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DIY stereo upgrade for under $500.00


This is a discussion on DIY stereo upgrade for under $500.00 within the Ford Raptor Audio/Video/Electronics Forum [GEN 2] forums, part of the GEN 2 (2017+) Ford F-150 Raptor Forums category!
Hey Everyone, Thanks to Smurfslayer and some help from some other folks I have come up with a project. I'm ...


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Old 03-05-2017, 08:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
Guy
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Default DIY stereo upgrade for under $500.00
Hey Everyone,

Thanks to Smurfslayer and some help from some other folks I have come up with a project.

I'm replacing all of the factory speakers with Pioneer A series. After much research I've found that for the money and for using the stock amp, these should work pretty well. I considered infinity but overall their bass response was poor when I sampled them.

The other specialized super expensive component type speakers are for the experts and those seeking elite audiophile grade sound.... I'm just putting together a weekend project to hopefully clean up the stock speakers and add a respectable amount of bass.

All Pioneer:
6x9 4-way up front with metra mounts
5-1/4 3-way with metra mounts in the rear doors
3.5 inch 2 way in the dash
3/4 inch dome tweeters in the a pillars


And a song 8 inch pioneer shallow mount sub that I'll mount in the existing stock sub enclosure with the Kenwood 300 watt mono amp. Why didn't I go with the kicker? The pioneer offers a lower frequency response and it was audibly deeper in my local store... now whether that holds up in that plastic enclosure is anyone's guess...


Thanks smurfslayer...

I grabbed everything I needed on amazon for cheap... total job is under $500.00 with wire. It's not going to sound like I spent $6,000, but I am not in that kind of position to spend that on a radio. If I was... I'm sure I would. :-)

I'm hoping that this is turns out to be something anyone can do in a weekend and builds on what some other guys have been thinking of doing.

Disclaimer... no idea how this is going to work out... I'm hopeful it sounds great... but I'll be honest when I'm finished... if it doesn't sound any better or worse or whatever... I'll be the first to say it. I'm not butchering any of the stock hardware so I can put it back if I want.

Thanks for all the tips and if you have any more while I'm waiting for my stuff to come in feel free to share.

Guy




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Old 03-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is awesome, now Iíll be watching this thread for updates.

question - since youíre doing the sub upgrade, amp and all, do you / we really need extra bass response from the doors? Probably better stated as, should we focus more on mid range for those?

Will that sub fit? The kicker is really shallow and even so it is a very tight fit in that factory box that took me about 20 minutes with a torch to modify.

Good luck and if you can snap some pics of the install that would be cool.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Smurf,

I grabbed the actual schematics for both subs and measured them in person. They're almost identical as far as size and clearance.

Now could I run into problems when I actually go to install it? Absolutely! But I'm not worried because if for some reason it doesn't fit I know the kicker does because you did it. And I'll just exchange it.

The pioneer goes down 10hz further than the kicker, but will not be as punchy and will wire 200 amps RMS at 4 ohms serial instead of 300 at 2 ohms. In a nutshell it should have a deeper thus but may not get as loud.

The rear doors are pretty much a midrange driver with a couple of tweeters. The front doors are a low-midrange, early bass range which I'm hoping covers some of the punch that the sub is going to lack. It in particular is a 4 way speaker so it should have solid midrange. There also are a couple of tweeters. The center channel is a higher midrange speaker with a tweeter and the a pillars are just pure tweeters...

Now truth be told I don't know if the stock Sony amp has crossovers set that are going to negate the tweeters in the doors. Someone beyond my DIY knowledge could probably answer that, but in all honesty i don't think it'll matter THAT much as I chose the speakers for the main drivers.

I did buy ford wire harness kits, extra clips just in case, and some metal back straps to fabricate some little mounts for the a-pillar tweeters so they'll screw into the stock location.

I will post a definite follow up. If the pioneer woofer turns out to be a real treat I'll also let you know. You did all the work already. You could easily swap yours out for 60 bucks *if* it's worth it. I have a pretty decent ear so I'll be able to tell you how deep it gets and I may use a sound meter to see in hx how low it can go.

To be continued!

Guy
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok

So everything did come in today.

I'll probably tackle the job by the weekend.

Let you know how it goes

Guy
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

Subwoofer is almost done. I have to button it up. The pioneer fit nicely.


One word... WHOA! It works. It really works. I can say that with the pioneer 8 inch shallow... you can't go any more on the stock speakers with the stock Sony amp. It's ALOT OF BASS.. it'll overpower the stock system.

I have to change out all the doors and a pillars next... probably tomorrow. I'll post a finished pic soon

Guy
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Hey guys,

Subwoofer is almost done. I have to button it up. The pioneer fit nicely.


One word... WHOA! It works. It really works. I can say that with the pioneer 8 inch shallow... you can't go any more on the stock speakers with the stock Sony amp. It's ALOT OF BASS.. it'll overpower the stock system.

I have to change out all the doors and a pillars next... probably tomorrow. I'll post a finished pic soon

Guy


Did it fit in the sub box with no modifications?


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Old 03-08-2017, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kdub405 View Post
Did it fit in the sub box with no modifications?


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Nope,

I had to use a heatgun to squash down the shelf inside. Similar to smurf with the kicker. The plastic is very easy to mold. It wasn't hard at all. Other than that the holes didn't exactly line up but the screws are self tapping so it wasn't a problem.

The bass is very clean and deep enough that you can feel it in your gut. It won't shake the windows on the car next to you, but the stock amp and speakers are already a little overpowered by it.

I'm not sure if the kicker is making bass as deep. It didn't sound it in the sound stage at the store but smurf might be able to comment further.

Either will fit. I chose the pioneer because of the deeper sound and the matched door and dash speakers I bought.

So far this was easy. Total job was 8am to 12pm... and that was me just fooling around taking my time with crimp connectors, etc.

---------- Post added at 06:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 PM ----------

Originally Posted by kdub405 View Post
Did it fit in the sub box with no modifications?


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When I'm all finished I'll give you guys an honest impression.

The subwoofer mod I would put as safe for beginners if you're handy. You have to be comfortable with a heat gun, cutting and splicing wires, using wire crimpers, and basic use of hand tools.

The door, dash and pillar speakers are about the same level I'm assuming, but you have to be really careful and I recommend you buy a trim panel popper so that you don't crack any clips or scratch anything. I would say the door speakers could get someone in to trouble if they aren't very slow and careful because it's in plain sight and if you crack something you're stuck with it.

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Old 03-08-2017, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just a quick update...

Center channel and a pillar tweeters done. Tweeters required me to fabricate a back strap bracket but not a big deal.

Just those 3 speakers and the sub... sounds like a new truck and I haven't gotten to the doors yet.


The difference is PROFOUND and I'm already very pleased.


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Old 03-08-2017, 08:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok so the front doors, tweeters and center is done.

The sub mod is done.

Sounds great. Better than I expected...

I do notice one thing though... wonder if anyone has any input...

When I push the new amp... I notice a little bit of an electrical smell. I can't tell if it's the sub or the amp... but it's back there...

How normal is that? Should I back off the gain a little bit? I haven't experienced this kind of thing previously.
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