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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an SLE with base sound system. I replaced the door speakers with Kappa 63.9i's up front and 6022si's in rear. I ended up taking a Dremel to the plastic housing that the factory speakers are mounted in and mounting the Infinity's in them. That way there was a tight seal to the door and the speaker is positioned tight to the plastic door panel.

The sound fidelity went from a "2" to maybe a "5" or "6". I was hoping for more of an improvement. I don't care much about rattling the windows and waking the neighbors, but I'd like to get a cleaner sound.

Any thoughts as to what the best bang-for-buck next step should be?

I was thinking of changing the tweeters up front, or maybe adding a small sub (the powered Inifinity one, or maybe the slim Pioneer 10" with a small amp).

To me, the sound still sounds like it's being muffled by plastic. Better than stock, but i was really hoping for more. especially once I pulled the stock speakers. they weigh almost nothing, the magnet is tiny.

I also looked at replacing the head unit with a Kenwood DNX5120, but once you add the LAN Bus adapter and XM it really starts to add up. But if the stock head unit is the limiting factor, I'd be willing to consider it.

Has anyone went from stock head unit to Kenwood while keeping the same speakers? Did the sound quality improve a great deal?
 

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Wife's factory Bose speakers sound excellent when I drive it occassionally. I think I have it adjusted just right, front/rear, right/left, base/treble/mid with Sony MP3 hooked up too. I think it sounds better than the 500 Shaker in my other vehicle. Probably b/c more air volume in the Acadia? Put in a Mozart CD and the Bose speakers in wife's Acadia are outstanding, again..... with proper adjusting/tuning for different types of music.
Adjust for Mozart, piano, strings, horns, for rock/country.....The Acadia Bose speakers are fantastic!!
 

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I agree the Bose system in my Acadia is great. For your problem I think you should look at adding a 4 channel amp to wake up your speakers. I had to do this in my silverado with the base stereo. I replaced my speakers with Alpine and put a 400 watt rockford fosgate amp and man what a difference. The head unit just does no push enough power to the speakers to get the sound you want and even though you changed to a much better quality speaker they are only going to sound as good as the head unit will allow them to. Try an amp and I think you will find what you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dfrank78 said:
I agree the Bose system in my Acadia is great. For your problem I think you should look at adding a 4 channel amp to wake up your speakers. I had to do this in my silverado with the base stereo. I replaced my speakers with Alpine and put a 400 watt rockford fosgate amp and man what a difference. The head unit just does no push enough power to the speakers to get the sound you want and even though you changed to a much better quality speaker they are only going to sound as good as the head unit will allow them to. Try an amp and I think you will find what you are looking for.
thanks for the tip. I am looking for amps now.

Should I be worried about losing the tweeters on the pillars, if i go with a 4 channel amp? or should i leave those powered off the head unit, and just re-route the door speakers to the amp? The little hidden compartment in the rear looks like a good spot to hide an amp. Anyone find a good place closer to the front to mount one?
 

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teetertotter said:
I think it sounds better than the 500 Shaker in my other vehicle. Probably b/c more air volume in the Acadia?
It is a reasonably good sounding system but I don't think the larger volume is the key. By coincidence I have Bose systems in all three of my other cars and I definitely feel those in my RX8 and Audi have more realistic sound stages and flatter frequency responses at the upper and lower ends. Both of those are considerably smaller environments. I would put the Acadia's system above that in my Infiniti though. The Acadia certainly has a good system, but the standard is pretty high in optional systems these days.
 

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Heard the DNX5120 replacing a stock (non-nav) head unit. Substantial improvement in audio quality (much tighter bass and less harsh). The Kenwood is very nice but even with all adapters is still does not quite "feel" integrated in the car.
 

