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Some of those that know me personally or converse with me through face book knows that i am a huge road racing fan...be it F1, Sports cars, V8SC, BTCC etc, i watch em all and try to go to every event at our local track, Laguna Seca.

For a long time, a dream of mine was to someday show case the Simplicity in Sound logo on a race car...now I am a realistic person so I always guessed that perhaps one day, the sticker would adorn the side of a miata track car or a customers time attack weekend warrior.

That is...until recently...we were fortunate to meet a great customer who campaigns a Stohr prototype in the SCCA's P2 categories...the first time I saw the car, i knew i wanted to somehow get the SIS log onto it. and after some discussions about his daily driver, a 2007 Audi A3, we worked out a mutual agreement to give him a sponsored rate in exchange for some advertising for our shop.

Before anything else, lets take a look at his beautifully prepared race car, its a true prototype and runs very impressive times. But i am thinking the SIS stickers should be good for at least a few seconds a lap around laguna! :D













here are some videos of him in action:

A Race Day at Sonoma 2013 on Vimeo

Sonoma 07/2013 SCCA Reg/National Race 2 on Vimeo

Laguna Seca 06/2013 SCCA Regional Race 2 w/data on Vimeo

Sonoma 07/2012 SCCA Reg/National Race 2 on Vimeo

I plan to attending a bunch of races this year as part of Team Fabian, and maybe even lucky enough to serve as part the crew...maybe handing drink bottles around or something :D

Back to the stereo build...the goals were:

1. to achieve a high level of sound quality throughout

2. maintain relatively subdued appearance on the interior

3. maintain full access to spare tire and tools under the cargo floor, install sub and amps in a tasteful manner that still maintains some usable space

4. Integrate the Mosconi AMAS BT streaming device and upfront controller into the mix.

so, lets get started.

the signal starts with a pioneer AVH-X5600 double din headunit, installed via a Connects2 DD kit for the S3





because the system uses a mosconi 6ot8v8 DSP, all tuning can be done at the front seat via BT enabled laptop:



A REALLY cool feature that Fabian envisioned and Joey executed, was to mold the Mosconi DSP control INTO the pop up lid of the oem ashtray. So here is the ashtray in its normally closed position:



give me a push and the controller integrated lid pops up, allowing for easy to reach adjustment of the master volume (especially while listening to AMAS) and preset controls. as is the trademark now with SIS, the outter top edge of the controller button has been turned to create a shiny halo effect:







here are a few build pics of this process. first, the entire assembly was taken apart, both the ashtray and the mosconi controller, the top silver door popped off the pivoting pane and only just the board of the controller remains.



then, joey made a new front cover for the mosconi board out of acrylic, pieced it together, and test fitted by bolt it from the swing door of the ashtray:



after a bunch of sanding and smoothing, and the two half circle dips in the main tray assembly filled, both sections were primed via high build primer:



and here is the finished result after sanding and painting before it was all bolted back together and went in the car:



For the front stage of the car we chose a set of Morels, the supremo piccolo went into a set of custom molded A pillars. The directive was to try and keep them as recessed and outboard as possible...and my own goal was to try to aim it to clear the big instrument customers shroud to minimize unwanted reflections....not the eaiest thing since the piccolos are pretty big, so here is what i came up with.

the ring baffle for the piccolos was pressed all the way to the side, the bottom of the ring actually almost touching the metal a pillar, and then a dip was molded into the a pillar trim above is so there is a smoother transition without and blockage. they are aimed semi on axis and at a angle that clears the hump. the entire panel was covered with dyed headliner material:



















here is a shot from the front of the car showing just how relatively outboard they are for the big tweeter:



here are some build pics of the pods...first, the stock pillar cover was cut to create the dip, and ring baffles with flush mount walls out of low heat plastic was aimed and secured:





then, t shirt material was pulled across, resin applied, allowed to cure and then the pod was reinforced from the inside via a duraglass/resin mixture:



once that cured, i applied a coupla layers of filler and sanded the entire shape smooth:





then, to prevent any colors from showing through the headliner cover, i gave them two pillars a quick coat of tan paint:



then i wrapped them with headliner material that had its foam backing removed, a big thanks goes out to JAYINMI for his tip in using rubbing alcohol to soak the headliner!



then, I used a SEM dye to get the color closer to the factory match, its not perfect, but was the best we could find at the moment:







and then they went back into the car and the tweeters were installed.

moving onto the doors, which received a set of Morel Elate MW6 6.5" woofers.

