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Discussion Starter #1
Last time I ran an RCA was back in high school, when I was using Alpine V12 amps and listening to Nate Dogg and Warren G. Never lost the bug, just hadn’t had the time or the car to invest in. Well a few weeks ago I picked up this beauty:



2015 S60 T6. Turbo AND supercharged 4-cylinder making around 300-hp. It’s a blast to drive and I’ve wanted one for a while. Now that I’ve got it, I’m going to keep it for a long time so think she deserves some decent sounds.

My goal for the stereo is to match the car...quality performance in a sleeper package. Hoping to keep a tasteful, factory look that will really surprise people when you turn it up.

I'm far from an expert in any of this, so it will certainly be a lot simpler than most of the installs here. That said, it will likely be a work in progress for a quite while as I balance other things.

This thread is an attempt to give back to this forum, which I’ve found invaluable over the last couple of months for product research and install ideas. It is also an attempt to document everything I’ve learned about this particular car, as my searching turned up very little relevant info. Hope this can be of help to any other S60 owners who are thinking of doing the same.
 

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Looking forward to this. +sub
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
A bit more about the car and equipment.

It has the "high-performance" stereo system (read: base) not the Harmon Kardon premium system. The base system has tweeter/midrange upfront, with coaxs (I think) in the rear, where the premium system has a 3-way set-up in front with a 6.5 and 2.5 in the door and a 1 inch tweeter in the sail panel. The door panel is the same regardless of the system, so I've got the room if I eventually decide to go with a 3-way upfront (and I think I will).



There is an amp of unknown and unimportant wattage under the passenger seat. But, it is important to know it's there because that is where we will get our input signal from if we want to utilize the factory HU and steering wheel controls (which we do). I also wanted to make sure that the sensor alerts and cell phone worked like stock as well.

On the factory integration front, a lot of research and a trip to the DIYMA classified brought these two handsome little fellas to my house (thanks Middleby!)



Got a deal, and they fit my criteria: small, black and square. This is my first time playing with a DSP so I wanted to keep it simple, and after a short demo of the TuN software I found it really intuitive to use. Plus I've got a soft spot for JL.

But not for amps. For amps, my heart was set on the Arc XDi. I found two 850.5 (thanks Audio Intensity!) so added to cart. Given all the forum love, I figured they would be a good place to start and again fit my criteria.



Four channels will will given to a 2-way front stage, with the sub channels going to a pair of 12s. The other four channels will go unused for now, but eventually will be crossed to a dedicated mid-bass in a 3-way system.

As for speakers, I had a set of PHD FB6.1 Pros from my last car. I like them quite a bit, mid-bass is strong and the tweeters are inoffensive, so I'll use them until I upgrade the whole front end. Plus, they're eye-talian!





For subs on planning on two AE SBP12. Just need to figure out how the hell I'm gonna create a baffle in this mess of a trunk...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First things first: POW-AH!!!!

Keeping the wattage relatively low and using Class-D amps, so went with a simple 4-gauge run. Hardest part was finding a place to run the wire through the firewall. It's stuffed like a sausage under the hood, can't even get a glimpse of the firewall itself.

Was on Swedespeed (I think) and came across a link to the Volvo accessory installation manuals. Found one that shows you where there is a factory opening (down at step 53). Also super helpful for removing trim pieces, etc. Would've certainly busted some plastic pieces if not for the step-by-step instructions.

I didn't take many pictures, but here is the connection to the battery and where the cable disappears behind the insulation. Used Stinger throughout for this part. Comes out in the passenger footwell, techflexed and siliconed where it passed through the grommet.





A short run of 4-gauge ground goes to a factory bolt on the trunk wall.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
High-level inputs were taken from the amp under the passenger seat.

Right front: pins 3, 11 Yellow/Black (-), Violet/Black (+)
Left front: pins 1, 9 Gray/Black (-), Green/Black (+)



Tapped the 12V plug in the center console for remote, and replaced it with the control knob for the JL TwK. Accessory install manual was helpful again here for taking out the console.

 

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I would create a new ground, that is a very bad location. You never want to ground to piece of metal that was welded to the car. Otherwise looking good so far.
 

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Thanks for posting your build. I have a 2013 S60 and I'm in the process of buying my equipment to replace speakers and add a sub. Keep us in the loop. I may hit you up with questions.
 

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On to what turned out to be a much bigger job than expected: the doors.

Originally plan was to run some wires through the boot and make a quick adapter, seal, deaden and be done. After taking a look at the molex, and considering my desire to run 3 sets of 16ga wire, this happened:




Hardest part was resolving to do it. There was even already a plugged grommet on the outside of the kickpanel that I was able to use (you can see it in the first pic). Luckily, my wife was out of town for a few days so I didn't have to explain why I was taking the doors off my weeks old car.

Some techflex, grommets, silicone and a snake and I had my very own boot.



As you can see from the door pic, the inside panel is one big piece of plastic. No holes, which is good, but no access to the outer panel for applying dampening, which is bad. Getting these things off was a real PITA—window actuator, handles, everything is attached to it.

Couldn't for the life of me figure how to get it off until a lot of googling led to another install manual here. A lot of cursing and a few beers later, and I had the doors deadened and back together. Can't honestly say I would do this part again now that I know what it takes.



