A client from Chesterfield dropped into Extreme Audio to ask about upgrading the stereo system in his 2020 GMC Sierra. We took a look at his cool Black Widow Armed Forces Edition truck to make sure all the speaker, subwoofer and amplifier locations were available. Once we confirmed that information, we invited him to audition the sound system in our demo truck. He loved the sound of the Audiofrog speakers and JL subs but asked that we design something flashier, rather than subtle. No problem!
Custom Dash and Door Speaker Upgrades
We started the project by removing the factory-installed speakers from the vehicle and pulling out the trim panels from the edges of the dash, along with the door panels. Our fabrication team set to work creating a set of trim rings that surround the speaker location. The rings are wrapped in dark gray vinyl that matches the dash. The inserts around the speakers are ABS plastic that is painted in a matte battleship grey paint that matches the exterior of the truck.
We mounted a set of Audiofrog GB10 1-inch tweeters and GB25 2.5-inch midrange drivers in the dash and a set of GB60 6.5-inch woofers in the doors. While we had the doors apart, we treated them to a layer of SoundShield sound deadening material to help reduce the noise level in the vehicle and improve the performance of the woofers. We also added a set of Fast Rings closed-cell foam acoustic coupling gaskets around the woofers to ensure that all the sound they produce is fed into the interior of the vehicle and not allowed to echo around behind the door trim panel.
GMC Sierra Subwoofer System
The client wanted a subwoofer system that would produce deep bass and play loudly. We ordered a custom MTI Acoustics Stage 3 subwoofer enclosure as the first part of our solution. This Stage 3 Perfect Fit enclosure features clear windows on the front and sides to show off the backs of the two JL Audio 13TW5v2-4 13.5-inch subwoofers. Red LED lighting lights up the woofers and the frosted front panel with the GMC logo. American flags are etched into the end panels to tie into the patriotic theme of the truck.
Pickup Truck Amplifiers and Radio Integration
A pair of ARC Audio ARC-Series amplifiers power this sound system. An ARC 1000.2 provides power to the subwoofers while a matching ARC 1000.6 DSP drives the front speakers. The DSP version of this amp includes one of the IPS 8.8 PS8 Pro-Series digital signal processors. Our team used the DSP to set crossovers and signal delay settings for all the speakers in the trunk. We set up our microphone kit to calibrate the frequency response from each speaker so that it matches that from the one on the other side of the truck. The result is a sound system that delivers amazingly realistic tonal balance and impressive imaging. When listening to music, the sound appears to come from the windshield with instruments and performers placed accurately in that space.
The ARC 1000.2 delivers 1,200 watts of power to the subs, and the six-channel ARC 1000.6 is good for 175 watts per channel.
We used a ZEN Audio ZEN AVB-GM interface to extract a full-bandwidth, distortion-free signal from the factory source unit. This module ensures that OnStar, Bluetooth hands-free audio, door chimes and backup sensor warnings continue to function correctly. We added a small Sony XM-S400D amplifier to the ZEN module to power the back-door speakers for the backup-sensor alerts. Audio signals between the ZEN module and the IPS 8.8 processor use a TOSLINK fiber optic connection so that they’re impervious to noise.
Richmond’s Car Audio Upgrade Experts
With the new equipment installed and the system configured using the ARC Audio processor, it was time for the client to pick up his GMC Sierra and hear the stereo for the first time. He was thrilled! The bass was solid and deep, and the Audiofrog speakers reproduced his music with stunning clarity. If you want an audio system in your vehicle that can reproduce your music as if you were at a live performance, drop by Extreme Audio in Mechanicsville or Midlothian. You can also reach our team by phone or by e-mail using our online contact form.