Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Calming the storm


Dominic Devito

Dominic J. DeVito has been a member of the Crutchfield A/V writing squad since 2006. He was born and raised in Staunton, Virginia, and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. During that time he developed a passionate obsession with experiencing music, both live and recorded, which he parlayed into a 15-year stint in record retail (much to the chagrin of his very patient parents) and a long-running tenure as a rock DJ at WTJU. His expositions can be found in back issues of Plan 9's 9X Magazine as well as Schools That Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide. He's been to more concerts than he can remember.

More from Dominic Devito

Rich H. from Plainfield, IL, had it up to here with the Monsoon factory sound system in his 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover. It "was terrible quality," he says, and he wanted to get more power and better sound from his ride, so he contacted Crutchfield for some recommendations.

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

Rich H. and his 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Items installed:

  • JVC KW-R500 CD receiver
  • Rockford Fosgate Prime R1652-S 6-3/4" component speakers for the front doors
  • Sony XS-V6930 6"x9" 3-way speakers for the hatch
  • Kenwood KAC-746 35w 4-channel amplifier
  • Kicker PSR-100 powered subwoofer

He didn't come to us unprepared though — he had some 6"x9" Sony 3-way speakers which he fit into the rear stock locations. He also had a Kenwood amplifier to power his speakers, plus an older Kicker powered sub for some low end to fill out the sound.

Kicker powered sub

The hatch of Rich's Santa Fe with Kicker powered sub and Sony speakers installed.

He also spent some time trying to decipher the factory Monsoon system's wiring, because it featured an amplifier that would have to be bypassed in order to install the new amp, receiver, speakers, and powered sub. Rich reiterates: "The Santa Fe factory system was a complete waste of wiring and the amp was useless," so he was more than happy to get on the road to better sound.

Gearing up the ride

Rich chose the JVC KW-R500 CD receiver to replace the factory head unit in his Santa Fe. He liked it because it was reasonably priced and would fit in his dash, which has a double-sized (4") opening. Its sleek design and bold illumination certainly has made an impression on a large number of Crutchfield customers, not to mention the added convenience of USB and auxiliary inputs.

Once he had the Monsoon wiring figured out, Rich installed the JVC KW-R500 receiver and its Crutchfield-supplied wiring harness, connecting it to the Kenwood amp, which he placed under the passenger seat. He ran a power cable from the battery through the firewall on the passenger side to a terminal block under the passenger seat, feeding the amp as well as the powered sub located in the hatch. He also ran wiring under the seats to the sub from the receiver.

Rich H's 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe

The JVC KW-R500 fit in the Santa Fe's dash perfectly.

Adding the front speakers

With the rear of his Santa Fe taken care of, Rich went to work on his front speakers. He removed the old factory speakers from the doors and added the 6-3/4" woofers in their old locations. He then added the tweeters to the panels near the rear-view mirrors by dremeling some tabs off so they would fit.

Rockford Fosgate Prime R1652-S 6-3/4" component speakers

The tweeter (left) and woofer of the Rockford Fosgate Prime R1652-S 6-3/4" component speaker system before final installation.

The result? It "sounds a million times more full," says Rich, who shows off his system by "crank[ing] up the volume" and letting his passengers be the judge. He's also considering adding a Bluetooth® adapter from JVC to make hands-free phone calls with his compatible phone.

Rockford Fosgate Prime R1652-S 6-3/4" component speakers installed

The finall front-door installation of the Rockford Fosgate Prime R1652-S speakers.

Vehicles in the Custom Car Showroom are submitted by customers and fans, and edited by Crutchfield writing staff. You can find more of these articles on the Showroom main page.

  • Ikotun olu from Lagos, Nigeria

    Posted on 7/14/2015 7:34:38 AM

    what is error 6 in hyundai santa fe 2002 model. The system cannot play CD it would reject it and display error 6

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/14/2015 11:11:05 AM

    Ikotun, check your Sonata's manual for a guide to error codes. If you no longer have it, you may be able to find a copy of it online or on Hyundai-related forums. Good luck!

  • abraham from Boston

    Posted on 11/21/2015 4:48:26 PM

    Hello, we should by-passing factory amp of Santa Fe, ok. Front amplifiers are just screwed on the front speakers, but I cannot find the rear amps. There is no amp near the rear speakers. can you tell the location of the rear amps? pls.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/22/2015 2:33:58 PM

    Abraham, we'd need to know the year of your Santa Fe to be of any help. You may be able to find the information you're looking for in our online Knowledge Base. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

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