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Upgraded SR Partial Audio to Full Premium

Wampa

Member
Mar 19, 2019
123
137
Scottsdale, AZ
First off a big thanks to PLUR and fstr on the TOO forum for getting a lot of this info out there, I couldn't do it without their hard work.

One of the worst parts about the SR and SR+ models is their lack of true immersive sound. As stock, the sound system is incredibly front-forward, requiring me to set the balance far to the rear. Fortunately the solution to this issue is rather simple, and relatively inexpensive. If you have a mild understanding of wiring, and feel comfortable removing trim pieces, you can finish this job over a weekend.

Now what all is being changed? In an attempt to simplify production, the interior of all Tesla Model 3 cars are identical, even going so far as to include unused speakers. Strangely, however, the wiring harness is different, meaning these extra speakers could never be activated through software. To solve this problem, I had to add new wires, and an amplifier to power them. Here is what I did, and what parts I used:

This is enough to power the front tweeters, the rear shelf speakers, and the OEM amplifier. If you want to skip the subwoofer, you can choose from smaller amplifiers that are easier to install and hide away. Also all of these parts can be purchased on Amazon unless otherwise noted.

Parts Required:
$189.50 - OEM Model 3 Subwoofer and housing (eBay)
$138.45 - Soundstream PN5.640D 640W 5-Channel Amp
$15.99 - InstallGear 8-Gauge Amp Kit
$11.99 - 100ft 16-gauge wire
$11.99 - Crimp connector kit
$8.99 - T-Tap connector kit

Total cost: $376.91

FYI this how-to skips the A-Pillar tweeters for now, I will add those at a later time!

STEP 1:
Remove the rear seat, then remove the plastic trim along the entryways, there is one long piece up front, and a smaller one at the rear. The B-pillar plastics must also be pulled open, but just enough to gain access to some wires.

STEP 2:
Decide where you would like to mount your amplifier. Some choose in the trunk, the lower trunk cubby, or under the seats. I chose to mount mine near the seat backs, and will cover it with a trunk liner. Also take this time to install your subwoofer. If OEM, it simply bolts in place.

STEP 3:
Begin running speaker wire from your amp to the front of the vehicle, along both sides. You will need two pairs of wires for the left and right, and an additional single wire along the left side for 12v power.

STEP 4:
Run wires from the amp the front of the B-pillars. You will need a pair of wires for each side, this will be your speaker-level input. Also route a single pair of wires from your subwoofer to the amp.

STEP 5:
Run two pairs of wires from the amplifier output to the top of the right rear seat. You will have to remove the seat panel to access this area, simply pull straight up and it should release. There will be a thicker plastic connector with 2-wires going in, and 6 wires going out. Using your taps, connect the speaker wires to the right channel (Yellow -, Grey +) and the left channel (White -, Purple +).

STEP 6:
Using T-taps or Posi-Tap connectors, splice into the subwoofer inputs on the front left and right sides. These wires will be looped together on each side. Driver side is (Blue -, White +). Passenger side is (Black -, Orange +).

STEP 7:
Tap into the 12v switched power. This will be a thicker red wire wrapped in tape, along the driver's side wiring loom. Use a multimeter to test before connecting to the amp.

STEP 8:
Tap into the speaker-level inputs on the left and right B-pillars. These are thin-gauge wires, to take care when tapping. These will also be wrapped together. Driver side is (Black -, Red +). Passenger side is (Green -, Blue +)

STEP 9:
Take all of your wire ends on the amp side and connect them accordingly. There should be two leftover pairs of wires for the tweeter outputs, for a future install.

STEP 10:
Use the amp-installation kit to access constant 12v power. Before doing this, enter the Safety & Security menu and select Power Off. This will shut down the 12v Penthouse power to make for a safer install. Under the rear seat along the passenger side is a foam block, remove it to expose the positive and negative battery connections. Attach the corresponding wires to each, install the fuse along the positive wire, and connect them to your amp.

STEP 11:
Step in the driver seat and turn on the vehicle. Ensure that the amp powers on without issue, and begin to increase the volume. You should now hear your rear shelf speakers and subwoofer working (if equipped). If you have sound issues, first check that you have tapped the wires properly.

Step 12:
ENJOY!

