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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From time to time we get to redo a customers existing system, either because the original upgrade was subpar, or they wanted more...this time, it was definitely an example of the former.

The car itself is very cool and quite rare, it is a 2002 Lexus IS300 SportCross, the little wagon version of the IS300.

I didnt take many pictures of the original build, but i think that few that i did speaks volumes about it...the worst offense to me, was the power cabling running through the firewall without any grommets, it had cut quite a bit into the power cable's jacket by the time i got to it...not good.

here are some of those pics for your viewing pleasure :)











yes that is indeed an interfire amp screwed into the floor :)

so onto the goals:

1.achieve a decent level of sound quality utlizing stock locations

2. maintain a clean and stealthy appearance in the trunk

3. maintain factory spare tire and save as much cargo room as possible.

lets get started:

first up is the underhood wiring clean up, you can compare to what was there before to now, i fabricated a simple metal mounting tab for the stinger fuse holder, welded to the factory battery tie down:







i also made sure that the power cable now passes through a grommet and is sealed with strip caulk:





the kenwood headunit remained in place, but i located a mosconi DSP controller in the stock ashtray. the reason for this is that the customer will be input into the dsp directly via an outboard dac, to use as a secondary signal source, and he will then utilize this mini controller to do master volume:







here is the controller mount outside of the car, basically the bottom of the ashtray was removed, and two pieces that fit were secured in place to sandwich the controller





the front stage consists of a set of focal FLAX 165fx components in the stock location...one of the cool things about the IS300 is its transparent speaker grille, a perfect compliment to the beautiful focal FLAX cone:





first, new speaker wires were run into the door:



then some blackhole tiles were placed on the outter door skin and rivet nuts installed in the factory mounting holes:



then the inner door panel was sound proofed with a combination of stinger foam and STP cld damper:



a set of spacers were fabbed up and coated with several layers of truck bedliner:





these were then bolted to the oem mounting points:



and the FLAX midbass installed:





the outter door skin also received some CLD damper:



here are the factor tweeter mounts, which i was able to adapt to secure the focal FLAX tweeter:





and bolted back in the car:



the passenger side also received the same treatment:

















next comes a series of pics showing the wiring bundle as it travels from the front of the car to the back, unlike the free floating version previous, this is secured to the factory loom every few inches or less:

















 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: Sonic Upgrade: 2001 Lexus IS300 SportCross Basic SQ build - Arc, Focal, AM, Mosco

moving to the hatch area, again the goal was to be clean and stealthy...so here is the normal view. the only thing visible is a fiberglass side enclosure on the passenger side:





pop off the grille and an Audiomobile GTS2110 10" subwoofer appears, it sits in a sealed enclosure that is around .65 cubic foot. the enclosure has a semi trapezoid shaped front baffle, which i did to go with the shapes of the rear surround speaker grilles. it is pushed as far inboard as possible:





the dsp and amp, meaning while, resides in the factory storage bin at the front of the hatch area, an area previously rendered useless by the Interfire amp screwed on top. here you see an arc audio 1100.5 and a mosconi 4to6SP-DIF DSP, the arc powers the front stage active with 150 watts per driver, and sends 500 watts to the AM 10"...simple and hidden :)















onto the build pics. the amp rack may appear to be very simple, but actually took some sorting out. the biggest challenge is that in order for the storage bin's door to close, the amp has to be basically sitting on the metal below. so here is the storage bin structure removed from the vehicle:



then, using a bunch of rivet nuts, i bolted two L brackets onto the front frame and two rivetnuts on the metal cap:



the amp is then bolted down onto those four points...very secure and low enough to clear the bin door:



then, the plastic bin floor was cut precisely to fit around the amp, and two pieces of MDF were cut out and vinyled, these were then secured to the sides of the bins to act as mounting plates for DSP and wiring:







and finally, back in the car and everything wired up:



by comparison, the sub enclosure is relatively straightforward...first the area was tapped off and the back side of the enclosure was built using a MDF floor and 6 layers of fiberglass mat:



when that cured, the back mold was removed, trimmed tot he desired shape, and the front baffle aimed and secured:





then mold cloth was pulled, resin applied, followed by 5 layers of fiberglass, and then the whole thing rough sanded:



then filler was applied to smoothout the shape, and the box is now ready for carpet:







black carpet was then used to wrap the enclosure, followed by the AM2110:









and finally, the breathable grille was fabricated and carpeted:





so thats it, a good project to showcase space utilization.

soundwise, one word continues to come to mind to describe the focal FLAX": Natural. it doesnt sound offensive at all and is very well balanced, strong punchy midbass, smooth midrange and highs with good deal...just hard to find much wrong with them and usually doesnt require a whole lot of tuning. the AM sub also does its thing, providing very adequate bottom end reinforcement and blending well with the focal set.

stage width is superb owing to the locations, height is a few inches off the dash, center is well centered but could be better focused, and depth is a fe inches inboard of the windshield. overall, i think this is a very nice sounding car for the level of gear involved and the stock locations....definitely a night and day difference compared to the previous iteration. :)

Thanks for reading! :)

Bing
 

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Re: Sonic Upgrade: 2001 Lexus IS300 SportCross Basic SQ build - Arc, Focal, AM, Mosco

Bing, if you take the battery out, you can run the power wire through a BIG factory grommet below it.

