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View Full Version : Volvo S60 build resurrected! Old School!



americannight
10-23-2012, 07:28 PM
So a couple years ago I started this build. Lots of reasons for the delay. But finally I am back at it! This equipment has been safely stowed away in my garage. The plans for the build remain the same.

For a recap here's a link to the old (closed) thread where you can see a diagram of the system and the amp enclosure build:

http://www.caraudio.com/forums/car-audio-build-logs-cars-trucks-suvs/487015-volvo-s60-build.html

http://www.caraudio.com/forums/car-audio-build-logs-cars-trucks-suvs/487015-volvo-s60-build.html

Each Zed Audio Deuce amp will be mounted in a trunk sidewall, one on the left, one on the right. It's hard to describe how physically large these amps are without seeing them yourself. The amps also have large feet on each corner which makes the footprint they need even larger. So each amp will get it's own enclosure in a fiberglass panel on the trunk sidewall.

Last weekend me and an old friend who was generous to help out gave the left trunk panel a go. Mind you, this is the first time doing this for either of us. We've done lots of speaker box building and car audio systems over the years but never have we attempted using fiberglass. I think if someone has more experience with this, they would have done both trunk panels at the same time. However, because we are rookies and knew we would make mistakes, we chose to do one panel first, learn from it, and then attempt the rest of the build (other trunk panels, speaker box, etc.).

So after one weekend of work, here is a pic of the left side trunk panel with the amp enclosure glassed in.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 1.JPG

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 2.JPG

Like I said, this is our first time doing this so if anyone sees anything in the pics that looks terribly wrong or could be done a better way, your suggestions are much appreciated!

I was wondering how hard the fleece wrapping should get once the fiberglass resin is dry? I am using TAP brand polyester laminating resin and MEPK hardener. I am finding that some areas, especially larger, flatter, areas are still pretty flexible after two coats. How hard should that stuff get and is a coating of body filler recommended regardless for strength and a smoother surface?

galacticmonkey
10-23-2012, 10:52 PM
Resin itself isnt strong at all. It gets hard, but it is brittle, especially over large, flat surfaces. Resin and glass are incredibly strong when the glassed piece has a bunch of curves and angles in it. You will want to lay down some fiberglass chop mat over the thing and give it another layer of resin to soak it in. Just make sure it lays down smooth to save sanding work later.

americannight
10-24-2012, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the tip! The resin cured harder than I thought it would at first. The weather here is getting pretty cold so it took about 24 hours to really set. I'm looking forward to trying the body filler and sanding for smoothness. Then I can put a layer of chop mat over that as a final layer, correct?

groundpound4200
10-24-2012, 05:13 PM
No, the chop mat will be rough. You will want to do that as your next step, sand, then fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and sand....

americannight
10-24-2012, 07:26 PM
Will do. Should I be concerned that the resin coating on the fleece at this stage is bumpy or is that pretty normal? I'm noticing that with this type of fabric, it did not dry smooth. The fleece dried with little bumps all over it. Just trying to get an idea if there was a better technique I should have used or a better choice of fabric or if this is pretty normal. I think you can see in the photo that the finish is pretty bumpy at this stage.

groundpound4200
10-25-2012, 12:39 PM
Is the resin bubbling while it cures creating little air pockets making it bumpy? Try using less activator if that's the case. I'm no fiberglass pro by any means but I have played around with it on a few projects.

americannight
10-25-2012, 02:27 PM
Good info you sent me in the private message, Matt. I read your note and also the tutorial on building kick panels. Good stuff.

I'm going to make mistakes here. That's to be expected the first time. The biggest goof I've made here is not soaking the fleece all the way through. I thought it was soaked all the way but I could not see the back of the fleece. Now I can see that it's not soaked all the way. I have some shaping and sanding to do here, especially around the edges of the panel which are now thick with the fleece so don't fit back into the vehicle. I have some chop mat to lay down and body filler to do. Since I discovered the issue with the fleece, I plan to hit the back of the fleece with some fiberglass resin from the backside. I can cut a hole in the panel and hit it. If anyone sees a problem with this, let me know. It seems like an easy way to fix my goof here.

americannight
10-27-2012, 03:09 AM
Made some small progress tonight. Sanded the amp rack panel mainly in areas where the fleece folds around to make it flush with the back. Then fit it into place in the trunk. It's a rough fit at this point. I can see areas where the panel needs to be shaped for a better fit and improved. But it is encouraging to see this is actually going to fit. Already starting to feel more comfortable with the fiberglass medium. Ready to put a layer of chop mat over this and shape with body filler. I am noticing some drawbacks to copying the factory panel as the back. Mainly, the factory panels aren't that good. They don't fit snug around the trunk. Hoping to improve that with the custom panels.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 3.JPG

americannight
10-27-2012, 07:53 PM
Me and a friend did the fiberglass on the right side trunk panel today. It's almost dry now, ready to pop it off. Here's a picture of the work so far today. We can already tell that we're more comfortable with this process. This panel is going to turn out way better than the other side. The other side will be fine but I anticipate it will require a lot more sanding and body filler to adjust than this side. We also noticed the right side factory panel fits a lot better than the left. It's almost like it was created by a different designer. Lots of subtle differences in how it fits. Much more snug to the trunk.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 4.jpg

VWGolfMKVI
10-27-2012, 11:28 PM
sub'd

americannight
10-28-2012, 07:36 PM
Some small progress today. Put in about an hour to pop the mold. This time it was MUCH easier! We used less glue on the foil. Tip: use just enough to hold on the foil. Lesson learned...

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 5.jpg

americannight
10-29-2012, 03:34 PM
The panel is now cut out and fits nicely in the trunk...

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 6.jpg

americannight
11-02-2012, 04:50 PM
I'm getting set to start working on the project. Hope to have a few updated pictures of the progress over the course of the weekend. I placed an order for 50 sq ft of GT Mat 80mil sound deadener which will arrive next week. The folks at GT Mat were kind enough to also throw in a 10 sq ft sample pack. I will provide a review of their product here in the build log. Thanks GTMAT! GTMAT Automotive Sound Deadener Dampening Dynamat/Fatmat Alternative (http://www.gtmat.com) is their url in case anyone else wants to look into the product. ~Nate

2ndroundko
11-02-2012, 10:42 PM
the Gmat stuff on ebay? i was wondering about that the audio technix stuff looks really good but too exspensive for me. fiberglass work look good

americannight
11-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Yep, they have a store on ebay too. If you call their 800 number they'll give you a small discount vs. the ebay or website pricing which was a nice surprise. Obviously if money were no object I would foot the bill for dynamat. There seems to be a proliferation of discount products out there such as GT Mat. What seemed legit about this product is they make very reasonable claims if you watch their videos on the website. We'll see how it goes. So far I'm impressed with their personable service. I also have been reading the sound deadener showdown website and seems to me from what I am reading there that good results can be had with any product of reasonably good quality if you strategically place the deadener where it will do the most good. Also use of other types of sound proofing materials as described on that site seems to be a good idea such as the CLF foam, etc. Here's some pictures of this weekends progress so far. I've mainly been spending time on the second fiberglass amp panel. The fleece is drying now under the lamps as I take the time to post this. One of the more time consuming things was just in getting the amp enclosure mounted so it looks symmetrical with the other side. I don't think I got it 100% perfect but it does look good to the eye and seems about 90% symmetrical. As I noted above, the trunk itself is not perfectly symmetrical, the panels are different. So this is to be expected. I think it looks good to the naked eye. If someone gets out a protractor on me, they'll probably find something to nit pick.

One thing I learned on this panel by using a thinner fleece the resin did soak in easier as I had hoped. However I did note that once the resin soaks in, it loosened the rubber cement I used to tack down the fleece. So it started to pull away around the edges of the amp enclosure. Luckily it was not enough to completely come loose, however, it does make it so I will need to use some body filler and sanding to make those edges nice and straight.

Also I tried my hand at patching up a couple areas on the first amp enclosure. I trimmed back a couple corners to make it fit better in the trunk and then patched those areas with fleece from the inside. I hit that fleece with the resin and once it dries, I will patch with body filler and sand smooth.

If you look at the middle picture here, you can see how these will fit in the trunk. The subwoofer enclosure will go between the two amp pods with the woofers firing back. I wanted to wait until the amp pods were done so that I can design an enclosure that is both removable, fitting between that area, but also can get a fiberglass baffle which fits seamlessly between the two pods to create a custom look that is at the same time functional with the sub enclosure being removable in case I need to haul something.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 7.jpg
http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 8.jpg
http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 9.jpg

americannight
11-04-2012, 07:04 PM
As of writing this, I am leaning towards covering this with carpet. What do you guys think?

UnderFire
11-04-2012, 07:46 PM
As of writing this, I am leaning towards covering this with carpet. What do you guys think?

I'd like to see interior-matched vinyl, I think carpeting over glass kind of defeats the purpose.

americannight
11-04-2012, 08:15 PM
Good suggestion. Vinyl or carpet has definitely been the two coverings I've been considering. I'm not so confident in my skills with this being the first time I've done fiberglass for it to come out smooth enough for vinyl. But we shall see how it goes... It sure would be a nicer finished look with vinyl. Hmmmmm...

americannight
11-12-2012, 12:39 PM
Here's a picture of both trunk panels fitting in for the first time along with the factory trunk floor. It may not look like it, but this was a major step with lots of tedious sanding and body filler work needed to get them fitted the way I want. I am going to have a piece of acrylic cut to frame each amp so it will have a flushed in look. Leaning towards black acrylic.

