And here we have it! The very first build of 2018 and very first FULL build at Apicella Auto Sounds new location!
Robert contacted me about 6 weeks ago looking to do a build in his newly acquired 2006 Lexus RX330. Over that time we went over ideas, constraints, timing, etc etc. Just before the new year he was able to drive from Richmond Virginia all the way up to New York to finally let me get my hands on it.
Over the weeks leading up, we also tossed ideas as to what equipment would be best for his goals, which were to maintain a semi-stock look while giving the best possible sound quality as he has plans on competing in the future, and not take up to much space.
The equipment we settled on were:
Pioneer 6200 (already installed)
Audible Physics Ram 2Q
Tang Band 2" fullrange
(2) Illusion Audio C10Helix Director
Helix PSIX MK2
Before we get into things, i want to give a huge thank you to my friend Matei (who got me into this hobby) for helping me out for a few days (and kinda made himself a part time employee lol), and Kevin "Mullings" for helping out for a day. Thank you!
Another side note... apparently when you work 65 hours in 4 days, your brain goes numb to things that dont fully matter and i may have forgotten to get various finished pictures.. Robert will be sending me some soon.
Heres the main power wire fusing. 0 gauge from battery and split to the alternator and to the amps, along with the additional upgraded battery ground to the frame.
GS690 with our standard wiring practices.
Note: Audiofrog does not advise soldering to the GS series terminals due to the plastic housing. I trusted my soldering skills to get it done without any harm and succeeded. YMMV
Doors fully deadened with about 8 SDS tiles per door, holes sealed up with aluminum and deadener and GS690's installed on composite baffles that use the oem mounting locations. On top of the GS690's is closed cell foam rings to couple the airspace in front of their cone to the cabin, while isolating them from the door panel and taking the airspace behind the door panel out of the equation. Also a close up of the closed cell foam rings that i make instead of using the pre-made open cell foam ones, which defeat their own intention of sealing the airspace while decoupling the door. The door panels were also hit with deadener and were spot treated with CLD, foam, etc to prevent any rattles and resonances.
On to the A pillars, which i forgot to get finished and installed pics of
We decided on using the Audible Physics RAM 2Q as a wideband. The pillars feature fully sealed enclosures, are on axis, and are sunken in enough to qualify for street class in MECA with their new rules for 2018. They are flush mounted into the baffles and leave enough wiggle room to wrap the pillars and still have them fit nicely.
Also, the RAM 2Q and the chamfered backside of their baffle
First step.. cut em up. Then prep for glass, and then take the first initial mold of the a-pillar frame.
Next up was installing the pillar and glassing a mold of the dash while also glassing the original mold to the pillar. After that the glass was trimmed and baffles were secured.
Back of the sealed enclosure on the pillar. After this pic was taken, more glass was added around the edges to seal it fully and to adhere it to the pillar better
Body filler and sanding all done. Unfortunately, this is the last pic i have of the pillars I will post them when Robert sends me pics tomorrow.
Since Robert had two extra channels available from the Helix PSIX MK2, we decided to have a go at rear fill since ive had good luck with it in the past. Heres a before shot of the D-pillar.
Me making a mold of the rear pillar. Thanks for the photo Kels. This was made out of 3 layers of Biaxial mat. Very strong stuff and amazing to work with in certain situations.
Baffles for the 2" Tang Bands made. If you remember, i used these in the versa and figured i'd give them another go since i knew what their size was like.
Baffles aimed and secured to the molds, then were fully glassed, filled, and sanded.
Final piece test fit, along with a shot with both from the rear. You can hardly see them.
Now these were a royal bitch to make. So essnetially, what i did was make another baffle, which was routed out to flush mount the 2" drivers to them. then they were fully wrapped over in alcantara, as was the pod. Then the baffle was secured to the front of the pod. you cannot see the driver from the front, and the alcantara acts as a natural low pass filter, which is normal for rear fill anyway. They start rolling off at about 4.5k at 12db/octave. With the crossover i pushed it to acoustically roll off at 3.5k.
Fully wrapped and ready for install. Unfortunately no installed pics as well. I pretty much only got finished pics of the trunk. FML. Will wait for Robert to send me a few. I will say this though.. the alcantara matched the factory pillars PERFECTLY.
We were originally going to go with a Helix URC.3. We ended up just using a Director instead. The bracket that housed it was made out of acrylic and fiberglass. First step was the housing for the director, then the brackets that matched the panels they were being attached to shape.
The brackets and housing were then duraglassed to the panel to make the fit tighter, then fully glassed and filled.
Test Fit. Unfortunately no finished install pics. It was finished in Sem texture coat and painted to match the beige panels.
With the amps and subs taking up the leftover space in the trunk, we had to improvise with the jack and jack accessories. Matei made a wooden panel to attach brackets for the jack and a pouch for the accessories. The pouch was made out of left over alcantara. The brackets, which are made out of HDPE, are cut to fit the jacks profile and secure it by expanding the jack.
Trunk emptied of all panels to finish running power wire and see what we have to work with.
The amp rack cut out and test fit. Note the hole to access the spare tires lowering hoist. Also a shot of various wires ran through the rack.