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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You would think at 50 years old I would grow out of the DIY car audio installs and either be happy with the factory system or at least let a car audio shop do it for me. But no... I just can't leave it alone. I guess is makes me feel younger piddlin' around with it.

I have a 2010 F-150 Platinum Supercrew with the Sony system, Nav and SYNC. I will keep the factory head unit and replace the front speakers... as well as take the factory sub out and install dual 10's.

EDIT: Final install will include:

  • Factory Nav System with Sync
  • JBL MS-8 OEM Integration Processor
  • JL Audio HD900/5 Amp (Active on Fronts)
  • Hertz HSK-163 (3-Way Comps)
  • Factory Rear Door Speakers
  • Dual Sundown Audio SD-2 10" D4 Subwoofers (Custom Box)

I haven't long installed a system in my 07 Explorer Sport Trac, which I will be selling before too much longer. From that system I have a JL Audio HD900/5 amp and one Sundown SD-2 10 D4 subwoofer, of which I have ordered another to have dual 10's. I left Massive CK6 components in the ST because of the modification I had to do to install them ... and I want to try something different in the Platinum.

The JBL MS-8 OEM integration processor is on its way. I got it from Harman Audio (remanufactured).




Here are some preliminary pics of what I have to deal with...

I think I can tap into the current battery terminal with no issues... but will add another ground wire.




Ford conveniently placed a grommet pass-thru in the firewall behind the glove box where the power wire will be easy enough to fish thru. I already have a short wire passed thru for testing.






Factory subwoofer to be removed.




I plan to take pics as I progress, which will probably be a slow process due to my work schedule and having to use my truck for work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have some Dynamat Extreme for the doors and wanted to see what I have to deal with in the door speakers. Ford aligned them with the opening pretty well. Here is a shot of the 5 x 7 with the grill off.






There is not as much depth as I thought, although I do have about 1" between the door metal and the door panel to help out. The problem will be the diameter of the speaker magnet if it gets over about 2.5" deep. I can gain about a half inch by adding a plate between the metal door and the speaker. Of course if I use 6.5" speakers instead of 5 x 7's, I may be able to move the speaker over a bit to be sure to miss that window track bar.




Taking the SONY emblem off is not a big issue, but it does leave three tiny holes in the the speaker grill to deal with.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is where it will get somewhat challenging. I would prefer to use the factory tweeter locations, although there is room on the door to place them.... it makes more sense to keep it looking factory up front.




There are just a limited number of tweeters out there that will work... thus far a limit of one that I can find. The JL Audio C5 series has a tweeter that I believe will work perfectly... and I prefer a soft dome. It should fit the hole and overlap just enough.






The only issue at this point is the mid-bass of the C5 series. I remember using the JL Audio XR570CSi model way back in my 03 F150 Supercrew and I know I liked the highs, but it seems I remember the mid-bass being a tad on the shy side. I may be a bit spoiled with the mid-bass of the Massive CK6 speakers I have in the ST. Yet... I would think JL has come a ways with their speakers in nearly 10 years. I would think the C5-570 or C5-650 would be improved.

There is also the option to just purchase the JL Audio tweeters ... C5-075ct ... and find a suitable mid-bass driver with a lower Fs and Qts. That opens up the options to use some of the DIY home speakers for the mid-bass in the doors. I could also take out the Massive CK6 mid-bass drivers in the 07 ST and stick something cheap in there since those are now powered by the head unit. Use the CK6 mid-bass and JL tweets. :bigsmile:


So at this point... it is really coming down to what to get for the front speakers and trying to fit the tweeters in the factory location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have settled on going with a 3-way setup in the front using Hertz Hi-Energy HSK-163 speakers. Mids will be mounted in the window sail. The tweeters in this setup should fit even better than the JL Audio set. This will be an active/passive setup. Active between the midbass and mid/highs, which will be on the included passive crossover.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sub box is built.

The box volume is currently .637ft³ gross... 477ft³ net (subtracting .08ft³ each for driver displacement).

If my calculations are right with polyfill:
  • .5lbs = 10% increase in 1ft³
  • .5lbs = 20% increase in .5ft³
  • .75lbs = 30% increase in .5ft³
  • 1lb = 40% increase in .5ft³
I will add .75lbs (12oz) to get the box from .477 to .620 (estimating about a 30% increase in volume)... or about .31ft³ net volume per sub. There might be a slightly higher increase since the box is a tad smaller than .5ft³.

The dual sub setup is going to be very limited in box volume, yet the single sub I had in the 07 ST sounded pretty good in a .31ft³ box gross volume (.23ft³ net) and stuffed with polyfill... although I am not sure how much polyfill I had in it. My thinking is I will have a little more volume per sub in this box, so it should extend a little lower in the frequency range. It probably won't be all that noticeable... and I am not sure a 3db increase in SPL by doubling the sub drivers will make that much difference either, but I will see what it does and go from there.







