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TWELVE FOUR STEPS TO BETTER AUDIO

ON THE '01-'05 GL1800 Gold Wing!
and more!!!
By Chet Walters
Click for Rattlebars Mfg.
Click for Chet's Wing Pages
 

You can go ahead and read the rest of this page for at least rear speaker installation but I now
 run the following ALONE. No amp. No Scoche remote. Not 12 steps, just 4+1!

1> Upgraded stock '02 ('01-'05) GL1800 Radio from LarryM: Click here for details.
2> '01-'05 Front Speakers: Polk 501  (bolt right in) - Rear Speakers: Pioneer TS-A1371R (see below for install) or Polk 501  (bolt right in)
For front speakers on the '06+ models, get Polk DB651 and trim as shown below and the same Polk 501 for the rear.
3> iPod Touch 4th Generation 32 GIG. Has all kinds of extras besides just music!
4> HONPDSDR from SoundGate for my iPod Touch which gives great quality
      audio from line out instead of the headphone jack.
4a>To truly enable bass to be heard, you'll need a set of good buds such as >FUZE<. Since Larry fixed my microphonics (see below), I use these quite often when on the slab where speeds negate using speakers and wanting to use my HAM radio.
Nuttin' else is needed. We waited about 10 years for Larry and the gang to catch up. They did!
To fit DB652 speakers in the front of an '06+ you must trim the rim as shown. To lift the instrument cluster, you have to remove speakers.

(ditch the OEM tweeters they are harsh.)

 

Larry fixed my MICROPHONICS problem!  Now I can use my ICOMM without noise interference!|
When your intercom is on, when you tap on the gas lid does it sound like it's right there in your headphones? Then you have MICROPHONICS!
It's not because your mic is "hot" all the time, it's because your radio IS A MICROPHONE! Larry can fix it!

Click here for details.


  SOMETHING ELSE THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL
If one desires to have two audio sources feed the GL1800 AUX input, one can use a simple female to 2 males splitter. This works fine as long as both sources are not on at the same time. Power one or the other, not both (shown at right). Shown at left you can construct a box to actually have discreet sources using a DPDT switch from Radio shack and two output stereo phone plugs (part numbers shown. Should one want to switch two male inputs, one can construct a switch box with three females such as the one below.  Useful for bluetooth or using a double male extension cord for both.

 

Now, the old news.......

Personally, I feel the OEM speakers on the GL1800 Gold Wing stink. They are tiny, paper, they vibrate, resonate, distort like mad and have no clue as to what bass is at all (they think it's a fish). Paper cones on "outdoor" speakers? Shyza! Four inches? Sheesh! Enter Alpine SPS-1329S speakers which slip into the front enclosures with little work.  When I was ampless at first and relying only on the not too slouchy OEM audio unit to supply power, I installed a second set of the Alpines in the back and it was good. Very good.  But wanting more bass, I replaced the rear Alpines with SONY Xpld XS-R1333's and added an Electrical Connections four channel amplifier to drive them all. Lots of bass from the rear Sony's which offset/complement the front Alpines very well.  Because each set of speakers fills in where the other set is deficient, they work together in slick symbiosis. The super efficient Alpine's are adequate with or without amplification. The Sony's, however, begged for a more powerful amp to achieve full potential.  I replaced the EC amp with a Rockford-Fosgate 200S Amp.  I believe my journey to GL1800 audio excellence which has taken several months is finally at an end.  I'm extremely pleased with my system as it now stands -  Alpine SPS-1329S's easily slipped into the front enclosures,  SONY Xpld XS-R1333's bolted hassle free into the rear pods and all are driven with a two channel Rockford-Fosgate 200S Amp mounted stealthily in the well of the trunk.  This article has changed from time to time as I have explored different avenues.  All of the options I tried along the way are offered here in some detail so read this entire article before making a decision on what you will install to satisfy your own personal audiophile needs. 

MATERIALS
Alpine SPS-1329S speakers
SONY Xpld XS-R1310 speakers
SONY Xpld XS-V1333 speakers


Small spade connectors
1/8" polyfoam closed cell
... weather strip (from the hardware store)
small 4" zip ties
" x 24 nuts (8 of them)
.. or any 5/16" to 3/8" spacer
speaker fill (see below)
electrical tape
staple gun staples (T50)
headphone extension cord
Electrical Connections Amp
Rockford-Fosgate 150S Amp
Rockford-Fosgate 200S Amp
TOOLS
5m, 6m Allen wrench
#2 Phillips
power screwdriver
awl
wire cutter
needle nose pliers
garden shears
soldering iron
Helping Hand
Click any picture to see enlargement
Click resulting picture to see next
Use backspace key for previous
For bike assembly/disassembly steps not described fully - see your service manual. This article makes no attempt to describe basic stereo functions. For an intro to car audio click here for Crutchfield's Advisor site. 
 

