Shaker 500 replacement help

oldtexasdog Newbie
Mar 30, 2021
I have been searching all over the internet and cant seem to find any relevant current suggestions on a current make and model head unit to replace my Shaker 500 unit in my 08 Mustang.
I want to keep the door subs and will need hands free calling for a I-Phone. Ability to query Siri (directions ect) along with integration would be nice but no GPS. Great FM recaption and sound. Would like to stay under 500.00 Single or double Din not a issue. Ease of use while driving.
Thanks all for your thoughts and time.

Jimg Regular
Mar 19, 2019
I am no expert in car audio but with The help of people on this website

I just upgraded the whole system in my sons 2012 mustang shaker 500 system
the factory door subs in the shaker system ***** and it is also the problem with trying to get aftermarket headunits to work without having to have additional equipment to work Correct

the factory shaker door subs and the factory shaker sub amplifier is the reason I decided to bypass the whole system

this is what de did

Replaced the head unit. JVC 750bt. It Is a great quality headunit with a lot of features
scosche dash kit
we did a full 3 way active front stage
put a set of focal tweeters on the dash in pods
did a focal 5 1/4 in the upper door speaker locations
and a focal 6 1/2 in the door sub location
two Dayton HO 10’s in the trunk
all running on around 2,000 watts of power on three separate amplifiers

a Dayton dsp 408 running everything active it sounds great

BUT ,,,,,,,,,,,,,if I had it to do all over again here is what I would have done
it would have been a lot less work and way less cost by far( my kid is just not into music as much as I and really he does not understand the work and cost I put into it)

Below would be a great system and sound awesome compared to the factory shaker system

Step One. Replace head unit. I like the one we used. JVC 750bt
it will allow full active on a two way front stage along with seperate subwoofer controls
it has good eq adjustments, time alignment, and crossover settings
pioneer and Kenwood have comparable units that do this also
they are around $350 on average for this type of head unit

dash kits On crutch field is not expensive for the 2008 mustang

step 2. If you are going to use a double din headunit like the 750bt go ahead and put in a rearview camera If you don’t have one already. We bought one off Amazon $40
took less than 40 minutes to do. It is well worth it to have

step 3. I would use a set of tweeters on the dash mounted is some type of pod enclosure
do some research on this sight. There are several recommendations that cost less that $100 for the pair

step 4 I would use a set of 6 1/2 in place of the door subwoofer. Once again there are several recommendations on here for less than $100 for the pair

(we did not run new speaker wire through the door. We just traced the wires down to see what they were and used the factory speaker wire )

step 5. I would use what ever your budget is for a 4 channel amp to run the tweeter and the 6 1/2 and a small subwoofer amp or use a 5 channel amp to do it all depending on budget

step 6. Even if you put a pre made box with a 10 inch subwoofer it will sound way better and have way more bass than the door subs can do on The shaker system

if you have any questions feel free to text me. I can even send pictures of how the tweeters are mounted on the dash and how we did the 6 1/2 in the shaker door locations
pm me for my contact number

new headunit $350
dash kit $15
rca cables. $30
tweeters $100
6 1/2 door speakers. $100
low cost 5 channel amp $150
sub and subwoofer box. one 10 inch $120
installation parts, wire , fuse blocks etc $100
camera. $40

so for around $1,000 or less could redo the whole thing

oldtexasdog Newbie
Mar 30, 2021
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Excellent advice! I went ahead with help from here and Crutchfield and ordered a Kenwood DMX 7706S but your advice on getting a backup camera is spot on along with the speaker upgrades. Did you replace the rear speakers? If so with what?

hispls Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
Central Maine
Excellent advice! I went ahead with help from here and Crutchfield and ordered a Kenwood DMX 7706S but your advice on getting a backup camera is spot on along with the speaker upgrades. Did you replace the rear speakers? If so with what?
I was going to chime in and recommend Crutchfield. Whenever I need a head unit that does certain things or fits in a certain space they always seem to know exactly what makes and models will do what I'm after and their customer service and return policy is top notch if it doesn't play out to your liking. Oh, and the """free""" wiring harness and all is a nice plus.

I would suggest to simply delete the rear speakers entirely and throw whatever money you planned to spend on those into a higher quality set for up front and/or some sound deadening/door treatments for their mounting locations.

AFAIK most Fords use the 6x8/5x7 in their factory locations. JBL Stadium GTO860C are very nice. We did a pair up front in my brother's old F250 and they seemed worth every penny. He lost the tweeters when he sold the truck and gave me the mids which I will throw in my truck if I ever have free time, a nice day, and any energy all at the same time.

My f250 is a plow/hauling/work truck and I went with some cheaper Kicker components in it which are totally worth the 120$ I spent on them but definitely suffer from anemic power handling.

