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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, all.

I've had components (speakers, HU, etc.) collecting dust in their original boxes in my garage for three or four years now, and have decide to finally get my $h!+ together and commit to the installation. No, the equipment I'll be using probably won't impress anyone around DIYMA, but it's the best I can do without having to factor in the expenses associated with a divorce. :/ You see, in the reality where I dwell, spouses have crazy ideas about their children needing to be properly fed and clothed, and hold the insane notion that that is somehow more important than my own need to satisfy my mobile audiophile wannabe aspirations. Crazy, right?

This car (my daily driver) brings me endless joy, even with the lame factory system (supposedly a "premium" upgrade from the standard. lol.), so pretty much anything I do is going to improve the quality of my life.

There, I've already achieved step one -- tempering my expectations -- an excellent place to start.

The goals:

1) Improve the overall SQ to the highest extent budget allows.
2) Keep the build as stealthy as possible.
3) Maintain respectable volume of usable trunk space.
4) Retain the spare.
5) Leave options for component upgrades in the future.

The components:

1) HU: Alpine 9857 (a couple of years old, but still New In Box)
2) Main amp: JL Audio 300/4 (also NIB)
3) Sub amp: JL Audio 500/1 (used, but in great condition)
4) Front doors: Infinity Kappa 6.5" components (NIB)
5) Fill (rear deck): Infinity Kappa 6.5" 3-ways (NIB)
6) Sub (with custom sealed box in the trunk): Infinity Kappa 12" (NIB)
7) Misc: 1.5 farad cap, 4g power/ground, 12g speaker leads, Stinger RCAs

The ride:



I'm doing the build now, so I'll be posting more photos as I go. Please feel free to offer your comments, suggestions, links to inspirational install logs, etc., especially if you have any personal experience with this vehicle or the bits I'm putting in her. I'm a first class noob at this, so your input is welcome.
 

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It doesn't really do anything. Marketing gimmick. You will be fine without it. I run 4 old PPi amps without any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It doesn't really do anything. Marketing gimmick. You will be fine without it. I run 4 old PPi amps without any problems.
Ah, I see your point. It's probably even more unnecessary in light of the onboard compensation for voltage fluctuation that's in these amps. And, in truth, I'm looking for fidelity, not insane volume, so it isn't likely I'll be testing the limits of my electrical system ... often.

Cap deleted. Thanks.
 

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I'd skip rear deck 3 way and use your 300/4 to do active 2 way instead. I believe you can do that with your Slash series. Then fine tune those Infinity. In the long run you will be able to better tailor the sound then using fixed passive crossovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd skip rear deck 3 way and use your 300/4 to do active 2 way instead. I believe you can do that with your Slash series. Then fine tune those Infinity. In the long run you will be able to better tailor the sound then using fixed passive crossovers.
Yes, I believe the 300/4 does have an active crossover and can be supplied by a single stereo pair of RCAs. I'll pull an extra pair of speaker leads to each front door and plan to do it that way.

Since I just finished mounting the 3-ways in the rear deck, I don't really want to leave them unpowered. I have a spare 4-channel amp I could use in a bridged mode to drive them, though it's an embarrassingly inexpensive one -- a Profile California 1040. The numbers on it look fine, but I've never powered it up, so I really don't know what it sounds like. If it's bad I can upgrade to a better amp for the fills in the future.

I wonder if I could split the signal going into the Profile amp and use its crossover to power the 3-ways (one channel for each tweet, and one for each woofer) since the speakers have separate inputs. Not sure if that would be better than bridging the amp and using the passive x-overs that came with the speakers. Basically, I don't know $h!+ about anything. lol. Like I said, I'm out of my league around here. :/

Please feel free to help me sort it all out if you're so inclined. The specs and details are all there in the link above. Naturally, I'm very grateful for any advise you share. For now I'm going to have an IPA and slither back into my trunk for a while.
 

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Are the Kappas already in the front? You might consider whether to use the tweets. I installed three different sets of those speakers in three different cars (I'm a slow learner) and no matter how they were aimed or how they were powered, they were excruciatingly bright.

