Our clients came to us wanting to upgrade the audio system in their 2015 Ford Mustang 5.0 convertible. The couple came in with a main goal to have us design and build an audio system that would be loud enough to drown out the aftermarket exhaust and wind/road noise while cruising on the highway with the top down. This can be a challenging feat in many convertibles; even so, we set out to give them what they want! Check out just how we did it…
- AudioControl DM608 Digital Sound Processor
- AudioControl ACR-3 DSP Controller
- Audio Dynamics 700 Watt 6-Channel Amplifier
- Audio Dynamics 600 Watt Mono Amplifier
- Audio Dynamics 3000 Series 6.5” 2-Way Component Speakers
- Audio Dynamics 3000 Series 3” Mid-range Speakers
- Audio Dynamics 3000 Series 6.5” Coaxial Speakers
- Rockford Fosgate 10” P3 Subwoofers
- Hushmat Sound Deadener
- Stinger Foam Speaker Fast Rings
- Stinger 6000 Series RCA Interconnects
- XKGlow Underglow & Accent LED Lighting
- T-Spec OFC Wire, Distribution Blocks & Battery Terminals
- XS Power D4700 AGM Battery
We discussed the challenges of adding a system with a great deal of bass and audio clarity in a convertible while retaining the factory stereo. It is typically more difficult to get an ideal amount of bass output than in a hardtop vehicle. Many times, this is due to the fact that the top retracts into the area between the rear seat and trunk, further adding more materials for the bass to travel through to reach the cabin. In some cases, the trunk and cabin environment are almost entirely separated by sheet metal, rear panels and possibly a rear seat.
The AudioControl DM608 DSP is being used to sum 6-Channels of factory input signal and deliver 8-Channels of fully tuned active audio to the new amplifiers. We also added the AudioControl ACR-3 controller with multiple preset tunes to choose from; like Rock, Rap/EDM, Top Down, and Sound Quality. It was originally discussed that we would add the subwoofers in custom enclosures in the trunk. A few days into the project, the clients came into the shop to check out some progress, and we decided to simply delete the rear seat and house the subwoofers and enclosure in the rear seat area. This helps to keep the bass close to the listeners and inside the cabin, maximizing bass output with the top up or down. You can also see the controller was mounted into the driver side dash pocket in a hideaway 007 fashion.
For the front-stage we used Audio Dynamics 3000 Series speakers. The Audio Dynamics 6.5” Mid-woofer and 3” Mid-range speakers were installed into the doors with some custom-built speaker mounts and Hushmat sound treatment. The 1” tweeters went into factory positions in the a-pillars while the 6.5” coaxial speakers were installed into the rear quarter panels also using custom-built speaker mounts. The 6.5” speakers had foam Stinger Fast Rings installed to funnel the speakers front wave through the panel grilles and into the cabin reducing the chances of losing any output inside the panel cavity.
The DSP, 6-Channel amplifier and Mono amplifier are installed onto a custom amplifier and processor rack in the spare tire well of the trunk that is mounted by utilizing the spare tire bolt positions. Hushmat was also added to the spare tire well, under the rear seat area and to the trunk lid to reduce rattles and road vibrations. An XS Power D4700 AGM Battery was added under the hood to help supply the additional load of the new system. Full runs of 0 Gauge OFC, both Power and Ground, were wired to the rear of the vehicle to offer plenty of electrical transfer area for the powerful Audio Dynamics amplifiers.
Adding the 10” Rockford Fosgate subwoofers to the rear seat area was a great choice, for a few reasons. It keeps the bass in the cabin area and also disperses the weight evenly in the rear passenger area, where additional weight is meant to be. I decided to build the enclosure with a sealed alignment so that when the cabin environment changes with the top being up or down, the subwoofers won’t have to deal with the changing cabin environment while playing at high volume levels. It ended up being approximately 1.18 cubic feet of inner air volume. The sealed enclosure lets the subwoofers play many types of music efficiently, and it still has plenty of output.
The only real custom accents we added to the aesthetics are the multi-color underglow kit and the rear seat delete dress panels. The LED lighting system has the ability to blink on one side when a blinker is activated during a turn and the full kit turns red when pressing on the brake. This is a great safety feature to have on smaller vehicles when on the road at night. Some acrylic accents were also added to help make the delete kit look advanced enough for the year of the vehicle. The running pony portion has an acrylic plexi window that allows you to see the top fold and unfold when in motion. The acrylic around the subwoofer window helps to give a “fluid lighting” accent and gives us an area to place a Rockford Fosgate sticker centerpiece.
The 600W Audio Dynamics amplifier was chosen for the sub-stage so that we could keep the overall power draw at a safe level without having to upgrade the factory electrical system. Forward thinking, I decided to add the P3 Rockford Fosgate subwoofers, which can handle up to 500W RMS each, so that the enclosure would not need to be modified to add a bit more bass down the line. All we will need to do is add a bigger alternator, upgrade the engine electrical charging wires and swap the 600W amplifier out for the Audio Dynamics 1100W amplifier, and the bass will nearly double overnight.
This system sounds really, really good on all genres of music and I believe our client is about to step into the world of car audio sound quality enthusiasts. Our clients have told me they have enjoyed taking the Mustang out on the town to show off to their friends. Even with the upgraded exhaust system this car sounds incredible while on the road with the top down, as requested. All in perfect time for Summer!
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Contact LIS Audio if you have any questions…
Call: (913) 912- 6990
631 A-Line Dr, Spring Hill, KS 66083, USA