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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've owned my Exp Sport for around 4 weeks now and have been heavily researching the Premium Sony Audio System for a buildout. I thought I'd create this thread to help others as this build will occur over the next couple months. I've had a mess of a time tracking down info on this vehicle. Oh, it's there to be found but it's all over the interwebs.

Kind of interesting in the mean time.. I certainly want a 7.1 Pro-Logic Center Channel Upmixed system (this vehicle is built for it frankly) and thus there are only 2 DSP's on the planet for Car Audio that can do that. The Alpine H800 and the JBL MS8 (now discontinued but plenty on Ebay). (there is rumor that Audio Frog is going to release something along the DSP line this year also) I'm going with the MS8 I think though. Anyway, the center channel becomes important in a system like that and I want a little more than a mincy anemic 3 1/2" speaker. I was able to confirm tonight that I can get a 5 1/4" speaker in there without too much trouble. Looking forward to the extra center audio strength. Kudos to Ford for providing the space. It should reside quite comfortably under the stock grill.

The system I'm looking to do will be as follows (subject to change):

Front Door
Tweeter - SEAS Prestige 27TFFNC
Woofer - 8" Driver Silver Flute W20RC38-04
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/approx-8-woofers/silver-flute-w20rc38-04-ohm-8-wool-cone/ (Stock Size is a 6x9, I like an 8" Mid Bass so some modification is required)[/SIZE]

Center Channel
Eclipse 5 1/4" Point Source

Rear Door
6 1/2 Coaxial (TBD)
or 6 1/2" Separates

Rear Speakers
3 1/2" (TBD)

Subwoofer
JL Audio Stealthbox 10"

Sound Deadening
Noico 80 Mil (Amazon)

Amplifers
2 Soundstream Tarantula 4.900 150x4 Class D Amplifiers
1 JL Audio JX500/1D for the Sub. It's just finding a place to put them that's the tough part. Not a lot of places to hide amps in this vehicle

DSP
JBL MS8
PAC AP4-FD21 (Essential to connect to the CAN Bus, maintain Steering Wheel Controls and bypass the factory amp with line level signal that has been un-eq'd.

Helpful links to me at this point:

Ford Audio Related
  1. 2016 Ford Explorer Premium and Sony Wiring Diagrams !!!!Grab This!!!!!
  2. Unprocessed Variable Line Out (for Sony Amp Delete)
  3. 2016 Platinum F150 Sony Speaker Upgrade
  4. 2016 Sport Audio Upgrade (thanks for your work, very helpful)
  5. 2015 Ford F150 Audio Upgrade
  6. **2014 Ford F150 w/ Sony System (very helpful thread on OEM / Factory Amp integration)**
  7. 2012 Limited Upgrades (Long thread full of a lot of great info - great work folks!)
  8. Best Custom Stealth Sub Build I've seen for Explorer (Nice work)
  9. The complete lack of good subwoofer options for this vehicle.. (I ain't losin' muh Spare Tire)
  10. See the PAC AP4-FD21 above in the DSP Section as it's essential for clean amplification in this vehicle
Explorer How To
  1. Door Panel Removal Guide
  2. JL Audio Stealthbox Install in Explorer
  3. Subwoofer Removal Guide
  4. Passenger Side Firewall Grommet Access (and Airbag Removal amongst other things..)
Environment Modification
  1. Active Noise Canceling Disable (Fake Engine Noise Disable - this method linked is the hard way. The easy way is to use Forscan and disable it. See the Forscan Spreadsheet Below, ACM 727-01-01)
  2. Forscan Software Guide
  3. 2015-2016 Ford F150 Forscan Spreadsheet (this thing is freaking legendary...) (Fake Engine Noise Disable on ACM Tab Line 107)
  4. For AsBuilt Data for your vehicle (You really should save this somewhere)
  5. Aux Input (Line In) Cable (I ordered the $55 kit and used Forscan to modify 7D0-02-02 in the APIM - Jason was great to work with and also offers Sync3 Upgrades amongst other things. His site primarily caters to Police Interceptor vehicles so some differences between your vehicle and those will occur)
  6. Forscan ODB2/CAN Bus Reader Amazon $29 (this is the one I have)
General Audio Related
  1. Room Eq Wizard (REW) Tuning Primer
  2. Are Center Channels Relevant, here, in the future?
  3. Wiring Diagrams (up to 2015 - still excellent)

