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    Thread: AsymmetricalDichotomy's Audio Build

    1. Member
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      05-02-2011 01:39 AM #1
      Some have expressed interest in my project and there appears to be growing interest in audio for the MkV's in general. So I thought I'd share my project with everyone.

      Note: This is my first complete build. I have installed just head units and just speakers before, but never amps, running new wire, making cables, etc. This is an on going build and will be slow going due to funds, work and school.

      Before doing your own install, I HIGHLY recommend getting a Bentley manual and ask questions before doing something you're not 100% sure on. Both would have helped with a few key things. (for example the ability to remove wires from the h/u harness without having to cut leads)

      The Plan: (modified)
      Stage 1: After initial installation is complete I will run only 3-way actives up front and a sub in back (7 channels total, the MS-8's channel limit is 8).
      State 1.5: New h/u acquired ahead of schedule and now placed in front of State 2. (previously State 3)
      Stage 2: (consolidation)
      New speakers all around. I will be running the front tweeters and mids as passive 2-ways, the front mid-basses will be active, passive 2-way center (tweeter and mid), passive 2-way for the rears, and sub. My reasoning for doing this is to utilize the MS-8's full potential.
      State 3: Sound insulation and dampening the doors, floor, trunk, and possibly wheel wells. Considering getting thermal insulation for the roof. (previously Stage 4)


      List of what I have so far:

      • JBL MS-8 Processor
      • JL Audio HD 900/5
      • JL Auido HD 600/4
      • Uber Stealth Audio fitted sub enclosure
      • Dayton Audio RSS265HO-4 10"
      • Knu Konceptz 1/0awg, 4awg, and 8awg power and ground cables (WAY too much of the 8awg)
      • 300' of Monoprice 12awg speaker wire (yes, that says 300 feet)
      • JL Audio XB-BTU batter terminals x2
      • Knu Konceptz FH-20 inline fuse holder (main fuse from battery)
      • Knu Konceptz KNF-23 3-way distribution block
      • Large piece of plywood for amp rack
      • Belden 1855A 15ft (foil and braid shielded solid core mini RG59 coax, I learned the hard way )
      • Rean NYS373 RCA plugs
      • Parts Express Gold RCA Super Plug Black 8.3mm entry (for y-cable interconnects)
      • Techflex 1/8" dia. 25ft (for RCA interconnects)
      • Dayton Audio MPT 40uF 250V +/-5% audio grade caps x3
      • WAY too much heat shrink tubing
      • Other misc parts like silver solder, heat shrinkable butt and spade connectors, etc



      Now that is out of the way; the following lists comprise of what I have done and what needs to be done:

      Done (pics show order):

      • Ran power cable (heat shrank the cable, wrapped in black automotive wire conduit, rtv'd the rubber grommet at the firewall)
      • Replaced factory battery ground with 1/0 cable, received same treatment as power cable above
      • Plywood cut, drilled, and carpeted (funny story about this)
      • Processor, amps, and distribution block mounted to board
      • RCA interconnects soldered and assembled (most time consuming, especially those damn y-cables)
      • Heat shrink on power and ground cables (on the amp board) for stealth appearance
      • Wiring harness for processor soldered to new cable to h/u
      • Above cable ran to head unit
      • Wire for all speakers cut to length
      • Ran and terminated ground for processor and one of the JL amps
      • Speaker wire for front doors ran
      • Sub installed (wired up and secured in place)
      • Installed protection caps for the tweeters
      • Connected h/u harness to processor harness (2 cables, F/L and F/R, only, that is what the MS-8 calls for)
      • Connect power to battery
      • Run through MS-8 calibration and rock out
      • Put polyfill in the sub enclosure



      Not done:

      • Redo wiring (techflex) and run more cleanly
      • Upgrade the engine to chassis ground (Located under the HPFP/cam lobe housing. -CoNGLoMeRaTeGTi, thank you! thread.):
      • Upgrade the alternator lead (don't know how to access it yet and will probably require removing a ton of parts)
      • Run speaker wire for rear doors (more than likely will be done at Stage 2)
      • Set gain on all devices (embarrassingly enough, I haven't done this yet, but the only proper way to do it is with an oscilloscope which I do not have)
      • Have Nik (Uber Stealth Audio) fab me an enclosure with the dash tray for my 2-way center (more than likely will be done at Stage 2)



      Some pics (these are in order of how I progressed with the project):

      Sub enclosure from Nik at Uber-Stealth Audio:


      Doesn't interfere with trunk mat at all; full access to spare!




