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Upgrading 2012 Shaker 500

Old 04-10-2012, 07:04 AM
  #1  
Chromeshadow
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Default Upgrading 2012 Shaker 500

I just completed "stage one" of my upgrade of my 2012 Shaker 500.
The Shaker 500 is a pretty crappy system imho. It has weak base and very little presence.

I wanted to keep the stock head and the stock look as much as possible. I removed the stock amp located on the drivers side panel to the left of the dash. I replaced this with a 200W Sony XM-4S. I am driving the amp with coax cables hooked to the rear speakers. I installed the Shelby Kicker 8" subs in the doors to replace the factory subs. I replaced the factory 6x8 speakers with Pioneers.

This made a huge improvement in the sound. While it does not have the level of base that will make your ears bleed like a good set of subs, It has really good base and good clean mids and highs. I may hook the other 2 channels to the 6x8s in the doors, but I want to drive it for a while before I make any other decisions.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:45 AM
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Frustration
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Did you run the 6x8's to the amp yet??

Any other changes?
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:11 PM
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coax cable?! You install satalite and cable right?
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:11 AM
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Chromeshadow
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I have 2 cars with Bose sound systems, the Mustang sounds as good as both from the drivers and passengers seat. Good clean sound with lots of base.

I still run the 6x8 in the doors with the standard radio output.

Since the amp is using the rear speaker signal for an input, the base sounds very good, but I doubt I'd get as clean of a sound in the 6x8s using a speaker level input. I think I'd trade some quality for the extra volume and I have plenty of volume for my taste now.

ttocs, I'm not sure what your question is, I used coax cable from the rear speakers to run the amp, speaker wire would have probably sounded fine.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:34 PM
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Please don't think it was a shot just more of a suprise. I installed in a few different shops on/off for around 15 yrs and in that time we would see some strange stuff. Home electricians using twist-nuts and solid core wires that they had left over to a kid that wrapped his connections in band-aids to insulate them. He was proud they were the good cloth kind too and even said we should hire him... the only time I saw someone use coax wire for speaker wire was a friend/neighbor of mine that installed cable/satalite tv when he wired his quasi-home theater. I mean yea its wire and you could even just straighten out some coat hangers and use them as long as they don't short out but I know it wasn't a year after he installed it that he asked me why it was starting to sound bad. The cables connections where he stripped the wires and touched them with his fingers had started to corrode and was making all the sound fuzzy until he got above a certain volume. My only fear with that is that in a car environment which normally is exposed to more moisture will probably corrode faster.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:18 PM
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Chromeshadow
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Ahh, I think I understand your question.

The new amp is mounted near the kick panel on the drivers side, high enough to be out of sight, this is where the factory amp used to be.
The Ford head signal to the factory amp will not drive a (line in) amp input. The front speakers are filtered, the rear are not, so I used the rear speakers signals to run the amp (speaker level) inputs. I could not find a convenient source so I tapped into the rear speaker connections on the rear speakers.

The rear speakers are still hooked up, I ran a set of wires from the speakers to the (speaker level) inputs on the amp. Since there is a possibility that that they might pick up noise due to the length, I used coax cables, these are copper stranded core and shield. I agree, coax cables do not make good speaker wires. The amps (speaker level) input impedance is around 600 Ohms.
Btw, I use the old western union wire wrap technique and solder every connection. I always stagger splices so there is no chance they will ever rub on each other, and every joint is heat shrinked and wire wrapped to a secure item.
I installed Police and Fire Dept radios, light bars and sirens for 7 years, they tend to get pretty upset when something cuts out.

I would have preferred to use line levels for the amp input, but I do not want to change out the factory shaker head. The sound is actually very good, I am happy with it now. I may get used to it later and upgrade the head. If I do, the 4 channel amp is ready to drive all of the speakers except the rear and it does have line input.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:54 PM
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the stock setup. Do you have a link to something that explains the specifics of the shaker 500? Outputs and their levels, impedance, locations of amps, wiring, etc. I've got the electronics package so replacing the HU is a not an option. I had no idea there was a separate amp from the HU in this system.

Does the stock amp in the kick panel drive all 4 of the stock speakers + subs?
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:18 PM
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Chromeshadow
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If the Shaker 500 in the GT is the same as the 3.7, here is what you got.

Head unit that directly drive the 6x8 door speakers and the 6x8 deck lid speakers (rear speakers).

There is only one external amp, it drives the 8" door subs. The door subs are 1.2 Ohm dual coil subs. This allows the amp to drive them to approx 60W per speaker.
Most car speakers are 4 ohms because it's easier to get good sound with a high Ohm rating. This amp has a very unusual input from the head that is not compatible with most aftermarket amps.

The 6x8s in the doors are 4 ohms, and weigh a remarkable 12.5 OZ. These are easy to replace with off the shelf speakers.
The 6x8s in the rear are much better, rated at 25W.

This means (IMHO) that replacing the door speakers will marginally improve the mids and highs, replacing the subs requires an aftermarket amp and new subs. The tricky part is finding a way to drive the amp. I used the signal from the rear speakers which I normally would not use. Since I use this for the subs only, it actually sounds pretty good.

Shelby has a "canned solution" http://www.shelbystore.com/product-p/kic-s.htm

I used their subs with a Sony amp. Shelby even has a trunk mount self power sub if you want more bass.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:32 PM
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Thanks. Makes sense now.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by UberDuper View Post
Outputs and their levels, impedance, locations of amps, wiring, etc.
valid for 2011+
http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=1014

Wiring diagrams, with color coding for the wires used:
http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=710&viewfil...Navigation.pdf

Does the stock amp in the kick panel drive all 4 of the stock speakers + subs?
As already stated, HU itself drives the 4 normal speakers, the only physical change from the earlier ones was mid production year of 11, where as chrome states, there is only 1 amp for the 2 shaker 500 subs now. Used to be one for each.
From http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=1011&viewfi...t%20System.pdf :
Shaker 500
— AM/FM Single CD with MP3 capabilities ACM
— Navigation ACM with built-in single CD/DVD drive with HD radio (optional)
— 6 speakers (1 in each door and 1 subwoofer speaker in each door, 2 in the rear package tray (coupe only), or 1 in each quarter panel (convertible
only))
— Subwoofer amplifier for each door (only valid for earlier model 2011's)

Last edited by wayne613; 06-29-2012 at 05:59 AM.
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