The Garage - Stereo System
I have said goodbye to a car cluttered with CD's, and I say hello to the future.

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Last Updated: 12/3/2013
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The Stereo System

Blaupunkt, a subsidiary of Robert Bosch Ltd. is the European market leader in the car radio industry.
Website

Crutchfield Corp. is specializing in audio and video equipment for the car.
Address: 1 Crutchfield Park
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Phone: (800) 319-8264
Hours: 8am-midnight (ET)
Email | Website

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is America's largest online retailer as of January 2010.
Address: 1516 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (800) 201-7575
Website
Online Car Stereo
Address:
5014 Hampton St.
Vernon, CA 90058.
Phone: (888) 615 5663
Hours: Mo - Fri
8 am - 6 pm (PST/PDT)
Email | Website

Sonic Electronix, Inc.
Address: 28340 Ave Crocker
Suite 202
Valencia , CA 91355
Phone: 877-289-7664
Hours: Mo–Fri
9:00 AM–5:00 PM (PT)
Email | Website

Disclaimer
The fabrication, modifications and designs you see on this web site are completed by myself. If you duplicate these modifications you do so at your own risk. I do not endorse or make any claims to their safety, performance, On-road or off-road worthiness. Any "Product Reviews" are my sole and personal opinion. These reviews are on items purchased from or provided by reputable aftermarket suppliers. All registered trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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Visit the Photo Gallery


The "Photo Gallery" has some of my favorite pictures of my Durango, our family trips, and others of interest.


Besides the fact that most OEM stereo system's sound far from great, mine is also on it's last leg. Three of the door speakers were completely shot and the one which was still working, produced a very dull sound at best. The receiver was working but the CD player was skipping and the CD changer unit in the "trunk" didn't work at all. The head unit was therefore pretty much useless for anything but listening to radio. I needed a replacement and I needed it fast!

Although I knew that there are plenty of stereo system that will meet or exceed my needs the choice was overwhelming to say the least. There are virtually thousands of units, speakers, amps, and what not to choose from.

Head Unit:
The in-dash head unit which I was looking for had to be a Digital Car Media Receiver* offering radio (FM/AM) but most importantly must have excellent MP3 capabilities. I wanted the best in aspect of file scan capacity (number of files), hierarchical directory levels (folder depth), and scanning speed.
I wanted also the USB port to be in the back of the unit, this allows the use of an USB extension cable to place the USB drive containing the music files in mp3 format at a convenient location. Having it stick out from the front of the unit like most units would likely get the USB port or drive damaged if accidently bumped on. A Bluetooth capable or upgradeable unit would be great but it's not a priority for me.
*Digital Media Receivers do not have CD or DVD and therefore no mechanical parts to wear out or fail.

Amplifiers:
Two amplifiers are needed, one for handling the door speaker system and another one for feeding a 12" subwoofer residing in it's own custom build enclosure in the rear of the cab. I wanted the 4 channel stereo amplifier to have at least 60 Watts RMS (not max power) per channel and it needed to be small enough to fit within my custom build console for a hidden install. The subwoofer amp must have a minimum of 300 Watts RMS to be able to move the large sub and create a sound system which would be well balanced for my music type and listening style. Small in size for a equally cool hidden install of the sub amp below the rear interior fender panel which I am limited on vertical space.

Sound Processing:
For clear, clean quality sound and optimal performance I needed to think about sound processing. I will be looking for a good 7-Band Graphic Equalizer which offers 6-Channel RCA Outputs for Front, Rear, and Subwoofer. It also must have an auxiliary input in the rear and a level control for it as I am planing ahead for a carputer (in car computer) as a future project..
Second I would like a separate 3-Way Electronic Crossover which offers inputs for two- or three-way system setups with rear fader control. A remote subwoofer level control would be nice.

Speakers:
To replace the OEM stereo speakers in the four doors I need to decide on two sets of high quality component speaker systems for installation in the factory locations. The speakers must be able to handle the output of the amplifiers above.
In addition a 12" subwoofer with a Dual Voice Coil for my sub box needs to be part of my system. The Dual Voice Coil will allow me to wire it up as a mono sub with 2 Ohm instead of 4 Ohm and thus getting the maximum from my subwoofer amplifier's output.

Antenna:
A new shorter rubber antenna as found on modern cars but with better or at least similar reception would be nice.



Sound System Overview:
To achieve an acoustic improvement throughout the Durango, the cab is completely stripped, cleaned, and lined with FatMat acoustic matting. For the head unit I decided for the Blaupunkt Brisbane SD48 Digital Media Receiver and the Kenwood KAC-8405 Performance Series 4/3/2 Channel Power Amplifier will be hidden below a custom center console. This amp will be feeding the Alpine SPR-17S ( 6-1/2") 2-Way 330W Component Speaker System in all the doors. For the bass I decided on a single 12" JBL Dual Voice Coil subwoofer which takes residence in a sealed subwoofer enclosure, utilizing high quality wiring (oxygen free, stranded pure copper) it will be wired up for 2 Ohm and therefore will get the most out of a dedicated Kenwood KAC-8105D subwoofer amplifier which will be installed hidden beneath the driver side rear cargo interior panel. The sound processing will be taken care of by a Clarion EQS746 7-Band Equalizer passing the enhanced signal to a Clarion MCD360 3-way Electronic Crossover before feeding it into the two amps. Separate fusing with Mega Fuses in a BlueSea Systems Fuse holder next to the main battery will assure plenty of power through 4 gauge copper free multi stranded wire.



