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vipervenom550

Adding aftermarket amps to factory system with new AR module in second gen

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So there is lots of good info on the site about upgrading the systems in the Edges. I will just add a few things from my experience in my upgrade.

 

I have a 2015 Sport with the Sony upgraded system but a lot of this info will apply to the other models.

 

Recently IdataLink released their Maestro AR module which allows you to remove the factory amp and add compatible aftermarket amps. You can google this module as they have a good video explaining how it works. But basically for the first time you can add your aftermarket amps pre factory amp instead of post (IE high level in). I snapped a pic in the middle of the installation the wires are a mess but the end result they are all nice and tidy. I added the Audison 8.9 which is an 8 channel amp with built in DSP(you need some sort of DSP when adding the AR module). The Hertz a mono block for the sub and basically a slave from the Audison. The little black box at the bottom is the AR module. The amps are installed where the factory amp used to be so the panel hides the installation.

 

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Just a quick tip on running the power wire. There is a nice big grommet to go through right under the dash above the brake, it come out on the backside of the brake hydraulics that way you don't need to drill.

 

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I also upgraded the front speakers to the Focal PS165's. The tweeter as many have said will not fit in the factory location so I installed it in the small removable panel at the top of the door, I figure this panel will be cheap and easy to replace when I sell the car.

 

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Lastly our factory sub box will hold an 8 inch sub so I threw a Hertz in there.

 

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All in all the sound is amazing compared to stock, the factory DSP is very muddy and hard to get nice clear sound but its nice and clear onthe Audison DSP. The only thing is the sub, I am not quite happy with the sound. I figure the factory box is between .5 and .6 cubic ft and the sub likes a smaller box closer to .3 so I may change to to a better sub in the future. If you are wondering the factory sub appeared to be a dual voice coil 2ohm sub when i tested it.

 

Lastly one nice thing about the AR module is it takes the factory bass mid and treble settings on your factory head unit and changes them to speaker control. IE bass = sub volume, mid = mid speaker volume and treble = tweeter volume.

 

 

 

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before you swap the sub out again, have you tried stuffing it with polyester pillow stuffing? i did that to some other speakers in another car and the difference was literally unbelievable. you can throw tons of money at high-end stuff but sometimes the low-tech stuff works wonders. just a thought especially since it's super cheap to do.

 

what about the other speakers like rear doors, center dash and the two on the cieling behind the rear seat? doing anything with those?

 

your setup looks great. really a shame about the tweeter though. i'd only do it if i could get it in the factory location.

 

out of curiosity, not including your labor, how much did all of this hardware cost?

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I actually did have polyester fill in the box, but the polyester actually slows down the waves in the box making the sub perform like its in a bigger box. I thought the factory box would be too small but I was wrong. Thanks though most of the time fill does make a world of difference.

 

I only replaced the fronts. The fronts are the are the most important since all the other speakers are fill and the stock ones aren't that bad. I always put the money in the fronts, you will hear the most benefit. I guess I forgot to add that I didn't hook up the center or the tweeters at the back up top. The DSP has built in time alignment so you can create the illusion of the sound coming from the center with that. The reason I did this is that the replacement center channel speakers you can buy don't even come close to the quality of the door speakers. And really if you hear the system the sound imaging is pretty amazing.

 

I'm pretty sure there are lower grade speakers or a different brand that will fit right in the factory locations, I should have measured the stockers when I had the door off but I didn't even think about it.

 

Cost wise:

Amps $1300

Speakers: $500

Sub: $149

AR module: $249

 

The only thing I didn't install was the AR module I let the car audio shop do that. The other stuff is not too high on the difficulty level.

 

If you didn't want to spend quite that much many people have said the factory DSP is a lot of the issue with the muddy sound. The upgrade the car audio shop suggested was to just add the Audison amp and the AR module and leave the stock speakers in. With full control over your sound with the DSP and a clean amp that will make a world of difference, plus the stock speakers aren't that bad. Personally I knew I wouldn't have been happy with that solution because my last car had a very nice system in it and even what I have done in the Edge is a huge downgrade.

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VERY nicely done! :rockon:

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Nice, I've been waiting to pull the trigger on this. Have been looking at the Kenwood XR600-dsp. How do you like the Audison?

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I have been very impressed with the Audison. Sound quality is amazing but I really like the tuning. You load the software on a laptop and run a USB up front and sit there and tune. But overall I am happy with the purchase.

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Nice job Viper

 

I'm considering going the same route and have a question.

