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Discussion Starter #1
Round 2!

In my original install I tried to keep things relatively simple. I competed in the past and wasn’t sure that I wanted to put that much effort into the new car. That changed very shortly after I got everything going. I was accustomed to a 3 way setup with tweeters in the pillars, dome mids upfiring on the top of the dash and a set of 7” midbass’ in the kick panels. I decided early on that I didn’t want to pull the dash so the mids were out and I was willing to try the OEM tweeter locations in the sail panels, and I was sick of passengers always kicking the midbass’ in the kick panels. My old Dyn drivers sounded great but the midrange is massive compared to a cone style of driver. This led me to picking up a set of Hertz Mille’s on the recommendation of a close friend and shop owner. I started the first installation of the Mille’s with a simple two way, all using factory locations. It sounded good with beefy midbass and good highs, but I sorely missed that extra beefy midrange. That leads me to this, revision 2.0!

I already had the processing and amp (the Arc PS8 and a Phoenix Gold Ti21600.5) from round one, but I would need extra amp channels to support the midrange. Since I was going to redo the amp rack and add an amp I decided to pick up a four channel amp (in case I ever wanted to add rear speakers) and swap to a Helix DSP Pro that would support a full three way front, rears, and sub processing. In the first round of install I used simple RCA tips on the OEM wiring but I had some noise issues from the start. I came across some posts of a guy who makes a harness that plugs into the OEM wiring while giving 5 RCA style outputs. I spoke with him at length about what I wanted and the issues I was having and we made a deal for a Mercman harness. It’s a simple install, just plug into the OEM wiring (after I put mine back to stock) and tap onto +12v and ground. It also provides a remote lead (though not tied directly to the H/U power as in the phone will still work since it doesn’t officially turn off the remote lead).

Like I mentioned earlier, the Helix DSP Pro was chosen for the available extra channels and the option to add a remote (which was a pipe dream at the time for the PS8!). I added the Director remote since I also had a few other tricks up my sleeve (more on this later). I ended up mounting the Director in the sunglass holder in the overhead console. It’s just a simple mount but it still allows the mount to swivel just like the factory piece. The upside of the Director is that it’s a master volume control, and in times of dealership service I can turn the master volume down and keep techs from enjoying my hard work! My only complaint of the Director is the lack of a cradle to mount it, there are four threaded bosses in the back but that complicates a clean install. I made some RCA’s utilizing Phoenix Gold tips and Canare cabling, and labeled each one on both the processor end and the amp end.





The amp I added complements the 5 channel already installed, which is a Ti21000.4. Currently the Ti21600.5 powers the tweeters, mids, and the sub and the Ti21000.4 powers the midbass’ with room for the rears when the time comes. With the new amp/processor combo I also rebuilt the amp rack. It’s mainly the same, just moved some things around. The DD5 now resides under the cover panel for the sub with the two amps and the processor on the amp rack. I also added some plexi under each amp with some blue lights to coincide with the Hybrid colors. They are set up on a switch so that the OEM trunk light will work or the LED’s all off the OEM trigger.






All of this was all for the addition of the Hertz Mille ML700 midranges. These complement the ML280’s and ML1600’s already a part of the install. When it came time to install them I had two options, keep the tweeters in the sail panels and the mids on the pillar or move the tweeters to the pillar along with the mids. I chose the second option, and due to the slender profile of the mid I was able to keep the new pillars fairly slim considering what was changed. I set the mids up to fire slightly up and back but mainly across the car and the tweeters are set up nearly on axis with the drivers head. Here are a few pics of the build. I started with a stack of rings that are the size of each of the drivers and set the angle then began on working on fitting the remaining rings to build the “enclosure” instead of the usual stretch cloth and resin. I stole this idea from another build, and will probably continue making pillars in this manner in the future. The pod seems to be much beefier than my past builds with cloth/resin/milkshake plus it’s easier to keep in a stable shape. The upside is that I didn’t use as much filler when it came time to smooth them out.















Now onto the extra’s – Dakota Digital gauges and an Apple Airport Express. I put a trio of gauges in the center console with an amp temperature, battery voltage and a current meter. I simply made a cradle for the gauges, wired them up and dropped them in. I plan on swapping over to round gauges in the future, and I’ll redo the mount at that time.








The Airport Express is more of a novelty. I generally don’t stream anything to the car, but the APE offers slightly better bit rate over traditional Bluetooth plus it offers a digital output that I fed directly into my Helix processor. This gives me a great way to bypass all of the OEM signal chain, plus it’s easier if someone is riding with me for them to share their music since I don’t have to pair with the OEM radio. The Director remote allows me the ability to control the volume of the digital signal and toggle back to the analog input when I want. I converted it with a simple 12v to 3v convertor.




Let me know what you think and feel free to ask questions! I've got a bunch more pictures, I didn't want to overload this post.
 

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Good job. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that people will go through and the effort they put in to mod their cars. I wish I was that creative.
 

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Damn, Lashlee ... looks great.

Are my eyes deceiving me or do you have the tweet angles offset for the driver's seat?

Can you tell a significant difference with vs without the dash mat?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes! You are correct. The tweeters are set up to aim at my ears, since I'm the one in the car mainly. The last set of pillars were set up to be equal and they didn't image the way I wanted. I took the advice of the dealer to set them up more on axis and they have improved dramatically. I heard the same drivers in another install this past weekend (albiet with a center channel in service) that were aimed across the car at each other and I wasn't as impressed. Depth wasn't better and I felt width is much better in my car.

As for the dash mat, a huge difference. Maybe not so much with just the tweeters playing but definitely a huge improvement with the mids playing. There is an obvious reverb/echo that's in place without it. It's a good fit with my only complaint of wanting a better way to keep it in place. I've not used the supplied velcro since I don't want something stuck to the dash.

And I'm still pumped at how well they turned out.
 
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