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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm in the process of designing my system and have a few questions that will help me pick equipment and lay out the steps in which I'll complete the upgrade.
Firstly here's a rough Idea of what I'm looking to do, feel free to poke holes or suggest better ideas than what I've got

1. Some LOC/DSP to interface with the stock system. Still tossing around the DSR1 and LC7i (Maybe even D.6-1200 if I decide to ball out)
2. 4 channel amp for speakers and a monoblock for added subwoofer
3. sound dampening. The rattle is bad enough with the stock 6x9s 😂
4. upgrade battery and/or alternator if needed.

I'm planning to upgrade all the speakers first, adding dampening as panels are pulled.
Q1. Does every speaker require an aftermarket harness?
Q2. Can I cut the stock harness to run in to a component crossover? I was planning to do 6.5 + tweeter components in the doors.
Q3. Should I wait on the door speakers until I have a way to send full range signals to that channel? From my understanding the stock amp is only sending low end on those channels.

After the speakers are done, my current plan is to add something like a DSR1 or LC7i and 4 channel amp in one go.
Q4. Can I still run stock wiring on 100 watts per channel @4 ohm?
Q5. Most 3.5"s are rated well below 100 watts RMS, do I need to run them on a single channel to avoid overload?
Q6. Would adding the middle 3.5" in-dash be worth it?

Those are the main things I'm still trying to figure out at the moment. Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide some insights!
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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What kind of system did the car come with/have now, the base audio package or one of the upgraded sound systems with a factory amp?

That will factor in to how to do some of the things you want to do.
 

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What kind of system did the car come with/have now, the base audio package or one of the upgraded sound systems with a factory amp?

That will factor in to how to do some of the things you want to do.
I have the 6 channel alpine with the 276 watt amp.
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Okay, here are my responses to your questions above. I’m far from an expert, but I know enough to be dangerous, so keep that in mind as you read through this reply:

Q1. Every speaker has a plug for the wiring harness, so if you want to replace each speaker and do no cutting/splicing of wires, an adapter plug will be needed for each speaker.


Q2. You can, but you don’t necessarily have to, and using the factory amp to power the components factors in here.

So the factory amp should have separate output channels for each speaker (as opposed to a base system without factory amp which only has 4 channels and wires front speakers in parallel on each front channels), i.e. 6 (or more) in all.

If you keep the factory amp to power the components, you can just replace the dash speakers with the component tweeters and their crossovers, plug and play.

If you go with an aftermarket amp to power the speakers, reusing the factory wiring configuration becomes more difficult. In that case it may be easier to connect the tweeter and crossover to the door speaker channel and leave the dash speaker channels’ wires unused.

Q3. That’s your call, and it depends on how you set it up, but as a general rule here I would say ‘no’ you don’t have to.

If you do it the first way I mentioned above (with factory amp in place), no need to wait since the dash/tweeter channels will get their own crossedover signals from factory amp.

If you do it the second way I mentioned (aftermarket amp), you still don’t have to wait as long as the amp is being fed a summed signal your amplify and send down those door speaker wires.

Q4. You can do it. I have done it, and others have too, all without any problems. However it is right on the edge of being too small gauge wire and could benefit from some larger gauge speaker wire in its place.

How much of a benefit? Not a significant amount, but some nonetheless.

If you are planning on entering an SPL or SQ contest with the build, do an upgrade on the speaker wire. If not, I wouldn’t worry about it.

Q5. No, they’ll be fine. They are usually higher impedance and therefore draw less of the power than their 6.5/6x9 companion speakers on the same channels.

Make sure they have some sort of HPF or inline bass blocker and you’ll be fine.

Q6. You’ll get varying opinions on this. I say not ultimately worth the trouble and expense, others will say do it. It’s up to you to decide on this one.

Also make note of the fact you’ll at least one aftermarket harness adapter to maintain the steering wheel controls, warning chimes, etc. Same goes for keeping or bypassing the stock amp
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks I didn't know that about losing functionality. I definitely want to keep my steering wheel controls.

My current plan is to go with the Audiocontrol D-4.800 as the main amp and LOC/DSP. Anyone know what harness I need to keep steering wheel controls?
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Go to Crutchfield’s website and input your car’s info, pic a stereo (any stereo, doesn’t matter), and view the installation accessories it recommends for the car. The harnesses required for steering wheel controls and such will be in that list.
 

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Hey guys, I'm in the process of designing my system and have a few questions that will help me pick equipment and lay out the steps in which I'll complete the upgrade.
Firstly here's a rough Idea of what I'm looking to do, feel free to poke holes or suggest better ideas than what I've got

1. Some LOC/DSP to interface with the stock system. Still tossing around the DSR1 and LC7i (Maybe even D.6-1200 if I decide to ball out)
2. 4 channel amp for speakers and a monoblock for added subwoofer
3. sound dampening. The rattle is bad enough with the stock 6x9s 😂
4. upgrade battery and/or alternator if needed.

