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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aright, so I've got the Nav system in my '09 an I like the Sync and I like the USB and auxiliary jacks that come with it. I know aftermarket decks have those capabilities but I like the location that they're in now, kinda low and out of the way but anyways...

How capable is the stock unit as far as upgrading the speakers/sub? I know it's got to be somewhat less advantageous that having an aftermarket deck put in but I'm curious to see if anyone has had any luck with running a stock unit and building a good system off of that? Like amp/subs, etc.

Thanks,
-clay
 

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To run amps you will need line out converters, the stock HU has no pre-outs. You won't be able to build much or have the best quality. Because you are using a high-to-low converter you won't be able to filter high frequencies out of the bass amp. Plus I have seen stock HU's shut off when the demand for pre-out voltage becomes too high.
 

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6Leaker
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To run amps you will need line out converters, the stock HU has no pre-outs. You won't be able to build much or have the best quality. Because you are using a high-to-low converter you won't be able to filter high frequencies out of the bass amp. Plus I have seen stock HU's shut off when the demand for pre-out voltage becomes too high.
True, however...


With todays cars and most everything getting integrated there is now a large selection of external processors and factory integration units. They can be as pricey as an aftermarket double din or more, but will keep your HU and all its integrated features but give you absolute complete control and system building functions and sometimes more than an aftermarket HU would have.

Something like these could be what your looking for

Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 - This will give you WAAY more control than an aftermarket HU, enough tuning options to go completely active (3-way, high, mid, sub) on all speakers. The only issue I have seen with these units and maybe it has been fixed recently, However many of the earlier and even several years into their production they were plagued with Bluetooth issues. Again maybe its been fixed, but I know for the first few years many guys running them would have to ship them back to RF to be warranteed. To me its kinda a pain since the only way to tune the unit is wirelessly through a laptop or palm but some light that idea and when it works I am sure its great and easy to use.

Jl Audio Cleansweep - This isn't nearly as complex as the Rockford unit, but the price reflects that. The Jl audio Cleansweep is a great unit for those you just want a little extra and not go ALL out with a complete custom system. The JL only has 2 sets of pre-outs (Front and Rear) but this could be enough to get things started depending on how far you want to go, worst case simply daisy chain the subwoofer amp off the rear side of the speaker amp.

AudioControl LC8i - I personally know little to nothing about this unit, however Audiocontrol has been around for a while with external processors and mostly known for their EpiCenter bass control units. This appears to be along the lines of the JL Audio cleansweep however where the JL does automatic processing to clean up the factory signal it appears this just sums up all the inputs and might do some processing but is more generic. However it does have FAR more outputs, 8 to be exact, versus the JL Audio's 2.

Audison Bit-1 - I can't seem to find a dealer for it or a price. I hear its had some tethering issues that have plagued it similiar to the RF's bluetooth issues, but these issues should be fixed by now. This is basically the JL cleansweep and RF 3Sixty.2 all rolled into one, however seems it may have flopped on conception.

I'm sure there are others out there that I am just not thinking of, and millions of other ways to skin a cat ranging for a $5 line out converter to just add in a subamp off the rear channel speakers to some of these high end processors and integration units, or simply adding an amp with High Level inputs (speaker level)

I'm all for aftermarket stereo's all the way but with the new nav and sync and integrated usb and steering wheel controls and everything built in the JL cleansweep or the Rockford unit might be exactly what your looking for.
 

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Hey Josh those links you posted are not working... How do these processors hook to the factory HU?
 

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6Leaker
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Hey Josh those links you posted are not working... How do these processors hook to the factory HU?
sooo dumb :doh:


sorry about that, hopefully these ones will work, I grabbed most of them off Crutchfield.com


Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 - Rockford Fosgate 3SIXTY.2 Interactive signal processor Expand and fine-tune your factory or brand-name stereo system at Crutchfield Signature


Jl Audio Cleansweep - JL Audio CL441dsp CleanSweep Sound processor for use when adding amps and speakers to a factory system at Crutchfield Signature


They all hook in as any line out converter would straight off the speaker leads, but they are powered and then can produce a solid preout signal in the 5v range. It still means there is a Hi level to low level conversion but it should be much stronger than if you had a non powered line out converter or if you were to directly feed the amp with a High level signal.

