The following are just some of the many installs that Fhrx Studio's have either created, had a hand in or assisted with. Please note; NOT every single item within these photo pages was created by Fhrx Studio's - some images are borrowed purely to demonstrate what can be installed. There are only ten install photo groups per page to assist loading times. Links to further pages are located at the top and bottom of each page.
Install images 5 | Inspirational images | Images of interest
This install, like many, had to take up minimal extra room, sound delightful and not be visible from outside the car. The budget was to stay to a minimum too. Sounding like a typical Fhrx Studio's install, we got started on it just as Jim from Aus Audio warehouse came through the door as the customer was leaving. Jim is the distributor of OZ Audio gear and began kicking around the workshop chatting with the customer when he suggest they give Oz Audio a try. As they say, the rest is history.
At the time hadn't had much experience with Oz Audio gear so Jim shows us and the customer his demo car. Suitably impressed, the next a couple of slect components were brough in to be installed in the now sound deadened car. The headunit is a Pioneer DEH-P4050 CD player. From there the signal runs in a large single Alpine 3554 amplifier mounted under the passeneger seat well away from prying eyes and far enough under the keep away from swinging feet too.
Oz Audio five inch component sets were mounted on custom build solid MDF baffles that live built into each door trim. Both doors are sound deadened with standard road-kill to keep costs down but still maintain strong midbass response. The Woollahra Car Audio logo is lighty embossed under each trim for a simply but nice detail touch.
Opening the boot you're greeted with a plain flat panel with grill. Under this resided a custom built fibreglass / Kevlar
sub-box measuring 0.7 cubic feet in volume. While the customer wanted a clean looking boot she also wished the ability too remove
the covers and 'show-off' every so often (don't we all - admit it). So head installer Marty created a perpex surround panel
and embossed the Woollahra Car Audio logo under the vinyl next to the newly relocated boot light. Built for a budget, the
Seca sounded beautiful and Oz Audio have been a strong seller for us ever since.
Back in the mid 90's when head installer Marty 'Fhrx' Price picked up a new Corolla to transplant all of his existing audio gear into, no one had any idea of just how much he planned to do within the little Corolla. If there was a record for how much multimedia gear could be stuffed into a Corolla, we'd have to be strong contenders for the title!
The entire interior of the Corolla was taken out and has been layered with not one but two layers of Stinger roadkill. On top of the road kill Marty applied two layers of Accoustic control Sound-off sound deadening just to make sure the sound deadening got into those hard to get places. This act brought the little Corolla's noise floor down a whooping 5dB! Every part of the corolla from the roof to the petrol cap copped the deadening treatment. Even the number plate got some. Additionally the rear parcel shelf, front and rear doors all have every hole fibreglassed over before the deadening was applied to give it a more sealed effect inside the cabin.
The system begins with an Apline CVA-1005E matched to a triple minidisc slave and a tape deck slave. The three decks are all mounted in the centre console one above another and with the two additional equaliser faces completing the console line up, the Corolla's center console looks like something right out of a Boeing 747. The custom made centre console continues right back to the rear seat and is covered in black vinyl and contains carbon fibre inserts.
The console houses a 12 disc shuttle at the rear between the two rear seats and has two remotes built into the center for the driver and passanger to opereate. Another 6 disc DVD shuttle is located in the glove box with a carbon fibre surround while a third 12 disc shuttle is located under the passanger side seat for additional music options.
From the source units the signal travels through Monster RCA cables to the Cystal line driver and onto two Precision Power DEQ-230 31 band equalisers (one for left channel and one for right channel). These are mounted in a custom fibreglass bootlid trim. From here the now equalised signal continues onto a Precision Power FRX-456 crossover where the audio signal is split up into its different parts sent to no less than eleven Precision Power amplifiers. The amps currently installed are five PPI250's (2 x 50 watt), four PPI2150's (1 x 600 watt), one PPI275 (2 x 75 watt) and a single PPI 225 (2 x 25 watt). Two of the PC250's run the front Dynaudio 1" dome tweeters and 6" midranges mounted in custom fibreglass kick panels while the other two PC250's run the rear Kicker 6's and 1" dome tweeters. These are mounted in a custom fibreglass parcel shelf which has a large opening built into the center to allow subbass to pass through from the boot to the interior. The PC275 runs front Kicker 8" midbase drivers mounted in fully custom fibreglass doortrims and the PC225 runs a small center channel speaker used when watching DVD's in surrond sound. Last but not least, the four monster 2150's are each married to a Kicker Solo-Baric subwoofer for optimum control and performance. The remaining PC250 runs a set of Alpine Bass engines for extra rumble during movies.
