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Old 09-01-2014, 08:52 PM   #1
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Success. 2005 CCD High End Audio on low budget

Over the months, gleaned many a valuable lesson on various topics for fixing up our recently acquired 2005 Intnl CCD. Big Thanks to these forums!

In the interest of a modest give-back (in the audio department), being somewhat a past life audiophile with pro studio recording experience and equipment, didn't want to drain the budget ( or batteries ) for bettering the inherited original tin can acoustic experience.

One of the first noticeable challenges was to somehow upgrade the factory Sony CDXF5000 am/fm/cd unit and 4 Sony F/R speakers without going over the top which is easy to do in the audio world. Certainly in this rig, the mid range frequencies had no problem. But all the other frequencies did. The original audio unit was obviously struggling in basic volume/gain, low end and overall high frequency clarity. Overall, it was seriously inept and made no sense why it should be left this way to continuously annoy the occupants of a otherwise high-end rig.

With some research and practicality, wanted to let forum members know that with a few components and a few hours, felt we hit one excellent combination of a budget yet astounding improvement in the audio quality, sonic space, control and features. Other brands or variations can also work but the Polk speaker and improved amp components no doubt resulted in absolutely astounding improvement. Also, Aux direct from flat screen television via ROKU and hot spot WiFi extender linking to the home Internet (perhaps more on that later) now have aux input for an impressive a home like faux surround sound as well.

Out modest Parts list and general specs:

Sony MEXN5000BT with 4 x 52watts per channel.
(125.00 Front aux and usb input, blue tooth, 10 channel customizable eq with 10 presets, 4 built-in 55watt channel front/rear amplifiers, low level and sub-woofer out. Pandora, I Heart Radio and more. Remote iPhone control of eq, sub, source, front/rear and volume control / mute. Has bluetooth telephone/speakerphone through speakers too! Blue tooth app bit quirky but should improve per Sony.

Polk Audio DB1001 25mm Silk Polymer tweeter set (69.95/set articulating type, Goop and tape (no screw hole)mounted bases on either side of laminate goucho upper facing to "side" to reflect sound out from concave aluminum corners. When dry, Easy wire from upper opening and snap-in tweeters into bases and articulate. Wired in parallel to left in-place original front down facing Sony 6.5 coaxial speakers which work fine as is for midrange frequencies.....for now.

Polk Audio PA 300 MOSFET external amplifier (99.95 drives only sub in our rig setup. Mounts and wires nicely next to sub under front couch....see below

Polk Audio DXI108 8" Enclosed passive subwoofer (106.00 Entire enclosure with speaker mounts under roadside front couch, near inverter cavity along
with the Polk external amplifier and to prewired factory 12VDC power, on/off trigger for amp power on and low level audio signal prewiring from Sony head unit. Note: removing seat cushions and a few wood screws allow pealing up the plywood top for hidden placement of subwoofer and amplifier into seating cavity.

Yes, it adds total 25 lbs for the benefit but you'll soon discover well worth it. Easy post install via access of factory removable wood hatch for set and forget fine adjustment of low end frequency, roll off and gain all locally adjustable from factory removable hatch under cushion.

So for approx. $405.00 in parts and a fun afternoon, sounds like you spent 2000.00 and net years of more enjoyment from your AS while becoming the envy of your fellow campsite neighbors. Happier listening.....happier camping...
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #2
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
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I bet it is nice but in my case it would be a waste of money and time. I would never be able to properly appreciate the improvement. Too many years around Naval aircraft has left me with crappy hearing. The only mod I would like to make to my radio is the ability to use USB inputs.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:34 PM   #4
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I will want to study your set up more. We have the same trailer. Ours came with the factory jVC upgrade system.


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Old 09-01-2014, 10:27 PM   #5
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Interesting, I'd love to see photos of the finished install. Been thinking of upgrading our unit. Want something to plug my iphone into.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Interesting, I'd love to see photos of the finished install. Been thinking of upgrading our unit. Want something to plug my iphone into.
BA, yes I did some in process photos so will gather some up and post when able.
The big surprise is that you can't see anything different from factory and improvement blows you away. Thanks !
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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Yeah my speakers are a little too mono sounding.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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Pics of Finished Polk add-ons 9-2-14