I'm also happy to report that the GT Mat has arrived. Thanks to Blake at GT for tossing in a sample of the 50mil deadener as well to try. So far I have deadened the trunk lid and some critical areas of the trunk such as larger side panels, wheel wells, etc. I've decided to take a conservative approach at this point with using the product in areas where it will do the most good such as the middle of large panels and anything that resonates a lot when I tap it. I've also been wrapping some wires in fleece. The largest area I have deadened so far is the trunk lid which on the volvo S60 consists of the metal body panels and also a composite panel which fits over it on the exterior. That composite panel resonated a lot, even when just slamming the trunk lid closed. So the trunk itself got 2-3 layers of GT mat in some places and the composite exterior piece was removed, treated with GT Mat, and then fixed back onto the vehicle. The trunk now shuts solidly with a satisfying 'thunk'! Did a bit of deadening behind my mids in the front door. So far I'm quite pleased with the GT Mat. It sticks on very well. I used a bit of heat to apply it because it's cold here but it did not take much, just 2-3 passes with the heat gun was enough. I've only used about half of my GT Mat at this stage. Like I said, I focussed on critical areas and I want to have plenty left over. When I have the subwoofers going then I'll identify other areas to focus on. For now, just got the obvious areas.

Next steps for this project will be a final layer of fiberglass on these amp enclosures, then will draw out the shape of the subwoofer enclosure bottom using cardboard. I'll be tracing around the footprint of the amp enclosures so the sub box will fit right in. Once I have the bottom of the sub enclosure cut, then I will make the rings/baffle for the woofers and start framing it in. The goal for the sub box is to have a nice custom fitted look but still be removable. The only wires going to the sub box will be the + - from the sub amp into a terminal hidden out of the way and that's it. The woofers will be arranged in a V shape on the front of the enclosure.

I'm planning this to be a ported enclosure with the woofers firing back, towards the trunk. What has proven to be the best direction to face the ports? I'm trying to weigh out the pros and cons. If I face the ports back, the same direction of the woofers, should I be concerned about cancellation? If I face them up, I may hear more port noise. Putting them on the back of the box, facing towards the cabin is something I've done in the past and it was OK. But I'm wondering what other people have done and what seems to get the best results? Again, the woofers I'm using are two Image Dynamics IDQv3 12".

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 10.jpg

americannight
11-12-2012, 12:52 PM
I'll also add an amusing story from this weekend's car audio exploits. As I was deadening the composite trunk panel, there are wires there for the electric trunk lock and license plate lights. Well, I unplugged those to work on the piece. Then, in a hurry to make it to dinner, I put the piece back on and shut the trunk. Oops! Of course the remote would not unlock the trunk so it was stuck shut. Luckily, I realize that I left one of the back seats down so I was able to climb in with a flashlight, connect the wires back up, and unlock the trunk with the remote. Crisis averted! That may have been a costly locksmith call if I didn't leave that seat down.

americannight
11-15-2012, 02:17 PM
I'm gearing up for work on the system this weekend and also next week when I have a few days off. There should be lots of progress here for you to check out. Here's a short list of what's left to do. This is basically in order of how I plan to take it on:

1. Put one more layer of chop mat and body filler on these amp pods, sand to 220 grit.
2. Cover pods. I'm planning a trip to an auto fabric shop in Tukwila this weekend called Perfect Fit McDonald. Do you guys know of any other good sources of carpet or vinyl in the Seattle area?
3. Final placement of the pods and attach to the vehicle.
4. Build subwoofer enclosure. I'm working with Frankie at Image Dynamics on the design.
5. Additional sound deadening, particularly around rear deck of vehicle and passenger door which has not been done yet.
6. Run wiring - need to run two sets of RCAs and the turn on lead from the deck to the trunk. Front RCAs will go from deck to the fronts amp and sub RCAs will go to the sub amp. I will run from the RCA out on the fronts amp to my center channel (mono) amp. Run power and ground to battery located in the trunk. Fuses or circuit breakers, etc.
7. Wire blue LED strips in trunk for illumination.
8. Test system. Work out any bugs. Add more layers of GT Mat and spray foam as needed, etc.

groundpound4200
11-15-2012, 02:53 PM
It looks like it's coming along nicely. That trunk layout looks good!

americannight
11-19-2012, 01:12 AM
It looks like it's coming along nicely. That trunk layout looks good!

Thanks man. I put the final layer of fiberglass mat on the amp enclosures this weekend. Ready now to put a layer of body filler to smooth it out. Have a trip planned to Perfect Fit McDonald tomorrow to pick out a suitable covering. Looks like lots of choice vinyl and carpet on their website. I remember this place from way back in the day and they are still around. Looks like they have been around for a LONG TIME...since 1912!

Upholstery Fabric, Wholesale and Discount Auto, Marine, and Furniture Upholstery Fabrics (http://www.perfectfit.com/)

Are there any good tutorials out there on how to cover odd shaped fiberglass "enclosures" with vinyl or carpet? I've done tons of speaker box carpeting before but have never attempted something with such an odd shape. Any tips are appreciated.

Here are the amp racks with the final layer of fiberglass. I know it doesn't look like much progress but doing two of these in 30-40 degree temperatures is a challenge, takes a lot of time to dry and then of course I had to sand down the edges. The challenge here was adding the layer of fiberglass without disturbing the shape of the edges too much. I like the way these fit in the trunk now and didn't want to add too much fiberglass to the sides or back and change the shape. I put the layer of fiberglass mat right up to the edge and let it hang over. Then once it was dry, I dremeled it off and sanded the edges clean. That way the fiberglass just stuck to the front and didn't overlap over the sides, changing the shape. At this point, I have just enough extra space around the edges so it should fit really tight once I cover it with upholstery.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 11.jpg

americannight
11-20-2012, 01:56 AM
I'd like to see interior-matched vinyl, I think carpeting over glass kind of defeats the purpose.

UnderFire thanks for the solid advice here. I went to Perfect Fit McDonald and they let me take a book of vinyl samples out to my car. After thumbing through a few hundred samples, I settled on this Enduratex Vinyl in Dark Flint which matches the grey color and pebble grain pattern in the trunk nicely. It's also very close to the interior grey on the steering wheel, emergency break, and other trim parts. It's a pretty good match. It also happens to have a pretty flexible backing on it which should lend itself well to this job. Here's what the vinyl looks like:

https://is30.eporia.com/company_97/73509.jpg?cell=500,500&qlt=100&cvt=jpeg

Tonight I put a layer of body filler on one of the amp racks and sanded it smooth. Tomorrow I will work on the other one and then I should be pretty close to starting the subwoofer enclosure.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 12.jpg

UnderFire
11-20-2012, 02:04 AM
Very nice, Looking forward to seeing this finished, love show quality trunks.

americannight
11-23-2012, 10:52 PM
Here's a couple more pics of the progress this week. I have finished the body filler and sanding on the amp racks and also spray painted the back of them black. Sanded to 60, 180, 220, and lastly an extra fine foam sanding block. I applied a couple large pieces of the GT Mat to the inside of the panels. Tonight was my first go at covering one of the panels with vinyl. I still have a few edges drying with some small clamps. Overall I found this vinyl really easy to work with and this was my first go at covering with vinyl. It was a pretty complex shape. So some time had to be spent on the edges, especially the curves. One spot especially took some patience. I have not yet cut out the vinyl around the amp rack. I'll do that tomorrow once everything has dried. It's exciting that I'll finally be in a place where I could mount one of the amps if I want and get the front stage going. I've decided to mount the front stage amps on the left (passenger side panel). On that panel will be a zed audio deuce and hidden behind will be the rodek amp which will power the center channel. For the center channel, I had a revelation this week. I can set the crossover on the deuce to hi pass for the front L/R and then send a low pass 3500 HZ signal to the center. I will use a passive HP crossover on the center at 300HZ so that should make a good bandpass. I can adjust the LP on the deuce amp variably so it gives me some room to dial in the crossover points to where the staging sounds best. For the center I will use a 6.5" pioneer D series coaxial. That will match well with the D series components in the doors. Also have been thinking of using some foam rubber to dampen the tweeter on the D series center if it sounds too bright, even with the crossovers set. We'll see how that goes. It will be a process of experimentation for sure. I can also experiment with various capacitors for the HP on that center channel.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 14.jpg


http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 15.jpg

4bannger
11-23-2012, 11:03 PM
thats a good vinyl wrap job for a first time

UnderFire
11-23-2012, 11:05 PM
Looks alot better than my first attempt at wrapping with vinyl.

ducatipaso
11-23-2012, 11:25 PM
Your fiberglass work looks great, its great to see another Volvo person customizing their ride. I am planning on up-grading the sound system in my 2001 Volvo C70 convertible but I am still planning the project.
Working with fiberglass is a skill that takes practice, the thing that I dislike about fiberglass is that you have to mix-up so much resin and the resin dosn't have much strength.
When I have small projects I like to use tubes of 2-step epoxy and fiberglass mat to create what ever it is that I want to make. The 2-step epoxy cost from $2.50 to around $5 per tube but its easy mix and work with and the 2-step epoxy is strong after it cures.
I just thought I would pass along that tip.

americannight
11-24-2012, 01:07 PM
The 2-step epoxy cost from $2.50 to around $5 per tube but its easy mix and work with and the 2-step epoxy is strong after it cures.
I just thought I would pass along that tip.

Thanks for the tip. Sounds like a really good and economical option for smaller jobs.

americannight
11-24-2012, 01:10 PM
Looks alot better than my first attempt at wrapping with vinyl.

I was terrified I would mess this up. My two young boys helped me as extra sets of hands. There is a good video on You Tube which gave me a crash course of sorts. I found this really helpful, especially the tip about shocking the vinyl into place with a wet sponge. This really does work on some of the more difficult bends!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UnVeAMLMdM

americannight
11-24-2012, 11:19 PM
Worked on the vinyl around the amp rack tonight. Yard sticks make great clamps for the corners...

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 16.jpg

audiobaun
11-24-2012, 11:33 PM
Worked on the vinyl around the amp rack tonight. Yard sticks make great clamps for the corners...

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 16.jpg

Man that Looks simply just BA period,and very clean..Very nice indeed!

americannight
11-25-2012, 02:55 PM
Man that Looks simply just BA period,and very clean..Very nice indeed!

