Xclusive Autosound Blog


Custom Car Audio Box Design & Fabrication

April 30, 2018

Xclusive Autosound is without a doubt, the PREMIER car audio installation facility in the Midwest. We use the latest, cutting-edge technology to make sure your installation needs are as close to perfection as possible.

One important aspect of custom car audio fabrication is box building. Here at Xclusive Autosound we have been building custom boxes for over 20 years, and we feel there’s no one in the area as good as us.

Depending on your time frame, and your personal needs, we can build a box with our traditional table-saw or our CNC machine. Our boxes are built for strength with corner braces, wall braces, and dado dato pockets so they fit together like a puzzle and never come apart!

With our engineering background and experience, we have spent around 100 hours writing a custom program that makes building boxes as easy as simply adding six numbers: the height, width, depth, displacement of the woofers you are using, the number of woofers, and the required net air space.

If the box is meant to be ported, we just add the square inches and the length of the port. Our specially programmed CAD software then cuts out the perfect designed box – complete with bracing. If you demand perfection, and want the perfect box built for your install, contact Xclusive Autosound today.

custom car audio box build 1 custom car audio box build 2 custom car audio box complete


Smart Car Custom iPad Installation

April 30, 2018

For this project, our customer came to us with an almost impossible mission. But like so often, we made it happen. This Smart car iPad Mini mount was, and probably still is, the only full 3D-printed, completely-functional, fully-motorized iPad mount made. We do sell this kit for $890 if you’re looking for one.

Our customer came to us due to our vast experience with custom iPad installations, and the craftsmanship of our work. He was dead set on having it, but the problem was, it barely fit. With the space, and clearances needed in order to remove the iPad, this was a very tricky and complex install. We pushed through the endless technical problems and we’re glad we did. Using some engineering tricks, we were able to get the clearance needed to clear the dash in order to remove the ipad without having to add dual action motorization.

This kit uses all the factory mounting locations, and clips, to secure the housing. The iPad housing screws directly into the radio housing. Two trim pieces snap on using German designed snaps in the perfect finished location. The ipad can completely control the Sony radio behind it by using the Sony Songpal APP.

If you want to operate only the radio, you can motorized the ipad out, and control the radio through the well thought-out opening which leaves the radio face exposed and easily accessible. The motorized mount also charges the iPad using a lightning port. No detail was left untouched, and we enjoyed every step of this tedious build.

If you have a tricky or highly complex install you want, and other car audio shops are telling you it’s impossible, contact us today. We make the “car audio impossible” possible.

smart car ipad mount renderingsmart car 3-D printed ipad mountsmart car ipad mount beforesmart car ipad mount installedsmart car ipad mount insertsmart car ipad mount


Custom Fabricated/3D Printed Tweeter Housings

March 5, 2018

Here are some Tweeter housings we fabricated for another great long-standing customer of ours. He purchased an Arc Audio Black Series component set and wanted to get the best sound out of the tweeter as possible. However, the stock location was great, but was in no way going to accommodate the new Arc 1” silk dome tweeter. Not to mention we wanted the dome of the tweeter to have the most acoustically unobstructed “view” of the drivers seat. We knew we were going to have to fabricate a new tweeter housing for him.

How would most shops do this? Well, they would go to their fab room cabinet, pull out fiberglass filer, and just slather it all over the stock tweeter housing to get the depth they needed in order to install the tweeter. Cool… Not so much. Why? Because plastic and fiberglass don’t work well together. When plastic heats up it expands, and when it cools down it shrinks. And when you combine the two, it WILL CRACK!!! All day, every day.

“But I see all these cool installs on the internet and stuff and they aren’t cracked?”  Just wait until the first fast temperature change. They will crack. Guaranteed. This is why here at Xclusive Autosound when we make something out of plastic, it is made completely out of plastic. When we make something out of wood we make it completely out of wood. Things we fabricate will last forever and look just as good in 20 years as the day we polished up the install for finished pics.