Tips and tricks:
#1 INVEST IN HIGH QUALITY T-TAPS OR POSI-TAP CONNECTORS! I cannot stress this enough, the T-Taps I ordered from Amazon were absolute garbage and took up most of my time. In one case I had to resort to using butt connectors for the driver's side speaker input. I managed to get the passenger side to work (with much swearing).

#2 The factory subwoofer is a dual-coil with four wires. I was able to convert this to a two-wire setup by just connecting the negative wires and positive wires together respectively. Red and Green (+), Blue and Black (-).

I will be adding photos but in the meantime I hope this information helps. It is entirely possible to get the full premium interior for under $500 and a few hours of work. If I were to do this all over again I would buy a smaller amplifier and just power the rear shelf speakers, as they make the biggest difference of all!
 

newtonfb

Member
Mar 10, 2019
199
131
MA
Thanks for this! Personally I would just like to get my rear shelf and A pillars in the front working. Don't really care about amplifier so I'd just get a small one. If you have pictures it would be really helpful too.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,083
475
az
Thanks for this! Personally I would just like to get my rear shelf and A pillars in the front working. Don't really care about amplifier so I'd just get a small one. If you have pictures it would be really helpful too.

yeah it would be great if you would include pics. Is it possible to a la carte and just get A pillars in the front working
 

Wampa

Member
Mar 19, 2019
123
137
Scottsdale, AZ
First thing to do is remove the plastic panels on both sides. I have circled in red where there are push-clips that need to be removed.
IMG_8053.jpg

Remove this piece after removing the rear seat, both sides.
IMG_8054.jpg

Here you can see my wires being routed from the rear of the car to the front. They fit nicely next to the existing harness.
IMG_8058.jpg

At the front of the car, here is a view of my subwoofer connection on the passenger side. Note the connector where these wires are located:
IMG_8060.jpg

Here is a shot of the B-pillar wires. Mind the tape, but they will be twisted together and very easy to access.
View attachment 452443

After routing the speaker wires, install the power cables for the amplifier. This is located under a foam pad just below the rear seat. Be sure to follow the directions above before doing this:
IMG_8057.jpg

Here is a shot of my subwoofer and the new wiring I made for it:
IMG_8055.jpg

Final photo is my hideous mess of wires, but nonetheless a working amplifier!
View attachment 452446
 

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AdamMacDon

Member
May 8, 2019
704
509
Victoria BC
Any chance you still have a link for that sub you found for less than 200 bucks? Every one I find on Ebay is 350 or more. Or was it a one off listing? Thanks!
 

newtonfb

Member
Mar 10, 2019
199
131
MA
I know nothing about sound...I also cant tell much difference between sound quality. If I just want to hook up the front pillars and back shelf speakers do I still need an amp? I dont care about subwoofer
 

Wampa

Member
Mar 19, 2019
123
137
Scottsdale, AZ
I know nothing about sound...I also cant tell much difference between sound quality. If I just want to hook up the front pillars and back shelf speakers do I still need an amp? I dont care about subwoofer

Yes you will still need an amp. There is not enough power to wire those up otherwise. Alpine makes a great compact amp that can actually be hidden away. This can power the A-Pillar and rear deck speakers, but not a subwoofer. https://www.amazon.com/Alpine-KTP-445U-4-channel-Power-Amplifier/dp/B003VVYL46
 

newtonfb

Member
Mar 10, 2019
199
131
MA

smagicmans

Member
Mar 26, 2019
51
60
california
Any chance you still have a link for that sub you found for less than 200 bucks? Every one I find on Ebay is 350 or more. Or was it a one off listing? Thanks!
You might be able to order the subwoofer from Tesla part for around $240 based on this post

Nice pic of OEM sub install. If someone interested in install, additional helpful reading can be found here.
 

m3tez

Member
May 30, 2019
25
2
San Jose, CA
I bought the same Soundstream PN5.640D amplifier but am getting some noise on my rear speakers. I'm not sure if it's something with my amplifier or my connections. I connected the 3 GND wires from the input wire harness together and connected it to the car chassis GND where the amplifier GND is also connected (at a bolt behind the rear tail light). Did you have any noise issues? Also in "Step 10", did you connect your GND near the Penthouse 12V?
 

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