DIY stereo upgrade for under $500.00

Discussion in 'Ford Raptor Audio/Video/Electronics Forum [GEN 2]' started by Guy, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. smurfslayer

    smurfslayer Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We’re hunting sasquatch77

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    so... I wasn’t crazy after all. I smelled that too, it was brief, and went away after a few uses of the stereo.

    I’m not running full gain on the amp, but close to it. I get some ‘fluttering’ sound on one or 2 songs at full gain, but I’m thinking I’m at 9/10 and it’s good.

    I can vibrate the mirrors / windows, but as Guy pointed out it’s not going to overwhelm the car next to you.

    I might could be convinced to do the door speakers with some how to know how ( hint ... Guy ) ...

    As long as you did full 10gauge wire to the sub, or 8 gauge if you think you might come back on it, you should be fine.

    I can crank the gain all the way up and retest, maybe tomorrow, luck permitting.
     
  2. Guy

    Guy FRF Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Smurf,

    The door speakers are worth it.
    I used a short run of 10 gauge with an Inline fuse and a wire tap to the inverter. Same as you... it's theoretically temporary, but I really don't have a use for the inverter other than a cell phone charger so I may never bother to do a wire pull.

    The door speakers and tweeters are worth it and I can give you easy how-to. It's a little time consuming. I go slowly and double check everything as I go. I did do both front doors, center dash, and tweeters without breaking a single clip, but I also spent 15 bucks on trim panel popping tools. Worth every penny for the set.

    I did a lot of research trying to find the best all around speaker for a stock amp. The infinity speakers are very nice but they aren't very loud for the power you put into them. It's not a big deal if you're going to amp them up, but it is a big deal if you are running stock.

    I talked to Crutchfield, sound guys, a custom installer, web reviews... and I learned that the pioneer A series is one of the loudest DIY coaxial speakers you can do. They also have a very broad range and VERY clear sound. They're not audiophile grade or professional or anything like that... I'm not going to pass them off that way either. No way what I did isn going to sound like the guys running 6-10k systems.

    What I will tell you though is that the problems with the stock radio are eliminated. The weird clipping stuff at high volume is gone. The muddy sound is gone. The lack of crisp high tweets is gone. I'm not sure how Sony does it's crossovers, but the front door speakers are full range and the 4-ways are pumping tweets like nobody's business. I'm guessing rear doors will be the same. Same with the center dash. Holy cow that made a difference... and the tweeters up in the pillars... it's not even a contest... the pioneer tweeters are nice because they pick up a fair amount of 2500-3500 range and you actually get instrumentals and higher octave voice out of them too.

    The subwoofer by itself was a great mod... but the speakers... whole other level.

    You can get a whole set for under 250 bucks. Then you just need some mounting plates wire harnesses etc.

    I wouldn't blow any smoke... I haven't even gotten the rear doors done yet and I'm beyond impressed. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably sounds on par or slightly better than my wife's Volvo XC90 which has a $2400.00 bowers and Wilkens stereo in it with like 20 speakers or something.

    AC/DC... TNT.... for the first time in my life.... the song was so clear I was actually able to understand all the words.... it was pure bliss!

    Guy
     
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  3. daaaaaan

    daaaaaan Full Access Member

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    Can you do us all a favor & post exact links to Amazon of everything you bought? I really appreciate all the info/knowledge/research you put into such a budget-friendly set up.

    Now only if you were located near Pittsburgh to do an install for me!
     
  4. Guy

    Guy FRF Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Yes,

    I will post a materials list once I'm all done. Today I'm going to tackle the rear doors.

    I want to make a disclaimer of course. I'm a handy DIY kind of guy and this project is based on information I've gathered over the last month. I'm not a professional audio guy and while I think what I've done sounds AWESOME compared to stock... in no way is it going to sound like what the professional guys on here can do. There is also a good chance that they have a DIY setup that might be better too because they know the products and industry and have a different level of expertise. For me, it was a journey and part of the joy of the project was in doing the research and choosing the products myself, but im an amateur.... so just keep that in mind... I don't want to mislead you into thinking I have some secret formula to the best most cost effective upgrade... what I will say though is that I'm blown away by what I've done so far and it exceeds all of my expectations, especially for the price and difficulty level (easy to moderate)

    Guy
     
  5. smurfslayer

    smurfslayer Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We’re hunting sasquatch77

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    Thanks for the update Guy. This is really good info to have.

