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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I have a 2006 Escape XLT with the Audiophile stereo. Right now I'm not looking to replace the factory HU as a double din is a little too expensive for my blood right now (want one with GPS/DVD) but would hookup a PIE iPod adapter. In the meantime, I'm looking to do anything that will help the factory sound while keeping the cost down. My thoughts at this time are replacing the stock amp and sub. In doing that, my question is, if you were to put in an aftermarket amp, are there OEM wiring adapters you can use to plug in similar to how the stock amp is setup or do you have to run the amp kit in the truck and back to the new amp? If that's the case, then how do you get the RCA cables setup on the stock HU? I'm also planning on replacing the door speakers (in the meantime I know the stock HU will not power them that well). Another option would be installing a 4 channel amp to run the door speakers but again, is there a way to get the RCA cables hooked up to the factory HU?

Last but not least, can anyone give any pointers as to a good starting point for removing the back paneling? Fourthmeal, I've read a lot of your forum posts and I'm taking your advice and going to dynomat/soundproof (not really planning on using dynomat - too expensive) the truck.

Sorry for all the questions and thank you for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay, after ready a few more posts from Fourthmeal, I've come up with a different option. I still have my Pioneer DEH-P700BT (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_122 ... 00BT.html#) leftover from my Honda that I could put into the Escape. This would help in the fact that it has the bells and whistles (Bluetooth and iPod hookup) including RCA hookups that I could use to help install a new amp to replace the stock Mach amp and sub. Plus, this way all the ground work is laid so when I'm ready to install a double din deck everything should be plug-n-play for the most part. Now I don't like this setup because it immediately losses its stock look but that's okay for the time being.
What I'm also looking to do is replace the stock door speakers and again, after reading more of Fourthmeal's posts, I should go with the 6 ½ speakers and not the 6x8 or 5x7 speakers. I'm looking to do 2-ways in the front (since there already are door tweeters) and 3-ways in the back. I have a few in mind that I can post links to if needed.
So this is what I'm looking at:
Pioneer DEH-P700BT deck (for now)
2-way Pioneer front speakers
3-way Pioneer Rear speakers
- Both speakers for now would probably run off the deck (I know not the greatest setup) - I'll get a 4 channel amp sometime down the road (when I have the $$) and hook that up to the speakers
Replace 8" factory sub (suggestions anyone?)
Replace factory amp (if I could find OEM wire hookups that would be ideal, otherwise, run an amp kit which might be a better idea since I could lay all the groundwork for a 4 channel amp down the road)
Soundproof the entire truck
Fourthmeal, I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have and/or any advice. I know this isn't the most ideal setup at first, but unfortunately for me this will be a work in progress. Hopefully get a solid base down and build off that. Thank you for any help.
 

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Hey there,

I'm a little busy at work today, but let me see if I can help here...

1. I need to research the Pioneer HU you have and figure out its abilities. But any aftermarket HU is probably better than stock in this situation.

2. Don't worry about rear speakers much, if at all. You can't hear their fine details, and you don't want to pull your soundstage backwards. IMO, one less thing to worry about. If you ARE going to go with rears, certainly do not make them better than your fronts unless you are never the driver!

3. Do you have a solid or flexible budget for this project, and how much is that? Also, what woodworking and/or fiberglassing skills do you possess, and what tools do you have access to? Let's figure out what you have the capacity to do (with the right guidance), so you can make the most of your situation.

4. How much if any trunk are you willing to give up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
fourthmeal said:
Hey there,

I'm a little busy at work today, but let me see if I can help here...

1. I need to research the Pioneer HU you have and figure out its abilities. But any aftermarket HU is probably better than stock in this situation.

2. Don't worry about rear speakers much, if at all. You can't hear their fine details, and you don't want to pull your soundstage backwards. IMO, one less thing to worry about. If you ARE going to go with rears, certainly do not make them better than your fronts unless you are never the driver!
- If I do end up doing rears, are you more suggesting just some simpler speakers (possibly 2-way instead of 3-way?)

