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Default MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

IMG_2058 (2).jpg
OK, quick background to preface this build log. I'm in my early 50's and have been installing systems in most of my cars since the early 90's. In my last car, a '12 Taurus SHO, I had installed a Kenwood Excelon double DIN NAV unit (with a full replacement dash kit and iData Maestro to integrate with all the factory electronics), plus PPI amps and a 3 way CDT component set with mids/tweets in custom a-pillars I fabricated and covered in matching vinyl. After spending a full day tearing all of it out when I traded that car about 15 months ago, I swore I was too old for all this nonsense and would never do that again....

Sooooooo…..fast forward about 12 months and I happen to notice a box of NOS MB Quart reference coaxials in my garage that I'd purchased a few years ago and frankly forgot I owned. I thought those German speakers would make a nice, easy upgrade and would go along with my MK7 Golf R 6-speed quite well. Obviously, I'd need amplification to make that worthwhile, so I got an Audiocontrol 4-channel and did a simple, solid install.

The downside of having nice systems in the past is that you get accustomed to that level of sound, and I've always had an acute ear for quality music reproduction. Unfortunately, door-mounted coaxials (even the venerated old school MBQ's) just couldn't image well enough for my tastes, and I decided I'd hunt for some 3-way components. Found a nice set of used Focal KX3's and then procured some salvage a-pillars and the new install I swore I wasn't going to do again was underway.

A-pillar build:

IMG_2367.jpg

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IMG_2745.jpg
Wrapped in matching vinyl. Admittedly, I tried 2 different grill cloth versions first and neither matched to my liking. The vinyl is almost a perfect match and looks much better, so all's well that ends well. Clearly I haven't learned to rotate my pics prior to uploading...

IMG_2757.jpg

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IMG_3522.jpg
(That's not a defect on the upper part of the a-pillar; it's a reflection from a dirty windshield...)

IMG_3524 (2).jpg

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Subwoofer enclosure build: This was a bit of a PITA. Though my R didn't come with a spare, I'm going to buy one and was unwilling to part with the space. I'd seen an enclosure for the European market apparently made by Helix, but didn't have any luck getting someone from the Netherlands to send me one...

So, break out the resin and mat again. There's not much space in the trunk cubby, but that's what I had available. After quite a bit of test fitting, I found .344 cu. ft. internal volume and just enough depth to fit a JL Audio 8" 8W1V3. I sacrificed the ability to raise the trunk floor all the way in favor of getting enough enclosure volume, but I typically lift the floor and pull it out anyway, so I still have easy access to the amps/dsp and the future spare if necessary.

IMG_3373 (2).jpg

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9.75 liters...and no leaks.

IMG_3421.jpg

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Final test fit before sub arrived.

IMG_3433.jpg

IMG_3533 (2).jpg
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Looking good. I'm driving a MK6 GTI, and I'm trying to figure out my sub solution. I'm considering pretty much what you've done, but I'm also considering building a box to replace the foam jack/tool pieces around the spare. I'm not willing to give up the spare, but I may be able to work a shallow sub (or two) if I replace the foam with a box.

Which JL sub is that? How is the bass with just one?
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Your work is so...refined is a good word. I can’t wait for more pictures!


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

The sub is an 8w1v3. It’s not a banger, to be sure, but does about what you’d expect for an 8” in a small enclosure. I had to sacrifice some output to keep my trunk functional, but I’m pretty confident it’ll do what I need it to with the right tuning.

The R model has a couple inches less room in the trunk/spare area due to the AWD system. I’ve seen a number of GTI’s with an under-floor enclosure while retaining the spare; it just wouldn’t work in the R. Uber Stealth Audio makes a GTI enclosure that a number of folks on the VW Golf forums have used.


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Nice install.

If you want to step it up on the bass side, the Sundown SD3 8" will work really well in that volume.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6SK4j696bc

https://www.amazon.com/Sundown-Audio.../dp/B0787H4VZ7

I have a pair of the SD2s and they are awesome.
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

The SD-3 was actually my 1st choice, but it’s too deep. Very little mounting depth in my cubby enclosure.


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Very nice work. The JL stealthbox has a shallow 10, but it looks like the 8 is actually a better fit.

Bass knobs are the
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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The SD-3 was actually my 1st choice, but it’s too deep. Very little mounting depth in my cubby enclosure.


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Do you have any shots looking straight at the hatch, so I can see how far your enclosure sticks out into the storage area of the hatch?
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Do you have any shots looking straight at the hatch, so I can see how far your enclosure sticks out into the storage area of the hatch?

Here you go.





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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

1 more.


