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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a brand new 2019 Ford Fusion S. Which means, it comes with all non-sense 4 speaker and handheld radios from MegaLo Mart can beat them in sound quality.

So, I replaced the front door 6 1/2 speaker with JBL Club 6520, and it has improved the mids and highs to some satisfactory level, however, I still have no Bass, considering the factory unit is pretty much useless.

So here are a few options I am looking at and will need your help me decide:

1. Install compact Alpine KTP-445U behind the factory radio and power the JBL 6520 on Front doors and install Alpine SPE-6000 on rear doors and call it a day.

2. Install compact Alpine KTP-445U behind the factory radio and power the JBL 6520 on Front doors and install a decent 6x9 Inch speaker on the rear deck and take the rear door speaker out of the picture.

3. Just install a powered sub-woofer under the passenger seat.

I am not looking for a very high output system, but something with decent sound as this is my daily commuter. I ordered my Grand Cherokee with 19 Speaker Harmon Kardon, and I know I will get no where near that with these options, but still want something decent with a slight punch.

Thanks in advance for you suggestions.
 

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Adding a powered sub will probably get you closest to what you want out of those options. I also like the 445U, but you say bass is most lacking. That is what powered subs are for.
 

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Have you deadened and sealed up the front doors? If not you will never get any kind of bass from the speakers as the rear wave of the driver can effectively come round and cancel the front wave and any bass you may have

I would also say it’s very possible to get a car to sound better than an ‘upgrade’ harmon kardon system, as they aren’t all that good compared to a half decent system if I’m honest :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, when I was replacing the factory door speaker, I added dynamat wherever I can put it. Right now, I am considering replacing JBL Clubstage 6720 with Pioneer TS-A652C component speaker on front doors, add Pioneer TS-D69F on the rear deck and power them by Alpine KTP-445U.

Do you guys think it makes some sense?
 

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The frequency output of the factory head unit may be such that anything considered bass may roll off sharply. Without knowing the bandwidth output of the head unit, adding different door speakers and or a powered subwoofer may be a moot point. I would test the output and see if it is indeed rolling off on the bottom end. If it is, you may need something like an AudioControl product to restore the bottom end so you can use a powered subwoofer. Oh, my suggestion is also a powered sub ;)
 

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The frequency output of the factory head unit may be such that anything considered bass may roll off sharply. …..
Many of the Ford HU's (ACM in Fordspeak) lend to easy defeat of the OE EQ curve via reprogramming using FORScan freeware w/OBD port interface.

OP might search Fusion and FORScan forums to see if that's been figured out for the unit in their model - then the powered sub is a snap.

Just one possibility and if it can be done is easier / much less expensive than most any 'bass restoration' add-on device.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. If I go with component on the front door and 6x9 on the rear deck, what is the best way to add a powered sub? My factory radio only has four channel output. I already bought a 4 channel Alpine Alpine KTP-445U.
 

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Don't make it complex or get into spending larger amounts if all you want is better than basic stock sound. Get matching speaker sets front & rear (for tonality consistency), a powered sub, and call it a day. That little Alpine amp will suffice for added output boost, the powered sub will fill in the bottom.

Now if you feel the need to be a little extra in your commute, by all means start preparing for some better gear and spending a bit more.

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't make it complex or get into spending larger amounts if all you want is better than basic stock sound. Get matching speaker sets front & rear (for tonality consistency), a powered sub, and call it a day. That little Alpine amp will suffice for added output boost, the powered sub will fill in the bottom.

Now if you feel the need to be a little extra in your commute, by all means start preparing for some better gear and spending a bit more.

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
Thanks. One question if I power four speakers off the Alpine powerpack, how do get the high-level inputs for the subwoofer? Where do I tap the input?
 

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Thanks. One question if I power four speakers off the Alpine powerpack, how do get the high-level inputs for the subwoofer? Where do I tap the input?
Tap the same leads that feed the input side of the Alpine amp. Hopefully it's all full signal. Powered subs usually come with a remote level control so even though you're tapping the same leads as front or rear, you'll still have control of sub output

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tap the same leads that feed the input side of the Alpine amp. Hopefully it's all full signal. Powered subs usually come with a remote level control so even though you're tapping the same leads as front or rear, you'll still have control of sub output

Man & Machine... Power Extreme!
Thank you!
 

