Ryan Rigg's 2000 Chrysler LHS
I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.
For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.
More from Robert Ferency-Viars
- Alpine IVA-D105 Mobile Multimedia Station, using a Chrysler LHS dash kit that I painted to color match the vehicle for a sweet custom look
- Apple iPod® Classic 120 GB Silver attached to head unit via the Alpine KCE-422i iPod Cable
- Sirius Alpine Package for running Sirius satellite radio on the head unit
- Factory Infinity System with Tweeters modified with Kicker (055KS525) 5 1/4" in the front doors
- Kicker 08ZX750.1 Mono Subwoofer Amp
- 2 Kicker CompVR 12" subwoofer/enclosure dual voice coil 2-Ohm, 1600 watts
- Dynamat Xtreme Trunk Kit
- Tsunami Elite RCA patch cables (V10-17 17' twisted pair Cat5e) and (V10-Y1 y adapter 1 male to 2 females) — I wanted the y adapter because of Alpine's single RCA subwoofer out. I did not want to stop at providing zero-noise just through the 17', I had to make sure it was perfection from the source to the amplifier.
- Stranded Flex 4 guage power and ground connections
- 1.0 Farad Audiobahn Capacitor with 4 guage leads in and out
- Garmin nuvi 350 GPS
- Viper Security System Model 350 HV
I started with 4 gauge braided flex wiring under the hood to a Scosche 100-amp fuse holder and ran that to my capacitor. I grounded the capacitor with a 4 gauge lead. I attached an additional 4-gauge lead to the positive side of the capacitor to supply power to the amplifier mounted in the trunk.
The amplifier also received a separate ground with the 4 gauge wiring. The Kicker enclosure is also mounted in the trunk and is being powered by 12 gauge Streetwires speaker wire. The factory Infinity system is still in place except for the Kicker 5-1/4" 2-way speakers in the front door stock locations (mid-bass).
After installing the IVA-D105, I had to splurge for the Sirius installation package and the Alpine iPod interface. I am not limited to just DVD or CDs, I am able to utilize the Sirius and the iPod. The Alpine high-speed iPod connection is a "dream" as I am able to have full control over my playlists, songs, albums, or artists. All of the content information is provided directly to the head unit and through the convenient touch screen I can EASILY and QUICKLY find music that is stored on my iPod. I ran the connection cable into the glove box so that the iPod is out of sight; the locking glove box also makes it a great anti-theft feature.
|Note the custom-installed remote bass knob under the head unit|
The sound that I am receiving through the Kicker's in the front door panels and still the factory Infinity system is amazing through the Alpine head unit. I cannot even tell when the iPod is engaged that I am listening to compressed music. I think the processor in the Alpine has something to do with it.
Using the new Tsunami Elite Zero-noise cabling and the recent Kicker subwoofer amplifier addition, I was able to successfully record a 143.6 decibel reading at our local car club's SPL/Sound Quality competition two weeks ago. I took 2nd place! That Kicker amplifier is probably the best amp I have ever owned. I have been doing this 13 years now and never have I heard a Kicker amp/sub combo deliver such ground-shattering low bass. This setup is unreal!!
|Kicker amp & subs|
|Another view of the amplifier, capacitor, and subs.|
I purchased the Dynamat Xtreme Trunk kit so that I would have enough sheets to cover the metal I wanted. (I should have bought the larger bulk pack instead because I want to install more of it. See looking to the future section below.) I installed Dynamat to the trunk lid. I removed the carpeted liner, installed the matting, and was very quickly able to put the liner back on top of it. I removed the factory full-size spare tire and applied the Dynamat completely to the trunk floor and spare tire well. I also put a sheet against the far back of the trunk on the backside of the tail lights. And the other two sheets covered partially the sides of the trunk against the fenders.
|Dynamat in the trunk|
On a side note, the Dynamat does such a tremendous job of holding the bass waves in the vehicle that its bass-proofness attacked my rear-view mirror. The mount was vibrating so much that it simply snapped the metal rod attaching the mirror to the windshield. The mirror was then left hanging by a factory wire harness. $26 later and a junkyard through eBay out of Connecticut I was able to replace it with another OEM mirror. I had the Dynamat sticker on the rear view but that's gone now. When I got the new mirror, I installed a small Kicker sticker on it so that I am constantly reminded of what happened. You can actually watch the windshield bow under heavy sound pressure levels. I use hearing protection for anything over 110 decibels. ( I do want to have my hearing in the future as it is a critical element in my current IT position.
|Carpeted liner on trunk lid after Dynamat|
I installed custom LED lighting tubes under the dash above the driver and passengers feet, as well as, two more additional tubes in the truck. They are suspended directly underneath the rear speakers shining down onto the trunk floor. This creates a blue illusion as passengers look into the backseat at the pass-through leading from the backseat into the trunk. My son loves the lights as he is the one closest to them most of the time.
The vehicle's windows have been tinted to cool the black leather interior with 35% visibility with the front two windows and 5% visibility for the rear door windows and back glass. A K&N air filter has been installed to boost fuel economy.
Why did you decide to upgrade your A/V system?
I have a 6 year old son and prior to his arrival I had two show vehicles in Springfield, Illinois that I regularly was involved with. I belonged to a local club in town which was connected to the premier shop in town. This has always been my hobby and now that I am getting successful in the IT industry I am slowly getting back to my old ways of outfitting vehicles with insane A/V systems.
Why did you choose these products?
The products I have chosen are products that have worked really well for me in the past. I require high-end merchandise and Crutchfield offers countless options. I have always loved the response you can obtain out of a specifically tuned enclosure containing Kicker subwoofers
What was the most difficult part of the installation?
The Viper 350 HV, but using the vehicle wiring diagram it really took the guess work out of it. Installing the 4 guage is sometimes taxing, however, the stranded/braided flex wiring is extremely flexible.
What plans, if any, do you have for future upgrades?
I am wanting to get a set of Kicker 6-1/2" components to fill the rear deck. Through the use of Crutchfield's custom installation adapters I will be able to pull the stock Infinity 6x9"s and replace them with a mid-bass driver and tweeter.
I will add an additional set of tweeters to the stock tweeter location (the front two doors by mirror) and then have those powered by a new Kicker 4-channel amplifier. I want to finally get off of the factory speakers and crossovers.
I plan on installing a Boyo VTL400 rear view camera and interface that into the reverse lead on the Alpine head unit. That way when I shift the vehicle into reverse I will have an image displayed on my LCD touch screen.
I want to get an additional Dynamat Bulk Kit and apply those sheets to each of the four doors, as well as underneath the rear seat and floorboard.
I currently have a merchandise credit that will be spent at Crutchfield on the AudioControl 4.1 or Alpine's PXA-H100 IMPRINT Audio Processor. Very sweet!!
|Ryan and the LHS!!|