2020 Ford F-150 XL pickup - no factory amp - trying to do dFO2, AR, Kenwood DSP amp

Factory amplifier replacement interface
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Djcwardog
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2020 Ford F-150 XL pickup - no factory amp - trying to do dFO2, AR, Kenwood DSP amp

Post by Djcwardog »

Truck has the base audio system. As I understand here’s what that means: The ACM drives front speakers in 2 ch stereo; and, the factory wiring splits the speaker output on left and right to door woofer and A-Pillar tweeters.

My upgrade path is to use the new dFO2 T-connector, the Maestro AR and the Kenwood XR600-6DSP amp in a 5.1 speaker setup. However, when I use the Weblink project selector it correctly offers me the F-150 with no factory amp but it omits the Kenwood as a DSP choice. So, for now I’ve chosen “Ford - Other” as my vehicle. That allows me to step through the remaining choices of Kenwood as the DSP and there this particular amp as the only choice offered. It then allows me to input the Kenwood amp serial number, That results in flashing the AR to a universal configuration. However, when I try to review the installation guide it says “sorry, nothing found.”

I understand that the dFO2 harness was recently released and indeed I got mine just last week. It seems that if I was using a generic non-DSP amp then I could use the DSR-1 instead of the AR and your existing database already shows me how to hook everything up. I already have a DSR-1 so this is a viable alternative. However, I prefer the idea of using this special Kenwood amp to handle the DSP processing and using the AR to get it the signals it needs to do so. I have reviewed both the dFO2 and the aFO2 instructions to derive what I need to do to connect everything. I am having to derive just what amp turn-on signal the Kenwood needs and where to source it. I have the Kenwood under the seat along with the AR so I used one of the two extension harnesses that Kenwood provides to get the signal to them both. The other harness they provide doesn’t match any of my connectors for this application.

Is there a new firmware release for the AR that will allow dFO2-AR-Kenwood to work in a dedicated mode for the AR for the 2020 F-150 instead of generic?
Sincerely,

djcwardog

Chris LaRoche
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Re: 2020 Ford F-150 XL pickup - no factory amp - trying to do dFO2, AR, Kenwood DSP amp

Post by Chris LaRoche »

The reason the Kenwood XR6006DSP isn't coming up for you is that it only has a 2 channel input, while the vehicle provides 4 channel output. The rear speaker outputs off the dFO2 harness are unable to be taken by the XR6006DSP. If you were to change and go DSR1 to an amp using RCA in, that could work.

Flashing the AR to "other" firmware basically turns the AR into a turn-on generator for the XR6006DSP. So it'll turn on, but you'll be in the same boat, with the amp only being a 2ch input. If F/R fade wasn't a concern, you could likely come up with a solution, we just don't offer one that would lose functionality over OEM.
Chris LaRoche
Automotive Data Solutions
Technical Support - Maestro
MECP Master Installer

Djcwardog
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 am

Re: 2020 Ford F-150 XL pickup - no factory amp - trying to do dFO2, AR, Kenwood DSP amp

Post by Djcwardog »

Chris,

This is very helpful! My truck came with no rear speakers so it also showed me no fader control when I was using all the stock stuff before launching this project. Interesting as the factory wiring harness provided outputs from the ACM for 4 speakers? I guess the rear connectors are in the rear corners tucked out of sight, who knows. So I could use either of your suggestions as I have a DSR1 also. In order though:

1) Stick with the AR, accept no F/R fade, and proceed. Not a problem as this is a regular cab truck so the rear speakers are literally right behind me, really more like rear side speakers in the home multi-channel world. I will use the tuning features and my RTA to set levels once and then forget it. I would not adjust L/R balance or F/R fade in any event once I set things up. If I go this route, what suggestions have you for me? Or...

2) Use my DSR1 instead of the AR. By the way, I have an EXT4 harness also in case I need it. (Applies to 1 or 2). If I go this route, what “flash” do I apply to the DSR1 and how do I get the Kenwood XR600-6DSP to turn off its internal DSP processing - in favor of letting my DSR1 do it? I ask because the Kenwood also came with a basic harness of a stereo RCA pair of inputs and a remote turn on lead. They say to use this in generic installations with any head unit in order to let the Kenwood do the processing. Seems like if I go DSR1, you suggest using a different amp. I would not be able to get the Kenwood to work unless I used that harness - which makes this look like 1) if I am stuck on using the Kenwood? Or does the DSR1 do a better job of DSP over the Kenwood?

Finally, either way I would like to do a 5.1 system. I have a center channel speaker in place using the factory tray and grille - but a nice aftermarket 3.5” driver. Will I be able to instruct the DSP to output a summed left and right signal to that speaker? If so, then I should be able to set a high-pass EQ filter on it also and then tune as a center channel, even if it’s not a Logic 7 circuit, etc.
Sincerely,

djcwardog

Chris LaRoche
Moderator
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: 2020 Ford F-150 XL pickup - no factory amp - trying to do dFO2, AR, Kenwood DSP amp

Post by Chris LaRoche »

In your vehicle, honestly a different amplifier makes the most sense from our perspective. Audison, Arc, and (eventually) Audiocontrol all make pieces that'll work with the dFO2 vehicles and not be a matter of "making" a solution work.

Or any other amp brand, the DSR1 makes sense. You could definitely do the DSR1 on the t harness flashed for the vehicle, with the AR flashed as universal to feed 2ch audio to the Kenwood amp. You'd be using the Kenwood DSP, though, not the DSR1 for tuning in that scenario.
Chris LaRoche
Automotive Data Solutions
Technical Support - Maestro
MECP Master Installer

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