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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been lurking for a few weeks and am amazed at both the incredible expertise and esprit de corps present on this forum. I've learned quite a bit through perusing the site but could use any guidance the group can provide regarding sound processing options.

I've recently purchased a 2009 I-4 Limited w/the Audiophile package and am looking to do a (relatively) low cost upgrade that preserves the stock HU and makes no permanent modifications to the structure of the vehicle so I can revert back to the stock setup when it comes time to sell the truck. I prioritize sound quality over volume and am aiming for clean, clear, accurate reproduction.

After reading all the expert recommendations it appears the way to go (after extensive soundproofing - this truck is LOUD) would be to add a sound processor, upgrade the in-door 6x8 speakers and sub, and add 5 channels of amplification. Looking at dhershbergers stealth sub install in the "Stock Sub" thread shows me I can add a 5 channel amp where the factory sub amp currently resides so this approach allows for a completely stock-appearing system.

So.. my question is which sound processing options best fit my priorities. The EQ on the stock HU is atrocious and I need to get a flat signal to the amp; that said, may of the options discussed in the forum (JBL MS-8, RF 3Sixty.2, etc) seem like overkill as I don't think I'll need to do time alignment given I'm going passive and staying w/in-door speakers rather than components (although I could be wrong here). Any suggestions?
 

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JBL MS8, hands down no question.

8channels, 20W of usable power per channel, run active and enjoy. 6.5"-7" in the door, ~1" tweeters in the a-pillar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I appreciate the recommendation, Fourthmeal. The MS8 looks like a great solution but is also quite costly. I'm not averse to spending a couple extra dollars for the JBL but am wondering if there's value to jusitfy the price difference if I don't run active. If I choose to run passive in-door speakers rather than going for active components (to reduce cost/complexity) would the the built-in processing in a Kenwood X4R get it done? If so I could get away with the kenwood amp, 2 sets of 6x8s, an 8" sub in the factory housing and a small sub amp - certainly a more modest upgrade than one based around the MS8 but still likely to meet my needs and pretty inexpensive to boot (sub-$700 before deadening and installation).
 

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The XR4 gets it done ACTIVELY with processing, which is why I have one.. they are rare because they are out of production, and nothing near this price range has bothered to compete with its feature set. That said, the MS8 is a worthy investment if you are after an auto-tuning system, because the X4R and most other processors are manual tune which can take a long, long time to get just right. So, considering the cost, also consider that separate speakers tend to cost less than a component set, so you make some of your money back there. Also consider that the rear speakers should ideally be doing very little, so stock here would also save money. But for the record the X4R if you can find it would be a great front channel option.

I will always recommend running active and with tweeters in the a-pillar on this car. The soundstage is at your knees without doing this, and it misses the whole point.

MS8's go for about 600, there might be some used or resell units out there on the diyma forum or similar for a little less. I have been plotting out a plan to get one for quite some time. The sound quality people report is incredibly positive. Plus, it will easily go in your next vehicle and the one after that. which is good, because cars built today can't have their head units replaced sometimes! Then all we have left is a processor.

Oh well, whatever you decide, I definitely recommend active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the advice, Fourth, you've sold me on the MS-8. I've pieced together some likely suspects for my build from other threads that if configured correctly should get me to my goal of a completely stock-looking system with markedly improved performance for a pretty reasonable price (@$1000). I'd greatly appreciate any of the gurus on the forum giving it a once-over to ensure I haven't missed anything before the credit card comes out:

Stock HU w/Sync
Processor - JBL MS-8
Woofer - SB Acoustics SB17NRXC35-4 (https://www.madisound.com/store/product ... ts_id=8614)
Tweeter - need some recommendations here. Thinking surface mount on the dash by the base of the A-pillars - know it's not ideal sonically but want to minimize modification to the vehicle
Sub - Kicker 10CVT84 in factory enclosure (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_219 ... VT84-.html)
Sub Amp - Sony XM-1S or similar small class D mounted in place of factory sub amp (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-XM1S-Slim-Cl ... B000NNQO2C)

My remaining (and totally random) questions are:

- Is the 20 watts RMS from the MS8 sufficient to power the woofer/tweeter or is additional amplification required?
- Would this install allow me to preserve full factory SYNC functionality?
- Anyone have referrals/recommendations for a trustworthy installer in the Chicago area?
 

