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    1. #1
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      Audio Upgrade

      So I've decided to tackle the sound quality issues of the stock high performance system. Overall it's not a bad system, but it's just not doing it for me in clarity, so my plan is to upgrade the speakers and add a more powerful amplifier without disturbing the factory wiring. I have all the parts on order so my next update will be the installation. Here is my parts list, so far totaling in $300 which is right on budget .

      Updated 8/16/16 (over budget, but i originally did not plan for a subwoofer)
      Final Setup:
      Alpine Power Pack KTP-445U 4x45w RMS @ 2ohms $70 shipped, used on ebay
      JBL P660C (front) (component set, discontinued, but can be found. Very highly rated speaker, $120 on amazon)
      JBL P662 (rear) (similar to the above, but in coaxial form, $80 on amazon)
      SOT-045 harness ($18 ebay)
      Nissan 6.5 speaker adapters found here http://www.amazon.com/Infiniti-Plast...ct_top?ie=UTF8 ($20 amazon)
      Alpine MRV-M250 ($107 amazon, could have been cheaper from jet.com)
      Alpine 8" type R (SBR-S8-4) ($180 on sale)

      Completed system uses the high level inputs on the new amps combined with the SOT-045 harness connected to the factory amp. This results in a clean reversible install without hacking up any oem wires. I hope my research and findings can help fellow members.
      Last edited by bhom920; 08-16-2016 at 05:17 PM.
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    2. #2
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      I'd be intrested to know how this works out....keep us posted
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    3. #3
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      Keep us updated and try to take lots of pictures. This is something I am interested in.
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    5. #4
      Junior Member excites40's Avatar
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      Please take pictures and keep us posted.
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    6. #5
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      Will do, Parts should be arriving next week or at least i hope. The SOT-045 harness is coming from the UK as i could not find a US seller.
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    7. #6
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      My harness came in. It came with a different part number than SOT-045, but it seems to be the correct connector. The part number on this one is CT10VL05 and is made by connects2. It's listed to fit 04+ xc90 and 08+ xc80. Some of the wires were also labeled, so i edited a drawing that was floating around some of the other threads and updated it based on my harness. I have not confirmed any of these additional wires, but I hope this can help someone.


      Last edited by bhom920; 02-13-2016 at 05:10 PM.
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    8. #7
      Junior Member tunedxc60's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bhom920 View Post
      PIN 6, mine is vacant just like yours as shown. How did you come to the conclusion that it provides switched 12v? Is this switched 12v as an output from the amp, or from an alternate version of this connector harness with the 12v switched being fed from the other end?
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    9. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by tunedxc60 View Post
      PIN 6, mine is vacant just like yours as shown. How did you come to the conclusion that it provides switched 12v? Is this switched 12v as an output from the amp, or from an alternate version of this connector harness with the 12v switched being fed from the other end?
      I must have labeled this as a mistake. I think i got this from the parrot harness. I did not use it or test it after finding out the auto turn on worked perfectly.
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    10. #9
      Junior Member tunedxc60's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bhom920 View Post
      I must have labeled this as a mistake. I think i got this from the parrot harness. I did not use it or test it after finding out the auto turn on worked perfectly.
      Thanks. I'm planning on just purchasing a cheap Scosche line output converter today and taking the output from the factory amp and splicing the left channel audio to the input of the converter in parallel with the cable that goes to my subwoofer amp left channel input. I've already got a wire from the passenger seat to the rear, so I'll plan on placing the line output converter under the seat and spicing the output from the line output converter to the subwoofer amp remote turn on wire. Just need to find constant low current 12v somewhere in the passenger seat area. I suppose I could always use a scotch lock on the 12v lighter plug in the center console. I was entirely trying to avoid splicing into factory wiring, but it seems to be the option at the moment.
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    11. #10
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      I had some time this afternoon to install the Alpine power pack. The SOT-045 harness made the wiring super easy, i can say that this was the easiest amp that i've installed. None of the factory wiring was touched, I was also able to use the built in speaker sensing function of the amp so that i did not need a remote turn on wire. The hardest part of the install was placing the new amp. I wanted to keep it right behind the factory amp like another member did on this forum, but the mess of harness and extra wire was a little bit of a pain to tuck in the right places. A quick tip: Be careful of the fiber wires located on the right side of the oem amp (they are orange). My amp is not mounted, it just happened to wedge perfectly in the space. See pics below of the installation:

      De-pinning of any "extra wires"


      All of the harnesses prepped and ready for soldering


      The finished plug and play harness


      Amp installed. This picture was taken with the seat all the way forward.



