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Discussion Starter #21
More progress today!


Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 4


Got the right side of the box done. So now the next panels to make are the front and rear panels. Once those two are completed then the rest of the box will go together pretty quickly.

The biggest accomplishment today was the removal of the underseat metal bracket. Got my air saw out and it was off in no time. Got the wires tucked up a little higher now too. To see how much room is under the seat now, I stood my cordless drill up under the seat while the seat was bolted down!! So now there is 9” of clearance under the seat!! I could mount a forward facing 8” sub in there if I wanted to. Hmmmm..........

Naw, I’ll stick with a top firing 10” sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
The air vent has been removed under the driver seat. All you need to do to remove it is grab on to it, and give it a sharp yank towards the back of the car. There isn’t any hardware holding them in place.



As for the sharp bits, I agree 100%. They do need to be ground down to not only prevent cuts, but also to prevent the air bag wire harness from getting damaged. I have already rerouted the harness to give more clearance but it needs more work.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
The weather has been miserable around here so no progress has been made, but 2 orders have been placed for parts. The subwoofer should be here later today and an order was placed this morning for a new fuse box cover. It’s purpose in this setup will be revealed at a later time.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Amplifier.


This, much like the subwoofer, is an area where lots of research was done. Much like the subwoofer, there were requirements in an amplifier. Those requirements are as follows;

1. At least 2 ohm stable.

2. A minimum of 300 watts RMS of true power, not just rated power.

3. Small physical size. The amp MUST be able to fit completely under the passenger seat with room to spare, and preferably be slim enough that the under seat HVAC vent can stay in place.

4. Low amp draw. Even though it appears as though the electrical system on the Niro can handle 50+ amps of current, I want to limit this to only 30 amps. This means the amp needs to be a Class D type.


So after an exhaustive search, one amp stood above the rest. What worried me is the brand of this amplifier. Power Acoustic. They are not known for making quality equipment.

More searching revealed this amp being tested on an amp dyno. This tests the true power output, not just what a manufacturer says what the power will be. So this little amp produced about 450 watts at 4 ohms and about 650 watts at 2 ohms. More than enough.

Then I discovered another very nice tidbit about this amp. It is made in Korea! So why does this matter? Typically, amps made it Korea have better quality control and are made with better components compared to cheap made in China amps.


The model of the amp is RZ1-2300D. The last nice surprise is this amp can be bought from any local WalMart for $97. It has speaker level inputs which will be used, and it also has a remote level bass knob that will also be used.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 6

Wait, I skipped 5. Well, today I unbolted the drivers seat twice while doing measurements.


So today was just a day to take measurements for the box. The weather was great, but I must limit outdoor activities and time on my feet due to an allergy test tomorrow. So now that I have measurements of what the box needs to be, I can work on the box in days to come without the need to remove the driver seat. So even when the weather is bad, progress should be made.

Another nice update is the missing tools have been found!!!!! My counter sink bit, pneumatic brad nailer, and my electrical storage boxes have been found! So progress should come quickly, once I can get time to work on it. As of right now, it appears as though either Friday or Tuesday will be my next available time that progress can be made.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 6



More progress!!! It is a chilly 50 degrees outside with intermittent light rain. So just plain nasty! Inside my garage though it is a comfortable and dry 60 degrees thanks to my small Little Buddy propane heater.


Got the front and back panels drawn out, cut out, and installed. The brad nailer and clamps are really speeding up the build process.

The subwoofer also came in right on time. The suspension on it seems to be very stiff. This should loosen up after the subwoofer is broken in. The temptation is there to wire up my 2k watt car audio amp to four 100 amp/hr AGM batteries, set the gain REALLY low to put out about 100 watts, and play a 25 to 35 hz note out of the sub for about 30 minutes to help expedite the break in process.


Tuesday should be a day when I can get more progress done. Only time will tell. By the end of next week, I should be at the point of doing a test fit of the sub. Then comes the really dirty part. Sanding. Lots and lots of sanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 6


Got a little more done today. No pics but got 2 more panels cut out and attached. There are only 3 more panels that need to be cut out and installed! Once that is done then the beautification of the box will start. I picked up a belt sander today. It will be used to quickly even out all of the edges so the painting process can start.

Still got a lot to do, but it is starting to take shape!
 

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Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 6


Got a little more done today. No pics but got 2 more panels cut out and attached. There are only 3 more panels that need to be cut out and installed! Once that is done then the beautification of the box will start. I picked up a belt sander today. It will be used to quickly even out all of the edges so the painting process can start.

Still got a lot to do, but it is starting to take shape!
how much bass extension to you expect from your subwoofer?

From what to what? E.g. 40Hz to 30Hz?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 6


Got a little more done today. No pics but got 2 more panels cut out and attached. There are only 3 more panels that need to be cut out and installed! Once that is done then the beautification of the box will start. I picked up a belt sander today. It will be used to quickly even out all of the edges so the painting process can start.