Shopping:
After lots of research in today's market, I found a many companies which offer good pricing but most important I needed great service. The ones I have contacted and responded patiently to my emails and phone calls got my business on the big stuff.
Crutchfield didn't impress with pricing but customer service was beyond anything I had experienced before. Their vehicle selector to narrow my searches and options worked great. Both, SonicElectronix.com and OnlineCarStereo.com had everything I wanted and then some, good service, and excellent pricing too.

Cost:
In addition would be a few more items such as brass stock for machining the addition to the battery post, connection lugs in various gauges, connectors, wires and cables in various sizes, a couple of Mega Fuses, optical wire, speaker wire, a handful of bolts and a fair amount of other small parts. The approximately cost for those item is another 100 bucks. The total cost for this project at this point comes out to approx. $1760.00.


The Project Parts List:
Please note that the prices listed below are rounded up or down and include all shipping and handling costs. I tried to remember all parts I have purchased for this project but I am sure I am missing a few in the below list.

Description
Price
Blaupunkt Brisbane SD48 Digital Media Receiver
168.00
Blaupunkt Bluetooth & USB Interface (7 607 545 500) for Brisbane SD48
70.00
Patriot Memory 8GB Xporter XT USB flash drive
25.00
Euro Rubber Short Radio Antenna
15.00
Kenwood KAC-8105D Class D Mono Power Amplifier 1000 Watts Max. Power
140.00
Kenwood KAC-8405 Performance Series 4/3/2 Channel Power Amplifier
140.00
Clarion EQS746 7-Band Equalizer (EQS-746)
65.00
Clarion MCD360 3-way Electronic Crossover
79.00
Alpine SPR-17S ( 6-1/2") 2-Way 330W Component Speaker System (2 sets)
360.00
Alpine SPS-110TW Type-S 1” silk dome tweeter set (replacing the ones from the set) (2 sets)
150.00
Lightning Audio Car Distribution Block (1) 4 8 Gauge Input to (4) 8 AWG Outputs
10.00
JBL GT5-12D, 1100 Peak / 275W RMS, 12" Dual 4 ohm GT Series Dual Voice Coil subwoofer
90.00
BlueSea Systems #7721 MEGA Safety Fuse Blocks (2) and Fuses (4)
80.00
Xscorpion BTRG + BTRP Battery Terminals w/ Ring Terminal & Pos/Neg Adapter
30.00
FatMat 50 Sq. Ft. FatMat Bulk Pack, 1 Roll 33.5' L X 18" W (Thickness 50 mil nominal)
80.00
Rockford Fosgate RP4310 High Quality 1.5' RCA Interconnects RED RF Twister (3 sets)
17.00
JL Audio SGR-13W6v2 13.5" Mesh Sub Woofer Grill and a 12" Steel Waffle Sub Grill
35.00
1/0 ga., 4 ga., 8 ga., High quality oxygen free stranded copper wire & solder lugs
75.00
1’ Gold Plated RCA Interconnects BLUE (3 sets)
15.00
14' Gold Plated RCA cable to rear sub amp Grey
16.00
Subtotal
1660.00


A closer look at the main components:

The Blaupunkt Brisbane SD48 Digital Media Receiver
The Brisbane SD48 replaces the CD drive mechanism with a full array of new music technologies. There is a front-panel slot for an SD/MMC card that can pack hundreds of hours of music on a chip the size of a postage stamp. The only drawback on the SD slot is that it can only read standard SD cards (not SDHC) up to 2GB in size. However, there is no limit on the USB side which I will be using primarily.

I received with the unit all necessary installation gear free of charge! It just makes the install easy and saves a lot of time which normally is lost through shopping online to find all the additional stuff needed to get this into the dash.

Here are the Technical Details:

Data carrier
USB-removable storage: USB 2.0
Formatting USB-removable storage: FAT 32
Memory cards: MMC, SD, SDHC

Audio-Player
Playback format: MP3, WMA
Title display: ID3-tag (Version 2), File names, Folder names
Bitrate (kBit/s): 8-320
Variable bitrates: Yes

Radio
Type of tuner: Analogue Receiver
Wave bands: UKW, MW
Codem-concept: III+
Travelstore: Yes
Station memory: 25
Search analogue (Scan): Radio
Interference suppression: Yes
Frequency response (Hz) -3dB: 35 - 16.000

General
Installation location: 1-DIN-slot
Front panel: detachable
Color: black
Key illumination (Day): red
Key illumination (Night): red
Demo mode: Yes
Demo mode activation: S3 + S5 + On Key
Changer control (DMS): Yes
Height x Width x Depth (mm): 50 x 179 x 150

Equalizer
Number of bands: 3
Type: analogue
X-Bass: adjustable
Sound-Presets: Classic, Pop, Rock
Source specific sound adjustment : Yes

Amplifier
Number of channels : 4 Channel
Max. Power (Watt): 4 x 50
SinusPower at 14,4V (Watt): 4 x 26

Display
Type: DOT (1-line)
Color: VarioColour (4096 colors)
Clock display: Yes

Inputs
Antenna (number of): 1
USB (number of): 1
Aux-In (number of): 2
Aux-In (connection type): 3.5 mm phone jack
Aux-In (features): Front Aux-in, Audio Mix
Telephone Mute: Yes
Bluetooth: via interface
iPod (features): via interface
Command and Control-control bus (number of): 1
Command and Control-control bus (features): extremely fast control of external sources (e.g. iPod, USB player or a Bluetooth device, etc.)
Voice output: Navigation, Telephone

Outputs
Pre-amplifier (number of): 1
Pre-amplifier (channels, voltage): 4-Channel (2V)

Accessories included in delivery
Instruction book: Yes
Infrared remote control: Yes
Mounting material: Yes
Preamp-cable: Yes
USB-cable: Yes
The Brisbane is iPod ready (with optional adaptor), and a front panel Aux input connects anything with a headphone jack. It has a handy remote control included (picture to the right) for the basic functions of the SD48, an integrated USB interface for thumb drives and external hard disks, and last but not least it is Bluetooth ready with an optional interface I purchased for wireless hands-free operation of my cell phone and even MP3 audio streaming.
Bluetooth compatibility with this receiver and my LG phone works great and wissout issues.