      Removed battery and identified target (boot through firewall):




      I started by pulling the driver side door sill which is one long piece all the way back to the rear driver side:






      Rear seat removed:


      I ran the power wire starting at the trunk moving toward the firewall:










      Running through the firewall (this is looking up on the driver side above the pedals):


      I RTV'd the opening after this picture so it's sealed:


      This is originally how I had the wire ran:


      Terminated for fuse housing:


      Comparison of wire size:


      But I didn't like the wire being exposed so I added little protection:




      Same went for the battery negative to ground:


      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 02-05-2012 at 08:56 PM.

    2. Member
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      05-02-2011 01:40 AM #2
      Documented wires from the h/u:








      Next came taking out a lot of the interior to determine cable length and how it will be ran.


















      Prepped the MS-8 wiring harness (only requires F/L and F/R signals):


      Ran the above cable (zip tied every 6 inches, again, started from the back):












      Removed passenger door card:


      Tweeter housing/sail removed:


      Connector for tweeter:


      Connector for mid:


      Window regulator:


      Crossover:


      Tweeter:


      Mid:


      Mid-bass:


      Then I began work on the amp rack. I started with a large piece of poster board from walmart, taped it to the underside of the rear package shelf and traced with a sharpie. Note, the only cutting tools I have is a hand saw that I bought for this project, a hack saw, and a drill.











      Funny story about the carpeting. I had Nik (Uber Stealth Audio) carpet it for me; he's local. His dog was walking around outside and wasn't too keen to my presence. I didn't think anything of it. Long story short; I get home and I kept getting a whiff of urine and I couldn't tell where the hell it was coming from. Turns out Nik's beagle had peed on the carpeting. It was all good though. I found a fantastic home remedy for getting rid of dog urine and it no longer smells. He did offer to recarpet it if I wasn't able to clean it.

      Mounted everything to the board:


      Began running wires:




      Did a test fit:




      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 05-04-2011 at 11:33 PM.

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      05-02-2011 01:42 AM #3
      Interconnects
      Striped back:


      Test fit:


      Tinned terminal:


      Soldered (braided shield was tinned before hand):


      Heat shrink:


      Assembled:


      Y-Cables










      Heat shrink on all power wires and connected rca's (looks much better imo):




      Another 'test' fit (I haven't taken it out since I put it in):


      One of the ground wires for the amps:






      Ground for processor underneath back seat:


      How it looks with trunk open (I'm considering making a cover for it so when the trunk opens it's not like "HEY, AMPS RIGHT HERE!"):


      How the board is mounted to the rear package shelf:
      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 05-02-2011 at 09:24 PM.

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      05-02-2011 01:43 AM #4
      Got some work done today (5-14).

      Sub is finally wired and installed:



      Double sided carpet tape, strong as hell:






      Front passenger speaker wires (zip tied every 6", total length 15' x 3 = 45'):


      Front driver speaker wires (zip tied every 6", total length 22' x 3 = 66'):


      How they were ran:


      And passenger trim back in place:
      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 05-16-2011 at 12:37 AM.

    5. Geriatric Member PSU's Avatar
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      05-02-2011 01:55 AM #5
      Hope I'm not invading on your space by taking the fourth or fifth reply, but where are the pictures?

    6. Member tony magnolia's Avatar
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      05-02-2011 01:58 AM #6
      Sub'd!
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    7. Member
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      05-02-2011 02:50 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by PSU View Post
      Hope I'm not invading on your space by taking the fourth or fifth reply, but where are the pictures?
      lol, nah, you're good. They look like they're all up now. Now I need some sleep.
      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 05-02-2011 at 06:51 AM.

    8. Member ~kInG~'s Avatar
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      05-02-2011 05:00 PM #8
      How did you attach the amp rack to the package shelf???

    9. Member thygreyt's Avatar
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      05-02-2011 05:06 PM #9
      wow!

      amazing work!