Thanks dude! I can't say it is perfect. There is a spot which did not adhere quite the way I wanted. Thankfully it's on the back area which will not be visible to anyone. I could go back and work on that area. Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. If I have to pull up vinyl at this stage, heat and re-glue, who knows what sort of unintended consequences that will create. I think I will quit while I'm ahead and call it good on this panel. I started placing the amp in the rack this morning. Here is a shot with an MDF mock up of the frame which will go around the amp. The actual frame will be made of black acrylic which I plan to have a local shop make for me. I will take the mock up in and have them use it as a template. The place is called TAP Plastics here in Redmond, WA. It's the same shop where I got my fiberglassing supplies.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 17.jpg

americannight
11-25-2012, 07:41 PM
Test fit of the panel with amp in the trunk. I'm diggin' the way this looks. Next thing I will start doing some of the wiring. I'm anxious to get some sound out of this thing and the front stage is a good place to start. Need to wire all the power, ground, RCAs, turn on, etc. I also received a blue LED illumination kit this week which should be a pretty easy hour job to wire in parallel with the factory trunk lights and glue gun the tubes into place up under the rear deck.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 19.jpg

americannight
11-25-2012, 07:41 PM
...frame around the amp is the temporary MDF piece by the way. Ideally what I want to do is have a piece of black acrylic cut with about 1/8" gap around the amp itself. Then put one of the blue LED tubes in the amp rack so the outline of the Zed audio Deuce will glow blue. It has a very unique shape which will be cool to highlight. I've also figured out a way to blank out the factory trunk lights with a Z shape so with a blue LED festoon bulb in them, it should project a Z (for ZED) on the side of each amp panel. Those are some of the details I'm thinking through now as I see how this is all fitting together.

americannight
11-25-2012, 07:52 PM
Now that I see this in there, the grey auto carpeting on the trunk floor will need an upgrade. I think I'll make a rug that fits over the factory floor with some higher grade carpet that is the dark flint color like the rest of the trunk. Maybe I could have Zed Audio embroidered in that carpet in light blue like the lettering on the amps. Might be cool. Hmmmmm...

americannight
12-03-2012, 01:11 AM
Man, I am totally spent. This weekend I put about 15 hours into the system and most of that was wiring related. There were challenges at every turn. Here's a rundown of what I knocked down along with some pictures of the build.

First thing was running the RCA cables and the front speaker wires. I chose to run a set of RCAs for Front/Rear/Sub which are all of the outputs the Kenwood KDCX994 deck has. The immediate plan is to use the Front and Sub RCAs but while I was at it, I figured I would save myself some work for future in case I have a need for the rear RCA outputs. I pulled the drivers seat in the car (sort of). Turns out the seat belt is fixed to the frame of the seat with a large torque bolt. I have a set of torques wrenches but nothing that large. So I unbolted the seat and just moved it out of the way towards the back seat of the car. That gave me enough room to work. I ran the RCA cables down the drivers side of the vehicle using the factory wire conduits wherever possible. Here are a few shots of that. The factory conduits had enough room to house the RCA cables, speaker wires, and turn on lead.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system5.jpg

RCAs and turn on lead route to where amp will mount which happens to have an extra factory hole in the conduit which I pulled the RCAs and turn on lead through.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system4.jpg

The next thing I tackled was the center channel. The S60 has a factory location in the middle of the dash for a center channel. I always assumed this location had a speaker in it. But upon prying off the grill, I found it did not even have a speaker there. It was blank. Luckily, though, Volvo included the baffle for the 6.5" speaker which I was able to use for the Pioneer coaxial with just a little bit of Dremel modification. I am going to experiment with the center channel to see what sounds best. But for the first go, I am dampening the tweeter with some foam and using the low pass cross-over on the Zed Audio deuce set to 3500Hz. The deck will provide a HP crossover so that will effectively make a bandpass for the center. I'll experiment with some caps in series with the center as well in order to tweak the HP crossover point for that speaker.


http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system6.jpg


http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system3.jpg

Keeping with the theme of Zed Audio, a Rodek 225i bridged mono will drive the center. By controlling the gain on the 225i, the overall amount of center channel in the mix can be adjusted.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system1.jpg

Next was routing the speaker wire into the doors for the fronts. I could have taken the easy path and patched into the factory wiring but after looking at the puny connectors in the molex connector and the gauge of wire, I just went for it and ran my own. This was a huge pain. The Volvo uses molex connectors. It took some figuring out how to remove them to get a look. I saw the Porsche build on this site recently and hoped I would have similar luck, being able to drill them out and run my wire through the molex. No dice. After staring at the door and connector for nearly an hour, the route I took was to use one of the factory bolt holes for the molex as my wire hole. Basically, there is a plastic harness for the molex that is held onto the door with two nuts that thread onto bolts that are reverse threaded into the plastic harness. I found that the reverse threaded bolts can be removed. One nut and bolt is enough to hold on the plastic harness effectively so I removed one bolt which left a hole for the wire to route through. What you see here is the result with the speaker wire running right along side, underneath, the molex connectors and then just punching through the factory rubber grommet. Looks easy but this was a pain to figure out how I wanted to do it. Probably took about 2 hours for the first door and 1 hour for the second door.


http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system2.jpg

Lastly, no picture, but I ran the power wires into the amp rack. There was some Dremel sanding that needed to take place to widen the holes I had drilled into the amp rack. They weren't big enough. As things stand now, the fiberglass amp rack has the Zed Deuce and Rodek mounted in it. There are power wires running from the amps out the back of the amp rack so it is ready to "marry" with the RCAs and speaker wires. Probably this is a 1 hours job but I am completely spent. It's easy to make a mistake when you're this tired so I'll call it a night, crack open a couple beers, and enjoy looking at everyone else's build pics from over the weekend. If all goes well, I'll actually have the front stage up and working tomorrow night. Can't wait to hear how this amp sounds!

trap1forty1
12-03-2012, 12:38 PM
killer job so far

americannight
12-03-2012, 01:53 PM
killer job so far

Thanks man!

Hey, does anyone have a good source where I can find a better dash kit for the Volvo S60? The one I'm using came free with the deck from Crutchfield when I bought it. The kit is OK but the color doesn't match the factory that well so it will require me to paint it. Just curious what else might be out there and what they look like.

americannight
12-04-2012, 02:50 AM
Big milestone reached tonight. Finally, after all this work I got to fire up the front stage and listen to the Zed Audio Deuce in action. ****! This amp sounds nice. AND IT'S A BEAST! I had forgotten what a really clean and LOUD car audio system sounds like. Remember, I've been listening to the components with just deck power for the last two years. Man, the D series Pioneers in the front really come alive with some good power behind them. The mid-bass is really exceptional with this combo. I spent time using Dire Straits Brothers in Arms album to do a quick dial in. The gain on the Deuce is barely cracked and the sound is like a good pair of home audio speakers. Take that with a grain of salt, though, since that is coming from a guy who's idea of home audio is a late 60s Sansui receiver, a pair of small Boston speakers and a turntable. Pretty much the only place I listen to CDs or MP3s is in my car. So take that for what it's worth! I think this amp and Pioneer combo for the fronts sound grand and it still has plenty of room for improvement by tweaking various pieces of the signal chain. I have the fronts playing all the way down to 40Hz currently using the HP crossover on the Kenwood deck. Once the subs are in place, that will change, obviously, and then I can open up the gain on the Deuce some more. I don't want to kill these fronts at this stage by feeding them more than they can handle. But it's still ear splitting as-is. I'm also happy with the center channel. I spent some time with the Dire Straits tune, Latest Trick, to dial in the center. It's a cool effect. The "trick" will be dialing it in just enough to get the effect I want of raising the sound stage up and towards the center without it being too obvious. The 3500Hz low pass crossover I applied to it using the line outs from the Deuce amp to the Rodek seems dead on. I also tossed a 90uf cap in series with the center speaker. That didn't seem to block too much of the bass, though. What do you expect for 8db per octave anyways? Once the subs are in, the center will get the same HP as the fronts. I can play with how sharp to roll over the crossover with the Kenwood deck, 12db, 24db, etc. It's a pretty flexible little crossover built into that Kenwood deck. I'm impressed with it. It provides me with a lot of options to tweak the sound including a 5 band EQ. This has already come in handy. The midrange on the D series can be a bit harsh and that was easily fixed with the EQ. I can also play with timing with the DSP which should be fun to sit and play with. Wish I had some pictures to share with you guys but it was just a listening experience tonight with no real change in cosmetics. One thing I did notice when firing it up is a small amount of noise which I attribute to the RCAs running in those factory conduits. There are some factory power wires in there and I think that is causing a bit of noise. I plan to relocate the RCAs to a different spot later this week. Hopefully that does the trick.

americannight
12-04-2012, 03:02 AM
Here is one picture you all haven't seen yet. I got a little blue LED glow kit for the trunk. It comes with 4 "tubes" of blue LEDs wired to a little controller box. I wired it to the factory trunk illumination so it kicks on when the trunk is opened. There are other features this kit will do such as flashing and sound activation, etc. But here it's just used for glow. The tubes are mounted on the underside of the rear deck so they provide a glow effect. Once the subs are installed I will aim two of them right at the subs.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system7.jpg

Sub Bass Woofrz
12-04-2012, 03:16 AM
has any1 ever told you, you look like steve nash???

americannight
12-04-2012, 03:40 AM
LOL! I didn't even know who that was so I had to google it. You mean the Lakers guy, right? I do see a resemblance now that you bring it up. The irony is that I moonlight as a Jim Morrison impersonator in a tribute band here in Seattle. I have a few months off from the band and...this is how I am choosing to spend my time, building a kick *** car audio system. Can't wait to get these subs in. Ray Manzarek's piano bass will never have sounded so good.

americannight
12-04-2012, 02:56 PM
It's crazy how your perception of sound changes when your ears fatigue. Of course I couldn't resist cranking this system last night so I'm guilty of that. Woke up this morning and fired it up to drive to work and that center channel is CRANKED way too loud. Going to dial that gain down...way down...on the 225i.

