How-To aftermarket sound system info thread

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I have been trying to develop a plug in sub woofer system where I can try and make it as plug and play as much as possible. But Tesla actually makes this very hard. For people who don't work on cars a lot, they will most likely shy away from cutting up wires in there new or fairly new car. That is why they pay people to do it and they don't see it. For anyone to add an aftermarket sub woofer to a Tesla Model 3, you will need the following (wire wise)

1. Positive wires:
~12-14V positive wire, Fused 4 gauge or thicker if you are wanting to run about 1000 watts to the AMP.
If you are running a Solid State Relay or PAC 80, You will need to run power to that as well. I ran a 4 gauge to mine.
If you are running some or of Line Level Converter, LC2i, Lc7 that requires power, you will need to run a positive wire to this as well. 16-18 gauge will suffice.
* In my image of the amp rack I know that my Circuit Breaker / Fuse is after the Solid State Relay. I have another one at the Power Bank!
2. Negative wires:
4 gauge wire (or matching size to what you used on the positive side) to the amp,
If you are running a Solid State Relay or PAC 80, You will need to run an negative wire for the trigger. 16-18 gauge will suffice.
If you are running some or of Line Level Converter, LC2i, Lc7 that requires power, you will need to run a positive wire to this as well. 16-18 gauge will suffice.
3. 12V+ source AKA Remote wire.
This can be grabbed at the VC-Left AKA Trailer pin. There are plenty of video and discussion on that in this forum. This wire needs to feed your AMP, Relay, LOC, LC2 to turn on your aftermarket gear.
4. Subwoofer output to the input of your amp.
There are no RCA's or easy fiber connections, so you will have to take the "High level" speaker wires going to the stock sub woofer and connect it into the amp, LOC, LC2, LC7 or whatever you are using to convert the signal to feed the input of the amp. You will have to cut or tap into these wires. There is really no other choice around it! What I did was create a custom harness that plugs into the stock connector to give you output for 2 voice coils. You will "not" need to cut the connector or T tap into the wires. You just plug the harness right in. The Harness is covered with Tech Flex and Heat shrink-ed with professional motorsport grade heat shrink. ( I used to wire up race cars for a living).

DM me if you need more information about the Subwoofer Harness.

I have also tested the output of the stock sub woofer signal and you can get a clean ~25-100HZ signal out of it. Originally I thought it would be better to grab it out of the doors and let the DSP/LC2/AMP cut the signal but I believe this would be a better easier way to grab it. My box is going to be tuned around 35hz "ish" and wanted to make sure the factory signal does not drop or play with the signals at higher/lower volume like most other OEM radios.

subharnessback-jpg.28192
 

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Defjukie

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Nice project, and I think you're absolutely right that there's a huge market for people who want better sound but will not DIY.

Regarding the frequency response going to the stock sub, I found pretty severe attenuation starting right around 45hz and dropping off sharply from there. I use the accubass on my LC2i to compoensate for this. I normally don't like to use any kind of bass boost, but found that setting the cutoff around 45hz boosted those lower levels quite nicely. Less ideal than getting a totally clean signal, but good enough.
 
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Nice project, and I think you're absolutely right that there's a huge market for people who want better sound but will not DIY.

Regarding the frequency response going to the stock sub, I found pretty severe attenuation starting right around 45hz and dropping off sharply from there. I use the accubass on my LC2i to compoensate for this. I normally don't like to use any kind of bass boost, but found that setting the cutoff around 45hz boosted those lower levels quite nicely. Less ideal than getting a totally clean signal, but good enough.
From my RTA and my car, you can see that it does not attenuate at all at 45hz. It is a clean signal at least from my car.
 

Defjukie

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From my RTA and my car, you can see that it does not attenuate at all at 45hz. It is a clean signal at least from my car.
I’ve never used one of those, I’m just going by what I hear when I play a frequency generator from my phone. Definite rolloff starting right around 45hz, IMO. I’ve seen others mentioning the same.
 
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FYI: Blocking off the rear deck grille, means your HVAC will not work very well. You need to provide an exit path for air entering the car, and that's the function of that opening.
My 2019 SR+ doesn’t have the rear deck cutout. The HVAC seems to work as intended. Any thoughts on this change?
 

