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Larry Dean
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My Presentation during Competition:

The idea of the aftermarket stereo is to greatly improve the quality and imaging of the music listened to in the vehicle. The vehicle I am using is a 1993 Ford Taurus SHO. 

The factory cassette player was replaced with an Eclipse 5302 head unit (replaced in 1999 with a 5506 after a break in). This is a single-disc CD player, tuner, CD Changer-Controller. It has a three year replacement warranty and delivers 5 volts (the 5506 has 8 volts out) at 55 ohms to be amplified. It has a remote control device with it. It is mounted in the factory location and only attached to the factory harness for power. Both the unit itself and the chassis are grounded to the main system ground to eliminate noise. As I have a bi-amp, both RCA’s are used. The front set controls the mid’s and high’s, the rear set controls the bass amp section (the 5506 has a sub-woofer control). This allows the use of the fader control to raise or lower the bass output from the head unit.

Both RCA’s run down the center of the car to the rear location of the amplifier.  The front RCA’s controlling the mids and highs and run directly into a Precision Power DEQ - 230 Equalizer and then to the input of the amp. The amp is an Xtant 3300 rated at 2 X 60 and 1 X 180 at 4 ohms. It is a single chassis bi-amp (two separate amps mounted together). On board the Xtant is an input sensitivity selector that let you match any head unit to the amp for maximum performance. It has plug in module ports to add on board crossovers, balanced line driver and a parametric EQ. Built in it also has a working Noise Gate and separate out puts for passive attenuated rear speakers (rear fill). I chose to use crossover modules that do a high pass and a low pass at 70 Hz in a 24db Linkwitz Riley design. I am also using Balanced Line Modules to keep both sets of RCA’s clear of noise and other interference. The amplifier also has a built-in fan cooling system. The amp rack is designed to allow for air circulation at the rear and topside.

Power for the amp comes through a 4 gauge Competition grade wire, through the firewall and down the right interior of the vehicle in the factory-wiring channel. It goes directly to custom created power distribution block. The block was originally made for four Maxi fuses. After modification it now accepts to Maxi fuses and two smaller ATC fuses. This has allowed for the fuses to be removed from the amp for quick change out when necessary. From the power distribution block, 8-gauge wire is directed to the input side of the fuse locations on the circuit board of the amp.  Grounding is supplied at the rear to the body with a 3/8-inch bolt. There is a 4-gauge cable directly attached to the amp and two 12 gauge leads for accessories and additional equipment.

The amp has speaker outputs for front; rear attenuated and mono (bass). The front leads go to Vertek/XTC Custom 3-Way Crossovers design by Eclipse (factory Eclipse sets are 2-ways) for the set up design. These signals from these crossovers control the signal for front staging. From the crossover, 12 gauge leads feed the kick panel speakers and the door speakers. For front staging I used Q-Forms, which are custom molded pods that replace the factory kick panel. These pods are vinyled with factory material to match the factory trim color and then DynaMat was added to stiffen their structure and eliminate resonance. In the pod is an Eclipse tweet and a 5 1/4 inch driver. I chose the 5 1/4 as it historically produces better mid-range than a 4-inch speaker. In the factory location I mounted Eclipse 6 ˝ drivers. Custom Masonite panel were designed to hold the larger speaker and allowed for factory mounting locations for this plate. Prior to mounting the speaker, the outside skin, the inner panel and the door panel were covered with DynaMat Premium to deaden them. After the speakers were mounted, each door was sealed to replace the factory moisture barrier and create a sound barrier. This was accomplished with duct tape. It creates a box, in effect, for the speaker to develop sound in.

The factory Eclipse crossovers wired to the passive attenuated leads from the amp control the Rear Fill. A set of Eclipse 5 1/4 speakers are mounted to custom Masonite panels that fit the factory 5 X 7 design. With passive attenuation switch on board the amp I am able to set the amount of attenuation so as to control the ambience created by the rear fill. 

The bass speaker is the highlight of the system. In a custom sealed enclosure is a Kicker SoloBaric 10" speaker with a 2 ohm rating. This load allows the amp to produce 360 watts of power. The box is sealed with fiberglass on the inside and Rhino-liner on the outside. The Rhino was to try to copy the look of the factory JBL sub-woofer box. It bolts to the factory JBL sub-woofer location and fires through the factory opening in the rear deck. The rear deck liner was cut to accept a six inch grilled opened and recovered to help with resonance. The complete rear deck metal has DynaMat top and bottom.

The majority of the installation I did myself, with the exceptions noted above.


This Web page was last updated on Wednesday, 27-Mar-2002 14:58:42 MST .