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Discussion Starter #1
Heres the write-up for the full system Im doing in my Elise. Its a dd, so I wanted a decent sound system and was willing to let it add a bit of weight (I believe its around 40 lbs total). At this point the system is fully functional and installed, but the rear panel cover isnt finished, Im trying to make it out of 1/8in abs to keep weight down. If I did it the standard car audio way (mdf with lots of bondo) I could have finished it long ago, but at a heavy price, literally. So I thought Id try my hand at molding and sculpting plastic.
Heres the basic system setup:
Head unit: Kenwood kmm-bt522hd: I like kenwood decks a lot: great price, good sound and ergonomics. This one is a multi-media unit, small and light, has front and rear usb inputs (I keep a 64g thumb drive with my music in the rear port so I dont have to listen to anything I dont desire), and 4 volt pre outs to help abate engine noise.

RCAs, etc: Stinger 12 foot 6ch twisted pair directional rca (noise abatement), monster cable 18/4 speaker wire (easy and clean), 4ga power/gnd (stinger?) with a 60a agu fuse. I had the amp wires run temporarily and still had a little engine noise till I ran the deck ground right to the amp, after finalizing the amp wires i tried the factory deck ground again for kicks and it was much better or gone, but went back to the run to amp ground just in case.

Amp: JL 500/5 I love the sound of these amps, very clean, but not the most powerful in their price bracket. Very good x-over section as well. Rated 100x2 front, 25x2 rear, and 250x1 sub @1.5 to 4 ohms. The rear runs the horns as their efficiancy lets them run at only around 8 watts (yup!), the sub and front are set with a test tone and dvm (a/c voltage) to output their max potential (though the front 5in speakers are 8ohm so only 50 watts each).

Tweeters: Stevens audio mini horn loaded compression drivers. These are wide horns that fit under the dash. They have very good sound imaging and also play all the way down too 1200-1500 Hz. They may look a little large for the small interior, but Ive had no issues with them and my size twelve shoes, even the wide ones.

Mids: Hard to find a small speaker that fits in the dash and can basically be a mid-bass. Dayton audio dsa135-8 did well here. Reasonably flat response from 100-1200 Hz, an x-max of 4.9mm, and a decnt looking aluminum cone (I havent found decent grills yet, might not even keep looking).

Sub: Image Dynamics idq-10 v1. An old sub, not made in like 25 years. Made for sound quality and efficiency, can only handle like 250 watts, but because its not made to handle 1000 watts it has an efficiency of like 90 db+ (cant find actual specs). Plus its lighter as it just has a simple stamped basket and single magnet, and only needs less then a half cubic foot enclosure. To match the area the factory pass foot rest tookk up I could only get ~0.37 cu ft.

The amp claims to be 22 lbs, but that should be shipping weight, each mid is just over 2, the sub is 7 and the horns werent weighed in their haste to be installed (the bastards). The rear panel will hopefully be in the realm of the originals weight. My battery was moved to the pass footwell when I did the engine swap, but now I moved it to the rear package tray, just inside of the fuel pump cover. Theres a positve battery tie point right below the center of the rear glass that I put there when the batt was first moved inside to make a jump point accessible via the boot lid, this is also the central tie point for batt, amp, starter, alt, rear fuse relay box, and main power wire going frontward. I plan to add a fuse/shut off point here in the future.

This system not only sounds quite nice, but is also loud enough to easily overcome road and engine noise, even with my k20 installed on poly mounts. The foam I sprayed behind the amp rack and the factory foam added back where possible actually seemed to help as well.
Deck.jpg
driver view.jpg
driver view2.jpg
amp rack.jpg
Amp.jpg
rack foamed in.jpg
mid.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are the horns, they were glued together first, then mounted with aluminum angle brackets. A picture of the rear usb input attached to the inside wall of the left lower dash cubby. And a piture of the sub box with its cover/grille, yes its hand drilled (look at the mistake in the top left, lol).
horns dr low.jpg
Horns wideshot.jpg
usb.jpg
sub removed.jpg
 

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Interesting. Definitely a unique take on an Elise stereo. Love the idea of the horns. I recall Image Dynamics being advocates for the under dash horn setup in the 90s. Am I remembering that correctly?


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Discussion Starter #4
Finally the work on the rear panel. Its taken decent shape, but theres still a lot more work on it. first was just a mock up in masonite.
mock full.jpg
panel a.jpg
panel b.jpg
panel w-bat cover.jpg
panel off a.jpg
panel off b.jpg
panel off c.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And before there are any complaints. My rear panel was already broken and the rear foam was torn up. With that, If anyone has a way to make a mold of the driver side area around the seat belt for the rear panel. my piece is missing entirely. I also kept the rear netting and trim if someone needs it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting. Definitely a unique take on an Elise stereo. Love the idea of the horns. I recall Image Dynamics being advocates for the under dash horn setup in the 90s. Am I remembering that correctly?


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Thats when I got into car audio (graduated in 94, so 92ish). Then I did competitions and even judged a few events, iasca certified judge here, lol. Stevens audio is the guy who designed the image dynamics horns, he left id when they sold out to boss (I think). These stevens horns are the id horns, he made sure he kept the rights to them. I really wanted to use the horns on the Elise as they help fix a bad environment so well. Thats why the pics of the horns have the battery still in front, they werent even running, I was just making sure they wouldnt drive me nuts taking up room
 

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2005 Elise Sport Touring
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That's a pretty cool spot for the battery. Interesting thread.
 

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Wow, very impressive amount of thought and work you put into this project! Respect!
Appreciate the thoughtful write up as well.
I have to have my tunes too
Happy listening!

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Discussion Starter #9
I did think that this system, altered heavily, could be the basis of many different ideas, especially simple ones for minimalist / lightness systems. When I first put it in, I only put in the horns, and drove it for a day to see if they were problematic or annoying. Then I put in the mids and drove it for 2 or 3 weeks before I actually made the amp rack (the amp was in, but just mounted to a piece of aluminum wedged in as simply as possible while still being solid/safe), or began with the sub box. I was very impressed with the sound quality and loudness of it in this simpler set-up. So I did think that someone could use just a deck with its power powering the horns, and a small amp powering the mids or even just the deck powering the mids (maybe a smaller, more efficient mid would be better in that instance). Alternatively a simpler/smaller horn could be used on the edges of the underdash, or the side pockets. Or my mids with a dash or pillar mounted tweeter. This also made me think a system with mid-basses in the rear locals with a decent coax or separate in the dash would work well. I also had thought of using something like the sub box for the bose accustamass system as the woofer.
 
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