A repeat client contacted Westminster Speed and Sound about upgrading the technology in his 2011 Freightliner M2 tow vehicle. He recently bought it and knew immediately upgrades were in order. We had done extensive work on his Chevy Kodiak and the Freightliner M2 tow vehicle audio system in the truck left a lot to be desired. We asked him to stop by so we could do an audio consultation. When he arrived, one of our team sat in the Freightliner and listened to the current system. We considered the best upgrade path. Our client told us what he liked and what he didn’t like about the current set-up. Based on our findings, we suggested a completely new system including a new backup camera system, rather than keeping the existing one. The client liked our proposal, so we scheduled an installation appointment.
CarPlay Unit in the Dash Begins the Upgrades
Since this client spends a lot of time in the truck when towing horses up and down the East Coast, we knew a quality source unit was the first thing we needed to install. For that reason, we chose a Pioneer AVIC-8201NEX unit that includes embedded navigation. It doesn’t require cellular data in order to work. There are still areas of the country where relying on your phone’s navigation system may not be the best course of action. Our team also suggested a model that would give him CarPlay since he used an iPhone. It gives him a simple, easy-to-use interface for phone calls, texting, music, and reminders. It can do almost everything via voice control! And when towing something big and heavy, being able to focus on the road ahead is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity! A SiriusXM tuner was added along with a USB port, giving him an endless supply of music for those long drives. Our technicians also integrated the existing backup camera system to the Pioneer unit. This gives our client a clear view when backing up.
Audison Bit10D Processor Makes the Freightliner Stereo Come Alive
The next step in the equation is the Audison Bit10D digital signal processor. In simple terms, it takes the musical signal from the Pioneer unit and gives us five discrete channels of music, allowing us to create a beautiful sound stage in the front of this massive vehicle. The DRC controller was placed in a convenient spot on the dash, right below the navigation system. Our team built him two distinctly different tuning options for the music: one for jamming out and one for critical listening. He can switch between the two with a simple push of a button.
JL Audio Supplies the power
When it came time to choose amplifiers, we went to JL Audio, choosing a pair of their bulletproof XD Series models. The XD600/1v2 supplies 600 watts of clean power to the subwoofer. The XD600/6v2 supplies 300 watts to the front speakers and 150 watts to the rear ones. The front speakers are powered in an active configuration, meaning each of the four front speakers gets their own dedicated channel of amplification as well as processing. The rear speakers are only used when people are sitting in the rear seats. At that point, the Pioneer unit is faded to send music to the rear speakers. Under normal circumstances, the front speakers and the subwoofer are used to give the best overall sound stage. Both amplifiers along with the Audison processor were mounted under the rear seat in an easily-accessible location.
Audiofrog Speakers Make Beautiful Music
At this point it was time to choose the speakers for the system. Our folks chose the Audiofrog GS series speakers in front and back, using a GS60 6.5” woofer and GS10 1” tweeter up front in the factory locations. Hushmat was applied around the door woofer to eliminate the possibility of any rattling or vibration that can result when a high-performance speaker is used. When it came time to mount the tweeters, our team mounted them underneath the factory grilles in the dash and strategically angled them to improve the imaging of the music. In the rear doors, we chose a pair of GS62 6.5” coaxes and mounted them to the sturdy factory brackets.
JL Audio 10W1v3 Supplies the Bass
Any good quality audio system needs a subwoofer and in this vehicle, we used a JL Audio 10W1v3-2ohm. When the truck was initially built, it was customized by an outfitter that made a subwoofer enclosure that fit inside their center console. It was well-made, so there was no reason to change it out.
Freightliner M2 Tow Vehicle Audio Tuning
Whenever a signal processor is used in an installation, the final tuning is what makes or breaks the sound quality of the finished product. Many people will do something quick that sounds good to an untrained ear and simply call it a day. That doesn’t happen at Westminster Speed and Sound. Our highly-trained technicians take all the time they need to extract every last bit of sound quality from the stereo system. It is our belief that you should get all the performance you paid for. We will never shortchange you.
A Happy Client Makes for a Happy Team
Finally, it was time to deliver the Freightliner back to the client. Our whole team was excited to see his response when we cranked it up for the first time. As we watched, he started smiling and nodding his head in approval. And that made our day. Now those long trips can go from being dreaded to enjoyable!
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to upgrade the technology in your vehicle, any of our team would be honored to have an audio consultation with you. You can simply click HERE or stop by at your convenience. Our staff will work to find the best solution to your needs. Let us show you why we are the most-awarded vehicle customization facility in the Mid-Atlantic.