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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So this build log is for Scott, who just so happens to be an audiophiles audiophile with a bit of a taste for high output. More so than any other person i've done a build for on that last one. When he called me and told me hes been planning this build for something like 5+ years and finally found someone he was comfortable enough with to let take on his vision. You guys may remember his other car that i built, which was the Buick Enclave that we did back in the summer. He later revealed that the build in that car was essentially the try-outs for this build. I guess we made the team lol.

This build consisted of a lot of really nice gear that he has been collecting for the past few years. The lineup includes:

Sony RSX-GS9
Helix DSP Pro mk2 & Helix Director
(2) Arc Audio SE4200
Arc Audio SE2300
(2) Dynaudio Esotar e1200 subwoofers
Dynaudio Esotec MW182 10" midbass drivers
Dynaudio Esotar e430 4" midrange drivers
Scanspeak R2004 tweeters
Cascade Audio Engineering sound treatment material

The main requirements for this build: Pure, accurate reproduction with no compromises in achieving that. High output. No rattles, resonance, and an overall quieter ride. Overall looks/design were not of any priority (we still refused to make it anything near unpleasing to the eye), but retaining some trunk space and usability was.

Scott can chime in if he wants, but i think we took those goals and smashed em.








First up was getting the Sony GS9 and Helix Director installed. Kevin handled this, and most of the labor for this build while i directed and designed the layout. We used the Helix DMP to house the director, then fabricated a bezel that flushed it to the dash kit and GS9. After Kevin fabricated it, i prepped it for paint and primed it, painted, and cleared it. Here it is after a couple layers of primer.










Here comes something ive never *fully* done (at least to this extent) in a car before.. 100% coverage soundproofing. CLD, CCF, MLV, insulation, and a few other products that Cascade Audio Engineering makes. We first started with some Sound Deadener Showdown CLD tiles on the floor where needed, then covered in a peel and stick closed cell foam. After the closed cell foam, we did 100% coverage of Cascade Audio Engineering VB4 (closed cell foam and MLV) on the floor. The transmission tunnel got 100% coverage of their VB3, which in my opinion, was freakin awesome. Its a thin sheet of lead sandwiched between closed cell foam. Its extremely dense (more so than MLV while also being much thinner) and moldable. All overlaps were taped down. Take note to the fiberglass insulation in all voids like the B-pillars, wheel well areas, quater panels, etc. Before you ask, no, we are not worried about mold. Fiberglass is non organic. If moisture even gets to it, it will not grow mold. This was confirmed beforehand by my part time employee Matei, who happens to be a certified mold inspector as well as first hand experience with using fiberglass insulation in my own car. Not recommended to shove in your doors to absorb the rear wave for your midbass though. After that, the carpet (reluctantly) went back in. Then came the trunk, which got the same treatment.
















And then the doors. Sound Deadener Showdown Tiles on the outer door skin, and their Sheets along with a few tiles on the inner door skin. 20 Blackhole Tiles were used in each door to help absorb the rear wave from the midbass drivers.After that came closed cell foam.

I just realized i dont have pics of the MW182's installed with the Corian baffles. Damn. Well, while they were a direct fit, they only were by about a millimeter in all directions. A bolt on the window track needed to be shaved down just a hair so the window didnt scrape the back of the speaker.










The "Big 3" was performed under the hood, where the fuse holder was mounted on a steel bracket. A dedicated 0 gauge ground run was run to the front from the trunk at the request of Scott. Another cool thing with the ground which we forgot to get pics of (i'll ask him to send some).. He found a marine power meter that he had us install. It goes in line with your ground. It accurately measures voltage, amperage, wattage, battery capacity, etc etc, real time. The controller for it was mounted in the center console.








Once the sound deadening/proofing was done we started sketching up and planning out the trunk. While we were going to go with 3 of the Dynaudio Esotar subs in an infinite baffle configuration, we opted for 2 in a sealed enclosure due to the size of the trunk. The 3 just wouldnt have fit right. The enclosure ended up being about 1.3 cubic feet per side and was made out of 3/4" B/BB grade Baltic Birch with a brace in the center that splits it into two separate chambers. Sorry, no pics on the construction of the amp rack build, but heres a few shots of Kevin making the beauty panel










Us probably laughing at what someone said on DIYMA.. lol








Sub enclosure beauty panel before upholstery, also made out of baltic birch. We pretty much stopped using MDF for most things.








