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This is the fourth FR-S build we have done and the first one that did not involve a DSP and active power. In other words, this is for us relatively speaking, a pretty basic install. But like the Subaru project a few weeks ago, we wanted to make sure to demonstrate to our customer base that even a simple 2 day build, when done correctly, can make a big difference in sound.

The customer was one that previously had some not so great experiences at the hands of car audio shops and I was grateful that he gave us a chance to buck the trend :)

the goals:

1. improve the sound quality from OEM by a noticeable level

2. keep everything hidden in the interior and keep as much room free as possible in the trunk while maintaining the spare tire.

3. do all of the above on a tight budget

so lets gets started.

The install starts with the power connection at the front battery. And Joey fabricated a custom mounting tab out of steel that secures the fuse holder next to the battery. all wiring is loomed and heatshrinked. The tab is bolted secured to the car using OEM holes:





here is how this tab was fabricated on our stronghand welding table, the two pieces were precisely clamped down and then welded together:





then the weld was groun down and a nut welded on the other side. this then was painted black and installed in the car:





Moving onto the headunit, a pioneer 4500BTS double din dvd unit was installed, using the beatsonic tabs and harness:



I installed his BT microphone right infront of his gauge cluster:



here is a quick shot of the harness behind the radio, everything is organized and neatly bundled:



here is a shot that suppose to show the customer mini USB thumb drive plugged into the oem slot, playing through the pioneer headunit, but i guess it just shows the door wedged open lol :D



using a servo extension cable and a usb cable with an end taken apart, i was able to adapt the oem usb/mini jack plug into the pioneer:



Having done a few FR-S builds, i feel that when doing a passive install with very limited tuning, i would prefer NOT to use the top of the dash tweeter location firing into the windshield as that can have unwanted reflections resulting in peaks and valleys. Instead, i would prefer to do a high quality point source driver in the lower door only...especially in a short and small interior like the FR-S.

The speaker i chose for this job is an illusion audio Luccen L6CX pointsource, at $700 retail, it is definitely not your average coaxial :) it is basically the same speaker as the luccent L6 but in a true pointsource config.

first, new speaker wires were run into the door:



next the outter door skin received some treatment in the form of Focal blackhole Tile:



we then installed five rivet nuts to anchor components. two small ones that will allow the illusion audio passive xovers to bolt into, and three bigger ones to anchor the adapter baffle for the speaker itself:





next, the wires are organized and lead to the area, a single thicker cable comes from the car, into the door and then two smaller wires go from the xover area back to the speaker, all following oem routes and ziptied every 4 inches or less:



the entire door was then sound proofed, and the illusion audio passiver xover was bolted in place and wired up:





next using a jig we had before, we fabticated a pair of spacer baffles and coated them thoroughly with truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





these were then bolted to the door using the rivet nuts we installed earlier:



and the illusion audio L6CX was then secured in place:





the same procedure was then repeated on the passenger side:















next comes a series of pics to show the wiring bundle as it travels from the front to the back of the car. on the left with the rcas and speaker wires, while the 4 ga main power cable went down the passenger side with the other speaker cable. everything is ziptied to the oem harness every few inches or less:
























Knowing that the rear deck of the FR-S is prone to rattles, we took that off and i smothered the backside of the cover with thick open celled foam to help with that issue:

 

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moving to the trunk. as mentioned, the idea was for a very simple and basic set up to take up as little room as possible and be out of sight. so here is the normal view as you look into the trunk



closer inspection reveals a fiberglass enclosure on the passenger side with a grille for a single 8" sub:



and if you bend down half way you slowly get to see the bottom edge of a single amplifier:



lets take a closer look at the sub enclosure with and without the grille. an audiomobile elite 2208 sub sits in roughly .5 cub ft of air space. simple and straightforward compared to the more decorative design of the previous FR-S build:





here are some build pics joey took of the sub enclosure. first here is the layup in the mold we had from the previous build:



we then popped it out of the mold:





then a bottom and front was glassed in place, but we only got this one pic hahaha:



when that was done, the entire box was covered in trunk liner, and dyed darker to match the OEM carpet. the audiomobile sub was wired up and the inside of the box filled with focal blackhole stuff:





the grille was then fabricated with mdf and grille mesh:











now let us take a closer look at the amp rack. a single arc audio xdi-805 5 channel, bridged into 3 channel mode, powers the entire system. the front illusions get 240 watts a piece, while the sub channel, running at 4ohm, sends roughly about the same amount to the sub.