americannight
12-04-2012, 03:14 PM
Hey does anyone have any tricks for getting your amps to turn on at the same time? As it stands, the Rodek kicks on first, then the Zed Deuce a few seconds later. So it sounds weird with sound first coming out of the center channel. If I could add a delay to the Rodek turn-on, that would be ideal. Not sure how this would be possible, though. Some kind of time delay relay?

knotdrummer88
12-04-2012, 04:24 PM
this is a great looking build, anyone ever tell you that you like an older shawn white?

americannight
12-04-2012, 05:48 PM
You guys are killing me with the lookalike jokes, lol. Actually, YES, I was skateboarding with my two younger boys at the school next door to my house and some kids came running over, asked for an autograph. Not joking, they totally thought I was Shawn White, that is until they saw how badly I **** at Skateboarding! Then the gig was up...

audiobaun
12-04-2012, 07:29 PM
I wonder of a relay would work at all?Its gonna be almost impossible to get different amplifiers to turn on at the exact same time,having delayed on/off/soft on/off switches.I have the same issue running 4 amps/3 autotek bts,and one autotek mean..They are so close though..I just turn them on,at 0 volume and give it a couple seconds,like 10,and slowly crank her up:D..i will be adding a 40amp relay soon,should help out quite a bit,i would think.You do some very nice work!i love those Zed amps..all quite rare as well..Rodek,I havent seen one that clean since 94..lol that a friend had.great amps.I had a bookmark on relays some where, Ill see if I can locate it..not real sure if it will help out, but in my situation it will work perfect, as I will be adding cooling fans later,and will be needed.LOL..wiring can take a full day,0n a vehicle,and be a real PITA, but it is worth it in the end..Hardest vehicle Ive ever done was my 1990 240 sx,Ill never do another..LOL

audiobaun
12-04-2012, 07:36 PM
Special Applications with SPDT Relays, Diagrams (http://www.the12volt.com/relays/page5.asp#rtol,It) may help out..switches are unpredictable..lol

americannight
12-04-2012, 07:55 PM
Special Applications with SPDT Relays, Diagrams (http://www.the12volt.com/relays/page5.asp#rtol,It) may help out..switches are unpredictable..lol

Thanks a lot for all the info and checking out my build. I am hoping to just find a way to delay the turn on of the Rodek amp. If the sides turn on first and then the center second, I'll be fine with that. The annoying thing is turning on the system, just hearing the center and then five seconds later hearing the sides. The Zed Deuce has a long turn on delay, seems like about 5 seconds.

I'm envious of your 7100BTS. That was the first amp I ever bought and I'm sorry that I got rid of it. I had a lot of Zed stuff in the 90s including a massive Rodek amp, forgot the model number, but it was a four channel beast that had to be about two feet long. I could bridge two of the channels to my sub and run the other two channels to my fronts. It ran four twelves and plus pioneer fronts in a Ford Escort. It got stolen. That thing was loud for the day, hit 140db at Car Toys Car Wars here in the Seattle area. Of course there were louder vehicles but I was pretty pleased with that performance. I used a sealed box with a home made vario-vent in the back of each chamber. The variovent was basically a hole about 2"x4" cut into the back of the box. We used chicken wire on both sides of the hole, stuffed it with as much dakron foam stuffing as we could and then carpeted over it. It essentially would lower the tuned frequency of the "sealed" box. I'm sure that came at the expense of a bit of efficiency, but that thing would hit really low notes. Not sure if they still sell those but you could buy "variovents" which were essentially what we made with the chicken wire and stuffing. In that car I had four Autotek brand 12" woofers which were fairly decent speakers in the 90s. Now days their quality has gone down hill of course. After that system got stolen I downsized a lot. I went to a couple of Bostwick 10" speakers and an Orion amp. It sounded fine. But that ended my era of running really large car audio systems. Soon after that, the car died. After the second transmission started going out, I realized that car was a goner. Sold it for a few hundred bucks to a friend in need and then the audio system separately on Craigslist. I'm really excited to finally have a system again! It's lots of work but gratifying to be taking my time. It's really fun here to be pushing my build skills. A lot of this fiberglass fabrication is new to me. Have built lots of sub boxes and done lots of "MDF work" but this is new territory here. Thanks for the link!

audiobaun
12-04-2012, 08:30 PM
Quite welcome,That link has alot of info for various things,sub wiring,all kinds of stuff.I myself started back in like 88/89 was my first large system,and still have several amps that I bought new that are still working GREAT!I am running 2-7150 bts @2ohms on ea set of subs atm, and a bTS 7204 on rear, and tweets up front@4ohms, and an Autotek Mean Machine 99 up front@2ohms..I do have 1 7100 bts left,and several 4-7050s,1-7030,1-7300,and several white Mean Machines.Those two are my favorite amps,and the Hifonic VII/VIII series amps.I will be setting back a couple amps enough for 2 more decent installs, and will be getting ready to let the rest go,i guess..Ive had them, and enjoyed them long enough..lol..not really, but They need to be used.I have too many,its almost insane..lol..Ive tried alot of amps, and I seem to always go back to the Zeds.They just shell out the power/cleanly and Brute compared to several other amps.I guess Im stuck in the 90s on amp power made by Zed..lol.Ill be getting 4 other subs together soon enough to replace what I have now..1k-1500 ea is what Im needing,and have in mind a couple,and I know gonna run me over $1k for them,unless I find a deal somewhere..unlikely.I love music,and loud clean music..Im not there yet, but working on it for sure.I run CDT front staging/rear,and old school USA made Audiobahn 10s(4-AW1008t-1000rms DVC2ohm) A used pair I bought last summer let me down, but my two I bought new 12/13 yrs ago still serving well,2 got stolen, as well as 2-2150 ,1-4080, and 1-4060.I know what you mean about theft especially theft recovery,Ive been cleaning my truck up past yr,and getting it fairly decent:D

americannight
12-06-2012, 03:11 AM
Rodek,I havent seen one that clean since 94..lol that a friend had.great amps.

Ampguts posted a picture of the inside of my 225i. It's a very clean amp inside and out. Cool looking board!

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/rodek.jpg

americannight
12-06-2012, 07:51 PM
So if you've been following this build, you know that the plan is to have black frames made for the amps out of black acrylic. Well, I heard back from the acrylic shop today that it would be very expensive to work off of the tracing of the amp I provided them because the shape is so complex around the corners. They would essentially have to do this cutting by hand. It would be time consuming and inevitably have some flaws. The estimate was over $300 for the two pieces. So in desperation, I contacted Stephen Mantz over at Zed Audio. Stephen was very cool and came through for me BIG TIME. He provided me with .dxf and autocad drawings of the amplifier shape which the shop can import into their computer to have the pieces machine cut. I can't thank Stephen Mantz enough for providing these. It sounds like he had to do some work to draw them, too, so it took some time on his end. You really would not get this kind of service with any of the "made-in-asia" manufacturers. Major props to Zed Audio here. Just awesome...

Here are links to the drawings I put up on my server in case anyone now or in the future may find them handy for their builds. According to Stephen, these would need to be printed 1:1 and then could be used as templates.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/DEUCE-OUTLINE.dwg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/DEUCE-OUTLINE.dxf

Lastly, here is a .jpg which I am providing just as an example so people know what they are getting in these files:

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/DEUCE-OUTLINE.jpg

americannight
12-07-2012, 02:30 PM
The acrylic shop just called and notified me they were successfully able to import Stephen's drawings into the CNC machine. The amp frames will be ready today! Look forward to picking them up this afternoon and sharing a picture of them here.

Shinju
12-07-2012, 02:38 PM
/bump for a local.

Tip

I would get some techflex for your door speaker wire to help protect it agenst sharp edges and keep it rigid when the door opens and closes. It will eventually wear down at the holes it is running though.

Those Euro Molex plugs are a pain in the *** to work with!

americannight
12-07-2012, 02:42 PM
I would get some techflex...

Thanks for the tip Shinju. I do plan to spend some time going back and focussing on the doors themselves. More deadening for example and building fiberglass pods for the speakers which will angle them more on axis behind the factory speaker grills. What is techflex?

Shinju
12-07-2012, 02:46 PM
Its a wire netting sheath that goes over your wire.

Look at my build log here, you will see the black net looking stuff over my wires, it helps keep things looking clean as well as add rigidity to your wire keeping them protected agenst sharp edges ect ect.

You can get Techflex by the spool at Parts Express or eBay.

http://www.caraudio.com/forums/car-audio-build-logs-cars-trucks-suvs/545348-2005-scion-xb-sq-build-rebuild-hybrid-audio-alpine.html

americannight
12-07-2012, 03:17 PM
OK, now that you mention it, yes I know what that is. Good idea. Just so you know, I don't have the wire touching any metal of the door frame. It is running through a hole I punched in the factory rubber grommet. But the techflex is still a good idea.

americannight
12-11-2012, 01:07 PM
Finally was able to pick up the acrylic frames from the shop yesterday. They look sweeeeeeeeeeet! Thanks again to Stephen Mantz for making the auto cad drawing which the shop was able to import into their CNC machine. Here's a photo of the black acrylic frame on the amp. It's made from 1/4" black acrylic.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/trunk panel 22.jpg

americannight
12-15-2012, 03:53 AM
Tonight I put a couple hours into the system, getting ready for the subs build coming up. I removed the rear deck speakers and deadened the top side of the rear deck. The bottom of the rear deck already got a layer of GTMatt. So now I have a layer of deadener on both sides. The rear deck speakers were surprisingly large in this car, look like 8" woofers with a coaxial mounted tweeter. Not a bad rear deck opening if someone wanted to go for a free air mounted 8" woofer in this vehicle. That would definitely be a more straight forward build than what I am doing here. For me, I have removed the rear deck speakers and will leave the holes open for the bass to pass through. I'm getting accustomed to these fronts now and can't wait to have the subs in action. Over the weekend I hope to have a rough cubic footage measurement of the airspace I have to dedicate to the subs and then will email Frankie at ID to get some specifics on how large to make the port. I'm shooting for a 35Hz tuning. We'll see how that works out with the amount of air space I have to sacrifice. I'm estimating somewhere between 1.5cu ft. and 2.0 cu ft. per IDQv3 12 driver. Deuce bridged mono into 4 ohms should really put out a nice amount of power for the bass. At least according to Steve Mantz, the Deuce does better on the bench into 4 ohms than the original hifonics zeuss. Can't wait to experience this bass.

