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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I haven’t upgraded an audio system in a car I’ve owned since 2003. I was pretty heavy into car audio in the mid-’90’s when I acquired my first car at 17 years old and that lasted into my early 20’s, but after I graduated college, I joined the military, got busy, got married, had kids… (four of them). You know how it goes or maybe you don’t and if you don’t, take advantage of it! 😂

Three months ago, I bought a ‘17 Subaru WRX without HK audio and the base factory audio system is absolutely horrible so I decided I wanted to upgrade it. The WRX is the third car and I was fortunate to find it with low mileage, so I plan on having it for quite a while and thus wanted to go with the “good stuff”.

This is a work in progress and I have several goals for this install: 1.) I wanted to buy all of the main components of the system out of the classifieds here or eBay. I went through that phase of my life where I wanted to buy everything brand new, but again, “married with four kids” so I can’t do that much anymore, especially on car audio. I bought the car used, so I figured I’d follow that same concept for this. There are great deals in the classifieds on great equipment. 2.) I want to keep it as stealthy as I can. 3.) I am capable of woodworking and moderate amounts of fabrication, but I don’t want to get too crazy with custom fabrication, LED’s, acrylic, fiberglass, etc. Not because I don’t appreciate that type of stuff. I’m usually in awe of some of the installs I see in here, but I just want to keep it simple. Maybe sometime down the road, I’ll do more – fab pillars or sail panels depending on how happy I am with the SQ, but for now, I will keep it fairly simple. 4.) I need trunk space, so a small, single sub enclosure is a must. 5.) I want to keep the OE head unit and all factory wiring intact in the event I want to go back to stock.

I decided to do a 3-way setup with no rear fill other than leaving the rear OE speakers hooked up, but I plan on leaving the fader all the way to the front and just I will swing it to the rear when the kids complain they, “Can’t hear the music” (or just crank it louder). 😁 The WRX has dash speakers that are basically small midranges/tweeters and 6 1/2” drivers in all four doors. I wanted to stick with the stock speaker locations for now so I decided to improve on them. After much deliberation, the below equipment is what I chose.

Drivers –
Audiofrog GB10’s and GB25’s
Audiofrog GB60’s
Audiofrog GB10D2

DSP –
Helix DSP.3 with HEC USB
Helix Director
(I'll most likely replace the Director with a URC.3 since I foresee not being able to find a good place to install the Director.)

Amps –
Helix P Six MkII
Mosconi Pico 1

I still need to decide on wiring, sound-deadening materials, and all the miscellaneous items required to install an audio system so I'll add more to this log as I go along.

I’ve started to attack mounting the GB10/GB25’s in the OE dash location. I downloaded Autodesk Fusion 360 and with no previous CAD experience, came up with an adapter design to mount the GB25’s in the factory tweeter location. As you can see, the factory “tweeter” has brackets on both sides to mount them. I took a picture of it and imported it into Fusion. After calibrating the scale, I was able to come up with a design and sent it off to be 3D printed out of ABS.

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
My first attempt came out pretty much dimensionally perfect, but after reading that GB25’s work better in a small enclosure, I tossed the IB style adapter and went back to the drawing board. I expanded upon my first design and added a “cup” underneath it that is approximately .2 liters; just what the GB25 calls for. The white version is a 15% infill “prototype” (it’s cheaper to print) for fitment purposes. They were so “porous” that they actually leaked water when I filled them up to check volume. After trimming a little bit of extra plastic off the A/C vent duct down in the dash cavity, my enclosure slipped in there pretty well, but it needed some tweaking because they were still hitting some A/C ductwork on the driver’s side. I made the cup section 4mm shorter on the bottom and 2mm wider overall and then 1mm shorter where the driver mounts. I sent the tweaked design off for a pair of them to be printed again at 60% infill (the black ones). 60% infill makes them very strong and these don’t leak water (or air). They came out perfect. Below are some pics of the design process and the finished product. I installed M4 brass heat inserts to mount the GB25’s and drilled a small hole at the bottom to route the wires through, just big enough for the wires to fit tightly and pretty much seal the hole. After filling one with water, these hold just under a cup of water and .9 cups = .213 liters.
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Next up was getting the GB10’s next to the 25’s. I did not want to cut into my pillars and I felt they’d be better off next to the 25’s. I also didn’t want to cut into my door panels. I know the ideal solution for SQ would be custom pillars or sail pods, but having committed to dash mounting, I decided I wanted to mount the tweeter in the empty spot just forward of the GB25 near the windshield, however, there was one problem. At 9mm, the tweeter is too tall and there wouldn’t be enough clearance in that area to install the factory grills. I had already decided to cut openings in the factory grills and wrap in speaker cloth to get more clearance and provide better SQ, but the tweeter would still stick up past the opening so I decided to CAD design a tweeter mount that would sink the tweeter down about 1/4”. Below you can see my original idea to the finished product. I took a chance not getting a cheap prototype with this one, but fortunately, my design turned out exactly the way I wanted it to.
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You are gonna love the GB 3 ways. I had them in my Tundra and they were fantastic. Love Subaru builds (and you are giving me ideas for my STi)
 

