DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 161 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


Today I picked up my new car. It looks great and I wouldn't be surprised to learn had it been garaged it's whole life. Everything at the dealer went super smooth, I was in and out in about 90 minutes, including the test drive. As soon as I let the clutch out I knew I was right in wanting one of these cars. What a wonderful piece of machinery to drive!

On the way home I plugged in my phone and turned on the stereo. At first I was like, "Ok, I can deal with this." It wasn't fantastic sounding, but wasn't absolute shit. Then a song with a little bit of bass came on, and at even a moderate volume, it didn't take much for everything to fall apart. The bass pulled enough power to destroy everything else.

I was going to leave it alone for awhile, but it's too terrible to do that. I don't want to get all crazy with it, mostly just drop in stuff. Lucky for me, it's not a Bose system, so it should be fairly easy to work on.

I have a bunch of gear laying around. Throwing my 800PRS in is a no-brainer. Perhaps running it in network mode off the internal amp is all I'll need to hold me over for awhile. If I need more power, I can easily add an amp.

There is pretty much no room for subs. Some people have put a single 8 in the passenger foots well, but I'm not looking to lose any passenger space. Like the rest of the car, the trunk is tiny. Even worse, it's pretty much sealed off from the rest of the car, so good luck getting any bass into the passenger area. That pretty much leaves sacrificing the storage bins behind the seats. There is a shop in Florida that made a box for 2 8's that went in the soft top storage area, and the top was still able to fully fold up, so that's an idea.

For the rest of the speakers, I have to mock it up, but it looks like horns will fit. The doors should fit 8's pretty easily. Perhaps something like the Silver Flutes could play from 50-ish all the way up to the horns and I could go without subs. I'm not looking for crazy loud, so that could work and it would be awfully nice to only have one amp to hide.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
It didn't take long to start ordering parts:

Metra Dash Kit
Metra Harness
Metra ASWC-1 Steering Wheel control adaptor
Pro-Clip Phone Mount
1 Foot long HDMI Cable
Used Steering Wheel
New Brake Switch

So, a few items need to be explained. I purposely got a no-option car because I'm just not a fan how hard it can be to replace failing electronic bits when a car gets old. The other problem is with they way the factory bundles options. Check one box to get a feature you want, and suddenly you wind up with a feature you don't want, and I don't want nanny features, like traction/stability control. So in my case, I looked for a car with as few options as I could find.

One feature I did want is cruise control. I did the research, and cruise control was a $500 option when the car was new. A 2009-1025 MX-5 has a Dive By Wire throttle body, all the wiring for cruise control, and every ECU is already programmed for Cruise Control. So to add Cruise Control, all you have to do is remove the blank trim pieces from the steering wheel and replace them with the trim pieces with switches, getting a used steering wheel is the easiest way to get the switches. I found one on Ebay for $50. The only other difference is the brake switch. The car with factory Cruise have a 4-pin switch, two high current for the brake lights, and two low current for the Cruise. The non-Cruise cars have a 2-pin switch. A new 4-pin switch is less than $20 and drops right in.

The Cruise switches also come with radio controls, so I got the adaptor to make them control the 800PRS. The only catch is, the Metra wiring harness doesn't come with a pin to connect the steering wheel controls, so I had to order a second harness so I have the extra pin I need.

I ordered the iPhone mount, but do really was to plug in two cables every time I get in the car, so I figured I could just use a Lightning to HDMI adaptor and Audio de-embedder that I have on the shelf. Then I can plug into the AUX in on the 800PRS. Of course, I then started wondering about the quality of the DAC in the $15 de-embedder when I realized I have a REALLY good DAC in the APL1 I'm currently not using.

So the plan is to go from the iPhone, to HIDMI, to digital coax into the APL1 and analog out into the 800PRS. It should be fun to see how it all works out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts




Today I picked up my new car. It looks great and I wouldn't be surprised to learn had it been garaged it's whole life. Everything at the dealer went super smooth, I was in and out in about 90 minutes, including the test drive. As soon as I let the clutch out I knew I was right in wanting one of these cars. What a wonderful piece of machinery to drive!



On the way home I plugged in my phone and turned on the stereo. At first I was like, "Ok, I can deal with this." It wasn't fantastic sounding, but wasn't absolute shit. Then a song with a little bit of bass came on, and at even a moderate volume, it didn't take much for everything to fall apart. The bass pulled enough power to destroy everything else.



I was going to leave it alone for awhile, but it's too terrible to do that. I don't want to get all crazy with it, mostly just drop in stuff. Lucky for me, it's not a Bose system, so it should be fairly easy to work on.



I have a bunch of gear laying around. Throwing my 800PRS in is a no-brainer. Perhaps running it in network mode off the internal amp is all I'll need to hold me over for awhile. If I need more power, I can easily add an amp.



