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Discussion Starter #1
My ’14 SE has the non-Sony entertainment with 8”MFT. I wanted a bit better sound … less ‘muddy’ in the midrange and a bit more bass fill.

I listen mainly to CD’s (making the transition to lossless format rips on the USB drive) and ‘like a bit of volume’ when on the open road. I’m always disappointed when I listen to an MPx back-to-back with the CD/lossless WMA. 99% of my in-home listening is on vinyl. Classical, 60’s-70’s rock/electric blues, folk/singer-songwriter and popular jazz are all in my collection.

Considering my budget I was aiming for something in the range of “good-to-better” on the “good-better-best” scale. Look to @markboris garage for how to approach “best” ;-) I ruled-out adding DSP from the start.

A main criteria (= compromise) for me was that everything needed to fit as stealthy as possible. I often completely fill the cargo area behind the rear seats when travelling. I didn’t want this mod to affect the look or how I use my FE and I wanted it to sound the same whether travelling empty or loaded.

So, here’s what I ended-up with:

Speakers – Alpine SPS-610C Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. ; these are 4 Ohm component speakers with 6-1/2” woofer/midrange and separate 1” tweeter; they include a passive crossover between the two; rated at 80W maximum RMS, 70Hz-22kHz frequency response.

They fit the OEM locations in the doors (A-pillar for the front tweeters) so I put ‘em in front and rear. Per suggestion from markboris I tested with and without the front center speaker connected and ended–up pulling that 3.5” center speaker out completely.

4-Channel Amp – Alpine MRV-F300 Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. ; accepts direct speaker-level inputs with auto turn-on; 50W RMS @ 4 Ohms x 4; selectable high-pass or low pass filter (useful if a sub-woofer is added); reasonably compact and doesn’t need a fan for cooling. The amp is mounted to the bottom of the passenger seat, closer to the front than the back.

Powered Subwoofer - Alpine PWE-S8 Alpine Electronics of America, Inc. ; 8” woofer, 120 W amp (built-in), 25-152Hz frequency response, adjustable low pass crossover; speaker-level auto turn-on inputs; remote subwoofer volume adjustment. I first bought a very similar Kicker Hideaway 8” powered sub but it seemed boomy to my ears so I returned it and tried the Alpine which for me was more crisp so I stopped there. Neither one of these subs is a thumper contest winner but either very certainly add a lot to the overall sound of the system. I do think the Alpine pieces all ‘play nice’ with each other.

The powered subwoofer is on the floor under the drivers seat, forward against the raised 'beam' in the floor pan. I did pull and plug the rear facing HVAC duct under the driver's seat.

So how’s it sound? The improvement is radical. Much clearer and more crisp all across the spectrum and finally the hole in the bottom-end is filled with the subwoofer.

I’m a very happy camper, lovin’ my FE even more (if that’s possible). As long as I never get a ride in markboris’ FE my ears are more than satisfied with the $ and effort spent ;-)

Pics attached to show how the sub and amp fit. No impact at all on how I use the FE. Use of all seats is unaffected, no impact on rear footroom or front seat adjustment range. Everything is 'invisible' unless you really go digging under the seats.

More of the electrical connection details are in this thread http://www.fordescape.org/forum/diy-garage/29945-diy-non-sony-audio-upgrade-tips.html#post374689
 

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That is one clean install of the 4 channel amp. Nice wiring job too. We think alike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm flattered, thanks!
 

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very nice. :)

now I just need to get mine over there for you to install a sub. :) lol

Centex Auto Electronics. lol
 

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.... now I just need to get mine over there for you to install a sub. :) lol .....
Hey Darrell - if only adding a sub there's an easier place to tap into the speaker L/R outputs at the console. PM me if you want the details.

(that 'lower' speaker harness misses the feed for the front tweeters - not a problem if adding a sub or abandoning the front OEM tweeter hookups; lots less wire-run than going up to the Audio Unit like I did to catch the front tweets ;-)
.... love the massage chair idea :)
Lol, with only an 8" sub the 'massage' is pretty much 'for your ears only'
;)
 
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Hey was wondering where the easy estate point to get my outs would be to just hook up and amp and sub? Thanks new here but not new to car stereos
 

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Hey was wondering where the easy estate point to get my outs would be to just hook up and amp and sub? Thanks new here but not new to car stereos
Not sure I understand your question, but if you have the non-Sony with 8" MFT the answer may be in this thread, linked in my OP above

http://www.fordescape.org/forum/diy-garage/29945-diy-non-sony-audio-upgrade-tips.html#post374689

NOTE if you have the Sony system that does not apply ... you'll need to search for the other threads by folks that have done mods to the Sony system.

