Tech Talk: Mid-bass Madness – Getting the most out of your door speakers

Tech Talk | WRITTEN BY AARON TRIMBLE | February 2019

Mid-bass is simultaneously one of the most impressive showings of a good car stereo system as well as one of the most often mucked up showings of a bad car stereo system. Ever upgraded from stock speakers only to be met with disappointment as you note the supreme loss of mid-bass response? If so, you’re not the only one. Mid-bass is the frequency range that is affected the most if a set of door speakers is not installed properly. Thousands of speakers get “free” or “basic” installs and as a result thousands speakers are installed without ever being capable of achieving their full potential. What many speaker installs lack is a consideration for the environment that they’re going into. Even a modestly priced set of speakers can obliterate any factory audio system if they’re installed correctly.

If you go into your local shop to look at a new set of components, your going to find a lot of options. That’s where the trouble starts. Many times customers are sold on bigger badder speakers, not necessarily better sound. In tandem with this idea, consumers have conditioned themselves to see a nice shiny speaker and think it’s the best way to get better sound. To an extent, it is. After all, a better speaker has the potential to sound better, but if it’s not installed properly, it won’t sound much better that what you first started with.

Many shops will have a basic installed price listed on their speakers to help you see what the final ticket will be. A basic car audio install is bare bones and includes physically putting the equipment in the specified location. Unless otherwise specified, it doesn’t include any sound deadening, it doesn’t include a spacer ring that mimics the factory speaker mount, it doesn’t include any gasketing, and it doesn’t mean that you’re getting the most out of the purchase of your speakers. Don’t mistake this statement as saying your local car audio shop is cheaping out, or cheating the consumer out of good sound. Quite the contrary, car audio has for a long time been a market that is sold on the equipment and price, not the experience as it should be.

Now, let’s say you have around $400 total to spend (equipment & install) on putting new front speakers in your ride. You would be looking at two different sets of DD speakers in that price-range. The CC6.5a components ($329.00) and the DC6.5a components ($179.00). Most “basic component installs” will range between $75 and $150. Even if we assume we’ll be at the bottom of the install price range at $75, that means your going to totally tap out your budget with the CC6.5a’s at $404.00. For that money your speakers will be in the factory speaker locations and they’ll make noise. If you look at the more basic DC6.5a’s with the same budget, your only at $254 with the basic install. This leaves a large portion of your budget to do installation upgrades to optimize your speakers sound. Lots of consumers make the mistake of thinking money is going down the drain when it’s put to labor rather than going into better speakers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s see why spending more on the install will make the cheaper speakers sound better than the more expensive speakers.

This first install upgrade on the road to better mid-bass is sound deadening. Applying sound deadening and closing up the holes in the door frame helps to isolate the front of the speaker from the back of the speaker. This minimizes frequency cancelation, especially in the mid-bass range. Another benefit of sound deadening is a strengthening of the panel and a reduction of mid-bass detracting vibrations. When we don’t lose acoustic energy to vibration it’s translated as sound, and more importantly, mid-bass.

Door Mount Gaskets and Rings

Correct Gasketing vs Incorrect


The second most important upgrade is proper speaker spacers and gasketing. These two parts work in concert with each other to further eliminate the speaker’s soundwaves from interacting with each other to create more cancelled out sound. When a speaker is correctly installed into a door it is mated up to the grill and gasketed to insure that sound is only being played into the cabin of the vehicle. When a speaker is installed with a basic install, it is often mounted at the same level as the door frame and is not gasketed so sound is allowed to bounce around in between the door frame and the door panel creating areas where sound can be cancelled out.

So next time you go shopping for speakers, make sure a proper install, one that gives your new speakers the respect they deserve, fits into your budget. Remember, you’re not buying speakers, you’re buying better sound.

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3500 Revision – Sonic BOOM!


Oklahoma City, OK, February 19th, 2019 — It is with great excitement that DD Audio is announcing the “i” revision to their 3500 Series subwoofers. Known for their accuracy and strength, this series of Power-Tuned “Super Sonic” subs are getting a lot more BOOM!

