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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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 :thumbup:.

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-Plas...p/B007ZQVKYM/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_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.
 

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I'd be intrested to know how this works out....keep us posted
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
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.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
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.
 

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Nice write up, thanks. So 2015 XC60 still using paper cone speakers for factory?
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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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This is great. Keep the info coming. Have you noticed the factory senues system doing anything different with the changes?
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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 :rolleyes:


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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Sweet! That looks great. So what was the problem with the favorite tweeter mount?
 
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