22OBX

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Just wanted to share some thoughts and findings from my base system upgrade. It’s slightly unconventional to what others have done.

Equipment of choice

  • Alpine S S-40 Dash
  • Alpine S S-65 Kick Panel
  • Pioneer TS - G400 Rear Pods
  • AudioControl LCI7 6 channel line converter
  • Kicker Key 200.4
  • Kicker CXA400.1 mono amp
  • Custom built downfiring sub box with 2 Kicker 10" Dual Voice coil subs wired for 1 ohm load

Also for reference, I played with all Forscan settings prior to making my final decision. I can confidently say that there are equalization settings that do help sound, but there are none that remove the factory crossover signal to the rears. BUT…this can actually play to your advantage. The below is a RTA of the rear channel feed. You can see the bass roll off to the rear from 300hz down in the below photo.


2301F490-8329-4013-A2E3-1EC0B00285D1.jpeg


With this is mind, I decided to take advantage of the factory 300hz crossover for all of the 4 inch speakers, making good use of the factory rear crossover. This was accomplished by running the Rear Channel High Level Speaker signals into the Main Output Channel of my LCI7. The wires going to the rear pods are both under the left rear (behind the driver) door sill. They look like this.

Rear Channels.jpg


From the LCI Main Input they flow through the Kicker Key Front Channel Inputs and then I have parallel wiring going out of the front two channels of the KEY to both front dash 4 inch and rear pod 4 inch. Since this signal already has the factory 300hz crossover applied, no additional line filters are needed. This is the perfect crossover point for the 4 inch to play as midrange/tweeters. The KEY handles the parallel wiring of the smaller 4 inch drivers well. No issue with heat or clipping at this point.

For the Kick panels I took the front Speaker level input that used to be split between the front dash and front kick and ran that input to the Channel2 (Middle Input) on my LCI7. I decided not to use channel summing because the 4 inch cannot handle the full range signal at volume without distortion (I verified they could not). That's why the factory crossed over the rears, because they distort at higher volumes if they get full range signals. Again, from the middle channel of the LCI7 I routed the signal through the KEY rear channels and set the crossover on the KEY to 80HZ. This allows the front two kick panel speakers to get a wider range signal they can handle, which adds nice mid bass, and also allows me to set the gain of the larger speakers independent of the smaller 4 inch. This worked perfectly to balance the system.

Next, I used the AutoMode feature of the LCI7 to send the full range signal from Channel2 to Channel3 output on the LCI. That signal goes to the Kicker CXA400.1 Mono Sub Amp that I have set the low pass crossover to 80HZ.

I set the rear line level source output (channel 1) on the KEY at around 1.5v for the low level signal conversion. I have the full range source output signal (channel 2)that is going to the kick speakers set at 3.85V. For the mono amp, due to the power and amount of bass that I now have, I have the source output for channel3 turned down to about 1v. I have the noise compression enabled, EQ enabled, Time Delay enabled on the Kicker KEY amp.

I set all of the Level Sources on the LCI7 using 1khz 0 DB Pink Noise file loaded into the USB flash drive. I verified voltage with AC Meter and also verified distortion watching the "maximized" light on the LCI7.

Lastly, I let the Key works it's DSP magic (with the subs disconnected per Kicker's instructions).

All I can say is wow...such a full clean sound with any genre of music all the way to full volume.

I just wanted to share this approach and that it works very well with the proper equipment. Good luck for those who want better sound.

Here is how I installed the amps and LCI7 and also the downfiring box I custom built to fit. For those curious the KEY is mounted behind the panel I made that you see the Mono Amp and the LCI7 mounted too.

Install.jpg


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Copperhorse73

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Nicely done! I have same 2 amps in my setup. i have a dream of having 2 shallow JL Audio 10” subs in an enclosure just like that. You don’t by chance build enclosures as a side gig do you?
 
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Nicely done! I have same 2 amps in my setup. i have a dream of having 2 shallow JL Audio 10” subs in an enclosure just like that. You don’t by chance build enclosures as a side gig do you?
Good choice on amps! Thanks. It sounds great. I don’t build boxes for a side gig, but hey it’s an idea! Nice thing is it doesn’t take up a huge amount of room, has PLENTY of bass, and you can still load stuff as needed on top of the box without effecting woofers.


Total Investment

Alpine S S40 - $80
Alpine S S65 - $120
Pioneer TS - G400 - $60
Kicker Key - $270
Kicker Mono - $180
LCI7 - $200
Wiring - $100. 40 feet 9 conductor speed wire, 4 gauge amp install kit, amp fused distribution block
Box Materials, amp panel and Carpet - $100
Kicker Subs - $220

Total - $1230 well spent dollars. If you do not have the ability and want professionally installed, I would estimate $2,000 for a similar setup.
 

