A longtime client of Audio Designs and Custom Graphics in Jacksonville recently dropped by the store to inquire about upgrading his 2013 Tesla Model S audio system. We had previously installed an aftermarket sound system in his Lexus and he wanted to bring the performance of the Tesla up to the same level. After inspecting the vehicle and discussing how he used the car, we put together a proposal that would offer exceptional performance without affecting the usability of the vehicle.
Model S Speaker Upgrade
The first order of business was to install new front and rear speakers in the factory door speaker locations. The client had Hertz Dieci speakers in his Lexus, and given his goals for this system, we suggested an upgrade to the Energy series to handle more power and offer smoother response. The front speakers are a set of ESK-165 6.5-inch components, and we used Dieci DCX 130.3 5.25-inch coaxial speakers in the rear doors.
The factory door speakers are mounted to a plastic adapter that seals them against the interior door trim panel. We created a set of angled adapters from three layers of expanded PVC plastic sheet. The base layer bolts to the factory mounting locations while the second and third layers move the speakers out to seal against the door trim.
We offer the door speaker adapters on our online store if you are interested in upgrading your Model S. The link is HERE.
Tesla Subwoofer Enclosure System
The next order of business was to construct a subwoofer enclosure for the vehicle. A subwoofer does more than just produce deep bass frequencies. Having one in your car stereo system keeps the small door speakers from having to work hard to produce deep bass. This makes them sound a lot better and handle more power.
The construction began with a stack-fab enclosure in the left rear corner of the trunk. Each layer of the enclosure is cut on our computer-controlled router and is optimized for the shape of the vehicle. We call our vehicle-specific enclosure solutions Phantom Fit. If you have a Tesla and are interested in upgrading your vehicle with a sub, you can purchase one of these enclosures from our online store. The link is HERE.
The face of the enclosure is wrapped in dark gray carpet that matches the trunk upholstery quite well. We used a single 10-inch Audiomobile GTS2110 in the enclosure because they work well in extremely compact designs and sound excellent.
Five-Channel System Amplifier Installation
The last step in this upgrade was to install a Hertz HDP5 five-channel amplifier on the right side of the trunk under the false floor. The amp powers the front and rear speakers with up to 70 watts of power and delivers up to 550 watts to the subwoofer.
The amplifier is wired to the Tesla’s 12V battery that is mounted in the front of the vehicle. The 12V battery operates the vehicle’s lighting, computers and the large touchscreen. As such, the audio system draws very little power from the 375-volt lithium battery. Even with the volume at maximum, the current draw from the main battery would be less than 1 amp and would have no measurable effect on driving range.
Tesla Model S Audio System Tuning
With the equipment installed in the vehicle and the interior trim panels reassembled, the final step was to configure the amplifier for the chosen speakers and the audio system controller built into the factory touch-screen system. This is an important step in ensuring the audio upgrade sounds the way the customer wants and offers excellent reliability.
After just two days with us at Audio Designs and Custom Graphics in Jacksonville, the Tesla Model S and its new audio system were ready for the client. He was amazed with how well we integrated everything into the vehicle and loved the way it sounds. The tonal balance was smooth and the bass played nice and deep – just the way he wanted! If you are interested in upgrading the audio system in your Tesla Model S, Model X or Model 3, drop by our store and speak with one of our product specialists. You can also reach us by email using our contact page.