GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well I have been scouring the net and have yet to find anything complete on the volt, so not to make any bold claims, but I am wondering if this is the very first volt that will be completely stripped for the sound deadening and stereo install.

In my last car, the bass would be loud enough that most people ( including me ) could not handle it, but outside the vehicle it was nothing more than a slight humm, thanks to two layers of installed sound deadening material (Fatmat). With the volt I ordered 100sqft of MegaMat, a 70 Mil Butyl based sound deadener. The volt is already very quiet, so this will serve as mass loading to the panels to reduce resonance, and to absorb those low frequency sound waves from the subs to keep them in the car. Will also help slightly keep the car insulated, which could potentially lower the demand of the hvac system, but im not interested in doing tests to confirm this, i really dont care, this car is already more efficeint than my last 2 Prii.

The system when complete will consist of the following
All 4 Doors, megamatted on both inner and outer Skin with Infinity Kappa 3 Way Speakers with 14G speaker wiring run through the doors back to an Alpine MRX-V70 5 Channel Amp. I have custom made rubber coated foam deflex panels which will go inside the door panels to reduce the sound transmission to the exterior, as well as absorb some of the sound waves from the back of the speaker which will help isolate the desired sound coming from the front of the speaker. The headliner was matted with a generous overlapping single layer, and some additional foam sound barrier was added before the headliner was reinstalled. The back hatch area will be double layered with mega mat, as the OEM sound control back there is less than anywhere else in the vehicle. Aditionally I had the rustproofing rubberized undercoating done from the stealership, which helps absorb road noise a little as well. The rear will eventually consist of either a 12" or 10" Infinity Kappa subwooker which will get 350W RMS and 1200W peak. The 4 Door speakers will be at 90W RMS and about 250 Peak. Until I get the custom subwookfer box built and installed, I will be running a pair of 12" "Pro-Series"? subs that were sitting in a friends garage, I removed them from the Prius. I intend to install additional foam sound barrier in the rear hatch area as well. Any remaining mega mat will be placed on the floor working from the back of the car forward in a single layer, then if there is any remaining under the hood to help further reduce any engine noise by mass loading the hood panel.

The car is fully dissasembeled (except the headliner which has already been matted and reinstalled) Pictures below of the progress, and I will update the thread with more photos as we get more done. Now fingers are crossed that once I get it back together the car still works. For those of you wondering why the volt was more expensive than other vehicles, I can assure you, I have torn apart MANY vehicles, and none even come close to the quality of materials, and the cleanliness of the body and panels. Attention to detail is apparent throught the entire vehicle, it really makes my Prii seem like toys in comparison. Enough talking here are the pictures.

Some pictures of the naked interior

image (3).jpg
image (4).jpg
image (5).jpg

Here is a picture of the roof matted and headliner ready for reinstall

image.jpg

Here is a picture for speaker comparison, paper cone on OEM, vs Woven Fiber Cone with a tweeter and an ultrasonic tweeter
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
This picture shows the other side of the speakers, OEM paper cone speakers have a magnet about the size of $1.50 worth of stacked quarters, the Kappas magnet weigh about 2 pounds and very large in comparison
image (7).jpg

Here is another angle of the roof covered in megamat - pictures taken at 2AM so lighting is not the best.

image (2).jpg

A picture from the seating area out the back hatch with the rear interior stripped

image (6).jpg


Piles of Chevy Volt in the garage - can not wait to see these back in place. :cool:

image (9).jpg
image (10).jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,644 Posts
Ultrasonic tweeter? What's the point of sounds above human hearing? Pet dog or bat? Not sure if adding dynomat to one of the quietest cars out there is worth the effort. Louder than you can tolerate? Then why do it? The 200wat oem system in my ride would make me ride around with earplugs.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,023 Posts
Quite a project! Did you do any sound testing before? It would be interesting to know the before and after specs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
Wow. That's a lot of work.

How much do the mats weigh? Any estimate on how much it adds to the car's curb weight?

Shouldn't have any audio power issues with a 16.3kWh battery!

@srmarti
If it's louder than you can tolerate, that usually translates into lower THD in the range that you can tolerate. I'm thinking that ultrasonic would have harmonics that humans can hear.

Maybe Nick D should comment on the design of a ultra-high-fidelity kicker-a$$ audio system. Give us some 'why' not just the 'how'. :) This would make a pretty good main page post. Jeff?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ultrasonic tweeter is a marketing thing - its built into the speaker, i did not buy them individually - i dont know what it does - but these speakers sound awesome, I know as I had the same setup in the prius.

