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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Progress on this thread, which ended being too long to be readable.

It took quite a bit of sacrificial 4" PVC to finally get things right. The destination for the midrange is curvy, with compound angles galore, so getting the PVC tube shaped and angled to sit satisfactorily flush was a bit of a challenge. Out of 8' of 4" PVC, it looks like there's about 16" left. That's a lotta cutting & shaping and waste.

Once the shape was cut on a paper template, a jigsaw was used to cut the pipe, followed by a chop saw to cut the proper depth & make a flat a surface for the beefy little Fountek 4" to sit flush & attach to. Photos of that process in the thread linked above.

One of the mental "issues" to overcome is drilling permanent holes in the door panel. Although I've done it countless times for customers & friends, making irreversible alterations to ones main ride somehow causes more angst. In effort to minimize "damage" to the panel, the idea of attaching threaded rods to the inside of the tubes made way more sense than fabing L brackets. To do that, a 3/32"" bit was used to create channels on the inside of the tube, then threaded rod was cut to length and epoxied in place, facilitating a rigid upper and lower mounting point for the pod.

Glued.jpg

When the final assembly happens, black gasketing on the curvy inner edge is in store, which should create an air tight seal and provide an impact cushion for the assembled housing.

The PVC tubes aren't yet covered. When they are, the material won't be all that noticeable except when inspected closely. It'll be a nice finish touch no matter what. Have some left over light gray leather which would contrast nicely with the darker grays of the interior. Black vinyl carbon fiber is another option - which would pretty much disappear in the shadows of this spot on the door.

Mid_Mouted.jpg

The coils and caps seen sitting on the arm rest in the photo above are part of crossovers yet to be assembled. The coil is destined for the Silver Flute 6.5" already in the door. 1st order attenuation @ 1K for those monsters - the big fat cap is 1st order HP on the midranges @ 1K. The idea behind those gentle slopes is to allow a smooth, phase coherent blend between the door woofs and mid range. The 6db down point for the Flutes will be 2K with the Founteks -6db @ 500Hz, where they *should* produce a warm vocal. Upper end of the mid is 3rd order @4.5kHz. That stuff is part of a larger plan to integrate the ribbon tweets you can see mounted in the sail panel - and Air Motion Transformers already singing nicely in the factory dash location. The ribbons will be crossed 1st order @ 10kHz, which should focus some of the "air" currently provided by the AMTs in the dash, splashing off the windshield.

EDIT: correcting myself on a technicality. 1st order crossovers impose a 6db slope calculated for the point of attenuation based on driver impedance. So... the -6db point on the 6.5" Silver Flutes will be -1kHz at the top end while the Fountek's mids will be -1kHz on the low end. The correction here is: the -12db on the Fountek midrange will be 500Hz/-12db on the SIlver Flutes @ 2kHz. The intention of this design is two fold: limit "phase confusion" at the crossover point between woof & mid and limit power to the 4" Fountek's - which *can be* full range drivers in a near field config. However, operating @ full range, they are spec'd to handle 25 watts peak. That limited power spec is due to low frequency handling abilities of a driver this size - stemming from the limited mechanical excursion of a small cone, the system suspending it and the voice coil/magnet comprising the motor pushing/pulling the cone/diaphragm. When the Fountek's are driven by the 100 watt Zapco, the 6db slope afforded by the capacitor will allow 50 watts to pass @ 1kHz, dropping to 25watts @ 500Hz, 12.5 watts @ 250hz, 6.25 watts @ 125Hz, 3.125 watts @ 62.5Hz and so on until virtually no power (or 1.56 Watts) is passed below the stupid low freq of 31.25Hz. < at the lower end, the output of the Zapco will already be limited to somewhere around 80Hz @ 3rd or 4th order slopes (18 to 24db) by the Pioneer's DSP filters - so any energy lower than that will already be super attenuated before program material gets into the signal path. In other words, the Fountek's *should handle* the target frequency range nicely. The advantage of a gentle 6db slope is rooted in phase coherence when the Fountek's and Flutes acoustically blend into the space of the RL's interior. Realizing this kind of thing only means something to nit-picking crazy sound junkies like I, this correction to thought occurred on the rainy drive to work this morning - sitting in traffic with nothing better to do than think about stuff. This is more about getting things straight & putting it in text to solidify my own understanding than anything else. /end edit.