Back to the install. To get the clean install we were looking for, I turned to my CAD software and my extensive engineering background to help build the pods. They look fairly simple to model, however, they are far from it. There were no parallel faces on the stock pod and I needed to make sure I got the feet that hold the clips in just the right spots to make sure they fit the factory panel as good as the stock pods did. Not to mention having to make sure the tweeters were aimed properly, which was no small task. The design I came up was clean and elegant, and matched the interior – utilizing the factory grill of the Arc Silk Dome Tweeter. The Tweeter housing was then printed on a 3D printer using 100% nylon – primed and painted to match the interior of the car. Factory clips were put on the new pods and cleanly installed into its new home. The effort was well worth the pay off as they sounded amazing!

before and after photos of custom tweeter mounts

tweeter mount CAD drawings & 3D printed mounts

3D printed tweeter mounts


Custom CNC Fabricated Trunk

March 5, 2018

Check out our latest and greatest installation we recently completed for one of our long-time customers. He gave us carte blanche with this custom install, and we ran with it. Even thought we can design “loud and wild” installations, we prefer something more “clean and finished”. We feel that blending the aesthetics of the car into the install gives it a more original and classic feel.

Taking from a previous installs we completed, we wanted to take this one even further. This trunk went from stock – to this install – in less than 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours! All the pieces were made, finished, and covered before the vehicle even showed up at the shop. We took every detail, mount, alignment, handle, and stock function into consideration.

We came up with this clean design showcasing several different skills. In this install, you will not find one drop of bondo or filler anywhere throughout. It is 100% wood and stock plastic sheeting. Every single piece was designed, CNC cut, and covered to fit with one another. To the average person it may not seem all that difficult, but to put things into perspective: there are pieces that fit within pieces, that fit within pieces, that fit within pieces, that fit within pieces – 5 layers deep. When layering that deep, calculations down to .002 of an inch make all the difference. Everything had to be painstakingly planned out, down to the grain of each piece of vinyl, to get this piece of art to fit together the way it did so beautifully. Can we do this with your vehicle absolutely, and better than anyone else.

Custom CNC Trunk 2

Custom CNC Trunk 3

Custom CNC Trunk 1

Custom CNC Trunk 4 Custom CNC Trunk 5 Custom CNC Trunk 7 Custom CNC Trunk 6    Custom CNC Trunk 9 Custom CNC Trunk 8


Fully Custom Integrated Sound System for 2011 Chevy Silverado

February 26, 2018

Here is a great example of the high-end custom designed sound systems we design and install. It showcases both our craftsmanship and advanced technical knowledge.

We designed every piece, angle, cavity, box, and mount in this install using state-of-the-art computer software. We then installed this system in the back of 2011 Chevy Silverado. Not one ounce of fiberglass or bondo is used in this entire install. This was built in the same way that your car or truck would have been built in the factory. We custom designed brackets that lined up with the factory mounting positions to make sure every piece fit perfectly into place without the truck even being in our shop! There is not a gap you could slide a piece of paper through anywhere on this install.

I can say with complete confidence; no other shop in the country has the skills, tools, know how, or capabilities to do what we did here. No one. We are in the process of building another car in the same way that is ten times more complex and extravagant than this one. If you love your vehicle and you don’t want to butcher it up just to make it sound amazing. You have come to the right place. Engineering perfection every time. Call or email us with any questions at 618.222.2234 or

custom truck sound system


How We Make Our Speaker Brackets

February 26, 2018

We recently finished a speaker installation on a car and wanted to walk you through how we make our fully custom speaker brackets.

Almost all of our higher-end installations require custom made speaker brackets in order to make your new speakers fit into you vehicles stock speaker locations. At Xclusive Autosound NO expense is spared. We make all of our brackets in-house on our CNC machine. We are the most technologically advanced shop in the Midwest. We use CAD (Computer aid drafting) drawings to design all your brackets to exact measurements for the specific speaker that will be installed in your vehicle. We then cut the brackets out of solid ABS. ABS is one of the most robust plastics in existence. It will never warp, fade, crack, or deteriorate. We manufacture these brackets out the thickest ABS stock possible for the brackets to still fit within your speakers cavity properly and not resonate from the vibrations of the speakers we’re installing. If you have any custom applications we can accommodate those as well.

Speaker Bracket Photos:

speaker mounting brakets


How Dark can I tint my windows in Missouri?

