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Old 10-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
DekaMori
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FR-S Audio Build - SQ (Illusion Audio/Mosconi)

Even prior to taking delivery of my car, I spent hours here on the forumÖ seeing what others were doing in terms of audio upgrades for this platform, taking notes, and formulating a direction I wanted to go for the imminent hachi-roku. In my high school/college days, I often saw nothing but booming-bass and ear-bleeding treble, but thatís not what I wanted for this car. I aimed for a setup that would be light-weight and great sound quality.

Fast-forward 3 months, having finally taking delivery, the quest began. I revisited a few different posts which led me over to some external sites, and ultimately Simplicity In Sound. Illusion Audio speakers were chosen to handle the front stage and subwoofer, with Mosconi delivering the power and managing the fully active front stage with the 6to8 DSP.

Dropped off my car, got it back just last week, and I have to sayÖ.Absolutely Brilliant!!

The resolution across the front stage was beautiful, even flow throughout with fantastic center-imaging. Itís better than I could have ever imagined. The bass from the sub remained tight and blended smoothly with every piece of music I could throw at it. Dubstep Ė handled the drops and quick bass effortlessly, Jazz/Vocalists Ė the beryllium copper tweeters excelled at maintaining a supple texture and organic feelÖwouldnít have expected that from metal alloy tweets, amazing!!

Iím still amazed, each and every day with the quality of sound that was achieved, but getting it all put together and utilizing some wizard-level fabrication skills, it wouldnít have been possible without the knowledge, insight, and expertise of Bing at Simplicity in Sound. So, a big thank you Bing for everything!

As I donít think I would be able to properly break everything down, here is the build log from Bing, in his own words:



This is part I of a two part build log special, to read part II of a second FR-S, please click here:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...o-mosconi.html

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...good in that Scion and Subaru have come together to release one of the most anticipated new sports cars in recent times, the bad? I haven't worked on any....until now.

As anyone with a remote interest in cars will without a doubt be aware, the FR-S/BR-Z combo is a return to the original ideas of a Japanese sports car, lightweight, rear wheel drive, excellent balance, superb to drive despite a relative modest amount of power.

As soon as I saw the vehicles in real life for the first time at an autoshow, I know that they will become hot sellers, and better yet, in the long standing tradition of both Subaru and Scion, they will become a hot bed for aftermarket modifications. Also along the lines of both brands, I suspected that their OEM stereo systems will leave a lot to be desired for with a great potential for improvement...after all, these are not hardcore track cars but vehicles that people can and would use as their daily driver.

As luck would have it, almost immediate after the cars became widely available, I received two separate inquiries from FR-S owners about having their vehicle done. (infact one of them did not even have his car yet at the time of contact)...

Right away, I thought about the design and product selection for them, and right away, a single brand jumped right to the top: Illusion Audio.

The new Illusion Audio line from Orca: http://www.illusionaudio-america.com/ (site is coming soon) promises two things: great performance AND LIGHT WEIGHT. In the Lucent and Carbon lines, their Neodymium motors make them feathery compared to many other products of similar caliber...to me, this is a perfect theme match to the FR-S and BR-Z.


In the end, the two FR-Ss had two distinct goals and budgets. The first one was on a slightly higher budget and will be using the higher end Illusion audio Carbon series, while the second car will be showcasing the still formidable potential of the Illusion Lucent series, both cars will be running Mosconi Gladen One amps for their size, weight, performance and price point, with the first car having about twice the amount of power as the second. Mosconi 6to8DSPs will be controlling both systems.

So, let us get started on the first car, shall we?

This Whiteout colored model is already on its way to becoming a SEMA demo vehicle...when I received it, it was already perched on a set of AirRex air springs... So let us take a look at the car itself in 3 distinct ride heights

Normal Driving:





Fully Up for going over bumps and up steep driveways:





Dropped all the way to the bottom:





a side comparison of all three ride heights:



Obviously, with the air ride system came a big challenge for me, and that is to somehow incorporate the air suspension components into an already tiny trunk along with a full stereo system. Luckily, the AirRex system is quite compact and all self-contained with in a box, with only four air fittings and a set of power cables coming out of it...but as you can see in this picture, it is still taking up about half of the trunk:



The completely wireless controller did make it easy to integrate and control things from the front without having to wire in a switch panel.




