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a coupla month back we were contacted by a gentleman with a brand new 2014 Camaro SS. He has just gotten a new system installed at a local shop with some pretty good product (morel virtus, JL HD and stealthbox etc), and he wasn't happy with how it sounded. I took a listen and agreed with his assessment, and a quick look around revealed some other potential issues with the build. After some discussions, we decided on these goals:

1. retain all original equipment and add a DSP

2. dramatically improve the sound quality of the system

3. redo the install to maintain a level of integrity and quality

so lets get started. first, a look at this american muscle:





throughout the build i will show some before pics of what we found, so you can compare it to the shots of what we did.

first up the front stage and wiring. after taking the car apart, we can only surmise that the two sides of the car were done by two different people, as there were some pretty glaring differences in how everything was performed.

starting with the tweeter, one side had the tweeter glued to the back half of the pod, while the other side had it secured to the frontside of the pod:



here is his stock speaker installed before, via wooden spacer, we found some cut speaker wires and oddly enough, black paint on the front of the board, but nothing on the backside where its exposed to the elements:







the sound proofing treatment on the two doors were also very different. on the passenger side, the stock weather barrier was kept in place, and beneath it, the dynamat only covered the metal surfaces:





while the driver side did not retain the wather barrier, and the entire door was sealed with dynamat:



both sides feature the morel passives taped to the door card using dynamat:



the only wire running upfront was the remote bass knob cable, which is just laying about in the door sill:





far from the worst we have seen but still pretty peculiar.

so back to what we did to the car...first, we relocated the bassknob so it is within easy reach of the driver:



and of course, we still utlized the stock locations of the door for the drivers:





we ran a new set of speaker wires into the door:



and then, for the sake of consistency, we sealed each door with dynamat and then laid down a layer of STP foam to decouple the metal surface from the plastic door card:





i also utlized a set of GM speaker adapter brackets, covered the inside with CLD damper, and bolted the Morel Virtus midbass to them.





then the driver was intalled and bolted in place:





the door card, also received an abundance of CLD damper to help reduce resonance:



the same procedure was then repeated on the passenger side:













i then secured both morel tweeters, sans grill, to the backside of the oem tweeter pods to maintain consistency:





next, i ran the wires from the front to the back of the car, ziptied and organized every few inches:

















 

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the rear deck was a part that i didnt anticipate spending a lot of time on, but had to due to what we uncovered.

first, here ist he view of the underside of the rear deck, looking at the morel tempo 6x9s, as you can see, not very pleasant to look at:





while listening to the previous system, one thing i noticed was a lot of buzz and rattle from the rear deck, which surprised me a little becuase i can see the amount of dynamic up there, then i noticed that these are two wires coming from the speaker harness to the bottom of the rear deck into some sound proofing:



once i pulled that down, it revealed the source of the rattle: the morel passives were simply held up int he metal cavity by some dynamat:





the top side of the rear deck wasnt much better. it looks like the stock speaker was removed, the whole area covered with dynamat, and then the pieces were haphhazardly folded down and the new speaker pushed down into the hole. since we were converting the car into an active system, we wanted to reinstall the stock speakers, but we had to scrape away all the old sound proofing first so the stock speaker can fit:







back to our work, we wanted to retain the stock rear proximity beepers but get as much bass pass through into the cabin as possible. so using the same method as our previous camaro builds, we hollowed out the cone of the rear midbass, and retained the bridge mounted high freq speaker:





and then, after scraping away most of the old sound proofing and applying new ones, we secured the stock speakers, and i sound proofed the bottom the rear deck with foam to provide more isolation between the cover and rear deck:





finally, moving to the trunk. the original build has the amp in the in floor well, and i kept it in the same space. so above the floor, all you see is the jl audio stealth box:







the amp mounting for the jl HD900/5 previously was "interesting" it consisted of a piece of board with a flexible plastic front, covered in carpet, and a single strip of velcro on the metal well. the idea was for this velcro to grab onto the one side of the carpeted rack. The rest of the wiring was also not very neat:





but back to this mounting idea...lets just say that this velcro thing wasnt very strong...i took a quick video of its integrity, hope you enjoy :D


back to our build. so here is the view after you remove the carpet:



the stock cover:



and the foam tray holding the air compressor, and you see a simple curved fiberglass rack housing the jl HD amp and the mosconi 4to6DSP. All the wires are neatly bundled...very basic but effective and secure.







