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maybe its the asian or the pseudo european in me, but i have always liked hot hatchs...small, light, nimble cars with a decent amount of power that you can toss around, get good gas mileage and is easy to drive in busy cities and a cinch to park.

sadly for us muricans, such cars are few and far in between, even a gti is a pretty decent sized car these days.

Infact, the fiesta ST is the only player in the true hot hatch in this size segment...and i have always wanted to work on one. A few months ago, this wish was granted as we got our hands on a 2015 model.

The goals were pretty simple:

1. achieve a nice level of SQ on a modest budget using the oem signal source
2. maintain a pretty stealthy and clean interior appearance
3. maintain all cargo space and have access to the spare tire

lets first take a look at the car, which to me looks like a little space pod with the skin pulled tight over the skeleton...very athletic in a mugsy bogues kind of way :)





the first thing i did was to weld a fuse holder bar onto the oem battery tie down, which secures a single stinger fuse holder:





next up is the front stage. which we chose a set of focal 165FX flax two way components. one of the immediate puzzles to solve was the front tweeter location.

despite designing a brilliant little car, the ford engineers for some reason decided to stick the tweeter BEHIND the door latch handle...putting it wayyy back on the door, almost halfway. obviously this wasnt going to fly....but finding a suitable location upfront wasnt going to be easy either. i thought about molding the entire space for the front a pillar window, but felt that it was such a waste for a single tweeter, not to mention the slight loss of vision. so i decided first to make a little pod that attaches to one of the A pillar surfaces to house the tweeter. i pretty much started the process and then took a quick gander at the focal box.

the truth is, we almost never look at the surface mounting attachment for any tweeters, because most of them is just a little tube that sits the tweeter at the top, something that we would never entertain using...so imagine my surprise and delight when i realized the focal flax surface mount option is a little bullet shaped pod that is almost exactly what i tried to build. :)

so after some aiming and pre drilling, i got both tweeters to be about on axis with each ear, each tweeter is shifted to the passenger side about 15 degrees from the left and right ear respectively. :) and the pod blends into the car pretty well, infact, most almost all angles outside of the car, you cannot see them:















a coupla quick pictures of the a pillar and pod outside of the car. here they are sitting next to each other:



after i aimed them in the car and marked the holes and predrilled them, each pod is attached with supplied hardware, and then the tweeter snapped into place:







the Flax midbass went into the stock lower door location.

first the door was sound proofed with blackhole tiles on the outer door skin, and some GP audio composite damper we are trying out on the inner door panel. the GP composite damper is similar to the focal BAM XXXL, but at a slightly reduced cost...it seem to work well, sticks well, is soft and flexible, and is slightly thicker than the focal BAM. new speaker wires were also run into the door at this point:



theni fabricated a set of spacer baffle rings that matched the oem speaker basket, and coated them with black trunk liner for protection against the elements:





these were then bolted back onto the door using oem hardware:



and the focal flax midbass installed:





though its hard to see with the oem batting in place, i also filled the area around the speaker on the door card with CLD damper:



the same process went onto the passenger side:











since we are using the oem signal source, we wanted to incorporate a secondary signal source that was of better fidelity. the newly released Mosconi AMAS2 module was the solution (more on this later). using hte amas2 for streaming means we also needed a way to control master volume during the streaming process, and we decided to go with a mosconi RC mini DSP controller mounted in the stock pocket behind the shifter. the little plate is wrapped in black vinyl and frames the mosconi controller:





a few quick build pics of this mounting: first, here is the center console outo of the car with the mosconi RC mini:



then the area was trimmed to fit the controller, and a mdf plate was built, and backfilled with filler to line up precisely with the pocket:



when that was all sanded, the piece looks like this:



mounting for the controller is via two mdf spacers with threaded inserts, and an acrylic plate that the controller bolts to using supplied hardware, and then bolts to the spacer plates:



the plate was then wrapped in black vinyl, the RC Mini bolted in place, and test fitted to the console:







 

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next comes the wiring pics....before i did any of that, i installed a set of shifter mounting bushing for the customer, which firmed up the shifter feel.



next came the mosconi AMAS2, which is a very simple BT to Toslink digital dongle. a simple three wire setup, and plug a toslink cable into it, and it is now ready to stream high resolution music directly from your phone or ipod into a digital input capable DSP, a brilliant and easy solution that quite frankly, i am surprised isnt out sooner or more prevalent.



the AMAS2 is seen here wired up, and then secured to a factory bundle:





the rest of the wires for the center console area, namely the dsp controller cable, and the three wires to power the AMAS2, was also run and secured:



the front channel full range speaker level signasl were tapped, leading to a pair of twisted and "braided" primary wire that i twisted, this travels behind the glovebox, meets up with the passenger side speaker wires, and is run back, going through the stock conduit whenever possible and ziptied to the stock bundle every few inches:















the main power cable and the driver side speaker wires are run the same way down the driver side:







this bundle then travels across the car under the back seat, and meets up with the passenger side bundle:





and they are both run into the passenger side hatch area:



onto the hach area build.

this was somewhat of a unique car in that it didnt have a traditional floor per say. there is a just a spare tire in a well, and then a piece of board that can be either position right ontop of the spare and the floor, or, it can be raised to be about 5 inches or so above that, supported upfront by slots and in the back via the door sill spacer. pretty cool system and one that allows me to stuff the space below the raised height with gear...though of course some specialized equipment is still need to fit the limited space.