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tboneharry said:
Thank you for the advice, Fourth, you've sold me on the MS-8. I've pieced together some likely suspects for my build from other threads that if configured correctly should get me to my goal of a completely stock-looking system with markedly improved performance for a pretty reasonable price (@$1000). I'd greatly appreciate any of the gurus on the forum giving it a once-over to ensure I haven't missed anything before the credit card comes out:

Stock HU w/Sync
Processor - JBL MS-8
Woofer - SB Acoustics SB17NRXC35-4 (https://www.madisound.com/store/product ... ts_id=8614)
Tweeter - need some recommendations here. Thinking surface mount on the dash by the base of the A-pillars - know it's not ideal sonically but want to minimize modification to the vehicle
Sub - Kicker 10CVT84 in factory enclosure (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_219 ... VT84-.html)
Sub Amp - Sony XM-1S or similar small class D mounted in place of factory sub amp (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-XM1S-Slim-Cl ... B000NNQO2C)

My remaining (and totally random) questions are:

- Is the 20 watts RMS from the MS8 sufficient to power the woofer/tweeter or is additional amplification required?
- Would this install allow me to preserve full factory SYNC functionality?
- Anyone have referrals/recommendations for a trustworthy installer in the Chicago area?
Sounds really good. I'm sure if you don't love the MS8 you'll find a buyer. My guess is you WILL love it of course.

The woofer you are thinking should be amazing. Haven't heard it yet, but it reviews well so it should go great. The A-pillar parts are something you can purchase and replace on the cheap. A fella here on one of the threads got the part numbers for them. I would do that before any surface mount. But you can always test the tweeters in any position, let it tune, and listen. The SB Acoustics dimple-dome tweeter, the TB ceramic, or dayton nd20fa would all be great. For an amp, how about a 5ch or 6ch like Soundstream stealth, the new Alpine PDX, JL Audio, or something like that? those front drivers will love more power from the other channels. The rear speakers will like the 20w from the MS8. IMO, install this stuff yourself! Save the money and I (and all of us here) will walk you through it. You'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have been waiting patiently to find the MS-8 at a reasonable price and finally found it new for under $500 on ebay, so have now completed ordering up the equipment for this build:

Stock HU w/Sync
Processor - JBL MS-8
Speakers: Polk MM6501 component 6.5" (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_150 ... M6501.html)
Sub - Kicker 10CVT84 in factory enclosure (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_219 ... VT84-.html)
Front Stage Amp - Sony XM-4S, chosen due to small size and low power draw. (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XM4S/So ... tml?tp=115)
Sub Amp - Sony XM-1S (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_860 ... XM-1S.html)

I'll be following Fourth's suggestion and running the Polks active from the MS-8, amplified by the XM-4s. The XM-1s and Kicker 8" should slip right in as replacements for the factory bits with few mods (as others on the board have been so helpful to describe). I have a few more questions and then should be ready to (finally!) get moving:

1) Despite Fourth's encouragement I lack both the ability and time to do the installation work myself. Anyone have a recommendation or referral for an installation professional in the Chicago area (Naperville)?
2) What recommendations does the group have on an amplifier install kit for this setup? I'll be running a total of three amps (including the MS-8, which will be used for rear fill) and would like to pre-purchase the necessary stuff online rather than paying retail to the installer.
3) Where should the amps be installed in the car? Need to find the right places for the MS-8 and 4-channel amp where they can be completely hidden away from prying eyes.
 

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tboneharry said:
Have been waiting patiently to find the MS-8 at a reasonable price and finally found it new for under $500 on ebay, so have now completed ordering up the equipment for this build:

Stock HU w/Sync
Processor - JBL MS-8
Speakers: Polk MM6501 component 6.5" (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_150 ... M6501.html)
Sub - Kicker 10CVT84 in factory enclosure (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_219 ... VT84-.html)
Front Stage Amp - Sony XM-4S, chosen due to small size and low power draw. (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XM4S/So ... tml?tp=115)
Sub Amp - Sony XM-1S (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_860 ... XM-1S.html)