3. Do you have a solid or flexible budget for this project, and how much is that? Also, what woodworking and/or fiberglassing skills do you possess, and what tools do you have access to? Let's figure out what you have the capacity to do (with the right guidance), so you can make the most of your situation.
- I'd say a pretty solid budget, unfortunately I'll have to look at what that will be. Since I just bought this truck two days ago, I'll have to get used to a car payment again. And, I'll probably have to buy the stuff over a few weeks (aka paychecks) and then install it all at once. I'll work on a budget, not buying the double din will certainly help up front. I have very little wood working skills and no fiberglass skills. I'd like to avoid having to do any major reworking on the interior.
4. How much if any trunk are you willing to give up?
- I'm really looking to get the best possible system without giving up any space. I'd like to just keep the 8" sub (but replace the stock) and amp (replace the stock) but don't really need big boys anymore. I'm hoping with nice interior speakers and an upgraded 8" sub and amp it will just be a better overall system.
I've put a few links to the things I just started looking at below. I don't have my heart set on anything in particular but would like to try and keep the budget as low as possible.

Sub:
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_188 ... W800F.html

Amp:
No real thoughts, haven't bought an amp in so long but I've put a link to a 2-channel for the sub below. For all I know it could be worthless.
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_176 ... 2.600.html

Speakers (you would recommend 6 1/2 over 5x7 or 6x8 correct?)
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_349 ... 1681R.html (3-way)
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_112 ... 1602R.html (2-way)

Thanks for your input Fourthmeal. I've followed you on other sites and checked our your installs. They have all been really good looking.
 

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We'll work on brands later (what not to buy, what's good for the money), but for now here's a quick couple of ideas:

Do the front with components. This will pay off greatly, with the tweeter separated and properly crossed from the woofer. You can also go with coaxials (tweeter and woofer in one) that are separable (known as a convertible) so you can change your mind later. More on this as we go...

For now, here's a solid, very inexpensive component that will rock your world:


Don't worry about rears

Install sound deadening. You've read my threads, you know that I am a major proponent of this. Study up at http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com and read how CCF, MLV, and CLD works together.

For an amp, buy this 4 channel beast from this guy:
http://cgi.ebay.com/US-Acoustics-USB-40 ... 1|294%3A30

It is a refurb'ed, really really nice amp with excellent sound quality. Use two channels for a sub (bridged), and the other two channels for your fronts.

I like the sub you picked, but it uses much bigger boxes than you might be ready for. Still, it isn't a bad choice. I like to talk subs last since most subs perform as needed these days. What makes one different than another is how much space it wants to take up and how much airspace you need to give it in a sealed or ported box...and that's something we'll have to cover later as we understand your system better.

So far, I'm only ~$85 for your 4ch amp, and ~$78 for your front components.

BTW, this two-way and three stuff....the speakers you are talking about typically do it poorly, and what you are seeing here is basically a gimmick. For most situations, two-way is all you'll ever need. And, a two-way with a better quality crossover is vastly superior to a 3 or 4 or ANY other way. I'll teach you the pitfalls of these gimmicks sometime.

I do not advise using the stock sub box at any point. It doesn't have the airspace necessary to hold a modern quality sub correctly in most situations. Ditch it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I put my responses as the relate to your topics in bold.

fourthmeal said:
We'll work on brands later (what not to buy, what's good for the money), but for now here's a quick couple of ideas:

Do the front with components. This will pay off greatly, with the tweeter separated and properly crossed from the woofer. You can also go with coaxials (tweeter and woofer in one) that are separable (known as a convertible) so you can change your mind later. More on this as we go...
- I would love some additional info on this. I've done about 6 or 7 installs in my day but never done a component setup. I will have all sorts of questions on this but I can save those until whenever. One question I do have, would those tweeters (or any I got in a component setup) fit in the factory tweeter location?

For now, here's a solid, very inexpensive component that will rock your world:


Don't worry about rears
- works for me, if anything I can just put some type of cheap upgrade in later.

Install sound deadening. You've read my threads, you know that I am a major proponent of this. Study up at http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com and read how CCF, MLV, and CLD works together.
- I'm all about the soundproofing. I've never done it before (for the entire vehicle) and I've only done a single layer. I read the post from you about how to do it and I may have questions on that but I can save those for later but you've totally sold me on it. One question, have you ever heard of eDead? Do you know if it's any good? I put their link below.
http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_inf ... ucts_id=51


For an amp, buy this 4 channel beast from this guy:
http://cgi.ebay.com/US-Acoustics-USB-40 ... 1|294%3A30

It is a refurb'ed, really really nice amp with excellent sound quality. Use two channels for a sub (bridged), and the other two channels for your fronts.
- what'd you think of the amp I picked? The main thing I'm really looking for (love the 4-channel recommendation btw) is something I could fit in the stock location (passenger side behind back panel). I realize this may be a stretch but I'll be on the lookout.