This head unit outperforms any other Digital Media Receiver on the market today (Dec. 2012) in point of file and directory scanning from an USB flash drive. It can handle up to 1.000,000 files, 1000 folders (10,000 files per folder), and unlimited hierarchical levels.

I can load up all my mp3's on my fast Patriot Memory 8GB Xporter XT USB flash drive, I got it from Amazon, and can enjoy the all the music I want to listen to and none I don't.

Patriot 8GB USB flash drive
I had lots of fun with creating play lists and selecting songs. I get into the car next morning, plug the flash drive in, and I am good for hours of musical entertainment. Now that is too cool!

I wanted a simple unit which offers a good tuner and full MP3 capabilities.
This unit from Blaupunkt satisfies all my needs I want from a Car Stereo Receiver perfectly!

Installing the Receiver
The entire panel is held in place by two simple Philips screws on top side of the actual instrument cluster. After removing these screws, pulling gently on the panel (which has a fair amount of clips all around it) will get it off.

Once all the switches have been disconnected, the bezel was complete removed from the Durango and placed aside.

A screw driver did the job of removing the OEM radio and mounting the new Single DIN Installation Kit (supplied free from Crutchfield with my stereo purchase) in it's place.



The new bezel looks great and I stuck the Blaupunkt SD48 into it to make sure it fits, and it did! I then re-installed the dash panel.

I went on with the wiring.
All wires from the Blaupunkt SD48 receiver harness which is Power (+), Ground (-), and Light Switch, are soldered & "shrink tubed" to the plug adapter which I plugged afterwards into the OEM stereo harness connector.


I could omit all the speaker wires as I am using the RCA outputs from the Blaupunkt receiver. I proceeded with plugging in the optional Blaupunkt Bluetooth module into the receiver.

I routed the USB cable which plugs into the back of the receiver and also the remote wire (orange) down to the console to let the amp and sound processors know that the receiver was turned on.

The same is true for the RCA cable (only one cable is needed if used with a Clarion Equalizer), which I plugged into the RCA output cable of the receiver and routed down below to my custom console (not completed in the pictures to the right).

The connectors on the other end of the RCA cable will plug into the Clarion Equalizer's input.






Next was plugging in the radio antenna cable via an adapter which was also included in the install kit. I wrapped all cables with a 3mm Akasa foam mat which I had on hand. It's primary use is to quiet PC cases but works well for many other application. In this case it will prevent the cables from rattling.

After I had the mess of cables organized I pushed the receiver into the dash.

The blue LED inside the volume knob was very bright and I just knew that this would be annoying when driving nights.By placing on top of the knob a black round piece which I cut from a T-Max Winch sticker the problem was solved!

The Antenna:
I never liked the look of the stock OEM (31 inch) metal shaft antenna on the Durango's and thus I was happy to find a more stylish yet functional low profile
(13 inch) flexible rubber antenna. This much shorter antenna won't also hit my
garage door when driving in or out anymore. I secured myself the euro style antenna for only 15 bucks on ebay.

Installation was made very simple due to the wide variety of adapters which were supplied with the kit. Basically unscrewing the OEM antenna and screwing the new one onto the existing antenna mount was all what was needed.
It defenetly looks on my Durango much better than the stock antenna too!

Testing: There was no increase or decrease in reception as far as I could tell. AM came in strong and just as good as with the old factory antenna. I didn't hear any noise at all with the new antenna.
Also, this part of the write up is after the dash unit install, I actually replaced the antenna with the old unit still in the truck for a true comparison.

The Amplifiers:
The Kenwood KAC-8405 Performance Series 4/3/2 Channel Power Amplifier will be feeding the Alpine SPR-17S ( 6-1/2") 2-Way 330W Component Speaker System in all the doors. The Kenwood KAC-8105D subwoofer amplifier dedicated for thr subwoofer will also be installed hidden beneath the driver side rear cargo interior panel.

The Kenwood KAC-8405 Performance Series 4/3/2 Channel Power Amplifier
I wanted a good amp with clean sound and the output to match my speaker system. The Kenwood amp received many good reviews on the web and the price was right. Kenwood Performance Series car amplifiers offer long-term reliability and superior sound quality in a compact, no-nonsense package. The KAC-8405 4-channel amp delivers 60 watts RMS to each of my front and rear door speakers. A rugged cast-aluminum heatsink combines with two cooling fans to keep this amp running at optimal temperatures, even when I'm pushing my system hard.
Built-in high- and low-pass filters adjust the output so I'll get the best sound possible from my system. I can dial in up to 18 dB of bass boost to fatten up the sound. The dimensions of this amp (11"W x 2-3/8"H x 9-1/2"D) makes it one of the smallest amps in it's class, perfect for my hidden install.

