Finally finished my audio system
As posted elsewhere. . .
After many months of working on this, I finally finished the audio system in my SVTF.
First to go was the Head Unit, which I replaced with a Kenwood KDC-X679 AM/FM/CD/Sirius integrated the Audiophile Sub, amp, and factory speakers.
This was always temporary, but really sounded better than I expected. That is part of the reason it took so long to complete the project! There was no desparate need due to crappy sound.
The next step in the project was the front stage. I am a big fan of 8" midbass drivers, crossed over very low. That way the sub bass is not easily localized to the trunk, instead it sounds like it is coming from the front.
The location of the 8's in the doors offers the best mid-bass performance, as the door is the enclosure. I used Kicker RMB8 woofers for their power handling and performance. The entire door frame has been dynamatted, which sealed the door, acoustically. With the stock speaker location full of Midbass driver, there was no room for the midrange and tweeters.
I have never liked kickpanel speakers, so for me, that was out. Besides, being 6'4" tall, I need all the leg room I can get in this spacious car! I prefer the sound to come from as high up as possible.
I had a set of 4" MB Quart components (Circa 1994) with the tweeters mounted coaxially with the midrange woofer that I wanted to use. A little MDF, fiberglass, bondo, a lot of sanding, filler, sanding, filler, and some more sanding, then texture paint produced some speaker pods which replace the sail panels.
I was going to make a grill to cover the speakers, but I kind of like the industrial look that is going on!
Here are some pictures of what the doors look like. . .
[Please don't think my seats are greasy, I just applied some leather protectant and have not wiped it off yet!]
I ran the speaker wires into the door through their own conduit. The midbass drivers are using twisted 12 AWG wire, where as the mid/tweets are using twisted 4 conductor 16 AWG wire. No noise or coloration due to the speaker wire.
Next was the sub improvement. I used a JL Audio, 10W6, which I have had for a number of years. I wanted to put the JL where the factory sub was. That way the trunk space was maximized.
The black box and wires you see to the right of the sub box are the Sirius tuner. There is a trim panel still in the works which will cover that bit up.
Ahhh, all this trunk space! What about the amps? The system is fully active, meaning no passive crossovers. I used the AudioControl DXS to provide a low-pass and high pass for the midbass driver, bandpass for the midrange, and high pass for the tweeters. This unit is mounted under the drives seat. Subwoofer crossover and level control come from the Kenwood eXcelon radio.
I used an a/d/s/ 850MX amplifier for the front stage. It is an 8x50watt amplifier, bridged to 6 channels. 100 watts midbass, 50 watts mids, 50 watts tweets. It is mounted under the passenger front seat. A snug fit!
There was no space left in the passenger compartment of the car car for the subwoofer amp. I am using an xtant 6001t amp. 600 Watts at 2 Ohms. A little over kill for the 10W6, but with dual 6 ohm voice coils paralleled, the impedance to the amp is only 3 ohms.
Anybody who has changed the rear speakers on a ZX3 knows there is a giant cavern back there. So, that is where the amp had to go!
Utilizing some flat stock steel, I created some custom brackets to mount the amp behind the side panel on the drivers side of the car. There is also a distribution block bracketed there. This is a class D amplifier, so it does not generate the kind of heat that an AB amp does, so thermal shutdown is not a concern.
This is not a ground-pounding system, it was never designed to be. It is a well balanced sound system that stages well, has excellent dynamic range, and still maintains the functionality of the vehicle.
In a prior life I used to be a car audio installer, so this was all done by myself and a friend. No money was spent on labor at a shop!
Thanks for looking!
Very nice. I like the doors and especially the trunk. I have a trunkfull of sub and amp. It gets annoying when i need some space back there. Good job.
very nice. I too have a set of RMB8's in the front doors of my focus. Very nice work. Nice choice of amplifier [Xtant].
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