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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys and gals, first build in 10+ years and first purely sound quality build. So constructive advice or pointers are welcomed
Just getting started working on my truck. Already have some pieces-
2 helix b4 amps
Helix dsp
DA 1" soft dome nd25fa
Tang bang 3" mid 881sjf
Silverflute 8" midbass
Yet to come sub setup thinking mkiv
Objective sound quality
My rules has to look stock, as much as possible and everything has to function still aka windows and steering wheel controls stock head unit.
So far i have double layer deadened the front doors and made mounts for the silverflute. That was fun. The silverflutes are 3.4" deep and rubbing on the window regulator, not ideal at all. I cant make the baffle any thicker either rubbing on door panel also. Wanted to make a glass enclosure in the door just cant see how i can make it work with the window rolled all the way down it drop to the bottom edge of the magnet. Think i will try to seal the doors up. Very unhappy with the fact the inner door skin is plastic major fail. Its to flimsy and is essantialy the door window regulator, so i cant modify it to much.
Looking at alternative maybe different speaker that can use Ib or should i just call it what it is free air.
Any suggestions? 100hzs to 300hzs ish under $300.00 for pair max.
Got the tweeters mounted in the sail panels very simple holesaw cut and some perfectly sized panhead bolts. Everything on the tweeters is flush. I will get some picks up this weekend. Tweeters are off axis will have to see how they sound once i get more done. Should be fine plan on crossing them above 4k anyway and dont like super bright highs.
Planning to make some small enclosures for the mids shouldnt be to bad i have just enough space in the dash. I did check to see how they will mount looks like im in for a little more work than i had planned. The magnets are huge on these little mids:) - 4" flange will require minor dash mods to fit, but cant drop in.
A i can pull winshield
,B i can pull dash out,
think i will pull dash i can get the enclosure in the dash designed and in much easier with the dash out. Call me crazy since it will be firing into the windshield and i have no idea how much of a difference it will make, but why not? I have always found it easier to spend the extra time to get to something is usually worth it. Ok i think thats about it so far. I will try to keep the updates coming about once a week.
 

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Can't wait to see your progress. There are quite a few of us Ram guys into the audio and we also post our build threads over at ramforum.com.

Bradknob has placed some rather large speakers in his doors. I would check out his thread, either here or there, you might be able to get some ideas but all of us ram guys know your pain.

I am contemplating enclosures in the dash myself as I just can't bring myself to creating mounts on the A pillars and blocking even more view. Our pillars are large and cause blind spots as they are. Have you looked underneath the dash, the driver's side is a little more accessible friendly. I've been thinking that making a small enclosure with the speaker and then coming up from underneath might be do-able? Until I get further into it I will not know for sure. I really want those 4" Scan Illuminators but there is no way they are going to fit in a standard approach.

