STRIPEL- GREEN
RIGHT + BLUER+OUT PURPLER+ RED
RIGHT- BLUE/REDR-OUT PURPLE/BLACK STRIPER- BLACK
ORANGE/YELLOW STRIPE (use Tap style connector)ORANGE +12 VDC SWITCHED
BATTERY + 20 AMP FUSED (not supplied)RED +12 VDC
GROUND(2) BLACK GROUNDS
This is the wring legend I created to install the amplifier. You must remove the plug from the right side of the factory Alpine Amplifier and make the above connections. To reach the factory Alpine Amplifier (2) lengths of four conductor (green/white/red/black) 18 gauge shielded cable, was required to splice between the factory speaker harness and the DS-18 Amplifier harness. This is illustrated in the right column. In addition to the 12 VDC and ground wires, a switched source is also required to activate the DS-18 Amp and is also found in the same plug as speakers. Use a Tap style connector to connect to switched power lead.
 

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@edobernig I'm trying to complete my harness. I only lack the correct switched source to trigger the amp to cycle on and off. You mention the orange with yellow stripe wire. All I have similar to that is red with green stripe...and it doesn't seem to be working as a trigger as the amp is always on. I also have a brown and then two white, one with a brown stripe, and the other possibly a black stripe. The two white are in the row of wires on the plug with the Blue Right +/- and the Red/Green stripe and Brown in the row on the plug with the Yellow Left +/-. The location might be more likely to help me match than the color. Any insight from you would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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@edobernig Hey!!! Please disregard above post. I put a voltmeter on the plug looking for the switched 12vdc. The Red w/Green stripe does cycle off. I had waited until the GPS shut off. But I needed to wait an additional 10 or 15 seconds. It’s as if there are two “offs” after the power is shutdown. OR, what I thought was the normal timed “off” after the key was just a false off or misinterpretation by me. All is good. Thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Did you have to cut the wires or can you just splice into them without cutting.
The speaker leads are cut because that's where the amp is spliced in to boost power to the speakers. The switched or trigger lead can jump just be tapped into. Regarding the color of the switched lead (orange/yellow stripe) on my 2016-17, it is in the top row, first lead on the right, when looking at the plug on the front of the Alpine amp.
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I made a conversion wire harness with make and female plug ends so I didn’t have to cut and factory harness wires. I appreciate your footwork on identifying wire colors and sizing an amp. I mounted mine just behind the factory alpine amp/receiver unit as opposed to under the seat. I’m on an ‘18 GT just fwiw.
 

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Install was a snap. Soldering the wires took the most time. On the 2019 there is a pocket next to the battery that the amp slides right in. Fits like a glove. Thanks for the wiring diagram.
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VERY interested in this. I need to find the thread on here where it talks about the differences in the speaker housings between the 2017+ bikes and the earlier years. Hopefully these speakers will fit my 2018 GTL.

A couple questions-

1. Are these speakers weather-proof?
2. I don't see a picture, so I'm assuming you were able to fit the factory grill over these speakers without issue, and no one would notice any difference simply by looking at the bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
VERY interested in this. I need to find the thread on here where it talks about the differences in the speaker housings between the 2017+ bikes and the earlier years. Hopefully these speakers will fit my 2018 GTL.

A couple questions-

1. Are these speakers weather-proof?
2. I don't see a picture, so I'm assuming you were able to fit the factory grill over these speakers without issue, and no one would notice any difference simply by looking at the bike?
1. no, however the cone is not paper.
2. The factory grills fit over with no clearance issue.
. The >2018 bikes the speakers "drop" into the enclosure as shown above. Newer <2018 models they attach from behind, witch requires a heat gun or placing the enclosure in an oven to soften the glue to split the enclosure open.
 

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The wiring legend is a huge help here. Thanks for posting that. I'm going to be using a NVX VADM2 amp in my upgrade. Looks a little bigger than the DS amp used in this thread. I'll start a new post once I get going. Still undecided on speakers. I would like to find something that has a sensitivity rating around 93db. Not much to choose from in this speaker size. I'm also going to look very hard at a way to fit a 5 1/4" speaker in that housing. Not sure it can be done though.

Zach
 

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Odoberng did you say disconnect the Bmw alpine system? I'm sorry riders but i,m a newby I got happy when i saw this info.
 

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Odoberng did you say disconnect the Bmw alpine system? I'm sorry riders but i,m a newby I got happy when i saw this info.
You would need to keep the alpine connected or you would loose all function of the radio. basically your are taking the speaker outputs of the alpine cut them then pipe into the new amp. The amp connects to the other side of the wires you cut that go to the speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Exactly as themiruts stated above. The four speakers output leads from the Alpine unit are cut and attached to the 4 speaker input leads of the Amplifier according to the wiring chart. The 4 output leads of the Amplifier are then connected to the previously cut Alpine speaker leads that run to the speakers.


Odoberng did you say disconnect the Bmw alpine system? I'm sorry riders but i,m a newby I got happy when i saw this info.
You would need to keep the alpine connected or you would loose all function of the radio. basically your are taking the speaker outputs of the alpine cut them then pipe into the new amp. The amp connects to the other side of the wires you cut that go to the speakers.
 
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