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My Evora Sound System Upgrade


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Not keen on the visilbility of the new tweeters, can you not reuse the old grills and make them less "bling"? :lol:

 

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Previously Owned: 2016 Lotus Evora 400, 2010 Lotus Evora NA, 2003 VX220 Supercharged, 2001 VX220 Lightning Yellow
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ha I've not looked at the old tweeters in detail but i suspect i'd have to destroy them to remove the grills but no doubt they'd fit over the new ones, but tbh the difference between the new and old tweeters as an overall effect in the car is negligible, Had we been talking about the door woofer covers i'd be totally with you

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So next i moved onto sound deadening the sub-woofer.  I've chosen to keep stock as i wanted to keep the install as simple as possible, and i wanted to keep the price down.  So with all inner panels removed i started testing to see exactly what vibrated when i pumped my "bass test track" through the sub only.  It sounded terrible, the entire side panel of the car wobbled, you could see it outside shaking, and it sounded horrible, just rattly plastic.  So I began with the "Silent Coat 4mm" sound deadening, I had read the best thing to do was to achieve 50% coverage of the inside of the out skin, so first I placed some on the panel inside the hole the sub faces (pic 3), then I used a piece of foam with the egg carton shape over the top directly where the sub is facing, after that i continued to use the deadening on any of the inner panels in that area that, when tapped, sounded hollow with a resonance (pic 2).  With this done i retested the sub and the difference was huge, all the panel rattling had gone and the outer panels didn't vibrate any where near as bad.

I wanted to see how the sub performed in a sealed enclosure so i blocked it off and tested it, it sounded terrible, I'd read it was supposed to produce a more crisp bass note, it sounded like it was struggling and made a real funny rattle, plus all of the bass that you could feel through the entire car had gone.  I decided to leave it open, but to deaden around the enclosure (pic 1)

Once done i reassembled and boy does it sound 10 times better.  I have the sub-woofer up to level 15 (max) and when playing tunes around volume 22/23 you feel the bass in your ass like its coming through the chassis, but its like a controller vibration as opposed to the full on panel rattle it had before.

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So i completed the sound deadening on the drivers door and took a couple of pics of the inner door skin.  You can see better the foam i used, its not proper stuff from an audio place, it was in some electrical boxes at work, but its the same colour as my car so i thought what the hell haha.  I used 3 pieces below the crash bar and one above.

With the door cards back on it really is starting to sound amazing.  I've also decided not to cut any speaker holes in the rear of my 2+0 as its kinda sacrilege, I do however still want to hear what a 4 speaker setup sounds like so I'm going to make a zer cost prototype so i can fade in/out the rears to see whether its worth pursuing.  I'll get pics up of the progress soon

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So here's my zero cost prototype for the rear speakers.  I removed the cargo net setup to see how neat the rear looked without it, I placed the speaker covers from my new components on the carpet to give myself a vision.  Off to B&Q and ended up getting a piece of 18mm MDF for a quid as it was a cutoff.  I used the carpet as a template.  The speakers for this test are gonna be the old front door 6.5".  I used the connectors from the old front tweeters to make the shelf removable without the need to remove the speakers.  I ran the speaker wires down the center tunnel.  To stop vibration i used 2 blocks of wood in the centre, VHB 3M tape to stick them down then the shelf screwed to them, the shelf also used the original cargo net fastenings on the sides.  Until i sort the headunit rear speaker wiring i connected them to the front crossover outputs to test the shelf for vibration, even with the old speakers it sounds pretty epic, totally changes the location of the sound, no longer seeming to eminate from the front doors, i cant wait to hear what a full 4 speaker setup will sound like.  I've ordered some carpet samples to see which best matches the oem with which to cover it

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  • Gold FFM

I really like this. I'm going to have to pull the specs on the 400's speakers, I believe the mids at the front are a different size to the S1. The rear sub is identical though.

Hmm...

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Thanks jay bud. Tbh when I started this I thought the factory setup needed beefing up. At this stage all i have done is sound proof and fronts and I reckon 90% of the improvement has come from sound proof alone. If i hadn't bought the amp I may not have knowing what i know now.