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Nice work! I did the same exact thing in my WRX, however, it was with Dayton speakers. I felt that the tweeters in the a-pillars sounded better in the end. Might have just been the tweeters responsible. I also played with GB10s in the pillars and they sounded great. Check out my logs from my 2015 and 2018 WRX's if you have a chance. I've done a ton of setups with different positioning, hopefully it saves other people from having to cut their cars up a ton. Lol

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks. I will see how it sounds with them next to the midrange on the dash and then go from there. Pillars are cheap (less than $20 each), so if I decide to do anything with the pillars down there road, it'll be easy. If I were to do the tweeters in the pillars, I'd definitely mold them into the pillars so they were more angled toward the listeners. Heck, if I am going to bother with all that, I may as well make some sail pods. The WRX's have a perfect spot for them, as do just about all the new Subaru's with the little window near the side view mirrors.
 

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SkizeR did a set in a Crosstrek that were a work of art. They're basically the same car so could only imagine they would work! Check it out;
 

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Very cool. I 3D printed some spacer rings out of ASA for my GB10 to mount into my sails. Looking forward to see what you do to your speaker grilles, I need to do something similar to mine too.
 

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Subbed, mad work dude. Attention to detail really makes a build look NICE...I like it man!
Props on the thought of creating an enclosure for the mid range in the manner you did...that gives me some ideas, however without ready access to a printer it is difficult to be confident of the result...still a great idea. X2 on checking out beerdrinkrs posts...they have been my go to posts up to now. Not sure if you ever did an enclosure for your mid range mate? In any event I am a fan of beer's tweeter install method for sure...that position for the A Pillar tweeters seems like a winner for me!

Great work (and gear) though mate, nice to see the build come along (y)
 

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Pillars are cheap (less than $20 each), so if I decide to do anything with the pillars down there road, it'll be easy.
Apologies for the double post....but you can get pillars for a 2015+ Scooby Doo for ~$20...? Dammmm! Admittedly I haven't looked around, but if that is realistic then that makes me a hell of a lot more confident about having a hack at the A Pillars and maybe even doing some minor fiberglass work around there...my gear has been sitting in my closet for nearly 4 years and my car has less than 15,000 km's on it (12,000 miles?) so I'm just a bit out of touch! Reality is that despite buying my wheels brand new they are still near 4 years old...goddam time flies...
Thumbs up all the way mate :love:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Apologies for the double post....but you can get pillars for a 2015+ Scooby Doo for ~$20...? Dammmm! Admittedly I haven't looked around, but if that is realistic then that makes me a hell of a lot more confident about having a hack at the A Pillars and maybe even doing some minor fiberglass work around there...my gear has been sitting in my closet for nearly 4 years and my car has less than 15,000 km's on it (12,000 miles?) so I'm just a bit out of touch! Reality is that despite buying my wheels brand new they are still near 4 years old...goddam time flies...
Thumbs up all the way mate :love:
Yep. Pillars are cheap and so are the stock – speaker grills. I got speaker grills off eBay for about $10 a piece with free shipping. So I don't really mind cutting into them to experiment.

