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Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)
Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)
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Old 04-19-19, 07:53 AM   #1
gsxr1000
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Default Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

I decided to "fix" the crappy, unstable factory Bluetooth connectivity by upgrading the stereo after the local dealer told me they needed $105 to perform the factory reflash of the stereo to address a known issue. I also wanted CarPlay because I'm old and my eyes are failing me... My car is a 2015 Launch Edition (no Nav, no Harmann Kardon)

Phase 1: speaker installation: I went with Alpine S 65-C 6 1/2" (component speakers for front, coax for the rear).[IMG][/IMG]

There are a lot of great YouTube videos on how to remove the door panels and install speakers, so I will just list what items I did that weren't covered (or I didn't find)

1) The larger rectangular Molex connector for the power windows on the driver's door
2) How to route the speaker and route the cables on the front doors (which attach from the "front" for the factory speakers)
3) How to mount tweeters in the dash

1) The large rectangular Molex connector is difficult to remove because of where it is located and poor accessibility due to the short cable. The release clip is shown in my photo. Luckily, none of the other doors have this connector!
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

2) The speaker adapter "ring" that Crutchfield supplies from Metra is perfect, BUT they don't provide or note that you will need extra screws to attach the speaker to the Metra adapter ring before you can mount it to the door (and you don't use the supplied Alpine bracket/ring). Luckily, I had some extra screws that worked (1/2" long). The heads of the screws were too large to fit in all of the pre-drilled holes in the Alpine speaker, I had to use the ones that did not have the "lip" next to them (see photos). The supplied screws with the speakers (from Alpine) are an inch long (too long) and very narrow, and they aren't intended for this purpose)
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]


2b) The front speakers' cable from the factory connects to a Molex male connector on the speaker accessible from the front, but the aftermarket speakers' terminals are on the rear. Luckily, the Crutchfield supplied Metra adapters are of thin enough gauge to fit into the gap between the sheet metal and the adapter ring due to the plastic inserts that accept the screws for the factor speaker mounting. See photos. If you are using thicker speaker cables, you obviously won't be able to do this.

[IMG][/IMG]

I taped the Molex connector from the Metra adapter for the rear speakers to the sheet metal to prevent rattles:
[IMG][/IMG]

2c) Great tip from one of the videos: double check the white trim body clips/mounts didn't "stay" with the sheet metal instead of staying with the trim. I almost tried re-attaching the first panel with 2 body clips stuck in the sheet metal!

3) The 1" tweeters with crossovers had no real way to mount into the factory openings, so, after I looked at the factory tweeters after removing them, it looked like the Alpine tweeters could fit inside the factory metal frame.
[IMG][/IMG]


After considering keeping the factory speakers for when I sell the car someday in the future, I decided to trash them all (I'm lazy and I knew I would never take the time to remove these speakers!). So I cut out the paper cone to check fit, and it was perfect.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

Then I cut off the 'basket' with attached magnet with my Dremel and sanded it reasonably smooth (see photos). The small amount of speaker material from the 'surround' was enough for the supplied Alpine locking ring on the threaded read side to clamp on to. Now I can reuse the factory bracket!
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]


3b) Solder, shrink wrap and wire tie the excess cable, these tweeters are in an eyeball mount so I adjusted them to the maximum of like 3 degrees (!) and reinstalled them.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]


Like most things, this first time took me like 6 hours from start to finish at a leisurely pace, but I could do it in less than 1/2 that time if I ever needed to do it again. The speakers sound much better than factory (even with the factory head). And now I am ready to replace the head unit (Phase II). I think I'm going with the Pioneer 4400NEX with wireless CarPlay and CD/DVD (I'm old and I still have a bunch of CDs). The Kenwood DMX905S is also a contender with reportedly better sound and touchscreen, but I think I want the ability to listen to CDs....

Hope this helps someone who hasn't done this job before. I'll update after I get the stereo replaced, but the install on a 2015 appears to be very simple.

Last edited by gsxr1000; 04-19-19 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 04-19-19, 08:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Subbed for updates, thanks for sharing and the detailed write up on your issues!

