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Old 05-12-2014, 05:59 PM   #1
NorCalGirl
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Thumbs up Check out Simplicity in Sound's Arc Audio build in my Crystal!

I wanted to share my amazing experience with Simplicity in Sound's Bing and Joey and Arc Audio as I had my audio system built, so here goes!

I have always loved music, it's been in my life for as long as I know. So with that being said, I wanted an audio system in my car that would satisfy the music lover, car show and drifting enthusiast in me!

I was referred to Simplicity in Sound by @brianlo622 last year and have seen the quality work they have done with various cars' audio systems and was thoroughly impressed and knew that I wanted to work with them to have something built in my car. After much consideration, I decided to go ahead with the build while keeping in mind that I wanted to a very durable build as well as adding as little weight as possible if I still wanted the capability to continue my learning of drifting. Simplicity in Sound and Arc Audio provided a sponsorship opportunity and have provided my car with the best audio equipment available.

I had a great experience working with both Simplicity in Sound and Arc Audio. Bing and Joey kept in constant contact about my car's progress and were a joy to work with. If you need any audio work done for you car, hands down, this is the place to go!

Please check out Simplicity in Sound's build log below that shows off their wonderful craftsmanship and Arc Audio's amazing materials in Bing's own words:

__________________________________________________ ________

Pretty excited about this one.

Ever since the FRS/BRZ combo came out, we have been seemingly working on them one after another. Most of these are relatively simple sq builds, but a few months ago, we were contracted to work on a neat show vehicle. After some discussions, Arc Audio was gracious enough to lend their support to the project.

The car is a 2013 FRS that has been thoroughly modified, other than the usual array of suspension, wheels, exhaust and other mods, the highlight of the project is a turbo kit, one of the very few i have seen around here. The owner is a great gal who is truly dedicated to the import scene, and has also been taking the car to drifting events and hopes to further improve her skills in that arena. A cool show car owner that isn't afraid to let her car burn some rubber, how cool is that?! Soon, it will undergo another transformation and receive a full wide body kit conversion. Cant wait to see that!

Anyway, here are the goals for the build:

1. To obtain a decent level of SQ worthy of the Arc Audio name

2. To keep things as simple and as low weight as possible throughout, the focus is also to keep the center of gravity low

3. Have enough show factory to further enhance the image of the car without going overboard with it

4. Be very sturdy and not budge when the car is being drifted

So...let's start with a few pics of the car:





A quick peak under the hood:







A quick peak at the snail:



And as usual, here is the metal fuse holder bracket done up by Joey:



Moving on... the signal source starts with the new pioneer AVH-4000NEX double din dvd head-unit, installed via the @Beat-Sonic kit:



The front stage consists of a set of Arc Audio's Black series 6.5" two way components. Being that this is a show car, i wanted to make sure the speakers are visible, so the Black 1.0 tweeters are aimed on axis at the opposite listener and molded into the stock A pillars. They were wrapped in the factory matching black vinyl:















Here are a few build pics of the pillars. First, the ring baffles were aimed and secured to the stock pillars:



Then mold cloth was pulled and the shape reinforced from the inside:



Then filler was applied and the two pods were sanded smooth and blended in:





And then black vinyl was applied. The tweeters were then wired up and installed, and ready to rock:









Moving onto the mid-bass...which are installed in the factory lower door locations. From the get-go, we wanted to do something that makes the speakers themselves visible. Here is the OEM door panel and as you can see, its just a basic plastic door grille that hides everything beneath it.



I wanted to mimic the look of the G35's door panel, and we tossed around the idea of having just a trim ring but no grille, but ultimately, decided that having some sort of protection is best as the car is driven quite a bit, and at times enthusiastically

So I gave my ideas to Joey, and of course, he came up with a brilliant execution of the concept. So here is the finished product. Now a silver ring, matching the silver door handles is in place to better showcase the black 6.0 mid-bass, a very wide opening mesh was used to form a pressed grille. IMO this is how the car SHOULD have come. For future projects, we can duplicate this ring and vary the thickness and degree of opening of the mesh to provide various levels of visibility and protection









Some pics of the behind the scenes of the door build.

First, new speaker wires were run into the door, and half a dozen blackhole tile damping material went onto the outer door skin to help minimize resonance:





Then the inner door panel was treated with focal BAM xxxl composite damper:



A set of mounting baffles were fabricated matching the OEM speaker basket, and coated with several layers of sound proofing to protect them against the elements:





The baffles were then secured with the OEM mounting points:



The arc audio black 6.0 was then wired up and secured in place:







The outer door skin also got some attention from CLD:



Here are the steps joey took to make the door grille rings. First, the plastic grille was removed, and the new rings routered out from MDF:



Then the metal mesh was pressed, painted black, while the rings were painted silver:





Next, the two pieces were joined together forming the new grille:





And the rings secured to the factory plastic speaker panel:







The same process was then performed on the other side:

















Here are some pics showing the wiring bundles as it travels from the front of the car to the back. Secured, zip-tied and passing through factory tie downs throughout. The signal and speaker cables went down the driver side, while speaker and power cable went down the passenger:















The rear deck, a common source of rattle for the FRS, was also treated. From experience, we found the best combo is CLD on the metal deck, lots of thick foam on the underside of the cover, and a bit of "simpliciflock" ultra thin cloth around the edge of the third brake light where it contacts the back window:








Moving onto the trunk. As mentioned before, the idea is to be light weight, low, elegant but still have a bit of show factor. Many many years ago, I played with the idea of mimicking the warp engine nacelles of the next gen starship enterprise:



But that design simply used them as platforms for the amps to sit on top. This time, i wanted to do a design where a similar floating "nacelle" had all the components flush mounted into them. By removing one of the factory floor spacer foam pieces, it allowed me to have basically the entire length of the trunk floor to play with. So here is what i came up with in the end.