 

First off I already replaced the center speaker and the lower front door speakers as well as repacking the sub with Poly-fil. The system sounds way better but I'm still looking for more punch overall.

 

Rather than more Boom Boom Boom , I want that more powerful mid hit you get from snare drums, congo drums etc. (Ratta tat tat rather than Boom Boom Boom) The Sony system I have is still too muddy for my taste.

 

My wife has a Bang & Olufson system in her Audi and to me it sounds incredible, so that's kind of my goal .

 

Could you explain the difference you got with the Amp/AR module change

 

Thanks

 

Tom

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The difference is night and day. I did the speaker upgrade before the amps went in and they definitely sounded better then stock but only came alive when I added the amp. The sound is loud and clear. The amp has the ability for multiple configurations and can allow you to change the system in stages. I only went for speaker upgrades and multiple amps because I knew I wouldn't be happy with just one amp. But you can run the whole system off just the Audison amp. Overall I am very happy with the results.

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I have a '16 Edge Sport w/ 12 speaker Sony stereo system. Does anyone know the key dimensions for the rear sub woofer and its enclosure? I need to see how much room there is available in the stock sub enclosure...mainly how deep it is. With one 8" sub, you don't get very much punch, so I want to choose one that will maximize the available space. I will probably end up replacing most of the other speakers too. I'm considering the Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP for a new amp. Anyone have one already that cares to comment?

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I'm considering the Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP for a new amp. Anyone have one already that cares to comment?

 

 

Roots57

 

I just placed an order with Crutchfield for the XR600 along with the iDatalink AR module and the iDatalink harness and will have a local shop do the install in a week or two. I'll let you know my impressions when it's done.

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Nice job Viper

 

I'm considering going the same route and have a question.

 

First off I already replaced the center speaker and the lower front door speakers as well as repacking the sub with Poly-fil. The system sounds way better but I'm still looking for more punch overall.

 

Rather than more Boom Boom Boom , I want that more powerful mid hit you get from snare drums, congo drums etc. (Ratta tat tat rather than Boom Boom Boom) The Sony system I have is still too muddy for my taste.

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Tom

 

I think were going after the same thing based on what you said. I see that you already replaced the door speakers too, what did you go with there? Did you just pack the stock sub-woofer enclosure or did you get a better sub also? I figure with a decent amp and a nice punchy 8" sub, along with better speakers all around and I should be happy with it then. I just can't be putting a proper sub-woofer box in the back of my car at this point so I'm more or less stuck with the making the most of the stock configuration. It will be good to hear your feedback once you get your stuff installed...I'll keep an eye out for it.

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I think were going after the same thing based on what you said. I see that you already replaced the door speakers too, what did you go with there? Did you just pack the stock sub-woofer enclosure or did you get a better sub also? I figure with a decent amp and a nice punchy 8" sub, along with better speakers all around and I should be happy with it then. I just can't be putting a proper sub-woofer box in the back of my car at this point so I'm more or less stuck with the making the most of the stock configuration. It will be good to hear your feedback once you get your stuff installed...I'll keep an eye out for it.

I used Infinity REF-6522EX in the lower front doors and a Infinity REF-3022CFX in the center dash position.

As far as the sub, I didn't change that, just filled the stock box with Poly-fil but I really didn't notice much of a difference in the bass doing that. A little less boomy if anything

 

Actually I have one of the Infinity 3022's left if your interested as I had to buy a pair of them.

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I used Infinity REF-6522EX in the lower front doors and a Infinity REF-3022CFX in the center dash position.

As far as the sub, I didn't change that, just filled the stock box with Poly-fil but I really didn't notice much of a difference in the bass doing that. A little less boomy if anything

 

Actually I have one of the Infinity 3022's left if your interested as I had to buy a pair of them.

 

thanks for the reply, and I may take you up on that center speaker. If so, what would you let it go for? From what I see online, a new pair retails for like $90 at the store, and for $60 on Amazon.

 

One more question, did you (or anyone else) happen to measure the exact depth of the stock subwoofer enclosure? I am trying to avoid having to disassemble mine just to measure it, only to take it apart once again for the actual installation. I looked into buying another one, just to use as a basis for designing a custom enclosure, but it cost around $200 and it comes with the stock speaker. That cheap plastic enclosure isn't really ideal for a subwoofer, especially for a much more powerful one, so I'm still considering making a custom box out of MDF instead. I will try the stock one first to see how it sounds I suppose. A custom box is going to be pretty complex in order to use the available space, but it can be done. If I do, I'll post the specs so others can simply copy it.

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Lastly our factory sub box will hold an 8 inch sub so I threw a Hertz in there.