I'm planning to upgrade all the speakers first, adding dampening as panels are pulled.
Q1. Does every speaker require an aftermarket harness?
Q2. Can I cut the stock harness to run in to a component crossover? I was planning to do 6.5 + tweeter components in the doors.
Q3. Should I wait on the door speakers until I have a way to send full range signals to that channel? From my understanding the stock amp is only sending low end on those channels.

After the speakers are done, my current plan is to add something like a DSR1 or LC7i and 4 channel amp in one go.
Q4. Can I still run stock wiring on 100 watts per channel @4 ohm?
Q5. Most 3.5"s are rated well below 100 watts RMS, do I need to run them on a single channel to avoid overload?
Q6. Would adding the middle 3.5" in-dash be worth it?

Those are the main things I'm still trying to figure out at the moment. Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide some insights!
For a LOC/DSP I would highly recommend the miniDSP. The 6x8 model will take 4 channel direct high level speaker inputs, or 4 channel low inputs, or SPDIF, and put out 8 channels to aftermarket amps. Perfect for a Dash, Door, Deck and Subwoofer 6.1 system and even a spare channel for a middle speaker. Great build quality and high end internal components. Tons of filter and crossover options. Way better than passive components. I recommend checking out the manual to see what it is capable of here https://www.minidsp.com/images/documents/C-DSP 6x8 User Manual.pdf

Q1. Does every speaker require an aftermarket harness?-No, but makes the job easy and simple to go back to stock if that happens in the future
Q2. Can I cut the stock harness to run in to a component crossover? I was planning to do 6.5 + tweeter components in the doors.-Run the stock into the crossover, then new wire to speakers. If using components run the tweeter to the dash for better sound and stereo effect. BUT-I would recommend separate 3.5's in the dash-makes a big difference in stereo effect due to having 300Hz+ up higher. But this requires 4 channels up front. One solution is 4 Channel amp for door/dash, then a four channel bridged as a 3.1 for rear deck and sub. You can get a ton of bass out of a single 10" sub in a proper sealed enclosure, unless you just want to rattle things. If you like sound quality, not just volume, the sealed 10" is fine.
Q3. Should I wait on the door speakers until I have a way to send full range signals to that channel? From my understanding the stock amp is only sending low end on those channels.-It was worth it to me, I tried both but I liked the detailed imaging from having a full signal.

After the speakers are done, my current plan is to add something like a DSR1 or LC7i and 4 channel amp in one go.
Q4. Can I still run stock wiring on 100 watts per channel @4 ohm?-AWG charts will tell you that for short runs, the stock wiring is OK and won't provide too much resistance. For instance, the short run to the front door will not be a problem-but upgrade the wiring from the aftermarket amp to that point. I swapped it in by cutting the harness and installing bullet connectors so I could go back to stock later. Which I did in my '12 and it made the job real easy.
Q5. Most 3.5"s are rated well below 100 watts RMS, do I need to run them on a single channel to avoid overload?-Running a 3.5 from a component passive crossover will cut out any low signal and you won't even get the full range they offer. If you wire them into stock, use the bass blockers, if you wire after a passive component crossover, they will be fine without, if you run on a separate channel, high pass them somewhere around 300-800Hz based on your personal taste.
Q6. Would adding the middle 3.5" in-dash be worth it?-Haven't tried that yet- if you have the middle, does that mean you have the 9 speaker or HK system? The regular premium just has the six speakers. The issue would be needing a spare amp a channel to it. If you properly tune a 6-speaker system, you will think there is a middle speaker because everything is aligned so well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For a LOC/DSP I would highly recommend the miniDSP. The 6x8 model will take 4 channel direct high level speaker inputs, or 4 channel low inputs, or SPDIF, and put out 8 channels to aftermarket amps. Perfect for a Dash, Door, Deck and Subwoofer 6.1 system and even a spare channel for a middle speaker. Great build quality and high end internal components. Tons of filter and crossover options. Way better than passive components. I recommend checking out the manual to see what it is capable of here https://www.minidsp.com/images/documents/C-DSP 6x8 User Manual.pdf

Q1. Does every speaker require an aftermarket harness?-No, but makes the job easy and simple to go back to stock if that happens in the future
Q2. Can I cut the stock harness to run in to a component crossover? I was planning to do 6.5 + tweeter components in the doors.-Run the stock into the crossover, then new wire to speakers. If using components run the tweeter to the dash for better sound and stereo effect. BUT-I would recommend separate 3.5's in the dash-makes a big difference in stereo effect due to having 300Hz+ up higher. But this requires 4 channels up front. One solution is 4 Channel amp for door/dash, then a four channel bridged as a 3.1 for rear deck and sub. You can get a ton of bass out of a single 10" sub in a proper sealed enclosure, unless you just want to rattle things. If you like sound quality, not just volume, the sealed 10" is fine.
Q3. Should I wait on the door speakers until I have a way to send full range signals to that channel? From my understanding the stock amp is only sending low end on those channels.-It was worth it to me, I tried both but I liked the detailed imaging from having a full signal.

