full review, writeup, and installation steps: ctr subs, amp, center channel, and door speakers

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ctrmofo

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For evidence of my passion for audio, here's my room downstairs. The pic doesn't show how many hours went into perfecting this setup to get the imaging and staging I do, nor does it show the level and quality of vinyl in that rack, but it's a start ;)

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Nice setup. I’m similar and old school vinyl. I have AudioEngine HD6 in home office with 2x SVS 12” subs and custom reclaimed eastern red cedar and California red wood shelved made.

These were featured by AudioEngine and SVS on their FB before.

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toddrhodes

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Nice setup. I’m similar and old school vinyl. I have AudioEngine HD6 in home office with 2x SVS 12” subs and custom reclaimed eastern red cedar and California red wood shelved made.
Hiding behind that right speaker are two sealed SVS 12" subs ;)
 
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Hiding behind that right speaker are two sealed SVS 12" subs ;)
Ahhh! Excellent!!! I got 2 sealed SVS 12” and sealed 10” PB series last Xmas for awesome deals. SVS FTW!
 
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@toddrhodes, back in late 80’s and earlier 90’s I used to build competition car audio systems. Was always Alpine amps and DSP with a/d/s or Boston Acoustics for speakers. Wish BA was still big in car audio.
 

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I was never in competition but I worked at a JL, Zapco, and Dyn dealer back in the late 90's and early 00's. My best system was two Butler Audio tube amps, fully balanced from an 8V Eclipse deck, running Dynaudio 3-ways in front, two-way components in back, full Cascade sound deadening, and 3 sealed (though they may have been ported, it's been a long time) JL Audio 8W6's. That system may not have been the most accurate thing ever but my god did it slam, and it played so loud, so cleanly, it was incredible. It was in a POS car, but it was all I had at the time.

Have always loved car audio but I'd say home audio is more my thing these days, but for $500, I'll take some upgrades to round out the experience in the CTR just a bit better.

Question on component installs in this car, do you feed the crossover with the lead to the mid in the door, then run a separate wire to the tweeter in the pillar? Or just leave out the xover and let the head unit handle it? Wasn't sure if you had documented that anywhere and am just curious.
 
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I was never in competition but I worked at a JL, Zapco, and Dyn dealer back in the late 90's and early 00's. My best system was two Butler Audio tube amps, fully balanced from an 8V Eclipse deck, running Dynaudio 3-ways in front, two-way components in back, full Cascade sound deadening, and 3 sealed (though they may have been ported, it's been a long time) JL Audio 8W6's. That system may not have been the most accurate thing ever but my god did it slam, and it played so loud, so cleanly, it was incredible. It was in a POS car, but it was all I had at the time.

Have always loved car audio but I'd say home audio is more my thing these days, but for $500, I'll take some upgrades to round out the experience in the CTR just a bit better.

Question on component installs in this car, do you feed the crossover with the lead to the mid in the door, then run a separate wire to the tweeter in the pillar? Or just leave out the xover and let the head unit handle it? Wasn't sure if you had documented that anywhere and am just curious.
Damn I that sounds badass!

Yes I don’t want to spend anymore money than $1650 already just for a step up. Going all out would mean $5K or more and too much weight. Engine and exhaust sounds are main music ;-)

I am planning to let the HU do the eq and not mess with components and crossovers. Only crossover is simple one 12 dB/octave protector that comes with the JL C2-075ct must be installed to not fry the tweeters. That I’ll splice off stock tweeter wires and hide near tweeters.

For the mid 6.5”, I’ll just do drop in replacements and that’s it.

My concern with components, external crossovers and using HU without external processors is that the HU will already have filtered out the highs going into the mid 6.5”. How much? No clue. Then that goes through the crossover without highs and filtered again resulting in little or no highs going to the tweeters and defeat all purpose.
 

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center dash speaker replaced with jl c2-350x, wow! simply amazing sound imaging...

