Wanting to upgrade '15 Ram BASS w/ Skar subs?


Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
Just got into this truck. 2015 Ram Crew Cab. Was hoping to get a mega cab for better options as far as stereo went, but didn't shake out in the end. 

Anyway, it has the 8.4 uconnect and alpine system. The speakers in the dash sound a little tinny, so I may get around to replacing those. Door speakers seem fair. But I miss bass. Big bass. I listen to primarily rap, so if it is a little muddy, I can tolerate it, but don't want it to sound like garbage. 

I happen to have a handful of subs laying around that came out of a car I bought. 5 of them actually. Skar zvx8's. They're meaty little things. I was hoping to use 1 or 2 of them in this truck. I've got a huge amp that can push 4 of them at peak, but I'll probably be looking for another amp for this truck to power 1 or 2. 

So enclosure - Skar's site says these things like 1.25ft^3 ported or .65ft^3 sealed. I don't think I can get a box in there that is 2.5ft^3 so I guess where I'm at is wondering if I'd be better off with a box that is undersized and ported with 2, properly sized ported with 1, or 2 sealed. What do you guys think? I like things to shake, but SQ does matter.

If anyone has any experience with these subs, these trucks, boxes for them, the 8.4 uconnect system intricacies, etc I'd be glad to get some input. 

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
Appreciate the response, but I've already got the Skars. Those subs do look pretty sweet, but I'd be out over $400 buying two to get only 200rms more than running one of the Skars that I already have. So that seems like negative return on investment there. Different story if I were sub shopping as I do like the idea of them since they like small enclosures. 

 

ckeeler11

Junior Member
Mar 17, 2016
149
13
AZ
the 2x8's would be best if the enclosure is not to undersized then you would be better off going another route. 2 sealed will probably be about the same output as 1 ported.

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
Going an all new direction isn't my preferred choice, as I already have these subs, so may as well use them. I'm thinking about slapping together a couple boxes to get a rough idea what the difference would be. 1 sealed at spec size, 1 ported at spec size. If the 1 sealed makes me happy, then two sealed would definitely make me happy. If 1 ported makes me happy, then that makes things even easier. If neither does it for me, then maybe I'll try two ported and then find some creative way to get that much airspace in the truck. 

So I'll see how I feel about doing that and see if I've got the scraps laying around to do it without spending anything. I hate putting money into testing. 

I think the factory sub is good for 150 RMS watts. So even 1 of these Skars in a choked up sealed box should outperform the alpine setup exponentially. 

It has been many years since I've had a stereo with real bass, so I may not want as much as I did when I was 18. In my old impala I had a couple RFR3112s on RF mono amps and those things went hard. Things have come a LONG way since then, so now these little 8s I've got are supposedly making about the same power for much less money than I spent back in the day. 

 

Rich00

Old timer
10+ year member
Mar 24, 2004
688
2
springfield mo
To answer your question an undersized ported box will not sound very good in my opinion.  I would see if you can make 3 of them fit sealed.  

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
To answer your question an undersized ported box will not sound very good in my opinion.  I would see if you can make 3 of them fit sealed.  
I could do 2 sealed or 1 ported with adequate box sizes. No way I can get 3 in there without serious body modification. 

 

Rich00

Old timer
10+ year member
Mar 24, 2004
688
2
springfield mo
I would probably have to go with 2 sealed for cone area.  1 8" sub even ported probably won't be enough bass for you.  It's too bad you have those skar's because there is 8" subs that work in like .5ft^3 ported and 2 in that would sound so much better.  I've never ran with 2 8" sealed so I cannot tell you the output.  In one of my trucks I had the JL CP108lg a 8w3v3 in ported jl box and it sounded good.  Not enough bass for me but in a regular cab truck what do you do. 

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
That whole cone area vs excursion vs RMS wattage etc really just goes over my head. I guess if money were no object, a couple of those f8l subs in a ported box would be much better than 1 skar if cone area is truly the best way to measure loudness because then I guess I'd have double the cone area and a couple hundred RMS more. 

I'll have to buy an amp either way. I can pick up the matching Skar amp for about $175. I don't know how much more I'd have to spend to get one that would push two f8ls. I'm just looking to not spend a grand on this. I don't know. The more I look into it, the less I know what to do.  