Dynomatting is not as much for sound control as mass loading steel body panels to reduce panel resonance, listen to stereo in a matted vehicle, vs a stock vehicle and the QUALITY of the sound (not volume) is noticably cleaner sounding.

Louder than I can tolerate, does not mean I turn it up that loud, a speaker that can get that loud sounds much cleaner at lower reasonable listneing volumes.

The factory sound system is terrible, if its good for you thats great, but for me, I drive 25k - 30k miles every year and spend a lot of time in my vehicle, i love music and have very discerning taste in sound quality.

Every car I have ever owned has been fully customized, I knew coming into the volt that there would be plenty of people who have lots of money ( i mean its an expensive car ) who are content with the car as is, who might not understand peoples desire to personalize or enhance specific areas of the car. I choose to do these things for my own personal preferance, and I enjoy tinkering. By posting the experience online I am providing a resource for others documenting what it was like to complete a project like this, this will help others down the road who may be interested in doing a similar project, I always search for peoples installs before doing my own to look for input and advice, on the Volt there is very little customization going on from what I can find, but once these come down in price (used) younger people who are eager to make these changes will increase. I have lots of other plans for the car, beyond the stereo - this is only the beginning. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow. That's a lot of work.

How much do the mats weigh? Any estimate on how much it adds to the car's curb weight?

Shouldn't have any audio power issues with a 16.3kWh battery!

@srmarti
If it's louder than you can tolerate, that usually translates into lower THD in the range that you can tolerate. I'm thinking that ultrasonic would have harmonics that humans can hear.

Maybe OP should comment on the design of a ultra-high-fidelity kicker-a$$ audio system. Give us some 'why' not just the 'how'. :)
The matting installed weight will be about 36 pounds, the speakers amps and wires will also add an additional 30 pounds. In the prius I noticed 0 impact on MPG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
The matting installed weight will be about 36 pounds, the speakers amps and wires will also add an additional 30 pounds. In the prius I noticed 0 impact on MPG.
I'm more curious as to the effect that the Amp would have on the battery. Dynomat isn't very heavy, but the battery pull from some of these amplifiers can get crazy. Have you noticed a bigger pull on the battery, or will it only affect the 12V battery?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Quite a project! Did you do any sound testing before? It would be interesting to know the before and after specs.
No sound testing before, I mean the system I know sounds good, It was in the Prius C for about 8 Months ( Only had the car for 12 months). When I got into the volt the first time, the first thing I noticed was how terrible in comparison the sound system was. As far as megamatting is concerned, My Prius C was so loud you could barely have a conversation, but after the sound deadening install, was basically about as quiet as my stock volt. I really dont know how much the noise control will make a difference, but I do know that the matting will help absorb the low frequency notes, and keep them in the vehicle - for my neighbors sake. :)

The sound system is going to be competition quality for Sound Quality, not SPL, as those SPL comps I left back in high school in the 1990's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I'm more curious as to the effect that the Amp would have on the battery. Dynomat isn't very heavy, but the battery pull from some of these amplifiers can get crazy. Have you noticed a bigger pull on the battery, or will it only affect the 12V battery?
The 12V battery should handle the load fine, there are several Volts out there I have found with subwoofer installs. The 12V is recharged by the cars electrical system, so if I put a large continuous load on the 12V, it could potentially impact driving range, others who have done amp installs have mentioned no loss in range. We will see, I feel like im a guinea pig in uncharted territory right now.

Edit - and to answer your question - I have not noticed any bigger pull yet, as the amp has not yet been wired. Wiring the amp should not take long, so I will know more regarding this once the install is complete and I have had some time to drive around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just got a surprise delivery from UPS - these were on backorder and I was not expecting them until August. :)

PART_1373642164160.jpg PART_1373642163725.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I would be semi concerned about the power draw surges being applied to the 12V battery charger/converter unit that steps down the main pack voltage from 360V to a safe level for the 12V battery. IIRC the applied amperage is only enough to maintain the accessories and computers. It doesn't exactly function like a conventional car's alternator and is no doubt much more expensive to replace. I hope you intend on using Caps to lessen the stress on the converter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
I love it! I did something similar to my other car, though with much less expertise than you, and the difference was remarkable. I agree that the Volt audio system is a bit weak, it's helped by the quietness of the car, but still could use some improvement. Thanks for the information, and the photos. Keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
Nice build!

For my RX-8, I used a competing product from Second Skin that I was very pleased with:

http://store.secondskinaudio.com/damplifier/

It's not soundproofing per se, but rather panel dampening. For that purpose it's not necessary to make an airtight seal between the outside of the car and the interior, but only cover the larger areas of the sheet metal. Covering the inside of the doors proved to have the largest positive effect on noise and stereo performance, followed by the trunk and roof.

