Goldwing stereo upgrade

A few months ago I added rear speakers to the Goldwing. It gave the bike's stock stereo a fuller sound. More recently my brother bought a 2007 Goldwing. His stock stereo is very nice and sounds a lot better than mine. I decided to upgrade my stereo as I like to listen to it often.

After doing some research I decided to use Polk db501 5" speakers. They are weatherproof and several Goldwingers have given them good reviews. Crutchfield had a 'buy one pair and the next is half off' sale on Polk speakers so I got them there. I also bought some Bass Blockers.

There are two amplifiers I found that would fit in the GL1800 CD trunkwell...the Sony XM-4S and an amplifier sold by Electrical Connection. I liked the Sony amp as several people had upgraded to it from the other amp and said it sounded better. However, it was $200, and the whole Electrical Connection kit was around $100. I found out the Electrical Connection amp was backordered, so I ended up finding the Sony amp on Ebay for $110. That's what I got.


The Polk 2-way speakers are nicer than the paper factory ones. The Polks are slight smaller requiring the mounting holes to be trimmed.


The fourth speaker screw is behind the dash trim. Instead of going through the trouble to remove the dash I used a burr bit to uncover the hole.


People report that sound is improved if the dead space behind the speakers is filled. Since that area is dry I used insulation packed in tightly.

For the front speakers I'm using 4-conductor speaker wire I got at Lowes. The red and black wires will connect to the factory wires to bring the signal TO the amplifier. The amplifier will power the new speakers through the white and green wires. I soldered all the wiring connections. The Bass Blockers connect to the positive speaker terminal.


I used washers with the screws for extra clamping of the slightly smaller speaker housing. I ran the wires along the frame and through a hole I drilled in the trunk.


To get the rear speaker signals to the amplifier I removed the rear speaker connector from the pouch and cut off the connector. Then I soldered another section of speaker wire to it and ran it into the trunk.


The rear speaker installation was covered earlier. The above picture shows how the Polk speaker mounting holes are slightly smaller than the stock speakers.


I had to change my auxiliary fuse block from five to eight circuits as the old fuse block was maxed out. I then made the speaker and power connections to the amplifier. I left enough wire so the amplifier could be removed from the trunk well.


I used velcro to mount the amplifier in the trunk well and bundled the wiring harness. It all fix nicely with the trunk well door closed.

The new upgrade is much nicer. To hear the music clearly before I had to have the stereo in the 25-30 range. Now about 14 is just right. The sound is much cleaner and I feel more 'surrounded by sound'. I like to listen to Metallica/Van Halen/Daughtry and the smaller speakers really emphasis the guitars. There's not much bass at all.

Update: Although my stereo sounds much better now, it still isn't as nice as my brother's stock 2007 stereo. His has a much fuller sound.

Update 2: The last day on our Blue Ridge Parkway trip we did 490 miles to get back home and it was hot. There were a couple times the stereo cut out after being on for a long time. At first I thought the Sirius had lost its signal, but it wasn't. I think the amplifier was getting hot and intermittently shutting itself off. It can't breathe well in its little cubby hole. If it continues to be a problem I might have to come up with a way for it to get more air.


In conjunction with some other projects I moved the amplifier to the trunk wall. This allows it to breathe better and frees up some space in the trunkwell.



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