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Hi all,

Pretty excited to post this as it is the first focused SQ build we have had since opening up the retail shop :)

Since this log has over 200 pictures, i am going to try to be straight and to the point. :)

The customer came to us with a high end build already in the car, done by a shop down in socal. The build was...well high end in equipment, but IMHO less so in execution. Being his most frequent daily driver and not very satisfied with the previous outcome, the client expressed a desire to achieve a very high level of sq, whatever it takes :)

So the goals were simple

1. achieve a high level of sq, this is the first priority, anything else came secondary

2. retain a clean and functional look in the trunk, keep the spare tire in place and leave some amount of storage room.

so, lets get started.

first, we wanted to make the system gets plenty of power as the amps have around 400 amps of fusing on them. To that end, we ran dual 0 gauge power cables back. Joey also made a custom metal fuse holder bracket that securely mounts the dual 0 gauge fused block under the hood. it bolts to the car using factory mounting points:





here is a closer look at the bracket Joey made:





some closer shots of the wiring unde the hood, fro the battery to its entry point into the cabin, wrapped in split loom with heatshrink and bundled to the car:









the signal source is the only piece we retained from the previous install, it is an alpine INE-S820HD. the one thing we did was to blend in the dash kit so its a one piece ring instead the ugly two piece design like before(random pic i found online):





the backup camera that was installed functions as before:



here is the picture of the dash kit and bezel after we prepped it and painted both to match:



here is a picture of the previous wiring job behind the dash:



and after Joey organized it to our standards :)





Joey mounted the remote bass control knob into one of the blank knock out panels in his center console, and also adapted so the LED is next to the knob. being that these Arc audio SE knob's leds blink red when clipping, this is more than just a cosmetic thing, but also truly useful as well to prevent over driving the subs:





here are two pics of the knob install:





the car uses a Mosconi 6to8 so all tuning can be done from the front seat via a laptop:

 

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lets move to the front stage.

This consists of a new Morel Elate MW6 midbass in kick panels, a CDM880 dome midrange on the A pillar, and a new Supremo Piccolo tweeter on the sail panels. First up is the MW6 midbass in the kicks, we chose this location to get the most out of them, and also, with how cheaply the new jetta is built compared to the MKV and MKVI Golf, we wanted to ensure there is no buzzing and rattle from the plastic door panel. so here they are finished in black vinyl:













here are some build pics of the kicks, first I lay down the floor mold with 8 layers of cloth:





when this cured, i pulled them out and trimmed them to the desired shapes:



i wanted them to vent into the carpet and the cavity areas behind the kick panel, so i cut out holes for that:



to ensure there is absolutely no resonance from them, i laid down TWO layers of STP gold damper onto the back mold:



then i put them back in the car and aimed the two ring baffles at the desired angle:



then i took them out of the car, refinforced the mounting:



mold cloth was then pulled, resin applied, when that cured, i trimmed the excess cloth and poured a duraglass/resin mixture into the inside to reinforce them:



next i loaded it up with filler and sanded it smooth:



the inside walls of the pods received an additional layer of model clay, and a layer of STP gold damper on top to help with resonance killing and to hold the clay in place:





when that was done, the two kicks are wrapped with black vinyl:





to make the grilles blend better, we painted the Morel Octopus from the stock olive drab color to black as well:



Anyone who is familar with VWs know that the OEM hood release latch is in the driver side kick panel, so we relocated it to the under dash area above the kick and mounted it side ways:



this is not just a remove and reattach job, instead, Joey fabricated a new metal mounting backet that bolts to the car and securely houses the pull handle:













here it is in the car, and you can see one of the oem bolts that secure it, the other is obscured by the fuse box:



 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
For the midrange and tweeter install, I spoke at length with my friend Casey Thorson from Morel. My original idea of doing semi on axis dash pod was quickly dashed (pun intended :D) when i realized the MKVI jetta is not like the MKV, in that the windshield is MUCH closer to the dash as it does not have the little kick up at the end. as a result, if we were to do a dash pod, it would have had to come out so far that it would be ridiculous looking.