I like the sub you picked, but it uses much bigger boxes than you might be ready for. Still, it isn't a bad choice. I like to talk subs last since most subs perform as needed these days. What makes one different than another is how much space it wants to take up and how much airspace you need to give it in a sealed or ported box...and that's something we'll have to cover later as we understand your system better.
- Good to know about the sub. The airspace it needs and the port vs sealed box is definitely something I need some schooling on. I would love to be able to put a sub in the factory location and hopefully there is an 8" somewhere out there that would let me do that. That sub was specifically listed in the "shallow mount installation" section. Go figure you would need a shallow mount but then the sub would need tons of air space. I haven't taken the back end apart yet (want to wait until I do the soundproofing) but I can try and find what the air space is in the factory box. The plus side to the factory sub location is it keep everything out of the way and allows for maximum trunk/hatch space.

So far, I'm only ~$85 for your 4ch amp, and ~$78 for your front components.
- this would be right up my alley!

BTW, this two-way and three stuff....the speakers you are talking about typically do it poorly, and what you are seeing here is basically a gimmick. For most situations, two-way is all you'll ever need. And, a two-way with a better quality crossover is vastly superior to a 3 or 4 or ANY other way. I'll teach you the pitfalls of these gimmicks sometime.

I do not advise using the stock sub box at any point. It doesn't have the airspace necessary to hold a modern quality sub correctly in most situations. Ditch it.
Thanks Fourthmeal.
 

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i can confirm that thse components ROCK!!!! I have them in my vehicle hooked up to a amp and it's like having subs in the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the recommendation andjayik. I found a pair online and I'm definitely very intrigued. This is what I've been thinking. Trying to find an amp big enough (power) and small enough (size) to place in the factory location is probably not very realistic. I have a 4 channel 1000watt legacy amp that I could definitely re-use and just attach it to the lower rear seat (smaller of the two sections that fold down). From here I could run two lines going up for the front components and bridge the other two channels for a replacement sub. I saw some photos of someone on here that replaced the stock sub with a kicker 8" in the factory location but I know from looking at that particular sub that the sealed volume recommendation would not be ideal. I'm still on the lookout for a 8" sub that could work in that location as I'd like to keep as much hidden as possible. Foruthmeal, putting the amp in the storage area in the back end (the popup location where you put your stealth setup - very nice btw), would that overheat the amp as there is a cover over that storage area? The amp I currently have does not have a fan on it so that's why I figured that putting it on the back seat would be a better location for air movement. Ideally, I'd like to get a new amp down the road (as mine is a bit older and HUGE) and then I could possibly move the location. I'll try to take some photos of my stuff this weekend and post them on here.

Also, what gauge speaker wire does anyone recommend for running speaker wire to the sub and to the front components?

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks everyone.
 

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There's a lot of questions here, hopefully I catch them all:

- I would love some additional info on this. I've done about 6 or 7 installs in my day but never done a component setup. I will have all sorts of questions on this but I can save those until whenever. One question I do have, would those tweeters (or any I got in a component setup) fit in the factory tweeter location?

Need pics of the "factory" position, but generally each car is different. My car had no such place, so I created on in my doors' upper sill area.

- I'm all about the soundproofing. I've never done it before (for the entire vehicle) and I've only done a single layer. I read the post from you about how to do it and I may have questions on that but I can save those for later but you've totally sold me on it. One question, have you ever heard of eDead? Do you know if it's any good? I put their link below.
http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_inf ... ucts_id=51

There are lots of reasons why I don't recommend ED products, but one reason is that the stuff is just not very good. I used about 60 SQ ft on a car and was forced to use RAAMmat over that just to make it work at all. Worthless, IMO. The company is also known for their notorious practices in the past.