First, new speaker wires were run into the door around the stock molexi plug:



then sound proofing went onto the outter door skins (blackhole tile) and inner door panel, STP CLD damper.




i then fabricated a set of spacer baffles matching the shape of the oem speaker and mounting holes, and coated each with a few layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:



and the baffle was bolted in place via oem hardware:



and the MW6 installed:



 

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some STP damper also went onto the outter plastic door skin to help with resonance:



the same process was then repeated on the passenger side:













next are some pics that shows the wiring bundle for the system traveling from the front of the car to the back. due to the unique nature of the DSP being mounted on one side of the car and the amps the other, the output rcas from the dsp comes back under the rear seat to the other side. but in the end, everything is neatly ziptied and organized:





















since the dsp is going to be tucked away in what would be the factory nav location and won be accessible, i prewired it and then secured it inside the slot opening via ultra high bond 3m tape, but for good measure, since its so close to the subwoofer, i added a industrial sized ziptie to ensure it never comes off the tape and creates a rattle:





the subwoofer speaker wire and a video rca for the backup camera is run across the car at the very back.

 

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next, onto the main attraction, the hatch area. as mentioned before, the requirement was to maintain full access to the spare tire and the tools in the foam tray around the tire, to that end, there was basically only one way to go with the two mosconi amps andt he illusion sub - on both sides...so here is what joey came up with.

when open the hatch, an opposing design greats you, a enclousure of about .7 cubfeet is on the driver side housing a single illusion audio C10XL, while a thicker rack showcases two mosconi AS amps, a 200.4 powering the front stage with 200 watts a piece, and a 200.2, sending about 640 watts to the sub. Both sides features the same black vinyl trim and silver insert that is found on the interior of the car, and you will notice also the entire side pieces have been recarpeted to create a seamless one piece look. the top of the amp rack has a slight edge on it so it can be used as a small parcel shelf for flat items:





























to access the spare takes less than 30 seconds. first, pop off the trim panel on the amp rack, which press fit and secured via magnets:





and you are then left with this:





and now you can swing the floor cover to the right and lift it right up and out of the car:



and now you can have access to all the tools and the spare :)







lets move onto the some build pics of the back...pics may be a bit sparse in typical joey tradition :D

here is a shot of the back portion of the sub enclosure, comprising of a fibeglass back and a MDF bottom to gain the most air space:



then the front baffle was attached at the top, and the remaining gaps filled:





a flush mount trim ring was then attached to the front of the enclosure:



while the stoc side trim panel, with the back cut out of it, was prepped by filling in and sanding smooth the opening that acess the stock nav location, its close proximity to the sub meant that if it was kept in place, it would have been really awkward visually, and it wouldnt allow any setting changes on the dsp anyway:



then the subbox and the stock panel was carpted:





here you see the bolt that mounted the subbox to the car via a rivet nut on the back:





and the box was stuffed with blackhole Stuff and ready to receive the subwoofer.