The entire door trims have been remade from fibreglass, as has the kick panels and percel shelf. Marty claims there is a good months worth of sanding right there for those five components alone. The entire interior has been vacuum formed in black vinyl and features bright red speaker grille cloth to highlight. But it doesn't stop there. Look upwards and you'll find a custom made roof console attached to the roof that houses aircon controls, a CB Radio, more remotes for the deck and various other aircraft switchs for everything from the aircraft lights mounted on the front of the car under the grille to the fridge located in the middle of the rear seat.
The rear of the roof console splits into a Y-section and each tip ends in an Alpine slave monitor mounted in the rear of the roof console. Therefore people sitting in the back can watch movies or use the PlayStation located under the drivers seat.
The enitre boot has also been finished in labour intensive fibreglass covered in black vinyl. The original experimental box was constructed entirely from MDF but the final enclosure was constructed from fibreglass and contained four separate chambers to house the four Precision Power flat piston 12's. The fibreglass front plate is painted in two-pac red paint the same as the car. The enclosure slides forward to reveal a large perspex window underneath. This gives viewers a clear view of the distribution and fuse blocks. 0 guage Stinger cable comes down from the Stinger gel-cell to the disto's and from there 4 guage runs to every amplifier. The entire fuse and distribution area is highlighed by red neon lights.
Volkswagon Golf GTI
Here at Fhrx Studios we often create systems that can be removed with 'relative' ease for those times when owners feel the need to get stuck into the loud pedal at the race track. This Golf was no different. The challange was however to showcase the new Boston G5 series subwoofer but still have the install simple enough to be removable fior track days.
The system begins up front with a Clarion DXZ-835 cd / receiver. From here the signals travel along Stinger Hyper series RCA cables to te back where the Boston GT series amplifiers take command over the sound waves. The three amplifiers are a GT28 (1 x 1250 watts) to run the subwoofer, a GT24 (2 x 120watts) to run the front splits and a GT20 (2 x 45watts) to run the rear fill.
The front doors are home to a set of Boston Pro series 6.5" splits with the crossovers mounted in the left hand floor of the boot. The rear doors house a set of Boston NX67 co-axials and all four doors are fully deadened with a combination of G-Spot flexi max sound deadening and G-Spot wave breaker diffuser panels.
The boot floor and enclosure are constructed using a combination of MDF and fireglass to achieve a strong foundation for what is ultimately quite a heavy amp rack. The lower two amplifiers hang down into the spare tire and are cooled by slots behind the rear of the amplifiers. Even though the rear end of the subwoofer was left hanging out to show off the awesome motor structure of the Boston G5, peering through the window you'll see the cone and Boston logo reflected off no less than 50 small mirrors located within the enclosure.
All cable, from the 1/0AWG power cable to the RCA and speaker cables are all from Stinger. A Stinger one farad power cap with digital volt / amp meter sits off to the right hand boot floor and the entire boot is showcased under perspex and blue LED's. One other small but neat addition was a gauge pod built into the front drivers A piller to let the driver know what the engine was doing boost wise.
Installer Robert D'Angelo jammed so much Kicker Impulse stuff into the Sierra, the rear end was actually engineered before it went on the road. The whole rear suspension was beefed up in anticipation of the expected 100 odd kilos of sound deadening and audio gear planned for the small 4WD. There was nothing quite like driving around on Sydney streets in this thing.
The system starts with a Blaupunkt San Francisco headunit complete with credit card style security card. From here it travels into a small Precision Power FRX-456 crossover. The signal is sent from the crossover to a total off six amplifiers. The amps are two Kicker Impulse 4 channels (4x50watt) and four Kicker Impulse 2 channels (2x100watts).
The two four channels run the twin sets of 6" Impulse front speakers mounted within fully sound deadened and custom built doors. The two sets are turned down 3db so as not to fight with each other and are all facing different directions to try and avoid conflicing sound waves.
