Escalade Sound System upgrade
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Escalade Sound System upgrade in Cadillac Escalade Forums; OK...been thinking about which way to go with this and need some input. Mine is a 2005 Escalade ESV...OEM...no mods. ...
  1. #1
    sprink60's Avatar
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    Escalade Sound System upgrade

    OK...been thinking about which way to go with this and need some input. Mine is a 2005 Escalade ESV...OEM...no mods. I have no NAV DVD so I don't know how good or bad it is. My partner has a 2007 Escalade...his opinion is that the NAV sucks and the rest of the system is tolerable. So do I upgrade what I have or get a new head unit and adapt it to the ESV with new speakers, amps, etc. In my perfect world the system will look stock, use the OEM steering wheel controls and blow your head off!!! I want to retain XM, On Star and NAV.

    It's been many years since I have done this so I am not hooked up with the latest technology. My music taste are broad with my library including classic rock, modern country as well as contemporary jazz. I want a strong low end but don't need to be heard a block away. I prefer a "tight" balanced sound without having to get high volume to enjoy it.

    Let's assume a budget of $1000~ $1200 including labor to get where I want to go.

    Throw some ideas at me.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprink60
    OK...been thinking about which way to go with this and need some input. Mine is a 2005 Escalade ESV...OEM...no mods. I have no NAV DVD so I don't know how good or bad it is. My partner has a 2007 Escalade...his opinion is that the NAV sucks and the rest of the system is tolerable. So do I upgrade what I have or get a new head unit and adapt it to the ESV with new speakers, amps, etc. In my perfect world the system will look stock, use the OEM steering wheel controls and blow your head off!!! I want to retain XM, On Star and NAV.

    It's been many years since I have done this so I am not hooked up with the latest technology. My music taste are broad with my library including classic rock, modern country as well as contemporary jazz. I want a strong low end but don't need to be heard a block away. I prefer a "tight" balanced sound without having to get high volume to enjoy it.

    Let's assume a budget of $1000~ $1200 including labor to get where I want to go.

    Throw some ideas at me.
    I have done what you want to do FYI the speakers and sub suck if your like me and are a audiophile
    Now the differences between the second gen body style (our trucks) and your partners truck (third gen body) is huge due to differences in the data bus among other things,
    Here is how I setup my truck and retained the stock head unit and amp
    I have infinity 6030cs component speakers front and rear and a sound ordnance sub under the center console
    The sub is the 8-bpt I bought it through crutchfeild.com
    Now I do suggest having the sub installed by a pro unless you want it elsewhere in the truck
    The rear speakers I had to make a custom mount but you can use the 5030cs and use the stock mounts.
    The rear tweeters I also had to make a plate to be able to use the stock locations.
    The front tweeters I just had to remove a small bit of the a piller plastic around the tweeter mount.
    The end result of my hard work was tight but deep bass lines life like midrange and clear as a bell highs.
    If you need anymore info or help I will help the best I can.

  4. #3
    jnrsesv is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    I can't help you as far as an upgraded system.

    But I will say I have the same Nav radio with the 2012 updated NAVDISK and in my opinion its not the best. If I was young and dumb again (going back to the early eighties with no mortgage, kids, wife etc...) I would definetly look at upgrading the entire system, but I do not have the luxury of dropping a couple of grand into a stereo system again. Up on a shelf in my garage is a system that I spent $3,200.00 (yes $3,200.00) in 1982, includes Pioneer top of the line radio, EQ, 6 Disk, speakers, Rockford Fosgate AMPs (Punches), box and lifetime 10" Fosgate woofer, tweeters etc...

    Maybe some day I will stick all that crap in our boat. Problem is I forgot how to install all that stuff!

  5. #4
    UpyourgameEXT's Avatar
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Times have changed.. but the bose system that comes stock in a escalade is definitely worth keeping. there's no reason changing all the mids and tweets to add a amplifier to get the same affect I have done this before.just to change those youll be in it 800 to 1000 parts and labor..dont do it not worth it..i have done this and was very upset with the sound.. if you do have the bose system I'll keep it.. just change the head unit for something that you would like to keep looking at. here's an idea this is something I'm doing mine. 8.9 samsung galaxy tablet 4 g wifi. has all kinds apps navigation radio music and everything in 1.20120814_092441.jpg

