1993 Lexus ES 300

My New Baby. :-) In May 2003, I traded the jeep in due to the economics of gasoline and repair costs, and bought a Lexus instead. Naturally, the first thing that had to be done was rip out the stock stereo (tape deck! ack!). The install was done by Traffic Jamz Car Audio in Encino, and I must say did a simply superb job, as you can see in the install pictures towards the bottom of this page. (Note you don't see many pictures of the speakers inside the car, except obviously, the sub. The point for me is to have a killer sound system... and yet not have my car broken into to steal it!!! Inside, buttoned up, everything looks 100% stock, except the Alpine head unit, naturally.)

This install was done in three phases, as time (and money!) permitted. First phase was to rip out the factory stereo and install my Alpine head unit (pulled from my Jeep... see link below). I had a pair of nice Alpine SPS-6939 Coaxial 6"x9" speakers rescued from my beloved Maxima (may she rest in pieces), so I had those dropped into the rear deck in place of the factory 6x9s. Then, a custom box was built into the trunk for a Diamond Audio 12" subwoofer, which fired forward through the ski port. The Rockford-Fosgate Power Series 5 channel amp (also pulled from the jeep) was mounted to the back of the box, and a custom display panel built. Everything was wired into place with Lightning Audio amp kits (direct to the battery) and wiring. I continued to use the factory mids and tweeters in the front, but now they were powered by the Fosgate amp.

Phase two was my Christmas gift, and consisted simply of adding the Alpine XM Tuner with a Terk XM antenna to the existing system. I also had an auxilliary input set up with a pair of RCAs accessible from the front seat, so I can connect my laptop, an iPod, a diskman... pretty much anything I want... to the line input of the stereo. It's nice watching movies in the back seat on a laptop with the sound running through the car stereo!

The third and final phase, completed early May 2004, almost a year to the day after the initial install, finished my system... at least, until Alpine comes out with their iPod-integrated head unit, or I get the urge to install a screen and DVD player. LOL For now, though, this last phase really finished things nicely. The factory speakers were replaced with Diamond Audio Hex series 6.5" mids and tweeters. The doors were coated with Accumat to decrease vibration and seriously assist with the bass... it's like the mids have their own enclosure! The great guys at Traffic Jamz built a custom crossover for the front mids and tweets. Due to an issue with bass cancellation, we decided to pull the Alpine 6x9s and instead put in a tone-matched Hex 6.5" midrange on the rear deck instead, along with it's own Accumat. To power those front high-end Hex series speakers, we added a Diamond 2-channel amp for some serious juice. The Fosgate amp's 4 channels were bridged to power the rear fill speakers with a lot more power than we had before. The 12" sub remained on the Fosgate's 5th (sub) channel. They mounted the considerably larger Diamond Amp where the Fosgate amp had been, and moved the Fosgate to the left of the enclosure. The XM module was fine on the right, where it was. An additional Lightning Audio amp kit fed the new amp power directly from the battery, and a PAC 50mf capacitor filters clean power from the alternator. A new display panel completed the job.

So what's the end result? A sweet Alpine MP3/CD player with XM satellite radio and aux input, matched Diamond Hex mids and tweets in front and rear, Diamond 12" sub, drive by two amps, a Diamond D5 series 2 channel and a Rockford Fosgate Power series 5 channel (bridged to 3). It's loud, and it's clean. I love my stereo. I really, really, do.

Info on my old system in my previous car, the Jeep, here.

Sound system details:


Alpine CDA-9811

(temporary - soon to be replaced by Alpine CDA-7998)
Key Features:
• detachable, fold-down face
• 3-color display with green button illumination
• plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs
• plays MP3 and Windows Media (WMA) files
• displays MP3 text
• CD Text
• 0-bit mute (mutes output when no audio signal is detected)
• MaxTune SQ tuner
• 12 FM/6 AM presets
• station title memory
• Bass Engine Plus (bass center frequency, width, and level, plus treble center frequency and level adjustments, as well as 4-channel digital time alignment and a 3-position, 12dB/octave crossover, subwoofer level and phase control)

• Media Xpander
• XM Satellite Radio controls
• CD changer controls for Alpine Ai-NET changers
• optional auxiliary input
• MOSFET internal amp
• 4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs
• wireless remote
• clock
• 23 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels
• CD frequency response 5-20,000 Hz
• CD signal-to-noise ratio 105 dB
• FM sensitivity 9.3 dBf
• 1-year warranty