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dfw

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When using an lc2i, the only simplification is that I don't need to get a remote turn on signal from anywhere?

Or are the resistor and relay not needed at that point?
 

RoccoX

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When using an lc2i, the only simplification is that I don't need to get a remote turn on signal from anywhere?

Or are the resistor and relay not needed at that point?
Resistor, relay, and if not a solid state relay then the diode as well are still needed. The lc2i will not turn off if Sentry mode is on before the car goes to sleep is the big caveat, I have just been living with this.
 

R1Fast

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Is there a reason to spend 2x - 4x on this part?

Thanks!
Not at all. I went with the PAC-80 which isn't even solid state and at <$15 it has been flawless for months when supplemented with the resistor/flyback diode from the original diagram I used.

I did get all the repair parts I ordered. It took a while, probably two or three months.

The STLs for all the speaker mounts I made are posted on grabcad (https://grabcad.com/library/tesla-model-3-aftermarket-stereo-mounts-1 )

The tweeter mounts I designed were specifically for the comically large Focal Utopia tweeters, which are 1" tweeters mounted in a 2.5" metal frame. You should be able to fit just about any other tweeters inside the OEM tweeter mount with some cutting and some glue. They have quite a bit of room inside.
This is from way back in the thread re: aftermarket tweeter upgrades and _Travis_ 's 3d printed covers. I just ended up going the old school method of cutting out the oem cover, mouting rings/wooden dowels, body filler and then wrapped in speaker cloth that matches the OEM.

I maintained the factory tweeters since it's not good for digital amps to be run on partial/no load. Overkill but it integrated in well when level matched and sounds great. The imaging is phenominal... the windshield ate my sound stage :)

 

dfw

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Thanks @JWardell ! That helps a ton.

I was also considering the best way to wire the remote turn-on from vcleft with multiple components. I'm using a Fosgate 360 LOC, Mosconi 6to8 and the JL amp. Is there any concern with wiring order on the side going to the components? Since the remote lead from vcleft is split before the SSR and the components, I wouldn't think so but would be good to be sure.

E.g. should I wire in series starting with the amp? Or does it really matter as long as the remote is connected to the a coil contact on the SSR?

Such as:

View attachment 26568
You used 0/1 gauge from the dc/dc converter?

Maybe I need to map it out, but seems like more than 1 power wire is needed; are y'all using distribution blocks?
 
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R1Fast

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You used 0/1 gauge from the dc/dc converter?

Maybe I need to map it out, but seems like more than 1 power wire is needed; are y'all using distribution blocks?
I ended up using 4ga since 1ga is overkill and bulky. The diagram might be confusing since I was only highlighting how to route the remote wire. Power and ground in my setup are both routed to distro blocks, then 4ga to the sub amp (8ga to a Mosconi Pico 2 powering ScanSpeak tweeters now) and 14ga to the LC7i and DSP.

Badly edited/updated diagram attached.

 
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eXntrc

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I maintained the factory tweeters since it's not good for digital amps to be run on partial/no load.
I'm curious your thoughts about the factory sub in this regard. Do you recommend leaving the original sub dual voice coils also connected or would you be OK with having those signals going directly into a DSP and nothing else?
 

R1Fast

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I'm curious your thoughts about the factory sub in this regard. Do you recommend leaving the original sub dual voice coils also connected or would you be OK with having those signals going directly into a DSP and nothing else?
Same situation and solution IMO... especially if you are tuning your aftermarket sub to run <45hz since it will fill the low end gap the OEM sub can't reach.

I have my W7 crossed at 33hz highpass / 66hz lowpass with a 24db slope on each. It blends with the OEM sub well and while the waveforms collide and cause a small spike around 50-55hz, that's easily tuned out via eq.

Some might argue it will never do HARM to run an amp with no load, but it's not ideal for either thermal or electrical efficiency. And if you can get everything to play nice in the sandbox together...why not? :)
 

eXntrc

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@R1Fast, @_Travis_, @audioguru (and others), can you please help demystify something for me?


