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I recently met another member, IRL, that had installed the Kenwood KSC-SW11 as ROX shared HERE. I liked that the KSC-SW11 fit so well, in the factory space, and made an improvement to bass delivery more inline with my expectations for the factory audio system. So far I’ve tried not to do anything to my car that can’t be 100% undone, by me, in my garage. After that member shared ROX’s post and I saw how clean the install was, I was more than willing to give it a go. While looking for various bits, and the best pricing, I came across the JBL BassPro Nano. When I COMPARED the BassPro Nano to the KSC-SW11 it seemed the Nano would also fit the space while providing a bit more power, having a larger woofer, and offering a longer warranty. So, I picked it up. It fits quite well too, I think, as shown HERE.

I bought some of the bits recommended by ROX including the Molex connector which connects to the factory subwoofer wire connection. For the speaker wire male pin, I bought both the one ROX suggested, and a slightly different option I thought might work better for the smaller wires I’d be using. Turns out this smaller CONN PIN worked well.. I purchased THIS tool for crimping the pins, as I didn’t already have one for these types of pins. I think it did a good job as seen HERE. I did not need to add any length (wire) to the harness included with the BassPro Nano. I also bought THIS SAE extension cable, mostly because it shipped quickly. I cut one end off with about 4 inches of wire length, and connected it to the BassPro Nano’s harness for the power and ground, via solder and heat shrink. I connected the other part of the SAE extension cable to the fuse block for power, and the OEM subwoofer bracket for ground. There are other options which may be easier such as THIS which has an inline fuse slot built in and already has a terminal ring for the ground. With that you could replace the positive side with a female spade terminal connector, something like this, and the fuse with a 15 amp, then be set. I used the same Tesa wire loom harness tape ROX did, from HERE, to make a harness as seen HERE. With it there are two quick connections which supply everything the BasePro Nano needs. When using the speaker level inputs the remote turn-on wire is unnecessary. I went ahead and doubled it over and wrapped it up with the Tesa tape. I ran the SAE wire under the Hatch foam, and up along the other wires, similar to the OEM subwoofer speaker wires. You can see that HERE. Please ignore the other additional wire (with the twist ties around it) I will soon be adding another battery for my camera system, and will clean that wire up after that. I have decided not to install the remote bass control module for now, it seems the control via the OEM adjustment is sufficient, for me.

I just hooked this all up and haven't had the opportunity to compare it to the other member’s KSC-SW11 yet. I can say that it does more than I expected. I currently have the gain at ~25% and no bass boost, so there’s more to be had out of it. The low pass filter adjustment does nothing that I can perceive. I suspect the OEM system is already sending only lower frequencies via those speaker wires. As I said, this thing exceeded my expectations, but perhaps those were low relative to other’s. Really I just wanted to perceive bass at a level I expected from the factory system, this can do that and much more. The rest of my system is factory, and clearly outclassed with this. It has me considering upgrading the rest, but I have some concerns for weight. Speaking of weight, this has added about 3.2 Lbs. (according to my digital bathroom scale, however accurate it is,) over the factory setup, including the additional wiring. For me, that is acceptable, especially considering the subwoofer and most of the wiring can be removed in about 10 seconds, if desired.

Anyhow, I thought I’d share this as an alternative to the KSC-SW11. I may update later after some time, or if I get a chance to compare it directly to the Kenwood. LMK if you have any questions or suggestions.
 

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Thank you for the write up. I’m in the process of also figuring out how to upgrade the stock sub in a completely reversible manner and have narrowed it down to the JBL BassPro Nano or the Cerwin Vega VPSTX12. I’m currently leaning towards the Cerwin Vega because of the larger driver and higher power rating. This is the lowest profile “spare tire” subwoofer that I’ve found, the ultimate goal being that I can just swap out the factory sub with this unit without having to cut any of the foam tray insert and have it sit down in the existing spot without sticking up too far as to prevent the hatch carpet from sitting level. I need to do some guesstimating on the dimensions from the manual, but I’m thinking it might just fit.
 

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It looks close from what I'm seeing. I dont think it will fit, but it might. If it does it might be damn near perfect. Please let me know either way.

Another alternative it the Infinity Basslink Mini. It seems to be very similar. Slightly larger and more mass, and slightly different specs. That said it has the same woofer size, amps/watts, and even the same control board. It fits VERY snugly. Modifying the foam isn't required, but a bit of force is. I found pushing it in "upside-down" helped. That said, I was worried that having it in long may slightly but permanently dent the foam so I decided to continue with the JBL. The Infinity did seem slightly more capable, but I didn't test it in a way to say for certain. It might have just been that it fit more snugly, or that it was upside-down, IDK.

