Sound System upgrade
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Thread: Sound System upgrade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    9

    Default Sound System upgrade

    My Volt came with stock (non-Bose) audio system. I had considered getting the Bose system, but after listening to it, I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with that so I stuck with the cheap system with the intention of upgrading the system with aftermarket components.

    I've just ordered all of the components and I plan to start install after I get back from CES next week.

    Morel Components - Front Speakers
    Morel Coax - Rear Speakers
    DC Audio 10" Sub - SubWoofer
    JBL MS-8 - Sound Processor
    JL Audio AD700/5 - Amplifier
    Autonet Mobile CarFi - WiFi Hotspot, GPS
    BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway - Bluetooth Audio Adapter

    I like to primarily use Spotify to listen to online streaming music, so the Blackberry Stereo Gateway (It's not just for Blackberry's) will allow me to stream right to the head unit without having to plug in an audio cable everytime. I'm just going to use my phone (Motorola Android RAZR) for this right now, but I'm going to look at dedicating an Android Tablet for this as a next phase of this project.

    The Autonet Mobile CarFi gives me a WiFi hotspot in the car, so I've got constant connectivity for any device in the car. It also has storage and a Home Sync application which automatically syncs all my mp3's from home to my car. (Full Disclosure: I work for Autonet Mobile). It also has some new and unannounced features that I can test. :-)

    The biggest challenge so far in choosing components was finding components that were small and fit into existing holes in the car. (and had reasonably low power consumption) I'm trying to do this with no visual impact on the interior of the car and have it look as stock as possible. I'm going to raise the cover that goes over the charging station/air compressor about 1" so that all the electronics will fit back there and the sub is going to go in that blank space between the 12V battery and the Lithium battery. (same place the Bose sub would have gone.) I'm going to have to build a box for that since that whole area seems prone to rattle, but it's going to be completely hidden.

    I've enlisted the help of a local audio shop to do much of the installation and build the boxes. I never can seem to get door panels off and on without breaking at least one tab, so I'll let someone do it who has to replace it if they get it wrong. :-)

    I'm thinking/hoping that this is going to sound pretty good. Anyone see any issues?

    I'll post some post-install pictures if all goes well.

    -Doug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    821

    Default

    Doug,

    What I do not understand is how can one install a new sound system when the current radio's user interface is shared with other features such A/C, car settings, etc...

    The last car I changed the sound system in was simple. Remove old radio install new one, but the radio's display, buttons where an all in one thing and not part of another system.

    So I guess my question is if I buy a Volt with the bottom-of-the-line radio, can I swap the radio for one with more features?
    2/3/2012 - Volt Owner #05396
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    454

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by treedrugwar View Post
    ...I've enlisted the help of a local audio shop to do much of the installation...
    Has the audio shop ever seen a Volt before?
    Only GM could make the Volt.
    Viridian Joule #1428
    08/12/2010 Order placed at dealership.
    03/15/2011 Vehicle delivered to customer

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Burbank, CA
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I would think that once you move from a smaller amplifier to a more powerful one and speakers that are less efficient and put out more bass, you're going to lose several miles per charge. Even the Bose system that came with my Volt sounds somewhat anemic to me at times but I know that I can't have powerful bass without sacrificing mileage.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    7,965

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltster View Post
    I would think that once you move from a smaller amplifier to a more powerful one and speakers that are less efficient and put out more bass, you're going to lose several miles per charge. Even the Bose system that came with my Volt sounds somewhat anemic to me at times but I know that I can't have powerful bass without sacrificing mileage.
    Lots of things to worry about, like the integration with the center console, and whether the voltage surges from the base can damage the APM. I wouldn't worry about losing (much) range though...

    The Volt uses 10 kWh to drive - in decent weather, the Volt uses ~250 Wh per mile. Even if a 1000 W amp were running wide open the whole time (you'd be deaf!) it'd only be four miles of range per hour of operation. (so maybe two miles of total range unless your in serious stop and go traffic or driving at golf cart speeds.)
    Walter
    C4884 - White Diamond, purchased 10/15/11
    2016 Tesla X75D delivered 8/25/16

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Burbank, CA
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saghost View Post
    ...The Volt uses 10 kWh to drive - in decent weather, the Volt uses ~250 Wh per mile. Even if a 1000 W amp were running wide open the whole time (you'd be deaf!) it'd only be four miles of range per hour of operation. (so maybe two miles of total range unless your in serious stop and go traffic or driving at golf cart speeds.)
    The numbers don't lie. It's much less than I thought!

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    You're right. That's why I'm not changing the radio out. I'm using the stock radio and just changing out the speakers and amp. The JBL Audio Sound Processor will help tune the stock radio so it sounds a bit better.

    I'd love to be able to change the radio out so that I could get the output of Spotify (song info, album art) right to the dash, but for the reasons you stated, it's just not practical. That's why the addition of an Android tablet is in my future. (I haven't figured out where to mount it yet)


    Quote Originally Posted by ewiggins View Post
    Doug,

    What I do not understand is how can one install a new sound system when the current radio's user interface is shared with other features such A/C, car settings, etc...

    The last car I changed the sound system in was simple. Remove old radio install new one, but the radio's display, buttons where an all in one thing and not part of another system.

    So I guess my question is if I buy a Volt with the bottom-of-the-line radio, can I swap the radio for one with more features?

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adarondax View Post
    Has the audio shop ever seen a Volt before?

    Just mine. They took the door panels and rear tray out to figure out what was possible.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saghost View Post

    The Volt uses 10 kWh to drive - in decent weather, the Volt uses ~250 Wh per mile. Even if a 1000 W amp were running wide open the whole time (you'd be deaf!) it'd only be four miles of range per hour of operation. (so maybe two miles of total range unless your in serious stop and go traffic or driving at golf cart speeds.)
    The surges should hit the 12V Aux battery and not the APM, so while that might shorten the life of that Aux battery a bit, I'm OK with that as long as the APM isn't affected.

    I probably won't be using a continuous 1000W of sound very often, but sometimes it's nice. :-)

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  13. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC VIN:#C-8909
    Posts
    2,649

    Default

    When I had my driver's window replaced this week, the glass guy had the door panel off in like a minute. He said it's very similar to the Cruze.

    I'm glad I have a lease so that I'm not tempted to do all the fun stuff you are planning to do.

    There's got to be a way to stabilize the rear hatch area so the equipment doesn't rattle.
    2012 Blue Topaz Volt - 11/18/11 to 11/17/14 - 36,806 EV miles. Now waiting for the B̶o̶l̶t̶/Model 3!

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