I will finally be starting my audio upgrade in 2 weeks so I'm trying to wrap up any remaining loose ends.

I know this is a super basic question, but I'm still unusually confused about how to tap the stock subwoofer.

I see the pins @R1Fast has outlined in this post, but I don't understand how the wires connect to the LC2i.


These will sound like newbie questions but I'm not taking any chances, so to confirm:
  1. If tapping the OEM sub wires, we tap AFTER the amp harness on the red, purple, green, brown wires going directly into the sub box... correct? (far right OEM amp harness outlined in diagram)
  2. Has anyone else noticed these 4 wires (leading to the oem sub) have a high voltage? Mine is reading +12.75 volts on a multimeter on all four wires coming off of the amp. This doesn't seem right. I would expect two to have negative charge on a MM.
View attachment 26654

I know Channel 1 and Channel 2 represent the two voice coils. Should Channel 1 go to LC2i Left and Channel 2 go to LC2i Right?

That seems logical, but then I get confused by this part:

These same wires also a connector half-way to the OEM sub box where the wire colors change from Green, Red, Purple, Brown to Green, Black, Red, Blue. I tapped in about 3" after the harness (far right in diagram) between the OEM amp and this transition. This is where my multimeter is reading 12.75v on all 4 wires.
So, @R1Fast, you tapped in after this connector that is half-way to the OEM sub box? @_Travis_ did you do the same?


Also, this post from @audioguru added some confusion for me:

DM me if you need more information about the Subwoofer Harness.
View attachment 28192
That photo seems to show the subwoofer harness connecting to the white port rather than the grey one. But the diagrams @R1Fast and @_Travis_ have posted show the subwoofer signals are on the grey one.

@audioguru also mentioned:

You will "not" need to cut the connector or T tap into the wires. You just plug the harness right in.
But if this harness is meant to be plug-and-play (unplug old, plug in new), how could that work? Unplugging the grey port would also disconnect power, right? And wouldn't unplugging the white port disconnect other speakers?


Sorry again, I know this is such a basic question. I just don't want to get it wrong.

If any of you would be willing to post pictures of how and where you tapped, it would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks!
 

eXntrc

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This question is primarily for @_Travis_ and @RoccoX but I'd love others input as well.

In Part 5 of @_Travis_ amazing write-up, he wrote:

The most recent update from Tesla does something odd. Instead of turning auxiliary loads off when passengers exit the car, it leaves them powered up for about an hour afterward and then shuts them off. This means that my turn-on signal and therefore my entire audio system remain powered on for an hour after I park the car, pulling 65W out of the battery. I don't want this to happen. So I switched my system from remote turn-on to audio signal turn-on. This means there's a delay of several seconds between playing music and hearing sound from the speakers when you first turn the car on, but it's not a terrible inconvenience.
Yet in Part 9 I still see the following power diagram:



I'm curious if VC_LEFT is still being used as the trigger?

As @audioguru asked in this post, is there a reason not use the GTO signal from the LC2i as the trigger?

Rocco mentioned in this post:

It won’t turn off if Sentry mode is enabled before the car goes to sleep
But I'm trying to understand why that is.

Would it be bad to have 12V power from the penthouse go directly to the LC2i and have the Remote Out port of the LC2i trigger the relay when the audio system starts playing?

Or is the issue that Sentry mode is keeping the audio system on so the LC2i will never power down the Remote Out port?

And if Sentry mode is keeping the audio system on, is it also keeping the VC_LEFT pin on?


I guess that's a long-winded way of asking if I still need to run a remote line to VC_LEFT? I have already tapped VC_LEFT for a radar detector so it's not a big deal, but after reading that note in Part 5 I wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting effort.

Thanks!
 

RoccoX

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On mine I am not using vcleft just using the gto circuit on the lci2. The way I understand it, even when the amp is not putting out audio, their is still some type of signal coming out of it. So the lci2 turns on simply when the factory amp turns on, regardless of whether audio is being put out. So in my case at least it seems if Sentry activates before sleep, the factory amp never turns off, and even without an audio signal whatever the lci2 detects is still present. In sentry is off then my system shuts off fine in a few minutes typically.