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dfrank78 said:
The head unit just does no push enough power to the speakers to get the sound you want and even though you changed to a much better quality speaker they are only going to sound as good as the head unit will allow them to. Try an amp and I think you will find what you are looking for.
This is very true :thumb: If given the choice to upgrade only between the headunit and the speakers, I will choose to upgrade my headunit for the reason mentioned above. Upgrading the speakers while retaining the headunit may produce a cleaner but obviously leaner sound. An amp is needed in this case.

jpeake said:
Should I be worried about losing the tweeters on the pillars, if i go with a 4 channel amp? or should i leave those powered off the head unit, and just re-route the door speakers to the amp? The little hidden compartment in the rear looks like a good spot to hide an amp. Anyone find a good place closer to the front to mount one?
If you have coaxials in the front, I would just leave the tweeters on the pillars not connected. OR you could use components instead of coaxials so you could also replace the tweeters as well. This, IMHO, will produce better imaging. I have my amp in the location you mentioned.
 

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jpeake said:
Has anyone went from stock head unit to Kenwood while keeping the same speakers? Did the sound quality improve a great deal?
I thought my setup of DNX5120 + Factory speakers was better than Factory headunit + Polk dB 6510 components. My final set-up consists of Kenwood DNX5120, Polk Audio 6501 components (front door and pillar tweeter), Polk dB651 (rear doors), 4 channel amp, 10-inch sub.
 

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Doug Goldberg said:
Heard the DNX5120 replacing a stock (non-nav) head unit. Substantial improvement in audio quality (much tighter bass and less harsh). The Kenwood is very nice but even with all adapters is still does not quite "feel" integrated in the car.
The DNX5120 has different sets of illumination that matches the dash lighting so it will match better, however, I also do feel that it is not "quite integrated"...lcd display may not be wide enough in proportion to the dash space and mounting is not really seated/flushed as i would like it.
 

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Nothing makes a difference in sound like a good sub. I am amazed the other posts didn't mention it. If you want to feel the music, its the only way to go. I do agree that adding a small amp will also make a world of difference.
 

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Replace the whole system. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well, I just finished up the amp install. And it sounds very nice. Great even. Except it is now glaringly evident that I need a sub.

I went with a Pioneer GM6300F amp. The price was right at Amazon, and I've had luck with Pioneer gear in the past. And it has pre-amp outs, so adding a powered sub (I'm leaning towards the Infinity BassLink II) should be a snap. Paired with the 2-ohm Infinity's (plus a little resistance for the 25+ feet of speaker wire) it is pushing about 60-70 watts per speaker (less in front with the stock tweeter in series). The stock speakers in the front doors were 4-ohm, and I believe they are wired in series with the pillar tweeters. The rear door speakers were 8-ohm.

I mounted the amp in the rear, bolted down in the contraband compartment. Perfect fit, with plenty of room to make connections and adjust things. i got a $20 line out converter and mounted that under the driver's seat so i could adjust the gain. The sound is nice and clean, too clean not to have a sub.

The wires are all hidden nicely. i was really surprised how easy it was to work inside the Acadia. The floor panels snap off and offer lots of options for running wire. I have about 6" on each side of exposed wiring, right in front of the 3rd row, which I will bundle up in that "split tube stuff". Everything else is under molding pretty much the whole way.

Overall i'm really happy with the results. It took about 5 hours for me to install the amp and tie it in.
 

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in my opinion u should look around and see if any junk yards got either acadias or enclaves with the bose speakers and buy those stop wastig it on crappy ones
 

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While I agree the bose system in these vehicles are good they dont hold a candle to most of the aftermarket speakers out there. Once you place a good amp with these speakers they blow the bose out of the water......
 

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jpeake said:
well, I just finished up the amp install. And it sounds very nice. Great even. Except it is now glaringly evident that I need a sub.

I went with a Pioneer GM6300F amp. The price was right at Amazon, and I've had luck with Pioneer gear in the past. And it has pre-amp outs, so adding a powered sub (I'm leaning towards the Infinity BassLink II) should be a snap. Paired with the 2-ohm Infinity's (plus a little resistance for the 25+ feet of speaker wire) it is pushing about 60-70 watts per speaker (less in front with the stock tweeter in series). The stock speakers in the front doors were 4-ohm, and I believe they are wired in series with the pillar tweeters. The rear door speakers were 8-ohm.

I mounted the amp in the rear, bolted down in the contraband compartment. Perfect fit, with plenty of room to make connections and adjust things. i got a $20 line out converter and mounted that under the driver's seat so i could adjust the gain. The sound is nice and clean, too clean not to have a sub.