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes i have looked underneath the dash. The drivers side is free from obstructions. Found that out when i pulled the factory speaker out. It slipped out of my hand and fell in to the dash all the way down to the pedals lmao. The issue is on the passenger side. The evaporator case and ip brace are limiting factors to deal with. On the rear , firewall side, have just 3" on the front have 5" to the evap case. This is still enough space that i can make the proper sized enclosure i only need 4x4x4. I will angle the bottom of the passenger enclosure to get the volume and may make them wider to compensate for the thickness of the material used to make them. My first thought is to just use fiberglass and a little polyfill. I havent measured to see how wide i can go yet might be able to use mdf. If the mdf will be better for sq then i will see if that can work. Any opinion on that?
The sb acoustics would probably be fine. I was thinking of find a speaker with a higher qts since i wont be able to make an enclosure inside the door, well maybe. If i do an enclosure it will have some very complex shapes. I was looking at Jl zf800 and morel Mw266 there are a couple more biggest issue is most that have the proper spec for ib are to deep. The jl's might be over kill dont really needs a speaker that can do sub duties and the morel is an 8.75" flange, but at 2.7" deep i think i could compensate for it. Still looking for any better alternatives.
Bradknob build is impressive and very helpful. I would recommend anyone thats working on a build to read his build log. Far beyond my skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Haven't been able to get anything done this week been feeling under the weather. However I did order one bm mkiv sub and the matching mono amp to my other amps.
Ordered more damp used about 35sqft just on the front doors. Got one gallon of sludge as well to use on the door cards to make them "stiff". Then i can seal the front doors up. Think i figured out how to make the 8"s fit in the doors. Will have to cut the stock 6x9 completely out and build it back up so everything will line up just perfect for it all to clear. I have another interesting idea for the front doors. Think i will keep it to myself for now , try it and if it works great, if not then well more experience and can let yall know what i learned. So stay tuned for upcoming info.
I did pull the rear seat out to get an idea of were to mount the amplifiers. Looks like there is enough room for one behind each seat. Will require making a 3/4" mount to clear the cab vents. Think i will get some liquid nail to hold it. The third amp will go under the passenger rear seat.
When i build the sub box i plan to build it all the way across the back so that it fills the gap under the seat. Then cut out the space on the top plate to put the amp in flush. Will be somewhat like the single sub with amp setup that bradknob did. Looks like the best option to me. I will mount the dsp in the center console, lots of room there and easy access to it for tuning.
Now if i can just figure out how to post some picks lol. Figure it out when i get on the laptop at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/n705bampb30bikc/AABW2GMXeyTxIKfD8gTouAQga
Link to photos.
Made a mount out of mdf. Base piece is larger to be able to bolt to door. Second piece is for depth about 7/8" wide. The top thin piece is shim to fill gap and is only the width of the flange.
So what i had to do was make a mount to hold the speaker and be able to position it so it would clear the door panel. The shim was needed because the speaker magnet is up against the metal window regulator. The metal come down at an angle causing the speaker to angle up about 15 degrees. So the shim is very thin on the top maybe 1/8" and tappers to about 3/8" thick on bottom. Made two of each and of coarse just flipped it all over for the other side. Screwed it all together and cleaned up the alignment. Had to take some of the base to clear door panel. Once the door panel went on cleanly with everything lining up then drilled holes for bolts to hold it to the door. Used some insulation tape(automotive a/c ducting tape) to wrap it up to seal it up. That stuff is thick and sticky it filled any gaps and then some. Actually took up a little to much space made the door panels hard to line up. Not worried about it though since i know the door panels fit before i put the insulation on.
Heard some rattling in the door card. Went ahead and pulled the door cards off and deadened them. Put deadener on the window regulator metal guides to stop them from buzzing. Then i put deadener on the door lock and lock rods were i could. After that i decided to put some of the insulation tape on the door handle cable. No more rattles and fairly well sealed up now. Can hear ( should i say not hear)the difference from deadening the door card, very quite think i can hear my own heartbeat lol.
So through all of the different steps i have taken to put these speakers in i kept stopping and starting, which allowed me to hook the speakers up through out. Doing this allowed me to be able to hear the difference each step made. At first i hade cut just a cheap quick mount cut out the area on the door just enough to clear the basket and bolt the speaker up. Big gaps no deadener. Sound was lacking any bass at all.
Then i deadened the doors on the inside. Pulled the window and door card. Lined the door with two layers of damplifier. Should have got damp pro would have only needed one layer, but its thick and hard to work into tight spaces. Warning wear gloves nasty sharp edges and hard to cut. Better have really good scissors. I used razors at first but that was very difficult. After deadening the doors i have bass again, but only limited have to turn bass up to max.
Next i built one mdf mount and installed just the drivers side. This made a big difference so much that it pulled the balance hard left. Had to move balance 3 to right to find a left to right balance. Also now i have strong bass had to drop eq down to flat to be were it was before.
Finished both doors speaker mounts, deadened, sealed up as much as possible. Still running off stock head unit all this time mind you, the bass from these is now so good i almost wonder if i even need an amp, hahaha. The bass drums sound great and bass guitar has authority. Drums have a tight pop i really like how they sound. Exactly how i had hoped.
Now i can say i know exactly what these guys say. That the install is more important than anything else. With a solid install you can get the most out of your speakers, even $30 speakers can sound great, which these are. No need for $1000 dollar speakers here. I will say these sound very good clean in the midbass range even down to 60hz ( start falling off around 80hz naturally),
I dont care for how they sound in the higher octives. On some songs they get beamy and colored tonely. Guess thats why i choose them as midbass for three way not two way. Although with a good eq im sure they could clean up. They dont sound bad even with them running full range right now. Better than stock, opened the stage up, add detail, and if they were crossed properly and time delay set im sure they would sound better, so im not knocking them at all since they arn't set up properly right now. Just commenting on how they are interacting in my vehicle right now. I found if i drop the midrange below flat i can clean up most of the crosstalk im getting between the 8s and stock tweeters so setup properly will clean it up. Sorry no pic off final assembly was just ready to get it put back together. I will get pics later. Still have to replace stock wires and wire up tweeters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So i originally stated budget friendly and while the front stage speakers are very budget friendly, the sub was a little bit price but well worth i hope. The amp were all purchased used. Think i paid, for all three , what one would be new. The dsp is new but was half price. So all together not that bad. At this point I now have aa much invested in materials for the install as anything else. Less than 2000 total, which to me is pretty cheap for this level of sq.
 

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Nice job so far! The midbass mount looks extremely solid. Hopefully there's some room to play around with other midbass when you get the upgrade bug. =P J/K!

Did you get the midranges mounted yet? Post a list of what's been done already.

