After starting with useless, blown speakers, Junior’s stereo is now capable of causing both psychotic joy and physical injury. I started with static, and ended with Bluetooth, USB, integrated Pandora, full stereo and 200 watts of Bose sub!
The story began when I found this Kenwood head unit at a thrift store for $10.
I’d also seen a 200 watt Bose Sound 10 subwoofer for $10 for several months forgotten beneath a shelf.
I got everything else I needed to hook them up for under $100. That includes a Axxess XSVI-1784-NAV to, which allows me to install any aftermarket stereo into my Sprinter, a Boss AR1500MK amp with remote for the subwoofer, plus additional cables and the plastic adapter to fit it into the dash.
I connected the Axxess to the Kenwood harness with butt connectors. Now I can just plug my new stereo into the factory socket without cutting anything on the van. The one thing missing from the Kenwood harness was the orange wire for dimming. I still haven’t figured that part out yet.
One gotcha that required several calls tech support was that the remote for the Boss amplifier doesn’t do anything unless the amp is in Low Pass (instead of Full) Mode. By the time we figured that out, they had already shipped me a replacement, which I’ll probably resell. 🙂
The functional output of the amp is actually about 250 watts at 4 ohms, which is perfect for my 200 watt Bose sub. There’s a little bit of headroom to prevent distortion, but not too much wasted power. I still managed to kill the van’s main battery during a blessedly long late-night conversation with a friend, but I was able to delete the problem instantly by flipping the switch to connect the house pack.
I wired up the power leads directly to the main battery bus and hooked up the ground to a big bolt under the driver’s seat.
I snaked the cables from the Kenwood into the battery compartment and through the cable tunnel to the driver’s seat. I put the subwoofer directly behind it, padded with some yoga matt foam, and bolted the Boss amp directly to the side.
The bass response of the final result was powerful enough to annoy my neighbors, which is a new high/low for me. 🙂 After listening to very thumpy music for my 100 mile trip to visit my parter, my kidneys actually hurt. Go me. 🙂
I’ve got probably about a $600 stereo system for under $150. I still haven’t dialed in all the various crossovers, equalizers, etc. I’m still experimenting, and am an obsessive dial-twiddler. I want to change the settings for every song. 🙂
The bass response is amazing, which rocks because I not only drive this van, I often live in it. I left the original tweeters when I swapped out the blown factory woofers for new Pioneer 5 1/4″ ones, and there’s definitely something screetchy and horrible sometimes happening to the highs. I did that installation in a Portland Walmart parking lot at 3 AM, so there’s a *tiny* chance I did something wrong. 🙂 I’m intending to actually get out some audio testing gear and profile the system from the driver’s seat, and will then take action to correct it.
In the meantime, I’ll just listen to Drink the Sea by the Glitch Mob on repeat. Forever.