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[ADSL only] des installes comme je les aime!

Message par Ludobrev » 01 Septembre 2007, 13:35

http://www.caraudiomag.com/features/0612_cae_1995_nissan_silvia/

[quote][b]1995 Nissan Silva - High-End "Hybrid"[/b]
Fast, Stylish And Sonically Spectacular, This 1995 Nissan Silvia Is A Triple Threat
Photography by Henry DeKuyper
writer: Jefferson J Bryant

[img]http://images.caraudiomag.com/images/0612_caep_02z+1995_nissan_silvia+interior.jpg[/img]

Performance, audio and style. This combined approach to design juggles these three distinct categories with the goal to build the ultimate hybrid vehicle. If only incorporating the three key aspects into a car was as easy as juggling apples. Many have tried, but few have succeeded in creating a well-rounded high-end car like this. Scott Buwalda took his 1995 Nissan and turned it into most aspiring tuners' dream car.

SpeedStarting out as the bare frame of Buwalda's '95 240SX IASCA Expert SQ vehicle, the project began with a clean slate. The foundation of the car is a 500hp twin-turbo Nissan Skyline RB26DETT engine. Using this particular engine came with a major caveat - in order to correctly install it without compromising performance, the car had to be converted to right-hand-drive. No easy feat, it required the firewall from a Silvia, some serious cutting and welding, and even recreating the factory asphaltic barrier between the new firewall to replicate the original. Even S14 experts have trouble identifying the completed car's true heritage. For more on the performance side of Buwalda's ride, check out the November issue of Super Street magazine.

[img]http://images.caraudiomag.com/images/0612_caep_03z+1995_nissan_silvia+hood.jpg[/img]

StyleOne of the distinct features of the install are the four amplifiers mounted against the rear window. Buwalda needed a unique way to show them off of course. "We decided to motorize the back window up and down to show off the amps' internals," he explains. The rear window was removed and a mold was made. Using two layers of 22-ounce marine-grade fiberglass (the same thickness used for boat hulls) and two gallons of resin, a fiberglass replica window was created. To this day most people think the rear window is actual glass.

Sealing the new window against the elements required much more work than building and motorizing it. An entire water channel system had to be created to route water away from the amps and out of the car. Buwalda welded portions of the window channel together and used a special right-angle rubber edging, creating what looks like a factory-original hatchback. Next, he scoured the woodworking magazines for just the right hinge. "We opted for a stainless steel 120-degree hinge most often used in high-end cabinetry" says Buwalda, "To make this work, we needed to establish a flat and very strong mounting point for the hinges." To that end, Buwalda welded 1/4" thick, hot-rolled steel brackets to the unibody ceiling. The stainless steel hinges were also welded rather than bolted to the new mounting points, ensuring no flexing when the window is raised and lowered by two Select Products 6" Acme linear actuators. Additionally, a mercury tilt-switch makes sure the window can't motorize when the trunk is open.

[img]http://images.caraudiomag.com/images/0612_caep_08z+1995_nissan_silvia+amplifiers.jpg[/img]

SoundWith the major fabrication completed, the focus shifted to the sound side of this build. The entire interior received a spray of catalyzed bed-liner (read Rhino-liner). This provides a solid, consistent surface foundation and virtually eliminates the potential for rust. On top of the new coating, the front of the car received a double layer of B-Quiet sheet damping material. Lastly, a layer of B-Quiet's laminated decoupling pad was applied to same area to ensure the listener hears music, not the 500 horses crammed under the hood.

Bring In The EngineersUnderstanding the bulk of the audio installation may just require an electrical engineering degree as practically every single piece of gadgetry was heavily modified. The source unit, a Denon DCT-Z1, received this treatment from JK Labs. The mods include newly designed hardware to upgrade digital clocking and oscillation (which increases the sampling rate and lowers distortion), converting to a 75-ohm silver coaxial digital output, adding remote control panel electronics and removing all of the hardware not needed for the final design. This, in turn, basically results in a custom source unit in a DCT-Z1 box.

