CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:30 am

At first I had the four door speakers replaced with Polk DB652 speakers, a straightforward install. This was a small improvement but not much of one. It was clear that a new amplifier was needed and I decided to get a subwoofer as well to make it a complete upgrade, but the amp was certainly the most important.

After I popped out the existing foam tray, revealing the half-circle well in the trunk, the shop owner took an existing sub in a fairly slim enclosure and placed it in to judge how well it fit. I realized we could also fit the amp just behind the enclosure; we ended up using a Lightning Audio amp that was actually pretty big but it still fit well. Neither stuck up above the well at all which was nice because I did not want to compromise luggage space in any way.

Then he mounted the amp to the sub (he chose a Memphis SRX 10D4 for the sub) as seen below. (continued)
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AmpToSub.jpg
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TestFit.jpg
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CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:33 am

The hardest part of the install, by far, was hooking up the amp. They could find no relevant documentation at all on the Bolt so they had to take things apart just to find the existing amplifier so they could hook into it. They took apart the center area but discovered that the amp is actually behind the passenger glove box. So FYI the center area doesn't need to be taken apart, just the glove box area as well as overlapping trim of course.

For physically installing the sub/amp, he started by plastering the entire bottom trunk area with HushMat sound-deadening material so the steel wouldn't buzz from the subwoofer. All of the existing bolts were left intact though.
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HushMat.jpg
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TakenApart.jpg
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CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:37 am

Finally, after about 5 hours of two people working on it, everything was installed and ready. The owner made up some simple brackets that were screwed onto the existing bolts in the well to hold the sub in place so it wouldn't bounce around. A thin wooden board (not pictured) was placed over everything and then the existing carpet mat was placed over that. So it looks stock and you can't even tell that anything had changed.

But now the sound system is truly superb. It's a major upgrade and I'm really happy that we were able to fit everything together while retaining a factory look and not compromising luggage space at all.
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Bracket.jpg
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Installed.jpg
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tgreene
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:43 am

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:15 pm

Sweet - nice job!

Thanks for posting all the pics & info - should make it easier for people to follow in your footsteps.

Can you give us a ballpark idea of how much this set you back, including the equipment purchases and the professional installation? Are we talking $2K here or more? I have no idea of what these things cost.

CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:47 pm

The door speakers were $90/pair so $180 total, the sub was $90, and the amp was $200. With some adapters and other things needed (like the HushMat), and labor, the grand total was roughly $1000. They actually drastically undercharged me for actual labor because they didn't want to charge me for the time they needed to figure things out.

tgreene
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:43 am

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:42 am

Well done - that is $1000 well spent. I bet that the $500 Bose speaker 'upgrade' from Chevy can't even come close to what you have now. I know that the Bose 'upgrade' in my Volt sounds awful, much worse than the stock sound in my Toyota RAV4 EV.

Nagorak
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:20 am

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

tgreene wrote:Well done - that is $1000 well spent. I bet that the $500 Bose speaker 'upgrade' from Chevy can't even come close to what you have now. I know that the Bose 'upgrade' in my Volt sounds awful, much worse than the stock sound in my Toyota RAV4 EV.


On top of that you can't even get the Bose speaker upgrade unless you get the Premier, so rather than being $500 it's really an almost $5000 upgrade, provided you didn't want the other Premier features. Basically not even remotely worth it.

Pigwich
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:01 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:25 pm

I bet it sounds great too. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the "Bose" system in the Bolt. I don't know what involvement Bose had in the project - I've worked with them (the company) in the recent past, and they're a brilliant crew that makes gorgeous stuff. I wouldn't call the premium stock system in the Bolt a total goose-egg, but I can't really say I'm super amazed by it. I'll take it over the POS I had in my Spark EV however. The speakers in that one didn't even have a box around them!

SO my big question, which is probably stupid, is... I assume you kept the same 'head' unit?
(´・(oo)・`)

tgreene
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:43 am

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:29 pm

I wonder how much the GM Premier + Bose system would benefit from an improved amplifier. That might be a relatively straightforward and low cost upgrade. Is anybody thinking about doing this?

CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: I had a full aftermarket sound system installed. Major improvement!

Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:04 pm

Of course I kept the same head unit! There is literally no way to visually tell that the car has an aftermarket sound system without pulling things apart; it's a factory look.

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