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpyourgameEXT
    Times have changed.. but the bose system that comes stock in a escalade is definitely worth keeping. there's no reason changing all the mids and tweets to add a amplifier to get the same affect I have done this before.just to change those youll be in it 800 to 1000 parts and labor..dont do it not worth it..i have done this and was very upset with the sound.. if you do have the bose system I'll keep it.. just change the head unit for something that you would like to keep looking at. here's an idea this is something I'm doing mine. 8.9 samsung galaxy tablet 4 g wifi. has all kinds apps navigation radio music and everything in 1.<img src="http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=96169"/>
    I didn't add a aftermarket amp when I swapped out my speakers everything is worked off of the factory and me being a audiophile I disagree with you on the Bose speakers the flaws I found muddy bass, weak midrange and harsh highs
    I replaced my sub with a sound ordnence sub and the door speakers and tweeters are infinity.

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    CRSO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by sprink60 View Post
    OK...been thinking about which way to go with this and need some input. Mine is a 2005 Escalade ESV...OEM...no mods. I have no NAV DVD so I don't know how good or bad it is. My partner has a 2007 Escalade...his opinion is that the NAV sucks and the rest of the system is tolerable. So do I upgrade what I have or get a new head unit and adapt it to the ESV with new speakers, amps, etc. In my perfect world the system will look stock, use the OEM steering wheel controls and blow your head off!!! I want to retain XM, On Star and NAV.

    It's been many years since I have done this so I am not hooked up with the latest technology. My music taste are broad with my library including classic rock, modern country as well as contemporary jazz. I want a strong low end but don't need to be heard a block away. I prefer a "tight" balanced sound without having to get high volume to enjoy it.

    Let's assume a budget of $1000~ $1200 including labor to get where I want to go.

    Throw some ideas at me.
    I'm a 25+ year Car Audio guy and am an audiophile and producer. If you enjoy a good head unit with great sound and hald decent pre-outs, look at http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-AVHP84...s=pioneer+8400THIS. You'll need a factory wiring harness that crutchfield sells for 50% off when you get a stereo and you'll also want a PAC TR7 to bypass the video restrictions so you can watch scarface while driving. To retain steering wheel controls you'll need the ASWC by the same manufacturer as the factory wiring harness. it just plugs right in and works like a charm.

    You can add the GPS but I prefer a garmin that you can remove.

    If you want to talk subwoofer upgrades, well, that's a whole different monster. The easiest thing to do is to just leave the factory amp/wiring and just upgrade the speakers... If you want to bypass the crappy amp, you'll have a lot of work ahead of you. For most the stock Bose sounds ok. The Pioneer 8400 will allow a lot more options as far as equalization.

    I hate Kenwood... Pioneer FTW!

  8. #7
    Black88GTA is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    I didn't add a aftermarket amp when I swapped out my speakers everything is worked off of the factory and me being a audiophile I disagree with you on the Bose speakers the flaws I found muddy bass, weak midrange and harsh highs
    I replaced my sub with a sound ordnence sub and the door speakers and tweeters are infinity.
    I know in earlier Bose setups, the speaker impedance was all different from standard aftermarket stuff, so that you couldn't use any aftermarket gear with a Bose amp. Did they finally change that? If so, I'd think about replacing all of the speakers / sub in my truck as well but using the factory wiring and amp. I rewired my entire BMW a couple years ago top to bottom with all new speakers, amps, a sub, navigation unit, the works - it sounds awesome now, but if I had known what a project that was going to be I would never have done it.

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    CRSO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Black88GTA View Post
    I know in earlier Bose setups, the speaker impedance was all different from standard aftermarket stuff, so that you couldn't use any aftermarket gear with a Bose amp. Did they finally change that? If so, I'd think about replacing all of the speakers / sub in my truck as well but using the factory wiring and amp. I rewired my entire BMW a couple years ago top to bottom with all new speakers, amps, a sub, navigation unit, the works - it sounds awesome now, but if I had known what a project that was going to be I would never have done it.
    Hence why for "most" people it's fine to keep the bose amp and upgrade the speakers... You can match the resistance.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRSO

    Hence why for "most" people it's fine to keep the bose amp and upgrade the speakers... You can match the resistance.
    Yep which is why I recommended infinity speakers which work best with the stock amp.