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Today my 445a amplifier arrived. It comes with leads with male and female alpine connections so you simply plug it in between the car and stereo. 

I ran the leads down into the passenger foot well and plan to mount it to the chassis under the glove box. Rain stopped play today

I also took the opportunity to wire in the rear speakers. Simply cut the green and purple wires exiting the amp and connect them to your rear speakers (the evora car connector doesn't even have these wires in the plug)

Prior to the amp I ran the stereo at 22 volume and it was pretty good any louder tho and distortion crept in. After the amp running at 19 produces the same volume and it will turn up to 27 or louder without a hint of distortion i stopped as it started to hurt my ears, the beat was making my eyes go boz-eyed and felt slightly dizzy lol

The 4 speaker setup is awesome too. I faded the rear out and it sounds very "front" focused. As the rears fade in the location of the sound disappeared and it just seemed to fill the entire cabin from no particular corner.  

I've now ordered a set of spg17c2 coaxes for the rear (didn't think it need the full crossover setup in the rear)

I'll get pics of the amp mounted at the weekend and more of the rear install as the speakers and speaker carpet arrives

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Today's progress saw the amp mounted. I was originally going to mount it on the chassis near the glove box but the wires would have been visible as they had to go under the chassis bar past the airbag ecu

I ended up seeing if it would fit in the tranny tunnel ahead of the gearstick. After many hours spent upside down head in the footweel cutting my hands to shreds on sharp edges I finally got it fitted

I unbolt ed the alarm remote sensor from the bottom of the central strut and fixed the amp in its place with extra strong velcro and a ziptie for good measure. I fixed the remote sensor ontothe newly fitted amp. It would defo have been easier removing the seat and tunnel sides but I struggled on

The first pic is the amp in place  and second shows the completed passenger side shot showing what is visible - essentially nothing bar a sliver of the wires passing from the dash down to the tunnel. If i had mounted near the glove box I don't think I'd have had any way Iinvisible way of getting the wires from the stereo to the glovebox

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I had a pro setup fitted to replace the standard - everything replaced except the head unit, plus a new amp for the replacement sub.  I had also thought about the rears but like you didn't want to cut holes anywhere. That raised shelf solution looks neat.  I think I feel a project coming on. Good work :thumbup:

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Many thanks paul I totally love the 4 speaker setup it sounds epic

Today saw progress on the shelf with it getting a covering of speaker carpet. It was much easier with two people and just used contact advice

I first tried it without the cargo net and it does look great but the cargo net does provide a more oem finish and it hides the small difference between the carpets and it hides imperfections in the edges of the speaker carpet. I think I'm going to go back to using the cargo net

Pics still show the old speakers new ones should be arriving tomorrow

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I'm impressed with your efforts.  Sound deadening the doors makes a huge difference to any car stereo - it certainly did in our old MX-5.  I'm tempted now to upgrade the speakers in my Evora and do some sound deadening.  I don't suppose you could give some step by step guidance on how to remove the trim necessary to change the door speakers and tweeters?

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Thank you very much, yeah of course i dont mind, panels are pretty easy to take off, I'll give you some tips here and dig out the much better threads with pics i found on the US forums, interior trim tools are desirable - but not essential - PS this is all from memory so apologies if I've missed anything :(

Door panel :

5 x plastic screw fittings from underneath with door open,

flat blade screwdriver to prise grey door handle cover away, 2 big allen bolts underneath it

plastic cover near air vent, 2 x posi screws hidden behind rubber seal ring, 2 x fir tree fittings that need prying out (i just used a thin screw driver to lift the edge enough to slide some needle nose pliers in to lever them out - wrap tools in tape to prevent scratching )

behind above cover a small silver allen bolt

Now lower the window glass fully, pull the bottom of the door card away from the door 2 inches or so, and hit the door card along the bottom in an upwards direction front/back till it pops off the door up.  Once up it will still be connected by the electric connectors which are prolly zip-tied in plastic covers, snip the zip ties, pull the plastic back and release the connectors (2 drivers, 1 passenger).  The door cable needs 2 x 13mm spanners to release the lock nuts on the back of the door card, leave the rear one where it is and unwind the front one all the way off so that when you reinstall you can refit in exactly the same position tension-wise, then where the cable end attaches to the door handle bit, there is a white plastic clip underneath that stops it dropping out that needs unclipping (it pivots around in its housing away from the cable just use your thumb nail) and a press on washer clip on top that needs prizing off, the cable should then be able to be removed from the door, refit the 13mm front nut and washer to stop losing them :).  The washer clips i found to only worth reusing once or twice and eventually used a small section of small silicone hose in their place

