I always love when I can help complete a clients vision. In this case, this client has built a full show car which was lacking in car entertainment. With the wrap, accessories, and lighting upgrades that he chose, I got a good insight to the style and theme of the build. He had reached out on Instagram to see what we could do to complete the car and make it stand out from the other vehicles in the show circuit. Upon throwing around ideas of what to do, the client presented us with the limited run Tesla tequila and asked if we could make it a “focal” point of the install. We those words were used, I had a pretty good idea of exactly what we were going to do…….use a Focal Utopia M subwoofer that would reside under the tequila bottle. The “Focal point” if you will. It would also serve as a functional utility as it is acoustically aerating the tequila. Which is a specific method that select spirit companies use before bottling.
So starting with the trunk, everything was completely stripped out and a combination of Hushmat and Soundshield was used in order to sound treat the metal. An amp rack was created to house a Helix C One and two Helix C Four class AB amplifiers. A subwoofer enclosure was made from baltic birch and mounted in the storage area. Multiple layers of lit acrylic were then used to create a grille that could also hold the tequila bottle. The layers of acrylic were edge lit to illuminate the grille and tequila bottle. Under the tequila bottle, the acrylic was solid. That way you can see the subwoofer cone magnified through the bottle. Multiple more layers of acrylic and alcantara inserts were used to create depth of the subwoofer area. We created risers on both sides of the trunk to finish off the design and to keep focus of the amp rack and subwoofer area. Some carbon fiber inserts were hand laid to accent the other carbon accents found inside the vehicle. A XS Power Lithium battery was used to supplement the amperage draw and prevent any replace battery errors others may get when adding additional amplifiers to the Model 3 and Y.
Behind the passenger rear OEM panel, you will find a rack that houses our Helix DSP Ultra, along with our battery isolator which connects to our XS Power battery. Since there is no vent into the interior without putting the rear seats down, we cut an opening in the rear deck, and created a matching flush mount grille. The grille uses a matching mesh and shape as the rear speaker inserts giving it a completely OEM look. This vent reduces the pressure inside the trunk and allows the air to vent into the cabin. This also reduces the amount of resonance that other wise would exist with additional pressure in the trunk.
For the front stage, we continued with the Focal Utopia M line. We used the 8” mid bass in the front OEM door locations. Both doors were completed sound treated with a combination of Hushmat, Soundshield and Blackhole Tiles. Acrylic speaker adapters were fabricated to allow us to mount our new speakers in the factory location. The client wanted a-pillars that would connect to his RGB lighting while also wanting to incorporate carbon fiber. We came up with a design that checked all the boxes. The midrange have close to an on axis response. We created carbon fiber inserts, along with a matching grille, and RGB lighting. The pillars were wrapped in Alcantara black suede. We also had rewrapped the entire headliner and other pillars with Alcantara black suede to match. A dash pad was created and wrapped in alcantara suede to help with the pillar transition to the dash. This also helped a bit with dash reflections with the midrange. To finish off the front stage, pods were created to house Focal TBM tweeters. This gave use the widest available stage for this vehicle. These were also wrapped in Alcantara suede to blend into the pillars.
The system was controlled by a Helix Conductor controller which was housed in a custom mount that was attached to the bottom of the MCU display. A new knob was created with a frosted acrylic insert to give a more integrated look. We have 3 presets in total. Preset 1 controlled the factory MCU stereo with no loss of functionality. Preset 2 works the HEC BT chip for the DSP Ultra. This allows the user to digitally connect to the DSP for the best signal from your phone possible. Preset 3 controls a Astell & Kern SP2000 vía an Audioquest analog cable.
At the end of the day, we were able to be creative while playing off of the style and theme of the client. Sometimes its fun to not have to keep it stealth and functional. But it is pretty darn cool when you go up to the trunk and then realize the subwoofer is actually playing underneath the tequila bottle. Giving the subwoofer utility along with the tequila by acoustically aerating the spirit.