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This kinda takes me back to the late 90s and early 2000s. I was just a college student at CMU in pittsburgh, and my passion for car audio was still in its infancy. Thanks to Mic aka Mic10is of elitecaraudio, i was introduced to the wonderful world of Sound Quality. Soon, i began attending and eventually competing in SQ competitions all around the region.

At these shows, there were a few installs that engraved themselves into my brain and helped shape me into the installer than i am today. Cars like Steve Cornell's Impala, were legends to me, and i only dreamed that one day, i can in some way, pay tribute to them in my own way.

another sub project was Mr. Jayson King's nissan Maxima. This car was perhaps the first ever full fake floor build i had ever seen. I loved its overall simplicity and tastefulness, and most importantly, how it can be all covered up, hidden and protected. Even though i had dabbed a little bit in building false floors by then, this car for me, was a major turning point in my thinking and even after all these years, in the back of my mind i still wanted to build something similar in design and layout.

Yet oddly enough, either due to equipment or vehicle restrictions, i was never able to fulfill that dream...until now! :)

This brand spanking new 2016 VW Golf R belongs to an old customer of ours, and when i say brand new, it is literally that. He purchased the vehicle and a week later, drove from colorado to have the car done. When we were still in the planning stages of the build before the purchase was made, i had come to the realization that finally, the car and the gear choice would allow me to pay homage to Mr. King's altima.

we will take a closer look at that car a little later in the log when we get to the hatch build portion, but for now, lets take a look at the goals:

1. achieve a nice level of sound quality while retaining the oem signal source
2. maintain a relatively simple and stealthy appearance upfront
3. maintain as much usable trunk space as possible but add a little flair to it (to which i added my own goal of paying tribute to the Maxima)
4. significantly lower the interior noise level by doing full windows down sound proofing

lets get started.

first, a quick look at the car, which while unmistakable a golf, as some cool cosmetic treatments that separates it from the more pedestrian versions.







I did most of the install, while jesse did the sound proofing and a few other areas around the car.

the first thing is a metal bracket that jesse built to house the stinger fuse holder, tucked between the airbox and the battery and mounts with oem bolts:





next we move onto jesse's favorite part of car audio: full interior sound proofing.....NYYEEAAATT! lol

the entire interior was removed, and first went down a full coverage with GP audio STFU composite damper. this gives us CLD coverage on the metal and a layer of foam to separate it from the MLV top layer.







then, all the surfaces were covered with MLV, with joints in the vinyl covered with thin foam from ballistic:

















that was loads of fun for jesse i am sure :)

then jessed made the same composite layers for the rear doors:







and the hatch, along with any other panels that may cause rattles:













thats the sound proofing out of the way...lets get back to the audio build.

to allow bass control, jesse built a simple little plate that sits next to the cupholders and houses a mosconi bass controller but outfitted with a JL audio knob as they are bigger and easier to grab:





from the get go, the design called for a full Orcadesign system featuring products from Mosconi, its parent company Gladen, and illusion audio. For the front stage, we chose a set of Gladen Aerospace 2 way components. You may have seen us use the top of the line aerospace 3 way set before, and i had always harped about how i love its smooth, airy response, and incredible midbass impact. with the desire to maintain a low key interior, we chose the 2 way set for this car....what is kinda cool is that the big oversized tweeter that come with the two way set can go incredibly low, perhaps as low as we have ever seen a true tweeter to go...featuring a Fs of 720hz! in a two way config, for me, the more frequencies you can put on the tweeter comfortably, the better the effect. http://www.gladen.com/GladenCompoCoaxPDFs/SpecificationsAEROSPACE28.pdf

so these tweeters were molded into the stock a pillars, and covered in factory matching vinyl. From experience, i know these tweeters work well off axis, so they were given a slight angle and at about 60 degrees off axis:













here are some build pics of the pids.

first, here are the stock pillars:



these were ground down, holes cut into them, and the tweeter rings aimed and secured:



then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, and a resin/filler mixture was poured into the pods to reinforce them:



this was followed by a few layers of filler and sanding, and now its a smooth shape ready for vinyl





the graphite vinyl was then applied and the pillars were ready to go back into the car. the tweeters are installed via the supplied screws after the pillars went back in:



 

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moving onto the front door midbass.

first, new speaker wires were run into the doors, and i sound proofed the outter door with blackhole tiles.



then i installed rivetnuts into the drilled out oem rivet holes, and did a layer of STP cld damper around the area:



then i built a set of spacer baffles and coated them with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





the ring baffle was then bolted to the doors, the Gladen Aerospace midbass installed, and a FAST foam ring was put around the speaker to help direct the energy outward:







then jesse performed the same layer sound proofing onto the door, with GP composite damper on the metal and MLV on top, with a cutout flap around the window motor









the outer door panel also got some CLD treatment, and the stock jute pad was put back onto the door for an additional layer of decoupling:





the same process was then repeated on the passenger side:















 

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now lets move onto the wiring pictures. wiring was made a lot easier by the fact that the entire interior was removed. the power, speaker and signal cables travel down the driver side, while the passenger side speaker wires go down that side. here, because we are taping the oem signal AFTER the stock amp, and it is high level, there isnt much need to separate power and signal cables due to the high level of signal in those lines.





the new Golf platform uses a MOST optical line between the headunit and the stock amp. and unfortuantely, after trying both a mobridge and a audison piece, we come to the conclusion that the format is different than any existing VW group MOST signals and thus unsable. so we had to tap and sum the front low, front high and sub signals.

here you see me soldering the cables for the front channels, the sub channel i soldered off the oem subwoofer wire in the hatch:





and on top you see the wire for the mosconi bass knob going towards the center cupholder area:



the rest of the wiring is pretty typical for us, following the oem bundle and secured via zipties every few inches or less:























 

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so, now its time for the hatch. and lets revisit the inspiration for this build, Jayson King's nissan maxima.

here is one of the few pictures i took of his trunk, as you can see, it is laid out in a fake floor, with two nakamichi 10" subs at the front left hand side, an alumapro cap next to it, and three old school zapco amps at the back. the amp rack itself is done in painted fiberglass, and the whole shape takes up the bulk of the trunk floor in a semi trapezoid shape. Though its far from the most complex or fancy install back in the day, this for some reason resonated with me:



So my idea for hte build was to use the same type of gear, albeit completely different brand and models. The cap will not be present, instead, the space will be taken up by a Mosconi 6to8v8 DSP, and instead of smaller amps like the zapco, i chose three mosconi AS amplifers to run the entire system.

there will be no painted fibrglass, and the finish materials and layers will be different, however, the basic layout of the build will be in theme with the maxima.

so lets take a closer look.

being that this is a daily driver, it is still important that the hatch remains usable. so here is the normal view with the oem cargo mat and cargo organizers in place. it is virtually oem in appearance, as the floor only rose by about an inch.



remove the factory mat and you see a new fake floor with a trapezoid shape grille across most of the surface:



pop that off and you see my homage to the maxima. two illusion audio carbon c10 subs at the front left hand side, a mosconi 6to8v8 next to it, and three mosconi AS amps lined up at the back. there is a upside down T shaped dvider in the well separating all the products.

a mosconi AS 200.2 sends 200 watts to each door midbass, an AS100.2 powers the tweeters with 100 watts, while an additional as200.2 sends about a kilowatt to the two subs.

the side walls of the wells are pieces of mdf stacked together. the bottom layer, along with the floor of the well, is done in white vinyl, in the middle is a layer wrapped in gloss black vinyl wrap, to mimic the piano black finish on the dash and interior trim pieces, while the top layer of graphite vinyl. on the center divider, the bottom is white vinyl, the middle layer of a piece of clouded acrylic, while the top layer of graphite vinyl, the joint of the T has a circular shape to it, with a ring on the top layer and frames a VW Golf R emblem. all the wires are visible and organized and goes into the floor of the well via grommets

its different but i hope you can see where my inspiration came from :)



















press a button on a remote control, and the acrylic layer in the divider lights up white. the idea here isnt to saturate the whole rack with light, but just to great something a little different :)











 

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so thast the finished build, lets take a look at the build process.

first, here is the stock hatch floor, which gave me a pretty wide and taller than normal space, considering the floor is now flat, with no well and infact the car did not come with a spare tire to begin with:



the entire surface was sound proofed with CLD:



and four rivetnuts installed into the trunk which will hold down everything:



then i built a frame of the shallow enclosure, it is only about 2.5 inches to the floor of the car, but at nearly 30 inches by 30 inches, it gave me about 1 cubic foot of internal sealed airspace. perfect for the two c10s.

i laid this in the car, and bolted it up to test fit:



once i was satisfied with the fit, i took it up, taped up the floor well, and reinstalled the piece:



then fiberglass was laid down to give me the full bottom of the sub enclosure:



then i removed it from the car, trimmed any excess glass, and topped it with another piece of 3/4" mdf. i also then built the spacers next to it:





and test fitted it once more in the car:



then i pulled it back out, and did a raised mounting plate for the subs. in order to fit all the wiring under the well, all the equipment is raised off the subenclosure by 3/4". and because there is no where to bond the two at the subwoofer area, what i did was to make two ring baffles that are smaller than the outer diameter of the sub, just enough so the mounting holes can be drilled into them. this way, when the top well slides onto the holes, and the subs secure in, the outer flange of the subs will serve to hold down that corner of the well.