• Selectable Faceplate Angle
• Blackout Display Mode to reduce power consumption and make additional power available to enhance sound quality
• Audio Level Display

Bass Engine Plus: Bass Engine functions provide control over your system, so you can tailor the sound to your personal tastes. Bass Engine Plus includes the following functions:
• 4-Channel Digital Time Correction>
• 3-Position 12dB/Octave Crossover: 80Hz/120Hz/160Hz low-pass filter for subwoofer outputs, and 80Hz/120Hz/160Hz high-pass filter
• MX (MediaXpander): The MediaXpander function makes vocals or instruments sound distinct by restoring sound quality typically lost during recording or transmission; this function helps restore audio information that becomes obscured when audio is compressed.
• Bass Center Frequency Control: Bass control's center frequency can be tuned to 60Hz, 70Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz, 100Hz, 130Hz, 150Hz, or 200Hz
• Bass Width Control
• Bass Type: Optimize bass depending on size of speakers (subwoofer vs. small diameter speakers)
• Treble Center Frequency Control: Treble control's center frequency can be tuned to 10kHz, 12.5kHz, 15kHz, or 17.5kHz
• Subwoofer Level Control
• Subwoofer Phase Selector

• MP3/WMA Playback: ID3 tag v1 and v2 are supported; track title, artist name and album name ID3 tag data can be displayed.
• Disc and Station Titling
• XM Radio Ready
• Auxiliary Input Ready
• MobileHub Link
• Changer Controls
• Compatible with Alpine Ai-NET CD, CD/MP3 and DVD changers
• Multiple Changer Control
• CD-Text and MP3 Text Display
• Disc Titling


Alpine XM Radio Tuner

Terk XM3 Antenna

Diamond Audio S600s 6.5" HEX Series Component System with Silk Tweeter (each fed 150W RMS by D5 600.2 amp, below)
Key Features

Cone: Kevlar/Nomex Sandwich
Tweeter Cone: Silk
Type: Component
Crossover Included: Yes
Drivers: Tweeter, Midbass
Drivers per Channel: 2

Power(Watts): 20-170
Imped (ohms): 4
Sensitivity(dB SPL): 91 (w/2.83-V input @ 1 meter)
Freq,. Response: 42Hz-22Khz(±3dB)


Mount Depth: 2-1/8"
Diameter: 6-1/2"

Dia: 1"
Mounting Type: Flush, Surface, Angle

HEX Series Components by Diamond Audio Technology-
The Ultimate In Mobile Sound

In the ideal world an audio transducer would reproduce all frequencies equally, requiring no assistance from other drivers and no signal-degrading crossover. Perfection requires a driver whose cone is inherently stiff, with no resonant signature, and having zero mass. Toward this ideal, the loudspeaker engineers at Diamond Audio Technology have pioneered the use of space age composites similar to those developed by the aerospace industry for "stealth" fighter aircraft. The Diamond Audio Hexacone is a composite sandwich in which thin layers of bulletproof Kevlar are thermally bonded to a flameproof Nomex honeycomb core. Hexacone composite is 70 times stiffer, yet up to 70% lighter than conventional paper or polymer cones. Hexacone exhibits such broad, smooth frequency response that no other drivers and associated crossover elements are needed to completely reproduce the entire midrange frequency band, extending to nearly 7 octaves! The results are tonal and harmonic accuracy as well as pinpoint imaging. Audition the Hexacone Series by Diamond Audio Technology. We're confident that you will judge them as the ultimate in mobile sound.

The HEX Midrange features:

· Proprietary Hexacone Technology - Manufactured in Germany, internationally patented.
· Edge-wound CCA Voice Coil - Ribbon thin Copper-Clad Aluminum (CCA) voice coil wire is edge-wound on a high temperature Kapton former to create this advanced motor assembly.
· Butyl Rubber Surrounds - Long excursion for superior bass response. Excellent damping characteristics. Impervious to sun and moisture.
· Custom-Cast Aluminum Alloy Frames - Antimagnetic, nonresonant, very ridged. The perfect environment to maintain our precision driver geometries. Assures linear response after installation and for a lifetime. Laboratory treated to a weatherproof, electrostatically applied, 3-layer Diamond Dust™ finish.
· Flat Progressive Spider - Insures precise voice coil centering and accurate dynamic linearity. Breathable porous fabric aids in voice coil cooling.
· "Intercooled" Motor - The high efficiency motor assembly is dynamically cooled via rear vented 1-piece pole/backplate. This design effectively pumps hot air out, and cool air into the voice coil area.
· Diamond Terminology - Machined solid brass terminals with setscrew locking. Nickel-plated, and polymer encapsulated, assuring a corrosion resistant, permanent connection with no possibility of short-circuiting.

