Unplanned 2023-24 sound system upgrades

Irv

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This all started with stumbling upon a good seasonal sale for the Alpine SS-SB10 subwoofer that I detailed here:

I've had the following audio setup since 2012 with the JL Audio XD700/5 and Kicker 09TCVT84 being the most recent pieces:

Pioneer Premier DEH-P800PRS head unit
JL Audio TR570-CX 5x7” front coaxial speakers
Pioneer TS-A6857 6x8” rear coaxial speakers
JL Audio XD700/5 5-channel amplifier
Kicker 09TCVT84 8” loaded subwoofer box

Like I said in the Alpine sub thread, the 8" Kicker was always a temporary solution or a starter sub. After I replaced that though, I saw an opportunity to clean up wiring and replace the other speakers as well because I could.

Since none of this was methodically planned like my forthcoming hub swap which I've had to repeatedly put on hold, I kind of just thought through what I currently had in the sound system and decided on the fly whether I wanted to make any other upgrades.

The only truly untouchable piece of hardware was the XD700/5 amp. I bought that brand new for Black Friday 2011. It's a great 5-channel amp with a tiny footprint and it also addressed a nagging ground loop issue I had with my previous 4-channel Directed 500 amp.

The next upgrade after the sub was the front speakers. I replaced my old entry-level JL Audio TR570-CX 5x7" front coaxials with Alpine R-S68 6x8" coaxials with pivoting tweeters. It's nice to finally have a proper 6x8" up front with a wider and taller cone surface, and the pivoting tweeters are nice considering I didn't want to spring for components and figure out where to mount the component tweeters.

For 24 years, I used posterboard-backed foam rings that I cut to seal the gap between the TR570-CX's basket and the Ford speaker mount adapter.

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Can I hear a difference? Sort of. The highs did seem to be a little more detailed, but I don't do much critical listening in the car anymore and I didn't do an A/B comparison that would have been interrupted by a few minutes of swapping speakers anyway. I was satisfied with what I heard though.

After that, I removed the old pair of 18' front and rear RCA cables from my head unit to my amp and then ran new Stinger 4000 series 20' 6-channel RCA cables. The main reason for doing this was so that I could run RCAs between the head unit and the amp rather than rely on feeding the sub a speaker-level signal which I had been doing since 2012 because, again, that 8" Kicker was a temporary solution and a bit of an afterthought.

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18' wasn't long enough to provide decent slack. Those RCAs were pulled tight from the back of the head unit to the middle of the rear seatback. Also, the options for a good quality set of longer 6-channel cables were slim pickings. I didn't seek out a 6-channel set initially, but I'm glad I did. It was so convenient to only pull only one run of cable behind and under the dash and under the carpet for the front, rear, and sub RCAs.

After that, I thought I had reached a good stopping point, but then I noticed intermittent output from the rear speakers. Thinking that one of them was dead after switching the "dead" speaker from the right rear to the left rear and having the silence follow the speaker, I bought and installed the Kenwood KFC-D681C as new rear speakers to replace the Pioneer TS-A6857 speakers I had previously.

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Since I'm using these as rear fill with a 6 dB cut, these aren't really a big functional upgrade despite being much better quality speakers than the Pioneer TS-A6857. They are a better power match for my amp for what that's worth though. Since you can still see the speaker cones in bright sunlight through the OEM grille panels, at least they also match the interior?

Remember that intermittent output from the rear speakers though? As it turns out, present-day me is once again disappointed with past me; this time for a shitty speaker wiring job that was the real culprit of the speakers cutting out. It doesn't explain why the dead channel changed sides when I swapped the old speakers left and right, but that could have been a coincidence. I cleaned, re-spliced, soldered, and heat-shrunk the rear speaker wires on both sides of the car running to the amp.

I didn't take pictures of this process, but I did the same thing with my front speakers a few years ago. It was only a matter of time that I would end up doing the same for the rear as well. Even then, I feel like I did a much better job with the rears than the fronts that I did back in 2019, but in both cases, the old electrical tape job dates back to 2002. I guess I just didn't understand back then. I definitely didn't know anything about soldering back then and I didn't discover heat shrink tubing until 2009 when I did my home theater speaker wiring.

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As far as evaluating the sound quality now, it's sufficiently more detailed up and down the audible frequency range and a lot more powerful in the bass department.

