Finished installing the new hose with some weather stripping to make the seal better. I also got some RTV gasket maker and am debating sealing up those 2 holes on the front en of the air box, but not in the immediate term.
After doing the mod right, the sound has gotten much better. Not boisterous, just clean and very high-end-performance sounding (if that makes any sense).
I haven't done any commuting yet with the latest work so I will let everyone know on Monday how that works out.
Here is how I did my grill, it has progressively smaller holes from the bottom to the top. It didn't come out perfect, but is good enough unless you get right up next to it.