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Lariat B&O Full System Upgrade

fusseli

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I have spent many years dabbling in the design of speakers, home theater, car audio, and even a touch of pro audio back in college. I got the 501A to option out my Ranger to the gills, this being the first OE premium sound system I've got somewhat on purpose. My impressions are that it sounds decent. My gripes are that the doors rattle way too easily, and that the bass is too thin. To be honest this is a big let down. The tiny 5" B&O Play subwoofer is really laughable to be honest. I don't know why they don't do 6x8s in the doors like Ford used to, or 6x9s like FCA does now. Anyhow, the system is fine for what it is, and probably great for the casual listener.

My general plan will be to replace the sub and speakers, use a 5-channel amp, and use the A2B signal processor. The doors will get some lining and felt added to kill the buzzes.

I don't think 501A was a "waste" by just replacing parts of the stereo system because I still get the Nav/Tech/Remote Start package out of it. What it does do, is require a cost of admission to upgrade the B&O system since Ford is now sending digital A2B link to the B&O amp that powers all 10 speakers (really 8 speakers: sub, center, front tweets, front woofers, rear coaxials).

A benefit to upgrading the B&O may be that the OE amp is sending a filtered signal over dedicated wiring to the front tweeters. This is based on what I've seen so far, I have not verified this yet. Based off the pin-outs below it should be true. I will validate that when I tackle the speakers, I am starting with the subwoofer.

One may have to do the B&O Ranger all at once since any change means removing the B&O amp and replacing it with a processor like the NavTV Zen-A2B/DSP-12A-A2B. I have read around the F-150 forums a lot to learn from their B&O and A2B experiences, which are sounding nearly identical to the Ranger B&O setup. From the sounds of it, one would not want to use the factory high-level signal to a new sub since it is heavily tuned by the sync/B&O system such as cutting bass for high volume. The approach looks like using the Zen2 and then RCA to a 5ch or 4ch + sub amps. A big shortcut, and sound quality benefit, is that it sounds like from the NavTV manual that you can keep the factory B&O digital time alignment using the "Surround" Sync3 audio setting, but otherwise get a flat EQ and compression-free signal out to all channels. This means that those more keen on sound quality than spending $$$$ on car audio sound processors, is that you can skip a sound processor and still get very valuable DSP functionality. Given, we've had dropped the extra ~$500 for the NavTV Zen2 already, one shouldn't need more than that and the active filters built into virtually all car amps.

I have taken rough measurements on the sub area and it's really tight back there. Most "truck" subwoofer enclosures will not fit there, including the relatively small Alpine SBT-10SV, SBR-S8, and others. Looks like the maximum total depth may not be bigger than 6 inches near the bottom. I'm on the fence between making my own enclosure or working on something off the shelf. I'm a lot lazier than I used to be but audio is still a fun hobby!
-- From a WAG on some measurements, the 10" JL TW1 based CS110LG-TW-2 might squeeze in with trimming
-- Pioneer UDSW250T (~3" mounting depth) & UDSW250D (~4" mounting depth) enclosures might squeeze in with trimming, use sub of choice

Here's a small collection of subs people have added and info I have found regarding the subwoofer replacement in the B&O system:
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/b-o-replacement-speaker-sizes.2697/
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/#post-55411
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/page-2#post-58355
Kicker 6" passive radiator sub can fit -- I'm personally not interested.
JL 13TW5 fit in a custom box with trimming of the back wall in the cab -- that may be too much for me also, I want to keep the jack back there if possible.
Normal subs fit under the rear seat -- I'm not interested, I have recovery and other gear that has to go there, there's not much space to spare even in the 4 door Ranger.

20200216_131043.jpg


amp pinout.PNG



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fusseli

fusseli

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Here are B&O schematics from the F-150 that someone posted. Page 3 seems to confirm the dedicated wiring to the front A-pillar tweeters. This means that one should be able to run components in the front and put the passive crossovers in the back by the replaced amp, or use active filters on a replacement amp.

