Stereo Installation

SBRacing

Paid Member
Thought I could perhaps help anyone wanting to make a big difference to their Clio Stereo system for relatively not too much money.

I have moved to a Clio 200 from a Merc A35 AMG. The Merc was a company rented car and during the CV19 crisis had only done 2000 miles in the year I had it.
As such it was crazy amounts of money per mile , so I decided to not have another one and try a Clio as I'd always liked them from a distance.

One of the major things that immediately struck me how terrible the stereo system was - and how far things have moved on in the last 10 years!.

I have been trying to 'do' a budget new installation but details have been a bit sketchy as to what works etc..

My new system consists of the following:

Pioneer DAB single DIN head unit - I have the CD version but could probably have just got the mechless version. Cost is £120
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This is attached to a Vibe Mono subwoofer amp - its tiny and easily just velcros to the carpet under the passenger seat. Cost is around £80.

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This in turn is connected to a sub box in the boot. This was an ebay special and I have to say i'm very impressed for the money.
It easily has enough 'ummph' to move some serious air in such a small car. Its the 10 inch version - there is also a 12 inch for similar cash. Cost approx £80.

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Door and rear qtr speakers are both upgraded to full range Alpine versions. Only cheap but much better than the standard parts. Approx. £60 for all 4.
I have added no insulation or sound deadening at all - could probably make it better if you strip the doors and spend more time on this.

I took the tweeter mouldings out of my dash (Full Fat 2010 car) - both had no tweeters in them and no obvious wiring at all. Both mouldings broke when extracting them. Very tricky to get them out. You certainly dont just pull them as some internet videos suggested!!.

I made some alloy discs and sprayed them black. I had added a pair of Pioneer tweeters to these. The look ok but this is one thing I may change if I find a better flush mounted tweeter that could look a bit more factory. The tweeters up high have made a big difference. Cost about £50.

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Last but not least is the DAB aerial. I tried the Pioneer supplied screen aerial but it was utter pants. I was pointed in the direction of the Mk4 clio sharkfin DAB aerial. This fits the RS200 with no modifications - the hole shape is correct so no extra drilling required. You just need a 5 meter DAB Akra extension cable to route through the trim to the front of the car. The other lead from the aerial (white plug) is for FM and connects up to the cars original loom in the drivers rear three quarter area. Fiddly job but transforms the reception. Cost about £65 plus the leads.
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Total cost of the whole thing is just about bang on £500. It has transformed the daily commute and made it much more pleasant!.
 

Ppa

Paid Member
Great write up and cracking job. Thank you. Having tried replacing rear speakers in the past along with better sound proofing and where the vibration that i believe may be inherent didn't noticeably improve, i gave up. The front speakers didn't really bother me too much, like I say it was more the constant buzz from rears (with and without covers removed and even with far better sound deadening etc.) Can you let me know if what you did actually made a difference to this specific issue when you next get a chance please
 

SBRacing

Paid Member
The clio speakers are a strange mounting with just two lugs (as i'm sure you know).
I had to cut two lugs off the Alpine speakers and trim the remaining ones down quite a bit to get them to fit. Made them more 'pointy'.
It was also important to make a kind of foam gasket under the outer rim of the 'bowl' or cone support structure to help them sit flat in the holes.
I think without this trimming, fitting & sealing they could have vibrated when used. You have to make sure they are absolutely tight and cant rock or wobble.
No buzzing from mine and they go pretty loud.
 
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SBRacing

Paid Member
Forgot a couple of other details!.

You obviously need an amp wiring kit - only about £20 from ebay or Amazon with positive / ground / trigger and phono cables.
I took a power feed for the amp from a large connector behind the left hand side of the glovebox as you look forwards with it removed.
This had a large ignition switched positive cable from the car loom going into it but nothing then connected to the other side - made a perfect amp power source without routing anything through the bulkhead to the battery!.
The amp ground wire is connected to an eyelet that i've slotted under one of the front seat rear bolts.

I haven't bothered connecting FM at the stereo end as I cant figure out what the weird Renault FM plug actually is?. None of the adapters seem to look anything like it. With the DAB working properly its not really needed though.

I also purchased an adapter loom to get the Renault stalk controls working. This didn't seem to work at all , so i removed it. Doesn't really bother me too much but you cant adjust the central screen clock. Its the only part that really needs a 'fix' for - a small sticker has covered up the clock for the time being.
 
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Nice. What alpine speakers specifically? I replaced front speakers with some cheap JVCs but they sounded worse so went back to standard.
 
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Ppa

Paid Member
Yes the steering controls adaptor can be tricky. As i favour stock look, initially intended to reinstate the unusual totally Renault Cabasse Auditorium stereo and amp set up (previous owner kindly sent me original head unit and amp and i sourced wiring loom separately on eBay) However once i got my brain round and tested, decided to use a new head unit that allowed me to get really close to orange illumination with the added benefit of hands free and wireless (as attached) The yellow headed lead needed for stalk adaptor eluded me for weeks, that is until i discovered it plugged into what looked like the underside of clock module (also as attached). Once i disconnected and reconnected it to the adaptor all was good. Clock thermo still works fine! )albeit now minus track info (which shows up on head unit anyway)
 

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SBRacing

Paid Member
Nice. What alpine speakers specifically? I replaced front speakers with some cheap JVCs but they sounded worse so went back to standard.
The Alpines were just two sets of cheap 2 way types. SXE-1325s.
They need some trimming around the mounting lugs to fit the strange Clio 2 prong mounting method.

I think these would still be fine in the rear 3/4's as a general fill in - probably £25 or so.

I've just made a further mod that has really improved things!.

Stumbled across an ebay advert for Rainbow EL-C 5.2 , component set for £50. Thought it was too good to be true, so bought a set. Arrived 2 days later and i'm impressed. These are a large improvement but need a section of the door casing cutting away behind the woofer magnet (much larger and heavier).
Way way better!. The tweeters can also be recessed into a custom plate so they will sit flush and look a lot more 'factory' than the Pioneers in my initial post.
Hope this helps!.
 
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SimboRS

Paid Member
Do the alpine sxe-1325s plug straight in to original wiring or need an adaptor/modification? Iv still got the standard head unit but fancy replacing all 4 speakers with these if it will improve the sound.
 

Ppa

Paid Member
I believe so
Though cannot remember exactly how
Must have been pretty straightforward as doesn’t stick out in memory as a problem - reckon it will have been text book / the way you would change it normally
I vaguely recollect having to refer to the manual when using the finger tip controls for the first time
But that was when experimenting with original head unit and inputting code