    I’ll set aside some budget to start accumulating stuff. I’m hoping it’s not too painful to get into the doors.
     
  6. Guy

    Guy FRF Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Smurf,

    I haven't messed with a car radio or speakers in over a decade. I'm not an enthusiast or anything so I am pretty sure you'll have no trouble doing it too.

    I'll be honest I wouldn't have messed with this stereo if it didn't sound SO bad. It's one of the worst factory sound experiences I've had in a long time.... but don't despair... I'm not kidding when I say it's now one of the best I've ever had.... and I'm still not done the back doors.

    The radio in my mind was so flat before that I just as soon would turn it down to soft while driving...I felt embarrassed to crank it up.


    So it's not the head unit or the Sony amp. It's the garbage speakers.... not sure what Ford was doing there, but at least it's a cheap fix. The new speakers are MUCH louder too. Beautiful match to the sub.

    I'm not sure how the pioneer compares to the kicker sub.... but this thing is seriously some deep bass. I'm not sure how or why it's able to come out of an 8 in that cheap little enclosure??!?! According to pioneer the sub only needs 0.5 -1.5 cu ft. Of enclosure and can also run free air.... I'm guessing that enclosure is around 0.5-1 or maybe a little larger... so it's a good match I think.

    It's worth all the effort.
     
  7. smurfslayer

    smurfslayer Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We’re hunting sasquatch77

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    Guy,
    I just did a test with full volume, full gain and ended up leaving my gain on the sub amp quite a bit higher. anyhoo, at full gain I did smell the same smell

    - mind out of the gutter folks, burritos were not involved

    but only for a bit. We’re nowhere near pushing the 10gauge too hard, nor the amp / sub so it may abate with time / use. I ended up backing the gain down from max though, just a bit.

    Yeah... I’m going to look into speakers.

    You guys are supposed to help a brother out, not spend my money. First NJSP with the pedal commander and now you.

    At least I can drown out that stoopid neighbor kid’s nissan 240 with no muffler.:supergay:
     
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  8. Guy

    Guy FRF Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Smurf,

    Ha! I did the pedal max and the boost max by JMS. Same idea... boostmax does work too. Truck really wakes up with it.

    I bought everything from amazon.

    Pioneer a series 4 way 6x9 with metra mounting plate up front

    Pioneer 3.5 a series in the dash

    Pioneer 3/4 inch a series done tweeters in the pillars

    The back doors are pioneer a series 4 way 6.5 (I think). I also bought 3 way 5-1/4 in the event they don't fit. The 6.5 is really 6.75... I think I'll make it work though. Whatever set I don't use I'll return.

    I will use metra mounting plate for the rear...

    The a pillars requiring fabricating a little back bracket to screw to the stock mounts and tweeters. Not a big deal. Just some errector set type metal you cut with a big pair of bolt cutters or large diagonal cutters and screw on.

    When I'm done and get a chance I'll show you part numbers for everything.

    Guy

    ---------- Post added at 07:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:27 PM ----------

    P.s...

    The stink is starting to go away for me.
     
  9. Shooter10x

    Shooter10x Full Access Member

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    Are you guys using the stock wiring for this?
     
  10. Guy

    Guy FRF Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Yes. Factory wire harness kits for the door speakers though.

    Interesting to note the door speakers are labeled 25 watts. I'm guessing the stock amp is 25 watts per channel RMS. What's odd though... the center dash speaker was an 8 ohm speaker... the door ones are not labeled so I'm not sure if the factory speakers were all 8 ohm and perhaps that also owes to some of the additional volume with the 4 ohm replacements. I don't know if anyone knows this answer?

    Guy
     

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