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Upgraded audio! 4 channel + speakers! 馃榾

21897 Views 81 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  wolfeprop9599
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
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Under one of the Kia K5 forums, someone had a great writeup about the 8" head unit specifications, with RTA and oscilloscope graphs and other measurements. The front speakers get about 35 watts from the head unit and the rear get about 10 watts. The head unit utilizes "all pass" filters as well. So, its really difficult to get these to an audiophile-quality level without using a DSP and amplifier, regardless of the speaker quality.

With that said, I kept the factory speakers and added a KAC-m1814 (4 channel amp) off of only the system's the rear channel outputs. Then, ran the amp's front 2 channels to the rear door speakers (high pass filter on the amp set about 60 hz). I brought the rear speakers up to the level of the front speakers. (I don't care about a front sound stage) Then, I bridged the rear channels of the amp and ran to a non-functional Rockville 6x8 sub that I gutted to use as a passive subwoofer (with the LPF set to about 100 hz).

So, for about $150 and 2 hrs time, It sounds much better than stock. Next, I may swap the factor tweeters with JBL club 750 tweeters and try to cross them over around 3500hz. I had tried pioneer A300 tweeters, but the factory tweeters sounded better (in my opinion).
This was a great suggestion. Thank you. Right after getting my SC I put in two sets of Focal 2-ways running off the OEM head unit. After seeing this post, and doing the further research including how to get a clean signal from the head unit- I then installed a Rockford Fosgate 8 inch powered sub behind the rear seats where the Bose Sub would go in the limited. Sounds Amazing, I have to turn down the bass quite a bit. The wired bass control is a nice feature. Also, as suggested, the speaker signal came from the front and not the rear speakers. I can always add a 4-channel amp, and add focal tweeters, but it sounds great with superior imaging now and it was affordable.
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
I need a lot of help lol. I just got the 22 SC Limited in June and would like to update the amp for the speakers and add two 10s with an amp. I went to a few places and it鈥檚 insane how much they want. Do you know what kind of amp is under the driver鈥檚 seat? Is it a four or five channel. I wasn鈥檛 sure if that amp went to just the door speakers or the center speakers too.
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
I need assistance. Are these the speaker wires in the kick plate?

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I need a lot of help lol. I just got the 22 SC Limited in June and would like to update the amp for the speakers and add two 10s with an amp. I went to a few places and it鈥檚 insane how much they want. Do you know what kind of amp is under the driver鈥檚 seat? Is it a four or five channel. I wasn鈥檛 sure if that amp went to just the door speakers or the center speakers too.
From what I've read on the forum and other places on the internet many Limited owners that upgraded went with the Infinity Primus 6004 series amp which is described as being a simple replacement for the stock Limited amp since its compatible with all the stock cables. Those that upgraded their sub either used the self powered Kicker sub (or equivalent) or used a dedicated amp in addition to the to Infinity Primus (or stock amp) to power the sub.

I'm not an audio guru, but I've been watching recommendations and comments as I'd like to upgrade my Limited's audio system to give it more mid-bass (main speakers) and deep-bass (sub). What I don't see people talking about is replacing the center dash speaker on the Limited so I'm assuming it's too difficult and probably not worth the effort.
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
Is it better just to put two way speakers or components and what is up with the center speaker in the middle of the dash thanks
Coaxials or components are user鈥檚 choice, I chose coaxials and tweeters in my setup, my personal preference. I have an SEL so there is no center channel speaker in the dash, to check yours just pry the cover off and look, be careful not to damage dash.
I needs lots of help 馃ぃ mine is base sel trim
You are correct, the right rear is on the red block, and the the positive is green and negative is orange not red. My wiring guide is also from crutchfield but I also have the complete vehicle wiring from Directechs.
Can you show pics of the wiring diagrams please?
Anybody know if the rear door speaker signals limit bass frequencies? A lot of OEM systems do this. Makes a difference if wanting to tap the rear door speaker wires for amp high level inputs.
What are yal connecting the amp connect to? I cant find a blue wire with a white stripe to save my life! Please help
I've always been curious about how installers tune an aftermarket audio system. As a former audio engineer, I'm sensitive enough to recognize when a crossover is not configured properly (or none is used at all). I'm also curious if it's a known practice to use a DSP instead of or in addition to a crossover in aftermarket audio. I like the branded audio systems in cars because they usually come pre-tuned and require little-to-no EQ adjustments to sound good. Unfortunately, my Cruz did not come with the Bose system, and I'm suffering. :sneaky:
A good tuner would use both crossovers and DSPs to get a system dialed in. No sense sending frequencies to a speaker that can't reproduce them accurately, so step 1 should always be a crossover. Most OEM systems could use a high pass filter even when they don't have a dedicated subwoofer since those smaller 6" door speakers aren't going to reproduce serious low frequencies anyway.
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Major thanks to everyone in this thread. The non-Bose audio system is absolutely terrible. I've never installed an amplifier before and this thread was a major help. Installed an Alpine amp and the sound is way better, even with the stock speakers. Very satisfied!
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I must say that Mr. Ingkel is the reason I joined this forum....not him exactly, but the whole idea that I needed to upgrade this completely weak stereo in my SC. I LOVE my Night Edition SC....but didn't want to drop an extra $4K just to get a BLOWS stereo....lol. Anyway, I figured someone in here was going to show me the golden highway to better fidelity in my SC...and it was Ingkel....thanks man!