INSTALLING JUST SPEAKERS
You may like just speakers enough that you won't install an amp 


STEP ONE: Remove OEM front speakers and prep for new ones
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Alpine makes these dynomite "stealth" car door speakers that are 5 inches and they are truly compact! In addition, they have RUBBER surround, Pearl Mica Injection & Titanium cones and are Coax 2-way so there's no entry into the voice coil for car wash suds (ie they're weather proof). The magnets are small (the whole speaker is only about an inch and a half deep!) but they are STRONTIUM and more than adequate for the job.  These will slip right into the front with a little modification like this....
  
Remove your front speaker grilles, meter panel (see the pic for unplugging the button wire under the meter panel by the key) and OEM speakers. To get at that hidden speaker screw, tug down on the inside upper corner of the speaker box. Pop out all of the OEM mounting grommets that the screws were in. It is important to seal off as much of the bass radiation from the rear of the speakers as possible, so now put duct tape on all the screw holes doubled over (lay it on top and fold it over into the main box). Pop out the trim clip holding the meter panel visor by pushing in the center with an awl and take it out (save it! you'll need one somewhere sometime or other). Replace with a zip tie tightly and trim the tie. Later on, if you need to, you can just cut the tie and put on another one. These trim clips are in the way and they must go.

Optionally, stuff the boxes with some speaker fill which can be obtained at any audio shop or you can even use polyester pillow stuffing from WalMart. This reduces resonance and enhances bass (It works, trust me). Again, you want to kill as much of the bass radiating from the rear of the speakers as possible. Keep it from coming out the front (if it does, it will cancel the bass at certain frequencies).
STEP TWO: make your special hook mounts
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Hang on to all the parts that came with the speakers. You will be using them in a unique way. First thing to do is grab four j-nuts and make four "hooks" by spreading them and cutting off the part that accepts the screw. I suggest you look at the big pic for details on this. We will be using only two screws per side and we need the other four j-nuts as they came. These cut easily with the fancy shears as seen on TV cutting nickels.... use them in the next step too....
STEP THREE: Install your front speakers
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Put your hooks onto the screws and holding the good j-nuts under these holes - inside top ones and outside bottom ones - run the screws through the duct tape at the outer most portion of the holes while holding the j-nuts so the screws run into those too, but leave them loose. Prep the speakers by cutting off all four tabs with your nifty shears. Use your 1/8" weather strip and put a double thick layer around the perimeter of the speakers in the back where they will lay against the speaker boxes (again, eliminate as much back radiation as possible from reaching the front). Plug in the connectors (you should crimp the OEM connectors a little with pliers so they are tight on the smaller terminals of the Alpines). Orient the speakers as shown (tweeter points to upper inside corner) so there's clearance for the terminals and slip the speaker into place. Loosen your homemade "hooks" a bit and lift/twist them (needle nose pliers help) onto the speaker rim while pressing down on the speaker. Then tighten securely so the speaker is seated and doesn't wiggle (vibrates later if you don't do this right) and the rubber surround of the speaker does not contact any hard parts. Paint the screws and hooks black with a little touch up paint because you can see the bottom ones.
STEP FOUR: Button it up!
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Put your meter panel back in place and instead of the trim clips you took out, use zip ties there too (if you use the trim clips, they might hit the surround of the speakers). When you put them in, be careful not to get it around the speaker wire leads. As mentioned, lay in a supply of these 4" zip ties since to remove this panel you'll have to cut them with dykes (diagonal cutters) and replace them. Oh, and save your trim clips - the GL1800 uses lots of them and they are easy to drop down somewhere you can't fish them out (ooops! already!) These things are purty so who needs speaker grilles (ok, me too - oh well... put the grilles in, they still look marvelous!)

Now for the back. Take off your rear seat backrest, seat, inner trunk lid and pods. Don't mix screws! Some are longer and make sure you remember where they went. Don't use a long screw to put your trunk inner lining back on, use only short ones there.  You need to remove the inner trunk lid to get to the hidden screw on earlier models. Click here to see it.

