High end systems are common place at Studio Incar. After all it encapsulates our goal exactly, Hi Fidelity - In car. It's certainly no secret that these particular systems don't come cheap. An ultimate luxury for the connoisseur or the show winning installations we're known for producing all come with their respective price tags. This is where particular expertise and super high standards really come into their own. Should these talents and exacting standards be exclusive to high end installations? Not in our systems. Lets have a talk about Lewis' A3 and its very reachable full digital iCar installation.
Lewis, a 20 year old local lad has owned this Audi A3 TDI Sportback for a little while now. Having had a look around for places to help him along with certain goals, he choose us due to some good advice and generally liking the look of our work on various social media platforms. As previously mentioned Lewis is a young lad, with finances of that of any other lad of his age having to run a car and insurance/living costs etc. Upon sitting down with us to discuss what was wanted certain things were decided with a particular budget in mind. Time to build a system package at a very "real" level and dispel a few myths surrounding the cost of good sound.
The original chat included air ride, an install around the air ride or Coilovers and a system. The car's direction is not show based. This isn't a car that is being built to take home silverware but simply to keep Lewis interested and happy with the car as a normal day to day tool. With this in mind the decision was almost made for us. Lets not make the car lay out and that be its only party trick, lets lower the car a substantial but manageable amount and fit some decent stereo for his music collection to play though.
Our BC Racing BR series coilovers were supplied and fitted in house. These shocks have 32 point dampening adjustment, threaded body mounting systems essentially lowering the body of the shock as opposed to the "spring seat" lowering which affects spring rate and dampening massively. Stainless fittings, pillow ball mounting hardware and adjustable caster/camber adjustment add to the success of these great shocks. With ride height down a good 2" over stock out of the box, a 100 mile run in is required and then we can do fine adjustments after the springs have settled in.
While the job was underway Lewis picked up a new set of staggered speedlines that bring the sportback a little more class. Fitted up with some 5mm spacers upfront the fitment is quite close, some fettling over the coming month will have the car sitting exactly how we want.
Typically what we need here is an amplifier with enough channels to run a complete 5 channel system actively. Running a system "actively" means you run an independent channel of amplification to each individual speaker. Instead of a 4 channel amplifier running two sets of speakers with crossovers inline, it runs one set of speakers with a single channel for each driver. Typically this allows more power per driver giving better headroom and enabling you to feed each channel of the amp with whatever safe signal you choose. Allowing you to manipulate the system to its best effect. The Hertz HDP5 was chosen in this system.
Next we need a processor! One capable of not only delivering a minimum of 5 individual channels, But one which can take the high def signal we are giving it and split it into the seperate bandwiths we need (as explained above). With this in place we can filter, time align, boost or cut all signals going to each of the channels of the amplifier. Audison's middle line processor the Bit ten D is capable of all of this plus more. (even 8ch active when running Full DA) The speakers are the most important link to getting a good sound reproduction. We use the best speaker the customers budget will allow, to ensure they are not dissapointed. Enter Audison's Voce k6 active set, bought in modular form they're approx £310 and at this price point can't really be touched.
Bass is taken care of by the mighty Hertz HX250D (£249.99) which not only looks incredible but sounds double its size. Being fed from the back end of the HDP5 drawing 550 Watts RMS it delivers a solid, coherent and deep bassline from the optimised sealed enclosure.
The source unit as ever with us is Apple's fantastic iPad mini. Feeding the system digitally, in this case wireless also (obviously a charging point is discreetly fitted). With the seemingly infinite pool of Apps and great sound when using external DACS it's the obvious choice for a source unit today. We've said it before, head units need not apply. This is mounted with one of our oe fit wallets. A case designed for easy removal from the dashboard. It can be replaced with or without the iPad fitted should you not want to leave the blank space in your dash while using the iPad. Trimmed in anthracite Alcantara for an oe feel and tying it into the cars dashboard. Admittedly we usually use black iPads but Lewis wanted a white one. The customer's always right and all that.
All of these pieces of kit as usual are housed in custom enclosures, as solid baffles as we can build to reduce any energy loss as far as we can. Where necessary the panels are all trimmed in Alcantara and lit with a subtle frosted back light. Colours chosen are to compliment the cars interior colour and exterior trim.
This system, all be it smaller than most of our others is as cutting edge as they come, the highest sample frequencies and bit rates, wireless transfer, Alac files should you choose, Nav, Facetime and Phone calls (IOS8) HD Video. I could bang on all day about the abilities of this system, chances are it would be much quicker for me to talk about what it can't do. All of this including the suspension upgrade, fitting and fabrication for less than the cost of an air ride system without the fitting fee, do the maths and i'm sure you'll be quite surprised such a system can retain this level of affordability.
To quote Lewis himself, "I just don't see how you would want any more than that?" Which give us the confirmation that this excellent sounding system is nothing short of fully satisfying for Lewis's brief.
Take a look at the rest of the pictures from the set, Enjoy!
As always, comments and suggestions are very welcome!
Shakey - Studio Incar