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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone, I figured with the recent posting of our Mobile Electronics Magazine article and it going into detail about our demo car, and having some great feedback/competition results at SVR, I figured I would finally post an updated build log. The previous build log I lost track of and never really updated. So here it is, fully finished.

To start, lets get one thing out of the way. The intent of this vehicle is to do my best to satisfy myself since it is my daily driver, but also have a system that my target demographic can relate to. Frankly, this means speaker locations that may not be fully optimized, enclosure size that may not be fully optimized, etc. But hey, it was still a fan favorite and my car whooped some scammer/****-talker ass at SVR even when using an OEM source. My employee/client's cars also did pretty damn well, which was nice #TeamSpaghettiWire. But yeah, the fact that this has to relate to what my clients are looking for prevents me from fully cutting up my dash, having big ol' tumor pillars, doing vented kicks, and IB through the trunk floor. This needed to stay practical and unassuming to the eye. Now, since everyone understands not to ask why things are the way they are, lets move on :)


Vanguard Automotive Design - Stony Point, NY
www.vanguardautomotivedesign.com
www.accuton-automotive.com
www.resonixsoundsolutions.com




Copy and paste from my Word doc..


Hey everyone, I have a pretty exciting build log to bring you all today. This time, its my personal 2019 Volvo S60 R-Design that I use as a shop demo car. It features equipment from the different lines that we carry that and can showcase how we can adapt to a specific goal of this particular build. The goal for this vehicle is first and foremost, the highest level of sound quality possible. The next, the car needed to remain pretty much 100% functional. This is what most of our clients are looking for, and we need to prove to them that we can do that without a problem. The third, high volume. Not only do some of our clients like to crank it to 11, but I do as well and I'll be damned if I cannot reach concert levels of output in my own car. Another thing to note.. this vehicle was chosen for a very specific reason. It checked almost all of the boxes that I required. Full black interior, a look and feel that matched what most of our clients are used to so they can feel like it relates to their vehicle when they sit in and listen to it, good aftermarket AND OEM locations for speakers, something fun to drive, and something that will have the space to house these two semi-separate sound systems while still being able to lug around my snowboard gear in the winter. Two separate systems? Yes. There is a system in the OEM locations, and a system in the new after-market locations. This way I can demo two different types of systems and levels of product in one setting with ease. The only downside to this vehicle was that the trunk is a little bit small, but in the end, I made it work out perfectly.

So what did I use to achieve these goals?

System 1: OEM Locations (no pictures of the mentioned list, sorry)
. OEM Head Unit
. Helix V Twelve DSP Amplifier
. Focal Utopia 3.5WM 3" Midrange
. Focal Utopa TBM Tweeter
. OEM rear door speakers
. OEM rear deck speakers
. (midbass and rear subs are shared between the two systems)

System 2: Aftermarket Locations. While they may be custom locations, they are still designed to appear OEM.
. OEM Head Unit with optional DAP and USB input (pretty much never used)
. Brax DSP with Conductor and USB HEC Input
. (3) Mosconi Pro 4|10 4-channel amplifiers
. (3) Mosconi Pro 1|10 mono amplifiers
. Accuton Automotive C30 Ceramic Tweeter
. Accuton Automotive C100 Ceramic Midrange
. Accuton Automotive C165 Ceramic Midrange
. Illusion C12 Carbon shallow subwoofer (passenger footwell)
. (2) Illusion C12XL Carbon subwoofers in the trunk
. And last but certainly not least... FULL ResoNix Sound Solutions soundproofing.

There is also a Radenso RC-M Ultimate Edition Radar & Laser defense system installed as well. The car is also fully wrapped in Xpel Stealth Paint Protection Film. AJ at Supreme Shine in Long Island did this for me before we started offering these services in-house at Vanguard Automotive Design. Shout out to AJ. Love you, bud.










First photos we will show you is the ResoNix Sound Solutions soundproofing job. We laid down a good amount of ResoNix CLD Squares on all surfaces. Doors received 100% coverage, while the floors and everywhere else was about 70% coverage. Why that much instead of the "25% rule of thumb"? Because I have ZERO intention of second guessing myself and doing this ever again in my car. One and done. We then did a full coverage layer of ResoNix Barrier for soundproofing. Various areas received extra CLD, CCF12 and CCF7, and even some of the prototype Fiber Mat, which may also finally be available on our website in the near future. The car wasnt only treated to lower the road noise, but was also done to enhance the sound system so all little nooks and crannies were taken care of to prevent any rattles or resonance. This is how sound deadening is done properly :)














(a bunch of old wiring being removed, or is this the team spaghetti wire secret sauce? The world may never know.)













James helping me mold the ResoNix Barrier to the shape of the floor. I cannot get over how great this stuff is to work with. This wouldn't even be remotely possible with MLV.


















