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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building a 2-way SQ system on a Cayenne with a defunct Bose system. (The speakers are blown, the amp and head unit both have intermittent shorts. Time to move on!)

Here's the list:
Sony XAV-9500ES: I just got it yesterday! Originally I was going to go with an RSX-GS9.
Helix DSP.3S
Biketronics BT4180
Audible Physics NZ3 in the sail panel (I've never built a sail panel before.)
Aries SK8 in the front door to replace the Bose 8" slim woofer.
Eventually, I'll add a subwoofer.

I've got a Prusa MK3S+ that I'll use to print mounts for the speakers. First the NZ3 in the sail panel, which I'll try to print as much as I can before reverting to filler and leather (if I do leather...). Next, I'll print the ring for the SK8. I know it will be a tight fit and will require some re-engineering of the lower window lift frame.

At this point, I'll probably order up some KnuKonceptz Krystal cable. (Did they use Linn audio's naming convention? 馃槀 ) I like the idea of twisted pair inside of shielding. That way if the Sony/Helix/Biketronics accept balanced, it will be ready to go, and if not... I guess it will be ready to go.

Speaker wires? 16 ga? It's an active DSP setup, so I don't have to ship unnecessary wattage to the speakers to overcome passive x-over. I doubt I'll ever hit more than a few watts to the NZ3s even at ear-bleed level. The SK8, on the other hand, might see double-digit watts at the same volume level.

I'm going to try to find a place for the DSP and amp in front behind the dash, but if not, I'll put them under the rear seats. That will require more wire length to run front to back, then back to front.

Just for sake of putting it out there, my home system is a pair of speakers that I built from plans (Linkwitz LX-521) that I'd put up against any factory speaker including Magnapan under $20K. I stuck with the ASP.4 as I didn't like the digital hash in the treble that was introduced by the DSP (I won't name the dsp). It's fed by two "monoblock" ATI AT524NC (Ncore) amps the each feed it's own speaker. Parasound JC-2 Pre, JC-3+ phono, Ayre QB-9DSD w/Apple MacMini/Audirvana, Linn LP-12 maxed out, VandenHul Frog and VdH interconnects.

I don't think my car system will ever sound as good as my home system, but obviously, I can be a bit picky. 馃榿

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
WooHoo! It's alive! I got the XAV-9500ES installed yesterday. I have been running my iPhone using a lightning to RCA cable adapter to a M.O.S.T. adapter so I could use the Bose amp and speakers while I tackle this project. I replaced the iPhone inputs with the 9500ES inputs.

When you power up the 9500ES the first time, I highly recommend going in to settings and turning off the interface feedback sound. The beep it produces every time you touch a control is annoying and way too loud.

I initially had a problem connecting my iPhone to get CarPlay. It would only connect to the music stream. After a reboot this morning, CarPlay works excellently whether via BT or USB-C. I still need to test playing some high-definition files. All my my current music is 320kbps, which is fine for motorcycle ear-monitor listening.

I've yet to install the AXXESS steering wheel controls. I'll do that when my cables arrive from Markertek. If anyone happens across this post dealing with the PCM 2.x system, the yellow connector with the three wires is the one you are interested in for the steering wheel controls. C1 and C2 I believe. They are the twisted pair of wires going into the corners of the connector. Still haven't figured out what that third wire goes to. Guess it's not important.
Here's a great write-up: Pelican Parts Forum Post on PCM2 replacement

I'll install the backup camera this week. I'll make sure I tap in to the reverse light circuit as I don't believe any of the wires behind the old radio signal reverse.
A great write-up: Rennlist post on adding a backup camera

There is one wire on the 9500ES marked "speed" input (can't remember exactly.) Something to do with Apple CarPlay. Where is that circuit??

I decided to make my own cables out of Canare sheilded microphone cable and Neutrik RCA connectors. I'll wire the two inner conductors to the RCAs and I'll connect the shields outside of the RCA connectors and combine them and ground them at the head-unit location. I had good success with this technique when I installed a GPS/Comm radio in our airplane. (It was the Garmin recommended/mandated technique.) The beauty of this is it won't matter if the radio/DSP/amps are balanced or single ended, it will work, and noise should not be an issue. I'm going to use 12ga 4-conductor Mogami W3104 for the speaker wire.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm moving my content from a post that used to be called "Sony XAV-9500ES Review" to here because the OP deleted everything. Guess a flame war erupted that I missed.

Anyway... most recent things first....

Evidently, Sony isn't supporting AIFF on this thing. ALAC yes, but not AIFF. WTF?!?!?! My whole library, which is some 1600 strong, is AIFF in CD, 24/96, 24/192, and DSD. Hey, at least it plays DSD! But it won't recognize any of the AIFF files I put on the thumb drive.

