So over the years, i have had people point to me in the build logs that our projects arent really "simple"; and the truth of the matter is that from a purist perspective, they often are not, require a lot of complex fabrication and mounting locations. However, i still do firmly believe that our overall value is simplicity, in the sense that we often try to use a few components as we can (hence many single amp single sub systems with no rears) and the overall aesthetic theme is relatively simple and mostly hideable. We do deviate from this path from time to time with show car builds, but i think overall, thats where i see the simplicity moniker still holding true.
THIS, is probably an exception
Many of you probably know that i am a big subaru fan, having owned two consecutive legacy GTs...I have also performed quite a few builds on the previous generation impreza based cars...so ever since the newest generation WRX/STi came out, i have been itching to get my hands on one...if nothing else but for my love of the brand.
Luckily for me, a great customer approached us with his new WRX, and we were only too eager to get on board.
Also coinciding with this project, Mosconi has released their brand new Pico 2 amps, these are teeny tiny amplifiers that to most people, look like nothing more than a line driver or a summing module...infact, i think these are indeed residing in the same chassis as the tiny HLA-SUM summing modules. These amps are i believe a derivative of the Mosconi D2 amps that i have used with great success, and each little guy does 2x80 watts rms at 4ohms, and bridged, they will produce around 200 watts.
for more info on them, go here:
GLADEN PICO 2
they carry a retail price tag of $399, which isnt cheap for the power, however, it is inline with the D2 amps, and also, their teeny size allows for installation possiblities that is unmatched...fully active system powered by amps all in the glovebox, anyone?
THIS...is not one of those hidden builds.
My idea for this build was to use a bunch of them to run a fully active system with subs, but done in a layout that is only achievable due to their size....so they will be in full display, but hammer home the idea of how small they are.
Looking at pictures on websites, its really hard to get a good feeling of just how small they are, but i am going to try to show you. so lets first take a look at the pico 2.
so here it is, you will see that despite their size, they still have on board 80hz hi/lo crossover, real rca input jacks and speaker terminals that can be popped off for easy wiring. and yes, your eyes dont deceive you, the power/ground terminals are the same size as the speaker wires, which, like those found on the arc audio xdi-v2, is optimized for 16 gauge wire (14 gauge can fit but it would expose some raw wire at the end)...oh my how times of changed:
so to drive home just how small they are, here is one sitting next to my note 4, which absolutely dwarfs it in size...take your phone, and look at it, and then look at the picture, and you will realize just how ridiculously small they are.
so enough for the amps, lets get on with the goals of the build:
1. to achieve a nice level of sound quality utilizing stock locations
2. to create a completely stealthy install in the trunk that takes away zero cargo space
3. create a layout that highlights the uniqueness of the Pico 2 amps
lets get started. first a few pictures of the car. when the new wrx came out, i wasnt quite sure what i felt looking at the pics...and quite a few magazine reviewers were down on the looks. however, over time, it has really grown on me...to the poiint that now, i really do think it is a better, sportier looking car than the previous gen WRX... It also DRIVES better to me, the torque peak is far lower and makes you work less hard for the power...actually feels a lot more like my 5th gen LGT than the previous gen WRX.
it should be noted that the owner had previous isntalled a DIY system in there, and honestly, i wish 90 percent of the work we have seen by other shops looked as good...the wiring especially was done pretty neatly, to the point that i left most of the wiring in place, but removed what isnt needed, added new wires for the new system, and organized a few spots more with more zipties...so bravo to him for sure!
under the hood, i added a stinger 0 gauge fuse block, and as usual secured to one of our metal brackets welded to the battery tie down brace:
here is the bracket after it was made, and then with the stinger block bolted in:
the customer had already installed a pioneer 8000NEX double din unit, i kept that and basically cleaned up the wiring a little, and instead of a single usb cord coming out of the bottom of the dash, i gave him two USB ports next to the cig charger under the center console:
The customer had also done a SUPERB job by integrating a bass knob for his previous amps in the knock out panel on the left side of the dash, i simply swapped it for the mosconi bass knob, but kept his KNOB in place as imo it is easier to grab and turn:
The customer also provided a set of Audio Frog GB60 and GB15 two way components, which he won with AF's rednose day fund drive. The tweeters went into the top of the dash locations, and i used the supplied hardware to mount the tweeters. however, with the tweeter grilles in place, it interfered with the grille, even with the bottom of the grille ground down to gain more clearance, so the tweeters were installed sans grille:
here they are, wired and then installed into the stock locations, and the factory grille placed back on:
at this point, eagle eyed readers may notice in the headunit pic that there is a dash mat in place. the customer supplied the dash mat for to try out. after the install was done, i did comparison tests, both by ear and on the rta to see what the difference is between the dash mat and no dash mat, as they go over the stock tweeter locations fully. and to my surprise, all the dash mat did was to attenuate the tweeters by about 3-4 db above 6000hz, but what it DID do, was to smooth out the frequency response quite a bit across the range of the tweeter response, most likely from reducing reflections...and as such, i decided to install his dash mat and simply bump up the gains a little on the tweeters to compensate.
moving onto the door speaker install. again, the customer had a previous install done, so there were some CLD on the outter door panel, and he had done a great job of running new speaker wires into the door:
so what i did was to add more blackhole tiles throughout the outer door panel:
and seal up the inner door panel with a combination of BAM XXXL, ballistik foam barrier and some STP black CLD around the speaker mounting locations
i also fabricated new mounting baffles for the audio frog gb60, and coated it with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:
these spacers were then bolted to the door and the GB60 installed:
i then added a FAST ring to the speaker to better seal them against the door grille:
the outer door card also got an ample amount of CLD damper:
the same process was then repeated for the passenger side door: