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Many of you guys know that for the longest time, my personal listening preference for butter smooth laid back (some say boring...cough cough JOey) highs means that Focal speakers are not my personal cup of tea...however, many of you may also know that since the FLAX speakers came out, I quickly fell in love with the way they sound...so balanced, airy, and smooth. I have been earning to do a full Focal FLAX car for sometime, but had to wait a year before the FLAX subwoofers came out.

When this finally occurred, i finally had the opportunity to realize that dream. The cherry on top was that this would be a totally new car that did not exist on these shores prior to late last year - a 2015 Audi Q3. The good thing with platform sharing is that I know that beneath the tall exterior, this car, electronics wise, is very similar to a new A3, as i took apart the car, i also found a bit of VW Golf/GTi tucked within. One of the reasons why i am was excited about this build is that with its stock BOSE system, this car had the opportunity to utilize the Mobridge MOST optical pre amp, giving it a very pure signal to start with. Being that this is a new car, i wasnt able to find any confirmation on if it will work with it or not, however, i do know that it works with virtually all of the newer generation Audis, including the A/S3s, so i had confidence that it will be just fine.

the goals were pretty specific as this was a leased vehicle:

1. achieve a nice level of sound quality with a full focal FLAX build
2. absolutely zero cutting and drilling was allowed and the car needs to be able to go back to bone stock with little effort
3. maintain a completely stealthy appearance both inside and in the cargo area

lets first take a look at this car...which isnt all that small, the main difference to me at least, between this and its bigger Q5 brother is the short hatch area...almost like a golf that has been raised:





the interior is elegant and classy like all modern audis:



lets jump right into the front stage as there was no work to be done behind the dash.

first, jesse sound proofed the doors with Focal BAM composite damper and the outer door skin received several blackhole tiles:





then he fabricated some spacer baffles that matched the oem speaker mounting flange with a spacer ring for the flax, he also coated them with several layers of truck bedliner to protect them against the elements:





this ring was then secured to the door with oem hardware:



and the FLAX 165FX midbass wired up and secured:





the area around the speaker on the door card also got some STP CLD damper:



the same process was then repeated on the passenger side:













as for the tweeter, here is the stock mounting location, with the tweeter housing that snaps into some prongs:



i basically notched the FLAX tweeter mounting up and this allowed it to snap right in just like stock, no cutting, no drilling:





the inverted dome FLAX tweeter was then wired up and installed, and the factory sail panel cover went back on for a full 100 percent oem appearance:







the same was done on the passenger side tweeter:





and thats it for the front stage. moving to the wiring pics. since all signal cables were in the back at the bose amp, jesse ran the speaker wires and power wires down the door sills of the car, ziptied and organized every few inches:









all the cables on the passenger side crosses over to the driver side under the back seat, keeping them as far away from the RCA cables as possible, this then enters the cargo area following the oem bundle:



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: Yum Yum Flax Sandwich: Full Focal Flax Build - 2015 Audi A3 - Also with Mosconi,

now onto the build in the cargo floor. as mentioned, the idea was to be completely stealthy and with no cutting or drilling.

so here is the normal view with the stock cargo mat on and off, as you can see, 100 percent stock:





lift up the floor and here is what you see. the stock spare tire has been replaced with basically an electronic equivalent :) a round enclosure houses both a single Focal FLAX 10" subwoofer, and an arc audio Xdiv2 1200.6 amplifier. hidden underneath the floor is also a Mosconi 4to6DSP providing control for everything. the front stage is powered actively with 4x200 watts, while 600 watts drive the FLAX 10. the top of the "spare tire" is done in vinyl, while the side walls is black carpet. simple and effective:











now lets take a look at some build pics.

first up is the signal tapping at the bose amp. here is the stock bose amp located under the passenger side foam floor spacer:



i removed it, and built a board that bolts to the existing bracket:









the Mobridge DA2 MOST optical preamp is then wired up and secured, and the whole structure bolted back into the car. The stock optical wires plugged into the DA2, and its ready to go:





then i turned my attention to the main floor. after removing the spare, i sound proofed the area in between the foam spacers:





next, using a HUGE circle cutter, i cut out a circular plate that is roughly 25" in diameter. the center area near the back of the plate was removed, as i needed every last inch of height to ensure that the flax sub clears.



once i was happy with the size and shape of the board, i secured a tall piece of low heat plastic around the outside of the board, and then also secured in a border that is about 2.5" up from the bottom



then this was placed back into the car at the correct place, and the bottom of the enclosure and the side walls below the spacer ring all fiberglassed:





when this cured, i pulled it out of the car, did some basic trimming and sanding, and stuffed it full with blackhole STUFF:





i then secured a top baffle to the enclosure with a spacer portion attached to it, and sealed it with a few additional layers of fiberglass cloth on the side walls to give it rigidity, after that cured, i also applied some filler and smoothed out any imperfections on the side walls:







then the mounting hole was cut for the FLAX10" sub, and a few spacers secured that will support the top floor panel:



the top of the box was then painted black so no bare wood would show through, and the outside of the enclosure was wrapped in a single piece of carpet:





this then was the top cover panel before and after vinyl:





and finally, this was bolted back into the car using the stock spare tire retaining location, and everything wired up:







and the factory foam blocks reinstalled:


so thats it for the build...lets take a quick look at the star of the show, the newly released Focal Flax P25F 10" subwoofer. as you can see, the cone is made out of the same FLAX sandwich material as the components, and the whole sub has a clean, no messing about look to it. the build quality is on par with most subs from focal...nothing too extravagant like the K2p or Utopias, but very sturdy and functional. I guess you can say from a cosmetic standpoint, the unique cone is the main attraction. The is slightly deeper than some of the other 10" subs we use, but at a smidgeon over 5.5", its not too bad. The single 4ohm configuration is the only choice, and may limit some people with high current amps, but luckily, its a perfect fit with the arc audio xdiv2 1200.6. unlike many focal subs before, this guy has a very respectable 14mm of Xmax and works in an enclosure as small as .35 cubic foot! the .55 or so airspace that we have, is very ideal for it. overall, very cool product but i am mostly interested in how it sounds :) you can learn more about the sub here:
Sub P 25 F | Focal America







so i have to say, this car really surprised me...for a simple to way active using a single amp and oem locations, this could be one of the best sounding version i have ever done. the imaging, staging is all spot on, with good focus, beyond pillar width and edge of windshield depth. height is halfway up the windshield.

tonally, its really really good, i mean really, its better than even i thought it would be. somehow, this setup in this car just works. not a whole lot of tuning, but it strikes the perfect balance between smooth and detailed. the customer of this car has a very sensitive ear, and prior to the build, he was a bit against using the focals as he too, has known them to be more bright speakers...but he was really amazed with how balanced this car was.

the Flax 10" sub simply melted away into the music, never making it location known. it also had very good output and extension and in the end, i didnt need to move a single band on the dsp's sub channel for it. its got great transient reponse, no overhang, and is able to dish out the subsonic well...and to back it up, here is its freq response, in car, playing pink noise...very nicely behaved:



with this car, i am even more impressed with the new focal FLAX line, and at (for us) a pretty modest price range, you can bet you will see more full FLAX builds from us. if you are looking for a good SQ sub that is a nice all around performer, the FLAX subs should definitely on your radar :)

the last thing i wanna mention on is that often, you see us doing builds where the solid stock cargo floor is retained over the subwoofer. i get asked frequently whether or not that affects how the sub sounds. in most cars, i can honestly say that i cant hear a difference, and there have been cars where the sub sounds BETTER with the stock floor in place, providing a loading baffle over the driver. maybe in an all out SPL measurement, it could have an affect, but this time, i decided to take a frequency measurement of the sub with out any cover over it, versus the stock floor AND cargo mat in place. so here it is :)




so thats it for now, enjoy your flax sandwich, and cheers.

Bing
 

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Re: Yum Yum Flax Sandwich: Full Focal Flax Build - 2015 Audi A3 - Also with Mosconi,

Very nice build indeed!
 

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Re: Yum Yum Flax Sandwich: Full Focal Flax Build - 2015 Audi A3 - Also with Mosconi,

I'm not seeing the photos of the hatch after pulling up the oem mat. :(
 

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Re: Yum Yum Flax Sandwich: Full Focal Flax Build - 2015 Audi A3 - Also with Mosconi,

Sorry guys was in a huge rush delivering a vehicle back to the client and writing at the same time. Fixed. Will still need to fix the title
 

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I'm still waiting to hear the Flax line. I was hoping Hoptologist would have his installed by now.

Very clean "OE look" install!
 

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Nice work. If I didn't already have Voces, I would be doing the Flax speakers in my current build because I heard a car with them recently and was sexually aroused in the gonadial region. They were nice.
 

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I push my gear hard constantly, and Focal tweeters are just far too tiring to listen to when pushed. Also I found the quality of the tweets substandard. I ran a pair of Focal's a few months old against a brand new set, and the tweets on the used pair were basically trashed. After 4 - 5 pairs of Focal's, that was it for me. I switched over to Morel and haven't looked back. Not into metal tweets at all, I've never had any good experiences with them, home audio or car audio.

Wouldn't mind having a go on the subs though. Not into the marketing, but they are modestly priced.
 
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