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Next, I can't get the 9500 to recognize my iPhone 12 Pro from the USB connection. Is CarPlay only wireless? I can connect CarPlay wireless, but not wired. It doesn't see anything on the USB connection when I connect my iPhone.

Someone on the other thread complained that Sony didn't put in HD radio. Well, I found it on CarPlay via my TuneIn app. All of the local radio station HD channels are available. So as long as I have a cell signal, I've got HD radio stations. Matter of fact, I've got the whole world at my fingertips.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wire: I realized there is no sane reason for me not to build my own interconnects. I've been doing it successfully in my home system for years. I ordered up 100' of Canare L-2T2S wire and a couple dozen NYS373 RCA connectors. I'm going to wire them in balanced mode and tap the shield at the head-unit for ground. For speaker wire, I'm using Mogami W3104.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got the backup camera installed as well as the AXXESS steering wheel controls adapter. Pretty cool! But in hindsight, it seems kind of silly using the steering wheel controls when there is this big honking 10" screen right next to my knee.

I saw a great idea over on Rennlist to use a fish pole to get the wires from the front to the back.

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Over the next few days, I'll get the soundproofing from @SkizeR and the speakers/dsp from Tam. Biketronics is currently ramping back up after a recent physical location move, so it might be a couple of weeks before I get the amp.

At least I've got this all hooked up to the remnants of the intermittent Bose system. Sometimes I get music, sometimes I get to listen to the silence and think deep thoughts.
 

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Wire: I realized there is no sane reason for me not to build my own interconnects. I've been doing it successfully in my home system for years. I ordered up 100' of Canare L-2T2S wire and a couple dozen NYS373 RCA connectors. I'm going to wire them in balanced mode and tap the shield at the head-unit for ground. For speaker wire, I'm using Mogami W3104.
No reason not to if you've already got the proper tools. (y)

The really long zip ties (3'-4') work really well for "fishing" the wiring through inaccessible areas in the vehicle, too.
 

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There is one wire on the 9500ES marked "speed" input (can't remember exactly.) Something to do with Apple CarPlay. Where is that circuit??
IIRC, in the head unit harness I believe that the VSS wire is either pink or pink with a white stripe? This is usually connected to a pin or wire in the OBDII sensor test harness. Combined with the GPS signal, it helps make the NAV mapping and location/positioning more accurate in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for instance when you go into a tunnel or downtown cities with tall skyscrapers that may temporarily block the GPS signal.

But it will also block out certain functions and settings when the car is in motion. Can't even setup a new BT pairing/connection while in motion, which kind of blows because this unit will pair and connect/switch between two BT devices at the same time...i.e. for a passenger's smartphone, etc.

I don't know with this head unit if CarPlay & Android Auto and the other motion-blocked functions will work if you leave it disconneted. You might try it, as not all vehicles send this signal to tap into, though most modern vehicles do. Let us know what you find.


Have you used these SK8 midwoofers before?


Will the sail panels vent down into the door card/will they have an adequate volume of air behind them as to not choke the NZ3's? Just asking. I haven't used the NZ3.


And what filament are you using to print your adapters and parts with the Prusa? You know to stay away from PLA for automotive applications, right? It can warp and shrink with the potential heat that builds up inside of a vehicle because it has a low transition temperature. And that also makes it a PITA to sand because the friction of sanding creates heat and it goes soft and gummy before you can adequately shape/smooth it with sandpaper.

ABS is ideal but obviously extremely toxic when off-gassing (a very good exhaust fan system is a must) and IMO is a also a PITA to work with. Check into the Apollo-X filament from FormFutura. ;) Was suggested to me in another 3D printing forum that I can't remember now and is awesome if your printer/print head can accomodate it. Super easy to work with as well.

Looking forward to your progress! Have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
for instance when you go into a tunnel or downtown cities with tall skyscrapers that may temporarily block the GPS signal.
Brilliant! Guess I don't really need it around here. No tunnels or deep city canyons.

Have you used these SK8 midwoofers before?
No. But they are comparable to the Scan Speak that many have used successfully, and the price on the SK8 was pretty much the same from Tam as the Scan Speak, so I ordered it from him.

One caveat. I just upgraded the mid-woofers on my home system (LX-521) to a newer magnesium model. (I didn't know I was going to do that until after I'd put in my order with Tam.) That means I've now got two high-quality 8" drivers that I could re-use. They are, however, 3.5mm deeper than the SK8, and I'm already short on space. They are also 8 ohms instead of the SK8 4 ohms. Seas U22REX/P-SL (H1659-08) 8" Curv Cone Woofer: Madisound Speaker Components It would be nice to re-use them, but I really dislike the idea of returning the SK8s since I've already ordered them.

