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El'dudes Great Audio Guide For The Puma Part 1

#1 User is offline   eldoodarino 

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 09:41 PM

El’Dudes audio guide for your puma.. Part 1

*** How to ‘tastefully’ Upgrade your ICE without spoiling your puma (and your ears lol) ***

This guide is designed to give you some tips on improving the sound in your Puma, Many people seem to think that the Puma is not a good car for upgrading the sound in, but I’m going to show you a tidy way to do it, using existing speaker locations…

The more I work on Car Audio the more I realise just how specialist the work really is, not to mention very expensive!

First of all I have to say, the sound in the Puma from standard is quite reasonable so unless your going to budget for significantly better equipment and spend the appropriate amount of time on sound proofing and resonance issues, you may well be better off leaving it well alone!..

Plan carefully just how far you want to go with the system, as it can be expensive to cover every aspect in one go..

If good work is done on the speaker locations first, one area at a time... it would then be a fairly straight forward job to add an Amp to finish the job off... <_<

Puma Speaker sizes

This one comes up all the time.. so here goes again

Front speakers

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Ideal fit is a 6" speaker (150mm) not many companies make this size.. JL Audio TR-600 is an excellent choice if you want a nice easy coaxil fit speaker.. also the new C2-600X look nice (have not tested these tho) the 6" JL range is also available in component format too.. (recommended if you want more definition in the sound and are using an amp)

5 1/4“ (130mm) also fits perfectly well without rattle issues, but you will need to use a dampening mat around the speaker hole and then fill in the slight gap around the speaker with a good quality Sealant/adhesive (Ambersil do an excellent quality one)..
:excl: if care isn't taken to seal the speaker properly and cover up gaps, you may find the sound is actually worse than the original fit ones

:excl: If you go above 6"..ie 6.5" (165mm) it will screw up to the door no problem (after drilling new holes), but you may find as you turn up the volume you also turn up the buzzing and noise against the door card..so be warned!... maybe with acoustic foams and damping mats etc this can be cured, but from personal experience it just drove me crazy!

more info on improving the front speakers HERE..

Rear Speakers

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The rear speakers in the puma are basically a 5x7 speaker made into 6x8 casing.. If your looking for an easy upgrade here without chopping into anything, Pioneer make a 6x8 speaker for this exact location.. Pioneer TS-H687 a 50w rms speaker with plenty more kick than the oem one.. (it will be a 'brighter' sound tho as it is 3-way!.)
If your looking for a bit more depth and bass then use a dremel to cut away the 6x8 mounting platform..and install a good quality 6x9 speaker instead..(my personal preference is 2 way rather than 3).. this will require quite a bit of work to make a tidy job of it, but the sound can be amazing!

full guide on the rear speakers HERE..

Head unit..

It is perfectly possible to keep the oem head unit and still upgrade the quality of sound significantly.. to do this you will need a high level line convertor to transfer the speaker output signal, back to a Phono/RCA output..

:excl: Budget wisely if you are going this route as cheap equipment for this will just cause ‘altenator whine’ issues through the final sound. Alpine do an excellent quality line convertor lead..also, if you buy a top quality amp like the Genesis Profile series, you can buy an extra attachment spefically designed to ‘intelligently’ hook up to this amp.

Most people upgrading the sound will have probably already bought an aftermarket headunit..

:excl: Check the output on the headunit you are buying! Some have RCA phono outputs for front and rear channels and sub..other cheaper units may only have a single pair of phono output, so hooking this headunit up to an amp for all 4 channels may cause extra costs with a line convertor lead. Also check to see if one of the pairs of phono’s has a switchable output between rear channel or sub..

Getting to the bottom of my own Audio issues, recently led me to car audio specialist where, embarrassingly, I realised I'd been outputting a mono signal to my rear end ever since my Sony Head unit had been installed some couple of years ago!..lol explains why i couldn't get the soudn the way i liked for quite some time..

Personally I prefer a head unit that fits nice and flush to the Facia and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. For me, matching the rest of the lighting scheme around the car is also important.. which is easy for me as iv'e already done a Blue LED conversion around the car. finding an aftermarket headunit that encorporates Green lighting gets a little more tricky. From what I remember when I bought one last year for my fiesta is that you end up choosing between a high quality unit that has changeable illumination, or a rather basic Pioneer model that just has green lighting, there didn't seem to be much in between..
Kenwood do a nice unit with changeable illumination called the BT50U also incorporates Bluetooth connectivity..

Silver or black..?

I know many people buy a silver radio and spray their facia silver to match, but actually, I now prefer a black facia and radio... looks quite tidy.. (Sony MEX-GP1)..

