If you haven’t noticed by now, the editorial team at BestCarAudio.com has a penchant for being, well, what we’d call geeky. We love car audio systems that sound great. We also love audio system upgrades that look like they are a part of the vehicle design. The system for this Audi Q3, created by Pinnacle Autosound in Lake City, Florida, includes those two crucial elements but tickles our fancy with exceptional attention to detail behind the scenes. Let’s dive into how the team installed the Morel Elate Carbon speakers in this vehicle.
High-Quality Speaker Selection
In terms of sound quality, few speakers on the market can touch the clarity and detail of those offered by Morel. These speakers are the go-to for JOey Knapp and Brian Knagge when clients want their music to sound as accurate as possible. The Q3 is home to a set of Morel Elate Titanium MT450 1.1-inch tweeters, a pair of Elate Carbon MM3 3-inch midrange drivers and a set of Elate Carbon MW9 9-inch woofers.
Morel MT450 Tweeter Installation
The stock tweeters in the A-pillars of the Audi Q3 feature a ring that snaps into three clips on the mounting bracket. JOey took several measurements of the stock tweeter, then drew a mounting adapter ring in Lightburn. He used the shop’s CNC laser to cut the rings out of cast acrylic. The rings hold the tweeters securely into the A-pillars without any permanent modifications.
Morel MM3 Midrange Installation
The installation of the MM3 midrange drivers was a bit more involved. JOey wanted speakers that would play relatively low to ensure that vocals would remain locked across the soundstage and not drawn down by the door woofers. The MM3 mids have a resonant frequency of 88 hertz, so they can play lower than many 6.5-inch door speakers without distortion issues.
The stock speakers are smaller than the Morels, so JOey knew some work would be necessary to make the MM3 drivers fit. After some measurements, he decided to modify the mounting flange of the Morel drivers and create an acrylic mounting ring that would secure them in place. The new ring uses the same mounting hardware as the original drivers.
Morel MW9 Woofer Installation
If you thought the above speaker mounting solutions were fancy, you’re about to be wowed by the solution created to fit the MW9 9-inch woofers into the doors of the Audi Q3. The MW9 woofers are fairly unique in the industry in that they can produce both low-frequency bass information as well as midrange and lower-midrange information well. The rigid and well-damped carbon-fiber cone assembly, Morel’s EVC motor, and a titanium voice former wrapped in the proprietary Hexatech aluminum are all key to these capabilities. Large midrange speakers don’t play below 80 hertz well, and subwoofers rarely play above 150 without issues. The Morel MW9 speakers are very cool.
The door speaker upgrade started with several measurements to check depths and opening space.
Once JOey had confirmed room was available for the MW9 woofers, he returned to Lightburn to draw the first set of spacer rings. The first layer is a full circle with a small notch cut out of the top to allow the speaker wire to enter the inner cavity of the door. The second and third layers add thickness to the adapters but have cutouts for the four mounting fasteners.
The top two layers of the adapter bolt to the lower three with flat-head machine screws. JOey threaded holes into the lower adapters to accept these screws. The topmost ring has a chamfer around the hole that allows those screws to sit flush. JOey added fleece tape to the top to serve as a gasket for the Morel MW9 woofer.
Attention To Detail Ensures Reliability
Over the years, we’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of door speaker adapters made from wood. While the ones protected with undercoating or truck bed liner last longer than the bare ones, plastic is a much better choice as it’s completely impervious to water damage.
You’ll note that all the speaker upgrades in the front of the Pinnacle Autosound Audi Q3 use factory fastener locations or clips. The Morel speakers are removable with no trace of them having been in the vehicle. This is an essential consideration if you want to upgrade a leased vehicle or would consider removing the sound system from your car or truck before trading it in or selling it.
Our geeky side knows that none of what we’ve shown here is visible once the stock speaker grilles and trim panels are back in place. With that said, we know everything is secure and is unlikely to rattle or buzz, even when the system is pushed hard. With 950 watts of power on tap from the JL Audio VXi amplifiers, a solid mounting solution is a must.
If you’re serious about obtaining the best sound quality from a car audio system upgrade and want those speakers installed properly, drop by a local specialty mobile enhancement retailer like Pinnacle Autosound in Lake City, Florida. Talk with them about your goals and see what they can offer. Feel free to use this article as the benchmark for doing it right.