Here's before the GTMatt applied to the rear deck.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system9.jpg



Here's after. I applied more of the mat towards the middle, most flexible, parts of the rear deck. I have a feeling I may need to add more deadening to the rear deck platform which sits over this metal. It will likely resonate quite a bit with what I am putting into this car.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system8.jpg

americannight
12-15-2012, 04:16 AM
I'm posting some of my early drawings for this system design. Things haven't changed too much except for how I'm thinking about this center channel. Right now I have the center wired as shown in the diagram with the center channel amp taking a feed from the outputs on the front Zed Deuce amp. I have decided to completely ditch the rear speakers so I think that taking the rear outputs from the deck and feeding them into the center channel amp will be a better way to go. That will give me the flexability of the electonic crossover on the deck to adjust those outs and also will allow me to adjust the amount of center in the mix from the deck rather than going into the trunk and adjusting the gain on that amp which has proven difficult to dial in because I can't hear it in the trunk. Using the rear outs dedicated to the center should prove easier to get it adjusted in the mix.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a144/natechristian/S60/system.jpg?t=1282545119

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a144/natechristian/S60/TheDeuce_AmpRack_All.jpg?t=1282545539

americannight
12-20-2012, 12:50 AM
Finally got to work on the subwoofer enclosure. The holidays are a busy time to fit this in but made some time tonight. First picture here is of the enclosure on the workbench with the front facing towards the camera. The front will have a part MDF, part fiberglass baffle so it will fit against the amp enclosures on the side walls and create a wraparound sort of look in the trunk. The back is angled to go against the rear seat and will get an MDF back. Second picture is when I test fitted it in the vehicle. I'm estimating this will come in at about 1.8 cu ft per driver.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system12.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system13.jpg

audiobaun
12-20-2012, 01:33 AM
Finally got to work on the subwoofer enclosure. The holidays are a busy time to fit this in but made some time tonight. First picture here is of the enclosure on the workbench with the front facing towards the camera. The front will have a part MDF, part fiberglass baffle so it will fit against the amp enclosures on the side walls and create a wraparound sort of look in the trunk. The back is angled to go against the rear seat and will get an MDF back. Second picture is when I test fitted it in the vehicle. I'm estimating this will come in at about 1.8 cu ft per driver.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system12.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system13.jpg

Wow !! man, that looks awesome,,Very nice work indeed...You do nice detailed work

americannight
12-21-2012, 07:59 PM
Hey folks, a question about ports. I'm going with 4" round for this box. It will be easier to integrate into the front than a slot port here. I'm looking at some of the flared port options on Parts Express, such as these precision ports. Do you have any recommendations?

Here's a few I'm looking at.

I like this option because the flares are only $4 each. Could I fix these onto 4" ABS that I get at the hardware store with some ABS or PVC glue? Reason I ask is it looks like the extension they sell for these is 12" and my port will need to be a few inches longer than that. Also, I'm a cheap bastard so I like the $4 price.

Precision Port PSP-4IF 4" Inside Flare for Port Tube 268-377 (http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=268-377)

http://d2oiekhouywd6z.cloudfront.net/images/products/anchor/268-377_a.jpg

Now, this kit comes with an 18" extension so it seems ideal. However, what's up with this dimpling of the flare? I know it states in the description that it is supposedly better because it "reduces air velocity". Obviously the dimples add drag. So my question is, how would you model that? Or should I just not worry about the dimples affecting the tuning of the port? They're a bit on the pricey side but they do look pretty nice, asthetically.

Let me know if you guys have any thoughs or recommendations around ports.

Precision Port Dimpled 4" Flared Port Tube Kit 268-353 (http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=268-353)

http://d2oiekhouywd6z.cloudfront.net/images/products/anchor/268-353_a.jpg

americannight
12-22-2012, 12:59 AM
Made a little progress tonight by cutting the pieces of MDF which will make the front baffles on the enclosure. I am using two pieces of 3/4" MDF sandwiched together to make a 1.5" baffle. I applied a layer of wood glue in between the pieces and clamped 'em down. I also used a heavy jug of water on top for good measure. A layer of aluminum foil is between the two baffle pieces to prevent them from sticking together as glue runs down the sides.

One thing I did also was start drawing out placement of the woofer and the port on these baffles. With a 6" diameter area necessary for these 4" flared ports, I am concerned I may not have enough space on the front baffle for them. I may need to go to a 3" port although that may run the risk of some port noise. With the ports firing back, though, it may be OK. I'm also toying with either top placement of the round ports or working in a slot port into the back of this enclosure. Heck, even a 1.8 cu ft sealed enclosure models really well with these drivers so that's an option and may provide better SQ. I have some thinking to do on this. Any suggestions are welcome.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system15.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system14.jpg

americannight
12-23-2012, 09:34 PM
Made a decision to go with the 3" Precision Ports. Placed an order on parts express for those and also a terminal cup that looked pretty good. One of the things that can be a challenge is that I don't have a lot of fancy tools at my disposal. A neighbor lets me borrow his table saw whenever I need it which is a huge help. I had planned to use my plunge router with a rabbeting bit to recess the woofer into this baffle piece. But with these woofers I would need a 3/4" rabbeting bit which is only available with a 1/2" shank. My router only accepts 1/4" shanks. So rather than invest in a new router and bit, or rent one. I got creative here and cut a piece of 1/2" MDF and glued it to the two 3/4" pieces. So this now makes a 2" baffle which is kind of overkill. But I used the 1/2" MDF piece to cut the woofer hole so the speaker will sit flush. Here's a couple photos. First is a test fit of the woofer. It should sit nice and flush now once I wrap this with fiberglass, including the thickness for that. The second photo is the 1/2" MDF piece glued and clamped. Tomorrow when it's dry, I'll cut around the line draw on it which will make "snowman" or "figure 8" shape which should look neat with the fleece wrapped around it and glassed in. Having done the fiberglass once now, with the trunk panels, it's getting easier to imagine the possibilities, what shapes are possible, and how it will come together.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system16.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system17.jpg

Trevor28139
12-28-2012, 12:51 AM
Very clean work man, makes me want to rip my truck apart and give a little more attention to detail...it really makes a big difference

UnderFire
12-28-2012, 01:09 AM
Shaping up to be one of the cleanest trunks on CA.com, I love it!

husker77
12-28-2012, 05:20 AM
Can't wait to see the finished product!

americannight
01-04-2013, 02:15 AM
Still working on the enclosure. It turned out the rings that I was cutting in the above pictures didn't turn out the way I wanted. A large part of this was the crappy jig saw I have been using since 1990. The motor was literally starting to smoke on this job and it didn't have the muscle. After looking at how poorly the ring cutouts turned out, I bit the bullet and finally retired that old thing. Picked up a new Ryobi model at the Home Despot. I really dig this saw. It's twice as powerful as my old one and has a nice bearing guide on it with an LED which illuminates where you are cutting. Also picked up a few blades for it including a long progressive cut blade which did the trick nicely to turn out these rings. So, long story short, those first two rings went in the trash and I started over. Again, cut the 3/4" MDF and glued them together. Then I cut a trim ring out of 1/2" MDF to make a 2" thick baffle. These two turned out much better and most of that is thanks to the new saw which cut through the 2" thick MDF like butter.

I'd be interested in what you guys think for the ports. I have a couple options. As you can see in this picture, in the upper corners of the box, I have barely enough room to fit 3" ports there. It will be tight but I can do it. I do not have room for flared ports there. 3" is all I have. I could put the 3" ports there and wrap the fleece around so they will sit flush with the curvature of the front of the box. Might look cool. But they're not flared ports. If I go that route then I'll also need to make some trim rings for them out of the black acrylic to cover the rough edge of the vinyl around the ports. The acrylic shop was kind enough to give me the cutouts which came out of the center of my amp frames. So I have some scrap material that I could make port trim rings out of using a circle jig with a plunge router. Interesting idea... Might look kind of cool and tie in with the trim on the amps. However, the downside is they are not flare ports. Should I care?

The alternative would be to mount the precision ports that I got on the top of the box. Ports firing up? Would they sound as good as the front firing ports? They'd be aiming right up at my rear deck which is perforated in several areas. Might sound good but might sound crappy because any port noise will be more audible AND I would be missing out on any db gains which I would get by firing the ports back. But...the plus side to this option is I can use those nice Precision ports and it will be super easy to mount them. What do you guys think will sound better? Flared Precision Ports up vs. non-flared ports firing back? Keep in mind, even with the ports firing back, I can still flare the inside but I just don't have room on the front of this thing for the outside flare. They take over 5" of diameter as it turns out and I don't have that real estate on the front.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system18.jpg

Mitch86
01-04-2013, 03:56 AM
Very nice, detailed build! The amp racks look great! I'm anxious to see the sub enclosure now.. I'm no expert, but I'm going to say you need a larger port than the 3". You may be better off sticking with a sealed enclosure if you can't get the layout to allow for larger ports. pro-rabbit ; may be able to chime in with suggestions on the ports.

pro-rabbit
01-04-2013, 08:37 AM
Any cliff notes? Lots of text and its to early for that lol

americannight
01-04-2013, 12:07 PM
Any cliff notes? Lots of text and its to early for that lol

Hey, thanks for taking a look here. So I'm trying to decide what would be better, to use regular, non-flared 3" ports on the front of this box firing back towards the trunk with the woofers or to use 3" precision ports on the top of the box firing up. I just don't have the room on the front of the box for the precision ports that I hoped. I'm stuck with 3" ports because 4" will be too long for this box.

