After a few listening sessions in my brother’s truck sampling his new audio setup, I felt the need (want?) to change my system up a little bit. Although I was perfectly fine with the MiniDSP processor and being able to tune with a laptop, it only gave me control over the front dash and door speakers since it was only a 2-channel input and a 4-channel output. I wanted to upgrade and have FULL control of every speaker in my truck; that means I had to move up to a new DSP that was capable of more channels. After the usual research and spec comparisons, I made the decision to go with JL Audio’s TWK-88 8-channel DSP.

New box, new gadgets
What’s inside the box.
Pretty small for all of the things it does.

As soon as it arrived, I pulled the Mini DSP and the Audio Control Epicenter out from the passenger floor and plugged the TWK-88 in (I’ll worry about a more permanent installation method later).

Downloading the settings from the MiniDSP…
…and later inputting the settings into the TWK-88.

What I liked about the TWK-88 when I was doing my research was the interface – the JL “TuN” software allows me to configure the TWK-88 using my laptop and a USB connection. Even from the first time I opened the program, it looked intuitive and easy to use, yet I could see that it’s also easily capable of going full “expert mode” with everything a DSP should have – time alignment, input/output leveling, configurable input/output mapping, etc. Here’s what the interface looks like:

Electronics are awesome.

Now with the TWK-88 I had the front dash tweeters, front door midrange, and rear subwoofers all on separate channels so I could individually control and tune their output (once I learned my way around the software, of course). I spent the next couple weeks off and on playing with the DSP, trying different configurations, etc. until I got the hang of using the software. The TWK-88 makes it really easy to make changes to the setup by simply plugging in a USB cable. After a lot of after-work evening “test and tune” sessions in the garage, I got to a point where I was pretty happy with the way the music sounded.

New DSP with more features to play with.

And then one day I sat in the back seat just to listen to the rear speakers (which were still the OEM Nissan speakers) and they were horrible. Which leads us to the next upgrades.