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The NSX is yet another car i have a love/hate relationship with....i love looking at them, and for an exotic, they can actually sound really good...but working on them is a whole nother thing...and it makes me wont to shrink myself down to 1/4 size to craw into the car for wiring and fab work....which is probably why i had Jesse do the more back breaking past of the build :D

anyway, this car is owned by a good personal friend of mine, it is a 97 model and since he purchased it a few years back, he has kept it in immaculate shape, only adding tasteful mods such as suspension, exhaust and rims/tires...his goal is to have a very classy vehicle that is kept mostly in original condition without any craziness such as custom interior, body kits, superchargers etc.

coinciding with this build, Andy informed me that the new midline GS components from Audiofrog is also ready for release, and after some discussion, it was decided that we would utilize a pair in this build as one of the first SQ installs of the GS 6.5" two way comps in the US.

The goals for this car is pretty specific:

1. achieve a nice level of sound quality and conduct a review of the GS comps
2. maintain a mostly oem appearance in the interior, especially the headunit, so no cutting it up to custom fit a double din headunit etc.
3. keep any modifications to the car fully reversible, keep drilling holes to a bare minimum throughout the build.
4. keep the system minimalist-ic and light weight.

so, lets first take a look at this absolutely gorgeous example of a NSX:









to start things off, Jesse fabricated a custom mounting tab for the stinger fuse holder, located in the front compartment:





moving onto the inteterior, as mentioned the goal was to keep the stock headunit in place. we did not utilize it as a signal source, as the sound quality out of the uh...tape deck, would be a bit laughable in this day and age:



instead, the only signal source in the car is through the mosconi high resolution streaming device. we originally used the MOS BTM module attached to the amps, but found out that becuase of hte mid rear engine layout with all the metal in the way, the connection isnt great when the car is in motion...so instead, we will be swapping in a mosconi AMAS2 module for that purpose.

perhaps the only truly visible modification to the interior is the integration the mosconi RC-mini dsp controller into the little bin beghind the shifter. this is fully reversible as all the customer would need to do is purchase another pocket and screw it back in place, no oem trim or interior console piece was modified.

Jesse did a fantastic job building the controller trim panel out of acrylic, and here it is within easy reach of the driver. this controller provides all the volume, sub level, and preset changing needs of the listener:

(note: these interior shots were taken with everything just laying there, unsecured, probably explains why the shifter may be backwards. right after these pics were taken, we took it all apart so the owner can take the climate control module in for repairs)







a few pics of the controller holder before it went back into the car. as you can see, it is built out of acrylic, and bolted together and into the RC mini itself through the stock pocket, and it secures back into the center console with oem hardware:







moving onto the front stage...let us first take a look at the Audio Frog GS components. these are samples that arrived before the main shipment, so there wasnt any unboxing pics...but as you can see, the kit provides the same level of installation options as its big brother, the GB set:



the fit and finish, and overall appearance of the GS set mimics the classy, high quality standard set by the GB. the trade mark silver trim ring around the drivers is present on them. the biggest differences are that the speakers comprise more of plastic/composite construction than metal seen in the GB line, and the grille on the midbass is of a more conventional design than the GB.



the midbass is a bit shallower than the GB, whcih could be a good thing for certain vehicles, it has spade terminals instead of the setscrew found on the GB, and again, it has more plastic parts than the GB...but overall, looking at it, is doesnt look cheap by any means, sort of like a natural step down from the GB set:







the tweeter looks closer to its GB brother than the midbass, infact, from top down, it is hard to tell them apart...the key difference is the housing is plastic...but aside from that, it will be hard to distinguish the two...very nice and instantly recognizable as an AF tweeter:







since we were to maintain an oem appearance in the car with little to no cutting, the mid and tweeter were both installed in the lower door location that previously housed the stock mid enclosure. this isnt an ideal location for them but the good thing is the stock grille on the door card is oval in shape, so no speaker will be blocked.

first, jesse ran new speaker wires into the door:



and then i went in and sound proofed the outter doors with some blackhole tiles, while the inner door received a combination of STP CLD damper around the speakers, focal BAM XXXL on the main door portion, and some Ballistik foam towards the rear. the reason why i went with the thinner foam on the rear of the door is that with these older cars, the window and door lock actuator rods are exposed, and i do not want too much pressure on those moving parts as to avoid jamming them after the door card is installed.





i then constructed a set of mounting baffles, with spacers secured in place to utilize all oem mounting holes, and coated them with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





i then press fit the audiofrog GS10 tweeters into them and wired them up:



the baffles were then secured to the door using oem mounting points and the tweeter wired up, the inside opening of the midbass baffle was also sealed to the door panel opening itself using several layers of sound proofing, thus separating the front and back waves:





and then the midbass was installed as well:





and finally, some foam rings to contain the sound waves and direct them only out of the speaker grille:



the door card also received STP CLD damper:



the same procedure also went onto the driver side door:













