2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System
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Thread: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    I am upgrading from the terrible base system (8 speakers) to the mid-level Meridian (19 speakers) system.

    The base 8-speaker system has a woofer and tweeter in each of the four doors and no sub-woofer.

    For the 19-speaker system, there are three speakers (tweeter, mid-range and bass) in each of the four doors plus one mid-range and one tweeter in the dash and one mid-range and one tweeter on the left and right sides of the rear cargo shelf. Plus a sub-woofer under the front passenger seat.

    For the speakers and sub, I bought the factory high end Meridian Signature stuff. Interesting to note the mid-range and bass speakers have a plastic female connector mounted onto their frame. The tweeters however have wires extending away from the tweeter (about 6 inches) to their plastic female connector.

    For the amp, I bought a used one one on eBay - BJ32-19C164-BF

    After doing a lot of research into how the factory wiring is set up in the car, I spent 3 hours yesterday installing the speakers in all 4 doors.

    What I found is that in the front doors, both driver and passenger, the connector for the mid-range (which is not used in the 8-speaker system) is already there. So it's plug and play in the front doors.

    In the rear doors the connector for the mid-range speaker is not there. However, if you look at the wiring diagram for this system, for the rear doors only the tweeter and mid-range are spliced together. They do not have individual outputs on the amp. So for the rear doors I connected the existing factory wire harness male tweeter connector to the new mid-range speaker female connector. I then cut off the new tweeter's female connector (remember it's wired to the tweeter about 6" away) off, stripped the wires and soldered the new tweeter wires direct to the terminals on the new mid-range speaker. If you wire it the other way (new tweeter to factory wire harness male tweeter connector) there is nothing to connect the tweeter and mid-range together so you would need to wire in a connection between the two. No big deal but easier to just use the wires from the tweeter to accomplish.

    The next day (today) I removed the luggage shelf to see if there was a prewired connector........and there is not. I am going to do a bit more research into the closet connector that carries the wires and then either trace from there or run new wires to either that connector to direct to the amp. Interesting note, as with the rear car door tweeter and mid-range, the rear luggage shelf tweeter and mid-range are spliced together and run from one channel on the amp (in this case the left side). Obviously the same goes for the opposite side of the rear luggage shelf (the right side)......AND the same goes for the front dash tweeter and mid-range. Only the front doors in the car have separate channels (crossovers) for each speaker (tweeter, mid-range and bass) from the amp.

    I then decided to swap out the amp under the driver's seat however, I did not get very far. The bolts that secure the seats have a reverse star head which requires a special socket which I do not have. Going to have to find that one. Anyone know where I can buy this socket?

    As for the front dash tweeter and mid-range, I did not yet try to install but now assume they will not be prewired and will need to find the closest connector to either trace from there, wire from there or direct to the amp.

    As for the subwoofer, since I can't get the seats out at this point I don't know if it's prewired or not.

    More to come.

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  3. #2
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Why use meridian to upgrade? The meridian in my old ftype and RRS sound horrible compared to my nissan GTR, or my longhorn ram diesel.

  4. #3
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    For the seats removal, you can use the normal metric socket set that has multi points contact like:

    https://www.zoro.com/sk-professional...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

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  6. #4
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Last night I took another look at the factory wiring diagram and I was incorrect about the front dash speakers (tweeter and mid-range) being spliced together and not having their own channels direct from the amp. They do have their own channels. The rest of the system is as posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyabrad View Post
    I am upgrading from the terrible base system (8 speakers) to the mid-level Meridian (19 speakers) system.

    The base 8-speaker system has a woofer and tweeter in each of the four doors and no sub-woofer.

    For the 19-speaker system, there are three speakers (tweeter, mid-range and bass) in each of the four doors plus one mid-range and one tweeter in the dash and one mid-range and one tweeter on the left and right sides of the rear cargo shelf. Plus a sub-woofer under the front passenger seat.

    For the speakers and sub, I bought the factory high end Meridian Signature stuff. Interesting to note the mid-range and bass speakers have a plastic female connector mounted onto their frame. The tweeters however have wires extending away from the tweeter (about 6 inches) to their plastic female connector.

    For the amp, I bought a used one one on eBay - BJ32-19C164-BF

    After doing a lot of research into how the factory wiring is set up in the car, I spent 3 hours yesterday installing the speakers in all 4 doors.

    What I found is that in the front doors, both driver and passenger, the connector for the mid-range (which is not used in the 8-speaker system) is already there. So it's plug and play in the front doors.

