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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.