I simply couldn't wait to hear if things were headed in the direction imagined, so I strung together the mids, rigged the filters and made a quick/dirty connection to the front end Zapco amp. The orientation of the mids turned out pretty much as imagined. Pointed just a tad low, maybe shoulder high, closest to the window of a 6' tall passenger & driver. First listen was very pleasing, causing the thought: "headphones". LOL. What I mean is, the image projected by the system is not only physically raised up, mixing with highs above 4.5kHz reflecting off the windshield, but voices and guitars are "present" and "immediate". For just a few minutes, I played around with accoustistuff and batting materials stuffed into the PVC tubes, further pushing the projected image forward. This brings a smile to my face. That kind of fine tuning will hafta wait till the system is totally together.

Mid_Mounted_Drivers.jpg

With plenty of day light left, Mr. Rain said stop what you are doing. SO, more will have to wait. Damn it. Todays progress is making me anxious.

The sub side of things has made incremental progress but to make anything substantial happens on that, I'm definitely going to need a few days of sequential effort when cutting the cab wall starts. Once the hole is made, there will be no option but to finish.

Starting to think taking vacation days is the only way to string enough days in a row to finally finish this install.
 

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Looks Good Man, I can't wait to sit in it and really hear it...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Carsmak. We'll make a point of getting together when things are farther along. The Zapco 151 is totally rebuilt with new (not N.O.S.) caps, updated FETs and interconnects. Its the sweet spot of the system for sure. Nobody hears the system till it goes back in. HA!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Great work. It is going to get real interesting once you cut the wall. Cant wait
Thanks Smokey. Cutting the wall is sorta second nature, so it isn't nearly as challenging as solving the relocation of the rear window motor. The place it needs to go is father away than the stock winder cable length allows. A couple of things in the works for that.
 

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Thanks for the update, can't wait to see more details of your SQ build.
 

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You are trying to build a 3 way front passive system with custom Passive Crossovers, I said it before, it is a crazy idea in a Car. In a home, maybe it is OK since you pick the sweet spot seating centered and move backwards to find the best imaging and stage spot and you also have sealed enclosures for the proper driver response of the midbass and midrange.

In a car it is a totally different environment you are seating on one side you have the left speakers closer sounding louder than the right ones, the stage is a mess on one side not centered, the cabin size gives different responses and levels from different drivers that need to be level matched.

Trying to time align a 3 way front with a custom passive crossover is not quite possible with just the Head Units TA, you will need to change the phase ( polarity ) of some of those drivers to correct the issues since only one amplified channel is used for 3 drivers.

It is a challenge that a simple 2 way front in Bi amp mode can accomplish in a fraction of time hours versus months trying to accomplish it with a passive single channel for 3 drivers
with different sensitivities, specs, power handling etc.

In any case, you will have to use an active Network capable head Unit in the Standard Mode only to do all this. The AMT tweeters may have a wide dispersion but they still need to be as close as possible to the 4" ones, if not, good luck with the image response and tuning. At least the HU allows individual channel output level to compensate, but how will you correct the level matching between the flutes, the Ftek and the tweeters all driven with a single channel? That is when you get separate DSP box or a Pioneer P99 with 8 channels and extra amps to do it all electronically, without a mess of wiring, soldering etc.

Also, if the flutes are being crossed at 1K, maybe some Peerless dedicated woofers for an extra $45 would have been given a much better dedicated bass.

But again I know this is just an experiment and if the 3 way system does not work, you can always use the flutes for a 2 way front system, maybe even without the tweeters, the issue with the 4" speakers being in that location is that the stage will be low as you already said, you really want the voices to be just above the dash if possible, and for that the higher frequency drivers should be on the dash or pillar and on axis sometimes depending on the sound character they provide.



Added
Crossing the midbass at 2000 hz will just try to compete with the 4" speaker, or pull the stage down,instead of taking advantage that 4 inch driver.

The best way to make this work in my opinion would be to free 2 channels just for the flutes, run the unit in active Network mode, 2 ch for the mid bass and 2 ch for tweeters and 4 " drivers with the custom passive. Control output levels and match them even the mids and highs being in the same channel, this will make the TA effective also for a better stage.