"Goop" adhesive and tape to 1st securely mount base of mount liquid cooled tweeters. Mounted these "up higher" aiding in even reflective sound dispersion from concave aluminum corners. Also allowed upper wiring access behind without need of drilling cabinet.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:43 AM   #9
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Hidden Enclosed Woofer and Amp nearby

Must remove upper bench perimeter screws and peel up entire top to tight squeeze in Polk subwoofer enclosure. Factory bench access hatch allows easy access to amp fine tuning and low end setting controls beneath. Note: The bench enclosure actually has a usable natural low frequency resonance on its own and factory "round hole" could support optional raw subwoofer mounting in place of Polk sub self contained unit...saving some space/weight.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vantair View Post
Must remove upper bench perimeter screws and peel up entire top to tight squeeze in Polk subwoofer enclosure. Factory bench access hatch allows easy access to amp fine tuning and low end setting controls beneath. Note: The bench enclosure actually has a usable natural low frequency resonance on its own and factory "round hole" could support optional raw subwoofer mounting in place of Polk sub self contained unit...saving some space/weight.

Thanks for sharing.

So, taking advantage of your kindness, do you have any thoughts about adding some type of exterior speakers to our standard Sony set up? Right now our low tech solution is to crank up the volume and open a window so we can sit outside and listen to music. Not the best of solutions. Just wonder if there is a low cost way that someone of nowhere near your capabilities could wire for a couple of outside speakers under the awning area so we could enjoy either the radio or CD player while enjoying the outdoors and a good book.

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing.

So, taking advantage of your kindness, do you have any thoughts about adding some type of exterior speakers to our standard Sony set up? Right now our low tech solution is to crank up the volume and open a window so we can sit outside and listen to music. Not the best of solutions. Just wonder if there is a low cost way that someone of nowhere near your capabilities could wire for a couple of outside speakers under the awning area so we could enjoy either the radio or CD player while enjoying the outdoors and a good book.

Thanks
Dana
Thanks Dana,
Trying to not be long winded, few methods to consider with this each with personal preference with corresponding effort/quality, portability, loudness or cost. Most found at Best Buy, Staples or big-box like outlets. Most can connect to AS system music source with a 15-25ft long stereo headphone extension if the AS stereo has a headphone jack output.

A:Portable Easy Traditional: Battery op/12v or ac powered boombox: Self contained am/fm/cd/aux/headphone inputs 39.00 - 200.00 Brands: Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer etc... Can take this out on lake !

B:Portable "Speaker Only" Option: Obtain a newer "self contained self powered" speaker only setup. Has Bluetooth or headphone jack input from music source. Also allows link via standard headphone out on cell phone, MP3 player, receiver, or am/fm cd player. Different sizes, power output and costs but surprisingly good results for the size. Prices ranges from 30.00 (mono) to 200.00+ stereo. Brands: Jambox, JBL etc...

C:More Elaborate, impressive quality, compact, perhaps overkill: (120volt or inverter power needed). Using the same small speaker systems w/sub-woofers as home desk computers can be used giving local volume/bass control outside. Placing speakers under rig or hanging under overhang may require extending the included factory wiring depending on speaker placement. But this system below is one of the best sounding for the $. Spent many hours personally comparing this very choice and still impressed buy it at cost. (Compare for yourself at Bestbuy if near one.)
Klipsch - ProMedia 2.1 Speaker System (3-Piece) - Black

This Klipsch version at Best Buy for an incredible accuarate sound @ 139.00/set but many others can suffice.

Hope this helps......
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:28 PM   #12
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Where did you mount the Polk tweeters exactly? I can't really tell from the pictures. Did you leave the existing speakers as they are? Lots of questions My ccd has been modified on the inside so doesn't have the same cabinetry setup.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:18 AM   #13
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Tweeter mounting

Hi Ebundy:

Yes, glad your ask. Original pics not too revealing of tweeter placement. So, attached is one more. (Look up high to spot small round black / chrome tweeter mirrored on each side). You're rig mount may need to vary but here's the concept.

Just temp taped 2 tweeters into L / R forward positions while listening to hi Q CD and moving ears around to determine best hidden reflective position to cabin and sitting directly underneath. Ultimate sweet spot was up high aiming slightly downward into the corner aluminum curvatures to evenly reflect. Goop glued with tape for secure no screw mounting. ( Trying to keep original factory look with existing original components ). Can further EQ sound through head unit to taste.

