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Explorer Audio upgrade(s)

wharriso

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Okay. I never got around to installing those Infinity speakers I talked about last year but today I decided to go all in. I went to the Crutchfield website and ordered:

Rockford Fosgate DSR1 Digital Signal Processor w/ iDatalink
iDatalink HRN-AR-FO2 Maestro AR Harness for select FORD
Rockford Prime R600X5 50W x 4 + 200W x 1 Car Amplifier
Rockford Fosgate Punch P3SD2-8 8" Dual 2 Ohm Shallow Subwoofer
Rockford Fosgate RFK4X Amplifier Wiring Kit 4 gauge Power

The Rockford Fosgate DSR1 takes the factory Sony amp inputs and knows what to do with them. I'll use one channel for each door, plus the subwoofer, and ignore the other speakers for now. The stuff should arrive in a few days, I will start my install on Saturday.

*** Update ***
DSR1 requires a few firmware upgrades that you configure from a Windows PC. It was a challenge getting the website to discover my DSR1. I ended up having to manually install the drivers for it. This could be bleeding-edge stuff here but if it works it will be worth it.
 
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wharriso

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Finally got to work on this over the weekend. The DSR1 is incredible for replacing the Sony amp but mine has one problem, the right front channel on the DSR1 appears to be shot. It makes high-pitched humming sounds but no music. In the meantime, I moved the to rear channels to the front, moved front left to rear left and kept front right disconnected. I will call Crutchfield in the morning to see if I can get it replaced.
 

wharriso

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Still waiting for a replacement DSR1 from Crutchfield. In the meantime this setup sounds pretty good. I installed the amp on the 3rd row floor because in the 11 years I have owned Explorers I only used the 3rd row one time.

I haven't figured out how to hide the wires yet but I can't close it anyway till the new DSR1 gets here. You can see the disconnected Sony amp and the Rockford Fosgate subwoofer in the backgroud, the power amp on the rear floor up front and the DSR1 in the middle.

The Subwoofer was kind of buzzy Until I tightened the bolts but I'll line that enclosure with polyfill sometime this week.




The DSR1 only has one channel per door so I added the the crossovers I have for the Infinity replacement speakers that I have not installed yet to include the front door tweeters.



I know this looks bad but it sounds darn good! I still have the rear door DSR1 outputs going to the front doors until the new DSR1 gets here this week.
When I get the new DSR1 I will probably put it where the old Sony Amp is, remove the crossovers, wrap all those wires in split loom then run them under the carpet.
 
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I purchased my new 17 Ex XLT in May of 17. Prior to that had a 15 Ex Limited w/Sony system. The XLT came w/what I would describe as a lack of Premium Sound System. I decided after reviewing all the options mentioned here to upgrade this system.

Back in the day I would have tackled this myself but now I mostly use people for the difficult stuff. Tunes n Tint in Lakeland FL removed the existing crappy speakers & installed Rockford Fosgate P165-si's in the front doors, Kenwood in rear doors, & added a Pioneer TX120A subwoofer under the driver's seat resulting in a 100% difference in sound quality & adding in just enough bass to feel young again, LOL

Even Sirius sounds much better since they muddle the sound so much to begin with!!!
 

chazglenn3

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I have found that the best feed from SiriusXM is Watercolors smooth jazz on channel 66. Great streaming quality!
 

wharriso

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Final pics before I closed this thing up.



Notice the DSR1 replacing the Sony amp. I decided to leave the crossovers where they are, they are tied down next to the wires below the DSR1. In the middle you can see the old Sony amp. In the foreground, I guess I should trim that big red wire but I am still second-guessing my amp location choice, it probably should be under one of the front seats. I also should have plugged a mini USB into the DSR1 so I can download firmware if needed again without having to pull things apart.

I know a lot of people still bash the DSR1 but I managed to get it working and I am no where near the most technical person around there. Folks are spending a whole lot more than the $250 I paid for this unit and not getting a better result.

Also, I changed the rear speakers but have not gotten around to changing the fronts, its a lot more work when you have to pry out the old tweeters then glue in the new ones. But the Ford speakers are not half bad with some real power behind them.
 