STEP FIVE: Get ready to install the rear ones (if you bought two pair).
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Yeah, buy two pair or get a set of SONY Xpld XS-R1310 for the back like I did after getting the amp installed. Take off the seat. Using the wires that came with the speakers if you don't already have wires back there.... use the "white" wire for the "right" side and gray on the left side. I made a "connector" out of four small spades trimmed to be a little slimmer with - yup - shears. Silicone them up, insert them like this - WHITE WIRE - RED/YELLOW | WHITE/BLACK WIRE - BROWN/WHITE | GRAY WIRE - BLUE/YELLOW | GRAY/BLACK WIRE - GREEN/WHITE. Tape it all up securely. Route them so they have about six inches in the rear pods and don't get caught in the trunk hinges. Leave a bunch left over in case you get an amp later. You can just cut your wires if you want, but you may need to unplug. You can get a trailer plug four prong and make a good connector here by splicing, but this should work ok.
NOTE:  I get so many e-mails.  The rear speaker plug pictured is under the seat inside the boot.  It's black and has places for four connections.  Easy to find inside the boot there.  See the picture (click here).

STEP SIX: Install your speakers in the pods (see below for Sony Xpld install option here)
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
These things just barely fit in there. You need to clip HALF of two of the tabs. Please look at the pic for details (too hard to describe and my fingers are tired and all cut up from digging in these sharp plastic panels and channels). You need to use two stacked " x 24 nuts (or any 5/16" to 3/8" thick single spacer) for spacers on the bottom screws and the speaker rim will ride on the slope of the top of the pod. Only one screw up top and don't tighten too much or you'll warp the speaker rim. Put the first screw shown into the OEM hole and turn the speaker so that your trimmed tab is almost against the side of the pod and the lower part of the Alpine is sorta aligned with the OEM speaker opening. Then just use the Alpine self tappers and a screw gun to run the other ones into the plastic. Once you've got them screwed in there, put duct tape and some weather strip around the speaker blocking as much rear radiation as possible from coming out the front. Plug those puppies in and re-install your pods. Do the smoke test.....

WOW! DON'T IT SOUND GREAT!
With the leftover weather strip, fix your trunk rattle!

STEP SEVEN: Put all the stuff back together and Go for a ride!

Well, I will be putting in an amp (tho it may not be necessary, I had the volume up to 30 today and they DID NOT distort at all) and will write that up here too (I DID, SEE STEP ELEVEN), but until then, ride safe and enjoy your new sounds!

NOTE:  I get so many e-mails.  The rear speaker plug pictured is under the seat inside the boot.  It's black and has places for four connections.  Easy to find inside the boot there.  See the picture (click here).


As a side bar here. My digital
camera bit the batteries and I
took one just for a lark and put
it into the Sony. It played for 18
hours straight on that
DEAD BATTERY!
STEP EIGHT: SONY NET MD WALKMAN MZ-N505 type R (now using an iPod Nano, this is OLD technology here)
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
I researched all the MP3 digital players out there and could not find anything that beat the Sony Net MD Walkman MZ-N505 for the AUX input on the wing. MP3 - WMA - WAV - ATRAC3 + PLUS + Analogue - Optical - Radio - anything your stereo can play (you can dub tapes, radio, phono, TV, whatever...) Up to 5 hrs on one $2.00 minidisk. It does everything any MP3 digital system can do plus everything your old cassette recorder could do plus everything your PC's CD maker can do - plus... Mega bass - shuffle play - skip - play list - "group" - erase track - edit - the list goes on and on... and with 56 hours on one AA battery, you will have ample time to fiddle with all its features (it has DC power supply input and comes with a house plug in unit). Plus, did I mention that the virtually indestructible recording media is only $2.00 EACH! Did I mention that it's only 3" x 3" x 1" big? I can't find an MP3 unit that will do all this thing can do with MP3 and then all it does besides, just like an old cassette tape recorder if ya want or rip a CD in a few minutes on the PC. Did I mention recording media is only $2.00 each? Not $69 for a 128 MB memory card...

Oh, and I simply CANNOT make this thing skip. Bang it, drop it, juggle it, wheelies on the wing with the thing in the AUX box... nuttin'. (Hint: record at a high level and watch fumbling with the ERASE function! BLANK DISC!)
Click for spec sheet.