After the speakers are done, my current plan is to add something like a DSR1 or LC7i and 4 channel amp in one go.
Q4. Can I still run stock wiring on 100 watts per channel @4 ohm?-AWG charts will tell you that for short runs, the stock wiring is OK and won't provide too much resistance. For instance, the short run to the front door will not be a problem-but upgrade the wiring from the aftermarket amp to that point. I swapped it in by cutting the harness and installing bullet connectors so I could go back to stock later. Which I did in my '12 and it made the job real easy.
Q5. Most 3.5"s are rated well below 100 watts RMS, do I need to run them on a single channel to avoid overload?-Running a 3.5 from a component passive crossover will cut out any low signal and you won't even get the full range they offer. If you wire them into stock, use the bass blockers, if you wire after a passive component crossover, they will be fine without, if you run on a separate channel, high pass them somewhere around 300-800Hz based on your personal taste.
Q6. Would adding the middle 3.5" in-dash be worth it?-Haven't tried that yet- if you have the middle, does that mean you have the 9 speaker or HK system? The regular premium just has the six speakers. The issue would be needing a spare amp a channel to it. If you properly tune a 6-speaker system, you will think there is a middle speaker because everything is aligned so well.
Thanks! I'll have to look at the miniDSP. I didn't consider the dual 4 channel amp to cover everything. That makes sense! I do want a good amount of bass though. Will have to do some more playing with setups. was gonna try to find a 3-way component set so that each door & dash side would be 1 channel. I have the 6 speaker alpine but the middle cutout is there.

My latest plan was to go
Audiocontrol D-4.800
3 way components up front
Coax in back.
Skar amp + sub

I was unaware this setup would leave me without steering wheel controls. So now I was thinking Rockford DRS1 Plus their 5 channel amp to run everything.
 

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Thanks! I'll have to look at the miniDSP. I didn't consider the dual 4 channel amp to cover everything. That makes sense! I do want a good amount of bass though. Will have to do some more playing with setups. was gonna try to find a 3-way component set so that each door & dash side would be 1 channel. I have the 6 speaker alpine but the middle cutout is there.

My latest plan was to go
Audiocontrol D-4.800
3 way components up front
Coax in back.
Skar amp + sub

I was unaware this setup would leave me without steering wheel controls. So now I was thinking Rockford DRS1 Plus their 5 channel amp to run everything.
I think if you use the high, speaker-level inputs into your system then you won't lose those things. But I upgraded the Alpine 6 channel system, not a 9 channel. I used a PAC interface to pull 4 channel low signal to run to my miniDSP. I used a predecessor to the one I recommended for you, which was a little more work. My upgraded system sounds WAY better in my 12 than the current Alpine 9-speaker in my '19. I just have other things to do before I can get to the system upgrade, which will likely be the miniDSP from speaker-level inputs for ease and new amps/speakers. A 375W 10" sub, which could peak much higher, almost double, in a sealed enclosure was plenty to shake the windows, but was also clean with respect to low distortion and fast response. I had the rears powered by Channel JBL GTO amp. When you adjust the speaker timing to unify the sub in phase with the other speakers, you get a lot more sound and punch. For my taste ported subs or multi-sub systems make noise, but not music. Purely a matter of personal preference. The AC D-4.800 is pretty nice but might be a bit limited with output, though. Might want to consider low level output to separate digital amps to get high power for your sub.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I just watched a video on the DSR1. It makes so much sense now. I'm definitely going that route! Now to pick out some amps. I'm no audiophile but I am a music fanatic. I'm looking forward to crisper, louder speakers, with some real Midbass and a nice sub kicking when I'm listening to rap 😍😍😍
 

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Just a small word of warning. I started with a DSR-1 and while it works, it has some issues. The bluetooth (which is how it is programmed) is horrible. It's a PITA to even get connected. Switching between profiles is VERY slow. The DSP system is not nearly as flexible as something like a Helix or MiniDSP. Some have had issues with the sound changing from drive-to-drive for no apparent reason. Some have confirmed that the bass going through the DSR-1 has a lot of distortion.

