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Out of all the cars i have worked on, the 2nd Gen Lexus IS is perhaps one of the most common models I see...with this particular one, a 2008 IS250, as my 20th or so install.

However, it has been well over a year since my last IS build, and with some new products being avaiable, it is pretty exciting to try them out in this familar car.

First up, the goals:

1. Produce an decent level of sound quality on a somewhat modest budget, with a focus on smooth top end response

2. take up as little room as possible while retaining the spare tire

3. a simple clean and functional set up in the trunk that is stealthy and not affect daily usage

lets get started:


The OEM lexus headunit serves as the signal source and a Mosconi 6to8 processor provides all the tuning functions. With the optional bluetooth dongle, i can tune the car wirelessly anywhere with in a few yards of the car...here is the software running while i am doing final listening in the vehicle:



as mentioned, smooth highs was a key requirement as the owner is very sensitive to high frequencies. To that end, the new Morel Virtus 6.5" two way compoenent was the perfect choice. The tweeter was molded into the A pillars, spaced up above the instrument shroud to reduce reflections, and becuase the oem material is almost impossible to duplicate, as the norml with my IS installs, the pillars are wrapped with dash matching black vinyl:









Here are some quick build pics of the pillars...due to the relatively odd shape of the Morel tweeter bracket, i first had to build a small oval shapped ring with a flush mounting wall, they were then aimed and secured to the stripped OEM pillars:



then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, allow to harden, and then reinforced from the inside via duraglass/resin mixture, making the pods virtually solid:



then filler was applied and everything sanded smooth to blend together:





and then they were wrapped with black vinyl:





then the morel mounting cups were secured to the pillars via the supplied hardware, from here, the pillars just need to be snapped back into the vehicle, and the tweeters themselves pressed into place:





The Morel virtus 6.5" midbass went into the stock location, first the doors were sound proofed and a new pair of speaker wires run into each door:



then i made up two spacer baffles and treated both sides with truck bed liner to protect them against the elements:



The baffles were then bolted up:



and the virtus midbass installed:





for once the virtus has a small enough motor that no foam was needed around the magnet to prevent the banging sound when the window briefly touches the magnet at the bottom of it downward travel :)

the same treatment was applied on the passenger side:







 

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then comes some pics of the wiring bundle as it travesl from the front to the back of the car...

on the driver side are the left side speaker wires, an extra pair of RCA cables which the customer specified so he can add a secondary signal source later... and the Mosconi remote bass controller cable, and on the passenger side went the passenger side speaker wires, the remote turn on wire (tapped into the fuse box ACC), and the main 0 gauge power cable (tucked beneath the carpet for most of the run.

all the cables are secured to OEM looms every few inches and passes into the trunk via two OEM grommets:





















the owner had already removed the OEM subwoofer from the rear deck so no picture of that.

moving to the trunk. as mentioned above, the spare needed to be retain, and we wanted to take up as little room as possible. so the obvious idea is a rearward facing amp rack and a side mounted sub.

open up the trunk and here is what you see...the fabulous Science of Sound/Boxology custom fit 12" subenclosure built by my good friend Nick Johnson sits on the passenger side of the trunk. (this is the box that when i reviewed for CAE, i said i cannot build a better box regardless of budget:))...and a rear ward facing wall with a press fit cover is at the front of the trunk. the Enclosure comes with its own press fit grille:





remove the grilles and here is what you see.

two Mosconi Gladen one amps sandwich the Mosconi 6to8DSP in a rack upfront, trimmed in an aqua blue vinyl that matches the exterior of the car. A Morel primo 12 occupies the sub enclosure. Total space take up is about 3" at the top, and about 5.5" at the bottom...nothing crazy just simple and clean.

The Gladen one 120.4 on the left sends 120 watts to each tweeter, and 350 watts to the sub, while the One 240.2 powers the door midbass with 240 watts rms a piece.













 

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onto the build pics...but first, some OEM signal analysis. Having not done a NON Mark Levinson system equipped IS for sometime, i wanted to see just waht kind of signal i am dealing with out of the OEM amp, as with the ML systems, i tend use only the front door woofer and higns signal.

