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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This FAQ is currently in development. Comments and Suggestions on topics I may have missed are encouraged.

General Info:
The Sound Group II option adds $635 to the sticker price. Included are eight BA speakers: three 3.5-inch mid/high-frequency drivers in the front dashboard (left, center, right), two 6x9-inch low-frequency drivers in the front doors, and two 6x9-inch full-range drivers and an 8-inch subwoofer (optimized for infinite-baffle operation) mounted in the rear parcel tray behind the back seats.

Powering all speakers is an 8-channel amplifier with integrated DSP, which pumps out a total of 368 watts. According to BA, the amp incorporates all audio functions, such as system tuning as well as volume, balance, fader, and tone controls, etc. These functions are embedded in the amplifier to improve sound quality—placing them at the end of the signal chain is said to increase dynamic range and minimize distortion. This is one of several elements that BA believes is necessary to achieve high-quality sound performance in a vehicle.

Speaker Questions & Info:

Standard 4 Speaker Package:
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in front doors.
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in rear shelf.

Boston 6 Speaker Package:
- 2 3.5 Inch speakers on the top of the dash.
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in front doors.
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in rear deck.
- 1 288 watt amplifier in front dash directly behind headlight switch.

Boston 8 Speaker Package:
- 3 3.5 Inch speakers on the top of the dash
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in front doors.
- 2 6x9 Inch diameter speakers in rear deck.
- 1 7" Subwoofer mounted on rear deck.
- 1 380 watt amplifier in front dash directly behind headlight switch.

What colors are the wires that run to the speakers?
Note: The the first color is the color of the wire and the second color is the color of the stripe on the wire.

Dash Left +: Gray/Orange
Dash Left -: Gray/Yellow
Dash Center +: Gray/Brown
Dash Center -: Gray/Orange
Dash Right +: Gray/Dark Green
Dash Right -: Gray/Light Green

Front Left +: Gray/Violet
Front Left -: Gray/Yellow
Front Right +: Dark Green/Violet
Front Right -: Dark Green/Yellow

Rear Left +: Dark Green/Tan
Rear Left -: Dark Green/Gray
Rear Right +: Dark Green/Brown
Rear Right -: Yellow/Gray

Subwoofer +: Grey/Brown
Subwoofer -: Dark Green/Brown

Is the Boston Acoustic Sound Group 2 option worth the additional cost?
This question is very subjective. Some people may find that its a great deal, and may never have any interest in upgrading the equipment. Others may become unsatisfied with the system over time, and choose to upgrade some of the components with higher quality aftermarket components. Given the quality of the speakers included with the Boston Acoustic system, I suggest you judge for yourself.

Boston Acoustic Sound Group 2 6x9 Speaker from the front door:

You would be hard pressed to find a speaker of this quality for more than $10 at any swapmeet.

Does this mean many of us will not be happy with the Boston Acoustic System? Absolutely NOT, unless you have experienced the joy that is aftermarket audio. The Boston Acoustic is plenty sufficient for the casual listener.

I'd like to upgrade the speakers with something higher quality, would that make the system sound better?
Put simply yes, but the difference will be minimal. The factory amplifier puts out no where near the wattage it claims to. For Instance, upgrading the 3.5" Speakers will make quite a difference, because 3.5" speakers generally do well powered with less than 40watts. Aftermarket 6x9" Speakers generally require 80watts or more, so replacing your 6x9" Speakers with an aftermarket will acually degrade the output and sound quality. The factory Boston Acoustic amplifier is not sufficient enough to power an aftermarket 6x9 to most people's satisfaction. The Sound Group 2 6x9s will most likely sound better on the factory amp. I know this from experience.

What companies make 3.5" Speakers that fit the dash? Which is best?
Nearly all 3.5" Speakers have an RMS wattage rating of 40watts or below. The factory amplifier is capable of driving most of the aftermarket 3.5" Speakers out there. 3.5" Speakers are limited to the amount of midbass they can provide due to their minimal size, so when auditioning 3.5" Speakers at your local audio shop, focus on their high range ability. Some of the higher quality 3.5" Speaker manufacturers include: Diamond Audio, Infinity, Eclipse, Pioneer, and JL audio.

I noticed that there is a center channel speaker in my dash, is this speaker necessary? Should I upgrade this too?
Proper stereo imaging cannot be achieved with 3 speakers in the dash. The only purpose a center channel could serve would be in a 5.1 Surround Sound application. A center channel screws up left and right imaging. I found the imaging so bad with the stock Sound Group 2, that I thought my hearing was going out on my left ear. After I removed the center channel, things got back to normal and the system felt balanced. I replaced all 3 3.5" Speakers with Eclipse units, but found that the distance from me to the center channel was too close, so the right side of the audio system was always louder than the left. I suggest disconnecting the center channel speaker and see if you prefer the setup yourself.