Note: Sam's Club is now selling a NET MD MZ-NE410 ($118).  This is Net MD Lite in my opinion.  No line in, no external power supply, smaller display.  If you only have one, then get the MZ-N505 at least.


STEP NINE: Adding a phone jack for ear buds only (no mic or DIN)
HINT: get a set of Sony Ear Buds with volume control since the audio between the headset and the speakers is unbalanced and the buds will blow your ears out if you switch to them from loud speakers.
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
I don't want a CB. I don't want a mike or a chatter box (lord knows there's enough chatter already!). I do want headphones and prefer ear buds since they fit inside my helmet and don't interfere with my hearing or balaclava. But the DIN plug is so bulky.... I just added a phone jack. Take out your DIN harness (under the box where your AUX plug is) by unplugging the six pin red mini. Any phone jack will do, just get an extension cord for headphones with a 1/8" mini, female on one end and male on the other. Make sure it's shielded wire (what looks like a single wire setup, not three separate visible wires). Now, cut the wire on the extension cord so the female is about 3" longer than your DIN wire.

STEP TEN: Adding a phone jack for ear buds only (no mic or DIN)
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
The trick here is to determine which wire is which in your extension cord. They all vary on color. Strip the wires on your MALE end that we won't use. Check continuity on the wires and see which one goes to the very tip end of the plug. That's RIGHT. The other wire is LEFT which is the center band of the plug and the bare wire wound around these two is easily identified as shield for the band closest to the rubber part of the plug. The wires on the female end will match (duh!). Prepare your piggyback easy splices (click here for details). For each DIN, passenger or driver, the RED wire is LEFT and the YELLOW wire is RIGHT with BLACK being SHIELD (see pic for more).
 

INSTALLING AN AMPLIFIER
Well, maybe you will install an amp - two choices here, but read all


STEP ELEVEN: Adding an amp - Electrical Connections 4 channel 50W RMS
UPDATE! - I have since installed a Rockford-Fosgate 200 Watt Two Channel Amp
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
The EC amp fits right in the trunk and because everything is included that you will need - choke, terminals, good speaker wire for clean runs and great directions - this amp is a nice choice for those not too meckanikally inclined (ie you don't have to go cutting into the case, it just drops right in there)..  But, for real power, I went to the Rockford-Fosgate which works much better (see below).  Since I did install this amp first and you may want to, here goes....

I cut some 1/8" by 2" aluminum into 9 1/4" bars then set them in the trunk compartment. I set the amp on top centered and marked where the holes will go (see the offset, the feet of the amp were just at the edge of the bars). Drilled holes and mounted the amp to the bars with the supplied screws. This puts the screws right at the edges of the trunk to keep this from moving around without putting holes in the trunk. I then took out the assembly and added the 3M body molding tape strips where the bars set on the ridge inside the trunk. Don't take the covers off the tape just yet.


STEP TWELVE: Cut the holes and drop in the choke
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Drilled 7/8" holes in the front of the compartment as shown for wire routing. Speakers on one side and power on the other (like the man says, keep 'em separate). The ground wire was to the frame under the seat. The "choke" is dropped into the trunk under the amp and connected from there. Everything else, just follow the excellent instructions that come with this kit. This puppy is a great value from Electrical Connections for the novice. As mentioned, everything (wiring, etc) is included in the kit with some extras and instructs.

NO STEP HERE: Just enjoy! WOW what a difference!
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Volume at about 14 is what it used to be at 30, but there's good tone and quality to the sound. I'm not lookin' to wake the neighbor's dog all the time, but JAZZ DEMANDS CLARITY and this system is fairly good.  I sure ain't gonna do the wiring diagram for this one. Just follow the excellent instructions that Lewis sends with the amp and set the gain at high noon (halfway up)

Many thanks go to my Brother Tony who cut installation time in half... took about five hours with two working.

NOTE: This is the amp from Electrical Connections. It's a Sound Storm F110.4. Its specs as received by me are a stated 50 watts x 4 RMS : 100 watts x 4 PEAK (but to the ear, it doesn't seem like that much). If it does not match the amp on Electrical Connections web site, don't e-mail me about it, e-mail Lewis at Electrical Connections as to why this is the amp you get instead of what's pictured on Electrical Connections web site.