DB-Audio
01-04-2013, 10:54 PM
Looks clean as hell man nice job so far

americannight
01-05-2013, 09:14 PM
Very nice, detailed build! The amp racks look great! I'm anxious to see the sub enclosure now.. I'm no expert, but I'm going to say you need a larger port than the 3". You may be better off sticking with a sealed enclosure if you can't get the layout to allow for larger ports. pro-rabbit ; may be able to chime in with suggestions on the ports.

I'm wondering if the sealed might just be the way to go. If I build it sealed, I can always easily add the precision ports on either the top, sides, or back. I'm looking at this front baffle area, got some 3" PVC at the hardware store and even that port would barely fit. If I put it there, glass it in, and hate the sound then I'm pretty much stuck with it. I could seal these puppies up good, put some fiber fill in there, and give it a go. Kind of leaning towards that today...

americannight
01-07-2013, 12:52 AM
Did some work on the subwoofer enclosure this weekend but not much to write home about. I've decided to let my ears be the judge. I'm going to seal one chamber and port the other, fire 'em up see which I prefer. Then once I decide if sealed or ported sounds better in this car, I will vinyl it up and be done with it. I think with this kind of install with so many variables, it's best to let my ear be the judge. Conventional wisdom is that ported will pound better but ya never know....

Trevor28139
01-07-2013, 07:33 PM
Awesome build! regarding the port, i always use the 15-20 sq in port per cu ft.

americannight
01-08-2013, 01:15 AM
Slow going working on the front edges (sides) of the subwoofer enclosure where it buts up against the two sidewall amp rack panels. I want the enclosure to follow the curvature of those panels so it has a nice custom fit look from the front. I'm trying some modeling clay tonight to see if I can get it to harden in the shape of that curvature so I can then trace it onto a piece of MDF. At this point that gap doesn't need to be perfect but I do want to mirror that curvature as best as possible and then can work out the details later with some body filler. We'll see how it goes. I **** with clay...

americannight
01-10-2013, 01:04 AM
For anyone wondering, the clay was a bust, lol. But at least it did give me a general idea for the shape. What I ended up doing was drawing the shape onto MDF as close as I could. I don't want the enclosure to be too fitting to the sides at this stage. Once the fiberglass resin gets applied to the fleece it will have a tendency to swell and expand. Then with the added thickness of the vinyl, I know I'll need a bit of gap there. Once I have the front of this thing glassed in then I plan to do some detail work around the sides with body filler to close that gap with just enough room for the vinyl. With any luck, it will fit right in. Here's a couple pics of where I'm at. Glue is drying on the fleece. Once dry, I'll trim off the extra and use staples where needed. Hopefully I will have time to apply the resin tomorrow. The big accomplishment for today was just getting the sides of the enclosure they way I want and, most importantly, test fitting it in the trunk to make sure I can get it in there without issues. There are some limitations to how high and wide this enclosure can be due to the trunk opening size.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system19.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system20.jpg

husker77
01-10-2013, 05:41 AM
That is gonna look nice when done. Very clean!

americannight
01-11-2013, 12:41 AM
That is gonna look nice when done. Very clean!

Thanks man! It's nearly freezing tonight in Seattle and we're prepared for snow. But that didn't stop progress on the enclosure. No sir! Check it out. I put two heat lamps in the box, one in each chamber and then set the back piece on there. This created an oven of sorts. Applied the resin to the fleece and the oven worked like a champ. Me and my son used a couple heat guns to work around the sides of the fleece from the outside as well. All said, took about 1.5 hours to dry. Some good tunes were heard during the drying process. Now it's all cured. I used a little extra hardener due to the cold climate. So glad we pulled this off. Next steps will be a layer of chop mat and body filler on the outside and then will use a few layers of mat on the inside.

What do you guys recommend. How many layers and what thickness of mat should I be using on the inside to strengthen this thing?

Here's the current state of the enclosure:

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system21.jpg

Shinju
01-11-2013, 02:19 PM
I'm wondering if the sealed might just be the way to go. If I build it sealed, I can always easily add the precision ports on either the top, sides, or back. I'm looking at this front baffle area, got some 3" PVC at the hardware store and even that port would barely fit. If I put it there, glass it in, and hate the sound then I'm pretty much stuck with it. I could seal these puppies up good, put some fiber fill in there, and give it a go. Kind of leaning towards that today...

The IDQ really excell in sealed enclosures. If you are going for SQ I would stick with a sealed enlosure as the ports will make your subass sound boomy and you will able to localize subbass and it will pull your front stage back.

If you are going for a clean sounding daily car and do not car about staging ect, then sure drop them in a ported enclosure. Good work so far I would like to see this in person!

americannight
01-13-2013, 06:05 PM
Seahawks lose...only one thing left to do with the afternoon...FIBERGLASS!

americannight
01-22-2013, 12:24 AM
Enclosure is coming along. I did some body filler work to an area on the front where the fleece wrinkled when I applied the resin. Now it has a nice shape to that area. Soon I'll apply a layer to the front and a few more to the inside. Then it should be close to a point where I can test it out and see how it sounds.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system22.jpg

americannight
02-10-2013, 12:32 AM
Glass...and more glass...tonight I basically wrapped the enclosure in fleece and fiberglassed the whole thing one more time. On the front baffle, I used some double thick woven mat for strength. This gave the whole enclosure a more rounded and less boxy look. I also used my router around the speaker holes to cut away the excess fiberglass so the holes are cut out. I have a little sanding to do around the speaker holes but not too much. I have some more chop mat and body filler to put on the hole thing and then it will finally start looking more smooth. I still plan to give it a test run as both a ported and sealed enclosure to see which sounds best. Can't wait to fire up THE BOOM!

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system30.jpg

audiobaun
02-10-2013, 01:45 AM
You have done some Beautiful work man..I think its going to sound, and look very nice when all done.A man taking Pride in his work deff pays off! this has been one of my favorite builds to watch.Very detailed, and full of information,and fantastic Pics!Excellent man..Very Nice Indeed!!

UnderFire
02-10-2013, 01:52 AM
CA.com needs more build logs like this, great work on the build and the log.

americannight
02-10-2013, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the props. To elaborate on one thing I did here. If you look at the earlier pictures a couple posts above you'll see that I was a little sloppy with the resin around the speaker holes. There was some overhang of the fiberglassed fleece around the holes. I used a router to cut that off so the fiberglassed edge was flush with the speaker hole. There is a bit I had laying around from routing the edge of kitchen countertop flush with the edge of the counter. That bit works well here also.

americannight
02-11-2013, 12:54 AM
Tonight I used some 60 grit sandpaper on an electric rotary sander to knock off the extra fiberglass mat from around the edges and also round the edges the way I wanted them. I also had time to apply body filler to about 2/3 of the front of the enclosure to fill in all the gaps and then sand it to shape with 60 grit paper. I've found that just using the sandpaper by hand without any sort of sanding block works well for this. I wear gloves while doing this to protect my hand. As the body filler enters the "green stage" I have been using a pencil to poke at it. When it has a rubbery sort of consistency, that's when I start to sand. I tear my sand paper into 1/4 sheets and pretty much count on the first sheet getting ruined. With the body filler still rubbery, it clogs the sandpaper almost right away but this is still an important step to get the shape the way I want from a 100 foot level and then once the filler gets a bit harder I grab a fresh 1/4 sheet and start doing what feels like real sanding. I'm happy with the result here. I was a bit worried because with this thicker fiber glass mat, it's basically double thick mat with a layer of chop mat on the bottom of the sheet and a layer of woven mat on the top, it didn't set as evenly as just the chop mat. There were definitely some hills and valleys. However the body filler made things nice and even. Based on my experience with this sort of mat, I see it's good for strength but if I'm just trying to make the surface smooth, it's better just to use the chop. I'm going to use just chop mat on the top of the enclosure and the sides where I am not needing to add strength, just smoothness. I will probably also add one more layer of the combo woven/chop mat on the inside. I have some work to do there to seal off the two chambers. In the front of the box, there are gaps where the rings protrude farther out than the enclosure. I need to seal off the middle. Here's how it's lookin':

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system23.jpg

americannight
02-12-2013, 01:04 AM
Body filler and rough sanding of the enclosure front is DONE! Next steps will be fiberglass chop mat on the top and sides, filling in small holes here and there with the body filler, and a final sanding with 120 grit. Once that's done, it will be time to give it a listen, experiment with the ports, different amounts of fiber fill, etc. It looks like an Alien right now, lol.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/S60system24.jpg

americannight
02-15-2013, 11:22 PM
Tonight I used body filler to fill in some gaps on the top and side and then laid the chop mat over it. In a pinch, because my usual supplier was closed, I used the Bondo brand resin. Let me tell you guys something you probably already know. The bondo stuff is OK in a pinch but it definitely is not as easy to work with as the good stuff. It was a lot stickier than my usual brand (TAP plastics) and so it kept pulling up the chop mat when I dabbled it. I'm happy with the final result but it was not as effortless as the other product. I definitely have a bit more sanding and filling to do now than I would have had with my usual resin. But it did get the job done. Here's a shot of it drying under the heat lamp. I am glad to be done with this stage of the enclosure. This should be the final fiberglass work that I need to do on it. The next steps will be some body filler to smooth out the top and sides and then installing the ports and sanding a bit around the speaker holes to get the woofer to fit the way I want. Then I will be able to do the final fitment in the vehicle and the vinyl covering.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system25.jpg

americannight
02-18-2013, 01:11 AM
It may not look like it but I put a full day into the enclosure. This was spent filling in pits with body filler, sanding, more body filler, and sanding some more, finally with an extra fine sanding sponge. I also filled in the gap between the two chambers with great stuff foam. The gap was caused because the fleece around the speaker rings did not touch the center divider. I could use some advice here, having never used great stuff on a speaker enclosure before. My original idea was to use the great stuff to fill the gap and then paint over it with resin. Do you guys think the resin is necessary or is the great stuff by itself pretty air tight? The can says the stuff is air tight. Heck, it seems to have filled the gap really well. As you can see in this picture, I went a bit overboard. But if you guys think it's worth the extra effort, I'll paint it with resin to add more barrier.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system27.jpg

