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    maylar's Avatar
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    99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    New-to-me 1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. 3 stage factory paint, leather interior, supercharged 3800, all the bells & whistles that were available in it's time.



    Mmmm... leather....




    Big, comfy, powerful, quiet. Roll up the windows and all you can hear is the stereo. Which, unfortunately, sux.

    The factory "premium" sound system consists of AM/FM/Cassette/CD head unit, integrated steering wheel controls, and 9 ... count 'em, 9.. speakers. There are 5.25" components in the front doors (counts as 4 speakers), 3.5" mids in the rear doors, and a pair of 6X9 "subwoofers" (uh huh) in the rear deck. All powered by an amp in the trunk.



    Oh yeah, the "9th" speaker.. a 3.5" mono midrange high in the center of the dash near the windshield. This is the dominant speaker in the stock system. It totally destroys stereo separation or any chance of imaging. The factory amp controls frequency distribution and all bass is directed to the rear 6X9's. Front speakers have no detail, no highs, and sound like crap.

    On to the upgrade...



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's




  2. #2
    dot8905's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    I had a 2000 and lived it plenty of trunk space doors are easy to take apart but Getting the radio to sit flush in the dash was an absolute nightmare. Good luck with your build




  3. #3
    maylar's Avatar
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    Upgrade stage 1

    I should note that my intentions are purely for SQ. I don't need uber loud and I don't like boom. I want crystal clear music with some bass up front, and subs loud enough to give tonal balance.

    Step 1 was to replace the HU and rear door speakers, while keeping the factory amp. I chose the JVC double DIN because of its front USB, separate sub preouts, and variable display colors. Bought that and Boston 3.5's from Crutchfield. With free shipping and $40 worth of installation goodies it was a good deal.

    The dash opening in my Buick has NO room behind it:



    I had to take a Dremmel to the back side of that cavity (lucky it's plastic) to squeeze wires in there. The JVC adapts to steering wheel controls with an external adapter. It took some hacking to get the plastic brackets right, but ultimately it came out nice:



    Rear door speakers were a piece of cake:



    Next was the front speaker install...



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    maylar's Avatar
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    Upgrade stage 2, front components

    My choice for front stage was Morel Maximo 5.25" components. Mids mounted right into the factory location:



    Tweeters are high in the doors, up near the dash. I had to fabricate mounting brackets and being pressed for time that day I chose to destroy the GM tweeters and steal the mounting flange. Glued them to the Morel tweets (I'm regretting that now) with superglue:



    So how to wire the Morel crossovers into a stock system?
    1) Yank the factory amp.
    2) Get mating connectors for the amp harness. Thankfully, GM used exactly the same connector at the amp as is used for the radio except with more connections. I bought 2 harness adapter cables and was able to combine pins to give me all I needed. Jumpered the rear HU channels to the 3.5's thru bass blockers and hung the Morel's crossovers from the harness.

    This photo was taken of the harness after I had moved the crossovers to my amp rack (that will be later) -



    So how did they sound? Horrible. Next post will explain...



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    I would have just rewired the whole thing & used aftermarket amps. You'll probably end up doing it anyway.



    I use gain as a volume control.

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    Dr. Slam's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendstolemyamp View Post
    I would have just rewired the whole thing & used aftermarket amps. You'll probably end up doing it anyway.
    ^^^this. Get a wire worm from amazon and that will make your job a hell of a lot easier



    Head Unit: Alpine Ixa-W404
    Front Stage: Alpine Type X 5.25 Component Speakers
    Front Stage Amp: JL 300v2.2
    Rear Stage: 4 Infinity Kappa Perfect 6x9s
    Rear Stage Amp: Stetsom 600.4
    Subs: 2 Sundown Nightshade V.2 15s Spl Coil Upgrades
    Enclosure: Building 6^3 ft Tuned to 32 hz
    Sub Amps: 2 Sundown 3000ds
    Batts: kinetik 1400, 2400, Looking for 2 more 2400 equivalents or better
    250a Mechman HO Alt

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    front components redo

    The Morel Maximos in stock locations on HU power were awful. Nasty midrange reflections that hurt my ears even at moderate volume. No midbass. WTF? Sounded worse than stock. Figured I'd get into the doors and do some deadening... here's what I found:



    GM mounted the 5.25 mid to a sealed plastic box! Filled it with fiberfill (oooh, thanks)



    Now what? The Morels are obviously unhappy with this. I needed a long term solution, but for the short term I chopped a big hole in the back of the plastic enclosures and covered them with RAAMat:



    Holes drilled for drainage. Also matted the door skins as much as possible.