then i turned my attention to the well itself. here is the main floor piece, with all the holes for the grommets measured and drilled out. along wtih the holes for the subs and a center slot for the led strip under the T shaped divider:



and here is the various layers for the side wall of the well:



here, the bottom floor panel has been vinyled, and the grommets installed:



here is the first layer of the side wall, done in white vinyl:



then the second layer, done in gloss black vinyl wrap:



then the top layer, done in graphite vinyl:



all the pieces are bolted together, and two led strips were laid down in the slot of the well floor, on top of strips of 1/4" mdf i glued in from the bottom:







here are the three layers that make up the well divider:



which were then upholstered:



and bolted together:



then the whole piece was bolted onto the well:





then it came time for wiring.

as you can imagine, there wasnt a lot of space under the well after the support spacer pieces. none of the wiring can exceed 3/4" in height, and i still wanted to make sure the signal and power cables are separated for the front stage amps.

so everything was done in three steps.

the first step is the rca cables. here i twisted my own primary cables and soldered ends on them because i needed strict control on how long they are. there wires go from the amps input terminals to the output terminals of the dsp. and also from the input terminals of the dsp to a barrier strip at the front of the amp rackso i can hook up the signal wires froming from the stock amp.





next step were the speaker wires, they run from each amp to a common spot barrier strip at the passenger side:





and finally, all the power, ground, and remote wires were ran and lead out to their respective places. the power and ground go to two disribution blucks on the driver side of the well:





then i was able to flip the w hole well over, to make sure that everything is wired up to the barrier strips and d blocks, and that no cable is too tall to allow the rack to sit flush on top of the enclosure:

















finally, this whole structure was put back into the car, the subs wired in and secured, and the cables coming from the car itself wired into the various spots:





 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
then i built the top fake floor board, wrapped it in charcoal trunkliner, and then dyed it a little darker to better match the oem carpet:







and here is the vented grille piece, before and after mesh, followed by carpet and dyeing:











so thats it for the build. how does it sound? i had some reservations working with the oem post amp signal. but after some quick analysis, it seemed okay.

here is the stock front high signal:



here is the stock front low signal, note that it goes quite high



here is the summed signal of the oem front channels, at various volumes on the headunit, with its typical dynamic eq curve of lowering the bass as volume went up.



here is the summed front channel signal before flattening:



and after tweaks with the mosconi input eq:



luckily for me, the oem sub signal is very good, with almost no dynamic eq on it, and i simply used it for the subs only.



the car sounds great, especially from a dynamic, impact, and subbass reproduction standpoint.

the imaging and staging is quite solid, with good depth, height width and center. tonally, the aerospace speakers can best be described as smooth and punchy. the 6.5 inch midbass can dish out some serious midbass without a hint of distortion. but the subbass really blew me away. this could be one of the best subbass cars i have ever done! the impact is really controlled and very loud, the bottom end extension is superb, and it just blends into the music flawlessly. i think the combination of the subs, the car, the strong midbass and the oem sub signal really really works in this car. i only wish my own car's subass sounded like this lol a cherry on top was that the oem amp seems to be very quiet, as the noise floor, which can be high on certain post amp signal cars, was very very low. :)

i never got a noise level reading before the build, but the car felt extremely solid and quiet after...and the customer said it was like a tomb compared to his drive up. :)

i never really met Jayson King back in the day, i may have tralked to him at one of the shows but i doubt he knows who i am. I also havent been able to track him down across social media and car audio circles...if anyone out there knows him, please tell him that i would like to thank him for the influence his car had on me, and that i am really happy and honored that i was able to finally build a car to pay homage to his maxima. :)

Cheers,

Bing
 

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Thorough. Reminds me of more early 90's. Just because Rabbits and Sciroccos were so frequently the cars of choice on my side. I knew someone who would replace the engines with 5.0's, twisting the frames beyond recognition in the process im sure.

Very clean n efficient build as usual. Good to hear the review of the gladen's as well. always wondered how they performed.
 

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nice install, Bing. :)

I can attest to the greatness of the gladen tweeter. quite a nice performer. I reviewed it on my site sometime last year and posted the results up here:
http://medleysmusings.com/gladen-aerospace-28-tweeter/

I also use the c10 woofers in my car and am a fan of their performance. great gear, great install... I bet this car sounds great.
 

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Excellent work Bing and crew.

Love the clean wiring as always.
 

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Dat 190E... Build log coming up I hope?

Mega respect on this (and any other) build. Mental note to visit your shop next time I am out West.
 

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Been considering getting a Golf R for myself since I love my gf's GTI so much. Was wondering what to do about the signal as the OEM HU has to stay. Good info here. I'm so damn jelly it's not even funny.

Do you offer any financing options? LoL

No idea how I could ever pay up front for something like this but I want it soooo baaaad!
 
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