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5thtonbench

New Stereo/Nav, Amp, Speakers, Door Subs

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While admittedly I am more of a lurker than a poster, Id like to contribute some of my recent work. I'd been planning some major upgrades for my car and finally wrapped up one of the big ones: the stereo. My car is a 2000 Boxster S.

I'll start by saying I originally ordered the primo sound system from the factory: I have the cdr220, front, rear and door speakers, DSP 6 channel amp etc. All of it is now removed and completely replaced. It's still in new shape, but I think it did its job well, despite the steep factory options price.

Second, I tend to lean on the extremes of a project, meaning they arent for the average do-it-yourself'er. I have access to a mill, a multitude of hand tools and some decent cad skills. All of them are employed here. Because of the intensive planning and some cutting and crafting precision, I cant deploy (at this time) a huge DIY. My intent is to show what I've done and hopefully jog some of the minds out there for what can be done next! For instance, I put 8" subwoofers into my doors... until I did it, I was told this cant be done. Now it has, and it sounds incredible. More on that later.

My intent was a complete and comprehensive overhaul of the sound system. I looked into what some were doing and tried a combination of various methods, all of which sent me back to the drawing board. I knew I wanted a new amplifier, MBQUART QSCs in the front, the QSC add a woofer speakers in the doors and the only viable option, kappa 3.5's in the rear. Here is what I ended up with, and how it went in:

Battery:

I did this at the beginning of the season (or end depending on how you look at it!). I modified the stock battery tray to accept an Optima Yellow top, knowing I'd appreciate the deep cycle's ability to run and run, as well as the challenge I'd be presenting the alternator later on.

Pioneer Avic D3:

Dollar for dollar this was exactly what I needed. You can fine tune RGB on the display controls (including the buttons) to match your porsche dashboard colors exactly. Forget "close", with patience you can tune in the exact RGB level. I also wanted the complete ipod integration, backup camera and phone integrated, so I picked up those options as well.

I hardwired the unit in place, running independent power to ensure engine noise was eliminated. I used monster's XLN 400 series cross and subwoofer interconnects (3x2) for the best chances of keeping interference out as I ran past a multitude of wiring up to the front of the car. The wiring in place (for the 6 channel amp) is decent and at least twisted pair, however I felt using my own interconnects was the most viable option.

The climate control was relocated to where the DSP unit used to sit, and a custom face plate was crafted out of MDF, with a flush-mount to accomodate a nice look to the receiver. Wrapped and Pulled with vinyl, the texture and overall look came out to my expectations.

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Audison LRX6:

For those who dont know audison, they are a very high end italian amplifier company. Because I took note that my car would be cranked up in a black car's non-ventilated trunk during hot summer days, I wanted something bullet proof. I also wanted something that would sound mind blowing, and offer me options like subsonic and a fair amount of control over the system. I chose to bi-amp the front woofers and tweeters with seperate crossovers, utilize the sub channel and convert the rear to a center channel speaker layout where the sound is filler. This gave me better control of the timing as well, and I was able to "virtually" push those speakers further behind me from a staging perspective.

As an added bonus, the amp fits perfectly on the factory shelf. Although the wattage isnt what you expect (everyone is chasing more more more), if you've ever compared a serious amp to a more consumer model, you'd know what you are getting into. Anyone who doesnt and may be local, I encourage you to look me up and hear it for yourself. It is loud, clear and all business. Interesting enough, its also extremely heavy. It really caught me off guard!

After everything was buttoned up nicely I am pleased with the mounting results.

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MBQuart QSC's:

Simply put, the QSC's are specifically designed for shallow mount european dashes, and thats what I have. However, the methods deployed by others really do not do these speakers justice. So, with the aid of bracketing and plasti-melt, I completely sealed up the baskets so that they could really experience cancellation from front to back. Originally I had them mounted and sealed but not seperated. Once I made this solid, the speaker took on a new life.

