View Full Version : Ford F450 Crew Cab build -help...newb!

08-11-2013, 09:01 PM
My first post, so go easy on me.

So I bought this 2011 pickup truck new and paid $1800 extra for the factory Nav unit and "premium" sound system with sub-woofer. As you might have guessed, it's awful. I will admit my 2006 Ford F350 was slightly worse, but then I didn't pay extra for that stereo. I guess for $70+K, you should not expect a mediocre stereo. It's actually just below that right now...

Well, I have taken matters into hand, and started making plans for an audio system upgrade. I'd like to be somewhere around a B+ or A- in sound quality when all is said and done. The budget will be slim, but I'm figuring about $8000 for a cap. I'm not sure that spending more than that would produce sound that could be percieved as better in a work truck.

I have some parts already, mostly leftovers from previous builds, but for the most part I need to make my shopping list. So I was hoping you guys could help direct my energies towards the right reference materials, previous similar builds, determining design criteria, and finally the appropriate hardware. Things like when to bi-amp or tri-amp, cabling ideals, decent stuff with a lot of bang-per-buck, and wiring theory (active vs. passive), gauge thickness of power cables vs. speakers, etc.

Here is what I have currently:
stock head/nav unit
stock factory subwoofer (less powerful than a clock radio!)
I've upgraded speakers to Infinity Kappa components 689.0cs (I've now blown up 3 sets of these)
So I downgraded my speakers to Kicker components CS series (very unimpressive also, but less costly for similar output and SQ...considering they only last a few months)
I'm using a 4 channel amp: Kicker ZX650.4 (I've blown up two so far) under rear seat, with 2 computer fans trying to keep it from going into protection
I have an Audio Controls LC6i (speaker level inputs and line output converter)
4 gauge power lead kit by Rockford, and basic 12 or 14 gauge speaker wiress
Oh, and an old Rockford Fosgate Punch series 4 channel amp that is not hooked up (50 or 80 watts RMS, but can't remember for sure...

My speakers don't last long. Sometimes they'll start smoking and burn up, but mostly they become "solid state", and won't move after a while. The system was "professionally" installed. There's a lot of distortion, and the system sounds very "dead" to me. No bass, no treble. Not lively, or "dynamic".

The sound is really awful, and doessn't get loud at all. Might be out of phase?

Here is the direction I am heading in now, to try and move on to another, better chapter. Feel free to comment.

I've acquired a Mosconi Zero One 2-channel amp. I'm told it is 1-ohm stable and can push 4000 watts + RMS. This sounds like it will give me a lot of "head room"? I've considered the Kicker Warhorse also, but was told the Mosconi was better quality, better reliability, better sound, and more honestly rated.
I am told I should get a bunch more of these Mosconi amps, depending on how I want to wire things, or maybe just one more Mosconi AS 200.4, which is a low power 4-channel amp (also 1-ohm stable) but only 200 watts RMS at 4 ohms.

For speakers I am considering 3-way components by either Gladen (Aerospace model), or the Focal Elite 165KRXE 3-way. I could either ignore the back doors completely, or get something cheaper there.

For subwoofer duty, I thought maybe the JL Audio Stealthbox 13.5" sub might be enough. It's supposed to go under the rear folding seat behind the driver, for no loss of my limited cab space. But I'm not sure that's enough, so I'm open to a small sealed sub box between the seats (Kicker L7 or Focal, or Gladen, or ...?) instead of the Stealthbox...if it will be noticeably better. I had dual Kicker 12's in my Jeep, with 1000watt Alpine amp and that was almost good enough (stolen, grrrr!).

I'm not sure if I should go active or passive, bi-amp/tri-amp or standard wiring. Should I get a Digital Signal Processor to replace the Audio Controls unit? I already have dual batteries, and twin alternators, but I'll probably need a bigger ground wire and all new power cables (triple 0?). Suggestions for speaker cables? Should I use the Focal pods, and Dynamat in the doors and/or fiberglass speaker boxes?

I would appreciate any advice, and/or links to the best reference materials. I'll also start searching the forum for any useful pointers. There are no local shops to me (that I'm aware of) that can answer my questions, or allow me to listen to speakers, so I'm on my own and with a limited budget. I don't want to keep spinning my wheels and wasting time/money on more junk equipment.

08-11-2013, 09:28 PM
Wrong section, this is for build logs. Move it to General you will get reply's to your questions there.

08-11-2013, 09:44 PM
Hey, I have a 2012 F250 Supercab. Space will be an issue for you, especially with regards to amp mounting area and box depth behind the rear seat. I am running a JVC DVD player, Hifonics 5x8's (front and rear), two Alpine 8" Type R's in a 1 ft^3 ported enclosure tuned to 35 hz, and a 5 channel Hifonics amp (4x60 watts + 1x1000 watts [sub]). I really like the setup - it gets decently loud and sounds great. If you have any questions PM me.

08-11-2013, 10:42 PM
Maybe one of the mods can move my thread?
Dsmyl6, I may have a bit more room than a supercab, but maybe not. I'm told my amps will fit on the rear wall of the cab behind the rear seats. Speakers will not have space issues. Sub is still undecided.