I also have done a test fit with the woofers. This was to make extra sure they fit right before getting to the finishing stage. Once the back is on this enclosure it will be harder to make adjustments later. I also wanted to make sure the bolts threaded straight on to the T-nuts. This was a concern. With the baffle being 2" thick and I do not have a drill press. I had to do my best to make the holes perpendicular with the wood with just a hand drill. I burned about 2 hours today driving around to different hardware stores looking for 10-32 3" bolts. I thought 2" would do it but those would not make it all the way to the T nut threads by the time the thickness of the speaker gasket was factored in. 3" bolts with the fine thread were very hard to find but finally did locate them at Home Depot of all places. Struck out at Ace, Lowes, Fred Meyer, and finally hit pay dirt at Home Depot. Only two of the T nuts seemed a bit out of place but once I whacked on them with a hammer a couple times, I got them to marry with the bolt. Once all the bolts were lined up with the T nuts, I tightened them by hand to give the T nut a final sink into the wood so the bolts should go right on during the final assembly.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system28.jpg

Lastly, I drew the cut holes for the precision ports. It's pretty neat they make these so the diameter of the inside flare serves as a template for the hole you need to cut for the outside flare. That makes it pretty idiot-proof. Once the holes are cut, I'm going to route around them about 1/8" deep so the outside flare will be countersunk and flush with the top of the enclosure. With the added thickness that the fiberglass added to the top of the box, it is now a very tight fit getting it into the trunk. Countersinking the port flange will ensure that it still fits through the trunk opening.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system26.jpg

americannight
02-19-2013, 02:10 AM
One step closer to THE BOOM.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system29.jpg

americannight
02-22-2013, 02:32 AM
Tonight I painted the expandable foam with fiberglass resin to create more of an air tight barrier and then used liquid nails around all of the inside corners of the box. I also had time to staple fiberfill to the inside walls of the enclosure. I got a good deal on a package of polyester "snow" at the craft shop after the holidays. Looks like it's going to be a very bass Christmas this year after all.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system31.jpg

T.I.K.
02-22-2013, 02:45 AM
This looks awesome. Why the polyfill? are you low on airspace, or do you just like the effect it has on sound?

americannight
02-22-2013, 02:50 AM
Airspace is a little low. Plan is to give it a listen and tweak as needed.

americannight
02-22-2013, 05:13 PM
Picked up an Interstate Megatron battery today. The stock battery triggers a low voltage warning after 15 minutes of listening and that's just with the one amp driving my fronts right now. Interstate has a warehouse store in Lynnwood/Everett area so made a treck up there to pick it up. I'll plan to install that during the final assembly of the system and will include some pics of the wiring then.

americannight
02-24-2013, 01:47 AM
It was a long day today with the sub enclosure. Installed the terminal cup, wiring, and the ports. I've routed around the port flange so they should sit close to flush once the vinyl is on. This is definitely the experimentation phase of the sub enclosure build. I had time to listen to the woofers tonight hooked up to my garage stereo, ran a long wire to the box and tossed it into the trunk. Obviously under powered at this point but to my ears I think I will have a more musical sound with more fiberfill. Lots of bass, even with the low powered garage stereo pushing the woofers, but it seems really peaky around the tuned frequency of 32Hz and kind of muddy to my ears. There is about .5 lb of fiberfill in each chamber now. I think another pound might give me the sound I want. Trip to Jo-Anne is in the cards for tomorrow. If the fiberfill doesn't do it then I'll seal it all up and call it good. The sealed sound is not as peaky, tested this by stuffing the ports with fiberfill to simulate a sealed enclosure. Here's the box before the woofers got mounted in it:

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system32.jpg

americannight
02-25-2013, 02:00 PM
Yep, the added fiberfill gave me the effect I was looking for. I put about another .50 to .75 lb of fiberfill in each chamber. That's basically completely stuffed. I'm sure I am giving up some SPL by doing this but the sound is a lot less peaky. This week I'm going to finish doing the vinyl on the second amp rack panel and then Saturday will be the big day to install all of this in the trunk. The sub enclosure will be the very last thing I will vinyl because I do want to hear how it sounds in the vehicle with the Zed amp on it. I'll play around with stuffing the ports to simulate a sealed box. If sealed sounds better then I will probably end up removing the ports and sealing it before doing the vinyl on the sub box. At this point I'm liking the ported, though. I believe there is about 1.55 cubic feet per chamber before stuffing. I tuned the box to 32Hz with the precision ports. I estimate by stuffing the box full of fiberfill it is effectively about 1.80 cubic feet per chamber so the effective tuning is now lower than the original 32Hz which is fine by me since that seems to provide better sound quality. But gloves are off once this is in the vehicle and I get cabin gain effects, etc. We'll see how that all pans out. The ported/sealed debate is not settled yet in my opinion.

CurtisC
02-26-2013, 03:05 PM
Nice Work! It's really cool looking!

americannight
03-04-2013, 01:04 AM
It was blood, sweat, and tears this weekend folks. Word to the wise, never strip wire with a straight razor! Bad idea. My build was suddenly put on hold Saturday afternoon when my hand slipped and the razor cut right across the tip of my index finger before continuing on to slice the top of my middle and ring fingers as well. After a trip to the ER, painful shots in the tip of my index finger and 8 stitches, I had to continue the build today with the use of only one hand. Typing's a biyatch tonight so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system33.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system36.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system35.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system34.jpg

americannight
03-09-2013, 03:32 AM
Tonight was a monumental evening! I started out by completing the wiring on the subwoofer amp. It was half done from last Sunday night. All I needed to do tonight to complete the wiring was to hook up the turn on lead, power, and ground to the amp. Those wires were already run, just sitting behind the amp ready to be hooked up. I'm a bit disappointed with this 60 amp breaker I have on the bass amp. It's an "absolute" brand in-line breaker. What I don't like about it is that I had to strip the end of my 4 gauge wire down to about 8 gauge in order to fit in into the breaker. This thing was advertised online that it would accept either 4 or 8 gauge wire. If anyone has suggestions on good breakers to get, let me know. I want to use something better.

After completing the sub amp wiring, I ran the speaker wire to the sub enclosure still sitting on my bench to give it a listen. It was like night and day hearing this enclosure through the proper amp. The bass hits hard and low, just like I wanted it. The debate is settled. Ported enclosure it is. After hearing the box, I couldn't wait to get it in the trunk. But first I really needed to sand down around some of the edges. I got some 60 grit stuff at Fred Meyer and went at it. This box is a really tight fit but it does go in. It also fits nicely around the edges of the amp rack panels as I had hoped. Once it has vinyl on it, it should look pretty trick. Really happy with the way this bass sounds. It got late so I only had a bit of time to play with the gains and bass boost on the amp. Right now I'm not using any bass boost at all. I have the bass set flat on the head unit and the subwoofer level set to 0 on the head unit. The gain is set to around 1 or 2 O'Clock on the amp. I used my ear and set it really conservative at this point.

One cool thing with the Kenwood x994 head unit is that you can save a few favorite setups. So I can have a setting for SQ, boomin', rock, etc. Crossover points and slope are also adjustable. I have the fronts at 60Hz high pass with a 12db slope and the sub at 80Hz with a 24db slope. Again, this is all a really quick setting which I'll be tweaking over the next few days.

I'll post a video of this system in a few days, too. There are a number of items to complete first. I want to clean up my wiring a bit behind the sub amp, fashion some fasteners to hold the panels and sub box in place, and vinyl the sub box so it blends in with the panels.

Sound wise, though, I'm really impressed with this Zed Deuce/Image Dynamics sub combo. It feels like I am barely pushing these right now and the bass is really low, clean, and hits hard. It will be fun to see what kind of numbers I get out of this thing when I pull out all the stops. More to come!

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system37.jpg

DB-Audio
03-09-2013, 06:09 AM
looks clean as hell man nice job

husker77
03-09-2013, 07:45 AM
Man I missed the accident that *****. Your trunk is clean! Stinger makes circuit breakers that accept ring terminals, I found a 50 amp.

WoofersEtc.com - SGP9050 - Stinger 50 Amp Circuit Breaker (http://www.woofersetc.com/p-6322-sgp9050-stinger-50-amp-circuit-breaker.aspx)

americannight
03-09-2013, 08:47 PM
So I figure out today that Absolute breaker is defective. A couple times the amp just shut down (no protect light, just powered off) and then by tapping the breaker it came back on. The wire is tight on both ends so something internal to the breaker is bad. I replaced it with a stinger AGC inline fuse block. So far haven't blown the fuse. So this will probably work until I get a better breaker.

