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Hillbilly
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Discussion Starter #1
Figured I may as well get this project posted since it is practically done now. You would think I would eventually grow out of this crazy hobby of car audio, but I love it so much that I just can't shake it.

Love this truck... RAM did it right for sure.



The first thing I did was have it treated with Ceramic Pro... and XPEL PRIME XR PLUS window tint installed, including the front windshield... along with a spray-in bedliner. So I was without the truck for a full week right after I purchased it. But these add-ons have proven worthy thus far.


This RAM came with the 9-speaker Alpine system and the 8.4" display. I will admit that it sounded pretty good... although the sound stage and imaging were lacking, it did a good job of producing an above the dash image. The small 7-8" subwoofer did a remarkable job for a factory sub... and has about the lowest extension I've heard in a factory system, yet it still lacks that lowest octave, thus it is now unplugged. I could actually live with the factory system, but then it wouldn't have been any fun tearing the truck apart.


My goal was to keep it as factory looking as possible. The only noticeable addition is the subwoofer enclosure underneath the rear seat, although it blends in rather well, as you will see later on when I post the final install pics.


The front center has been disconnected... the rear doors remain and can be faded in if needed for rear seat passengers, which will only be on rare occasions. The rear headliner speakers are used in a rear differential setup for rear fill.


Equipment is as follows:

miniDSP C-DSP 8x12 DL Processor

The brains of the unit with the full works... active crossovers, delay, PEQ and of course... my favorite... Dirac Live




PAC AmpPRO 4 (AP4-CH41 with APA-TOS1)

Installed inline behind the factory headunit to enable a flat low level signal sent via an Optical Digital Toslink cable to the miniDSP processor.




Hybrid Audio Technologies (HAT) Unity U5A 5-Channel Amp

75 watts x 4 powering the door and dash speakers + 600 watts x 1 powering the subs.




JL Audio MX280/4 Amp

50 watts x 2 (with 2 spare channels) powering the rear headliner factory 3.5" speakers... located just above the rear window. The rear speakers are setup as a differential rear fill running from approximately 350-3500Hz with a 20ms delay.




HAT L3SE 3.7" Wide-Bandwidth Driver

These replaced the 3.5" dash speakers... rated at 113 Hz - 18 kHz ... crossed over at 350Hz. You may know the guy who competes and won his category with these in his dash in a 2019 RAM 2500 with 6x9's in the doors... no sub and no tweeters.




HAT Unity 6x9 Shallow Depth Midbass Driver (U69-S)

These replaced the front door speakers and are crossed over at 80-350Hz range.




HAT Clarus 10" Long Throw Subwoofer

These are mounted in an MTI Acoustics custom built enclosure underneath the rear seats.




ResoNix

For treating the doors and rear wall.




Here is a pic of the MTI Acoustics enclosure with the Unity amp and Clarus subs installed.



Actual install pics to follow.
 

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Nice install man!

Have you thought about how a center channel would work with Dirac? I have but have no clues how well it would integrate. Then again, if you’re getting a nice and spacious stage, then I understand why you disconnected.
 

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Hillbilly
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The dash speakers were a little larger than the factory speakers, but they dropped right in and fit really snug.




Dampening material in a few places... not really a lot needed as RAM did pretty well with it from the factory. I added some, whether it needed it or not. The ResoNix foam material does a great job of resolving door rattles.. which I added it to the actual doors and inside of the door panel as well... so there is a double layer between the panel and door. The doors have a completely different sound to them when being shut.

I also had to modify the speaker opening trimming about 1/8" to 3/16" off the top and bottom so the HAT speaker would fit. It was supposed to be a drop in replacement, but apparently MTI Acoustics nor HAT actually ever installed any in the 2019, otherwise they would have known they are anything but drop in. It took me an hour with my Dremel tool carving these out... they were difficult to trim too, being the way they were made... not your typical door speaker baffle. Ultimately they fit and I sealed them off really well with dampening material, then wrapped them in cloth tape to help eliminate any shiny material being seen thru the door panel grille.






Under the hood with the battery...



Almost finished up... still need to wrap the wires and make them look nice, but I will wait on my new amp from HAT. They are in the middle of upgrading the U5A and MTI sent me a demo unit of the old model temporarily, so once I get the new one in and replaced, then I'll tidy up the wiring and make it look nice.




The mini amp from JL is attached to the back of the box...




And a look at the MIT box from outside the truck... they did a super nice job on the finish of the box...



 

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Hillbilly
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Nice install man!

