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2016 F150 Build (Mechman, XS Power, Knu Konceptz, Kenwood, Cadence, DD Audio)


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Getting the 3-way active components into the doors and finally listening to / tuning the system

 

This is a bit embarrassing, but by this stage of the build, I felt like it had been a marathon and I apparently focused more on  getting it in and done than taking pictures.  I remember I had decided to start around 6:30PM one night and worked on it until they were in (somewhere around 2:30-3AM in the morning) so this is the only photo I have from that process:

 

IMG_20200415_163508_01.thumb.jpg.368f8a81eb31377442060f18514748cb.jpg

 

That was pulling the panel off, removing the stock 6x8 and getting ready to clean everything up for sound dampening.  If there is interest, I can pull the panels off the doors and pull down one of the A-Pillar covers to show the installed speakers.

 

I remember having 9 kinds of h3ll routing the 12 gauge and 14 gauge through the door boots, drilling out the plastic door connectors on both sides and then fishing the 2 pair of wires through into the doors.  During the process I broke 2 small gauge wires at the connector and had to add a short 18 gauge splice (soldering the connections) in order to fix them.  I'm happy to report that all of the power window/locks/window locks etc. still work almost 2 years later so the repair seems to be holding.  I added the last of my deadener to the doors.  I may have even picked up some second skin and used it on the doors, I don't recall (and apparently couldn't be bothered to take pictures).

 

I thoroughly despised working larger gauge speaker wire thorough those plastic connectors.  The next time I have to do it, I think I will look into fabricating a second rubber door boot that can pass the speaker cables through.

 

Let me know if anyone would like to see the finished doors/pillars and I can pull them and take some more photos.

 

In the last update for the post I will touch on my todo list, regrets/reflections and some thoughts on how I would like to make some changes to the system.

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6 minutes ago, Dafaseles said:

All this looks good so far! I'm digging that amp rack heavy! 

Thanks Dafaseles!  The build took a while, but it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

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30 minutes ago, Arthur79 said:

Getting the 3-way active components into the doors and finally listening to / tuning the system

 

This is a bit embarrassing, but by this stage of the build, I felt like it had been a marathon and I apparently focused more on  getting it in and done than taking pictures.  I remember I had decided to start around 6:30PM one night and worked on it until they were in (somewhere around 2:30-3AM in the morning) so this is the only photo I have from that process:

 

IMG_20200415_163508_01.thumb.jpg.368f8a81eb31377442060f18514748cb.jpg

 

That was pulling the panel off, removing the stock 6x8 and getting ready to clean everything up for sound dampening.  If there is interest, I can pull the panels off the doors and pull down one of the A-Pillar covers to show the installed speakers.

 

I remember having 9 kinds of h3ll routing the 12 gauge and 14 gauge through the door boots, drilling out the plastic door connectors on both sides and then fishing the 2 pair of wires through into the doors.  During the process I broke 2 small gauge wires at the connector and had to add a short 18 gauge splice (soldering the connections) in order to fix them.  I'm happy to report that all of the power window/locks/window locks etc. still work almost 2 years later so the repair seems to be holding.  I added the last of my deadener to the doors.  I may have even picked up some second skin and used it on the doors, I don't recall (and apparently couldn't be bothered to take pictures).

 

I thoroughly despised working larger gauge speaker wire thorough those plastic connectors.  The next time I have to do it, I think I will look into fabricating a second rubber door boot that can pass the speaker cables through.

 

Let me know if anyone would like to see the finished doors/pillars and I can pull them and take some more photos.

 

In the last update for the post I will touch on my todo list, regrets/reflections and some thoughts on how I would like to make some changes to the system.

If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to see the pillars

2011 Chevy Silverado under construction

My build log here. Check it out! 

 

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Final thoughts, todo list, lessons learned, reflections and possible future changes

 

I had been wanting to do a full custom build in one of these trucks for years and I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger and made it happen.  I have done a lot of hobbyist builds over the years and car/mobile audio are definitely one of my passions.  After getting the front stage in, I spent a few weeks tweaking and tuning crossover points and time alignment in the DSP, but I have yet to pull out my Audiofrog UM-1 mic and RTA the system.  DSP tuning is definitely an area where I need to hone my skills and I'm going to have to start putting in the time as I have some projects on the horizon where strong tuning-fu is going to be a must.