08-11-2013, 10:53 PM
Maybe one of the mods can move my thread?
Dsmyl6, I may have a bit more room than a supercab, but maybe not. I'm told my amps will fit on the rear wall of the cab behind the rear seats. Speakers will not have space issues. Sub is still undecided.

Equipment you've listed is nice .. But you can see same results cheaper ..
I'd look into maybe a audison bit 10 .. Maybe even a 360.3 .. And cheaper amps .. Even audison amps would save you $$
And the quailty is deff there .. Speaker options are big I'd pm mylows10 ;) and see what he can recomend .. Carries quite a few high end (sq) brands .. The stealth box u can get away with as well but once again you can achieve what you want much cheaper :)

08-11-2013, 11:15 PM
when using the factory head unit you have to make sure the instasller knows what he is doing.

I ran my bit ten d set up twice just to ensure my self that the sound was what it was supposed to be.

I ran a 3sixty.2 before the bit ten d and it sounded off.

You might want to replace the Audiocontrol unit with something that gives you more control

08-12-2013, 02:22 PM
I assumed the installer knew what he was doing when he installed everything. I didn't know output from the head unit was so easy to screw up?

Here are some stats I got for the Mosconi/Gladen DSP. How does it compare to the Bit10D or Bit1? Or is it an aples to oranges comparison? Sometimes there are advantages with sticking with one manufacturer because of features, and/or things working better than mixing brands, but I don't know if there'd be an advantage here. The Mosconi unit seems to be priced similarly to the Bit1. I will contact mylows10 and see what he recommends.

Quick DSP Overview:
Mosconi Gladen 6to8 DSP Digital Sound Processor 6-channel input, 8-channel output

6 - channel input, 8 - channel output
Aux inputs for stereo signals, and hands-free mobile navigation devices with automatic identification signal (adjustable sensitivity)
Highest resolution, e.g. Delay of 0.02 ms steps, Q in 0,001 increments
All settings in real time

High / low / band-pass, shelf, notch filter and with choices for Q
Parametric and Graphic EQ with up to 30 (para-graphic) bands for each channel pair
External control panel (optional) to display the main features such as volume, sub-level and 4 presets
BT and USB adapter (optional), to adjust to your PC or controller via an Android Smart Phone

6-channel High-level input with automatic remote
SP-Dif, digital, optical input as an optional board for retrofitting
Input mixer for mixing all kinds of conditions
Summation of already filtered signals from the OEM sound systems
Intuitive interface with video input, and sample applications

Using the mouse / trackpad button or just above (in the car much easier)
AUDIO DSP technology Gladen, Germany
Dimensions: 150 x 40 x 125 mm
Made by MOSCONI, Italy

08-12-2013, 03:21 PM
When you are using the factory head unit you need to make sure not to touch the bass / treble / mid settings on the factory radio after you have installed the processor.

Also, the processors are set to sound optimal at a certain head unit volume. Most are set at 75-80% volume.
If you go over the limit you will get distortion.

The equipment you have is all very nice.
Sounds like you need someone more knowledgeable to help you install it and set it up correctly.

08-14-2013, 01:08 AM
Installation is THE most important part of car audio/security. Equipment installed without wisdom is a waste! I guess you already know that...who are you gonna have install it this time?

08-14-2013, 02:15 AM
Installation is THE most important part of car audio/security. Equipment installed without wisdom is a waste! I guess you already know that...who are you gonna have install it this time?
I've always left installation to the "professionals" assuming they didn't need my newb opinions or too much of my hovering around the project. But it turns out setup can be very hit-or-miss, if the installer is the fast-food version of true professional-grade! So this time I am asking a lot of questions; not just about hardware, but installation too. In the end, since I'm not doing this myself, I'll still have to trust someone to get this done correctly.
I spoke to a true professional installer today. He is in New Mexico, and came highly recommended by Orca Distributing. Based on the conversations between the 3 of us, I think I may go in a slightly different direction:

> Illusion Audio Carbon 8" 3-way low-profile system in doors & A-pillars (x1 tweeter & x1 coax pair)
> Full cab insulation with Black Hole insulation/acoustic tile products, as well as Focal insulation materials (BAM)
They will do my doors, floor, and roof/back wall with the appropriate combinations
> x2 Illusion Audio 12" Lucent low-profile sub-woofers in a custom enclosure firing downward under the rear seat
> Mosconi 6x8 Digital Signal Processor
> Mosconi 2-channel Zero One Amplifier
> Mosconi 4-channel AS200.4 Amplifier

This should be a very solid system with a lot of headroom, volume & quality, at a pretty reasonable price...reasonable being relative. I don't have all the numbers yet, but I'm guessing a thousand or two over my original budget, if I pay retail for everything.
Hey, it's just a work truck...

Had I not had some really crappy installs over the last 3 years, I might have felt more comfortable using half this budget. But I'm too worried about repeatedly wasting a few thousand dollars at a time, over and over.

08-21-2013, 08:42 PM
good stuff!!