4200 Sound Upgrade from stock (non-auditorium)

FIFTY

Member
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1,801
Decided to take advantage of the "mild" weather and get cracking on my audio upgrade. Working on my 2003 4200 with the stock info centre and no auditorium upgrade option.

Some cars have the 200w factory auditorium upgrade which come with fabric speakers rather than paper cones. So the basic stock option I have uses the preamp from the NIT and paper cones it probably is about 10w RMS... the set up is more at home in a fiat punto of the same era rather than a car that would have been worth > £60k back in the early 2000's (that's >90k in today's money)

The plan is to install a clarion digital mini amp under the centre console (max 300W) uprate the front and mid speakers to JL Audio speakers and disconnect the rear shelf speakers.



I already have a Bluetooth loudlink installed in the centre console but after doing the wiring for the amp there is less space so I am going to relocate it in the drivers footwell and wire in the mic on the A-pillar trim so I can actually use the hands free feature

Clarion amp install
http://www.clarion.com/gb/en/products-personal/speaker/XC1410/

Started this yesterday it only took about 3hrs with the most time consuming part being crimping the connectors. The install is quite simple following the instructions with the help of the pinout diagram explaining the purpose of each wire in the back of the NIT.

A source of much confusion is that the pinout diagram is upside down compared to the reality http://pinout.net/browse.php?catid=19&conid=378

Compare the diagram on the above pinout link to the back of the NIT you will see what I mean (fuses on the left rather than right) was lucky the speakers are the middle connector it's hard to mess that up!

20171230_152243-1.jpg

The middle plug (B) has all the speaker cables I cut this and wired the plug to the loom provided with the amp. The blue cable off the clarion amp loom splices into C6 this way I have retained the stock EQ and loudness which is greyed out on cars with auditorium. Wire in the provided connector loom to the cut speaker cables which goes to the speaker output on the amp.

Final step is power EDIT: go to post 20 for instructions http://www.sportsmaserati.co.uk/showthread.php/25358-4200-Sound-Upgrade-from-stock-(non-auditorium)?p=606816&viewfull=1#post606816

The amp fit neatly velcro'd to the underside of the NIT and the centre console also went back on its mount without any squeezing

Plug B with all of the speaker cables
20171230_151927.jpg

Speaker output loom connected
20171231_115514.jpg

Blue output wire spliced to pin C6 12v switched accessory
20171231_120632.jpg

*Edit* Removed photos of power supply, will follow once I have installed battery cable: instructions on post 20 http://www.sportsmaserati.co.uk/showthread.php/25358-4200-Sound-Upgrade-from-stock-(non-auditorium)?p=606816&viewfull=1#post606816

All of the new connectors
20171231_123942.jpg

Test prior to install. I changed the sensitivity filter to high which eliminated any interference. Cross over is set to send the full range to all speakers as I intend to wire in crossovers for the front components
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Velcro in void under NIT cradle
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No more room for loudlink due to extra wiring
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Final bit of rambling am I happy with it? Other than my poor choice of power source causing some interference it is a very good upgrade. Notice the extra punch immediately I would say it is at least 4x as loud with a lot of the missing frequencies being filled in from before the install (much fuller sound) and hence doing a much better job at drowning out road noise can't wait to install the speakers as the standard paper cones are struggling!

Anyway in case you haven't noticed I'm not so great with electrics so I think the fact that it works is a great success. Will appreciate any help with sourcing a more appropriate power source and ground... I have already ruled out the 12v to the ciggerette lighter. If nothing suitable in that area I guess it's a back seats out job to wire in a new 8 gauge cable with 60a fuse to the battery
 

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FIFTY

Member
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1,801
Cheers C, id hope no one follows it until I have it 100% as I really am an amateur at electrics but other than blowing a fuse what's the worst I can do? Lol

I have figured out my cockup, I should have crimped a ring connector to the black cable and grounded it to the chasis via the Allen bolt at the back mount of the centre console (there is already something ground there so it's gotta be a good place)... I will go ahead and correct that tomorrow after work and fix the above post. The amp really does need it's own 12v supply from the battery so I will order a kit with 5m 8 gauge power supply cable fuse holder and 60a fuse might as well do it properly...

