A client from Eureka, Missouri, contacted JML Audio in St. Louis about getting some Ram 1500 upgrades for his 2015 model truck. We set the client up for a consultation at our facility. When he came by with the truck, we showed him around, letting him see our installation department and our in-house fabrication capabilities. This was important as the client wanted many special upgrades done to this vehicle. We spent significant time on looking over all areas of the vehicle with him, and our team made notes along the way as he explained his goals for the truck. As we went through the consultation, ideas went back and forth as we looked to come up with a game plan for this substantial build. Once the consultation was finished, we worked up a proposal for the client which he accepted, so we scheduled a time to start working on his vehicle.
Stock Headunit Is An Acceptable Source
The first point of attack on this project revolved around upgrading the audio system in the truck. The newer Ram trucks are fabulous vehicles, but to say the sound quality of the audio system in lacking is an understatement. It sounds dull, almost lifeless. What we do like about these trucks in the 8.4” touchscreen display in the dash. There is no reason to remove it, since we can make the audio system sound incredible while keeping the dash looking completely stock.
Audison Processor Starts The System
We start this upgrade by taking the musical signal from the Alpine factory amplifier and feeding it into an Audison BitOne processor. This device does several things for us. First off, it lets us strip the music of the equalization added by Alpine in their feeble attempt to make cheap speakers sound good. If we leave the equalization in the musical signal, it would significantly degrade the final sound quality of the system. This process is known as “de-eqing” the music. We also take the musical signal that Alpine, divide up into three distinct channels and sum it back into a full-range signal. When we have finished this two-step process, we end up with a beautiful, unmodified signal, ready to become the basis for a great-sounding car stereo.
Now that we have the musical signal corrected, the BitOne gives us dedicated channels for every speaker in the vehicle, along with individual crossover, digital delay, output level and equalization to maximize the sound quality of each individual speaker. The end result is a sound quality that rivals the best-sounding home audio systems. The music stages across the top of the dash, and every instrument and voice comes through with crystal-clear accuracy and detail. We installed the controller for the BitOne inside the center console in an easy-to-access location.
Audison Amplifiers Offer Plenty Of Clean Power
The music now gets routed to a pair of Audison Thesis Quattro amplifiers. When you are looking for the finest sound quality available, you go to Audison, and when you want their best, you choose the Thesis line. These amplifiers provide over 160 watts per channel for every speaker, along with 500 watts of power for the subwoofer. Two extra channels are available for future expansion opportunities. We mounted both of the amplifiers and the BitOne processor securely behind the rear seat on a custom fabricated steel mounting system.
High-End Sound From Hertz Speakers
When it came time to choose front speakers, we went with Hertz, a sister company of Audison. We installed their Mille series components, mounting a 6.5” woofer in the front door on a composite speaker mount, along with a 1.1” tweeter in the factory dash location, again in a custom mount.
Hertz Subwoofer Fits Tight Space
To give the client some bass with authority, we went back to Hertz, choosing their Energy flat series subwoofer in a 10” model. As you can see in the pictures, we made a custom fiberglass enclosure to fit the subwoofer under the rear seat on the passenger side. We covered the enclosure in factory-matching black carpet.
Environment Sound Package For A Quieter Ride
The whole vehicle received our environmental sound package, with the front and rear doors getting our Stage Three system, and the floor and back wall of the cab getting our Stage Two package. Adding these packages dramatically lowers the road noise while you’re driving, and keeps the interior from rattling that may occur with a high-performance audio system.
Numerous Camera Upgrades
We noticed that the factory backup camera had a lousy picture, so we replaced it with a better-quality unit that mounted in the factory spot in the tailgate handle.
We flushed a FLIR Nightvision camera into the front grille for nighttime or inclement weather driving, and it does wonders at picking out animals and people that the driver normally couldn’t see, making this truck much safer to drive in these conditions. JML integrated the image to display on the 8.4” screen in the dash.
The truck already had a truck cap, so we added several cameras that went active depending upon the need. We fitted a camera to allow the driver to see inside the cap when driving, and another camera into the third brake light that goes active if the cap is removed. Finally, we added a camera at the rear of his enclosed car trailer that goes live when it is connected to the truck.
Lighting And Power Upgrades
We installed LED lighting in the cap and bed to allow easy visibility at night, and added two 100v converters so household items could be powered. We installed plugs at the back of the center console and into the passenger side of the bed as well.
We also installed a Stinger 60 amp power supply in the truck to keep the batteries charged when the vehicle will be parked for extended periods of time.
Front And Rear Protection From K40 Laser And Radar System
We added a full-featured custom-installed laser and radar detector system from K40, flushed into a convenient spot in the center console. We used the RL360i system with front and rear radar receivers, so the client always knows the direction of any threat. We also added dual G5 front laser defusers in the front, along with a single G5 defuser in the rear. All of our sensors are securely mounted into the vehicle on custom mounts for the ultimate in sensitivity and reliability, plus we test every system before it leaves our facility to make sure it is performing at its peak.
We flushed the front and rear indicator lights into the turn signal indicators inside the instrument cluster, with the left one alerting to a front threat and the right one alerting to a rear threat.
Client Loved His Ram 1500 Upgrades!
When the client came to pick up his vehicle, he was thrilled with the execution of the upgrades. He marveled at how everything looked like factory options and, as we started showing him how everything worked, his smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. That is what we live for at JML Audio. We live and breathe this stuff, and our whole goal in business is to exceed our customer’s expectations.
When you are ready to have upgrades done to your vehicle, we invite you to contact us HERE. Our team will get together with you and design a solution best suited to your needs.