[img]http://images.caraudiomag.com/images/0612_caep_06z+1995_nissan_silvia+processing_plus.jpg[/img][/quote]
Ludobrev
 
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Message par Ludobrev » 01 Septembre 2007, 13:38

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Message par Ludobrev » 01 Septembre 2007, 13:39

JK Labs also designed and installed hardware and software engineered to interface the Denon DCT-Z1 with the DEQX signal processor. This studio unit allows the user to control full-band impulse response as well as room and media correction. It also features linear phase crossovers and a specially calibrated microphone for system setup. The custom software allows the two units to talk to each other, allowing the processor to manipulate the signal based on the volume and track being played. JK Labs further upgraded the DEQX by ripping out all the copper wires for higher-quality, more conductive silver wire; replacing all the capacitors, resistors and operational amps with higher-quality, low-tolerance parts, which ensures optimized operation; and switching the 110-volt power supply with a 12-volt unit. JK Labs also designed and installed a dedicated subwoofer channel, creating yet another custom piece of electronica in an off-the-shelf box.

From there the signal is shipped via IXOS pure silver IX-3 interlinks and IXOS pure silver 75-ohm digital coax cable through the ceiling. Most of the electronics are mounted to the ceiling, freeing up the dash to become a work of simplistic art. The design redirects SQ judges' eyes away from reading brand names so their ears can focus instead on the sound of the car.



Custom PowerUnderneath the fiberglass rear window, a 1" tube-steel amprack was specially designed to mount the four 90cm-long Genesis amplifiers and facilitate the custom liquid cooling system. Each amp's heatsink was modified at the factory with a female NPT fitting on each end. The cooling system then pumps liquid through polyethylene tubing and through the aluminum heatsinks. Who says water and electricity don't mix?!

Genesis built each amplifier specifically for this car, leaving out all the unnecessary processors, crossovers, filters and even gain structures so that the basic, raw amplifier remains. The amps were set to unity gain, to provide peak output at a 2-volt input, with a significantly high signal-to-noise ratio. As with the processor, all the internal components were replaced with higher-quality, low-tolerance parts, ensuring optimized operation. All the connections to the amplifiers, both input and output, were soldered directly to the boards using silver solder.



Hybrid SpeakersIn July 2005, Buwalda co-founded Hybrid Audio Technologies, so naturally all the speakers are from Hybrid Audio. The front stage is a Legatia L63 3-way component set consisting of an 8" midbass, 3" midrange and a 19mm tweeter. The midbass drivers are prototypes mounted in an infinite-baffle configuration. The kick panels feature 8" Legatia subwoofer. A significant amount of work was done to make sure the 8" diameter, 4" deep woofer fit in the panel while maintaining a flush kick panel; as a matter of fact, the new kicks are shallower than the original factory panels. The Legatia L3 mid and L1 tweeter are both located in the firewall\cowl area. Buwalda was a little hesitant to give out any additional information as to alignment, positioning or even crossover points. "There needs to be some mystery in every great SQ car," he states. "Plus having speakers hidden behind non-removable grilles allows the SQ judges to use only their ears, and not [their] eyes." Buwalda did say, however, "We have taken this car about as far as one can take a car to mechanical optimization of the listening space."



To finish out the system, a CarBot computer was installed to control every electronic aspect of the vehicle. There is no key or starter button; as a matter of fact, there are no buttons anywhere as every system is controlled via the 3-D software program written specifically for this car. Want to roll down the window? Simply touch the 3-D model of the car on the screen and drag the window. The glass in the door follows suit. The system even goes so far as to maintain a wireless network and web server, allowing laptop or PSP control of the vehicle.

Scott Buwalda, co-installer Brett Nelker and members of Team Hybrids have created such a masterpiece that topping it will be a feat of immeasurable proportions. Three years in the making, and still not quite finished, this hybrid of technology, brute force and serene style will soon set the show circuit ablaze when it rolls into town. Be sure to check out www.buwaldahybrids.com for a show schedule - this is one you DO NOT want to miss.