I wanted to post this log over on the Explorer Forum but they charge to allow you to post photos (which I think is quite goofy.. pay money to create posts helpful to other Explorer owners). This will be the log for the build as I'll likely abandon the Explorer Forum thread of the same nature for the reasons noted. (Original Thread For Reference)


- Lexingtonian
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Fitting an 8" Silver Flute in an Ford Explorer Door.

I'm lazy so I modified a Metra 82-5603 6x9 to 6.5" speaker adapter to fit an 8. I've always loved how easy ABS Plastic is to work with.. First photo is showing the 8" cutout vs the original adapter. Next I heat up the top and bottom until the ABS is pliable and fit the Silver Flute within so that it stretches the plastic to fit itself. There are 2 photos of the top and bottom of the adapter stretched to it. Finally the Silver Flute mounted in the adapter. The Metra adapter is slightly taller than the stock 6x9 so naturally the 8 mounted on top of the Metra Kit makes it a tight fit. I cut down the lip around the 6x9 grille cutout on the door panel and shaved it down flush then did a little sanding toward the top (not pictured). The Silver Flute is closest to the door panel at the very top of the driver. After some adjusting it's it a tight fit but the door panel is just beyond the driver's 5mm xmax. An 8 with a larger xmax may have trouble with this setup and would need custom panels. I got lucky..

Finally the tweeter. Obviously from the picture I have a physics problem. So I went to work with a dremel and cutout the original mount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, I'm a surgeon with a dremel and a cutting wheel.. The rest of the factory tweeter mount came off flush, nice and tidy. Tweeter mocked up nice so I laid down a bit of 1/8' foam as the surface for the tweeter to sit upon (and to keep vibrations down). Used some plumbing strap (one of my favorite tools) and the factory trim nuts to hold the tweeter in place. I mounted a 22uF Cap inline to provide a little love. I plan on crossing at around 2K with my JBL MS8. But wanted a little insurance.

Oh yeah.. I also pulled the plastic rivets from the door so I could easily mock up the 8" Silver Flute without having to pop them on and off. They're brittle and tight as heck, thus I wanted to save the door panel mounts the stress as well. Took several attempts to get the Flute positioned right in the door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I was really impressed at the matching response from the Seas Tweeters. Not a real snazzy chart but they are nearly perfectly matched.

The Eclipse 8591 Point Source vs the Seas, not so much of a contest. Seas is the clear the winner here. The Seas with the 22uF Cap and the Eclipse through the Eclipse xover. Interestingly enough the Eclipse has 2 nasty notches. The one pictured and one at 13.28khz. The Eclipse cover deal with that higher notch but not the lower one at 4.6khz.

It'll be a Center Channel and quite a nice one at that. Not too worried about the notch and am assuming the MS8 will compensate some.

That's about it for tonight I think..
 

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Thx for post your findings/progress.
I have a 2010 SHO with a ms-8 and it integrates very well.
Lots of guys over on ecoboost performance forum would be interested for this info.
Would you mind if I linked them to this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thx for post your findings/progress.
I have a 2010 SHO with a ms-8 and it integrates very well.
Lots of guys over on ecoboost performance forum would be interested for this info.
Would you mind if I linked them to this?
Not a problem at all! If they let a person post photos, perhaps that's a better home for me for all things Ford. I kinda have a fundamental issue with a forum that limits its own progress, especially for those willing to provide high value content..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have 2013 Ford crew cab eco boost with Sony system 8 touchscreen and keep hearing about this fake engine noise what are they plumbing noise in?
There is a microphone somewhere on the engine/exhaust that is fed into the Stereo where the sound of the engine is enhanced and delivers through your speakers. The engine sounds great with it turned off, I did not like the throaty V8 sound coming through the speakers. The cabin is a little quieter at highway speed (to me anyway) with it off.
 