Can't thank you enough for this writeup! For anyone on the fence about upgrading, at the very least upgrade the center channel speaker. It's so easy and inexpensive and makes a huge difference to the soundstage and imaging.

I'm just waiting on the controller for the amp and will be installing the sub in the next week. I'll report back when complete.

I also recommend using a music player app with an equalizer built in (e.g. Neutron Player, Jet Audio Plus), playing pink noise through the app, monitoring it using the Audio Tool App and adjusting levels accordingly. It makes a world of difference.

Audio Upgrades.jpg
 
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Can't thank you enough for this writeup! For anyone on the fence about upgrading, at the very least upgrade the center channel speaker. It's so easy and inexpensive and makes a huge difference to the soundstage and imaging.

I'm just waiting on the controller for the amp and will be installing the sub in the next week. I'll report back when complete.

Audio Upgrades.jpg
glad to be of help.

tip: the wiring kit you got, same as i did, does not have the right splices for the amp and internal sub enclosure wiring. just grab some of the blue parallel splices i've shown from lowes. for some reason, the wiring kit came with male spade plugs for t-splices but no splices to be had. just want to make sure you get the blue parallel splices before you start the project. everything else in the kit works perfectly, and make sure to run your 8 gauge power cable as straight and cleanly as possible. there's 17 ft of it and comes out to be just perfect how i routed my power cable from the battery.

tip: the stock sub grill mounted on the side panel has 2 pieces, front and back. depends on how loud and how much bass you play and on full/maximum extension, the sub's face may hit the back side of the grill causing rattle. remove the back side and keep the front side for a stock look. the back side is about 1/4" thick of plastic which is a lot of distance for the cone to have extra length to throw.

looking forward to you results!
 

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Nice! Should do sound deadening while panel is off. Door handles inside and outside will rattle for sure.
Got some butyl deadening off Amazon, has 4.75* across 500+ reviews so I'm thinking it'll do. Might not be SoundSkin, but it'll do. Also got a roller with it. Will do the front inner and outer door skins and deaden over the speaker adapter as well. Looking forward to it!
 

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you can do this from the cabin side too...just gut a bic pen and turn it into a "straw" with a pointy side...then poke the pointy "straw' thru the grommet, then feed the 8ga cable thru the center of the straw, and lastly, pull both (straw and cable) out from the fender end.

EDIT:
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Thank you for this, I was able to find a fat mechanical pencil to fit my 8 gauge in!
If anyone is looking for a good amp kit I highly recommend the KnuKonceptz Flex kit, it’s reasonably priced and highly regarded in the car audio community!
 
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Get yourself some of this automovtive fleece tape to make things look factory, eliminate rattles, and keep wires clean. You’ll see them used in all cars. I also use 1/4” black flex loom wherever I can.

5 Rolls Tesa Black Fuzzy Fleece Interior Wire Loom Harness Tape for VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW 19 mm X 15 meters https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017OECD7W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SmBGBb6EKJ10M
 

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Get yourself some of this automovtive fleece tape to make things look factory, eliminate rattles, and keep wires clean. You’ll see them used in all cars. I also use 1/4” black flex loom wherever I can.

5 Rolls Tesa Black Fuzzy Fleece Interior Wire Loom Harness Tape for VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW 19 mm X 15 meters https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017OECD7W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_SmBGBb6EKJ10M
when I get a chance to redo the back wiring, I'm definitely wrapping with these. thanks :)
 

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Thank you for this, I was able to find a fat mechanical pencil to fit my 8 gauge in!
If anyone is looking for a good amp kit I highly recommend the KnuKonceptz Flex kit, it’s reasonably priced and highly regarded in the car audio community!
uh, hopefully not an expensive mechanical pencil :)
 
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for those who chose to use the kicker 8" comprt series subs - single or dual voice coils - please note. the 8 mounting holes of the kicker do NOT line up with the stock 8 holes. however, it works just fine with new holes to be drilled/screwed in.

i just finished the swap out of my pioneer for the kicker and doing the detailed writeup. be back in a bit...
 

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