A floating platform sits in a well, featuring two tone black and vinyl trim. the side wall of the well is done in a aluminum laminate that basically looks like the shell of a mac book pro. I chose this material to best reflect the light of the edgelit plexi layer, sandwiched in the middle of two 3/4 MDF panels. the main top fake floor is also trimmed in black vinyl. The whole idea is to create a lit floating rack inside a well while maintaining the stock floor height.

Inside the floating nacelle showcases a Arc PS8 DSP, a XdiV2 1200.6 6 channel amp, and two ARC 8 8" subwoofers. Here first, is the day light view:













Turn the LEDs on via a RF remote control, and the center layer of plexi lights up all around, the light reflects off the aluminum laminate and also the white vinyl floor and creates a nice glowing effect. RGB LEDs were used so it can reproduce all colors of the spectrum:







But the best effect is under dark conditions, so here is a whole crap load of pics from various angles showing the trunk in various colors enjoy:















































Keen eyed folks will notice the two brackets attached to the strut tower mounts on either side of the trunk. This is so that a Cusco strut tower bar can be easily bolted on when needed:







So, lets take a look at the build process, which basically is layer upon layer of different pieces, all bolted together. Every single item is attached to each other, and ultimately the sub enclsoure via threaded inserts and bolts, and the sub enclosure is secured via the OEM spare tire retaining the bolt location. This is so no extra holes were drilled in the trunk The entire structure is rigid enough to shake and pull the entire vehicle with... good for countering drifting G-forces

First, the spare tire well was covered with STP CLD damper:



Then 6 layers of mat went on to form the bottom of the enclosure:



When it dried, it was removed and trimmed to the desired shape:



Then the top and back walls were secured, the edges backfilled and sanded down, forming a sealed enclosure of about .8 cubeft (blocks of wood were later fiberglassed into the box to reduce the overall volume down by about .1:







Here is the box bolted in place with the spare tire well retaining location, fits perfectly with the sound proofed well. Note the plethora of thread inserts that will later allow top layers of bolt on:





Here is the first layer, after all the holes and thread inserts have been installed, before and after vinyl:









Here is the second layer, the well walls, before and after the walls got laminated and the top and bottom painted black:









And here are the two pieces bolted together:





Here are the four pieces that make up the floating platform, before and after vinyl:















And here is the center plexi layer before and after getting a full strip of RGB LEDs:





Here is the top press fit cover before and after vinyl:





And the top fake floor panels before and after vinyl:







And finally, some wiring pics... this is perhaps one of the tightest wiring jobs i have had to do in some time. Within the walls of the platform, which seems simple enough, actually resides five pieces, the aforementioned dsp, amp and subs, but also an arc audio ALD line driver to ensure maximum signal/noise ratio, and the RGB led controller having just an inch or less between the various components really require some sorting out for the wires to fit, but in the end, I got it figured out, and here is what it looks like beneath the top cover:







So that's it, just 24 hours after the car was done, it is already down in SoCal at Toyotafest, a toyota car show... Due to the tight schedule, I only got about an hour's worth of tuning time total on it... but initial impressions are pretty positive.

Imaging is very wide at pillar to pillar, height is half way up the windshield and well centered. Mid-bass is very good with good impact and the arc blacks reach up well to meet the tweeter. The overall tonality is very pleasant but once again, I only had maybe about 15-20 mins of critical listening time to it. The dual arc 8s actually sound quite stout, similar to a good 10", good bottom end, and on the rta had a pretty flat response down to 30hz or a lil below it. I think with some tuning, it can do quite well for itself.

So that concludes two very busy work weeks, time for a weekend of R-n-R and back to it on Monday.

Once again, a huge thanks to Arc Audio, guys like Fred, Brad and Theo, as well as our rep Scott, did a ton for us to make this happen... and also thanks to @norcalgirl the gracious owner, who gave us the opportunity to work on her girl "Crystal." If you are in Cali, perhaps you can catch her at a local show or drift event.

I leave you with a quick you tube video of the lighting demo of the trunk.


Cheers!

Bing
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
Michael
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I can't see the pictures from work but the video worked. Very clean and well done. Somewhat similar to an idea I had for my Celica.

Props to Simplicity in Sound and Arc Audio.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #3
brianlo622
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Wow norcalgirl your car rocks

Knowing that form and function are equally important with your build, I had no doubt that simplicity in sound was the right shop for you. I had always envisioned a truly show quality build in your car, and needless to say Bing and Joey has delivered . Props to them for their excellent relationship with ARC audio and congrats on the sponsorship thoroughly impressed!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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WOW! What's is gonna cost me to do something similar
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:54 PM   #5
NorCalGirl
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@brianlo622: Thanks for referring me to them!

@ SuperKazRacing: I'm not sure, you'd have to contact Bing and Joey at Simplicity in Sound. The phone number is 408-262-6075. They are located at 879 Ames Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035. Give them a call and see how they can help you out with building something for your car!

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