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Old 07-31-2013, 08:33 PM
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Audio Build Thread

Hi everyone,

Since my install is right around the corner I thought I'd start an official build thread. I've sourced some of the equipment already, but most of the parts I intend to buy from the shop that will do the install

Equipment:
Head Unit: Pioneer AVIC Z140BH
Amp: JL HD 900/5
Components: undecided but distilled to the following sets:
- German Maestro SV6509
- Rainbow Germaniums
- Hertz 165 HSK
Sub: custom fiberglass enclosure (where the factory 8" resides). Depending on how much space is available, and how
far out I'll allow them to build, will determine which sub will be used. In order of preference they will attempt to
fit, in this order: 12" IDMAX --> 10" IDMAX --> 12" IDQ --> 10" IDQ

My goal for the build is SQ and a discreet install. I've outgrown my days of SPL level listening, but will turn it up on occasion (usually on the way to the gym because I need the motivation).

I don't have much to share in terms of pictures except for the Pioneer head unit that I received today. My amp should arrive tomorrow and the components will likely be purchased at the local shop.

Thanks for everyone's input and contributions to the forum. I'll update the thread as my install progresses.

Jason
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File Type: jpg Pioneer AVIC Z140BH.jpg (516.5 KB, 56 views)
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:04 AM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

Awesome!! You doing it yourself? Post pics of the process!
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:56 AM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

I might try to install the HU myself to save some money, but in all honestly I'll probably end up having my local shop install everything. I've installed basic systems before, but that was over 10 years ago on my college car which was a beater in comparison to my jeep. I'm worried my craftsmanship (running wires,e tc.) isn't up to par. My biggest fear is jacking up my interior.

But we'll see, I may give it a go this weekend and see how far I can get. Might be a fun project.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:51 PM
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Have the shop install everything, save yourself the headache. Haha. Once I got my jeep apart i felt like crying. The whole garage was literally filled with pieces. Looked like someone blew my jeep up. And that was just the amp and components. After all that I had a shop install the Headunit. So much easier and stress free.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:15 PM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

^^^ haha my thoughts exactly. I'd probably freak out halfway through.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:10 PM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

I received the JL HD900/5 amp today. Nice sturdy amp. Really compact too.

I'm hoping the installers can fit me in on Saturday but considering I have to still audition and choose a set of components, I'm doubtful. Crossing my fingers.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:51 PM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

Today I spent a good amount of time A/B testing several high-end component sets. They were all run off an Image Dynamics class AB amp, and I used a 12” Image Dynamics IDQ sub – I used the sub sparingly, just to get a sense for the full sound spectrum at times. Most of the time I listened to the components without the sub or with it turned way down. I only brought one CD with me which was Katchafire. The songs provided a good mix of vocals, instruments, and other Reggae-esque tones.

The components I demoed were, with MSRP or price I found with basic Google search:
- Arc Audio Black 6.2 - $999
- Focal KR - $700
- Image Dynamics XS-65 - ~$500
- German Maestro SV6509 - $700

The speakers were on a soundboard but the room mimicked a car setup. The speakers were mounted lower to the ground, about where they’d be positioned in a car, and they flanked two leather car seats. It might be hard to envision but suffice to say it was closer to a car setup than 95% of the boards I’ve seen / heard.

All of the components were high-end so you really can’t go wrong with either, but my preference were the German Maestros. Before hearing them I didn't think I’d like them because they use a titanium tweeter and I was looking for a more warm, enveloping sound. But these titanium tweeters weren't harsh at all. As a matter of fact they were smoother than the silk dome tweeters I heard like the Arc Blacks. The tweeter uses a rubber surround, like a full range speaker would, which eliminates those piercing sounds you hear in the higher frequencies. Also, the tweeter can be run full range! Seriously there’s articles on it. You can send a full signal to the tweet and it’ll play the entire frequency. The benefit is that it can player lower than most tweeters. I later listened to the same CD in my Jeep and the highs were really piercing on the Alpine’s. Yuck.

At low to medium volumes the Maestros really shined. They were very articulate and airy sounding. Even my 11 year old daughter, who hates loud music, said the Maestros sounded really good. If you've ever heard really good speakers you’ll get this description: as you turn up the volume the speakers get “bigger” but not necessarily louder. I have a pretty sophisticated home audio system and that’s exactly how they sound. The music gets more dynamic but without the ear fatigue. In comparison the Focals were more ‘in-your-face’, and so were the Arc Blacks. The Image Dynamics I liked the least. They sounded ok but had a ‘smeared’ sound in comparison to the other components. Not a bad set whatsoever, but just not in the same league according to my ears.

So I’m set on the Maestros. In the rear I’ll be using their less expensive CS line (coaxial). Install will be next Saturday. Because the custom box will take 2-3 days to build I’m going to use a temp sub for now. I have a 10” Rockford T2 sub and a 12” IDMAX in my garage collecting dust. I’ll use one of them for now.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:57 PM
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Nice write up man. Never heard Maestros but from what you've explained, I wish I did. I'm excited for you. Haha. Post a vid if possible when you're finished
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:02 AM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

Yeah I really liked the Maestros man. They came highly recommended by the shop owner too. He's helped me over the years with my other SUV and I trust him. He's talked me down from buying more expensive products in the past and once charged me less than my quote because the job was easier than expected. Stand up dude. Anyway he said it's probably his favorite set off all the speakers he sells -- mind you I was demoing more expensive sets so he wasn't trying to push an expensive product. I can't wait to get everything installed next week. They are deadening the doors and whole 9 yards. Will definitely take pictures and do a video after it's all said and done.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

Dropped her off this morning. Decided to do the sub. 10" D4 idmax in a custom enclosure. Pick her up on Monday. Can't wait.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:27 PM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd31 View Post
I might try to install the HU myself to save some money, but in all honestly I'll probably end up having my local shop install everything. I've installed basic systems before, but that was over 10 years ago on my college car which was a beater in comparison to my jeep. I'm worried my craftsmanship (running wires,e tc.) isn't up to par. My biggest fear is jacking up my interior.

But we'll see, I may give it a go this weekend and see how far I can get. Might be a fun project.
Rough idea of cost for them to install?
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:04 PM
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Re: Audio Build Thread

To install the head unit it was $225, which included connecting all the adapters, installing the mic, and splicing into the existing backup camera wiring. The shop's normal rate is $300 with purchase.

The shop I went to is a little pricier than most shops but they do amazing work. One of their owners was a top 100 installer (can't recall the magazine) and they work on a lot of exotic cars.
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