Coolhand20th Elite
Mar 27, 2019
Sonicelectronix does all the same stuff hispls and sometimes cheaper and faster. TBH you can't go wrong with either place plus if you buy speakers there they give you the speaker adapters as well for free to hook up to stock wiring which is nice since a lot of stock wiring for the past 20+ years can handle 100 watts easily. Plus stinger 9 wire is good as well to use when using a 4 channel amplifier.

Jimg Regular
Mar 19, 2019
The advice I am giving is building a budget build that will be way better than the shaker 500 setup now.

If your budget is higher than $1000 then I would be doing the same setup just using different speakers and amplifiers. Adding an additional DSP and other things.

I did all the install myself on our mustang. The only thing I had a local shop do was design and install the enclosure in the trunk
To have them do the complete install of what I did would have cost over $5000.

First off I can not explain how bad the factory Shaker 500 system is compared to a basic 2 way tweeter, 6 1/2 woofer setup. and a small 10 inch sub in the trunk.
The Shaker 500 is really , really, really that bad.

Crutchfield has good pricing , Sonic electronics has good pricing ,
I also bought some things off Ebay and Amazon when I did our mustang.

The Kenwood should be fine it has the time alignment , crossover adjustments to get it to sound good. Page 73 in the Kenwood owners manual
goes over the crossover setup

1. I would on the tweeters if they do not come with some type of crossover I would put some kind of bass blocker on them to keep from messing them up by accident in the tuning process.

2 No I did not use any rear speakers, no need to add the extra cost.

I did not take the rear speakers out , just unpluged the harness at the speaker, zip tied the harness to keep it from moving around.

There is really no reason to keep the rear speakers if you are going to use a subwoofer setup in the trunk.
also the 2 way setup in the front with a tweeter pod on the dash and a 6 1/2 in the lower door is plenty,
A two way setup has way more clarity and volume to what is in there now.

3 On the radio install I completely bypassed the radio system. I did not use any wiring harness. I ran a new ground wire to ground the head unit. I ran a constant hot wire with a fuse tap from the fuse block to the head unit and ran a accessory power wire also with a fuse tap from the fuse block to the head unit. It did not take long at all.
I new I was not going to be using any factory speaker wires so there was no need to use a harness to tap into the factory

4 Use a basic subwoofer setup in the trunk.
I know on the caraudio website Skar audio is looked down on here.
But I installed two Skar IX-10 10 inch subwoofer setups for a couple friends of mine.
One was in a Honda accord, We used their prebuild box and did two 10 inch subs
The other is a extend cab truck. We did a single 10 inch sub in that one
For a $49 ten inch subwoofer it not bad at all. Way better than the door subs the mustang has on the shaker in it now.
Skar also has a prebuilt box the SK1X10v for $69 to fit their 10 inch subs. I can not build the box and carpet it for really to much less than that and it will fit in the trunk and still have some usable trunk space.

In the Honda accord we did the dual 10 setup. the box is the SK2X10V it cost $119 for the dual 10 box.
once again I really could not build one for any less. The boxes are pretty decent quality for what they are at the cost they sell them.
I am sure that using someone on here to design one would be better than using the prebuilt but I was more than impressed with the output of the prebuild ones they have.

4 If you have any basic car audio experience the mustang was not hard to work with. The only things that I ran into was tracking down and working with the best way to get the speaker wires tracked down to not have to take the doors off and drill through the Molex plug.
Now that I have done it once it would only take me about 20 minuets vs the 2 hours it took the first time in that step of the install.

I am sure others will chime in with different speaker or amplifier options.

If I was doing it all over again with a budget build that I know I could do and still sound good I would be looking at something like this

head unit kenwood dmx 7706s that you have now
massive ct 2 tweeters $80
silver flute 6 1/2 mids $85
skar IX-10 $50
Sakr box $70
sub amp Rockville DB 11 $80 the DB series seem to be good to go.
4 channel amp Rockville RDX-F30 $100
I might would go up a little in cost if I wanted to look at different amplifiers

amplifier wiring kit are low cost ones off amazon or ebay cost a little less but the RCA they use and the remote turn on wire is very low grade wire. I would spend the extra money and buy the materials and put one together myself. 4 gauge sky high car audio CCA wire is $1.25 per foot. CCA wire is fine for no more power than the system will be

all on Ebay
wire 20 feet 4 gauge sky high cca wire $25
Anl fuse block at the battery $10
remote turn on wire 16 gauge $6
ANL distribution fuse block at the amplifiers $12
4 gauge copper wire lugs will need 4-6 of them $10
Rca cables KnuKonceptz Bassik need 3 of them $30 get the 5 meter ones don't want them to be to short
subwoofer wire from amp to subwoofer box 8 gauge $10 $1 a food get 10 feet, will probably have some left over
speaker wire Sky high 16 gauge CCA will work $13 get the 100 foot pack you will have some left over
various tools, heat shrink , zip ties, wire loom, solder ect $50 you will need at least need a voltage meter, soldering iron, heat torch
noico sound deadening 18 sqft on amazon $33
Lumiteco bearing roller to apply deadening material $9

so far we are around $ 673 not counting the head unit and the dash kit.

but if $650-$700 is out of budget

I could probably cut around $20 if I used a cheap wiring 4 gauge amp kit .
But be prepared to solder the end connections on the cheap amp kits. The ring terminals that come with them are crap. and do not loose one or mess one of the terminals up, They only put in one set of terminals needed for the wire kit. Also the ground wire in the kit is way to short.

