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Project Y1K is complete!


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#1 Fhrx

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:14 PM

As many of you know; Fhrx Studios is often associated with high end audio. This often lends itself to people making the somewhat incorrect assumption that we only deal with high end budgets as well. However if you browse through the list of brands we’re dealers for you’ll actually find quite a few of them contain entry level components.

To this end; last Sunday whilst I was here slowly becoming another victim of boredom, I had a light bulb moment where I thought 'why not build a demo car to showcase just what is possible for a seriously minute budget'? Basically the task was as follows; design and install a factory audio upgrade which would combine pleasant sound with plenty of grunt when needed. But the entire system’s components including cable, dash kit and sound deadening had to come in at one grand! Trust me that’s not an easy ask but hey; I’m always up for a challenge.

So I present to you Project Y1K. The ‘Y’ stands for ‘why not’ and the ‘1K’ represents the one kilobuck budget. The car in question is my wife’s Mazda 323 and seeing as everything is hidden in the install there is not a great deal to actually show you besides the deck. Therefore I thought I’d just quickly run through it here in writing instead.

Source.
Starting at the pointy end; I’ve used the Eclipse CD5030 as the source unit. It’s good for the user because it offers iPod (including iPhone), blue-tooth, digital USB and analogue auxiliary input. It’s good for the tuner because it offers front, rear and subwoofer five volt pre-outs, flexible crossover, time alignment and more importantly a seven band parametric EQ!

Amplification.
Because the enclosure is active (q.v.) I only required a two channel amplifier for the front speakers. The rear speakers are running off the decks internal amplifier and are turned all the way down anyway so as not to ruin the front sound stage. I’ve selected JVC’s impressive KS-AX3102 two channel amplifier mainly for build quality reasons - there are plenty of really cheap two channels on the market but many are exactly that. I need to have some confidence the amplifier will still be running this time next year. The amplifier lives under the passenger seat.

Speakers.
There are actually plenty of component sets I could have chosen for the front end but I deliberately wanted to demonstrate how good co-axials can actually sound when installed and tuned competently using the time alignment and parametric EQ built into the deck. The Mazda 323 comes out with 5x7” speakers from factory so I opted to replace them with a set of Morel Tempo 5x7" co-axials. Naturally they live in fully sealed, sound deadened and diffused doors.

Subwoofer.
Because the bride and I carry a pram for our little one in the car (and a pram sure as hell isn’t going in the 200SX) a wall of eighteens in the boot sadly wasn’t an option. However no man should ever be without the bottom octave so I’ve opted to run with a Focal BUS25 under the driver’s seat. This active enclosed 10” rumbles away quietly (or not so quietly if I’m driving) and doesn’t impede rear passenger foot room at all. If you require more bass and can afford to lose some boot space I always recommend a full size subwoofer as the bottom end extension tends to be superior with a full size subwoofer. Exercising this option means you’ll also need to change the amplifier under the passenger seat to a three or four channel item so you can run your subwoofer but this can still be achieved for under a grand.

So there you have it; one clean sounding system with all components costing just under a grand. It’s been fully equalised and time aligned and happily plays all music loudly and clearly. If people are interested; the car will be here for auditioning during our charity BBQ on the 25th so feel free to come have a listen yourself to see just what can be achieved using a kilobuck and some initiative. Posted Image

If anyone wants any further info of images of any aspect of the install, please email us.

Edited by Fhrx, 11 November 2012 - 08:18 PM.


#2 muzzy66

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:02 PM

Good on ya Marty!

While most of us here wouldnt hessitate to blow stupid amounts of money on essque components and fancy installs...there are a lot of people I've spoken to outside of MEA who would like a decent setup but cant afford/justify the big bucks.

Ive actualy had a desire in the past to build the 'Ultimate cheapo system' with diy parts. Once you go active though you need fancy head units and multi channel amps, and then the budget quickly blows right out. Custom passive takes knowledge and costs money, so its also not feasible for average joe.

Great to see your willingness to cater for everyone, not just the hardcore big spenders

:)

Edited by muzzy66, 14 June 2011 - 12:03 PM.


#3 Marc

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:18 PM

Where's the images?

#4 Fhrx

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:17 PM

Images of what though? The deck sits in a black plastic fascia kit and is quite simply boring. The two channel sits under the seat whilst the BUS25 is under the other. The co-axials sit in the factory spots. There isn't much really to see?

Edited by Fhrx, 14 June 2011 - 01:17 PM.


#5 Marc

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:29 PM

The love you make to installation in true FHRX fashion I am sure I speak on behalf of all, we would have loved to see! :)

#6 Big_Valven

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:42 PM

Good work Marty, although I'm highly suspicious of the JVC amplifier. Sorin-andrei has used one which seems like last year's equivalent of the same and the consensus was that it was a real pig. Massive hiss even without RCAs connected, and the nastiest high end I've ever heard. This one may be different though so I'd love to hear your opinion on it.

#7 Marc

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:04 PM

I'd also offer up an alternative source unit as I know of two of those Eclipse units with noise as well that was finally tracked down to the source - not substantial but for an SQ based system it would be noticeable.
As an alternative, what about this: http://www.mobileele...t_din_cd_tuner/ ?

#8 Fhrx

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:55 PM

In the fair dinkum department I tend to agree and would probably suggest people raise their budget a little in order to upgrade some of the components to superior items.

On the JVC front; that new 926 seems quite the receiver - I'm currently awaiting one for review. In the meantime I have their new DAB unit here and as I said in its review; JVC appear to be onto something good with its 2011 headunit range.

#9 tj1986

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 04:25 PM

What equipment would you recommend if you were gonna go with a full size subwoofer?

#10 Fhrx

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:01 PM

Depends largely on what you listen too, how loud you listen to it, how much space you can afford to lose and of course; how much you want to spend. :D

#11 tj1986

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:20 AM

i'd still like to keep the total under 1k. Boot space isn't really an issue and i'll listen to most types of music, fairly loud.

#12 Fhrx

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:13 AM

I'd probably be looking at something like Orion's Cobalt range of subwoofers.