Why You Should Hire a Professional Car Audio Installer

SRQ Customs is Sarasota’s only full-service, high-end car customization and repair service. We serve Central Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, St. Pete, Tampa, North Port, and everywhere in between. If you are thinking about upgrading your car audio system, then you should be wary of installing it on your own. Here is why you should … Read more

Building A Game Truck

A growing segment of SRQ Customs over the last few years has been the construction of custom video game trailers. These trailers range greatly in their size and complexity, but all serve as the starting point for our clients to start their own small business, entertaining at parties and social events with our creations. We … Read more

FERRARI F430 SUBWOOFER BUILD

SRQ Customs sets out to build an exact replica of the OEM Ferrari subwoofer enclosure, but with a larger woofer inside.   Our first step in the process was to remove the original 5″ subwoofer and the enclosure from the car. Although the original enclosure looks like it contains a pair of subwoofers, the lower … Read more

THE COMPOUND BOARDSHOP VAN

The work we do at SRQ Customs goes far beyond the realm of car audio. As time has gone by, it has actually become a smaller segment of our business, with fabrication of all kinds taking the center stage. In this case, we took an empty Nissan van and turned it into a rolling showroom for The Compound Boardshop in Sarasota, FL.

The first step in designing the van was a trip to the Compound’s retail store. Everything from the layout, colors and materials were photographed to be recreated. The store is filled with a wooden theme, using planks from broken pallets and other sources to cover the walls. The sea foam green color is popular inside the store, and on the outside of the van, so we used it too. We began by framing out the inside of the van. The back section would have a bench seat on each side with integrated storage, cup holders, and lockable storage cabinets. Near the mid section a 32″ LED TV would be mounted to play videos from an Apple TV. We made access behind all the panels possible, as this area quickly became the hiding spot for all the electronics in the van. The walls came together quickly with lots of the sea foam green used as accents. Branding is important on a company vehicle, and we were sure that there are Compound logos everywhere, like the one between the green trim. We added a pair of 8″ Focal speakers near the rear of the van, and made our own speaker grilles with the Compound’s C* logo stamped into them. For the floor and ceiling, we wanted to capture the mismatched wood look of the store. First we had to create a level ceiling, by attaching beams across the roof to hold the weight of the wood. A ring of color changing LEDs around the roof of the van can light it up any color he wants. On top of the van, we built a massive safari rack. Constructed in house from raw 1/8″ steel, the rack is 11′ long and 6′ wide. It holds the spare tire, a pair of Kicker marine speakers, a 50″ LED light bar in the front, a pair of small LED flood lights on the side, and secure storage for several surfboards. Once the steel structure was complete, it was coated in epoxy bed liner and mounted in place. To trim out the sides, we stained several patio deck planks in different woods, distressed them and bolted them to the rack. For easy access to the cargo on top, we also fabricated this ladder above the rear wheel. In the lower right of the van, you can see an electrical outlet. This allows the van to plug into a wall socket and run the electronics without the need for the car’s battery. There is also a water inlet. This fills a 15 gallon tank under the van, and we installed a quick release plug in the rear bumper that allows a pressurized hose to wash off surfboards. On the inside we transformed the left rear door into a jewelry case. With a lockable glass door,  and bright white LED’s inside, it can display a sample of the sunglasses and watches for sale in the store. The other rear door is dual purpose. Depending on the event the van is traveling to, the door can hold several skateboards or the Compound’s line of surfboard fins.

TUXEDO DODGE VIPER BUILD

The first time we saw this GTS Viper it was red with silver stripes. We installed a modest Phoenix Gold audio system with a Pioneer flip out DVD player. As time went on and other parts of the car were upgraded, it was time to freshen the audio system again. The door panels come from Dodge with fuzzy carpet on the bottom half, a pretty cheap way to accent their most expensive car. We removed the carpet from the bottom and replaced it with diamond stitched black suede. The vinyl tops of the panels were worn down, so we replaced those with solid black suede. The Phoenix Gold Elite component speakers are flush mounted with a custom ring to cover the mounting screws. In the back are a pair of Phoenix Gold Titanium 10″ subwoofers in a custom enclosure. As part of the enclosure, a pair of PG amps are mounted along the back wall with their circuit boards showing. We installed red LED strips inside the amplifiers to highlight the components at night when the hatch is opened. Our master of the sewing machine, Chip, dissected the original seats and remade them with black suede and white stitching. During this round we also added an Audison Bit One sound processor. It makes every system sound better, but in this case we also needed it because we are scrapping the traditional head unit. A ring of white LED’s around the processor act as a dome light for the car. The original dome light and sun visors were shaved off when we recovered the headliner in suede. We built this dash cradle to hold an iPad Mini as the brains of the system. It provides audio, internet, and with the help of a PLX Kiwi, it reads and displays engine diagnostics in real time. We also removed the ignition key cylinder, and installed a passive keyless entry and push button start system. With all of the upgrades on this vehicle, including a 2.4L Kenne Bell supercharger, the license plate couldn’t be more accurate.