Have you thought about how a center channel would work with Dirac? I have but have no clues how well it would integrate. Then again, if you’re getting a nice and spacious stage, then I understand why you disconnected.
The center imaging is superb... sound stage is nice and wide... no complaints at all... so the only benefit would be for the passenger, which my wife really doesn't care about. I can't turn it up that loud when she is in the vehicle. The only time she likes it loud is when she is in her own vehicle... then she cranks it on up.

I don't think this miniDSP system has center processing, so I don't know how it would work.
 

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Now that you added the additional picts, I agree, they did a really nice job on that sub enclosure.

No it doesn’t have native processing but it could run off some sort of center fill similar to rear fill for processors that don’t support it. Don’t have a vehicle to play with it but I have just wondered. Nice to hears yours sounds so good that you wouldn’t even want to try.
 

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Hillbilly
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks...

Yeah... it sounds really good right now... best I've had in a LOT of different builds since back in the 80's.

I suppose you could send a mono signal to the center... combined from the left and right front dash speakers, but I would think it would interfere with the sound stage with it not being processed as a center. Might would be interesting to try it if it was needed.
 

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Glad to hear, if you have any questions about it please feel free to pm me. Sorry don’t mean to clutter your build thread. :)
 

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2019 Ram 1500 Laramie owner here too! Love the upgrades and progress so far!!! Can you still use the Ram Bin with the MTI enclosure? I keep seeing recommendations for those, but really like that Ram weather mat. Do you enjoy the sound of those subwoofers facing upwards into the bottom of the seat? Can't decide in ours whether to go with an enclosure that sits on that mat, trim it, or just build a, "floating" enclosure that allows weather mat removal.
 

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I was told when I contacted them that if you went with the duals, expect it to cover our floor bins. Honestly I rarely use mine so that’s not an issue for me. I just needed more options then just putting an 8” solely in there. Also I’m really surprised that they don’t have forward facing enclosures for the DT models.
 

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Hillbilly
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Discussion Starter #12
Bins are not functional... although I don't use them. I have a toolbox in the back bed that is carpeted. I suspect you could fit 8's in there and not interfere with the bins. My 10's could move back slightly and with 8's, you'd be back a couple of inches, which is really all you need with the enclosure I have to open the bins.

They sound great firing up... very smooth and well rounded sound sealed after tuning them slightly.

I did have a nasty peak at 55-60Hz that was nearfield, so I fixed that in the pre-tune.




Then from the drivers seat I also took out a couple other peaks.

 

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Love the truck... just love it. Best vehicle I have ever owned out of between 50-60 vehicles in my driving lifetime.
it looks nice man. I hope it doesn't become a repair nightmare after 4-5 years like many dodge trucks are notorious for.
 

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Hillbilly
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Discussion Starter #14
lol... I likely won't keep it long enough to find out. I typically trade about every 2-3 years. However, I've had a couple of used RAM trucks and they've been very good, even with higher miles. I hear stories about all the manufacturers... and have owned several models over many years... none are perfect, that is for sure.
 

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I have over 35,000 miles invested in my Ram with almost zero issues. The cruise control button can be a little touchy...but easily fixed. That’s really it. No other issues. I absolutely love this truck, more than any other vehicle I’ve owned. The paint and finish are near show room fresh with no corrections. All I do is wash and dry it once a week or so. The undercarriage is perfect. All trim is perfect.

I bet I get a lot more compliments on my Ram than your average truck owner. They just look good. The other options out there simply look boring to me. Having a full size 4X4 crew cab truck with the throttle response of a mustang is nice too...LOL!
 

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lol... I likely won't keep it long enough to find out. I typically trade about every 2-3 years. However, I've had a couple of used RAM trucks and they've been very good, even with higher miles. I hear stories about all the manufacturers... and have owned several models over many years... none are perfect, that is for sure.
theres always a lemon with every manufacturer for sure. i wish you luck, its a great looking vehicle.
 

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the MTI box looks fantastic, it really makes the entire install. and so stealthily hidden under the back seat, i love it!
 

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Hillbilly
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys... I appreciate it. Hopefully I'll get all the miles I need out of it without any issues before I get another one. I'll keep it under warranty, that is for sure.

I'm diggin' the MTI box the more I drive the truck and realize how well it blends in. I've shown it to a couple of folks and they are astonished at how factorish it looks. And it sounds pretty good too, so that helps.

Lovin' the miniDSP with Dirac Live as well... sounds great.
 

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You sir are really forcing my hand as in copying what you have and selling what I currently have lol.
 
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