To your questions, addition of tweeters and couch sub was just "in addition" to original 4 factory Sony 2way speakers. Left all those bad boys in place as-is for no effort full mid-range (at least for now). Overall, huge sound improvement.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:37 PM   #14
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Hi Ebundy:

Yes, glad your ask. Original pics not too revealing of tweeter placement. So, attached is one more. (Look up high to spot small round black / chrome tweeter mirrored on each side). You're rig mount may need to vary but here's the concept.

Just temp taped 2 tweeters into L / R forward positions while listening to hi Q CD and moving ears around to determine best hidden reflective position to cabin and sitting directly underneath. Ultimate sweet spot was up high aiming slightly downward into the corner aluminum curvatures to evenly reflect. Goop glued with tape for secure no screw mounting. ( Trying to keep original factory look with existing original components ). Can further EQ sound through head unit to taste.

To your questions, addition of tweeters and couch sub was just "in addition" to original 4 factory Sony 2way speakers. Left all those bad boys in place as-is for no effort full mid-range (at least for now). Overall, huge sound improvement.
Looking to do something similar with the audio quality in ours. Currently it's kinda lacking. Do you have additional tweeters in the bedroom?

Any more thoughts on outside audio? Computer speakers would work ac and dc, but what of placement, with awning down for example?
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:22 AM   #15
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Looking to do something similar with the audio quality in ours. Currently it's kinda lacking. Do you have additional tweeters in the bedroom?

Any more thoughts on outside audio? Computer speakers would work ac and dc, but what of placement, with awning down for example?
(Whoops, Sorry for mispelling name) No tweets in bedroom just yet as this base upgrade has been quite an improvement throughout but same concept could apply by adding tweeters off bed factory speakers as well. Just the one single sub low end carries everywhere else in our case.

Like lighting, audio and audio outside is quite personal vs hassle. As a portable set up, could emagine standard computer speakers via extending smartphone off or from a stereo headphone jack. 120 v or 12 vdc versions around. With enough wire, place anywhere under awning or under rig with volume kept down low to just carry to immediate personal area. Wireless Bluetooth speaker options may be easier but with a charge every so often.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:14 AM   #16
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Part 1

Went with Vantair’s suggestions as to amp, sub, and tweeter selection. Sounded like a good recommendation and was within my budget. The sub, tweeters, and amp was Santa’s gift to me this year and the day after Christmas I was tearing things apart the Airstream. It was only after hooking up the sub did I realize I needed to do some homework.

The Polk sub sounded nothing like the base sound I was expecting. It was extremely distorted and sounded terrible. I fiddled and fiddled with all the settings in the amp and stereo, inside out and upside down. The speaker sounded like it had been blown, faulty electrics or bad wires inside the unit, whatever, a lemon, a lump of coal.

I borrowed a sub from our living room 5.1 setup and it sounded great so nothing wrong with the installation. Got an RMA and sent it back and ordered a Rockford Fosgate R1-1X10 10-Inch 200 Watt Single Loaded Enclosure instead at about the same price as the Polk - $105.23.

The only difference being the Rockford was not ported like the Polk. I learned with ported there is an air intake so that the speaker doesn’t have to work so hard pushing the cone back and forth. The closed system has to work harder but produces less re-verb. My thinking is that the sub being under the sofa would be enough re-verb itself. Also it is a bigger speaker at 10“ instead of 8" and the mdf enclosure material not so thick making the Rockford 5lb lighter at 20lb.

In taking things apart there is a screw which attaches to the armrest to the aluminum side panels which is difficult to get to. By just loosening it the armrest had enough flex to allow the wood cover holding the sofa cushion to be removed. Getting that screw back in would have been a pain had it been unscrewed all the way out.

The enclosure was just how Airstream had left it after construction. A little dirty but not too much in the way of debris.

At first hookup the Rockford Fosgate produced no sound. Oh no, what now. After removing the ground loop isolator bought to eliminate the 12v buzz it then worked. You can set the low and high pass filter on the amp to remove the buzz without an isolator!

After cleaning up and rearranging the wires in the compartment for better airflow, time to figure out which position to put the speaker in. I positioned it with the cover on to line up with the opening for easy access to the amps settings, then angled it slightly.

Used a sharpie to mark the corners where the speaker sat, cut some spare wood into 8 pieces of 1“x1“x5“ then screwed down. The speaker sits nice and snug and won't move around when in motion. Lastly another piece of wood was placed to hold the top against the seat cover.

