2018 Challenger Alpine 6-speaker amplified system upgrades - Page 2 - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I honestly don't know for sure how manufacturers come up with their ohm ratings. My understanding is that the impedance is different depending on the frequency, so I think they report "nominal" impedance - but for all I know, it might be "average" impedance. Really not sure. I just know that audio equipment specs tend to be dependant on exactly how they test things, which isn't always apples-to-apples between different companies (even though they want you to think that it is) - and can't always be trusted. I would think that Infinity speaker specifications would be pretty accurate though (it's not like we're talking about Boss, Pyle or Dual - or some other "less than optimal" audio equipment that typically have specs that you know aren't 100% honest). From what I've seen, the multimeter readings usually match the specified ohm values for a speaker, but I can't guarantee that it's always accurate.

But like you said, I think the difference is what is important here - and even more important is the end result - which is that I didn't notice any significant difference in volume level after the speaker change. If you were considering changing the speakers only to gain volume and not to improve sound quality, then I definitely wouldn't recommend it - at least not with the Alpine amplified system. You'd be spending a couple hundred dollars for no real change in volume. In hindsight, even the sound quality difference isn't huge when using the stock amp. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I'd recommend people spend the time or money on replacing all of the speakers unless they also plan on replacing the stock amp. The Alpine amplified system has much better stock speakers that a lot of other cars I've owned.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:07 PM
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Nice info here. It looks to me that this is a lot like the 276W system in my 2012 Charger. I did an extensive write-up on that upgrade in the sister forum a few years back and that system is still running strong. So, to back up what you have put here, definitely go with the speaker replacement and if you want you can upgrade by steps to a true tuned aftermarket system and get improvements all the way. Stopping at any point will leave you happy. I first did speakers, then incorporated the LOC, sub and amps, then added the sound processors. All over several months. Could have stopped at any point as each was a noticeable improvement.

The system I put in the Charger was about $800 total when I was done and used the infinity Reference speakers recommended here with an added 10" sealed sub, JBL 3-channel and 4-channel Amps (The GT series, but models are different now), a pair of mini-DSP sound processors (but they make a better single unit specifically for cars now), and a Pac Audio LOC, but for 2015-up cars that unit would be different and expensive, so the Audio Control LC7i might be better. The Infinity's sound great and I can say that the 506W Alpine in my new Scat Pack doesn't sound nearly as good as that system. Once it is tuned it sounds pretty awesome. I used the open source REW software from the Home Theater Shack forum, and a calibrated mic on my laptop. It was a lot of fun tuning the system and the options are endless. This is the curve I ended up with.
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:21 PM
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Good write-up. I'll attest that I ran into the exact same mounting issues with these speakers in the door and rear deck positions.

2016 Challenger R/T; super track pack, ivory white tricoat paint, Corsa Xtreme catback, drilled/slotted rotors with ceramic brakes, some other stuff...
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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So, to back up what you have put here, definitely go with the speaker replacement and if you want you can upgrade by steps to a true tuned aftermarket system and get improvements all the way.
Yeah, for me, the speaker replacement was really just a "pre-req" before I started adding amps/processors. There is nothing like great-sounding, powerful car audio! And I disagree with @A Guy - I think that sound quality still plays a very important part - even when the windows are open and the radio is really loud. A really good-sounding system is just sooooo nice - *especially* at loud volumes! :-)

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The system I put in the Charger was about $800 total when I was done and used the infinity Reference speakers recommended here with an added 10" sealed sub, JBL 3-channel and 4-channel Amps (The GT series, but models are different now), a pair of mini-DSP sound processors (but they make a better single unit specifically for cars now), and a Pac Audio LOC, but for 2015-up cars that unit would be different and expensive, so the Audio Control LC7i might be better. The Infinity's sound great and I can say that the 506W Alpine in my new Scat Pack doesn't sound nearly as good as that system. Once it is tuned it sounds pretty awesome. I used the open source REW software from the Home Theater Shack forum, and a calibrated mic on my laptop. It was a lot of fun tuning the system and the options are endless. This is the curve I ended up with.
Very nice setup!! I'll be honest, while I love good audio (home audio and car audio), my DIY car audio experience is pretty limited. Typically, I just replace the stock head-unit, the stock speakers and maybe add an inexpensive, low-wattage 4-channel amp and I'm happy (I was really impressed with the Kicker KEY180.4 with it's auto-tuning capabilities). However, being that I can't just replace the head-unit in the 2018 Challenger like I could with older cars, it makes upgrading a little more "complex". I'm pretty comfortable with audio in general and know enough that I really want to get into the full processor setup that I have complete control over and can tune myself - and take things to the next level in my Challenger. The Rockford Fosgate DSR1 and T-harness combination looks like the perfect setup for the Challenger. It's a great LOC and DSP all-in-one and actually seems pretty damn awesome for the ~$250 price tag! I really like how you can adjust everything from an Android or iPhone device instead of needing a Windows laptop for tuning. However, I will need to get a good RTA setup to tune it properly myself, which is all new to me. I'm also very "green" in the "clean install" area when it comes to processors, multiple amps, etc. Was considering paying a shop to do it, but that would cost a small fortune and I kind of want to learn a little more about the tuning aspect. I just hope I can make a nice clean setup like you have going on! :-)


