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Hey gang,

though we have been posting build logs on DIYMA for a long time, it is actually somewhat rare that we get to do a build for an established member...most of the them, our customers join diyma after meeting us and having their cars worked on. When we do get a client who is a long time DYIMER though, it is usually a great experience as they are always passionate about their car, about music, and the whole car audio experience.

Late last year, we had the opportunity to create a new build on member richiec77's 2009 caddy CTS-V sedan. his old build log is here:
http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/build-logs-project-install-gallery/129617-cts-v-install.html

having just come back from serving our country overseas, Kris just wanted to have the car finished once and for all...his original build utilized some very high end equipment and as thus, he laid out the goals for us:

1. maintain the same nice level of sound quality, move midrange and tweeter to above the dash to raise height of stage, but other wise maintain a low key appearance on the interior

2. utilize most of the existing products from the previous build (we supplied only the tweeters as his dyns were unfortunately damaged) and the DSP related gear

3. maintain the same kind of stealthy infloor setup he had envision but to add a little bit of show flare at the same time.


so...lets get started. first of all, the car, which i find to be quite awesome, and especially knowing that it has been tuned to produce mega power, makes it even more special:









because we cannot remove the stock bose system wholesale and use an aftermarket system, we decided early on that we would utilize the Mosconi AMAS high resolution BT streaming add on to the Mosconi dsp as a secondary signal source, so that he can streaming high def files from his phone and tablet directly onto the DSP, thus bypassing the less than optimal signal coming out of his bose amp.

in order to have volume control for the streaming service, we would have to locate the Mosconi DSP controller upfront somewhere...but as you can see, there is preciously little real estate for it:



so what i ended up doing was squeezing it into the astray location, so here it is, with the astray door open, and the controller within easy reach:







the key word here is squeeze, here is an imagine of waht the conroller looks like:



it isnt big but it is still about 30 percent bigger than the opening in the astray. So while the mounting itself is very simple, the hard part was getting the controller to fit.

basically, after about 30 different passes on a belt sander, taking the controller housing down slowly, mm by mm, including trimming part of the circuit board, i managed to get it to be small enough to go into the space. then, using a similar methpod, i ground down a piece of mdf to make a trim ring for it that fits in the astray as well.

so this was what they looked like before the ring got painted and the controller was mounted.




moving to the front stage. The customer provided us with a new set of Dynaudio Esotec 9" midbasses for the door. we cleaned up the previous door and added a bunch of blackhole tiles to the outer door skin, and some more STP CLD damper to the inner skin:



and then Jesse fabricated a new set of mounting spacers and coated them with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





these baffles were then bolted to the door through newly installed rivet nuts, and the rest of the door covered with a stinger foam barrier:



Jesse then wired up and installed the Dynaudio midbases:



the outer door skin also got a fair bit of STP CLD damper:



and the same process was repeated on the passenger side:







moving onto the tweeters. the original idea was to use the same dynaudio esotar 110s he had before, but unfortunately, upon pulling them out, we realized that both of them were damaged buy someones foot, one was dented and we managed to pulled it back out to shape, but the other one was beyond a simple repair. so at this point, after some discussion, kris decided that we will go with a set of Focal Utopia TBe tweeters as he had always wanted to try them. The discussion then revolved around where to mount them...and it was decided that they would go in the stock upper dash corner location so that if a tweeter switch was warranted in the future, it would be the most simple. the stock tweeter location also had a slight backward cant which helps a little for reflections.

so, jesse favbricated some mounting baffles for the TBes, wired them up and mounted them to the car using existing hardware:











the final piece of the front stage is the esotar 430s, these were molded into the a pillars. again, the discussion involved how to angle them, and it was decided that they would have a relatively shallow cant as the car will be auto-xed in the future and not taking away too much peripheral vision was important, my goal was them to make sure they dont cuase too much reflection against the top of the instrument cluster shroud.

so here are the finished a pillars, wrapped in black vinyl, and with the protective grille in place and without:



















here are some build pics for the pillars. the 430s are among the biggest speakers i have ever mounted to the a pillars...and require a bit more shaping and filling than normal.