Doing the sub-woofer upgrade again I would probably have gone with a
Blaupunkt Blue Magic XLb 250 A 500-Watt 10-Inch Active Subwoofer System, for simplicity AND the remote for about the same price as a separate amp and speaker - $206

Tweeters

Polk Audio DB1001 1-Inch Silk/Polymer Composite Dome Tweeters - 64.50

Using poster putty I tried the speakers in different positions. Next to the Sony’s on the underside of the cabinet created a super sweet spot in the middle of the sofa which was nice. With the speakers on the side of the cabinet using the curvature of the inside wall like Vantair, the sweet spot was good while walking up and down the camper or sat in the dinette. I chose to mount the speakers on the side wall of the cabinet.

Will be adding a couple more of the dome tweeters to the bedroom under the cabinet.

Stereo
Was thinking about buying the CD-BTB200 Pioneer blue-tooth adapter, but because it is discontinued the price is higher than a new blue-tooth ready stereo, even on eBay. So am in the market for a new stereo in due time. An 8mm audio jack to the aux input on the Pioneer works well for now.

What a difference it all makes, night and day. If you haven’t already, go for it. If you have spent your entire life working with noisy machinery and your ears are shot no worries, you can still FEEL the base!

Took me more than an afternoon because I didn’t know what I was doing but had fun learning. Going to add a sub to my Tundra now

tl;dr upgraded the audio. sounds fantastic
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:19 AM   #17
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Part 2

More pictures
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:31 AM   #18
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Thanks for sharing.

So, taking advantage of your kindness, do you have any thoughts about adding some type of exterior speakers to our standard Sony set up? Right now our low tech solution is to crank up the volume and open a window so we can sit outside and listen to music. Not the best of solutions. Just wonder if there is a low cost way that someone of nowhere near your capabilities could wire for a couple of outside speakers under the awning area so we could enjoy either the radio or CD player while enjoying the outdoors and a good book.

Thanks
Dana

Hopefully you keep the volume down on the outside speakers for the sake of your fellow campers!

We have had a few bad experiences this way over the years and when we do, cannot understand how inconsiderate of their neighbours some folk can be.

Not suggesting at all that you would be so inclined!

I just get a bit annoyed at the tendency of a lot of new RV's that come equipped now with outside speaker, outside tv's etc!

Guess it would be fine for boondockers - apart from annoying the animals!

I have to admit that now and then, I take a very small portable radio outside under the awning while reading or BBQ'ing , but have it so low that you probably couldn't hear it more than 15 feet away.

I tend to use good quality earphones more often if listening to music while reading outside.

Brian.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:59 AM   #19
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Hopefully you keep the volume down on the outside speakers for the sake of your fellow campers!

We have had a few bad experiences this way over the years and when we do, cannot understand how inconsiderate of their neighbours some folk can be.

Not suggesting at all that you would be so inclined!

I just get a bit annoyed at the tendency of a lot of new RV's that come equipped now with outside speaker, outside tv's etc!

Guess it would be fine for boondockers - apart from annoying the animals!

I have to admit that now and then, I take a very small portable radio outside under the awning while reading or BBQ'ing , but have it so low that you probably couldn't hear it more than 15 feet away.

I tend to use good quality earphones more often if listening to music while reading outside.

Brian.
Folks who camp less often are not aware of camp etiquette I find. And I find folks are less aware of it in the summer and on the weekends, when you get more of the weekenders.

Those outside entertainment setups are really aimed at the folks who are going to annoy you most. The ones who just take the rig out 3 weekends in the summer to party and BBQ while watching the game then go swimming with their 15 rug rats.

---

On another note, I am working on an Raspberry Pi setup for our Airstream, the way Airstream originally wired this stereo is a freaking nightmare.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:08 AM   #20
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Elbundi,
Great pics and info on your results.
As you can hear, what a transformation is to be found with some add ons like
these. Amazing actually.
So sorry on the less than stellar Polk sub results. Can't figure why unless
something just off but overall, As with your Fosgate sub replacement, there
are good alternate solutions out there.

All of which volumes should be mindful of your surrounding camping neighbors.
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Vantair
2005 25ft International CCD SS
2020 GMC Sierra Denali Diesel 2500 4X4 3.43 Int sway/tow controller
1981 Honda Trail CT110 1X0..no sway control
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