 

wew lad

wew lad inc
Mar 22, 2015
5,812
81
MA
That whole cone area vs excursion vs RMS wattage etc really just goes over my head. I guess if money were no object, a couple of those f8l subs in a ported box would be much better than 1 skar if cone area is truly the best way to measure loudness because then I guess I'd have double the cone area and a couple hundred RMS more. 

I'll have to buy an amp either way. I can pick up the matching Skar amp for about $175. I don't know how much more I'd have to spend to get one that would push two f8ls. I'm just looking to not spend a grand on this. I don't know. The more I look into it, the less I know what to do.  
I'd recommend a taramps hd3k for that amount of money over the skar amp and at least you'd have plenty of power if you lose output from lack of surface area. 

What is the exact amount of room you have to build an enclosure in the vehicle? Orientation of the sub can also be important. 

1 of them in a t-line might be an idea but 2 8's ported is really the best option if you have the room which I bet you do

Spending a weekend building enclosures to test with will be your best bet for finding what actually works, every vehicle loads differently. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

YukonXL04

Senior VIP Member
Apr 20, 2017
298
20
Arlington,TX
That whole cone area vs excursion vs RMS wattage etc really just goes over my head. I guess if money were no object, a couple of those f8l subs in a ported box would be much better than 1 skar if cone area is truly the best way to measure loudness because then I guess I'd have double the cone area and a couple hundred RMS more. 

I'll have to buy an amp either way. I can pick up the matching Skar amp for about $175. I don't know how much more I'd have to spend to get one that would push two f8ls. I'm just looking to not spend a grand on this. I don't know. The more I look into it, the less I know what to do.  
I have 2 f8ls in my truck right now, I believe they are in 1.4 cubes ported with 22sq in on port area, (if I remember right) man these things impress me every day. I cant believe what they can do for 2 8s... but they are on a roughly 2k amp... so plenty of power. I would sell the skars and pick up 2 of these. They should cure you of your bass problem

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
I'd recommend a taramps hd3k for that amount of money over the skar amp and at least you'd have plenty of power if you lose output from lack of surface area. 

What is the exact amount of room you have to build an enclosure in the vehicle? Orientation of the sub can also be important. 

1 of them in a t-line might be an idea but 2 8's ported is really the best option if you have the room which I bet you do

Spending a weekend building enclosures to test with will be your best bet for finding what actually works, every vehicle loads differently. 
I'll have to look into that amp. Never heard of the company before.

Exact amount of room? I have no idea. These trucks were not at all designed to build stereo systems in. I have to maintain my truck as a fully functioning vehicle, so can't lose seats. I can lift the seats a bit I believe, but from the boxes I've seen sold online, I think about 1.5ft^3 of space is about all you can get without chopping up metal, which I'm not willing to do because I only intend to have this truck for about a year. 

Up facing is the only way. So that would eliminate a t line. 

What kind of music do you listen to and how much space are you able/willing to sacrifice? 
I listen primarily to garbage rap. Radio stuff. But I also listen to jazz, r&b, the occasional classic rock, some rock/metal and a small bit of country. 

I have 2 f8ls in my truck right now, I believe they are in 1.4 cubes ported with 22sq in on port area, (if I remember right) man these things impress me every day. I cant believe what they can do for 2 8s... but they are on a roughly 2k amp... so plenty of power. I would sell the skars and pick up 2 of these. They should cure you of your bass problem
I may consider doing this. I actually have 5 of the skars and a crescendo 3500 that I pulled from a lexus I bought/sold. I was planning to put 4 and the amp in my escalade one of these days, but haven't gotten around to it. Figured if I had the one left over, and could put it in the truck and it be a big improvement from the factory 150 rms alpine sub, then I wouldn't be wasting anything I already had.

I could always just bite the bullet and buy the f8ls, but I still don't know about an enclosure of adequate size. I've seen one that is 1.5ft^3 but I believe it is sealed and doubt that number accounts for sub displacement as well. I've built a couple boxes in my day, but they weren't very good because I don't really understand the math. Got the tools and skills to put them together if I knew what to build though. 

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
If you're only keeping the truck for a year why even bother installing something in it? Tiny cone area in a tiny box with a poor firing orientation sounds like a waste of time if you ask me.
Life is short. A year is long. Being happier for a year doesn't sound like wasted time to me. I've heard multiple single 8" sub systems that sounded pretty good. I'm not looking to compete here.  I guess it also might be worth mentioning that I spend about 4-6 hours on average a day in my truck for work. So it isn't like I'm banging across town to my job at home depot. I basically live in the thing. 