And those door panels are not stock to an 01. Those are from an 02-05 IS300. My 01 doorpanels do not have the chrome rings around the speaker and are not open like the later ones.

I have run speaker wire to the doors in mine...was pretty fun. Also as much fun as extending all of the wires to the fuseblocks so I could relocate them.
 

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Re: Sonic Upgrade: 2001 Lexus IS300 SportCross Basic SQ build - Arc, Focal, AM, Mosco

Nevermind about the doorpanel comment...there were no Sport Crosses in 01, they were 02 and later.

If the dash was all black from the factory and had some kind of "soft touch" feeling stuff on it, it had an arm rest for the driver, the door panels had chrome rings around the speakers, and the grill had 3 bars rather than 4...it's an 02-05.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
fixed it :D you know what made me think its an 01? i think the door sill sticker said 01...iirc :)

cool deal on the grommet, i just figured since there was already a big ole hole there from the previous install, i would just use it :), also, having the power approach from the driver side suited my anal thing about keeping power and signal cable apart whenever possible hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Absolutely... pretty big difference to my ears on door resonance. Same car same midbass over the years before and after we started using it...its not a wonder dust or anything over say cld.tiles but I like it in that.its.easy to apply and helps a bit w back waves.
 

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I love the install....yes absolutely...

But on a side note, I cannot wait to see the build log of the white car in the shop.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
I love the install....yes absolutely...

But on a side note, I cannot wait to see the build log of the white car in the shop.

u may need to wait a bit more hehe, its going back for some additional work then back to us for final assembly, maybe around the new year :)

but the plan is to have a meet when its done :)
 

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u may need to wait a bit more hehe, its going back for some additional work then back to us for final assembly, maybe around the new year :)

but the plan is to have a meet when its done :)
Looks very exciting....flashy too!!
 

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Nice stealth install as always. I really need to demo something with a set of Flax speakers. I have been curious about them since the first time I saw them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
people who know me know that i have never been a personal fan of that "focal sound", i tend to be a really smooth laid back speaker kind of guy (some call it boring and bland etc)...

so i was quite hesitant to try the flax when it released, but when i heard that it was voiced by a new person (i cant confirm this as fact, only heard about it) compared to the older focals, and it was "smooth", i figured i should give it a try.

from the first moment i turned it on (this was 4 sets ago), as i like to initially listen to a speaker with nothing other than the xover set to get an idea what lies ahead in terms of tuning...

but yeah fromthat first moment, i knew i was dealing with a different animal.

i would say the flax is a speaker that is well balanced and does pretty much everything well. its not mindblowing in any one aspect, but its just very good in all areas.

the odd thing is, out of all the speakers i use these days, these, seem to have the most effect from being broken in. all the sets, when i first power them on, seemed so so in midbass response...but after a coupla hours on pink noise, and more on tuning, when i listen to the song again, the midbass response seems much more improved...

maybe its just in my head, but still :)

but yeah, i am kinda tempted to try the 3 way next.

b
 

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people who know me know that i have never been a personal fan of that "focal sound", i tend to be a really smooth laid back speaker kind of guy (some call it boring and bland etc)...

so i was quite hesitant to try the flax when it released, but when i heard that it was voiced by a new person (i cant confirm this as fact, only heard about it) compared to the older focals, and it was "smooth", i figured i should give it a try.

from the first moment i turned it on (this was 4 sets ago), as i like to initially listen to a speaker with nothing other than the xover set to get an idea what lies ahead in terms of tuning...

but yeah fromthat first moment, i knew i was dealing with a different animal.

i would say the flax is a speaker that is well balanced and does pretty much everything well. its not mindblowing in any one aspect, but its just very good in all areas.

the odd thing is, out of all the speakers i use these days, these, seem to have the most effect from being broken in. all the sets, when i first power them on, seemed so so in midbass response...but after a coupla hours on pink noise, and more on tuning, when i listen to the song again, the midbass response seems much more improved...

maybe its just in my head, but still :)

but yeah, i am kinda tempted to try the 3 way next.

b
What is your usual active crossover points for this set? I know the passives they come with are set at 3.6K 12 and 18db slopes. Have you gone any lower with no problems?
 

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but yeah, i am kinda tempted to try the 3 way next.
"Hoptologist" in Fresno has the 3 way set, but he doesn't have it installed yet. I'm thinking his set will likely be my first chance to actually demo the Flax line.
 

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Sorry to bring this back but i've found an IS300 sedan i want to buy, i almost got a Sportcross a few months ago and regret not getting it but this one has the manual trans, LSD, and factory xenons.

I'm thinking of a Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit and XDi 850.5 amp but lots of speakers and subs i'd like to try so have to figure that part out. Hopefully i can get a tweeter that fits in that stock location also. I love the simple and clean look here, i'm sure it sounds great too.
 
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