Speaking of speaker grills, I played around with covering one of my grills with speaker cloth today. I don't have much experience with spray adhesive/upholsery work and although they came out "OK", I will treat this one as my test dummy. In the end, I realized less is more, meaning I cut too much plastic out of grills. I will redo the driver's side grill with smaller holes. I am just going to use the stock shape as a guide this time, as it is spenty big to accommodate the GB25. Once I take the material out of the center of it, it doesn't touch the speaker surround. I will also cut the tweeter hole smaller and then rewrap in cloth. The cloth definitely needs to be stretched more.
 

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Speaking of speaker grills
'How to' aside; I'd be pretty interested in your thoughts regarding the difference in sound with the grille material removed....wait up; you haven't powered your system yet, you are just in preparation right? All good :D trying to get up to speed!
That OEM location for the mid range and the tweeter and the issues with wind screen interference just have me concerned...exponentially so with the tweeters...
All good, can't wait to see how it turns out :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, I have not powered anything up yet. I am still using the stock door speakers to listen to music. 🤣

Once I get the midrange/tweeter situation sorted out, I will start running wiring and stuff. I actually haven't bought any of the speaker wire, RCA's, distribution blocks, sound deadening materials, etc. yet. I also haven't bought the sub enclosure yet either. I plan on going with the same enclosure THX0849 went with for his sub. I am going to mount the amps and DSP under both front seats on HDPE (or King Starboard) trays. I'll also need to make door adapters out of the same materials for the GB60's. I have a band saw, but I need a router, so like I always say, "Never pass up the opportunity to buy a new tool!". 😄 So there is quite a bit of evolution still to come. I really need the kids to go back to school so I have more than an hour or so to go out and mess with the car, but I don't think that's going to happen until next Fall.

As for the grills; the factory dash grills appear to be very restrictive. They are pretty thick plastic with small holes. I am not impressed with them, especially for high frequency speakers. The speaker cloth I got, which is supposedly "UV treated", is very thin (but strong) stuff and advertised as "acoustically transparent". It is also a little bit stretchy and comes in different colors.


I really didn't want to spend the amount I did on speakers and then block them with OE grills, so modifying them is a must. I know there have been plenty of people out there who've won SQ competitions with dash speaker setups. I know it's generally not the ideal location for components, but it's definitely vehicle dependent and hopefully the Helix helps me tune any deficiencies out of the system. Like I said, if I think it's lacking, I can always try fabbing up some pillars or sail panels. I will make sure I leave some slack in all the speaker wires so I've got room to move things around.
 

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The speaker cloth I got, which is supposedly "UV treated", is very thin (but strong) stuff and advertised as "acoustically transparent"
You sparked a screw in the back of my head to to rattle into a fixed position for a while before becoming loose again :LOL: anyway it may hinder or help or piss off some; but my interests go between car, home and pro audio. I am no professional at any but I know a little! Your mention of 'acoustically transparent' cloth made me think of a a section of a book that I read and the resulting website it led to...apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere by others.

High-Performance Textiles - Guilford of Maine
They sell a heap of fabrics designed with acoustics in mind. I do not have any affiliation with them...on the contrary - I will be honest at all times - I will not 'vouch' for their efficacy; as I have not personally tried their products and I have not done enough research into the general consensus of their products to make an informed opinion. However the book I referred to is considered a bit of a bible' for home studio design though so I would take their products seriously.

Hopefully something beneficial for someone (y)

I really didn't want to spend the amount I did on speakers and then block them with OE grills, so modifying them is a must.
Fair enough!

I know it's generally not the ideal location for components
You are aware of it so I won't say anything more. Except 'sheeeeeaaaatttttttttt d'oh'

if I think it's lacking, I can always try fabbing up some pillars or sail panels. I will make sure I leave some slack in all the speaker wires so I've got room to move things around.
Mate; all good (y) you seem to have the approach of pretty cruisy and happy to take it as it comes so good on you.There will always be ups and downs; but if you are happy to take it as it comes and sit on it until you can try something else then kudos to you!

All the best mate, I look forward to seeing the results :)
Peace
 
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