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Upgraded stock audio system

blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
This week we upgraded the audio system on our 2016 Model S 85d. For a long while I have been wanting to upgrade the Model S Audio system because I purchased a base CPO with what I have always considered crappy audio. Many people now say the audio system sounds like at least 4x better than the stock.
Total cost was about double the premium upgrade and we could have done it piece wise, like upgrade speakers then upgrade sub later on, but decided to just do a big bang to really transform the system to a night/day transformation. I had researched doing other systems, like install NVX, but most people say the NVX sub is not too great, then I researched doing Reus Audio, called the guy , was going to have it done, but they never called me back so decided to not push it too much especially since this requires this person to come to you. We were able to go to Unique Car Audio, drop off car on thursday and get back on Friday afternoon and system was banging. It was the first time they replaced the front speakers on tesla, and they did an incredible 5 star job, so anybody looking to upgrade should look them up.

We redid everything except the rear speaker system and now the system sings.
The clarity of the vocals is super crisp, the bass is very strong in both mid and low bass. Before the midbass over powers the system and then at higher volumes everything just goes to crap. Now you can even increase to higher volume like 7-8-9-10 and there is still crystal clear clarity.

For those looking to upgrade their audio system I will leave our build here incase you are looking to experiment.
We had all of our work done at Unique Car Audio in Chandler/Gilbert Arizona.

So part wise we upgraded the front speakers and added 10inch subwoofer.

Subwoofer wise we added:
JL Audio 10W3v3-2

Amp added
(Dedicated amp for the subwoofer only) 300w.
XD300/1v2

Front speakers replaced with Focal KX2:
( this is probably the game changer in the system just cause the speakers are some of the most expensive you can buy for the quality you get )
Focal ES 165KX2

Amp w/ DSP
In order to re-tune the stock stereo system signal you should use a DSP, in our case we used combined amp / DSP.
This feeds the front speakers and stock rear speakers.
JL Audio VX600/6i

So the build is mainly JL Audio components but used front Focal speakers.

Also added sound deadening since the new speaker system required.

Here are some pictures of the build :
Also I was amazed how the comparison of a focal speaker vs stock speaker.

We placed sub and both amps in custom box in the back of the trunk.
For amp it was tuned to highest gain without melting sub, so just make sure that gain is set higher with this build.

SpeakerAmps3.jpg
SpeakerAmps2.jpg
SpeakerAmps1.jpg
 
Last edited:

Supereri73

Member
Sep 16, 2019
11
5
Phoenix AZ
I'm also in the Phoenix area and I'm thinking of something really similar. I'm thinking about buying the NVX system just for the enclosure and replacing the driver. I want to keep the storage space open.

I too am looking at the Focal and the JL VX system, but I'm thinking about the 8 channel amp. Bridging two channels for the sub, bridging 4 channels (2 ea) for L and R mids, and the tweeters running on non-bridged. Just letting the stock amp power the rears for some fill.

The shop I worked with also had the idea of using the 8 channel as above but using it with the stock speakers to start. A sub, more power, and the DSP, I wonder how the stock speakers would sound in this manner.
 

blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
I'm also in the Phoenix area and I'm thinking of something really similar. I'm thinking about buying the NVX system just for the enclosure and replacing the driver. I want to keep the storage space open.

I too am looking at the Focal and the JL VX system, but I'm thinking about the 8 channel amp. Bridging two channels for the sub, bridging 4 channels (2 ea) for L and R mids, and the tweeters running on non-bridged. Just letting the stock amp power the rears for some fill.

The shop I worked with also had the idea of using the 8 channel as above but using it with the stock speakers to start. A sub, more power, and the DSP, I wonder how the stock speakers would sound in this manner.
I'm also in the Phoenix area and I'm thinking of something really similar. I'm thinking about buying the NVX system just for the enclosure and replacing the driver. I want to keep the storage space open.

I too am looking at the Focal and the JL VX system, but I'm thinking about the 8 channel amp. Bridging two channels for the sub, bridging 4 channels (2 ea) for L and R mids, and the tweeters running on non-bridged. Just letting the stock amp power the rears for some fill.

The shop I worked with also had the idea of using the 8 channel as above but using it with the stock speakers to start. A sub, more power, and the DSP, I wonder how the stock speakers would sound in this manner.

I don’t think amp to stock speakers would sound very good. My build gods light on sub . I have remote bass Input. Most places I read and my audio guy recommended mono power for sub then just do the vxi lr mid and tweeters. I believe there is also a center channel so technically you might need 5 channels for the speakers non sub.

focal speakers sound very good and and love jl subs. Sounds like you have premium audio cause mention another amp .
 

Supereri73

Member
Sep 16, 2019
11
5
Phoenix AZ
I don’t think amp to stock speakers would sound very good. My build gods light on sub . I have remote bass Input. Most places I read and my audio guy recommended mono power for sub then just do the vxi lr mid and tweeters. I believe there is also a center channel so technically you might need 5 channels for the speakers non sub.

focal speakers sound very good and and love jl subs. Sounds like you have premium audio cause mention another amp .
I can start with the stock speakers and see how it sounds with good power, crossed over, DSP'ed, and time aligned. Ultimately I won't have lost anything if i do it in the short term.

No premium audio. I'll just let the stock head unit amplify the rears, just for some fill.