The 3Sixty.1 has 6 high level inputs for Front L/R Rear L/R Center and Sub so even if your car had a factory 5.1 surround sound system in it you could hook everything up and get a single summed up audio signal to build off of. It says that is flattens everything out too, but I don't know how it does this to the factory signal. The JL cleansweep has a calibration disc that you play through the factory receiver so that it can flatten everything out and give a clean flat signal to build from.

I don't think the cleansweep has full active capabilities but I believe is marketed more towards a simple amp and door speaker replacement sort of system while the 3Sixty can go full 3-way active and basically do full competition level stereo's, then the Audison Bit-1 will do 4 way active (tweeter, mid, mid-bass, sub)
 

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PETE ENGR PSD
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Re: What is the stock head unit capable of?/
Not a whole lot. :ford:. You wonder why they don't atleast put pre-outs on these. Are the new radios pioneer as well? IIRC my stock 06 was made by pioneer.
 

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That rockford is a pretty cool setup. That is perfect for retaining the factory HU! Downsides are the price and it says you need a Palm 5.0 or higher device, Windows CE device, or Windows laptop with Bluetooth to make adjustments to it.
 

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6Leaker
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For my new truck I have been thinking of doing a simple system. Stock HU, Cleansweep, 900/5 amp, 1 10" sub and replace factorys with some nice coaxs.
That would be a solid setup, but change the front coaxs for some VR components and call it a day. Might need to use some Y-splitters on the RCA's off the Cleansweep to feed the sub side of the 5 channel but should work great.


Travis sums up my thoughts exactly.

If a shop is going to be doing an install 90% of the time they will be using a Cleansweep due to price and since the end user isn't really going to be adjusting much of anything when a shop installs the gear. For someone looking to go above the simple and do an active install in a new vehicle where they can't drop in a new HU then the 3Sixty comes into play.

Like I said I am not a big fan of the bluetooth only communication especially with the bugs it had, but sadly its how it is. I believe most who get them fixed never have an issue later on but still I would much rather have a direct USB connection similar to how the Zapco DCRef amps work.
 

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I have VR components, I am very happy with their sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
True, however...


With todays cars and most everything getting integrated there is now a large selection of external processors and factory integration units. They can be as pricey as an aftermarket double din or more, but will keep your HU and all its integrated features but give you absolute complete control and system building functions and sometimes more than an aftermarket HU would have.

Something like these could be what your looking for

Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 - This will give you WAAY more control than an aftermarket HU, enough tuning options to go completely active (3-way, high, mid, sub) on all speakers. The only issue I have seen with these units and maybe it has been fixed recently, However many of the earlier and even several years into their production they were plagued with Bluetooth issues. Again maybe its been fixed, but I know for the first few years many guys running them would have to ship them back to RF to be warranteed. To me its kinda a pain since the only way to tune the unit is wirelessly through a laptop or palm but some light that idea and when it works I am sure its great and easy to use.

Jl Audio Cleansweep - This isn't nearly as complex as the Rockford unit, but the price reflects that. The Jl audio Cleansweep is a great unit for those you just want a little extra and not go ALL out with a complete custom system. The JL only has 2 sets of pre-outs (Front and Rear) but this could be enough to get things started depending on how far you want to go, worst case simply daisy chain the subwoofer amp off the rear side of the speaker amp.

AudioControl LC8i - I personally know little to nothing about this unit, however Audiocontrol has been around for a while with external processors and mostly known for their EpiCenter bass control units. This appears to be along the lines of the JL Audio cleansweep however where the JL does automatic processing to clean up the factory signal it appears this just sums up all the inputs and might do some processing but is more generic. However it does have FAR more outputs, 8 to be exact, versus the JL Audio's 2.