Copperhorse73

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Good choice on amps! Thanks. It sounds great. I don’t build boxes for a side gig, but hey it’s an idea! Nice thing is it doesn’t take up a huge amount of room, has PLENTY of bass, and you can still load stuff as needed on top of the box without effecting woofers.


Total Investment

Alpine S S40 - $80
Alpine S S65 - $120
Pioneer TS - G400 - $60
Kicker Key - $270
Kicker Mono - $180
LCI7 - $200
Wiring - $100. 40 feet 9 conductor speed wire, 4 gauge amp install kit, amp fused distribution block
Box Materials, amp panel and Carpet - $100
Kicker Subs - $220

Total - $1230 well spent dollars. If you do not have the ability and want professionally installed, I would estimate $2,000 for a similar setup.
I installed it all myself but just used a single kicker down firing sub/enclosure that I got for like $125. I just used that as a temporary fix until someone makes an exact fit enclosure, and yours is exactly what I envisioned. Wish I had good woodworking skills and tools, but I have enough hobbies. Surely sooner or later a box similar to yours will get produced for resale
 

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Any particular reason you used Pioneer instead of Alpine? Really nice install!
Yes. I ordered 4 Alpine 4’s but only got two when I received the shipment. Instead of waiting for a reshipment they had these available at Best Buy when I went to purchase the mono amp. I have had good luck in the past with Pioneer products so I grabbed them. I figured they were rear fill, and would hopefully be sufficient since they would be crossed at 300hz. I was thinking at worse I would just later replace them with matching Alpines, but I was happy with them after the install. Ideally, I would have had all Alpine.
 

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Nice write up, I’m assuming you are using the ACI7s audio sensing for your turn on lead to the amps. Any sign of turn on/off thumps. I’ve had issues using older amps with the I7.
 
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Thanks. Yea using the GTO feature to turn on and no I haven’t had any turn on thumping issues. The LCI then turns on both amps.
 

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Were you able to get the back panel reinstalled over your amp/routing?
 

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Please tell me you cleaned up those wire connections and secured them properly. I’ve been slow rolling working on mine, making some alterations to the rear passenger panel to accommodate a JL Audio 12TW3, if I still worked at my old shop in Colorado I would have been done months ago, not having a full wood shop at my fingertips has slowed me down and the hot Florida weather hasn’t helped either. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
 

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Were you able to get the back panel reinstalled over your amp/routing?
I haven't tried with the "storage pocket on yet, but there shouldn't be an issue since this is the location of the B&O sub, which probably takes up more space than my setup. The B&O doesn't allow for the storage pocket. If the pocket is too deep I will remove the pocket and use grill mesh to hide the opening where the pocket would be. I will be reinstalling it here in the next few days. Wanted to make sure I was good with all of the settings before reinstalling.
 

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I haven't tried with the "storage pocket on yet, but there shouldn't be an issue since this is the location of the B&O sub, which probably takes up more space than my setup. The B&O doesn't allow for the storage pocket. If the pocket is too deep I will remove the pocket and use grill mesh to hide the opening where the pocket would be. I will be reinstalling it here in the next few days. Wanted to make sure I was good with all of the settings before reinstalling.
Ah ok thanks for reply. I’ve got an amp just laid in right now and I’m trying to sort where I want to final install.
 
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Please tell me you cleaned up those wire connections and secured them properly. I’ve been slow rolling working on mine, making some alterations to the rear passenger panel to accommodate a JL Audio 12TW3, if I still worked at my old shop in Colorado I would have been done months ago, not having a full wood shop at my fingertips has slowed me down and the hot Florida weather hasn’t helped either. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
Yes. Every connection, including speakers are solid soldered, shrink wrapped and tucked away. The speed cable is nice for pulls and not having tons of wires laying loose, but not as clean looking when you have multiple wires spliced, as in at the LCI7. You basically have 36 wires (4 cables X 9 wires) converging on the speed wires at the LCI7 junction. The speed wire has the high level inputs coming in and then then the amp to speaker outputs going in the other direction. There are a couple of wires I didn't use that I just cut in each speed wire.
 
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Ah ok thanks for reply. I’ve got an amp just laid in right now and I’m trying to sort where I want to final install.
To me this is the best space for multiple amps. If it were just a KEY I would have installed in the dash like others, but made more sense for all to be centrally located.
 

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Did you need any new equipment to maintain all features of vehicle, like sound alerts for parking or adaptive cruise? I had my installed and it keeps failing. The store keeps telling me the equipment installed to maintain all factory settings keeps failing. BTW, I paid 800 bucks for that piece alone.
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