So, Iíve had the flu this week and I have had basically no motivation to work on the Jeep so I thought I would do a little write-up about my new custom sound bar that I have been working on to replace my sound bar that housed two 6.5 JL Audio subs and two Pioneer 6.5ís. This new build will be housing a set of Polk 6.5ís and a Pioneer 8 inch subwoofer.
This is what I plan on running for audio equipment (unless CES 2014 offers up something better)
Head Unit: Alpine CDE-HD149BT
Amp: Alpine PDX-5
Front Speakers: Polk Audio MM521
Rear Speakers: Polk Audio MM651
Subwoofer: Pioneer TS-SW841D
To start this build off, I needed to strip the sound bar down, which was quite easy this time because apparently the glue guy at the factory was being a bit stingy, Iím not complaining, it made my life easier. Obviously I removed the speakers, lights and then pulled the outer cover off along with thick and thin foam off.
Next was to remove the section of metal where I would be building the frame of the sub enclosure. I choose to put the sub on the driverís side, so passengers in the back would not hit their heads getting in and out. I only needed three cuts because one side was only held in by a slotted/bent tab arrangement.
Next I cut three pieces of mdf to build out the walls of the enclosure. I did these a little over sized and slowly sanded them down for a nice sung fit.
Next I moved on to the base of the enclosure, I started with paper and then transferred it to Masonite and curved the sharp edge to the angle I wanted.
Happy with the fitment of the three sides I glued them in place with two part glue. If you notice I positioned the wood only half way under the metal. I did this so I would have something to staple the fabric for the top of the enclosure to. I also prepped the painted area so the adhesive would bite in for a nice strong hold for the base of the enclosure. Youíll see four holes drilled in it as well. I did that so I could bolt the base in while the glue set up.
Next I built the frame to hold the sub and test fit it for clearances. Everything looked good so I glued it all in place. You can see in the second picture that the four holes that I had drilled for holding the base in place have been filled in. By this time the glue had dried up and was more than strong enough to hold the structure. You will also notice that on the right side of the sound bar, along the metal, I drilled many small holes. These holes will act as anchor points for the fabric to be glued to allowing me to create the shape of the enclosure. The speaker ring has also had a slight change; that being the small lip I routed into it so I had a place staple the fabric down leaving a nice smooth finished edge in the end for the speaker to mount to.
Here is the fabric all stapled/glued down and ready for fiberglass resin. I keep saying fabric, what this is, is unbacked speaker box carpet. It stretches in every direction and after it is soaked with resin you end up with an extremely rigid shell.
I popped it onto the roll bar real quick to see how it would look. It will be a nice clean fit, sort of hiding in plain sight.
Mixed up the fiberglass resin and soaked the fabric, let things cure up and then sanded it down.
I then added some Rage Gold body filler and sanded it down again, slapped on a quick layer of paint and that is where is sits now.
My plan to finish the sound bar is to wrap the speaker side with vinyl and then create a top cap to attach to it covering the wires leaving a clean finished custom sound bar. I will add my finishing steps to this when itís complete.