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One of the great perks of having a real brick and motar shop is that we can take on more variety of projects compared to before. Over the past 6 years, it seems 99 percent of the work I did by myself was the higher budgeted SQ focused types, or at the very least, those involving quite a bit of custom work; a vast majority of the more basic builds usually slipped through due to my long waiting list.

So it was indeed pretty cool to be able to tackle this project...i call this a basic build because really it involves just two things, and these are probably things that most stereo shops hear all the time:

"can you install speakers in my stock locations and then build a box with lots of bass and bolt the amps to the box"

So what follows on this 2006 Subaru Impreza 2.5I is OUR version of such a build.

Before i start on the goals, i want to publicly state one thing. those who know me personally or who have had work done by me know that i love to put in extra touches and details that my customers dont expect...my rule is, if a build is going well and there is something extra i can do that doesnt involve a lot of costs, simply more time, i would usually do it...a lil trim there, a raised logo there, etc. Through this build, I now fully realize that Joey's devotion to this same core value goes perhaps even beyond mine..he really tries his absolute best to put in extra touches to ensure the customer is happy beyond his or her original expectations...and for this, i am truly grateful. And i hope everyone who reads this can see exactly what he did here for the client :)


so the goals:

1. replace the stock speaker with good aftermarket ones in stock locactions, attain decent sounding system on a very modest budget

2. allow the possibility of upgrading to better locations (such as A pillars) and adding a DSP in the future

3. Still retain access to spare tire, other wise simply build a rearward facing box and get as much bass output as possible.

at no point did the box need to look cool, simply functional with the amp bolted over them and we had settled on a design with two 10" subs which fit within the customers budget.

so lets get started..

the customer supplied us with a pioneer 9500BHS single din headunit, which was ISO mounted with a DIN pocket:



i mounted his BT mic right infront of the instrument cluster here:



here is the harness prep i did:



Joey was able to mount the Arc remote bass knob in a blank knockout panel on the center panel behind the shifter, which involved disassembling the arc knob, chopping off part of the circuit board related to the LED, and mounting it front hte top, we swapped the small arc knob with a large one which hides the nut retainer from view:







As mentioned before, the front stage went into stock locaitons, the only criteria is that we could be moving the tweeter down the line to a more ideal location.

Anyone who knows this car knows that the stock midbass location is very depth limited, and since there was a distinct possbilty of future upgrades, we went with a set of Illusion Audio Carbon C6 components. here are the doors, note tweeter in stock locations:









now it perhaps is pretty standard to simply cut out the stock grille and flush the new tweeter in, but to make the future upgrade easier, Joey fabricated matching pieces out of ABS and filler, and mounted the tweeters to them. this way, the stock grilles are saved and can be easily poped back in place later to return to stock. (the illusion tweeter was too deep to do a bridge mount OEM style)







moving to the front doors.

first two pairs of speaker cables were run into the doors:



then i build these spacer rings out of MDF and coated the with truck bedliner to protect them against the elements. The beauty of being able to fit a world class midbass with only a 1/2" spacer in this car cannot be understated :)






Front experience, i know that all the exposed metal rods in the door is best left alone, especially within the modest budget. It is very easy to over stuff the piece and cause the door locks and door latch mechanism to jam up. Instead, i focused my attention to the front portion of the door near the speaker mount and applied a layer of STP gold damper. the spacer baffles were then bolted to the door via the stock mounting points



i also installed a few blocks of focal blackhole Tile to the outter door skin to help prevent resonance. also not the strip caulk on the inside opening of the mounting baffle to seal it against the door, while a foam tape is on the inside of the metal door opening to prevent accidetal shorting of the speaker wire terminals on the Illusions, which are, by design, the most outboard points on the basket. small steps but nonetheless important ones even on a basic build :)