I'm sure everyone who has ever been into putting together sound systems has a song or a few songs they like to use for test listening. For me, these are my main ones:

Roxette - Listen to Your Heart
I have no recollection how this song got on my playlist in the first place, but the first time I realized how layered the instruments in the song are was when I put together my family room home theater system. I could mentally separate each instrument and follow them as if each was its own audio track. A buddy of mine who was into sound engineering once told me about how music studio mastering peaked in the '80s, and after reading how Per of Roxette explained that this song was designed to mimic an overblown American FM rock sound, I guess it makes sense why it works so well as a listening test track. Even a dummy like me can follow the instrumental details from 2:03 onward starting with the guitar solo. I've been using it to judge depth and soundstage ever since. And yeah, it sounds very detailed in the Thunderbird even though it's not as expansive as my family room due to obvious dimensional differences of the listening area.

Bassotronics - Bass I Love You
As a test track arranged in song form, I originally used this with my 15" downfiring sealed servo home theater sub, which extends down to 14 Hz. This song definitely has some deep extension that is felt rather than heard and the most impactful of it happens at 2:50 if your sub can handle it. It's the only track I've heard where I feel the bass between my ears. However, I've found it to not be very good for testing in my car because neither the 8" Kicker nor the 10" Alpine can hit the deep frequencies in this track.

Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
This song is a wall of bass with the rise and fall of the main rhythm. This is a more practical test of subwoofers than Bass I Love You and it happens to be my favorite track from Lupe's Tetsuo & Youth album. I actually wasn't sure how to judge the Alpine sub compared to my home office, which has my former 10" downfiring ported home theater sub under my desk, but the bass does sound more impressive on the Alpine versus the old 8" Kicker, as well as the 10" Kicker in the Lexus.

I think learning to better match power levels between my amp's gain controls and my speakers also played a big factor in improving the sound, as was being able to now use sub controls through the head unit by running RCAs to the amp for the sub channel.

I said in another post that what I have now in this car is easily the best sound system in the garage. I haven't even run the DEH-P800PRS's automatic EQ and time alignment yet.

That just about covers it for the core audio upgrades and you would think that I'm at a good stopping point for now, and I am. However, since I've been in the process of cleaning up previous wiring messes in the trunk, I may as well continue with this loosely organized assortment of audio upgrades. Most of my attention this year is focused on home upgrades, so I may as well squeeze in what I can with this during these winter months before the house stuff and before I can hopefully refocus later this year on the many fine details that I've already put in to planning the hub swap.
 
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Technically, this isn't part of the sound system, but it also kind of is from a presentation standpoint.

I forgot what stock trunk lighting looked like because I haven't seen it for, what, probably 10-15 years now? I have plenty of incandescent 194 bulbs lying around though, so I put one of them back in the T10 socket in the lid for reference.

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I should probably unplug the bug zapper that I have on my lift now since it's winter and it probably hasn't zapped anything in over a month, but I digress.

I took this next photo in 2017, shortly after I ran wiring from that T10 socket in the trunk lid to the bottom of the package tray to light the inside of the trunk above the amp and shock tower brace. I can't find the receipt of this LED panel anywhere in my email, so I have no idea where I bought this from anymore.

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Anyway, that LED panel stopped working after I was done with the rear speaker replacement, so I decided to take it a step further as I mentioned in the "What did you do to your Thunderbird today?" thread.

I got two LED light bars from VLEDS so that both the area under the lid and under the package tray would be fully lit. Since the LEDs were from VLEDS, yeah, they were expensive as shit. I didn't care. When nobody else has the correct color temperature LEDs in a custom-fit form factor, I know VLEDS will.

The thing about getting random unbranded bulbs from China on Amazon is that many of them have stupid color temperatures that aren't white white. They're either zombie apocalypse movie hospital room 8000K white blue, or "fine inside my house but dreadful in a car interior" 3000K halogen white. There are 4000K and 6000K bulbs on Amazon in the form of LED panels advertised for camper or RV interiors, but the VLEDS bulbs were 5500K which is exactly what I wanted.

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I also cleaned up the mess of wires in the trunk. There's not a whole lot to show in this before and after, but because I got RCAs that were a couple of feet longer, they aren't pulled tight to the right anymore, and the split mesh sleeving helped clean up some of that speaker wiring going whereever it wanted to go. The sub being in front of it all hid some of the mess to begin with, but the longer RCAs and wire sleeves made the cable routing behind/under the trunk carpet less chaotic.