 

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moving onto the sub, about the only location that makes sense for a sub enclosure in the nsx is the front passenger foot well...where a pathetic stock 4" driver used to reside to produce "bass"... Jesse constructed a enclosure for a single arc audio ARC8 subwoofer. normally, the stock carpet goes over the box and it is pretty invisible and protected:



pull back the carpet and you see the new enclosure there, with a protective grille over the sub. there is virtually no way to match the slightly faded carpet of the nsx, so it was done in black carpet instead:



pull off the grille and you see the ARC 8:





some build pics of the enclosure by Jesse, and as mentioned this is perhaps the single most backbreaking part of the build, requiring quite a bit of time contorted in the foot well glassing :)

first, the stock sub enclosure was removed and the carpet laid flat on the floor, then the entire front right side of the interior was masked off:





then, 6 layers of fiberglass went in to form the back mold of the enclosure:



then jesse attached a front baffle, and blended the edges. after some final sanding, he was left with this:









the box was then carpeted, and a breathable grille also fabricated and carepted:



next comes the wiring pics as it goes from the interior, back top the trunk. all the speaker and signal wires go through the center console area, while the main power cable is run down the passenger side door sill and into the front trunk:











all the cables pass into the engine compartment from a central oem grommet, it is then protected by loom, ziptied to factory bundles, routed to the driver side of the car, and then enters the trunk via factory hole:





 

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now, lets take a look at the trunk, which is very minimalist in design.

front the back, normally, there is almost nothing to be seen. the only addition is a new side wall, and the amp rack, tucked as far in as possible on the driver side. a black vinyl cover panel with raised NSX logo is visible...but otherwise, nothing is changed. i tried my best to dye the carpet to beter match the oem carpet, but it is squarely in between the two shades of trunk liner commonly available.







pop off the cover panel and you see a very simple black vinyl trimmed opening housing two mosconi D2 amplifiers. a D2 DSP 100.4 sends 100 watts x 4 fully active upfront to the GS components, and a D2 500.1 powers the subwoofer with close to 500 watts. the 100.4, which basically has a mosconi 4to6dsp built in, also provides the signal processing for the system and recieves the signal from the high resolution BT module. very small, tidy and light weight:











some build pics of the amp rack...first, it is secured to the car using only oem mounting spots. no new holes were drilled. instead, three rivet nuts were installed onto existing oem mounting brackets:





then the rack was built with matching supports and tabs that allows bolts to go into those three locations. the rack was built and wired outside of the car and basically bolted in:





and here it is, wired up and ready to go..the only hole drilled in the entire install is for the main grounding point, as there was no suitable spots close to the amprack, it is done via a rivet nut as well.



and after the stock carpet slid in, here is the bare exposed amp rack one last time:



here are the front panel and the vinyl trim panel before and after upholstery. you can tell the carpet panel go lighter after some dyeing but that was as far as i can go without them looking basically white:







and finally, the front cover panel before and after vinyl:





so...how does it sound? i will get to the main review of the Audiofrogs in a minute, so first, a more general impression.

overall, the car sounds fansastic...about the only thing that suffers a bit is the center image. it is in the middle of the car, but due to the mounting locations, the image isnt very precise. staging however, is still ontop of the dash with minimal rainbowing, owing to just how low you sit in this car. depth is on the dash and width is also pillar to pillar.

tonality wise it is quite excellent, the little arc 8 really rocks in this location, and honestly, both by ear and on the rta, i could not tell this is only an 8" subwoofer...as it exhibited a ton of impact and very good extension down to 30hz.

infact, with some adjustments, this is the curve i got out of the system wtih the sub turned up a little...you can see the slightly bump at 50hz or so, that smooths out when you open a window, and the rapid roll off at the very top due to the tweeter location, but overall, very pleasant to listen to.




Review of the Audio Frog GS two way components:

with the high standard of midbass performance set by the GB60, i was expecting quite a bit less out of the GS60...but surprisingly, it was quite a little power house on that front. playing Hotel California live with the sub turned completely off, revealed that they were natural and linear in their extension down from the crossover point, providing that nice impact without any distortion when the initial big kick drum notes came. playing michel jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel and Madonna's Holiday also gave me the same impactful midbass that really punches me in the chest. i would say that the GB still has an edge on overall impact and extension down low, but these are VERY good, easily befitting of their price tag and infact, may match or shame some components that are much higher priced than their 500 dollar or below MSRP. the speaker also had no problem reaching up to 3000hz and above to the tweeter. i listened to various tracks from Hotel California, to Michael Buble's The best is yet to come to even EDM music with the tweeter turned off, and there was no obvious breakups or huge peaks...the male vocals had the correct reverb and never sounded too thin or too thick, while the female vocals has the right ring to it, never did i feel like there was too much midrange and the singer was shouting at me.

