DiyMobileAudio.com Car Stereo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just got done with another relatively modest SQ build, but this time, it was exciting because we got to use two pretty cool new products for the first time. So included in this build log will be a mini review of:

Arc Audio XDIv2 1200.6 6 channel amplifier

PAC-Audio SWI-CP5 smartphone/computer programmable Steering wheel interface

the goals:

1. improve the sound quality on a modest budget

2. low key and hidden installation throughout

3. integrated appearance on the sub enclosure, no additional storage room taken up in the hatch area

lets get started:

The signal starts with the Pioneer 5600BHS double din headunit, supplied by the customer, and installed with a supplied scosche dash kit:



after doing some research and finding some instructions online written by none other than our own Thunderplains, we were able to retain the factory rear view camera by adding our own voltage regulator and soldered in a rca pigtail to the oem camera input harness:





the only other remaining addition to the interior was the arc audio remote bass knob on the left side switch panel:



The front stage is a set of Morel Virtus 6.5" two way components, first new speaker wires were run into the doors:



the existing mounting rivet holes were punched out a lil bit and four new rivet nuts were added, the outter door panel received some blackhole tiles:




next, select sound proofing of the inner door panel took place with CLD and Foam damper from STP:



next, two spacer adapter baffles were match routered from the oem speaker mounting flanges, and coated with several layers of truck bedliner to weather proof them:





this baffle was then bolted in place via the rivet nuts:



and the morel midbasses wired up and mounted:





the outter door skin also received a liberal amounts of STP cld damper:



the same procedure was then repeated on the passenger side:















i then used a set of illusion tweeter bridges to mount the morel tweeters, painted the silver brackets black so they wouldnt show up through the sepaker grille, and then bolted them in the oem location:









now, lets take a pause and review a pretty cool little gadget, infact, i thought it was the coolest new product i saw at this years CES :)

the Pac Audio SWI-Control Pro 5 (cp5).

Anyone who has done a steering wheel control retention module can probably relate tot his, and i myself have maybe 200 under my belt....it usually is kinda of an annoying process:

you open the package, try to read the teeny tiny print on the chart while referencing the connector pin diagram, or you give up and go online and pull the info for the car from the website to make sure all is up to date. then you solder the wires in place, and program the buttons in one by one, sometimes your finger slip and you push the wrong button and you gotta start all over again, or its a auto sensing one that sometimes work, sometimes does not but still a bit of a guess work. sure, after all these units, i can do it fine everytime, but i still find it somewhat of an annoyance.

Entire the Cp5...lets walk you through the setting up process. note that this unit can also be programmed for auto sensing or manual set up in the traditional method, but i am going to cover the most simple setup procedure- auto programming via a smartphone.

first, here is the box it comes in:



once open it, you will see two codes for you to scan for either an iphone or android, which then takes you to the store for you to download the app:







while its downloading, here is a shot of the rest of the package, the cp5 module, an instructional manual (which i NEVER opened during this whole process), and two wire set, a main harness to connect to the vehicle, and a proprietary (i think its proprietary) usb adapter cable to allow connection with a phone or computer.



so once i have the app powered up, i first selected the vehicle, in this case a 2013 toyota prius with factory equipped navigation, and also selected that its interfacing wtih a pioneer unit:



immediately, it spits out the wiring connection i need to make, and the connector shape and pin out, very cool! :)





so now i just take this whole harness into the car, and using the big easy to reach wiring instructions, solder up the three wires:



then, just plug the cable into the phone, turn on the car, the cp5 beeps to know its on, then i look over the default button selection and feature...which includes the ability to do something different for a quick push and push-n-hold... in this case, i kept the default scheme except i added that for the mode button, a short push is changing source, a long hold mute the system



when i was happy wtih the setup, i simply press send, and a few beeps later, a msg pops up telling me the info has been saved to the cp5, and i am DONE! i can also save the setting into a file so next time, to do a prius, i can select and load the same file versus going in and changing the Mode button push again.



