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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having the Harmon Kardon system in my vehicle, the overall sound to me was disappointing. I have upgraded nearly every factory system in cars I have owned throughout the years, in this case I thought I would start by add a sub and then evaluate the sound and see if I want to go further (replacing front stage/add another amp/DSP, etc.) with the upgrades.
So far, I added a subwoofer (JL 12W6v3 - I already had this sub, it's a little much for the current set-up I would say a 10" would suffice, but to each his own) amp - Arc Audio 1100.1 (again, I had this from a previous build - 600 W RMS at 2 ohms) and a Line Out Converter (LC2i), so it was a simple install. I removed the factory sub to make a amp rack on the existing location mounts for the factory sub (My requirement was not to "drill" any holes in the car). I have a box with the sub in it, I did talk to the installer about concealing the sub in the back, after much discussion, the only way would be to lose the spare tire/tools or build something on the sides...not really desirable and with the box back there I can always just take it out if need be. My other thought on the sub box is to get it wrapped in black leather and have red stitching to match my interior??

Results - still tuning it, but what a dramatic improvement to the sound stage, the low end just glues it all together and it sounds much better, now this is no "reference" system, but for a big improvement, the sub does help out a lot. (sorry the photos sideways!)

Curious if anyone else has done any aftermarket stereo upgrades?
 

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That looks like a nice setup, and I've always been fond of JL products. Do you plan on taking the door speakers out and swapping them as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The front speakers are not planned to be replaced at this time, to do that would require DSP, more speakers, amp, etc., not sure how the rest of the sounds for the car would be (i.e. backup alerts, voice commands, phone) so I don't really want to "change" everything at this point. Although....knowing myself....I would guess it may happen in the future!
 

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Do you notice any sound leak happening or do you find the Levante to be well sealed?
Having experience with system in high end sedans like the S-Class i noticed how much richer sound is because of insulation.
 

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The audio system in my levante is probably the worst audio system I have had in a vehicle in a long time. But, I always upgrade the audio, so this will be no different. Def going with stealth fiberglassed boxes and likely shallow subs on the sides. will post pics when we are done.
 

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Does anybody know if just changing the stock sub out with something better would do the trick? Mine is a lease, so I don't want to drill or change too much, but it is lacking in the bass big time. I don't want a box or a tube in the back, because I use that space often. I also put my clumsy ass dog back there often, and usually ride with the seats down when she is back there because she is kind of tall.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
diamondtowel - the factory sub enclosure for the harman system is small and very flat. You might be able to install a different 10" like a 10TW3 by JL Audio....but I am not sure it would fit, then you would also have to find a place to install an amp to power it as the factory output is limited to my estimation of 100 W. Another possibility would be to lose the spare tire/tools and have something made for that space, but I would guess that would be even more complicated. Unfortunately there are not a lot of "stealth" options for a sub, although lots of dollars can usually solve any audio issue!!!
 

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I have the Bower and Wilkins system. Getting a quote for upgrading the bass. Hoping to finally get my money’s worth out of the stereo system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@ Aaronpaddle, I will be curious to know what you decide on or what options are you considering for upgrading the bass!
 

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I listened to the Harmon Kardon system, and frankly was petrified that i was buying this car, and getting a "Ghibli esque" type of sound. When I listened, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the sound. Rich, warm, and crisp when it needed to be. Maybe not perfect, but clearly on par with what I have, and have had in other high end vehicles. Just a differing point of view, to the art of listening. Ghibli = 2 out of 10 in overall quality; Levante = 7 out of 10 vs. the Ghibli and others. Won't spend money at this point for any upgrades, and think I will be happy with it. As a further aside, only listened in radio mode....and can't wait to hear it in streaming Pandora or thumb drive mode etc.
 

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I was interested in adding an amp and sub but cant find any wiring diagrams for the 2018 levante..... how did you all find your wiring diagram to add your line ouput converters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@ action, you can use the speaker inputs that go into the factory sub to a line converter add the amp, it's somewhat straight forward.
 

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With a substantial investment the first place I took the vehicle said they could custom build a box that would fit. However, the only way to wire it was to connect a feed to the front speakers. Maserati said it would void my warranty if any issues were related to the work. I chickened out. But I just bought my wife a 2020 GLE and it sounds way better than mine so I have to do something!
 

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With a substantial investment the first place I took the vehicle said they could custom build a box that would fit. However, the only way to wire it was to connect a feed to the front speakers. Maserati said it would void my warranty if any issues were related to the work. I chickened out. But I just bought my wife a 2020 GLE and it sounds way better than mine so I have to do something!
Hi
I never had a chance to update my earlier post on this topic. Don't spend the money on the suggested "fix" before "considering" this. I went to my friend who is an ace audio guy. I said to him, Ray, I really need to add one more dimension to the system and that is bottom. All else is fine but the bottom is what I need to fix. The solution was a "Cerwin Vega" VPStx12 sub. It is made to sit in wheel wheels where the spare is, but didn't fit. I decided to let it sit in the rear corner of the trunk, and if I needed the space, unplug it, and then replug it in once again. It has a great control that was run to the front and I let sit in my ash tray compartment, pulling it out and adjusting song by song accordingly. This feature is imperative since all music is produced and recorded differently. Older classics require more base, and newer releases less and punch better. it cost me <$500.00 for everything, and I am 100% satisfied with the system, without question. Each song is to my liking, and not a complaint to be found. Even when I need more volume, it gives enough volume at peak, which never clips, distorts etc. (unless my wife left a water bottle or something in the door panel which drives me nuts, LOL).
I seriously suggest you or anybody looking for the step up to try this. YOU WON"T BE SORRY, and I thank Ray every day for the suggestions, install, and making my stereo sound so good. Good Luck!
 

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I too could not stand the audio system in my 2019 Levante. Here's what I had done.

10" diamond audio dual coil sub in a custom fiberglass box in the side, amp rack where the factory sub was with an audison 5 channel amp and a rockford DSP and then focal separates up front. no speakers in the 2nd row. Nobody uses them and I didn't want them interfering with my front stage. 5 total speakers 2 tweeters, 2 mids and a sub. Sounds fantastic and completely stealth with a fully functional trunk space. Also got a motorized license plate in the front as IL requires a license plate and I hate the way it looks. Automatically goes up when parked and doors locked and hidden otherwise. I can override withthe module installed that controls the up down through button presses in my steering wheel. Everything works perfectly.

 
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