 

Rolling around for the last year and a half or so with everything in everything, most everything has been solid and reliable.  The only equipment failure I suffered was that NVX black-box turn on relay discussed previously.

 

I love music.  It can often evoke strong emotional responses for me.  My music tastes are all over the place with only a few genres not at least sneaking in at some point.  That said, I find that the front stage leaning on the AW65s and AW3s do a fantastic job of reproducing a variety of artists.  The DD Audio AW series definitely go down in my book as some of the best speakers I've owned.

 

I built this system around the idea of SQL (SQ + SPL)  I think I achieved a reasonable balance, but it would be hard to argue the system has good SQ DNA outside of the DD AW series drivers.  I actually started another post on this forum inquiring as to whether anyone here has heard the Zapco ST-X SQ amps in a car as I think they might be an upgrade candidate for the system.

 

As for the SPL, she won't do a hair trick, but she can hit hard enough to be uncomfortable.  Demoing the subs, you can watch the roof of the truck do the wave.  As for rattle, it is almost entirely absent.  There is something inside the side mirrors that will rattle at certain frequencies, but there is no cabin rattle (yet)  I don't listen to it at full volume very often (and even less often using tracks that play to the tuning strength of the enclosure), but when demoing, there is so much energy focused cabin at full volume, it will throw your phone out of rubber lined storage pocket under the head unit.

 

I have acquired an SMD IM-SG+ since I put this build together.  I should hook it up and see how close to 28Hz I got on the build.  Frequency sweeps seem to indicate that it is close to 28Hz.  That said, if I had it to do over, I would shoot for a higher tuning frequency.  Outside of demo tracks and some bass boosted tracks, not a lot of music I listen to takes advantage of a tuning frequency that low.  I think somewhere between 34-38Hz would probably be better.  I'm sure I would loose some of that rattle-your-teeth low end energy, but I think it would perform better for daily listening.

 

As far as a todo list, I need to build a bolt-in platform for the enclosure that brings it a little further back and up in the cabin.  It's not a hard one to do, I just have to work up the ambition to pull the box out and build/install the platform and then heft the box back in.  I'm not sure how much that enclosure weighs, but there were a couple of times I thought I wasn't going to be able to get it in by myself the first time.  While on the todo list, I feel like I need to run power for the head unit up from the distro block that powers the amps and accessories.  There is an audible noise floor with these C series DD amplifiers that didn't exist on my test bench that are present in the truck.  Along with the audible noise floor, there is a very faint alternator whine.  I think running a new power/ground to the head unit might fix this.  If that doesn't, I might try switching to the Audio Control DM810 and/or replacing the mids and highs amps with something a little more suited to those wonderful AW drivers.

 

As far as future changes, I would love to overhaul (aka replace) the amplifier rack and make the wiring and overall finish more clean.  If I do that, I would like to outfit it with a protective cover that protects the acrylic window as I do have a small scratch on it from throwing a tool bag on top of the sub enclosure and getting a little too throttle happy on my wat up to my shop.  I play around with the idea of swapping the subs out for the 9510k to get back some storage space in the back of the cabin.  That sub is comfortable with the power the DM2500.1a puts out and people would always freak out when I told them all I had in the trunk of that SHO was a single 10.  If I decided to stay with the two 12s, I think another box build with a higher tuning frequency wouldn't be a bad idea.

 

I have access to a CNC router these days and will have access to a decent sized/power CO2 laser (hopefully) around the end of July, so that opens up a lot of opportunities to level-up my fab skills on a 2nd take.

 

I don't think custom door or A-Pillars are in the future.  This truck will eventually be retired or sold and right now, it would be fairly easy to return it to stock.  I know I'll be holding on to those AWs until they give up the ghost, as sadly DD has discontinued them as well.  I may consider different tweeters once I sort out if I'm going to change out the mids and highs amps as the C series ones sound a little harsh to me in their current configuration.

 

That's all for now, I have some pictures of some other builds I've done (including a Harley Ultra Limited I was particularly proud of) that I'll work on doing writeups for in the coming days/weeks.

