A client from Street, Maryland, recently visited Westminster Speed and Sound while researching options to upgrade the stereo system in his 2019 Ford F-150 pickup. The client has been a car audio enthusiast for three decades. As such, he had an idea of what he wanted in terms of sound system improvements. We proposed a different approach to the system design that would deliver an entirely different and far more accurate listening experience than he had in mind. He put his faith in our abilities and product selection and let us loose on his truck to create an amazing audio system upgrade.
Factory Radio Integration Done Right
The heart of this upgrade was a Rockford Fosgate DSR1 digital signal processor. This interface and configuration module connects to the output of the factory radio and takes the audio signal and CAN network commands from the factory radio to provide full-bandwidth preamp outputs that we can use with an aftermarket amplifier. We connected the DSR1 to a five-channel JL Audio XD1000/5 amp that would drive the speakers. The amp is mounted to the back wall of the truck and can produce up to 100 watts from the four main channels and 600 watts from the subwoofer channel. We added a remote subwoofer level control to the left side of the dash to allow the client to adjust the subwoofer system.
Ford Stereo System Speaker Upgrade
The next step is where our plan diverged from the client’s original vision. We installed a set of BLAM Signature Series S 165.80+ components in the doors and dash. This in and of itself doesn’t seem untraditional. However, it was different because we connected the woofers and the tweeters to individual channels on the amp rather than using the included passive crossover networks. We used the crossover capabilities of the DSR1 to filter the signals going to each channel of the amp and consequently the speakers so they will only play the range of frequencies we want.
The last step in the installation process was to mount a JL Audio SB-F-150-SPRCRW/13TW5v2/BK Stealthbox under the rear seat. This fiberglass enclosure is designed specifically for the Ford F-150 and features a single 13.5-inch 12TW5v2 subwoofer to deliver big bass without taking up valuable space in the vehicle.
DSP Calibration Delivers Amazing Realism
We finished the project by using our real-time audio analyzer and our tried-and-true calibration process to configure the signal delays and equalization settings for each speaker in the truck. This process results in the sound from each driver arriving at the listening position simultaneously so that the music sounds like it’s coming from the windshield rather than the speakers. It’s similar to what an audio engineer would hear sitting at the console in a recording studio when the music was created.
The client returned to Westminster Speed and Sound and got in the truck for a listen. He was amazed at the accuracy and detail and was thoroughly impressed at how much of a difference the DSP made. In fact, he left us a glowing review on Google. If you’re interested in transforming your car stereo system into something that’s detailed and realistic in both tonality and presentation, drop by our store and talk to one of our product specialists. If you can’t get to the store during regular business hours, give us a call or send us an e-mail outlining your request using our contact form.
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