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Custom Dodge Ram Interior Modifications - Custom Audio / Video All custom mods on the interior of your Dodge Ram. Dodge Ram stereo mods, alarms, electronics, shift knobs, upholstery, etc.


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  #1  
Old 09-14-2011, 09:12 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Default 2011 CC Build Thread

So, figured I may as well start my build thread, although I'm about 50% installed already.

The equipment:

Head unit: I am keeping the factory head unit (730N, RHR). Why? A few reasons.
#1 is the supposed performance of the JBL MS8 in factory head unit installations. I haven't heard a bad thing about them yet.
#2 Cost. Ideally, an aftermarket HU & MS8 would be the way to go...unfortunately to get the options I like on the factory HU (bluetooth, wireless streaming, nav, steering wheel controls, etc etc) it would run me over a grand, on top of the MS8. I just can't afford to do it. I should also note that I have added the lockpick, for multiple camera inputs and DVD in motion.
#3 Appearance. My install will be completely stealth.

Processor/LOC/Equalizer: JBL MS8
Why?

#1. From what I've read, it's by far the best option when retaining the factory HU. No noise issues, etc that plague some of the other brands, at least from what I've read.
#2. Flexibility. This thing has 8 output channels, each with its own customizable crossover. It also has an internal amplifier (20WX8 RMS) if you chose to go that way.
#3. I don't know how to tune a vehicle for sound quality. The MS8 does it for me. As long as I do a proper install, and choose good equipment I'm hoping it gives me great sound quality.

Next....Speakers...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RHR.jpg (51.7 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg MS-8_IMG5_800x600.jpg (45.6 KB, 115 views)
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Last edited by Frank Drebin; 09-14-2011 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:23 PM
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ironchef2011 ironchef2011 is offline
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Great, great decision on the JBL piece. It's a fantastic unit from what I've heard and I'm a huge fan of stealth everything.

If I may give some advice on speakers, wait just a few days! I'll be removing and documenting a few different approaches to speaker replacement and signal location using JL Audio 6 1/2" separates in the doors and JL Audio 3 1/2" speakers in the dash, if needed. If I can save you some money, time and headaches, you'll be better off for it!

One thing, how does the JBL wire up? Is there a harness available to make it all plug and play? Just curious....
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:28 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Front Speakers I stressed over this decision for weeks. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the time/proximity to shops to give all the brands I wanted to test out a proper listen. I actually really like the sound that the factory system puts out, I just wanted to make it clearer, louder, and more dynamic.

I had toyed with the idea of a three ways system to bring as much midbass up into the dash as I could, however, I wasn't in love with the idea of having the tweeters exposed, and the price was getting up there.

What I ended up going with: XR Duo from Audible physics. It is a 6.5"/3" driver set.

Why I chose it: I was inspired by this thread, and the results.
http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=85024

I also loved the idea of going tweeterless. I got a great (IMO) price, which also helped in the decision. These will be crossed over by the MS8, I am not sure what to run to the front, I am thinking 300 Hz + @ 12db slope, and I'm thinking 80+Hz on the door drivers? I will have to listen and test.

Rear Fill

Originally I wasn't going to replace the rear door speakers, I was just going to feed them off the MS8 internal amp. I decided to do an amplified rear fill when I started reading more about the "Logic 7" surround sound from the MS8, and how it kinda needed equal power levels to all speakers. I'm not a fan of listening to music in surround sound, but apparently this Logic 7 sounds good. Also the CK6 Midbass won't hurt either.

What I chose - Massive Audio CK6

Why? Value/Price. Good set of speakers, bought used for less than $150.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg xr3m.JPG (46.5 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg xr6m.JPG (51.3 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg ck6.jpg (28.4 KB, 77 views)
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:36 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Default Amplifiers

For Amps, I mounted them on a rack behind the rear seat. For instructions on how to gain access to the back wall without installing spacers under your seat, check out this thread.

http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=89187

I had space to spare, and I wanted good, cheap, clean power. All amps were bought used either through ebay, or through various car audio forums.

I chose:

Massive NX2 (120WX2 RMS) for the front 3" drivers.
Massive Audio HD1600.4 (160WX4 RMS) for the Front Door drivers and the rear components.

Why Massive? Good, cheap clean power! I was also dying to try out those tiny nano amps.

And for the sub channel, I picked up an older JL 500/1 (pre-slash) off ebay for an unbeatable price. I had to have a JL piece in there somewhere...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg NX2.jpg (25.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg HD1600.jpg (8.7 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg JL_AUDIO_500_1.jpg (98.5 KB, 31 views)
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Last edited by Frank Drebin; 09-14-2011 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:37 PM
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Sorry man, I didn't realize you had purchased speakers already!
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:40 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef2011 View Post
Sorry man, I didn't realize you had purchased speakers already!
It's all good, I missed your post as I was busy typing! Subwoofer and enclosure next!
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:45 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef2011 View Post
Great, great decision on the JBL piece. It's a fantastic unit from what I've heard and I'm a huge fan of stealth everything.

If I may give some advice on speakers, wait just a few days! I'll be removing and documenting a few different approaches to speaker replacement and signal location using JL Audio 6 1/2" separates in the doors and JL Audio 3 1/2" speakers in the dash, if needed. If I can save you some money, time and headaches, you'll be better off for it!

One thing, how does the JBL wire up? Is there a harness available to make it all plug and play? Just curious....
No. Unfortunately there is no such harness. I ended up using insulated spade connectors (don't tell anyone I don't solder connections!) so I could connect and disconnect as I wished. I then made a 6 wire umbilical cord to feed the MS-8's inputs.
  • Right Dash
  • Left Dash
  • Right Door(front)
  • Left Door (front)
  • Sub 1
  • Sub 2
For those who aren't aware, the factory amp for the premium systems is under the steering wheel...that and the wiring legend is up in one of the stickys up top.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:57 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Subwoofer and Enclosure.

I actually use the 1/3rd seat under seating storage area for booster cables, tie downs, etc. It was very hard to find a box that replaced the 2/3rd seat only. Foxbox had one but you have to raise the seat. I decided to try my hand at fiberglassing.

Subwoofer I chose was a 12" Image Dynamics IDQ V3 Dual 4 ohm I figure there is around 1.0-1.25 ft3 of cubic feet in the fiberglass enclosure and the ID seemed like a good pick for sound quality.

Finally, here are some build pics.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:58 PM
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I thought you might be using the PAC Audio piece, C2A-CHY23, to connect the factory head unit to the JBL. It was after that to get back to the speakers I was wondering about. I hate, hate, hate to mess with the factory wiring. I'd much rather have a plug/play harness and just bypass the factory amp all together!
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:05 PM
Frank Drebin Frank Drebin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef2011 View Post
I thought you might be using the PAC Audio piece, C2A-CHY23, to connect the factory head unit to the JBL. It was after that to get back to the speakers I was wondering about. I hate, hate, hate to mess with the factory wiring. I'd much rather have a plug/play harness and just bypass the factory amp all together!
I know, I cringed when I did my first cut, but the spade terminals are actually really good. I never thought about the PAC harness, not sure if it would work...I think you're supposed to tap off the amp.
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