The sub box in the back obviously had some though put into it. The requiement was to be a loud as possible so the Impulse 10" competition series subwoofer from Kicker was chosen as the weapon of choice. The box is actually an 8th order Bandpass box with four sealed within the outer windows secion and four port within the inner section. The cones are mounted face to face in isobaric push-pull arrangement. Each twins of subs are wired in series and are run by their own amp. The port from the center of the box actually comes through into the cabin bewtween the seats.
There are small handles on the back of the sub box and the enitre thing slides out to see the four two
channel amps below on the back floor. There are various cooling fans under the box to to keep fresh cool
air travelling along the heatsinks when under heavy load. Various small diagrams are dotted thoughout the
car for both information and decoration purposes.
Both spectators and competitors alike in the New South Wales car audio scene know that Paul Con's maroon Lancer wagon is regular sight and can be found at most of the years events. It's one of those cars that has been around the competition scene for so long now that some people actually walk right by it without realising how much the car is constantly evolving. So now that we've mentioned the car lets dive into what's actually installed within. Starting with a brief history; the car has actually undergone quite a few changes over the years. In past lives we've seen it using Soundstream amplifiers for power, Image Dynamics subwoofers for subsonic duties and the front splits? Well they have been changed more times than the oil in the engine (it is serviced regularly too; just in case you're wondering). The first incarnation saw Focal Utopia splits, then there was a brief stint with DLS components, then a few not worth mentioning before Paul finally settled on the mighty Hertz Mille components after a very long auditioning process.
Moving along to present day and we'll start the run down as per the norm; under the bonnet. The Lancer uses an Optima D34M deep cycle battery in order to supply the better part of 1000 cranking amperes of current to the car. This is then sent via a Stinger ANL fuse holder down Stinger zero gauge cable to the distribution block in the rear. The distribution block in the rear keeps an eye on voltage and sounds an alarm if it drops below eleven. Moving to the interior, the deck now used is the Pioneer DEH-P9450MP (not shown in image). Along with the inbuilt multi band equaliser this deck offers all the useful tuning features without the useless bells and whistltes usually associated with decks at this level. The deck then sends signals to Zapco SymbiLink line convertors located behind the dash. Here the signal is balanced and boosted to eighteen volts. In theory this provides a noise free signal stream. The entire car body has been layered with multiple layers of Dynamat sound deadening, foam and diffuser panels. Thicknesses vary from single layers under the dash to double layers on the doors. This keeps the cars noise levels to a minimum and had improved the noise floor remarkably. Thermal safety is covered using a small fire extinguisher which is located in front of the passenger seat.
Moving to the doors; at the moment the Lancer is using the Hertz Mille MLK2 two-way component set. However there is an upgraded MLK3 three-way component set in the pipeline which not only includes the famous Hertz ribbon midranges but also the upgraded hand built signature Mille tweeters. Currently the 6.5" midrange drivers live in the fully deadened and diffused doors and are happy to not only play midrange frequencies with an accuracy that must be heard to be believed, but will also kick you in the guts when big midbass is required. The tweeters live in the custom made fiberglass kick panels (which are filled with Dacron to avoid any frequency reflections internally) but may soon be moved to improve stage.
At this stage the components are being kept together for now to avoid frequency separation issues but further experimenting may soon see them located elsewhere. Head installer Marty explains further: "As is with many of our competition cars, getting the perfect sound stage is a little like playing a game of aural cat and mouse. In my own car we're experimenting with moving the midranges and tweeters up to the 'A' pillar. With this car we may also install the ribbon and tweeter in the 'A' pillar but we need to perform some extensive testing before we decide on anything permanent. The sound stage at the moment is wide and deep but can appear a little low when listening to female alto singers. This is what we aim to sort out with the change to the three way system." Speaker cables run throughout the car are all Stinger 16 gauge with dual runs to the subwoofer. The beautifully finished Mille crossovers are located under each seat and have plenty of air circulating around them. This allows them to dissapate a lot heat when the internal components are warming up during periods of high demand. Upon closer inspection you'll notice that quite a few components within the crossover are lined with large heat sinks. The Mille crossovers are very well designed and constructed from quality materials and are the main reason why the components work together so linearly. As is standard proceedure here, a great deak of external testing was also done on the Mille crossovers to provide the best in car response with the least inconsistencies, peaks and dips. However, this car is a competition car so these changes are being kept secret.