Still got a lot to do, but it is starting to take shape!
how much bass extension to you expect from your subwoofer?

From what to what? E.g. 40Hz to 30Hz?

Due to the small box size, and due to the factory equalization, I do not expect much output under 30 hz. To my old ears, it seems like the factory speakers roll off quickly below about 50 to 60 hz. My plan is to set the bass control on the factory radio to -1 in order to decrease the deep frequencies the factory speakers aren’t going to produce anyway. From there, I will set the factory radio to the maximum listening volume that I will be putting it at (it will probably be at 35), then I’ll set the gain control on the amplifier with my Fluke multimeter to set the amp at 300 watts. I’ll experiment with using different frequencies in my tone generator from 20 hz up to 50 hz while keeping the amp gain and the radio volume constant. This will give me a good idea at what the factory equalization is. From there I can adjust the radio bass control, the amp gain, and the amp bass boost in order to get a smoother response all the while never exceeding my self imposed 300 watt limit. The amp has a remote gain control that will be mounted within reach of the driver and will be used to lower the power output when louder bass notes aren’t needed or desired.


So in short, I want useable output in the 30-70 hz range and a smooth transition from the kids to the sub.
 

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Due to the small box size, and due to the factory equalization, I do not expect much output under 30 hz. To my old ears, it seems like the factory speakers roll off quickly below about 50 to 60 hz. My plan is to set the bass control on the factory radio to -1 in order to decrease the deep frequencies the factory speakers aren’t going to produce anyway. From there, I will set the factory radio to the maximum listening volume that I will be putting it at (it will probably be at 35), then I’ll set the gain control on the amplifier with my Fluke multimeter to set the amp at 300 watts. I’ll experiment with using different frequencies in my tone generator from 20 hz up to 50 hz while keeping the amp gain and the radio volume constant. This will give me a good idea at what the factory equalization is. From there I can adjust the radio bass control, the amp gain, and the amp bass boost in order to get a smoother response all the while never exceeding my self imposed 300 watt limit. The amp has a remote gain control that will be mounted within reach of the driver and will be used to lower the power output when louder bass notes aren’t needed or desired.


So in short, I want useable output in the 30-70 hz range and a smooth transition from the kids to the sub.
FWIW

I think your ears are pretty good. Instrument measurements show fall off below 50 Hz.

I was considering whether a speaker up grade (back seat woofers and / or a luggage compartment sub-woofer) was worth it.

I decided to take some measurements regarding the bass/mid bass frequency response of the entry level stock speakers (no sub-woofer).

Using an A weighted sound pressure meter and warbled test tones I obtained the following results:

Hz, db

200, -2
160, +2
125, +2
100, +2
80, +2
63, +2
50, 0
40, -4
32, -12

I was pleasantly surprised (shocked) as to how flat and extended the low frequency response was (I expected a peak around 120 Hz and a sharp roll-off below ~80Hz). Flat to 50Hz and real usable sound down to 40Hz. Based on my musical tastes (classical, jazz, and light rock), I have decided the stock speakers are pretty darn good and I wouldn't get that much benefit trying to get bass extension below 40Hz.

I'm interested to see what bass extension you end up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I too came to a similar conclusion. The stock speakers sound surprisingly good. I’m sure there could be improvements made by replacing the stock speakers with a good quality set of components, but those improvements would only come at a great expense. To get the most out of new speakers one would need to replace the factory radio as well as add an amplifier to the mix.

A very large majority of factory radios(non premium) will be lucky to put out 20 watts per speaker. If one were to run set of components off of that power, they would be woefully under powered. Stock speakers are able to work well off of the small amount of power due to using very light weight components on the moving mass. Typically paper cones, tiny voice coils, and light weight suspension components help them to work quit well with little power.


My music tastes are VERY broad. From string orchestras to Enya to Dead Can Dance to Massive Attack to 90’s country to hair bands to Digital Underground to techno from the early/mid 90’s. Very broad might be an understatement.


The biggest concern that I have is with the factory equalization. If there is very little equalization then this setup is going to work VERY well. But if the sharp drop off in subwoofer frequencies is due to equalization then I might end up having to swap the amplifier out for an Audio Control amplifier. They have excellent amplifiers with patented on board processing to defeat factory equalization for subwoofer frequencies. The biggest downfall to the Audio Control amplifiers are their price. This is another reason why I went with a cheap amplifier. If it works then great. If it doesn’t work then I’m only out $100 and I can throw it on a sub in our truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Not much has been done over the last few days. An unexpected trip to the ER for my wife and an outpatient procedure for me has stalled the progress.

