There was a time where in order to get a decent sound in a car from a high end point of view whilst retaining any form of integration would have required an aftermarket unit and a whole host of integration cables/looms and can conversion boxes.. However good it looked/sounded it never looked right at home..
The call is here now in this age to keep everything that your car has and can do, exactly where it belongs. Why should you have to deal with losing OE features to gain decent sound?
Unfortunately as we all know (I’ve been drumming it in to you for long enough!) Manufacturers have budgets, this doesn’t extend to speakers/amplifiers/DSP’s/locations/solid baffles, regardless of which high end home audio brand they may have on board as these budgets extend to their planning table also.
Each one of these things being equally important in sound reproduction, anywhere, possibly more so in the hard environment of a car.
Hopefully over the next few shots and descriptions you’ll get the jist of why you needn’t lose anything from your cars function arsenal. With some trick coding and a couple of choice add on’s, we can extract a true to source full range stereo signal in digital (where the car allows, high level analogue if not) and spit that out into some really cool boxes that give our speakers a particularly hard time (a good thing)..
David’s F10 M5 has been given exactly what we’ve just spoken about.
As usual, a few emails changed hands with brief specs for the job and a consultation was arranged for a Saturday morning. David has been into car audio and good sound for years with various car’s. After speaking with a few others he made possibly the best decision he’s ever made and ended up at our door. The kit list although completely different from his last install instantly made my ears prick up…
Sinfoni Amps x4
Helix DSP 10ch
JL W7 13
JL HD 1200.1 on bass
Hybrid L1 pro R2
Genhert under seat 8″ woofers
So we should be onto something quite special here…
Now, those in the know will understand these cars work with what is called a digital MOST ring, a basic in and out ring that travels a path all the way around the car passing through various boxes/ecu’s/diagnostic equipment and sound stuff, amps and the infamous engine sound modulator (oh, joy.).. As this fibre optic cable travels around the car carrying its various one’s and zero’s of all manners of importance we can quite sneakily interrupt it. In one of two ways, we can either nip it at the source by removing one of the cars directional leads and pointing it where we want it to go, or we simply unplug the part we don’t want to use any more. In this case the HK amplifier in the boot.
Where are we pointing this Optical signal? To Audison’s own digital integration tool – The Audison DMI. Once this box see’s the light we’ve directed towards it and we program it with the file it needs to decipher this manufacturers particular digital code it just sits in line as if it isn’t there and outputs a true stereo Optical output capable of being plugged into any digital amp/processor with the available input (Optical tosslink).
In this case a Helix DSP Pro was used, it has 10 channels of processed outputs, ideal for David as he still wanted to keep rear speakers (this car has 6 amplifiers in total).. As a rule we tend not to fit rear speakers in installs such as this as they’re a fair distraction, however these are switch able via fading so you can completely get rid of them for clinical listening.
On with the install….
The doors house no speakers, but they are a source of noise into the car, quite a big one at that. These were stripped as you see, deadened and then rebuilt exactly how they came apart.
The under seat enclosures where pulled out, deadened and just generally stiffened up, the ABS factory mount just isn’t ideal.
Next on the list was to fit the under floor amplifier’s, sub bass and rear channels.. Both of these amps are of a really efficient class and don’t really know what getting warm is so we deemed it fit to have these under the floor in the battery compartment, this leads to a much cleaner finish up top and usable space is maximised.
After this was complete, a floor/rack was made with machine screw mounts so that even with the amps mounted and connected on top you can release this rack to access anything underneath. This was all built and then given a satin black treatment –
Amps where mounted from underneath, again with stainless machine fixings –
Meanwhile in the boot, we fixed in no less than 5 anchor points for the sub box to be mounted. This is a very important part of the build. Any energy wasted by a moving baffle or box is energy lost from the speaker. Sound you don’t here and will cause problems elsewhere, you may as well just throw money out of the window.
Blind threaded rivnuts were used for this, the only time we drill into a car is when we are replacing the hole with something of OEM quality of higher.
Sub box in and mounted, unfortunately I didn’t get any shots of this, however it is 18mm ply sided and 36mm ply baffle built in a manner that the side’s are inside the box for rigidity to the baffle. The subwoofer fires directly through the ski hatch. The subwoofer box and amp rack are not attached to each other in any other way than they’re both attached to the same car.
Part way through cabling the amp rack it was time for testing before we go any further into tying things down.
Tests complete it was time to tie all cables down, two tools where fitted to the installation, these are the only two things needed to either A, disconnect cables from amps, B, disconnect the floor for access to the battery and lower amp rack.
With all of the testing done and successful, it was time to start all of the pretty stuff. Beauty panels, trimming of pillars etc..
Firstly a panel was made from 18mm ply with a 9mm rebate for reinforced glass. This was trimmed in a satin vinyl, the glass was pressed and sealed in and then inserted into a carpet trimmed panel.
Like so –
Finally, the ace of the job… Aimed and stacked pillar builds. These where finished in a graphite genuine Alcantara to tie in with the dark panels in the cars interior. Housing the incredible Hybrid Audio L3se and L1 pro R2.
Hopefully you can see the world class attention to detail we go through for our customers, this leads to an outstanding end game. All of these systems benefit from a free 2 hour tuning session to at least get a solid back bone to the system to enable the end user to add on what we have done and come back for tuning to advance the sound even further, after all our ears aren’t the only ears around!
So to summarise, what David has here and what has been achieved is – A very high end system, whilst retaining every OE function of the cars sourcing with sound far beyond that of any manufacturer system.
A job done well.
As alwway’s, SHARES, LIKES and comments are all encouraged (if you get this far!) and of course, all enquiries to – 01489877987 – INFO@STUDIOINCAR.COM To speak to one of us and understand how we can help you achieve your ideal.
Shakey | Studio Incar