2016 Challenger Audio Upgrades

Discussion in 'Challenger Audio/Video/Electronics Modifications' started by chithead, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    Wasn't sure if this would be considered blasphemy or not, but audio is just as important to my vehicles, as the fun factor and styling. Was spending almost two and half hours each day in the car just driving to work and back home, but since our recent move (we finally have a garage!!!) it has been reduced to about one and half hours. But still, I really enjoy having a nice setup for listening each day.

    Will document the upgrades I've done, and maybe can assist any others wanting to change their factory speakers, or add amplifiers, subwoofers, etc. Have been through many many different setups already, and finally settled on one that is quite enjoyable to me. It's one of those middle of the road builds far as I would call it, fairly simple to some, but extremely complicated to others.

    The factory Uconnect 8.4 is a pretty cool setup. Really like having everything integrated into that touch screen like it is, and the audio quality really isn't all that bad. However... the factory amp, with all it's little crossover settings and volume dependent EQ, etc... what a crock.

    iDatalink and PAC has recently released an amplifier replacement module that plugs in behind the head unit. This bypasses the factory amplifier to achieve as flat an audio signal as possible, with none of the EQ boosts and cuts and odd crossover settings. The PAC piece has RCA outputs for adding any amplifier you choose. There is an optical output add-on available as well. The iDatalink however, is one of those partnered products, where it has a special connection, and you are limited to purchasing one of their partner company's products. Kenwood and Audison are two of the companies available at the moment. Rockford Fosgate is working with iDatalink also to create their own piece, that will basically have a 360.3 processor built-in. Hopefully these pieces prove reliable within the next year or two.

    The setup chosen for our Challenger is one that a few guys I know with Uconnect have been using, but some are jumping ship to the PAC piece since it's the new hot item. I've not had much luck with PAC products in the past, and won't be going that direction due to this. The iDatalink seems like a really great item, and I can vouch for their reliabilty, as we use the Maestro piece in our 2016 Jeep Wrangler with a Kenwood head unit. The issue for me though, is that setup was about $500 for the iDatalink Maestro and Kenwood radio. To use the iDatalink replacement piece and Kenwood DSP amp in the Challenger, you're looking at almost $1100. The DSP/ampification setup currently in the car now cost approximately that (combination of new and used items), has almost four times the power, and way more processing capability.

    The route I've chosen is from JL Audio, combination of their FiX 82 OEM Signal summing unit, and TwK D8 Tuning DSP - along with a pair of their HD900/5 amplifiers. That's an 8 channel speaker wire input, that can sum just about any signal given by the factory amp into an extremely flat output (even corrects any time alignment), an optical output from that piece into the 8 channel processor, then two amps providing 8 channels at 100 watts each, and two channels at 500 watts each. I'll bridge two of the 100 watt channels to get 150 watts for midbass, so 100 watts by four, 150 watts by two, and 500 watts by two. This will power the tweeters, rear speakers, midbass, and a pair of subwoofers. Rear speakers are usually an item I omit due to the awful stage and imaging they typically provide, but recent experiments with time alignment, crossover settings, and output levels are proving they can actually work.

    So, ready? On to the build pictures!!!
     
  2. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    Some generic tear down pictures:

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  3. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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  4. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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  5. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    Here is a copy of the wiring diagram, and pictures of the wires from the factory amplifier

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  6. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    So we started with the FiX 82:

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    Added the TwK D8:

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    Ordered some Stinger wire and such from Darvex:

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    Started checking wire lengths and routing:

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    Here is the input wire bundle for the FiX 82 (soldered to the outputs of the factory amplifier)

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    The wires were run down the driver's side:

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    A close up of how I like to assemble my wiring:

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  7. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    The speakers I selected are from NVX - their X-series speakers and subwoofers. Chose the XSPTW tweeters, XSP65 midbass, and XQW124 subwoofers:

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  8. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    Measured and measured and measured before starting on a subwoofer enclosure:

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    And fabbed up a little rack for the amps and DSP devices:

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  9. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    Starting with the factory speaker adapter, traced a template for a mounting baffle:

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    After a rough cut with the jigsaw, used a flush trim bit to get closer:

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    Also used a metal speaker grille I have as a spare to get a good shape for the speaker:

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    Some extra sealing around the factory adapter:

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    And mounted up for fitment:

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  10. chithead

    chithead Full Access Member

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    This is where we've kind of stalled at the moment. With our recent move to the new house, it has acquired almost all extra time, so not much progress has been made on the Challenger since then. But, I do have the materials to finish the enclosure, amp rack, and baffles. Just need the time!
     

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