TechExteriorBodywork includes custom-formed fenders fashioned from half S14 and half S15 fenders, shaved door handles and fuel door, and the Vertex S14 body kit. To ensure that this car would be unlike any other, every unibody seam and unused hole was welded up to achieve a smooth, flowing look. "It was a complete project, a massive undertaking, but the result was well worth it: a completely smooth and straight engine compartment," Scott Buwalda says.

InteriorThe entire interior is a complete fabrication. The Sparco seats are about the only part Buwalda didn't build.

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Message par Ludobrev » 01 Septembre 2007, 13:47

No GaugesYou might notice the lack of instrument gauges. All engine vitals are monitored by the HKS automated multi-player, which is displayed via the dashboard screen.

Electric TintAnother unique feature of the Silvia is the addition of four activated plasma glass panels. When off, the glass is black, but when electrical current is added, the panels become clear.



AmpsThe system features eight Genesis amplifiers totaling 4,700 watts: six Monoblock amps whose output has been modified to reach 500 watts at 4-ohms and two Dual Mono Extremes that produce 350 watts per channel. The Dual Mono Extremes are biamplified to the front midrange and tweeters, while two Monoblocks run the front midwoofers. The remaining four Monoblock amps are dedicated to the main subwoofer system, which will eventually be located under the dash.

Rear WindowThe fiberglass rear "window" was sanded and smoothed to 500-grit before receiving a coat of primer. Then, a phone call was made to the local Sikkens paint supply rep for a line on whom could create the desired effect. That eventually led to a local Atlanta motorcycle painter, who made the part resemble a deeply tinted window with airbrushed graphics depicting defroster lines.



WiringEvery strand of the over 4,000' of wiring was replaced with IXOS wire. Every fuse in the car is accessible in one place, directly behind the front seats.

The TrunkThe trunk houses the 2-liter storage tank for the quiet air compressor mounted underneath. The pneumatics handle most the car's motorized features. Also in the trunk is the heart of the liquid cooling system, the reservoir and radiator. The brackets for these components are all painted aluminum, keeping with the consistent theme of the build.

ConsoleThe two Angel Trax video monitors in the console can display the rear-view camera, under-dash camera, the CarBot controls or the HKS engine management system. The main system screen resides in the dash and features a touchscreen display that allows the user complete control of the vehicle.

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Message par werner » 02 Septembre 2007, 02:21

merci pour cette trouvaille !

extrème et très "dark" : j'adore !


dommage qu'on voit pas les hp : mais c'est voulu et déconcertant ( donc interessant ! )
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Message par coaxial » 02 Septembre 2007, 06:38

Et certainement bien mieux pour l'écoute , en concidérant que les réglages soient tip top .

Plaisir des yeux et perception auditive non perturbée par le matériel mis en oeuvre .

Aprés pour ce qui est de la mise en oeuvre on peut trainer la langue par terre , la-aussi 8O
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Message par michael2 » 02 Septembre 2007, 10:57

miam !! ça c'est du lourd ...

j'adore ce style dépouillé à l'avant !

et l'arriere .... c'est de la folie ! 8O
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Message par Ludobrev » 02 Septembre 2007, 11:46

http://www.carsound.com/features/eldridge_evolution.html
Peut être déja posté! (elle date depuis un moment déja modifier depuis équipé en JBL)

If anyone had told me 10 years ago, when I started my first serious competition installation in the 4-Runner, that I'd still be working on refining and improving the audio system installation in the new millenium, I'd have said they were nuts. Well, current evidence proves that I'd have been wrong, and that I may actually be the one who's nuts! Not too many vehicles have been in the competition scene as long as the 4-Runner -- I can only think of a handful. Most people want to start on a new project every few years, and many times, I can't say that I blame them. I've considered that option several times, and, in fact, in 1998, Richard and I had plans to rebuild the Grand National and compete as co-competitors (man, that would have been fun!). But for a couple of unfortunate reasons, we were unable to get that project going. Still having the drive to compete at that point, I opted to take the 4-Runner back into complete rebuild mode once again.
Looking back on everything, sticking with the same vehicle for so long has given me a couple of advantages over starting a new vehicle from scratch. First, I haven't needed to worry about getting the basics established -- things like sound deadening, alarm, and basic system wiring, interior modifications to fit the system, etc., take a lot of time. Second, a great deal of knowledge had already been obtained while learning and mapping out the acoustical properties and characteristics of the 4-Runner. Having these things in pocket was a hefty advantage, and during the system changes over the past two years, great advantage was taken of this knowledge. The result is a dramatic improvement in the sound quality of the system. Starting a new vehicle would surely have taken another year to accumulate the same level of knowledge about it.