Moving to the rear of the car you'll find a trim curtain hiding everything. This is especially handy if the car needs to be left anywhere. Moving the curtain back reveals a plethora of high quality components. The two amplifiers of the system are the Zapco Reference 750.2 for the front end and the Zapco 1100.1 mono-block for the subwoofer. The 750.2 is a very powerful unit and is rated at 2 x 175 watts continuous @ 13.8 volts / 4ohm. The subwoofer amplifier is designed especially for low frequencies and is rated at 800 watts continuous @ 13.8 volt / 4ohm and 1100 watts continuous @ 13.8 volts / 2ohm. It is one of the most powerful amplifiers in the Zapco Reference range and boasts a bunch of features such as counter reaction circuits which results in an increased damping factor (damping factor is the amplifiers ability to control cone movement), subsonic filter, phase controller (for bringing the sub-bass image forward), parametric boost / cut and separate remote control. For more information on the 1100.1 and 750.2 check out the Zapco website. The amplifiers, distribution block and enclosure are all presented using a neat blend of two-pac maroon and grey vinyl. Red LED's backlight the three panels and the bright red voltage meter on the distribution block also adds to the effect. All rear panels have been routered down with a bevel bit and vaccuum formed to attain the best possible finish. All cables used throughout the racks are Stinger or Zapco.
Whilst we're going over what is in the boot, it would be a sin not to mention the subwoofer. When auditioning various component systems Paul chose the Hertz Mille so when it came to subwoofers would the Mille subwoofer keep up with the component system so far as quality, accuracy and depth was concerned? The answer is a very impressive affirmative. The Hertz Mille ML2500 not only thumps like a jack hammer, it is one of the most accurate subwoofers on the market today. Easily capable of delivering thumping deep bass at speeds with complete control and finess.
In order to get the triangular enclosure just right, some adjustments had to be made to the enclosure. The old Image Dynamics IDMAX10 was removed and sold. The Hertz ML2500 was then sent away to have its parameters measured before the enclosure could be modified for the new driver to replace the IDMAX. Further testing of the front angle of the enclosure face was also implimented in order to gain the best sound quality. Eventually the enclosure was ready to head back to the panel beaters to be painted again. Upon its return the boot was all bolted back together and fire up. The reults speak for themselves so if you can make it to an upcoming sound off, check out Paul's Lancer and see just how good these premium components can sound. For further information on the equipment in the car see the following websites: Hertzaudiovideo.com, Pioneer.com.au, Zapco.com and Stingerelectronics.com.
Being the brother of head installer Marty Price is a good thing. When his brother brought a small 83 Corolla to use as an erand vehicle, the system requirments were simple - the system had to sound good with minimal cost.
Marty decided to take advantage of a few different specials that audio giant Alpine were running, getting the front 6" splits and subs for free with the purchase of the amp and head unit. Utilizing Alpines big daddy 4 channel amplifier, Marty choose to hide the amp actually inside the rear seat, requiring considerable reworking of the seats internals to allow for clearance and heat disapation.
Being an erand vehicle, the Corolla quite often had the boot packed full of gear so it was a must that a protective grille was created to protect the two Alpine VR series 10" subwoofers in a their sealed enclosure. The rear baffle board was trimmed with padded vinyl to match the cars interior and sat held in place taking up minimal space.
Moving onto the front end, the inner and outer door skins were relatively sealed with fibreglass to create a large enclosure as such for each midrange driver. The bottom of each door trim was reworked into simple but effective grilled build outs, each hiding the Alpine splits and matching the boot. Alpine bass engines were installed to run from the front two channels of the deck, further enhancing the rumble of the subs whilst the rear channels ran the factory rear speakers.
If you're a regular follower of the New South Wales car audio scene you'll know the competition season finishes in late November and commences around late March. During this time you'll find most competitors busily working on their cars in order to get them ready for the upcoming year's competition. Marty Price and the team at Fhrx Studios are no different. One of the leading pro street / expert class competition cars is Marty's 200SX and although he normally writes many a review here, I was called in this time around to listen too, look at and generally harp on about (no pun intended) the car in order to let you all know what is happening with the 200SX for this years competition series.
