My 2017 Limited (with Sony audio) speaker upgrade. Thoughts.. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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My 2017 Limited (with Sony audio) speaker upgrade. Thoughts..

someidiot

Member
Joined
June 9, 2020
Messages
28
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City, State
Nashville
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Limited 3.5L
I'd really like to thank MM07 for his excellent write-up and the pictures he posted in his audio upgrade thread: 2018 Explorer Speaker Install

He was also kind enough to answer my questions. I am an absolute car audio novice (I replaced a head unit in a car about 20 years ago.. that's the extent of my experience) and was intimidated by this. He convinced me to proceed. I listen to a lot of rap, rock, and dubstep and my main complaint was the lack of bass in the system. I initially wanted to just replace the sub, but it seemed easy enough to just replace everything, so I went ahead and replaced everything.

I did some research about upgrading speakers with the relatively low-power stock audio system. From what I read, it seems that "sensitivity" is one of the most important numbers you want to look at when choosing new speakers, with a higher number being better. I was looking to combine cost with quality, and ended up buying pretty much the exact same speakers as MM07 did.

One of my main concerns was the need to solder new wires. I've never done this. I chose to purchase most of my parts from Crutchfield for the free harnesses and mounts. Some modifications had to be made (see MM07's thread about the need to splice wires and bring them out through different holes in the door). My solution was to use solder/heat shrink connectors. All you do it heat them and it solders and heat shrinks at the same time, with a solid connection. Also very affordable.

Here's what I used. You'll see that these are almost identical to MM07's speakers
Center dash speaker - Kicker 46CSC354 CS Series 3-1/2" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield
Front door - Rockford Fosgate R1675-S Prime Series 6-3/4" component speaker system at Crutchfield
Rear door - Rockford Fosgate R1675X2 Prime Series 6-3/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield
Rears (above the sub) - Kicker 46CSC354 CS Series 3-1/2" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield
Sub - Pioneer 8", 4 ohm
I also bought plastic pry tools - Bojo Trim Panel Tools Set of 3 pry tools helps remove interior and exterior trim and door panels at Crutchfield
Total investment ~$350 and maybe 6-7 hours of time over 4 days.

Thoughts:
- This was a lot easier than I thought. The first speaker took about 45 minutes while I figured out the basic steps, but every other speaker took about 15-20.
- The speakers make a big difference. Especially with rock music, the voices and guitar really come alive. There are nuances to guitar riffs that I hadn't appreciated before. Enunciation is a lot more clear.
- The center dash speaker makes a huge difference. I had to adjust the fade toward the rear so this didn't overpower everything else
- I did not get the substantial bass improvement that I was hoping for. It's a little better, but just not quite enough. I will have to consider whether it's worth upgrading to something like the JBL stealthbox and the price that it costs. But again, the main thing I was hoping for was bass, so my hopes may have been too high
- BE PATIENT when putting your panels back on the car. I broke a tab off the rear trim because I thought I'd rather hit it than make sure everything was lined up properly

Questions:
- Has anyone else had someone complain of hearing an echo when on a phone conversation via Sync after upgrading speakers?
- How much difference does using the polyester filling in the sub enclosure make? I did not do this.

Thanks again to MM07 for the write-up and help.
 



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Very nice. While mine wasn’t the Sony system, I pretty much did the same. I added 2 10” subs in box with amp and the bass is great.
 






Did you have a 3 1/2" speaker left over since the center speaker is a single?
 






Did you have a 3 1/2" speaker left over since the center speaker is a single?
I actually purchased mine form a member here that purchased the set and sold me the extra one.
 












Yes, I have one leftover. You need one?
What is it?
Thanks! Jim.

Sorry! The kicker listed in your post.

I'll pass thanks. I don't want to add a tweeter in the center position.
 












Remember only Elite Explorer members may sell on the Forum.

Peter
 






For anyone considering component speakers for the front doors (woofer + tweeter) from Crutchfield-

JBL GX608CAM and Infinity Reference REF-6530cx are the same speakers from Harman. $100 difference in price. Check the photos of them side by side. Not an uncommon practice. Harman bought up audio companies and capitalizes off the brand names while selling some products that are nearly identical except for minor cosmetic/branding.

 






The Infinitys are on Amazon for only $113.
 






now I have to go back and fix the rattles in the doors :confused:
 






Zip ties are our friends.
 






I used the thick 2-sided tape on all door speakers
 






Do you know what is the max depth the midbass driver can be and still fit under original door grille? I will use an adapter to get some 6.5" midbass...
 






Very nice. While mine wasn’t the Sony system, I pretty much did the same. I added 2 10” subs in box with amp and the bass is great.
Hi Joe, I have a 17 with sync and want to install a sub. What did you use for a signal to the amp and what did you use for a remote wire?
 






Hi Joe, I have a 17 with sync and want to install a sub. What did you use for a signal to the amp and what did you use for a remote wire?
I purchased a pigtail on ebay that gave me the signal and remote wire.
 












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