 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got the mids and tweets installed today... and the speaker wire ran to the mid, which was no easy task.

Ford has the neat little plug for the door wiring that snaps into the door jam.



So... I drilled a small hole on the back side of the connectors and fished the speaker wire through. I used a nylon rod I have for fishing. There is a large rubber grommet/cover on the inside that already has a bundle of wires passing through it, so I fished the rod through the drill hole and finessed my way through the grommet, then pulled my speaker wire through... and then fished it through the door harness cover and on up to the mid.








Cutting the hole out for the midrange required cutting part of the window vent. Not a real big deal and it doesn't look super nice and neat, but it will work. I covered the cutout part of the vent with Gorilla tape and a small piece of Dynamat. This gave me plenty of room to mount the mid.








Attention Hertz... what is the deal with only giving me 4 screws for the midrange drivers? I need 8... and preferably 8 of the same size/type. You gave me 4 that were right... and 4 that would work, but they don't match. I don't think anyone will notice them and start comparing, but com'on... where is QC in packing? Always toss in more than we need, don't short change us.




And the mid/tweets are mounted. I ain't crazy about the black grills, but I can live with it, provided they end up sounding good.




The MS-8 is being replaced after two tries with a refurbished model, both looked terrible... like they were in the rear floorboard of a car for six months with someone stepping all over them. Harman agreed to replace the second one with a new one at no extra charge... first class of them. I should have it by first of next week and will be able to get some noise in this ride by the next weekend or so. Bama plays Michigan on 9/1 ... so I probably won't get to work on it and finish it up until after that game.
 

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I heard those Hertz last summer for the first time. Was really impressed at how clean they were even when pressed to some insane levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am looking forward to hearing them. This is the first time I have ever installed a 3-way setup.
 

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Was checking this out over on diyma, looks great. Very detail oriented and shows your skills.

Have you considered full active? An XD200/2 could be hid most anywhere. Any plans for an RTA?
 

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I'm interested to hear what you think of the sd subs. I have one of those 10's for my tundra that I won from sundowns give away. I'm just waiting to put the money together for the other components that I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Was checking this out over on diyma, looks great. Very detail oriented and shows your skills.

Have you considered full active? An XD200/2 could be hid most anywhere. Any plans for an RTA?
Thanks, but my skills are puny compared to most of those guys over there.

I may eventually go full active. I will have to find somewhere to mount that extra amp. My first thoughts have been to add the center, which would be with an XD200/2 bridged. The problem is finding a single HL70, HT25 and an extra crossover. I could go active with the center, but then I'll have to run the rears in parallel, as I only have 8 channels. 4 for the fronts, 1 for the sub, 2 for the rears, and 1 extra, which would be for the center, but it would have to be passive.

At this point there is no plans for an RTA, not past hooking up my computer and REW.


I'm interested to hear what you think of the sd subs. I have one of those 10's for my tundra that I won from sundowns give away. I'm just waiting to put the money together for the other components that I need.
I had one of them in a .31ft³ box with polyfill... running off the sub channel of the HD900/5 in my 07 Sport Trac and it sounded awesome. I was very pleased. Having two won't make a lot of difference, but it should give me about a 3db gain in SPL, although some of that might be sacrificed with a slightly larger box, which should result in a little lower range. It will be interesting to see how it sounds with the two in this larger cab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got the midbass installed...







Sub enclosure is covered, subs installed and ready to hook up...




 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally got this finished up yesterday... although I want to tinker with the settings on the MS-8 some more. I am very very impressed by the overall sound, however it might be missing just a little bit of low-end extension.

Being able to listen to processed and unprocessed sound with the MS-8 and a press of a button is pretty neat... and the difference is startling good. The Hertz speakers are remarkable. The guy that helps me during the week thought it had sparkling clarity... extremely clean sounding.

Final pics...

The factory Sony amp in underneath the console, which is reasonably easy to remove. Fishing the wires from the amp to the rear was a bit of a challenge.








I found these 1 foot RCA cables at Have, Inc. I searched forever trying to find some quality cables at a reasonable price. These are well built and fairly inexpensive.




I still have to tidy up the wiring.







I will also probably end up enlarging the sub box a bit to get a little better extension. My first design was to place the MS-8 on one side and the JL Audio amp on the other, so I could only make the sub box a certain width. After building the sub box I realized I could build an amp rack and stack the amps... so I have some extra space for more sub box volume... which I believe will help. I also think I can get those subs up off the floor another half inch or so.