November 16, 2017

How Dark can I tint my windows in MissouriMissouri window tinting statutes (laws) for window tint application for cars and trucks are vague and fairly simple. Meaning Missouri has very lax restrictions on window tinting. Statute 307.173 States that all Missouri registered vehicles are allowed to have 35% or lighter window film on the front driver and passenger roll downs with a visual light transmittance accuracy of plus or minus 3% (so 32% darker-38% lighter). The statute also states that any aftermarket film installed on any windows must have a light reflectance of less that 35% as well. This will make most mirror type film illegal in Missouri. The statue does not make any reference to windows rear of driver so there are no regulations on rear windows. Which means they may be tinted any way you like. On the front windshield the law states that you are allowed to have tint on the front windshield on the upper portion of the window. However, the statue does not make any mention of how large of an eyebrow you may have. It simply states that the eyebrow size can not interfere “with the driver’s normal view of the road.” Then goes on and says at a size that is normally tinted by manufacture. This is about an vague of a window tinting statue I have seen. Our recommendation would to be not to tint the front windshield below the federal guidelines which is the AS1 line found near the top of the windshield.

Missouri has two exceptions to the window tinting laws above:

The above tinting laws are null and void if:

  1. You have an antique license plate on your vehicle, or
  2. You have a doctor’s note stating that you have medical conditions requiring darker window tint. Doctor’s note must be filed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and you will receive a sticker that goes above your state inspection sticker.

Summary:

Rear of driver: as dark as you want any light reflectance
Front passenger and driver roll downs: 32% -or lighter window tint 35% reflectivity.
Front eyebrow: Vague and opinionated. we recommend to the government AS1 line.

Learn more about our WINDOW TINTING services »


St. Louis’ Drone Mobile Remote Start Specialist

December 3, 2015

drone-mobile-remote-startDo you park in a parking garage and have 1000 feet of concrete and steel between you and your car? Does your current conventional remote start system not work in these conditions? Say no more, and say hello to Drone Mobile. Here at Xclusive Autosound & Security, the premier car audio and alarm store in the Midwest, we have you covered. With Drone, your car could be parked in China, and you would still be able to start it in your cozy Saint Louis office. I don’t know why you would want to do this? But you actually could. Along with its virtually unlimited range on remote starting. It also allows you to access your car from any networked computer. It can also tell you if the doors are locked or unlocked and the cars battery voltage. It also has the ability to track your cars location and tell you the temperature inside of it. It can even alert you if your teenage driver is leaving a per-determined perimeter that they are not allowed to take your car out of. The best part is that you don’t have to carry around extra thingamabobs. It is all located inside your beloved smart phone. Download the application from the Google Play or Apple App Store. *Subscriptions apply.

Come see us and Xclusive Autosound & Security and have it installed. For a FREE quote or more information, please call us today at 618.222.2234 or email us at info@xclusiveautosound.com. You can also fill out our contact form here »

Learn more about our REMOTE STARTER Services »


Pro T11 Remote Controls Now Available

December 3, 2015

pro-t11-remote-controlCompustar recently released the first 3 mile range transmitter using the latest state-of-the-art technology blowing all other manufactures out of the water.

Using DSST technology, once again Compustar proves they are the leader of manufacturing of remote start and alarm systems. The Pro T11 is available today. Give your alarm and remote start the range it deserves. The Pro T11 is only available at your Pro Dealer. The Pro T11 is everything a remote should be. It is water resistant. Drop it in a puddle, no problem. Accidentally run it over with you car, no problem.

Check out the various Youtube videos. The remote comes with a Pro 2 year warranty and a built in lithium-ion rechargeable battery with charger included. The best part is it is backward compatible. Had a system installed in the last 3 years by us? Good chance you can upgrade to this new remote.