Here are some pictures showing the size and finish compared to the JBL. Also a video showing how snugly it fits.

Also, I ended up mounting the remote. I think it turned out well. It's in what I consider a very convenient place, without being to conspicuous. The blue light matches my other blue lights well, but isn't to much. Really the light just highlights the bottom steering wheel cutout a bit. I managed to mount it without any modification or adhesive, just zip ties qnd various densities of foam. Here's some pics and a video.
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It looks close from what I'm seeing. I dont think it will fit, but it might. If it does it might be damn near perfect. Please let me know either way.

Another alternative it the Infinity Basslink Mini. It seems to be very similar. Slightly larger and more mass, and slightly different specs. That said it has the same woofer size, amps/watts, and even the same control board. It fits VERY snugly. Modifying the foam isn't required, but a bit of force is. I found pushing it in "upside-down" helped. That said, I was worried that having it in long may slightly but permanently dent the foam so I decided to continue with the JBL. The Infinity did seem slightly more capable, but I didn't test it in a way to say for certain. It might have just been that it fit more snugly, or that it was upside-down, IDK.

Here are some pictures showing the size and finish compared to the JBL. Also a video showing how snugly it fits.

Also, I ended up mounting the remote. I think it turned out well. It's in what I consider a very convenient place, without being to conspicuous. The blue light matches my other blue lights well, but isn't to much. Really the light just highlights the bottom steering wheel cutout a bit. I managed to mount it without any modification or adhesive, just zip ties qnd various densities of foam. Here's some pics and a video.
Have you had a chance to compare it to the Kenwood? I'm curious, as I too followed rox's procedure with the molex pins. Everything went pretty smoothly. Only difference is I couldn't figure out how to easily get the rear fuse box out to tap into the back, so I ended up using fuse taps to tap into the always on and acc only fuses. Even then, the heads of the fuse taps were too wide to fit all the way, So I ended up using electrical tape to keep them plugged in.

Anyways, I digress. While the Kenwood was a slight improvement, it was only very slight in my opinion. All it seemed to do was make the punchy bass a little stronger. I prefer the more rolling/rumbling bass. I'm not talking about car shaking levels, but I was expecting it to help a little in that department. I'm assuming that has more to do with the sound processor built into the Sony amp? I haven't had time to tweak anything yet. I mainly listen to songs stored on my android phone using Poweramp through Android Auto. I might have to give Viper4Android a try and see if maybe it's the source (phone) that is the problem. However, radio doesn't really sound much better. I suppose I can try and get my hands on a CD. I guess I've been spoiled by my girlfriend's Lexus IS 250. I mean, it's a base model, and the factory sound has a pretty amazing profile with nice healthy lows. Although, it probably helps that it has 10 speakers. Haha!
 

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Have you had a chance to compare it to the Kenwood? I'm curious, as I too followed rox's procedure with the molex pins. Everything went pretty smoothly. Only difference is I couldn't figure out how to easily get the rear fuse box out to tap into the back, so I ended up using fuse taps to tap into the always on and acc only fuses. Even then, the heads of the fuse taps were too wide to fit all the way, So I ended up using electrical tape to keep them plugged in.

Anyways, I digress. While the Kenwood was a slight improvement, it was only very slight in my opinion. All it seemed to do was make the punchy bass a little stronger. I prefer the more rolling/rumbling bass. I'm not talking about car shaking levels, but I was expecting it to help a little in that department. I'm assuming that has more to do with the sound processor built into the Sony amp? I haven't had time to tweak anything yet. I mainly listen to songs stored on my android phone using Poweramp through Android Auto. I might have to give Viper4Android a try and see if maybe it's the source (phone) that is the problem. However, radio doesn't really sound much better. I suppose I can try and get my hands on a CD. I guess I've been spoiled by my girlfriend's Lexus IS 250. I mean, it's a base model, and the factory sound has a pretty amazing profile with nice healthy lows. Although, it probably helps that it has 10 speakers. Haha!
No, I haven't had a chance to do a direct comparison to the Kenwood. I have heard the Kenwood, and this, but separated by a couple weeks and different music. My impression is that the JBL is more powerful. That would seem to be supported by the reported woofer size, watts, and frequency response as compared HERE, like above. I can't be certain though as I haven't tested them A/B or in any scientific manner. It's more than enough for me though. My critical listening happens at home, not in the car. I noticed, with the infinity, that it seemed to do even better than the JBL. I had put the Infinity in with the woofer facing down, for fitment. I've now done this with the JBL, and also perceive an improvement. Perhaps it's worth a try with the Kenwood, IDK. Crutchfeild has a 60 day return policy and Harman / Infinity a 30 day. So, you might be able to try one (or both) of these solutions with minimal risk.