first the baffles were aimed and secured to the pillar:



then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, and then the pods were reinforced from the inside with a resin/filler mixture:



then, after quite a bit of filling and sanding, i got two smooth blended shapes out of them:





then came probably the most difficult part of the pillar build. because the drastic shape created by such a large speaker, it look a LOT, and i mean A LOT of pulling to get them wrapped in a single piece of vinyl, but after a coupla hours, i got them to behave and showed the vinyl whos boss :D





then, i masked off the vinly and painted the wooden baffle black:





and i also smothered the back of the pillars with STP CLD damper:



and then i made the two protective grilles, here they are before being covered in grille cloth:

 

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so thats it for the interior, jesse ran the wires but uh, didnt take any pictures of that haha, he also took the time to fully sound proof the rear deck, and divider area with CLD damper, and lined the edges of the rear deck cover with thick foam barriers:





moving onto the main attraction: the trunk.

here was Kris's previous creation, which i thought was well laid out and clean, certainly better than some of the shop jobs i have seen. the key was trying to figure out how to top it all with some kind of cosmetic cover. The car also had a bit of alternator whine which i think was due to how the rca and power wires come together in a rear battery car.

the only change here was the swap from the ESB subs to two illusion audio c12xls he provided.



while i was building the trunk, i was even more impressed with the initial job becuase at the end of the day, that is a LOT of stuff to fit into the floor of the car...things were quite tight and i can certainly understand the difficulty in trying to figure out a cosmetic top trim for it, as it required additional spacing to look right.

so anyway, here is the new design i came up with. in normal view, you can see a new floor has been built, that is black suede, with a big center breathable grille in trunkliner. the floor height is about 4" higher than stock and about what he had before:



pop off the grille and here is what you see.

three mosconi AS amps at at the front, a 200.4 powering the mid and tweeter with 200 watts, a 200.2 sending 200 more watts to the midbass, and a 300.2 powering the two illusion audio c12xls with well over 1600 watts. everything is trimmed in black vinyl with a very fat chamfer around the openings. there is also a center Y channel that terminates with a frame in the middle that features a caddy V emblem.













flip a switch and the entire Y channel lights up a bright white color:







its kind of hard to see in most of these pictures, but the lit channel is actually not a simple piece of edge lit flat plexi, instead, it has a wavey top texture to it, and is made up of a crap load of clouded plexi rods glued together, i wanted to do something a little different for him on the lighting front, and this was a bit of a pain but i think presents a pretty unique look:








of course, the better view is in the dark. one thing that is hard to see in the day light is that we replaced his normal trunk light with two hyper bright super white LED floods, this way, even without the center channel light on, the entire trunk is bathed in a smooth white glow:







with the channels unlit and in the dark, you can see the acrylic rods a lot better:



and here is the view with those rods lit up:











 

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so, lets get to the build pics of the trunk.

first, the entire well was sound proofed fully and 7 layers of fiberglass was laid down:





once that cured, it was pulled from the car, and topped with a 3/4" mdf baffle, sanded and trimmed. a large opening was cut into the top to mount the top portion of the sub enclosure:











then i made this mounting plate for the amps and bolted it to the floor of the trunk using rivet nuts:





then i fabricated the top portion of the sub enclosure to space it up to the same level of the amps, i left the top off it for easier routing, and secured this to the sub enclosure mold first:





i then created the amp rack board with spacers, mounted the amps, and wired them up. note that the signal and power cables were kept as far apart as possible













then, i made up some of my "braided" rca cables out of primary wire, and soldered onto the output connections of the bose amp, one pair each for the front low, front high and sub signals:







once the amps were bolted in place, i topped the sub enclosure and installed threaded t-nuts from underneath:



next, i bought five 4 foot clouded acrylic rods (only showed 4 here, i had to go get one more as i ran out), and chopped them down to the proper width...was a bit tedious i tell you :D and lined them up and glued them in the shape of the Y channel, or rather uh...football goalpost hhaha







i then fabricated the main cosmetic trim panel,



and then wrapped it in black vinyl, which was a good finger tip burning experience lol:





to give the V emblem something flat to sit on, i made this piece out of 1/8" acrylic, and secured it to the center opening after rabbeting an additiona 1/8" from the panel:







next i made this trim ring for hte V emblem and wrapped it in black suede:





and then secured that to the top of the plexi window:

 

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to ensure a uniform glow across all the individual acrylic rods, i built a channel around the acrylic "goal post" spaced out about 1/2" on all sides, this gives some room for the light to dissipate before hitting the acrylic: i then lined the inner wall of this channel with a white LED strip:





i then test lit the strips:



after that, the acrylic goal post was secure place and now the panel is pretty much done:





the final piece was securing the V emblem in the middle:









here is the bar that jesse fabricated to house the two white LED flood lights in the ceiling of the trunk, it spans the now empty stop subwoofer opening and casts a ton of light into the trunk:







one other thing i noticed is that becuase the rods under the lit V emblem was so much longer, they became pretty dark at the middle, so fabricated this little LED strip mounting plate out of abs, and bolted it to the floor around the barrier strip area to cast an additional glow upward right below the V emblem:









and finally, the top baffle was fitted in place:



here is the top floor panel before and after suede:





and here is the breathable center grille before and after carpet:





and finally, a shot of all the wiring in the car all hooked up, note the mosconi 6to8v8 dsp on the left side of the trunk, as far away from the battery and power as possible.









so how does it sound?

like the car itself, the sound can be best described as: POWAHHH! there is a LOT of dynamic headroom with so much power on tap. the center imagine is pretty well defined with good height and depth. width is okay with the location of the tweeter. tonally, everything sounds quite nice with great definition uptop and a TON of midbass impact and extension as you can imagine. the c12xls done disappoint and can go crazy low and sound very natural doing it.

there is also a pretty good advantage to be gained when using amas, with better tonality and staging over the same song being played through the stock headunit.

so all in all, pretty happy with it, and for those of you wanting to work with the CTS's bose system, i did the signal analysis on it and here are some screen grabs for you.

first, here is the front HIGH signal at high, mid and low, volume settings on the headunit, notice that oddly enough, it doesnt really lower the level on the top end until you go way down on the volume knob:



here is the same analysis on the front LOW signal, again notice the lack of movement on the lower end of the spectrum, even more dramatic than the front high signal:



and finally, the sub channels, again, similar kind of thing:



so what this basically means is that like a lot of stock premium systems, when you go down on volume, it tries to keep the bass and treble up while lowering the midrange...that is, until you get to pretty low on the volume knob then it beings everything down.

so after finding an optimal setting on the stock volume knob and utilize the mixer and input eq on the Mosconi 6to8dsp, i was able to get this summed signal for the front stage (the sub i ran on its own to the sub output of the dsp)

 

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Beautiful work as always. SIS.

I'm hoping to pick a used CTS-V sedan up in the next few months as its my current dream car. I hate to see that it's another car that you can't swap out the factory headunit as I have one of those now. May try to add a single din headunit somewhere though. Is there room in the glovebox or console for one? It's going to be a weekend car so I wouldn't mind loosing some console or glovebox space.
 

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Always Very NICE work...
you said "braided" rca cables out of primary wire - What kind of wire specificity are you using for this?
its regular stinger 18ga primary wire :) its not really braided, just looks braided but simply twisted.
 

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When I first saw the pics on FB of the acrylic piece shaped like a goalpost, I thought it was just a textured sheet cut that way (maybe like the stuff people use in drop ceilings?)...I had no idea you MADE that out of acrylic rods! Nice work!

I quite like the install, but I kind of miss the Caddy logo it used to have over the sub box in the previous install.

You CAN change the HU in this car, one of the guys who used to work for us put an Alpine 927 in his, and put an iPad mini in place of the pop up nav screen. I don't know EXACTLY what he did, I think he might have relocated it, but it probably wasn't any more work that putting a radio in a Nissan GTR. lol

Jay
 

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When I first saw the pics on FB of the acrylic piece shaped like a goalpost, I thought it was just a textured sheet cut that way (maybe like the stuff people use in drop ceilings?)...I had no idea you MADE that out of acrylic rods! Nice work!

