2011 WRX Augmented Wideband sound install
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This is a discussion on 2011 WRX Augmented Wideband sound install within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Started a full up stereo replacement in my 2011 WRX and thought I'd share it here. The stock system was ...

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    2011 WRX Augmented Wideband sound install

    Started a full up stereo replacement in my 2011 WRX and thought I'd share it here. The stock system was so poor in every aspect, and completely beyond redemption, that I decided to just gut the entire thing. It had horrible tonality, poor dynamic range, no imaging or sound stage whatsoever, and anemic bass response. I started a build thread over at DIY Mobile Audio (a great place to learn if you're serious about sound quality), where I talked about at first using the factory locations for a moderately sized midbass/midrange driver at the bottom of the door and the tweeter in the sail panel, but after researching Augmented Wideband setups and hearing a few incredible sounding cars from members at DIYMA, I decided to try this approach.
    More info on AW: The Augmented Wideband Approach to Car-Fi: What, Why, and How
    The basics behind the approach is to use a "wideband" driver that can hand lower midrange frequencies and generally extend to the 12kHz-15kHz range, essentially eliminating the need for a tweeter. Some augment with a tweeter, ending up with a 3-way install, but after listening to the AW setup, I've nixed the need for a tweeter as they sound detailed and crisp without one. The idea is that the wideband driver, generally a 2"-3" cone, reproduces the frequencies that contain nearly all the information in music. Vocals, percussion, and most instruments fall in this range. They are installed at dash level and then only supplemented with a midbass for some punch in kick drums and lower midrange (male vocals, cello, etc), and a subwoofer for the fun stuff.

    The equipment:
    - Factory HU (for now, until either an Android HU releases or a Double DIN with good Android integration, like many iPod integrated HU's).
    - JBL MS-8 Digital Signal Processor. Interfaces with the factory HU, levels the frequency response from that signal (similar to JL Clean Sweep), and then the fun stuff begins. You place a set of included headphones on, that have microphones in each ear. It runs an auto calibration that requires you look straight ahead, then at the driver's side mirror, then the passenger's side mirror, as it automatically time aligns all drivers and levels frequency response. You can repeat it for other seating positions, to ensure passengers don't get left out. The result is stunning, and a stellar technological achievement on the part of Harman International.
    - Massive Audio NX5 - 120w x 4 RMS Class AB for the front stage, 800w x 1 Class D for the sub. All in a small package that fits under the drivers seat. Yes, please!
    - Dayton RS180 7" midbass in fabricated MDF rings in the factory door locations
    - Tang Band W3-1364SA Wide band 3" Bamboo Cone drivers. The stars of the show

    Let the install begin!

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    The Install begins with 4ga knukonceptz cable from the batt to the driver's seat:



    Into the fenderwell:


    Had to pop off a few panels to get access to the boot entering the driver's side footwell:


    Cable running into the grommet:


    Coming through the inside:


    Saw someone use PVC endcaps to make small "enclosures" for the wideband drivers. Might either use an Autometer gauge cup long term, or fiberglass them into the a-pillars (covered in alcantara with red contrast stitching!)


    MDF rings to adapt the Tang Bands to the PVC cup:




    Painted with truck bedliner. I'll post pics of them installed in the car soon. Doesn't look awful, but can't wait to get them integrated into the a-pillars.


    Pulled the seats and a ton of interior panels to run all the cabling, which was covered in TechFlex:
    Last edited by SamXp; 05-03-2011 at 08:15 AM.

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    More pictures of the interior to follow. As well as noise attenuation, which will be a layer of Closed Cell Foam and Mass Loaded Vinyl on the floor, as well as CCF/MLV on the doors. Already installed CLD tiles on the doors and plan to seal them up with RaamMat.