Jon M

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Well, after reading this whole thread, I'm still uncertain how to proceed. All I want is the most basic improvement over the factory system. I don't want to get crazy with adding an amp, or sub. I just want to get the best result I can out of a simple speaker upgrade, at the lowest cost possible. I have the XLT 9 Speaker "premium" audio, that sounds worse than what was in my 2013.

So, what I'm considering is upgrading the door speakers with one of the options below for each:

Rear: Rockford Fosgate Prime R165X3 or Kicker 43CSC654

Front: Rockford Fosgate Prime R1675X2 or Kicker 43CSC674

First, will these work? If so, which would you choose? Is there another brand/choice that you would choose over these?
Second, is there an additional benefit to upgrading the rest? The front door tweeters, the center, and the two 3rd row?

I found Kicker tweeters and a 3 1/2" for the center, but Crutchfield doesn't list anything in the 'vehicle specific' section for the 3rd row. I've read they're 3"?

They include mounting and wiring harness adapters with the speakers.
 

DMG632

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Well, after reading this whole thread, I'm still uncertain how to proceed. All I want is the most basic improvement over the factory system. I don't want to get crazy with adding an amp, or sub. I just want to get the best result I can out of a simple speaker upgrade, at the lowest cost possible. I have the XLT 9 Speaker "premium" audio, that sounds worse than what was in my 2013.
Hey Jon M considering you don't want to add a amp and the price point of the speakers you are at I doubt you will hear much of a difference in sound quality. When I first started my system up grade I used a amp on the factory speakers and they sounded good (for a factory speaker) they just needed more power.

If it was me I would consider spending your money on a amp for the front stock speakers.
 
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Hey Jon M considering you don't want to add a amp and the price point of the speakers you are at I doubt you will hear much of a difference in sound quality. When I first started my system up grade I used a amp on the factory speakers and they sounded good (for a factory speaker) they just needed more power.

If it was me I would consider spending your money on a amp for the front stock speakers.
An amp won't be a bad first step, but the sub woofer I had put under driver's seat made a world of difference in my 17 XLT. Of course changing the 2 speakers in each front door helped tremendously.
 

Zodiac

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I purchased my new 17 Ex XLT in May of 17. Prior to that had a 15 Ex Limited w/Sony system. The XLT came w/what I would describe as a lack of Premium Sound System. I decided after reviewing all the options mentioned here to upgrade this system.

Back in the day I would have tackled this myself but now I mostly use people for the difficult stuff. Tunes n Tint in Lakeland FL removed the existing crappy speakers & installed Rockford Fosgate P165-si's in the front doors, Kenwood in rear doors, & added a Pioneer TX120A subwoofer under the driver's seat resulting in a 100% difference in sound quality & adding in just enough bass to feel young again, LOL

Even Sirius sounds much better since they muddle the sound so much to begin with!!!
If you don't mind me asking, what did the cost end up being overall for everything you had done?
 

peterk9

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Just read an interesting article this morning that actual speakers may become a thing of the past. Manufacturers are looking at using existing interior features to take their place. A mention that the roof liner could be used as a sub woofer. Door panels and even cup holders could come into play.
Car speakers are about to disappear

Peter
 

DMG632

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I bet those are the same people that think the internet is just a fad and wont be here that much longer.
 

peterk9

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I bet those are the same people that think the internet is just a fad and wont be here that much longer.
Could be but as the article mentioned, some 2013 Mercedes Benz vehicles already employed some of the technology. As has Bentley.

Peter
 
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Wasn't the cheapest thing but worth it to me and as an added bonus, the wife is enjoying the sound so much more now she has quit asking me to turn the sound down.

I see you have the Explo Sport. I do not know if the Sport comes with a subwoofer or not. My XLT did not so that is the route I took & used Tunes & Tint in Lakeland, Florida for the job.

Replacing the front door speakers w/Rockford Fosgate Punch Components brought the sound alive. I'm sure these can be purchased online if you were to do this yourself but the ran me $199.The lower front door speaker will need an adaptor because the replacement speakers are round for better sound quality & better 6 x 9's wouldn't fit.. The rears were replaced also but unless you have chauffeur, you probably don't need to mess with rear door speakers, although the factory rears are pure crap.My rears were replaced at Best Buy but they could not do the fronts.

If you have the subwoofer already I don't think you need to mess with another unless you are a pure audiophile.

