2016 Sport Audio up-grade (plus some) | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2016 Sport Audio up-grade (plus some)

The minimalist in me cannot fathom the mods in a brand new Ex but I figure you must be almost living in yours so make it what you want.
How many miles will you be putting on this year?

Compared to what you are doing my little speaker upgrade is minor. Would love to hear yours.
Enjoy.

Now that I'm older I am not living in my cars as much, but I still have been known to start a tip and not stop 950 miles a day..... except for gas and burgers.

The nice thing about this system is that it can be put back to stock in about 3 hours or less. The sub-box can be removed and the spare tire put back in, the amp and processer taken out without much work and the stock speakers put back in. There was no metal cutting, the stock radio/head-unit was never removed. About the only major thing done was run the amp power line from the battery and splice into 6 wires after the factory amp.... not a major mod compared to the major improvement in sound quality.

You might say this is just another hobby for me.
 



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I'm I reading correctly that the Explorer does not produce "enhanced" engine noise through the speakers?
What I here while driving is "waht I get"?

You are reading this correctly. This was the major concern I had, I even talked with my dealer about turning off ANC (fake engine noise) before starting this project and they have never had anyone with a 2016 ask about this. The final answer was I would have to make an appointment and they would hook it up to the IDS and look for the ANC off option. I can not hear it, I asked several people if they could hear it (not trusting my old ears) and they said no.

The sport drives and sounds just like stock until you turn on the radio, then you hear the improvement in sound.

YES: What I here while driving is "what I get"
 






You are reading this correctly. This was the major concern I had, I even talked with my dealer about turning off ANC (fake engine noise) before starting this project and they have never had anyone with a 2016 ask about this. The final answer was I would have to make an appointment and they would hook it up to the IDS and look for the ANC off option. I can not hear it, I asked several people if they could hear it (not trusting my old ears) and they said no.

The sport drives and sounds just like stock until you turn on the radio, then you hear the improvement in sound.

YES: What I here while driving is "what I get"

Thanks for confirming and with that being said, the engine note is very pleasing.
 






Power wire

Sorry if I missed it; how did you get the power wire through through the fire wall. I have a 2011 Base and I've been exploring looking for a way through. I've installed systems in the other 5 cars I've owned over the last 20+ years and this one is by for the hardest one. It's tighter than a duck's but. All others had a grommet or boot I could use. Maybe because I'm trying not to be too invasive, (by my wife's orders) I'm not looking hard enough. Any help would be appreciated. I love the sub box. Those TW subs are beautiful.
 






Sorry if I missed it; how did you get the power wire through through the fire wall. I have a 2011 Base and I've been exploring looking for a way through. I've installed systems in the other 5 cars I've owned over the last 20+ years and this one is by for the hardest one. It's tighter than a duck's but. All others had a grommet or boot I could use. Maybe because I'm trying not to be too invasive, (by my wife's orders) I'm not looking hard enough. Any help would be appreciated. I love the sub box. Those TW subs are beautiful.

You are correct it is tight! My amp power wire goes through the firewall to the right and just below the main wire harness, also use some lube to help slide the wire through. Not sure if this picture will help but it is the best I have.

IMG_0424.JPG
 






I drilled a hole just below and to the left of where the steering shaft passes through the firewall...I put a thick rubber grommet in there that I picked up at Lowes...it was perfect for the 4 gage power wire I used. There are several pictures of others who have done this in this thread if you go back far enough.
 






Thanks guys. I found a grommet on the passenger side that led to the wheel well... But you two have pointed me in a better direction.
 






Where did you end up mounting your crossover for the front doors? I'll be doing mine in about a week.
 






Where did you end up mounting your crossover for the front doors? I'll be doing mine in about a week.

I do not use any external crossovers.
The Bit One is a digital sound processor that also handles the crossover points for the speakers.
 

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I do not use any external crossovers.
The Bit One is a digital sound processor that also handles the crossover points for the speakers.

Hi there!

Can you elaborate a bit on how you're getting the input signal to your DSP?

The unamplified inputs into the factory amp are not manipulated by the volume knob..so I am trying to come to terms with pulling the high-level outputs off the amp (driving a dummy load) and running it through a voltage divider (a LOC is what 'car audio guys' call that) and into my equipment stack from there...

Are you doing something different?

I was planning on pulling the Front and Rear side channels as they appear to be full range outputs, no filtering being performed at the amp. Is that what you've done?

I've got a breakout harness on my stock amp and have spent a lot of time with a meter and an oscilloscope trying to understand what the hell Ford/Sony is doing in that thing, so whatever solution you went with that is successful, I want all the info you can provide! :):thumbsup::thumbsup:

Thanks in advance!:D
 






Hi there!

Can you elaborate a bit on how you're getting the input signal to your DSP?

The unamplified inputs into the factory amp are not manipulated by the volume knob..so I am trying to come to terms with pulling the high-level outputs off the amp (driving a dummy load) and running it through a voltage divider (a LOC is what 'car audio guys' call that) and into my equipment stack from there...

Are you doing something different?