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      05-02-2011 07:38 PM #10
      nice work. id love just to amp up my stock speakers for alil better sound. what would you like of doing??
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      05-02-2011 08:01 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by ~kInG~ View Post
      How did you attach the amp rack to the package shelf???
      I still have the rear package shelf cover off as it won't be put back on until I'm entirely finished. I will go take a pic shortly and post it. The holes I drilled into the board line up with holes in the shelf. Essentially it is held up by nuts and bolts. It may sound a little iffy, but believe me, it's not going anywhere. It goes; bolt, washer, board, washer, nut.

      Quote Originally Posted by thygreyt View Post
      wow!

      amazing work!
      Thank you sir!

      Quote Originally Posted by wolfsburg__gli View Post
      nice work. id love just to amp up my stock speakers for alil better sound. what would you like of doing??
      Thank you! What would I recommend? I think that the stock speakers are better than what most people get them credit for. I would eliminate the factory crossovers as that seems to be the most common complaint regarding the sound quality. As far as an amp; if you wanted to keep the factory crossovers I have seen units that you can install after the h/u wiring harness straight to speaker wires that will increase the power output. I would be cautious as I don't know what power the factory crossovers can handle.

      If getting rid of the factory crossovers, you would need to either get aftermarket crossovers or build them yourself. This will require a lot of research. Or you could just run active like I'm doing for now. But you run into the issue of needing an amp with a ton of channels or multiple amps.

      The easiest route would be to get the MS-8 or similar device. You can find them used for around $500-$600. It was designed to improve sound quality of factory systems and has a built in amplifier, something like 20 or 30W x 8 channels.
      Last edited by AsymmetricalDichotomy; 05-04-2011 at 11:39 PM.

    12. n00b kdigit0l's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 08:49 PM #12
      Awesome thread! Thinking about an install myself. Any idea how deep the factory midrange baskets are? I've been looking, but haven't found an answer short of taking off the door panel, though I seem to remember seeing it somewhere. I also suspect that the mids I bought might be a little too big both in depth and magnet radius.

      Sweet install so far, I love your idea for the amp rack! Also, glad you got rid of the dog pee smell!

    13. Member jkallhoff's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 10:15 PM #13
      very well done

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      05-09-2011 11:30 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by kdigit0l View Post
      Awesome thread! Thinking about an install myself. Any idea how deep the factory midrange baskets are? I've been looking, but haven't found an answer short of taking off the door panel, though I seem to remember seeing it somewhere. I also suspect that the mids I bought might be a little too big both in depth and magnet radius.

      Sweet install so far, I love your idea for the amp rack! Also, glad you got rid of the dog pee smell!
      I haven't put the door card on since I took it off, and my gf hates it but is very tolerant. Shoot me a pm or post to this thread as a reminder and I'll measure the mid for you this weekend.

      [edit]
      The tweeter is wired inline with the mid, so with the door card off, the only speaker working is the midbass, which really screws with me.

      Quote Originally Posted by jkallhoff View Post
      very well done
      Thank you!

    15. Member chrissisc0's Avatar
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      05-09-2011 11:56 PM #15
      damn thats inspiration right there, your gonna make me buy a new box and re-run all my amp wires perfect (they are all hidden and what not but just makes me want to do it that much better) you did an awesome job so far and i can see how much time and effort you put in to this. for you sir, cant wait to see the finished product. make sure you post up videos when you are done to show how it sounds (as best as you can tell over a camera)
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    16. n00b kdigit0l's Avatar
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      05-10-2011 08:02 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by AsymmetricalDichotomy View Post
      Shoot me a pm or post to this thread as a reminder and I'll measure the mid for you this weekend.
      Thanks! I'll shoot a pm closer to the weekend.

      Quote Originally Posted by AsymmetricalDichotomy View Post
      [edit]
      The tweeter is wired inline with the mid, so with the door card off, the only speaker working is the midbass, which really screws with me.
      So, the tweeter is wired in series with the mid then?

      Again, really nice install so far... this thread is going to put a hurtin' on my wallet if I'm not careful!

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      05-11-2011 12:50 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by chrissisc0 View Post
      damn thats inspiration right there, your gonna make me buy a new box and re-run all my amp wires perfect (they are all hidden and what not but just makes me want to do it that much better) you did an awesome job so far and i can see how much time and effort you put in to this. for you sir, cant wait to see the finished product. make sure you post up videos when you are done to show how it sounds (as best as you can tell over a camera)
      Thanks! I will be zip tying the bundle of speaker cables running along the passenger side of the car every 6" as well as zip tying them to something to prevent movement. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I'm anal about detail and organization. I wanted to do some audio recordings before getting started with this project, but as soon as one part of the interior was pulled, all bets were off, lol. I wanted to before and after comparisons. Oh well, I will definitely take some video and audio clips with the processor off and on and with each successive stage.

