For those who upgraded the base model audio - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013 Thread Starter
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For those who upgraded the base model audio

I recently sold my trans am and I was thinking about dropping some cash on upgrading my audio. I'm fine with the stock head unit. I would really like some nice speakers (that are amplified) and maybe 1 or 2 10" subs. I went to car toys and they quoted me about $1600 including install. Seemed ridiculous to me. I just wanted to see what some of you guys are running and how much you paid. Oh and I would install the speakers myself. I would just need the amp installed as I have no clue what I am doing in as far as car audio goes. Thanks


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013
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I have some Pioneers in the doors and they made quite the difference. After doing that, I found that the HU really is crap, but it is unappealing to change that since its all integrated. I'm not sure you need to amplify, and personally I think the stock 8 inchers hit the lows pretty well, but then again I don't blow my ears out when I listen to music.

I have the Shaker 500 fwiw.


-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013
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2 12" Kicker CVX,s in Sealed Box in Trunk. Polk speakers for doors/rear panel.(rear panel was cumbersome to move around while installing speakers) Rockford Fosgate Power T1500-1bd for subs, Alpine amp for door/rear panel. Both amps installed on a board in back behind seats. I believe installer left amp for door subs alone.

I got that kit for a double bay receiver that replaces the climate controls as well and haven't had any problems with it.

The installation was about 800 including kits, dynamat, blow foam, etc...but it sounds great and wont rattle. The spraying of blowfoam inbetween the rear panels and using dynamat really worked out well.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. But I have the base radio. No shaker and no subs at all lol. If I could get 6x8's that could
Hit mids good and lows decent I don't think I'd get a sub. And I know that won't even come close to happening unless they are amplified. My old car, a 2008 nissan maxima with the factory Bose system and 2 kicker comp 10's in a sealed pro box sounded amazing and really fit my style of music (%90 rock, %10 hip hop) I really want to get close to what I had before


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013
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For the base (non-shaker) cars it is expensive to get anything decent, basically its starting from scratch. I Upgraded to a good head unit with a ton of features...GPS, bluetooth, reverse camera, ipod and so much more. I cut subs into my doors as they are on the shaker, all new alpine, kicker and rockford fosgate speakers and 2 Alpine amps, sub in the trunk. All in I'm at around $2500-$3000. I've never really done any audio stuff so I had a shop do 90% of the install (days labour...bout $400)

You'd need an amp kit, 4 guage wiring from the battery to the trunk, turn on kit, and getting wires routed through the door grommet was a nightmare for the subs!! $1600.00 is probably realistic depending on what equipment your installing.



Last edited by percy072; 08-04-2014 at 07:14 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo_red12 View Post
Thanks for the input. But I have the base radio. No shaker and no subs at all lol. If I could get 6x8's that could
Hit mids good and lows decent I don't think I'd get a sub. And I know that won't even come close to happening unless they are amplified. My old car, a 2008 nissan maxima with the factory Bose system and 2 kicker comp 10's in a sealed pro box sounded amazing and really fit my style of music (%90 rock, %10 hip hop) I really want to get close to what I had before


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The factory Bose HUs that they put in Nissans are absolute garbage, btw. I listen to 90% rock 10% whatever else too.

-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Lol well like I said I'm really not a audiophile or anything but I know my maxima sounded TONS better than the mustang. But hey that's why I'm trying to upgrade


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Oh and btw Percy, that set up looks sick! Definitely looks professional. Wish I could justify dropping that much cash...ik you have to pay to play but damn


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013
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I upgraded front door speakers and added a sub in the trunk. Sounds much better but not great.

This will help with amp install.How To: Add a sub and amp to a 2013 - MustangForums.com

Speaker install.https://www.allfordmustangs.com/forum...ml#post3141823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo_red12 View Post
Lol well like I said I'm really not a audiophile or anything but I know my maxima sounded TONS better than the mustang. But hey that's why I'm trying to upgrade


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Can anyone tell me how weak the base stereo's HU is in terms of wattage? I want to know why amps are so necessary.

-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
Can anyone tell me how weak the base stereo's HU is in terms of wattage? I want to know why amps are so necessary.
I read somewhere it is 12 watts per channel RMS (80watts Peak)

Key to getting quality sound from low power head units is to use speakers that have a low RMS working range(5-50RMS- 100peak)

If you start with a speaker with a RMS range of 50-80 watts RMS you do not have enough watts to power the speaker properly and sound quality will suffer.
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If you plan on keeping the factory head unit, you can use a Line Out Converter to give you some RCA Pre-Outs for an amplifier. Otherwise, as mentioned above just stick to low RMS wattage speakers speakers.

I have turned my subwoofer off and my 6.5" speakers give a decent amount of midbass for just easy listening. But they do struggle to hit low bass frequencies. I have them set to filter at 80Hz tho so im not sure how low they could hit either.

I would recommend upgraded front speakers and a low RMS 12" subwoofer in the trunk.