I will lodge a design complaint about the MS-8. I know they must have been cramped for room, but having all these wires on the front and back basically make it undesirable for public mounting. I would rather have had connections like the JL Audio, where you can input your own wire into the connector, screw it down and then plug it in, instead of pre-mounted wires on the connectors. There just isn't much you can do with them... and you have the Input wires on one side and the Output wires on the other, so you have to deal with them regardless of which way you turn the unit. I don't know exactly what the design answer is and I understand you can't please everyone, but it seems like there just wasn't much thought put into it. None the less, I will obviously live with it, because it does an incredible job with the sound, thereby making the pros outweigh the cons. I suppose sound trumps looks in this case.
 

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Wow! That's a lot of trim pieces! I am comfortable working on cars, but man, I don't think working on interiors is my life calling. Any time I've done anything with trim I manage to break some plastic tab or critical doohickey. I think I'll stick to working on stuff under the hood...

Kudos for working with such tight spaces and components! I'm sure Ford engineers are shaking their fist at you for your blatant disregard for their design!

That is definitely a strange design to have the input and output on the opposite sides of the unit.:huh:
 

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Very nice and clean install. Wish I had your skills as I've always wanted to learn car audio installation. Sure would've saved me a lot of money over the years!
I was told that Hertz is a sister company of Focal. Any idea if this is true? I have a couple of sets of Focals from my old S4 that I'd like to put in my next car but it'll have to wait til I get another ride. Well done.
 

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Very nice looking Sonnie. I'm sure it sounds great. I also wish I had those install skills but it's nice having friends that can do that stuff. I might be able to tear it apart but I'd never be able to put it back together. I did check out those Hertz speakers and they look and sound very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys... Ford is not so bad when it comes to taking stuff apart and being subject to breaking. Their door panels are some of the easiest I have ever dealt with over the years.

I am not sure about Hertz being sister to Focal. I know Audison has something to do with them and are related in some fashion.
 

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Sonnie: On the MS-8, is it possible to select the AUX input without using the LCD screen?

I have a JL Cleensweep in my Town Car factory system with an outboard amp. It made a lot of difference, but has no measurement feature - it only fixes the factory "tweaking" of the FR in the HU. It does have an AUX input that can be engaged by a push of the amp gain control, which I mounted in the cupholder space. I use the AUX in for iPod. I have the AUX input adapter for the factory HU, but it is distorted and has limited FR, even with the Cleensweep.

Wondering if it is worth replacing the JL with the MS-8. I had planned on replacing the HU, but after looking at a few reviews of even $1K aftermarket ones, I find the same problems that drove me away from aftermarket years ago - dim displays, lockups, etc. So, I just may fix up the factory system some more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think there would be a way to select it without the display, which would be aggravating unless you plan to mount it somewhere... and still then you would have to make a few presses on the remote to make the selection. I ran my display wire up through my center console and keep it plugged in and in the console in case I need it, which I shouldn't, but to maybe tinker around a bit all along.

The thing I really like about this MS-8 is the apparent accuracy it has in making the vehicle sound good... having its own auto-EQ system. I say apparent, because the difference between active and non-active sounds so good, yet I have not measured anything. The difference is so dramatic that I cannot help but to believe it is doing it right.

The idea with the headphone mic is just silly brilliant. Audyssey needs to take note here. I do something similar when I set my system in my home theater... placing the mic at my left ear, taking a measurement, then right ear, taking a measurement. The ear is where the mic should be and having it on both ears and I assume summing the two readings seems to be the ticket for proper measurements. I have always felt like you should be in your listening position when taking measurements. Harman actually recommends it with the MS-8. With the headphone mic on... sitting in the drivers seat looking straight forward taking a measurement with tone pulse then a sweep. Then look at the drivers side mirror, take another measurement, then look at the passenger side mirror, take another measurement. Then if you want have someone else sit in the passenger seat and wear the headphones and take three more measurements. Now you can switch listening setups between driver only, passenger only or front, which is a setup for both front seat listeners. It is truly an amazing system and I think they pretty much have worked all the bugs out of it too.
 

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Thanks for the info, sounds like a great unit. But, having to go thru menus to get to the AUX input tarnishes it a little for me. With the JL, I use the direct-to-amp feature for the iPod, then the processed signal for the CD-6 head unit. I guess I could convert to line out in the dash instead of the trunk and switch line level between the two.

Too bad the Ford HU distorts the AUX input. I have a PIE converter that ties to the SAT input on the HU. I had Sirius installed for a couple of years, but got tired of the poor SQ and drop outs with all the trees (plus paying for that Stern fellow). So, I took it out and put the AUX converter in its place. Switching to SAT on the HU switches to the AUX input, but even with the iPod at 50% volume I can hear distortion.

I am not spending that much time in the car now anyway since I retired, so I suppose it is not worth putting much effort into improving the sound system.
 
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