Anyway, the 4-Runner is (very fortunately!!!) still with me, and will be for a while longer. It's far better in all respects than anything it has ever been in the past. But the coolest part is that I know the potential for improvement in the current system. All the things needed for further SQ improvements are there, it's just going to take a little more time to extract the next couple of levels of performance.

For those that are familiar with the past articles on the 4-Runner, there are only a few things that remain the same between then and now. We'll briefly touch on these items as we go, but it may help to review the previous articles if you want some background on the system development.

I knew the new system would take a lot of time to complete, but I hadn't planned on it taking two and a half years to do. People at every show ask me how much time has gone into the current system. At this point, I really don't know what it would take to build it from start to finish. I know what it took to build various parts of it, but the total time invested in the complete project is damn near impossible for me to estimate, so I won't even try.

In July 1998, I began formulating a plan of attack for the system upgrades. There were several driving forces behind the changes. First, the absolute top priority was to take the system's sound quality to the highest possible plane. I had learned a great deal about how to improve the sound quality of the system at that time, but couldn't do it with the then current system. So an entirely new system design was created to take it to the next level and beyond. It has always been my opinion that SQ is the most important consideration, and that all installation ideas are held against the sound quality standard. If they might in any way detract from the SQ of the system, they are immediately dropped from consideration. It's my opinion that cool installation features have no place in the 4-Runner if they're going to detract from the potential SQ of the system. If, on the other hand, they fit and don't interfere with the sound, they may be used.

Secondly, the overall system installation quality had to be dramatically stepped up. The system in 1998 was good, but I knew that continuing to be competitive in the Expert Division would require significant improvements. Hence, a great deal of time was invested in craftsmanship, attention to detail, cosmetic integration, creative applications, etc.

Thirdly, I wanted the system to be very easy to service, gaining access to any component quickly, just in case... Every component, every panel, every part of the system can be easily accessed in minimal time. I had grown tired of system designs that take several hours to remove a panel or replace a component. No more. This system is seriously easy to work on and everything is easy to get to.

I had also recently taken a position with Stillwater Designs. It was only appropriate, and very desirable, to get the system changed over to Kicker products.

System Power Supply
The foundation for the system is relatively simple and bulletproof. A Streetwires 135-amp alternator is used for charging purposes, and 1/0 power cable is used to transfer power between it, the batteries, and the rear of the vehicle. The battery system consists of two Streetwires 810 batteries mounted in a parallel configuration under the hood. No isolation relays are used between them, eliminating the potential for one battery to be discharged more than the other, and also providing maximum potential to the system at all times.

[URL=http://imageshack.us][img]http://img454.imageshack.us/img454/6517/underhoodgm7.jpg[/img][/URL]


The battery mounting system is super solid. It consists of a machined aluminum tray that the batteries sit in, with a machined aluminum clamping structure bolted to it, holding them in place. The truck can just about be picked up with the battery mounting system. The batteries aren't going anywhere!

The main system fuse utilizes the Streetwires fuse holder components on the battery, ensuring the fuse is mounted as close as possible to the battery positive post.

All 31 system fuses are readily accessible in three panels in the rear area of the vehicle with the majority of system components. This may seem like overkill on the fusing issue, but in reality, only two of the fuses are spares for future upgrades and/or additions. There are a lot of different, very unique components in the system now, and I don't want it going up in flames because something isn't properly fused.