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Thanks! That's very reasonable, barely takes up any usable space. Nice fab work too!
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Very nice work. The JL stealthbox has a shallow 10, but it looks like the 8 is actually a better fit.


No JL Stealthbox for the MK7 unfortunately, because I definitely would have gone that route!


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Default MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Thanks! Admittedly, my 1st enclosure attempt ended up in the trash.


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Thanks! Admittedly, my 1st enclosure attempt ended up in the trash.


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That'll happen, haha. That's one reason I'm temped to go with the floor mounted option, I won't have to mess around with fiberglass. I think I can squeeze a couple of shallow subs underneath the OEM panel without raising it up.
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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The SD-3 was actually my 1st choice, but it’s too deep. Very little mounting depth in my cubby enclosure.
Doh!... still, awfully nice install. How do you like the Focal 3 way? I'm stuck between the Flax 3 way set, a Morel Hybrid 602 + CDM880 set and a Focal ES + 3.5WM set.

Yes... I am a total equipment whore...
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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No JL Stealthbox for the MK7 unfortunately, because I definitely would have gone that route!


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Ah. We have a Mk6, which is why I am familiar with that particular stealthbox. I honestly like the look of the one you made better anyway.

Bass knobs are the
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Ah. We have a Mk6, which is why I am familiar with that particular stealthbox. I honestly like the look of the one you made better anyway.


Wow. Thank you! That is high praise getting the nod over JL. Much appreciated! It only took me about 30 hours of labor to get just right....


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Doh!... still, awfully nice install. How do you like the Focal 3 way? I'm stuck between the Flax 3 way set, a Morel Hybrid 602 + CDM880 set and a Focal ES + 3.5WM set.



Yes... I am a total equipment whore...


The Focal KX 3 ways are awesome, but they’re temperamental and require some tuning. Done correctly, they’re REALLY GOOD, and I was looking for a set with a mid that had a relatively small mounting diameter and these fit that bill. If I had it to do over, I’d go with the Dynaudio Esotec 3 ways or Morel Elates. My last install had CDT ES mids and tweets and their beefy ES-06 midwoofers and they performed every bit as good as the Focals at 1/3 the price. I do like the Focal Flax as well. I just wouldn’t spring for the KX3’s.


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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

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Your work is so...refined is a good word. I can’t wait for more pictures!


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REALLY appreciate that compliment. I like to modify my cars, but always try to do so in a manner that only "the initiated" would notice. Guess I could've posted a pic of the actual car...

IMG_1750 (4).jpg
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Now for the amp rack: I decided to go with a 2 piece arrangement. This allows me to remove each side independently for ease of changing components...which has already happened a couple times.

Each side has its own power distribution. Dual runs of 4 gauge from the battery to each Stinger distribution block, each terminated to a common ground point to the frame under the back seat safety belt attachment. 1/0 gauge welding wire (stuff is AWESOME, btw) from battery to the Stinger fuse block.

IMG_2610.jpg

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Amps consist of a Zapco ST-4xII (bridged to run the Focal midwoofers in the doors), a Zapco ST-4X SQ (running 4 channel mode to mids and tweets in the a-pillars), a Zapco ST500XMII mono amp powering the JL sub, with an Audiocontrol DM-608 DSP providing all the processing.
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Speaker install pics:
Focal box set (7)5.6.19.jpg
Focal components.
IMG_2442.jpg
Focal midwoofer vs the old school MB Quart Reference speaker. The Focal magnet is rather large.
IMG_2444 (3).jpg
Door treated with sound deadening. I've had this stuff so long I can't remember what brand it is. Pretty sure I bought it in 2008. Still works great.
IMG_3466.jpg
Mid/Tweeter wiring attached with zip tie to factory harness, bullet connectors to speakers so they can be removed if necessary.
IMG_3467.jpg
All wiring terminated with labeled heat shrink.
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

More amp rack/trunk pics.

IMG_3564 (2).jpg

IMG_3566.jpg

IMG_3565.jpg
RCA arrangement is still a work in progress. Wanted to make sure I had my amp/processor installation finalized so I can get the appropriate length cables for the simplest, cleanest install.

IMG_3569 (2).jpg
The MK7 Golf comes from the factory with a "false floor" trunk. Subwoofer enclosure still allows for lifting the floor and sliding it out to access amps/DSP/spare tire.

IMG_3575 (2).jpg
IMG_3577 (2).jpg
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Very nice install. Love how it turned out.

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There is a difference between overkill and bad. Your idea isn't overkill, it's bad.
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Default Re: MK7 Golf R build log - Focal, Zapco, Audiocontrol

Very nice work!


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