So what i found out is that the non ML system seems to be a lil different. Here is the front door mdidrange/high signal:



here is the front door woofer signal, note how high it extends to and the rapid drop off relatively high in the frequency range:



and here ist he OEM sub signal, pretty flat all the way down but notice again how much overlap:



so the decision was made to sum all three signals to produce a single full range signal.

Back to the build pics.

First, here are the wiring bundle as they pass into the trunk, and routed close to their final destination:



The signal wires were tapped at the oem amp's output, and bundled:



this bundle then travels across the back of the trunk (to keep them as far away from the main power cable which is ont he passenger side):



and then back up to the driver side:



Next is the amp rack that holds all the equipment. I basically built it outside the car and did as much wiring as i could with it out of the car to make my job easier. Note the Mosconi HLA-SUM summing device. normally, the 6to8's 6 channels of input is enough for this car, but the customer wanted to add a future signal source and thus they will take up an extra pair of channels on the DSP, thus the HLA-SUM was used to presum the woofer/subwoofer signal.

Everything is organized, ziptied, and secured, ready to go into the car:









Here is the awesome enclosure with the Morel Primo 12 loaded out side of the car:







Here ist he trim piece around the amps before and after vinyl:





and the outter wall piece, along with vented grille, before and after carpet:









and finally, here is the amp rack secured to the car and all wired up:



so..how does it sound? quite nice...i absolutely love how the Virtus sound, good midbass impact, solid midrange and warm and buttery smooth highs...i can turn it up with out fearing fatigue. the Primo 12 continues to impress as well, the customer had a JL10w3 in the car before, and i tested it out using the same amp...the morel has a lot more presence, extension and output...excellent sub considering the modest price tag :)

width is pillar to pillar, depth is not too bad, center image is pretty good and stages very high, a few inches below the rear view mirror.

This is the response curve i got out of it after about 3 hours of playing around with it:



overall, very happy with the outcome. :)

Cheers,

Bing
 

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Very nice. I like the use of the One series. I really like the One series amps. Very clean.
 

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And another sick install Bing. Even though it seems like a simple install to you, it looks amazing to me. Incredibly well done.
Hurry up and get to work on another install. I'm anxious to see the next one!
 

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Install like this scary me away from starting my own. t love the rack and sub box.
 

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^^

X2!!!
 

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Well you did it again,another install to stare at over & over & over....
 

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Nice clean work as usual.

One thing I've always wondered about is when you do an A-Pillar and use the resined cloth for the overall shape and structure.

You mention that you reinforce the panel from the back with a Duraglass/resin mixture.

Do you poke a few holes from the back and pour a Duraglass milkshake in there? Otherwise theres no way to get to the back of the cloth structure to reinforce that.

Every set of A-Pillars I've built I just fixed the speaker baffle into place then I just Duraglassed the piece into the pillar and sanded until blended.
 

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Nice clean work as usual.

One thing I've always wondered about is when you do an A-Pillar and use the resined cloth for the overall shape and structure.

You mention that you reinforce the panel from the back with a Duraglass/resin mixture.

Do you poke a few holes from the back and pour a Duraglass milkshake in there? Otherwise theres no way to get to the back of the cloth structure to reinforce that.

Every set of A-Pillars I've built I just fixed the speaker baffle into place then I just Duraglassed the piece into the pillar and sanded until blended.
if you look at the pillar build pic you see the little mounting ring has a hole cut behind it, so i can pour resin mixture into the inside of the pod via that opening and the space between the pillar the mounting ring :)

b
 

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if you look at the pillar build pic you see the little mounting ring has a hole cut behind it, so i can pour resin mixture into the inside of the pod via that opening and the space between the pillar the mounting ring :)

b
Ok thats what I figured....I just don't remember you pointing out that detail.
 

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quick question bing, how is the amp rack attached? looks like you have brackets on all four corners. did you use existing stock holes or make new holes?
 
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