Moving on to how we do deadening for high-end audio installs such as this. Every, Single. Panel. Gets treated and gone over with a fine tooth comb to make sure that NOTHING will rattle or resonate when installed again. The photo of this door panel is actually from an older version of this install. There is a different door baffle now which required a different ring that wasnt nearly as tall. We also used ResoNix Barrier as well as our prototype fiber mat. The holes for the OEM locations are blocked in this photo because nothing was installed at the time.

. Various panels were also treated. This is the rear driver side sill panel that partially sits under the rear seats.

. The C pillars. What you cannot see is the small pieces that make sure the clips cannot rattle.

. The B-Pillar. Overboard? Maybe to you. But I prefer not to have rattles right next to my ears :)












 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · · Business
Some of you may have seen these photos from older build logs. This was from running the speaker wire into the doors when I first got the car.














OEM Deadener Removed, ResoNix CLD Squares and Blackhole Tile (not shown) applied.














ResoNix Barrier with an extra layer of CCF7 on the back, and Fiber Mat Prototype (not shown) installed, along with the Accuton Automotive C165 Midbass drivers. They are mounted to Acrylic Baffles that mimic the OEM speaker shape and use the OEM mounting hardware and OEM mounting locations.













Again, more old photos. Amplifier rack fabrication. A steel rack was welded to house the 6 Mosconi Pro Amplifiers and bolt into the rear deck.
(old setup with Helix Ultra)




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · · Business
Accuton Automotive C30 Ceramic tweeter. The best line of speakers on the car audio market. The tweeters were installed into the A-pillars and is the only part of this install that doesn't seem 100% OEM. I was okay with this to gain a better frequency response by placing them on axis. The C100 Ceramic midrange drivers are installed into the dashboard corners. The dash was modified to accept this, yet still appears OEM. Ideally, I would angle them a bit as the rake of the windshield is a bit much relative to the angle of the dash top.






















The Brax DSP, beautiful.
PS, yes, this is a very noticeable upgrade over any other DSP I have used. Even verified that on the bunch a couple of times which prompted the change :)


The Brax Processor Installation in place of the previous Helix DSP Ultra. Both great units, but the Brax takes it to the next level. Here you can also see the new subwoofer enclosure and one of the few brackets that secure it to OEM mounting locations.
#TeamSpaghettiWire














The Helix Conductor is installed right where the 12v cig output was located. The OEM cover can still slide over and cover it. The Conductor, in this install, controls master volume, subwoofer volume, digital volume, HEC volume 1, HEC volume 2, tone controlls (bass and treble over the whole system), and presets. This thing is amazing for what it is.












The Radenso RC-M Ultimate Edition controller was installed in an easy-to-reach and see location right above the rear view mirror.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · · Business
Everything installed, this is how the trunk appears. I may make some changes in the future that just add some flair to that rear wall. But for right now, everything appears OEM.

Rear panel and floor removed. Still have full access/use of the spare tire.











 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · · Business
Now for the front subwoofer. The Illusion C12 Carbon 12" shallow subwoofer was installed here in an infinite baffle configuration. Yes, you read that correctly. Why did I do this? Many reasons. 1) I was wrong in the past by thinking you can have perfect, up-front bass by doing a sub in the rear and door-mounted midbass drivers and getting them perfectly in time/in phase. Yes, you can have great end results with this traditional method, but it is no match for large, kick panel mounted midbass drivers, or an up-front sub to go between the sub to midbass transition. Resonance and rattles will ALWAYS be a problem in doors as well no matter how well you deaden and treat it. Also, in most cars you will have a cancellation from door mounted midbass driver at around 80hz on the drivers side, and many cars also have a cancellation in the ~100hz area with a trunk mounted subwoofer. You can still work around it with very careful filter selection and tuning, but again, its near impossible to get it truly perfect. I was never a proponent for front mounted subs. After trying it in the sealed enclosure first, and then moving to this, I am now a firm believer. Sorry to those who I misled in the past.

