A repeat client from Chesterfield, Missouri, came to JML Audio looking to do an incredible build on his 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 truck. We had done his previous vehicle, and it was one of the nicest builds we had done to date. He wanted this one to be even better. We scheduled a time to sit down with the customer and go over his goals for the project.
Stage One: Dodge Ram Audio Upgrades
We realized there would be two major parts of this build. The first part was the Dodge Ram audio upgrade, which we will cover in this article. The second part of the build was the performance and accessory enhancements and the tailgating additions, which will be in part 2 of this article. The customer is a huge college football fan, and he wanted this vehicle to be an integral part of his tailgating fun.
Let’s get right to the point on the audio build. It was a no-holds-barred, do-anything-needed to extract every last ounce of sound quality out of the music. We were tasked with finding every last nuance in the recording, so he would have a breathtaking experience every time he sat in the vehicle.
Maximizing Sound With Full Sound Proofing
First things first: We knew the interior of the vehicle had to be quiet. The more we could isolate the outside world from the cab, the better the music was going to sound. We applied our Stage 3 environmental package to all four doors and our Stage 2 environmental package to the whole floor and rear wall of the truck. Not only did this make the interior much quieter, it also protected the vehicle from any rattling or buzzing that might have occurred from the new audio system.
Great Sound Starts With Kenwood Navigation System
For the source unit in the dash, we re-used the customer’s Kenwood DNX890HD navigation system. We used an Idatalink Maestro integration module to give him vehicle gauges, along with other pertinent vehicle information. It also allowed us to keep many factory items working, such as the USB port and steering wheel controls. We installed a SiriusXM tuner, as well as a backup camera that we flushed into the tailgate handle for a stock appearance.
Audison BitOne Processor Takes Control Of Audio Signals
The musical signal then flowed to an Audison BitOne processor, which handles all of our equalization, time alignment and crossovers for the audio system. You could look at it as the brains behind the music. The controller for the BitOne is known as the DRC – we re-made the front wall of the center console so it could look like a factory part.
Plenty of Power With Audison Thesis Amplifiers
From there, the music traveled to the Audison amplifiers that we installed into a custom amp rack behind the rear seat, along with the BitOne brain. An Audison Uno amplifier powers the two Audison Basso 10” subwoofers, and an Audison Quattro powers the front component speakers. We installed Audison Sax 6.5” woofers in the front doors and Violino tweeters in the dash. An interesting note is that all the Audison amplifiers and speakers are part of the Thesis product line. Audison is an Italian company and Thesis is their Ferrari of car audio electronics; no holds barred, the best of the best in materials and design philosophies.
Custom Subwoofer Enclosure Houses 2 Audison Subwoofers
As you can see in the pictures, the subwoofers were built into a custom sealed enclosure that fit underneath the rear seat. Unique trim panels were designed to properly present the high quality components in a classy, understated look. LED lighting was built into the rear subwoofer enclosure and underneath the front seats that could illuminate the floor of the vehicle in multiple colors. They are all easily controlled by a wireless remote control that sits in its own custom recessed area at the base of the dash, held in place by hidden magnets.
Audison Thesis Speakers Bring The Music To Life
When it came to installing the front component speakers, they are not drop-in designs – they were built, first and foremost, for sound quality. We fabricated custom mounts out of water-resistant Starboard material to hold the woofers securely in the doors and seal them as best as possible to improve midbass response. In the dash, we fabricated custom aluminum mounts for the tweeters in the corners of the dash and wrapped the mounts in vinyl that matched the dash perfectly. The tweeter grills are the supplied Thesis grills, and the billet aluminum material they are made of shows beautifully in this well-appointed interior.
Battery And Audio Wiring Infrastructure From Stinger And AudioQuest
We replaced the stock batteries with Stinger high-performance batteries so the amplifiers could get all the current they ever need. We used Stinger wiring and connections throughout the vehicle. AudioQuest is a brand well-known in high-end home audio, but not so much in the world of car audio. We chose their Big Sur audio cables for all of our signal runs and used their Diamond iPod/iPhone cable as well. When trying to extract every last ounce of sound quality out of the music, you can’t beat the performance of AudioQuest cables, so choosing them was a no-brainer for this project.
Three Things To Consider When Shopping For An Installation Facility
Whenever you’re choosing a company to build your car audio system, you need to be comfortable about three important things:
- They are going to choose great equipment to use in my vehicle.
- The quality of the installation is going to be top-notch and not cut any corners, so I will get all the sound quality I paid for.
- They must understand how to properly tune a car audio system. Products like the BitOne are great pieces of electronics, but they are only as good as the people tuning them.
Fortunately, JML Audio are experts in the field of tuning. We have one of the largest array of testing and tuning equipment in the Midwest, to the tune of several thousand dollars’ worth. We use our vast array of devices, along with our expertly tuned ears, to extract every last ounce of quality from every system we build. We never short-change our customers, and we never will. That is the JML way of doing business.
JML Delivers Again With A Satisfied Client
When the customer arrived to pick up his vehicle, he was completely floored at what we were able to achieve. From the fit and finish of every panel, to the ergonomically placed controls, to the over-the-top sound quality, he loved it all. And that is why we go to work every day: to build vehicles that our customers look forward to driving all the time, and not just on a rare occasion.
If you would like to have an audio system built that will make you long for Sunday drives, we invite you to give us a call or send us an email here. We will schedule an audio consultation with you. We will look your vehicle over together, get to know you better and hear what your goals are for the audio system. We will then custom-design and build a solution that works best for your unique needs. We look forward to meeting you.