Audison Bit-1 - I can't seem to find a dealer for it or a price. I hear its had some tethering issues that have plagued it similiar to the RF's bluetooth issues, but these issues should be fixed by now. This is basically the JL cleansweep and RF 3Sixty.2 all rolled into one, however seems it may have flopped on conception.

I'm sure there are others out there that I am just not thinking of, and millions of other ways to skin a cat ranging for a $5 line out converter to just add in a subamp off the rear channel speakers to some of these high end processors and integration units, or simply adding an amp with High Level inputs (speaker level)

I'm all for aftermarket stereo's all the way but with the new nav and sync and integrated usb and steering wheel controls and everything built in the JL cleansweep or the Rockford unit might be exactly what your looking for.

That's some good information, I like it. However, this brings up more questions...

The JL processor, you say it has two pre amp outputs, front and rear. So does this mean when I use this processor for example, that my speakers will then be run by the processor and the HU would not longer control them? I'm asking this because, I was wondering if I could retain the HU's speaker control and use the pre amp outputs for subs? I know that the processor will run the speakers, just curious as to how much control you have over this... I don't think that the Rockford unit would have this issue because I could do all my channels, I think.

How would these units handle the tweeters?

Lastly, let's say I go with this head unit....

Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT Navigation receiver at Crutchfield Signature


It's got the rear USB inputs so I'm going to assume I can get a male USB to female USB cord and put that in the factory location, same with the AUX input, the phone button on the steering wheel isn't a big concern but it would be nice if it worked with the head unit. I see it would need an adapter for the other steering wheel controls which isn't a biggie.

Basically what I'm looking for is something to allow me to retain the stock HU if possible and build a good system off of it. I'm thinking at least two subs and upgrade the speakers/tweeters. If it looks troublesome to use a processor, then I might go ahead and get an aftermarket HU but, I'm hoping I can use the money I'd spend on a good HU and put that to the speakers.


While I'm at it, I have the rear captains chairs, would it be better to make a sub box that is the entire width of the cab behind the seats and let the two subs share the same air space or have them in their own boxes?
 

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6Leaker
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That's some good information, I like it. However, this brings up more questions...

The JL processor, you say it has two pre amp outputs, front and rear. So does this mean when I use this processor for example, that my speakers will then be run by the processor and the HU would not longer control them? I'm asking this because, I was wondering if I could retain the HU's speaker control and use the pre amp outputs for subs? I know that the processor will run the speakers, just curious as to how much control you have over this... I don't think that the Rockford unit would have this issue because I could do all my channels, I think.
I did a bunch more digging around on the Cleansweep for you and it appears what its PRIMARY goal is for some newer and higher end cars that have factory preset equalization. I can do some more digging to see if these trucks have equalization already in them but if they don't then it might be best to try a different processor/LOC It appears the biggest downfall with the unit is not being able to sum up the signals it receives. With that and with only having a pair of output RCA's I am not overly happy with it. Also I see some people mentioning that it messes with the factory volume knob and makes it so you need to use the cleansweep's knob instead, I don't see how this would be the case but maybe a call to JL or a shop that has hands on experience with the Cleansweep could answer it all.

Every post I am finding where it seems the discussion would go towards the technical aspects of installing it and how it works people are coming back with responses of to call JL's tech line :doh: they all say JL has a great and extremely helpful tech line though if that helps :shrug:

How would these units handle the tweeters?
If going with aftermarket tweeters their processing should be handled down stream, either in the crossover that comes with the components or actively through the amp that is powering them.

Lastly, let's say I go with this head unit....

Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT Navigation receiver at Crutchfield Signature


It's got the rear USB inputs so I'm going to assume I can get a male USB to female USB cord and put that in the factory location, same with the AUX input, the phone button on the steering wheel isn't a big concern but it would be nice if it worked with the head unit. I see it would need an adapter for the other steering wheel controls which isn't a biggie.
Looks like a solid unit, and sounds like good plans for the accessories. newegg.com should have the USB cables your looking for unless you can get them local. For the steering wheel controls this should be the unit your looking for, PAC SWI-PS Steering wheel control interface for Pioneer, Jensen, and Sony at Crutchfield.com
not sure if it will link the phone button as well though.