I went with the mesh sleeves that self-curl instead of the corrugated plastic split loom because the latter is crap if your cable bundle is even the slightest bit unwieldy.

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At some point, I'll have to do something about that crossbar where the bottom two screws for the amp are anchored. That was some cheap hardware store steel stock, but I'm well past not doing something nicer for that. It's just that this is perhaps the lowest of the low priority items now.
 
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Soldering is old school, and is way outdated, as it fails too often. The heatshrink adds strain relief, but there are better easier alternatives. Panduit makes really nice crimp connectors for stereo work, and as long as you crimp the strain relief, it's much more reliable. The crimp literally flows the copper, so it's as good a connection as a piece of unbroken wire.
I like alpine's radios, and amplifiers, but for speakers, I like JBL better. They have a more natural sound. Alpine speakers have too good of a treble response, most times. I built an Alpine system in the 80's, and it would make your ears bleed, until I added an EQ.
 
Nice writeup, bonus points for achieving your goal. I too like to solder and heat shrink, but I trust my soldering skills over the crimp connections I've seen to date. To be fair I haven't used them in the last 15 years, but... bad experiences with one, and not the other have me jaded, and I don't mind the extra time to solder. :)

If you need a place to sell your old speakers, I might be buying. The ones I have in the car now were an upgrade from the stockers, but I realize every spring when I take the car out of storage that they still aren't that great.
 
Soldering is old school, and is way outdated, as it fails too often. The heatshrink adds strain relief, but there are better easier alternatives. Panduit makes really nice crimp connectors for stereo work, and as long as you crimp the strain relief, it's much more reliable. The crimp literally flows the copper, so it's as good a connection as a piece of unbroken wire.
I like alpine's radios, and amplifiers, but for speakers, I like JBL better. They have a more natural sound. Alpine speakers have too good of a treble response, most times. I built an Alpine system in the 80's, and it would make your ears bleed, until I added an EQ.
I am looking for some good quality fully insulated quick disconnect terminals for what I want to do next. Doing the speaker cable leads the way I did achieves what I wanted in terms of creating a more secure connection for wires that rarely get disturbed (from pulling, at least), but it's admittedly a little unsightly and a lot to cut off if I ever want to redo the splices. There's also a practical limit to how far I want to reach into the interior with a soldering iron, a coil of solder, and two wires.

I've only started to deal with electrical wiring more in recent years though so I'm learning better ways to create solid connections as I go along. The threshold for a quality job is much higher with stranded wire. I've seen my share of other people's stranded wiring jobs that used wire nuts and even I knew back as a novice that wasn't the way.

Pioneer speakers are what made my ears bleed in 1999. Those are what I had in the doors for a week at most before changing them out for the JL Audio. These Alpines are great in comparison and I haven't even tuned them yet. I did seriously consider the JBL Stadium 862F since they were the other coaxials with pivoting tweeters, but the price wasn't right and the previous generation JBL Stadium GTO860 weren't advertised with that feature although I see now that their tweeters also pivot. The GTO860 are still expensive for a discontinued model though.
 
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Nice writeup, bonus points for achieving your goal. I too like to solder and heat shrink, but I trust my soldering skills over the crimp connections I've seen to date. To be fair I haven't used them in the last 15 years, but... bad experiences with one, and not the other have me jaded, and I don't mind the extra time to solder. :)

If you need a place to sell your old speakers, I might be buying. The ones I have in the car now were an upgrade from the stockers, but I realize every spring when I take the car out of storage that they still aren't that great.
Thanks, and I might take you up on that. What speakers do you have in there now?
 
Soldering is old school, and is way outdated, as it fails too often. The heatshrink adds strain relief, but there are better easier alternatives. Panduit makes really nice crimp connectors for stereo work, and as long as you crimp the strain relief, it's much more reliable. The crimp literally flows the copper, so it's as good a connection as a piece of unbroken wire.
I like alpine's radios, and amplifiers, but for speakers, I like JBL better. They have a more natural sound. Alpine speakers have too good of a treble response, most times. I built an Alpine system in the 80's, and it would make your ears bleed, until I added an EQ.

Old school rules

Here’s how I solder

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Straight to the source nestled in the connector where there’s no flex point.