Door Subwoofers:

The original plan was to throw a high end speaker, the 6.5" MBQuart QSC add-a-woofer, that would compliment the dash speakers nicely. I have to say, while an improvement, they were dissapointing to me. They did sound fantastic, especially by comparison to the factory door system, however I was willing to go bigger and more extreme and thats exactly what I did. I ended up utilizing a shallow mount sub made by Kicker, the SSMB8. They are surprisingly priced, tough and tight, and come in an 8" size. These are true midrange subs, and while advertised as free air, they still require an "enclosure" of sorts or they will just be constantly bottoming out. Again, the front has to be seperated from the rear as well. Fortunately, subwoofers arent particular about the direction they are facing, as long as they have a solid enclosure. Some of the highest end systems use a reverse mount sub, and with the shallow mount it fits behind the speaker grill perfectly. The door is not particularly serviceable but in a pinch, you could simply cut away the dynamat and re-apply. The sub is mounted with a lexan mount, passover rain-guard, secured by screws and playing into a expansion foam volume (capacity) selected enclosure (the door) with dynamat covering the majority of metal surfaces inside and out to ensure everything is buttoned tightly. There is zero rattling in the door enclosure!

My decision to turn the door into a small enclosure, through the use of lexan, dynamat, expanding foam and some ingenuity turned out to be the crowning achievment in the setup. The end result is not a pair of 12" subwoofers, HOWEVER, it is invisible, deep, low and hard bass. Inside my car, you will constantly be looking for the subwoofer :clapping: Mission accomplished. Needless to say, the doors have an all new, solid feel to them as a biproduct of the enclosure process.

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Hopefully I can make some meets and let some locals have a listen. I love breaking new (or at least unheard of to me) ground and I feel like this combination is a real winner. The cost may be considered high for some, reasonable for others. With the exception of a few components (headunit, rear speakers) I used relatively high end components. However, installation such as proper speaker mounting and sealing goes a long way for any type of component. I can say that I am extremely pleased with the sound system and my new, heavy low end and crisp scorching volumes at speed. The nav is a bonus as well for those beach trips and my man-stuff with asking for directions :lightbulb:

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All I can say is AWESOME! have you got any more pics?

I would love to have the skill and tools to setup and mount a system like that.

Like your self im a car audio fanatic, but never really thought a setup like yours was possible in our cars :)

Thanks for inspiring me :)

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That is very cool !! Congratulations in your awesome work!

The faceplate for your Pioneer unit, where did get this ? It looks very OEM, and VERY GOOD!! If you made it yourself, please just mention your price for another one - I have the savannah interior like you and the only reason I am not getting a Pioneer installation is because I cannot find a faceplate like the one you have!

Where did you put your Pioneer HardDrive ?

What about the unit under the Pioneer, isnt that a CD-Changer - is that now disabled ?

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911-996:

Just let me know what pictures you would like to see and I'll be glad to take them. Unfortunately, I didnt think to take pictures until after I put the dynamat on :censored: but I could pull some away from the basket potentially to show the mount point. The thing about dynamat is its REAL sticky and mushy on the other side!

WilliamsF1:

The faceplate unit has to be made. It's MDF with a beveled edge and a vinyl wrap. I looked through a few pieces of vinyl until I found a texture I liked. Unfortunately Im not in the audio business, but if you can be patient I can get around to making another in June. What I like most is you can wrap it in a large variety of vinyls: black, red, tan, blue... And I think it goes well with both leather and plastic dashes.

The avic D3 is the only unit without a harddrive, so I had a real easy time hiding it :D . I wasnt interested in the features it provided me, especially since I have an ipod that provides all my music for me. The NAV on the drive would have been a nice feature, but I dont mind leaving the dvd in mine either, again because of the ipod. The navigation was also somewhat secondary on my requirements list: I liked the controls gained by a screen for the ipod etc. The video feature might as well not be there for me, as its cool but useless.

Below the unit is my cd tray and (now) climate control. It would have been pretty sweet if that was the changer setup though!

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WOW!

Speechless! Very cool install.

Smart idea about the rear Kappa's combined for balanced soundstage.

Few quick questions if I may:

1- What is, and how did you plan/do, the frequency cut range between the mid's in the dash and subs in the doors? How does that affect Mid Bass? (80hz to 250hz)

2- I see the door panel dynamatted, did you also put dynamat "Inside" parts of the door?

3- Does the 8" driver screw straight into the metal door panel, or did you make some sort of baffle?

4- Where does the Lexan come in?

Thanks, GREAT post and info.

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Thank you everyone for the compliments. I cant wait for another owner to hear it, because I am sure he/she will go a similar route almost immediately :)

1- What is, and how did you plan/do, the frequency cut range between the mid's in the dash and subs in the doors? How does that affect Mid Bass? (80hz to 250hz)

2- I see the door panel dynamatted, did you also put dynamat "Inside" parts of the door?

3- Does the 8" driver screw straight into the metal door panel, or did you make some sort of baffle?

4- Where does the Lexan come in?