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I'll attest that I ran into the exact same mounting issues with these speakers in the door and rear deck positions.
Thank you! I'm so glad to hear that it wasn't just me!! I mean for the rear deck speaker issue - the speaker, the adapter plate and the screws all come with the Infinity speakers - it makes no sense that they include screws that are too damn long to correctly mount the speaker to their own adapter plate!!!! On the other hand, the fact that the Infinity 6"x9" speaker hits into the stock door mounting adapter - I can completely understand that - and am used to dealing with stuff like that when replaceing stock speakers with aftermarket speakers, but the whole "screws are too long" issue with the 6.5" rear-deck speakers was annoying - that should not happen when all of the parts are coming from the speaker manufacturer, in the same box. :-) I also wasn't happy when I found that Crutchfield is supplying the wrong speaker wire adapters - again, that is something that they "pride" themselves on - they should get it right. I seriously wonder how many people are driving around with the speaker polarity reversed becuase of Crutchfield including the wrong wiring adapters. That being said, I will definitely let them know (backed with "evidence") so that they hopefully correct the issue. Mistakes happen - it's how people handle the mistakes that really matters. :-)
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Also - if anyone has any recommendations for amps, please speak up! I'm not looking to spend a ton of money here, but I will spend up to ~$600 for the amp(s). Still not sure if I'm better off going with a single 6-channel amp or (2) 4-channel amps (for example). It almost seems like I can get (2) 4-channel amps for less than the price of a single 6-channel amp - but then again, a single 6-channel amp would make for a "cleaner" install, I would think. Since I will be using the DSR1, it really shouldn't matter if I use a single amp or multiple amps, since I will be controlling everything though the DSR1 DSP (so I won't be using any crossovers or EQ features on the amps themselves).

I'm not worried about a sub yet - I may even end up just getting a powered under-the-seat sub - just something to help firm up the bottom end a little (not looking for subs to shake the whole car until the bolts come loose - just not my "thing"). :-)

Thank you!
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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 01:39 PM
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That Rockford solution is pretty good and they make good stuff. Admittedly, the mini-DSP solution is amazing, but sorta for geeks (like me) because it can do so much. As for an RTA solution, all you need is a laptop and a $20 Dayton audio calibrated mic from Parts Express. That mic works on mobile devices too and has an aux extension for signals. The mic comes with a downloadable calibration file that you can load into REW. In that program you can calibrate the built-in soundcard and generate frequency response curves that the software will build parametric filter code that you then import into the DSP unit. It will also do crossover filtering and timing delay. One of the best improvements I have experienced in sound was adjusting the speaker timing based on distance from the listener. It is like focusing a camera, everything just starts to come into perfect detail. My sub sounds like it is build into the dash because everything hits at once. So, for the price of joining the HomeTheaterShack forum to get the REW software and $20 you get one of the best RTA packages out there with lots of on line help and forum info.

As for amps, I am happy with the JBL (same company as Infinity/Harmon/AG) and it looked like the best value for the dollar to me. I actually bought all my Infinity and JBL stuff from their factory outlet site. People think they need tons of wattage, but really you don't and it is better to match your amps and speakers for power handling. Overdoing either is a waste of money. Also-the NVX house brand digital amps from Sonicelectronix are really good too. Class D amps use less power in case that is important, like in my Dart with a tiny alternator. Actually, that NVX stuff in general is pretty good, especially their amp install kits. I'm not the kind of guy that needs to show off brands (except for my car!) so I don't usually go with the high-end/high marketing stuff. Usually overpriced.

As an FYI in case anyone else is curious, the Mopar speaker replacements are based on Kicker KS speakers. So if you are comparison shopping that should be your standard. Kicker people have been really nice when I have asked them technical stuff too.

Dang, now I am getting the bug to start tearing in to the Challenger and it's only been two weeks!
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the Kicker KEY180.4 amp I put in my Impala has auto-tuning DSP (my first experience with car DSP) - you setup the included mic in the car, press a button and it generates sounds from each speaker in order to automatically set time alignment, EQ, etc. I really liked how it caused the voices to seem to come out of the windshield after it was done. However, you can't modify the setup it comes up with at all (you can only "fine tune" with the regular headunit EQ and fader). I was considering it for the Challenger, but it's only 4-channel (auto-tune only works with one of them if you install more than one) and isn't 2-ohm stable. So I've decided that I want more flexibility in the Challenger - and want to stick with a full 6-channel setup, which is why I'm looking at the DSR1 and external amps instead. The DSR1 does support full time-alignment and parametric EQ. It really does seem to be very powerful considering the price. Since it has 8-channel outputs and available T-harness for the Challenger, it seems like the perfect fit for what I'm looking to do.

My biggest issue is going to be in the physical install area and the tuning aspect. Not looking that forward to the install part, but I am looking forward to the tuning part with an RTA setup. Still have a LOT to learn though.

Thanks for all of the input and info - I apprecaite it. I'll probably be hitting you up for some tips when I get that far! :-)
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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:03 PM
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Looking forward to reading about it!
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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A little more than I wanted to spend, but I'm considering the JL Audio XD600/6v2 amp - 75Wx4 RMS @ 4 ohms. It's $600, but I've always heard good things about JL Audio. I really do think I'd prefer to have a single 6-channel amp, just to reduce wiring complexity, etc - especially since that is the area where I'm most "challenged" (doing a nice clean physical install)...

Any heat-related issues when installing an amp in the spare-tire area of these Challengers? I mean there would be virtually no airflow since that area is "closed in" all of the time. This *is* a class D amp, which should help keep heat levels down (from my understanding), but still - I'm a little concerned about them being so enclosed...

Thoughts on this amp and/or the mounting it (and the DSR1) in the spare-tire area?

Thank you!
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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jtrosky View Post
I can completely understand that - and am used to dealing with stuff like that when replaceing stock speakers with aftermarket speakers, but the whole "screws are too long" issue with the 6.5" rear-deck speakers was annoying - that should not happen when all of the parts are coming from the speaker manufacturer, in the same box. :-)
Agreed, and its particularly frustrating because when the screws are so long it makes you think that you must have put something together wrong. You end up taking it apart and trying different things before you realize that its just messed up. I think I ended up dremeling the screws to length.
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