One of our regular clients contacted us here at Automods about installing an audio system in his 1965 Chrysler 300 convertible. The client hails from Sarasota, Florida, and we have designed and installed several sizable audio systems for him before. Our previous experience with the client allowed us to streamline the design and quotation process. Once the client approved of our concept, we scheduled an appointment to start this really cool Chrysler 300 stereo system.
Component Head Unit
We did not want to use a cheap replica radio or modify the dash in any way, so we created an insert for the center console to hold the face of a Pioneer DEH-80PRS head unit and an umbilical cord to connect the face of the radio to the main chassis. Since this unit includes a CD mechanism, we had to keep it within reach of the client. A custom trim panel and mounting bracket allowed us to locate the unit under the front seat. If the client wants to load a CD, he can reach down and do that safely.
Our fabricators created the trim panel for the chassis from ¼-inch ABS plastic sheet. We machined a loading slot for the CD and mounted an eject button on the face.
Amp Rack and Power System
Audio signals from the head unit connect to three Arc Audio XDi V2 amplifiers. An XDi1200.6 six-channel amp powers the speakers in the car while a pair of XDi1100.1 amps powers the subwoofers. The amps are mounted to the top of the subwoofer enclosure. They are all side-by-side to look like a single large amplifier.
To power the amps with the prodigious amounts of current they need involved some significant upgrades to the vehicle electrical system. We started by replacing the alternator with a 300 amp unit from Singer Alternators. We also installed three Shuriken batteries to store additional energy for the system. We housed the batteries, amplifiers and subwoofers within a single cabinet at the back of the trunk to keep everything neat and tidy.
We know the client likes good, solid bass. Normally, creating bass in a classic car is easy – they have huge trunks and lots of room. Because this car is a convertible, though, we did not have the benefit of the cabin to reinforce bass frequencies. Our solution: Get a little creative. We created a bandpass subwoofer enclosure that is home to four Arc Audio Arc 10D4 subwoofers. To say that this was more than adequate would be an understatement. To accentuate the space between the amplifier mounting locations and the rear of the enclosure, we made two openings in the top piece with aluminum inserts on top of the vinyl. This design mimics the trim on the dash and gives the trunk a little extra style.
Front and Rear Speakers
In the same vein as the subwoofer system, reproducing vocals with clarity and detail at high volume levels calls for a significant amount of speaker area. We installed a pair of Illusion Audio Electra-Series 6.5-inch coaxial speakers in each corner of the interior. In the front, custom kick panel enclosures with finely perforated mesh grilles handle the front stage. In the rear, we mounted the speakers in the factory side panels and created a pair of custom grilles for each.
The grilles were a challenge – multiple angles and a complex curve all had to be addressed during the design phase. Once we had everything on a template and testing was complete, only then could our team start fabrication. We used more of the fine mesh to cover the speakers.
Chrysler 300 Audio System Delivery
Once we finished installing and tuning the system, it was time for the client to return to Automods to experience it for the first time. As we mentioned, the bass gets loud in this car, even with the top down. It also extends really low.
This is one of the coolest subwoofer systems we have created to date. The mids and highs are clear and detailed, even at high volume levels. The client was very impressed with the sound and the style of the audio system.
If you have a classic car that needs a classy audio system, drop in at Automods in Sarasota, Florida. You can also e-mail us by clicking HERE.