whole process took me no longer than 15 minutes, with about 10 minutes of that being soldering work...and this was MY FIRST EVER UNIT. :) so..easy to use, easy to read, more advanced options, and super fast to work with...whats not to love? I think despite its marginally higher cost than the traditional SWIs, we will be making the switch to these in the future.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
okay, back to the car...the owner did not want any additional space taken up in the hatch other than the sub enclosure, so i knew i had to go underseat for the amp rack and processor mounting. luckily, the prius has ample amount of room under the passenger seat with the JBL amp removed.

so first a few shots of all the signal wires coming from the front of the car, and the power and subwoofer wire from the back of the car, traveling along the passenger side, into the front passenger seat area:









Here is the final amp/processor rack. if you look under the seat from the front with the seat all the way back, you catch a glimpse of the mosconi 4to6 dsp stacked above the amp, and from the back with the seat all the way forward, you can see more of the dsp, the rca cables and the amp below:





this conveniently brings us to the second of our product reviews. the new Arc Audio XDi v2 1200.5 6 channel amplifier.

As many of you know, our entry level go to amp is the arc audio xdi, its small size, ample power and modest price tag allows us to do builds at a more resonable price range. overall, we love these little guys, if i had to nitpick, the four main issues i have had with it in the past are:

1. slight elevated noise floor (tho no worse than comparable tiny class D designs)
2. lack of crossover functions such as low pass on the front channels of the 805...
3. slightly outdated look
4. not enough power to do a real nice fully active sq system off a single amp (as i feel that with cheaper amps, id like more than 80 watts on the midbass whcih was what the 805 5 channel provided x 4 upfront)

I saw these new and improved xdis at CES this past year and really excited about them. they seem to address all four of the above issues with new models, and fortunately, the two models first to drop is the big four channel and the big six channel, the 1200.6. and through the generosity of the folks at arc and the help of our local rep Scott, we were able to source one for this car which had originally been designed on a V1 xdi 804 (bridged on midbass) and 803 (sub and tweeter).

so, lets take a closer look at the 1200.6. for full specs on the new V2 xdi line, you can go here:

Amplifiers, XDi V2 Amplifiers*| Arc Audio

the first thing that strikes you is that this looks to be a MUCH more expensive amp, some will know that the design mimics the PS8 dsp, but this nice solid square chunk of metal just seems far more in line with the time than the previous design, holding it also reveals it to be quite hefty...all the fit and finish on it is excellent. if i were someone new to the game and someone showed me bot this amp and the previous xdi amp, id tell em they are of two totally different price ranges and classes, rather than an evolution of the line.

the amp also still retains its classic tiny footprint...and for once, this is an amp with enough power to run an entire full active system properly. as it produces 6x150 rms, and the rear channels bridged can power a sub with a whopping 600 watts RMS...perfect for a simple two way active and sub. (the front channels can also be bridged into 2x300, as for why there is a power discrepancy between the bridged @4ohm ratings on the six channels, i am sure someone more knowledgable than can give specifics) so anyway, for all this power, it is still only 13" x 6.3" x less than 2.25" :)







like the ps8, this amp is actually a top shroud over the amp itself, you detach the shroud by removing the four screws on the ARC logo plate, and what you are left with is an even smaller footprint.

here you see that its got a full array of crossovers, with x10 switch, HP and LP, the controls for the front four channels are located on the top side of the amp, while the controls for the sub are located on the front side of the amp.

also note the set screw terminals that you can unplug and plug for the speaker wires, which is a nice touch when wiring, and a remote bass knob input for controller channels 5 and 6. the rear features what i think is a inlet or outlet for cooling fan, with the other side of the ducting along the side edges of the amp.

overall, i find the amp to be well laid out and thought out.













so thats it on the amp, as for how it performed, read my conclusion at the end of the log :)

back to building the amp rack. so what i came up with is a simple two tiered design, with the top floor having a window routered out to access the controls on top. to save as much space as possible, this rack was designed for the amp to be mounted sand the outer sleeve:

here is the rack before and after upholstery and assembly:







then, i cut a portion of the carpet under the rear seat, and installed four rivet nuts that will serve to anchor the rack:



then i bolted the amp rack in place, and slide the 1200.6 in and screwed it down:



then, it was just a matter of organizing all the wires in the tight space, and eventually, it ended up like this :)