I was planning on pulling the Front and Rear side channels as they appear to be full range outputs, no filtering being performed at the amp. Is that what you've done?

I've got a breakout harness on my stock amp and have spent a lot of time with a meter and an oscilloscope trying to understand what the hell Ford/Sony is doing in that thing, so whatever solution you went with that is successful, I want all the info you can provide! :):thumbsup::thumbsup:

Thanks in advance!:D

To start with I am not sure what Sony and Ford are doing, but it's was impossible for me to pull the signal before the factory amp. I thought if like you if I pulled the signal before the factory amp (using the front speakers) I would start with a clean non-manipulated signal......... and that just did not work.

So I pulled the signal for the Bit-One after the factory amp and let the Bit-One do it's thing of cleaning up the factory manipulated signal. Then after that using the Audison software I started fine tuning the system. With the stock head-unit controlling so much, I didn't even remove any of the stock speakers, not knowing if the system needs to see the "load" from them to function properly. So the basic layout of my system is: Front tweeters, front mids and the 2 new subs are run off of the Bit-One and Audison 5-chennal amp, the rest of the factory speakers are running off of the factory amp. I am not a big fan of rear fill, so I tuned the system so the new speakers can be heard and the factory speakers are not. Using the Bit-One I can turn down the power going to the front channels so any one in the back can hear the music better.... or I can increase the power going to the fronts, so the front passengers can not hear the rear speakers at all. This can be done using different pre-set tunes from the Bit One remote or by using the knob on the remote.

Just that simple!
 






To start with I am not sure what Sony and Ford are doing, but it's was impossible for me to pull the signal before the factory amp. I thought if like you if I pulled the signal before the factory amp (using the front speakers) I would start with a clean non-manipulated signal......... and that just did not work.

So I pulled the signal for the Bit-One after the factory amp and let the Bit-One do it's thing of cleaning up the factory manipulated signal. Then after that using the Audison software I started fine tuning the system. With the stock head-unit controlling so much, I didn't even remove any of the stock speakers, not knowing if the system needs to see the "load" from them to function properly. So the basic layout of my system is: Front tweeters, front mids and the 2 new subs are run off of the Bit-One and Audison 5-chennal amp, the rest of the factory speakers are running off of the factory amp. I am not a big fan of rear fill, so I tuned the system so the new speakers can be heard and the factory speakers are not. Using the Bit-One I can turn down the power going to the front channels so any one in the back can hear the music better.... or I can increase the power going to the fronts, so the front passengers can not hear the rear speakers at all. This can be done using different pre-set tunes from the Bit One remote or by using the knob on the remote.

Just that simple!

Interesting.

Well, it will throw ECM codes if there is no load, but I am planning on presenting them with at least a 16 or 32 ohm load (in addition to my voltage divider's load) so that the amp is still "doing work" but without flowing any real power. Class D amps like these lose what little fidelity they have pretty quick when you ask them to actually do their rated power...

So what I am planning on doing, after I verify a few details again, is to use the four door speaker channels as my source signals, from there they'll go into crossover networks (active) and to their respective amps.

I definitely need to check out that processor you are using, but I am betting it's way outside what I am willing to spend on this, having already sunk $500-600 in components and supplies to get the subwoofer designed, built and installed (running on the subwoofer channels of the factory amp, haha).

So instead of running the stock speakers (but turned down) why don't you give something like this a try, it's inexpensive and it should simulate the speaker well enough for the built-in checks to not care. I can confirm that just having my voltage divider attached, but the speakers themselves not attached, the ECU is satisfied.

http://www.amazon.com/uxcell®-Axial...B00LURTGWU/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1464016716

These ones are actually way overkill, at 50W, you really just need a 10W but these will do nicely.
 






Oh, and you'd be sick if you put a scope on the output from the factory amp. It's actually a BTL (Bridge-tied-load) class D amp with just about zero output filtering on it from what I can tell.

If you reference the positive terminal to the chassis ground, you see a metric ass-load of noise starting at 25KHz and especially around ~400KHz, which appears to be the 'chop' frequency of the Class D circuit inside the amp.

They're depending on the common mode rejection phenomenon that occurs when you do BTL.

Basically if both your postive and negative terminals (the negative will be an identical signal but inverted) have the same noise on them, they cancel eachother out, because the signal and reference voltages move in unison, so the speaker never hears the noise because there's never a voltage across the speaker. Make sense?

Yeah, we can't hear 400KHz, or even 25KHz, but it's still work (and power) being spent to do stuff that isn't in the music, and it CAN cause harmonic distortion, so it's a real bummer we can't use the low-level signals from the head unit.

Oh well.
 






Interesting.

I definitely need to check out that processor you are using, but I am betting it's way outside what I am willing to spend on this, having already sunk $500-600 in components and supplies to get the subwoofer designed, built and installed (running on the subwoofer channels of the factory amp, haha).

These ones are actually way overkill, at 50W, you really just need a 10W but these will do nicely.