    Still sounded like crap, though better than before. At least the Morels aren't screaming at me. Need to deal with the on-axis tweets though, they're just too loud. I kept this configuration for a while and moved on to the amp rack and subs.

    Next - More power...



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    maylar's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendstolemyamp View Post
    I would have just rewired the whole thing & used aftermarket amps. You'll probably end up doing it anyway.
    The log I'm posting here is documenting in detail what I've been through to date. This build started in August and I've worked on it almost every weekend since. I had always intended to run an aftermarket amp (that's comming up next in my log). The factory wiring though was handy, since it all terminates in a connector in the trunk. For the amount of power I'm running it'll be fine.



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

  9. #9
    Joseph7195's Avatar
    Joseph7195 is online now Can't Walk, I still F*ck



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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    Tuned in for updates!



    Quote Originally Posted by adulbrich View Post
    We don't have food stamps on the east side. Its called a link card. Man, the grocery is packed on the first of da month. I shit you not, a homie got stabbed over a can of soup.

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    maylar's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    Subs will be CDT 6X9's in the rear deck. I figured that a Boston Acoustics 70X4 would be adequate for that plus the front stage. First the amp rack:

    I have a spot in the trunk that I can fit a rack into without taking up much space. Bottom will be screwed to the floor, the front panel will drop on hinges for access. 3/4" plywood:



    Painted and carpeted:



    Parts mounted:





    In place in the trunk:



    It buttons up nicely. Notice that I even added the knobs for attaching the trunk net.

    I had to run the power wire under the car. There's no way in hell to get a cable through the factory wiring channels inside. I'm running the front stage through a David Navone LOC which also has a remote output, so the only wire I had to run from the HU was the sub preout RCAs which I was able to hide under the carpet.

    Here's a sight that should be familiar to installers out there...



    The CDT 6X9 subs fit OK under the rear deck, but I had to drill new holes. No idea why all 6X9s aren't the same mouting -



    Like an idiot I neglected to RAAMat the plastic rear deck while I had it out of the car. The damm thing buzzes terribly. I think the 6X9s will go away in favor of a sealed sub box soon, but they suffice for now.

    The status at this point was as of October 2011. Next I'll revisit the front speaker mounting and show the current configuration.



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

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    maylar's Avatar
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    So up to this point I have an amp, subs, and Morel Maximos mounted in modified GM enclosures.

    Inside of my doors looks like this without the speaker boxes:



    Lots of open space. Decisions.. mount a wooden baffle in there and seal the door cavity somehow, or plan B - move the speakers to the outside of the doors?

    Plan B -

    Wooden baffles covered with vinyl -



    But the plastic box will be directly behind the speaker and still have an influence. The top of the boxes are also used for mounting window control electronics. Solution - band saw them in half:



    The upper part is still used. I also threw some money at the install and went for HAT Imagine speakers so I don't have to deal with the Morel's tweeter on-axis. They have better midbass anyway:



    So that's where I am with it today. I still need to deaden the plastic door panels thoroughly, as there's some midrange resonances there. The 6X9's will be replaced with a pair of 8" subs in a sealed box (might need more power for that). The whole thing has cost me over $900 so far and I'm still not satisfied.

    Such is car audio.



    dave
    ----------
    1999 Buick Park Ave Ultra
    Head Unit: JVC KWHDR720
    EQ: Audiocontrol EQL
    Front Stage: Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine 5.25 mids, Morel Maximo tweets
    Sub Stage: Boston G3 10", 0.5 cu ft sealed
    Amp: PPI Phantom 900.4
    Rear Fill: Boston SE953 6X9's

  12. #12
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    Work Looks really nice so far . I had a 2004 loved it! I had no problem getting 1/0 gauge inside the car though.. odd.




  13. #13
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    Re: 99 Buick Park Ave Ultra install log

    amazing how similar that '99 park ave is to my 2001 lesabre. Like this so far.




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