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Jim Newton's 1997 Chevy Cavalier

Items installed:
  • JVC KD-LX1 CD receiver
  • JVC CH-X200 12-disc CD changer
  • JVC CS-HX4622 4"x6" 2-way speakers — doors
  • Polk EX2550 5-1/4" component system — kick panels
  • JBL GTO930 6"x9" 3-way speakers — rear deck
  • MTX RTX01A electronic crossover
  • Two JBL GT1200 12" subwoofers
  • MTX Thunder302 amplifier (75 watts RMS x 2 — 300 watts in mono mode)
  • Power Acoustik Hammer Series VU280-2X amplifier (70 watts RMS x 2)
  • Stinger power cable, patch cables, distribution block, and 1-farad capacitor
  • Street Glow neon tubes and strobes
  • Dynamat vibration damping material
After years of installing audio systems in other people's cars, Jim Newton decided the time had come to create a system for his own 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier. He chose the JVC KD-LX1 CD receiver as chairman of the dash for a couple of reasons: 1) the built-in BBE processing appealed to him more than other types of bass enhancement; 2) its Audio Cruise feature adjusts the volume level automatically as vehicle speed changes; and 3) the El Kameleon anti-theft face looked exceptionally cool. The KD-LX1 controls the JVC CH-X200 12-disc CD changer mounted in the glove compartment.

The signal travels from the KD-LX1's preamp outputs to the MTX RTX01A electronic crossover mounted in the trunk's spare tire well. All frequencies above 121 Hz are routed to the trunk-mounted Power Acoustik VU280-2X amplifier, which powers the front and rear speakers. To ensure a strong front soundstage, Jim installed Polk's EX2550 5-1/4" component system in custom-made kick panel enclosures (constructed from fiberglass and medium density fiberboard). He also employed JVC CS-HX4622 4"x6" 2-way speakers in the doors and JBL GTO930 6"x9" speakers on the rear deck.

The trunk installation in Jim's Cavalier is especially impressive. The custom-made subwoofer enclosure (covered in red vinyl to match the car's interior) houses two JBL GT1200 12" speakers, handling everything below 47 Hz. An MTX Thunder302 amplifier, mounted on an carpeted amp rack on the left side of the trunk, pumps out 300 watts in mono mode to the JBLs — mirrored by a matching amp rack with the Power Acoustik VU280-2X on the right hand side. The MTX crossover, Stinger 1-farad capacitor, distribution block, and Polk passive crossovers are all contained under a Lexan window in the red-vinyl-lined tire well compartment.

The Cavalier is accented with Street Glow blue strobes in the tail lights and headlights, and a variety of Street Glow blue neon tubes in the trunk and the interior. Stinger power cable and RCA patch cables were used for all connections. The trunk, floor, rear deck, and doors are covered with Original Dynamat, with an extra helping of Xtreme Dynamat on the rear deck and doors. Killer cosmetics, cool concept. Jim, you've put together one crushin' Cavalier!

Jim Newton and his 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier.

The Big Three: the JVC KD-LX1 CD receiver in the dash, the JVC CH-X200 CD changer in the glove compartment, and Polk's EX2550 component system in the custom-made kick panel enclosures.

The red vinyl covering and color-matched carpet are two of the little details that make this such a stylin' trunk installation.

Twin views of the trunk show off the Power Acoustik VU280-2X (left) and the MTX Thunder302 (right) amplifiers. The center pocket houses the crossovers, capacitor, and distribution block.

Taz shows his approval of the mighty bass produced by twin JBL GT series 12" subs. Jim's attention to detail is obvious in this photo taken with the rear seat down.

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/27/2016

    Anthony, you should be able to install these kick panels in your Cavalier. For more gear that fits in your vehicle, use our vehicle selector.

  • anthony from Greenwood

    Posted on 1/24/2016

    This is the nicest cavalier on the page, do you remember where you got the kick panels? I need some for my 03 cavalier sedan.

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