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Hey Guys,

Just finished a pretty neat install…cosmetically, this ranks up there as prolly one of my top three most proud projects. Sound wise, it should be pretty good too :)

My title for this install "The Art of JDM Audio", and you will see the reasons later on.

The car is a 2009 Infiniti G37S Sedan, a JDM themed show car. It is very cleanly and tastefully modded as you will see in the pictures below.

Here are the goals:

1. To build a simple, elegant and classy design that typifies my install values
2. To achieve a high level of sound quality as the car will be competing next year in the SQ lanes.
3. To build a unique design that catches the eye and speaks to the JDM theme of the vehicle (more on this later)
4. To showcase PHASS products from Japan by way of Buzzman, a range not commonly seen out here and I plan to start carry them.

So…first is the car itself, I don’t know the full mod list, so don’t ask, but the owner may come on here and he can answer that part :)











 

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So, let’s first remain in the engine bay, and the battery. I swapped out the stock unit for an optima yellow top. Being that the yellow top is about 1.25” shorter than the stock battery, I used the space and built a platform for a stinger 150 amp circuit breaker. I also wrapped the platform in CF vinyl. There is a single 0 gauge going back.



Here it the platform:



And the wiring, grease is on all the terminations, heatshrink and loomed:



Just like on older G35s, the power cable goes into the cabin via the stock rubber grommet:



Before going any further, here is the layout of the system:

Stock headunit (can't really be removed), signal for the front intercepted before the
Bose amp, which goes into dual Zapco SLB-U simblink transmitter/line drivers (via BTL) to boost the voltage and give me sub volume control, the signal is then fed into two Zapco DSP6 units, one controls the front stage, one controls the subwoofer (I know dsp6 on just sub is a bit overloaded, but I wanted to have control over all the units and there is no dsp8 yet). From there, the signal is fed into a pair of PHASS AP75.4 4 channel amplifiers. The first sends 75 watts a piece to the midrange and tweeter, which are the new AT28EVO and the DTM25 respectively, and the second amp sends 75 watts to a PHASS MW165AL 6.5” alnico magnet midbass, and 220 watts to a SW1025 10” subwoofer.
I am not that familiar with this stuff as of yet, so for any specifics and other questions, please ask Buzzman :)

Before anything got started, I tested the stock headunit for its signal characteristics. Though from doing Ron’s Gsedan earlier this year I knew it can sound good, I wanted to be sure. So I grabbed a friend’s RTA and plugged the front channel inputs into it to test it.

Playing pink noise, here is what I found. The stock headunit does virtually nothing interms of EQing, it’s pretty flat regardless of the volume setting, meaning most of the eqing is done at the Bose amp.





 

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But what I did find very interesting was that while LOWERING the bass and treble on the stock headunit produced the expected effect:





RAISING them did nothing at all prior the amp, meaning whatever the stock system does to raise the bass and treble, it does it at the Bose amp, subwoofer amp, or after that:



So that takes care of that, knowing that the stock source will function fine as a volume
control. So here are most of the gear that will be installed into the vehicle, I only took one of each out of the box if a pair is being used :)

 

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Onto the interior. Since tuning is done by Zapco DSP, a laptop can be plugged in via a USB to provide front seat tuning of the entire car:



Instead of running an usb cable into the glovebox as I normally do, I hit a female USB jack under the driver side knee panel:





Some build up pics of that terminal:







Next, the Zapco subwoofer volume knob was installed into a blank plate in the driver side dash:



And a few pics of that process as well:





 

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Moving onto the doors. The Midbass drivers were installed in the stock lower door location. The G37 features a 10” driver in the door. First a layer of foam was laid down to block road noise:



Next a pair of adapter baffles to house the new drivers was made, the reason why the new driver is set so low in the baffle, is because only that part of the stock door grille is actually open. (classic Nissan).



Then baffle is treated with truck bedliner on both sides to seal it, and a layer of sound proofing added to the backside:





It was then mated to the stock bracket:



So here is a quick look at the Alnico midbass driver





And here it’s mounted to the baffle. Notice that the stock wiring leading to the old speaker was retained, just added heatshrink for proper termination. You will see why I chose to reuse the stock wiring later.





And the entire thing was then bolted back into the door:

 

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And the stock speaker wire clip is used to route power to the driver.



Next, the door card received a heavy dosage of sound proofing to prevent rattles and buzzing:





The process is then repeated on the passenger side:







 

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So back to the reason why instead of running new wires into the door, I chose to use the stock wiring. Well, on this car, the stock Molex on the driver side had basically no free spots. I also checked the size of the stock speaker cable for the midbass, and as it turns out, it’s just as thick and heavily stranded as the stinger speaker cable I was using anyways. Not to mention 75 watts RMS is not a huge amount of power:



So I ran new speaker cable up to the kick area right before the Molex goes into the door, and hooked it up with the stock cables. Here you can see the cables for all the other drivers as well. I always make a connection point in the kicks for future change of equipment or trouble shooting needs :)



 

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Moving onto the midrange and tweeter. Both are housed in the A pillar. One thing here you will notice right away is that it’s hard to tell which is which. The AT28 midrange is prolly the smallest dome midrange I have ever seen, barely bigger interms of diameter than the tweeter, but it’s about 4 times as deep with a big ole chamber.