 

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Did you happen to measure the max depth of the stock sub enclosure? I am hoping to figure this out without having to take it apart just for that. I want to buy everything and have it all installed all at once. I cant really pick a new subwoofer without knowing the depth limitations. I am basically planning on replacing everything but the tweets and head unit.

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thanks for the reply, and I may take you up on that center speaker. If so, what would you let it go for? From what I see online, a new pair retails for like $90 at the store, and for $60 on Amazon.

 

One more question, did you (or anyone else) happen to measure the exact depth of the stock subwoofer enclosure? I am trying to avoid having to disassemble mine just to measure it, only to take it apart once again for the actual installation. I looked into buying another one, just to use as a basis for designing a custom enclosure, but it cost around $200 and it comes with the stock speaker. That cheap plastic enclosure isn't really ideal for a subwoofer, especially for a much more powerful one, so I'm still considering making a custom box out of MDF instead. I will try the stock one first to see how it sounds I suppose. A custom box is going to be pretty complex in order to use the available space, but it can be done. If I do, I'll post the specs so others can simply copy it.

 

30 bucks plus shipping would be fair. Email me if you want to move forward on it.

 

tjschanne@besconj.com

 

As far as measuring the subwoofer box, I did not check that. Actually taking off the rear side panel to access the box was a bit of a pain in the ass.One of the molded on pins that secure the panel to the body is held in with a one way metal clip so when you (or at least it happened to me) pull the panel out the metal clips get f'd up and are basically unusable upon reassembly. It was the second pin up from the bottom of the panel and even though I had to rip the metal clip out of the body the plastic panel still sits flush and is secure.

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30 bucks plus shipping would be fair. Email me if you want to move forward on it.

 

tjschanne@besconj.com

 

As far as measuring the subwoofer box, I did not check that. Actually taking off the rear side panel to access the box was a bit of a pain in the ass.One of the molded on pins that secure the panel to the body is held in with a one way metal clip so when you (or at least it happened to me) pull the panel out the metal clips get f'd up and are basically unusable upon reassembly. It was the second pin up from the bottom of the panel and even though I had to rip the metal clip out of the body the plastic panel still sits flush and is secure.

 

Sounds good. When I pull the trigger, I'll hit you up about the center speaker. Thats funny you mention that about the clip. I actually did start to open things up back there last weekend, just to get the Ford OEM part number off the sub enlcosure and see if I could measure the max depth. That same damn clip did get effed up a bit, but luckily I was still able to bend the metal clip back into shape and it pressed back together fine. We'll see how it works out next time though. I can't believe they still use that style clip, its a terrible design. I figured out pretty quick that it was kind of a pain in the ass to remove those huge panels. I ordered a nice set of pry tools from Amazon that should help. Its going to take me a little while to get all my stuff together for the install. I'll be spending like $1600 for everything. This includes the Kenwood Amp/DSP, iDatalink Maestro, 4 new door speakers, 8" JL Audio subwoofer, and wiring. I'll save some $$ and do most, if not all the installation myself. The part that I'm still worried about is getting everything set up properly. All I did as a kid was work on cars and car stereos, but everything is so much more integrated and complex now. I feel a bit lost. I certainly have a lot of reading and picking peoples' brains to do.

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Just wanted to add to this post. Sorry I didn't see the replies, I could grab that depth measurement if you need it. I was not happy with the sound of sub. The Hertz did not like the factory box so I went back to the factory sub for a while and it sounded slightly better. I finally got some time to whip up a quick wood box that fits behind the panel. I think eventually I might upgrade to a 10 since I see there is quite a bit of room back there, I might have to fibreglass the 10 but I think it would be worth it. For now I am quite happy with this 8 the sound over stock is hugely improved. This box is about .27cu.ft.

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Just wanted to add to this post. Sorry I didn't see the replies, I could grab that depth measurement if you need it. I was not happy with the sound of sub. The Hertz did not like the factory box so I went back to the factory sub for a while and it sounded slightly better. I finally got some time to whip up a quick wood box that fits behind the panel. I think eventually I might upgrade to a 10 since I see there is quite a bit of room back there, I might have to fibreglass the 10 but I think it would be worth it. For now I am quite happy with this 8 the sound over stock is hugely improved. This box is about .27cu.ft.

 

Yes please! I'd love to know the depth of the stock enclosure, from the outer mounting surface to the inside maximum depth. Thanks in advance. I am hoping I can find a nice powerful 8" that will fit and provide enough punch for my liking, and this depth dimension is the limiting factor.