Specifications
CEA-2006 Standard

60W x 4

RMS Watts per channel @ 4 ohms, 1% THD+N
80dBA Signal to Noise Ratio (Reference: 1 Watt into 4 Ω
Max Power Output 720 W
Rated Power Output
14.4 V
60W x 4 (4Ω¦) (20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% THD)
90W x 4 (2Ω) (1 kHz, 0.8% THD)
180W x 2 Bridged (4Ω) (1 kHz, 0.8% THD)
Frequency Response 5-50kHz(±3dB)
Input Sensitivity 0.2 V - 5.0 V (MIN-MAX)
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Signal to Noise Ratio 95 dB
Low Pass Filter Frequency
(-12 dB/oct.)
50 Hz - 200 Hz (variable) Low-Pass Filter Frequency
High Pass Filter Frequency
(-12 dB/oct.)
50 Hz - 200 Hz (variable) High-Pass Frequency
Dimensions (W x H x D) 280 x 59 x 238 mm (11 x 2-5/16 x 9-3/8)

The Highlights:
4-channel car amplifier | 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms (90 watts x 4 at 2 ohms) | 180 watts RMS x 2 bridged output at 4 ohms (4 ohm stable in bridged mode) | 2-, 3-, and 4-channel operation | variable high- and low-pass filters (50-200 Hz, 12 dB per octave) | variable bass boost (0-18 dB at 40 Hz) | dual cooling fans | MOSFET power supply | speaker-level inputs with signal sensing turn-on | preamp inputs | fuse rating: 30A x 2 | Dimensions 11"W x 2-3/8"H x 9-1/2"D

Installation:
Before I would be able to install the amp, I needed to remove the OEM console, get rid of some factory carpet, and install FatMat in that area.

I bolted the amp to the floor below the dash. A custom console will be build above and behind the amplifier.In the picture to the right you can also see that I have completed to route the RCA cable and remote wire to the amp from behind the dash unit down to the installed amp.

The remote wire in my case orange in color only turns the amp on when the dash unit is switched on.
I am using a red insulated 4 gauge oxygen free stranded copper cable (fused) from the battery for the positive (+) power and a black 4 gauge cable of the same material for the ground (-). Sheet metal screws are used to secure the amp to the floor.

My custom console will offer a removable sidepanel to access the amp.I do not use the aluminum cover plate which comes with the amp. It is meant to protect the amp's controls and connections and giving the installation a professional look but my amplifier will be enclosed (protected) and is hidden from view.

I also will create a special bracket which will secure the Clarion Crossover above it.
More on this later.



The Kenwood KAC-8105D Performance Series Class D Mono Power Amplifier
I wanted a sub amp with a powerful kick and enough output to pump my 12" subwoofer. This Kenwood amp is the perfect match to my system.

The KAC-8105D Class D Mono Power Amplifier has the same small foot print as the KAC-8405 above and a mighty powerful kick. Ready to pump out up to 1000 Watts (500 watts RMS) to my subwoofer. The KAC-8105D includes a built-in infrasonic filter that helps subwoofers perform their best by sharply cutting off inaudible frequencies below 15 or 25 Hz. I can dial in up to 18 dB of bass boost if I want to fatten up the sound.

A rugged cast-aluminum heatsink keeps this amp running at optimal temperatures and the same small foot print (11"W x 2-3/8"H x 9-1/2"D) as the KAC-8405 above makes it perfect for my intended install location.

Specifications
CEA-2006 Standard

300W x 1

RMS Watts per channel @ 4 ohms, 1% THD+N80
80dBA Signal to Noise Ratio (Reference: 1 Watt into 4 Ω
Max Power Output 1000 W
Rated Power Output
14.4 V
300W x 1 (4Ω¦) (20 Hz - 200 Hz, 1.0% THD)
500W x 1 (2Ω) (100 Hz, 1.0% THD)
Frequency Response 10-200kHz(±1dB)
Input Sensitivity 0.2 V - 5.0 V (MIN-MAX)
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Signal to Noise Ratio 100 dB
Low Pass Filter Frequency
(-12 dB/oct.)
50 Hz - 200 Hz (variable) Low-Pass Filter Frequency
High Pass Filter Frequency -
Dimensions (W x H x D) 280 x 59 x 238 mm (11 x 2-5/16 x 9-3/8)
The Highlights:
300 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (500 watts x 1 at 2 ohms) | CEA-2006 compliant | variable low-pass filter (50-200 Hz at 24 dB per octave) | bass boost (0-18 dB at 40 Hz ) | subsonic filter (15/25 Hz, 18 dB/octave ) | Class D design | speaker-level inputs with signal sensing turn-on | preamp inputs and outputs | fuse rating: 30A x 2 | Dimesions 11"W x 2-3/8"


Installation:
Before I would be able to install the subwoofer amp, I needed to remove the rear driver side inner fender panel cover, clean the area from foam and yute and lay down a good amount of FatMat.

Please note that the majority of this subwoofer amp install was actually done when I did the Complete Rear Interior Compartment Remake! project featured here.

No matter how I twisted and turned the unit, it would only fit if I cut the front legs of the amp off. This of course will void the warranty. I plugged the amp into the car receiver with temporary wires just to check if it powers up and worked as it should. Then I took my hacksaw and chopped the feet off. This will alow for a easy install while still have access to plugs and amp controls for sound adgustments.
The entire cab was already lined with FatMat in a previous project. The subwoofer amp was mounted to the inner fender panel.with a few brackets which I have fabricated from aluminum flat stock and then bolted to the amp. The assembly was fastened to the panel using fat sheet metal screws.
There is sufficient room behind the amp to ensure proper cooling. The factory inner fender panel has already two cutouts which aid in circulating air. I did not use the aluminum cover plate which was provided with the amp.