    In the rear doors the connector for the mid-range speaker is not there. However, if you look at the wiring diagram for this system, for the rear doors only the tweeter and mid-range are spliced together. They do not have individual outputs on the amp. So for the rear doors I connected the existing factory wire harness male tweeter connector to the new mid-range speaker female connector. I then cut off the new tweeter's female connector (remember it's wired to the tweeter about 6" away) off, stripped the wires and soldered the new tweeter wires direct to the terminals on the new mid-range speaker. If you wire it the other way (new tweeter to factory wire harness male tweeter connector) there is nothing to connect the tweeter and mid-range together so you would need to wire in a connection between the two. No big deal but easier to just use the wires from the tweeter to accomplish.

    The next day (today) I removed the luggage shelf to see if there was a prewired connector........and there is not. I am going to do a bit more research into the closet connector that carries the wires and then either trace from there or run new wires to either that connector to direct to the amp. Interesting note, as with the rear car door tweeter and mid-range, the rear luggage shelf tweeter and mid-range are spliced together and run from one channel on the amp (in this case the left side). Obviously the same goes for the opposite side of the rear luggage shelf (the right side)......AND the same goes for the front dash tweeter and mid-range. Only the front doors in the car have separate channels (crossovers) for each speaker (tweeter, mid-range and bass) from the amp.

    I then decided to swap out the amp under the driver's seat however, I did not get very far. The bolts that secure the seats have a reverse star head which requires a special socket which I do not have. Going to have to find that one. Anyone know where I can buy this socket?

    As for the front dash tweeter and mid-range, I did not yet try to install but now assume they will not be prewired and will need to find the closest connector to either trace from there, wire from there or direct to the amp.

    As for the subwoofer, since I can't get the seats out at this point I don't know if it's prewired or not.

    More to come.

  7. #5
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    HERE IS THE WIRING DIAGRAM






  8. #6
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    THANKS!! I WILL GIVE THIS A TRY.

    Quote Originally Posted by sand8 View Post
    For the seats removal, you can use the normal metric socket set that has multi points contact like:

    https://www.zoro.com/sk-professional...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

  9. #7
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Just an update.

    I did try the metric socket with multi point contacts and it fit. However, I bought the correct Torx socket - Which is an E12 size. Works like a charm.

    On Sunday I installed:

    Subwoofer: Remove Passenger seat and surprise, the sub is pre-wired -- however the pre-wired connector does not fit with the connector that is installed on the sub. Instead I cut both connectors off and soldered the wires. The sub mounts under the passenger seat. There is a styrofoam insert taking up the space where the sub sits. Remove the foam and drop in the sub. The studs that the nuts screw down on to secure the sub are already there. I used two of the nuts from the amp to hold down the sub. Turned on the audio system and BOOM, the sub is thumping.

    Amp: Remove driver's seat and then remove the base system amp. Drop in the upgrade amp and all systems go.

    Center Dash Mid-Range and Tweeter: These are not pre-wired. Easy enough to get to the speaker location to install the speakers but I had a hard time getting to the nearest connector that carried the wires. Since the seats were out of the car I ran the speaker wires direct to the amp. Sounds easy enough. Take coat hanger and fish down from the speaker location to the bottom of the dash then pull wires through to the amp. Now I have to say it's been a LONG time since I have played around with this sort of project in a car. What I learned is new cars and not like old cars where you just reach up under the dash and the world is your oyster. This car is like Fort Knox under the dash. Everything has styrofoam, regular foam and hard plastic sealing off all areas. And it's not just under the dash......I tired coming down from the top and found the same thing......So I pulled out the entertainment/Nav/car settings screen and even then it was all sealed off. Finally broke down and drilled a hole from the area the speaker mounts to down to behind the entertainment/Nav/car settings screen and pulled the wires from there back to the amp. I did not install the mid-range and tweeter as it was getting dark so I will do that one night this week.

    As noted above the sub-woofer started working immediately with the upgrade amp. The mid-ranges in the front doors are not working. While they were not working with the old amp I assumed they would start working once the upgrade amp was installed. Either A) the car needs to be programed to allow a signal to the mids, B) my assumption was incorrect that the connectors in the front doors were for the mids even though they are in the exact right location and fit, C) the front doors mid channel is fried. Will be interesting to see what happens after I connect the dash mid-range and tweeter to see if that works. I will wait until the car is reprogrammed for the upgraded sound system to see if that works. If not, I will wire trace the assumed "pre-wired" connectors and see if they terminate at the amp. If not, I will pick up the signal at the door connector.

    Regarding the luggage shelf speakers, I bought from my dealer the correct luggage shelf interior pieces with the built in speaker grills and will install the mid-range and tweeter on each side and complete this installation two weekends from now. More to come.......

