A client from Raleigh, NC, brought his 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon to Adrenaline Autosound, seeking our expertise to upgrade his factory Bose audio system. We sat in the car with the client and listened to music to get his feedback. He liked that the factory audio system had a stable and accurate soundstage with a solid center image, but the overall system impact and dynamics, especially in the sub-bass region, were lacking. Tonal accuracy was also sub-par. Finally, the client wanted to retain the functionality of Bluetooth and factory parking sensors. The goal: better sound with no regrets.
The factory audio system uses an up-mixer to create a center channel signal that helps provide a center image from both the driver’s and passenger’s seat. Many shops would forego this feature and design a two-channel system. We wanted to maintain the performance from both seats, so we decided to work with the processing. To maximize the performance of the system and value for the customer, we suggested focusing on the front stage speaker upgrade and subwoofer initially. The client agreed with our plan, so we set to work.
CTS-V Sport Wagon Audio Integration Solutions
We chose a Mosconi 6to8v8 DSP to handle the signal integration. We planned on using a total of seven channels for the front stage. The left, center and right dash locations, both doors, and left and right tweeters each needed dedicated channels. The factory system used poor-quality wide-band speakers in the dash – a solution that never yields realistic or accurate performance. We added the tweeters to provide proper high-frequency reproduction. We fed five channels of input to the Mosconi processor from the factory amp. We could then fine-tune the equalization for the new speakers, undo some of the aggressive factory equalization in each location, and provide filtering for the left and right midrange and tweeters.
Premium Speaker Upgrade
All the electronics in the world do no good if you don’t have great speakers. The client agreed to our suggestion of using Audiofrog GB series speakers. We mounted a GB60 midrange/midbass driver in each door on ½” HDPE adapters. We mounted a GB25 midrange on a custom-made 1/4″ HDPE adapter in the left, center and right dash locations. Our technicians created a set of acoustic couplings rings for each speaker. These donut-shaped foam rings help to channel all the output of the speaker through the grille.
Finally, we mounted a set of GS10 tweeters in the factory speaker grilles on the dash beside the midranges. We painted the grilles to match the dash.
Because the client wanted real bass in the car, we chose an Audiofrog GB12D4 subwoofer for the system. In this trim level, there is no spare tire, but Bose includes a little subwoofer. We created a new enclosure for the Audiofrog sub and mounted it in the same location.
Clean and Effective Electronics Rack
We created a trim panel for the subwoofer that would also serve as our electronics rack. An eight-channel JL Audio XD800/8v2 amp powers the front stage. We bridged channels seven and eight to the center channel. To power the subwoofer, we used a JL XD600/1 with an HD/RLC remote level control mounted in the front of the vehicle for easy control. We wrapped all the wiring in cloth Tesa tape to secure it and give it an OEM look.
Client’s Expectations Exceeded!
We finished setting up the amps and DSP so the system sounded amazing while giving the client the volume he wanted. Every factory feature worked perfectly, just as the client requested. The client was shocked at how much better the system sounded; dynamic, accurate and distortion-free. He remarked that the results exceeded his expectations in all regards.
Contact us here if you want to take your audio system to a whole new level of performance and realism.