Next up, I deadened the door panels using Cascade Audio Engineering VB2, which according to the website "is a thin, moldable, odorless and lightweight mineral filled vinyl-copolymer formulated to handle the demanding extremes of aircraft vibration and noise control."

Essentially, you heat it up so until its loose, apply it (its peel and stick), and when it cools its much stiffer. I'm not sure how it does vs traditional CLD type deadener, but it seems to do well in both of his cars that i have done (the Buick Enclave i did back in the summer was his also).










Next up were the dash pods which Kevin built. Unfortunately i did not snap any photos of the build process. I did however take some of the pressed grills i made for them. Here you can see the jig and the templates that were used.










The outer edge of the grills were made out of acrylic and were beveled on the inside and outside and were painted and clear coated to match.








The Arc Audio SE amps that he purchased from someone else came with their center panels painted red. No thanks. Painted and cleared with the same color as the grill trim rings and the director bezel.








Sub enclosure, beauty panel, trunk floor side panels all upholstered and installed. Everything in the trunk is press fit. Kevin truly is nice with it in that regard.








And then the beauty panel for the amps was upholstered and installed.








Last but not least, the grill for the subwoofers to protect them from anything he may put in the trunk.










Amp rack beauty panel. As said before, everything we have been making recently has been purely out of B/BB grade Baltic Birch. Even though its not as cheap as MDF, it has been better in every other way.








I was waiting for them when i walked by the garage door and saw him taking photos of (what i presume to be) the overall look of the car now vs how it came. It was detailed and buffed by Malibu Detailing, who happens to be located in the suite right next door to me. This is now included on all of our large scale builds. I









The paint before..








The paint before/after. It honestly looked like a whole new car when it was done.








So taking Scotts "Looks are not important, make it sound as good as it possibly can" into account, this is what we came up with for the midrange and tweeter. We were actually supposed to use a Dynaudio Esotar e110 tweeter, but their size made it pretty much impossible to get optimal speaker locations. While it took some convincing, Scott finally agreed that going with a smaller tweeter to get a much better location was the best route to take. The pods are attached to the metal of the car underneath the pillars and are fully sealed in about 1 liter of airspace, which is more than enough for the e430 midrange drivers. The baffle was made out of 3/8" cast cell acrylic and is tapped for some black cap head screws. They were wrapped in OEM vinyl.
















The Helix Director and Sony RSX-GS9 installed and in action. We changed the director color to match the HVAC controls below it.










Heres the trunk with all of the covers installed. Sorry for the poor photo. Bad lighting/angle i guess.








And heres what you see once you pop that center carpeted panel up. 3 power houses staring right at you.










And with the subwoofer cover off..










Remember when i said i think we smashed the goals on this build? Well, here ya go :)

Also, i may or may not be writing build logs at 3:30 in the morning...

Thanks again Scott!














Thanks for looking! Let us know what you think, and please feel free to ask away about the build. I'm open to answering all questions about why things were done the way they were.

 

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Congrats on a great workq, as usual. But why didn't you use something like an APL to use FIR corrections if you were after a bleedings edge install?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
Congrats on a great workq, as usual. But why didn't you use something like an APL to use FIR corrections if you were after a bleedings edge install?
Thanks. And the APL isnt always necessary. Also, they never want to work with either of my laptops for some reason :/

Also, for the possibly small improvement it may add, theres nothing i can do to support it. If it breaks, if it acts up, if it starts making noise, wipes the tune, etc etc.. these are all unfortunately common things that come up, and i would never want a customer to have to drive X amount of miles (in this case, about 120) just to get something troubleshot then me tell them "yeah, come back in 4 weeks. I gotta get a new one" or do the same thing just for me to reupload a tune. With just a helix, i know that the customer has nothing to worry about if something were to go wrong, which is extremely rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Amazing work! Just waiting on delivery of my new sliverado and I'll be getting a hold of you to do a build.
Ayy thanks. Feel free to shoot me a message. Its always better to plan sooner than later :)
 

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Nicely done! Great work by the whole team.

I'm disappointed in the lack of pics of the MW182s in the doors. :D
 

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Nicely done! Great work by the whole team.