I only have the power coming from the fuse block, as the high level inputs act as the remote turn on. IDK about using tape to keep things plugged in. I'd probably look for a cleaner solution. I used a fuse taps (power and switched power) for my dash camera parking mode batteries, before, and they fit without issues.

Various music sources do sound different on the factory system. I think the Sony system is adding processing to more compressed audio formats, but I'm not certain. I, honestly, listen to 95%+ talk when I listen to anything in the car. That said, for music, I notice that sound of things like Tidal and DSD muic (via Neutron) from my phone sound clean, but with less volume than the radio, or satellite radio. I've never had a CD in my RS.

If I were you, and wanting a more powerful sound with minimal modification, I'd consider waiting until @Huge_Midget reports on the success of the Cerwin Vega VPSTX12 fitment, or not. Keeping in mind that it may be a slightly more involved install when it comes to supplying power as it demands a 8 gauge power wire connected directly to the battery.
 

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Yeah I am seriously questioning the need for the 8 gauge wiring for a sub/amp that is rated for 150 watts RMS / 600 watts peak. I’m almost 40 and am not looking to blast the music so loud I lose my hearing or trying to compete in car stereo contests. Look at this chart, assuming I run the fuse tap off of the rear fuse block the wiring run should be less than 4 feet total. Also the amplifier itself has a 25 amp fuse which basically tells you what kind of power it actually draws. Assuming I run pure copper 12 gauge wire for less than 4 feet that’s good for 480 watts which I will never come close to listening to volume levels like that for extended periods of time. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to just run a 25 amp tap a fuse off of an unused spot on the rear fuse block and run the ground to the existing mounting bracket that the factory sub attaches to.

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Also, what fuse did you tap in the rear fuse block to get your power from? I’ll use the OEM sub mounting bracket for my ground but I didn’t know if there was a certain empty fuse spot you tapped for easy access to power.
 

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Also, what fuse did you tap in the rear fuse block to get your power from? I’ll use the OEM sub mounting bracket for my ground but I didn’t know if there was a certain empty fuse spot you tapped for easy access to power.
I, too, used the OEM sub bracket for the ground. For the always on power, I used F20 (in the middle row). For the only on with ignition power, I used F39 (in the left row).
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No, I haven't had a chance to do a direct comparison to the Kenwood. I have heard the Kenwood, and this, but separated by a couple weeks and different music. My impression is that the JBL is more powerful. That would seem to be supported by the reported woofer size, watts, and frequency response as compared HERE, like above. I can't be certain though as I haven't tested them A/B or in any scientific manner. It's more than enough for me though. My critical listening happens at home, not in the car. I noticed, with the infinity, that it seemed to do even better than the JBL. I had put the Infinity in with the woofer facing down, for fitment. I've now done this with the JBL, and also perceive an improvement. Perhaps it's worth a try with the Kenwood, IDK. Crutchfeild has a 60 day return policy and Harman / Infinity a 30 day. So, you might be able to try one (or both) of these solutions with minimal risk.

I only have the power coming from the fuse block, as the high level inputs act as the remote turn on. IDK about using tape to keep things plugged in. I'd probably look for a cleaner solution. I used a fuse taps (power and switched power) for my dash camera parking mode batteries, before, and they fit without issues.

Various music sources do sound different on the factory system. I think the Sony system is adding processing to more compressed audio formats, but I'm not certain. I, honestly, listen to 95%+ talk when I listen to anything in the car. That said, for music, I notice that sound of things like Tidal and DSD muic (via Neutron) from my phone sound clean, but with less volume than the radio, or satellite radio. I've never had a CD in my RS.