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    CRSO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    Yep which is why I recommended infinity speakers which work best with the stock amp.
    ^ yup yup ^

    Just curious, which Infinity models did you go with exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRSO

    ^ yup yup ^

    Just curious, which Infinity models did you go with exactly?
    I got the 6030cs component speakers and mounted them in the stock locations in the front in the doors and a-pillars I had to cut a bit out to fit the tweeters
    I also used 6030cs in the rear but I made a custom mount for the rear doors and rear tweeters in the d pillars
    You can use 5030cs for the rear in order to use the stock mounts
    If you want to know the sub just post and I will let you know the model of the sub I have.

    Just keep in mind that you WILL need a crossover on both front speakers and tweeters as the rear speakers and tweeters are crossed at the amp along with the sub.

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    CRSO is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    I got the 6030cs component speakers and mounted them in the stock locations in the front in the doors and a-pillars I had to cut a bit out to fit the tweeters
    I also used 6030cs in the rear but I made a custom mount for the rear doors and rear tweeters in the d pillars
    You can use 5030cs for the rear in order to use the stock mounts
    If you want to know the sub just post and I will let you know the model of the sub I have.

    Just keep in mind that you WILL need a crossover on both front speakers and tweeters as the rear speakers and tweeters are crossed at the amp along with the sub.
    So the front tweeters are crossed at the amp? I want to improve the front soundstage without ripping out the stock wiring... It's gonna be time consuming enough running 30' of 00 AWG along with about 5 sources of RCA's to get my video setup finished. I also have to install a second battery, a Soundstream DTR.3400 and two 18" AA Havoc subs.

    Needless to say, until I upgrade the factory speakers, I want plug and play.

    So, I'm only doing front soundstage which is the kicks and tweets, what do I need? 6030's and tweets with a x-over? Thanks TCM.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRSO

    So the front tweeters are crossed at the amp? I want to improve the front soundstage without ripping out the stock wiring... It's gonna be time consuming enough running 30' of 00 AWG along with about 5 sources of RCA's to get my video setup finished. I also have to install a second battery, a Soundstream DTR.3400 and two 18" AA Havoc subs.

    Needless to say, until I upgrade the factory speakers, I want plug and play.

    So, I'm only doing front soundstage which is the kicks and tweets, what do I need? 6030's and tweets with a x-over? Thanks TCM.
    The front is where you will need the crossovers the rears are crossed at the amp.

    I just used the wire feeds for the door speakers and ran the wires to the crossover that came with infinity speakers as far as placing the crossover I have them under the front seats for easy access in case I have to replace in the event I ever need to replace one.

    I know after you hear the infinity speakers you will want to change the rears also as the sound quality between them and the Bose is worlds apart (infinity is better)

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    Black88GTA is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Escalade Sound System upgrade

    Is there something special about the Infinity speakers that make them better suited than other aftermarket units for replacing the Bose speakers? Ohm rating, etc? Just curious, as I am a fan of CDT and would like to go that route if I could just drop those in place of the factory Bose drivers. I had some Infinitys in my Trans Am and they were a bit bright for my taste. Of course, that was years ago - I don't know how the new models sound.

    TCM, did you find an off-the-shelf sub that just dropped right in place of the Bose one? I'd be curious to know which one you used. I assume the under-dash sub is an 8"?

    Is the Bose amp in the Escalade designed to run 4 ohm drivers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black88GTA
    Is there something special about the Infinity speakers that make them better suited than other aftermarket units for replacing the Bose speakers? Ohm rating, etc? Just curious, as I am a fan of CDT and would like to go that route if I could just drop those in place of the factory Bose drivers. I had some Infinitys in my Trans Am and they were a bit bright for my taste. Of course, that was years ago - I don't know how the new models sound.

    TCM, did you find an off-the-shelf sub that just dropped right in place of the Bose one? I'd be curious to know which one you used. I assume the under-dash sub is an 8"?

    Is the Bose amp in the Escalade designed to run 4 ohm drivers?
    The infinity speakers are 2 ohms which is more efficient then other speakers in the power area plus the sub is a all in one package I got it through www.crutchfeild.com it is a sound ordnence bpt-8 which is much better then the stock 6inch sub which is very sloppy if you ask me
    Ps the reference line which is the models I listed aren't as bright as the kappa line of infinity's car speakers(I have multiple sets of infinity's older home speakers for my home audio system and home theater system which is smooth as silk in the mids and highs the nice tight low end.

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