Major JBL stereo upgrade but keeping stock HU

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by UNCLBONZ, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1383 (2).JPG IMG_1386 (2).JPG IMG_1378 (2).JPG IMG_1381.JPG WHILE I'M WORKING ON THE A-PILLAR SPEAKER PODS I'M ALSO RUNNING ALL THE NEW HOME RUN SPEAKER WIRING FOR THE FRONT SOUND STAGE. I WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO RUN THE AUDIOCONTROL DSP WITH A 4 CHANNEL AMP FOR THE FRONT 3 WAY SPEAKERS USING PASSIVE CROSSOVERS, BUT I HAVE SWITCHED TO THE HELIX ALL IN ONE DSP/8 CHANNEL AMP. THE FRONT 3 WAY SPEAKERS WILL NOW BE RUN ACTIVE REQUIRING A SEPERATE RUN OF SPEAKER WIRE FROM THE DSP/AMP TO EACH OF THE 6 FRONT SPEAKERS. THE REAR DOOR FILL SPEAKERS WILL STILL RUN OFF THE PASSIVE CROSSOVERS YOU SEE IN THE PICS. I KEPT THE AUDIOCONTROL MONO AMP TO RUN THE SUBWOOFER AND JUST RELOCATED IT AND ALSO KEPT THE PASSIVE CROSSOVERS FOR THE REAR FILL COMPONANT DOOR SPEAKERS WHICH WERE ALSO RELOCATED TO FIT THE NEW HELIX DSP/AMP
     
    #101 UNCLBONZ, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  2. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    No need to yell... You can turn cap-lock off. :whistle:
     
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  3. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    Sorry about that... Rookie Mistake
     
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  4. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1469.JPG IMG_1468.JPG IMG_1470.JPG Pods after second coat of filler and a sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. Glazing puddy to fill small holes and scratches is next . Then some more sanding with 440 sandpaper. Then some sandable primer
     
  5. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1471 (2).JPG IMG_1472 (2).JPG First coat of Glazing Puddy spread and sanded with 440 grit sandpaper. One more coat of Glaze should do it.
     
    #105 UNCLBONZ, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  6. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1473.JPG IMG_1474.JPG Here are the pods after a final layer of glazing puddy and a sanding with 600 grit sandpaper. Then 2 layers of sandable filler primer and sanding with 600 grit again. I have to change the color though. The VHT engine paint wound up being a Metallic paint. Would be nice if they put that on the can. These pics are just with the primer applied and sanded before any finish color.
    I may go with a hammered look paint to even out the transition between the super smooth body filler finish and the rougher texture of the factory finish on the original part of the a-pillar trim. As you can see in the pics this is when I cut out the hole for the Tweeters and drilled out the mounting holes for the Mid range speakers before priming and final paint. If I'm not satisfied with the final color/finish I can always wrap the pods in 4 way stretchable vinyl in a nice charcoal color. Either way they have to be sanded and finished like they are being painted anyway.
     
    #106 UNCLBONZ, Sep 26, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  7. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1477.JPG Here is the final color. It's Rustoleum gloss dark Charcoal over Rustoleum Hammered finish to give it some texture. I'm going to put it in the car and see it in the sunlight to see if it's TOO shiny. If so Rustoleum has the same color in a semi gloss finish. I could always spray a matt clear over it if semi-Gloss is still TOO shiny. IMG_1476 (2).JPG
     
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  8. Mohsin Afzal

    Mohsin Afzal Junior Member

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  9. Mohsin Afzal

    Mohsin Afzal Junior Member

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    Thanks. How often do you trickle charge the battery? Once a week? Throughout the week does the music play fine with no battery cut out or problems?
     
  10. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    Most of the time once a week. There's never any cut out. Just a tax on the battery I don't think the car charging it makes up for. Why I charge myself.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  11. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1486 (2).JPG I decided to tint the two small "Cubby" windows with 5% Tint so you won't see the Speaker pods from the outside of these windows. I wasn't thrilled about the way it looked even though they are fully finished and painted. The best part is that you can still see out from the inside even with 5% tint. You just can't see in from the outside very well. IMG_1486 (2).JPG
     
    #111 UNCLBONZ, Oct 1, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  12. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    Turns out that Rustoleum makes a satin finish in Dark Charcoal which is a good thing because the semi-Gloss was still a bit to shiny for my taste. Trying to keep the same sheen as the rest of the interior which is definitely not glossy. I think the Satin is a keeper. Of course pics to follow .
     
  13. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1489 (2).JPG IMG_1490 (2).JPG Here's the Very, absolute final color for the pods. It's Rustoleum Dark Charcoal in a Satin finish. I think it goes well with the basically flat no gloss finish of most of the stock interior and I like it against the black Focal speaker grills. I'm going to live with them for awhile before deciding if I should wrap these pods in Vinyl.
     