I could also cut around 30-50 cost on the tweeter and 6 1/2 woofer cost.
A set of kenwood KFC p710 component sets are around $129 on ebay.
A set focal ISS 165 components on sale for $125 on ebay. The tweeters that come with the focals are a decent mounting pod option like the massive ct2

Even using a component set you do not have to run the crossover that comes with them, still go active using the kenwood head unit and use the crossover settings with the head unit and the amplifiers.
Keep in mind a lot of the lower cost tweeter options will not have multiple mounting options that come in the box

as a general rule the massive ct2 tweeters and the silver flute seems to be the best 6 1/2 for the money out there.

Could also save $20-$30 using different amplifiers. But the specs of the amps and cost of the Rockville seems to be hard to beat for the money.

Looking around and cutting some cost could probable get the equipment for around $520 if you look hard enough. But I do not think it is worth the $100 in savings to go super budget. Not for the amount of time you will have doing the install yourself.

Super budget will still be way better than what is in there now. So if you want to go super budget don't feel like you would be missing out

O the truck my friend did for his son
He wanted to go ultra cheap budget.
used cheap rca cables only had to buy one
used the cheap amp kit off amazon even used the cheap rca cable that came with the amp kit for the other rca
Used a set of component speakers ran using the included crossovers
used a single amplifier. We used one 4 channel amp
ran the tweeters and the 6 1/2 on channels 1 and 2
ran the 10 inch skar sub on channels 3 and 4 bridged
did some noico sound deadening in the doors.
used some foam gasket to seal the speakers to the doors.

It was crazy how much better it sounds over the factory.

And crazy how much better it sounded over the shaker 500 system in my sons 2012 mustang
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hispls Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
Central Maine
I saw a guy running one of their prefab boxes Sunday and it sounded OK but was poorly built/braced. It had nearly tore itself apart and he needed to add some bracing and re-secure seems.

Dude had some of their components up front that actually sounded pretty decent. I don't think their subs are anything to write home about though and the only prefab boxes I've ever been impressed with are an ancient RF 6th order bandpass single 8" and more modern Kicker CVR (with the 6" round port out the side).

Otherwise, hopefully OP appreciates your lengthy post on your experience with Mustang build.

Coolhand20th Elite
Mar 27, 2019
You can use a wiring harness to just the speaker harness if the system doesn't have a stock amplifier and use Stinger or equivalent 9 wire speaker wire setup. It even has a remote turn on wire in it. Most oem speaker wires can handle 100 watts without a problem and Ford does very easily. So yes if it doesn't have a oem amplifier then use the wiring harness and the Stinger 9 wire setup it is 1000 times easier then running individual speaker wires to each speaker. You run the Stinger 9 wire to the aftermarket wiring harness speaker wires instead of them going to the head unit harness very easy and lots of people do it here & at DIYMA with great results. Not like you are pushing 200 watts through it. Also Skarbage? No offense but no just no. Also you do not need 8 gauge speaker wire unless running a bunch of wattage to them, you can get by with 12 gauge just fine. Rockville is also known to be a junk company and for the money a Pioneer 4 channel is hard to beat at 200 dollars and it makes more then rated plus is a lot better quality. Also Noico, Fatmat, Kill mat all same company and known to melt easily. Testing has been done on those in the deadening group on Facebook by independent tester and every time Resonix comes out on top then Second Skin then dynamat and then one other. Otherwise imho and others Noico is just junk chinese stuff. And as hispls said those skar boxes are known to tear themselves apart very easily, seen it myself a couple times from kids around here who followed the old "well amazon had great reviews and everyone says they slam" crap. Both found out the hard way they wasted money. Silver flutes are really nice, CT Tweeters are nice but I prefer the Alpine or Seas tweeters with them. Heck I would even do Taramps over Rockville all day long at least they have a decent reputation vs Rockville.

While I disagree on certain products the rest is helpful. Nothing personal on it.
Last edited:

Jimg Regular
Mar 19, 2019
nothing personal taken
I agree with you most all of what you said

But everything you just said probably took a $600 budget to probably close to double the cost to do or more ???