The end goal is that the tweeters, whcih were much more prone to beaming, would be installed about 10-15 degress off axis from the listeners ear, the CDM880 was far better off axis so my main goal was to aim them to the point that they would clear the instrument cluster shroud, so they ended up being about 30 degress off axis. to mimic the tweeter angles with the mids would require them to be a lot more inboard, whcih would both cut into the vision of the driver and decrease stage width.

so lets look at the mids first in the A pillars. the new pillars are textured and painted to match the other pillars. and the CDM880 is flush mounted with its own Lotus grille:







the Piccolo tweeter went into the only location that could give us that 10-15 degree off axis aiming point, and that was the oem sail panels. being the tweeter is quite large, it made for a trick mold, but we got it to work :) it is textured as well and painted satin black like the oem piece:



and here is the car with the doors closed, showing the two drivers side by side:



the same of course, goes for the passenger side:











and finally, a look at the entire front stage:



here some build pics of the midrange and tweeter pods:

here ist he oem a pillar, one was stripped of its top cover:



next, i aimed the two ring baffles using a flat laser pointer and secured them to the A pillars:





then grille cloth was pulled, forming the shape of the pod:



resin was applied, allowed to cure, the excess cloth trimmed and the duraglass/resin mixture was poured inside to reinforce the pods:





i then sorta forgot to take a few pictures showing the body filler and smoothing, oops hehe.

anyway, after that was done, i laid sound proofing both inside the pods and on the backside of the oem pillar piece:



to make all the grilles match, we also painted the octopus grille for the CDM880 black:



moving onto the sail panel pods.

first i scoffed the oem pods with 36 grit to give some bite to the fiberglass:



then using the same laser pointer, we aimed the two tweeters to be identical degress off axis from each ear, and secured the baffles to the sail panels:





next, grille cloth was pulled and attached to the panels, forming the shape of the pod:



resin was applied and when that cured, i poured the milkshake into the pod to strengthen it, and then trimmed the excess cloth off



then over 2 or 3 layers of filler, i sanded the pods to the desired curvature and shape:







a layer of STP gold damper also went into the pods:



i then handed all the pods off to joey and he sprayed them with high build primer:





the A pillar were textured and painted to match the other pillars:





the sail panels were texured and painted in satin black and the morel supremo piccolo tweeters were wired up and installed:














these were then installed into the car:



 

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Discussion Starter #4
next comes the pics of the wiring we did as it travels from the front to the back of the car. the previous install featured 12 gauge speaker wire from the amps then just connected tot he factory 18 gauge wire behind the stock radio, we made sure to run new speaker wires into the doors for the Morel tweeter:





























I also took the time to sound proof the rear deck, adding STP gold damper on the metal rear deck, and a ton of STP open celled foam on the bottom of the rear deck cover:







 

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so thats it for the interior. moving to the trunk

as mentioned, the goal was very simple, keep things clean, leave some usable trunk space and retain the spare tire. since this build featured a LOT of products, the only logical place to do the eletrical components was on the ceiling of the rear deck, and the only place to do the sub was a side box.

so here is the view with the trunk open. a fiberglass enclsoure around 1.25 cubic foot is on the driver side, housing a single Illusion Audio Carbon C12XL subwoofer, while a trim panel hides the ceiling mounted component from view:



the subbox has a lot of subtle details, including a vinyl covered grille/trim piece with our logo:





and there is a channel cut into the box, with its own vinyl trim piece, that allows the arm to swing down into the box without affecting the motion:



two more shots of the box and the trim panel:





now lets take a quick peak at what is hiding int he ceiling of the trunk.

