This build comes from a repeat client to build his dream car. With his dream car comes dream ideas. He specifically wanted to center the design and theme around “Joker” from the Movie “Dark Knight”. He stated he wanted to feel like he was driving The Jokers ZL1 if he had owned one. I knew this would be a big challenge for me since themed builds really are not my thing. With themed builds there is a story to tell and an image to convey and I have always found it difficult to keep it tasteful and not tacky. So with the theme in mind, the next ask was for a complete engineered audio system with no compromises. Much like the client when he converted his ZL1 to Callaway. He also wanted to top one of his friends’ ZL1 (a previous build of mine). So knowing these details I went to work and started with the product selection.The audio gear would consist of all Brax equipment. The front stage consisted of Matrix ML2 Tweeters (located in a custom sail panel housing), Matrix ML3 Midrange speakers (located in a custom a-pillar housing), and Matrix ML6D speakers (located in the lower front doors). The front a-pillars were fabricated to house the ML3 speakers and was finished off with a carbon fiber trim with red accent. The midbass woofers were mounted in an aluminum speaker adapter and was engraved with Jokers tagline “ha ha ha”. The doors were fully sound treated in a combination of Hushmat, SoundShield and Blackhole Tiles. We replaced the OEM rear speakers with Blam Signature Series 6″ coax. The entire vehicle was stripped and a combination of Hushmat and Soundshield was used to cover the floor, roof, and behind each plastic trim panel. While the interior was removed, the headliner along with the A, B, C Pillars were wrapped in OEM matching black Alcantara suede. A red Alcantara suede was chosen to replace the bright red vinyl that was used in the door and center console inserts. The “ha ha ha” print was rastered (engraved / burned) into the red Alcantara to add one element of theming to the build. This same suede pattern would be used later on in the installation.
The amplifiers we are using are three Brax MX4 Pros. These run our full audio system active, including our two Brax Matrix ML10 subwoofers. A amp rack was created and outfitted with multiple fans to circulate air movement through the amplifier heatsinks underneath the finished panels. We are using a Helix Conductor for master volume, subwoofer and preset control. Because we are using the MX4 Pros, BRAX DSP and Conductor, we have a true digitally controlled signed from the Conductor to the amplifiers. Our Brax DSP is our brains of the operation and run digital coax out to each amplifier. We are also utilizing a HEC BT card for a digital connection from our phone directly to the DSP. We utilized a Metra OEM amplifier interface to integrate the OEM radio into our Brax DSP. Our final preset is setup for our Astell & Kern SP3000 DAP.
A large XS Power AGM battery was used to replace the factory battery and was supplemented with a XS Power 12v lithium. The batteries can be powered by our installed XS Power Intelligent Charger / Power Supply. This gives us the option to trickle charge the batteries when not in use via a marine 110v plug flushed in the bottom of the vehicle. When the charger senses a load (when sitting in the car listening to the audio system), it instantly becomes a power supply. This gives the client the option of sitting in his garage to listen to his audio system without the vehicle being on. This charger is installed under the rear MXPro amp.
There are multiple easter eggs that tie back to “The Dark Knight” movie including Two Faces coin, Batman’s tumbler plans, an “I believe in Harvey Dent” voting button, and various materials rastered with Jokers “ha ha ha” tagline.
To fly under the radar, we used a combination of AL Priority for laser defense and Escort Max Ci for front and rear radar detection. The front bumper consisted of two TX and two RX diffusers. This covered the front end of the vehicle 100%. We did over 10 passed and tested with our Dragon Eye gun and received 0 punch throughs. The diffusers were installed in custom pods that were integrated into the front bumper grille. These pods were finished off with IR acrylic to completely stealth them into the bumper. A custom license plate frame was made for the rear to house in a single RX and TX laser diffuser. The frame consists of a magnetic cover to hide the outline of the license plate as well as the laser diffusers. This plate frame was also designed with Jokers tagline “ha ha ha”.
An Escort radar receiver was use in the front and rear of the vehicle installed behind the bumper. A custom housing was made for the Escort display that was installed over the speedometer cluster. The pod was finished off with smoked acrylic to give the Escort display an OEM appearance. Finally, a custom housing was fabricated for the center console to contain the AL Priority and Escort controllers. A magnetic Alcantara suede cover was used to conceal these controllers when not in use.