  10. #8
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Almost forgot the best part.........I could hear a noticeable improvement in the sound quality when I replaced all speakers in the four doors but still with the base amp.

    Having said that, with the upgraded amp and sub-woofer installed it sounds terrific! Night and day difference.

    Remember that the mid's in the front doors are not yet working and I still have the tweeters/mid-ranges to install in the dash and rear luggage shelves. That's 8 more speakers yet to come.

    And then there is the reprogramming to allow me to tweak the sound.........

    It's going to really be great!

  11. #9
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Another Update. This morning I installed the mid-range and tweeter in the center dash location (which if you recall is direct wired to the amp) but got no sound from them. I am guessing this is due to the car not being reprogrammed yet. Again, hoping the same for the mid-ranges in the front doors.

  12. #10
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    That's is awesome! Thanks for the great read so far. Keep the updates coming!!

  13. #11
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Quote Originally Posted by baxterdown View Post
    That's is awesome! Thanks for the great read so far. Keep the updates coming!!
    Thanks, Will do!

  14. #12
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Something else I have neglected to bring up:

    Once I swapped out the amp and in the current speaker configuration (missing speakers) and no amp programming the sound quality I am getting when on my bluetooth phone calls is pretty bad. And I have lost the confirmation sound when pressing the touchscreen display. I checked the sound setting and the confirmation sound is on.

    I am guessing the confirmation sound for the touchscreen display comes from the center dash speakers

    and

    once the mid-ranges in the doors are working the phone bluetooth sound issues will be gone.

    More to come......

  15. #13
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    In regard to programming the amp, I bought the SSD JL software on eBay and have played with it a bit. I have not been able to program the amp and I am sure that's because I have no idea what I am doing with the software.

    I also spoke with Gap Diagnostic about their IIDTool BT and they say it can program the amp.

    Another member here has the IIDTool BT and they are going to check which programming settings are available for the audio/amp. I will post when I hear more....

  16. #14
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    UPDATE:

    Bought the Gap Diagnostic IIDTool BT and with the help of Patrick at Gap (who was awesome!) the IIDTool BT was able to unlock the Meridian sound options!!! SUCCESS……

    The center dash tweeter and mid-range now work in the surround sound modes but not in stereo mode.

    I installed the rear luggage shelf speakers which ARE pre-wired by the way!! - meaning there is one connector on each shelf. Note each side of the rear luggage shelf has both a tweeter and mid-range speaker and per the wiring diagram they are spliced together (amp does not have separate channels for the tweeter and mid-range) so I plugged the tweeter into the existing pre-wired connector and soldered the mid-range to the tweeter wires. The rear luggage shelf speakers work in all modes (stereo and surround).

    My bluetooth mobile phone call sound is still bad and I still do not have the confirmation clicks from the display panel. But the bluetooth mobile phone music sound is awesome.

    I was still not getting any sound out of the front door mid-ranges so I traced the wires in the door panels - from the door panel harness connector to the pre-wired mid-range speaker connector and it checked out fine. So the signal was not getting from the amp to the door and that's when I found out the issue.

    I disconnected the large wire harness connector that connects the door to the body of the car. The door side connector is the female side and the body has the male side. Pin numbers 1 and 13 on the female side are not there, however, pin numbers 1 and 13 ARE on the male side.

    Go figure - even though the door panel wire harness is prewired for the mid-range "upgraded sound system" speaker in the front doors, the door wire harness that connects the door to the body does not have the mid-range speaker wires in it. WHAT? WHO MADE THAT DECISION TO SAVE A FEW PENNIES?

    I can see only three ways to solve this:

    1. Order a new door wire harness with the upgraded sound option (my dealer is checking on pricing).

    2. Order just the pre-wired pins to install into the female side of the door to body connector and run the wires. That is IF the door to body connector is a serviceable connector.

    3. Tap into the mid-range wires on the male side (body side) of the connector (which are visible from inside the car) and bring those wires to the door side (requires drilling one hole in body next to male side of door to body connector and then poking thru the door side rubber (for the body to door wire harness). Maybe and it's a big maybe the wires might be able to be sandwiched between the male body connector and the opening for the male body connector so no drilling but not sure if possible.

    More to come......

  17. #15
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    Re: 2014 RRS: Upgrading Base Sound System to Meridian System

    Ok some newbie questions here, i have new truck coming with 22 speaker meridian sound system. How do i get best possible sound out of it besides CDs ?
    I have a iPhone 7 plus with lots of storage. Im not up on Spotify and iTunes.
    Can i plug phone into truck so its not blue tooth? Any thing else?
    Any basic advice would be appreciated. Txs

    Also if i have music video will it play on dashboard and were would download if its possible?

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