      Overall impressions from a quick drive:

      I'm not a audiophile or a audio expert, but the mids and highs are much more brought out from the factory speakers. Bass seems to remain about the same which could just be a driver limit or acoustical limit of the door. I was listening to some electronic, pop, and rap when i did this quick test. So far i'm very happy with what i hear. This amp upgrade might just be the small bump that most will need to be very happy with the factory high performance speakers. Stay tuned for the speaker upgrades next week.
      Last edited by bhom920; 02-13-2016 at 06:59 PM.
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    12. #11
      Junior Member johnsnowkornar's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bhom920 View Post
      I had some time this afternoon to install the Alpine power pack. The SOT-045 harness made the wiring super easy, i can say that this was the easiest amp that i've installed. None of the factory wiring was touched, I was also able to use the built in speaker sensing function of the amp so that i did not need a remote turn on wire. The hardest part of the install was placing the new amp. I wanted to keep it right behind the factory amp like another member did on this forum, but the mess of harness and extra wire was a little bit of a pain to tuck in the right places. A quick tip: Be careful of the fiber wires located on the right side of the oem amp (they are orange). My amp is not mounted, it just happened to wedge perfectly in the space. See pics below of the installation:

      De-pinning of any "extra wires"


      All of the harnesses prepped and ready for soldering


      The finished plug and play harness


      Amp installed. This picture was taken with the seat all the way forward.



      Overall impressions from a quick drive:

      I'm not a audiophile or a audio expert, but the mids and highs are much more brought out from the headphones for guitar AMP. Bass seems to remain about the same which could just be a driver limit or acoustical limit of the door. I was listening to some electronic, pop, and rap when i did this quick test. So far i'm very happy with what i hear. This amp upgrade might just be the small bump that most will need to be very happy with the factory high performance speakers. Stay tuned for the speaker upgrades next week.
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    13. #12
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      I think you'll notice the greatest change when you swap out the speakers - providing a cleaner signal to the existing speakers will often yield the smallest change because the limit of the stock speakers.

      I'm considering swapping out my stock speakers as well - from there, I'll make changes to the signal and/or power unit.

      In the end, I think you will find a better than stock system and I think the greatest win is that you didn't cut any wires!
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    14. #13
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      I'm anxious to see what you do with the speakers. I'm not at all impressed with my XC's standard audio system. I looked into upgrading the speakers once before, but the idea fizzled out.
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    15. #14
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      I had a little bit of time to put the front woofers together last night, i'm still waiting for some parts before i tear open the door panels. Here's some pics comparing the new jbl with a stock volvo high performance speaker using the nissan 6.5 brackets. The mounting holes match up to the volvo brackets! The build quality is great on these brackets and are not flimsy like i had originally thought.

      stock, JBL P660C w/ nissan bracket, Nissan bracket


      depth comparison. i don't think i will run into any issues with the magnet hitting the window.


      installed some 3/8" x 3/16" foam weatherstrip on the back of the bracket to seal against the door.



      Overall thoughts thus far. The JBL units are very heavy compared to the stock speaker. Their baskets seem to be extremely sturdy and the honeycomb cone seems to be very rigid. The stock speaker is all plastic and the woofer seems to be basic paper. i can push one side of the cone and see it distort our of round. Looking at some pictures online, it looks like the tweeter will need some sort of bracket made when the time comes.
      Last edited by bhom920; 02-18-2016 at 11:51 AM.
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    16. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by bhom920 View Post

      Overall thoughts thus far. The JBL units are very heavy compared to the stock speaker. Their baskets seem to be extremely sturdy and the honeycomb cone seems to be very rigid. The stock speaker is all plastic and the woofer seems to be basic paper. i can push one side of the cone and see it distort our of round. Looking at some pictures online, it looks like the tweeter will need some sort of bracket made when the time comes.
      I wouldn't judge the speaker by weight nor by the paper cone. These don't always equate to better or worse.

