JLU audio build

LSguy

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After months of research and asking questions, gathering parts, I'm pretty much ready to start my build. Just need a few fuses and misc parts. This will be in a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Ultimate with the alpine premium sound system. Primary goal is SQ, at least what can be had out of a wrangler. Spl is also a factor however, since the top and doors do come off on nice summer days.
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Alright so this will be an active 3 way front stage. Grabbing audio signal before it goes into the factory amp via the DSR1. EQ with the DSP, and sent to two amps. One Kicker CXA360.4 will drive the mids and tweets, and the second CXA360.4 will be bridged to run the 6.5 woofers. This gives me ~65w RMS to play with mids and tweets, and ~180 RMS to the woofers.

The front stage will be the Morel Maximo ultra 603 MK2 3 way system. 6.5 woofer, 2.5 wide band mid, and pod mounted tweeters in the dash corners. Woofers will be going into the factory location around the knee area, mounted into sealed pods. I have not heard them in person yet as it isn't possible near me, but from what I've researched and seen videos of, these seem to be a solid choice.

The woofers will be 6.5s mounted forward firing under the rear seats. The two boxes were designed by Buck on another audio forum, let me know if you want his contact to get you a box designed, he's cheap and great to work with, and built by me. They are 3/4 birch ply boxes ported to 35HZ. I will be running a single FU audio 6.5 sub in each box. Amp rack will be built in between the two woofer boxes and will house the Pioneer amp and the Wavetech LinkQ. Originally I purchased the LinkQ to tune the subs as the full build was supposed to happen at a later time, but now the subs will be tuned from the DSP, and the linkQ will play the role of a bass knob. This amp is cheap and underpowered for these subs at 240W rms x2, in the future I'll upgrade to a better amp that has bass knob abilities built in. Each sub box and the amp rack are designed to be removed easily, as they have to come out in order to fold the rear seats down for cargo hauling.

Power and ground wires are all Stinger pro tinned OFC, distro blocks, fuses, sound deadening and additional hardware are also Stinger. I'm not sponsored by Stinger lol, but their stuff seems quality and I can source it locally. Also they give vet discounts, and I always support companies that support vets.

Future plans are to continue sound deadening the vehicle, roof and floors first to help keep out road noise. I will asses the system loudness with the top and doors off, and determine if I need speakers in the sound bar. If I do, I'll likely pick up some super efficient comps, possibly the Morel Maximus 602s, and maybe run a set of taramps micro amps on them. They would be on an on off switch, that way they can be off in normal conditions as to not screw up the Soundstage, and turned on when the top comes off for extra volume when imaging doesn't matter anyway.

Its winter and I'm working a lot, so this may be a longer build, but I thought I would go ahead and get the thread started. If you have any suggestions or things you would do different, feel free to post it as I'm always open to new ideas.
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LSguy

LSguy

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Some progress was made today. After finally being satisfied with the sub box fitment, I cut the speaker holes and the port holes.
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Then wired up the subs

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Then I glued the boxes up and moved on while they dried. Started working on the front stage. Deadened the new pods and installed the 6.5s. New runs of 12 gauge to all new speakers. Pulled the mids, and just quickly fabbed some mdf adapters to mount them in the factory locations.

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Then mounted the tweeters to the factory mid grills.

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Port work for the sub boxes going on

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Got my front stage going. Pretty standard install, one thing of note for anybody else installing in a JL

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I wanted to run 1/0 gauge power into a distribution block to branch to my other amps. I pulled the plug out where the clutch would be in a manual jeep, drilled a 7/8 hole in the center, and then used a Dorman 5/8 rubber grommet from advanced auto. I had to use a little graphite spray as it was super tight, and then just wiped the wire clean after it was in place. Perfect fit, tight seal.

I have a small amount of interference that can be heard when the radio is muted, it's not horrible and likely due to the ultra crappy temporary RCAs I'm using. We'll see if that clears up when I upgrade the cables. Main power wire is fused and each amp is fused separately. Ran power and ground to the back for the subs, but do not have them installed quite yet. Overall, system sounds pretty good, however I am only in the infancy of its tuning. This is my first active setup, I'm pretty terrible with a dsp.

So far the dsr1 works pretty good, but I definitely understand why there are many negative reviews. I've had some connectivity issues, as well as speakers stop working when I adjust their crossover settings. Ultimately, it seems to do its job well for the price as long as you can have some patience with it.

