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Discussion Starter #42
I have a set of c3cx that have yet to be installed nor have I actually heard them yet. How are you both liking them?
They're nice. They really shine in this particular application. Plus, let's be honest: they just look really cool. ;) My only complaint is that I wish they came with grills. I know these are intended for custom fabricated applications, but I still would like to see a nice set of factory grills.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Decided to upgrade my sub to a JL Audio 10TW3. The Dayton sub has a sealed enclosure F3 of 63hz, so it struggled to go low enough to round out the bottom end (the JL has a sealed F3 of 40hz). I've found the JL response to be a lot flatter as well, requiring only a few bands of minimal EQ while the Dayton needed 7 bands with significant adjustments.
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The JL is equally shallow on the back end as the Dayton, but significantly taller on the outside of the enclosure (particularly with the tall JL grill). So, I re-engineered the top portion of the enclosure to allow the JL to sit lower and more flush.

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Added an Audiocontrol LC2i I had laying around for high-to-low signal conversion, as I'm not sure running the speaker-level factory outputs directly to the TWK-88 RCA inputs was the best route to go. There IS less background static now, but not sure I can detect any other improvements. Will add pics of that addition soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Audiocontrol LC2i mounted on the outside of the factory pocket. The factory trim was a bit too flimsy and moved a bit too much for my taste, so I replaced the trim with 1/8" plastic and covered it in matching carpet. Much sturdier surface for mounting now.
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Discussion Starter #47
Decided to change both power and ground distribution blocks. Liked the size of the previous KnuKonceptz blocks, but while they DID take 1/0 AWG in and 4 AWG out, the connections were too small to accept wire ferrules with either. The connections also tighten from the SIDE, which made it very difficult to be serviceable in such tight quarters. The slightly larger KnuKonceptz power block that replaces the smaller version tightens at an angle from the top and accepts wire ferrules. In order to route the wiring to accommodate the larger power block, I needed a ground block that would allow a higher connection point so 1 ground wire could run on top (and 1 that also tightens from above), and this InstallGear piece ticks all the boxes.
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Discussion Starter #48
Cleaned up the wiring after the LC2i addition and distribution block changes. Zip ties are your friend.... ;)
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Discussion Starter #49
A few observations on the system design, tuning and the like: I initially bridged the XD400/4 to provide 200 watts to each Illusion Audio C6, but I was getting some harsh bass notes occasionally that almost sounded like bottoming-out, primarily on the left side. Concerned they were getting too much power (although the gains were at minimum), I decided to just run 2 channels at 85 watts to each midbass. Surprisingly, I actually got an identical response (with gains optimized on 0 db tones), so the problem was either the physical properties of the door or something odd in the factory system. The interior door skin is plastic instead of sheet metal, so the lack of rigidity may be causing the problem. I deadened it as much as possible, but the problem remained. I decided to continue powering the C6's with the 85 watts since I'm getting plenty of output, and I've been able to tame the problem with EQ and raising the crossover to 75hz at 24db L/R.

I previously complained about the Ford head unit's audio performance, but it improved a bit with the LC2i providing high/low conversion. It still lacks some resolution, particularly on more complicated musical passages, but it's livable. The Fiio M11 is obviously much better, but I've found it difficult to use while driving, which to me defeats the purpose. I'd rather have the convenience, functionality and added safety of using the factory system and lose the resolution of the M11.

TWK-88: easy to use, does the job. Wish it had speaker-level inputs and signal sensing. Also would like maybe 14-15 bands of parametric EQ per channel instead of 10. 10 bands for each speaker in an all-active system sounds sufficient, but a few more bands would still be handy. I wanted to go all JL for amplification/processing, but if I was starting over, I'd go Helix or Zapco for the DSP. That said, I've been able to get it tuned really well. It's just taken some time to get there.

Illusion Audio C3CX's: In my particular application, with a-pillars and nearly on-axis mounting, the imaging is unreal. Still wish they came with some cool factory grills, though....

Weather's been bad lately, but hope to get the ST cleaned up for some final install pics soon and then call this project done!
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Added a back-up camera this weekend, using the FORscan program to activate the option in the Ford Sync system. Neglected to take pics during the actual camera install and routing the wires through the hatch (a HUGE PITA). Once I got the wiring to the interior, it was secured to the factory wiring harnesses with zip ties all the way through the car to the head unit/monitor.
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When not equipped with the camera from the factory, the video input pins in the harness plug to the monitor are unused, so I took a couple harness pins from an old head unit harness I had laying around and placed those in the correct pin locations (center of the video connector to pin 14, shield/ground to pin 15). After taping and zip ties, the install looks OEM.
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Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
Removed the Audiocontrol LC2i, as that addition led to some alternator noise. Obviously a ground loop, so I could have worked to de-bug the situation, but instead I experimented and got really picky with the input levels directly into the TWK-88 and ended up with a cleaner signal. From there it just made more sense to remove the LC2i.
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I had been undecided on doing a thorough sound deadening job on the Fiesta, but after using it as my daily driver for the last few months, it's apparent that it definitely needs some deadening, particularly in the area of road noise and vibration. So, while I was routing the reverse camera wiring, I went ahead and took out the passenger seat and applied NVX deadener over the floorboard and inside some of the trim panels. Will try to duplicate that effort on the driver's side in the next weekend or two.
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Discussion Starter #52
After testing cheap flat black spray paint on some scrap grill cloth, I decided to apply it to my a-pillars. It actually appears more of a dark charcoal now and the spray also took away the sheen of the cloth, making it match the interior quite a bit better.
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Mounted the JL Audio remote for the Twk-88 in the lower part of the front console.
View attachment 259216
:rolleyes:
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The knob integrates well with the factory controls, but the LED is way too bright. Will be working on a solution to dull that down a bit...:rolleyes:
I used flex seal and a paint brush. Brush around the light until only a small bit of the light in the center is exposed. Yes the as seen on tv stuff. It lasted six years until I just traded my truck in. Beautiful build and a-pillars by the way.
 
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