      In my bass guitar cabinets I have neodymium magnets and paper cones. The magnets are lighter (and a selling point since lugging a cab isn't always fun).

      The paper cones aren't bad either. You can still find paper cones in many high end speakers. Car audio folks might just be more into shiny flashy things though. But there is nothing wrong with a well built paper cone.

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    17. #16
      Junior Member whitev70r's Avatar
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      Nice write up, thanks. So 2015 XC60 still using paper cone speakers for factory?
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    18. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by whitev70r View Post
      Nice write up, thanks. So 2015 XC60 still using paper cone speakers for factory?
      I cant speak for the premium HK drivers, but the high performance drivers are.
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    19. #18
      Junior Member excites40's Avatar
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      Sorry but i'm not an audio expert. How are those wiring connection - plug into the factory amp.

      Why do you need the bracket for the JBL speaker. Is it mounting directly to the door is not an option?
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    20. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by excites40 View Post
      Sorry but i'm not an audio expert. How are those wiring connection - plug into the factory amp.

      Why do you need the bracket for the JBL speaker. Is it mounting directly to the door is not an option?
      I am a bit unsure what your asking in your first question. I am using a SOT-045 harness to grab the speaker output from the factory amp so that it can be inputted into the alpine amp. The alpine amp then passes the new powered signal back to the factory speakers. The SOT-045 just allows me to connect to the car and the factory amp without cutting any of the factory wiring.

      You will need the bracket for the new speaker because the the depth of the magnet. If you don't use it the magnet will most likely hit the window when rolled down. You also wouldn't want the speaker to be so far sunk in from the outer door panel, so the bracket brings it back out to the factory position as well as allows you to use the factory mounting holes. The whole concept of this new upgraded system is that i can remove it all if i were to sell the car in the future without damaging any of the car.
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    21. #20
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      This is great. Keep the info coming. Have you noticed the factory senues system doing anything different with the changes?
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    22. #21
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    23. #22
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      Here's a teaser pic of the full set
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    24. #23
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      Speakers installed without any clearance issues. I found out that we have plenty of space to mount crossovers. I didn't figure out a way of more permanently mounting the tweeters so please excuse my horrible mounting.

      Rear door with JBL P662 coaxials


      Front door with JBL P660C components. Crossovers are double side taped with very strong 15lb tape


      Sails with tweeters double side taped into them. Seems like it will hold for now until i have more time to fab up a bracket


      can't forget the JBL badges to make me feel premium


      As of right now i do not have thoughts on sound. I will have something to say after a long drive.
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    25. #24
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      Sweet! That looks great. So what was the problem with the favorite tweeter mount?
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    26. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darqhelmet View Post
      Sweet! That looks great. So what was the problem with the favorite tweeter mount?
      Thanks, whats the favorite tweeter mount? Are you talking about reusing the old mount? I was trying not to hack up any of the original stuff.
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    27. #26
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      Sorry was on my phone and didn't see the auto correct. I meant what was the problem with the factory mount for the tweeter. I have not taken a look under the grills in the pillar.
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    28. #27
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      Oh, the factory tweeter is built into the bracket. The wiring harness connector is built into the bracket and then the tweeter is soldered on and glued on from that piece. The plus side is that it looks like the factory is a silk dome tweeter and actually looks pretty nice.
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    29. #28
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      Just a few notes on my installation.