Phono leads../ RCA Interconnects

Make sure you don't skimp on the phono leads..buy properly screened items specifically designed for car audio use. You will also find the connections plugs are slightly smaller so they don’t take up too much back space behind your head unit too. JL Audio make some very nice ones


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A good aftermarket headunit will usually power speakers much better than the original Ford cd/radio.. many now quoting around 52watts x 4..but when you consider that is actually a max power output and not an RMS rating..you soon begin to realise that to get good sound your going to need a decent amplifier for the job, as that 52watts x 4 is probably around 12-15watts per channel RMS..lol

:excl: A good amp can really make or break a car sound system. When working on my dads car last summer, he had this amazing 'old school' Infinity 5 channel amp at the back of the car..which didn't really has a good place to sit, but sounded fantastic!.. As I was trying to tidy up the install and power everything back under the passenger seat, I decided to get a cheap 4 channel amp from Maplins that would ‘do the job’ and get everything a bit tidier..
Well, words can’t describe how CRAP the sound was, If I hadn’t heard the same setup on a different amp I really wouldn’t have believed the difference it made to the quality of sound..it really had to be heard to be believed!...i rushed straight back for a refund. Trying to get a refund based on ‘quality of sound’ was tricky too.. :angry:
After that little episode I persuaded my dad to go for a JL Audio A4300 instead. wow! what an amp..a little thick and chunky but the sound quality was not only restored, but greatly improved!..

For my own system I have now purchased one of the much respected Genesis Profile4 amps. When researching which amps would fit comfortably underneath the puma passenger chair it soon became clear that most are too thick to sit there without the subframe sitting on the amp.. My previous amp which was an old Alpine V-Power was only 50mm thick and sat there quite easily.. most upper market amps that kick out decent quality and power are generally around 60mm thick (some more!).. So I narrowed it down to two choices.. The Infinity Kappa 4 or the Genesis Profile 4 which is an incredible 38mm thick..
I still can’t believe how hard this thing drives the speakers to say how small it is..it’s fan cooled in the center which cuts down on bulky aluminium casing.. but most of all it has far superior control over the speakers than anything iv'e used before. The JL A4300 I mentioned earlier in my dads car is around 63mm thick and required us to put a thick washer or two under each seat leg..(not ideal)

:excl: Not too sure on the space under the standard puma chair but in the case of the FRP you really havn’t got much more room than 50mm..(55tops I’d say).. so bare that in mind.
Also, Don’t get too caught up in RMS figures, it’s quality that counts!.. my old amp is rated at 45 per channel at 4ohms..and the new Genesis states 55 per channel at 4ohms..lol the Genesis seems twice as powerful with my gain settings set down to near mimimum. When I set the Gain setting to half way like my other amp it practically bounced the speakers of the doors!.. :o

Speaker Wire / Wiring issues

Buying your thickest 10mm cooker wire to hook up speakers is completely un-necessary. A decent quality standard speaker wire is perfectly good enough unless your running high powered subs. Halfords sell some very nice quality speaker accessories lately by autoleads..all be it at Retail prices tho!...

Buy a nice quality 8awg wire for hooking up your amp. A section of the same wire can be used to make an earth lead too.

:excl: Make sure the earth lead goes to cleanly rubbed down piece of BARE steel chassis..(the area at the side of the door sill where the wiring loom runs down is fine)..double check the eathing is EXTRA secure..

If you have altenator whine issues through the system try to iron these out by solving the problem or buying better quality equipment etc etc. don’t bodge it buy purchasing extra ‘ground loop’ accessories ..try to get to the bottom of the problem, If it's fitted correctly and grounded correctly there should be no need to buy extra ground loop wires...

Sound proofing - Absorbsion, Damping and Diffusion

This is a VAST topic on it’s own..so i'll try to keep this concise and brief to begin with!

Using sheets of Dynamat Extreme in certain areas can improve the quality of sound your hear no end. Not only does the matting improve the quietness of the car but more importantly, also improves the resonance of the panels applied to. Bass response will be greatly improved. It’s also a good idea to wrap Dynamat around and underneath the speaker hole locations so that the speakers can be sealed down onto the dynamat instead of the bare metal..
:excl: Applying Dynamat to the inside of the outside doorskin makes a huge difference to the sound from the front doors..(more to follow on that).

You can buy Dynamat Extreme sheets for as little as £13-14 per sheet on ebay + postage.. The weight added to your car is negligible (before anyone pipes up..lol).. using 1 sheet per corner (4) would probably only add around 2kg.. (I’ll double check that at some point) it really is good stuff and well worth the money.

:excl: also note the extreme matting is Butyl backed not Bitumen.. don’t buy Bitumen backed material, it’s very messy to work with and also has ‘melting issues’ too..

After you have matted some of your surfaces you may want to reduce airborne noises down even further by applying some closed cell foam on top of the dynamat. This improves quietness of the panel even further and can also reduce rear reflections behind your speakers which also affect quality and performance of the speaker.. I also like to use a foam product that can squash down in-between the door cards to reduce noise issues etc etc

car audio direct have an excellent selection http://www.caraudiod...e-barriers.html


:excl: .. choose very carefully what you buy on ebay, I’m sure we’ve all had good and bad deals on ebay over the years, me included. After having bought various amps, speakers radios etc off ebay, I really have come to the conclusion that it’s just WAY LESS HASSLE to just budget for new equipment than to take the risk buying 2nd hand stuff that may or may not work! .... Especially so, if your buying component speakers, you will tend to find that some of the kit for mounting the tweaters is either lost or damaged when buying second hand... very annoying!
my pet hate for ebay is those 'not so clear' pictures that could be a real bargain...lol.. again, after years of ebay trading if the picture is vague then just don't buy it!
Wizards Of Nos 60hp progressive delivery.... yeah baby yeah :-o
Denso Iridium Plugs
Helix Clutch
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