If I were you, and wanting a more powerful sound with minimal modification, I'd consider waiting until @Huge_Midget reports on the success of the Cerwin Vega VPSTX12 fitment, or not. Keeping in mind that it may be a slightly more involved install when it comes to supplying power as it demands a 8 gauge power wire connected directly to the battery.
I'm normally not one to be satisfied with a sloppy job, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make the fuse tap fit in any of those side slots. The outer edges of the fuse box are slightly raised compared to the center slots. Here's a pic of what I mean.
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You can see where the side of the fuse tap hits the outer edge of the fuse box. So the plug only goes in about 3/4 of the way. I actually put that little strip of electrical tape and taped it the other side to make sure it stays in. If I didn't put something like that there, that piece of fabric trim could potentially push against the rubber wire boot you see and raise the other side out of the plug. More pics:
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Were the fuse taps you used skinnier than these? These are the ones I bought off Amazon: Amazon.com: 10 Pack - EPAuto 12V Car Add-a-circuit Fuse TAP Adapter Mini ATM APM Blade Fuse Holder: Automotive. I couldn't find any slimmer ones, and I did't want to mess with the casing and grind it down. I don't trust myself with electronics that much. Haha! I couldn't put that one in the center fuses because those are all "always on" slots. I checked every single slot with my test light/circuit tester to see which ones were always on and which turned off when the car turned off. If I could, I would take out the fuse box and tap into the back, but I'm not keen on having to pull off that whole side trim, as I'm assuming that's what I'd have to do. There was no way I was able to get a screwdriver in to take it off.
 
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Looking at your pictures I see it looks like you have two fuse taps running off of the rear hatch fuse block. I’m assuming the one that you have held down with the electrical tape is the one for the subwoofer amp power because that one is switched and not a constant on? It looks like you also have a fuse tap in the center row which I think is a constantly on slot? What is that one for?
 

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Looking at your pictures I see it looks like you have two fuse taps running off of the rear hatch fuse block. I’m assuming the one that you have held down with the electrical tape is the one for the subwoofer amp power because that one is switched and not a constant on? It looks like you also have a fuse tap in the center row which I think is a constantly on slot? What is that one for?
The Kenwood has two cables in the harness that require power. There's a yellow one (with a fuse built into the cable), and a blue one with a white stripe. The yellow one is the one that requires constant on (the middle slot), while the blue/white one requires switch controlled power (the left slot).
 
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Initial report on the Cerwin Vega VPSTX12. It fits the factory cutout almost perfectly, and could be made to sit flush like the factory sub if you’re willing to enlarge the circular cutout for the factory sub a half inch or so. Depth wise it’s it’s about as deep as the factory sub donut. It’s definitely a whole lot heavier and I’ll look into getting some comparison shots.

I did have an interesting discovery that I think will make wiring it much easier. I noticed from people’s pictures earlier in this thread about tapping the rear fuse panel. I found this Schematic and noticed that the F24-F27 are used in the Euro model for high current accessories that we don’t have here in the states. I used my multimeter and measured 12.8 volts at the exposed blade with the car completely off. I went to the autoparts store and found a female spade connector that fits perfectly over the fuse blade and will accept 10 awg wire which is what the wiring harness on the amp came with. I’m going to play around with the wire routing to try to make it completely invisible.
 

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Got the hardware I needed and connectors and such yesterday, got the harness hooked up tonight and everything wired and it fired right up on the first try. I’m still playing around with the settings on the remote and I need to drive it and play music to dial things in, but my initial impression is that holy crap this thing thumps for as compact as it is. I have not modified anything yet in the foam cutout and I may not yet I don’t know. I’m going to try to get things dialed in and then I’ll post a full write up with pictures and everything.
 
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Finally did what I should've done a long time ago. I ended up cutting out a small section of the outer rim of the rear fuse box so the fuse tap would finally be inserted all the way with having to be ghetto and use electrical tape to hold it in... Now the plug sits flush with both sides of the slot. Came out better than I thought using a utility cutter, Dremel, pliers and a little sanding. I also ended up relocating the tap for the on/off fuse to location F44.
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I did the same to power my rear fog. Didnt like how the fuse tap didnt fit all the way in without doing this.

Finally did what I should've done a long time ago. I ended up cutting out a small section of the outer rim of the rear fuse box so the fuse tap would finally be inserted all the way with having to be ghetto and use electrical tape to hold it in... Now the plug sits flush with both sides of the slot. Came out better than I thought using a utility cutter, Dremel, pliers and a little sanding. I also ended up relocating the tap for the on/off fuse to location F44.
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Hey "Thom with a H", this is Marc with a C! 😁 Thanks for the post. I ordered a JBL based on it, and will try to wire it myself. I absolutely agree on your philosophy about reversibility. I'll let you know how my install goes.
 
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Yeah, so I’m sorry it took me so long to update things. But I’m pretty pleased with the results. Got the VPSTX12 installed, and was able to do a pretty good stealth installation with keeping all of the factory harnesses intact. I was able to run a direct power tap from a live terminal in the rear fuse box, and I bought the correct plug and terminal pins to connect to the stock sub connector. I ran 10 gauge wire about 3 feet with all of the routing of the wires, and didn’t have to do any cutting at all. The only tools I even had to use were a pair of wire cutter and strippers, and a crimp tool to crimp the pins for the connector.