with the speakers playing together, i listened to Nils Lofgren's Keith Dont Go from his superb acoustic live album. the reverb of the guitars body was very natural and trailed off after each pluck without sounding artificial or too heavy. the GS10 tweeter can be best described as natural...whcih is exactly what i prefer in a tweeter. despite their sub optimal mounting location, they were pretty smooth out of the box and did not require a ton of tuning to set them right. at no point did i ever feel the tweeters were dull or sharp...the detail of the guitar on Keith Dont Go was very well defined and balanced just right, not too bright, and not too laid back. it also had very little sibilance out of the box compared to many other tweeters.

now the natural question is going to be, where does it fall short compared to its more pricey stablemate, the GB...aside from the midbass mentioned earlier, i think the biggest difference is that GB can probably play at a higher volume level and take on more power. now, i cannot fully verify this because when really turned up beyond a comfortable volume level, the amp may have run out of juice before the speaker, so i will try and make a more direct comparison when i do these with more power on them. the tweeter on the GB maybe a tick or two above the GS interms of realism and airiness, but quite honestly, with the doors closed, i never once felt like i was in the super tight confines of a NSX interior and it sounded pretty big.

so to sum it up, along with the Morel Tempo Ultra component set, i now have yet another awesome option in the 4-500 dollar price point for use in simple, fully active builds. infact, i may even go as far as saying these two components have a similar overall sound to them. very natural with a very well balanced sound to them right out of the box. no obvious problems anywhere in the spectrum and pretty easy to tune. once gain, i will try to make a better comparison once i get to do a set of these with more power and more ideal tweeter mounting locations.

my belief is that if they can sound this good in less optimal conditions, they would sound even better in other cars and i have no problem in recommending these for anyone looking for a well balanced sound quality speaker set at a very moderate price point.

if i were to nitpick anything about the set, it would be, as i had said about the GB set, that the tweeter is far too big to put into most oem locations, and would likely need custom molding or installation onto oem Midrange locations. also, and this is purely a personal preference thing, i still prefer my tweeters to have pig tail wires comin out of them than any kind of connector, the reasons being that it is an extra step that i find unnecessary and i am always loosing the tiny allen wrench for those set screws.

but yeah, you will see us doing quite a bit more of these froggies in the future.

p.s. i have gotten pms and emails in the past asking about certain things i review and how they "really" perform, asking if perhaps i am inclined to be more positive on the reviews on the open forum to appease my manufacturers. and here is the truth...i am 100 percent honest in my appraisal of any equipment that i use...but please bear in mind these are completely objective reviews based on my personal, and admittedly limited critical listening ability. I do NOT consider myself an audiophile, and i dont listen to strictly audiophile music...and my taste is always geared towards more smooth (some say boring) highs and therefore, i will always rank a bright tweeter lower than a smoother one. however, i want to make sure that everyone understands that i try out new gear pretty frequently, and the truth is, there have been products that don't quite fit my personal preference for one reason or another...and how you can tell is that there will be no review of those products in the build log other than a quick mention they were used. you will also likely NOT see the same products used in future installs. I dont think i am good enough a judge to dismiss any products due to personal preference, so my choice is not to do any negative reviews...but please rest assured that the positive ones posted, such as this, comes 100 percent from the heart....but please listen with your own ears and decide for yourself as we all have different tastes. :D

cheers!

Bing
 

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Keep us updated with your aswome work! It's a pleasure and a way to destress to watch your builds! pleasure for eyes!
Good luck!
 

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thanks guys...i know i have been so behind on the build logs, at least 6 or 8 cars now...but these take a ton of time to write (about 2-3 hours even for the smaller ones), and with the baby in the house now, its just tough haha

b
 

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you and I thou thousand miles apart maybe 900 not sure. panhandle of Oklahoma, i think we have same taste in sound. i like a very natural sound AKA boring to some. i love your builds and reviews. i wanna try these frogs so bad. i look forward to your builds logs very very much. so thank you for them. if i was closer to you i would go in to debt to have you do my car!!!!
 

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Great work yet again SiS :)
 

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Bing, i may have just missed it, but, for the source, are you/customer using a phone via bluetooth ? since you're not using the stock HU.

I'm thinking of ditching a HU all together and using an iPad instead

Great work as always btw
 

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Bing, i may have just missed it, but, for the source, are you/customer using a phone via bluetooth ? since you're not using the stock HU.

I'm thinking of ditching a HU all together and using an iPad instead

Great work as always btw
yeah the only source in the car will be his smart phone :) but anyone who brings a BT enabled music device will also become a possible source :)
 

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Funny that I'd see a thread on a hotrod NSX and figure out by this build how I'd do an amp/swap build I'm currently neck deep in. One of those typical scenarios where I surf through an SIS build and Bam!! Ah that's how it's done!

Nice write-up on the GS's. There will be more. They sound like (no pun intended) they should become quite prevalent. Audiofrog definitely has it figured out with their line-up. I especially like the grills and how well the install is thought out with the hardware.
 
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