I mounted a Lightning Audio (one 4 Gauge In, four 8 Gauge Out) power distribution block onto a flat 1/4" PVC plate cut to size and mounted into the 3rd row seating lower seat belt cup. The seat belt mechanism was removed when I threw the 3rd row out.

All interior covers and sils from the driver side were removed to be able to run the wiring up front. I am using a red insulated 4 gauge oxygen free stranded copper cable (fused) from the battery for the positive (+) power and a black 4 gauge cable of the same material for the ground (-).

The remote wire and RCA signal cables were routed to the center console. I am only using the best available high quality cables and wires, everything is crimped, then soldered, and finally shrink wrapped with waterproof shrink tubing I usually purchase form DigiKey Electronics in bulk.

Sound Processing:
The sound processing will be taken care of by a Clarion EQS746 7-Band Equalizer passing the enhanced signal to a Clarion MCD360 3-way Electronic Crossover before feeding it into the two amps.

The Clarion EQS746 1/2-DIN Graphic EQ/Crossover
This Clarion EQS746 has a nice look with the blue LED lighting and silver adjustments knobs. It makes a great addition to my stereo system and because it's only a 1/2 DIN (1" height) a great fit in my custom console.

The EQ settings in the dash unit aren't good enough, thus I purchased the Clarion EQS746 to jump in and help me to achieve an ideally tuned system.

This advanced rotary equalizer will provide 7 band of equalization and sound customization. At each of the band centers, a 12 dB boost/cut is offered to precisely adjust the frequencies of each band. It also features a dedicated subwoofer level output for enhanced subwoofer control. On the back, there is an auxiliary input for playing an additional audio source.

Specifications
Equalizer Bands 7 band
Equalizer Frequencies 50 - 16,000 Hz
Built-in Crossover Low-pass (LP)
Built-in Bass Reconstruction No
Max Output Level 7 volts
Frequency Response 10 - 50,000 Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio 105 dB
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) 0.005%
Dimensions (W x H x D) 7" x 1" x 4"
The Highlights:
7-Band Graphic Equalizer | 6-Channel / 7 Volt RCA Outputs (Front/Rear/Subwoofer) | Adjustable Master Volume Level Control | Adjustable Subwoofer Level Control | 2-Channel RCA AUX Input with Adjustable Gain | Selectable 12dB Low-Pass Crossover (60Hz or 90Hz) | Gold Plated Terminals | Dimensions:7"(W) × 1"(H) × 4"(D)

Installation:
The Clarion Equalizer was installed into my custom conole. It was fastened to a bracket I made from aluminum stock. The bracket is an integral part of the console's frame adding a good amount of strength to the console and offers additional mounting options for later use. The rear of the equalizer can easily be accessed through the console's side panel.s

Wiring up the equalizer is a fairly easy task. The two RCA connectors which were routed down from the dash unit plug into the Clarion's input jacks. A remote wire get's spliced in from the amplifier to turn the EQ on along with the rest of the system. This equalizer requires very little power and was spliced into the positive (+) power wire.

The Clarion MCD360 3-way Electronic Crossover
This versatile 3-Way Electronic Crossover offers inputs for two- or three-way system setups with rear fader control and thus giving me even more control more control over the entire frequency then just an equalizer alone.What I really like on this crossover besides improving the sound quality, is the wired remote subwoofer level control which makes it quick and easy to adjust the sound. It also offers a power LED which is great for my hidden install to let me know when it's on or off.

Specifications
Frequency Response 10-50.000 Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio 100dB
High-Pass Frequencies 32-8.000 Hz
32-400 Hz Rear
Subwoofer Line Output 0-18dB
Center Equalizaing Frequencies 25-100Hz
Dimensions (W x H x D) 6" × 3/4" × 7"


The Highlights:
3-way Electronic Crossover | inputs for 2- or 3-way system setups with rear fader control | wired remote subwoofer level control.| 2/4/6 Channel Input | 6-Channel / 5 Volt RCA Output (Front/Rear/Subwoofer) | Front/Rear/Subwoofer Level Control | Subwoofer Equalizer and Boost Level Controls | High-Pass Crossover Frequency Multiplier | Gold Plated Terminals | Dimensions: 7"L x 6"W x 3/4"H


Installation was accomplished by fabricating a bracket which would mount the Clarion MCD 360 Crossover on top of the Kenwood 4 channel amplifier already installed in the custom console. I utilized the existing threaded holes in the amp which were designed to mount a aluminum cover.

I only took advantage of the two mounting points from the left side of the crossover and used a small strip of 1/2" 3M double sided automotive adhesive tape to secure the other side. This was mainly done to prevent any ratteling as the crossover held in place just fine with only one side fastened.

IThe wiring can look a bit intimidating but really isn't. Three RCA interconnect cables each 1.5' ft. long are connected to the output (Front/Rear/Sub) at the Clarion Equalizer and into the same named inputs on this Clarion Crossover. Two RCA interconnects each 1' ft. long are then connected to the Crossover's outputs Front and Rear and connected to the 4ch.amplifiers inputs Front and Rear below. The RCA cable coming from the subwoofer amp installed in the rear cab, get's connected to the Clarion Crossover Sub outputs.

