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2007 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

The Install

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:



Listening Impressions

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.
 

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2005 CTS-V, Black
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Nice writeup. I like how you did it. I think you said you put the tweeters in the stock a-panel...did they fit in no problem? Just wondering because I've never had that thing off to look around. I just recently swapped out the factory sub with a JL 10" W3V2 and that did numbers for the audio in my V. Bet a total revamp must really sound great. I plan on eventually getting around to the components too, but DSS/Hendrix Engineering axles seem to have recently jumped up my list quite quickly :canttalk:
 

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2007 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice writeup. I like how you did it. I think you said you put the tweeters in the stock a-panel...did they fit in no problem? Just wondering because I've never had that thing off to look around. I just recently swapped out the factory sub with a JL 10" W3V2 and that did numbers for the audio in my V. Bet a total revamp must really sound great. I plan on eventually getting around to the components too, but DSS/Hendrix Engineering axles seem to have recently jumped up my list quite quickly :canttalk:
Thanks, yeah these tweeters fit without issues. I took out the stock tweeters but kept the stock mounting. The grill on the front of the tweeter fit perfectly into the opening on the stock mount and I used a few zipties to hold it in place. The A-pillar come off pretty easily - you just pop out the air bag tag and there is a screw behind. Take out the screw and the cover pulls off. Without modding the stock mounting, you won't be able to fit tweeters that are much larger than these. The axles are next on my list.
 

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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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2,210 Posts
hey c4ss - how did you replace the subwoofer? does it fit in the existing one's space? what amp are you using? not the stock bose amp, right?
 

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2005 Platinum CTS V-Headers+3in pipes
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3,012 Posts
op, nice install thanks for the pics and specs i will be doing something like this eventually when i get the $$.
 

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2016 ATS-V (Blk, 6spd, Recaros), 2007 Cadillac CTS-V (sold)
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717 Posts
nice write up... great choice on the sub! The Elemental Designs drivers are awesome
 

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2005 CTS-V, K&N, Borla, short throw w/ Holden knob, hotchkis
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906 Posts
I've built many a boxes in my life. Really did my C5 up right. Could tell nothing and had volume AND the clarity. I was cotemplating removing the rear deck and making a model to replace with a discrete sealed enclosure. Sealed 10s the only way to go. Maybe I make and offer to others if I get bored. Nice work, for a billion speaker bose, it aint that good. "All highs no lows...must be bose"
 

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hey c4ss - how did you replace the subwoofer? does it fit in the existing one's space? what amp are you using? not the stock bose amp, right?

There was cutting involved. I bought a box with a 10 inch JL subwoofer from a guy on this forum. The stock unit is an 8 inch sub. I also have the JL amp to power it. There are pics on here somewhere on a different thread. The stock bose amp would get fried by that JL subwoofer.
 

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2007 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #9
I picked up the Audison Bit One.1 yesterday and finally had a chance to hook it up this afternoon. The trunk and wiring is now cleaned up:



The Bit One is mounted underneath the rear deck:



Everything looks stock when the ashtray is closed:



Open up the ashtray:



My preliminary tuning session with a laptop hooked up to the Bit One:



I am VERY happy with the Bit One.1. I have no noise whatsoever and everything hooked up without issues. After a quick 10 minute tuning session the sound is already much better than with the passive LOC/crossover I was using as a temporary solution before.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why did you choose the Audison over the Alpine integration system? Just trying to understand the advantages of the Audison system.

Alpine PXE-H650 system: http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product.php?model=PXE-H650
I was originally thinking of going with the Alpine piece, but this was before the Bit One was released and all of the issues were worked out. Here are a few reasons that swayed me towards the Bit One:

- Control - the PXE-H650 has limited tuning ability once the Imprint process has been run. There is a parametric EQ and you can play with gains and output level, but you have no ability to shape the sound to how you like it. There are 4 preset curves but from what I have read they all make the output sound "weak"
- Ability to run a 3-way component set active - the Alpine can only run a 2-way (tweeter & woofer) active
- Warranty - in Canada at least, the warranty on all Alpine products are void if not installed by an authorized dealer. I would likely end up spending more on installation and tuning than the difference in price between the PXE-H650 and Bit One
- Ability to tune from the driver's seat using a laptop. This is so much more convenient than running back and forth to the trunk to tweak things.
- Can still use the stock volume knob and steering wheel controls with the Bit One. I keep the Audison controller down in volume a bit and use the stock volume most of the time. I only turn the Audison controller up when I want to get really loud. I have read of wierd things happening when using the stock volume knob on the Alpine unit.
- The Bit One just came out this year - I like playing with new toys :)

From what I have read the Alpine still works well, and both the Audison and Alpine units should be able to get you a very nice sounding system. Here is a good review that talks about the advantages/disadvantages of the Alpine unit: http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum...ws/22008-alpine-h650-initial-impressions.html.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I will have to read the post about the alpine unit. I plan on doing this in the future and want to get the best bang for buck while getting the best sound too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Awesome writeup!

What would it take to put in an aftermarket head unit in with a navi?
It's not hard to install an aftermarket nav in the V if you are willing to lose the DIC functionality (warnings, gas mileage, customization, etc) - there are dash kits out there for the stock CTS that will fit just fine. It may be possible to swap a stock non-nav CTS radio into a V and retain some DIC controls with an aftermarket nav but it hasn't been confirmed yet. I remember seeing a post by richdash saying he was going to try it.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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It's not hard to install an aftermarket nav in the V if you are willing to lose the DIC functionality (warnings, gas mileage, customization, etc) - there are dash kits out there for the stock CTS that will fit just fine. It may be possible to swap a stock non-nav CTS radio into a V and retain some DIC controls with an aftermarket nav but it hasn't been confirmed yet. I remember seeing a post by richdash saying he was going to try it.
Correct, I am in the process of it right now. I dont want to hijack the thread so I'll start one with all the details and my findings on the project.

Op: it’s looking nice and clean good job. Were using similar stuff, completely different systems but somewhat close. I was really close to going the Bit One route but have never used that unit so was really hesitant due tot he price. Nice write up. Also curious as to how you like your hertz comps? Nice and clean through. Any plans to surface mount the amps?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Op: it’s looking nice and clean good job. Were using similar stuff, completely different systems but somewhat close. I was really close to going the Bit One route but have never used that unit so was really hesitant due tot he price. Nice write up. Also curious as to how you like your hertz comps? Nice and clean through. Any plans to surface mount the amps?
Thanks. I'm really happy with the Hertz woofers. After some time alignment and EQ they sound awesome and have plenty of midbass. Using an RTA I was able to get a nice smooth response throughout the frequency range. I was surprised how low they will play - I was getting decent bass down to 40 hz out of the woofers alone at moderate volumes. I currently have them high passed at 70hz/24db and they take the ~75 watts/channel from the nine.4 without issue. From what I have read the Hertz components are supposed to have a similar sound to the Morels.

I think I will leave the amps mounted to the sides for now. They are out of the way and I can still remove the sub box and fill up the trunk when needed. I did a raised floor install in my last car and wanted to keep it simple this time.
 
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