Any plans to add an amp? Sounds like many of us that might want to add more power to the aftermarket speakers will have to come up with a different solution for running wire to the door speaker.
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Old 04-19-19, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Thanks. I think I may add one down the road...I got a "high power" head, with 22 wpc, and I've lived with the stock stereo this long...so I'll probably be able to enjoy the new setup for a while and see if I can deal.....if I add an amp, it will probably be for a sub to fill in the lower registers of bass, since the Alpines only go down to 70 Hz....
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Old 04-19-19, 02:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Great post. I am also going through something similar in my RA. My first step was to replace the front speakers with JL Audio C2 650 components and they are a great upgrade from stock.

My next step is to install JL Audio C2 650x coaxial in the rear doors but I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. I bought a Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX head unit for the wireless Android auto function and I also bought an Alpine KTP-445u Power Pack to give a small amount of extra oomph. I know David Carter makes a break out harness for the amp and I've been patiently waiting for him to get back to me for weeks now.

I didn't see mention of it in your post but you need to install a foam ring around the speaker to ensure a tight seal to the door panel and project ALL of the sound into the car.

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Old 04-20-19, 04:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xrdriver View Post
Great post. I am also going through something similar in my RA. My first step was to replace the front speakers with JL Audio C2 650 components and they are a great upgrade from stock.

My next step is to install JL Audio C2 650x coaxial in the rear doors but I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. I bought a Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX head unit for the wireless Android auto function and I also bought an Alpine KTP-445u Power Pack to give a small amount of extra oomph. I know David Carter makes a break out harness for the amp and I've been patiently waiting for him to get back to me for weeks now.

I didn't see mention of it in your post but you need to install a foam ring around the speaker to ensure a tight seal to the door panel and project ALL of the sound into the car.

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xrdriver, I didn't bother with trying to bridge the space between the speaker and the plastic grill with foam. I did notice that the factory speakers had them....they probably needed all the help they could get! I should probably wait until I get the new head, but I'm already thinking about a sub to add some bass. I'm not sure the KTP-445u will give much of an improvement over the head unit (which has 12-22 wpc depending on how you measure distortion over the power rating), the Alpine amp is 45 watts of class D power, which is roughly 2-3 times more power than the head. I think I recall a rough ruule of thumb that you would need 10x the electrical power to add 3 dB (double the acoustic power). If that is true, the Alpine would only help a little (which is exactly what you said). If I took the trouble to add an amp, I'd probably add it for a sub (or use a powered sub).

I'm most likely not going to add a 4 channel amp AND a sub....its just a car stereo, and my days of pounding Techmaster PEB with the windows down are far, far behind me!
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Old 04-21-19, 04:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

same speakers===nice mids add a sub
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Old 04-25-19, 09:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

OK, Phase II, Stereo replacement in a 2015 WRX STI without HK and Without Nav.
I purchased a Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX stereo and some Alpine S-S65 and S65C(omponent) speakers.


Speaker installation was straightforward but the stereo installation was quite a bit more work than the Crutchfield MasterSheet indicated: The single step of “follow instructions supplied with the accessory device” vastly underestimated (maybe a bad assumption on my part) the amount of time it takes to solder/tap/wirenut 17 wires in the Maestro Rr module harness:



Once again, great videos on Youtube on how to remove the factory stereo, which was easy







After programming the Maestro device (flashing the ECU via USB) and assembling the harness, here are the 17 wires I soldered and shrink wrapped (shrunk wrapped?). 'A' shows the 8 line level speaker leads and 'B' shows the 9 wires needed for other things, including power.


Also, there are 2 cables that the instructions state are required, but there are no receptacles to accept the cables. They aren’t needed:
One is the Crutchfield-supplied Metra USB adapter (Metra AX-SUBUSB2 USB Adapter) to retain factory USB connection. There is no mating connector behind the stereo. I looked, 4 times. Only after calling Crutchfield did the support person say that the factory USB jack is incompatible with CarPlay. Which leads me to ask, why did you send me the cable if it’s not compatible AND there is no mate to this adapter behind the stereo?

The second 'not required' connector is the 'audio cable' from the new stereo to the Maestro module. (Although, to be fair, this is a mistake in the Maestro instructions, not on the part of Crutchfield). There is no 3.5mm audio jack on the Pioneer receiver to take this cable (there are two 3.5mm jacks, but neither are designed for this cable). That also took a call to Maestro to confirm.


