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My Model 3 Audio SQ Build Log (Helix, Audiofrog, HAT)

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Well looks like I’m going to have to deal with the whole excessive power draw issue now. I’m getting warnings overnight about the 12V system. If I only have my Helix V Eight DSP/Amp hooked up there are no issues. As soon as the M one is hooked up too there are problems. Looks like the solution to this is in other posts about using a relay and resistor. Time to investigate!
 

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leonar40

Member
Jan 6, 2021
204
100
Bloomington, IN

Amazing write-up, thanks for taking the time to post all this! Sorry to take you all the way back to the first post, but I'm curious about your experience with the RF P300-10. I had this exact same powered sub in my Lexus CT200h and thought it was pretty awesome for the money. And it can't get much easier with all connections included in the one box. Can you discuss why you didn't like the result? I'm thinking of either that model or the P300-8P for my Model 3. I have the premium system already but the OEM 8 in. sub is weak IMO. I'd like to add a second one to compliment it.
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Amazing write-up, thanks for taking the time to post all this! Sorry to take you all the way back to the first post, but I'm curious about your experience with the RF P300-10. I had this exact same powered sub in my Lexus CT200h and thought it was pretty awesome for the money. And it can't get much easier with all connections included in the one box. Can you discuss why you didn't like the result? I'm thinking of either that model or the P300-8P for my Model 3. I have the premium system already but the OEM 8 in. sub is weak IMO. I'd like to add a second one to compliment it.

Personally I just felt it was too boomy sounding. It didn’t really sonically match the rest of the speakers well. But I’m being pretty picky. If you stuck a line out converter in front of it that allows you more tuning or even put a small DSP in front of it you’d have way better results. For the money, it’s not a bad solution. I’ve definitely gone from trying to spend 300-400 to closer to 3000. But this is a hobby and fun for me so there’s that I suppose lol.
 

leonar40

Member
Jan 6, 2021
204
100
Bloomington, IN
Personally I just felt it was too boomy sounding. It didn’t really sonically match the rest of the speakers well. But I’m being pretty picky. If you stuck a line out converter in front of it that allows you more tuning or even put a small DSP in front of it you’d have way better results. For the money, it’s not a bad solution. I’ve definitely gone from trying to spend 300-400 to closer to 3000. But this is a hobby and fun for me so there’s that I suppose lol.

Copy thanks. I'm the opposite, I just like to rock out, I'm not too picky, so I'm guessing I'd be pretty happy with that for the price. I can always try it and if I don't like it, go to something more involved like the NVX option. Thanks!
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Copy thanks. I'm the opposite, I just like to rock out, I'm not too picky, so I'm guessing I'd be pretty happy with that for the price. I can always try it and if I don't like it, go to something more involved like the NVX option. Thanks!
I’d highly reccomend tossing one of those NVX line out converters in front of the powered sub. That way you can restore the rolled off low bass and this rock out harder!
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Well, I went ahead and did the MPP shutdown procedure on the car, and then attached both amps again. I powered it up, and no problems. I haven't seen any warnings now for about 24 hours. I think the issue wasn't the large current inrush issue that other people saw, but maybe me hooking things up without a proper full shutdown when the 12V battery was already drained from leaving the doors open for hours while the contactor plugs were undone but the 12V battery was still attached.

Lesson learned! Use the proper shutdown method!

Also, should I need to actually deal with adding a relay and charging resistor, This blog here really details the safest way to do it.
 
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kiNGng3

Member
Aug 14, 2019
291
147
Vancouver
Well, I went ahead and did the MPP shutdown procedure on the car, and then attached both amps again. I powered it up, and no problems. I haven't seen any warnings now for about 24 hours. I think the issue wasn't the large current inrush issue that other people saw, but maybe me hooking things up without a proper full shutdown when the 12V battery was already drained from leaving the doors open for hours while the contactor plugs were undone but the 12V battery was still attached.

Lesson learned! Use the proper shutdown method!

Also, should I need to actually deal with adding a relay and charging resistor, This blog here really details the safest way to do it.

I learned by lesson too. Always do the proper shut down! Those warnings freaked me out the first time around!
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Didn't do a ton of work tonight, pretty tired. I got the amp rack pretty much all done and ready to go. Secured the RCA on the backside of the board, and then got everything aligned and the rack hung and tightened down. It seems nice and secure now! You can see I have the wire bundles all ready to be shortened and hooked up now. I should be able to actually do a full powerup shortly! Getting excited!
 