Thanks, GREAT post and info.

1.) For the frequencies, I fell back on the two crossovers used for the each of the front mids and tweeters (these are bi-amp'd) and have a direct connection from the amp to the subs. I set some frequencies cut-offs in the headunit, then moved to the crossovers on the amp for fine tuning. I also used a staging device to get the timing right in the car.

As you may know, most crossovers are hp/lp optioned, but for lp this means you cap the highest frequency you will feed to your speaker. Everything else (and this is true even in the mbq crossover that came with the QSC's) passes through to the speaker, from inaudible to 300+hz if you let it. To overcome this you need something with a subsonic feature, or in otherwords the ability to tune out the low-end from 0+ in addition to the low pass filter. Fortunately my amp has subsonic, which is utilized by obtaining the proper resistors and swapping them out in the panel accordingly. This makes a world of difference, as does the second step I took in tuning the speakers by removing the high frequencies from the midrange speakers. Most could give themselves a "new" system simply by taking their existing system and applying proper hp,lp and subsonic as well as really really sealing the speakers up properly.

I was able to pull surprisingly low frequencies out of the subs. They have the ability to sound very deep, but my goal, honestly, was super crisp with tons of volume to cope with the top being down. You can block out the outside noise all together if you so choose :) However, if you bring the overall volume down a little, you can make some quick adjustments from the headunit to get slamming bass without putting the hurt on the subs. I want the system to last a long time, so I'll only be abusing them for demonstrations :)

2.) Dynamat is both inside and outside of the door. I also used expanding foam to significantly reduce volume in the door. This was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to be able to service the door if neccessary, and of course allow the window to go up and down :jump:

3/4.) 6 screws see metal on the subs. The rest go into the lexan. This would be sort of what you are referring to as the baffle, although it just completes the mounting point. I used lexan because I removed the existing weather guard (had to) and while I sealed the subs themselves off, I didnt want a "wick" sitting inside my door filling with water and mold over time.

1/2 lexan was the answer, properly dynamated as well for mounting, rigidity and elimination of vibration. A lot of the work done surrounded an end result of massive vibration from within the doors. Now its tight and a little windy on the ankles :)

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absolutely amazing!

i am not so hot on the faceplate/bezel, though. with your skills, i'm sure you could find a piece of black plastic and customize it.

and the bass sounds good with the speakers reverse-mounted like that?

very nice work. the only nit i have is the bezel. maybe the picture doesn't do it justice...

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absolutely amazing!

i am not so hot on the faceplate/bezel, though. with your skills, i'm sure you could find a piece of black plastic and customize it.

and the bass sounds good with the speakers reverse-mounted like that?

very nice work. the only nit i have is the bezel. maybe the picture doesn't do it justice...

No offense taken whatsoever. The original one was out of plastic, and didnt like it as much. The vinyl gave a much softer appearance which matched the plastic the dash is made of. You have to see it in person, the pictures and lighting make the texture look harsh and apparent. I guess you could equate it to the story behind my heart murmor: recently I was at the cardiologist and they found a murmor. I was surprised since he was saying its probably been some time since it was there, but he filled me in that now they find that most people have some type of murmor... a fact now known because the equipment is progressing to such a high level of sensitivity what once was fact is now being re-written.

ok ok, what the heck does that have to do with it? I think my camera just takes too sharp a picture :rolleyes: In any case, I'd love to get my hands on the soft plastic that they cast the dash parts out of, but I dont think it would be as pleasant to work with as the MDF.

The bass was actually much more than expected... it was a nice surprise. While I dont want to be attacked for simplifying it, bass is just a lot of moving air dependent on pressure (thats where enclosures come in). Bass is also somewhat omni-directional: this is Bose's (and other high-end manufacturers') premise for the bass module and how it can reside anywhere in your theatre room etc. You can also think of the local kid with a truck full of bass coming around the corner... sometimes you just cant tell where he's coming from until he drives past you :)

As i mentioned, there are actually some pretty high end systems out there that are specifically designed in a reverse mount. It just might look strange to us because we arent used to seeing it. Hearing is believing though! Also, thanks to the low-pro magnet on this guy it allows it to fit behind the speaker grill. The stiffness of the free-air design allowed me to be a little inaccurate with the volume serving as the enclosure which gave me some installation fudge factor :) The reverse mount, however, does not work with other types of speakers...

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That is an awesome install!

I also have an AVIC D3 and I did the install myself. I thought mine looked ok, but your trim piece is amazing. What did you use to make it? I'd like to do mine like that.