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    That's a pretty good write up. I'd be concerned with frequencies above 15k (they say above 10k), although sometimes hard to hear directly, the higher frequencies help balance the soundstage and provide a crispness that you night be missing without tweeters. What are your thoughts on that? Will you be adding tweeters in the future?
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    I had planned to put small tweeters to play 12kHz up, and powered by the internal MS8 amp, in the factory locations, but I'm in no hurry to do so. My hearing drops off rapidly above 15kHz, and the RTA plots show a slight 3dB/octave slope at about 10kHz up, so I might run tweeterless for a good while. A few others at a DIYMA meet last weekend also confirmed that the W3's sounded very detailed and crisp and were shocked to hear that the tweeters weren't connected. I might even use the factory Subaru tweeters, for that matter. From 12kHz up, they'll need only a few watts of power.

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Good point! I'm interested to hear how you like them after it's all said and done. I'll be looking to do something in the near future and am always looking for new ideas. I used to be big into the mobile audio game but have been out for a number of years, it's nice to see things are progressing!
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    I come and go with the Mobile Audio game, as well, which frustrates some hobbyists because they are in a continual driver and amplifier swap game, trying to improve sound. I generally plan, implement and be done with it. Each car I buy, I note that technology progresses. I bought a Rockford Fosgate 360.1 for my last car, four years ago, and it was obvious that it wasn't ready for launch. The MS8 really is a fine machine, though.

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Update:

    Originally mounted the pods on top of the dash:


    Then decided to recess them in the pillars. Plan on trimming back the pod 1/2" (more space than I need) and covering it in vinyl with red contrast stitching.

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    Registered User patrick4588's Avatar
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    good luck with it

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    looks great.
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User spnkdrm's Avatar
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    May be a dumb question, but are you sure you want it mounted right on top of that vent?
    New EnglandF4
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    U.S. Combat Veteran (3ID) Stu_Gotti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spnkdrm View Post
    May be a dumb question, but are you sure you want it mounted right on top of that vent?
    If he trims that back about 1/2" it may clear it...

    Looks awesome, nice work!
    Clarke Tuned | Cobb SRI | Cobb DP | Nameless Mid-Pipe & Axleback | PW TMIC | DW65C | NGK2309 | SPT STS | RA Flaps w/Blue | Pro-Clip | KB Black Aluminum Shift Knob | KB Front & Rear Shifter Bushings | 18x9.5 +40 Gunmetal Rota D wrapped in 265/35ZR-18 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 | 24mm Whiteline Front Sway & 22mm Rear | Kartboy Front & Rear Endlinks | Yakima Roof Rack Complete System w/ Highroller Bike Rack & Yakima Fairing | 35% Tint | Full Sound Dead | Blue Prova Rearview

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_Gotti View Post
    If he trims that back about 1/2" it may clear it...

    Looks awesome, nice work!
    This^
    And thanks for the kind words.
    the air flows around it pretty well right now. I imagine it will only get better after I trim it back a bit.

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    U.S. Combat Veteran (3ID) Stu_Gotti's Avatar
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    I assume you're going to mold that in by fiberglassing it, right? If not, curious about your approach.
    Clarke Tuned | Cobb SRI | Cobb DP | Nameless Mid-Pipe & Axleback | PW TMIC | DW65C | NGK2309 | SPT STS | RA Flaps w/Blue | Pro-Clip | KB Black Aluminum Shift Knob | KB Front & Rear Shifter Bushings | 18x9.5 +40 Gunmetal Rota D wrapped in 265/35ZR-18 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 | 24mm Whiteline Front Sway & 22mm Rear | Kartboy Front & Rear Endlinks | Yakima Roof Rack Complete System w/ Highroller Bike Rack & Yakima Fairing | 35% Tint | Full Sound Dead | Blue Prova Rearview

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    I don't want to build it up too much so I'll just use some bondo to add a "fillet" between the pod and pillar and also make it easier to stretch the vinyl.
    I'm looking at the way the geometric shape of the instrument cluster meets the dash for inspiration.

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