so here is the car normally, and as you can see, 100 percent oem look:




a close look at the floor still reveals almost nothing, other than a sliver of a subwoofer peaking out through the handle. a simple floor mat would cover this entire area:



lift up the floor and you are greeted with all the gear. because of the nature of this floor design, i went with a more industrial look, the rack and the enclosure are both done in black spray on bedliner. a single stereo integrity SI BM IV resides in a thin enclosure above the spare tire, while a single rack houses a mosconi 4to6SPDIF digital input processor and an arc audio XDIv2 1100.5 amplifier. this combo fits well in the space and provides ample power for the two way active front and sub layout. pretty simple and straightforward overall:









to gain access to the spare tire, one simply has to remove four philips head bolts, see in these three pictures:







and voila, the box comes out and you can slide it out of the way to get to the spare:



some quick construction pics of the enclosure and amp/dsp rack.

despite the incredible thin mounting depth of the SI BM MkIV, i still had to build the bottom of the enclosure out of 1/4" mdf and fiberglass. the reason i dont just take a mold of the top of the spare tire is that through experience, no spare tire is completely identical all around, meaning, if you took the mold of the spare sitting in one orientation, and someone takes it out and puts it back in without lining it up precisely, it would not fit right anymore.

in the fiesta, the spare is also tilted at an downward angle towards the back of the car, hence you see the 1/4" mdf at angles in the middle of the enclosure:







the enclosure was then covered with several coats of spray on bedliner, and the SI BM wired up and installed:





the amp board is even more simple, being a piece of mdf with a few spacers below, and then coated with spray on bedliner:





and finally, here you can see the 6 rivet nuts installed into the floor of the car that allows everything to be bolted on:



so thats it, somewhat different kind of install in a different type of car :)

the front stage, with the tweets on axis, sounded great. stage is pillar to pillar with good center and great depth. height is halfway between the windshield and dash. the focal flax, as usual, is very airy, balanced, and very good midbass output.

the SI BM is a sub i have always enjoyed, and in this little car, it provides amble bottom end while taking up very little space.

everything ramps up a notch when the AMAS2 is used as the signal source streaming a high quality music. things just seem more detailed and bigger, more open and more realistic...makes you feel isntantly that you are in a bigger environment.

so thats it for now, more to come soon! :)

Bing
 

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I always wonder how systems like these sound. Simple, clean 2way + sub with a dsp and class d amp. Basically the new school deck + 4. I'm sure it absolutely crushes every stock system and gets you 85-90% of the way of the big 3 way systems with giant class ab amps we love so much. Still love seeing the big builds but seeing this also makes me happy. Nice job as always Bing.
 

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Nice job! I've been thinking about getting a Fiesta ST. It's good to see the internals.

It looks like Ford sealed the doors. I wonder if they do this on the non ST models. But who wants one of those. . . .

I'm happy to see an another install that keeps the spare. You recently wrangled an 8" to the side of the spare in a Focus. This looks better.
 

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Ford seals the doors on all Focus and Fiesta models. EXCELLENT midbass in these cars with ZERO sound deadening let alone adding some in there. We get surprising midbass from cheap speakers, let alone good stuff. I had a Fiesta and, if it weren't for the glass transmission, I'd still have it and IMO it's a great car. Same with the Focus hatch.
 

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As usual very impressive build Bing. I'm glad you're enjoying what the BM mkIV was designed for. :D
 

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One question. Can you tell me if the AMAS2 module allows FLAC or WAVE file playback? Reason I'm asking is even though Mosconi claim on their page it will, however A2DP is not known to play high resolution Lossless formats. I might be wrong.
 

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I'm pretty sure file format doesn't matter. It's the sources ability to decode the file that matters. So iPhone won't, but Android can.
 

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The Focal tweeter mounting cups are quite nice. Jacob turned me on to them and they are what I used to mount my Illusion Carbon tweeters on my sail panels. It took a little trimming work with the dremel for the tweeters to snap in, but it looks pretty clean and was way quicker and easier that building out a set of custom pods.
 

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Bing, awesome and very clean work as always. :) :thumbsup: I can't believe how perfect those Focal Tweeter Pod Mounts worked out! I'd be interested to know if those are available separately?

So, one of my friends has a 2014 Fiesta ST with the Ford Sync My Touch and his dash/console/HU look identical to the Fiesta ST in your build log here.

He would like to do a very similar install to what you've done, keeping the OEM HU as the main source and then adding a secondary source (iPhone 6+ or iPod Classic). We'll probably be using the RF 3Sixty.3 for the DSP and might add a Pure i20 for iPod Classic via digital Toslink and/or use the 3Sixty.3's BT adapter for streaming, or possibly a different after-market APT-X BT adapter.

If you have a moment, as usual I've got a few questions for you! :p

1. You said that you tapped into just the FRONT SPEAKER Outputs to obtain a Full-Range signal to feed the Mosconi processor. Is there any EQ or Active/Variable EQ applied to the front speaker outputs on this OEM Ford Sync My Touch HU that changes with the volume level? Or is it a good, clean, relatively flat FR signal at any volume level?


2. I'm assuming that any OEM Door Ajar/Warning Chimes will be routed through the new DSP/Amp/Focal Components? Or will these warning chimes need to be handled separately?


3. Maybe related to the above...does the OEM Hands-Free Bluetooth Wireless Calling system still work without any hiccups in the system setup you did in this vehicle?


4. Does the Mosconi AMAS2 BT module support Bluetooth CSR Apt-X high-definition streaming?


5. Is there enough space under one of the front seats to install that Arc XDi amp or a similar-sized 5-channel like the PPI 900.5/NVX JAD900.5?


Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide! Always love your build logs. :thumbsup:

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