- what'd you think of the amp I picked? The main thing I'm really looking for (love the 4-channel recommendation btw) is something I could fit in the stock location (passenger side behind back panel). I realize this may be a stretch but I'll be on the lookout.
I'm not a brand whore, but I won't buy things like Soundstorm. That's junk on the inside. Basically, in the same line as Pyle, Pyramid, Legacy, etc. Try to avoid flea-market brands, as the internal quality sucks and you'll be left with a degraded result in the end. You don't have to spend a ton, but avoid the bottom shelf stuff just like you'd avoid bottom shelf liquor. You always regret it! Maybe not immediately (meaning, they may sound good for a while), but the build quality and choice of parts means that you are not going to get a long lasting and good sounding product for long. Leaking capacitors, non-linear FET's, cheap copper wiring, etc., all adds up to a so-so experience. Also, these guys selling an amp (like your 1000W Legacy) are lying outright. You won't get that unless you are knee-deep into clipping, and even then you might not reach that number. Instead, look for real RMS (average) ratings, or for newer amps there is a CEA2006 requirement that most people follow. That's a new spec that keeps people honest. Besides watts, there's a lot more to an amp. We can cover this later, but for now just know that I'm not suggesting you spend money on a Genesis or ARC audio amp, but we'll find you something you can depend on for a while. Obviously if you already have an amp, use it...but maybe consider replacing it down the line.

Foruthmeal, putting the amp in the storage area in the back end (the popup location where you put your stealth setup - very nice btw), would that overheat the amp as there is a cover over that storage area?
Well, sorta. I built a false floor with enough space for this to not be an issue so far for me. But, your mileage may vary. I would recommend that you not use the factory spacer itself, but build a replacement one out of plywood (like mine) to achieve a better size and shape without compromising any space. That factory spacer is wasting tons of space and can be tossed. You need a saw (table or circular) to make one, and a jigsaw for the finer cuts. You could possibly do it with just a jigsaw, if you have a steady hand.


Also, what gauge speaker wire does anyone recommend for running speaker wire to the sub and to the front components?

For the front, speaker wire recommended is 16 gauge. I use sheathed 4 conductor so I only have to make one run to each door. It is available for home theater in-wall use, which is why I use it (I build home theaters sometimes.) For the subs, 14 gauge is sufficient for bigger jobs, 16 gauge works for smaller ones.

For you, I can easily visualize a simple false-floor flat-panel sub using a conservative 10", with a nice place for a quality 4 or 5ch amp...all under the factory floor covering. This would be a pretty simple build, and wouldn't require much skill other than a bit of woodworking (and possibly fiberglass.) No trunk space would be sacrificed.
 

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Fourthmeal, why do you recommend 6.5 over 6x8 or 5x7?
If i was going for an all around systems where i can turn the subs off by the HU would be good to go with a 4-channel amp and runnig all the doors to it or just the fronts still and keep the rears running from the HU?
 

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SimpleWhite said:
Fourthmeal, why do you recommend 6.5 over 6x8 or 5x7?
For the very simple fact that a 5x7 or 6x8 is a non-ideal geometric shape, and the extreme forces that go on in making a speaker move ~50-3000 cycles a second mean that you start out with one foot in the sandtrap already. If you haven't noticed, there's not a whole lot of professional systems out there running oval speakers. Home theater, cinema, pro audio, etc. Car audio is the same, and just because people make 5x7's, it doesn't mean that's ideal. One reason I feel that OEM's like to use 5x7 is that it is ever so slightly more efficient than a 6.5" given the additional cone area for a given motor design. This helps the weak and powerless head unit give an extra dB or so. In the pursuit of better sound quality, why start a step backward, anyway? Also you may have noticed that with high quality car audio gear, there is not very many manufacturers making use of oval speakers. Most chose the smart choice of a 6.5" or 5.25"
If i was going for an all around systems where i can turn the subs off by the HU would be good to go with a 4-channel amp and runnig all the doors to it or just the fronts still and keep the rears running from the HU?
An ideal system will have a subwoofer in it because 6.5" drivers in this configuration simply can not produce the bass necessary to fill in the bottom octaves. To match a decent front stage properly, a small but competent 6.5"-8" single sub in the proper box tuned to the proper cross point should suffice. It need not take up a single inch of cargo space, either. Running without it in any system results in "thin" or incomplete sound, so I recommend against it. You could better utilize that 4ch amp with the front channels powered, and the rear channels bridged to the sub. A 5ch amp or a pair of amps would be smarter though. The rears need NOT be amplified, since the power required to "fill in" the rear is about 5-10W tops. I still use my rear stock speakers, but about 15dB or so below the front stage. This lets me feel them, but my attention is not dragged backwards by them. Instead, my front stage is still present right on top of my dash (in this truck...other systems I've built vary in stage height and depth.)
 
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