The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor you see here is owned by Nick, the owner of Audio Garage. We decided that we’d transform this vehicle into a demonstration vehicle to show how a high-end audio system can be integrated into a truck while maintaining the vehicle’s functionality and appearance. Follow along as we explain the upgrades we’ve made.
Step 1: JL Audio Speaker Upgrade
The upgrade project started with removing the Bang & Olufsen (B&O) audio system that came with the truck. Nick and the team created a set of plastic mounting adapters that allowed for the installation of JL Audio C7-350cm 3.5-inch midrange drivers and C7-650cw woofers in the doors. While apart, we treated the doors with layers of MESA sound deadening and Dynamat Dynapad on the inner and outer skins to reduce noise transfer into the vehicle and improve the performance of the speakers. A set of C7-100ct tweeters are mounted in the stock A-pillar locations. We added a set of C5-650 coaxial speakers to the rear doors and treated the door with more sound deadening.
We removed the small B&O badge from the center of the dash and replaced it with a JL Logo that fit perfectly.
Step 2: Vehicle-Specific Subwoofer System
The next step was to ensure that the truck had a great subwoofer system. Nick chose one of the JL Audio SB-F-150-SCDBL/12TW3/BK Stealthbox vehicle-specific enclosures for the Raptor. This fiberglass enclosure is home to a pair of 12-inch 12TW3 subwoofers that are arranged in a down-firing configuration. As you can see, the carpet on the enclosure matches that of the seat beautifully. The enclosure bolts securely to the vehicle to ensure maximum efficiency from the subwoofers.
Step 3: Ford Raptor Audio System Amplifiers
As more and more vehicles are designed in ways that don’t allow the factory radio to be upgraded, we decided to leave the radio in the Raptor and use a ZEN Audio ZEN-A2B interface to extract an audio signal. The processor provides a full-bandwidth, processing-free signal that we can feed into the new amplifiers.
For amplifiers, we chose a JL Audio VX800/8i for the speakers and an identically sized VX1000/1i for the subwoofer. We used a VXi-HIB interface to split the TOSLINK SP/DIF signal from the ZEN module and send it to both amplifiers. The DRC-205 control you see mounted up on the dash also connects to the VXi-HUB module to serve as a master volume and subwoofer level control for the system. We also added a VXi-BTC module that allows us to make adjustments to the system using a tablet computer or iPad.
As both amplifiers include integrated digital signal processors, we were able to configure crossovers, signal delays, output level adjustments and equalization calibrations for each speaker in the system. The result is impressively smooth and natural overall balance, and great staging and imaging. It sounds as though the music is coming from invisible speakers spread across the dash.
In terms of power, the eight-channel VX800/8i is rated to produce up to 75 watts of power from each channel, and the VX1000/1i delivers 1,000 watts to the pair of subwoofers.
Step 4: Adventure Rig Conversion
Nick is just getting started on converting the already capable Raptor in a true adventure rig. He added a Truxedo Sentry hard roll-up bed cover to protect and secure any belongings stored in the back of the vehicle. Next, he outfitted the bed with an Elevate rack system that he can use to carry a pair of kayaks. Finally, he installed a Yakima Gatekeeper pad that protects the tailgate and allows him to carry mountain bikes safely with the front wheels hanging out of the back of the truck. He’s got more plans to make the Raptor a perfect solution for camping.
Fargo’s Truck Accessory and Audio Upgrade Experts
If you’re interested in upgrading the sound system in your car or truck, then drop by Audio Garage in Fargo and ask for a demonstration of the Ford Raptor. We know you’ll be just as impressed with the clarity and detail of the system as we are. For more information or to schedule a personal consultation, give us a call or use the contact form on our website to send our team an e-mail.
We look forward to building something equally fantastic in your vehicle.