The Signal from the Source
The same Alpine 7909 still resides in the dash. It has been there for six years, and I haven't found anything that can replace it yet. It's performance specs and ease of modification are unmatched by any other source unit available. In addition to the modifications several years ago, it's now even more stripped down and modified. All switches and buttons have been removed from the face board. In their place next to the track and time display now resides a digital vacuum fluorescent volume indicator, custom made by Dakota Digital. A quick release bracket system securely holds the 7909 in place behind the new dash assembly. If needed, the unit can be removed from behind the dash in less than two minutes. The track and volume displays are visible through the blacked-out dash panel when the system is on, and the CD is loaded through a slot in the same panel.

Since the head unit controls are no longer accessible on the face board, they had to go somewhere. Where else but on the coolest part of the entire system (according to the popular vote), the big volume knob between the front seats. As you can see in the photos, there is a 3.5-inch aluminum knob assembly between the front seats. It was custom machined by Rod Brakhage in Stillwater, OK. The outer part rotates and serves as the system volume control. It drives a servo motor which turns the potentiometer used to control the Audio Control MVCs. The center part of the knob does not rotate and holds blue back-lit buttons for system power, pause/play, eject, and track up/down functions. Many people have stated that the big knob is their favorite part of the entire system. I kinda like it too.
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Message par Ludobrev » 02 Septembre 2007, 11:51

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The head unit controls are duplicated on the modified Grant steering wheel also. Blue back-lit buttons operate an IR system that controls all the head unit functions. The system control buttons are on the right side of the wheel. On the left side of the wheel are buttons for the turn signals, headlights, driving lights, and horn. There are no stalk-mounted controls behind the wheel. The steering wheel itself is mounted with a quick release mechanism, allowing it to be removed in about one second (seriously!). The whole point of the quick release system is to allow the dash to be removed quickly also, but we'll cover that in a little while.

The signal from the 7909 immediately enters a Navone Engineering N-1000 balanced signal system, which balances and steps up the signal voltage before sending it to the rest of the system. The signal then hits the same Rane setup that's been there for a number of years. The two ME-30 EQs and the AC-23 crossover are mounted on a quick release single piece faceplate. This allows them to be removed in only a few seconds, then be remote located using the umbilical cable system to the front seat area for critical system tuning, or outside the truck via the external connector panel if needed. The internal workings of the Ranes have undergone extensive modification, including lowering the sub/mid crossover frequency to 35 Hz, removal of the subsonic filters, moving the signal delay from the sub channels to the high frequency channels where they could do some good, and adding head unit control switches in place of the power switches.

Beyond the Rane setup, the signal path becomes much more complex. Over the past several years, Richard has given me a number of ideas and a great deal of help in improving various aspects of the system's SQ. The results have been the integration of several new custom circuits that are used in various stages of the signal path. They are all implemented into the Mobile Soundstage Engineering XP-1 processor unit.

The XP-1 allows for control of the system linearity. It compensates for the differences in how the human hearing system perceives frequency-dependent loudness differently at varying playback levels.

The XP-1 also controls very low-level noise. It attenuates the high frequencies when signal levels are very low, so the judges can't hear any "hiss" on the "noise judging" tracks during competition, and the apparent system signal-to-noise level is increased.

The XP-1 enhances the dynamic reproduction of the music also, addressing the attack and decay properties and the overall dynamic impact.

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Message par Ludobrev » 02 Septembre 2007, 11:53

Lastly, it controls the ambient properties of the system. It uses separate circuits to control the ambient properties of the front stage and the overall room effect. The front stage is enhanced to expand the apparent boundaries of the soundstage. An accurate ambient room effect is created by removing the "sound of the vehicle" with specially designed acoustical treatments (which will be discussed later), then allowing the XP-1, in combination with a carefully designed ambient speaker system, to recreates a psycho-acoustic room effect, simulating an appropriately sized listening space.

The XP-1 is one of the real keys to the great improvements in SQ within the system over the past couple of years. There's nothing involved in it that someone else couldn't eventually figure out, given enough time researching the acoustical properties within a vehicle, learning what does and does not work to control that environment, and creating their own signal processors to do the same things. However, at this point, there's just too much time and energy invested in this advanced area of the system's development to give the advantage away for free. So to keep things fun, interesting, and to keep everyone guessing as to exactly what the XP-1 actually does, the controls are labeled appropriately. If you can guess the real meaning behind the XP-1 control labels, you may have an insight as to how it actually does what it does.