 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
and now for the final piece of the puzzle, the subbox. as mentioned, the customer wanted a more integrated look to it, and a box that took up as little room as possible...he did not need or want a ton of output, so an audiomobile elite 2208 was chosen.

here is the box that joey came up with. it features a neat break of factory matching carpet and vinyl, similar to the oem finish of carpet joining with plastaic, and has a removable grille that also has been finished in vinyl. a pressed metal grille protects the sub at all times. simple and elegant was the focus here:













finally a few build pics of the enclosure. first a back mold was taken of the area, a piece of 3/4" mdf cut to match the shape of the oem floor panel is at the bottom:



next a front baffle was attached, mold cloth pulled to form the shape:





when that cured, joey applied filler and sanded it smooth...and snapped no pics :surprised:

here is the grille being pressed out of the jig:





and here is the removable grille ring, the presses mesh after being painted black, and the two joined together:







here is the enclosure ready to receive the sub, its about .6 cubft :



and here it is with the sub mounted:









so thats it...:) overall sq is pretty nice...these priuses always seem to have a very deep sound stage, with decent center and width right out of the box :) the height is a few inches above the dash. with the entire system powered off the 1200.6, i can tell right away that the new amp has a lower noise floor than before, on songs that are meant to be dead quiet, this thing is DEAD quiet, no audible background hiss...through out the tuning process and listening, everything sounded as it should, the amp had a lot of headroom built in as we kept the gains easily at minimum ALL the channels and it got plenty loud. no other inducted noise either. though i would say perhaps it isnt as composed and clean as a fully blown higher end class AB amp like the arc audio SE or mosconi ONE amps, it is also priced at less than half of those amps when it comes to watt per dollar. Overall, i think its noticably a better amp sound wise than the previous generation XDi, and to be honest, that isnt always the case when you are talking about amplifiers.

to sum it it up: it looks a LOT better, has more flexibility in controls, has a lower noise floor, more power, and is still small and very reasonably priced for the amount of power it put out...and allows us to do lower budget fully active SQ builds all off a single amp. SOLD! :)

anyway, thats again writing two build logs in one day WHILE molding a side fiberglass box...take THAT VP Electricity!!! hahahah :D:D:D

cheers,

Bing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Looks awesome as usual guys but let's be honest that grill mesh doesn't need even a quarter of what that hydraulic press gives to shape it... Now yall are just showing off...

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,979 Posts
whole process took me no longer than 15 minutes, with about 10 minutes of that being soldering work...and this was MY FIRST EVER UNIT. :) so..easy to use, easy to read, more advanced options, and super fast to work with...whats not to love? I think despite its marginally higher cost than the traditional SWIs, we will be making the switch to these in the future.
How much are these? I may want to swap out my ASWC for this. Also, how big is it? It looks kind of big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
I shouldn't be impressed as I've come to expect this awesome work from you guys but once again, I'm blown away by your quality of work. You are making me think long and hard about driving the wife's Prius up there to get a similar system.

Must.....resist.......wife......would....kill....me......
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
955 Posts
You're guys work never ceases to impress. Very nice work, and I love that sub enclosure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
SiS,

I also have a 2013 Prius and would like a sub enclosure like that. Do you have more like that made or was that a one of a kind?
If so, how much for enclosure?
Thanks.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
SiS,

I also have a 2013 Prius and would like a sub enclosure like that. Do you have more like that made or was that a one of a kind?
If so, how much for enclosure?
Thanks.
unfortunately we dont really do any molds so that was one of a kind. we talked about doing molds and such for various cars, but we are so busy with full builds that we werent sure if we wanted to get into the enclosure business and not be able to deliver a product on time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,273 Posts
The biggest problem I had with my ASWC was getting the wires tapped in. It had no problem recognizing my Scion/Toyota steering wheel and my Clarion HU, but tapping into the wires was a messy job :mad:

Metra should make vehicle-specific harnesses, too :D
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top