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Old 04-13-2015, 06:33 PM   #1
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351 DS new front speakers

We finally completed this project! We have an early 2015 351DS and it only has the 4 speakers in the main area, nothing in the cab area. This makes it somewhat (okay, impossible!) to hear while driving, so we wanted to make some additions. The newer 2015's have speakers in this area already.

We ran the wires down the pillars (after removing the cover) and fed them down under the dash and back to the current stereo.

Took about 10 hours of work and $75 in materials (speakers & wire) but it's really cool! And you can totally hear them while driving. We made some cloth covered frames to go over them (as you can see)

It was a little challenging to get the wires fed, and we had to remove the board filling in the speaker area - to reinstall, we built a 3 sided box to hold it in place and used the semi-cardboard piece as the front.

We tied the speakers into the front speakers in the main area, since we didn't add another zone or anything.

Hope you all enjoy!
Garren
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:52 AM   #2
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Oh, and special thanks to FL Family for the suggestions on making the stereo connections! We also turned down the amp we found behind the panel for the bass, and it sounds much less distorted.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:10 AM   #3
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Wow you really did a nice job on that. Looks great!
I do have a question that maybe you can answer for me. I have read of others commenting on the lack of sound from the front speakers while driving and noticed in the newer models FR did put more speakers in.
Is this caused from the front overhead bunk blocking the sound? Granted those aren't the most powerful speakers but I don't have the front bunk and have no problem with mine, especially if I have my iPad connected for music. (and believe me, I like to crank up the music if I'm up front by myself driving) Didn't know if I just got lucky on a good set of speakers or the front bunk was some of the problem.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:10 AM   #4
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Looks like the factory install! Nice work! I'll have to add this one to the list of things to do.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjd10 View Post
Wow you really did a nice job on that. Looks great!
I do have a question that maybe you can answer for me. I have read of others commenting on the lack of sound from the front speakers while driving and noticed in the newer models FR did put more speakers in.
Is this caused from the front overhead bunk blocking the sound? Granted those aren't the most powerful speakers but I don't have the front bunk and have no problem with mine, especially if I have my iPad connected for music. (and believe me, I like to crank up the music if I'm up front by myself driving) Didn't know if I just got lucky on a good set of speakers or the front bunk was some of the problem.
I have the 2014 351DS with the front bunk. If I turn the volume way up I can hear the stereo ok, I don't think the bunk blocks the sound too much. The problem with this for me is my kids are often watching something on the main tv, in the bunks, on their iPads, etc., and of course aren't fans of my music anyway, so turning up the volume loud enough to hear from the driver's seat doesn't go over too well in our coach.

These speakers IN the front cab area should help as you won't have to turn up the volume as loud and blast out everyone else. Personally I'd prefer a zone system where the front speakers are separate from the surround sound, and Forest River delivered just that in the later 2015 models.

Until then, my kids can learn to appreciate Zac Brown Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dave Matthews Band. ha ha

Tom
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wandering Irishman View Post
Looks like the factory install! Nice work! I'll have to add this one to the list of things to do.
No problem! If you have any questions, please let me know and we'll try to answer them.

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Old 04-14-2015, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjd10 View Post
Wow you really did a nice job on that. Looks great!
I do have a question that maybe you can answer for me. I have read of others commenting on the lack of sound from the front speakers while driving and noticed in the newer models FR did put more speakers in.
Is this caused from the front overhead bunk blocking the sound? Granted those aren't the most powerful speakers but I don't have the front bunk and have no problem with mine, especially if I have my iPad connected for music. (and believe me, I like to crank up the music if I'm up front by myself driving) Didn't know if I just got lucky on a good set of speakers or the front bunk was some of the problem.
Possibly - I've never been in one without the bunk (especially while driving) so they may be blocking part of the sound. It could also be you happened to get better speakers, since they aren't consistent in the installs either. We were cranking them on the ipod, but they tended to get distorted and blasted anyone in the back area (most of the time it didn't matter because it's just the 2 of us and the cats, but when we had a few more people we basically just turned it off.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wandering Irishman View Post
I have the 2014 351DS with the front bunk. If I turn the volume way up I can hear the stereo ok, I don't think the bunk blocks the sound too much. The problem with this for me is my kids are often watching something on the main tv, in the bunks, on their iPads, etc., and of course aren't fans of my music anyway, so turning up the volume loud enough to hear from the driver's seat doesn't go over too well in our coach.

These speakers IN the front cab area should help as you won't have to turn up the volume as loud and blast out everyone else. Personally I'd prefer a zone system where the front speakers are separate from the surround sound, and Forest River delivered just that in the later 2015 models.

Until then, my kids can learn to appreciate Zac Brown Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dave Matthews Band. ha ha

Tom
Tom, totally agree on the zone idea - we'll either buy a switch to install or get a new radio/DVD that has the zones built in for the future - want to see how this works first!

I had to laugh about your choice of music, we eneded up getting into our MH after we had rented a C class for many years to see DMB at the Gorge.

Finally realized how much we liked the "camping" aspect of it and rather than renting another time during the summer, we bought one instead. Have to say it was one of the big surprises of my life - that we bought a motorhome!

Thanks
Garren
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