For a FREE quote or more information, please call us today at 618.222.2234 or email us at info@xclusiveautosound.com. You can also fill out our contact form here »

Learn more about our Remote Starter Services »


Chevy Camaro SS Custom iPad Installation Mounted in Passenger Dash

June 22, 2015

A long-standing customer of ours recently came to us with a new custom installation project. He was requesting a custom mount for is Apple iPad 4. He is a local DJ and has all his music on his iPad and wanted a quick easy way to access it and play videos. A couple months earlier he came in and had a AVH4000NEX installed in his Camaro. The AVH4000NEX was the first Apple car play radio and he wanted to add an iPad like and iPod on the second USB that it has available. Space was limited and we wouldn’t just make a mount to stick it on the dash somewhere. So, we came up with the design you can see in the video below. We knew it had to be a dual action motorized mount or there would have been really big gaps in order for the iPad to be able to be removed, due to the curvature of the “S” shaped dash.

As a standard, we tell all our customers everything we do here has to be lockable and easily and cleanly removable. We wont offer any other options. So, as he had done many times in the past, he handed his keys over in total trust, and we got to work. We fabricated the custom sliding mechanism out of welded steel and we firmly mounted it to the chassis of the car. Then we designed a two stage motor controller. That would allow for the dual action motorization. The iPad slides out of the dash about 5/8” then it angles out so you can slide the iPad out.

We had the car for a week making sure everything was perfect. His response when he picked it up was “How did you do that? Honestly, I was expecting a gap all the way around the iPad.” We took the time to make it perfect. OEM grade. You were not able to slide a piece of paper in the “gap”, or lack of, around mount. And of course we gave him charging support through the USB that connected to the AVH4000NEX. Can’t wait for his next project.


Custom iPad Mini Install in a 2015 Polaris Slingshot

June 22, 2015

We recently had a customer come to us wanting a couple of unique things. He wanted an iPad Mini installed into his Polaris Slingshot but in a way that it sat back far enough that it could get some protection from the glare of the sun. Also, he wanted it to be secure. So, when he left his slingshot unattended he would have to worry about coming out to it with the iPad mini missing. So, we came up with a custom slide solution. This accomplished everything he wanted along with a stock look. The ipad can not be removed unless the glove box is unlock and lowered. Without it being unlocked the ipad can only be slide partially out of the mount. Leaving it secure in the slingshot until the glove box is unlocked.

He also wanted a way to charge the iPad and have it play on a clean source that he could still EQ the sound. We recommended a pioneer radio,the DEH8700BH, we mounted it behind the iPad in a custom ABS plastic mount. Then we added an external IR steering wheel controller that allows for him to cleanly turn up and down the audio while using a hard wired connection to get the best sound possible. When we were finished it looked like it was stock from Polaris, or so the customer said. We will take that as a huge complement. It is what we specialize in, OEM integration, with fit and finish.

Check out the video below to see it in action.


How Dark can I tint my windows in Illinois?

March 12, 2015

how-dark-window-tintingRecently, Ilinois’ law regarding window tinting changed to give Illinois residents the ability to tint their front driver’s and passenger’s side roll-down windows. As a result, there are several variations of the law that will now allow for various levels of window tinting.

The new law states that motorists can have 35% Visual Light Transmission (VLT) on all motor vehicle windows, except the front windshield, as long as no other window in the vehicle is tinted darker than 35%. If a vehicle’s factory, rear windows are tinted darker than 35%, state law indicates that a film of no darker than 50 percent may be applied to the front driver’s and passenger’s side roll-down windows. In addition, motorists can tint the rear windows any shade of their choice, if there’s no tinting on the front driver and passenger roll down windows. State law also mandates that the top of the front window can feature a strip of tint (known as an eyebrow) that is no greater than six inches from the top of the window.

We are excited about the recent changes in state law regarding window tinting. Not only can a 35% tint on all of a vehicle’s windows offer a very clean, luxurious look, it can also significantly reduce glare, heat and fading of the vehicle’s interior.

At Xclusive Autosound we carry only the finest tinting film on the market. All of our films are designed to block 100% of UV rays, helping to ensure that your car’s interior won’t fade, deteriorate or crack. We also carry special Xtreme, Ceramic and Drei films designed to block varying amounts of IR rays. No matter which film you choose, all of our films carry a lifetime warranty for as long as you own your vehicle. To find out how we can help you stylize and protect your car, give us a call today.

Learn more about our WINDOW TINTING services »


What kind of options do you offer for rear seat entertainment?