Basically what I'm looking for is something to allow me to retain the stock HU if possible and build a good system off of it. I'm thinking at least two subs and upgrade the speakers/tweeters. If it looks troublesome to use a processor, then I might go ahead and get an aftermarket HU but, I'm hoping I can use the money I'd spend on a good HU and put that to the speakers.
I am pretty sure you will be able to to keep your stock HU and integrate it fully, but I am unsure of the best and cheapest way possible to accomplish your specific goals.

I will admit I am pretty unfamiliar with the newer stereo's, will need to figure out if the stock HU modifies the stereo signal and if there is an external amp somewhere. If there is no modification and for a basic install I think I would personally go with a basic LOC or something like this, AudioControl LC6i 6-channel line output converter for adding outboard amps to your factory audio system at Crutchfield Signature


While I'm at it, I have the rear captains chairs, would it be better to make a sub box that is the entire width of the cab behind the seats and let the two subs share the same air space or have them in their own boxes?
Do you have the power sliding rear window? This will limit A LOT of the room behind the seats. Captains chairs might make it different but I know with the bench seats there is not much room for mounting depth but maybe its better with the captains chairs.

It will be fine if they share the same airspace. A lot could be done with the center console area though if you wish to go that route.



I know I wasn't able to give you too much actual info, but I hope it helps. If your ever looking for some good dedicated audio sites for some research and questions you might want to check out Car Audio at CarAudio.com and DIYMA.com - Quality in Sound, Content & Membership
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright, well I've done a bit of reading and I've come up with some ideas, so I'll shoot them out there and see what you think.

After downloading and reading the manual for the RF 3Sixty.2, I've decided I'll probably go that direction because it offers plenty of options, has a computer interface which I'm more comfortable with, and it will allow me to do a bunch of stuff with it.

I've never really had a good system in a car so this is my first go around but I'll give it a shot.

So far I've got the following for amps/processor.

RF 3Sixty.2
RF Power T600-2 -- To handle the subs.
RF Punch P400-4 -- Thinking to use this for the speakers.

Now considering that I have roughly a 12" x 4 1/2" x cab width area to work with for the box behind the seats and console (seats fully reclined) I think I have enough to use some shallow mount subs, I'm thinking two 10" 300W, 2ohm subs. The amps will find their way on this box in some orientation along with the 3Sixty.2. If I don't need the amp for the speakers, I can get rid of it but, I'm not sure about the stock amp powering all that stuff.

Speaker/sub list, I'll have to go to the shop we have here in town to get a price on these so I can only guess as to what they will cost.

Subs
Memphis S Class -- 10" (either model, I'm not sure what the S or D in the part numbers signify.) x 2

As for the speakers, I'm not sure what size fit the door, according to Crutchfield, the biggest I can go is 6"x8" so I'll probably go with some M Class 50/100w component speakers.

As for the tweeters, I'm not sure. I'll have to ask the guy at the shop tomorrow to see what he's got and what he can do for my truck.

Oh and jdc, you said you didn't know how the 3Sixty flattened everything out and in the manual it says you need to play a CD that comes with it....So I guess it's good to go in the signal department, correct?
 

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6Leaker
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I can only do so much from my phone but here are some ideas to look over for your front doors. I know its in an 07 but he puts some aftermarket tweeters in the stock 08 pods. 2007 Ford F-350 crew cab build - Page 3 - DIYMA.com.

I think that's a great choice on the RF and will give ya tons of options and tuning abilities. I'll check out those subs later on when I get home, but my guess is the S is for single voice coil (SVC) and D is for Dual voice coil (DVC).
 

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6Leaker
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Another one that will work good is the memphis audio 16-6ix. It won't have all the eq and time alignment and crossovers as the Rockford unit but if you don't want all that the memphis one is only about $180. It can take up to 6 channels in and output 6 and can sum the signals and level match them and give you a remote turn on lead for the amps.

I still thenk the RF will give you tons of options to build up to even a competition grade system but the memphis for much cheaper will give you a solid base for all your amps.
 
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