Again, I have not personally verified it on the Ranger yet.
 

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deton8r

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Darn, I was hoping there was a cheap and easy way to tap into a clean full range signal to run a 10" sub under the seat. I'm guessing all channels on the B&O are using active crossovers and aggressive subsonic filters. I was hoping to avoid going the expensive Zen route.

To the people with the B&O with an upgraded sub not running the Zen2, what did you tap into?
 
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fusseli

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There are posts about people tapping into the B&O high-level sub outputs, which would be dead simple to do, but as you said the EQ, aggressive subsonic filtering (I'm guessing HPF in the 50-70 Hz range by ear, gets worse at higher volume knob) may not end up as the best solution.
 
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deton8r

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I may tap into the sub wires to tie me over for a while. Down the road it looks like I may have to pick up the Zen2, find a JBL MS8 and upgrade all the speakers. At this rate I'll be in the $10k club by the end of the year.

I have been able to dial in a decent sound and counter some of the signal processing using my phone as the BT source with Viper4Arise. The sub amp I am planning to use (Kicker KXA 400.1) has some bass restoration features which may be enough if the B&O subsonic filters aren't to steep like 12db or less.
 

Johnpenn

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I installed a pair of Morel TEMPO ULTRA 602 6.5" component speakers for the front and Morel Maximo Coax 6" for the rear doors. I decided to upgrade the rears since I was taking the panels and speakers off for sound deadening insulation anyway. The Maximos are cheap and sound much better than the Ford OEM. I have not experimented with disconnecting the dash center speaker. IMO, the Ford speakers and lack of sound deadening are the biggest problem with the B&O system. I spent about $700 and to go further another $1500-2000 would be needed for an incremental improvement.

The sound deadening material and improved mid-range and bass of the Morels made a big difference in the overall sound so I decided not to do anything with the subwoofer for now. At half volume (15), the sound is well balanced and more than loud enough. Door panel vibration is also gone even at 25-30 volume settings and bass seems well damped. Distortion seems minimal at highest volumes.

Overall, I'm still happy with the system after 6 months and other people have been equally impressed.

Disclaimer: I don't often listen to rap/ hip-hop music so I don't really need home theater sub-audible bass levels in my truck.
 

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I have spent many years dabbling in the design of speakers, home theater, car audio, and even a touch of pro audio back in college. I got the 501A to option out my Ranger to the gills, this being the first OE premium sound system I've got somewhat on purpose. My impressions are that it sounds decent. My gripes are that the doors rattle way too easily, and that the bass is too thin. To be honest this is a big let down. The tiny 5" B&O Play subwoofer is really laughable to be honest. I don't know why they don't do 6x8s in the doors like Ford used to, or 6x9s like FCA does now. Anyhow, the system is fine for what it is, and probably great for the casual listener.

My general plan will be to replace the sub and speakers, use a 5-channel amp, and use the A2B signal processor. The doors will get some lining and felt added to kill the buzzes.

I don't think 501A was a "waste" by just replacing parts of the stereo system because I still get the Nav/Tech/Remote Start package out of it. What it does do, is require a cost of admission to upgrade the B&O system since Ford is now sending digital A2B link to the B&O amp that powers all 10 speakers (really 8 speakers: sub, center, front tweets, front woofers, rear coaxials).

A benefit to upgrading the B&O may be that the OE amp is sending a filtered signal over dedicated wiring to the front tweeters. This is based on what I've seen so far, I have not verified this yet. Based off the pin-outs below it should be true. I will validate that when I tackle the speakers, I am starting with the subwoofer.