WIRING REPRISE


WIRING REPRISE: Had the seat off recently AND the speakers fooling with other stuff so.....
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
I thought I might show the wiring. All items shown concerning the audio are included with the superb amp kit from Electrical Connections along with instructions. But if you are doing a "custom" you can get the purple four conductor cable from any audio store and the connectors at Radio Shack. This makes wiring simple and neat with little effort. Inside the weather and corrosion proof purple jacket are four 18 gauge wires - RED BLACK WHITE GREEN. My convention was:
  • RED + BLACK - FROM THE AUDIO UNIT at the OEM speakers TO THE AMP INPUTS
  • WHITE + GREEN - FROM THE AMP OUTPUTS back to THE SPEAKERS

The large purple jacket is easily written on with a Sharpie pen so you know which is which at each end - RF LF RR LR. Connections are keyed to the colors above. The high level input connections on the EC amp I used were color coded and the output connections were labeled clearly. Just connect the colored dots. If you are still confused, it's helpful to think of these purple cables as two way streets - same street, but you travel both ways on it - you start at the OEM speaker outputs and go to the AMP store to get POWER then bring the power back along the same road the other direction and deliver the power to the speakers.


FISH THE FRONT CABLES
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Once you take out the front speakers as described above, pull the fairing pockets and the fairing switch panels so you can reach. Remove the side covers and the seat.  Remove the 10mm nuts from the rear corners of the top cap and pull out the top cap a little there for some room.  Feed the wires down through the speaker hole next to the OEM wire and feed/fish under the top cap (I had my top cap off at the time, but it is relatively easy to push the wire under the top cap since there's not really much under there). Once it exits from the rear of the top cap at the tank, route as you please, but keep the speaker wires away from power wires as much as possible. If yer using the EC kit, the purple wire makes it very easy since you are essentially working with only a single wire each side instead of four wires.  Into the trunk they go then cut to size.  If you are just running 16 gauge two conductor speaker wire for a two channel amp, this is really easy.

HOOK UP THE REAR WIRES (etc)
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
The rear ones are easy as cake (or izzat a piece of pie?). From above, there's already wires there from the installation of the Alpine Speakers. In this case, I used additional bullet connectors at all the wires for the rear since trunk removal may be necessary sometime down the line. The amp is grounded as closely as possible to itself so I chose the rear most bolt on the frame. No paint to scrape and a good chassis ground. The pic shows it all. With Lewis's kit (or stuff you get on your own, like the purple cable) this ain't exactly rocket science, but it is tedious and it's helpful to label your wires and keep notes.

SPEAKERS & AMP REDUX (for the rap fans)


I NEVER COULD LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE:
SONY Xpld XS-R1310 5" 3-way bass bombers
SONY Xpld XS-V1333 5" 3-way speakers

Click here for scrollable printable pic.

So in my research, I found four 5" speakers that fit the GL 1800 rear pods for sure. The Alpines which are superb as noted and which fit both front and rear.  The dimensions of speakers that will just bolt into the rear as described here are seen below, (click for pic).  I have tested these three models in the rear pods and they work great - Rockford-Fosgate FRC-4205SONY Xpld XS-R1310's or the new SONY Xpld XS-V1333 5" 3-way speakers.  But, on with my story... it's a rainy night and I'm at Best Buy and there I spy a red and black box chock full of BASS! For only 49.95 a pair! They were calling to me in that deep voice and I could not resist. These will fit in the rear pods without modification in the same screw holes described for the Alpines above. They have H.O.P. (highly oriented polyolefine) cones and rubber surround so they are completely weather proof like the Alpines.  They MAY fit up front, but will not slip into the enclosures without modifying the enclosures themselves. This would necessitate pulling the windshield and all the other stuff up there and then cutting into the plastic some. Not as neat a trick as slipping in the Alpines and I doubt if I'll do it because.....

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
The Xpld's fill up my rear pods with bass that's hard to believe. These puppies do pound for a little speaker. In fact, they will rattle your trunk lid - (you will HAVE TO fix it like this) - and whatever is in your trunk too! They are a nice complement to the Alpines which I still have up front and will keep up front. The tonal quality is much different between these two and the Sony's act like little subwoofers in the pods back there while the Alpines supply the crystal clarity for mids and highs. Really, the Alpines are no slouches with bass, but these Sony's are SPOOKY! Mounted in the pods, the Sony's also enhance the highs as well since they are three ways and the tweeter gets mounted so it's at the bottom of the pod for good dispersion as shown (the OEM's pointed at the armrest not out the screen). It's a very interesting combination. Because these speakers have different qualities and mountings, they enhance different frequencies and have deficiencies in different frequencies and each acts as a complement to the other in a pleasing way. Instead of listing to a band from the audience, you feel like you are IN the band (maybe the drummer). The bassist is behind you, the lead guitar in front and the singers are side by side with you. It's WILDClick here for s pic of the XS-V1333 installed in a pod.  I'm currently running a set of Pioneer TS-A1371R in the pods.  They are a very tight squeeze, but they work.