The rest goes as usual. The remote sense connection on the crossover is fitted with a wire (orange) and then is spliced into the existing remote wires. Power (+) is spliced into the wire which also supplies the Clarion equalizer and ground (-) goes to a solid chassis connection.

Some cable ties make the install more organized and easier to deal with if a fault occurs.

Battery Terminals and Fuse Blocks
The time has come to get under the hood for tidying up the rest of the electrical stuff. The Mega Fuse blocks I have purchased for this project need a home and the old battery post will be retired and make space make space for a Stinger set.



The battery is the heart of any system, and some simple battery terminals from the local parts store just don't cut it!
Xscorpion battery terminals are designed with the ultimate in performance and offer great flexibility for my purpose. Xscorpion Battery terminals are available in gold or platinum and sold individually. They accept any size gauge cable because they have bolts for ring lugs. They come with adapters to fit on either (Pos/Neg) battery post.

To operate within safe limits for the type and size of wire transmitting the current we are using a Fuse. If unsafe levels are detected, whether due to overcurrents or short circuits, they break the connection to prevent wire damage from occurring and to reduce the risk of electrical fires. To meet the needs of my specific application I will be using Blue Sea Systems 7721 Mega-AMG Safety Fuse Block outfitted with a 150 Amp slow-blow Mega Fuse.

The Highlights:
Battery Terminals Mega Fuse Block
Gold Battery Terminal | Accepts any gauge cable w/ ring terminal | Includes positive & negative adapter | Screw terminals hold cables securely in place | High power connection
Ignition protected | Sealed cover protects fuses from harsh environments | Insulating cover satisfies ABYC/USCG insulation requirements | Cover breakouts allow wire access in any direction | 300A maximum with 2/0 cable


I began the installation by fabricating a PVC plate to go into the available spot I had created previously by relocating the purge valve. You can check it out in the Purge Valve Relocation project page.

After painting it with black ruck bed coating I mounted it in place by bending the factory purge valve mount to a small "platform" and bolting a 8" piece of aluminum angle stock to the fender wall. I fastened the plate with large plastic rivets, the same as used for the inner fender covers in the wheel house.
I mounted two Mega Fuse Blocks to it. One for the stereo system and the other fuse block to finally protect the radiator fan which had until now, only limited fusing since the Fan Delete project was completed.

Now I needed to figure out on how to get additional connection to the back of the postive terminal. The solution was machining an extension on my mill for the positive battery terminal. I used brass stock for this and it worked out better than expected and I was now able to connect the new Fuse Blocks to the terminal.

For the negative terminal I have implemented a special quick connect/disconnect solution I had this idea of using a spare handle I have purchased for my mill (just in case one brakes) and it worked out great.

I crimped and soldered all lugs to the according battery cables and bridges. I used high quality shrink tubing and the standard split loom from the parts store to protect them from moisture and from rubbing agains anything.

Fusing the stereo system with a 150Amp Mega Fuse in a BlueSea Systems Fuse block as close as possible to the main battery will assure worry free operation. Plenty of power through 4 gauge and 1/0 gauge oxygen free multi stranded copper wire will feed the hungry amps!

TSUNAMI 4 AWG Gauge 20' ft. Power/Ground Wire Red OFCThe Tsunami Power/Ground Cable has a true-to-gauge (AWG) rating and is great for custom installations.
Tsunami power/ground cable is manufactured for high quality performance. I purchased this cable on a 25 foot spool one in red and one in black. The precision wound design provides ultimate power transfer while the Superflex outer jacket allows for easy routing. This cable is a must for high powered sound systems and will serve my high output alternator too. It is constructed with pure oxygen free fine stranded copper wire for ultimate signal transfer.

The Speakers:

The Alpine SPR-17s 6 1/2" 6.5 Type R Component Speaker System
The hybrid layered-pulp with mica coating woofer cone and new 1" ring tweeter are part of the Alpine SPR-17s component system. Adjustable tuning of your speakers using the crossovers to individually perform fine adjustments of the tweeter level is just a few of the reasons I purchased this system. I took a listening to them at a car audio shop and the detailed, bright, and crisp sound reproduction did it for me.

The Highlights:
6-1/2" 2-way Component System | Power Handling:: RMS: 220 watts per set / 110 watts each side | 4 ohms | Hybrid layered-pulp woofer with rubber surround | 1" Textile ring-dome tweeter | External crossovers — 12 dB/octave (high -pass) and 6 dB/octave (low-pass) crossover points | Frequency response: 65 Hz - 27 kHz | Sensitivity: 87 dB | Top-mount depth: 2-5/16"







A component speaker system gives me the best possible performance from the above car audio system. A system consists of separate woofers, tweeters, and crossovers, each designed to cover one specific range of frequencies.

As separate components, the woofer can move freely to deliver more powerful performance, while the tweeter can be custom-mounted in the spot my OEM infinity system has been for the detail.

Separate crossovers are far superior to the simple filters wired into full-range speakers, so the components work together for smoother, more focused sound.

I purchased two sets of the Alpine SPR-17s component system, one for the front doors and one set for the rear.

Replacing the tweeters with more powerful units right from the get go!