One may have to do the B&O Ranger all at once since any change means removing the B&O amp and replacing it with a processor like the NavTV Zen-A2B/DSP-12A-A2B. I have read around the F-150 forums a lot to learn from their B&O and A2B experiences, which are sounding nearly identical to the Ranger B&O setup. From the sounds of it, one would not want to use the factory high-level signal to a new sub since it is heavily tuned by the sync/B&O system such as cutting bass for high volume. The approach looks like using the Zen2 and then RCA to a 5ch or 4ch + sub amps. A big shortcut, and sound quality benefit, is that it sounds like from the NavTV manual that you can keep the factory B&O digital time alignment using the "Surround" Sync3 audio setting, but otherwise get a flat EQ and compression-free signal out to all channels. This means that those more keen on sound quality than spending $$$$ on car audio sound processors, is that you can skip a sound processor and still get very valuable DSP functionality. Given, we've had dropped the extra ~$500 for the NavTV Zen2 already, one shouldn't need more than that and the active filters built into virtually all car amps.

I have taken rough measurements on the sub area and it's really tight back there. Most "truck" subwoofer enclosures will not fit there, including the relatively small Alpine SBT-10SV, SBR-S8, and others. Looks like the maximum total depth may not be bigger than 6 inches near the bottom. I'm on the fence between making my own enclosure or working on something off the shelf. I'm a lot lazier than I used to be but audio is still a fun hobby!
-- From a WAG on some measurements, the 10" JL TW1 based CS110LG-TW-2 might squeeze in with trimming
-- Pioneer UDSW250T (~3" mounting depth) & UDSW250D (~4" mounting depth) enclosures might squeeze in with trimming, use sub of choice

Here's a small collection of subs people have added and info I have found regarding the subwoofer replacement in the B&O system:
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/b-o-replacement-speaker-sizes.2697/
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/#post-55411
https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/kicker-sub-upgrade.3659/page-2#post-58355
Kicker 6" passive radiator sub can fit -- I'm personally not interested.
JL 13TW5 fit in a custom box with trimming of the back wall in the cab -- that may be too much for me also, I want to keep the jack back there if possible.
Normal subs fit under the rear seat -- I'm not interested, I have recovery and other gear that has to go there, there's not much space to spare even in the 4 door Ranger.

20200216_131043.jpg


amp pinout.PNG
Just commenting here,
I'd be glad that your S/Crew did come with the B&O system as included in the 501A package.
We S/Cab owners who opted for the package were shortchanged in that we got the XLT audio setup with no break in the price of the 501A. Granted there is not enough room to house the subwoofer in a S/Cab. There looks to be some wizardry going on in that speaker housing what's the green wiring connector for?
It's just as well though, my ears are nowheres as discerning as yours, the system in my Lariat sounds just fine to me.
To me it's a wash, look at the owners who's dealer is located minutes away from Michigan Assy., Ford still charges $1195 for destination.
My 2020 travelled almost 5K to get to me, a downright bargain for $1195.
 
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fusseli

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Just commenting here,
I'd be glad that your S/Crew did come with the B&O system as included in the 501A package.
We S/Cab owners who opted for the package were shortchanged in that we got the XLT audio setup with no break in the price of the 501A. Granted there is not enough room to house the subwoofer in a S/Cab. There looks to be some wizardry going on in that speaker housing what's the green wiring connector for?
It's just as well though, my ears are nowheres as discerning as yours, the system in my Lariat sounds just fine to me.
To me it's a wash, look at the owners who's dealer is located minutes away from Michigan Assy., Ford still charges $1195 for destination.
My 2020 travelled almost 5K to get to me, a downright bargain for $1195.
The green plug is the high level sub signal from the B&O amp. The OE ported sub is a convoluted structure because they were trying to make it as big but efficient in space as possible, so it fits the nooks and crannies back there like a glove.
 

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Hmmm. You could do a sweep on the sub output at that green plug then equalize it back to flat. A lot of sub amps have a boost. Like the one I picked out has +12db centered on 40hz. But then do the sweep at multiple levels to see how it changes at different levels.

I think if I had the B&O system I would add a subwoofer amp that had some equalization options and a line level in option, replace that laughable sub with something that has some depth and output, equalize the filtered low end, and maybe mount the sub amp in the storage area under the seat.

If the tweeters have their own filtered amp channel in that system, it makes replacing the tweeter easy, just put something better in there and add resistance for level.