Crossover access:

The sill panel is 1st to come off, 2 x fir tree clips need to come out first, then its only held on with Velcro..... superman Velcro!, start at the back and lift it a little til you can hear the Velcro start to pull, slide a rule or flat edge in and try and get it between the velcro and use that to your advantage, the more you separate it the easier it gets, try to look on the thread i will link to to see the location of the Velcro once the panel is off to make it easier.

Remove the carpet foot pads to give as much access as possible for next step.  Looking underneath you need to remove or loosen the under dash panels, I dont think they need removing completely, just enough to waggle the next panel out, i took the drivers ones out as they were easy, the panel under the steering column just folded down (it was attached at the front with Velcro pads only) leaving access to unbolt the next panel easily, the glove-box makes the passenger side harder so i just undid the outer bolt which gave enough room for the next step

The two small panels on the edge of the dash need removing, 2 x bolts or fir trees (depending on who put it back together last lol) and a bit Velcro

The panels covering the crossovers have a plastic screw at the top (near air vent), two on the sill visible now the sill cover it gone, and two right where your feet go easily visible when you get your head down there.  Pull the door seal away from the car at the front to get ever more access.  Now i had enough to wiggle this panel out, I think getting the bit near the door seal out first is best as that gives the panel a lot more freedom.

Now you should have full access to do everything I have done.  Read these threads before you start if you're not sure, not everything is relevant, but gives you lots of pics to clarify what I've said:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f417/diy-evora-dashboard-removal-269378/

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f417/evora-stereo-system-83755/index3.html

Any questions just ask :)

The white evora youtube video i talked about earlier:

 

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I'd just like to add that when i said earlier that i think 90% of the improvement has come from the sound deadening alone, I'm not sure how true that is, i think that each thing I've done has improved the sound in pretty much equal amounts, the new crossovers, the sound deadening, the amp and the rear install have all defo added to the overall effect.  I would also recommend to anyone who wants to improve the sound but (who like me) knows nothing about amps and speakers and who doesn't want to slice into the existing wiring loom running new cable etc that if you are happy pulling some panels apart that the wiring to add new front crossovers, the plug and play alpine amplifier, and some sound deadening is so technically easy to do yourself and can be completed on your drive in a modular fashion over a number of weekends with basic tools.

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  • 6 months later...

After enjoying the 4 speaker setup for some months I decided to complete the job by upgrading the puny subwoofer/amp combo.  Disconnecting the speakers and running the subwoofer alone, turned upto the max of 15, really showed how little effect it has in the car.

First up is the woofer itself.  Continuing on with the "Alpine" theme the only subwoofer option I could find is the Type-G SWG-844, its 8" and fits with minimal effort into the existing enclosure, its £50 (taking total spend to £300), rated at 400W Max, here it is beside the OEM woofer.

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It will need an MDF mount making as its slightly narrower than the original, the MDF was (TBC)mm thick.  I used countersunk bolts in the existing 4 holes (red arrows - to allow the woofer to sit flush) as well as additional ones to really clamp the MDF to the plastic enclosure to prevent vibration noise, in hindsight i would also use some PU adhesive between the two as it took me a couple of attempts to get bolts in the right places to stop all vibrations when played at loud levels (I'll probably add the PU myself next time its out and spray it black too for aesthetics - even though it not visible lol)

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Amplifier coming very soon...