Also, I have the back up cam, but I have no idea where to mount it. Where did you do yours?

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Hi 5thtonbench!

That is absolutely stunning. I write from Australia, and this post has been circulated amongst many of 986 buddies here downunder. Like I, all are keen do something like this. You've definitely inspired us all.

But like us all, can I ask for your help with a few things.

Our questions, surround the headunit install, my concern is did you need to butcher anything to fit the double din in? I had thought that there was a separating shelf between the original climate control and radio slots, which meant that you would have had to chop this up to fit a double din in. Is that right? If so complex? Tips on how it can be done?

Were there any wiring issues in powering the headunit up with power, amplification, or navigation up?

But yes like WilliamsF1, would you be willing to make another. Just mention your price for one more! :)

Final thing, the only concern we had, was that given we all drive soft tops, were there any security concerns that you had with exposing this HU. I know we all drive in safe areas, but keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the matter.

Thanks again!

Edited by Daryl80

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Hi 5thtonbench!

That is absolutely stunning. I write from Australia, and this post has been circulated amongst many of 986 buddies here downunder. Like I, all are keen do something like this. You've definitely inspired us all.

But like us all, can I ask for your help with a few things.

Our questions, surround the headunit install, my concern is did you need to butcher anything to fit the double din in? I had thought that there was a separating shelf between the original climate control and radio slots, which meant that you would have had to chop this up to fit a double din in. Is that right? If so complex? Tips on how it can be done?

Were there any wiring issues in powering the headunit up with power, amplification, or navigation up?

But yes like WilliamsF1, would you be willing to make another. Just mention your price for one more! :)

Final thing, the only concern we had, was that given we all drive soft tops, were there any security concerns that you had with exposing this HU. I know we all drive in safe areas, but keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the matter.

Thanks again!

I am glad you are appreciating the install. I'm loving it every day. There is just such a difference with a REAL low end and a well balanced stage of clarity from the main speakers at volume.

For the double din, yes I removed the cross brace. I cut it with a dremel (I use that for everything!) and then smoothed the edge with an emory board. The plate covering I have fills in whatever noticeable change would have been there.

After that I made my own bracket to mount the radio in the height and way I wanted it.

I didnt have any issues with wiring the headunit... its pretty straightforward and there are a lot of references to the wires both here and elsewhere so you know what does what.

As far as security well... thats a tough one. I dont leave my top down when im away from the car shopping etc, but if someone wants to gouge the top and spend time stealing the radio and amp etc, there is no way I can stop them. I dont see a porsche as the type of car people are fishing for radios from anyway, but if they are going to steal it I have no real solution for stopping them. It also makes me realize that it doesnt matter if we have a rag top or not, because even with a hard roof if they really want in, they just smash a window. Unless your top is down, I dont think its any much easier.

Hope that helps... let me know how you make out with your stereo!

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Hi 5thtonbench!

That is absolutely stunning. I write from Australia, and this post has been circulated amongst many of 986 buddies here downunder. Like I, all are keen do something like this. You've definitely inspired us all.

But like us all, can I ask for your help with a few things.

Our questions, surround the headunit install, my concern is did you need to butcher anything to fit the double din in? I had thought that there was a separating shelf between the original climate control and radio slots, which meant that you would have had to chop this up to fit a double din in. Is that right? If so complex? Tips on how it can be done?

Were there any wiring issues in powering the headunit up with power, amplification, or navigation up?

But yes like WilliamsF1, would you be willing to make another. Just mention your price for one more! :)

Final thing, the only concern we had, was that given we all drive soft tops, were there any security concerns that you had with exposing this HU. I know we all drive in safe areas, but keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the matter.

Thanks again!

I am glad you are appreciating the install. I'm loving it every day. There is just such a difference with a REAL low end and a well balanced stage of clarity from the main speakers at volume.

For the double din, yes I removed the cross brace. I cut it with a dremel (I use that for everything!) and then smoothed the edge with an emory board. The plate covering I have fills in whatever noticeable change would have been there.

After that I made my own bracket to mount the radio in the height and way I wanted it.

I didnt have any issues with wiring the headunit... its pretty straightforward and there are a lot of references to the wires both here and elsewhere so you know what does what.