I quite like the install, but I kind of miss the Caddy logo it used to have over the sub box in the previous install.

You CAN change the HU in this car, one of the guys who used to work for us put an Alpine 927 in his, and put an iPad mini in place of the pop up nav screen. I don't know EXACTLY what he did, I think he might have relocated it, but it probably wasn't any more work that putting a radio in a Nissan GTR. lol

Jay
what did he do for climate control info and stuff? i thought that displayed on the stock screen as well?
 

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so all in all, pretty happy with it, and for those of you wanting to work with the CTS's bose system, i did the signal analysis on it and here are some screen grabs for you.

first, here is the front HIGH signal at high, mid and low, volume settings on the headunit, notice that oddly enough, it doesnt really lower the level on the top end until you go way down on the volume knob:



here is the same analysis on the front LOW signal, again notice the lack of movement on the lower end of the spectrum, even more dramatic than the front high signal:



and finally, the sub channels, again, similar kind of thing:



so what this basically means is that like a lot of stock premium systems, when you go down on volume, it tries to keep the bass and treble up while lowering the midrange...that is, until you get to pretty low on the volume knob then it beings everything down.

so after finding an optimal setting on the stock volume knob and utilize the mixer and input eq on the Mosconi 6to8dsp, i was able to get this summed signal for the front stage (the sub i ran on its own to the sub output of the dsp)

Okay...Purdy please share the setup that you used to do these measurements. I need to do exactly what you have done here to my vehicle and it is making me want to scratch the hair that is left on my balding head out.

Please please please share the fine details of this setup for this poor guy. I will literally buy exactly the same components to do the measurements and analyze the signal.
 

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Software looks to be TrueRTA, tho a lot of people also use Room EQ Wizard (REW). Google it, and it will lead you to the site where you can download it.

I use an M-audio USB Microphone interface for mine with a calibrated ECM8000 mic. I don't think the interface I have is still available from M-Audio, since it isn't on there website.

I believe the MXL MicMate Classic can do what you need for about $35 on eBay.

Essentially, you'd need a mic, interface and PC laptop and software.

If you want to check speaker level signals coming out of a source (factory amp, for example) you'd need a voltage divider and a cable that you could feed into your interface.

Jay
 

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Okay...Purdy please share the setup that you used to do these measurements. I need to do exactly what you have done here to my vehicle and it is making me want to scratch the hair that is left on my balding head out.

Please please please share the fine details of this setup for this poor guy. I will literally buy exactly the same components to do the measurements and analyze the signal.
I was just looking at that too. Their website shows what you need, scroll down a little...

https://www.trueaudio.com/index.htm
 

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Clean install.

I have a Audio Technica USB Dynamic Mic that I was going to originally use for a podcast that will still happen at some point.

For recording DJ sets, I will pick up a Focusrite 2x2; is there any reason to use a 4x4 USB audio input device?

Also SIS, could you also do some SPL testing at your facility? I have some products I want to test their output.
 

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NICE car and NICE setup, Bing! I'm sure that Kris is more than happy with it. :)

My only observation is that I might've chamfered the back side of the MDF A-Pillar mounting rings for the e430's and/or used 1/4"-5/16" Phenolic sheet material instead and tapped the threads directly into the sheet stock. A lot of small mids like these benefit from an increased and unencumbered airflow path behind the cone.

All in all, top notch work. I never tire of seeing your build logs! I always learn a new tip or trick, and they always give me new ideas and promote install and placement creativity. :)
 

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Jay, I think you are confusing what was done here. That was a ELECTRICAL measurement. There was no microphone involved. That was the output plugged into an input on bing's dual mic preamp. Electrical, not acoustical...
 

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Wow, you do awesome work. I have an attention to detail and can usually find small flaws in fabrication work. Not so in your case. I can see why your in the top 12 installer. Looks as good as factory. Very hard to make opposite sides symmetrical. I would trust you to do work on my vehicle, and that says a lot, because I'm extremely picky and would rather do my own work. Too bad you are located on the opposite coast.
 
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