 

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I’ve had this all done and working for a few months now, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to hit any snags before I clean up any extra wiring loops and use that cloth wiring loom tape to make it all neat and tidy and factory looking.
 
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I literally just installed this sub:
Amazon.com: Rockville SS8P 400 Watt Slim Under-Seat Powered Car/Truck Subwoofer Sub+Amp Kit: Home Audio & Theater

I was apprehensive about buying an unknown (to me) brand, but For $100, I'm pretty impressed. All I wanted was something that equaled my old ST3's SONY subwoofer. It was such a disappointment to hear the RS's lack of bass. The Rockville sub works perfectly for this. It actually sounds quite a bit better. I had to adjust the low pass filter a bit to keep the noise out. It's at about about 50%. I kicked up the bass boost and the input gain a bit, and I have the gain at about 75%, and it's perfect.

It fills out the sound and definitely has more in it than the SONY sub from my old 2014 ST3.

I've ordered the MOLEX connector to finish off the install. At the moment, I just have some generic spade connectors taped into the stock sub harness. :D

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just a tiny bit of trimming required. It’s really tight in there too, so no ratting.

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View attachment 340409

I recently met another member, IRL, that had installed the Kenwood KSC-SW11 as ROX shared HERE. I liked that the KSC-SW11 fit so well, in the factory space, and made an improvement to bass delivery more inline with my expectations for the factory audio system. So far I’ve tried not to do anything to my car that can’t be 100% undone, by me, in my garage. After that member shared ROX’s post and I saw how clean the install was, I was more than willing to give it a go. While looking for various bits, and the best pricing, I came across the JBL BassPro Nano. When I COMPARED the BassPro Nano to the KSC-SW11 it seemed the Nano would also fit the space while providing a bit more power, having a larger woofer, and offering a longer warranty. So, I picked it up. It fits quite well too, I think, as shown HERE.

I bought some of the bits recommended by ROX including the Molex connector which connects to the factory subwoofer wire connection. For the speaker wire male pin, I bought both the one ROX suggested, and a slightly different option I thought might work better for the smaller wires I’d be using. Turns out this smaller CONN PIN worked well.. I purchased THIS tool for crimping the pins, as I didn’t already have one for these types of pins. I think it did a good job as seen HERE. I did not need to add any length (wire) to the harness included with the BassPro Nano. I also bought THIS SAE extension cable, mostly because it shipped quickly. I cut one end off with about 4 inches of wire length, and connected it to the BassPro Nano’s harness for the power and ground, via solder and heat shrink. I connected the other part of the SAE extension cable to the fuse block for power, and the OEM subwoofer bracket for ground. There are other options which may be easier such as THIS which has an inline fuse slot built in and already has a terminal ring for the ground. With that you could replace the positive side with a female spade terminal connector, something like this, and the fuse with a 15 amp, then be set. I used the same Tesa wire loom harness tape ROX did, from HERE, to make a harness as seen HERE. With it there are two quick connections which supply everything the BasePro Nano needs. When using the speaker level inputs the remote turn-on wire is unnecessary. I went ahead and doubled it over and wrapped it up with the Tesa tape. I ran the SAE wire under the Hatch foam, and up along the other wires, similar to the OEM subwoofer speaker wires. You can see that HERE. Please ignore the other additional wire (with the twist ties around it) I will soon be adding another battery for my camera system, and will clean that wire up after that. I have decided not to install the remote bass control module for now, it seems the control via the OEM adjustment is sufficient, for me.

I just hooked this all up and haven't had the opportunity to compare it to the other member’s KSC-SW11 yet. I can say that it does more than I expected. I currently have the gain at ~25% and no bass boost, so there’s more to be had out of it. The low pass filter adjustment does nothing that I can perceive. I suspect the OEM system is already sending only lower frequencies via those speaker wires. As I said, this thing exceeded my expectations, but perhaps those were low relative to other’s. Really I just wanted to perceive bass at a level I expected from the factory system, this can do that and much more. The rest of my system is factory, and clearly outclassed with this. It has me considering upgrading the rest, but I have some concerns for weight. Speaking of weight, this has added about 3.2 Lbs. (according to my digital bathroom scale, however accurate it is,) over the factory setup, including the additional wiring. For me, that is acceptable, especially considering the subwoofer and most of the wiring can be removed in about 10 seconds, if desired.

Anyhow, I thought I’d share this as an alternative to the KSC-SW11. I may update later after some time, or if I get a chance to compare it directly to the Kenwood. LMK if you have any questions or suggestions.
Hey do you have the new jbl stadium bass pro now? How is it?
 
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