 

Looking forward to being an actual member of the forum here instead of just creeping.

 

Best,

Arthur

 

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20 minutes ago, Dafaseles said:

If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to see the pillars

Sure, it's not too hard to pull them out.  If we can avoid the relentless rain we've been getting for a week or more tomorrow I'll pull the door covers off and one of the A-Pillar covers and take some pics.

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Update on on the front stage

 

So there was a break in all the rain we've been getting (it's supposed to storm again tomorrow) and pulled the door card off the drivers side along with the A-Pillar cover to showcase the tweeter mount.

 

I also figured out that I can get unlimited storage for high-res pics and videos by subbing to the forum, so that's done 😆

 

So you can see that I had (by this point in the build) ran out of the NVX I'd had on the shelf for so long and used some Second Skin.  I'm guessing I didn't have a lot of that on hand as I applied it sparingly.  The AW65s are direct lead and you can see the red and black wires coming out.  They are spliced into 12 gauge KnuKonceptz.  The AW3s aren't direct lead and have 14 gauge running all the way to the driver.

 

20210527_182637.thumb.jpg.de047a3f63313b11500cc5f227c6e984.jpg

 

Sparse deadening on the inside of the door as well, adding more deadener to both doors along with foam rings and something to suppress any standing wave issues are now on the todo list

 

20210527_182650.thumb.jpg.ffa977178a0d603d4eda90f0f4c2cb39.jpg

 

20210527_182822.thumb.jpg.119ac7b6eae62bef25f2dcedf9be3dab.jpg

 

I think machining some new adapters out of a stiffer substrate (like 3/8 acrylic maybe) is on the todo list as well.  These adapters are ok, but not as stiff as I would like

 

20210527_182828.thumb.jpg.15e6a5f03e46c9f1e80a1e859f5317ea.jpg

 

Stock tweeter location

 

20210527_182954.thumb.jpg.8d6548dd0a54687adac81c04de1f3306.jpg

 

Tweet mount.  I used CA glue to fix the tweet to the bracket and you can see how the vapors from the curing glue leaves a discolored effect on the back of the tweeter housing (probably won't do that again)

 

20210527_183059.thumb.jpg.b50a548df34e9e88f71e3becd8c731c9.jpg

 

And of course my cat taking advantage a chance to try and stow away.  He really likes going for rides in the truck (or any vehicle)

 

20210527_183322.thumb.jpg.d4828fce309818e5f3ddefce41edbd26.jpg

 

 

So nothing special on the doors.  I need to pull them both and do some more work on them.  That's how less than ideal my memory is, I would have sworn I had added more deadener when the front stage went in, but the photos don't lie!

 

 

 

 

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Nice build man and love the step by step break down. Talking about all this rain, you must be in the DFW area? 

 

Sucks to hear about those amps as I wanted to try them myself. I wouldn't give up on the amps just yet. I had a Dayton DSP-408 that gave me the same kind of issues you are having and after 3 different units I just gave up and bought an AC 6to8 and love it. But  I've been seeing where some of these DSPs are install dependent. Enough of my rant

Nav-TV Zen V Audio Interface

AudioControl DM-608

(2) Stevens Audio Neo-Comp Full-Size Horns

(4) Faital Pro 6PR160 6.5"

AudioControl LC-6.1200

(1) Fi Neo 4.7 15" D2 in 3.74 Cubic Feet @ 27.70 Hz

Ampere Audio AA3800.1

Odyssey ODP-AGM48 Battery (Starting)

Odyssey ODX-AGM31 Battery (Trunk)

Big 3 - 2\0 Welding Cable, KnuKonceptz Speaker Wire & 1/0 Power Cable, NVX RCAs, Second Skin (Speaker Tweaker Pads, Damplifier Pro Mat), Diode Dynamics LEDs

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3 hours ago, jcarter1885 said:

Nice build man and love the step by step break down. Talking about all this rain, you must be in the DFW area? 