What are people doing these days to fasten down their sub boxes to the vehicle? My current thought is to bolt it from behind. With the seats down I could use some back-strap or metal plates to screw it on to the vehicle metal. Any other good solutions out there?

americannight
03-10-2013, 08:46 PM
Started applying the vinyl to the box today. I completely messed up the first piece of vinyl. Cut off a second piece, glad I bought extra. ****, this shape is difficult to work with! It was a tug of war and a battle of man (and woman) versus box. I can't thank my awesome wife enough for stepping in and helping me with this. She brought a sense of composure and patience that were much needed to this job. With her help, we got the front and top done. Once it dries, we'll tackle the sides. But these are the most important, visible surfaces. So at least I have the peace of mind knowing all will look OK. There are a few small creases/bubbles on the top but that was unavoidable with this shape. I think it looks about as nice as possible with one piece of vinyl. I guess another way to go would be to use a separate sheet for the top and stitch it but I'm really not much of a seamstress. Here's how it finished up:

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system38.jpg

americannight
03-10-2013, 08:47 PM
sorry, duplicate post

americannight
03-12-2013, 12:59 AM
All I can add here today is that this kind of vinyl job takes patience. I would really enjoy seeing someone who does this for a living apply the vinyl to a box like this to see what kind of tricks they have up their sleeve. So yesterday me and my wife got the vinyl stretched over the front and top. Tonight, me and my son tackled wrapping the vinyl around the sides, especially paying attention to the areas that will be visible when looking into the trunk. I think we did a good job here but it took a lot of patience and about 2 hours just to do the sides and the top port cut-outs. Important to note are the weights and bowls that we used to press down on the ports to hold the vinyl into place. Without the weights, we were getting some creases around the edge of the port holes. We needed the weights to push it down and hold everything tight. It should be set once the glue dries. I'm hoping tomorrow is the night to get all of this done and in the trunk. We shall see. I need to mount the woofers, cut a rectangle of vinyl and apply it to the back, and also make some minor adjustments in the trunk. Everything needs to get fastened down and I have a couple of levers in the trunk that pop the back seats which need to get mounted somewhere with wire ties at this point so they are accessible (should I need to pop the seats to get behind and unbolt the box at some point, such as to change a tail light bulb). We are close! Can't wait to have everything in finally to enjoy the system. Having the box in last Friday/Saturday really wet my appetite to have a full on system in the car again.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system39.jpg

tlaai12
03-12-2013, 06:27 AM
up cho các b?n nè, bán du?c nhi?u h*ng nhé

americannight
03-13-2013, 02:19 AM
It always surprises me how long small tasks take with this build. Tonight, got the woofer holes cut, ports mounted, cut away extra vinyl from around the sides and tacked the vinyl down around the back, glued a big square of vinyl onto the back of the box just for the heck of it (the back of the box won't be visible. This took about 3 hours. Here's a picture. If you look closely you can see the woofers aren't actually mounted in all the way. I screwed them down far enough to press the vinyl down. In the morning, I'll take the woofers out and trim the vinyl just below where it will be visible around the woofers. The woofers fit very tight in the holes so there is not any room for excess vinyl around the edges. So I'm going to trim the vinyl around the edge just about 1/8" down.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system40.jpg

americannight
03-14-2013, 01:02 AM
For those following the build log, the stitches came out today and the bass went in! I'm not sure which hurt more! What took me the longest today was actually fastening down the enclosure. This surprised me, thinking it would be easy to find somewhere to use some L brackets or back-strap behind the rear seat. But the Volvo has some really interesting folds in the metal which made it challenging to "do right". I ended up taking a metal plate and shaping it with a hammer with my vice. This took some time to figure out and make two of them. Then I used those pieces to screw the enclosure down from behind the rear seats. Here is a set of glow shots from tonight. Tomorrow I'll spend some time tweaking the gains on the amps and dialing in the sound to my ears. There are a few small things left over to do. The LED lights in the trunk need to be aimed to my liking and glue gunned into place so they spotlight the subwoofers. I still need to get a carpet or rug cut to fit in the trunk. I think this will be a nice touch. I'll also be adding some more sound deadening material to the trunk lid. Actually it's not bad considering the pressure in the trunk. I also need to fix the reading light in the rear of the car. I messed it up putting the LEDs in there and so it does not stay on well. I need to fashion something to hold it on better. I also have a broken sunroof that needs my attention now that the system is done. I'll probably deaden the roof of the car while I do that job. Lots of little things to do now but all the heavy lifting is done! Can't believe I am nearing the end on this build. It has been a long steady march and I've learned a lot in the process. I would definitely do a few things differently, knowing now what I didn't know then about this kind of fabrication. But overall I couldn't be more happy with how this turned out. Time for a beer.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system41.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system42.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system43.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system44.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system45.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system46.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system47.jpg

husker77
03-14-2013, 03:33 PM
Looks really good.

americannight
03-14-2013, 08:43 PM
Thanks dude! Most importantly, I'm really happy with the way this all sounds. I listen to ALL types of music and I'm enjoying everything from rap to jazz on this system. Can't wait to see how it evolves over the next few days as I tweak the EQ and gains more, etc.

What do you guys think about where to set the subwoofer level on the Kenwood X994 deck? I've always been from the school of thought that you leave all bass level flat and then adjust your sub gain accordingly. HOWEVER, this is a subwoofer level control, not a bass control. So my understanding is that it simply controls the voltage of the subwoofer line out. That being the case, it would seem best to me to max that out (+17 on the Kenwood deck) so the Zed Deuce gets the hottest signal possible. This will result in the cleanest sound from the amp according to the Zed manual (a higher input voltage signal is preferred).

Thoughts?

americannight
03-16-2013, 11:01 PM
I spent about an hour today, on and off, playing with the gains, cross-over points, etc. Funny that most of my initial settings proved to be the best sounding. Of course it depends on the kind of music. To report back on the subwoofer level setting, I tried the approach mentioned above whereby I maxed out the Kenwood subwoofer level to +15 and you know what? It sounded bad. I'm not sure what all goes on with the Kenwood when you crank that level but there seems to be diminishing returns. I've found that a level of about +7 on the subwoofer is about the most I would ever want to do. This could have to do with match between the input gain on the amp and the voltage level. i.e. the Zed deuce has a max input level of 8v. Perhaps at +15 the deck is exceeding that, resulting in poor sound. I have my gain set to about 1:00 on the Zed and the bass tilt control to about 10:00 (I like the sound of the 44Hz bump that this provides). With the subwoofer level set to 0 on the deck, this is great for pop, jazz, rock. If I want to slam it and throw down the bass, then I kick the subwoofer output to +5 or +7 at the most and that gives a nice bump. I've never used a volt meter to set my gains before but I am curious to see what the voltage actually measures out to so I can validate my theories here. I've emailed Stephen Mantz regarding fuse value. I blew a 60A fuse last night listening to DJ Magic Mike as a bass test. The manual is not clear in regards to the proper fuse value when using the amp bridged mono into a 4Ohm load. It's either 60A or 80A. Will report back on that for any other Zed Deuce users out there.

Tomorrow I'm going to detail the car with my Dad and take some glamour shots. Will post those here. Hope all are having a LOUD weekend! Peace, Nate

americannight
03-18-2013, 04:03 PM
We detailed the Volvo this weekend and took some daylight shots. Here are some of them. Can't believe all of the fiberglass bits, wire pieces, etc. that we vacuumed out of it.

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system50.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system51.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system52.jpg

http://www.theamericannight.com/images/s60system53.jpg

matt_bennett05
03-22-2013, 05:08 PM
Love the work man. Way to go!

americannight
03-27-2013, 01:36 AM
Image Dynamics has this build on the top of their website gallery now. Score one for the little guy and the caraudio.com build log forum!

Photo Gallery (http://www.imagedynamicsusa.net/Car_Speakers_Amplifiers_Gallery_Ontario_CA.html)

A friend of mine showed me his system today with a single IDQv3 15" woofer. Going to do a weekend build to help him with a new enclosure in his Mercedes sedan. Should be fun. Will post a log here to share what we do.

americannight
04-14-2013, 08:23 PM
I'll be taking this car up to the IASCA soundoff at Soundwerks in Marysville, WA next Sunday if anyone else is there from the board please stop by. It would be cool to say hello. I have a small list of things to wrap up this week before the soundoff. Here's my list:

* After a couple of warmer weekends (that is a relative term here in the PNW) I developed a couple bubbles in the vinyl on the front of my sub box. I need to fix that. Got some glue here so will tack those down.
* IASCA test CD arrived. I've been listening to it and already it helped me improve the sound quality of the system. Most importantly, it helped me dial in the level of my center channel and the DTA adjustments on the Kenwood deck. I'll continue to work with this during the week. It helped me find a really odd problem. One channel into my center channel amp was disconnected! So I was only getting the right channel into the center. With that amp bridged mono, I didn't notice until I isolated the center and did a panning check. Only the right side worked. Easy fix by plugging in the RCA for the left channel, lol.
* Some very faint noise is noticeable when the volume is down. I am running with the theory it is a ground loop so I am going to experiment with different ground locations for the head unit and see if I can tame the noise.
* Overall tuning of the system for a flat frequency response. There is only so much I can do because I only have a 5 band EQ on the HU. But I'll do my best with an android RTA app or perhaps borrow a real RTA to do the best I can.
* If I get adventurous, I may build some pods for the mids up front to angle them more on-axis behind the factory grills. We'll see what this week has in store. Balancing this stereo stuff with my day-job, etc.

Most importantly, I'm looking forward to seeing all of the other builds that people have done and getting ideas, meeting other car stereo hobbiests etc. Should be fun. Hopefully the weather gets nice.

Will post pics here of my improvements to the system throughout the week.

americannight
04-21-2013, 06:12 PM
Well shoot, I didn't make it up to Marysville today as I planned. Just too much going on this weekend and the weather ***** for a car audio show. Hopefully will be able to hit the next one in the area. I think it would be fun. Did anyone else head up there today?

audiobaun
04-21-2013, 06:20 PM
Man, that is some nice work done on that install.Beautiful.Very Nice

americannight
04-21-2013, 06:34 PM
Man, that is some nice work done on that install.Beautiful.Very Nice

Thanks dude, I'm continuing to make some improvements also. Sorry not many pictures on this build log as of late. I'll be doing some door pods to go under the factory grills in the front doors. What really sapped a lot of time this week was fixing the vinyl on the front of my box. This was my first time doing vinyl and I must have not used enough glue. A couple weeks ago some bubbles started to appear on the front of the box. What I ended up doing was removing one of the woofers and using a heat gun just a little bit to soften the glue and then I pulled the vinyl up so that I could get to those bubbled areas and I was able to reach them with rubber cement and paint brush. I also shot some spray glue in there for good measure. It was touch and go but I did finally get those areas to stick down and stay there. Lastly I used the technique of putting weights on top of sponges to hold it down over night. Hopefully that's the last of the bubbles. It was fortunate they appeared in areas that I could get to but it was really a pain.

audiobaun
04-21-2013, 07:00 PM
It looks BA to me..i wouldnt be ashamed to show it off!!