The shaker 500 system has an external factory amp Mine was located down by the kick panel on the driver side. This is the problem with the system.
New speaker wire has to be ran and or tapped into to get everything wired up

we tapped into the upper door speaker by going behind the head unit at the wiring harness

we tapped into the subwoofer wires out of the sub amp to get to the door subs where we placed the 6 1/2

ran new wires up the a pillar to do the

If the budget is $500 or so
Not many things I would change on the original recommendation. , possible a different brand amp?
if someone is able to build their own box I would use the blaupunkt 10 inch sub

The Skar Sub box they build Probably not going to break itself apart on a single 10 inch 200 watt Rms Sub
I would probably not use a high power sub in any prefab box

if running 150 watts or less with no clipping the sub would probably do just fine and hold up over time

both of the setups that we used the skar in Sound fine. Actually they sound Good

if the budget was$1000 to $1500 then I would recommend something else
Probably the pioneer amp setup and
Different subwoofers

If budget was $1500-2000 I would recommended something else

$2000-2500 something else

I see a lot of post where someone With very little knowledge and new to car audio forums

ask hey I want a basic subwoofer option can I get some help From everyone here

Then they get hit with don’t buy that $60 sub
Buy this $180 sub. It is much better

then every One hits them with don’t do the LOC converter they ****

you must do a dsp

Don’t do a a two way component speaker passive that *****. Instead do a full active three way setup with three different amps
Also now that you have went active with a lot of power now you need 0 gauge welding cable And all the parts that go with tha
Don’t use use cheap RCA’s. Go with knu konceptz krystal. Now you need 6 of them
Don’t use CCA wire it is trash only use ofc copper or get out of town
Now you have voltage drop. Need to upgrade to an AGM battery or two of them

ect. Ect ect.

Now they are at $3000 And they have to halfway know what they are doing to get everything installed

I kid you not I asked a very basic speaker question on a Toyota Tundra install

I asked what is a good component speakerfor around $500
i am putting in a JVC Z1000 headunit That has a ton of tuning options.
I am going to use a subwoofer amp With one 10 behind the rear seat
One 4 channel amp to go active off the headunit to a tweeter and a 6 1/2

I wanted to know what options are recommended on a decent tweeter midrange two way component setup
Something in the $500 range
Just a tweeter in the sail panel
And a 6 1/2 in the door

First response was don’t do that
I was hit with need to do a 3 way active
And go buy this additional equipment

They did not even give me the answer to the original question

Coolhand20th Elite
Mar 27, 2019
Taramps can be had for 100 bucks in a 4 channel and low power monoblock for a little bit more. Skarbage stinks not too mention giving that guy any money is even worse. Lots of better stuff out there then Noico as well for a little more money. And better subwoofers for equal or just a little bit more especially on a low power 10" subwoofer. You can build a box out of 3/4" MDF for not that much. I did a dual 10" for 50 bucks in 3/4" MDF and that was high because I screwed up on some cuts. Not that hard to do especially if doing a single 10".

Ampere is a lot nicer then Skar and can handle the power and usually more for 109 dollars.

If he did a little more then SSA Demon all day long

This amplifier was just bought by thxone and is Korean and he said it is doing really good and the price is right. Plus they have a non marine version as well that is the same. Looked into it myself so much so that if the price hadn't jumped since he bought it and the word got out I might have tried it myself.

Taramps in a 4 channel 100x4 and a MD 800 watt 1 ohm for decent prices

Or do a 5 channel amplifier. If Soundstream is using Korea for this lineup then the 5 channel would be a nice amplifier as well and would work perfectly.

JBL makes nice stuff also


Jimg Regular
Mar 19, 2019
I like the soundstream nano line. Specs on it look great
that is probably what I am going to put in the Tundra build
I looked his review of it comparing to his US Acoustics he is currently using.

hispls Veteran
5,000+ posts
10+ year member
Sep 10, 2009
Central Maine
Noico is just junk chinese stuff.
I've had better results with that than with Second Skin. Then again, I don't live where it gets very hot so perhaps this would give me trouble if I moved out to the desert or something.

I would avoid Soundstream at all costs. Almost everything they slap their name on is lowest quality garbage and even the decent stuff is over-rated by double. I encourage everybody to not support companies like that until they can get honest.

Coolhand20th Elite
Mar 27, 2019
Should look at the testing being done someone has been doing it for free using a lot of expensive equipment in the facebook group. Even Skizer will only recommend those brands yeah he owns Resonix but even he has said he doesn't want to be a salesmen and lets it speak for itself in testing. I can tell you I've seen cars even here in Northeast Wisconsin and it has melted very easily.

While I agree that Soundstream has had a horrible rep the last few years thxone did comparison of it to the barbara ann with the soundstream to him sounding better and what not. Maybe and this is just a "maybe" they finally got their heads out of there you know what and fixed some of the issues. Either way I said I would "maybe" think about one for a budget build.

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