Lessons Learned from DIY Audio Install

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by BornAgainBiker55, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. BornAgainBiker55

    BornAgainBiker55 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hey Y'all, thought I'd post a little knowledge for anyone else putting their own audio in a NBS (GMT900) series pickup.

    I personally have an extended cab Silverado, no On-star, Non-Bose LT-II. I installed Infinity 6.5" speakers in the rear doors using the stock wires (they fit right in with the provided bracket). I also kept the O.E. head unit. Everything else changed. I wanted to amp the front speakers and a sub. I custom built a box to go under the passenger side rear bench, using a Kicker 10" (Comp10). The amp for all of this was an Alpine 400w 4 Channel. Everything else installed pretty easy, but I made the mistake of putting the amp on the transmission hump in an attempt to save some storage under the driver side rear bench. The amp gets too hot that close to the seat and will shut itself off, so I had to mount it under the bench on the driver side.

    The front 4 speakers I replaced with a set by Pioneer, that came with signal splitters, which I installed under the dash and ran new wires to everything up front. The tweeters were a little hard to replace. I cut the post trim out wide enough to hold the new speakers and used krazy glue to make sure they didn't rattle away. The doors were 6.5" and also fit in with the provided bracket. It almost looked like a 6x8 would fit in there if you were feeling frisky, but I didn't want to try.

    Off the head unit I used a 4 channel line out converter and spliced it into the existing harness. F-L is CH1, F-R is CH2, R-L is CH3 and R-R became CH-4, then I used channels 1 and 2 for my front sets and bridged 3 and 4 for my sub. My opinion, the hardest part was getting new wires into the door panels through the existing grommets.

    My goal was a cleaner, fuller sound without taking away the factory look. I also have the added bonus of having enough bass in there (by upping the amp) to rattle things apart if I wanted. That Alpine has more than enough power for everything, it just tends to get a little hot.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Fuller sound? = NOT Pioneer or infinty speakers You are loseing a Ton of Midbass and getting a ear bleed... Anyway What Alpine amp did you put in? You know you will get a Much cleaner sound when you change out your Factory radio for a good aftermarket one..
  3. zigger215

    zigger215 Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Lose the OE headunit OR add a clean sweep or 360. Your sound quality is suffering soooooo badly right now!!
  4. BornAgainBiker55

    BornAgainBiker55 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Sorry for the late reply y'all... left for vacation and forgot about it. First, I mis-typed. I've Polk Dxi 6500 up front. I have the Infinity in the back simply for prevention of explosion of stock. At some point when I have some spare cash again I'll upgrade those. I believe the Alpine is a MRP-M500. As for the head unit, I disliked the look of any of the double height heads that the local dealers had. I like the stock look of the truck. As for perfection in sound... I don't make enough to make that happen in one session. The line converter that's currently installed actually did substantially well for this setup... I don't remember what I got, but the bustbuy car audio tech said he had one in his truck for his dual 10s.

    The moral of the story, however, is still plan your installation out before you start drilling into your cab
  5. RFoster130

    RFoster130 Member

    Lets see some pics. Alpine amps are great, I use a single alpine marine amp to power the whole system in my boat and it works great.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  6. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have that same amp on my xuv and it's black. It stuffed under the seat and it never overheats but it's not sitting n a car soaking n the heat
  7. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I guess it depends on what you have heard - sound wise....I do know, that no matter what best buy puts in your truck it can be done better for almost the same money.
  8. BornAgainBiker55

    BornAgainBiker55 Rockstar 100 Posts

    you are correct, I'd never pay BestBuy for an install, and probably wouldn't get a component from them unless I needed it right then and there (ie, a line converter with the right number of RCAs.) However, now that it's a month down the road, I've started phase 2. These parts came in last night UPS and I'll throw them in today.

    head unit will now be Kenwood DDX-419
    Front speakers will now be Focal IS 165

    I liked the kenwood because it almost matched the stock style with a chrome ring trim around the circle knob. I'll get everyone pictures in the coming days and a full list of parts
  9. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    You will be happy with both.. The Focals are nice and smooth. If no amp then Adj the Crossover in the radio for a good crossover point so not too much bass gets to them..Remember the radio is only giving about 18-22 watts RMS to those speakers..
  10. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I'm sooooo looking forward to replacing my Infinity Kappas with JL C5-650 components (front) and JL C2-400X coaxials (rear). I only wish I could get the C2-400X's as components.

    My Kappas were the one concession when I spec'd and installed my system ... a concession I made because door speakers would be cake to replace compared to trying to replace my sub (stealth sub under the center console), replace my amp (rewiring pains), or add sound deadening later.

    That's my take-away from a DIY install -- plan your installation well and if you have to make concessions, plan those out, too, so that they're easy to remedy later. That approach insures that you -will- remedy them later ... rather than avoiding it because it's too much work. :)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

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