Dropbox and the pic tool here don't seem to play very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Still have a lot to do. The 8s in the doors and mounting the tweeters is all i have gotten done so far. Everything that has been ordered has come in now. So now it is just a matter of finding the time to do everything. Most everything is planned out in my head. Actually doing it that is totally different. It seems there is always something i dodnt plan for or has to be change to make it work. :confused: The doors were a challenge making those big @$# speakers fit. Those i can tell you are the deepest speakers that will fit with out cutting the door panels. So if i do every get the upgrade bug, which i will atleast anything else i stick in the doors will be easier to make fit than these were. I stretched her out:pepper:
Sorry bout photos the quick photo button keeps asking for url i still need to get on a laptop maybe then eventually :shrug::beatnik:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It was a little slow at work today so i had the opportunity to play with the truck. I wanted to start figuring out how to get the mids in the dash.
Pulled the stock tweeters out and pulled the a pillar trim out of the way. Couldn't believe it the mids slipped right in. Almost like they were made for it. Now if i want to make a baffle or an enclosure for them that will be a challenge. They took a slight amount of pressure to get past the windshield so adding any other piece will make it all but impossible to get them in without pulling the dash.
So since they fit time to try them out. Soldered some 16 gauge speaker wire up to them. Spliced into the stock wire and soldered the splice.
:thumbsup: wow Talk about a night and day. These little speakers sound great. The detail and tone are great. These things are sensitive too. They are over powering the 8s. Now i need to get the processor and amps hooked up. The time alignment is way off, but loving the details hearing instruments i didnt know were there before. Know im wondering if its worth putting a baffle or shielding the back. If they sound good now, how will they sound with a better install? :)
So im going to play around with a little fiberglass and make a small enclosure to seal the back. Still haven't figured out how i want to make the baffle. Have about a 1/4" to play with. The front edge is a tight fit in the dash. The a/c duct is right in the way. Hum time to try a few things. Atleast for now i can play them and break them in.

These little guys play up quite high probably dont even need to hook up the tweeters. But, but i want the control cause right now the symbals are actually to loud and i cant balance it out. Cant wait to get more done on it this weekend. Getting fun and exciting now. Official got the bug now.:beerchug:
 

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Very nice. That helps me pick a speaker out using the sizes of that Tang Band as a starting point. Any issues or fudging at all other than the front edge being tight? Any depth issues? I assume any deeper and you couldn't "slip" them in?

Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thanks, while these speakers sound 10x better than stock i wouldnt say they are the best out there. I choose to try these based on reviews and a couple of you tube videos that allowed me to compare them. I do still hear some sort of distortion. Possible that it is a reflection issue from the windshield, an issue of off axis performance, no baffle or rear shielding, maybe a combination of things. Hopefully once the processor is in i can tune it to get it corrected. Going to order a mic this week so i can use REW to see how it looks. Vocals sometimes sound a touch off. I consider myself a noob i have not heard 100s of speakers. I can only compare to what i have heard in the past . However that memory may be inaccurate.
My previous speakers. Mb quart qsd216 i thought these were great. Infinity didnt like at all. Focal k2 good but just not quite right for me. Several other cheap speakers not worth mentioning. I have heard multiple others and like so many times it has been said, well, to each there own.
It seems over the years when me and friends would build systems or during a jam session at the "warehouse ", where the bands all practiced, i would always be tweeking the sound.I do know i do have a specific taste when it come to what i want to hear and typically i do get good comments on the final outcome. How a true golden ear might perceive that "sound" might be a completely different story.
As far as getting these in. The size of the magnet is the limiting factor. Barely cleared dash with slight downward pressure to clear the windshield as i pushed it into to the recessed area. The front edge of the magnet is very close to the ac vent. No cutting or modification were needed thanks to the open space to the inside edge allowing the flange to slip under the cut out open area there. Surprisingly the stock bolt holes are actually wider than the flange due to the stock tweeters oval shaped flange. There is some room to move the speaker around with it in place. If you can see in the picture the front edge to the left there is a locating pin i can move the speaker to sit so the mounting hole in the speaker flange sits on it. I put it forward because i havent screwed it down yet and with it forward it is a snug fit, enough to keep it from moving around without any screws. For some odd reason though the right speaker has a little more space as it sits in the same spot. It is not a snug fit and is moving around a little bit. A speaker with a neo magnet would fit better even at the same depth. The difference of a smaller diameter magnet would be the benefit.
The fun part will be getting to the underside of the passenger side speaker. If you have a reason to do so. Havent found a way to get a clear view through the dash to it even with pulling the two storage compartments. The I/P carrier main brace runs directly in the path forward of the speaker making it impossible to get a hand in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hope you guys can forgive the noob description of what i hear. I am trying not to use to many of the ' bad words'. Once i run the rta i will post results. I am reading as much as i can trying to learn and absorb it all. We all have to start some were right. This is a fun learning experience and i hope that i can be helpful to someone else along the way by being as detailed as i can about what i am doing. Even if i am helping them by showing them what not to do. Dooope If you think im doing something stupid let me know.
 
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