I'm hoping to get the system moderately well tuned and the subs installed this week.
 
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LSguy

LSguy

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First sub box finished and in place. Haven't pushed it yet as I am allowing it to break in, but tone wise it sounds great so far.
 
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LSguy

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Picture before the carpet went on showing the mold inhibiting primer.
 
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LSguy

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Some updates today. Measured for the seat mounts and got the steel plates mounted in the box. These will be glassed in.

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Then I started on the amp rack for the sub build.

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Test fit in the vehicle looks great

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Mounted the bass knob in the cubby, fits perfectly.

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LSguy

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Mounted and wired sub and LOC on amp rack.

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Some pics of it all installed.

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You can see the quick disconnect plug there, everything is built to be easily removed when the seats need to fold down. Rack will be waterproofed and painted black, and a facia will be made to hide everything.
 
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LSguy

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Final Progress for today, finished making the port.

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LSguy

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So far, this system far surpasses the factory alpine in every way except convenience, for less money. Detail and clarity, bass and bass response, tune ability, sound stage, volume, cargo space. The only negative is removing the subs to fold down the rear seats, but I can live with that. And if I'm only folding the rear drivers seat I can leave the amp and one of the subs in place.
 
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LSguy

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Small change in plans. The pioneers coming out and the new kicker is going in instead.

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LSguy

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Big update today.

Started by making the wood braces that go under the steel to support it.

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I then glued them in and sealed the box with caulk, and waited for it to dry. While waiting I figured I'd tackle swapping out the sub amp. Pulled everything out, and as the kicker is much much smaller than the Pioneer, I decided to cut my amp rack down.
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I also decided to cut the bottom of the rack out below the amp to allow heat to dissipate more easily.

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I also felt the legs were a bit weak, so I installed a couple of braces for it and then painted it.

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I then mounted the amp and LOC, and wired in my quick disconnect with the new 4 gauge. I had to drill the plug out to accept the 4 gauge, but after it went in fine.
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I then water sealed and painted the inside of the sub box

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Second sub installed. Unfortunately, I did not grab enough 4 gauge wire, so the install is crazy ugly right now. Tomorrow I'll try to grab some more 4 and run it properly, and grab some installed pics. Even without the facia, it looks awesome. And these little subs hit way harder than I need on this new amp.

Build isn't complete yet though, more details yet to add.
 
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LSguy

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I got to listen to it for about an hour on the way to work today, I haven't set my gains yet (amp and LOC gain both set to around or just above 1/4, just as a starting point. The bass knob is set on around 1 out of 10. Anything higher overpowers my front stage, which isn't exactly quiet. I'm pretty blown away by what these tiny subs can do. At 6.5 inches and only costing me $80 each, it's incredible.
 

Gaust

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It’s looking good. You might want to round the edges of the ports on the boxes if you haven’t yet. The 3 way up front should sound really good especially after you get it tuned. The DSR-1 can be a headache at times. I always have to reconnect to Bluetooth after about 10 seconds of starting the app. After that it usually stays connected.
 
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LSguy

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Thanks. Yeah the port edges are rounded. It sounds amazing. No longer even comparable to the stock alpine. And yes, if I disconnect after starting the app and then reconnect, everything works fine.
 

Gaust

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Thanks. Yeah the port edges are rounded. It sounds amazing. No longer even comparable to the stock alpine. And yes, if I disconnect after starting the app and then reconnect, everything works fine.
Nice. I’ve got a 3 way up front in my Wrangler and have been trying different tweeter locations. My favorite so far has been similar to the location you have. The rear seats are resting directly on the metal pads on the boxes? I’ve got a choice of building a box under the back seats or a box on each side like the JL stealth boxes.
 
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LSguy

LSguy

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Nice. I’ve got a 3 way up front in my Wrangler and have been trying different tweeter locations. My favorite so far has been similar to the location you have. The rear seats are resting directly on the metal pads on the boxes? I’ve got a choice of building a box under the back seats or a box on each side like the JL stealth boxes.
Yeah so the front arm mounts rotate back into the rear seats, and basically the hinge points of those rest on the metal pads in the box. I'll try to get pics of it later, I'm pretty satisfied how solid it turned out.
 
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