 

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moving over to the other side. first, joey fabricated the two piece amp rack out of metal:







once the amp rack and amps are test bolted in place, joey cut the top portion of the amp rack, laid it on top of 1/4" spacer and bonded it to the factory panel via fiberglass:



then, joey constructed the multipiece front trim for the amp rack out of mdf, with two angles in the middle and a matching trim piece that will be painted silver later:











and here is the top portion of the amp rack panel, all bonded and blended together, and the top ledge for the "shelf" test fitted:



here you see all the trim pieces being primed, some for painting, other for vinyl on the front side:





here are some pics that show case how the amp rack comes together bolts into the car via a series of rivetnuts and bolts, this is still the raw metal form before grinding, priming and painting:





Joey had one more really cool trick up his sleeve. the stock battery tray cover is a stamped metal piece with a hump that allowed the pair of factory power and ground wires to pass through:



in order to accommodate the addtional set of wires that we will need to run into the battery tray, joey sectioned the hump, welded in a pie ceof sheet metal, and after grinding, made basically the same design except now it is wider and accommodate the additional set of cables...this is a facet of the instll that will never been seen but i found it to be one of the coolest part of the build:

















so at this point, it was handed over to me for the final wiring. joey fabricated a metal bar that i attached two distribution blocks to and prewire them:



then i bolted this bar up to the main amp rack, secured the 200.4, and wired it up



i then mounted the 200.2 and wired it up in the same manner, not he main fuse holder mounted below the amps. the two cables are ziptied to the factory cable and leads down into the battery tray:









so...thats it... a pretty unique product that was made even cooler by the race car trade :)

How does it sound? well, to me it was quite good....i thought without a dash mat, the center would be a bit diffused with the big instrucment cluster, but much to my suprised, it was focused, high, and well centered with good depth, width is pillar to pillar and overall tonality is really good. the midbass, perhaps as a result of this door or other factors, had the most impact i have heard yet out of a set of freeair mounted MW6s, it was very power and preceise with good control at very high volumes. the piccolos, as usual, sounded great, walking that fine line between detail and smoothness. the c10xl is a known factory, it really was able to shake the cabin with authority and fill it with hair ruffling bass, quite impressive for a single 10 with 640 watts. We actually had quite a few customers and freinds come and demo the car, perhaps some of them can share their thoughts as well :)

so thats it...i am really looking forward to walking the paddock at upcoming scca events, and i hope some of you living close to either laguna or thunderhill can join us and support team fabian and the "simplicity in speed P2 team"!

Cheers,

Bing
 

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Dude,
I'm a HUGE race fan too! Glad to see your business name on a race car. PROPS for more business to you for sure.

Oh yeah the install! Ahhhhh yes! The customer KEPT the SPARE. Outstanding work on making things work together.
 

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Dude,
I'm a HUGE race fan too! Glad to see your business name on a race car. PROPS for more business to you for sure.

Oh yeah the install! Ahhhhh yes! The customer KEPT the SPARE. Outstanding work on making things work together.
 

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Just a little tip on welding sheet metal like that. If you run into a situation like that again weld it from the back side instead of the top....makes the finish work much easier since there won't be as much build up on the top side.
I've been doing body panels like that for decades...it works well.

Something else to consider for penetration and strength on things like the amp rack frame....bevel those edges when you butt weld things like that. You'll have a much better joint and again, much less grinding and finish work.
 

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That's a good tip on the back side! Now you have me thinking back to all the metal I replaced on my AH Sprite and how many places that might have helped! lol...

I always bevel the joints, the problem is this was thicker than I normally use and I did the typical beveling I would do for 1/8". I should have beveled them more. The heat probably could have been a tad higher too, in retrospect..

Thanks for the tips. I haven't had any really formal instruction, just things I have picked up from people I know who weld..



Just a little tip on welding sheet metal like that. If you run into a situation like that again weld it from the back side instead of the top....makes the finish work much easier since there won't be as much build up on the top side.
I've been doing body panels like that for decades...it works well.

Something else to consider for penetration and strength on things like the amp rack frame....bevel those edges when you butt weld things like that. You'll have a much better joint and again, much less grinding and finish work.
 

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Great job..You guys get better every build , if that's possible at this point. If I hit the lottery I will be sending my cars your way.
 

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Bing, how is the mid bass performance on these MW6 over the older elate SW6? I remember the old elates lacking when compared to the dynaudio MW160.
 