Specifications:
Alpine SPR-17s 6 1/2" 6.5 Type R Component Speaker System
Power Handling Capacity

110 W

RMS Watts per channel @ 4 ohms
330W Peak Watts per channel @ 4 ohms
CEA-2031 Power Rating 110 W
Frequency Response 65Hz - 27kHz
Sensitivity 87dB / W(1m)
Impedance 4 Ω
Dimensions Tweeter Mounting Diameter (mm): 51mm
Tweeter Mounting Diameter (in): 2''
Tweeter Mounting Depth (mm): 3/4''
Tweeter Mounting Depth (in): 18.3mm

Woofer Diameter (mm): 165.1mm
Woofer Diameter (in): 6-1/2''
Woofer Mounting Diameter (mm): 136mm
Woofer Mounting Diameter (in): 5-11/32''
Woofer Mounting Depth (mm): 59mm
Woofer Mounting Depth (in): 2-5/16''

Crossover Size (mm): 115.4mm x 73mm x 32mm
Crossover Size (in): 4-9/16'' x 2-7/8'' x 1-1/4''


Specifications:
Tweeters of Alpine SPR-17s
Specifications:
Tweeters Alpine SPS-110TW
1" Type-S Series Car Tweeters
Peak Power: 120 watts
RMS Power: 30 watts
Impedance 4-Ohm
Frequency Response: 4kHz-22kHz
Silk Dome Tweeters
Neodymium Magnets
Shallow-Swivel Flush Mount
1" Type-S Series Car Tweeters
Peak Power: 300 watts
RMS Power: 100 watts
Impedance 4-Ohm
Sensitivity: 88 dB
Frequency Response: 1000 - 22,000 Hz
1" Pure Silk Done Diaphragm
Aluminum Bobbin
Copper Shorting Cap
Copper Clad Aluminum Wire
Reading the specs and considering the amps I have in this system, it made it very clear to me that the tweeters will not hold up to the power load I am going to feed them.

I went online and purchased two of the separate available sets at Online Car Stereo. This SPS-110TW set contains the newer version of those tweeters. These can handle more watts and sound just as good.



The tweeters from the Alpine SPR-17s set found good use in my wifes truck which were I installed them.

While the Alpine Tweeters from the Type-R series component set differ in the specs especially in RMS power compared to the Alpine SPS-110TW 1" Silk Dome 300W TYPE-S Tweeters, the dimensions and installation is identical.


Installation: My Durango's SLT+ trim package has from the factory the Infinity speaker system installed, and because the OEM Infinity is a component system, I can utilize the original mounting locations in the door panels for the woofers and the tweeters.

I will also mount the crossovers within the door panels as this will make for a perfect "hidden" install which I prefer. It just looks professional to me if the factory look is preserved and it doesn't give thieves much to look at either. I get started by taking off all door panels from the vehicle.

After that the first step is to remove the OEM tweeters with their bracket and dismember the assembly and then carefully get rid of everything until it looks like the blank mounting plate/bracket in the first picture (left top).

The Alpine tweeter is taken out of it's housing by twisting the back cap against the clock. It takes a bit of torque but it will eventually move. The tweeter is wrapped with 3/4" double sided 3M automotive adhesive tape. To take off from the thickness and to conform it to the tweeter I am stretching it about 30-40%. I then press carefully the tweeter into the empty Infinity bracket until the tweeter sits flusch on the front side of the bracket. Now I 'm aiming the tweeter 1/8" inch up and to the side towards the driver while holding the door panel in the same position as it was installed in the vehicle. This adjustment is a personal taste for my taste but needs to be done now as the speaker will be in it's final resting place when I hit it with some aquarium silicone. I am sure there are other ways of doing it but this works for me the best.

Next on the agenda is to solder on the connector I took off from the Infinity tweeter and wrap it with Tesa (this is a one sided adhesive fabric tape which is used on wire harnesses of classic vehicles to preserve that "old" appearence), I like it because it doesn't allow the wire to rattle.All what is left to do is padding the inside of the door panel. One done, three to go!

Sound Deadener plays a vital role and is one of the most crucial enhancements you can make to your vehicle! FatMat Extreme will stop nasty rattles, vibrations, road noise as well as increase the car audio's sound & bass.
I have used FatMat througout the entire Durango, on the floor, the roof, just about everywhere and you can see it in the pictures while doing the Rear Cab Remake project or in the one to the right..

FatMat is a lot cheaper than Dynamat and thats especially a bonus if a large area such as an entire cab needs to be covered. It is thin enough to easily conform to the panels and you can double it up if you feel that need. It doesn't smell in the truck either, well maybe only a little while installing it with the use of a heatgun. I would certainly recommend it and after many years of installing this sticky stuff, it still looks and performs great which isn't an easy task for adhesive materials in such cold climate. I also lined all doors inside the Durango with FatMat.


Now it's time to unpack the Alpine woofers and solder high quality speaker wires to them which are color coded for polarity. I am using for the door tweeters and woofers 14 gauge copper stranded wire. I removed the OEM speakers in each door and mount the new Alpine woofer in it's place. I am routing the speaker wire to the location were the crossover will be mounted and after a few turns on the handle of my screw driver I can chuck the woofer install off the list.
I then went ahead and re-installed the factory plastic sheeting in the door, a barrier for dust and moisture and it's important!

The Alpine crossovers are wired up and mounted in the lower left corner as shown in the picture. I use the 3M tape to hold them in place for now, this way I can make adjustments in case the door panel doesn't fit. Ask me how I knew about this ;-)

I cut out the connection diagram and adjustments instructions from the
package, sealed it up with clear packing tape and glued them on top of the crossovers.
This way I have it if needed to adjust the crossovers or re-wire them next time.