the illusion carbon C6 midbass was then wired up and secured. if you are wondering why the midbass is crooked, no i have not gone all cockeyed lol, instead, with the two layered design of the mounting baffle, with the bottom portion matching the oem speaker's flange and the top portion matching the Carbon midbass's flange, if i sat the speaker completely paralell with the ground it would have resulted in ALL the screws going into just the top portion of the baffle, so instead, by rotating it about 15 degress, i now have 6 of the 8 screws going into a full 1/2" of material :)





the outter door skin also received some STP damper to help with resonance issues:



the procedure was then faithfully reproduced on the passenger side:









now comes a series of pics showing the wiring bundle as it travels through the car. it is quite hard to take pics as the bundle actually goes along the floor next to the door sill, so after failing to get anything on the first pics, i just laid the bundle on top of the carpet for pictures before tucking then down into door sill area :) again, despite being a pretty basic build, the way we do wiring is virtually unchanged.























the rear deck on this generation impreza sedans is a MAJOR rattle trap, to help much as possible, we loaded the bottom of the rear deck panel with a ton of open cell foam from STP, and took apart his third brake light (which was disconnected to begin with since the car had a WRX spoiler with 3rd light added) and sound proofed it as well, it wont get rid of all the rattles, but it will help. we also got the permission from the customer to delete the middle seatbelt whcih is a huge source of rattles (can easily be reinstalled later)



 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now its time to move onto the trunk...so as the story went, we started with a single 10" sub design, but the customer was worried that he wouldn't have enough bass as hes into dubstep in a major way...we worked it out and he was able to stretch his budget to the max and take on an additional 10" sub and change to a bigger amp, but we could tell that he really wanted more but simply ran out of funds.

when we started on the trunk, i went into the stock room and removed two morel primo subs, and noticed that we had a third one sitting there. Joey and I sorta looked at each and instantly knew we were thinking about the same thing: what if we gave him a third sub as a surprise? After about 30 seconds of discussion, it was decided, we would secretly give him a third sub with no commitment to have him pay for it. if he was happy, we would simply ask for $100 extra (less than our cost on the driver), if he was really maxed out, then it would just be a free gift.

having settled that, i left Joey to build structure. the original concept was very simple, rearward facing triple 10" enclosure with the amps bolted to the box, with a straighforward beauty panel that extended to the sides, top and bottom, with a basic cutout for a removable grille, all done up in trunk liner with maybe the subs trimmed in vinyl. in other words, something like:



but as i went home saturday afternoon and Joey took over, things took on a life of their own and waht you see below is what we ended up with. :)

The customer basically drew a line in the trunk and said this is where i can have the subbox come out to, so that is exactly waht we did, and here is the normal view with the grille in place. one thing you will notice is the cutout is a bit more complex and also around the opening as well as the opening for the trunk lid support mechanism, there is a raised trim to give it more shape:









pop off the grille and here is what you see, the three Morel primo 10" subs are trimmed in black vinyl, while an addition open area above them shows two Arc audio Xdi amps running the entire system, and 804 is doing 80x4 biamped on the front stage, while a xdi1000.1 runs at 1.33 ohms sending somewhere around 850? watts to the subs.

when i came in this morning and saw what Joey had done, i was really shocked...as a fabricator myself, i know just how much more work this was, compared to what we originally planned, and then it made sense that he stayed until 3am to finish the job (on a saturday!)

so i will just let the pics do the talking:











so here are some build pics of the structure to highlight some of the work involved, once again Joey is still getting used to taking pics every few minutes so there are some steps missing :D I will try my best to explain it but if you have specific qusetions, i will get him to answer them for you regarding the trunk build. (hell i may be butchering the explanation here lol)

this is the front trim baffle, makred off, and then cut on the router via templates and guides,







these are the little trim pieces he made for the trunk lid swing arm opening, something that adds that little extra touch but takes a bit of time to make :)



the panel was then bondo matched to the sides of the trunk to ensure a perfect fit, and the cutouts made for the subs and amps:







then the subs were lined up, and their trim vinyled:





the trim pieces were then carpeted and then dyed lighter to be closer to the oem carpet color:







the speaker cables for the three subs are soldered toether and then run into the box, here you see that the entire box is carpeted, even though most of it wont be seen :)





the two amps are then wired up:





some foam gasket was applied to the vinyled baffle on whcih the subs sit, to seal them against the main box behind:



and here is the box, stuff full of Focal Blackhole stuff, right before the subs went in:



the box is bolted to the car via the two support beams already in place, and here is the wiring before organization:



and after organization:





so...thats it...the car sounds quite good for the type of build it is. the illusion remain pretty natural even in less than ideal locations, and there is, well lets just say an overabundance of bass just like the customer wanted.

