Some notes and photos on replacing the door speakers in 2004/2005 Cadillac CTS-V / SRX.

These instructions and photos are applicable to the CTS-V (which only comes with the upgraded Boise stereo) and the SRX with the optional upgraded Bose stereo system.

Why change the speakers on the "upgraded" Bose system? In any sound system, the weakest link is almost always the speakers. The head unit will produce a signal with insignificant distortion, as do most amps. The speakers produce the most amount of distortion and "color" the sound the most. The Bose speakers in these cars are particularly poor in the mid-range frequencies. Resonant instrumentals (think acoustic guitar or cello) can sound very "muddy". Upgrading the speakers is easy and can make a huge impact on the sound.

Some notes on the Bose system. The speakers are rated at 2 ohm. The system has a subwoofer on the rear package shelf, a mid-range speaker in each of the front doors and rear doors, with a tweeter mounted in the A-pillar on the side of the windshield. The front door speakers are 6.5" round, and the rear door speakers are 5.25" round. The subwoofer is 10". The Bose system appears (based on frequency sweeps from a diagnostic cd--Bose's ratings are not known to me) to crossover the from the subwoofer to the midrange speakers at about 100 Hz, and from the midranges to the A-pillar tweeters at about 6,000 Hz.

I had my wife's SRX and my CTS-V to experiment upon. I had a set of Infinity Reference 2-way co-axial speakers (6002i - 6.5" front, 5002i -5.25" rear) and a set of Infinity Kappa 2-way speakers (62.7i - 6.5" front, 52.7i rear). The Kappa's are much better speakers than the Reference, but much more expensive. The Kappas are 2 ohm, the Reference are 4 ohm. 4 Ohm speakers won't hurt your system, they are less demanding on the amp than the stock 2 ohm speakers, but they won't play as loudly as the 2 ohm Kappas. It should be noted that both the Reference and Kappas are more sensitive than the stock Bose speakers, and volume wasn't a problem with the References. The Kappas are louder than the References, much louder.

Final notes, personal preference was the Reference series in the CTS-V and the Kappas in the SRX. In the CTS-V, the Kappas were so sensitive and loud that they overwhelmed the A-pillar speakers, and the sound seemed to come from the floor of the car. The Reference speakers sounded great, very clean, great imaging, and the sound stage was up where it should be, around the dash. On the SRX, maybe due to the greater width of the car, the larger interior volume, or both, the References sounded strained with too much treble. The Kappas in the SRX sounded great, and the sound stage was fine, not down on the floor. It should be noted that the Kappas in general are about twice the price of the References, and the References I used were an older model on close out, so they were very cheap. OK, on with the show.

(Click on any image to see a high resolution version)

An Infinity 60021 Reference speaker on the left, the stock Bose speaker on the right. Build quality on the Bose isn't bad for stock, but can't hold a candle to the Infinity.
Again, Infinity on the left, Bose on the right. Note that the Kappas (not shown) have better quality die cast basket rather than the Reference's stamped steel.
 

 

Remove Front Door Panels:

With a very small screwdriver, pop out the locking tab on the manual door lock knob.

Note: Photos are taken on the SRX, but everything is the same on the CTS.

The manual door lock knob will lift right off.
You need to get at the two screws hidden behind the door handle. With a thin tool (I used a panel tool, a screwdriver would too), pry the panel behind the door handle off.
Just in case you're wondering, this is what the panel looks like that you're removing.
These are the screws you have revealed. Use a large phillips screwdriver to remove them.
You need to remove the bezel around the door release handle. Just work your fingers under the front corner of the bezel (passenger door shown here), and then your other hand under the lower rear. Wiggle the thing up and down and forward and back and it will come loose. Once it's free of the door, hold the release handle open and work the bezel off over the handle.

You need to unplug the electric door lock wiring from the bezel. Shown here still plugged in.

You are now ready to remove the door panel. Just give a sharp pull on the door handle and it will come loose. Use your hand around the panel, starting from the bottom and pull the panel away from the door. When it's freed up, you need to lift slightly and it's off.

