DIY stereo upgrade for under $500.00

dhmcfadin

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Thanks for the feedback guys. It’s pretty clear on how to move on this. Between time I have on hand for another project and spending money before the holidays all adds into my dilemma.

I had a 10” Phoenix Gold sub powered by a JL Audio Slash series 500x1 amp in my last truck for years. It was in a small fiberglass enclosure made for the under seat storage compartment and it thumped! Was plenty of bass for me. Had cars in the day with two 15’s and mega Amps. Been there done that. I even pushed two 12’s in my Iroc back in the day with a single Punch 45 at maybe 1/2 ohm. It lived, could fry and egg on it and sounded fairly decent just to say I could do it lol

Anyway a 10” in the Raptor would be awesome. Again no replacement for displacement. Unless your force fed and in this case heavily amp over powered maybe. By the way who makes a behind the seat 10” enclosure for our trucks? I’d I go his route? Otherwise I just may have to upgrade the 8” driver on the factory enclosure. I want to preserve the floor space for now.

So I will need the Zen and an amp to move forward. 12w per channel in a 70k truck? Dang, really Ford? Even high power radio’s blow that spec away. I’ll presume this is RMS power and not peak lol

I thought maybe even with the Zen I could pickup signal and get it into the Zen and power the sub to start. But it sounds like the amp and factory Signal processor is a combined component. So I hear what your saying now. Would need something like 50w to the doors/pillars and another 500 to the woof. 5 channel would be the most compact yes.

The Zen is the only choice or the best choice for us basically?

Yes, you need the zen and 5 channel amp. You need dedicated power and ground for your amp. The only component that will continue to use the factory harness is the zen. When you install the zen, all b&o components are removed from the truck (sub, amp, processor). You will be able to tie into the existing speaker harness at the rear of your truck for front and rear door speakers. No need to run new wires for those. You will however have to run new tweeter channels to the a-pillars as the b&o amp did not handle tweeter channels. The headunit did. Just disconnect the factory tweeter channels in the a-pillars and run new wire to each from your crossover. Very easy to do.
 

goblues38

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But it sounds like the amp and factory Signal processor is a combined component. So I hear what your saying now. Would need something like 50w to the doors/pillars and another 500 to the woof. 5 channel would be the most compact yes.

The Zen is the only choice or the best choice for us basically?

yes....zen is the only choice....and you must then replace the B&O amp.

My JL Audio is 75x4 + 500x1 @ 2ohms

2 JL 10's and it is exactly what i wanted it to be. windows down, roof open @ 90mph on the highway. I hear every note, and feel every bass hit. $2,000 is what i figure is the minimum price to play if you do all the labor yourself. $3,000 if you are paying a shop.

Anyone who is doing it for less is cutting corners.
 

smurfslayer

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So like previously mentioned, it seems it’s “All in” or don’t do it. At least with the sony could do the upgrade in stages; smaller slices of time / effort and money. Here, if you’ve adding the zen, you have to have an amp, and of course, power/ground home runs. Best to do only one amp for simplicity, ease of install, etc. so even more $$$.

and once you get all that accounted for, there’s no real way to tune your new system with [email protected] stock speakers left.

I went sub and amp, speakers, door dynamat, then pulled the stock sub/enclosure for the MTI + 10” sub. Then I added the bigger amp, then at the suggestion of those more experienced than I, replaced front speakers with components; added the DSR1 for signal, and new amp for main speakers and began adjusting things.

I mostly have the sound where I want it now. I think.

Do like others are suggesting here, best to get it done and enjoy it.
 

K223

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Thanks fellas! I know this has been talked about and documented a few times over. But at least we got to look at it in another way. Which is there is no simple way to start by just upgrading the sub first. Or at least without not using the Zen interface. You guys are clear and concise and it’s pretty cut and dry.

Now I just need to consider if I don’t want to eat up floor space, so I just A) Upgrade the 8” driver B) Get something like the MTI and do a 10” like I would really want or C) Have a drink and think about option A and B a bit longer! I just don’t know if I am ready to modify the behind the seat area to fit the MTI in at this point.

So a 5 channel amp
Zen interface
Sub

Or I could cheap out and get the Amp and Zen installed and ride out the stock sub a bit. See how much power it can truly handle. May just do the door speaks and tweets last. Time is tight lately.
 

K223

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Also forgot to ask, will you retain all the Sync features that are broadcast over the audio system? Not sure if it’s true value, but what about things like the speed compensating volume etc?
 

smurfslayer

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Yes, these are designed to be plug ( and wire in your amp, speakers, sub, etc, plus power/ground ) and play, retaining all the factory goodies like nav prompts, chimes, etc.
 

goblues38

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Also forgot to ask, will you retain all the Sync features that are broadcast over the audio system? Not sure if it’s true value, but what about things like the speed compensating volume etc?

That is what is great about this...and 25 years ago when i was actually in the car audio business still, it was the holy grail.

The zen gives you fully functional stock head unit. voice control, warning chimes, speed control volume.....everything.....but a digital full bandwidth stereo signal on everything downstream.
 

greatone99

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so if im reading correctly its best to start with the zen interface ,and add a new 5 channel amp ,this will wake up the system and get the frequencys going in the right direction. then a new sub at some point then the speaker last if still not totally happy . so the weak link is the b and o sub ,not enough power ? how hard is it to do the zen and an amp? im pretty good with tools and wiring ,as I am a hvac tech .
 

K223

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Nice!!! For 5 bills I would hope it’s fully compatible and preserves all the trucks functionality. Thanks for confirming.

It seems to be key. I have to figure out what amp and what I want to do sub wise.

Is it remotely possible to find an 8” driver of the highest performance that will fit in the factory enclosure and hit it with some strong wattage and hope the results are a good upgrade?

Again I have done many systems back in the day too. 8’s were never a choice for any sub and a single one at that? Would be a laugh. I was more than content with my single 10” and 500 watts to it on my last truck. It was accurate and quite clean. Wondering if I can get anywhere with a simple 8” driver upgrade at least for a while? Hmmm

Thanks fellas
 

Tonga3

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So like previously mentioned, it seems it’s “All in” or don’t do it. At least with the sony could do the upgrade in stages; smaller slices of time / effort and money. Here, if you’ve adding the zen, you have to have an amp, and of course, power/ground home runs. Best to do only one amp for simplicity, ease of install, etc. so even more $$$.

and once you get all that accounted for, there’s no real way to tune your new system with [email protected] stock speakers left.

I went sub and amp, speakers, door dynamat, then pulled the stock sub/enclosure for the MTI + 10” sub. Then I added the bigger amp, then at the suggestion of those more experienced than I, replaced front speakers with components; added the DSR1 for signal, and new amp for main speakers and began adjusting things.

I mostly have the sound where I want it now. I think.

Do like others are suggesting here, best to get it done and enjoy it.

So if I have followed this thread properly the Sub and Amp I was going to go out and buy to simply upgrade the sub is not possible with a 2018 B&O system?
 
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