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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Alright, as the title says, I'm completely redoing the interior on an old pickup that's never had an audio system. There's no wiring/components/mounting points, and so I'm mostly looking on suggestions for components and speaker placement.

The Good: Completely fresh install means I can put things anywhere... I'm doing this all myself, and I've got enough experience to mount components and wire them up. I also haven't really decided on a dashboard layout yet, and I won't commit to one until I figure out the best speaker placement.

The Bad: Limited room... it's a two-seater truck, and the seats are right up against the back of the cab, meaning there's no room for rears. It's not a very wide truck either, and I need to work the instrument panel and a few other things into the dash as well as speakers.

The Necessary: I've got a few components so far that I'm planning on using: A Blaupunkt headunit and a Harman/Kardon iPod interface, both running through an Audiobahn EQ/pre-amp. The headunit's not much of a concern, as I rarely listen to CDs or radio, but I wanted to possibility. The Harman/Kardon unit is the original Drive-n-Play... I've got one in my daily, and I like the way it works so I bought another one. However, it's just a source, and the Blaupunkt doesn't have any audio inputs, so I'm using the Audiobahn unit as a pre-amp for both. I like it, as it's just got the basics: Master volume control, 5 band EQ, source selection (for two sources), and a separate subwoofer gain.

Now, I can't fit rear speakers in the truck, but the Audiobahn unit has separate pre-outs for both front and rear speakers, so I'd like to take advantage of that. This gives me a couple options: I could either run two different sizes on each side (like a 4" and a 6.5"), or I could run a pair of left/right speakers and a "pseudo" center channel.

Alright, so, having said all that: Does anyone have any suggestions on speaker placement for reasonably good sound, mostly for the driver? I know having both the left and right speakers equidistant from the driver's ears is key, but what is the preferred placement? In the dashboard, on the kickpanel and center console? Should they be facing directly back, or sideways across the cabin, or somewhere in the middle (like at the driver)? How about the angle up/down, should they be completely horizontal, or facing up (like on top of the dash), or somewhere in between?

I've got more questions, but I should probably wait with those until I figure this out.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:19 am 
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Popeface, what brand and model is the pickup in question? Might help someone to visualize the space you are dealing with.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:07 am 
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Does the truck currently have holes for 4,5,6 inch speakers? Any factory spots for tweeters? I think that custom map pockets/speaker enclosures are probably the way to go. Then cut a few holes and pit in mids and use the factory tweeter recesses (if it has, or cut another hole and put the tweets on the same plane as the mids if possible.) Custom boxes that fit along your tranny tunnel are an option too.
C


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:18 am 
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From an imaging standpoint, i'd recomend putting a 6-1/2 component set in the kick panels. If you can find a brand that allows you to mount the tweeter in a bridge over the center of the woofer, all the better. Typically it's suggested that the speakers be aimed at the dome light, but in non-extended cab trucks i'd recommend aiming for the top center of the back window. If kick panels don't work for ya, door pods aimed the same way work well too.
Just my $0.02


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:46 am 
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It's a 1970 Datsun 521... which probably isn't much help. Here's a pic I found on the web:

Image

Not mine, but similar sizing. Those seats are aftermarket, likely out of a Japanese or American compact. The stock seat was a bench, but I'm putting in two bucket seats instead, and I've got two choices with the dash: Making a classic British roadster style dash out of wood, or modifying the existing dash (shown above) to fit my gauges, speakers, etc. Making a new one would likely be a fair bit easier, and I could position everything wherever I want.

Cardamon: As I mentioned in my first post, this truck wasn't designed with a stock stereo system... it only had an optional AM radio with an external speaker mounted under the passenger's side of the dash. There are no stock holes or mounting points for anything, so I'm free to put the speakers where-ever I can find space.