With bridging channels 7&8 I will have mono for the sub and 2x power (or close to it)

I'm not going to do anything with the center, or I may even unhook it.
 

blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
I can start with the stock speakers and see how it sounds with good power, crossed over, DSP'ed, and time aligned. Ultimately I won't have lost anything if i do it in the short term.

No premium audio. I'll just let the stock head unit amplify the rears, just for some fill.

With bridging channels 7&8 I will have mono for the sub and 2x power (or close to it)

I'm not going to do anything with the center, or I may even unhook it.
Sounds like a fun system ! Who is helping you tune build and install ? If you have time and money to experiment then why not :) I am not so lucky so decided for Big Bang go with focal from start approach.
 
Mar 11, 2010
4,550
1,426
Humboldt/Los Altos
I'm also in the Phoenix area and I'm thinking of something really similar. I'm thinking about buying the NVX system just for the enclosure and replacing the driver. I want to keep the storage space open.

I too am looking at the Focal and the JL VX system, but I'm thinking about the 8 channel amp. Bridging two channels for the sub, bridging 4 channels (2 ea) for L and R mids, and the tweeters running on non-bridged. Just letting the stock amp power the rears for some fill.

The shop I worked with also had the idea of using the 8 channel as above but using it with the stock speakers to start. A sub, more power, and the DSP, I wonder how the stock speakers would sound in this manner.
i believe the 10" NVX is pretty much the same as the JL just cheaper. NVX speaker quality is really quite good.
I compared both on the same amp in a shop and did like the NVX a little better & it wasn't broken in. they both took about the same power and had similar sound...much prefer my 12" NVX though.
also want to put focals in the front doors some day. nice!
 

blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
i believe the 10" NVX is pretty much the same as the JL just cheaper. NVX speaker quality is really quite good.
I compared both on the same amp in a shop and did like the NVX a little better & it wasn't broken in. they both took about the same power and had similar sound...much prefer my 12" NVX though.
also want to put focals in the front doors some day. nice!
Jl Audio is made in south mountain Phoenix Arizona area . So if you ever need support or replacement parts jl Audio would be a better play. However my audio guy always vouches for jl but that’s cause they deal jl . Iike jl a lot and read lot of reviews on crutchfield. I think just better support and warranty would make me choose them .
 
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blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
I heard a lot of audio systems in tesla this weekend from stock s , premium s , model 3 premium and reus in model s.

I was disappointed all around . I believe the quality of my build blew everyone of the systems away .

What I have learned is quality hardware with good install is what makes sound good . Good dsp , good fronts and good sub. Reuss sounds okay but not with 4k and all stock offerings from Tesla leave a lot to be desired .

Jl Audio sub is super clean sound . Right just right amount of bass .
Focal speakers just cannot he touched . The mids are so good .

so my system vs at least 10 others and mine has been the victor . Remember my moral of the story is the more money you spend on quality hardware the better the overall sound .
 

AronAZ

Member
Mar 19, 2019
39
33
Tucson, AZ
I did a similar build through the Specialists in Tucson. 10” JL Audio in a down firing box, Kenwood X802 5-way 1600w amp, Rockford component speakers to replace the stock size like for like (I didn’t want to get into custom mounts in the doors). A night & day difference vs the non-premium stock system even with the sub turned off. I’m totally happy with the outcome.

I’m still not sure if I should have bought the side well “stealth” box online and mounted my JL in that so I’d have all my storage space open instead of just 40%. On one hand, I frequently use the side wells to hold bags or detailing kit, on the other hand I’d like to have the option to use the well if needed.
 

blueice89

Member
Mar 15, 2019
134
45
Arizona
I did a similar build through the Specialists in Tucson. 10” JL Audio in a down firing box, Kenwood X802 5-way 1600w amp, Rockford component speakers to replace the stock size like for like (I didn’t want to get into custom mounts in the doors). A night & day difference vs the non-premium stock system even with the sub turned off. I’m totally happy with the outcome.

I’m still not sure if I should have bought the side well “stealth” box online and mounted my JL in that so I’d have all my storage space open instead of just 40%. On one hand, I frequently use the side wells to hold bags or detailing kit, on the other hand I’d like to have the option to use the well if needed.
What made you go jl component vs focal . For sub I put it in that under storage area . Was that not an option for you ?
 

AronAZ

Member
Mar 19, 2019
39
33
Tucson, AZ
Yeah, I put the sub in the under floor storage. The box takes almost half then the amp takes some space on wall so I’ve only got about 40% of the space left without removing the sub box. I like that it’s all nicely concealed when you open the trunk. However, l like the way the stock premium puts the sub in the right side cubby. I opted not to do that because of the cost to build a custom enclosure properly and I didn’t want to wait to get one from that shop in Florida. Time will tell if it was the right call. So far I use the side cubbies regularly but have only once wanted to use the under floor space.

I forget all the details why I went component, but IIRC I didn’t want to modify the stock mounts in the doors so I picked the best sounding shallow mount without getting cray on cost and the components let me swap tweeters as well. I can’t remember if I demo’d the Focals. The Rockford’s (to my surprise) sounded almost as good as the best in the booth and worked out really well in the car paired with the sub.
 

SuperDuperM3

New Member
Sep 18, 2019
3
0
Chandler, AZ
Blucice89, I am also live in Chandler and I am interested to do what you had done. Will this work for Model 3 SR+? Do you mind sharing how much does it cost with the installation? Thanks
 

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