This nice couple called with an 'audio emergency'. They are touring artists, touring around the country in their van...as most do. Problem is, they recently had their windshield replaced and because of that, some particle of some kind found their way down through the dash and into the speakers; causing them to sound bad...which is not OK for someone who plays music as a profession.
Problem there, the speakers were old and up-firing on the dash....behind said dash that is incorporated into the entire front end of this van....so removing the dash to get to the crappy little 4x6" speakers would take a good portion of the day and not necessarily be worth the time/expense to replace.
So, after explaining the process and options I had available in the short amount of time I had available (They were only in town for the weekend and I was already some-what booked) we decided to go with Arc Audio's XDi 6.2 Component 6.5" speaker system being retrofitted into the front doors for optimal sound.
Maria was very concerned with how this would look and sounds; especially since they just happened to find me close to where they were staying.
After gaining their trust, they left the van with me to do my magic.
After removing the door panels, I determined the best location to avoid any clearance issues with the automatic windows, passengers' legs and any other obstacles and began cutting.
I spoke in length with the clients about how to properly achieve great sound in automobiles; but due to budgetary constraints and the fact the van was aged, they didn't want to go any higher than just the speaker install....that being said, I wanted this to impress them and make a lasting impression on them...so I went ahead and sound deadened the door panels for them; as I knew it'd make the sound THAT much better and make these XDi's sound even better.
After placing the crossover securely in the doors, I moved onto the tweeters. I wasn't stoked to find out there there wasn't really anywhere I could recess the tweeters without doing a TON of work, so I opted to surface mount them with an angle so that the center imaging would be as close as possible ON-Axis instead of the normal OFF-axis mounting. This gives a very nice center stage to the van without any DSP or advanced timing that these two can appreciate....plus the seats sit further back from the front of the dash/doors than most vehicles, so they won't be in the way.
When it was finally time for the clients to pick up their van, I knew immediately I had passed their test.....The speechless look on Maria's face said it all....and Kevin just nodded in agreement. For something as simply as proper speaker installation with no other upgrades to achieve this reaction from the owners is why I'm passionate about Audio in general. To see how Maria picked apart the music we demo'd on the new speakers is exactly how I listen to audio in new customer builds or at live concert events...with the most delicate ear to details.
If you'd like to follow what these two are up to...here is their details:
Maria Volonte - Blue Tango Project