The wires are all hidden nicely. i was really surprised how easy it was to work inside the Acadia. The floor panels snap off and offer lots of options for running wire. I have about 6" on each side of exposed wiring, right in front of the 3rd row, which I will bundle up in that "split tube stuff". Everything else is under molding pretty much the whole way.

Overall i'm really happy with the results. It took about 5 hours for me to install the amp and tie it in.
:worthless:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think I may be done. I added a 2nd amp (pioneer GM-D7400M) and a Sony XS-LB10S 10" subwoofer. It's small, fits perfectly behind the third row seats with them up, up against the driver's side. not the deepest sub out there, but it's clean and sounds great. And the size is perfect.

My dilemma now is that I could return the Sony sub to Best Buy, and for only $50 more could order a Pioneer Premier 12" shallow mount in a box. it would be deeper and stronger, but is over a foot longer so I couldn't fit it up against the side. it would take up more room behind the 3rd row, and might be a pain at times... hmmmm

I will take some pics tonight (amp wiring isn't pretty yet). Here are some from the speaker install
 

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more pics of amp wiring and routes for us dummies that are alittle hesitant to tear into things .....Please.

amp mounted where jack is or in the small compartments under hatch door?

is there a multi conductor cable for speakers that U use or all seperate pairs?

got pics of woofer mounting?

floor panels snapped out.....is that the side plastic runners?

Thanks
 

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Do you have a photo of the new speakers in the door?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
shot_1 said:
more pics of amp wiring and routes for us dummies that are alittle hesitant to tear into things .....Please.

amp mounted where jack is or in the small compartments under hatch door?

is there a multi conductor cable for speakers that U use or all seperate pairs?

got pics of woofer mounting?

floor panels snapped out.....is that the side plastic runners?

Thanks
I will get some pics soon.

As far as wiring: I mounted both amps in the little tray under the trap door in the rear cargo area. I drilled two 1" holes in that plastic cargo tray to run the wires through. From the amps to the stock radio I ran 2 pairs of RCA patch cables, and 4 pairs of speaker wire. Speaker wire went through one of the 1" holes, and RCA cable went through the other. I have the 2nd row captains chairs, and there is plastic molding around the base of each seat cover up the track where those seats slide forward and back. That plastic molding (remove the factory floor mats) snaps up with a gentle pull and reveals a decent amount of space where the wires can be hidden. I ran the speaker wires up the passenger side and the RCA up the driver's side. The wires come up on either side of the center console, up under the lower dash board panel and into the stereo compartment.

Once that wiring was in, I pulled the factory stereo by removing the plastic surround (very easy by lightly prying it with a small screwdriver) and pulling it out of the way (there were 3 or 4 sets of wiring harnesses that had to be disconnected from the plastic surround, for air conditioning controls. All the wires were in modular plugs, so were easy to disconnect without fear of not remembering where they went)

After the surround was out of the way I pulled the stereo (4 bolts). There are 2 wiring harnesses on the factory stereo, a 16 wire and 14 wire. The front speaker wires are on one harness, and the rears are on the other. They are the only wires that are twisted around each other in pairs.

The wire colors are:
Front Left + Tan
Front Left - Gray
Front Right + Dark Green
Front Right - Light Green

Rear Left + Brown
Rear Left - Yellow
Rear Right + Dark Blue
Rear Right - Light Blue

You clip the speaker wires and splice an 18GA lead to each one from the stereo harness side into a line out converter. I used a Scosche SLC-4 line out converter ($18). Then you pull up the speaker wires you ran from the amps and splice those onto the vehicle side of the wires you cut. This setup was the easiest for me, didn't have to run new speaker wire to each speaker, and using RCA cables and the converter will make it easy if I want to upgrade to a Kenwood DNX head unit later (won't have to run new RCA cables)

The leads I used to the Scosche where about 4 feet long so that I could mount the Scosche under the driver seat. There is an adjustable gain for each connection and I wanted it someplace where I could get to it. Once I'm comfortable it's dialed in I may mount it hidden under the dash some place.
 

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So you used the old factory wires from the head unit to the new speakers? Could that be part of the problem with the new sound quality not being as high as you wanted? Could the wire quality or size not be good enough to get the real power pontential?
 
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