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2020 Ram Crew Cab - Focal Utopia M, JL Audio VXi

21542 Views 276 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  MythosDreamLab
Time to start the new build thread. I’ve been looking forward to this upgrade, and equipment is starting to trickle in. I’m not an installer, far from it. I can certainly do basic things, but the knowledge needed to pull off a quality build surpasses my skill set. I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit this…this is why we have great professionals like the many that post here on DIY regularly. That being said, I’m taking vacation and will be at the shop from open to close throughout the build, and helping as much as possible. I’m most interested in learning more about quality electrical layout and tuning. My local shop is excellent (average tenure of installer is about 20 years). I’ve known the owner for about 25 years and he’s a close friend. This will be at least the 8th full build he’s done for me. This will be the best “vacation” of my life. 😊

Vehicle: 2016 Ram Crew Cab 1500 4x4 Big Horn. There’s nothing fancy about the truck, but I love her. Exterior is basically stock. I added a leveling kit and slightly taller tires. Interior is stock, except the stereo. Windows are tinted dark. Along with this upgrade, I’m having the windshield tinted with see through UV tint and ceramic coated. I’m also adding a nice dash pad (would like suggestions on brands if you’ve used these before). The UV tint is primarily to protect my midranges and the dash pad is for SQ enhancement. The truck has 77,000 miles on her and I’ll never part with her. She’s all mine and a part of the family at this point. She’s my daily driver but may one day be retired to just competition use. I’ll let her be a “trailer queen”. Seriously though, I love my truck. 😂 Here’s a pic:

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Window

Current Build: I currently have Hertz ML 165.3 components in the front (tweets in dash and mids in door), ran passively, Hertz MP 6.5 coaxials in the rear doors, an Alpine Series R 12 under the rear seat (passenger side) in a Fox Box (ported). I’m using a RF T400X4ad running front and rear speakers and a RF T750X1bd on the sub. I used a JL Audio Fix 82 to integrate with the factory non-alpine uConnect 8.4 HU. Signal is sent optically to a JL TWK D8 for processing. The truck is sound deadened nicely throughout.

This has been an enjoyable system and my tuner knocked the tune out of the park. He was able to work magic, even with the SQ limitations. I’ve really enjoyed the Hertz components and the sub has performed well, again, given the limitations. I could not be happier with these small RF amps…never an issue, clean sound quality, and very impressive power from such a small footprint.

All of this will be going in my sons truck now. I used this fact to help talk myself into the upgrade.

Here’s a few pics of the current build:

Automotive exterior Bumper Audio equipment Vehicle door Metal

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Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Tread Hubcap

Automotive tire Car subwoofer Carbon Audio equipment Rim

Audio equipment Electronic instrument Carbon Gas Auto part

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive design Automotive exterior

I won a few of these competing MECA SQL competitions in the Street class with this very simple system. The magic is in the tuning! I made some new friends and had fun dipping my toe into the “competition scene”.

Dishware Gold Tableware Serveware Plate

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Font Automotive exterior Material property

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That sucks, but at you found it before it caused any further issues or ruined your gear.

On another point, what's the story on all the dash mats? Am I missing out on something?
Where does one acquire one of these magical mats?
Thanks. I will look into getting one. My pillars should be done today and they are a little darker than the normal ebony. I could use the dash mat to tie them into the vehicle better.
They aren't very expensive at all. Now the only conundrum is Sedona or Brushed suede.
I think I'm going to go brushed, I think it will fit better with the pillars. If I don't like it, it's easy enough to replace.
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Curios, how did the frame get cracked?
I just stuffed my doors with a box of tiles. Between the ResoNix and the Blackhole Tiles, my doors are dead now. I'm not sure how your window regulator is, but the tiles interfered with the function of mine, pay attention the the track if yours had one.
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Man, that look nice. I can't wait to see the final product.
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It would be more symmetrical with the other side if it was covered
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My opinion is the same. I think it would look fine either way though.
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Those are nice. I like MTI's design style.
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Enclosure has been delivered. Now back to north Louisiana. 😁

Paul and Austin at NETAudio in Wichita Falls, TX are awesome guys and are building some of the nicest enclosures I’ve ever seen. They don’t cut corners (no pun intended) when it comes to the build quality, and I obviously love their style. Can’t wait to hear the 30KX sing from its new home.

Looking forward to getting back and getting started on this build now!
Where about in LA are you? I might be able to come listen when your done.
That's not too far, I'm a little over an hour from Shreveport. We can visit the Duck Dynasty folks while we are there.
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Some may not approve, but I’ve got rear speakers! 😊

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I approve. Love the build.
So clean looking.
Well…it will be one more day. He’s close, but he wants to keep it one more night for fine tuning. I guess I can last 24 more hours. As expected, my stage width on the left (stage right) will be the biggest draw back with the pillar pods. Everything else is “damn near perfect”. I will be acquiring full custom a-pillars very soon. That’s going to be the only way to get everything as perfect as humanly possible. With the system up and running, maybe I can force myself to undertake the a-pillar build in my garage. It’s not like I’d have to go without my system while I’m working on the second set of pillars.
This is exactly why I'm able to take my time on my pillars. If I was without tunes, I would be much less patient.
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I decided to get fancy with the power supply, and do it right. It took some doing, but I was able to find some 1/0 gauge Anderson connectors locally. The bad news is, it was a winch shop and the connectors weren’t cheap. 😂

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I also found a cap to use on the connector that will live permanently under the hood. Also not cheap. 😂

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I’ll run a pigtail off the battery using one connector. Two connectors will be used for my 7 or 8 foot middle run, and the last one will be attached to the pigtail off the power supply.
Curios to see how you wire this up, I just threw mine together with old crap I had laying around,
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Reminds me of when we first moved to Texas. Driving up we stopped at a hotel in Baton Rouge, LA and it was just after Katrina hit. Almost no where to stay and we had both our vehicles packed and my truck was pulling a trailer. Only thing we could find was a Motel 6. It was an absolute 💩 hole and we had already prepaid. We drove around back to our room and said, NOPE! They were nice and refunded our money, wound up driving another 2 hours before we could find somewhere else. Drove about 17 hours before we finally got some sleep.

I'm hoping to schedule some time with Jeffrey in late June. Curios, what do they charge for a turning session?
Sweet! I would love to hear and read about the process. How long does it take? Do you just drop it off or do you get to watch? Biggest question. How wad the improvement?
That sounds awesome and am glade you are happy. I hope to have him tune mine in late June early July while I'm off work.
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