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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've decided to upgrade the stereo in my '93 F150 pickup. It's a standard cab, and I'm wondering if pursuing a really nice stereo in this vehicle is a good idea. Some vehicles aren't going to sound good no matter what kind of components you put in there, especially if you're not too experienced at it.

I want to keep the stock look so A-pillars and kickpanels are not options. I've got pretty good locations high up in the doors under the little 'flip open' windows. I can squeeze in a 6.5" component set there, but the listening position for the driver will be pretty far off axis unless I cut some kind of an oval hole for the tweeter above the mid. First I'll try mounting it flat (90 degrees off the door). If I can't make that sound good I'd consider cutting to mount the tweets at an angle.

The equipment I have so far is:

Clarion dxz785usb HU
DLS Iridium 6.2 component set
(2) Elemental Designs SQ10 shallow mount subs in .3cf sealed boxes each
Jensen KA5 5ch amp (4x50 + 1x300)

I also have a beat up but functioning Diamond Audio s500s component set leftover from another car. I could fit bigger and better speakers into the doors, but If I am advised that putting pretty nice equipment in a standard cab F150 is a waste of time and money then I'll probably just use the Diamonds and sell the Iridiums.

As a third option I've got a pair of Morel Supremo tweeters and CDM 54 midranges. Those tweeters are huge! 4" including the baffle plate. I was saving those for when I get a nice car, but if good SQ was possible in a small truck and I needed good off-axis response from my tweeters I would consider using them as well, but I'd have to pick up a pair of nice midwoofers.

I installed the SQ10's the other day and hooked them up behind the driver and passenger seats (a single cloth bench seat) with the amp in between. It doesn't sound good at all. I'm really not surprised considering their locations. The subs are firing right into a layer of cardboard protecting the inflatable platic sacks that are the adjustable lumbar supports on the back of the foam with only about an inch of breathing room between the subs and the seat. So the subs are firing directly into cardboard, plastic, and then foam. Pretty poor planning there I must admit on my part. So I'm going to garage one of the subs and try relocating the remaining sub in the middle where there is only cloth then foam then more cloth, and place the amp off to one side. The foam is a closed foam and fairly thick however, so even moved away from the lumbar supports I'm still not sure how it'll do.

If that doesn't work, I have a couple EU-700 6.5" subs from elemental designs lying around that I could build ported boxes for and downfire. That might work a little better as under the seat there is a fair amont of airspace for them to work with.

So I guess these are the issues and questions I'm facing. Proceed with a high end install or lower my expectations and go the budget route?
 

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I've decided to upgrade the stereo in my '93 F150 pickup. It's a standard cab, and I'm wondering if pursuing a really nice stereo in this vehicle is a good idea. Some vehicles aren't going to sound good no matter what kind of components you put in there, especially if you're not too experienced at it.

I want to keep the stock look so A-pillars and kickpanels are not options. I've got pretty good locations high up in the doors under the little 'flip open' windows. I can squeeze in a 6.5" component set there, but the listening position for the driver will be pretty far off axis unless I cut some kind of an oval hole for the tweeter above the mid. First I'll try mounting it flat (90 degrees off the door). If I can't make that sound good I'd consider cutting to mount the tweets at an angle.

.....edit
I had a 1993 F-250 extended cab and had many different systems in it over the years. The stock door speaker locations suck for anything other than a dedicated mid-bass crossed over pretty low. The stock hole is up high and too near the drivers head. The truck is very wide, so the distance to the passenger door creates a staging nightmare without time alignment.

I tried a set of 2 way comps there when I first got the truck. It was horrible staging and I immediately moved them to the kicks. The best I got the truck to sound was with an active 3-way Dynaudio, MD100 and MD140 in the kicks. MW160 in the stock door hole. Singe 10" sub was in a custom center console.

My custom kicks were sold with the truck. I do still have a pair of Q-forms kick panels I used in that truck. If you decide to go that route I'll sell them cheap. You have to move the parking brake pull handle, but other than that they integrate very nicely.
 

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Roseville is pretty close to where I am located. I too have an F150 pickup, with all front speakers in the doors for now (no a-pillars or kicks yet, though I plan to move the tweeters up there shortly). My mids do sit lower in the door though since my F150 is a 2004, and I do have active processing with TA and EQ.

If you would like to listen to my system, send me a PM. It should give you a pretty good idea of the potential sound you could get with your described situation.
 

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My custom kicks were sold with the truck. I do still have a pair of Q-forms kick panels I used in that truck. If you decide to go that route I'll sell them cheap. You have to move the parking brake pull handle, but other than that they integrate very nicely.
Q-forms are a good way to get a stock look and achieve better sound quality!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hmm. Sounds like crap in stock locations. I might have to adjust my perspective on kicks here. Thanks for the responses. PM sent.

That sounds great I'd like to hear a similar setup. Thanks for the offer. PM sent.

What will be easier--
(1) build custom kickpanels from the stock kicks
(2) modify/reinforce the Q-forms to be a high quality kickpanel

Which has a better chance of being a better kickpanel?

About how much does it cost usually to have custom kicks made?
 

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What will be easier--
(1) build custom kickpanels from the stock kicks
(2

Which has a better chance of being a better kickpanel?

About how much does it cost usually to have custom kicks made?
easier "may" sound worse...

My friend Mark installed two 8 inch subs under his bench seat ;) [8W3's from JL , fed with a 500/1 from JL ].

Great for the Beastie Boys :)
 

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What will be easier--
(1) build custom kickpanels from the stock kicks
(2) modify/reinforce the Q-forms to be a high quality kickpanel

Which has a better chance of being a better kickpanel?
Custom will if built properly will yield better sound quality in most cases... but this is an entirely different question than your original post asked.

If your goal is to look stock than I would re-enforce the q-forms. If your is for the best sound quality than you should consider custom kicks.

The next question for you is, "Do you have any experience building kicks or will you need a shop to do those for you?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd like to keep it stock, but if I even go with the Q-forms a thief will be able to tell I've got goods for him in there.

This truck is not going to be garaged, and I really don't want to have to worry about break-ins.

I understand that I'm veering pretty far from my first post, but if I can't keep everything tucked away in the doors out of view, then what's the difference between q-forms and custom at that point? Both will attract thieves like flies.

I'm still considering just shoving everything into the doors and making the best of it. I originally wanted as many opinions as I could about how people have been able to make that work out. So far the answer is mixed towards not very well. I'm hoping that I'll get some encouraging responses to press on with the doors. That's a lot of work though, deadening the insides of the doors and making MDF rings, cutting holes for tweeters. I don't want to go through with that unless people have proven that it's a viable option.

I'm looking forward to the offer of checking out my fellow F150 owner's system here in Northern California to see what he was able to do with the doors.

Anybody else been able to make the doors work out? I've got active x-overs, time alignment and EQ to help out in tuning.

Thanks. Zac.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If iI ended up deciding on kickpanels and decided on the Q-forms I would tackle reinforcing them without pause. But if I decided to go the custom route, it would depend on what custom kicks go for. If I could get a nice set for $200 I would probably just have them built. If it was more, I would probably try and tackle them myself.

But I'm still hoping to hear that doors can be a success story.
 
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