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I was lucky enough to find a pre-own 2016 Chevy Volt LT (without Bose system, well, I am not that into Bose anyway) and become a new Volt owner for about a month. Love the car. I am kind of a audio nuts and always upgraded my car's stereo for my previous cars. For this car, I don't want to do too much about it. But just can't stand the sound from the cheap paper speakers. I am planning to just upgrade the factory speakers and add a sub-woofer.
Somehow, I found tons of information on people upgrading their Bose system here but not the base system (Well, if they bought the car with a "better" system first, why upgrade later?) Anyway, I am not here to judge other but the fact is, I could not find a lot of information about upgrading the base system.
My question is:
1. I understand that we don't have a "center" speaker with the base system. What are the speakers under the deck? Is it a cheap paper mid range or tweeter?
2. Whatever the speakers are under the deck, does it make the front door speaker a mid range or a 2-way speaker? (I don't know if I should get a mid range or typical 2-way speaker at the front.
3. What is the impediment of factory speakers? (I don't want to over load the factory radio)
4. Since I don't have a sub in my factory system. Does the car pre-wired anyway? Or I have to pull wire from the rear door speakers for the high level input for them amp of the sub?
5. I am planning to use the "signal turn on" for the amp. However, is there any turn on power for the amp that I should use? (Better close to the trunk)

Thank you in advance!

Eric
 

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My question is:
Well, let me say a few things as a loudspeaker design engineer who ended up working in automotive sound systems:
Go to https://www.crutchfield.com/Car/outfitmycar/mycar.aspx
and you can see quite a bit of information. Crutchfield are very helpful and professional, and if you buy stuff from them they will help you with detailed instructions and which adaptor harnesses to get etc.
1. I understand that we don't have a "center" speaker with the base system. What are the speakers under the deck? Is it a cheap paper mid range or tweeter?
2. Whatever the speakers are under the deck, does it make the front door speaker a mid range or a 2-way speaker? (I don't know if I should get a mid range or typical 2-way speaker at the front.
@There is a 6-6.5" in the door, and what appear to be about 3" or maybe smaller up in the deck (Crutchfield sells a 2.75" to fit there).
@ The deck is a kind of mid-tweeter, the door woofer just a woofer. You can do two things:
- EASIER: get a nice 6.5" 2-way COMPONENT SET with a crossover box (not a coaxial!), the woofer in the door and the tweeter up in the dash. I'm not sure where the crossover box would go, or if the Volt has a crossover box someplace that would need to get pulled out.
- MORE COMPLEX: put a woofer in the door, and an actual small fullrange or large tweeter (I was looking at a 2" dome someplace, like 1000 Hz on up). This would require a multichannel amp with very adjustable crossover, to run the entire system actively, one amp channel for each individual driver. I don't recommend this unless you are really adventurous.

3. What is the impediment of factory speakers? (I don't want to over load the factory radio)
@ You mean the IMPEDANCE-almost always 4 ohms in a car. And aftermarket fullrange are 99.9% 4 ohm as well, so no worries.

4. Since I don't have a sub in my factory system. Does the car pre-wired anyway? Or I have to pull wire from the rear door speakers for the high level input for them amp of the sub?
@ No idea if it is pre-wired. I doubt it. If I had to bet money, your base system is probably powered by what is called a BTL amp inside the radio, actual power about 4x15 watts RMS. No sub output because...
@...the Bose system is what has the sub. Bose systems generally have a dedicated amplifier, and Bose sometimes have used speakers that are like 0.5 ohms.
@ If you want a sub, I'd say you'll have to add an amplifier to your system. Either 5-channel, or, since rear speakers are a historical accident that we do not use for stereo in the home, forget about the rear speakers entirely and use a 4-channel or 2-channel + mono amps to run the fronts, and run the sub from the rear speaker outputs, so you can use the fader as a bass level control.
@ The amp should have INDEPENDENTLY ADJUSTABLE CROSSOVERS. In other words, that you can highpass the fronts at a different frequency than the lowpass to the subwoofer. This is indispensable. You will also need to learn how to measure the system in order to tune it, or find a shop who can do it, or message me and I can send you to some forums where you might find someone near you to help (especially if you are by LA).

5. I am planning to use the "signal turn on" for the amp. However, is there any turn on power for the amp that I should use? (Better close to the trunk)
@ To add an amp you need the proper large gauge wiring run to the battery, with a proper fuse block near the battery. Crutchfield can probably help with this but if you feel uncertain find a well-rated install shop. You do NOT want to damage the Volt electronics or have a fire!]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. They are very useful information. I am planing to get my speakers from crutchfield also since they comes with all the extra items and instructions for free.
 

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+1 for Crutchfield. I have used them in the past many times with regards to getting radios, install kits, and wiring harnesses.
 

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I have done a relatively extensive upgrade on my Non Bose system. The basis was following an audiophile from the Cruze forum. I will have to find the link for you, it has been more than a year. I really enjoy it, might be the best I have done as compared to previous cars I had.