Sh0velman, everyone one has a budget and everyone wants something different in the way of their car audio.... sound coming from every where in the car to a concert playing on their dash (my preference). To buy all the speakers, amp and processer (no labor & retail price) you would have about $6000.00 invested. For me, since I don't pay retail and since I spend so much time in my car it's an investment that I enjoy. Last week I had a road trip of about 1900 miles in 3 days (not uncommon for me), if I was stuck with the stock system it would make that trip even longer. With the equipment I have, I'm able to use different formats, mp3, lossless and flac files, about the only thing I can't play is 8-tracks and I like having this ability.

I wish you the best and please do a write up of your system, so ers on the board might be able to use your ideas.
 






Sh0velman, everyone one has a budget and everyone wants something different in the way of their car audio.... sound coming from every where in the car to a concert playing on their dash (my preference). To buy all the speakers, amp and processer (no labor & retail price) you would have about $6000.00 invested. For me, since I don't pay retail and since I spend so much time in my car it's an investment that I enjoy. Last week I had a road trip of about 1900 miles in 3 days (not uncommon for me), if I was stuck with the stock system it would make that trip even longer. With the equipment I have, I'm able to use different formats, mp3, lossless and flac files, about the only thing I can't play is 8-tracks and I like having this ability.

I wish you the best and please do a write up of your system, so ers on the board might be able to use your ideas.

Cool, I hope my messages didn't come across negative in any way! Not at all, your install and system (while I would use different drivers, just personal preference) is TOP NOTCH.

I went a slightly different direction on the sub, I made it so that it sockets into the 'fold down' well tightly and makes a somewhat solid surface so that you can still put small suitcases, grocery bags, etc on top of the box if needed, the drivers protected by industrial-strength safety grilles.

Then, if I need to be able to fold the seats completely down, I have a quick-disconnect connector for the cabling and fold-down handles on top so that you can just lift the box right out and put it down on it's built in rubber feet for storage until you are back.

Anyway as you said, everyone has preferences and a budget, and if I had your budget, I'd make all the same choices, I am sure. I wish you were local to me so I could ask you for a listen. :)

Keep up the awesome work, post more pictures! (I'll open my own thread eventually probably and post some of my own, not gonna clutter up your thread.)

Thanks again for the info and insights.
 






Sh0velman, everyone one has a budget and everyone wants something different in the way of their car audio.... sound coming from every where in the car to a concert playing on their dash (my preference). To bu...

And just to add, I'm with you on this. I am really thinking about not even doing rear speakers, because if I have passengers, the system won't be in use and I'd rather have a sharp stereo picture than a bunch of scattered waves causing phase distortion and making **** rattle.

It's bad enough that these cars have an awful 62/124/248Hz resonance that causes giant dips in amplitude if you have speakers at each end of the car producing those same frequencies... Can't wait to have the aftermarket active gear in the car...!

Anyway thanks again.
 






Cool, I hope my messages didn't come across negative in any way! Not at all, your install and system (while I would use different drivers, just personal preference) is TOP NOTCH.

I went a slightly different direction on the sub, I made it so that it sockets into the 'fold down' well tightly and makes a somewhat solid surface so that you can still put small suitcases, grocery bags, etc on top of the box if needed, the drivers protected by industrial-strength safety grilles.

Then, if I need to be able to fold the seats completely down, I have a quick-disconnect connector for the cabling and fold-down handles on top so that you can just lift the box right out and put it down on it's built in rubber feet for storage until you are back.

Anyway as you said, everyone has preferences and a budget, and if I had your budget, I'd make all the same choices, I am sure. I wish you were local to me so I could ask you for a listen. :)

Keep up the awesome work, post more pictures! (I'll open my own thread eventually probably and post some of my own, not gonna clutter up your thread.)

Thanks again for the info and insights.

You did not come off negative........ even if you did I have thick skin and it's hard to get under it :D

The reason I put the sub in the tire well is because I carry a lot of "demo" equipment and need the rear seats folded down, when folded down the subs are very well protected. The reason for the JL Audio thin subs is because I took them out of my Honda Pilot when it was totaled. Lets face it, I could have bought 2 new subs but these I already had and they sound darn good even being so thin.

In the end the Ford Explorer is not that bad of a starting point (even with all the BS the head-unit is required to do), now with my 2012 Honda Pilot I had to rip out ALL of the stock stuff, rebuild the dash so I could do a full aftermarket system.

You should post your system! not every one can afford the coin I spent or even have the desire to have a system like this. Car audio is a hobby for me and I am kind of an audiophile with old bad hearing. Plus I think boards like this are to share different ideas and then you can pick what ones suite you.
 






Is there any way to increase the sound from the 2016 Explorer Sport stock 12 speaker 390 watt sound system.
I am thinking an aftermarket subwoofer. Any suggestions.
I do like the Kicker Hideaway 8" Subwoofer.
Looking for fit and placement suggestions.
 






I have some questions for you.

  1. Was this work done at Sterling Audio (they just did some work for my wife's EOS)
  2. Do your seats fold in all the ways they normally do
  3. what do you do to protect the subs when you have the third row up but need to but something back there
Thanks,

Lee
 



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Great upgrades to your vehicle! Do you know the specs of the factory amp and speakers?
 






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