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I was really impressed at the matching response from the Seas Tweeters. Not a real snazzy chart but they are nearly perfectly matched...
Please clarify .... is this your measurements or a composite of plots from another source? If your measurements, what was the basic setup (mic/environment/software)?

Thanks in advance ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
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Please clarify .... is this your measurements or a composite of plots from another source? If your measurements, what was the basic setup (mic/environment/software)?

Thanks in advance ;)
I tested these tweeters with REW on a MacBook Pro running a Calibrated UMIK-1from Cross Spectrum and the 0 degree measurement file at roughly 58 DB (for this measurement session). These are all _my_ measurements :)

Better images attached for clarity.
 

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There is a microphone somewhere on the engine/exhaust that is fed into the Stereo where the sound of the engine is enhanced and delivers through your speakers. The engine sounds great with it turned off, I did not like the throaty V8 sound coming through the speakers. The cabin is a little quieter at highway speed (to me anyway) with it off.
Ohhhh so how do you do that ? Remove mic or or shut it off?
 

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i'm in the middle of a smaller not as extensive build in a Focus RS right now. just discovered the Pac unit yesterday. sweet Jesus that is going to make things simpler. i won't benefit from it nor will you it looks but they have an optic output add on. which is nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i'm in the middle of a smaller not as extensive build in a Focus RS right now. just discovered the Pac unit yesterday. sweet Jesus that is going to make things simpler. i won't benefit from it nor will you it looks but they have an optic output add on. which is nice.
Yes the gent that started the 2014 F150 thread here is using optical with the PAC. Great option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I installed an Aux interface lastnight so I could test my system with REW. In the passenger door I have a SEAS Tweeter and Silver Flute 8" driver. In the Driver Door I have the stock speakers. They are all still running through the stock amp.

Thought this was interesting on how much better (and perhaps more sensitive) the Seas/Flute combo is. Also found the dips at 140hz and 300hz quite telling. It appears my vehicle has some issues there, but I haven't determined if its the stock equipment or simply the cabin of the truck causing it. The red curve is the stock speakers and the green curve is the Seas/Flute combo. Tested with REW 40hz-20,000 with UMIK-1 calibrated at 90 degrees. Mic was positioned in the center of the cabin so the tweeters and woofers had a similar direct line to the mic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Spectrum and Voltage analysis of my Ford Sony 12 Speaker System

Huge thanks for FordEscape for laying the ground work for all this. I couldn't, or probably wouldnt have purchased an Oscilloscope without his work and accessibility for questions. He's good people.


To answer the questions of, how does the factory non-variable output from the ACM look from a voltage and audio spectrum, then, how does the PAC AP4-FD21 look and finally how does the Variable Line Output (as referenced in the Forscan Spreadsheet) perform from a voltage and audio spectrum output - see below - (there goes 10-15 minutes of your life, apologies in advance)

Non Variable Output Performance

PAC AP4-FD21 Performance

Variable Line Out (Forscan Hack) Performance

Variable Line Out Deep Dive (and a correction) - I apparently was clicking on 391 Khz not 381Hz in the videos above where I'm showing the EQ bump on the left side. I've corrected that in this video and done a bit of a deep dive. So apparently there is no real EQ bump in the 30-50hz range. It's flat all across the spectrum.

...there goes the neighborhood

...so in the end, I'm sending the PAC unit back. I see no point for _my_ purposes. (unless I'm missing something) I'm ordering the Terminals that fit the Ford ACM from Mouser, and soldering up my own RCA's. I'll remove the speaker pins from the ACM harness and replace them with my own RCA's. Nice and clean and I can put it back to stock if I want to later.
 
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