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To confirm the MDF thickness I used was 18mm, it does push the woofer close to the quarter panel cover which i did end up trimming around the opening to ensure on loud movement the cone didn't touch it

So the amplifier, my first choice was an Alpine M250 Mono Class D, Max 550W, RMS 150W (30 amp fuse) for £120

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I ran a new phono lead from the headunit sub-out up the centre console.  The original amp has a small patch lead (for power & speaker out), I cut the connectors from that to make my own (figuring to return to OEM either 1 small new harness/more soldering is required).  The good thing about using the patch lead is you can remove it from the car to do your soldering on the bench, because even on the patch lead the cables ain't thin. The OEM amp is run on its own 20 amp circuit, I used this rather than running my own cables, I figured the power levels I'd be running would be nowhere near and the first thing to pop would be the cars 20 amp fuse, I was right it was totally fine.  The amp was mounted under my new "parcel shelf" and the whole thing sounded epic.

But... the amplifier itself made an awful screeching noise!  After a tearing my hair out with "CarAudioCentre" about returning it, months later i got a refund.  I decided at this point that amp was so overkill i went for the next one down in the range, PMX T320 Class A, Max 320W (from Dream Ice) which runs the same 150W RMS in bridged mode and is what Alpine recommend in the documents to power that subwoofer.  It has a 25 amp fuse and although it needs the gain setting higher than the M250 its still only 2/3rds and is enough to send tingles through your ass when songs kick in, oh and no horrible noise from the amp too.

I set my head unit subwoofer level to 10, then played some songs at the loudest volume i usually do and tuned the gain to that (ended up using the +6db bass boost option on the amp too), this means i still have headunit control to remove (or boost bass to +15) should I need it

Visually in the rear there's no point showing any pics, it looks exactly the same as it did before, I left the old amplifier in place too.  I reckon all in its been a £400 job and I am 100% confident it will blow the socks off any Evora owner hearing it, it still does to me every time I listen to it

Hope its been of some help

Jay

 

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  • 11 months later...

This guide was super helpful.   

The quality if the stock (tech pack) sound system  is frustrating - in that it is "almost" good - the car is clearly cable of sounding good even with just the front speaker and subwoofer setup.

I'm part way through an upgrade of front speaker components to a Focal PS165 kit, following this guide.  I'm not sure whether I'll upgrade the subwoofer and amp yet  - I'll see how happy I am with it after the front kit and sound deadening.

I nearly gave up after 10 minutes trying to remove the sill cover - that stuff GRIPs!

Once that was off though, the rest was smooth sailing.

I've now got the new tweeters and crossovers in on on the drivers side.  I'll be doing the door speakers and insulation tonight, and passenger side over the weekend. 

@jevansio , do you remember how you loosened / removed the glove box?   I gave it a quick reccy last night, but couldn't figure out where to start with it.

 

 

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i completed the sound system upgrade today following Jay's instructions here with very little deviation.  A little commentary for anyone considering a Focal PS165 speaker setup in the Evora....

You don't need to remove the whole glove box when doing the passenger side.  Just removing 2 screws on the top rail that you'll see when you open the glove box will give you enough play to get the the A-pillar trim out and get access to what you need to behind.

I didn't realise when i bought then that the focal speaker kit come with separate crossovers for the woofers and tweeters.  Although combined they are bigger than the stock Alpine, there is plenty enough room where the old ones were to accept then.

The inputs can be run in series.  I wired the +ve and -ve inputs into the woofers and then used jumper wires to run over to the tweeter inputs.  The tweeter cross-overs come with 2 3-position switched to adjust the gain and frequency.  This isn't documented in the Focal instructions, but after some experimentation, I found the bested settings for the Evora to be

Gain: -3db
Frequency: Position 3

The tweeters drop perfectly into the stock locations.

For sound deadening in the the doors I used a "Silent Coat Starter Kit" which was £15 from amazon.  It contained enough materials to do both doors. 

I suspected I may have to modify the stock woofer mounts to accept the Focal woofers but as luck would have it, everything including the screw positions lined up perfectly.

I'm very pleased with the sound in the Evora now.  The mid-bass from the drivers is fantastic.  The high-end from the tweeters is crystal clear.  And the stock sub woofer adds enough depth for me.

Bottom line the Focal PS165 is a good choice for a simple speaker system upgrade.