All my work came to $900, which I consider a bargain compared to another 10 grand or so buying a limited w/a subwoofer already in the package!!!
An, if you read the article Peter found, just wait a few years or buy a Mercedes now, LOL
If you don't mind me asking, what did the cost end up being overall for everything you had done?
 

Jon M

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Well, after talking this over with a buddy who used to do car audio for a living, I have decided to do a speaker swap with Infinity speakers. The front doors will be component speakers, with crossovers and tweeters. The 2nd row will be 3 ways, and the 3rd row will be 2 way. I plan on just leaving the center dash alone, because I don't think it's going to be worthwhile.

Crutchfield includes the mounting adapters and wiring adapters for the front and 2nd row, but they don't list any speakers as fitting the 3rd row, so...can someone who's done the non-Sony, "9 speaker premium audio" system tell me what the connectors for the 3rd row look like? Are the same as the 2nd? I just need to know if I need the same wiring adapters, or if I'm going to have to cut.
 

wharriso

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Well, after talking this over with a buddy who used to do car audio for a living, I have decided to do a speaker swap with Infinity speakers. The front doors will be component speakers, with crossovers and tweeters. The 2nd row will be 3 ways, and the 3rd row will be 2 way. I plan on just leaving the center dash alone, because I don't think it's going to be worthwhile.

Crutchfield includes the mounting adapters and wiring adapters for the front and 2nd row, but they don't list any speakers as fitting the 3rd row, so...can someone who's done the non-Sony, "9 speaker premium audio" system tell me what the connectors for the 3rd row look like? Are the same as the 2nd? I just need to know if I need the same wiring adapters, or if I'm going to have to cut.
You really don't have to cut. Just strip the coating off of the wires just before the connector and wrap your new speaker wires around that. That is what the guys at Best Buys did the first time I had new speakers installed in a car. I hate to sound like an advertisement for Crutchfield but after spending over $1k with them on this last build I am not afraid to ask them questions. They have pro installers on staff, ask them!
 

Jon M

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So, I replaced my front door speakers, and my third row speakers (2nd row speakers were wrong, new ones coming next week).

Usually, the Nav will reduce the volume of the radio, but I can still hear it, when it's either giving directions or the tone for a turn. Now, it mutes it completely, which I find very strange.

My front door OEM speakers were replaced with a component woofer/tweeter, using a crossover, so the OEM tweeter connector is not used.

I can definitely tell a difference, and I noticed it just from the front row. I'm looking forward to getting the back doors done. Then it's just a question of whether or not it's worth doing the center dash speaker.

I was surprised that Crutchfield's instructions for the third row are not just wrong, but way off. They list those speakers as being in the C pillars, instead of under the cup holder trays.
 

peterk9

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......................I was surprised that Crutchfield's instructions for the third row are not just wrong, but way off. They list those speakers as being in the C pillars, instead of under the cup holder trays.
Hi Jon. I've seen pictures posted in this forum that show speakers for the 3rd row installed in the pillars. Not sure if they replaced ones there or were installed there as a new location. See link in the following thread; Third row seat speakers

Peter
 
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Jon M

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I've seen pictures posted in this forum that show speakers for the 3rd row in the pillars.

Peter
I think that must be the Sony system, with 12 speakers. Those C pillar speakers, plus the sub would be the extra 3. They don't show the ones by the 3rd row seats at all.
 
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brokkanic

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Crutchfield includes the mounting adapters and wiring adapters for the front and 2nd row, but they don't list any speakers as fitting the 3rd row, so...can someone who's done the non-Sony, "9 speaker premium audio" system tell me what the connectors for the 3rd row look like? Are the same as the 2nd? I just need to know if I need the same wiring adapters, or if I'm going to have to cut.
Here's what the 3rd row connectors look like.....

I actually just did my sound system upgrade yesterday. Rockford 6x9's in the front; 6.5's in the pass; 10" Rockford Sub. I disconnected the 3rd row speakers to tap signal for the 2 channel kenwood amp that's powering the sub. I opted to use the signal sense on the amp cause I was curious as to how it would function and I was pleasantly suprised. No signal pop. Disconnecting the 3rd row also upped the volume level on the remaining speakers. I assume that's due to the smaller ohm load.
 
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