When I have to do inline splices I splice the two stripped ends parallel to each other like a Y rather than butt to butt and after soldering the twisted end I bend it into an h where I then apply the heatshrink tubing. It minimizes the stress area and allows flexibility. Ford EVTMs actually recommend this method with illustrations.

There isn’t one crimp splice on my car. I hate those bulky ugly things
 
I use method 1 on this image to solder in-line splices followed by heat shrink. All of my mods are done this way. Sounds like Matt does 3/4, which would require a larger heat shrink tube than 1. I just looked in the 1994 EVTM and didn't see the illustrations for this, but I feel like I have seen it somewhere.

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I use method 1 on this image to solder in-line splices followed by heat shrink. All of my mods are done this way. Sounds like Matt does 3/4, which would require a larger heat shrink tube than 1. I just looked in the 1994 EVTM and didn't see the illustrations for this, but I feel like I have seen it somewhere.

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Yep that’s it, mine are more like 2-4 but the end result is the same. I also strip back the other wire a little to get the splice more compact in the shrink tubing. Shrink tubing length is actually about the same. I have a lot of #1s still on mine too, but I just got out of the habit of doing them that way for the potential fatigue issue.
 
Yeah I use the "Western Union" splice method which looks like what Grog posted.

The speakers in the car now are Boston S-85. I think I paid a paltry $100 or so for all four 15 years ago. I did like cheap. :)
 
That's what I learned for inline splices as well. Lineman (Western Union) splice, solder, heat shrink. Those two wires are staying together forever.

I updated the second post with more details on the trunk lighting.
 
What I found was that soldered wires, if they vibrated much, would break off right where the wire enters the solder. and IPC standards for thore connectors being soldered takes a special type of pliers to prevent the solder from wicking up the wire, making it break off. There's a whole stack of books on this stuff. I found a cheap universal crimp tool, with replaceable anvils to fit almost any crimp pin. $20. I'll post a link if anyone's interested.
 
The speakers in the car now are Boston S-85. I think I paid a paltry $100 or so for all four 15 years ago. I did like cheap. :)
I'm surprised that Boston Acoustics made speakers that are rated for only 35W RMS. Practically everything else I've seen in the aftermarket is higher. What are you using for an amp?

Both the JL Audio TR-570CX and Pioneer TS-A6857 are rated for up to 50W RMS. I'm not sure either would be too much of an upgrade over the S85 unless your amp is capable of churning out more power and the speakers are holding it back, but if you're interested, I can send either or both pairs your way for the cost of shipping.
 
I'm running 75W thru the jbl speakers, and 500W on the sub. I'm using the amp with full range front and rear, with crossovers in the coaxial Front and rear speakers, and the sub is crossed at 150Hz. 75Wrms is a lot of sound; I've got 130dB peak in the driver's seat at 56A off the alternator. :)
Our safety guy was checking environmental noise in our building one day, and we measured the sound level, lol.
 
This is what's in there now:

Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X998 head unit
Sound Ordnance M4075 75Wx4 RMS main amp
JVC KS-AX3002 130W RMS sub amp
Boston Acoustics S85 6"x8" speakers
JL 8W1V2-4 8" sub in modified 94 SC sub enclosure

Really appreciate your offer, and I'll certainly say YES! to that! :zbow::zbow::zbow:

I can test frequency response using my MKH20 microphones across the various speakers, then go with the ones that are the nicest. I'm guessing what's bothering me the most is the 3-ish KHz distortion that starts at higher SPLs needed to listen while on the highway.
 
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What I found was that soldered wires, if they vibrated much, would break off right where the wire enters the solder. and IPC standards for thore connectors being soldered takes a special type of pliers to prevent the solder from wicking up the wire, making it break off. There's a whole stack of books on this stuff. I found a cheap universal crimp tool, with replaceable anvils to fit almost any crimp pin. $20. I'll post a link if anyone's interested

You can tell if the solder is wicking up the wire by the insulation melting, The trick is to not be too liberal with heat and application, wrapping the single strand tightly around the terminal and stripped wire is more than adequate of an electrical connection in itself, lightly tinning on the solder at the very end of the terminal just keeps it in place, I never apply so much that it wicks up very much past the terminal, and yes I've tested cutting the wires to check. By the point the wire comes out of the actual plastic connector it's as flexible as the stock crimped ones. Every single connector on the engine harness I built from scratch 10 years ago has perfectly flexible pigtails coming off the connectors.