 

ROCKFORD-FOSGATE 150S or 200S Punch Amp
Click here for scrollable printable pic.
Power does what power is.  For really clean, crisp and pounding sound, I have now installed a two channel Rockford-Fosgate 200S Punch Amp (100 watts RMS per channel into 2 ohms).  You will need to remove the "lobes" from the amp (coupla screws - easy) and cut/grind the amp the case ends off so it's only 9" wide (not so easy).  Optionally cut off the feet of the amp. Cutting is the hard part (click for pic).  You'll need a good quality hack saw or a metal cutting band saw but the saving grace is that the aluminum case is soft and not too tough to cut.  Make sure you keep fragments out of the circuitry, blow them out with compressed air when done cutting.  Don't cut off the screw bosses which mount the bottom cover but cut the case just even with the ends of that bottom cover (this voids the warranty, so test it first).  The wiring is simplified (see pic below) - hook both the front and rear speakers to the same amp output terminals since it's only a two channel amp.  You need run only 16 gauge two conductor zip cord from the trunk to each front speaker (see FISH THE FRONT CABLES above) and same to each rear speaker.†  Since the Wing audio unit has no RCA output, we use the high level inputs on the amp hooking only ONE set of speaker leads, the OEM REAR.  Use just the OEM rear speaker out leads at the four pin mini under the seat (click for pic) to the high level amp four pin input gang (see drawing). There is no need to run from the front speakers to the amp for input with a two channel so insulate & tape the now unused front OEM speaker leads onto your speaker enclosures so they won't rattle and hook the output from the AMP to the speakers.  For power to the amp, run from the battery with a good heavy (12 gauge) fused +12v.  Ground also to the battery.  To switch the built in amp relay, use a +12v ACCESSORY lead that's hot when the key is on connected to the REMOTE input on the amp next to the four pin high level input gang (find at the ACC plug under the seat in the boot behind the OEM relay bank, the LIGHT GREEN/BLACK wire [click for pic]).  With only a two channel amp, you lose FADER (fade your audio unit all the way to the rear) but FADER is not really that important since the wing has such a small sound envelop you never notice. I have the amp set at about 1/8 on the gain and bass boost set to 0 for ideal distortion free sound.  Remember tho, that when hooking two sets of speakers in parallel as we do here, you HALF the rated impedance so use MINIMUM 4 ohm speakers so that the final draw will be MINIMUM 2 ohms when both are hooked up (bonus is it doubles the output power so you still have 50 watts RMS per speaker with a 200S). 

NOTE:  I get so many e-mails.  The rear speaker plug pictured is under the seat inside the boot.  It's black and has places for four connections.  Easy to find inside the boot there.  See the picture (click here).

 

With the Alpines up front, and the Xpld's in the back, it's a great mix and fade isn't necessary.  Interestingly, AMBIENCE sounds much better with the Fosgate than with the EC amp.  Also, the extra power (your regular stereo is 25 watts out as is and the EC map seemed barely more than that) this cleans up the sound and makes for better overall performance.  Like Honda says - performance first!  This is awesome.  The 150S gets WARM in the trunk hole but the 200S will bite out when the mercury rises.  Fosgate's patented heat sink works dandy but for those hot summer days, see below.  And, don't fret when you see this amp in the store...  It has very large "ear lobes" (click to see) but they are just fluff and you can use them for boat anchors if ya want. 