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amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Some great progress tonight. The Helix V Eight DSP is all hooked up and it works! I had to get the laptop in the car to make some adjustments and setup, but the intial configuration is done. I immediately noticed the sound coming out of the stock speakers is improved and clearer.. and can get louder. I plugged in a UMM-1 microphone into the laptop and did some quick real-time analysis. I'm made some minor tweaks to the EQ to bring up and down a few frequencies just to try it all out. I haven't figured out the automatic tuning quite yet.

This DSP is crazy powerful and all the tools are amazing! I can't wait to get the new speakers in, and also get the subwoofer running.

The subwoofer however, is another problem at this point. If I leave my M One subwoofer amp attached to the power, I still keep getting that error message about the electrical system. At this point, I've talked with other installers about how they are doing the model 3/Y. It seems like most avoid the penthouse and run straight off the battery in the front. I figured at this point, no harm in trying it. I'm going to get some more 4ga wire and make a run up there.

If that doesn't work, then the backup plan is either to buy a subwoofer amp with less capacitance (like the NVX VADM1), or just run the sub off the V Eight's last 2 channels. I originally was going to do that, but decided I wanted the rear speakers in the doors to work still. With the V Eight and the amount of speakers I'm running, you'd need another 2 channels to do it. I suppose in hindsight, going with the V Twelve would let you run the whole show off one box! I could also run the sub off those two channels and then use the line outs to drive a small 2-channel amp to run the rears.. or heck, I could just run the rears off the stock headunits... but it's a lot harder to match volumes without using the DSP.
 

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C-Bus Y

Member
Oct 20, 2020
104
63
Columbus, Ohio
Great progress, still mapping out my system, slowly.

What are you using to turn on your amps/dsp...speaker signal? I hear just as many positive stories about running off the penthouse without any errors. You think it has to do with the amps?
 

DennyL

Member
Sep 26, 2018
350
169
San Diego, CA
Some great progress tonight. The Helix V Eight DSP is all hooked up and it works! I had to get the laptop in the car to make some adjustments and setup, but the intial configuration is done. I immediately noticed the sound coming out of the stock speakers is improved and clearer.. and can get louder. I plugged in a UMM-1 microphone into the laptop and did some quick real-time analysis. I'm made some minor tweaks to the EQ to bring up and down a few frequencies just to try it all out. I haven't figured out the automatic tuning quite yet.

This DSP is crazy powerful and all the tools are amazing! I can't wait to get the new speakers in, and also get the subwoofer running.

The subwoofer however, is another problem at this point. If I leave my M One subwoofer amp attached to the power, I still keep getting that error message about the electrical system. At this point, I've talked with other installers about how they are doing the model 3/Y. It seems like most avoid the penthouse and run straight off the battery in the front. I figured at this point, no harm in trying it. I'm going to get some more 4ga wire and make a run up there.

If that doesn't work, then the backup plan is either to buy a subwoofer amp with less capacitance (like the NVX VADM1), or just run the sub off the V Eight's last 2 channels. I originally was going to do that, but decided I wanted the rear speakers in the doors to work still. With the V Eight and the amount of speakers I'm running, you'd need another 2 channels to do it. I suppose in hindsight, going with the V Twelve would let you run the whole show off one box! I could also run the sub off those two channels and then use the line outs to drive a small 2-channel amp to run the rears.. or heck, I could just run the rears off the stock headunits... but it's a lot harder to match volumes without using the DSP.

Sorry I didn’t answer your question about power. With my Helix M One X, I tested with a JL Audio 13W7 and running the amp to its full potential, the bass was pounding so hard my front dash was rattling nuts and not a single error about power. Hope that helps to run it from the 12V battery.

For those that are following this thread I have a very similar set up on MYP. Can check out my album. Tesla Model Y Audio Upgrade

3KkxZfa.jpg
 

DennyL

Member
Sep 26, 2018
350
169
San Diego, CA
Great progress, still mapping out my system, slowly.

What are you using to turn on your amps/dsp...speaker signal? I hear just as many positive stories about running off the penthouse without any errors. You think it has to do with the amps?
Helix will turn on automatically when it sense the factory audio signal. No remote wires needed. I doubt it’s the amps, the Helix are compact and known to run very efficient.
 