I'm disappointed in the lack of pics of the MW182s in the doors. :D
kevin sent me a pic he took of the baffle installed. i'll post it later lol
 

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Thanks. And the APL isnt always necessary. Also, they never want to work with either of my laptops for some reason :/

Also, for the possibly small improvement it may add, theres nothing i can do to support it. If it breaks, if it acts up, if it starts making noise, wipes the tune, etc etc.. these are all unfortunately common things that come up, and i would never want a customer to have to drive X amount of miles (in this case, about 120) just to get something troubleshot then me tell them "yeah, come back in 4 weeks. I gotta get a new one" or do the same thing just for me to reupload a tune. With just a helix, i know that the customer has nothing to worry about if something were to go wrong, which is extremely rare.
Nice install! Does the APL really have that many issues? I was considering one of those and I don't want to fork out the money if it is wiping peoples tunes and making noises. That's super disappointing considering that is the one piece I really want to buy to upgrade my system.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice install! Does the APL really have that many issues? I was considering one of those and I don't want to fork out the money if it is wiping peoples tunes and making noises. That's super disappointing considering that is the one piece I really want to buy to upgrade my system.
Thank you. And I havent come across them because i couldnt even get mine to connect to my computer. I havent really heard of any issues, but its a DSP and you never know. Unfortunately shit happens. The only issue that i have heard of in a car that i work on is in the versa. At finals it wouldnt connect to Steves laptop either. The software wouldnt see my mic either. Its just not something i am willing to offer clients unless they specifically ask for it, where they will essentially hear something similar to my "used gear speech".. "i am not estimating time before hand, but i will tally it up and you will pay for whatever time it takes". In my car that would have been something like 7 hours just to end up with it still not connecting or reading properly and skyping with the guy from eastern europe at 6am.
 

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Nice install! Does the APL really have that many issues? I was considering one of those and I don't want to fork out the money if it is wiping peoples tunes and making noises. That's super disappointing considering that is the one piece I really want to buy to upgrade my system.
Thank you. And I havent come across them because i couldnt even get mine to connect to my computer. I havent really heard of any issues, but its a DSP and you never know. Unfortunately shit happens. The only issue that i have heard of in a car that i work on is in the versa. At finals it wouldnt connect to Steves laptop either. The software wouldnt see my mic either. Its just not something i am willing to offer clients unless they specifically ask for it, where they will essentially hear something similar to my "used gear speech".. "i am not estimating time before hand, but i will tally it up and you will pay for whatever time it takes". In my car that would have been something like 7 hours just to end up with it still not connecting or reading properly and skyping with the guy from eastern europe at 6am.
My two have been flawless so far.

I have seen issues with people getting connected to them, but once that is resolved, things usually go well. There was a Windows 10 issue for about a month or so, but things have been going well since. Also, make sure to try a different USB cable before having a spare unit overnighted before a show ;)

Customer service can be an issue. APL is a one person company, and that one guy lives in Latvia, and there is a language barrier. I help people when I can, but sometimes I do have to get Raimonds involved for more info.

I would gladly buy them again, and will be buying more this year. However, I fully understand why a business wouldn't want to deal with such a device. If Raimonds could streamline the software, drivers, and customer service, a lot more shops would be open to becoming an APL dealer. But at the moment it is a hobbyist device.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My two have been flawless so far.

I have seen issues with people getting connected to them, but once that is resolved, things usually go well. There was a Windows 10 issue for about a month or so, but things have been going well since. Also, make sure to try a different USB cable before having a spare unit overnighted before a show ;)

Customer service can be an issue. APL is a one person company, and that one guy lives in Latvia, and there is a language barrier. I help people when I can, but sometimes I do have to get Raimonds involved for more info.

I would gladly buy them again, and will be buying more this year. However, I fully understand why a business wouldn't want to deal with such a device. If Raimonds could streamline the software, drivers, and customer service, a lot more shops would be open to becoming an APL dealer. But at the moment it is a hobbyist device.
exactly. PS, i did try multiple cables lol

And believe it or not, i looked into becoming the US distributor for APL. I just dont think its streamlined enough like you said to be doing something like that while im in the position i am currently in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you Scott. It means a lot. I'm glad you finally got what you were after :)

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Another fantastic job done by a great team!

Scott, Congrats on the achievement after all this time and above all enjoy it ! Though I can already tell you are...I know what that 2 hour ride home is like after the team does some bad ass stuff ;)
 

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Where’s a link to the enclave build thread?


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Where’s a link to the enclave build thread?


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