March 12, 2015

When it comes to rear seat entertainment, there are several different options on the market, but the most common are overhead and headrest monitors. And it’s your preferences that help determine the option that’s best for you and your family.

rear-seat-video-headrest-dvdFor those with a larger budget, headrest monitors with dual DVD players can be a good choice. Dual players give passengers the ability to play different DVDs in each headrest, or play one DVD on both screens. Passengers also have the ability to listen to the DVD audio through the vehicle radio or via wireless IR headphones. Screen sizes for headrest monitors vary from 7-10”. Because headrest monitors are viewed just two feet from the eyes, pixel pitch and resolution tend to be more important than size. As such, the 7” size is recommended. The smaller size also tends to blend better with the aesthetics of most vehicles. During installation, we will color match the headrest to the interior of the vehicle, paying special attention to the exact stitching, grain and piping of the OEM seat.

flip-down-video-playerThose in search of a more economical rear seat entertainment option may want to consider overhead (flip down) monitors. These are also a great option for individuals with vehicles that feature multiple rows of seating. At Xclusive Autosound, we carry only the highest-quality overhead monitors that are designed to stand up to the normal wear and tear associated with opening and closing. The most commonly purchased sizes for overhead monitors is 10.4” to 12,” but models up to 24” are available. As with headrest monitors, passengers have the ability to listen to the DVD audio through the vehicle radio or via wireless IR headphones. During installation, we restructure your headliner to make sure the screen has a solid surface to mount to, rather than screwing the screen into the headliner. This is very important, as proper installation ensures that the monitor won’t become disconnected from the headliner.


Why should I get an aftermarket remote start?

March 12, 2015

Here are some of the best reasons to install a aftermarket remote start into your car, van or truck:

compustar-pro-series-901-remoteIf you’re tired of shivering in your car on freezing winter mornings and sweating as you wait for the AC to cool on scorching summer afternoons, then a remote starter is for you. Remote starters are probably one of the most pleasurable items you could ever buy for your vehicle. And, they have come a long way, in terms of range, connectivity and reliability, since they first broke onto the market in the early 1990s.

Today’s remote starters boast a variety of incredible features including GPS tracking capabilities and technology that allows drivers to lock and unlock their cars, just by walking up to them. Modern remote starters also feature a wider range of remote control options than ever before, and we carry more of those options than any other retailer in the Midwest. Our remote controls offer real world range that allows you to start your car from 800 feet away, one-mile away, or from across the country.

Current remote controls come in one-way and two-way models. One-way remote controls send signals to the vehicle only, while two-way remote controls send signals to the car and then back from the car to the remote, confirming that the actions requested were accepted. This can be an important feature if your vehicle is tucked away in a parking garage at work, or if the car is parked on the opposite side of a restaurant from where you’re seated. No matter where you are, two-way remote controls ensure that you always know the status of your car.

Through telematic modules, new remote technology also allows drivers to to use their cell phones to control their vehicles, and also track their cars using GPS capabilities.

An upgrade to an aftermarket remote starter provides a wide range of options not available in factory systems, including selectable engine run times, start timers, quick stop modes, turbo timers, extended range, ignition locks, defroster control, window control, accelerometer, temperature readings ability, and many others.


Can you upgrade my non double din radio to a double din?

February 6, 2015

stock-corvette-dashAbsolutely! Custom car audio installs are what we’re known for, and we do them better than any of our competitors.

We are committed to taking the time to make sure every job we do is done well and will last the lifetime of the vehicle. During every installation, we weld the cutout areas with appropriate plastic – HDPE, PPE, or ABS. We then fill the area with molten plastic and use just enough filler to cover up pin holes and imperfections in the molded plastic. Unlike our competitors, we never use superglue or Bondo on plastic. That’s because we know that temperature changes make fiberglass-based fillers, like Bondo, crack off of the plastic every single time. With 18 years of installation experience, we know what works, and we get the job done right the first time.

Double-din-conversionNot only do we make sure the install looks good from the outside, we will also fabricate a mounting bracket for your radio so it can be removed and replaced as many times as needed, just like an OEM radio. We can also relocate radios and hide radios, using motorized panels. Basically, if you can dream it up, we can build it.

Learn more about our CAR AUDIO services »