Worked on the vinyl around the amp rack tonight. Yard sticks make great clamps for the corners...
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.
...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.
Last edited by americannight; 11-25-2012 at 07:48 PM. Reason: more info...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
killer job so far
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.
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.
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.
has any1 ever told you, you look like steve nash???
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.
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.