I have had the V for over a year now and the stock Bose stereo finally got to me. It is decent for a factory system but can't even begin to compare with a quality aftermarket system. I have always used passive components in previous installs but I decided to try going active this time.
The goals of this build are: sound quality, preserve trunk space (fit 2 sets of golf clubs), and keep everything except the trunk looking stock.
Source Unit: Stock V Navigation with peeling buttons (need to get the dealer to fix that...)
Tweeters: LPG 25NFA Textile Dome 8 ohm (http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=541
Mids: Hertz HV165L (http://www.hertzaudiovideo.com/Doc/pdf_hv165l.pdf
Mid/High amp: Elemental Designs Nine.4 (http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_info.php?products_id=46
Sub amp: Alpine MRP-M500 class D 500W
Sub: Elemental Designs 13ov.2 D4 12" (picked up for cheap on closeout last year)
Sub Enclosure: Prefab Q-Logic 1.25 cuft sealed box (re-sealed with extra silicone before install)
Bose amp harness: Bazooka FAST-2003 (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_5208_Bazooka+FAST-2003.html
Sound Deadener: Dynamat Xtreme 36 sqft Bulk Pack (from ebay)
iPod Integration: USA-SPEC PA11-VETTE
OEM Integration: Audison Bit One.1 - on order
The Canadian distributor is waiting for their next shipment of Bit One's from overseas and I should be getting mine any day now. As a temporary solution, I am using:
Passive Scosche LOC (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_142SLC4/Scosche-SLC4.html?tp=2001
Pyramid (don't laugh) 3-way electronic crossover (http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=265-128
The tweeters are mounted in the stock A-pillar location firing across the dashboard. The direction isn't ideal but since the LPG's have good off-axis response it ends up working well. They are crossed over at 4000 hz with a 12db slope.
The Hertz HV165L woofers are part of the Hi-Energy HSK163 3-way component set. The speakers have a non-pressed paper cone with cotton fibers and play smoothly past 4000khz without any audible breakup. They have a smoother response and more midbass than the woofer from the HSK165 2-way set. For now, these are high-passed around 100hz from the stock bose amp outputs, and low-pass at 4000hz/12db by the Pyramid crossover.
I originally purchased the Seas CA18RNX 8 ohm 7" woofers (http://www.madisound.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=823
) but they turned out to be too deep to fit in the V's doors. The rear magnet is too deep and large and interferes with the metal bracket on the window. I don't think using a thicker spacer is an option unless you start modifying the grills on the door card.
The passenger door before deadening:
The metal bracket on the window that interferes with deep speakers:
The outer skin of the front doors door have 1 layer of Dynamat Xtreme (cheapest quality deadener I could find in Canada). There is already a small patch of factory deadening material in the center of the outer skin. I also added some dynamat behind the inner door skin, but since there are no real large flat surfaces it wouldn't make much of a difference.
The Hertz HV165L woofer mounted in the door. I added 3/8" weather stripping around the speaker so that there is a nice seal with the door card. This way the door card acts as a proper baffle.
I added 1/4" closed cell foam over the inner door skin. This won't really reduce road noise or affect the sound. It is mainly there to reduce vibrations and buzzing in the door card.
The Alpine sub amp mounted to a carpeted board and then to the factory carpet. The stock bose amp is behind this and I used the Bazooka harness to tap into the front speaker outputs without cutting any stock wiring. The harness is a perfect fit after shaving down the female connector on the harness. This harness is a straight pass-through. The existing taps in the harness are wrong for the V, but you can use the wiring diagrams on cadillacfaq to tap the correct wires.
The Elemental Designs 4 channel amplifer mounted to the factory carpet on the right side of the trunk. I had this amp laying around and decided to use it. It puts out rated power and works well aside from a slightly higher than desired noise floor. I will likely upgrade it in the future and was considering something like the Class G/H Arc Audio KS300.4. It is roughly the same size as the nine.4 but provides more power and is also more efficient.
The sealed sub box with 13ov.2 sub. I can still fit 2 sets of golf clubs in the trunk without any issues. There is a carpeted board mounted to the rear deck for the Bit One.
The temporary LOC and active crossover sitting below the spare tire cover:
I am more than impressed with the difference changing speakers and adding amplification made to the sound. It is much fuller and more natural than it was previously. I was expecting the Pyramid crossover to add noise and distortion to the system, but adding it to the signal path didn't seem to affect anything. The LPG tweeters are smooth yet detailed at the same time and don't scream when turned up. The Hertz woofers have decent midbass for being crossed over at 100hz, and tonally seem pretty accurate.
A few days ago I measured the frequency response of the system using a DIY RTA (Behringer ECM8000 measurement mic, TrueRTA software, M-Audio MobilePre, laptop). Keep in mind that there is no processing currently being done aside from crossover and gain. There are 24 steps in volume on the stock V navigation. There is a strong loudness curve added in lower volume steps (say 1 to 10/24), but once turned up to 14 or 15 the stock bose amp outputs a relatively flat response. There is no audible distortion until about 19-20/24.
There is a slight peak in response at around 900 hz in my install, but there are no significant valleys or dips. The staging is nice and high, and having the tweeters in the A-pillars likely helps with that. I can't wait to see what it sounds like once I have the Bit One installed and have time for a proper tuning session.
Overall, upgrading the stock audio system is well worth it. You don't know what you are missing until you actually try it.