 
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wew lad

wew lad inc
Mar 22, 2015
5,812
81
MA
Just build the best single 8 enclosure you can on decent power and live with it for a year. It'll make bass but keep your expectations in check

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
That is what I've decided to do. Just gonna stick with the single Skar ZVX8 since I already have it. Though I believe I'm going to have the box built for me since I can't figure the math on it. I've been talking to a guy from a company called Sound Off Audio. Anyone familiar? 

I need to figure out which amp to get. I had considered the Skar and of course the Skar folks agree. The other mentioned amp taramps hd3k which seems like it would be overkill for this single sub, but price wise, it is only $20 more than the Skar 1000w amp, so maybe a better buy? Any other suggestions?

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
I've got multiple threads running about this "build" trying to get answers so I wanted to update this one as things go, and try and ask questions here instead of starting a bunch of threads if I don't have to. 

I bought a fox acoustics dual 12" ported box that I'm going to make adapters for 8" subs.

I ordered a PAC module to connect to the head unit and maintain factory functions.

I've decided to just use my Crescendo 3500 amp to push the Skar ZVX 8s for now. I may switch this up if I'm not totally thrilled since the box is gonna be slightly undersized for these subs. If it doesn't rock me, I'll probably buy a couple f8l subs and possibly a different amp. 

I ordered a load of butyl mat and closed cell foam to quiet things down hopefully. 

I have 0 gauge wiring, and I'm trying to see if I need to upgrade the battery or charging system. Second battery? Bigger alternator? Or can I slide with factory stuff as long as I'm not pounding it at 100% constantly? I know I should do the big 3 wire upgrade either way.

I'd like to have things in and running this weekend, but don't know when everything will be delivered. I'm itching for some more bass! It has taken longer than I hoped to decide and acquire all this stuff. And so much for keeping it cheap using the stuff I already had lol. 

 
OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
Update - fought with it all last weekend. Got the cab ripped apart, laid the butyl and foam and found out I under ordered. Oh well. I did as much as I could. That is what I get for believing the internet on sq footage.

I ran my power wires under the truck along the frame in corrugated tube taped up and zip tied to secure it well.

Connected the head unit with a PAC AP4-CH41. Plug and play. Drill a small hole in the bezel for the control knob and run a USB for computer tuning access. Not sure how to go about that yet really. 

I tried to get my box in, and turns out, with the butyl and the foam, it won't fit with the spacers provided by fox. Frankly I'm not sure it would have fit without that stuff, but anyway, I'm trying to find longer bolts m12x1.75 which is a size nobody carries, and some thick square washers to use as spacers. 

Might have royally screwed myself believing the internet. Cut off 3/8" from my seat hooks as it says to do everywhere online, but with the amount of lift I'm requiring, they may not latch anymore. So I may have to pull them out again and attempt to tig weld on some little tongues that help them grab. STUPID on my part. Should have tested before cutting rather than just believing what I read. 

Not sure my amp is going to fit. I think I have the thickness clearance on the back wall if I cut the carpet cover, but I'm not sure I have the realty side to side with the power goodies back there. May have to buy a different amp that is a bit smaller to run these. Any suggestions there? I saw taramps suggested before. I thought Skar due to brand matching. Any other ideas? 

And a final note - I looked for a long time online to find pictures of a crew cab truck with everything removed and couldn't find anything. I really wanted to know how difficult it would be to cut the molded floor out and do a forward facing box. I decided against it before ripping it apart. Wish I hadn't. If you weren't scared to modify your floor pan and fab up some modified seat mounts, you could get a pretty damn big box in one of these with probably enough airspace for 4 of these subs front facing. Would take a lot of work, but to someone might be worth it. 

Hope to get it up and going this weekend. Hope. 

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OP
Jtyson

Jtyson

Junior Member
Jan 1, 2015
57
5
Albuquerque, NM
Added 1/2" spacers on top of the spacers provided by fox and it still doesn't fit. I'm going to remove the carpet tomorrow and try again. Probably just end up going to the steel yard and getting some 2" box steel and making my own spacers. Bought longer bolts - $60 worth for these stupid oddball thread size that regular hardware stores don't carry. 

Amp won't fit. No way no how. Ordered a Taramps HD 3000 2ohm on amazon. $170 isn't too bad, only downside is that it won't be here until Monday, so I won't be listening to anything this weekend yet again. 

Wishing I would have listened and not messed with all this. Hoping that once it is all in and working that I change my mind. 

 

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