I have noticed that my door 6x9"s only seem to output bass. Is this normal?
The door speakers are crossed over to reproduce only low frequency sound. The only source of fullrange signal is from the rear deck speakers. The 3.5" speakers in the dash are crossed over to reproduce the higher frequencies.

I am hearing rattling or buzzing coming from the rear deck. What could cause this?
In the trunk under the rear deck is a cardboard shelf that protects the 6x9"s and subwoofer. This piece of cardboard has a tendency to buzz and rattle. Removing it will not affect sound quality.

I am not happy with the performance of the Boston Acoustic subwoofer, I'd like to replace it with an 8" Sub. Is this possible?
The factory subwoofer is mounted from the top of the rear deck, and is actually 7" in diameter. The easiest way to mount an 8" Sub in the rear deck, would be to build a wooden mounting ring for the top of the deck, and mount the new 8" Subwoofer from underneath the rear deck. Instead of the subwoofer being dropped into the rear deck, it would be under the bottom deck screwed into the wooden mounting ring on top. Keep in mind, that regardless of which speaker you install, the factory amplifier will most likely struggle providing enough power to it.

Ampifier Questions:
I'd like to replace the factory amplifier, how can I get a line level signal for my new Amps?
You can add an aftermarket amp by putting a line level converter between the factory head unit and factory amp and bypass the stock amp completely. You can use the factory head unit to adjust volume and balance, but you will lose your ability to fade.

What wires do I tap between the factory amp and factory head unit for my line level converter?
Radio pin A18- Radio Left Rear +: Dark Green / DarkBlue (amp pin A7)
Radio pin A19- Radio Left Rear - : Dark Green / Orange (amp pin A19)
Radio pin A21- Radio Right Rear +: Grey / Dark Blue (amp pin A8 )
Radio pin A20- Radio Right Rear -: Grey / Orange (amp pin A19)

Wouldn't it be easier to just use a line level adapter connected to the rear speakers?
Yes, but the amplifier handles all the digital sound processing, so your overall signal quality could be downgraded. It will work, but before the factory amp is a better location to tap.

Where can I tap into for a remote signal to turn on my amplifier?
Fuse 18 in the trunk fuse box. You can purchase a "Mini-Fuse" tap at many automotive parts stores. This fuse is on the power-off delay circuit, it stays on when you shut off the car until the door is opened just like the radio. It will look like the following:


Head Unit/Source Unit Questions:
I'd like to swap out my factory non Navigation radio with an aftermarket single din unit, what dash kit will I need?
You can use Metra Dash kit #99-6507 for the 2004 Dodge Durango. This fits the Magnum and also the 300c. It has half moon shapes on the sides to fill out the space where your factory radio had it's knobs.

Metra Dash kit #99-6507:


I'd like to swap out my factory Navigation radio with an aftermarket single din unit, what dash kit will I need?
As far as I can tell, no dash install kits have been manufactured yet for Navigation unit replacement. Every install I have seen has been custom by an Audio shop. If anyone spots a Metra or Scosche part # please e-mail me.
 

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IS IT SIMPLE TO REPLACE THE GODDAMM AMPLIFIER.

wanted to ask that question from the day i bought the car.

the speakers are good but that amplifier is broke i can feel it.
 

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Rogue & 300CAWD... good posts! I'd like to contribute some of my experience as well. I tend to agree with 300CAWD, but there is some qualification that I think should be consider by anyone looking to mod their existing system...

Now this is just my opinion, but it is based on some sound engineering experience in live sound stage construction and HT tuning...

Audio quality is not equal to the sum of the parts. IE - replacing one element in the system with an "upgraded" part does not equate to "better" audio quality. Great audio is the result of a great design of the entire system. Generally speaking, the acheivement of the target sound stage starts with the analysis of the room to be filled (in this case the 300C) and the desired audio quality for it (echo/reverberation, tonal, etc.). Then, depending upon the ability to modify the room charicteristics, the appropriate drivers are chosen (speakers) along with the necessary crossover networks. Only after those are selected can you choose a proper amplifier (albeit you can generally select higher power models that exhibit other desired tonal qualities if the # of amplifiers are known as well as the amplification strategy - bi-amp, etc. - as it is better to have too much power than not enough).

With respect to how this applies to the 300C...