This is where I'm running into issues: I've done a bit of searching online, and the general consensus is that kickpanels are the way to go, as the distance from the speaker to the ears is roughly the same (give or take). However, all the sites and suggestions I've seen are based on a "quick and dirty" install in either factory speaker locations, or aftermarket panels made to fit any given type of car. They also assume proper imaging for all people in the car, not just the driver. I'm after the opposite: I've got the option of installing these speakers anywhere, with the best imaging for the driver.

I was considering having the left channel near the door, with the right channel somewhere in the middle of the car, like over the transmission tunnel. Then, adding another right channel speaker somewhere on the far side of the car, and a switch to control the two. That way, I could use the near right channel when I'm alone, and use the far one when I've got a passenger. I've got a couple matching amps, so I could use one for the left channel and sub, and another for both right channels. This way I know that all channels can have a similar gain/sound, and I can switch between near-side right channel speakers, and far-side right channel speakers, without affecting the left channel or sub.

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Fiio X3 Mark III; Sennheiser HD 598SR.

Previously: ADA SSD-66 (5.1) pre/processor; Bryston 4B (x2) & Hafler 220; Cambridge Audio DAC Magic; Furman power conditioner; Focal Chorus 705V.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:37 pm 
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popeface wrote:
It's a 1970 Datsun 521... which probably isn't much help. Here's a pic I found on the web:

Image

Not mine, but similar sizing. Those seats are aftermarket, likely out of a Japanese or American compact. The stock seat was a bench, but I'm putting in two bucket seats instead, and I've got two choices with the dash: Making a classic British roadster style dash out of wood, or modifying the existing dash (shown above) to fit my gauges, speakers, etc. Making a new one would likely be a fair bit easier, and I could position everything wherever I want.

Cardamon: As I mentioned in my first post, this truck wasn't designed with a stock stereo system... it only had an optional AM radio with an external speaker mounted under the passenger's side of the dash. There are no stock holes or mounting points for anything, so I'm free to put the speakers where-ever I can find space.

This is where I'm running into issues: I've done a bit of searching online, and the general consensus is that kickpanels are the way to go, as the distance from the speaker to the ears is roughly the same (give or take). However, all the sites and suggestions I've seen are based on a "quick and dirty" install in either factory speaker locations, or aftermarket panels made to fit any given type of car. They also assume proper imaging for all people in the car, not just the driver. I'm after the opposite: I've got the option of installing these speakers anywhere, with the best imaging for the driver.

I was considering having the left channel near the door, with the right channel somewhere in the middle of the car, like over the transmission tunnel. Then, adding another right channel speaker somewhere on the far side of the car, and a switch to control the two. That way, I could use the near right channel when I'm alone, and use the far one when I've got a passenger. I've got a couple matching amps, so I could use one for the left channel and sub, and another for both right channels. This way I know that all channels can have a similar gain/sound, and I can switch between near-side right channel speakers, and far-side right channel speakers, without affecting the left channel or sub.


OMG Poipeface!!!! I had a 1972 Datsun PL-620, the model that replaced yours back in the late 70s!!!! I had a rather modest custom sound system I put in it but nothing as elaborate as what you are looking at. I was just looking at some pics of it a few nights ago and wondering if I should scan them or not. What a sweet little truck that was with a rebored engine and competition heads, headers, a rear diff from a 240Z shortened springs, metallic Raspberry Jam paint, a shorty fibreglass cap with a lip spoiler, bucket seats, American Racing mags, wide Michelins and traction bars (don't ask, I bought it from a little old man who had just gone blind and couldn't drive anymore).

Back to the system. I had a Realistic STA-7M mobile stereo in it (the one with a MM phono input) that was definitely NOT a car radio size or performancewise, a pair of 5" full range coaxials in the stock kick panel holes. I also had a pair of 6.5" long throw woofers jury rigged into the door panels with some custom made heavy duty plastic enclosures (something like 3/8" black plexiglass sheeting cut to size, scored, heated in a oven tillit was malleable, then folded into shape and glues with solvent glue) that stodd off the door panel by about 2". I also had 4 piezo tweeters (the flat ones, not the horn loaded ones) also mounted on similar but smaller enclosures on the dash near the door pillars and up in the top back corners of the cab behind the doors, aimed at the driver seat. The 5" were powered by a separate 40W graphic equalizer/amp and the 6.5" were driven by the STA-7M. It was powerful and kicked ass on rock and dance music but in retrospect, not really truly high fidelity.

The interior on my PL-620 had a different interior and dash than your PL-521 but maybe some of my mountings might work for you.

Attachment:
STA-7M Front2.JPG [141.37 KiB]
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:10 pm 
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If you think the doors are robust enough, you could put an 8" in each one in a sealed enclosure to get a bit of bump. It wouldn't rattle your fillings loose, but it'd bring some bottom-end to the party.
As for mounting the speakers in the lower left and right of the drivers foot-well (which I believe was a consideration of yours) I've always wanted to do it. However, there are so many releflective surfaces in a vehicle I was never sure how it would sound. Also, mobile audio speakers are designed to have most of their response off-axis, so keep this in mind when you're considering placement. Now that I think of it, a pair of waveguides may be the best way to go!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:19 pm 
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OBI: The 620's a pretty popular model... IIRC, it replaced the 521 for the '73 model year, so it was probably produced from late '72. The 521's were introduced for the '70 model year, and mine was one of the early ones produced in late '69. I've got a '72 as well for a parts truck, so it would've been just before the switch. I'm on another forum for Datsuns, and a couple people have (more-or-less) period correct 620's, with the fiberglass lip, bed caps, fat rear tires, and everything else that was popular in those days. Mine will end up more like a rat-rod, with a Wankel and 4-speed auto (I can't drive a stick) out of an RX7. Lot of work though... it's been in the garage for over two years.

Zarnov: What do you mean by waveguides? And I wasn't sure about the off-axis mounting, which is why I brought it up. Should I avoid aiming the speakers directly at the driver then? I don't have space on the doors to mount 8" woofers, although I am planning a 10" subwoofer under one of the seats... probably passenger's. I have an additional 8" woofer I could use, although the best place would either be under the driver's seat, or behind the passenger's section of dashboard. Other than that, there's not a lot of room.

I want the dashboard back further against the firewall, just to give the cab a bigger feel. If I move the dash back, I may be able to extend it down at the very edge, near the doors. This might give me enough room to mount my speakers a bit lower than the dash, without them being obstructed by my legs while driving. Or, if I can get the dash far enough back, I could mount them between the dash and the wheel wells, with the kick panel and firewall as two of the sides, and using MDF or something for the other two. But, this depends on where the preferred spot is... so far it's sounding like mounting the speakers down low is better than having them in the dash.

Which brings me to another point: Regardless of where I mount these, will there be any benefit to building custom-fit enclosures? I'm thinking something as basic as 1/4" or 1/2" MDF just cut and glued/nailed together. I've even considered using drivers from home-audio speakers... I have a tiny pair of Polk Audio RT15's that would probably sound better (in their original enclosures) than a pair of 6.5" JBL's just mounted in the kick panels. I know the biggest concern would be finding ones with the proper resistance, but I've got a digital multimeter that I can use to check that... My car subwoofer reads 3.8 ohms at the terminals, and the Polk Audio speakers show 3.7 ohms at the terminals.

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Fiio X3 Mark III; Sennheiser HD 598SR.

Previously: ADA SSD-66 (5.1) pre/processor; Bryston 4B (x2) & Hafler 220; Cambridge Audio DAC Magic; Furman power conditioner; Focal Chorus 705V.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Mount some of the Bose mini modules/satellites directly on the top of the dash for Front L+R. Mount a sub-box in the bed of the pickup between the seats. You don't need three speakers, across the front, just a balance control.