three Arc audio SE amps power the entire system. a 2300 sends about a kilowatt to the illusion audio sub, a comp modded 4200SE is bridged powering the midbass with 500 watts a piece, while another 4200SE, also comp modded, poweres the mid and tweeter with over 200 watts each. the aforementioned mosconi 6ot8 DSP is at the front right hand side, while four Arc Audio ALD linedriver/balanced line transmitters is behind it, stepping up the signal from the DSP and converted them to balanced to go directly into the Arc SE amps:







since the oem trunk light is now blocked by the amps, we also integrated a new LED flood light into the rack so he can see things at night. here is a shot of the trunk open at night in the dark:



so thats it for the trunk, this design makes it very hard for me to take any pictures that is presentable due to the location and orientation of the components...so i will make it up by giving you a ton of build pics :)

first up is the subbox, the customer previous had a JL audio stealth box in place with a single 10" sub, we used it to make a back mold for the back half of our enclosure:





next, Joey fabricated the complex front baffle and spacer rings, sealed them together using Sonus Audio Mass, and positioned them on the back mold:















the back mold was then extended and a MDF portion tacked on:





finally, the complete from baffle and rear mold was secured together and mold cloth pulled across to form the shape of the enclosure:









resin was applied, the enclosure strengthened with fiberglass, and a whole bunch of sanding and smoothing later, we ended up with this:



joey then made the front grille and trim baffles and cut the shape into the box. he also installed the threaded inserts to mount the subwoofer at the same time:















 

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a few quick shots of how the top channel and trim piece was made. the channel is basically a smoothout mdf channel made up of two boards and a series of strips, it was molded into the box, and then fiberglass was laid on top to form the trim piece:







then everything was blended together and sanded smooth:





after this, the box was wrapped in charcoal trunkliner:



and i dyed it slightly to better match the stock carpet:



to better illustrate the color difference, here is a piece of undyed carpet sitting ontop of the dyed box, whcih is slightly lighter in color:



so here is the rest of the enclosure, on the pics showing the side profile, the difference between the dyed and undyed portions are more obvious:









this box was then mounted to the car, two bolts secure the box. one is inside the box towards the back corner:



two quick shots of the awesome illusion audio Carbon C12XL sub, mounted using alan head bolts:





and here is the other mounting point, which is a very HD piece of metal bent and trim to shape, bolting into a rivet nut installed into the factory sheet metal:



three quick pics of the making of this metal tab:







last piece of the subbox puzzel was the trim/grille, so here it is in raw MDF, test fitting to the enclosure:



then it was wrapped in vinyl, featuring our raised logo and raised border, along with black HD grille metal:







moving ointo the amp rack. first, the frames for the amps were fabricated:








next we focused on the ALDs and the 6to8DSP, the channel was mainly how to mount the four ALDs as they dont come with any hardware. So waht Joey did was to take them apart and bolt the chassis together to form a single unit, and bolted L brackets to each end:





then the frame was made up for these components:







the finished rack was test fitted to the car, various rivet nuts were installed in the rear deck to secure it, and then it was grinded, prepped and painted:












We then had to find a place for the power and ground distribution blocks, whcih we did by bolt in a piece of vinyl wrapped MDF board on the driver side trunk/interior divider frame with thread inserts, and then bolting the dblocks onto them.





 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
next came time to wire it all up. here is the main power and ground conections on the driver side going up to the dblocks:







here are the signal wires from the passenger side going into the dsp and then into the ALDs. we custom made our own RCA cables, as well as balanced RJ-45 ended cables out of Cat-5 cable to go between the ALD and the SE amps:









to secure the heavy power/ground cables going into the amps, i installed a series of small rivet nuts to the metal and then used ziptie cable mounts to secure the wiring bundles:









after that was done, Joey fabricated the rear panel out of MDF, and matched it to the contours of the trunk opening with duraglass:





it was then wrapped in trunk liner on both sides and i dyed it to match:







all the threaded inserts were installed to attach to the amp rack frame, and the led flood light was secured and wired up, it was pinned to plug into the OEM trunk light plug:







we also took the time to clean up the wiring job from the previous install in the trunk lid, mostly the cables related to the rear view camera...here is the BEFORE picture:



and here it is after joey cleaned it all up and soldered all the connections, and wrapped the cables with cloth tape:







I meanwhile, laid on a bunch of thick foam on the plastic trim piece to reduce rattles:




and some final shots of the signal/speaker side of the amps wiring, showing everything neatly bundled and secured:







as mentioned before, its really hard to get the right angle and distance to take a picture of this trunk...you really need to see it in person by lying in the trunk to appreciate the rack and wiring...but i took this video to maybe help with the visualization process :)

Wire Organization - 2011 VW Jetta TDi Project - YouTube


So...how does it sound?

well, to be frank, this is really one of the best sounding cars i have ever worked on, and could be THE BEST one from a dynamic standpoint.

imaging is nice, with a solid center, width is superb, height is nice and high with decent depth. tonally, it does everything pretty well. midbass is very snappy and over the course of a few days of demoing, loosened up and worked even better. these MW6 is a defnite step up in the midbass department compared to the previous generation Elates. the CD880 and Piccolo of course provide effortless resolution and buttery smooth highs.

Since i had to demo the system to a wide variety of listeners, i ended up doing two different tunes varying the amount of high frequency information present, and both sounded good to their respectively listeners. smooth yet can also be revealing with nice detail.

the Carbon C12XL continues to impress, and i will say it again here "this is my FAVORITE all around subwoofer of all time!". it does virtually everything well. turn it down to a moderate level and it just dissapears, blends in very well with the rest of the system over a wide variety of music, but when listening to bass tracks, the low freq extension and output parallels many of the beefy subs on the market today, such as IDMAX and JL W7...and it does this with a structure that weights maybe 12-13 lbs? WOW! I had high expections on it already from the Genesis install, but this time, with just one in a side firing enclosure, it really blew me away. Even Joey, who is used to loud bass, was impressed :)

with some more tuning, i think it can get even better, but really, i was sad to see it go...i enjoyed every minute of listening to this car.

okie, that was a rather long log (4 hours in the making), time to go home and eat!

cheers,

Bing
 

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Beautiful job! I'm so excited to have you build my system, whenever that will be ;-)
 

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I see your running two arc ald's to a single arc 4200se. Did you have to make your own cat5 cable and split it between the ald's then into the balanced line input on the amp???
 

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Awesome build log, as always. I wish I'd had a chance to demo this one when it got completed.
 

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Sounded incredible.. Wish I could have heard it with the +2 dB of highs tuned in.. I'll stand with Joey (needs more highs)


That sub was effin impressive..... and at one point had it turned all the way down to listen to the mid bass and WOW :D


Once again, great job SiS!!
 

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I see your running two arc ald's to a single arc 4200se. Did you have to make your own cat5 cable and split it between the ald's then into the balanced line input on the amp???
We did make our own cat5 to length. The inputs on the rj45 connectors on teh SE amps are front and rear. We just had to cut out the corresponding front/rear wires from each plug.
 

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Very well executed Bing! You brought the excitement back for my build brotha!
I am glad that this build was done before mine, giving us some new ideas to execute my build being that we are using the same front stage.
 

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This is the kind of shop I wish I worked in!

Amazing work. This is impressive. Of all the stuff you posted, I gotta say I was looking most forward to how you build that trim piece on the sub box.

Seems like Bing REALLY likes Rivnuts and welded bracketry nowadays. lol

Amazing work as always.

Jay
 

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VERY nice build Bing. A couple of questions for either you or Joey......

1) You say the Piccolos are more prone to beaming....just curious what you mean by that?

2) What is your process for tuning a vehicle?

Thanks and again, great job!
 

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I had the opportunity to get a demo in this car and have to say that I was so impressed with the install and if the finish wasn't clean enough the sound imaging was awesome. The old saying if you have to ask you can't afford it came to mind but Bing took the time to educate me and I put a deposit down for a build in the near future.

Must work more hours and spend less until that time arrives.
 
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