From the inside out, the 3500 is a purpose built subwoofer. It utilizes an ultra high energy design, exceptionally robust motor, and highly focused voice coil gap to deliver its sonically accurate lows. With the changing trends in music and demands of sound systems, however, it was determined improvements needed to be made so the 3500 could achieve its performance goals with even greater effectiveness.

12 inch ESP Subwoofer

To provide lower frequencies over longer periods, DD Audio redesigned the voice coil, spider and motor. The new coil boasts a 22% increase in height over the previous design which allows for better heat dissipation and an increased XMax. Even with this added height, the voice coil is actually lighter thanks to the 4 layer flatwound aluminum winding upgrade. The spider was increased from a 9 inch diameter to 10 inch allowing for greater excursion. This refinement also helps to alleviate stress on the glue joint where the spider attaches to the coil former. The new motor design incorporates a thicker top plate. Working in conjunction with the taller voice coil and larger spider, this allows the 3500 to achieve a higher peak-to-peak excursion with greater linear precision and decreased distortion when driving the subwoofer.

All of these improvements coupled with the already proven ESP technology make the highly accurate, Power-Tuned 3500 Series Subwoofers even more powerful and efficient than ever before, giving them a Super Sonic BOOM!

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Install Highlight: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado WT – Details on Display


We’ve all seen good custom builds, but it’s the little details that separate the good from great. Such details are abound in this month’s featured build, a 2014 Chevy Silverado WT brought to you by Alex Kilfoyle.

This Silverado had initially gone under the knife for a modest reboot to the previous stereo, but (as most of us bassheads can relate) some projects take on a life of their own. From the Gloss Atomic Teal wrap (that’s right folks, it is a wrap!), to the slick color matched trim on the steering wheel, to the subtle but spectacular door treatments, this work of art is nothing short of a complete reincarnation.

All the amplifier duties are handled with clean DD power, courtesy of the four amps snuggled away in the custom headliner amp rack, wrapped in soft, supple suede. The subs are driven by an M2c and the mids and highs get their shine from a pair of C5d amplifiers, as well as a single C3d. For those that have not heard speakers from our VO lineup, ask anyone who has heard this truck in person, these doors get down! With four VO-M6.5s and three VO-B3s per door, you better believe this truck is heard long before it is seen! Low frequency duties have been entrusted to our venerable 2508 ESP subwoofers (a trio to be exact) in an exquisitely finished center console enclosure. As mentioned, all the details were seen to in this build, including the charging system, consisting of a Mechman 350 amp alternator, and a pair of heavy XS batteries to boot.

Besides all the custom work put into the seats, doors, and stereo, there are a host of other upgrades to the truck, all with no help from sponsors (he is looking, folks, so don’t be shy!). Besides the aforementioned wrap, there was a 4”/6” drop kit applied for that perfect stance on those 24” Dub Ballers, a cold air and exhaust kit for that sound you want from a truck, custom grille and headlights, as well a c-notch and mini-tub to accommodate the feet.

It seems a no-brainer that Alex is clearly a DD fan, and after speaking with him, it becomes even more than that. His father is a long time installer with a couple of decades of experience under his belt. That is where Alex first became aware of our brand, and once he built his first DD setup, he was hooked. It was an easy decision which way to go for gear for this iteration of the truck. While Alex agrees that some projects are never really finished, he and his father really reached every goal they set for the build in this Silverado. For the future, he is still having to decide the toss up between building out the motor for more power, or bagging the truck and dialing in the suspension (though I think that tub and c-notch tells us which way they are leaning.. ha!).

In closing I feel it is important to note that Alex gives the credit for this build not to himself, but to his father – the driving force behind this build. Alex sums it up beautifully:

We built this truck together, but most of the design and leg work came from him. I could throw money at this truck all day, but without his vision and skill none of it would be possible.