I'll be following Fourth's suggestion and running the Polks active from the MS-8, amplified by the XM-4s. The XM-1s and Kicker 8" should slip right in as replacements for the factory bits with few mods (as others on the board have been so helpful to describe). I have a few more questions and then should be ready to (finally!) get moving:

1) Despite Fourth's encouragement I lack both the ability and time to do the installation work myself. Anyone have a recommendation or referral for an installation professional in the Chicago area (Naperville)?
2) What recommendations does the group have on an amplifier install kit for this setup? I'll be running a total of three amps (including the MS-8, which will be used for rear fill) and would like to pre-purchase the necessary stuff online rather than paying retail to the installer.
3) Where should the amps be installed in the car? Need to find the right places for the MS-8 and 4-channel amp where they can be completely hidden away from prying eyes.
1.) Time isn't something we could help you with. However, the ability is actually quite simple. If you can thread a button into your jeans, you can route the wiring needed for 99% of this install. The only snag I could see would be running new wire to the front door speakers. There are a few threads in here (off the top of my head, sinistermob and another individual more recently) with pictures of how they got that part done with relative ease.
2.) Amp install kits can be purchased from http://www.knukonceptz.com/
3.) It won't be a lot of "modification" per se, but there are several places that you could install your equipment that will be completely hidden after all is said and done. Since you're going to be using the factory enclosure for your sub (where I plan on mounting my equipment) might I suggest the opposite side of the rear of the cabin? It will require you to remove some interior panels to access it, but once you've got everything installed and tweaked just right (minimal effort if you're using the MS-8) you shouldn't need to open it again unless you're removing it. Also, if you're not overly inclined to do that, check the storage compartment inside your floor. There is the "wet trunk" area and right in front of that, there should be another pocket. With a little time, planning and some sawdust, you should be able to mount your equipment and the jack and stuff in a clean manner in that space.

All I can say is DIY seems really intimidating at first. But once you open your first panel, taking your time and paying attention, it becomes second nature to start pulling the rest to access what you need to get to. If you decide to do the A-pillar tweeter install, I have the part numbers for replacements. The numbers are different for each color option so, make sure you get the right ones. In fact, item number 5 in this diagram is your A-pillar. http://www.texasmotorsfordparts.com...=2010&graphicID=MK08465&callout=5&catalogid=2.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted on your progress. :beer:
 

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tboneharry said:
Have been waiting patiently to find the MS-8 at a reasonable price and finally found it new for under $500 on ebay, so have now completed ordering up the equipment for this build:

Stock HU w/Sync
Processor - JBL MS-8
Speakers: Polk MM6501 component 6.5" (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_150 ... M6501.html)
Sub - Kicker 10CVT84 in factory enclosure (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_219 ... VT84-.html)
Front Stage Amp - Sony XM-4S, chosen due to small size and low power draw. (http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XM4S/So ... tml?tp=115)
Sub Amp - Sony XM-1S (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_860 ... XM-1S.html)

I'll be following Fourth's suggestion and running the Polks active from the MS-8, amplified by the XM-4s. The XM-1s and Kicker 8" should slip right in as replacements for the factory bits with few mods (as others on the board have been so helpful to describe). I have a few more questions and then should be ready to (finally!) get moving:

1) Despite Fourth's encouragement I lack both the ability and time to do the installation work myself. Anyone have a recommendation or referral for an installation professional in the Chicago area (Naperville)?
2) What recommendations does the group have on an amplifier install kit for this setup? I'll be running a total of three amps (including the MS-8, which will be used for rear fill) and would like to pre-purchase the necessary stuff online rather than paying retail to the installer.
3) Where should the amps be installed in the car? Need to find the right places for the MS-8 and 4-channel amp where they can be completely hidden away from prying eyes.
1. Maybe visit DIYMA or MSS and see if anybody wants to pick up the job based on your locale?
2. I think I can recommend this to you. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/PHOENIX- ... ioQ5fVideo 1/0 gauge, comes with a battery terminal that has a built-in fuse.
2a. You can use the Scosche EFX distribution block such as this http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/EFX-Stat ... 43a2eb3973 and a ground block like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Distribution-Block- ... DomainQ5f0
3. Time to build a false floor! Plenty of room if you aren't doing subs in there. Did you see the pics of the install with the two monster Phoenix Gold RSd amps in the false floor? Just do something like that (or have an installer slam it out.)
 
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