Other new components in the signal path include a couple of critical gain control pieces, the Audio Control Matrix and the Audio Control MVC. The two Matrix pieces are very high quality "line drivers" that are incorporated to increase the signal level by about 10dB prior to entering the amps. They are excellent quality components that add no unwanted noise while improving the overall dynamic capability of the system.

The MVCs are the system's volume control. They are VCA type attenuators, controlled by the big volume knob. They're located in the signal chain just before it enters the amplifiers, allowing the signal level to be at maximum throughout every component in the signal path.

The gain structure of the system has been carefully thought out, and all components are optimally matched so that the overall system signal-to-noise ratio and the system's maximum output capabilities are maximized. The 4-Runner system definitely does not suffer from the typical SQ competition system inability to reproduce the music at realistic listening levels and/or very compressed sound at moderate to high levels. This system will rip your head off if you're not careful! It plays very loud, is incredibly dynamic, and very accurate.

Amplifiers
When initially redesigning the amplifier system for the system, several requirements had to be met. The amps had to be very easy to access and simple to replace if needed. The design had to be totally unique and show off the quality of amps as a whole as well as the Kicker amplifier circuit boards. I wanted them to be liquid cooled, as in previous system designs. And, they had to provide a great deal of available power to reproduce the music accurately, and for SPL testing purposes.

With these things in mind, the amp design was created over a 4-month period. The heat sinks for the amps were custom machined by RK Machine in Ripley, OK. The top plate is 1/2-inch aluminum, and the rails under the power supply and output devices are 3/4-inch aluminum. The rails are rifle drilled through their length, with the ends plugged. Quick disconnect no-leak female fittings were installed in the amp rails and mating male fittings are located in the amp racks. When the amps are installed, the liquid coolant is pumped through the heat sink rails. When an amp is removed, the fittings shut off flow, and no liquid is lost.

The electronic connections are a quick type release also. Custom connectors are used to transfer all electrical signals including power, speaker, signal, and computer inputs through a single multi-pin assembly. The combination of these electrical and liquid fittings allows for a very rapid removal and replacement ability. Simply by loosening two socket head cap screws under the handles, an amp can be removed in about 30 seconds, and replaced just as fast.

The amp circuit boards are modified Kicker pieces. Three ZR1000 amps are used to power the three subs, and two ZX460 amps are used to power the mid-bass, horn, tweeter, center channel, and ambient speaker sets.

The amp racks are located around the rear side windows. They are constructed of fiberglass, and have a lot of my friends' blood sweat and tears cast in them. Making them work properly with the quick release electrical and liquid coolant requirement, taking up minimal space, and providing amplifier visibility both from inside and through the outside window was a difficult task at best. The heat sinks are visible inside the interior, and cosmetically blend with the rest of the interior theme, using paint, polished aluminum, and multi-color graphics. From outside the truck, the amp circuit boards are visible through the rear side windows whenever the neon lights are turned on, and not visible when the neon is off. The window glass incorporates an LCD film that is opaque when at rest, and turns clear to allow viewing when the correct voltage is applied.

The liquid cooling system consists of a pump, tank, and heat exchanger mounted behind the right rear bumper area. It is computer controlled by the LP-1 Logistical Processor, pumping coolant through the system as needed to control the amp temperatures.

Logistical Control
System logistical functions are controlled by the LP-1. Doug Winker was instrumental in its development. The LP-1 is a relatively simple unit, but that's by design. It turns on instantly, not requiring a full operating system to boot up, and performs several tasks. First, it monitors system parameters like voltage, the five amplifier temperatures, the SQ sub temperature, liquid coolant temperature at the amp inputs and outputs, and coolant pump pressure. It displays these things on the LP-1 display to the left of the Rane setup. It controls the liquid cooling system, varying the pump speed to control the amp temperatures. It also controls the turn on/off sequencing of the system components, and determines what components are turned on depending on what mode the system is in. There are four modes available: SQ, TEF, SPL, and RTA. The SQ mode is self explanatory. TEF mode allows an input signal to be fed into the system from the TEF-20 analyzer through the external connector panel for system testing purposes. SPL mode turns on only the three ZR1000 amps and configures their inputs to connect to the externally mounted SPL head unit. RTA mode (one which I hope I can get rid of soon) turns on only the left channel and engages an Audio Control EQT in place of the Rane ME-30 for RTA competition purposes. The control panel also has switches for actuation of the aperiodic membrain, neon, manual pump control, etc.

