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5.1 Centre Channel Speaker Installation


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This weekend i have mostly been...

Making a centre channel for 5.1 surround in the car..

I started of with a Kenwood KSC-310CCS - centre channel speaker. I thought this might fit on the dash behind the nav. It kind of did but i didnt like it and couldnt think of anywhere else to put it. ( those without nav have a perfect place in the dash tray!)

So i had an idea...

The speaker inside the kenwood unit is only 2" so i decied to mod something to fit in the ashtray.

Speaker (it might look big but is only 2")

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MDF Frame work and old nokia speaker cover.

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Speaker mounted to cover

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Frame and cover filled and sanded

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Sprayed black

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Fitted!

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i have a new centre console to put in as i scratched this one to bits and the gear stick piece needs retrimming.

So results??

Well it sounded ok and a few people heard it thought it was good.

+ve - the vocal was very clear and sharp over the effects and for the size of speaker handled the volume very well

-ve - it spoiled the soundstage for me and was a bit to directional. Also didnt match my fronts well but i should have expected that!!

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So i lied...

that wasnt actually the weekend, it was Thursday..

The weekend was taken up by the next part but it wouldnt have made sense with out part 1!!

So i wasnt happy with the -ve's that i posted so on friday i bought set of components so i could use one of the these as a centre channel.

The choice was limited to a 4" speaker but it needed to be 2" deep max, play down to 60hz and handle some decent power. Now i also wanted to match my Mb quart fronts which was always going to be difficult without spending £300 on the 4" version and i felt this was too much just for watching films!

With the help of the BassJunkies team we settled on the MB Quart PKC110. These are very curious little speakers as they are compenents mounted in a coax style arrangement so the tweeter sits in front of the mid but uses an out board crossover! Perfect for centre staging! They play down to 57hz which is about where my fronts are crossed over and take 60w rms.. Perfect!

speaker,crossover and cd to compare size.. (its one big crossover)

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So this required a little more work..

I removed the gear gaitor off the centre console and made a new panel out of MDF.

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sanded, primered and sprayed back..

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panel trimmed and gear stick gaiter mounted

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speaker mounted to panel..

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Panel trimmed and put back in car..

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I will retrim the panel with some alacantra to match seat and make a shiny ring for the speaker grill to match the gearstick. the crossover was a bit of a pain to fit somewhere out of the way. I found space in the passenger foot well behind the carpet on the transmission tunnel.

So results part 2..

+ve - sounds excellent! on music you cant tell its there but brings the soundstage to middle of the car. I set the tweeter a little lower than normal so that its not as bright and the HU has an eq for each channel for fine tuning if needed On films, the vocal is very clear and actually sounds like a proper centre channel. it definatly benefits with the improved lower end of the sound spectrum when something moves across the screen the sound does too.. its just like being at home!

-ve- this was the first attempt of this build as there isnt much room for error and if its out slightly it wont fit together properly. Its now in the third version, fits together better and sits in place much nicer. It would have been easier without the cig lighter but i wanted to keep it here so it looks as OEM as possible (once retrimmed). sound wise nothing -ve!

now onto the rears in the c pillars...

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Very nice job mate, looks brilliant............is the speaker pointing straight up or is it angled out?

its pointing straight up..

Incar is different to home where it points towards you. pointing outwards/facing forward was too distinguishable. the idea is that it points towards the ceiling and intercepts with where front too meets. was a bit of a gamble but it paid off!

@stevie.. i think it is but i got it from wilkinsons.. was a bargain at £10!!

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its pointing straight up..

Incar is different to home where it points towards you. pointing outwards/facing forward was too distinguishable. the idea is that it points towards the ceiling and intercepts with where front too meets. was a bit of a gamble but it paid off!

Cool, it looked like it was pointing straight up, but to be fair I think all centre speakers in cars point upwards, but they're usually on the top of the dash so the sound would reflect off the windscreen - it was only because it's so low down that I was curious, but glad it works so well :)

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its pointing straight up..

