A client from Orefield recently contacted Mobile Edge to inquire about upgrading the audio system in his 2017 Ford F-350 pickup truck. As is common with many modern vehicles, the client liked the features and functionality of the factory-installed source unit but wasn’t impressed with the way the audio system sounded. He wanted more clarity and detail and dramatically improved bass response. After we inspected the vehicle and the client auditioned several speaker, amplifier and subwoofer solutions on our displays, we came up with a plan to turn this heavy-duty hauler into a concert stadium on wheels.
Audison Prima Speaker Upgrades
We started the project by removing the front and rear door panels, as well as the A-pillars, to make way for two sets of Audison Prima-Series speakers. Mike and Ben crafted a set of speaker mounting adapters for the woofers from an APK 165 6.5-inch component set to allow them to be mounted in the 6×9 speaker location in the front doors. They added a set of FastRings gaskets to the perimeter of the woofers to help seal them against the door panels, and they used a sheet of Hushmat damping material so there would be no rattles or vibrations that would color the sound.
The 1-inch tweeters from the APK 165 set were mounted in the factory A-pillar locations and secured with steel support brackets that attach to the factory tweeter mounting locations.
We upgraded the rear door speaker location with a set of matching APX 6.5 coaxial speakers. The guys built PVC plastic mounting adapters for the rear doors as well.
Custom Ford F-350 Audio System Subwoofer
Mike and Ben designed and built a custom subwoofer enclosure that fits into the storage compartment under the rear seat. The client chose a pair of Hertz ESF25 shallow-mount 10-inch subwoofers for the system to ensure clean and clear bass with excellent impact. The enclosure was built using no fewer than 12 custom-cut ¾-inch MDF panels. We finished the enclosure in a durable black carpet to help it blend into the vehicle.
High-Efficiency Class-D System Amplifiers
A pair of efficient class-D amps power the audio system with a total of 1,100 watts of power. The six front speakers each have dedicated channels from an Audison AP8.9 bit amplifier, while the subwoofers are powered by a Hertz HCP 1D amp that can dish out an impressive 700 watts of power. What makes this sound system unique is the digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities of the AP8.9 bit amp. This processor allows us to set specific crossover frequencies for the tweeters, woofers, rear coaxial speakers and the subwoofers. We are also able to equalize the signal going to each speaker and, when used with our real-time audio analyzer, ensure that the sound system delivers smooth and natural frequency response. Finally, the signal delay and level control features of the Audison bit processor help us create a virtual soundstage across the windshield of the truck. It’s like sitting in the front row of your favorite concert venue.
The amplifiers are mounted beneath and behind the rear seat and receive an audio signal from the factory radio using a PAC AmpPRO AP4-FD21 interface. This interface extracts a clear and processing-free signal from the radio that we can feed directly to the amps. Essentially, it makes getting great sound from the factory radio as easy as it would be with an aftermarket head unit solution.
Mobile Audio System Tuning
With the gear installed and the amplifiers and settings on the signal processor confirmed, it was time to deliver this Ford F-350 audio system upgrade project back to the client. When he climbed in for a listen, he was stunned at just how much better everything sounded. His music was clearer, more detailed and better focused. The best part is that the interior of the truck looks the same as it did when it rolled off Ford’s assembly line. If you are in the Lehighton area and want to upgrade the audio system in your vehicle, drop by Mobile Edge and talk with one of our product specialists. You can also schedule an appointment with our team using the red contact button below.
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