As far as security well... thats a tough one. I dont leave my top down when im away from the car shopping etc, but if someone wants to gouge the top and spend time stealing the radio and amp etc, there is no way I can stop them. I dont see a porsche as the type of car people are fishing for radios from anyway, but if they are going to steal it I have no real solution for stopping them. It also makes me realize that it doesnt matter if we have a rag top or not, because even with a hard roof if they really want in, they just smash a window. Unless your top is down, I dont think its any much easier.

Hope that helps... let me know how you make out with your stereo!

When you moved your climate control from the top to the last slot you needed to buy the trim that fit at the bottom correct. Do you remember off hand what the part # was of the trim since i did the same install as of you and need to find the small trim to fit at the bottom.

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When you moved your climate control from the top to the last slot you needed to buy the trim that fit at the bottom correct. Do you remember off hand what the part # was of the trim since i did the same install as of you and need to find the small trim to fit at the bottom.

i did the same thing. moved my c/c unit down to the bottom slot. i can't remember the part number, but if you call or email Sunset Imports or another dealer, they will know the part number, just tell them what you need. i think the trim piece was ~$7 from Sunset.

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When you moved your climate control from the top to the last slot you needed to buy the trim that fit at the bottom correct. Do you remember off hand what the part # was of the trim since i did the same install as of you and need to find the small trim to fit at the bottom.

Actually I had the DSP unit in my boxster prior to the upgrade, so the trim was already there. Sorry I cant help, but as it was mentioned, it should be as simple as contacting sunset and telling them what you need :-)

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When you moved your climate control from the top to the last slot you needed to buy the trim that fit at the bottom correct. Do you remember off hand what the part # was of the trim since i did the same install as of you and need to find the small trim to fit at the bottom.

Actually I had the DSP unit in my boxster prior to the upgrade, so the trim was already there. Sorry I cant help, but as it was mentioned, it should be as simple as contacting sunset and telling them what you need :-)

interested in making me a trim for the radio that you have and i will pay for it . I just need it to be covered in black vinyl. Let me know ... You can e-mail me at arlindanchris@aol.com

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Im new to the fourm, found you guys from 986. This install is awsome!!! Did you just seal the doors and screw the subs in to the door? or did you make an enclousure? I have to say that this is the nicest set up ive seen!

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Im new to the fourm, found you guys from 986. This install is awsome!!! Did you just seal the doors and screw the subs in to the door? or did you make an enclousure? I have to say that this is the nicest set up ive seen!

Thanks! I've actually been working with the system to tune and tighten things up, and its putting out even more sound now. Its incredible how clear and loud and thumping the system is even with the top down at speed.

For the subs, I built a reverse chamber out of lexan, then sealed the doors up (foam/dyna etc). In hindsight, id of just gone with turning the door into a small sealed box without the lexan, but im not complaining about the results as I had to be the test pig on this one. I called a lot of people asking for info on doing this... everyone said it couldnt be done, so im happy to say now it can :-)

For those looking for face plates, i havent had much time at home and im not into custom work as a job, so its been hard. I will be doing some work on a friend's car soon, so I can see about making a limited few extra till im sick of it (since the tools will all be broken out). No promises though! Its not too hard to do on your own, you just need a router and a good senses of measure twice cut once B)

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Hi,

This is a very nice setup and installation. I am doing something similar and I am right now replacing the factory amp with an Audison LRX 4.300, which I want to place exactly like yours. I have few questions regarding the wiring:

- How did you wire the +12V from the amp to the battery? Did you rewire the factory wire from the battery + post to the firewall post as well?

- How did you get rid of the original amp wires (if you had any)? They seem stuck behind the brake booster.

- How did you route your speaker wires and RCA wires? I don't see a rubber grommet on the driver side of the car beside the one under the brake booster. I'd like to avoid using the one on the passenger side as the +12V and ground wires will go through this one.

I'd like to see pictures of your battery and amp wiring if you have any.

Thanks a lot. Cheers,

-- Arno

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Can you give additional information on how you bracketed the dash speakers with plastic melt? I am upgrading my front speakers. Thanks!

K. Brandsma

'98 Boxster

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Wondering how the Kappa 3.5" rears sound vs the PNP 3.5". I was thinking of using the Kappas. Anyone compared the 2?

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Wondering how the Kappa 3.5" rears sound vs the PNP 3.5". I was thinking of using the Kappas. Anyone compared the 2?

I had the factory rears, but I can tell you that the kappas are a lot brighter and noticeably crisper. Its a worthwhile upgrade when combined with an amp to more properly drive them. The factory amp doesnt have enough gusto for worthwhile aftermarket speakers.

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