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Background: After years out of the car audio game I am in. Call it a mid-life crisis or just luck in finding two old school, pristine JL Audio amps (a 500/1 and a 300/4, both for $50 I kid you not) at a random garage sale in late 2019 that catapulted me back into all things mobile audio. Since then I have upgraded pretty much everything in my no frills mid-size sedan from sound deadening all doors and trunk, speaker/power wires, newer JL amps, Helix DSP, custom fiberglass 12” sub enclosures and of course drivers in door/dash locations.

I am happy with the hardware because I know it can perform. Currently running CDT Unity 7.5 full ranges in the dash locations with custom mounts. CDT ES-06 for mid woofers in front door locations. Helix DSP.3 is fun to play with but can’t seem to dial it in the way I want.

I think the main problem with the mid-bass frequencies in general is the door panels themselves. The speaker “grills” are not very acoustically transparent with small holes molded in with the plastic. I would guess there is maybe 40% open space vs plastic in front of the mid-bass driver. Since deadening the doors, it seems that more acoustic energy is being transferred to the plastic door panel even with foam rings around the 6.5’s causing all sorts of vibrations, rattles and muddled bass that were not there before the sound deadening. My next step is to remove a door panel, do an A/B frequency response in REW (or even the RTA feature in the Helix DSP Tool) with UMIK-1 on the center console and see if opening up the driver would help.

Anybody else have these issues with mid-bass and resonance/muddled bass with plastic-door-panels-not-engineered-for-sound? Would a solution be to cut out the factory door speaker grill and get custom perforated stainless mesh speaker grills that would fasten/glue to the outside? I would prefer to keep it as factory as possible (light gray trim and metal mesh), low profile and any references to fabricators would be appreciated. Thanks.

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At midbass frequencies (<250 hz) you shouldn’t be impacted by the plastic very much, but the door vibrations will definitely matter. Maybe try adding mass or stiffening to your door panel before you cut the plastic?

the stock location there is also not optimal. Ideally it would be lower so you can get some corner loading, but that’s a whole next level of project to make happen.
 
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