To get the full story of how ABTEC3 (Toyota Vitz) ended up with my CRAZY Ports in the back of it we will have to go back to the end of last year in Nelson.
Ashley and I had spent a lot of hours testing to get ABTEC3 to SPL at 155+dB for this event. So when we finally did we came to the agreement that between then and the event at Nelson there was to be no changes to the setup, this made perfect sense since any changes could net in a lower result.
The event came and went and I thought “Sweet I’ll go put my old musical box back in” however Ashley had another idea, he wanted for me to keep the Burp Box in ABTEC3. His true reasons were not totally revealed until a long time after that… I will get to that further on though!
For the first week I just selected my songs carefully so to play near the tuning of the Burp Box and to be honest I hated it, with a passion.
After a couple of weeks it was starting to really get on my nerves as on Rock the bass was really peaky and I could not play any of the low lows that I love. At this point I was getting really fired up (That is putting it softly since I am censoring my language) and said to Ashley that “I refuse to drive ABTEC3 with it sounding like a fart box” (Again putting it very softly).
Ashley’s answer to this was “Ok, take the truck (ABTEC1) for a few days and I’ll have a listen”. When I got ABTEC3 back that Saturday Ashley had made a change, the SPL Ports were a touch longer and the box had a touch of Dacron inside lining the floor. After a quick listen I noticed it wasn’t quite as peaky so I thought I would give it a chance… All along still not getting why Ashley left the Burp Box in ABTEC3.
Christmas came and went and I had made a whole new playlist to suit ABTEC3, however I still wasn’t happy with the sound since I couldn’t quite play in the low 30Hz range. Again I ranted and raved to Ashley about getting my old Music Enclosure back into ABTEC3 in which this time he replied “If only we could extend the ports long enough”, now I was on a mission to find all the clean cut 6″ Port off-cuts so I could extend the ports longer.
To my luck there was a box full of 6″ Port off-cuts that I used to make another longer set of ports, these new “Dubstep-Ports” as I dubbed them made a massive difference this time round. Even though it wasn’t as low as I’d prefer it still was a hundred times better than the SPL Ports. What I did notice was it being VERY aggressive in the 40Hz-30Hz range which made it perfect for the Underground Dub/Deathstep that I listen to.
So the Feilding Sound-Off came and went and for quite a while there I was content, ABTEC3 was an insane Dubstep machine and you could hear it for miles. This was until I found some old Rock/Metal albums I used to listen to growing up, at this point the kicks/bass become very peaky and I did not like this one bit.
So my mind started ticking over again and I started looking into ninety degree bends for 6″ Aero-Ports, the only problem here is the company we get the Aero-Ports from only made bends for the 4″ Aero-Ports but in the mean time Ashley decided to distract me with a new addition to ABTEC3… DD-AT28 Tweeters.
Since the DD-AT28 Tweeters had been installed the high range changed so dramatic that the the Mid-Woofer’s from the CS Series could no longer keep up but I will get to those soon.
Another month or so passed and ABTEC3 was almost at a point where I was happy with the sound but it still wasn’t playing low enough for my liking and the bass in Rock/Metal was still too peaky, this time around thought I’d take it into my own hands and just sort it out myself. My thinking was that only I know how low I want it to play and if my idea doesn’t work at least I tried!
So I searched around a few local plumbing stores to price up some sewage piping and two ninety degree bends, funny enough only the third store had what I was after and it cost a touch more than expect. So for the next week I waited till I could afford to get said sewage pipe, anyone that knows me will know how impatient I am and for the next week the only thing on my mind was will it work!
The week passed very slowly and I finally had fabricated up the ports, ABTEC3 was now playing low but now I had a new problem! With the ports firing straight up the hatch sounded like it was being destroyed very violently with every bass note and since ABTEC3 is not only my daily driver but also a company vehicle I would need to find a solution to this.
Finally I was understanding why Ashley wouldn’t let me put my old Musical Enclosure back into ABTEC3 but I will explain this soon enough!
My solution to the ports destroying the hatch was simple, add another two ninety degree bends to the ports! Now I had added the bends the ports were even longer it was not only playing lower but it also smoothed out the higher (peaky) notes that were annoying me while listening to Rock/Metal. I spent about three or four hours that night listening to all the different genres of music I loved, everything from 60’s/70’s Rock to 80’s/90’s Metal to Modern Dub/Deathstep to Bass-Boosted/Orientated music.
ABTEC3 was so close to being at a point of musical happiness, well to myself anyway… It was only missing three things, some industrial grade clamps to hold the ports in place, a pair of DD-AW5.2 Mid-Drivers for the doors and some DD-CC1 Crossovers for the Tweeters and Mids. Lucky for me I have a few friends in the engineering trade for getting the brackets and fasteners, I had even more luck that Ashley had already ordered some DD-AW5.2’s and DD-CC1’s for stock and was willing to sacrifice them for the greater good that is ABTEC3!
Since I’m usually busy in the ABTEC Showroom, writing blogs or on the phones here I left installing the DD-AW5.2’s and DD-CC1’s to the Team in the Workshop, Ashley on the other hand wanted to fit the Port Clamps on himself so I just left them to it. The end of the day came and left and ABTEC3 was sitting outside ready for a proper listen, but instead of blasting some bass heavy music as I usually would I decided to play some Pink Floyd because if there was anything that I would be to tell all the little differences in the music it would be Floyd!
Wow! That is the only way I can explain the way it sounded, even though the DD-AW5.2’s hadn’t even had an hour on them they were sounding amazing. I could hear every little detail in my front staging now, this is something ABTEC3 did always lack on the low end of the mid-bass. Now ABTEC3 is a completely different machine sound wise!
Now everything was installed, run-in and playing ALL my favorite music stupidly loud and clearly it made me finally understand what Ashley had been doing all along! Ashley set me a task without telling me directly what it was, this task was to get the Burp Box to SPL well (Which we had already achieved) but also play music (Not just Dubstep but most if not all) extremely loud and clear. The reasons behind getting myself to do so in my own time and to test it was that I have always believed that one-note wonder Burp-Boxes are no good for music, I still believe this however with slight changes (Or extreme in my case) they can be improved.
Sometimes you just have to put down the calculator and try something out of the ordinary!
One thing I do expect is to get odd comments, or hating as some people would call it. Yes it does sewage piping in it, yes it does look raw, yes I have placed the flares outwards to look like fog-horns but it sounds amazing and feel free to ask me for a demo to make up your own mind! I used to tell people I prefer the Pajero (ABTEC1) over the Vitz (ABTEC3) and don’t get me wrong ABTEC1 is still nuts but I am the happiest I’ve ever been ever with a setup. To make things better I also learned a couple of things on the way!
I can truly say ABTEC3 SOUNDS ALIVE!