The HEX Tweeter features:

· Model S.0ts Silk Dome - 1-inch diameter. Low mass, inherently well damped, and very smooth. Precision integral silk surround. High temperature aluminum former. Available in the S600s, S500s and S400s systems.

Both models feature:

· Neodymium Magnet - Approx. 1/2 oz. of the highest grade, high temperature neo magnet in a 2-oz. motor for high efficiency and power handling for the life of the system. Small and easy to install.
· Ferrofluid Cooling - Ultra Low Viscosity (ULV) magnetic fluid bathes voice coil gap. Smoothes response. Cools the coil for high power handling and reliability. · Surface, flush and angle mounting hardware included.


Diamond Audio S6.0mx3 6.5" HEX Series Midrange Speaker (fed 100W RMS (4x50, bridged) by RF600.5, below)
Key Features

Cone: Kevlar/Nomex Sandwich
Type: 3-way add on
Crossover Included: Yes
Drivers: Midbass
Drivers per Channel: 1

Power(Watts): 20-170
Imped (ohms): 4
Sensitivity(dB SPL): 91 (w/2.83-V input @ 1 meter)
Freq,. Response: 42Hz-200Hz(±3dB)

(see above for HEX series details)


Mount Depth: 2-1/8"
Diameter: 6-1/2"


Diamond Audio Motorsport CM3-12D2 12" Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer (fed 200W RMS (2 ohms) by RF600.5, below)
• Massive Double Stacked Magnet
- High excursion, maximum efficiency
• CmaxTM Optimised Spider and Edge
-allows long throw and controlled braking
• Integrated Rubber Trim Gasket
- seals driver for front or rear mounting
• Symmetrically Balanced Suspension
- controls high excursion yaw.
• Radial Vented Basket
- uses venturi effect to maximise cooling efficiency
• 3 Year Warranty
• 2.5" voice coil
• Power Range (W RMS):500
• Impedance (ohms): Dual 2
• Sensitivity (dB SPL): 91 (2.83-V input @ 1 meter)
• Freq. Resp: 25Hz-250Hz(±3dB)
• Diameter: 12"
• Depth:5.4"

Diamond Motorsport-M3 Series - The standard for every other speaker company. Built to the same exacting standards as our award winning Hex and M6 systems, Diamond's M3 Series of loudspeakers continue our the tradition of leaving the competition in the dust. Every element of every system has been designed, engineered and tested with all the care and attention to detail that competitors and enthusiasts have come to expect from Diamond name. Our engineers just can't resist the urge to refine and then redefine our speakers' performance until they invent a completely new standard of excellence for the category. CM3 subs have more excursion, higher power handling and greater low bass output than anything in their class. Our mids feature a textured, high mineral content copolymer cones for accurate dynamics and resolution. Our crossovers include a level of audiophile grade components rarely found in high-end home loudspeakers. And our tweeters feature whisper thin aluminum domes (not highly resonant titanium) and high-grade neodymium motors for smoothness and extension. Just one listen and you'll agree that the new M3 Series represents the "Diamond standard, made affordable". Visit your local Authorized Diamond Audio retailer today and see how, once again, our engineering skills and obsessive attention to detail have set a new standard of excellence.


Diamond Audio D5 Series D5 600.2 two-channel amplifier
RMS Output Power
150W x 2 @ 4 Ohm Stereo
300W x 2 @ 2 Ohm Stereo
600W x 1 Bridged @ 4 Ohms

Freq Response: 10Hz-50KHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 102dB
THD: 0.03%
Channel Separation: 80dB

Length: 17"
Width: 12"
Height: 2.75"

The Diamond D5 line of amplifiers utilizes the proprietary D7 output technology, and features the finest components available. Diamond D5 series amplifiers raise the bar for all other amplifier manufacturers. Hand built in the USA; all D5 amplifiers utilize massive extruded aluminum heat sinks with fly cut billet aluminum endplates, an extremely flexible flexible crossover topology, and an exclusive anodized Diamond finish. These D5 amplifiers are designed for the serious enthusiast who demands audiophile excellence while at the same time requiring brute dynamic power. All of the above yet again produces an amplifier worthy of the name Diamond.


