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Clint Jones's 1996 GMC Sonoma

Items installed:

From little things, big things come. Clint Jones wanted a little extra performance out of the factory system in his 1996 GMC Sonoma regular cab truck, so he replaced the factory 4"x6" dash speakers with a pair of Kenwood Excelon KFC-X468 speakers. Ecstatic with the results, he went on a car audio rampage that ended with a full-blown, high-performance system in his truck.

Clint got off to a serious start by replacing the GMC radio with the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X959 CD receiver. This high-performance unit offers MP3 and WMA playback, CD changer and Sirius tuner controls, extensive built-in equalization and crossover capabilities, and the incredibly cool-looking Organic EL high-resolution display. A power amp mute circuit lets you turn off the KDC-X959's internal amplifier for an even cleaner preamp signal to your outboard amps.

Since the Sonoma doesn't have much room behind its 3" tall dash opening, Clint used a Crutchfield kit that extends out 1-1/2" from the dash, allowing you to mount a standard DIN-sized radio and a pocket in the oversized opening.

The next step in the Sonoma's transformation was replacing the factory door speakers, which reside in brackets that are riveted to the doors. Clint drilled out the rivets, and installed a set of Kenwood Excelon KFC-Xr61P components, using Crutchfield speaker adapters that allow the 6-1/2" PBO/polypropylene woofers to live in the doors. The 1" HyperNyl (polymer) tweeters are slightly above the woofer locations, angle-mounted for more effective high-frequency dispersion.

Lacking room behind the seats in his truck, Clint elected to use the MTX S1010 ThunderForm to provide bass. This custom-fit subwoofer, molded to fit behind the driver's seat and color-matched to the Sonoma's interior, holds an MTX Thunder6000 10" woofer which handles up to 250 watts RMS. The Kenwood Excelon KAC-X650D 5-channel amplifier (mounted on the rear wall) sends 4 channels of 60 watts RMS to the door components and dash speakers, while the 200-watt Class D mono sub channel drives the MTX sub.

Power and signal are provided courtesy of a Lightning Audio SXPK4IC 4-gauge amp wiring kit, with an extra Lightning Audio Strike patch cable to cover the amp's rear and subwoofer channels. Clint replaced the factory wiring with 14-gauge StreetWires speaker wire, and used 12-gauge wire to carry bass to the subwoofer. Clint used Dynamat speaker kits to deaden any rattles or resonances in the door panels. He also installed XTC speaker baffles in the dash and door locations to protect the speakers from dust and humidity.

As you can see from the photos, it's a totally clean installation. Clint gets a throbbing sound from his system without losing much room in his truck. Sweet looking ride! Thanks for the look around, Mr. Jones!

Clint Jones with Black Beauty — one fine-lookin' 1996 GMC Sonoma!

A Crutchfield extension kit allows the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X959 CD receiver to mount in the shallow area behind the Sonoma's dash; the pocket fills in the rest of the 3" tall opening.

The Kenwood Excelon KFC-Xr61P component system (with its 6-1/2" PBO/polypropylene woofers, 1" HyperNyl tweeters, and 2-way outboard crossovers) delivers ultra-high fidelity sound from the Sonoma's door.

The 1" HyperNyl tweeter, angle-mounted to fire highs up into the cab,sets up a strong front soundstage.

From its spot on the rear wall, Kenwood's Excelon KAC-X650D amp powers every speaker in the GMC with 5 channels of super-clean power.

It's not called ThunderForm for nothing! The MTX custom-fit sub enclosure produces impressive bass with its 10" Thunder6000 woofer in the Sonoma's small interior.


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