 

ADDITIONS - AuDITIONS and MORE AuDITIONS

  KEEPIN' IT COOL
Radio Shack Brushless pancake fan Cat# 273-239
The Fosgate 1500S gave me no heat problems and the 200S performed well when the ambient temp was below 80 here in the frozen north.  However, when the mercury rose above comfort level, the 200S cut off after about two hours due to heat.  The solution was to add a 12VDC brushless computer pancake fan to draw out the hot air.  One need just drill some ventilating holes up top as seen in the pic, punch a 2" hole in the bottom of the trunk and mount the fan.  Supply current with the remote +12V lead and secure the fan with 1" screws so it blows down and out.  I added a little cage on top of the fan using strips of zip ties to keep wires from working their way into and stalling the fan.  There is ample room under the trunk bottom and inner rear fender for the flow.  You can probably get away with just using a hole saw, but it is a good idea to remove the rear fender piece to make sure no wires will be cut with the hole saw under the trunk.  Your application may vary depending on your equipment, but try to keep any holes in your trunk from being in direct line with the rear wheel spray.  The Shack fan runs 13 cfm but with the restriction I estimate it should exchange the air in the compartment about 7 times a minute, more than adequate for keeping the amp cool enough to run in hot weather.

I NEVER COULD LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE:
XM RADIO ROADY 2

Click here for scrollable printable picone.

Click here for scrollable printable pictwo.

So, even though I am extremely happy with my Mini Disc from Sony, there is now a great alternative.  The XM RADIO ROADY 2!!!  It's awesome and a neat installation is not too hard on the GL 1800.  I've got mine mounted in the left pocket where the Sony will still reside from time to time, but there's a little more needed done for the Roady.  First - power.  I picked up a cigarette lighter socket from Auto Zone for a coupla bucks and soldered a pigtail using two conductor trailer plug to it.  Sticky tape the fixture to the pocket corner and secure with a zip tie through two holes drilled on either side. Running 12 volts to it is not too hard, just fish some wires up there (as described above) and set it up, but have the trailer plug on the fished supply line with the hot wire jacketed (opposite of what comes off the lighter socket).  While your fishing the wires for power, fish the antenna lead as well and bring it through the AUX wire grommet (which is eliminated).  Run the antenna wire under the seat and up behind the removed rear seat back and just insert the antenna through the large harness hole where you can simply sticky tape it to the inner trunk lid.  Stuff all the 20 some feet of the wire that's leftover into the hole too and put the seat back back on.  Very slick!  No wires in your way and nobody will ever know you have XM RADIO on that bike (the antenna and unit are well hidden).  BUT!  This installation is "semi-" permanent because I got an extra Terk Xmicro antenna from Crutchfield mounted on the truck and a Delphi SA10069-11P1 Home Unit from Circuit City as well so I can enjoy the same great music riding, driving the truck or sittin' on the sofa!  Just plug and play wherever I go! I love it! (and NO, putting the antenna INSIDE the plastic GL trunk like that does not hurt reception at all)

TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON (WAY WAY FAST!):
iPod Nano 4GB Black

Click here for scrollable printable pic.
So, even though I WAS extremely happy with my Mini Disc from Sony, technology marches on.  At the time of the earlier writing, MP3 players were in their infancy, the capacity was expensive and miniscule plus it was of dubious quality for a true audiophile.  The Mini Disc was a better deal in many ways at that time.  But now, with all the MP3 players available with capacity to have quality as well, it's time to move on.  Apple's iPod Nano is absolutely awesome.  My entire mini disc collection now resides in something the same size as the reflector on the side of your front wheel!  And there's still room for two more collections of that size left free!  The control is bigger and easier to handle on the road.  Highly recommended!

TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON (EVEN MORE!):
iPod Nano 8GB Black 3rd generation plus Scosche remote

Click here for scrollable printable pic

So, even though I WAS extremely happy with my NANO first gen 4 GB, technology marches on.  I've upgraded to an IPOD NANO 3RD generation 8GB which many say has the best sound chip of all the iPods (i agree).  To that, I've installed a Scoche wireless remote so that I can have instant access to skip/replay/fast forward-reverse and more without opening the pocket door. This is also a safety item since iPod's touchwheel is so sensitive, it's not something you want to fool with when you're riding. Shown in the picture is also a Sigma Bicycle Trip computer which keeps track of mileage, totally accurate speedo, max speed, average speed and more.

HIGH PASS FILTER:
Reduce distortion for small speakers

Click here for scrollable printable 
So, even though I WAS extremely happy with my system, I found that with the increased spectrum of sound available on today's CD's the lower frequencies would often cause distortion at high volume levels.  The solution to this is a high pass filter.  Putting a 220uF capacitor in line with your speaker leads will clip the low frequency off at about 200 Hz.  You will likely not hear any loss of tonal richness.  Because 3, 4, and 5 inch speakers are not really designed for frequencies that low, trying to reproduce them will do little more than distort or pop the cones.  With this high pass filter in line, you will notice a big difference in sound quality form your speakers without loss of tonal richness.  If you get the Axial caps, pay attention to the direction of current flow.  Bi-polar caps can be used, but Axials are cleaner.  The grey band on axials is normally the negative side if there is not an arrow on the cap such as shown here.  By the way, one cap for each speaker.