      - I did not cut off any speaker plugs. I reused some spade terminals off of a old car wire harness that i had to insert into the factory speaker connectors.
      - The rear door tweeters were left unplugged because i was using a coaxial speaker. I did this because i felt the imaging would be better with the coaxial due to their swivel mounted tweeters where i can aim them up towards the listeners ear. The stock tweeters are aimed at your legs.
      -I noticed that the factory High performance system has a front speaker bias. I thought that this was because the front and rear speakers were different, but as it turns out they are the same exact part number. There is significantly less volume and bass coming from the rear speakers even with the fader set to the middle setting. This could be for optimal sound imaging for the driver. Not a problem, but just something to note when adding a subwoofer. Use the front speaker outputs for your signal.
      -The gain on my alpine amp is set to between the 8 and 9 o clock position. There is a correct way to set the gain (google how to properly set the gain), but the system gets so loud that my ears cannot take it. The alpine manual says that high level inputs should not go over the 9 oclock position.


      Day 1 sound differences. I probably have about an hour of total listening time with these. So far i've noticed that the mids are much clearer, the highs seems to be crisper but not harsh. I have the crossovers set to -6db. I've been debating to put them back to 0db, but that would involve taking the door panel off. I seem to have lost some of the low end bass. Mid bass is very powerful. I also cannot have the volume more than half way before it becomes deafening. I do not have any distortion at these high volumes, but i do have a little bit of rattle in my door panels with deep bass. I can't yet say if it was a HUGE improvement over stock, but definitely an improvement for little cost and time. I do wonder if upgrading the amp to the NVX MVPA4 will make a substantial difference (100w x 4 @ 2ohms vs 45w x4 @ 2ohms) even though i don't often play my music at super high volumes. Maybe a audio expert can chime in on this?
      Last edited by bhom920; 02-23-2016 at 12:45 PM.
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    30. #29
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      Where are you pulling power for the amp? Did you have to run a line from the cars battery? If so where did you come through the firewall?

      The reason I ask is the amp you're thinking about upgrading needs an 8 gauge power wire.
      Last edited by Darqhelmet; 02-23-2016 at 03:45 PM.
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    31. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darqhelmet View Post
      Where are you pulling power for the amp? Did you have to run a line from the cars battery? If so where did you come through the firewall?

      The reason I ask is the amp you're thinking about upgrading needs an 8 gauge power wire.
      After playing around with the EQ, putting the crossover back at 0db for the tweeters, and the tweaking the gains i think im at a point where im very satisfied now. But in regards to the amp, i don't think 8gauge is needed. The 10 gauge at the factory amp should be sufficient as the NVX is has a 30amp fuse and after looking at this chart, i think the 10 gauge is sufficient. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-h0wahpX...uge_chart.html Worst case the fuse supplying the factory amp will blow.
      Last edited by bhom920; 02-23-2016 at 07:17 PM.
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      Here are some video samples taken from camera. I wish it had a much better mic. The bass seems to really overpower everything in these videos. I am very happy with the results now

      Demo 1
      https://youtu.be/T2aVfZmNyxo

      Demo 2
      https://youtu.be/IDw-K_oxV2M
      Last edited by bhom920; 02-23-2016 at 07:40 PM.
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      What factory stereo trim level do you have? I forgot to ask that.
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    34. #33
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    35. #34
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      Looks good. Let us know when you add a sub.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darqhelmet View Post
      Looks good. Let us know when you add a sub.
      I had a old infinity basslink that i picked up several years ago for $20 on a gamble and the amp turned out to be blown. I also had a huge sheet of cabinet grade particle board that i saved when i did my kitchen remodel (not quite MDF, but certianly better than the stuff you find at homedepot). I figured if i don't have to spend any money i might as well give it a go. I took the dimensions from mark-sf and made my enclosure even lower profile to accommodate a top mount sub and passive radiator (i got very lucky that the volume of the basslink is very close to that of my enclosure). The downside is the driver is a bit deep, so i had to make a cut out on the back of the box (could easily be solved by a slim sub, but i'm trying to recycle as much as i could in this project. Here is what an hour of work got me:


      what left to do is to throw some screws in and do a mock up test fitment. I may need to slim down the box a bit more. i'm currently at 24.5"x11"x4.75"
      Last edited by bhom920; 03-01-2016 at 06:13 AM.
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