I think the Boston SGII system does a really great job for most listening tastes as well as the given environment and even across a broad spectrum of recordings. Only those with extreme over-coloring tastes (typically in the lower frequencies) will benefit in DIY "upgrades" (and there's nothing wrong with that!)
I would advice some caution in modifying this system without having the skills to correctly target the desired changes in the sound stage. Issues that will can have unexpected adverse results include...

* improperly matched impedences resulting in balance that is dificult or impossible to correct
* frequency cancellization from incorrect polarization
* Early demise of drivers from incorrect amplifier matching and/or incorrect efficency (Q) for the target environment (sounds good, but the VC's are overtaxed at higher loads and fail prematurely).
* Sound color is off between drivers due to different Q, incorrect crossover network matching, diaphram qualities, and radiance materials.

These are just the major issues that are thought about when designing a system. If really great sound is critical to you (IE - you are a critical listener and it's not just about how "loud" you can make it), please make sure that what ever upgrade you try is easily "un-done" (I'd want a good return policy from my supplier) so you have a chance to experiment without loosing too much $ in the process of finding that "better" system.

Great sound is elusive and best left to experienced pro's who can usually acheive the end results you want at ultimately less cost.

Again... just my opinion!
 

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right now i am currently working on just upgrading the high end part of my stereo....

I plan on setting up a 5.1 setup... my only problem was... one 3.5" speaker in the center.... just... doesnt seem enough speaker for a center channel... so i am going to use all 3 speakers in the dash as my center channel... i think it will give me a pretty good sound stage... i shall explain....

first of all i have the factory navigation... which i will be having the video converted... but anyways....

(1) first i need a line level converter which will convert the signal out of the head unit into RCA....
(2) that will then goto my line driver, which will boost my signal....
(3) from the line driver, that will goto my indash equalizer up front, to allow me to adjust the frequencies and bass...
(4) that will then goto my alpine digital processor, as well as my ps2 will also go in to the sound processor...
(5) out of the processor into 2 crossovers..... 1 crossover will handle FRONT, and REAR... the other crossover will handle CENTER and BASS

then out of the 1st cross over into my one 4CHannel amp that will run the front two doors, which will act as my front left and front right speakers... I am replacing the 6 x 9's with 8" components... yes 8"!...

also out of the same crossover will go into my other 4 CHannel amp for the rear, i will also be replacing the 6x9's in the shelf with 8" components....

the other crossover will go out into my one 2CHannel amplifier, which is a very CLEAN Planet Audio Nebula... that will run all 3 speakers in the dash, that will act as my center channel.... and the same crossover will also handle my bass which will go out into 4 crossfire 1000ds which will run my bass... im not sure wut i want for subs as of yet.... but theres my high end set up for anyone who wants to know...

thanks
 

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cant we just replace the amplifier with a differant brand but with the same factors and options.

Could some one post some detailed specs on the amp, so that i can find an after market with the same specs. do u think that might work jhelmuth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
300CAWD please relax until I have completed the FAQ. I will answer all you need in due time.
 

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Rogue...you're hired. When can you start and bring your own tools. There is designated tech parking and sense of humor is required. You get 1 day a week off unless we are slammed which is most weeks. I provide rubber gloves for the glass and bondo work. Lunch is when you can find time to go and just before the big jobs arrive. The temperature is in the 90's for the summer and if you get offended by scantily-clad girls please close your eyes. (You will be in Daytona Beach.)
I pay well and you will be required to come up front to talk to customers often.
Trust is required as I run a laid-back family-type shop. hehehehe
 

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300CAWD said:
cant we just replace the amplifier with a differant brand but with the same factors and options.

Could some one post some detailed specs on the amp, so that i can find an after market with the same specs. do u think that might work jhelmuth.
Yes. Given the I/O (in/out) connections are the same, then you might be better off with an aftermarket AMP. Be sure to investigate the real AMP output using 3rd party testing (not reviewers) as a source for that information. If this is an unknown, stick to the very high-end names that you can count on. In the non-car audio world, this would be Crown, Krell, Yamaha (at the lower end), and others. Price is usually an indicator - meaning that if it's inexpensive, then it's not likely all it's marketed as (so use price only as a caution when no better information is available). Personally, I've been using Sony Xplod AMPS in 2 cars (800 W models) to drive 4 speakers where sound levels were not attempted beyond -96 db with very efficent drivers. I wouldn't call the Sony AMPs high quality and would probably not choose them as replacements for my 300C if I were "upgrading" it. Which BTW, I don't have any issues with the stock SGII system as is.

Follow up!!!

Please take a look at Rogue's posts (be patient). He is giving you excellent advice!
 

