Help an old fogy out?

feeshta

Member
2016-05-04 11:57 pm
Hello all. I'm an old car audio fan who hasn't had the spare time or money to do anything with the systems in my cars for a while. In my youth, I actually briefly worked as an installer prior to leaving home and joining the military, and have built about 5 different car stereos of my own over the years. But enough about me.

So here's my quandary. I recently purchased a car(2007 Porsche Cayman S) that I plan to keep for a long time, and it is unfortunately blighted with a horrible sounding Bose "upgrade". It has horrifically bad resonance issues that drive me nuts. Because Bose in their infinite douchbaggery build things that are nearly impossible to integrate with, I have decided to just remove the system entirely and start over. I do have some parts sitting around from old systems that I can use, including 2 amplifiers. They are a 4x75 watt, and 2x150 watt pair of US Amps TU series tube hybrids. I also have an old DLS UR36 Ultimate 3 way speaker set around, but they are probably a bit worse for the wear.

I would prefer to keep everything stock looking, so I will utilize the stock speaker locations to build my replacement system. I also do not wish to compromise storage space. Fortunately, the Bose system does bring some redeeming qualities. It features 8" midbass in the doors, which makes things a lot easier from an upgrade perspective. The basic layout is an 8" and a 4" in each door, and tweeters in the corners of the dash. The Bose system also had a small subwoofer in the passenger side footwell, and an amplifier in the "frunk" which is inside a storage cubby that could possibly be replaced with a simple amplifier rack at almost no cost in space.

I'm not a basshead by any means, preferring clean and tight sound, but the system does need to be able to reach significant volumes. My favorite type of music is aggressive guitar-driven rock with a lot of growl and anger to it, and this just doesn't sound right when played at low volumes.

So, I'm wondering whether I might be able to get away with a really simple system like an 8/9" midwoofer/midbass and tweet, or three way version of the same. Having only the 4 speakers would simplify installation, as I could just use one amplifier. Alternatively I could go with a 3 way setup, and run the 8s off the 2x150, provided the amplification will all fit without a real storage space penalty. I could possibly do a small subwoofer in the rear trunk area, but I would prefer to avoid it if possible.

I plan on replacing the factory radio with a double din touchscreen offering of some variety, but I might need some direction on what to look for there. For a start it needs to be relatively simple in design. Something with tons of buttons and knobs isn't going to integrate well with the overall look of the car. I would love to have the ability to use things like Waze for navigation etc on said device, as well as bluetooth integration. Internal signal processing would be a huge bonus as my amplifiers have zero signal processing beyond gain control. They also tend to prefer a high level input, so high level RCA out would be a big plus as well. I used to run an Eclipse HU for this reason, but it seems they have passed on now. Alternatively, I could use something like a miniDSP processor if that is the better route. I would like to have time alignment, eq, and full band-pass crossover control at a minimum.

I have seen that the Morel Elate 902/3 drivers do fit in these doors, so up to around a 9" driver is possible without much modding. Love that setup, but good lord are they pricey.

Budget is moderate. I could go up to about 3 grand or so total, but would prefer to keep it lower if I can achieve a good result that way.

So, if you were in my situation, what would be the direction you would go? Looking for some ideas here, as I'm sure there is a lot of stuff out there I have never heard of.




I will link a few images below so you can get a feel for how the install would have to go.

Here is the factory headunit compared with a kit-installed double din.
jpzH9utS.jpg


Shot of the door layout, with the 8" and 4" locations visible.
53556080.jpg


Shot of the factory amplifier location. Its in the lower bump out. Second image is of an install with the bump out removed and a small rockford amp installed.
IMG_2039_zps44087f0e.jpg

IMG_2038_zpsc32961b0.jpg


There is another cubby above the amplifier location that could be useful for install purposes as well. In this case someone installed some passive crossovers there. It's not particularly deep though.
CIMG0440.JPG
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
I would leave the electronics and speakers but use a miniDSP unit to improve the overall tonal balance. $300-$500.

Would take measurements to properly make all of the adjustments, that equipment might run you a little more for a calibrated mic, software, etc. You would need to figure out a way to play test signals, measure the results and create digital filters. I can do it all pretty much with OmniMic, but I'm sure you can with Room EQ Wizard as well.

By the way, not that I am suggesting anyone go and invest in Bose, but in terms of car audio they have had some pretty reasonably well balanced units, especially compared to say a B&O or other flashy sounding systems.

Otherwise, updating a system like yours is a major hassle, which I personally would much rather hire pros to do than attempt myself, but them I'm a home speaker guy, not a car guy.

Another kind of idea for you is to use batch digital filtering so that your music gets adjusted and processed offline. I could do this for instance by loading up my car iPod with post-processed music. Would save me all of the hardware costs. Not sure what software to steer you to though, but I'm sure it's out there.

Best of luck to you,


Erik
 

feeshta

Member
2016-05-04 11:57 pm
I would leave the electronics and speakers but use a miniDSP unit to improve the overall tonal balance. $300-$500.

Would take measurements to properly make all of the adjustments, that equipment might run you a little more for a calibrated mic, software, etc. You would need to figure out a way to play test signals, measure the results and create digital filters. I can do it all pretty much with OmniMic, but I'm sure you can with Room EQ Wizard as well.

By the way, not that I am suggesting anyone go and invest in Bose, but in terms of car audio they have had some pretty reasonably well balanced units, especially compared to say a B&O or other flashy sounding systems.

Otherwise, updating a system like yours is a major hassle, which I personally would much rather hire pros to do than attempt myself, but them I'm a home speaker guy, not a car guy.

Another kind of idea for you is to use batch digital filtering so that your music gets adjusted and processed offline. I could do this for instance by loading up my car iPod with post-processed music. Would save me all of the hardware costs. Not sure what software to steer you to though, but I'm sure it's out there.

Best of luck to you,


Erik

Unfortunately leaving the electronics in place is not a real option in this case, particularly integrating something like a miniDSP. Bose uses a proprietary fiber optic connection from the head unit to the amplifier, and all of the channels in the factory system are then EQed (horrifically badly it seems from the sound of things) and crossed over prior to amplification, but internal to the amplifier. The only way to integrate with the Bose setup is to buy a $600 adapter unit, and then all you get is the ability to use a different source unit, the processing, amplification etc remains the same. Swapping out the speakers would most likely result in even worse tonal balance, as the EQ curve coupled with a different natural tonal balance of the new drivers would likely throw things off even further.

I am aware of the benefits of proper tuning, particularly in a car environment where speaker placement is far from ideal and the acoustic character of the space is an extremely strong influence on the overall sound. My brother actually owns all of the equipment needed to set things up, meassure, and adjust appropriately, as he does sound for live music performances and takes pride in his work, so that side of the equation is relatively well covered. :)
 

Lojzek

Member
2012-02-10 12:12 pm
Croatia
I would prefer to keep everything stock looking, so I will utilize
the stock speaker locations to build my replacement system.

First get the existing Bose drivers measured and then go from the results
whatever that might be. If there is not enough overlaping capabilities
of the stock Bose drivers or TS bassmid parameters don't suffice for decent
midbass, then it would make sense to replace with something better. In case
all the divers are good enough, then the only thing that needs attention is the
passive crossover filter. Have it done right and you only need a solid amp to
drive these as a 3 way system. That is anyway how I would do it. Good luck!