Since this thread was last updated I've changed my system to use different outboard amps and include a DSP and separate amp / subwoofer. I still used the speaker-out connections described in the linked thread for the feed to the high-level (speaker level) DSP inputs. Please carefully read the linked '.. Upgrade Tips' thread entirely for all the details.
 

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Ok thank you thanks for the quick response. I have been waiting for it lol yes i have the non sony 9 speaker in my 2014 escape but i want to tap in the easyest and cleanest way possible just to ad an amp and sub in. Thanks will be checking out the link you sent in a min.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...if only adding a sub there's an easier place to tap into the speaker L/R outputs at the console. PM me if you want the details....
Ah, mm2freak222 'called me' on this comment via PM. As I explained in my reply, I've since realized from further hands-on investigation that the supposedly easier connection in the console is actually blocked by some structural brackets under the shifter and is essentially impossible to access :-(

So, scratch the console connection idea, I stuck with the behind-the-Audio Unit connector as the best place to grab outputs.
 

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So, I was about to upgrade the two speakers on the rear door because I heard some rattling every time song with a little bass kicked in. I then realized, it was coming from the speaker all the way on the back...not the rear doors. Oddly enough, I just found one speaker there, not two. What kind of speaker is it...I am unable to find specs. The manual says "Audio System from Sony® with 10 speakers
and HD Radio™ Technology"

Ok, two in the front doors, two in the back, four tweeters...and the one in the back. Any idea where the last one is? Am I going bout this all wrong?
 

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Doh, its the subwoofer...
Plus you have the one in the center of the dash, total 10.
 
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Its probably the panels around it rattling because there's a subwoofer behind them... ;)
 
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Hey there, I'm thinking of duplicating your setup - I like the stealth and keeping everything clear a lot! How does the PWE-S8 affect the air vents under the driver seat?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
....How does the PWE-S8 affect the air vents under the driver seat?
The 'snorkle' that sticks up to blow air to the rear left floorboard must be removed - it simply pulls-out of a 'snap-in' connection and can be snapped back into place if you ever remove the sub.

I jammed a piece of foam in the opening during winter when I used the heater to keep from blowing hot air directly onto the bottom of the sub/amp. With/without the foam blocking the opening I couldn't detect any difference in the airflow from the other floor vents.
 
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Ok I see - thanks for the reply! Did you use a line output converter to get all the devices hooked up?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
See this thread for more details http://www.fordescape.org/forum/diy-garage/29945-diy-non-sony-audio-upgrade-tips.html#post374689

but don't hesitate to post Q's here, too, I'll try to help....

+ No, I did not use an LOC - went straight from the high level (speaker level) output on the OEM HU to the high-level input harness on the MRV-F300 made for that purpose.

+ The PWE-S8 also has a harness for high-level inputs so I just split the front L&R inputs at the MRV-F300 harness and ran those over to the PWE-S8. The powered sub then does the 'blend' of those two inputs to get proper single-channel subwoofer sound.

You could use an LOC and then feed to the low-level RCA inputs on the amp and sub. But IMHO that just introduces complication and another potential source of noise with no benefit. That's why I chose components that have built-in high-level input provisions (and there are lots of quality choices other than the Alpine MRV-F300 that offer direct high-level input).

If you're interested in an LOC "+" like one of the AudioControl LCQ-xx units because they advertise 'signal conditioning' I'd urge you to skip that for your first-step upgrade. IF you later think you need the 'signal conditioning' you can always insert the LOC "+" at the amp where you'll already have the inputs handy. I suspect you'll find that the 'signal conditioning' of that sort isn't worth the complexity and cost relative to the other components in this range.

Now if you want go the next $tep to D$P ..... well, that'$ another matter ... that's the rabbit-hole I've slipped into ....

;)
 

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Awesome - thanks for the tips and pm's!! Really helpful :)

I made my decisions and have decided that I can live with losing a little space. Ordered the MRV-V500 5 channel to run the 4 speakers and 1 sub that way I can just siphon off the high level output one time and minimize other devices and chances for noise. I wanted to buy the JL CP108LG-W3v3 but I found the Pioneer TS SWX2502 for $110 and couldn't justify the extra. Hope I'm not disappointed :S
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Awesome - thanks for the tips and pm's!! Really helpful :)

I made my decisions and have decided that I can live with losing a little space. Ordered the MRV-V500 5 channel to run the 4 speakers and 1 sub that way I can just siphon off the high level output one time and minimize other devices and chances for noise. I wanted to buy the JL CP108LG-W3v3 but I found the Pioneer TS SWX2502 for $110 and couldn't justify the extra. Hope I'm not disappointed :S
Very cool, I'll bet you enjoy it all lot, we'll look forward to your 'review' when it's all installed.
 
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