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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK So I got this Spyder in December. Super happy with it. Love the way it drives, the 30mpg, and can't wait to get the titties out when the weather warms up. :thumbsup:

I've been a car audio hobbyist for the better part of my life, and because of that my first major project is completely replacing the sound system in the Spyder.

My goals are simple:

Loud & Clear.

Basically, I want it to sound like Jill Scott and John Legend are in concert on my hood. In addition, I want to enter it into some SQ shows, yet at the same time have enough headroom to be able to listen at healthy volumes on the highway with the top down. It's not going to be a flashy install; I want it to be stealth for the most part. Oh, and I want to get a set of golf clubs in the trunk when it's all said and done too.

Now because of my family responsibilities, I'm on somewhat of a tight budget, so most of the gear I'm using has been "repurposed". (read: used) Because of that, some of the pieces aren't exactly pretty, but their sonic character has not been compromised, so I'll just need some lipstick & mascara to pretty it up. So to that end, let me introduce you to the equipment that's being installed:

Amplifiers:

Soundstream LW5.830, a 5-channel amplifier, which will be bridged; sending 280w RMS to the front two channels, and 270w to a sub channel. The sub channel will not be used. This amplifier will be powering the front speakers; two ID Horns, and two CDT 6.5" midbass drivers.



Sub Amp:

Phoenix Gold Xenon 1200.1; 1200w RMS into 1 4-ohm channel. This amp has a lot of cosmetic "inconsistencies", however works just fine. I will be mounting this in the trunk floor, without the housing, to show off the internals. Sorry for the crappy pic, the battery in my camera was dying.



Front Horns, and Front mid-bass drivers:

The front stage consists of Image Dynamics CD-1E horns, that will mount under the dash:



...and CDT midbass drivers, model ES-06:



The sub is on order, and is an SSA Icon 10" with dual-2-ohm voicecoils. It's in transit right now, and I hope to receive it Monday. I'll take a picture of it when it arrives. Here's a stock pic of the 12" model:




Also got some wiring to hook everything up:



...and a Big-3 kit:



My camera battery died after I installed the Big-3 kit, so I don't have a pic of that right now. I'll get one later when I install the new amp wiring. Needless to say it made a huge difference; my idle voltage went from 12.7 to 14.31 after the upgrade.
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, after installing the Big-3 kit I moved on to the midbass drivers, since they're basically a drop-in. I peeled the panel off the driver door (piece of cake), and replaced the speaker. I was pleasantly surprised to find the previous owner had installed an Infinity Reference component set, but this is outta here anyway. I replaced the speaker wire he used with some nice 12ga, zip-tied it inside the door and mounted the speaker.

Here's the new driver in its new home:




I moved on to the next door, to find this:



Nothing like using duct tape to install a crossover. :mean:

Anyway, I yanked the speaker, installed new 12ga speaker wire, and secured the new driver. It looks the same as the other side. I secured the crossover with double-sided adhesive foam.

Here's a comparison shot of the new CDT driver next to the 'old' Infinity Reference driver:



Thank you Mitsubishi for the really deep doors! :D


Next steps: When my Second Skin Damplifier Pro gets here, I'll be beefing up the stock speaker door mount, deadening the outer skin and sealing the inner skin. This will do for now. The trunk is missing the spare tire cover, so I'll have to create a new floor for that. Once the sub gets here, I'll be designing the enclosure, and hopefully getting that installed within the next month or so. My goal is to have the system ready for Voicecoil Meltdown on June 27th.

Progress will be in spurts; I don't have the time to work on it on a daily basis, so please be patient. :) Even with just the CDT's in there, the system sounds SOOO much better. Much more clarity and detail, and they're just running off of the Pioneer head unit I've got in there...(no pic, forgot :D will get it later)

Funny thing is, the system's not even installed yet, and I'm already considering some changes. I might replace the SoundStream with a JL amp, if I can find one in my price range, and the patch cables (which were free) will be replaced with twisted-pair to cut down on potential noise induction. Also considering picking up an old-skool PPI 30-band EQ, and possibly replacing the head unit with something more flexible. All depends on the funds.

Comments, questions, suggestions - all welcome!
 

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Looking really good....

Quick question: Did you buy the "Big 3 Kit" already to go or did you make it yourself? I would love to just buy a kit as I just seem to have no time to do simple tasks these days...lol
 

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Look forward to seeing and hearing this install at selective sound in the summer.
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looking really good....

Quick question: Did you buy the "Big 3 Kit" already to go or did you make it yourself? I would love to just buy a kit as I just seem to have no time to do simple tasks these days...lol
Thanks; I bought it pre-made from a member on Club3G...he makes them specifically to fit the 3rd generation Mitsu Eclipse/8th generation Galant. Here's a link to his thread:

Club3G Forums
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got a nice surprise from UPS this morning:





Getting a box designed right now, hopefully, (all things going well) I'll be able to start working on the box this weekend!
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK so I finally carved out a few hours from my ridiculous schedule to work on my system. Got the following done over the weekend:

1. New run of 4-gauge from battery to trunk
2. New RCA's from HU to trunk (two sets, Rockford Fosgate twisted-pair)
3. Ran speaker wire from trunk to doors
4. Two new 4-gauge ground wires on a new grounding point for the two amps

Hooked it all up, got some crazy alternator whine. Did the RCA-grounding trick (Pioneer FTL) but now the front amp won't play anything, and the sub amp keeps going into protect. Gotta do some more troubleshooting. When the car was off, though, it sounded bloody insane, and I don't even have the horns in yet...

I gotta get this wiring problem fixed first though. It's pissin' me off. I've never had so many wiring-related issues / noise issues in any of my installs EVER.

(and before you ask, power wire ran down drivers' side, RCA's under passenger seat and speaker wires down right side)

Sorry, no pics...was lazy. (and it's not pretty right now...function before form...once it's working, then I'll pretty it up and take pix)

To troubleshoot the amp issues I've got I removed the RCA grounds, and the front amp is playing again (with the alternator whine) but the sub amp is still going into protect after a few seconds (with a huge pop). I hope I haven't blown the sub amp... :( At any rate, it seems that the sub amp only goes into protect when the car is: On -or- when the car is OFF, but the volume is adjusted to a 'healthy' level.

I REEEEALLY want to avoid introducing any type of filter into my system, so a ground-loop isolator is out of the question (for now). Properly wired, there should be no noise in any system. I've done MANY installs in the past, and had noise issues with a couple, but they were just bad grounds. This one, however is VERY different. I'm thinking I might have to run a battery ground to the trunk. That's gonna suck if I have to do it, but might be my only recourse.

I should mention that my HU is grounded to the dash frame, not the ground in the stock wiring harness. Time to break out the iPod and see where this ground loop is coming from...noise issues piss me right the hell off.

If anyone's got any suggestions, that would be great.
 

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Good call on the iPod (depending on the generation, the dock connector may throw some noise in there, too, though, so just use the headphone output > RCA as I'm sure you'd planned).

My guess is the head unit. Did it come from the same previous owner who installed the crossovers with duct tape? If so, it may just have been some unlucky plugging or unplugging of RCAs while the deck was powered.

Edit: where in Ontario?
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, was just going to use 1/8 > RCA to test the inputs on each amp. iPod is 3rd Gen, with Rockbox on it for FLAC. I'm suspecting the head unit too, and yes, it came with the car. I just don't have the funds to get a new one (though I really, really want to...)

I'm in Milton, just west of Mississauga.
 

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2015 VW Passat TDI w/ Stage-2 Tune
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387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I sourced the problem...dirty power line for the head unit. :mad:
 
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