Before I even bought the Evora, I was planning to replace the stock head unit with an Android Head unit.  But I've changed my mind now on the basis that;
1) The sound quality of the 520r is really good and as I am not planning to add a seperate amp, an Android unit might be a backward step for sound quality.  With the new speakers sound quality is where I want it to be.
2) The sat nav works just fine once you've installed all the updates.
3) The main reason I wanted Android head unit was for Spotify.. but I discovered a brilliant app for my phone called "Melody".  This adds bluetooth voice control for spotify.  If you double-tap the play button on the Alpine, it listens for a request.  Just say what you want to hear and it plays from Spotify.  It's absolutely awesome.  It also supports iHeartRadio.  Hopefully they are also working on TuneIn support then you could ask it to play BBC channels which would be a marked improvement on quality from FM radio (although you will need data reception)

So for now at least) I'm done with messing with the Evora sound system

It was mostly fun except for removing the sill covers which was the opposite of fun.

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2 hours ago, w022a said:

Hopefully they are also working on TuneIn support then you could ask it to play BBC channels which would be a marked improvement on quality from FM radio (although you will need data reception

I use TuneIn on my Android Auto Head Unit and it's great. It builds up a decent buffer and I don't remember it cutting out at all :)

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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22 hours ago, w022a said:

i completed the sound system upgrade today following Jay's instructions here with very little deviation.  A little commentary for anyone considering a Focal PS165 speaker setup in the Evora....

You don't need to remove the whole glove box when doing the passenger side.  Just removing 2 screws on the top rail that you'll see when you open the glove box will give you enough play to get the the A-pillar trim out and get access to what you need to behind.

I didn't realise when i bought then that the focal speaker kit come with separate crossovers for the woofers and tweeters.  Although combined they are bigger than the stock Alpine, there is plenty enough room where the old ones were to accept then.

The inputs can be run in series.  I wired the +ve and -ve inputs into the woofers and then used jumper wires to run over to the tweeter inputs.  The tweeter cross-overs come with 2 3-position switched to adjust the gain and frequency.  This isn't documented in the Focal instructions, but after some experimentation, I found the bested settings for the Evora to be

Gain: -3db
Frequency: Position 3

The tweeters drop perfectly into the stock locations.

For sound deadening in the the doors I used a "Silent Coat Starter Kit" which was £15 from amazon.  It contained enough materials to do both doors. 

I suspected I may have to modify the stock woofer mounts to accept the Focal woofers but as luck would have it, everything including the screw positions lined up perfectly.

I'm very pleased with the sound in the Evora now.  The mid-bass from the drivers is fantastic.  The high-end from the tweeters is crystal clear.  And the stock sub woofer adds enough depth for me.

Bottom line the Focal PS165 is a good choice for a simple speaker system upgrade.

Before I even bought the Evora, I was planning to replace the stock head unit with an Android Head unit.  But I've changed my mind now on the basis that;
1) The sound quality of the 520r is really good and as I am not planning to add a seperate amp, an Android unit might be a backward step for sound quality.  With the new speakers sound quality is where I want it to be.
2) The sat nav works just fine once you've installed all the updates.
3) The main reason I wanted Android head unit was for Spotify.. but I discovered a brilliant app for my phone called "Melody".  This adds bluetooth voice control for spotify.  If you double-tap the play button on the Alpine, it listens for a request.  Just say what you want to hear and it plays from Spotify.  It's absolutely awesome.  It also supports iHeartRadio.  Hopefully they are also working on TuneIn support then you could ask it to play BBC channels which would be a marked improvement on quality from FM radio (although you will need data reception)

So for now at least) I'm done with messing with the Evora sound system

It was mostly fun except for removing the sill covers which was the opposite of fun.

Any chance of a picture of the tweeters in place for this set of speakers on the dash please. Think I might follow you and do the same myself : )

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Some photos of the Focal tweeters below.  I would have probably preferred all unmarked black grills but I'm happy enough with the look of these.  There Alpine SPR-60C was another speaker kit I was considering that has plain black tweeter grills.  But you can get the focals on amazon for  £126 delivered at the moment which is a great price. 

 

 

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Cheers for the pictures, I think they look really smart in situ and the decision is made easier by the job been relatively easy : ). Ordered up, just need some good weather and lighter nights and get them fitted. Great thread this one purchased dynamat months ago glad I hadn't installed it yet. 

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