HOW TO USE A.SEL

Here's how ASEL works.

At "home." Make sure A-SEL is not displyed in the radio area (quickly press and release A-SEL button until it's gone).
Tune your radio and set your own personal presets for your "home" area. You can set 6 FM1 - 6 FM2 6-AM - that's 18 stations. Tune a band and a station and hold the number button you want to assign to that station.

Now, press and HOLD A_SEL until it flashes. It will scan all the available frequencies and find stations strong in the area IN WHICH YOU ARE NOW.

Now you have 36 stations preset. Your original 18 and the A-SEL 18. Press and quickly release A-SEL so it's not displayed.

Your "home" stations take over the preset buttons.

Press A-SEL and quickly release so it IS displayed. The A-SEL takes over your presets.

This is because AT HOME, you know what stations you listen to so set them first manually. Make sure A-SEL is off then choose FM1 - FM2 -AM then tune a station then press and hold 1-6 to store.

When you are traveling and your home stations fade, just press and release A_SEL then press and hold A-SEL and it will find the stations at this time and this place away from home.

When you get back home, just press and quickly release A-SEL so it does not display and your buttons are all back to the stations you preset manually while you were home.


 

(a note on heavy wiring) Because it's been rainy and not riding weather and I put in a new amp anyway, I ran 12 gauge wire for all speakers and a six gauge wire for power.  Advantage - NONE!  It was not worth the work (which I knew would be the case anyway, but what the heck, I was bored).  16 gauge speaker zip cord would have been sufficient with a 10 gauge power wire.  It is not really necessary to shield speaker wire. Noise is not mainly introduced after the amp, but it is good to keep the runs short as possible and away from power wires. (More on wiring here - click here to review - I agree with Mr. Elliot 100% and always have but being the died in the wool iconoclast that I am, I had to find out for myself!).

(a note on GAIN: setting the input GAIN is not a testament to the efficiency of your amp - it is to match the input with what your audio unit outputs.  The higher the audio unit output, the lower the gain setting will usually be.  Since the GL1800 audio unit puts out 25 watts as specified by Honda, you will likely have the input gain on amps set low since 25 watts is rather high. On the Rockford-Fosgate amp, seems that gain set only about an eighth of way up works good.)

(a note on the AUX input: the AUX input plug which is under the left (shifter side) pocket is, shall we say, cheap.  I had much trouble with it loosing contact (which causes some very strange symptoms in the audio system) and thought that other circuits or heat were to blame. Not so. It was the AUX connector.  Pinch the terminals on the female end of the plug so they will grab the males very tightly and douse this plug with lots of bulb grease to keep it from burning contact.  Here's a pic (click). I have since soldered these wires and eliminated the plug. Heck, to install it you needed to push it through a hole and seat the grommet. Why not just make it a solid trouble free wire and if you need to take out the pocket, pop the grommet.

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?
Dunno, likely nothing since I'm very happy with this system.


AUX AUDIO INPUT and 12v ACC plug under left pocket



Car speaker model numbers change faster than weather patterns so it is nearly impossible to keep model numbers and links updated.  I won't answer e-mails about "What speakers will fit" simply because I don't have the motivation nor the funds to try every brand on the market.  Check the drawings that I have kindly supplied for dimensions to check potential fits.  Most speakers come in boxes that have the dimensions printed on the outside for you to compare. 

If I don't respond to an e-mail question, it's more than likely because the answer is already here so read carefully.  This article is very detailed with good illustrations. Please limit your e-mail questions to things that are not already covered here.

NOTE:  I get so many e-mails.  The rear speaker plug pictured is under the seat inside the boot.  It's black and has places for four connections.  Easy to find inside the boot there.  See the picture (click here).


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The information on these pages is accurate to the best of the author's knowledge. The author can assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of this information by the reader. The reader is expected to secure any other information needed from Service Manuals or other sources. It is up to the reader to determine his/her ability to make any modifications noted. If the reader does not feel qualified he/she should enlist professional help.