Panel Work
The construction of the rear area started by first locating the amps and building the amp racks in place. They are made of MDF and fiberglass and can be easily removed if access is needed behind them. The processor racks were then laid out and constructed of fiberglass also. Once all the components were located and in place, trim panel construction was commenced.

There are only three panels that cover the entire rear compartment area of the truck from top to bottom. One panel on each left and right side around the amp racks, and a single "ski slope" panel that covers everything in between from the ceiling to the tailgate. They were created by first building frame works around the edges of the panels and the equipment mounting racks, then stretching cloth over the frames and soaking it in resin. The cloth was then reinforced with fiberglass from behind. On the surface, the three panels were molded as if they were a single panel, creating a smooth contour transition between them. They are each covered with a single piece of Select Products HF vinyl, and dyed to match the rest of the interior. There are only two vinyl seams in the compartment, one along each side of the center panel adjacent to the side panels. The panels are strong enough to support just about any weight applied to them. There are also no visible fasteners holding the panels in place, yet all three can be completely removed in 15 minutes.

The Front Stage and Beyond
When I first decided to rebuild the front stage system, it was supposed to be a simple two to three month project. I hadn't planned on completely rebuilding every part of the front half of the passenger compartment. After pulling the old dash out and spending several days looking at what room was available, and what could be fit without major structural modification, it was finally decided that everything against the firewall had to go. This was going to be a no holds barred front stage system design with no compromises. Period! So began an 8 month marathon process of mapping out the system design, of major structural reworking of the vehicle firewall, floor board, and behind the dash components, of creating an entirely new front stage speaker system, and the fabrication of the new dash assembly. In the end, it turned out better than I had imagined, but I don't ever want to spend as many hours in the shop over such a short period as I did during that 8-month timeframe. :)

Let's Talk Acoustics...
The one area where more time was spent than any other was in mapping out the acoustical properties of the vehicle and learning to control them. Accurately controlling the acoustical environment within a vehicle is perhaps the most important, yet least pursued and/or understood area of car audio. The biggest improvements in most systems can come from properly addressing certain acoustical issues. We all know about speaker placement, but many times, no attention is paid to reflections, absorption, nodal response, etc. These things are almost as important as speaker placement. Once the signal leaves the electrical realm in the speaker's voice coil and enters the mechanical world in the moving diaphragm and then into the listening space, it's at the mercy of the acoustical properties of the listening space. No amount of signal processing can ever correct or compensate for improper speaker placement or a poorly designed acoustical environment.

There are two areas dealing with acoustics that I was concerned with in the 4-Runner: the front stage design, and the environment surrounding the listeners.

The front stage design consists of several different components, with the most critical being the horn design. Having spent several years learning about horns and using them in car audio, I knew that the horn design in the system in 1998 wasn't going to take the system's SQ to the highest level. After many, many hours of research, testing, and in several discussions with Richard, the current design was finally developed. It's based on a planar symmetric diffraction design, with a number of modifications to optimize performance in this specific application. The horns critically control the dispersion pattern of the 300 Hz to 7 kHz frequency range. One of the biggest advantages of this design is that the dispersion pattern is controlled to the point that early reflections from the windshield, side windows, and dash are either eliminated completely, or are directed towards an area where they are absorbed. No image and/or stage degrading early reflections are allowed to proceed directly to the listeners' ears. The angle of the horn throat axis, the physical dimensions and flare characteristics of the horn itself, the ability to control potential reflections off the windshield, and the dash design all play critical roles here. As before, the windshield and dash are integral parts of the design. Rather than fight them as enemies of good sound, they are used as allies (so to speak) and actually contribute to the cause.

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Ludobrev
 
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