Now for the baffle. I didn't feel comfortable mounting the speaker to the plastic panel—was afraid it would flex too much. Enter the Mother of All Baffles.



Got some inch think HDPE and cut a shape that would use the factory bolt holes on two of its three sides to mount directly to the metal of the panel. Not pretty, but strong like bull. If/when I upgrade the front stage I'll make a new one with room for the mid-range.

Bolted it down on top of the CCF, and used some butyl rope to seal the inside.






The tweeters were easy. They were just squeezed right up into the sail panel and "secured" with some more butyl rope.


 

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Its amazing that Volvo really doesn't change much between models and years. I have an 08 s80 that its time to get in gear. Im using this thread as motivation. I also have to tap after the factory amp under the passenger seat. My installer and I are going in one weekend to see if I have a full range signal or if I have to sum other channels to get full range. After that it is get the door panel off to double check midbass depth and see where and how I can deaden the panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Its amazing that Volvo really doesn't change much between models and years. I have an 08 s80 that its time to get in gear. Im using this thread as motivation. I also have to tap after the factory amp under the passenger seat. My installer and I are going in one weekend to see if I have a full range signal or if I have to sum other channels to get full range. After that it is get the door panel off to double check midbass depth and see where and how I can deaden the panel.
It really is. I had a mid-80s 245 with a 70s front end and 90s interior. Fit together perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Got the amps installed (well, actually it was a few weeks ago but I'm playing catch up here).

Just mounted them to some MDF and that to the floor with some rivnuts. Really just looking to fire everything up—expecting a more permanent solution to come into being after I've figured out the sub situation.

Speaking of...



But that's for another post.

Here's the "amp rack."




It's in the spare tire well, which isn't quite deep enough. So was thinking of a false floor, but...it turns out that mounting amps in a trunk, directly above the muffler in the summer in Texas is a recipe for thermal shutdown. Whodathunkit?

So my temporary install became very temporary indeed. Live and learn. I'm onto a new plan that will likely follow the Backyard Installers "bucket on a baffle" system, with the subs facing backwards and the amps mounted forward of them. But not until the temp in my garage drops below 90.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So how did it sound???

Well, I don't have a strong point of reference beyond stock systems, so take this all with a grain of salt.

I spent some time tuning, and really love the JL TwK. Seems really intuitive, all adjustments are from one screen, can tune left and right separately. I'm sure there are better options but I've got no complaints with this one.

Didn't mess with TA, but set the gains and EQ'ed aiming for the Harmon house curve. Driver's side had a big dip at 500hz, and of course no low-end without a sub. Got here and then made some additional tweaks by ear.



I tried keeping the gains at minimum and it sounded ok, but didn't come alive until I turned them up to about 75%. Mids are getting 85w now and needed every bit of it to really shine. But once I turned them up, it sounded great. Plenty of clear volume, strong mid-bass (breeze on the pants style), nothing too sharp. Just clean, loud music.

Kind of doubting whether I even need to upgrade to a 3-way. Of course, I will because, hobby, but for the time being I'm plenty happy with this set-up. Or was until it overheated. Oh well..
 

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Nice job, Swiffcliff, and I also commend you for taking the doors off to do the wiring right.


I have a 2006 S60, and have put in a Pioneer P99 head unit, Audison 5 way amp, and the smaller Stage 4 Pioneer 5 inch in the door, tweets on the dash, and a 12 inch in a box in the trunk. The install is in very initial stages and proceeding very slowly.


I did research the wiring, and have a comment for Jroo. The optional Volvo amp (which I don't have) under the passenger seat is 4 channel (front left and right, rear left and right). It is fed with a round DIN cable from the Volvo head unit with the 4 channels input and power on, power and has the 4 channels output returned to next to the head unit, where the speaker's cable socket is plugged into the amp speakers output plug. (Plug and play).

Jroo, you can take the speaker output, or the lower level amp input. Each of the channels should be full range (the front ones are for sure).

If you want to take the low level signal from the head unit, Ebay has a DIN output to RCA lead - "Volvo Stereo Radio-Factory HU to Aftermarket Amp Adapter Cable". I think that using the low level signal is higher quality than taking the output from the amplifier. Note that if you install an aftermarket headunit, it is likely to have RCA out and you won't need this DIN lead.

By the way, be sure to put the ignition switch to position 2 before reconnecting the battery to avoid issues with the check engine light.

Its amazing that Volvo really doesn't change much between models and years. I have an 08 s80 that its time to get in gear. Im using this thread as motivation. I also have to tap after the factory amp under the passenger seat. My installer and I are going in one weekend to see if I have a full range signal or if I have to sum other channels to get full range. After that it is get the door panel off to double check midbass depth and see where and how I can deaden the panel.

One last comment. There is a radio antenna lead that is paired with a radio antenna signal booster power lead. The Volvo head units provide 10 volts. The AM and FM reception is quite poor if that signal amplifier gets 12 volts! This was a Ford design. I put a 10 watt 50 ohm resistor in the antenna power lead behind the head unit to pad it down, and this helps, but I plan to put in a 10 volt power supply in the future. This only affects some model years (1999 to 2010?) but multiple models S40, S60, S80 +, and is only a concern if an aftermarket head unit is installed for radio.
 
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