Winner: Best install MECCA; at IASCA / MECCA, West Virginia 2019-07-27
Two BaM-235ab amplifiers sit side-by-side, grills facing forward to show off the warm glowing tubes inside, in a fabricated, well-ventilated custom enclosure. Variable illumination helps set the musical mood.
One listener reported: "I have been in the [car audio] industry ... for over 18 yrs. I have gained a very big liking for your amplifiers [having listened closely] to them over the past... I do feel they are 'special'. I have a large inventory of old school amplifiers and demo cars [for SQ comparison]..."
Installation, write-up, pictures courtesy of Edric Taira, Audio Architechs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
While most audiophiles would have been happy with just one of these hi end head units, Mike Young wanted to have the best of both worlds. To make them look clean and flush, Edric Taira fabricated a custom sueded trim to house the Mcintosh MX5000 HU and the Sony RSX-GS9. "At the competitions people comment how the two sources look like one unit because of the installation". Ed says, "I wanted it to have that hi-end home audio look...stacked with no gaps." Both sources can be switched via the Audiotech Fischer Helix DSP Pro Mark II. Mike never settling for the norm, additionally installed the very rare Mcintosh outboard D/A the MDA 5000 HDCD (when sold was only available overseas). The digital output from the MX5000 HU is fed to the MDA 5000 outboard D/A analog outputs then feed into the Helix DSP. All interconnect cables were custom made Crescendo 3 and Virtuoso R2's made by Straightwire USA. The both digital toslink and analog RCA outputs are used as well from the Sony RSX-GS9 and are fed into the Helix processor.
Head Unit / DAC
- McIntosh MX5000 HU
- McIntosh MDA 5000
- Sony RSX GS9
DSP / Pre Amps
- Helix DSP Pro Mark II
- Milbert TC-2r
- Milbert TC-4r
- Milbert BaM 235ab (tweeters)
- Milbert BaM 235AB (mids)
- Revelation Madison (mid bass and subs)
- ZR - Saturn (Tweeters)
- ZR - F1 (Mid ranges)
- Focal Utopia (Mid bass)
- Subwoofers: 2 - Alumapro MX12
- Straightwire - Crescendo 3
- Straightwire - Virtuoso R2
- Straightwire - Rhapsody S
For the build, a custom birch spare tire well subwoofer enclosure was made to keep the lowest profile and weight to a minimum. Hybrid stuffing was used inside of the subwoofer enclosure to ensure the flattest and lowest response curve was achieved.
A birch amp rack houses the Milbert tube amplifiers using the supplied Milbert shock mounts. With the tube amplifiers located on the top of the rack this ensured the best flow of air and proper ventilation for the drivers. A sliding pre-amp / processor rack below the Milbert amplifiers enables access to Milbert tube pre-amps and a Mcintosh outboard D/A converter.
Brushless German exhaust and intake fans were installed on each side of the pre-amp / processor rack. Cosmetic air vents on each side of the pre-amp / processor rack disguise the fans below and allows fresh air to enter, and and heated air to exit.
A custom steel amp bracket was built to suspend the Revelation Audio amplifier over a pair of custom built frost Alumapro MX 12's. Custom LEDs were used throughout the subwoofer enclosure and the suspended amp rack / arch. A separate and different type of LED lighting was used in the Milbert amplifiers creating the ability to showcase the internals of the Milbert design in any color combination desired. As Ed explained, "I really wanted to showcase the internals of the Milbert amplifiers; I think they are beautiful and exude the look of industrial power plants especially when lit up".
This build definitely wasn't normal or a walk in the park. Mike's interconnect cables are larger than most main power wire cables used to power high power systems. To top that off Ed had to work with lengths of interconnect cable that were already custom made for the previous set up; and asking Mike to get new runs of custom interconnect cable that cost hundreds of dollars a foot really wasn't a viable option. Speaker cables were also very thick and length challenging so everything had to be considered when Ed was in the design and construction of the amp racks, beauty panels, and executing the wire runs and bends. There always had to a thoughtful consideration of the wires; it was a constant worry.
To round up the install, Mike and Ed have plans on some new pillars and kick panels in the near future. "Now want to pull the style and design executed in the rear of the vehicle to the front of the vehicle...." Stay tuned for updates and pics!