the amp is bolted to a welded steel rack that is secured to the ceiling of the trunk via one OEM bolt and one large rivet nut, all the wires are neatly run and organized, with a secure grounding spot a few inches away:









and finally, i leave you with a few pictures of joey's handiwork making the amp rack, from raw metal to primer to uh...well painted black if he remembered to snap a picture of it :D









So thats it...for such a simple system, it sounds pretty good. the tonality overall is pretty pleasant and is a major difference compared to the anemic sounds of the oem system. and we hope that the customer's impressions of car audio shops will be changed after this experience. :)

cheers,

Bing
 

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Can you define TIGHT budget. Feel free to PM if you dont want to post it on the site

steve
id rather not discuss cost anywhere, the customer is free to do so but i like to keep their privacy.

i am sure "tight" budget is a relative term and no, its a few hundred dollars or anywhere near that, but it is one of the lowest budgets we have worked with in recent years for a full system. :)

b
 

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Looks good guys!!

Can't wait.. How'd that single 8" do?
next time you are up, lets see if i can get you a demo.

i dont want to put meaningless words into describing it, you need to hear it, 240 watts on a single 8 in a sealed trunk shouldnt sound like this IMO :)
 

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On music the 8 sounded great.. the night I stayed and put the sub in and wired up the amp, we didn't have the headunit yet. After all that work, I wanted to hear the sub (you know, I am from Florida..), so I powered up the amp and plugged in my iphone to the sub jacks up front. One of the tracks I like to listen to for BASS is Soulja Boy (sp?) Gucci Bandana. WOW. For only 240 watts it was awesome. Bing, nor the owner may ever experience that much bass from the sub, but I did, and it was groovy! :)

Also, if you notice the picture where I am "gluing" in the bottom of the sub, I am using the Sonus Matter and Mass again on that enclosure. Really great stuff. If you do any amount of work that requires filler I recommend trying some of it. The Mass is similar to long strand filler mix, but they do something to it to promote adhesion to MDF. The Matter is my favorite. It is VERY easy to sand, has very little pinholes and retains the shape you give it much more than other fillers. It also has some magic potion that makes adhesion better.. They give you a white cream hardner, so when you mix it, the color remains grey. When you sand it the darker spots that are left are your low spots. It is like a built in guide coat! Way cool..
 

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Curious. Did you use any kind of isolation, (rubber washers, ect.) between the amp chassis and the rack, or is the paint thick enough (ie more bedliner) to act as a barrier?
Was planning to mount my PDX's the exact same way/location.
Looks great, by the way! Always look forward to seeing your wiring porn.:p
 

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nice work as always gents.
 

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as always i'm blown away with even your simple installs!!! GREAT WORK.....

I'm interested to know if you guys have done any work on Sonata's?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Curious. Did you use any kind of isolation, (rubber washers, ect.) between the amp chassis and the rack, or is the paint thick enough (ie more bedliner) to act as a barrier?
Was planning to mount my PDX's the exact same way/location.
Looks great, by the way! Always look forward to seeing your wiring porn.:p
you know i asked Joey this same question before we touched a single car, and he said, you will see having direct contact to ground wont affect it.

so far, i have to agree, not a single issue with this. and its not hte paint that is providing a barrier, the amp's chassis is grounded via the bolts that go into the metal amp rack which itself is bolted to the metal of the car chassis.

b
 

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These are the differences that I noticed so far.. It blends onto MDF and feathers a little better when sanding. The built in guide coat is nice too. It sands easier. And the biggest thing that I like about it is that you can shape an area with it (within reason, size wise) and it will hold that shape. The self leveling properties of the gold and extreme are good, but sometimes you want it to stay where you put it, Matter does that. It is not the ONLY filler I would use, but it is another tool in the box.. :)
 
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