A repeat client from Daly City recently contacted the team here at California Car Sounds and Tint to inquire about upgrading the competition-grade stereo system we had installed in his 2012 Honda Civic. We installed a set of Pioneer subwoofers and a Kicker amplifier in the vehicle about two years ago. In 2019, the client returned to upgrade the mids and highs with a set of Focal speakers. The client has been competing in SQL competitions and wanted to upgrade the subwoofer and amplifiers to improve the system. Better sound is our thing, so we were happy to help!
Client Consultation Ensures Satisfaction
We started the project by having the client sit down with our Lead Fabricator Aaron O’Brien. Aaron explained the options available to deliver a subwoofer system upgrade while creating something that would look amazing. The client had seen Aaron’s work photos and gave him carte blanche to create something amazing. Aaron took some detailed measurements and created several sketches before diving into the Civic build.
Custom Focal Subwoofer Enclosure
After removing the Pioneer subs and Kicker amplification, Aaron constructed an enclosure to house a single Focal E 30 KX 12-inch subwoofer. Knowing the client would be putting the sub through its paces, Aaron added two extra braces to the enclosure’s interior to make it as rigid as possible.
The enclosure sits at the back of the trunk and features a multilayered trim panel that’s finished in gray carpet with vinyl-wrapped inserts. The trim forms a false back wall in the trunk for a clean and tidy look.
Competition-Grade Honda Civic Stereo System
The next step was to start work on installing the electronics in the trunk. The client already owned an AudioControl DM-810 digital signal processor, a lithium battery, a battery isolator and Stinger power distribution blocks. The plan was to replace the Kicker amplifiers with three new Mosconi Pro-Series amps.
Aaron created a mounting panel for the processor and speaker terminal blocks at the bottom of the spare tire well. The mounting solution was constructed using expanded PVC panels to keep weight down. Next, an amplifier rack was built using the same material. Threaded nutserts in the lower panel provide a secure yet serviceable mounting solution for the amp rack.
In terms of amplification, the system is now powered by a trio of Mosconi Gladen PRO units. A four-channel Gladen Pro 4|10 powers the Focal tweeters and 3-inch midrange drivers with up to 120 watts available to each speaker. A second Gladen PRO 4|10 is wired in a bridged configuration to provide as much as 320 watts to each of the 6.5-inch Focal woofers in the doors. Finally, a Gladen 1|10 Class-D monoblock amp can deliver more than 800 watts of power to the 12-inch Focal subwoofer. From a cosmetic perspective, all three amplifiers share the same chassis size, so making them look good in the trunk was easier than if they were all different.
The amplifiers are fed power using the aforementioned Stinger distribution block and three runs of JL Audio True 4 AWG power and ground cable. Stinger 4000-Series interconnects handle the low-level signal connections between the DM-810 processor and the amplifiers.
Aaron finished the installation with another multilayer trim panel that surrounds the amplifiers and serves as a false floor in the vehicle. He fabbed up some storage compartments on either end of the amp rack to hold supplies and personal belongings while the client travels from show to show or to and from work.
System Calibration for Amazing Realism
The timeline to complete the installation and finish the calibration process was tight. The client was in a rush to get the vehicle detailed and on the road to the MECA SQL State Finals the next day. His efforts paid off with a third-place finish in the Modified class.
If you’re interested in a competition-grade audio system upgrade for your car or truck, we invite you to drop by California Car Sounds and Tint in Campbell and speak with our product specialists. We’d be honored to design a custom solution that delivers studio-quality sound in your vehicle. For more information or to schedule a personal consultation, give us a call or send our team an e-mail using our website’s contact form.
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