A client from Wilsonville, Oregon, recently came to Kingpin Car & Marine Audio looking to do some car audio upgrades to his 2008 Cadillac Escalade. This client was very tech-savvy and had some specific requests for the audio upgrade. We love challenges here at Kingpin, so this got us excited. We sat down with the client and went over all of his desires for the new audio upgrade. Based on getting to know the client better and looking over the Escalade in depth, we worked up what we felt was the best solution. He liked the idea and we set an installation date.
Starting With The Basics: Full Vehicle Sound Proofing Is A Must
Whenever we build a great-sounding audio system, the vehicle has to be properly prepared. As this vehicle was going to be set up to create concert-level sound, we completely sound-proofed the whole interior of the vehicle. This dramatically reduces road noise, allowing the client to hear more of the subtle elements of the music. Plus, whenever you build a performance-based audio system, you need to treat the vehicle interior to eliminate any rattling or buzzing that may occur from the increased sound pressure levels.
iPad Mini In-Dash Installation: You Would Swear It Was Factory
Up front where all the interaction happens, we replaced the factory Cadillac radio with an Apple iPad Mini. We completely remolded the center of the dash and created a mount that would allow easy removal of the iPad. We used a custom module to allow the factory steering wheel audio controls to work with the new iPad, which just thrilled the client.
All of the musical signal travels from the iPad Mini to an Audison BitOne processor. The BitOne becomes the hub of the system, completely controlling all of the amplifiers and speakers in the vehicle. We put the controller for the BitOne in a convenient spot up front, so the client could access it easily. The BitOne is a unique device in that it takes the musical signal and divides it up into frequencies best suited for each speaker. The speakers then get their own dedicated 30 band equalizer for fine-tuning the sound. A digital delay control is designed into the processor so all of the music from every speaker arrives at the perfect time for the listener’s ears. No longer will the music sound as if it is coming out of the driver’s door if you are in the driver’s seat. The sound is spread across the top of the dash in a perfect array, as if you were sitting in an intimate jazz club.
While the BitOne has incredible capabilities, it is the person tuning the system who makes the magic happen. Kingpin Car & Marine Audio has several thousand dollars of test equipment at our disposal, including real-time analyzers and oscilloscopes, so our guys can “see” what is happening with the music. Coupled with their well-trained ears, the process yields an end result that is sweet-sounding, lifelike music that makes you want to sit and listen for hours.
Audison Speakers Provide Detailed Sound From All Four Corners Of the Vehicle
For front speakers, we chose two sets of Audison AVK6 components, with both of the woofers going in the completely reworked doors. We rebuilt the A pillars to house both of the Audison tweeters from the component sets. In the rear doors, we installed Audison AVX65 coaxial speakers, which have a similar sound as the front speakers.
Hertz Amplifiers Power System With Over 2000 Watts Of Clean Power
We chose three amplifiers to power this system, giving the client more than 2000 watts, so power would never be a concern. As this was a regular wheelbase Escalade, there were not a lot of places to put three amplifiers. We custom-made a metal amp rack to hold the three amplifiers in the driver-side rear panel in the truck. The panel itself was extensively reworked to allow the amplifiers be flushed into them so they look as if they came from Cadillac that way.
Trio Of JL Audio Subwoofers Bring The BASS
For bass, we chose three JL Audio 12W3 subwoofers. As you can see from the pictures, there is not a lot of room in back where they belong. We crafted a beautiful enclosure to house the subwoofers and still allow full movement of the rear seat. Then we did some neat finishing touches on the enclosure to give it more of a unique look.
Additional Driving Safety Added With Escort 9500ci System
When we were getting to know the client, we realized that a custom-installed radar/laser detector might be a good option. After some discussion, we decided to install an Escort 9500ci radar detector with front and rear laser diffusers. This system became an integral part of the vehicle and is completely hidden from normal view. It gives early detection of radar signals and, even better, can defuse laser radar signals that are aimed at it, giving the driver time to slow down and avoid a ticket.
Reduced Heat And Interior Protection Added With Window Film On Front Windows
We also tinted the front two windows with our heat-reflective film to match the rear windows in the vehicle. The film will not only help to reduce heat in the cabin of the Escalade, but also reduce glare on the iPad, protect the interior finish, and also help hide the interior upgrades from onlookers.
Concert-Level Sound And iPad Functionality Made This Install A Hit With The Client
When the client came to pick up the vehicle, he was thrilled. He loved the look of the iPad Mini in the dash, and the easy way he can navigate through all his stuff on it. Having the steering wheel controls work the iPad just made it better.
But the sound! When we cranked it up for the first time, the client absolutely loved the volume. It now creates true concert-level sound at any time, on any song. And it does this while giving the client incredible clarity, reproducing every last ounce of the music in stunning detail.
If you are interested in upgrading the audio system in your vehicle, or if you would like to get more information about our custom installed radar/laser detectors, we invite you to stop by our facility. We would love to get to know you better. We think you will find we are a different kind or shop, one that focuses on the client, not the sale. Kingpin Car & Marine Audio will work with you to create the vehicle you have always wanted. You can also contact us here for more information.