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C-Bus Y

Member
Oct 20, 2020
104
63
Columbus, Ohio
I wonder if people using a single amp or a separate LOC as their turn on signal have better success. I could see two large draw components turning on at the same time causing an issue and maybe the LOC adds just enough of a delay. Just a theory.
 

DennyL

Member
Sep 26, 2018
350
169
San Diego, CA
I wonder if people using a single amp or a separate LOC as their turn on signal have better success. I could see two large draw components turning on at the same time causing an issue and maybe the LOC adds just enough of a delay. Just a theory.
I haven’t noticed any issues with my set up. There is a delay when the audio comes on, the Helix DSP amp comes on first then my Helix sub amp comes with a delay. My sub amp is powered on by remote cable to from the DSP amp.
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
I wonder if people using a single amp or a separate LOC as their turn on signal have better success. I could see two large draw components turning on at the same time causing an issue and maybe the LOC adds just enough of a delay. Just a theory.

So it’s not the turn on or delay that’s the issue. It’s the current inrush to the capacitors in the amp. When the penthouse sees that large spike it’s throwing those messages.

a lot of the amps that I see are working off the penthouse are smaller more micro style amps or class GH. For example my Helix DSP amp has almost the same amount of total power output as the sub amp. The DSP is class GD and the sub amp is D. That’s also a factor.

Denny’s system is running off the front battery. I’ve now talked to about 3 installers and technically people who do systems in the 3/Y and they all say they run their systems off that battery. So I’m going to redo my wiring to the battery instead.

I know people have has issues with the battery and radar detectors but that’s probably because they were on all the time drawing phantom power. The helix amps draw almost nothing when they have no signal.
I have faith!
 
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amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Keep us posted. I was optimistic about not having to run to the battery but if that is the only way then so be it. Thanks!

well you don’t have to go to the battery if you have the right amps OR you do the relay and resistor mod. I really didn’t want the resistor mod as it’s a parasitic draw and a fire hazard.
 
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DennyL

Member
Sep 26, 2018
350
169
San Diego, CA
Keep us posted. I was optimistic about not having to run to the battery but if that is the only way then so be it. Thanks!
It’s the traditional way it’s done on ICE to the battery and many installers are doing that with Tesla’s. Also running it from the battery will help prevent the penthouse being sensitive about how it feels versus directly being connected to it. Many people got it to work going directly to the penthouse but going the traditional way is the best bet to prevent errors from even occurring. I wanted to go directly to penthouse with my install but elected to go to traditional set up and it worked out.
 

amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Tonight is tweeter night!

I change my mind daily on what I want to do. Originally I was going to go with Audiofrog GS10 tweeters to match my GS components. Then I decided not to spend the bucks and give the Dayton AN25's a shot since you can get 3D Printed Mounts that snap right in for them.

However, a local audio shop offered me a screaming deal on Audiofrog GB10oem tweeters. The GB10's are their higher end tweeter. They also make a lesser known oem version that is pretty basic, but designed to mount in factory locations rather than having all the mounting hardware. The mounting hardware is pretty though! They also have several types of oem tweeters. Apparently what I got is a little older ones that are more designed to just snap into BMW sail panels. They measure about 44mm across, making them about 2mm wider than the factory tweeter.

So after some light modification to the inside of the sail panel, I got them to fit nice and flush while being secure. I put some blobs of hot glue on there just to make sure they stay in place. I think their regular oem version would fit better as its 42mm, but these work. I then soldered up some of the awesome Tweeter Wiring Harnesses by Amped Garage. Full disclosure: Amped Garage is sponsoring my install by providing me with their wiring harnesses and the Dayton tweeter adapters. However, I would have bought them anyways as it makes hooking things up way easier and you don't have to cut any factory wires.

You can see how its going by the pictures I've uploaded. I will say that they sound absolutely amazing, and I still need to tune them.
 

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amorris

Member
Nov 8, 2020
113
61
Vancouver, WA
Finally got my Knuconceptz 4ga wire in today. I ran it from the battery all the way to the back into my quick disconnect.

Powered the car up and everything works perfect! No error messages and the subwoofer amp and Helix DSP are both running well. So far so good!

Now I need to tidy up the wiring and also make an more permanent fuse holder mount. Just super happy it all works and I didn’t need extra hardware.
 

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