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I snapped a few pics of the measurements of the factory sub and the box. I forgot I modified my box, there was a plastic cone shape that mounts to the back of the factory woofer. I cut out the cone and siliconed in a piece of MDF to give me a little more mounting depth.

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I snapped a few pics of the measurements of the factory sub and the box. I forgot I modified my box, there was a plastic cone shape that mounts to the back of the factory woofer. I cut out the cone and siliconed in a piece of MDF to give me a little more mounting depth.

 

Awesome, thanks for replying to my request! I've been trying to get this info for quite awhile now and this is saving me from taking it apart just to measure, only to do it all again for the install, much appreciated! It looks like the available depth after your mod of the stock enclosure is just shy of 4.0". And the stock sub has a max depth of 2-5/8". Was that piece you cut out of the stock enclosure that substantial?

 

I've got another question you may know the answer to. With the stock enclosure in place, how much room is there to add a spacer ring to the sub before it runs into the inner wall of the plastic wall liner? If I can put on a 1/2" spacer, I can probably squeeze a much better sub in there, especially if I was to cut away that same piece inside the enclosure you did. When using smaller subs to give a nice punch, the shallow mount versions just don't have it, especially when only running a single sub.

Edited by roots57

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That piece I cut out wasn't very big it looked like it was just support the back of the stock sub which I don't think it needed. As for the spacer I think you could add on but I think the sub would hit the trim panel. But there is quite a bit of flex on that rear panel so if you put a grill or some sort of spacer to account for the excursion of the sub you would be fine. I hear you on the shallow subs, while I find this new sub i put in has a much cleaner and smoother sound then factory I really miss the deeper lows of a 10 or 12 inch sub.

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That piece I cut out wasn't very big it looked like it was just support the back of the stock sub which I don't think it needed. As for the spacer I think you could add on but I think the sub would hit the trim panel. But there is quite a bit of flex on that rear panel so if you put a grill or some sort of spacer to account for the excursion of the sub you would be fine. I hear you on the shallow subs, while I find this new sub i put in has a much cleaner and smoother sound then factory I really miss the deeper lows of a 10 or 12 inch sub.

 

 

To get those hard hitting lows, its all about linear displacement and thats why standard depth subs (as opposed to shallow mounts) can provide that, especially when you get to 10" and above. The Xmax on a 8" JL W7 is still like 0.75" or something ridiculous. On a lot of the shallow mounts Xmax is like 0.25" or less and that just doesn't move much air. Hence why I'm trying to squeeze the deepest possible mounting 8" sub into my enclosure. Its already at a disadvantage being only 8" in diameter.

 

Anyways, thanks again for the info/pics.

Edited by roots57

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I'm considering the Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP for a new amp. Anyone have one already that cares to comment?

 

 

Roots57

 

I just placed an order with Crutchfield for the XR600 along with the iDatalink AR module and the iDatalink harness and will have a local shop do the install in a week or two. I'll let you know my impressions when it's done.

 

 

Any update on the quality / satisfaction on the Kenwood Excelon XR600-6DSP? I just purchased a 2018 with the Sony audio, and it's no where near the quality level of the previous generation's Sony system. Also, to anyone that has replaced the factory Sony amp in the G2 Edge, did you lose the sound produced when selecting anything on the touch screen? The instruction manual from Maestro says that the selection sound will be lost. Thanks!

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I copied this from another thread where we were discussing the same thing. Love the stereo now!

 

As far as noticing a difference in sound from stock Sony to the Kenwood/Maestro install, it's like night and day. To my ears the system sounds fantastic now, best I ever had in any car I've owned. I also had the center channel dash speaker along with the front and rear door speakers(left in the stock tweeters) and sub woofer replaced as part of the upgrade. Also as a result of the install I lost the rear pillar speakers but honestly if I wasn't told, I wouldn't have known.

Before the stock system was way to muddy sounding and not nearly as crisp as I prefer. Now I get much more punch along with way more clarity especially at higher volumes, more ratta tat tat on snare drums rather than boom boom boom. The lower bass could be a little tighter and more powerful but I'm happy.

I lost all the eq adjustability from the head unit but everything can be adjusted on a Kenwood app on your phone which is kind of cool to play around with. There's either preset settings for rock, jazz, pop etc or you can flip a little switch on the amp and tweek every little setting using the pro setting. That gives you all kinds of different eq sine waves to set, all Greek to me but after experimenting with some I found a setting for me that's awesome

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Tschanne, Thanks! I actually did read that while researching yesterday, it just did't stick in my head :hammer_self: . My bad!

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