Moving onto the car itself, I thought I'd start with a brief history. Many people around Australia will remember that at one stage a few years ago the car had the Rainbow Reference speakers installed so topping that was not going to be easy. However Marty felt the need to have something new in the car for the new year and after taking into consideration the vast array of component speakers he had tested for various publications, he settled on the Focal Utopia Beryllium Kit 7 which were clear stand outs when tested. More about them later though.
Let us start right at the front of the car. If you're a habitual reader of the forums then you'll appreciate some of the arguments Marty has had with people who claim you cannot fit two batteries into the front end of a 200SX because of the filter and intercooler tubes. Guess what; you can! To supply power for the system the 200SX utilizes twin Scosche EFX EDC1200 batteries which supply no less than 2400 cranking amps and 182 minutes of reserve charge too. This means the car can be demonstrated for long periods without running.
Both batteries are held down using custom made aluminium 6061 alloy straps and just clear various engine bay components. The driver's side battery is seated on the factory cradle but is moved to one side to avoid the Greddy intercooler plumbing. The passenger side battery requires the relocation of the charcoal canister (to under the front bar next to the headlight) while the airbox was removed in favour of a Trust Airinx pod filter (not shown in photos). 0AWG Stinger cables travel between the two batteries which each have a Fhrx Studios earthing kit fitted to make the car body a much stronger earth. 0AWG Stinger cables also travel through the main system fuse which is seated right behind the battery on a custom beveled and flame polished 12mm Perspex plate. An additional auxiliary power source cable is also run into the interior of the car and it has its own 8AWG cable run and fuse which is located at the rear of the shock tower. In order to keep in line with the competition rules these fuses can both be disabled fast (Marty's personal best is 19 seconds for both).
Moving to the interior, the dash now has an Eclipse CD7200MkII where Marty's old HXD2 used to live. Some have questioned his decision to replace the HXD2 but Marty retorts with: Well to start with we're Eclipse dealers and not Clarion and being a demo car it realistically should have something we stock. Add to this that the HXD2 is getting quite old now (it won't even play MP3) whereas the CD7200MkII is equipped with iPod input, blue tooth, USB - this brings the source up to date. Finally; the CD7200MkII also has all the sound quality and processing abilities that the HXD2 has, from its internal 24Bit / 96kHz sampling digital-to-analogue converter to its digital sound processor (however we don't undertake any on board processing in the head unit). Overall, they're just a good deck for today's consumer. The processor (q.v.) controller is located in the centre of the console just behind the hand brake because over the years Marty found that when people were auditioning the system they tended to play with any controller located at the front directly underneath the deck. The entire car body has been layered with multiple layers of Dynamat sound deadening and DynaXorb diffuser panels have also been installed in key areas to stop wave reflections. The deadening thickness varies from single layers under the dash to triple layers on the doors. This keeps the cars noise levels to a minimum; even with the modified SR20 under the hood.
Taking care of creature comfort and safety duties, the first of two fire extinguishers is located beside the passenger rear seat in the side binnacle while a small fridge in located on the center of the rear seat. Moving along to the front stage; as stated before the 200SX uses the Focal Utopia Beryllium Kit 7 which is a three way system. The 6.5" mid-bass drivers live in the fully prepared doors (complete with reinforced sealed baffles, gaskets, and enclosured front face) and boy do they kick like an angry donkey. Handling the middle and high frequencies are the 3" midranges and 1" Beryllium tweeters.
Marty explains why he chose them: "After all the component sets I've listened too, none even came close to matching the detail of the Kit 7, especially that Beryllium midrange and tweeter. Coming from an engineering background I know how difficult Beryllium is to machine. The inverted cone is especially rigid and combines a fantastic strength with the weight of a feather. This gives the tweeter a strong and solid response but also keeps the edginess off to the point where the Be tweeter is perhaps the smoothest you'll hear in a car today." The midranges and tweeters once lived in the custom made fiberglass kick panels but now reside in custom made fibreglass A-pillars which house small aperiodic enclosures. The pillars are designs to keep internal resonance and reflection issues to a minimum.