It's more money, but I'd seriously consider using the PAC AmpPro 4 for the OEM integration and some other DSP, whether it be a MIniDSP, a Helix or some other well-known DSP. The DSP will end up being the heart of the system - you really don't want to "skimp" on the DSP if you are serious about sound quality, IMO.

The DSR-1 leads to a lot of frustration. The are whole threads on some of it's issues over on diymobileaudio.

At first, I thought the DSR-1 was great, but you slowly start realizing that there is a reason why it's so cheap. :) Mine is now sitting in a box.

Also, the PAC AmpPro 4 allows you to use an optical output to your DSP (assuming you get a DSP with an optical input), which is another nice benefit of the AmpPro 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the heads up. I read through your build, and I highly value the opinion of someone who has had day-to-day experience with it. I think I'm just at the point of realizing things are gonna cost a little more than I initially intended. But that's ok. Buy once cry once!

So something like
PAC AmpPro for factory integration and maintaining functionality
Audio Control D-8.400 DSP/amp for speakers, line out to Subwoofer amp>

One of my main hangups is getting everything wired to a 4 channel amp. The extra dash speakers are throwing me off. 😅
 

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The best solution, in my opinion, would be to go with the 6-channel version of the AudioControl amp if you want to go with a combined amp/DSP. IF you have a DSP, you really want to have the ability to control each speaker individually. Something I learned - if you buy from Sonic Electronix, see if they have an "Open Box" version of the amp available. Most times, you actually get a brand new amp for an "open box" price. Honestly, I think they do that to get around the AudioControl Minimum Advertised Price restrictions that they have to abide by. By advertising them as "open box", then can advertise a lower price. A sonic rep actually told me that it would be a brand new amp though (this was for their LC-6.1200 non-DSP amp - not sure if they do the same thing for the D- version of their DSP/amp combos). Worth checking though - may be able to save a few hundred and get a 6-channel amp for the price of a 4-channel amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I go with the D.6-1200, am I basically just getting the AmpPro to retain factory controls and chimes?
 

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If I go with the D.6-1200, am I basically just getting the AmpPro to retain factory controls and chimes?
Well, the AmpPro does a few things - the biggest of which are it will give you a clean, flat, low-level signal from the head-unit, which is very important. If you just take the speaker-level outputs from the OEM head-unit, you'll still have the factory EQ (which is tuned to make the crappy stock speakers sound as best as they can) - including bass roll-off at higher volumes. The AmpPro also makes sure all fo the OEM functions like chimes, bluetooth, nav prompts, etc integrate properly with an aftermarket amp. It also avoids the need to do summing, etc. It's really an important piece of the puzzle that you don't want to skip.
 

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I've realized I'm getting in over my head both skill wise and budget wise. Not wise!! Lol. I've got new speakers and sound dampening on the way. I'm going to get all of that installed and reassess where I'm at after that.
 

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Starting in the right place!
 

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I've realized I'm getting in over my head both skill wise and budget wise. Not wise!! Lol. I've got new speakers and sound dampening on the way. I'm going to get all of that installed and reassess where I'm at after that.
I don't blame you one bit. My Challenger is the first time I've gone this far down the car audio rabbit-hole - and it is a VERY deep (and expensive!) hole! The easy part is getting all of the gear and getting it installed - then comes the hard part - learning how to tune the DSP. A DSP can make a huge difference in the sound quality, but it takes a LOT of time and dedication to really learn how to tune properly. I had no idea car audio was so involved. Once you get a calibrated measurement microphone (which is absolutely required to tune a DSP properly, which costs another ~$100), you need to spend a LOT of time taking in-car measurements and tuning the system. You have to worry about time alignment, levels, EQ, phase issues, etc. I've been learning to properly tune the audio system in my car for over a year now - and I still consider myself a novice at it. It is extremely complicated.

Adjusting Bass/Mid/Treble and Balance/Fader controls is so much easier than adjusting 248 bands of EQ (31 bands per speaker), using allpass filters to correct dips caused by phase issues, setting up differential rear-fill, time-alignment, making sure you get full summation at crossovers and when multiple drivers are playing together, etc. :) Obviously, you can get the system sounding significantly better after all of that, but it truly does require a significant investment of time and a LOT of research to do it properly.

So yeah, replace the speakers and re-evaluate. However, the nice part about a DSP is that you can figure it out at your own pace. You don't have to tune the entire system at once. You can work on things as you have time. Setting up time-alignment is probably the easiest part and makes a big improvement (makes it so the sound from each speaker arrives at the listening position at the same time). After that it setup, you can work on getting all of the speaker levels matched up perfectly - then start working on EQ (the car environment requires significant EQ to get left and right side speakers to match up at the listening position). So you can do a little at a time, at your own pace. You really need to enjoy doing this kind of stuff or you will lose interest quickly. :)
 
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