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Mods (in order of installed): AM Bama SCT SF3 Tuner w/ 87 Hybrid Tune, Airaid CAI, Hurst Billet Plus 2 Short Throw Shifter, Lethal O/R H Pipe w/ Stock Exhaust, Blacked-Out Tints on Rear Windows, Full Ceramic Tint on Front Windows, Metra Touchscreen Dash Adaptor, Single DIN Head Unit, 6.5'' Component Speakers Fronts, Stock Rear Speakers, 10'' Sealed Subwoofer, 4ch. and 1ch Amplifier. LED licence plate lights, LED interior dome lights, FRPP/Dynamic shocks and struts, SR Performance lowering springs, GT500 Strut Mounts, BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar, BMR LCA's, BMR Relocation Brackets. Rear Seat Delete.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcshunter View Post
I read somewhere it is 12 watts per channel RMS (80watts Peak)

Key to getting quality sound from low power head units is to use speakers that have a low RMS working range(5-50RMS- 100peak)

If you start with a speaker with a RMS range of 50-80 watts RMS you do not have enough watts to power the speaker properly and sound quality will suffer.
I can see why amps are needed now. Thank you.

-2012 Grabber Blue GT 6M Premium w/ Brembos, Glass Roof, HID security pkg, Rear Camera, 401a, FRPP GT500 Axle-backs, Front Pioneer TS-D6802R speakers, JHR bracket, Bondra clutch extension.
-1986 Mazda RX-7 GX - Fast Mirage 16" Wheels, Sumo Firenza 205/60R Tires, slotted brakes + performance pads. Otherwise factory stock.
-2008 Mazda Mazda3 GT Sport - Stock, 5MT.
-2004 Volvo XC90 T5 - Comfort pkg, safety pkg.
-1995 Infiniti G20 - Sold, Pioneer head unit, lighting mods, miss it dearly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo_red12 View Post
Wish I could justify dropping that much cash...ik you have to pay to play but damn


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The head unit and that Metra "calculator" combined was about $1000.00, but this morning I found a great deal and bought a Scoshe unit that I orig. wanted...but was out of stock when I did the upgrade.

It did get expensive, but that base system had to go...my alarm clock radio sounded better than that thing. Sometimes think I could have been a little more conservative, but it's done now and what I ended up with will part your nose hair



Last edited by percy072; 08-04-2014 at 07:14 PM.
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The base stereo in these newer Mustangs are barely good enough for AM news/talk radio. The base speakers and head unit are a testament to an engineers mandate to produce something by the thousands that does function as advertised, will last through the warranty period, and that's ALL.

There is absolutely NOTHING about these components that suggests 'high fidelity'.

You can replace the craptastic speakers with something decent, JL Audio, Infinit, Polk, Pioneer, Alpine, etc as a starting point. Only problem with that, is you then quickly discover the simply *awful* amplifier in the head unit. I call it "the little amplifier that couldn't". Turn it up, and you quickly discover the 'bass roll-off' where the amount of power you get from the rear speakers practically disappears. Why? Because the amp in the head unit has so little power, the engineers designed it to wring out every last watt, and it soon falls on its face. This 'feature' really is exposed when you try and compensate for the weak stock amp, by installing your own amp.

And now you finally realize 'the horror' of the sound quality coming out of the head unit. IT SUCKS!! Not sure which frequency you get to adjust for Bass/Treble, but even with top quality speakers and a powerful amp, you will get disappointed on certain source material when the bass goes boomy/muddy. No amount of fiddling with the tone controls will help, you just have to turn down the volume.

As the base stereo models do not have the 8" bass woofer in the bottom of the door, you have 2 choices. Install a subwoofer in the trunk, or replace your base door panels with Premium panels, and add mid-bass/bass woofers in the doors to compliment the speakers up top. The door panel route is pretty expensive, but I chose to take that route and not cut into the door panels in my '13 Boss.

I have incrementally upgraded the stereo by first replacing all the stock speakers with 6x8 JL Audio co-axials, then an old 4x75 amp which was failing, and now a new 4x175 Crunch amp. Sure it's way better now, but I am now saving up for an iDatalink double din dash kit, and head unit.

http://maestro.idatalink.com/maestro...g-dash_en.html

How far you are willing to go (spend & modify) is entirely dependent upon what you listen to, how loud you want your system to go, and what level of clarity and precision you desire. If you've had the opportunity to audition any of the high end OEM systems you can get in an Acura/Lexus/Infiniti/Benz/Audi, you can see what kind of quality is possible when it's designed into the vehicle from the factory.

There have been plenty of posts/threads on how others have upgraded their Mustang car audio, and you can get some great ideas. One thing I came up with was to install my amp underneath my rear deck, suspended by tie wraps. It allows for easy removal if I want to go to the track or just as important, access convenience for tweaking the amp settings for crossover freq & input sensitivity.

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