a quick series of build pics of the rack. first, i taped off the area and laid down a few layers of fiberglass:



when that cured, i removed it and trimmed it to the desired shape, and test fitted to the car again:



then i secured two frames where the amp and dsp will sit on, and secured it to the mold:



then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, and allowed to cure:



since its a totally none weight bearing shape, i all had to do was to fill in some the big gaps with filler, and then carpet the entire shape:





then two rivet nuts were installed that will ultimate allow the entire rack to bolt down securely:



and the amp and sub were prewired while sitting on the rack...at this point, the entire structure was ready to go back into the car and be wired together:




so thats it for this build. this was pretty interesting for me because it is truly the first time i got to hear a before and after utilizing pretty much the same equipment...and really hammered home how much a dsp, running active, and more secure install can do...

imaging and staging is very good for stock location, wide, well centered and decent center, depth is average. tonality wise, the virtus really did well in these doors, providing a lot of solid impact and extension, and of course, the tweeters were nicely detailed and not to harsh. overall pretty darn pleasant to listen to for a stock headunit vehicle that doesnt play CDs :D and a prettt dramatic difference compared to the previous iteration of the build.

cheers,

Bing
 

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I've kind of been wondering when this build log would hit. I enjoyed the photos on FB of the discoveries you made when tearing down to reveal the initial build. :D

I imagine the changes you guys made had a significant impact on how the system performed.
 

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A shame that shops still do that kind of shoddy work. Who knows how much he was charged for a crap install. Good thing he didn't get too discouraged and found a reputable shop to fix it
 

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I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I am always amazed at the crap that "shops" turn out. Well done Bing. I am sure the owner is much happier.
 

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nice rescue. i know you don't want this to be a thread where we bash shops, but would you mind posting the name of the shop or PM'ing those who are curious?
 

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nice rescue. i know you don't want this to be a thread where we bash shops, but would you mind posting the name of the shop or PM'ing those who are curious?
haha, nah, there is no real good that can come out of this from experience, i take these types of info to my grave :p
 

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Nice work! I recently redid a NNBS Silverado that had its speaker baffles falling off (too small of screws), the speakers were falling out of the Metra baffles (overtorqued and too small of screws), wires were strewn about and in areas where they obviously wanted the wire to stay in one spot before covering them the used hot green painters tape... which of course was not doing a thing after pulling the carpet up. Oh... and they hole sawed tweeters on top of the stock tweeter grills in the a-pillar instead of putting them behind which would have taken less time. Goodness...
 

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A Camaro SS w/1LE package :love: Nice save guys!!!
 

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A shame that shops still do that kind of shoddy work. Who knows how much he was charged for a crap install. Good thing he didn't get too discouraged and found a reputable shop to fix it
^^^^ this x10000

the car is awesome, the owner is super nice...and i always feel that for every one that does come to us to get things fixed, probably a 100 never come back either thinking this is what car audio should be, or have such a bitter taste they dont want to risk it again.

i mean this is by no means the worst we have seen, but nonetheless the gear he purchased should have resulted in a much better sound and install imo
 

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good save bing! i couldnt believe the amp was basically velcro'd into the tire well vertically... jesus.
I wouldn't even say velcro. That basically just laid there bouncing around. I'm surprised that JL had no scratches on it. (as far as I can tell from the pictures)
 

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Good to see Stinger 4000 cables being used. Althought with Stinger 8000 he would have had 10x more sound quality.














Just kidding.
 

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geesh, that other shops work looks like the stuff I do. The difference is, my lackluster installs are free. I'd hate to pay for some of the stuff I see being done in these cars. It's like watching an episode of Holmes on Homes. When I do have work done by a shop, I find myself taking off all the panels just to see how neat stuff is. I guess that's why some places charge more than others.
 

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Looking at the before pics it was not an install but an insult.

Once again SIS to the rescue!!!

Love it each time!
 

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We take lots of pictures so people don't have to take off panels and see the work! :D

There really is no fast way to do quality work. And as they say, time is money! :p:D


geesh, that other shops work looks like the stuff I do. The difference is, my lackluster installs are free. I'd hate to pay for some of the stuff I see being done in these cars. It's like watching an episode of Holmes on Homes. When I do have work done by a shop, I find myself taking off all the panels just to see how neat stuff is. I guess that's why some places charge more than others.
 

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Sorry for bringing back this thread but I really admire your work Bing. I too have a camaro SS and I've been upgrading my system and wished I had seen this post before. I have some questions for you... did you tap into the high or low level output from the HU?

TIA
 
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