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Bing, how is the mid bass performance on these MW6 over the older elate SW6? I remember the old elates lacking when compared to the dynaudio MW160.
the relatively tame midbass of the previous generation morels was one of my peeves...throughout the line of this new gen stuff, which came out a year or two ago, is worlds apart.

as mentioned in my listening impression above, the midbass output, impact and just general composure at high volumes on demanding material was truly awesome.

i am a big midbass nut, perhaps to a fault, but it should say something that my own car is going to run a set of these MW6s :)
 

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Excellent final product Bing! I was fortunate enough to listen to the car and Bing demoed a variety of music and I must say, very balanced sound. The highs were very detailed but not harsh while the midbass was very warm and full. My first time listening to a car with full DSP and I must say, a big big difference and thumbs up to Bing's tuning abilities! Imaging was dead center with colorful tones. I didn't sense any fatigue after hearing a few tracks.

I'm handing over the keys to my car to Bing shortly and am very excited to hear what he does to my car - albeit my car will be a simpler build than the others that he's done. To know that my car will be in great hands and have full attention and detail to it in Bing's hands is very comforting.
 

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the relatively tame midbass of the previous generation morels was one of my peeves...throughout the line of this new gen stuff, which came out a year or two ago, is worlds apart.

as mentioned in my listening impression above, the midbass output, impact and just general composure at high volumes on demanding material was truly awesome.

i am a big midbass nut, perhaps to a fault, but it should say something that my own car is going to run a set of these MW6s :)

Same here on the midbass & this is all convincing to me to get a pair. Hey do you have any experience with the Acura ELS system? Would like to ask you a question or 2 via PM if you do.


How comes no mention of MotoGP & WSBK?????:surprised:
 

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Same here on the midbass & this is all convincing to me to get a pair. Hey do you have any experience with the Acura ELS system? Would like to ask you a question or 2 via PM if you do.


How comes no mention of MotoGP & WSBK?????:surprised:
i prefer my racing on four wheels...:) i do watch from time to time, but not a lot.

you can ask on here, then more people can see it, i am by no means an expert on the ELS system, i do know the one that came on the PREVIOUS gen Tl pretty well.
 

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Didn't realize you were a race fan, though I did wonder what was up when I noted the race car on your facebook page. I am also a huge motorsports fan, F1 (went to the Canadian GP this past year, :p ), Indycar, proto / sports cars and MotoGP. Will have to trot over the hill to Seca for a few events as I'm only 45 min away.

Ok now to the A3.
Damnit this is going to cost me more money!
Had the chance to audition the A3 last week (thanks Bing), another exemplary design with build quality to match from Bing and Joey. My current system includes an earlier generation of Supremo mids with Picolo's for tweets (hence the interest in the A3 build) and while Bing has been able to improve the midbass performance I must say the current generation Elete/Picolo combination is a definite step above. While I'm driving my system with a different amp (LRX5.1 versus the A3's Mosconis) I think sound quality is on par with the Mosconis so the speaker A/B comparison is revelant. The earlier Morel's seem to have a more laid back presentation versus this Elete/Picolo combination. Elete midbass is definitely more incisive yet still palpable and definitely hits harder.and cleaner. Timbre also seems to be a touch more realistic. The new generation of Picolo's just seem to be much smoother overall yet still as extended as the originals.
Bottom line - saving my penny's for the next gen Morels!:D
As to the A3 build - very tight, unique yet elegant and functional. Anxious to see the next build.
 

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i prefer my racing on four wheels...:) i do watch from time to time, but not a lot.

you can ask on here, then more people can see it, i am by no means an expert on the ELS system, i do know the one that came on the PREVIOUS gen Tl pretty well.


While I enjoy F1 & WRC. For me there is nothing like seeing the knees & elbows down and rear tire being backed into the corners :D. Marques on the Honda RC213V is a force to reckon with.