Taking some more time and not explicitly addressed were routing and installing the GPS antenna and the microphone for the stereo.

I didn't want to see the GPS antenna, so I placed the GPS antenna (which is needed to supplement the phone's antenna, in case it doesn't have line of sight to the satellites. I had incorrectly assumed it was only needed if I bought the Navigation equipped version of the stereo) on top of the left vent inside the dash, behind the stereo head. I first stuck the square metal plate to the plastic vent, then stuck the GPS antenna in the middle of that plate. I assume the plate is there to shield some interference from the bottom and to reflect some signal for the antenna. I figured this location had minimal plastic in-between the antenna and the windshield. I tucked the remaining 11 feet of cable on top of the other vent






The microphone cable was just long enough. I have zero slack in the cable. I routed it across the driver's kneepad, into the door seat and up the A pillar trim, then across to the rear view mirror. Then I decided I didn't want to see this either. I want to mount it inside the factory front dome light. I removed the factory dome light housing (there is a long white Molex connector (the release tab is on the cable "side" furthest from the dome light housing). It took some serious effort to remove: I needed 3 hands to depress the release and separate the 2 connectors. I unscrewed the factory mic, moved it 1" into a recess in the middle left of the bhousing, hot glued it to the side of the larger recess in the center of this plastic trim piece, then used the double sided tape to mount the Pioneer supplied mic to point directly into the factory mic grill


Pry here:


Unscrew here:








The system worked on the first try. Okay, it worked on the SECOND try because I didn't connect the 8 speaker cables on the first attempt. Again, I take some issue with the Maestro infographic: after I cut off RCA terminals per the instructions, why would those wires need to be connected again? I would have designed the harness to be wired to both the Maestro and the RCA jacks, then the customer would cut off only what they didn't need, leaving the rest of the harness wired up without any extra steps! These are line level signals, nothing scary there.



I didn't use the OBD II connector because I have the AccessPort installed. I saw the very few features it brought over to the stereo (RPM, speed, door ajar) and decided it wasn't worth it.
UPDATE: I saw that Amazon makes an ODB II Port splitter, so for less than $15 I split the port and have both the AP and stereo connected.

Here is a shot of both the AP and Car Info screen on the stereo working simultaneously:


Reassembly was easy, I wire tied the unused factory cables. Don't pay attention to the red X. I didn't. That is the connector I needed to connect the factory climate controls on the trim panel. I realized I needed that AFTER trying to reassemble the dash:



Power on test




I ordered a USB cable I could mount into the dash, will probably put it next to the 12V jack in the bin ahead of the shifter.

UPDATE: Don't try to mount the (or anything) in the "lower" half of the bin below the 12V plug. This is the part of the bin that is attached to the trim panel that surrounds the shift boot. 2 reasons, the space behind this is taken up by a horizontal steel bar with thick plastic stiffeners from the panel above it. NO CLEARANCE (< 0.5"). Also, the plastic is very hard and using a side cutting dremel will scatter plastic dust everywhere. The panel immediately next to the 12V plug is softer and has PLENTY of clearance.
My end result....the tape is covering an "extra" hole.



Check that you have seated all the Molex connectors correctly, my DVD playback was disabled until I reseated the harness connector at the radio end.

So, like most things, I could do it all again in about 1/2 of the time. Stereo sounds great, all factory features retained, wireless CarPlay is awesome, I can still play my old CDs, the removable faceplate is neat, it sounds 100x better than factory head and factory speakers. Clarity is great, and the new tweeters cut through the wind noise. I can hear it easily with windows down on the highway.

Speakerphone functionality is great, sounds better than factory. And the display is so much larger than my iPhone and easier to use while driving.
Integration of everything is great as well: I can listen to a CD, then the Waze navigation voice prompt will speak while music level drops during the prompt and then returns to music. Of course all functions resident “inside” the iPhone are integrated well: phone, music streaming, gps

There are separate volume controls for gps voice prompts and music

Last edited by gsxr1000; 05-02-19 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 04-25-19, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Excellent write up. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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Old 04-27-19, 05:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Speaker Replacement (Phase 1)

Great write up. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

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Old 06-11-19, 01:40 PM   #10
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Ok, I tried to love it without the bass and I gave up. This is going in on Friday.
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