So I've been planning my system upgrade for the past 3 weeks or so....this weekend is the big event now that the weather is good here in NOCO.
I'm going with the well tested Infinity 6004a to power my new Polk Audio DB6502 component set in the front and the Polk DB652 coaxials for a matched rear set. Since I want to add a sub in the near future I am installing a Kicker LOC up front and taking that output to a pre-amp/equalizer (Rockville R7EQ) to better control the frequencies going to my doors and control the sub later on.....and just for overall better sound quality. I'm also running power/ground and signal wires to the rear for the sub while I have the seats out.

I am a biologist with a an avionics electronic background from the Air Force. I was also a huge car stereo hobbyist as a young man (I'm almost 60 now...lol) but hey....I still love a great bass hit and some nice high fidelity sound.....

The last system I installed was in 2005 so I'm excited to build a new one....although I'm not replacing the head unit....

I will post some pics of my install....can't wait to get started!
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Update to my install post....I have decided on a finish to the system. I will be installing a Kicker 10" CompC Sub with their slim truck enclosure behind the rear seat. I will be powering the sub with the Rockville DB10 800w 1 channel Amp. I think I will mount the sub amp and accessories on the back wall behind the seat....I'll need to figure out that mount...

That will be an extra $230 bucks to complete my budget stereo upgrade......I'll need to wait a couple of weeks for the dust to settle on the $$ I spent to get to where I am now, before sub...(Mrs. Quailguy is not as excited about high fidelity as I am....lol).
I must say that Mr. Ingkel is the reason I joined this forum....not him exactly, but the whole idea that I needed to upgrade this completely weak stereo in my SC. I LOVE my Night Edition SC....but didn't want to drop an extra $4K just to get a BLOWS stereo....lol.
Hehehe "No highs... No lows.... Must be Bose..."
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
Any chance you can tell me what speakers, amp etc you used for your install? And pricing?
Hello cruzers,new member here, just wanted to let everyone one know it鈥檚 pretty easy to upgrade the audio in the Santa Cruz. I replaced all the speakers and added a 4 channel amplifier. I didn鈥檛 take out the factory head unit, all signal wires were located in the kickpanels ( I am using amp with high level inputs). The sound is like night and day from the underpowered factory system. I鈥檝e been in the car audio field for 25+ years and have plenty of experience. If anyone needs any help upgrading their factory system, I鈥檓 here to help! BTW this was done in the non Bose SEL vehicle.
Any chance you can list what you used for the audio updgrade? Speakers, amp, price?
Thank you!

-David
Any chance you can list what you used for the audio updgrade? Speakers, amp, price?
Thank you!

-David
David....I don't believe the thread starter....Mr. Ingkel has been on the forum since Christmas 2022. In reference to your question.....It all depends on what equipment you choose. I installed the same amp as Ingkel did and I also installed 2 sets of polk audio speakers and a Blaupunkt under the seat sub....so with a 8 guage amp wire kit and all the accessories you are probably looking at at least $500. I bought the Infinity amp on Amazon for $100, the rear door speakers from Polk, $100, the front polk component set from Crutchfield, $185 and the wire kit was like $25 on Amazon. The under seat sub was $125 on amazon.....then you throw in all the little things like tools, solder, solder iron, heat shrink, tape...etc. It's a pretty easy install if you access the factory radio wiring from the left and right kick panels. Seats come out easy, just make sure you put a towel across the door sill so you don't scratch the paint. Also, be really careful when removing the door panels since they have a weird attachment connector. Watch a youtube video on it and you will see what I mean.
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Aloha, this all seems so complicated. I just want to get a compact sub and use the Low Line inputs on it. Does the factory stereo have a Sub out or Low line outputs, and how do I get to it ?
Im thinking of using a Rockville RW8CA 8" behind or if possible under rear seat. Thanks !
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