Doing the splice in the h shape works because the solder is all on that "tail" sticking up and over one of the ends, the wire two individual wires essentially have no hard solder in the line of the wire. Even the western union splice does that, the biggest advantage of that is you're not twisting the brittle little strands to pre-fatigue them like a simple inline splice
 
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Here is the holy grail of single-DIN head units, the Pioneer DEX-P99RS. 32-bit DSP, 31-band equalizer, quad AKM DACs, and no onboard amp.

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This head unit has been discontinued since 2017 and finding any P99RS for sale these days is difficult. Since this unit isn't new, this will be a small project for me because there's some cleanup I want to do before installing it in the Thunderbird. The main thing I want to do is clean up the wiring on the P99RS's wire harness. I read a post on DIYMobileAudio that the harness is the same as the DEH-P800PRS that I have. It is, mostly, but there are a few seemingly insignificant differences I want to take a closer look at. Otherwise, maybe it really is plug-and-play. After that, I need to determine a suitable mounting spot to route a USB extension cable to a more accessible location. I have a couple in mind in either the glove box or center console storage bin. Either will be better than running an external USB adapter via Pioneer IP-Bus to my trunk like I do now with the P800PRS. Finally, there are a couple small accessory parts I need to acquire so I'm not cannibalizing them from the P800PRS.

Pioneer made multiple versions of the P99RS: US & Canada, European, global (SE Asia, Oceania, Middle East, and Latin America), and of course there's the much easier to find JDM version, Carrozzeria DEH-P01. I was specifically looking for the US & Canada or the global version. This is the global version that I bought used from Indonesia so it has the most flexible AM/FM radio frequency support that works anywhere. I'm not sure why I did that because I've already said that I don't listen to the radio, so I guess it's a matter of wanting full functionality even if I don't take advantage of it.

The seller has sold numerous pieces of high-end car stereo gear before including other P99RS units, and also put up a video showing this specific unit working, so that was a bit of reassurance. I really wanted to buy a new-in-box unit from a seller in Taiwan, but that seller didn't verify any of its details and then never relisted it after it didn't sell.

I realize I'm not going to get the most out of this head unit because of my speaker setup. I can't take advantage of the P99RS's four-way active crossover network. I got this unit primarily for direct native control of USB music storage instead of being limited with a slow external USB adapter like on my P800PRS, and also because the DEH-80PRS—the newer Pioneer flagship single-DIN—despite having more connectivity options, its sound hardware is about the same as my P800PRS, but its build quality sucks.
 
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I finished the most precision-demanding part of this install.

I have USB and aux inputs located in the center console storage bin now. I got a backup storage bin from a recent junkyard visit in case something went wrong with cutting a hole in mine, but all went well. This is the extra work I created for myself in going with the DEX-P99RS versus the newer DEH-80PRS which has front face aux and an SD card slot behind the face. The 80PRS has both of its USB ports in the back though, so most likely I still would have done the same cable rerouting project here.

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Making a hole for this round input panel required a 1-1/8" hole saw and a lot of measuring because despite the size of the front wall of the storage bin, there aren't many suitable places to make this cut. If I had placed this bottom center like I wanted, it would either get in the way of removing the plug of the trunk release or made it extremely difficult to tighten the retaining nut for the input panel. If I placed it too low on the right side, it would hit the rear heating duct. Clearly, I placed it as high as I could on the right too.

My original plan was to use that hole in the bottom front of the storage bin and cut a hole in the rubber bin liner, but no rectangular panel made to fit a Toyota or Honda blank switch fits there cleanly. Even when I did find one that could be seated on three sides, the white plastic bump in front of the hole reduced the max depth of any cable end or strain relief I could fit in there.

Also, while not a sound system upgrade, I wouldn't have thought of doing this if not for the USB/aux input panel in the storage bin. I organized the bin space with a desk organizer for pens/pencils. I hated having things get tossed around in a deep bin with no dividers. Now I have a place for my sunglasses, wheel lock, and remote controls, and they'll all stay exactly where I left them without shifting. The space between the organizer and the wall of the bin also gave me a good place to store the aux cable when not in use. Now there are two main sections and three side slots for cables, receipts, or anything else as thick as a few sheets of paper.

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The most annoying thing was finding something that fit snugly in the asymmetrical footprint of the storage bin. This one from Amazon was a perfect fit, which was hard considering a lot of similar items are 3", 3.5", or 4" wide instead of the 3.4" this is.