 

Sucks to hear about those amps as I wanted to try them myself. I wouldn't give up on the amps just yet. I had a Dayton DSP-408 that gave me the same kind of issues you are having and after 3 different units I just gave up and bought an AC 6to8 and love it. But  I've been seeing where some of these DSPs are install dependent. Enough of my rant

Thanks man!  I haven't given up on the amps all together yet, I still want to run power for the head unit up from the mids and highs distribution block (really hoping that will help) and I do have an AC 8to10 I can test with to see if the noise is coming from the current DSP.  I would like to keep the DM-810 for another project, but I could use it to test with and then look at picking up a 6to8 for the truck.

 

I've heard about those Dayton DSPs.  It's a real bummer, on paper they look amazing and the price is certainly right, but it sounds like more people than not have had noise issues with them.  I think I read a review on PartsExpress of one guy that ended up using a 12v DC to 120v AC inverter with a power brick back to 12v DC to isolate the noise on his Dayton DSP.  That seems like more trouble than it's worth, and less of a bargain assuming you get a quality inverter.

 

I'm still interested in the Zapco budget SQ amps, but I can't seem to find anyone that has actually listened to them and I would hate to lay out the cash to find out that they aren't any better than the DD C series amps I already have.

 

And yes, I tell people that I live in the "Greater DFW area"  I'm a short drive down the CTP toll road in Cleburne.  At the rate things are expanding, we're going to be just another Ft. Worth suburb in the next 5ish years.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Arthur79 said:

Thanks man!  I haven't given up on the amps all together yet, I still want to run power for the head unit up from the mids and highs distribution block (really hoping that will help) and I do have an AC 8to10 I can test with to see if the noise is coming from the current DSP.  I would like to keep the DM-810 for another project, but I could use it to test with and then look at picking up a 6to8 for the truck.

 

I've heard about those Dayton DSPs.  It's a real bummer, on paper they look amazing and the price is certainly right, but it sounds like more people than not have had noise issues with them.  I think I read a review on PartsExpress of one guy that ended up using a 12v DC to 120v AC inverter with a power brick back to 12v DC to isolate the noise on his Dayton DSP.  That seems like more trouble than it's worth, and less of a bargain assuming you get a quality inverter.

 

I'm still interested in the Zapco budget SQ amps, but I can't seem to find anyone that has actually listened to them and I would hate to lay out the cash to find out that they aren't any better than the DD C series amps I already have.

 

And yes, I tell people that I live in the "Greater DFW area"  I'm a short drive down the CTP toll road in Cleburne.  At the rate things are expanding, we're going to be just another Ft. Worth suburb in the next 5ish years.

 

 

Yes I was bummed out with the Dayton DSP but love the AC unit so it is what it is. I read all the toubleshooting people did to make them work and felt like I shouldn't have to do that for a product brand new out the box.

 

Yes you are right DFW just keeps expanding more and more, construction everywhere. I'm in Lewisville but work in Downtown Fort Worth.

 

There is a car show in Ennis at the end of June, I want to say it's the 26th if I remember correctly. 

Nav-TV Zen V Audio Interface

AudioControl DM-608

(2) Stevens Audio Neo-Comp Full-Size Horns

(4) Faital Pro 6PR160 6.5"

AudioControl LC-6.1200

(1) Fi Neo 4.7 15" D2 in 3.74 Cubic Feet @ 27.70 Hz

Ampere Audio AA3800.1

Odyssey ODP-AGM48 Battery (Starting)

Odyssey ODX-AGM31 Battery (Trunk)

Big 3 - 2\0 Welding Cable, KnuKonceptz Speaker Wire & 1/0 Power Cable, NVX RCAs, Second Skin (Speaker Tweaker Pads, Damplifier Pro Mat), Diode Dynamics LEDs

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On 5/29/2021 at 8:41 AM, jcarter1885 said:

Yes I was bummed out with the Dayton DSP but love the AC unit so it is what it is. I read all the toubleshooting people did to make them work and felt like I shouldn't have to do that for a product brand new out the box.

 

Yes you are right DFW just keeps expanding more and more, construction everywhere. I'm in Lewisville but work in Downtown Fort Worth.

 

There is a car show in Ennis at the end of June, I want to say it's the 26th if I remember correctly. 

Are you going to have a car in the show or just checking out other people's rides?

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