Will the sail panels vent down into the door card/will they have an adequate volume of air behind them as to not choke the NZ3's? Just asking. I haven't used the NZ3.
See How would you put tweeters in these sail panels?
and

And what filament are you using to print your adapters and parts with the Prusa? ..... Check into the Apollo-X filament from FormFutura. ;)
I've got several rolls of PETG that I've used on several parts for our airplane. And airplanes get hotter than hell in the summer!
Looks like Prusa has their own version of ASA: https://prusament.com/materials/prusament-asa/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It seems that the XAV-9500ES actually connects to CarPlay via WiFi after handshaking over Bluetooth. I guess the BT connection is established, then it trades credentials and swaps over to WiFi. You can switch back and forth between WiFi and BT in the settings and it's pretty easy to do. The iPhone connected to USB does not affect any of this. It sees the USB connection as a source of power only.

I just tested and verified this with the unit.

What is interesting in my mind now, is what is the bandwidth over WiFi? LDAC is over Bluetooth and is 990Kbps.

According to this site: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/resources/how-much-speed-do-i-need-for-pandora-and-spotify You need 7.5Mbps for high res. That is well, well within the range of available bandwidth for 802.11n and 802.11ac. Here's an interesting post.. Will lossless audio work via Airplay 2 an鈥 - Apple Community That implies that CD quality (24/44.1) is a given.

I've since learned that ALAC is basically a "zipped" or compressed version of AIFF. If you compress it, then re-expand it using a proper conversion tool, the checksum is identical. Learned something new. I'll probably convert my whole library from AIFF to ALAC now that I see how much space it saves. The digital playback in my home system uses Audirvana, which loads up 2 GB of music into memory before the DAC ever sees it, and this is where any decompression would happen. I'm sure the Sony is pre-loading memory as well. Smart, but if you are going to drop support for something in your flagship, you should publish an article explaining this kind of thing instead of just dropping it on the market and hoping for the best.

As for wired CarPlay vs wireless, it still sounds pretty good. Much, much better than the wired CarPlay in my old Kenwood 9702S. But I can't think of a viable reason why Sony didn't implement this. I mean, you gotta charge the phone right? Why not charge the phone and access it through USB? Got to be some kind of behind the scenes stupidity around Android and Apple. Sony DOES offer high-res USB connection to Android phones if my understanding is correct.

However, maybe streaming hi-def over WiFi is giving me everything I need. I haven't found an answer yet as to what Apple is actually streaming over WiFi from CarPlay, or what it could be capable of in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess it's time for an update.

I now have most of what I need to complete the install. I had a spare sheet of plexi left over from another project from literally decades ago. I played around with the interior layout a few times, noting where cables would be and where seat mounting points clamped down when the rear seats where folded up and down for the cargo area.

I used a tap to mount everything but the amp with #8/32 screws. The amp can only be mounted with strong double stick tape.


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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Running the wiring was a bear. I found out all of the foam under the carpet was wet. These beasts have drainage problems caused by sunroof drains and air-conditioning drains. I thought I had fixed the passenger side, but I had one thing left to fix. Now that it's fixed and dried out, time to keep going. Good thing is it opened up everything underneath where there are plenty of places to run nice fat speaker wire. Getting it out to the door was troublesome, but I finally figured it out. The Bose system plugs in to the door jamb. (As do the rear-view mirrors and window regulators.) Once I scoped everything out with a borescope, it wasn't too hard. Borescopes make life so much easier.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ah! Yes, you did just catch a sneak preview of my 3D printed 8" speaker stand-offs. That's just the trial version that I printed in an hour and a half out of petg at 5% fill on draft mode. It seems to work and I have barely enough clearance. Actually, I might not have enough clearance, but I won't know until I get everything assembled and put back together. I did a trial run with the door back together, so physically everything works. I'm just not sure how much clearance I need in front of the woofer cone. Spec sheet says 18mm and I have that. (I think.)

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I'm now printing the full-spec part out of ASA at 60% fill and .2mm quality. 37 hours instead of 1.5 hours! Now I see why the professionals use routers and other materials. It's going to take three days for me to print these. I've got time the professionals don't, so....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Time to make an update! An hour here, a couple of hours there, and I'm almost at the finish line for phase 1! (Phase 2 is subwoofer.)

To get the SK8s to fit, I removed everything, and I mean everything associated with the Bose compact 8" subwoofer. It's still a pretty tight fit, and if I have to do it over again, I'll probably go with the Kenwood Excelon KFC-XW800F as it's a very shallow mount 8" and I don't feel like spending Morel money. Unlike the later model Cayennes, the earlier models have steel frames to hold the window slides instead of plastic. (Another non-audio reason I like the first-gen Cayenne over all of the other generations!)
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