I am eagerly waiting the upgrade to the car to take it to the next level.

again, I guess i am just gushing like a school girl regarding how impressed i am about what Joey did on this car. Words cannot describe how good it feels to find someone who not only shares your core values, but goes above and beyond them...i truly feel that somewhere, somehow, I did something right to deserve this good fortune :)

cheers,

Bing
 

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Nice!!! What are you using to cut the tweeter holes? 43.5mm isn't exactly a common hole saw size. I know, I looked everywhere. lol
 

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looks good

Bing, could u have ported it and stood with the design the customer desired?

I think 2 could've got him that extra output he desired.
 

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Thanks guys (and thank you Bing, for the kind words..)
Thursday nite Bing and I went to eat dinner. While we were talking the day of the week came up. In my mind, we were eating dinner on what was formerly know to me as Wednesday nite. The reality was it was Thursday. When the customer dropped off the suburu he asked about having it ready by the weekend. I said "no problem". It was a little bit of a problem when I realized I had lost a day!!
So, I toughed it out and got it done for the customer. I was sad to miss the delivery of his car this morning, but, hey, gotta sleep sometime! :)

It was funny because there was a plan that if I just couldn't make it anymore that evening, that Bing would come in Sunday morning and finish the wiring. It got to be around 1:30 and I decided I wasn't going to go through all that work and not get to hear this system before it left! Man, was it worth it. As some of you might have seen the systems we have done so far have been for the more reserved customer. That is good, and they have sounded great. I prefer a little more bass (you know, I am from Florida!). So, I was REALLY excited when the 3rd sub came into the equation!

The build is straight forward I think. I will work on more pictures. The opening to view the amps also doubles as the vent for the bass to get into the cabin of the car (the rear deck was pretty solid). The bonus was that the amps could be seen..

I hope you guys like the work so far, we have even more fun things in store for the immediate future!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice!!! What are you using to cut the tweeter holes? 43.5mm isn't exactly a common hole saw size. I know, I looked everywhere. lol
glad you asked, just for this car Joey made his own 43.5mm holesaw out of nothing but a toothpick, a ziptie and some glue

que music:

Macgyver theme song - YouTube

actually i have no idea, ask him lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
looks good

Bing, could u have ported it and stood with the design the customer desired?

I think 2 could've got him that extra output he desired.
we spoke to casey, and he said while it is doable, the primo really is optimized for sealed, so ported would be a bit boomy (not sure if thats the best for dubstep) and the enclosure size for two ported would actuatlly be slightly bigger than what we were doing for 3 sealed :)
 

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edzyy. We were a little too small for our desired vented alignment on the 2 subs. We were able to squeeze the 3rd one in and be good. But, yes, to answer the question, the original intention was to do 2 vented.

Quality. I rough cut the hole with a dremel and then used a rotary file to finish the circle. There was about 3/32 to the outside edge, so I had to be careful...

Jay. Don't be hatin'! :)
 

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Quality. I rough cut the hole with a dremel and then used a rotary file to finish the circle. There was about 3/32 to the outside edge, so I had to be careful...

Yeah, I figured the next size up couldn't be THAT big... WRONG! lol Good thing the flush mount was temporary anyway and Bing's hookin' me up with something a LOT better. :D:D:D
 

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The title of this thread suits both Bing & Joey well indeed. WTG on a moderate budget along with the extra 10" sub "free" to boot.
 
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