Incar is different to home where it points towards you. pointing outwards/facing forward was too distinguishable. the idea is that it points towards the ceiling and intercepts with where front too meets. was a bit of a gamble but it paid off!

Cool, it looked like it was pointing straight up, but to be fair I think all centre speakers in cars point upwards, but they're usually on the top of the dash so the sound would reflect off the windscreen - it was only because it's so low down that I was curious, but glad it works so well :)

it depends on the installation, there is an alpine unit that is din sized forward facing, the kenwood and another alpine is upwards, pioneer is in between the two..

location of centre plays a big part and i think ideally it would have gone on top of the dash, reflecting like you say, but no room without cutting either the dash away or the nav housing, both of which i wouldnt do!

it is low down and was sceptical if it would work but it only costs time to experiment and this one went well!!

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but it only costs time to experiment and this one went well!!

Totally, and I'm sure a lot of people will now follow suit! :winky:

yes!

i know a few people expressed interest when i first spoke about it.. the small ashtray one is now up for sale in the sale section!

:winky:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

retrimmed the centre panel in some new material, added a proper speaker grill and replaced the centre console that was all scratched on the sides..

Cheers to aaron for the trimmimng material..

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hopefully i will decide on some rear surrounds soon and start on the c pillars!

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lol..

thats the ine problem i have with this set up.. there isnt a great place to put drinks.. i did consider removing the satnav control but ive ran out of places to relocate things!

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cheers guys..

it does have to be heard to believe just how good it actually sounds and it really does look oem so im quite pleased with how it turned out.

I picked up the rears today so another fews days work and i think these are going to be slightly more difficult.I will have to run these off the HU for now until i can get the amp at the right price.

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Dont know much about all this ICE stuff , but you have put a lot of work into this .

And it dose look good , well done.

I was thinking it was going to be a lot of effort just to change my front speaker, but after seeing this thread I told myself to get a grip. lol

Will be good to hear it the next time we meet !!

But get rid of the drinks can holder, thats not nice :P

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But get rid of the drinks can holder, thats not nice :P

dammit!! thats two people now!

i can see me modifying the sat nav remote holder next!

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I'm loving that install, with the grill now it looks really good, like OEM :winky:

Have to agree with the others though, that cup holder doesn't look good mate.........I'm not sure about this but doesn't the remote for the CD based nav work for the DVD based nav? If so, would it work the other way round? Could possibly swap out what you've got for the later style control with cupholder :)

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not sure.. the cd one is IR and can be taken out of the holder where as the dvd one is hard wired..

its worth a shot i guess but could end up being an expensive doorstop! if i manage to get new door cards to cut up then i would reloacte it there and put the original cup holders in.

for now.. THE CUP HOLDERS STAYING!! :lol:

any suggestions on what might make it more visually appealing? i was thinking of trimming it?

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not sure.. the cd one is IR and can be taken out of the holder where as the dvd one is hard wired..

any suggestions on what might make it more visually appealing? i was thinking of trimming it?

Is the CD one not also hard wired when it's in its holder? Or does it just have another IR sensor inside the place it sits?

The 6 series doesn't have a cupholder either, and has a weird thing (similar to yours) that sits on the console as an option...........It does look ok though as it's aluminium or something, maybe get one of those and adapt to fit or something similar?

5782_st0640_066.jpg

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not sure.. the cd one is IR and can be taken out of the holder where as the dvd one is hard wired..

any suggestions on what might make it more visually appealing? i was thinking of trimming it?

Is the CD one not also hard wired when it's in its holder? Or does it just have another IR sensor inside the place it sits?

The 6 series doesn't have a cupholder either, and has a weird thing (similar to yours) that sits on the console as an option...........It does look ok though as it's aluminium or something, maybe get one of those and adapt to fit or something similar?

5782_st0640_066.jpg

this i like!!

off to search ebay it is...

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