Also if the amp has RCA pre outs that could be another way to free up some channels using another dedicated amp for the midbass or the mids and tweeters running them together, or for rear speakers as long as the mids and highs run in one channel and the midbass in separate channels.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your opinion laserguy. Outside of the microcosm of auto sound competition, there's an entire universe of experience, data, philosophy, science and variables in real world applications which, IMO are grossly ignored by the "SQ" world. For example: having been part of many professional fixed and mobile sound installations, I've learned listening position optimization is not the end all of sonic enjoyment, especially when more than one listener is involved. Another lesson learned is: there is no difference between sound in a car, a living room or a million sq ft arena - there are only varying degrees of complexity those environments present to a system designer.

In the near field environment of a vehicle, there's a whole lot to be said for playing around with point source phase/frequency relationships, reflections and many other aspects of ambient acoustics -going well beyond the goals time compensation and "soundstaging" seeks to "solve". Those kind of things come from experience and are difficult to impart to anyone focused solely on the narrowly defined notion of "SQ".

If budget allowed, perhaps this system could represent the culmination of a life in pro audio. Alas, the RL does not offer the appropriate space and configuration to accomplish anything close to an ultimate expression of sound reproduction as I see it, so... the path for this system design is defined by budget, available space, imagination born of personal/professional experience & my limited fabrication ability.

Ultimately, this is not a system seeking to compete or meet anyones expectations but my own, and I'm pretty sure that no matter what happens, that goal will be achieved. Most of the ideals in this design are ethereal and come from a very different place than the accepted norms of auto sound competition world. There's simply more to sound design than that limited perspective.

As always: to each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Small progress made late this afternoon. Sun was going down so this was a rush job.

Work area, tools & supplies ready. This is the leather hide scrap I decided to go with. It's in the shade range of the interior, so it should look OK on final assembly. The lip of the Fountek FE83's fit tightly over a standard 4" pipe leaving no room for material between the folded lip and the outer skin of the pipe. Started by scribing a line around the pipe to serve as a guide for attaching the leather.

Wrap_Ready.jpg

581 spray adhesive is great stuff. Easy to work with and forgiving if a first attempt to attach needs repositioning. Works best to give the substrate and material a light coat, give them time to get tacky before laying on material.

WrapGlue.jpg

Get an edge roughly aligned, pull the material tight and start wrapping, following the scribed line. First pass worked! Whew!

WrapCloseUp0.jpg

Had the idea of using black compression foam to act as a seal between the pipe and door panel. This is the "D" shaped-self adhesive foam used in construction for doors. Easy, off the shelf solution that forms to the compound curves of the pipe and door panel.

WrapAndFoam.jpg

Here's how it looks compressed on the door panel.

WrapAndFoamDoor.jpg WrapAndFoamDoor1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Toying with the idea of treating the outer ring of the grill to make it the same color as the grab handle surrounding the door release. Thinking if the ring were silver, the grill perforations black, the aluminum cone and the grey leather might make a cohesive look.

The edging between the speaker lip and leather turned out pretty nice.

WrapCloseUp.jpg

The grey seems to pop from across the cabin. Not really what was expected. Might take a little getting used to.

WrapAcrossCabin.jpg
 

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Looking good!

IMHO the silver screws look out of place on the black Fountek trim. As you say, maybe the Fountek ring needs to be silver, or the screws could be painted black.
 

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Looking Good OhSix.

But, I agree with CoolBob, the Black Trim Ring with The Black Grill either needs Black Screws (should be easy enough to find) or it needs to be a "Brushed Aluminum"look similar to the door pulls and other Ridgeline related trim pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bob and Mak. If you guys don't like the stainless pan heads for these grills, you're gonna really dislike the LEDs I was thinking of using to cover the heads. HAHAHA!

Agree, sometimes contrast is cool, other times not so much - like now

These goofy little old school grills came straight out of China & I wasn't thinking ahead far enough to get more than one pair in case of damage or stupid mistakes, so that brings a bit more pressure to get it right the first time. Ideally, the rings would be headless and silver to match the other elements inside the RL cabin, so I took one of them - soldered in mounting holes, did a light sand job and gave it a squirt with some paint. Here's the first pass.

20151026_135419.jpg

20151026_125502_2.jpg

My buddy over at the vinyl wrap shop might be able to cover these to match RL silver. That would be sweet!
 

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WOW! Nice soldering and painting, I think you have nailed it.

I was going to suggest switching to black allen-head screws, maybe even adding 4 more so the speaker would be surrounded by 8 screws instead of four, but no screws is way better.

I'm a big fan of the european 'less is more' approach to interior design. Please don't take offense, but the thought of silver trim on the speakers reminds me of an 80's boom box. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
WOW! Nice soldering and painting, I think you have nailed it.