The frame work is running the speaker level out to rca converter, then to a mini DSP, then to a small amp, then 7” woofer in door and tweeter under dash. The minidsp runs a profile offered by this audiophile for these speakers pairing specifically, while my G2 is not the same as his Cruze, it worked quite well and if I were to adventure further, I can tune it myself. I have rca cable already laid for a sub, but have decided to wait for now as I don’t listen much to bass heavy stuff these days. It’s a lot of work and about $1k spent including sound damping stuff, but feel happy.
http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/36-gen1-audio-electronics/11204-sq-car-audio-thread-v2.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Yipsan, since you upgraded your non-bose system. I may interested to add a 4 or 2 channel amp (or even the minidsp)to the new speakers also. Per Crutchfield's information, seems like the factory speakers wiring is not from the control unit. It mentioned something like tuner modular is under the subwoofer location (is it the same location for non-bose system?). It would be best if I know where is the speakers wire distribute from so that I can do all the connection there, instead of wire all the speaker wiring back and forward from the speakers though all the doors. Thank you very much.
 

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Erichiu, I tried to locate where the speaker wires originated too, but had no luck. I ended up using the speaker wires to the under dash speakers as the input to the line level converter. So, quite a bit of wire going from the dash speakers to where the converter is located, behind the glove box.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I talked to tech support from Crutchfield. He didn't sound very sure but think that the speaker distribution should be at the back of the car where the "bose subwoofer" (even we don't have it) located. He also sent me this image. I may open up the rear to look for it. If I did, I will put some pictures here.
 

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Alright, have some time to take something apart today. Followed the direction from Crutchfield's instruction, I found the "tuner unit" at the back of the trunk (passenger side where the subwoofer (if equipped) located). With Crutchfield's information, I found the "Green plug". As you see in the pictures, the wires on green plug match the discretion from Crutchfield's email (except the "brown" looks more like "dark grey" to me). If the assumption was right, these should be the output to the speakers.

In this case, adding a 4 channel amp, subwoofer or even any electronic crossover, DSP should be very easy. There are many space at the trunk and the battery is there also. Save a lot of wiring. And best of all, we don't have to even deal with taking the radio control at the front apart.

My new speakers from Crutchfield was arrived today. I am planning to just install the speakers first. For sure I will add a micro 4 channel amp later. Keep you guys post.
 

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Just a note, I think the front tweeter and door woofer are wired parallel, so if you are using a minidsp you will need to run new speaker wires. I ran new wires to all 4 speakers and upped the gauge a bit.
 

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I will just add a Alpine Power Pack small amp to power the 4 speakers and let the tweeter wire with the mid bass. The good thing is the Alpine power pack has signal turn on, HF crossover and gain. Should works pretty well. I already have an existing Alpine MRV M500 and a 12" JL sub from my previous car. Will install it after I received the Alpine power pack.
The only thing is that I feel a little sorry that I bought pretty cheap speakers from Crutchfield because I didn't plan to add a 4 channel amp when I ordered the speakers. Well, it should be a lot better than the factory ones anyway.
 

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Alright, have some time to take something apart today. Followed the direction from Crutchfield's instruction, I found the "tuner unit" at the back of the trunk (passenger side where the subwoofer (if equipped) located). With Crutchfield's information, I found the "Green plug". As you see in the pictures, the wires on green plug match the discretion from Crutchfield's email (except the "brown" looks more like "dark grey" to me). If the assumption was right, these should be the output to the speakers.

In this case, adding a 4 channel amp, subwoofer or even any electronic crossover, DSP should be very easy. There are many space at the trunk and the battery is there also. Save a lot of wiring. And best of all, we don't have to even deal with taking the radio control at the front apart.

My new speakers from Crutchfield was arrived today. I am planning to just install the speakers first. For sure I will add a micro 4 channel amp later. Keep you guys post.
Thanks for posting the pictures and details. I plan to replace the speakers in my LT in less than a year. This will help me alot. I also plan to add an amp(probably Alpine 5-ch amp) and probably order the GM sub enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, finished my speaker swap project today. Took me a little longer that I thought. I am going to share my experience here in case other want to do do it too (in fact, for this simple effort and the day and night audio different, anyone that do not have the Bose system should do this).

This is the procedure of upgrading new speaker with non-bose system:
First suggestion is you should buy your new speakers from Crutchfield. They may not have the cheapest price, however, your new speakers purchase will comes with all harness, speaker adaptor and most import is the Gen 2 Volt's install instruction all for free with purchase, which is very useful. Since Crutchfield own the instruction manual, I don't feel right to post it here.

Start with the front tweeter, you first remove both sides pillar. If you have Crutchfield, you can follow the pictures. I attached a "example" of the instruction here. One thing I want to mention here: Instruction suppose ask to totally remove the pillar. However, I have a real hard time to remove the plastic clip with springs attached to the body frame and the pillar. I spend a long time but still not able to remove it. I found that there is enough space for me to move away the pillar to take the deck out, I just leave it there. You can see in the pictures. Again, I suggest if you can remove the clip, take the pillar out, easier to work with the deck later. If not, I did it without remove it.

After you remove the top deck, just pop up, no screws. You will see both "cheap-mid-range-paper-cone". Since move tweeter of component speakers are pretty small. They will not fit to the original hole. See the sketch of the size of the speaker.
 

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I bought a cheap piece of plastic sign (you can use sheet metal of course), cut it into the shape of speaker. Cut a hole in the center to fit the new tweeter. Because the plastic was little thin, I use glue gun to put glue around the tweeter to reinforce the plastic.

Since there is no harness for the tweeter, I have to cut to hard wire it. (see the color chart I post before for the +/-). Trim the plastic to fit into the original speaker space.
 

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I use regular caulk to caulk around the bottom side of the trim to seal between the speaker and the space below. Use original screw to install the new speaker with the plastic trim. And here you go.
 

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