I'll get to doing this on my Volt one of these days ...

OP: Did you start with a stock stereo or the optional Bose? At least in the RX, the Bose complicates things by providing pretty strong equalization before sending the signal to the speakers. Since they used some pretty strange speakers, replacing those speakers with aftermarket makes the equalization all whacky afterwards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Nice build!

For my RX-8, I used a competing product from Second Skin that I was very pleased with:

http://store.secondskinaudio.com/damplifier/

It's not soundproofing per se, but rather panel dampening. For that purpose it's not necessary to make an airtight seal between the outside of the car and the interior, but only cover the larger areas of the sheet metal. Covering the inside of the doors proved to have the largest positive effect on noise and stereo performance, followed by the trunk and roof.

I'll get to doing this on my Volt one of these days ...

OP: Did you start with a stock stereo or the optional Bose? At least in the RX, the Bose complicates things by providing pretty strong equalization before sending the signal to the speakers. Since they used some pretty strange speakers, replacing those speakers with aftermarket makes the equalization all whacky afterwards.
I have also used second skin in the past and actually prefer it - the Mega Mat is cheaper however, $230 for 100sqft shipped. I used the mid grade fatmat in the prius and the difference was unbelieveable.

My system was the stock stereo, i chose not to go with the bose, as I had these compnents already at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I would be semi concerned about the power draw surges being applied to the 12V battery charger/converter unit that steps down the main pack voltage from 360V to a safe level for the 12V battery. IIRC the applied amperage is only enough to maintain the accessories and computers. It doesn't exactly function like a conventional car's alternator and is no doubt much more expensive to replace. I hope you intend on using Caps to lessen the stress on the converter.
I was intending to use a cap, but after a lot of research into how they actually affect the audio system I decicded against it, if you research the pros and cons, you will find a few people who think they are beneficial, and many people very intellegent on the subject recomend not using them and upgrading your cars electrical system. As of right now i am not too concerned that the amp is going to draw too much. There are other volts with systems installed that have encountered no issues. If they do arise, i will make changes to the system - again with the whole guniea pig thing. I hope it turns out well, and I will post if I encounter issues
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
I don't understand how you are installing the stereo portion?? Are you keeping the center display? Have to, right? Seems to me that you're just going to have to disconnect the speaker and antenna inputs from the back of center hvac/stereo and put the head somewhere else??
So far, I see you doing great work and worthwhile work. I just don't see how the next portion can be implemented well.
How did you handle it on the Prii?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,359 Posts
Are you doing any Mass Loaded Vinyl (over closed cell foam as an example) to address road noise while you have all that apart? I'm referring to stuff like Luxury Liner Pro from SecondSkinAudio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I don't understand how you are installing the stereo portion?? Are you keeping the center display? Have to, right? Seems to me that you're just going to have to disconnect the speaker and antenna inputs from the back of center hvac/stereo and put the head somewhere else??
So far, I see you doing great work and worthwhile work. I just don't see how the next portion can be implemented well.
How did you handle it on the Prii?
My guess would be the OP is using a LOC (line-out converter) of some sort. It takes the signal from the head unit in the center stack and runs it to the aftermarket amp. It's best to get the signal before any kind of "enhancement" is done, so capture it before it hits the stock amp, run wires to aftermarket amp, then out to the speakers and sub.

OP thank you for posting this. I did the same thing in my previous car and it took the better part of 10 nights to complete including fiberglassing an enclosure into the trunk (my first attempt BTW). I seriously thought about doing this in the Volt but I'm too busy enjoying the car right now to care. The stock Bose system isn't terrible (better than stock Subaru gear lol) but at least I have an idea what I'm in for should I decide to take this on. Keep the thread updated especially if you run into any snags along the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I don't understand how you are installing the stereo portion?? Are you keeping the center display? Have to, right? Seems to me that you're just going to have to disconnect the speaker and antenna inputs from the back of center hvac/stereo and put the head somewhere else??
So far, I see you doing great work and worthwhile work. I just don't see how the next portion can be implemented well.
How did you handle it on the Prii?
Murdoch158 is correct - I am running a line output converter - it will t tap into the speaker wires on the back of the head unit - you want to tap wires as close to the HU as possible. I did the same in the Prii, also did it temporarily in my old Scion XB until i went with an aftermarket HU. In the volt there is too much value and control built into the factory HU/display, so im just taking the sound from the speaker wires. The speaker wires currently running to the doors will not be used, i will be using a high end 14g shielded speaker wire to each door from the amp.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top