Last edited by Erik on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Waveguides are also known as horn-loaded compression drivers...basically horns, but built to fit under the dash of a vehicle. Image dynamics was the most popular manufacturer through the mid 90s and I've seen them for sale on cam recently, so they are out there. The main advantage is they tuck under the dash pretty much equalizing wavelength from anyplace in the vehicle. Being horns, they also have a frequency range from about 500 to 20k, meaning a 6-1/2 midbass driver is also suggested (but was often sold as a kit with the crossover). A quick google should get you far more info than my memory can provide lol. I heard a mud 90s impala with these and it was magical: wide, tall all-enveloping soundstage where you could pin-point the instruments...but not the speakers.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:44 pm 
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Dash mount two of these:

http://www.orbaudio.com/?gclid=CPjujZjC ... 5Qod3zurog


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:48 pm 
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waveguides as in-wall full range speakers:

https://www.tselectronic.com/ms_systems ... ideLit.pdf


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:09 pm 
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if it were me, I would do 5.25 components in the Kick panels and a small sub in the dash. You will not need any rear fill given the size of the truck, and 6 - 8" sub in a ported enclosure would be easy to fabricate and provide bass down to the 40's.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:01 pm 
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popeface wrote:
OBI: The 620's a pretty popular model... IIRC, it replaced the 521 for the '73 model year, so it was probably produced from late '72. The 521's were introduced for the '70 model year, and mine was one of the early ones produced in late '69. I've got a '72 as well for a parts truck, so it would've been just before the switch. I'm on another forum for Datsuns, and a couple people have (more-or-less) period correct 620's, with the fiberglass lip, bed caps, fat rear tires, and everything else that was popular in those days. Mine will end up more like a rat-rod, with a Wankel and 4-speed auto (I can't drive a stick) out of an RX7. Lot of work though... it's been in the garage for over two years.

Zarnov: What do you mean by waveguides? And I wasn't sure about the off-axis mounting, which is why I brought it up. Should I avoid aiming the speakers directly at the driver then? I don't have space on the doors to mount 8" woofers, although I am planning a 10" subwoofer under one of the seats... probably passenger's. I have an additional 8" woofer I could use, although the best place would either be under the driver's seat, or behind the passenger's section of dashboard. Other than that, there's not a lot of room.

I want the dashboard back further against the firewall, just to give the cab a bigger feel. If I move the dash back, I may be able to extend it down at the very edge, near the doors. This might give me enough room to mount my speakers a bit lower than the dash, without them being obstructed by my legs while driving. Or, if I can get the dash far enough back, I could mount them between the dash and the wheel wells, with the kick panel and firewall as two of the sides, and using MDF or something for the other two. But, this depends on where the preferred spot is... so far it's sounding like mounting the speakers down low is better than having them in the dash.

Which brings me to another point: Regardless of where I mount these, will there be any benefit to building custom-fit enclosures? I'm thinking something as basic as 1/4" or 1/2" MDF just cut and glued/nailed together. I've even considered using drivers from home-audio speakers... I have a tiny pair of Polk Audio RT15's that would probably sound better (in their original enclosures) than a pair of 6.5" JBL's just mounted in the kick panels. I know the biggest concern would be finding ones with the proper resistance, but I've got a digital multimeter that I can use to check that... My car subwoofer reads 3.8 ohms at the terminals, and the Polk Audio speakers show 3.7 ohms at the terminals.


Could have been a 73 popeface (I remember the old man said he had bought in in 72). I'd avoid using MDF in that sort of application due to humidity and weight. I used 3/8" black plexi damped inside with roofing compound covered with poly book wrap. You can always check out one of the custom auto sound places in your neck of the weeks to see what they use (looks like some sort of 1/4" black plastic sheeting that they mold and bend into shape with a heat gun; softer than plexi and shatterproof)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:43 pm 
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also car audio drivers are often made to withstand more humidity and abuse than home drivers.
You will always get better mid-bass/midrange in proper enclosures. With the blank lsate you have just build some fiber-glass kickpods.


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