Several years ago, a client from Mission, BC, was referred to Certified Autosound and Security for some help repairing an audio system installation in his Ram 1500 pickup truck. Another shop had attempted to upgrade the stereo, but the client wasn’t happy with the results. The client was thrilled with the way we had fixed the stereo in his 2014 Ram, so as soon as he took delivery of this 2019, he brought it to us right away. After a meeting with Nick and inspecting the vehicle, we laid out a plan for an awesome stereo that would sound amazing as soon as it rolled out of the shop.
Factory Radio Amplifier Integration
The audio system in the client’s Ram 1500 doesn’t come with an amplifier. This makes connecting the JL Audio RD900/5 much easier and less expensive than if the truck had the factory-installed Alpine amplifier. We installed load resistors on the speaker wires coming from the radio and connected each channel to the new amp.
We used Stinger power and ground wiring to connect the JL amp to the battery. This amp produces up to 70 watts per channel to the front and rear speakers and an impressive 500 watts to the subwoofer. The amp is mounted to a plastic panel that we bonded to the rear wall of the truck. Whenever possible, we avoid drilling holes of any kind in the vehicles we work on. As you can see from the photo, the load resistors and the passive crossover networks for the front speakers are adjacent to the amp.
Blam Speaker Upgrade
The client had us upgrade the stereo in his wife’s car with a set of Blam 165RS and 165RC speakers. They like the sound of those speakers, so he decided to use similar models in the pickup truck.
To deliver smooth and detailed performance, we installed a set of Blam 165RSQ speakers in the doors and dash of the Ram. We fabricated custom adapter plates to allow the speakers to bolt to the factory fastener locations. A set of Blam 690RC speakers bolts right into the factory speaker locations in the rear of the truck. We added several pieces of BlackHole Tile to the doors to reduce resonances and standing waves inside the door cavity.
Custom Ram 1500 Subwoofer System
The piece-de-resistance for this build is the custom subwoofer enclosure we created. Our fabrication team created a unique enclosure that combines regular custom-cut sheets of MDF with stack-fab contoured end-panels. The stacked construction allows for complex shapes that would otherwise be time-consuming to create. The enclosure is home to a pair of JL Audio 10TW3-D4 dual voice coil subwoofers. Each subwoofer has its own dedicated sealed enclosure.
Once the construction phase was complete, the guys wrapped the enclosure in a durable gray carpet. We ordered a blacked-out Ram logo from the local dealership and added it to the top of the enclosure to give it a little extra style. The contoured edges of the enclosure ensure that the client can access the storage compartments on the floor of the back seat without any issues.
Ram 1500 Audio System Tuning
The last step of any installation is to tune the system and perform a listening evaluation to ensure everything sounds great and that there are no buzzes or rattles. We set the sensitivity and crossover controls on the amp to work with the factory source unit and the new speakers and subwoofers we installed.
Finally, we cranked up the volume to make sure the client would love the system. With a big thumbs-up from the installation team, it was time for the client to return to Certified Autosound and Security in Abbotsford to pick up his vehicle. He was thrilled with the way the system sounded and was blown away by the work we did on the subwoofer enclosure. He commented that he was amazed at the level of performance we were able to achieve using the factory radio and keeping the system essentially invisible. If you are in the Abbotsford, Maple Ridge or Chilliwack area and are interested in improving the performance of your vehicle’s audio system, drop into one of our stores or send us an e-mail using our contact page.