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Rainbow Germanium / JL Audio re-install work log (PICS)

I've been meaning to post this for some time, but laziness got the better of me.

The old system consisted of Boston Pro 60's and Alpine V-Series amps. It sounded nice but the Boston's tweeters were just a bit too bright for me.

New system:

Kenwood DNX8120 - source

Rainbow CS 265.25 Germanium - front stage
Rainbow CAL 25 silk - tweeter
Boston Acoustics NX 67 - rear fill
JL Audio 13TW5 - sub

JL Audio 300/4 V2 - front stage amp
JL Audio 500/1 V2 - sub amp


For a recap of the pre-install work, the truck was gutted and Dynamat Extreme applied throughout.



The headliner was removed and Second Skin Damplifier Pro applied, followed by a layer of SS Heat Wave Pro. This combo to the roof made a huge improvement to outside noise. When it rains the only noise is the rain hitting the windshield. Highly recommend doing the roof.





Old system is disconnected and removed.



300/4 V2 gets opened first, surprisingly small compared to the previous Alpine F550.



Laid side by side it doesnt look as if they'll take up much room at all on the back wall.





Next come the stars of the show, the Rainbow CS265.25 Germanuims. I bought these sight unseen (or heard). For those not familiar with Rainbow, they are a German audio company. There are only a handful of Rainbow dealers in the US, so finding a place to audition them was tough. I just went solely on their reputation from SQ forums and took a chance..... I wasnt disappointed.



Like most German things, they are over engineered, the magnets are huge, they weigh a ton and they look like they will out live me. They are almost too pretty to be hiding behind a grill.




New mounts built and ready for power.



Door panel rebadged




The CAL 25 silk tweeters are much larger than the Boston tweeters so I had to re-drill the existing hole in the sail panels.

Boston's on the left, Rainbow's on the right.



I used black silicone to seal it and help hold the tweeter tight to the sail panel.



Both sails finished.




Next up are the crossovers. Most people running Germaniums would laugh at me for running them passive, I do plan on running them active in the future, but for now they sound amazing as they are. The crossovers on the Germaniums are very flexible, they can be run bi-amped and can be configured about a dozen different ways.

 

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Part 2:

The dual 10" Rockfords I had running are being replaced as well. The new sub will be a single JL 13TW5. I highly recommend this sub, it sounds amazing and only requires .80 ft3 airspace. The sub is only 2.5" thick so it can be fit just about anywhere.

I had to build a new box, so after some quick measurements I had what I needed. The box will be very simple, nothing fancy since it will be hidden under the seat. JL recommends .80 cubic feet and this box came in at .8001.... dead on. The box is sealed and T-nuts installed for mounting.



Clamped, glued and screwed and allowing to set overnight.



I decided to use pocket holes to secure this box, so the remaining holes were filled with wood filler, dried over night and then sanded smooth.



Next I wanted to build a flush mount trim piece for the top of the box, this will give the sub the illusion of being flush mounted in the box.

First I cut the hole 1/8" larger than the outside diameter of the sub.



Next, using the jig saw I cut out the mounting tabs for the sub.



A quick test fit and its perfect.



Lastly, the trim piece is glued and stapled to the top of the box. The outside fit wasnt perfect, so a quick pass with a flush trim bit on the router and its spotless.



Finally the box is ready for carpet.



Wires are run, then its all buttoned up and ready to go.







For a small comparison, the two boxes side by side. Out with the old, in with the new.




I also ran the wire for the 500/1 sub control. For the knob I used an empty spot next to my tow/haul button.



I added some white craft paint so the center point was more visible.




Finally the new amps and crossovers are installed on the amp rack and all connections are finished up. I dont expect this to visually win any awards, but I feel its run cleanly and keeps with the overall simplicity of the install. I spent a few extra minutes to properly set my gains with a DMM. I used a 50hz test tone for the 500/1 and a 1kHz test tone for the 300/4. Then the seats were ready to go back in. Since the amps are installed right side up, tuning and making adjustments is difficult once the seats are in. I keep a small mechanics mirror in the back in case things need tweaked, and the JL's have a great feature where the adjustment dials click at every increment, so making minor changes is pretty simple.



I would like to fabricate a beauty board in the near future to hide the wiring and showcase the amps, but once the seats are back in the wires are hidden and out of sight.



And the sub in its final location.



Again, clean, simple and stealthy was my goal for this build. The sound is nothing short of amazing. The Rainbows and JL 13TW5 are an awesome combination, I'm loving the warm and natural sound that the Rainbows produce.... they are an awesome speaker. The CAL 25 silk dome tweeters are buttery smooth and there is virtually no listening fatigue at high volumes for extended periods.

I wasnt quite sure what to expect with the JL 13TW5, but I was pretty surprised to hear just how low this thin sub can get. It can easily handle some of the lowest notes I've thrown at it so far, yet as far as sound quality is concerned, it handles rock music like a champ. Bass notes are clean and tight, kick drums sound fast and accurate and response is very quick. I'm very happy with this sub.

Next phase will be running them active.....

Thanks for looking,

Mark
 

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Looks good!! I'm seriously thinking of using your same design for an amp rack myself. Funny thing is I have your original install bookmarked, looks like I'm gonna have this one bookmarked too.
 

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That is freakin awesome! I already thought you had a kickarse system but now it's even better. I think the lack of responses to this thread are due to extreme jealousy; Rainbow Germaniums are pretty hardcore! :)

-Wes
 

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How do the Rainbow's compare to something like a Focal K2 165 KRX2? What kind of price range are they?

Oh yeah, now that you've had some time with it, do you continue to like that sub? I'm thinking of doing 2 of those behind my Crewmax seat.
 

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I was close to buying the Focal K2P's, I've heard them in several vehicles. They are both pretty close, you wouldnt go wrong either way. I liked the highs on the Rainbows better, to my ears they are much smoother.

I love the sub, its amazing.
 

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Hey, what kind of glue did you use on your sub box? I've been using Titebond II but the stuff seems to soak into the edges of the MDF really bad. Whatever your using looks like it would seal better.

Thanks,

Wes
 
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