Its still easier than wiring in a bigger amp in the boot but only marginally now I have to remove the rear seats anyway it was what I was trying to avoid. Seems like they either have to come out to run the speaker cables into the boot or run the power cable to the front! Maybe I should run a loom from the boot to the centre console with the power cable, 8+8 speaker (input/output) cables and the switched accessory cable in case I decide to change it in the future!
 

rockits

Member
Messages
6,439
Nice work. Very interesting to see this mod. The back seats are pretty easy to get out really so not too much drama there.
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
Thanks rockits. After reading about so many issues with uprating the speakers on the stock sound system with the NIT blowing or lack of power not driving the speakers I thought it is best to start with the amp and them move on to the speakers

I made a few adjustments over an hour disconnected the power leads and repaired the loom to plug A. I need to order a larger crimp connector with a ring so I can earth the amp directly to the chasis in the centre console.

20180102_163648.jpg

I will order this wiring kit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B006N8168S/ref=ox_sc_act_image_1?smid=A3L6BX3BPCMFWA&psc=1 and bring the positive in from the battery while I install the mid speakers and disconnect the rear shelf speakers

I have also movee the loudlink cable forwards towards the drivers footwell but so far I have only got to the geer shifter I need to remove the panel on the side of the transmission tunnel in the drivers footwell to finish off the job.

20180102_164454.jpg

Also worth noting if any of you have the bluetooth loudlink they are regularly doing firmware updates the last one enables two phones to be synced to it and several bug fixes I have downloaded and will reflash it tomorrow
 

rockits

Member
Messages
6,439
Shame the stock system is not really up to scratch. Not that I use my 4200 much anyway & when I do I don't turn the stereo on as can't hear anything over that appealing V8 with half the exhaust missing!

The Bose system in the QP in comparison is much better in comparison & pretty good as standard. I've put a Loudlink in the QP & it fits nicely in the space left by removing the CD Changer below the steering wheel.

I've got a Loudlink for the 4200 but not fitted it yet & not sure I will as not sure the benefit is worth the pain.

I can imagine the upgrade to the 4200 will be worth it for sure. I'm sure many others will take on the project after your efforts so great work for the forum.
 

Twinturbo

Junior Member
Messages
101
Great write up ,not sure how much rooms under the 4200 seats but if yearn for more bass and low down boom depending what music your into even if it's any really enhances it I highly recommend an under seat subwoofer 10" I installed this in my wife's Clio u can't see it after I put carpet over it and boy is it loud . They also co Edith hand held bass controllers and built in amps so very easy to install
 

Corranga

Member
Messages
922
Great thread, keep it up.

The sound in the 4200 (also no upgrade here) is pretty woeful considering the cost of the car when new. I'll follow this with interest, and probably combine with one of those Chinese Yatour things which work with the standard system for some MP3 compatibility.
 

outrun

Centenary Club
Messages
4,064
I upgrading the system on my silver GS with far better speakers, Alpine amp installed in the boot and a lovely Alpine head unit. Of course, the GS has a regular single DIN unit so that's easier to change (to say the least!). Also added a bunch of Dynomat to the doors and rear shelf to help isolate the sound and cure a few squeaks and rattles. It was an improvement in the standard setup and introduced DAB, bluetooth streaming and phone. The standard Becker sounded OK though and I suspect that if installed with new speakers/amp etc, it would have helped liven that up.
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
No he's right Dave, Arnie did a thread on how he ripped it all out... but let's not get into that