Anyway, on the Acura ELS system. I have red over at Acurazine one member saying the amp cannot be disconnected or you loose volume control & other functions.
If you try to take the signal before the amp then you will have no way for the HU to control the signal so you would have no volume, tone, NavVoice, BT or mute control when the HU changes modes so it will pop like heck.
My ELS Audio upgrade, ELS preamp - AcuraZine Community




Every vehicle I have owned prior, I was able to remove and upgrade. This being my first attempt at factory integration, I'm doing as much research as possible before starting. So I was wondering if you have ever dealt with the ELS system, and if indeed with this guy is saying is true? Assuming that this is true. If I was to leave the ELS amp connected & make a parasitic tap on the input signal going in. Do you believe there would be any negative feedback going out to the aftermarket amps? I'm thinking no, since all I'm doing is splitting the signal. But again I have no experience with factory integration. So again I'll ask, have you ever had an install like this where you have to make this type of compromise? My car is a 2013 TSX Tech PKG.

Thanks
Vic
 

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As the happy owner of this A3, I thought I'd give a couple thoughts.

First I'd have to say Bing and Joey are some of the easiest and most accommodating professionals I've had the pleasure of doing business with. Every email and phone call answered. When they didn't know something immediately, it was followed up on and answered later that day. Pretty awesome that there are some craftsman out there still who truly take pride in their work. And they fully understand that money doesn't grow on trees and that value is still an important part of even this "luxury" business.

On to the car. I gave SIS some tight constraints, especially regarding the hatch area/spare tire issue. I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not, but I just had it in me that I wanted to keep the spare. Regardless they certainly delivered. The space in the hatch is probably still 85-90% of what it was before and totally useable. Very happy with that.

I asked Bing to try and make the tweeters as unobtrusive as possible and he really delivered. Having them set back into the pillars just looks "right".

Also, when I suggested the Mosconi controller in the ashtray, they were a little skeptical but said, "we'll take a look". Next thing I know is I get a note "Joey fit the controller in the ashtray"......Nice!

Functionality.....I'd give the Pioneer HU a B+ on functionality and A- on sound quality. HU features are often hard to understand and decide on before actually using it for a while. A particularly obnoxious finding is that Pandora can't be used as streaming audio from the iPhone. It needs to be connected via USB cable. In my particular set up, I'm using a classic iPod (160 GB) as my everyday music source connected via USB. It is claimed by Pioneer that this is a digital bitstream to the HU (per Pioneer) and the sound quality to me is remarkably good. I'd say it is very close to the CD test discs. I ripped several test discs to ALAC files (apple lossless) and did A-B comparisons. To my ears, they are very close and totally acceptable, so the convenience of the iPod filled with music, that can be searched easily on the HU is very appealing. I also compared the sound quality A-B between the MOSCONI AMAS bluetooth streaming and the iPod connected via USB. Again, its remarkably close, although the MOSCONI direct BT connection seems a bit "brighter". Not sure if thats just "brighter" or if its transparency per se. More listening may discern that. The final audio source that I have available is BT streaming directly to HU. This is easy and convenient, but it seems to drop off the sound quality a small amount and the menus are not searchable. So in order of SQ I'd say the sources go AMOS≥iPod(USB) or CD>HU BT.

As far as overall SQ. I'm very very pleased. The front soundstage is high and well focused. The Morel Piccolos are superb. Transparent and detailed but not harsh at all. Love those things and they look FANTASTIC! As mentioned before, mid bass impact is extreme (to the point that I need to dial that back a bit). Sub woofer is more than I can ask for in such a small enclosure. I haven't tested it's low end extension much yet, though test tones as low as 30hz are easily present, and I think it goes lower, though not sure what the roll off is. A little more tuning in the sub bass is going to decipher that.

The only disappointment as of today really is that we can't make the BT tuning connection on the Mosconi DSP work, with my computer. While Bing can easily access it on his PC, I'm unable to use my MacAir (using fusion and windows as a virtual machine) to make the BT connection for tuning. We are retrofitting a USB cable in the meantime, but its odd that I can't make that work as I've never not been able to make the Mac/Fusion/Windows thing work on anything else. More to come on that. And if anyone has had similar problems and made it work, the input would be great.

Overall, its been a great experience and will likely get even better!!

Thanks SIS!

Fabian
 
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