Rockford-Fosgate Power 600.5 five-channel amplifier
• 50 watts x 4 + 100 watts x 1 at 4 ohms
• 200 watts x 2 + 100 watts x 1 in bridged mode
• 100 watts x 4 + 200 x 1 at 2 ohms
• 2-, 3-, 4-channel or Tri-Way output
• front and rear variable 50-210 Hz high-pass/low-pass crossovers, 24 dB/octave (low-pass only on sub channel)
• MOSFET power supply and output devices
• Maximum Efficiency Heat Sink Application (MEHSA) mounting technology provides more efficient transfer of heat from MOSFET output devices to the heatsink for cooler operation
• Requires 50-amp fuse and fuse holder
• Punch Bass boosts bass up to 18 dB at 45 Hz (wired remote control included for fingertip control)
• TRANS·ana circuit designs keep voltages low and signal paths simple in the pre-amp section, for minimum distortion and maximum musicality • NOMAD advanced protection circuitry monitors amplifier and provides "intelligent" shut-down protection without limiting system performance
• TOPAZ noise-killing differential inputs eliminate 80% of ground loop noise between the head unit and the amp
• Pass-thru RCA
• 4-gauge power and ground connectors
• Cast aluminum heatsink for more efficient heat dissipation
• Dimensions: 18-7/16"W (14-13/16" without endcaps) x 2-7/16"H x 9-7/8"D

Custom-built and tuned by Traffic Jamz Car Audio in Encino, CA. Baffle-box enclosure built for sub to minimize impact on cargo space but maximize sonic output.


Pre-install interior of car. Note the lack of dash storage space.
Factory stereo. Nice speaker setup in front (3-piece components not shown), but horribly under-powered, and no CD, let alone MP3!!!
Custom sealed box for sub enclosure (precisely volumetrically measured to match proper air volume for sub specs.
Sub enclosure's trunk separation panel (from trunk)
Sub enclosure's trunk separation panel (from car). Dynamat vibration-deadening materials can be seen around the edges. Here you can also see that the rear seats were removed so this panel could be built-in to mount the sub securely.
Sealed box mounted to separation panel, before finishing (view from trunk)
Sealed box mounted to separation panel, before finishing (view from car interior)
Amplifier shown mounted to enclosure box, with signal cables (StreetWires) heading up left of car to Alpine head unit. Power and audio signal are kept widely separated down opposite sides of the car to avoid interference issues
Amplifier shown mounted to enclosure box, with 4 guage power cables (StreetWires) heading up right of car directly to battery.
Diamond Audio 12" Sub showing through trunk pass-through
Rear seats with arm rest/trunk pass-through in closed position. Mystery bass!
Finished and carpeted box with amplifier. Box was finished on both sides to minimize impact on trunk space, and a protective display panel was built around the amp, designed to both protect the connections and show off the amp.
Alpine 6x9s mounted in rear deck (factory location)
Alpine Head Unit, with new in-dash pocket. Storage space kicks ass! And someday perhaps there will be a display screen mounted there instead...
Alpine Head Unit in tilt position


Step one... strip those doors down!

Step two... find a box for the factory speakers (ugh!)

Bigger in-door speakers means new mounting brackets... custom cut from good, solid MDF.

In-door custom mounting ring template.

Pulling the rear Alpine 6x9s (they were causing a bass defeat) to install matched 6.5" mids means yet another custom mount.

New rear midrange mount.

Custom door mounts installed

Closeup of MDF door mounts

Accumat those doors to reduce vibration and help kick things up a notch!

Rockford-Fosgate amp moved to left, new Diamond amp installed in it's old place. Alpine XM Tuner visible on the right.

Closeup of amp install

New amp display panel/shield, ready for carpet


This ain't your father's factory amp, pulling power from the puny stock power lines in the dash...

...This kind of juice pulls from the alternator directly, as well!

...With 50 mf Caps to filter the power.

Rear Diamond Hex midrange, in place of the Alpine 6x9s, solved the Bass defeat issue I had.

XM Radio tuner tucked neatly away on the right

Right rear Diamond Hex midrange.

The install is done, dude!

Dual amps, nicely displayed

This is what it's all about... clean power, good looks, and I still have trunk space!

Thanks again to Frank at Traffic Jamz Car Audio in Encino, CA, for making this all sound so great!
Last Updated: May 6, 2004