      Quote Originally Posted by kdigit0l View Post
      So, the tweeter is wired in series with the mid then?

      Again, really nice install so far... this thread is going to put a hurtin' on my wallet if I'm not careful!
      Correct, the tweeter is wired in series with the mid. Believe me, it's shocking to look back at how much has been spent and to think about I'm completing Stage I of IV, lol. I even bought the processor and amps used to save and it's still expensive as hell. I don't even want to imagine what it would have been if I had to pay someone labor to do this. But, I love audio and I have always dreamed of having a kick ass mobile system.

      More progress will be made this weekend. I'm hoping to at least run speaker wire to the front doors (and center) so that I can hook the power up and run 3-way active front stage + sub until I can get a factory mid, tweeter, and dash tray.

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      05-11-2011 10:03 AM #18
      Sub'd. Great werk here!!

      Curious about the power drain with that much power. Any plans for an upgraded alternator (not sure if there even is one)?

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      05-11-2011 10:16 AM #19
      Nice work.
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      05-11-2011 11:40 AM #20
      great work! this is a very clean and respectable install sir!
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      05-11-2011 12:06 PM #21
      clean! Very nice!
      Engineers do it better.

    22. Member MK5CNY's Avatar
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      05-11-2011 12:12 PM #22
      You have patience, congrats. nice to see someone doing it to their anal retentiveness, rather than just making it work, then ride around for a year before cleaning it up..oh wait that was me
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    23. Member JCJetta's Avatar
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      05-11-2011 12:57 PM #23
      Looks great! Audio installs always work best when folks like you put that kind of time and effort into them.

      Two questions:
      1) Are you at all concerned with mounting the amps upside-down with respect to lack of heat disspation?
      2) What is the approx volume for the stealth box?

      Good luck!

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      05-11-2011 04:32 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by orange1218 View Post
      Sub'd. Great werk here!!

      Curious about the power drain with that much power. Any plans for an upgraded alternator (not sure if there even is one)?
      Lol, I am too. The lights already dim when going into reverse and everything is stock. So it will definitely have an impact on power. I've looked into an upgraded alternator, but no one I have talked offers one or knows of anyone that does. After doing some reading, I won't be installing the "power pulley" for the 2.0T FSI as it causes the alternator pulley to turn slower which would only exacerbate the issue.

      So if anyone reading this knows of someone that makes one or is able to, please send me a pm.

      Quote Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post
      Looks great! Audio installs always work best when folks like you put that kind of time and effort into them.

      Two questions:
      1) Are you at all concerned with mounting the amps upside-down with respect to lack of heat disspation?
      2) What is the approx volume for the stealth box?

      Good luck!
      1) Short answer, no.

      I thought about this and did some research on it. These amps are class D which are more efficient than class A/B, this results in less energy being converted into heat, which means less heat to dissipate. That's not to say that these won't generate heat at all, because they will. What I don't have documented on here or have pictures of, is I took speaker gasket tape and placed it underneath the amps and processor. This way the amps are sitting about 1/8-1/4" above the board to move the fins of the heat sink away from the board and to allow for more air to flow there.

      These amps were also designed so they could stack on top of one another, so I don't see the heat from one of these having a worse effect than having one or two stacked directly beneath it. They have an Advanced Rollback Protection circuit which adjusts the power on the amps until they cool down. So, if I notice the amps using this circuit a lot, then I'll look into a fix, but I don't foresee it being an issue.

      2) iirc Nik (Uber-Stealth Audio) said it was ~ .7 - .8 cu. ft. I haven't measured it myself, but I would like to just to know and am open to suggestions. I've heard people say that filling it with packing peanuts is a way to measure the volume, but I want something more precise.

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      05-11-2011 05:23 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by MK5CNY View Post
      You have patience, congrats. nice to see someone doing it to their anal retentiveness, rather than just making it work, then ride around for a year before cleaning it up..oh wait that was me
      X2. I install for a living so when It comes to my own car, never have time or patience. Lol. This summer I'll take a day and do mine.
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