Sound Equipment List:

1x DD Audio M2c – Monoblock Amplifier

2x DD Audio C5d – Multi-Channel Amplifier

1x DD Audio C3d – Multi-Channel Amplifier

8x DD Audio VO-M6.5 – Voice Optimized Mid-Range

6x DD Audio VO-B3 – Voice Optimized Bullet Tweeter

3x DD Audio 2508 ESP – Power Tuned Subwoofers

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DD Audio to Attend KnowledgeFest Long Beach 2019


Oklahoma City, OK, February 12, 2019 — DD Audio will once again be kicking off 2019 by attending KnowledgeFest Long Beach Feb 23rd-25th. The DD team is excited to be on the exhibit floor, booth #1610.

DD feels KnowledgeFest is much more than a simple industry meet and greet. It’s an opportunity for manufacturers, shop-owners, installers and everyone in-between to exchange ideas. The mobile audio industry requires knowledge in the ever advancing technologies, installation trends, and current business tactics. KnowledgeFest brings everyone together with the solitary focus of continuing their education in these areas and more. This is a point of passion for DD Audio and is why they continue to partner with MEA year after year.

DD will be hosting two educational training classes at the event. The first class, “DD Audio, 2019 Product Training” (Saturday, February 23rd, 1:45pm – 5:45pm), will explain what makes DD Audio one of the best brands in the industry to partner with as well as provide an overview of product offerings for 2019. The second class “DD Audio, ESP Subwoofers: Better, Stronger, Louder” (Sunday, February 24th, 6:00pm – 7:00pm), will treat attendees to an in depth explanation of the ESP design features as well live demonstrations of ESP parts in action.

The team representing DD Audio at KnowledgeFest Long Beach 2019 is looking forward to the fellowship that is always present at these events. Attendees are encouraged to visit them at the booth, partake in a DD training or just stop them wherever they can be found as they always welcome questions, ideas, and feedback.

Click here to sign up for a DD Audio training.

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DD Audio Recognizes Top 10 Domestic and International Dealers of 2018


Oklahoma City, OK, February 11, 2019 — It’s 2019! While there are no flying cars or off-world vacation destinations, DD Audio is already seeing an unimaginably strong future for its partners and itself. Domestically, DD Audio is exclusively a brick and mortar brand that doesn’t force its dealers to compete with online marketplaces for sales of its products. Internationally DD Audio only partners with select distributors they feel provide the highest level of technical and sales support to their customers. This business approach has fostered a loyalty and passion that can’t be won with cheap sales gimmicks and two-bit slogans.

Each year more and more shops see the relationship DD Audio has with their dealers; they recognize the mutual respect, appreciation, and trust shared by the two institutions, and want in. 2018 was no exception. With the support of their worldwide dealer network DD Audio was able to realize significant growth in every product category.

As with previous years, DD Audio will be presenting custom commemorative plaques to their Top 10 Domestic Dealers and Top 10 International Distributors of 2018. This year’s plaques were designed and made 100% in-house by hand… and some machines… and lasers.

DD Audio would like to thank everyone who had a hand in making 2018 an all-around successful year. Let’s face 2019 with even greater spirit.

Domestic Dealers:
HID Unlimited – Orlando, FL
Tweet Shop – Mobile, AL – Third Consecutive Year
Custom Sound Works – Lubbock, TX – Third Consecutive Year
Extreme Soundz – Lumberton, NC – Third Consecutive Year
Lawson’s Car Audio – Augusta, GA
Car Tunes Of The Shoals – Muscle Shoals, AL
Poptronics Distributors – Baltimore, MD
G’s Audio – Del Valle, TX
The Audio Edge – Bossier City, LA
Advanced Car Audio – Pascagoula, MS

Burrell Marketing Group NZ LTD – New Zealand
Posi-Lectric – Tahiti
MD Audio – Ecuador
Ellite International – India – Second Consecutive Year
Audio Import Group – Europe – Third Consecutive Year
NCMB – China – Third Consecutive Year
Reference Audio – South Africa – Third Consecutive Year
Autorama – Argentina – Third Consecutive Year
DD Russia – Russia – Third Consecutive Year
Davisa – Panama/Columbia – Third Consecutive Year

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