I was going to suggest switching to black allen-head screws, maybe even adding 4 more so the speaker would be surrounded by 8 screws instead of four, but no screws is way better.

I'm a big fan of the european 'less is more' approach to interior design. Please don't take offense, but the thought of silver trim on the speakers reminds me of an 80's boom box. :)
You say boom box like it's a bad thing. I still have the shop manual for my Symphonic cassette player. This thing is bad a$$. Not only is it stereo, but it has woofers AND tweeters with AM/FM . It is getting harder to find good music on cassette these days though. Bummer about that. Sling this thing over your shoulder and roller skate down the boardwalk, you'll see what a babe magnet it is!

LOLOLOL

Boom Box.jpg

No offense taken Bob. Was just looking at the pod in its future home and thought a satin silver finish on the ring would integrate with the grab handle, dash controls and steering wheel trim. On the flip side, it would draw unnecessary attention to an interior element that doesn't need to be noticed. Given the way the grey skin "pops" under certain light conditions, I'm considering striping the leather and wrapping with faux carbon fiber vinyl just to lower the "look at me" effect.

Your input is much appreciated!
 

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No offense taken Bob. Was just looking at the pod in its future home and thought a satin silver finish on the ring would integrate with the grab handle, dash controls and steering wheel trim. On the flip side, it would draw unnecessary attention to an interior element that doesn't need to be noticed. Given the way the grey skin "pops" under certain light conditions, I'm considering striping the leather and wrapping with faux carbon fiber vinyl just to lower the "look at me" effect.

Your input is much appreciated!
Six, Before you strip the grey leather, you may want to look into darking it with a tint or shoe polish. I believe if it was closer to the color of the door panel or arm wrest it may "blend" better.

Have Fun
 

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A few years ago I picked up a very nice Nakamichi cassette deck that had just been services with all new belts on eBay for a little over a hundred bucks. Over the years I've owned many nice decks (Concord, Kenwood, Sony ES) but I couldn't afford/justify a Nakamichi back in the day.

I currently have an irrational urge to buy a vintage Marantz boombox, maybe the model with the turntable. So while I appreciate the 'boom box aesthetics' it's not something I want in my Ridgeline. :)

I concur with Carsmak, dying the leather a tad darker might be just the thing to make the speaker pod more stealthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Six, Before you strip the grey leather, you may want to look into darking it with a tint or shoe polish. I believe if it was closer to the color of the door panel or arm wrest it may "blend" better.

Have Fun
Never even thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion! This is exactly why this forum is so valuable!

AH Crap. Now I gotta go learn about leather dye. HAHAHA
 

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Never even thought of that. Thanks for the suggestion! This is exactly why this forum is so valuable!

AH Crap. Now I gotta go learn about leather dye. HAHAHA
And you should still have some scraps from when you cut it down, Like I said, I'd start with shoe polish and then look into dye's...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
A few years ago I picked up a very nice Nakamichi cassette deck that had just been services with all new belts on eBay for a little over a hundred bucks. Over the years I've owned many nice decks (Concord, Kenwood, Sony ES) but I couldn't afford/justify a Nakamichi back in the day.

I currently have an irrational urge to buy a vintage Marantz boombox, maybe the model with the turntable. So while I appreciate the 'boom box aesthetics' it's not something I want in my Ridgeline. :)

I concur with Carsmak, dying the leather a tad darker might be just the thing to make the speaker pod more stealthy.
Thanks Bob!

WOH! Concord, there's a car brand I haven't thought of in years. Great Dolby enabled desk back in the shaft radio days.

I still have a Craig hump mount Dolby FM auto reverse cassette deck somewhere in a box - my first high fidelity system in a 1970 Challenger, complete with a "Power Play booster amp". 10 watts baby!

There's a Nakamichi 250 with the ADS speaker system packed away and afully functioning Blaupunkt "Derby" hangs proudly under a shelf in the garage. Vintage car radios - quite the obscure hobby! Doesn't make sense to have those items in a box somewhere, does it?

Hey, there is nothing irrational about lusting after outdated audio products from the past. Telefunken and Nagra field recorders are on my list. Stuff that won't be used but are damned fine engineering marvels - one German, the other Swiss.

Nagra_2.1.jpg

Hope you find the Marantz of your dreams. Saul was a genius in his day. His tube gear is amongst the most valued vintage audio in the world.
 
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