Following Buzzman’s advice, and doing a little bit of listening myself, the midrange drivers (lower ones) are aimed at right infront of the opposite listener’s ear, which the tweeters, are off axis, aimed very slightly forward following the contour of the stock glass. (this was a new technique to me, but Buzz explained it to me and my own listening confirmed that it works very well). The Pillars are wrapped in a grille cloth material similar to stock wrapping, it’s a shade lighter but blend well. If I ever find exact matching material, it’s a pretty simple swap. (for some reason, this newer G sedan had a lighter shade than Ron’s G, so the painting gray grille cloth with whitish SEM doesn’t match anymore).















Some build up pics of the pillars. First, both midranges were aimed with a laser to verify position:



 

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after quite a few hours, the baffles were secured to the pillar:



Mold cloth was then pulled and resined:



And a duraglass/resin mixture was poured into the inside to make it very strong (almost solid in many parts). Hard to see in the sun but it’s the green stuff lol



Then both are sanded smooth and blended into the stock pillar





Some sound proofing was added to the back



Now, here is the AT28 midrange, as you can see, it came in silver:



I didn’t want to have one silver and one black driver on the pillar, so masked the
midrange carefully, prepped the surface, and painted it black:



And here is the result, matching black drivers :)

 

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So here are the pillars wrapped in cloth, and the drivers ready to be installed:



And the drivers mounted into the pillars







Those are then hooked up with quick disconnects, showing heatshrink on the terminals:





So that’s it for the front stage, next comes wiring pics of bundle going to the back of the car.

On both sides, the wires run through stock clips and are ziptied in between, ensuring that the entire bundle is secured to the car at every 6 inches or so. After the rear door, the bundle then passes through a stock channel, and then goes into the trunk.
 

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All the red circles mark parts where its ziptied and or secured to the car:















Interestingly about the G37, the rear deck is no longer a big rattle trap like the G35s. I removed the stock subwoofer and laid down a layer of sound proofing:

 

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Okay, finally, we get to the focal point of the install and why this is one of my favorite projects thus far. The Trunk.

I had three goals for the look in the trunk:

1. Stick to my principles and create a setup that is simple, elegant and pleasing to the eye. Both also one that will catch people’s attention at shows. (as this is a show car, stealth or usability of the trunk is not in the plan)
2. Being that this is a JDM themed show car, and that we are using JDM audio products that aren’t commonly available here, I want a design that really points to this unique combination. (pure JDM)
3. For the overall visual effect of the install, I had this idea for a while, and that is, to build something that is in some sense, like a Painting being displayed on the wall of a museum:



This means three things, first of course, is something that looks like art, a painting, in some sense, secondly, a frame that mimics a painting frame, and finally, the flood lighting effect commonly seen in museums and galleries.

But I wanted to do all of this with a twist, one that also adheres to the modern aesthetics of the vehicle, CF, lighting, metal..etc etc.

So here is what I came up with. Due to the tiny trunk opening, it’s really hard to get the right angle to capture it all…but I tried :)

Aside from the false floor wrapped in black CF vinyl, the main thing about this is obviously the rising sun flag displayed in the center cutout. Flush mounted in the panel are the two amps, the sub, and two ports (though only one is being used Thanks DIYMA for the suggestion! ) around the edge of the baffle, there is a border of 1” wide laser cut 1/8” aluminum, formed together to look like a painting frame. And then a white suede border provides some visual spacing for the edge lit plexi attached to the main floor.

So the idea part it is to suggest a museum painting with the frame, painted piece, and lighting, but the modern part comes in with the carbon fiber "sun" and CF vinyl floor and the edge lighting around the cutout. :)


I guess it’s hard to describe in words :) so here are the pics









 

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But my favorite view of this trunk is at night or in a dark setting. Flip a switch, and the plexi border under the main floor lights up bright white, and I have two high intensity LED flood lights built into the ceiling of the trunk that floods the trunk floor, specifically the main display baffle area, with bright white light as well. The camera really don’t capture this effect all that well :)











Very hard to see with the camera, but there are flakes in the clearcoat, so when the light hits it, it sparkles:

 

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Moving on to the tons of build pics of the trunk.