 

 

Remove the Front Speaker and Adaptor Housing:

Leave the speaker attached to the black plastic adaptor for now. You need to:

  • Unplug the wire harness, circled in yellow here.
  • Remove four black screws holding the adaptor to the door, locations circled in red here.

To put the Infinity's in, you need to gain a little slack on the wiring harness. Before removing the Bose speakers:

  1. Work the sheathed wires out from the two plastic hooks holding them in the channel with a flat screwdriver.
  2. Unplug the wires from the speaker, pull firmly with a side to side rocking motion.

Remove the speaker from the plastic adaptor. There are four gold screws holding it on. You have to push the gray foam to the side reveal the screws. Remove them and set speaker aside

Here we see the adaptor housing with the wires freed from the hooks we did in the step above.

Note the slack that Cadillac gives the wires from the plug harness to where they pass inside. Work the wire loose and then feed the slack under the gasket so the slack is gone.
Here you see the slack is gone, this is all you need to gain to use all the stock hardware.
The Bose speaker terminals are a lot thinker than the Infinity's. You need to squeeze the wire terminals down a tighter fit before installing onto the new speakers. Don't go crazy, just lightly close the gap with a gentle squeeze.

Pay special attention to how the speaker goes back in. You have to gently bend the speaker terminals so that they at a right angle to the flat back of the magnet. The speaker will be in the position shown when you screw the four gold screws back in.

Important note:

  1. The terminals must not touch the plastic adaptor (here the green ground terminal is touching, I used a small screwdriver to move it away).
  2. Also make sure the wires (red/green) are directly touching the magnet. just bend/flex them as you need to, they'll stay that way.

Here we are, new speaker in place. Be sure to:

  1. Plug the speaker harness back together
  2. Make sure the four black screws holding the adaptor to door are snug (don't over tighten)
  3. Same for the four gold screws holding in the speaker, snug, not too tight.

Do not put the panel back on yet. Replace the speaker in the other door, and test the speakers to make sure they sound correct. If all is good, then put the panels back on.

 

 

Reinstall door panels:

You replace the door panels by putting them just a little higher then there final position, and letting them slide down into position.

The channel shown here must slide down into it's matching groove on the door.

with door in the groove on the top, look through the opening behind the door handle and make sure that the plug shown here circled in red and numbered "2" fits into it's receptacle on the door.

Then look around the edges, and work the push pin and alignment pins into place, giving light smacks from your hand to lock it all down into place.

Here's the channel on the door that the panel needs to slide down into.

From here, reverse the instructions to put the door release bezel, two screws and their plastic cover, and the manual lock knob back on.

Viola! Enjoy the sound.

 

 

Remove Front Door Panels:

  1. Remove manual lock knob as you did on front door.
  2. Remove handle bezel as on front, wiggle it in a downward motion to remove. There are no electrical connections to worry about here.
  3. Remove the access panel for the screws as on the front and remove the two screws.
Close up detail of handle bezel, note that you need to work it downward to free the clips.
Note the orientation of the speaker and the terminals, note the direction they "point" as this follows a recess in the door just for the terminal and wires.
There is a mark, a molded raised arrow on the door that show you the stock orientation if you are going to use the GM Harness adaptor.

1) If you choose to use the GM harness adaptor, then 2) you will orient the speaker in the stock direction. It's pretty straightforward replacement job.

3) If you choose not to use the GM harness adaptor, then you cut the end off the wires as shown by the dashed yellow line. Crimp your Positive and Negative spade connectors onto the wires (white is thick terminal, and dark color is thin terminal). And then 4) change the orientation of the speaker 90 degrees as shown in direction of yellow arrow. Gently bend the terminals down, so that they hug the speaker cone angle, you're basically making sure they won't interfere with anything on the door when you put it back togethers.

I went with the GM Harness adaptor. Just tuck the excess wire under the blanket.
  Reinstall door panels:
  Follow the same instructions for reinstalling the door panels as given above and you are done. Enjoy the music.