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Just a quick note. If it's just going to be a small 8" or maybe 10" shallow, under-seat powered subwoofer, don't expect miracles. Yes, it will definitely "fill in" the low end and some of the bass that's missing, but it's not going to be impactful, powerful bass.

Once you get on the highway, the low frequency road and tire noise drowns a fair bit of this out, and you need some substantial output to overcome it.

And as mentioned before, for this or any subwoofer setup to give you good, clean, deep bass output, you need to make sure that your OEM system is truly sending out a full range signal.

My experience with many of the late-model Ford HUs is that they are rolled-off on the low end frequencies to protect their cheap factory speakers, unless of course the radio is reprogrammed with FORscan as mentioned previously. Even then, the sound quality of the OEM system's output is just mediocre overall due to the cost-cutting and parts used. I know from personal experience that the SQ and RCA output from a decent, 4-volt preout aftermarket head unit will be a night & day difference in SQ.

An under-seat powered subwoofer is obviously going to be just in a tiny box, with a small, limited-excursion, shallow subwoofer driver. It's just physically impossible for it to put out true, deep, clean, impactful bass. It will definitely help to fill-in the low end, but it can only go so far. I just don't want you to be under-whelmed after spending the time & money to install it, that's all.

You might be completely satisfied with it in the end, but most of us here wouldn't be, and we'd wait and spend the time and money on a traditional and proper subwoofer/box/amp setup.

Again, make sure you have a full-range output from the head unit, otherwise you'll be doubly unimpressed.

Just my .02

And we still need to know your budget for the upgrade. There may be a better path.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a quick note. If it's just going to be a small 8" or maybe 10" shallow, under-seat powered subwoofer, don't expect miracles. Yes, it will definitely "fill in" the low end and some of the bass that's missing, but it's not going to be impactful, powerful bass.

Once you get on the highway, the low frequency road and tire noise drowns a fair bit of this out, and you need some substantial output to overcome it.

And as mentioned before, for this or any subwoofer setup to give you good, clean, deep bass output, you need to make sure that your OEM system is truly sending out a full range signal.

My experience with many of the late-model Ford HUs is that they are rolled-off on the low end frequencies to protect their cheap factory speakers, unless of course the radio is reprogrammed with FORscan as mentioned previously. Even then, the sound quality of the OEM system's output is just mediocre overall due to the cost-cutting and parts used. I know from personal experience that the SQ and RCA output from a decent, 4-volt preout aftermarket head unit will be a night & day difference in SQ.

An under-seat powered subwoofer is obviously going to be just in a tiny box, with a small, limited-excursion, shallow subwoofer driver. It's just physically impossible for it to put out true, deep, clean, impactful bass. It will definitely help to fill-in the low end, but it can only go so far. I just don't want you to be under-whelmed after spending the time & money to install it, that's all.

You might be completely satisfied with it in the end, but most of us here wouldn't be, and we'd wait and spend the time and money on a traditional and proper subwoofer/box/amp setup.

Again, make sure you have a full-range output from the head unit, otherwise you'll be doubly unimpressed.

Just my .02

And we still need to know your budget for the upgrade. There may be a better path.
Thank you for a great post.

In another life, my Land Rover Disco had two 12 inch woofers including a bass tube from Blaupunkt and component speakers, powered by two 400 Watt amplifiers. Of course, all this was installed by professional AV shops and I had little to no idea on wiring. Since then, I have always bought cars with optional high end music systems, and even though they were no wear near the setup I had in Disco, I grew out of college kid and into a white collar professional and was content with the music quality.

This is my first daily beater car that I have bought with that purpose and I am just trying to add whatever little I can install over a weekend with minimal wiring. My budget for add-ons on this car was $3k. Most of which I spent on adding alloy wheels and buying winter tires to put on steel wheels, Weathertech floor mats, AirBlue 80 on Windshield, and 40% Formula One Pinnacle all around. So, I have about 1K left to spend on audio.

Some will wonder why didn't I buy Titanium version, but I am not into EcoBoost for few reasons of my own.

Also, thanks for pointing to Forscan and I will be looking into it. Let me know if you know a great resource or a forum.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
 
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