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I love the look of that head unit, to me that’s how all stereos should look and be laid out, by law! I remember when it was still being sold, I was looking for a head unit right around the time before it was discontinued, but it was just too expensive and for my audio needs way overkill.
 
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I found a copy of the service manual on the web; I'd read it before you take it apart.
 
Who's taking what apart?
 
I misread "clean up wiring" I thought you were going to look inside the cd area. Sometimes there are small wires ran across the inside of the lid on high end decks. Nakamichi is especially bad about that.
 
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Looks great! Thanks for the Amazon link to the desk organizer. I ordered one, in green of course. was $3 cheaper than the black one.
 
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I misread "clean up wiring" I thought you were going to look inside the cd area. Sometimes there are small wires ran across the inside of the lid on high end decks. Nakamichi is especially bad about that.
Ah, gotcha. I have no plans of opening it up though unless something goes wrong. In this case, I literally cleaned up the wiring because of the sticky residue on the external wires and RCA terminals. I have PDFs of all the manuals as well—installers, owners, service—for the head unit for every region. I was trying to be extra prepared before I bought it.

As it turned out, the P800PRS wiring harness plug and pinouts are the same for all the critical wires, so I just reused my old harness. The P800PRS harness has speaker wire leads that I never connected because I never used its internal amp, whereas the P99RS harness has none because it's external amplification only. The P99RS harness also has extra wires for door triggers that don't add anything significant to the user experience, so I'm okay leaving out that functionality.

The only other notable difference is that the P800PRS harness uses a 10A inline fuse, while the P99RS harness uses a 7.5A one, so I swapped in the 7.5A fuse.

The main thing I have left to do in terms of physical installation tasks is remove the old Pioneer IP-Bus cable that runs under the carpet and into the trunk.
 
Looks great! Thanks for the Amazon link to the desk organizer. I ordered one, in green of course. was $3 cheaper than the black one.
No problem! I test-fitted a couple other desk organizers and browsed a few dozen more before finding this one. Finding anything that fit was a victory in itself.

I think I was more excited about getting some kind of storage divider to fit in these bins than fitting the USB/aux input panel. I had control over the latter, but I'm not constantly plugging in a USB flash drive or aux cable. On the other hand, I like having organized storage spaces. Organizing a space that doesn't lend itself well to organization using off-the-shelf products felt like accomplishing something that wasn't supposed to be doable.
 
No problem! I test-fitted a couple other desk organizers and browsed a few dozen more before finding this one. Finding anything that fit was a victory in itself.

I think I was more excited about getting some kind of storage divider to fit in these bins than fitting the USB/aux input panel. I had control over the latter, but I'm not constantly plugging in a USB flash drive or aux cable. On the other hand, I like having organized storage spaces. Organizing a space that doesn't lend itself well to organization using off-the-shelf products felt like accomplishing something that wasn't supposed to be doable.
Mine arrives on Wednesday. I am way too excited about it. :znanner:
 
Here is the DEX-P99RS installed. My first post-installation impressions are that this is a chunky head unit. It sticks out far past the surface of the center stack trim panel. I had a feeling this would be the case having seen pics of other installs. It looks clean though. Even more than the P800PRS, the P99RS looks like it means serious business.

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Before putting the head unit in, I did some additional housekeeping since this bundle of wires is even thicker than what I had before. Even though the Stinger RCAs are identified about several inches farther down on the cables in the abyss of the DIN slot, I wanted identification at the terminals. I got a Brother P-touch label maker with the cable wrap label function and flexible ID laminated tape.

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I forgot to take a picture of this, but I also added a 6" USB extension cable to give the USB cable enough slack to fully pull the head unit out of the DIN slot with all of the cables still connected. The USB cable that came with the USB/aux panel was short by less than 2" from reaching the back of the head unit when pulled out of the DIN slot.

Meanwhile, the aux cable bundle was over 5' long because both the Pioneer IP-Bus aux cable and the USB/aux panel aux cable ends were long. I wrapped and stuffed the extra slack in the void on the left side of the console between the bin and the console wall.

Turning off the HPF/LPF adjustments from my amp and then setting up the P99RS's DSP to dial in the sound is still to come, but at least I can finally drive the car again. While I've had it parked over the last month and change, I've had the head unit connected and sitting on top of the open shipping box inverted over the gear shifter.
 
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