The reason for the original kick panels was that Marty wanted to keep all three components together to avoid frequency separation and phasing issues but he had to move the midranges and tweeters up to the A-pillars to achieve the best sound stage height for competition. He explains further: "When choosing a location to mount tweeters and midranges in order to achieve a great sound stage you're always faced with various issues. To get a decent stage you need width, height and depth. Put the tweeters up high and forward and you'll get good depth and height but the stage can sometimes suffer from being quite narrow. If you mount them high on the kick panels you tend to get good width and depth but a low stage centering around the 1500Hz region. Remember our ears are most sensitive between 1000-3000Hz so while the tweeters of the Kit 7 will happily provide a sound that fills the car floor to roof, the 3" midrange tends to drag the top end of contralto vocalists (and other associated sounds around this frequency) down to where it is located. This is not ideal for competition and it can sometimes seems like you cannot win, especially when you factor other things on like reflection and phase issues in. To combat reflections I employ a combination of cloth speaker grilles and a custom carpet dash cover. This helps control reflections off the dash top. It would be nice if I could diffuse the windscreen too! Another important factor to consider is the frequencies the two smaller drivers are actually playing in that they reproduce a critical region of the sound frequency. As I affirmed before, your pinnas (ears) are most sensitive between 1000-3000Hz and with these drivers often being crossed over within this region, you need to be careful with the placement and setting up of these speakers or you can run into all kinds of issues, especially with phase and separation."
Even the angles are important to the stage and sound. Marty continues: After much experimentation I settled on these angles for a few reasons. First off, the speakers fire across the dash slightly angled towards you. This puts the driver and passenger well within the 170 degree dispersion zone without being right on axis (which can narrow the stage quite a bit by making it too directional). They are also as close to the front of the car as possible and angled slightly upwards to offer a deep and high stage. Finally, they are angled away from the windscreen to avoid reflecting certain frequencies. The old speaker cables were also torn out and upgraded for this version of the system. They're now Audison Connection Sonus which are a combination of silver and copper twisted pairs.
Under the passenger seat is the brains of the system; the Audison BitOne processor. The BitOne is quite a powerful digital sound processor (DSP) and is programmed using a PC via the USB port. It boasts eight fully assignable channels and using it you have complete control over system configurations, crossovers, time alignment, equalization (30 bands / 1/3 octave), Q factor, line driving, anti-EQing and phasing. It can run various inputs and outputs including analogue and digital and can ever run off a factory head unit, however that is not relavent here. I won't go too far into BitOne's abilities because you can read about it on the Audison website. The gang at Fhrx Studios remain quite tight lipped about the actual settings that Marty uses too - such is the nature of competition. Moving to the rear of the car and you'll find this is where the bulk of the system lives. The heart of the Focal Utopia Kit 7 and indeed why the components work together so seamlessly is the crossover. A lot of external testing was done on the crossover with a few things changed in order to offer the best in-car response with the least amount of inconsistencies, peaks and dips. However, because it's a competition car these changes are being kept secret for now. The two amplifiers of the system are both Focal Dual Directs and play very clean with little if any additional noise and hiss.
The Focal Dual Direct amplifier is a dual mono design (meaning separation stays exceptional) and output a heathly 250 watts into each channel @ 4 ohms or 1200 watts when bridged - all with a total harmonic distortion level measured in thousandths of a percent! I'll spare you all the technical details of the Dual Direct's save to say that they do possess what Marty affectionately labels "all the right marketing jargon". This includes dual regulated power supplies, Toshiba 5000 transistors, triple Darlington arrays, 110A MOSFET's, dual 24-Bit / 96kHz DAC's and so on. To read more about these stunning amplifiers, visit the Focal website and get all the details there. Believe me; there are some details to read about!
The amplifiers and crossover are all presented using a beautiful blend of three red LED backlit Perspex shelves. These shelves have been routed down with a bevel bit and flame polished to reflect a red ring of light around all the components when viewed in the dark. The entire amplifier rack is made of billet alloy and is welded up to handle a fair bit of punishment (remember this car still get track raced). All cables used throughout the rack are Wireworld, Stinger and Audison Connection and fold neatly under the rack and out of sight of the viewer.