Here is the tap of the stock signal prior to the Bose amp and the wires lead down to the floor, secured to the vehicle’s body. The remote wire was also tapped and lead down





On the passenger side, the wires to power the ceiling mounted flood lights were ran down the same way





Being that it’s a pretty solid trunk, I mostly sound proofed the floor where the build will make actual contact with the metal:



Next the foundational piece of MDF was cut and test cited into trunk, pretty much everything else mounts to foundation floor:





Next, the cutout for the subwoofer was made, and then I cut a border for it so I can mount the cutout plate back on:





Then I made the floor piece to the enclosure, though it’s hard to see, there is a slight rabbet put into both this pieces and border piece to staple fleece to:

 

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So here is the fleece stapled to the floor piece:



And then it was secured to the bottom of the spare tire hump, and then fleece was pulled and stapled to the border on the foundation floor cutout:



Resin was then applied to form the bottom of the sub enclosure:



Once that was dried, 8 layer of cloth/mat went onto it to make it solid



And I put a piece of foam on the bottom to prevent it from buzzing against the sound proofing:



Next I measured the volume, this box is about 1 cubfeet, and it filled the cavity with space to spare, so I put some more in, so the bottom portion of the subbox is about 1.1 cubic feet:





Next, the spacers that will hold up the rising sun flag “painting” was secured to the floor:



And No-rez home audio damping material was used to line the inside walls of the enclosure as Buzz suggested, the neat thing about these is that they don’t take away from the internal airspace of the box:



 

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Then I put the cutout piece back onto the cavity (why that border was made), and made another cutout to let air pass through to the top portion of the subbox:



So here is the top portion of the subbox, about .4 cubfeet internal air space, as the specs for the subwoofer called for a 1.5 cub ft ported enclosure. Note the two cutouts for the ports.



More no-rez on the inside walls:



So this was mated and sealed to the floor portion of the subbox, a space plate for the amps is bolted in, and a speaker terminal cup for the subwoofer wiring is installed:



Termination of the speaker terminal:



Then the top of the box was covered in red vinyl so you don’t see bare wood around the speakers/ports in the finished project:



And the ports installed, here is the real port, I forgot the tuning freq, 30hz ish?



And the fake one that’s just plugged:



Next came the rising sun baffle piece. Using a picture I printed from the web, and measuring all the angles associated with the rays, I copied the pattern onto a piece of MDF:



Next, the cutouts for the amps are made:

 

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As well as for the sub and ports:



Next came the white suede border you saw in the finished pic:



And the laser cut aluminum painting frame I had made at a local metal shop:



This was then test fitted to the main floor/subbox section, and I also test fitted the
edge lit plexi piece for proper alignment:



Then, it was all put back into the vehicle, secured, and a top fake floor made, this is the
final test fitment of everything prior to wiring:



Here is the top fake floor center piece:



Wrapped in black CF vinyl:



Here is the edge lit plexi border, with holes drilled in to secure it to the fake floor:



Now the two pieces are mated together:



 

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Next the hyper white LED strips were CA glued to the outside edge of the plexi:





And black duct tape was pulled and stapled around the entire thing to prevent light from seeping out:



So here is the finished piece:



Quick test of the lighting to ensure it works properly:



The two side pieces were wrapped in black CF as well, care was taken so the patterns and angles match up:





Then the rising sun flag board was sealed with resin:



And sent off to my friend William’s body shop – William’s Auto body in San Mateo, CA.
What came back a week later was just breathtaking. It exceeded my own expectations. He sealed it again, primered, sanded, masked, painted, and did a double clear coat, sanding after both coats and polishing. The thing is FLAWLESS! Perfectly smooth…you can tell by the lights bouncing off the finished product just how good it came out. He is a true artist and this is why I only recommend him for painting and repair needs here in the bay



 

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Next, the aluminum frame was secured to the piece via industrial epoxy. And the white suede border/spacer was nailed to it as well:





So then, that was put into the car, and then the floor went on top, resulting in the finished product.

So here comes the wiring pics. There is a lot, so I won’t describe each. But basically, every wire is ziptied and secured to the floor every 8” or less, not a single drywall screw was used to mount anything, pan heads all around. And every termination is heatshrinked and color coded.

The grounding point is a ground lug bolted to a part of the floor sanded down to bare metal.



And here is the ceiling mounted flood light build pics:

Here are the lights and the little CF vinyl trim plate I made for them:



Here they are secured to the roof liner:



On the top side, wires are lead out and they are also covered with foam so they don’t create any buzzing from hitting the metal:



And here is the termination of the switch that controls the lights:



Testing them to make sure they light up. These suckers are BRIGHT!



For the rest of the wiring, on the driver side, there is the simblink BTL, Pac-audio remote signal trigger, both SLB-Us, the DSP6 that controls the front stage, and barrier strips for remote, power and ground for all the accessories. On the passenger side, there is the other DSP6 for the sub only, barrier strips for the lighting and that dsp6, as well as a fused circuit breaker for all the stuff, since its located on the side, you can easily access it by taking off the passenger side fake floor and pulling the fuses.
 
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