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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got this car new in July 2018, a turbo/awd/manual station wagon is my unicorn! I've done a few simple power/suspension mods, finally I got around to installing a system into it last weekend. The base 8 speaker system honestly wasn't too bad, it was way better than the Blose in my old Mazdaspeed 3.

Nothing fancy here, just a simple budget build. I was able to get most of the equipment on crazy clearance pricing online from Visions (big box store), free shipping and Canadian pricing is a plus for me. I normally wouldn't try Hertz stuff, (seems way overpriced), was originally planning on SB Acoustics mids and SEAS neo tweets. But this was the Mille Pro line at a heavily discounted price (cost less than the raw driver setup would have with shipping) I'm very happy with these mids/tweets so far. Tonally they do exactly what I want, I'm not going for crazy sq, I just want a fun system that stays smooth, warm and punchy at loud-ish volumes. I have studio monitors at home for when I want clinical, accurate listening.

I'm excited to have a system again, it's my first DSP build, lots to learn and experiment with. Still need to build a box for the sub and figure out a couple of things. I'm keeping the factory rear speakers on the stock HU, plan is to only fade them in when passengers are in the back. However, after splicing the front outputs to the DSP, the HU has disabled fader control because it monitors for connected speakers grrr...hopefully I can program around that with VCDS.

This car was a PITA to work on compared to my old MS3 and previous vehicles, luckily there's plenty of pics/guides on the internet to help figure out panel removal (Those a-pillars...OMFG).

I snapped a few quick pics. Nothing like the works of art I see posted here but thought I'd share anyway.

The day I picked it up:




Factory tweeter in a-pillar, all plastic-welded wtf?


A couple of the grille plastic welds had holes in the back, enough to get Hertz's small mounting screws to bite into them. Used strapping, weatherstrip tape and plastic spacers to mount the new tweets. Added some protective caps.




Found the factory woofers are riveted to the doors, had to drill them out, seriously wtf??


This was the nicest thing about doing an install on this car: The inner metal is pretty thick and solid, especially where the woofer mounts. The door is also sealed fairly well from the factory. I ended up just doing knock-test spot-treatment with Dynamat extreme (again, clearance pricing). Didn't feel the need to go nuts with sound treatment as this car is already quieter than anything I've ever owned. I found a slab of 1" thick HDPE from Amazon for the spacers. Counter-sunk bolts into the spacers and secured to the door with washers/nylon locknuts. I decided to use the factory wire from the kick into the door, it's a short 18ga run and I didn't want to screw around with drilling the molex connectors. Since the oem speaker connectors were on the front, I had to pull the wire back through the grommet and into the door.


Woofers mounted. I used some XTC foam baffles and cut-out a window in the bottom half for rain shields.


My stubby fingers don't do well with smartphone touch screens, so I knew I'd prefer to work on the DSP with a laptop. I made a permanent USB cable run into the owner's manual cubby of the glove box.


Alpine 5 channel amp and Dayton dsp, this is in an underfloor cubby just behind the back seats. I was originally hoping to hide more of the cabling, but that plastic cover actually doesn't have much free space inside, it's mostly plastic framework. Not as neat as I would like, but at least it's all hidden out of sight when the cargo floor is in.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

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Update time. To restore the factory fader, I messed around with VCDS for awhile, but didn't have any luck finding a way to disable speaker monitoring in the head-unit. Plan B ended up being 4ohm, 25watt resistors in-parallel with the DSP inputs from the headunit, which satisfies the headunit's impedance monitoring and restores the fader. The only downside of this is that it loads the amp down, meaning more distortion at high volume levels. I boosted the DSP master output to keep things under the half-volume point, it's fairly clean this way but increases the noise floor (barely noticeable problem in a moving car).

Here's a pic of the resistors, mounted in a metal enclosure with thermal compound so the enclosure is part-heatsink.


Resistor enclosure fits between DSP/Amp


Finally got together with my old man to build the sub box, he's a waaaaay better carpenter than I and it's fun to work on stuff like this together. Sealed box, roughly .65 cubic feet (net) with polyfill gets it close to 0.707. The bottom of the box has a 1.5" drop-down that fits inside the spare tire, which just squeaks the 5.5" deep sub under the cargo floor. I only have an inch and a bit between the front of the sub and the cargo floor, not ideal but it still sounds ok. I do however get some resonance from the cargo false-floor, may need to try a few things to solve it but honestly I have toolboxes and stuff back there all the time that contributes noise to the bass, this isn't a perfect-sq setup. I still love that my entire system is hidden out of sight and I didn't lose any cargo space. This sub position also gives me pretty decent output down to 30hz, which is better than I was expecting from an entry level sealed 10"!

Apologies, I was excited and forgot to take any pics until it was finished:
 

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