I think the biggest thing that caused my van build to sink right away was my decision to place the front stage drivers in the ceiling. Right away everyone was angered and outraged that i would put such great drivers in such a terrible location. However, my point of view is that most drivers are placed in the doors...where the seat, floor, and human body block, deflect, absorb, and tamper with the sound in every way. If the drivers are down on the floor in kicks and down in the door, they are faced up to raise the sound stage. How is that different than putting them up high and facing them down? I am sure that it does make a huge difference, so if I was out strictly to compete (I don't know if I could even enter prestigious competitions...let alone place if I were allowd) I may not have. But this was not built for SQ, nor SPL. There is no EQ, no time delay, no distance punched in. No phase alignment or flat out reversing polarity on a driver or a few. No consideration given to a baffle.
Here is a picture of the closest front stage to mine as I could find, but placed in the "proper" location. 2 heavy duty tweets, 1 solid midrange, and 2 heavy duty midbasses. This guy also has 4 18's for the sub stage.
To me those drivers face up a little as to point to the ear... will they sound like they come from below? They will fire into the seat and person. When I am in my spacious van, my side, arm, and leg all touch the door. If my drivers were there, I would push against them. If they were in the Kicks, my body would block them. Above my head, they are unobstrocted and the sound appears to come from strait ahead, though slightly from above. Eye level.
I do not know if this vehicle was designed with SQ, staging, imaging, whatever in mind or not. The speakers in the pillar seem the best location...but don't they seem to come from the sides? Or does facing them strait in make them appear to sound like they are right in front of you not to the side? Like having them above facing strait down.
Down here they shoot strait across the top of your leg and lap to your face? Do they sound like they are coming from the road?
Now this is the same vehicle I have. If I had put my drivers toward the middle/bottom, the seat, floor, and I would have blocked them.