As for rear fill, if you have the option of not powering the tweets, do that. You don't need the highs coming from behind you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Are the Kappas already in the front? You might consider whether to use the tweets. I installed three different sets of those speakers in three different cars (I'm a slow learner) and no matter how they were aimed or how they were powered, they were excruciatingly bright.

As for rear fill, if you have the option of not powering the tweets, do that. You don't need the highs coming from behind you.
No, I haven't gotten to the front doors yet. I think if I'm powering the components separately I shouldn't have much trouble limiting the brightness of the tweets, but time will tell. No funds to change tac on that decision right now.

I could opt not to power the tweets in the rear deck if they cause problems, but that's not the way I plan to originally set things up. My instincts tell me with a sub in the trunk, having a bit of treble back there isn't going to be much of an issue. Again, time will tell.

 

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No, I haven't gotten to the front doors yet. I think if I'm powering the components separately I shouldn't have much trouble limiting the brightness of the tweets, but time will tell. No funds to change tac on that decision right now.

I could opt not to power the tweets in the rear deck if they cause problems, but that's not the way I plan to originally set things up. My instincts tell me with a sub in the trunk, having a bit of treble back there isn't going to be much of an issue. Again, time will tell.
It's a function of that particular tweet... its just bright to the point of harsh. more power, less power, active, passive, eq'd, flat, on axis, off axis.... it's just too friggin bright (for my taste).

I'm not making it up about rear fill being bass and midbass....
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
It's a function of that particular tweet... its just bright to the point of harsh. more power, less power, active, passive, eq'd, flat, on axis, off axis.... it's just too friggin bright (for my taste).

I'm not making it up about rear fill being bass and midbass....
Oh, I'm not doubting you. I just don't have more $$ to invest in a different pair of front components right now. Maybe they'll be too bright for my taste, too. Then again, maybe I'm loosing enough of my high frequency sensitivity that it will sound great to me.

And I can pull power to the rear tweets if the effect isn't what I'm seeking. I'd like to keep the sound stage toward the front anyway, so if the overly-bright tweeters in my doors don't take care of that, I'm sure killing the treble in the rear deck will do the trick.

I'm a slow learner, too. When I was a kid there was always someone telling me, "Don't touch that; it's hot," or, "Watch out; this is sharp." Consequently I was getting myself burned and cut rather often. Always one to find things out for myself. It's a wonder I've survived this long. :)

Don't let my stubbornness put you off. Please keep the advise coming. I'm taking it all in.

Last night I remembered that the Kappas are 2ohm and couldn't be driven by my "economy" spare amp in bridged mode. I could still use it, but it would have to be with one channel per tweet and one per woofer, and I'd have to split the RCA inputs before feeding the signal to the amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A few photos of my painfully slow progress:



Here's the HU installed in the dash. The two LEDs and the button on the left side are hardwired power light, alarm light, and mute for my Escort 8500x50. Space above will be where the bass control for the 500/1 and a backordered turbo vacuum/boost gauge will be mounted.




And in the dark.




Factory rear deck speakers were 8", mounted in plastic holders.




Originally thought I could use the factory mounts, so I fabricated a couple of plexi baffles. Didn't like how flimsy it all seemed, so I yanked it and went a different path.




Was able to use the adapters that came with the Kappas for a bottom mount, but put on some Ensolite beforehand. Not fancy, but functional enough for now. I could always fab some proper baffles if needed later.




A shot of the mounted deck speakers from below.




Here's where I'd like to mount my amp rack.




Fabricated the rack out of 3/4" MDF using a cardboard template.




Backed it partially with 3/8" plywood siding to compensate for the different levels of the attachment points and add some more rigidity.




Completed sub-assembly.

(More to follow in just a minute.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)


Hammered in the barbed nuts. Temporarily slung the assembly from the underside of the rear deck using a single, centrally-mounted bolt. That allowed me to keep it secure while I drilled the other mounting holes, assuring that everything would line up.




Covered it all with carpet, using spray adhesive and staples.




Layered on some Ensolite before mounting the amp rack.