Finishing up by plugging the tweeter back into the jack of the door harness and re- installing the door panels back onto the doors after re-connecting the door latches and pulling the switch unit through the hole and snaping it back into the arm rest. On to the next door, and so on...

I will never forget my first experience listening to the heart pumping sound of a bass from a dedicated subwoofer enclosure. It was absolutely amazing to realize what I have missed. I could actually feel the music and I never looked back. Now it's time to get one in my Durango!

The JBL GT5-12D 12” Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer
It wasn't a lot of research or a chore to choose a subwoofer from the many different brands offered in the car audio market these days. I knew exactly that I wanted because I have listened to a JBL subwoofer in a home stereo system and was impressed by it's performance.
I found this JBL sub for under 100 bucks shipped, the 12" in.size was perfect for my enclosure and I choose the Dual Voice Coil over a single coil subwoofer to get the maximum out of my subwoofer amp. (The voice coil of a car subwoofer is the coiled wire that is wrapped around the “former”, or cylinder inside the subwoofer. The two voice coil configurations allow for different wiring options.)

The JBL GT5-12D subwoofer with it's Polypropylene woofer cone combines classic elements with modern JBL engineering breakthroughs.

The solid motor structure of this 275 watts RMS and 1100 watts of peak power handling 12" subwoofer can keep up with everything I could possible dish out with my current system.

Big bass with Polypropylene woofer cone!
Road noise can destroy realistic audio that always requires true low frequencies. Polypropylene delivers rigidity, with good internal damping, and complete weather-resistance. I get an impossible-to-miss increase in thumping bass!

Specifications
Power Handling
275W RMS Watts
1100W Peak Watts
Sensitivity
(2.83V/1m) 93dB
Voice Coil(s) Dual
Xmax* (millimeters) 14.2 mm
Impedance 2 or 8 ohms (4 ohms Per Voice Coil)
Frequency Response 23 - 450 Hz
Woofer Composition Polypropylene
Woofer Surround Rubber
Subwoofer Size Type 12"
Dimensions External Diameter (in) 12-5/16
External Diameter (mm) 313
Mounting Cutout Diameter (in) 11-1/4
Mounting Cutout Diameter (mm) 286
Mounting Depth (in) 6-7/16
Mounting Depth (mm) 164
Recommended Enclosure Specifications Minimum Sealed Box Volume 1.00 cubic feet
Maximum Sealed Box Volume 1.00 cubic feet
Minimum Ported Box Volume 1.75 cubic feet
Maximum Ported Box Volume 1.75 cubic feet
*X-MAX: The amount of the voice coil windings that overhang the top plate of the magnet assembly

The Highlights:
12" Dual 4 Ohm GT5 Series Subwoofer | Power Handling: Peak: 275 watts (RMS) | Impedance: 4 Ohms | Polypropylene woofer cone material | Hi-roll rubber surround | Progressive spider | Fully vented motor structure for smoother response | Rubber-coated tinsel leads help to protect the leads against wear and harsh use | Double stacked magnets covered in a classic black rubber ring | Frequency response: 23-450 Hz | Sensitivity: 90 dB

Installation:
Again, please note that the installation of the subwoofer and the suwoofer amplifier was actually done when I did the Complete Rear Interior Compartment Remake! project featured here.

The inside of the sub woofer box has standard carpet padding for sound dampening and was filled with speaker box material I had left over from my self build home theater system.
The subwoofer speaker cable end on the inside of the box is outfitted with a DEANS connector, thesehave gold plated heavy duty contacts.

I routed out of the box through a hole which then was sealed with Loctite RTV 598 Black Silicone.The JBL sub is fastened with Phillips screws but first I applied a small bead of silicone below the rim to prevent any air leaks because it is a "sealed box".

The wiring diagram to the left shows how I did the solder connection on the JBL subwoover using 10 gauge high quality speaker wire.for a 2 Ohm setup. It also shows how the speaker wire is connected to the Kenwood KAC-8105D subwoofer amplifier's speaker outputs.

The pictures to the right show the subwoofer installed in the enclosure I have fabricated from MDF and mounted as an integral part behind the second row seats.


To protect the JBL subwoofer I covered it with a 12" Steel Waffle Speaker Sub Grill which is made from high grade, de-burred steel and has a rubber edge trim. The grill which I found on ebay is strong but the large waffle gaps would allow debree to fall through quite easy.
It also took a bit of time to get it just right but the result worked out great!
To prevent this, I added another grill which is a JL Audio SGR-13W6v2 13.5" Mesh Sub Woofer Grill.
Designed for 13W6v2 Subwoofers below the waffle grill. It required lots of trimming and shaping.
The grill assembly is held down with plastic clips which were included with the waffle grill. To get the desired height to hold the grill tight and to make it look right I used my desk mounted belt-sander.


After I got the clips down to size needed I simply meassured where they go and pre-drilled the MDF wood to accept the screws which came with the waffle grill. I screwed them into place carefully and that completed this install of my new audio system.

Verdict:
Well, after writing up this semingly never ending page long page and over a month worth of work this project has come to an end.
It has been full of new experiences, I did learn a lot about car audio and the car audiophiles I have encountered in the forums were a helpful and a truly knowledged bunch..All in all to just say I enjoyed it would not truly reflect the great time I had with this project but must admit that I'm glad this is now completed and I can get back or onto other things.

The 2000 bucks I had set aside for this project were spent pretty much to the last penny but I knew from the beginning that this wasn't to go over cheap.

The sound though, is amazing.I am glad I did it and have no regrets. Come on feel the noise!



This project was completed on 01-07-2012


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