Why did I do it this way? Well in the middle of this whole 2 year long build, I had a front sub mounted in a sealed enclosure so I could have my whole trunk and spare tire. Problem was, my fiance has legs like telephone poles and wasn't a fan of the lack of leg room. So, here is my solution to all of it. Infinite baffle through the firewall. Yeah, it doesn't sound pretty, but my car happened to be perfect for it. There was a small pocket in the firewall in the passenger footwell that had a large section that was made out of single layer non-structural steel. There was also a ton of foam behind the carpet, so the plan was to open the firewall up where it was non-structural, build a small "enclosure" around it, and bolt it in. I was going into this on a whim, not sure how it would work and if the open area was enough to act as if it were actually infinite baffle, or if it was acting as a improperly sized/tuned ported enclosure. I lucked out. After all was said and done, I used Dayton DATS to check how the enclosure was behaving, and sure enough, true IB. QTS matched outside of the baffle, and when mounted to it. Measured frequency response was actually insanely impressive. Flat down to 10hz. Of course this subwoofer can only do 10hz at lower volumes, but it can do enough, and I now know I can fully remove the rear enclosure in the winter when I need to haul my snowboard gear and still have a full frequency range. One thing to note for those that will inevitably try to call me out on this, the heat is a non-issue. There is a thick fiberglass heatshield on the other side of the firewall which was spaced about 2" away from the opening, and the "enclosure" was also filled with fiberglass insulation, then topped with polyfill (to keep the fiberglass away from the subwoofer). After a 2 hour ride, you still cannot feel a hint of warmth on the cone or surround. One more cool thing to note. Not even a full inch was lost vs the OEM floor. Only the thickness of the half inch birch that was used to secure the grill was added.

sorry for the crappy phone pics


. Once the firewall was cut, the edges were sanded down and primed/painted. Then all edges, and the whole surrounding area were gone over with ResoNix CLD (not shown).

. Test fit before any sound treatment was installed.

. Woofer installed and tested, before sound treatment. After this photo, the whole area was treated with ResoNix CLD Squares, and ResoNix Barrler. After that, the carpet was installed and the hole around the subwoofer was cut, and the area was stuffed with polyfill.

. The aluminum brackets are what secures the grill. 2 pieces of aluminum sandwich the carpet, and the grill is screwed to the aluminum brackets.

. Grill and OEM floor mat installed. None the wiser.

























Finished off with Xpel Stealth PPF and Xpel Fusion Ceramic Coating. This was a reapply after having the original done almost 2 years ago.

























Thank for looking!
 

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2018 Honda Accord EXL 2.0 GB 3way doors GB40/10 centre Helix M4dsp/M6 Sundown salt MMats + more
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This is dope, not only do I love me some volvo action, you also combined it with some front IB 12" sub action. 😍 only in my dreams, very nice work.
 

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Dash midrange pods are SEXY! I've been thinking about doing the same thing in my car - now I won't be able to sleep to do something similar.

I actually installed the upfront sub the ame way, but in the very right corner and it's an 8inch. I had a few holes there and a vent to the rails, testing with it open vs sealed.
And I didn't cut the factory carpet, just placed it on top of the grill.
 

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beautiful, seamless work as usual!

It's a real tell how far the product offerings have come to where you can mount a sub in the passenger footwell and have it correct a known acoustic pitfall and do so without compromise to passenger comfort. Heck, if you didn't say anything to anyone, most probably wouldn't know it was there until the system was on and their feet were against it :)

In that vein, did this exercise have you questioning to what lengths you could get away without a sub in the back for some applications like smaller convertibles, hatch-backs and other small vehicles where the owner wants to minimize cargo area sacrifice if they're not bass-fiends?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Probably a night and day difference.
Its not even helix vs brax being night and day. Its anything else I've used and tested vs Brax lol.
 

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I'm kind of at a loss for words right now. ****. This is fantastic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fine fine. Worlds of difference. Brax vs every dsp all at once or armies of dsps is an unfair fight, for the armies of dsp. But not for the brax.

:unsure:
There are other DSP's that sound really good, and the Helix offerings are also no slouch. But at $7000 with years of development, the Brax is top of the line in sound quality, but also has that Audiotec Fischer reliability, stability, and great software. Cannot be beaten in my experience.
 
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@SkizeR - where is the difference between the Brax and Helix DSP apparent? Noise floor? Dynamic range? Software GUI? something else?
While the Ultra is very quiet, the Brax is dead silent. From a sound quality perspective, it just sounds noticeably better than anything else I have bench tested, or have used.
 

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This was the first car I heard at SVR. It was so focused and laser sharp. Everything was so centered on top of the dash and deep, deep like I've never heard anyone's car. I knew right then I was outclassed and should have drove back home right then and there. There was an "energy" the size of a softball as far forward as the windshield would go. Nice tune Nick. Beautful car and I love that paint protection or wrap or whatever is on that car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This was the first car I heard at SVR. It was so focused and laser sharp. Everything was so centered on top of the dash and deep, deep like I've never heard anyone's car. I knew right then I was outclassed and should have drove back home right then and there. There was an "energy" the size of a softball as far forward as the windshield would go. Nice tune Nick. Beautful car and I love that paint protection or wrap or whatever is on that car.
Your car wasn't bad at all! Well, at least after we made some fixes lol. But you definitely got much better at tuning than you were 2 years ago. But I'm glad you liked it. Itll get even better once I get time to keep tuning lol
 
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