Moving along to the final component in the system, choosing the subwoofer was an absolute drama. Marty originally used the Focal Utopia 21WX subwoofer but found sometimes it didn't handle high demands at extremely low frequencies. He explains: "When we first tested the 21WX the sound was phenomenal and the low end roll off in the right sized enclosure was fantastic. The only issue we had was that on some music the frequencies extended down extremely low without a subsonic filter. During these times the excursion increased dramatically causing the subwoofer to bottom out. I don't listen to music at extreme levels but this was one drama that would have to be addressed if people were to audition and judge the car in competition. The other issue was that the front speakers in the doors already extended way down into the subsonic region so I needed something that was suited to the 15-40Hz region because the less a speaker cone moves, the less it distorts. Therefore I needed to find a subwoofer with a very low FS and the newly released Focal Utopia Be 33WX2 fitted the bill perfectly.
Marty immediately decided to run with the Focal 33WX. The beauty of these subwoofers is the motor as Marty explains: "The heart of these subwoofers may be the voice coil, its former and cone but the standout part is the glorious magnet structure. There are six separate double stacked multi-ferrite magnets which are painted bright red and equally spaced around the voice coil perimeter. The substantial benefit of this design is cooling. Where as most subwoofer manufacturers spend countless hours trying to get air to flow in through the top of the voice coil gap and out through the pole vent at the bottom, Focal improved on this concept vastly by designing the individual magnet structures to allow cool air to flow directly between the magnets and into the motor itself. The result is that the copper 65mm voice coil (wound on a thick Kapton former) remains very cool during operation. The incorporation of small holes on the former top itself allows air to get into the core as well, thus allowing cooling on both sides of the former. This design allows the subwoofer a power handling of 400 watts continuous or 800 watts maximum." Again, for further information on these award winning subwoofers (which are arguably some of the most accurate available for cars today) see the Focal website. Back to Marty's particular subwoofer, it was sent away to have its parameters measured and the enclosure that is built into the boot floor from a combination of fiberglass and MDF is designed to suit it. The exact volume, plate angle (it's not horizontal) and how much fiberfill is contained within will remain secret for now but it does allow for a constant group delay throughout its entire frequency range in addition to offering an extremely low roll-off. Marty is more than happy to play pipe organ tracks to demonstrate this design (the bottom pipe of the pipe organ is tuned low to the point where you feel it rather than hear it). The top of the enclosure is painted in five layers of Nissan red and five layers of clear to give it a really deep look while the surrounding grey panels are trimmed in vinyl and dyed to match the factory Nissan trim. One of four sway bar bolts through the floor and keeps the rear end of the car nice and tight without affecting the subwoofer. On the left hand side of the boot behind a small door is the cars second fire extinguisher which can be accessed for boot issues.
For those interested in having a look or more importantly, a listen; please ring Marty at Fhrx Studios to organize an audition sometime. For further information on the equipment in the car see the following websites: Focal.com, Eclipse-web.com.au, Wireworldcable.com, Stingerelectronics.com and Connectionaudison.com.
Creating effective and visually stunning systems on a tight budget is not something that goes hand in hand. When approached to undertake a high quality install in this Proton, head installer Marty Price had to rack his brain a little to create something cheap but up there with the best so far as SQ was concerned.
A double DIN Kenwood deck was chosen to control the show and sits quite firmly mounted firmy up front (the mounting is some sort of inside joke between head installer Marty Price and co-installer Garry Edwards which they flatly refuse to discuss with the outside world). From here the tunes are sent south to an Audison SRx3 amplifier. The amplifer is rated at a healthy 75 x 2 and 250 x 1. The front end signal is transferred to Kicker Resolution splits mounted in the fully sound deadened doors and kick panels.
The bass and subsonic duties are taken care of by a hybrid JLW6 subwoofer. This lives in a small 0.7 cubic foot chamber and sports an additional side alcove for a Sony PlayStation 2 to sit in. The enclosure is carefully designed with the owners musical tastes in mind, hence the relatively small volume.
The boot proved to be an interesting task. It utilises a careful blend of stainless steel mesh, perspex and neon to set off the installed gear without setting off the bank account. Custom made trim panels are faultlessly mounted into the boot and actually had to be bent to get them in the car, folding out and popping into their final position.