There is pretty much no room for subs. Some people have put a single 8 in the passenger foots well, but I'm not looking to lose any passenger space. Like the rest of the car, the trunk is tiny. Even worse, it's pretty much sealed off from the rest of the car, so good luck getting any bass into the passenger area. That pretty much leaves sacrificing the storage bins behind the seats. There is a shop in Florida that made a box for 2 8's that went in the soft top storage area, and the top was still able to fully fold up, so that's an idea.



For the rest of the speakers, I have to mock it up, but it looks like horns will fit. The doors should fit 8's pretty easily. Perhaps something like the Silver Flutes could play from 50-ish all the way up to the horns and I could go without subs. I'm not looking for crazy loud, so that could work and it would be awfully nice to only have one amp to hide.



Any thoughts or suggestions?


Congrats man. You're going to love it. I have 3 cars, the other 2 being faster and more comfortable than my 06 Miata, but I still drive that car every day the weather permits. I think my car is the one you're referring to when you mentioned the shop in Florida. Five and a half years later and it's still sounds great. I am considering replacing the subs with some Type R's if they'll physically fit but honestly not needed.

http://www.soundwavesoftampa.com/photo_gallery.html?Cat=8&SCat=29


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Congrats man. You're going to love it. I have 3 cars, the other 2 being faster and more comfortable than my 06 Miata, but I still drive that car every day the weather permits. I think my car is the one you're referring to when you mentioned the shop in Florida. Five and a half years later and it's still sounds great. I am considering replacing the subs with some Type R's if they'll physically fit but honestly not needed.

Soundwaves of Tampa, Florida (813) 849-1104 - Photo Gallery


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks! Yep, it's your box I saw. I already contacted the shop about building a duplicate box, but they are only interested if I bring my car to them, bummer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I mocked up my current CD2 Comps on the big bodies today. The driver side almost fits and wouldn't need much work. The passenger side isn't even close. It's funny how big they look compared to the car.





I've contacted Eric to see if he can make a straight entry body that might work. Even if he can, the driver needs to be less than 2.75 inches deep to fit between the blower motor and sheet metal.

On the plus side, all my wiring showed up and I can get to sorting that out. Also, my phone mount showed up:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I talked to Eric today, and it looks like the CD2 Mini body is the way to go, so I'll be buying a set of those with his current drivers.

A bunch of stuff arrived today, so I got to work, but not before grabbing this picture and over editing it :p :



I'm not sure if the Miata makes the Bronco look big, or if the Bronco makes the Miata look small. :D

The 800PRS mounted in the dash kit:



Below it is a Voltage Gauge, USB charging ports and a 12V power outlet. The 12V power outlet will get constant power so that when I park for long periods of time I can throw one of my solar panels on the dash to maintain the battery.



I made up the little textured ABS piece and used CA glue to mount it to the dash kit. I haven't used CA glue before, damn that stuff is impressive!

After getting the physical fit down, I fired up the soldering iron:



Here we have the 800PRS, APL1, Steering wheel control interface, HDMI audio de-embedder and Lightning to HDMI dongle. I also have an extra 12V power outlet that has a Scosche dual USB plug in it, both ports are high current. One port to charge my phone, the other is to power the HDMI audio de-embedder.

And last, I reclaimed some old RCA connectors off of some older custom cables and made some new ones for this project. One is the digital for into the APL1, and the other two are for analog out the the APL1 and into the 800PRS.



Tomorrow my new steering wheel and brake switch should arrive. It should be a big day for the new ride. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Lets start with a look at the factory steering wheel and radio:



The first thing I did was install the cruise control components. On the left is the non-cruise brake switch, and on the right is the cruise switch. If you con't mind laying with your back over the door sill, you can swap these parts without tools. All 2009-2015 cars have the same plugs and wiring, so the new switch plugs right in.



Next up is the steering wheel. I started by removing the stock wheel:



That is pretty straight forward. Next I needed to connect the horn to the new wheel, the plugs are different. I dipped into my weatherpack kit and used a single pin connector:



Next is to torque down the new wheel and plug in the wiring. The plug you need is already installed and has all the proper wiring.



Install the airbag/horn assembly and you are set. A quick test drive proved that the cruise and radio controls work! It took less than an hour, including test drive.

Next up is the radio. I spent an absurd amount of time trying to figure out where to stuff the APL1, I'm not used to having so little extra space. I wound up stuffing it under the carpet on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel. I hope it doesn't get too hot! In this pic you can just barely see the RCA connectors facing up, and the HDMI audio de-embedder on top of the transmission tunnel:



I was able to stuff the bulk of the new wiring harness in a hole between the center stack and glove box then pop the head unit in place.



Before buttoning everything up I tested it. The steering wheel controls worked right away, the gauges and power ports all work right. But the left door wasn't making any sound, grrr. I spent way too long poking around trying to find the problem only to eventually find that it was a pin on the Metra harness that was in the wrong hole. I fixed that and was good to go!

With that fixed I buttoned it up, tested everything again only to find that I had forgotten to plug the HVAC controls back in. I was chasing the sun at this point but took it apart again and putting it back together and I was good to go! Here is a crappy shot of it all lit up:


I'll get a better shot tomorrow. And yes, I put the shift knob back on.