During my test drives, I kind of wish I'd listened to a Lariat with the B&O system to see what that's all about.
 
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fusseli

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Hmmm. You could do a sweep on the sub output at that green plug then equalize it back to flat. A lot of sub amps have a boost. Like the one I picked out has +12db centered on 40hz. But then do the sweep at multiple levels to see how it changes at different levels.

I think if I had the B&O system I would add a subwoofer amp that had some equalization options and a line level in option, replace that laughable sub with something that has some depth and output, equalize the filtered low end, and maybe mount the sub amp in the storage area under the seat.

If the tweeters have their own filtered amp channel in that system, it makes replacing the tweeter easy, just put something better in there and add resistance for level.

During my test drives, I kind of wish I'd listened to a Lariat with the B&O system to see what that's all about.
Great ideas, thanks! I just did some RTAs, at a glance the B&O sub is a very fine tuned boomer.
 

Wayne Kubeck

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Any thoughts to replacing the driver in the factory B&O enclosure and re using it? My plans were to use the Zen interface and some aftermarket amps. Are all the factory speaker wires in the back of the cab so connecting them to an aftermarket amp easier?
 
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I just did some quick and dirty RTA measurements of the completely stock 2019 Ranger B&O sound system with an old laptop, REW, and a miniDSP UMIK-1 microphone. I was able to connect to bluetooth to do the measurements via the laptop, I was worried for a minute when I got out there and remembered there is no aux in.

All measurements are with the doors closed and no bass/mid/treble on the Sync3, I wanted to see how they tuned for cabin gain. I don't think these measurements are truthful in the kHz range, but the near-field on the tweeter and woofer should be an idea of the filtering they are getting. Nearfiled at the sub is with the seat folded back up to be in as normal of a state as possible.

Given that this is B&O EQ plus cabin gain, there's not a good way of separating the responses. I did the measurements with the driver's front only, and then one with the full system playing to get an idea of the total bass response. One can generalize that the door speakers boom at 70 Hz, the sub booms at 50 Hz, and that there's not an impressive blend between the two.

Filtering on the woofer/tweeter looks like the very common range of 2-3 kHz. If we take more measurements to get the B&O speaker sensitivities nailed down, one could fairly easily drop-in a tweeter or woofer upgrade and still keep the B&O system in balance.

The system bass is somewhat level below 100 Hz, but the dip between the door's and sub's responses I think is due to either's inherent peakiness. Bass drops like a ruck below 30 Hz. These measurements are also at low volume level, subjectively I can say for sure the low bass goes away once the knob gets turned up loud.

20200301_103306.jpg


20200301_103319.jpg


ALL SPEAKERS @DRIVER POSITION RTA.png


LF SUB NEARFIELD RTA.png


LF TWEET NEARFIELD RTA.png


LF WOOFER NEARFIELD RTA.png
 
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fusseli

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Any thoughts to replacing the driver in the factory B&O enclosure and re using it? My plans were to use the Zen interface and some aftermarket amps. Are all the factory speaker wires in the back of the cab so connecting them to an aftermarket amp easier?
It's possible in theory to upgrade the driver, if you can find a 5"-6" subwoofer driver that fits.
 

AuburnRanger

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If you are replacing the whole B&O system I’d be interested in buying it to upgrade my XLT.
 

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Does that program have a white noise setting on it? Is there a smoothing setting like 1/24 or 1/12 oct? I'm not familiar with REW. REW looks like a free program. Might be time to download and start playing with it. Always love new toys.

How did you get the signal from your laptop to your head unit? Bluetooth?

I'm considering how to get measurements done in my truck too eventually. Something I was wondering about - One of those Car auxilliary FM transmitters. Maybe something like this. Don't need the type with USB, and I'm sure it would roll off with typical FM bandwidth, but I would expect it to be reasonably flat within key bandwidth and then I could do impulse measurements and then maybe have some control over gating and other stuff. But I kinda get the feeling that's not going to work. (maybe because of class D amps)and we will be stuck with white noise and RTA measurements.
 

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