I did get all of the remaining panels cut out, but due to a measuring fault on my part the panel the subwoofer mounts to was cut wrong. So it has to be redone, but I am all out of 3/4” MDF!! Drats. Time to improvise. From a previous project, I had a 2’X2’ sheet of 1/2” and 1/4” MDF. So they were glued together with wood glue and clamped together for a solid bond. Once this panel is cut and installed, sanding and painting will commence.
 

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So this post will be my build log for adding a subwoofer amplifier as well as a subwoofer to my Kia Niro LX hybrid.


My primary goal is to add a subwoofer to the stock stereo. However, I have a few requirements that are going to make this build different.

Requirement #1

The subwoofer MUST NOT take away ANY cargo space.


Requirement #2

The amplifier MUST NOT exceed 315 watts which is equal to the Harmon Kardon premium audio amplifier size.


Requirement or Preference #3

A 10” subwoofer is used.



So how in the world am I going to have a 10” subwoofer not take up any cargo area? Well, I could put it in the spare tire well, but then I would have to put my spare tire and/or the tire tools in the cargo area. So that place is out. After looking and measuring closely, it looks like I can build a custom subwoofer box for a 10” sub to go UNDER the driver seat! Yes, that’s right. A 10” subwoofer under the driver seat.

Since my LX model does not have power seats, there is 6” of height there. Front to back is about 10” and width under the seat rails is a whopping 20”!! So that will leave me with a box of only, about 0.35 cubic feet. That’s not much to work with, but I found a shallow mount 10” sub that has a minimum sealed air space requirement of 0.35 cubic feet. Perfect!

The amp I will be getting has the capability of putting out nearly 700 watts so I’ll have to put my meter on it and turn the gain down so the maximum RMS wattage will be 300 watts, which is more than enough to drive this particular sub.


But before I order the sub online, I want to build the box. After the box is built I will be able to accurately measure the air space and will then confirm that this sub will work. If the box ends up being less air space than what I originally anticipated then I’ll have to downgrade to a single 8” sub that will work in the available air space.


So as progress is made, I will update this thread and will be taking pics along the way.
Have you looked at the Pioneer TS-WH500A? I've been thinking of adding that to my sound system for a few weeks...
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Yes, I have looked at a VERY large number of powered shallow mount sub boxes. Previous in this thread myself and another member discussed them. In short, this is our conclusion;

1. The subwoofers used are typically of inferior quality.

2. The built in amplifiers are of poor quality and low wattage despite manufacturers claims.

3. The enclosure material is typically of poor quality.

4. They cost as much as I have in this entire setup.


So in short, if you can build and install an amplifier and subwoofer box then the prebuilt setups just aren’t worth a hill of beans.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Total times the front seat has been unbolted to date; 7


More progress.

Got the box fully assembled and sealed up. Got the belt sander after it and cleaned things up so it looks a lot better now. Had a final test fit and it fits very snug. So snug that the seat no longer stays locked into its front to back position. This is because the indents that hold the seat in position are now hitting the box causing them to possibly allow the seat to slide forward in a quick stop, or backwards if the car were ever in a rear end wreck. This is unacceptable, but easy to fix. After marking out the position of the indents, a small 1/4” deep channel is cut into the box where the indents are, allowing them to work as designed from the factory, and this does not weaken the structural integrity of the box either.


So the box is fully assembled and a rough sand has been done. The first coat of paint has gone on the box too. The next step now is final fine sanding. After that the subwoofer will get installed and then the box can take its final trip to be permanently installed in the car. Then it will be time to work on the amplifier installation. So I guess it is time to buy the amp.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
You are going to feel the bass right down to your bottom. Well... starting at your bottom.
This is the second under seat sub that I have built. The first one was under the passenger seat of a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage. It was an 8” MB Quart sub on 200 watts. Despite the close proximity to your nether regions, no extra vibrations were felt. Quite possibly due to the low crossover setting.


Only time will tell if this setup will do the same. I plan on setting the crossover in the area of 60-70 hz. A higher setting than this would give directional sound to the bass frequencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
More progress!!


Got the box 99% done. All that is left is to stuff it with Polyfil and to seal the box to the subwoofer.

Dug our an old 4 channel amp just to hear how the box sounds at low power levels in my garage. Hooked a 50 watt solar panel up to a 98 amp/hr AGM battery to keep the battery voltage at a decent level during testing. According to my Fluke and a little math, I was only sending 45 watts of power to the sub. Like I say, this was just to see how the sub sounds in this tiny box. Using my signal generator on my cell phone, I started at 20 hz and moved up to 65 hz.

Below 35 hz the level dropped off pretty quickly which is to be expected. From 35 hz to about 50 hz the sound level was pretty flat. Then there was a peak at 60 hz which is more than likely the f3 of the sub/box combination.

There is a quick disconnect on the 12 gauge speaker wires right next to the box. That way if the box or seat ever has to be serviced, it can easily be removed.


The next step is to stuff the box, seal the sub good to the box, then install the box. After that it is time to start working on the amplifier install.
 

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