I could have gone for a larger amp with some extra functions for the same price and mounted it in the boot, however I wanted to maintain an OEM+ look so everything is hidden. The Clarion is the class leader out of the current mini amps in terms of features and output with 50W - 75W RMS depending on how the speakers are wired it is not far off what you would get from a bigger amp for the same price

Also this is a bit easier than running 17x cables from the NIT to the boot plus power; it's just one cable from the battery to the centre console (I assume) through the void in the rear quarter panel into the cabin.
 

outrun

Centenary Club
Messages
4,064
No he's right Dave, Arnie did a thread on how he ripped it all out... but let's not get into that

I could have gone for a larger amp with some extra functions for the same price and mounted it in the boot, however I wanted to maintain an OEM+ look so everything is hidden. The Clarion is the class leader out of the current mini amps in terms of features and output with 50W - 75W RMS depending on how the speakers are wired it is not far off what you would get from a bigger amp for the same price

Also this is a bit easier than running 17x cables from the NIT to the boot plus power; it's just one cable from the battery to the centre console (I assume) through the void in the rear quarter panel into the cabin.
LMFAO. That was a special thread that has been wiped from existence.
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
I have started on the rears using the help of Matt's how to: http://www.sportsmaserati.co.uk/showthread.php/979-Passneger-rear-quarter-panel-trim-removal

I have got as far as removing the top trim and speakers.

I poked my camera around the void behind the speaker looking for a route to the battery it seems to be bunged up with foam - fine, there must be a way behind the seats following the loom

I popped the speaker out to see a yellow connector... the RR speaker matched the blue cable going into the back of the NIT however no sign of polarities anywhere and instead of a solId blue cable there is blue with white stripe... so in light of this new coloured cable I need to test the polarities I will pick up a multimeter from halfords tomorrow along with an amp wiring kit

Blue+black and blue+white
20180103_175639.jpg
Vs
Solid blue (+) and blue+black (-) on NIT end of wiring loom
20171231_114221.jpg


The standard ask speaker is very small compared to its replacement

20180103_201031-1.jpg
20180103_201157-1.jpg
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
Great write up ,not sure how much rooms under the 4200 seats but if yearn for more bass and low down boom depending what music your into even if it's any really enhances it I highly recommend an under seat subwoofer 10" I installed this in my wife's Clio u can't see it after I put carpet over it and boy is it loud . They also co Edith hand held bass controllers and built in amps so very easy to install
I have seen a few US Spyders with sub's under the seats, good idea as you dont loose any room in the boot

Great thread, keep it up.

The sound in the 4200 (also no upgrade here) is pretty woeful considering the cost of the car when new. I'll follow this with interest, and probably combine with one of those Chinese Yatour things which work with the standard system for some MP3 compatibility.
Cheers, I ended up getting the Vibe 8 gauge wiring kit from Halfords, the one from Amazon was snail mail and it would have missed this weekend, it has everything needed inside plus more and its a known brand for only £20, I also got a Rolston digital multimeter for £8

Shame the stock system is not really up to scratch. Not that I use my 4200 much anyway & when I do I don't turn the stereo on as can't hear anything over that appealing V8 with half the exhaust missing!

The Bose system in the QP in comparison is much better in comparison & pretty good as standard. I've put a Loudlink in the QP & it fits nicely in the space left by removing the CD Changer below the steering wheel.

I've got a Loudlink for the 4200 but not fitted it yet & not sure I will as not sure the benefit is worth the pain.

I can imagine the upgrade to the 4200 will be worth it for sure. I'm sure many others will take on the project after your efforts so great work for the forum.
I fully appreciate the argument of listening to the engine/exhaust and in 2016 I used the car more for short blasts where I usually had the music quiet or off. however 2017 I used it more for long journeys, other than music/radio there isn't much to listen to when cruising on the motorway or stuck in traffic so after about 90 minutes the road noise and **** sound quality wear thin. IMO the missing audio quality is filled in with tire roar and general road noise, post amp install it is already much better.

