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Old 08-18-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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Berkshire speaker upgrade

Hello all. I just purchased a '14 Berkshire 390fl. I love the new coach and think that I have gotten a lot for the money. The one area, however, that I think Forest River has dropped the ball (cheaped out) is on the the front radio speakers. There are just two 3 1/2 inch single cone speakers in the front in the ceiling. The sound is terrible. I want to upgrade, but would like to know if anyone else has done an upgrade and what they have done. I went to a place that does audio installs, but the suggestions will make the new equipment not blend in and I don't want to cheapen the look of a great looking interior. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...Rich
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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audio upgrade berkshire

Well, I don't know if anyone else has done anything with the front audio system in their newer coach with two small speakers, but I have upgraded mine and it sounds great. It was a fairly easy upgrade as well. I changed to Boston Accoustics soundware xs speakers, an AlpineKTP 445U amp and a Bazooka BTA 850FH sub. No special wiring needed and speakers mounted with easily available parts from your local home improvement store. Approximate cost of materials less than $450.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, most stock audio systems in our coaches are cheesy at best. I tossed the garbage 5.1 surround out the door and installed a 1000w Panasonic with a USB port for Ipod. New speakers are next on my list. I blew these during a Thin Lizzy rock video.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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I would suggest taking your speakers out and seeing exactly what kind if room you have as far as depth. Then go to Crutchfield.com and see what they have that will fit in your RV. Its amazing how much just a speaker upgrade will help
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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Dmf...I searched all of the 3.5 and 4" speakers out there. Even ordered some polk's from crutchfield, but the magnets on the new ones are too big and opening a big enough hole to fit them was dicey because I didn't know what was around that area. I don't know why they didn't just use 6 1/2's like the outside. The outside speakers sound great.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Dmf...I searched all of the 3.5 and 4" speakers out there. Even ordered some polk's from crutchfield, but the magnets on the new ones are too big and opening a big enough hole to fit them was dicey because I didn't know what was around that area. I don't know why they didn't just use 6 1/2's like the outside. The outside speakers sound great.
That's a good question. You'll get a much fuller sound out of a 6 1/2 than you will ever get out of a 3-4inch speaker. When you say the magnet is too big, do you mean too tall as the opening is not deep enough? If that's the case you could always make a nice wood offset to drop the speaker down for the clearance you need as long as its not over 3/4 inch. Much more than that and it would stick out like a sore thumb. Then just stain the wood to match your interior. Just a thought. There are a lot of ways to over come that issue for good sound, short of getting out the fiber glass and making a full on custom panel.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:46 AM   #7
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Actually, the problem is that the magnet diameters were too big. I have a hole saw that would fit, and I had to drill through some foam (no problem) but also some plastic/fiberglass channel through which the speaker wire was fed. I could not be sure what else might be in there, so I didn't want to risk it. Also, the ceiling is a leather type fabric and I felt if the drill ripped this and tore it, I would really have a mess on my hands trying to repair/match it. I'm actually very satisfied with what I've replaced the other speakers with. However, the small satellites definitely need the subwoofer and amp to make the system sound good.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Actually, the problem is that the magnet diameters were too big. I have a hole saw that would fit, and I had to drill through some foam (no problem) but also some plastic/fiberglass channel through which the speaker wire was fed. I could not be sure what else might be in there, so I didn't want to risk it. Also, the ceiling is a leather type fabric and I felt if the drill ripped this and tore it, I would really have a mess on my hands trying to repair/match it. I'm actually very satisfied with what I've replaced the other speakers with. However, the small satellites definitely need the subwoofer and amp to make the system sound good.
I'm with you now. I would not want to drill into anything I could not see behind either. I'm not familiar with the layout of the Berkshire, but I guess a component set is out of the question? Sounds like those 3" wells would be ideal for tweeter placement!! I would not be able to help myself with a rig like that!! I'd be cramming speakers everywhere. Not sure if your familiar with them but I'm a huge Rush fan and their music demands good speakers at any volume. I just added a RCA jack to my cousins TT. It let's him plug in his 8" powered sub. Its a nice set up as he can leave it in the camper or outside with the outdoor speakers. Helps a lot with the sound quality. I hope to do something similar to mine real soon. Wife permitting of course.......
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:31 AM   #9
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Yep, I grew up jamming to Rush in the 70's. I am eyeing areas where I can put separate components eventually. Of course, they have to make sense, so I'll take my time. I just got the coach recently so I think spending some time with her will give me a feel for what will work. Thanks for your suggestions. The Bazooka sub I am using is fairly portable, easy to wire and sounds incredible for a 50 watt unit. Gotta have good tunes......
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