I was lucky that the voltage gauge matched the dash lighting perfectly, now I just need to figure out how to change the head unit color to match. Maybe if I call ErinH over to this thread he might have some advice, anyone else know how to do this?

Without any tuning at all, just a 6db high pass at 50hz it already sounds MUCH better than the factory radio, especially when turning it up. My only problem is that the APL1 is clipping the inputs on the 800PRS on some songs. I'll spend some time with REW and APL Workshop tomorrow to see what kind of tune I can get out of the stock speaker setup.

Somehow while climbing around in the car I managed to shatter my phone screen while it was in my pocket. I ordered a new screen from ifixit.com and should have it all fixed up on Tuesday. I'm glad it didn't happen while I was on the road! Unfortunately, that just took up a bunch of money I could have used on the new horns. :mad:

I'm only home for one more week before the golf season picks back up, and it starts with a complex show that I need to spend a few days next week prepping. I won't have more than a couple days off until March, I guess that gives me plenty of time to figure out what I'll do with the doors :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Off to a good start Lumberman. Looking good! Been following the APL thread as well and will be interested to hear your further results. Sounds like you're already seeing some major impact even with the factory oem drivers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I got home from my first tournament of the year at 3am yesterday, 11 more to go this year!

Today I took a 10mm, 12mm, and 13mm wrench out the the car and adjusted the clutch. It was driving me nuts that it had to be almost at the floor to disengage. I backed the upper stop all the way in, then threaded the master cylinder rod out until I just barely had play in it.

I took the car out for a spin, immediately I was able to back the seat up several notches, making it MUCH more comfortable. Even better is I don;t have to push the clutch nearly as far to change gears! It's made a HUGE difference in shifting, now it's a thoughtless task, and I can shift much quicker!

I then spent some time just driving around with the top down. It's a sunny and chilly day, great for a drive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just after posting that I got off my bum and did some work. I decided that instead of running my IDQ8's (last of the original run) in Ol Smokey, It would be best to use them in the Miata, and then use something else in Ol Smokey.

So I started with the driver door. After looking at how the wiring was run, I figured it might be easiest to just unplug the wires from the door jamb, then remove the plastic inner door panel with all the wires still attached. This turned out to be a stupid move, getting that plug out is a wild pain in the ass. But to make it worse, getting it back in place, and getting the rubber boot back on is just a terrible task. I wound up removing the whole frickin door so I could do it! Just stupid!

After getting everything back to normal, I removed the plastic inner panel. I brought it in and took the dremel to it, First I had to remove the tabs that (I'm guessing) align the Bose 8's:



Then I cut along the lines for the Bose 8's and mounted the IDQ:



Next up I tried to bolt them back in, but it turns out the IDQ's are too deep. Some time ago I had started making HDPE mounting rings for the IDQ's so I just had to finish them. They turned out looking like crap, but they do the job. Here is one mounted up:



After getting the pair mounted up, I had a listen. They sound good, definitely more low end than the factory speakers, but also a bit of a drop in efficiency. Door rattles will be a problem once I give them some real power.

Tomorrow I'll retune with the APL and have another listen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I did a couple quick tunes with the APL stuff today, one for the top up, and one for the top down. Here are a couple graphs, the green line is the response, the other is the target.

Top and windows up frequency response:


Top and windows down frequency response:


I'm not sure what is going on at the very top end, but I'm not too worried because I'll be replacing those drivers and going full active when I get home from my next trip. The left tweeter does sound a bit strained at times, so it's a good thing it'll be unplugged soon.

Top and windows up TDA:


Top and windows down TDA:


Here you can REALLY see the effects of reflection in the car! There is quite a bit of difference between the top up and down.

I leave for a long work trip on Tuesday, when I get back I'll have my new horns to install and will switch the 800PRS over to Network Mode. I'll also have the time to install an amp. Then I'll actually be able to dial in TA, set the levels properly and so on. I should be mostly done with the audio stuff on this car and turn my attention back to Ol Smokey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Today I did something I haven't done in ages, a wash, claybar, and wax. All the cars I've had for the last 15 years had paint that was too far gone to really worry about it. Thank goodness it's a small car!

Also, my new wiper switch showed up, this is the stock one:


And the new one:


For some reason the Miata didn't come with variable intermittent wipers. However, the RX8 did have the option and the switch is compatible with the Miata, no other changes need to be made to get this option functioning. It was $35, including shipping, and took less than 10 minutes to swap out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I'm sure they are correct because I named the files as I took the screenshots.

The top down measurement is a little suspect because apparently Harley Davidson motorcycles need to warm up for an hour before you can drive them. The guy about half a block away started his just after I started the sweeps and I carried on. After taking the measurement I waited for him to shut it off or drive away, but after 45 minutes I gave up. Either way, I threw a 50Hz high pass on it after tuning.
 
1 - 20 of 161 Posts
Top