It's not even an issue from the era as my 2004 E46 330i with Harmon Kardon was much better and that terrible compared to my basic F30 318i system...

If you want to be super lazy and not take apart your centre console potentially having to file a bit off under neath the top tray thing then you can install the loudlink in your boot, unplug your CD changer and plug that cable into the Loudlink, velcro and secure it somewhere suitable.
 

Twinturbo

Junior Member
Messages
101
I have seen a few US Spyders with sub's under the seats, good idea as you dont loose any room in the boot



Cheers, I ended up getting the Vibe 8 gauge wiring kit from Halfords, the one from Amazon was snail mail and it would have missed this weekend, it has everything needed inside plus more and its a known brand for only £20, I also got a Rolston digital multimeter for £8



I fully appreciate the argument of listening to the engine/exhaust and in 2016 I used the car more for short blasts where I usually had the music quiet or off. however 2017 I used it more for long journeys, other than music/radio there isn't much to listen to when cruising on the motorway or stuck in traffic so after about 90 minutes the road noise and **** sound quality wear thin. IMO the missing audio quality is filled in with tire roar and general road noise, post amp install it is already much better.

It's not even an issue from the era as my 2004 E46 330i with Harmon Kardon was much better and that terrible compared to my basic F30 318i system...

If you want to be super lazy and not take apart your centre console potentially having to file a bit off under neath the top tray thing then you can install the loudlink in your boot, unplug your CD changer and plug that cable into the Loudlink, velcro and secure it somewhere suitable.
Once you've heard a sub you can't go back, listening to music without one is like listening to one earpiece , get an underseat you won't regret it and yes no room taken up and done correctly you won't even see it , I've build competition systems before and the one I have performs like a comp 10" running on about half which is really impressive, for the verge joe you will love it
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
Once you've heard a sub you can't go back, listening to music without one is like listening to one earpiece , get an underseat you won't regret it and yes no room taken up and done correctly you won't even see it , I've build competition systems before and the one I have performs like a comp 10" running on about half which is really impressive, for the verge joe you will love it
Do you need one under each seat? I have looked online and quite a few installs are with only one sub installed under the passenger seat (I should have thought of that for my first car, vibrating seat would have impressed the ladies LOL)


This one is on end of year clearance for only £85: https://www.caraudiocentre.co.uk/product_m-kenwood-ksc-sw11_p-31239.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQiA4bzSBRDOARIsAHJ1UO54NPn5lgWc7oeD9Gi7zE0xjbzP3OdORIpGIokaB5ybeM3ofTHaVoYaAgiLEALw_wcB# which is very tempting but what else do I need to install it in terms of power supply? Can I piggy back off the 8 gauge wire to the centre console or would i need to run another new length of 8 gauge wire from the battery with fuse (I am guessing the latter is the correct answer?)
 

leeq61

Junior Member
Messages
328
Do you need one under each seat? I have looked online and quite a few installs are with only one sub installed under the passenger seat (I should have thought of that for my first car, vibrating seat would have impressed the ladies LOL)


This one is on end of year clearance for only £85: https://www.caraudiocentre.co.uk/product_m-kenwood-ksc-sw11_p-31239.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQiA4bzSBRDOARIsAHJ1UO54NPn5lgWc7oeD9Gi7zE0xjbzP3OdORIpGIokaB5ybeM3ofTHaVoYaAgiLEALw_wcB# which is very tempting but what else do I need to install it in terms of power supply? Can I piggy back off the 8 gauge wire to the centre console or would i need to run another new length of 8 gauge wire from the battery with fuse (I am guessing the latter is the correct answer?)
That's a great Underseat Sub and one i have installed in my GS, along with the suggested Sports Maserati Alpine Speaker upgrades. Sounds much much better than the stock system
 

FIFTY

Member
Messages
1,801
Well I might have just "accidentally/on-purpose" bought that, don't tell the other half! haha