    #113 UNCLBONZ, Oct 3, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
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  14. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1487 (2).JPG IMG_1488 (2).JPG Here's the back side of the pods ready to be reinstalled for the final time. Speaker wires have all been sound treated with foam and Tessa tape and attached to the pods with zip ties in several locations. If you look at the close up pic you can see the milkshake that has been applied to the inside of the pods. For anyone who hasn't heard of the milkshake its basically a mixture of fiberglass impregnated bonda "BONDO-GLASS" and fiberglass resin plus the appropriate amounts of hardener for each until you get a slow running "milkshake" consistency. It is then poured into the inside of the enclosure and turned in all directions so it coats the entire inside of the pod. I did two coats on my pods because it was running out of the holes before it could dry, so I did one half, let it dry and then coated the other half. I then repeated the process again for full coverage. The "Milkshake" makes the pods less resonant and cuts down on buzzing and vibrations. Oh... I should probably mention that you apply the Milkshake BEFORE you install the speakers into the pods !!!
     
    #114 UNCLBONZ, Oct 3, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  15. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    Yea....I may have been a little pre mature on the whole "Covid is on it's way out" statement in post #8
    MY BAD
     
  16. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    OK ...so I totaled up the combined weight of all the materials and equipment used in the build and it comes to 175 lbs. More than I would have guessed. Here is the rough breakdown. 81 lbs. all soundproofing, 5lbs. for Helix dsp/amp, 1.3 lbs. for single channel sub amp, 20 lbs. for all the wiring which includes speaker wiring, power cables and power and ground distribution blocks, 10lbs. for the amp rack, 12.5 lbs. for the 10 separate Focal speakers, 37 lbs. for the subwoofer box including the 10" Kenwood sub, 5lbs. for the A-pillar speaker pods, and 3 lbs. miscellaneous for things like the 9 wire speed-wire, crossovers for the rear speakers, bass control knobs etc... So 81 lbs. for all the soundproofing makes sense but I did not imagine it would be another 94 lbs. for all the other stuff. Goes to show it pays to calculate these things. Even with all the extra weight I still have not noticed ANY change in my gas mileage. It's like constantly driving around with another passenger. The sound treatment has made a dramatic difference in the road noise and more importantly the sound quality of the system, especially the door treatment. Even if I had a slight drop in MPG it would be well worth it to me to have the improved sound quality over the stock car and radio. I know some people would say why did you go thru all this work and still keep the stock head unit. I really did not want to loose any of the features integrated into the stock Radio like Navigation, XM radio, steering wheel controls and the on board built in vehicle system check. Not to mention a Good quality replacement head unit with all these features is over $1,500. I originally planned to spend " AROUND" $2,000 on the total system but we all know how these projects tend to take on a life of their own slowly creeping up in cost. My finished cost is about $4,500 and that does not include professional sound tuning which is going to be about $600 but well worth it to have a professional tuner take control of the system. The Helix brand V Eight MK2 DSP is what makes leaving the stock head unit in place possible while still getting the most out of the system. It was well worth the $1,000 upgrade over the Audiocontrol DM 608 DSP the I originally started this build with. This system could easily cost double what i have spent if I did not do the installation myself. It wound up being alot of fun. Final install pics to follow shortly and of course I'll report back after the pro Tuning by Apicella Sound.
     
  17. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1504.JPG IMG_1500.JPG IMG_1499.JPG IMG_1491.JPG Here is the Drivers side A-pillar speaker pod reinstalled in the Prius. I'm pretty satisfied with the way they came out for a first attempt, not perfect but they look even better in person then they do in the pics. I will live with them for a while, as is, to see if I'm going to want to wrap these in Vinyl or not. Again these are finished in Rustoleum Dark Charcoal in a Satin finish. What do you guys think of the color???
     
    #117 UNCLBONZ, Oct 6, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  18. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1495.JPG Here is a view thru the windshield of the Drivers side pod. I was trying to keep them tucked into the window cubby as much as possible and still be able to aim them where I wanted them. They project out about 2" past the original edge of the factory pod. Sorry about the glare in the pic. The sun did not want to cooperate !!!
     
    #118 UNCLBONZ, Oct 6, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  19. UNCLBONZ

    UNCLBONZ Member

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    IMG_1503.JPG IMG_1503 (2).JPG IMG_1501.JPG And here is the passenger side pod. All total I have about 40 hours time into Aiming, Fabricating and finishing these pods. I definitely saved some time by starting with the pre fabricated plastic pods that I basically just molded into the stock A-pillars. This was my first time working with fiberglass and Bondo so I took my time and they still are not perfect, but I think I can live with it for now. There are some spots that could have used a little more glazing puddy like around the Tweeter openings. A few weeks ago I ordered a second pair of factory dash speaker covers back when I was going to recover them in a gray speaker mesh but I actually just recovered the first set that I modified for the 4" dash speakers. I'm going to install one of the black factory covers and compare it to the grey covered cover to see which looks better. I'll post pictures to get opinions.
     
    #119 UNCLBONZ, Oct 6, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
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  20. audiodave

    audiodave Active Member

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    Dash mat would help cut down on the reflective surface of those long dash boards.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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