Welcome to Kraut's lightweight, budget SQ build.
The goal of this stereo build is to have a great sounding system that is completely stock appearing and hardly adds any weight to the car.
Maintain stock appearance
Front stage only (eventually active), no rear fill
Single subwoofer running infinite baffle to save weight
Only one amp for the entire system
Added weight must be:
1) kept to an absolute minimum
2) distributed towards the rear axle as much as possible
Sound deadener will be used sparsely
Don't break the bank *gosh*
I've been lurking here for a while and just recently signed up. In the last few months I've learned a ton from this forum alone, read countless inspiring build threads, reviews, how-tos and have been hunting for deals on equipment.
A year ago I had no idea what infinite baffle is, what it means to run active and I thought JL Audio were the greatest subwoofers...
My install experience from previous rides is limited to swapping head units, speakers and adding sub boxes in the trunk. Pretty basic stuff. I thought it was great at the time.
For this car I'm doing things a little different.
The reason for the stock appearance is not because I'm some kind of purist, I just don't want to attract thieves and I've always preferred the look of 'most' stock radios over the shiny, colorful aftermarket kind.
Luckily I stumbled across some OEM looking aftermarket decks:
VDO & Continental / Kienzle. The face plates are matte black not shiny, illumination is orange. The look is very similar to 80's & 90's OEM BMW & Audi. I love it.
I haven't bought the head unit yet, for now I'm running with the basic Kenwood deck that came in the car. Once all the other equipment I received so far is installed I'll probably order the Continental deck.
Eventually I also want to get a MiniDSP and go active.
The car is a '84 BMW 528: 6 cylinders, 5 speed, 4 doors & under 3000 lbs (and I intend to keep it that way). This is right after I washed it the weekend I bought it:
Part of this install is also relocating the starting battery from behind the headlight to under the rear seat for better weight distribution. The new battery is a Odyssey PC680 MJT (16 lbs). I don't plan on running the system ever with the motor not running. I'm also currently switching the stock rear bench for rear bucket seats from the 80's BMW E24 6 series coupe. The new rear seats don't leave any space for the 5 channel amp to fit below them, so I will most likely install the amp below the rear deck in the trunk. This way the weight of the amp is still between the wheels.
I scored this used amp here in the classifieds for $100 shipped: Next Audio Emotions Q.55 5 channel:
Found this pic online:
I'm hoping it will run the sub at 2 Ohms, even though the manual doesn't give any numbers for 2 Ohms. It says the stereo channels can run 4/2/1.5 Ohms but doesn't specify anything about the sub channel.
For the front stage I got some JBL P560C 2 way components new on eBay for $68 shipped. 2 Ohms, 75 watts RMS
The new sub arrived today: Image Dynamics ID15 v3 D4
Next to the 5.25" JBL and the 4x6" Polk plate:
Running the sub IB seems like a win win to me at the moment: Saves weight because there's no box and requires less power so I can get away with just a 5 channel amp. I guess I'll see if it's enough bass for me.
The nice man at the FedEx store where I received the sub let me weigh the raw driver on his precise scale:
20.4 lbs for that 15" sub! Not bad, pretty light.
I was originally gonna go with a single 12" Infinity 120.9w that only weighs 15 lbs, but errbody seems to prefer more cone area when going IB. Since it's my first go at IB I want to give it the best shot and trust the experts. See how easy I up sold myself on a larger sub?
I've torn into the car a little so far. Just removed the front & rear speakers, both 4x6". Since I'm not running rear speakers I'll close off the holes and build a new rear deck cover and upholster it. In the front there really isn't much space so I'm building custom baffles to space the 5.25" mids out a little. The cavity in the A pillar is too narrow for the JBLs to recess into:
These were installed by the previous owner in typical previous owner fashion: 3 out of 4 screws used, all 3 lose, grille rattling like crazy, speaker wire ran loosely under dash around other wires without even a single zip tie, bare speaker wire strands wrapped around speaker's terminals then electrical taped. The electrical tape had already fallen off. Classic.
The little Polk plates are actually pretty good. I'm gonna use them to build computer desktop speakers out of with a little mini amp from PartsExpress.com More on that later.
Positioning the tweeter: I'm thinking the stealthier the better and I don't like where the factory premium sound option (that my car didn't come with) places the tweeter on the sail panel pointed at the front seats. The mids in the kicks are so much further away from the listener than the tweeters, that's why I'd rather the tweeters not point directly at the listener. The goal is to have it sound as good as possible even before adding the MiniDSP down the road.
I will play with the positioning and decided what sounds best:
A) under the little vent on the actual dash firing up, reflecting off windshield
B) on the A pillar firing across dash
C) on the sail panel
For sound deadening I picked Second Skin Damplifier Pro based on good reviews here. I won an eBay bid from user 'nps' for an open box of 18 sheets (unused of course) for $160.95 shipped. That's around 30 sq.ft. and 18 lbs, didn't want to add any more weight than that for deadening. $160ish is what I was gonna spend on 40 sq.ft. of regular Damplifier new, so essentially I upgraded the quality at the expense of some quantity. I'm happy.
I'll update this thread as I move along. There's a ton of work left to do...