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re:

Just wanted to add that instead of using this piggyback fuse connector you can just tap into the red/orange wire coming out of the fusebox in the trunk. There are more than one though... so you'll need to test it. I found the one that has continuity with Fuse 18 and it's red/orange. Tested it, and it powers up with radio and stays on until a door is open. Seems to work for me. I fused the wire I tapped just to be safe and have been using it this way all day today (hooked up my FM mod to this wire for my PSP in the car). So far no problems.

Hope this helps,

Nick

>Where can I tap into for a remote signal to turn on my amplifier?
>
>Fuse 18 in the trunk fuse box. You can purchase a "Mini-Fuse" tap at many >automotive parts stores. This fuse is on the power-off delay circuit, it stays >on when you shut off the car until the door is opened just like the radio.
 

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audio upgrades

man, now i really have to upgrade my sounds.

here is what i have planned so far.

* mbquart 6.5 separates (discus) 2 pairs, one for the front and one for the rear.
* MTX Thunder564 4-channel car amplifier 70 watts RMS x 4 (powering the separates)

* JBL BPX1100.1 RMS Power: 1141W x 1 @ 4 Ohms THD at 4-Ohm RMS Power: 0.5 %
* Image Dynamics ID MAX 10 v.3 D4 (one in each corner of the trunk)
or i guess i could open up the rear deck and have them fire directly into the cab) but building the enclosure would be difficult.

anyone have any ideas on the best sounding enclosure location? i dont care about looks, just usability of the trunk and sound quality/quantity

michael
 

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rogue, your FAQ post is excellently written. Thanks very much.

I have a question, however, in that early in your post you state that volume is controlled within the amplifier itself, but later you list the preamp signal wire colors.

If the volume is controlled remotely within the amp (a la GM and BMW, among others), then wouldn't that mean that the preamp signal can't be run directly into an aftermarket amplifier without some sort of preamp volume control? (JL Clean Sweep, Zapco SX, etc?)

We recently did a BMW X5 here where we had this problem - the customer stipulated that the steering wheel volume controls and built-in graphic EQ in his Nav HU had to work after we were done, and tapping that fixed line-level signal would have defeated his steering wheel controls (and I *think* his graphic EQ, I honestly didn't test that).

So we did the rack-o-Soundgate/Navone LOC's on the OEM amp outputs, and summed them together, thus retaining OEM preamp controls and allowing us to use our own crossover points. We used a parametric EQ to smooth out the OEM EQ curve and correct for phase cancellation after summing. I'm concerned that we need to do the same thing to this vehicle...

We will be doing one soon. Would you like a crossover frequency chart on the OEM system? We take an NT Acoustilyzer and measure each channel's output with pink noise before we take the speaker and throw it over our left shoulder...
 

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el_duderino said:
rogue, your FAQ post is excellently written. Thanks very much.
. . . . . . . . .
So we did the rack-o-Soundgate/Navone LOC's on the OEM amp outputs, and summed them together, thus retaining OEM preamp controls and allowing us to use our own crossover points. We used a parametric EQ to smooth out the OEM EQ curve and correct for phase cancellation after summing. I'm concerned that we need to do the same thing to this vehicle...

We will be doing one soon. Would you like a crossover frequency chart on the OEM system? We take an NT Acoustilyzer and measure each channel's output with pink noise before we take the speaker and throw it over our left shoulder...
In the case of our beloved 300 do you think summing the 3.5 with the front 6x9 would give us a full range signal to use? By 'summed them' do you just connect them in parallel or do you use a special circuit for this?

Yes I would love the frequency chart when you make one. When I first connected my 15" sub I used the rear 6x9 speaker signals to feed my LOC's. I can tell you from experience that they have almost no bass on them. I ran the 7" sub signal to both each LOC's by connecting the channels in parallel on the speaker level side of the LOC. Still in the testing phases but so far it is sounding great.
 

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I have a question, however, in that early in your post you state that volume is controlled within the amplifier itself, but later you list the preamp signal wire colors. If the volume is controlled remotely within the amp (a la GM and BMW, among others), then wouldn't that mean that the preamp signal can't be run directly into an aftermarket amplifier without some sort of preamp volume control? (JL Clean Sweep, Zapco SX, etc?)

Note: I've removed my original comments about tapping the preamp signal for the time being here while we validate if the information is true for both the 2005 and 2006 models.

In the meantime, I have tapped the rear speakers and I'm using the AudioControl LC6 as my LOC. Please PM with specific questions.

....

After the factory amp...(call this the "best" feature retention option)
After tapping the rear speakers for my signal, the overall sound quality is very good but feels (subjective points here) a bit "bright". My unscientific ear says that the signal to the rear speakers is not completely full range and does have a good amount of bass eq'd out of it. The OEM crossover frequency chart from El Duderino should prove this out (please post). You should expect to give a good crank on your subwoofer amp gain to compensate for the lack of bass in the rear speaker signal if you go with this option. Finally, you still lose the ability to fade as the rear speakers give you just a two channel input. However, tapping the signal after the factory amp at the rear speakers allowed me to use the factory amp to continue to power the dash speakers and therefore UConnect. The factory amp also controls the mute function and automatically mutes the system when a call comes in or is made through UConnect. My original objective was to keep factory steering wheel controls and UConnect but add aftermarket amps and speakers. This was the only option I found as a Do It Yourself installer to keep all things working. I will play around with tapping the factory subwoofer signal as MauiHemi suggests to see if I get a better signal for my bass amp.
 

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Jason, is the above post still accurate about losing the Uconnect and nav voice if the left front speaker is connected to the center speaker?

It was my understanding that the uconnect and nav audio signals went straight into the amp - is that correct?
 

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OK, here's what I've now determined:

1) The signal out of the HU varies in behavior, depending on whether the factory amp is plugged in or not.

When the OE amp is plugged in, the signal out of the HU is fixed in level.

http://kward1.homestead.com/300chufixedop.html

When the OE amp is unplugged, the HU seems to "see" this, and the output is now varying with the volume setting.

However, whenever the analog audio lines from the HU to the OEM amp are cut loose, the HU stops passing the Nav voice or the Uconnect voice through to those outputs. We didn't need to have the whole amp unplugged, simply cutting the four audio lines was enough.

Also, in answering my above question, the Nav voice output and the Uconnect voice output go from their modules into the HU, on different pins, and then are passed through the outputs of the head unit.

As near as I can determine, the CAN bus controllers "see" the disconnect between the HU and the OE amp and signal for the HU to change behavior. The HU does still mute though, which obviously makes little sense.

2) In either mode the output of the HU is very high in voltage. No line drivers needed here.

3) The frequency response of the HU line output is flat above 20 or so, and below 20 or so has some sort of auto-loudness feature that at lowest volumes results in about an 8dB tilt from the bass to the treble.

http://kward1.homestead.com/300CHUOP.html

4) The F door speakers play from about 120 all the way down. The front dash speakers play from 100 and up, with a significant rolloff at about 16kHz. The R deck 6x9s play from 100 Hz and up with a slight rolloff at about 18k. The R deck "sub" plays from 50 and down and is the least-eq'd signal from the amp.

(Note: The above has been corrected to properly describe the front dash rolloff in the highs...)

For pics of all but the sub output:

http://kward1.homestead.com/300campop.html
 

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Wow! You guys rock... This is the first post in the forum where I feel some people are making some real educated responses on system upgrades.

I upgraded my 3.5s to Infinitys and left the rest of my system alone because I feel the balance is quite good for a factory system... To get a cleaner system while maintaining balance would cost quite a few bucks, that's why I onlny changed the 3.5s, removed the 7" sub and added a 12" Infinity Perfect. Great sound and good balance, I'm happy.

I will be moving my sub into the spare tire well just to reclaim my passthrough trunk as I feel I'll use that more then I'll use my spare tire.... :)

Thanks guys!!!
 

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I have a 6 speaker boston system, I really would like to add a 10" Infinity perfect driver in the empty hole on the rear deck for a sub. If the rear 6x9s roll off at 100hz, that seems like a bad place to try to tap in for an aftermarket amp in the trunk for the sub. I want to leave the rest factory for now. Could I tap into factory deck output, before the factory amp, and still allow factory amp to run as is?

I was going to replace those pathetic 6x9s in back till I saw the freq. response the factory amp is rolling off. I haven't seen whizzer cone paper tweets like that in years. What a crappy driver!!!!!!!!!!
 

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WHen the OEM amp is in place, the preamp signal from the HU to the amp does not change in volume, so you couldn't do it that way.

But don't assume that the non-sub Boston systems roll off the low end. If there's no sub, the amp might play the by-nines all the way down. Know any shop with an RTA?
 

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rogue said:
Head Unit/Source Unit Questions:

You can use Metra Dash kit #99-6507 for the 2004 Dodge Durango. This fits the Magnum and also the 300c. It has half moon shapes on the sides to fill out the space where your factory radio had it's knobs.

Metra Dash kit #99-6507:
thanks for this wealth of info rogue. i found this METRA kit on circuit city:

http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/89594/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do#tabs

does it match the one you are talking about? the description and number match but the pic on the site looks different to your pic. is this item what i need to fit a single DIN retractable nav unit in my 300c? thanks.
 
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