A repeat client contacted Tip Top Customs in Morris about building his brand new 2016 Chevy Corvette Z06 audio system. Our team scheduled an audio consultation with the customer so we could look over the vehicle better and discuss goals for the build. Since we already knew this person pretty well, we had a good idea what he was going to tell us. And we were right: He said, “Make it extremely loud.”
Since this was a supercar, we knew it was going to be a challenge because space was at a premium. At the end of the time with the client, we worked up a proposal that he liked, so we set a time to begin working on the car.
Proper Planning Is Critical
When the Corvette arrived, our team disassembled the vehicle in usual Tip Top fashion. That meant using protective painter’s tape in all critical areas to ensure the paint and interior panels would stay in perfect condition. It also meant placing all removed panels away from the vehicle in storage areas to keep them in perfect condition, as well as bagging and labeling all hardware.
Sound Control Is Key
After we disassembled the vehicle, the first step was applying Dynamat damping material to the doors and hatch area. This material does two things in this build. First, it eliminates rattling that may occur from the installation of high-performance speakers. Second, it helps to eliminate road noise, quieting down the interior, which makes driving the vehicle more enjoyable.
Current, And Lots Of It
Now it was time to move on to supplying power to the stereo system. The system design called for four amplifiers, so we knew an upgraded alternator was in order. The team installed an Ohio Generator 310 amp model in the stock location and upgraded the system to 1/0 gauge wiring. Once this was completed, we knew the client could listen to the system for hours on end, never needing to worry about running out of current.
Rescuing The Bose System
The Chevy came equipped with a factory-installed navigation system, so there was no need to change the stereo system in the dash, but to get great sound out of the Bose system, it needed a great interface. The Audison Bit One was the perfect choice for the job. It gave us the ability to sum all of the musical channels back to a full-range signal. It also allowed us to remove the equalization added to the music by the Bose engineers.
The final result is a perfect, unmodified signal that works beautifully to build a car audio system.
In the design phase, we decided to run the audio system active, which means each speakers gets its own dedicated amplifier. This allows for much better control over every speaker, and the Bit One was perfect for this task. We flush-mounted the controller, or DRC, for the Audison piece behind the factory navigation screen and flocked the panel, making it look like GM offered it as a factory option.
Speaker Selection Is Vital
At this point, it was time to start installing the front speakers. The crew at Tip Top Customs chose the Hertz SV250.1 10” woofers, mounting them in the factory locations in the front doors. The fabricators installed FAST rings around the woofers to seal them to the door panels, giving the vehicle more midbass output.
Since we were looking for maximum output coupled with incredible clarity, we went to Audio Development for the midranges and tweeters. These speakers are handmade in Italy with the finest materials and the utmost detail. The team installed the M35, a 3.5” midrange, in the factory door location and the T10 tweeters in the factory locations in the dash. When we put the front of the car back together, everything looked completely original, which fit into our game plan.
Game Plan For The Trunk
The final part of the vehicle that we worked on was the trunk area, since it would take a lot of time and energy to fit all of the equipment while making it look beautiful. The first step was to build the sealed subwoofer enclosure to hold four Hertz ML200.3 8” subwoofers that fired toward the rear of the vehicle. We made a custom plexiglass window to show off the beautiful baskets on the subwoofer and the attention to detail inside the box.
On the side of the enclosure that faces rearward, we fabricated a custom trim panel that included a pair of pressed speaker grilles. When you add in the trim panels on the other sides that were finished in matching upholstery, the finished product looked right at home.
Now the fabricators had to figure out how to install four amplifiers and a processor in the rear of the vehicle while making it look beautiful. To complicate matters, the targa top had to fit as well. Who wants to drive a Corvette down the road on a beautiful day and not remove the targa top?
The vehicle was outfitted with red and black leather throughout, so it was only natural to stick with those colors for the amp rack. Since this was a Z06, we knew a normal design wouldn’t cut it, so our staff engineered a three-dimensional,stingray themed, multi-level rack. To keep with the theme of the pressed grilles used in the subwoofer enclosure, we made three more of them to protect the electronics while allowing them to be seen. As you can see in the finished product, the hatch area looks stunning, making the back end of the car as exciting as the front.
Power To The People
We used a Hertz SPL3001 amplifier to power the subwoofers, supplying more than 3,000 watts of clean power to the subwoofers. An Audison Voce Quattro powers the midbasses while an Audison Voce Due powers the midranges. Rounding out the amplifier quartet is a Hertz HCP2X that powers the tweeters. The front speakers received a total power allotment of more than 1,500 watts of power, bringing the grand total to almost 5,000 watts!
When we tell you this thing really jams, we aren’t kidding.
Tuning Brings It All Together
In any quality installation, fine-tuning the sound is where the magic happens. Consider it equivalent to the spices used in cooking. We all know that good spices will bring the flavor alive, and proper tuning of an audio system makes the sound come alive. When our master tuners were done with this Corvette, the sound staged beautifully across the dash and every last nuance in the music came through crystal-clear.
One Happy Corvette Z06 Audio Client!
The end was finally here. It was time to deliver the Z06. Would he like it? Would it play loud enough? The good news is that he loved it!
When you are ready to upgrade your audio system, come to the pros at Tip Top Customs in Morris. Our team will work with you to design and install the audio system that you have always wanted.