Goals of the system:

1. To build a system with a decent level of sound quality

2. To build the audio system around the Airrex box and still leave a small amount of usable storage space.

3. To be able to show case the Airrex components as it is the main reason behind the car's SEMA trip

so, letís get started:

The signal starts with a Pioneer AVH-P8400BH headunit, which for now, is installed with side brackets. as the customer is not yet sure he will be keeping this unit long term, I did not permanently modify any part of the car for the mounting of USB and other components, they simply come out of the bottom of the dash.



Quick shot of the wiring harness prep:



Moving onto the doors, as mentioned previously, This car runs a set of Illusion Audio Carbon series C6 components for the front stage...here is a quick reminder of that C6 box in all its glory out of the box..still canít get over that Copper tweeter













The midbass went into the lower door location, first a set of cables were run into the doors via the stock conduits:



Then the door was treated with STP closed cell Foam and gold damper:



Next a set of spacer baffles were fabricated for the illusion speakers, and coated with three layers of truck bedliner for protection against the elements:



and mounted to the door via the oem screw mounts:



The C6 mid was then wired up and installed:





I also gave the inside of the speaker grille a layer of damper just for good measure:



this process was then repeated on the passenger side:













next up are the tweeters. The oem speakers on top of the dash are for a pair of 3" midranges outboard and tweeters in board. I will be mounting the C6 tweeters outboard in the midrange location.

Here are the OEM midranges removed from the vehicle:



I then unsnapped the drivers from their mounting baskets, snipped the cables and separate them:



here are the Illusion tweeters with their mounting tabs slightly modified to fit in line with the mounting holes of the OEM basket:



and here are the tweeters mounted and ready to go, with quick disconnects:





A new set of speaker wires were run to the dash location, and through the center of the OEM mounting basket:



and then the Illusion tweeter was bolted in place with the stock hardware:





in the meantime, I popped out the oem tweeters from the grille to prevent any kind of strange resonance issue, note that the entire front stage can be return to its original condition simply by snapping them back in and soldering two pairs of leads:





The same procedure was used on the passenger side tweeter:







I mounted the Pioneer's BT mic in the original location by unsnapping the oem mic:





making sure that the cable is secured to the oem bundles every few inches:



Now comes some wiring pictures of the wiring as it travels from the front of the car to the rear. secured to the car every 6 inches for less.

on the driver side went the rcas, remote turn on cable and speaker wires for the left side:











on the passenger side went the 0 gauge main power cable and the speaker wires for the right side:









So thatís it for the interior, moving on to the trunk. As mentioned, the big challenge was integrating the air suspension setup...I knew going into it that there was going to be much trunk space left, but I still need enough real estate to display both the AirREX AND the car stereo components...so this is what I came up with:

in normal view, with everything covered up, you see basically nothing, about half of the trunk space remains with two cutouts visible in the black carpet...still usable to haul things:







pop out both grille inserts and here is what you see. Facing back at you is window that peers into the airRex box, on the floor is a single Illusion Audio C10 subwoofer, flanked by a pair of Mosconi Gladen one amps, a 120.4 powers the front stage actively with 120 watts per driver, while a 240.2 is bridged sending 750 watts to the sub. everything is trimmed in white vinyl to match the exterior.

Due to the small opening of the trunk it is really hard to get any type of good angle at the stuff, but here are my best attempts.





















Total weight gain from stock is I would estimate to be around 70 lbs or so accounting for the removal of the spare tire and tools, but I would say easily 50 of that is attributed to the air ride box and its presentation.

so let us go to the build pics, as this one required some fancy packaging to make sure everything fits and had the proper space.

first, the air lines from the four bags were organized and combined together and ran to the passenger side of the trunk, also note the two wiring bundles as they entire the trunk and goes into the spare tire well area:







Next, the spare tire well was treated with a layer of STP gold damper:



this is the bottom of the .75 cubfeet sealed enclosure:



and with a top covered in vinyl, installed into the vehicle:



So basically, the sub box is also the foundation for the rest of the system, it is bolted to the car and then everything else attaches to it...here is he front floor section that will be supporting the airRex box:



secured to the vehicle:



here is the spacer support structure to raise the airrex box to the appropriate height:



here is the back floor section that will house the audio components, not the center trimmed in white vinyl:



here are those two components secured with all the wiring led out:



Here is the airRex box before and after the attachment of brackets and spacers...one thing I do wish they came with is hardware and brackets for attachment:











here is a closer look at the illusion audio C10, weighs around...5 lbs? if that, and can really handle 700 plus watts and is around 3" deep







here is the front airRex trim panel before and after vinyl:





the front board before and after carpet:





the main trim panel around the amps and sub before and after vinyl:





and the main floor board before and after carpet:





everything had to be divided into two three pieces because you simply cannot fit a longer board through the trunk opening so here are the side pieces before and after carpet:





the subwoofer spacer board before and after vinyl:





and the pop out grilles before and after carpet:





to get the carpet to match the oem trunk carpet a lil better, I dyed them lightly using SEM gray, itís not very noticeable in the pictures, but they are a slightly closer color than just black





The Mosconi 6to8 DSP I fitted to an L shaped mounting platform that goes on the side of the airRex box, here it is prewired and ready to go:



and finally, a few shots of the wiring organization behind the scenes..even though there was a severe lack of space, every cable has been bundled and secured every few inches















so thatís it... how does it sound?

very nice...especially considering the stock location.

Tonality wise, itís very balanced and once again, the C6 impresses me with its airiness and openness, very natural. the midbass impact is very nice, with the size of the door cavity, there isnít a lot of buildup in the 125-250 hz range. midrange is nice and detailed and not over powering, while the highs have a lot of detail, due to the stock locations there are some peaks and valleys from reflections, but most of them were dialed to with the processor. the most notable is a dip around 500 hz, peaks in the 10k region and with this tweeter, acutely not much drop off at all at 16khz.

Width is pillar to pillar and the depth is VERY good, height is a few inches above the dash, center image, with the stock locations, could be more focused, but is generally in the center of the car.

subwoofer output is excellent despite how closed off the trunk is and no opening on the rear deck. The carbon subs still impresses me because if you just heard them, you would never guess they are a lightweight 3" deep driver...a lot of output and extension and not a hint of being strained or bottoming out...(not something I can say about every shallow sub)..

again, all this from an initial tune...and I have to say, for a sports car interior, this car is quite a decent SQ platform.

This is the RTA graph I took about 30 mins into the tune, after I settled the xover and phase and did some basic adjustments...it got a bit smoother after this but I forgot to take a screen shot lol

note the extension of the sub...I would prolly guess the small hump at 30-40hz is prolly the natural gain of the vehicle.



now, letís move on to part II!

Cheers,

Bing
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Very nice installs as usual Bing!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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Outstanding! A very clean and well-done system. I may do a setup similar to this design, but without the air suspension.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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Looks nice!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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It pretty much does not get any better than that.
Great install. I would never do air ride, but if I was going to I would be talking to you.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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Bing, the install looks great. How much space is there in the stock mid location if you were to leave out the stock bracket under the tweeter? I have been toying with putting a Fountek FR88ex or similar up there with one of the little Dayton neo tweeters crossed passively for the highs running to an actively crossed midbass in the doors and maaaybe a small sub. Would there be enough room up there to construct a small enclosure for a 3" driver or would it be better to stick with a 2" widebander due to volume constraints?

Thanks!
Nathan
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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thats really nice.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezoris View Post
It pretty much does not get any better than that.
Great install. I would never do air ride, but if I was going to I would be talking to you.
Thanks to Bing, he's the best!! Regarding the air-sus, it has been a lot better than any of my own preconceptions before it went in. =)
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubieNate View Post
Bing, the install looks great. How much space is there in the stock mid location if you were to leave out the stock bracket under the tweeter? I have been toying with putting a Fountek FR88ex or similar up there with one of the little Dayton neo tweeters crossed passively for the highs running to an actively crossed midbass in the doors and maaaybe a small sub. Would there be enough room up there to construct a small enclosure for a 3" driver or would it be better to stick with a 2" widebander due to volume constraints?

Thanks!
Nathan
The Hertz 3" midrange fits perfectly in the stock location so i'm told and the FR88ex is really close in dimensions to it. I have some H Audio Trinity 3" drivers coming that i plan to try up there myself.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
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i would imagine most 3" would fit, but i am not sure if iw ant to put the tweeter in the stock location, for one its very small, and two, i dont like how in board it is, if i were to do a proper 3 way, i would prolly do the tweeter in the A pillars

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #11
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WOW that is a beautiful installation
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #12
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Cheers,

Bing[/quote]

this is exactly how i wanted my audio build...where can I find someone to do it like this??
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #13
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Very envious... I have the honor to hear this system in person, and what an experience it was.. thank you Bing and DekaMori!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:13 AM   #14
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Do you know the height from the bottom of the spare tire well to the top of your enclosure? The reason I ask is I want to put 2 8's in a box similar to yours and I'm not sure if there will be enough height clearance.
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