JEEP WRANGLER SUBWOOFER ENCLOSURE

The Jeep Wrangler is the most customized vehicle on the road today. The popularity of this simple vehicle and the wide array of options allow the owner to make their Jeep a personal statement.  Many of the latest style of Wrangler include an 8″ subwoofer in the hatch area. It makes a little bass, but you will see how we dramatically increase output without taking away valuable cargo space. This is the stock subwoofer enclosure in the back of the Jeep. It contains a basic 8″ Alpine subwoofer found in many vehicles throughout the Chrysler family. The enclosure is made from 1/8″ thick ABS and securely bolted to the vehicle. After we remove the enclosure from the Jeep, we remove the grille, subwoofer, wiring, and auxiliary power port. The front and side of the enclosure are cut off to make room for the larger subwoofer coming its way. The entire plastic surface is roughed up with grinding disc so that the new parts will stick properly. The factory enclosure is only 1/8″ thick, and is made from two halves glued together. Without reinforcement, the halves will break apart with a more powerful subwoofer. We mix up a quart of our special recipe filler, “Concoction” which will work its way into the cracks and reinforce the inside of the enclosure. While the Concoction dries inside the enclosure, we machine the mounting ring for the subwoofer. The ring is made from 2 layers of 3/4″ MDF. The bottom layer has predrilled mounting holes with Tee-Nut threads inserted, and the front layer countersinks the subwoofer and adds a 3D element with the 30 degree chamfer on the inside edge that matches the grille for the subwoofer. The mounting ring is attached to the plastic enclosure with CA glue It is important not to increase the depth of the enclosure, or the floor panels in the cargo area will not operate properly. The side and front of the enclosure are made from 1/4″ ABS and bonded with CA glue. They are cut to a close fit, and the gaps are filled with “VERT.” VERT is one of four custom body fillers designed for the car audio industry by the team at Sonus Car Audio in Clarksville, Tennessee. VERT is a filler that stays where you put it, ideal for working upside down or filling a large gap without the filler falling into the enclosure. When the VERT dries, it is time to break out the Mass. This filler is infused with glass fibers, and although it is very thick, it is also easy to shape. Mass allows us to quickly build up styling curves and reinforce weak points. After sanding down the Mass, we switch to Matter. Matter is a lightweight filler that smoothes out the surface to “paint ready” status. Before painting any surface, it is important to thoroughly clean it. We use professional grade “wax & grease remover” to clean any dust or oils from the surface. Even the transfer of oil from your fingerprints can affect the quality of a paint job. We set up the enclosure and an extra test panel outside and spray it with a heavy coating of truck bed liner. The liner takes several hours to dry. We use the test panel to judge when it is safe to touch so we do not mar the surface of the enclosure. The wiring is reinstalled, the subwoofer bolted in and the whole piece is attached to the Jeep with the original mounts. The bass increase is significant, and as you can see the enclosure does not give up any more space than the original.

Thinking about this conversion for your Jeep? We can modify your factory enclosure just like in this blog. You can ship your enclosure to us, and we will ship it back ready to install. Contact one of our sales advisers for more details. (941) 923-6200. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for up to the minute installation pics.

LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO AUDIO UPGRADE

The Lamborghini Gallardo has seen a lot of changes since 2004. It has had the front and rear fascias updated twice, a convertible option, new engines, and more than a dozen special editions. One area that hasn’t seen much improvement is the audio system. The audio system uses the navigation system and speakers taken from Audi A4 from the early 2000’s. Many Lamborghini owners upgrade the sound system, and this one was no exception. The car was delivered to us even before the owner got the chance to drive it himself. We decided to keep the stock radio intact (but added Bluetooth) and stick to upgrading the sound. Step one: get those doors off. The factory speakers are an oddly shaped 6.5″ woofer and half inch tweeter. In order to properly mount our speaker, a Hertz Mille 6.5″ woofer, we first have to machine this adapter out of 1.2″ ABS plastic. In the humid climate of Florida, wooden spacers simply won’t do. The second picture is the Hertz ML1600 woofer is the flagship speaker in the audison/Hertz family. It plays low enough to impersonate a subwoofer, and loud enough to make you think there are three drivers in the door. Next on the list, the tweeters. The stock location, behind the door handle, is bad enough but the opening will only allow for a half inch tweeter. The Hertz ML280 tweeter is 28mm, or 1 1/8″ wide. Trying to fit the tweeter in the stock location would be a mess, and would choke the output. Instead we opted to replace the defroster vents for the quarter windows and the Hertz tweeter is a perfect fit. Sound processor. The audison BitTenD processor allows complete digital control over EQ, crossovers, time alignment and speaker levels. The Processor is tucked away under the bonnet, but the controls are easily accessed in this panel we made between the sun visors. This owner previously drove a Murcielago which had rear speakers as well. When you drive with the top down, every little bit helps. We stripped the leather off the rear firewall of the car to prepare to add rear speakers. We created a template for a pair of Hertz Hi-Energy HL70 3″ midrange speakers and a new cabin light. This piece was bonded and smoothed into the original panel. Some quick stitch work and the panel is back in the car. A removable grille covers the speakers, and the purple LEDs below light up the cabin, along with other LEDs in the bonnet and under the dash. Subwoofer. The passenger foot well area is a large cavity that is also home to the fuse box, ECU and SiriusXM tuner. It takes a couple hours, but we relocate all of those items (without cutting a single wire) into the top of the dash so we have room for the subwoofer. The area is taped off and a fiberglass mold is taken from the floor. The rest of the enclosure is finished outside the vehicle, and the Audiomobile Elite 8″ is ready for installation. 8″ may not seem like much, but it is one of the few subwoofers that can fit in this tight spot and handle 750w from the amplifier. Finally, the amp rack. As a surprise for the owner, we had the amp color matched and airbrushed. We decided to use the tribal style bull logo Lamborghini used in the 80’s. Normally the amplifier is a solid black, but this makes it much more interesting. Fitment in the bonnet is tight, but the amp is secure and we fabricated this trim panel to conceal the wiring. The trim is wrapped to match the interior, and also hides a string of purple LEDs that light up the amp whenever the bonnet is opened.