Mounted the rack. Made sure to apply some thread lock before putting the bolts in and tightening them down.




One last view from above to show the mounting bolts. Dropped them through fender washers to spread out the load and reduce the risk of tear-out later.




Installed the 500/1 and 300/4, being sure to leave room for additional amps (behind them) to be added in the future.




Not really a "stealth" installation, but looking down from a typical perspective I'm happy with the result so far. The amps are there, but not drawing attention, unlike the stains from my most recent body disposal (kidding).




Of the countless virtues I fail to possess, patience is among them. Hence, my hasty-but-temporary cobbling of my sub to a spare sub box. I'll build a custom sealed enclosure to the Infinity/Harman specifications and hope it will be less conspicuous than this mess, since it will have the sub on the inside of the box.

Sorry for all the trivial shots of the minutia of the build. There's nothing special or fancy going on here, but perhaps someone will find it helpful since there are so few Volvos on this site.

Next time I should be posting the component speaker installation in the front doors, wiring in the sub control nob in the console, running all the power/ground leads for the amps, and buttoning it all together till I have time to build the sub enclosure.

Later, Gators. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. :santa:

-Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Couldn't get the photos at the beginning of the thread to reliably show up because they were hosted on mobileme. I've moved them to Photobucket and am reposting them here.

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.



In the Town of Mt. Laurel, AL. And, yes, I know what those little white lines are for. :rolleyes:




Um, it's the one on the left. :)




Shot somewhere in TX a few years ago on my trip back from buying the car in CO. Lame camera -- long since retired. S60R -- strong as ever. Apatosaurus -- extinct.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i came so close to buying a V70R 5 years ago, but went with my LGT instead...are you over on volvospeed? i used to be a mod over there back in my 850 T5 days :)

awesome car!
Thanks, Bing. I feel fortunate to own this car. It's a nice mix of fast and sporty with refined and comfy.

I'm dabbling in a little entry-level tuning with it (mostly upgraded components from iPd), but haven't done anything major yet. I'd like to take it through stage 2 (or 3?) while I'm still (barely) young enough to enjoy it, but old enough to pay for the speeding fines without having to eat ramen for six months.

In fact, I'm not registered on Volvospeed but am on the Swedespeed forum as dr.tb.xc. I've thought about joining Volvospeed, but haven't gotten around to pulling the trigger. Think I will.

May I say that I am a huge fan of your work? Your installations set a high bar for hacks such as me, but I do enjoy pouring over the photos of your various builds and your Simplicity in Sound site. Consider yourself fortunate to not live near me, as I know I would pester the crap out of you if you did. :)

I'll add that I'm also really impressed with what Trevor has done with his C30R. Not having either the 300+ hours, the budget, or (apparently) the hyper-understanding wife that he has, I must settle for my modest installation, at least for now.

-Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I should be posting photos of progress on the build, but life has been getting in my way. Work, of course, but mostly I find not having a warm, dry garage in which to work profoundly un-motivating. Well, there's that, and then there's this:



Happened yesterday morning on the super-slab at 82 mph as I was passing a line of slower vehicles in rush hour traffic. I'm thinking I must have hit a piece of metal debris, as I heard it glance off the underside of the cabin a millisecond before the tire exploded. All very exciting. Sounded like I was being run over by a train. Big explosion of rubber fragments, smoke, and noise. Lovely.



Not content with its own destruction, the tire managed to essentially gut the tire well and tear a nice chunk of my rear bumper molding free.

No issues coaxing the car to the shoulder of the road, though traffic did keep me in the lane for nearly an 1/8th of a mile. Very happy the projectile didn't take out the front tire instead of the back. Probably would have had to change my shorts as well as the tire if that had happened.

Tire replaced. Parts ordered. Back to installing the front speakers tomorrow if the weather doesn't keep me inside.

Ta.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Your gauges are so cool looking!
Thanks. I really love the look of the gauges in the R, too. Off topic, but here is the vacuum/boost gauge that will be mounted adjacent to the HU, above the bass control and radar detector LEDs/mute. Should look good in there.

 
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