Welcome to the photo galleries of Fhrx Studios. For nearly twenty five years now we've been photographically documenting every aspect of our work, from commencement to completion. Within these pages you'll find many photos of our demonstration cars and many photos of our work - both behind the scenes and the final product. There are also photos of cars from years gone by, photos of some of the shocking installation work we've diagnosed and repaired and last but not least; you'll find photos aplenty of Lamborghinis as Lamborghini Sydney is one of the many dealers whom we undertake various work for - everything from simple parking sensors to entire system builds. There are many images within these galleries so please be patient while they load. To hasten loading times we've thumbnailed each photo. When viewing the images from yesteryear and taking a trip down memory lane, please accept our apologies for the size and quality of some of them - there were no digital cameras back then. Many of these historical images have been scanned, some even from negative film.
Concept & Design Proofs
All custom system installations undertaken by Fhrx Studios are first committed either to paper in the form of concept art, or computer in the form of a CAD design. These are then presented to the customer for approval, thereby giving everyone involved a clear display of what the install is to look like before any building is commenced. There would be nothing worse than building an entire system and then finding at the end of the exercise that although the owner appreciates the work that has gone into it, it's not at all what he wanted.
Source Unit Wiring
There is a right way and a wrong way to wire up source units. We usually soldered and heat shrunk all cables and then tie them into three distinct looms (being power bunch, speaker bunch and unused bunch). This method allows the viewer to quickly and easily identify which cables are which without having to peel back messy tape - tape that will put glue residue over everything and start losing its stickiness after a short period anyway. This often leads to bear wires being exposed which are not good in anyone's book.
When it comes to the termination of cables, whether it's just a bare end going into a fuse holder, distribution block or amplifier terminal block, or if they're being terminated with a ring or fork terminal; they should be coated with solder and where possible covered with heat shrink or jacket. On a bare cable end the solder not only holds the individual strands together to avoids flaying, the soft solder also gives grub screws something to bite into meaning the cables cannot come out of the female block they're connected too. Remember it only takes one single strand of wire to create an annoying short. If you're terminating with a ring or fork, then filling it with solder once it's crimped simply means the whole affair is welded together solid and has little chance of it ever coming apart.
When running aftermarket cables they should ultimately be run with the factory looms at all times as it is generally considered the safest places for cables to run - car manufactures perform copious amounts of research finding the safest place for cables to run so why not make use of their investment? Running larger cables with factory looms is not an easy task but with a fair amount of patience it can be done. Every now and then we come across areas where no existing cables lie. During these times the cable runs must be tied and deadened down every couple of inches to avoid any possible wandering. One thing you should not be doing is just lifting the carpet and stuffing them under there in the hope that no one ever goes looking for them. Doing this tends to lend itself to shorts and similar problems.
Fuse Holder Mounting
When it comes to Fuse holders, we always manufacture a bracket to hold them as opposed to simply drilling a few self-tappers into the shock tower or firewall like we often see others do. Not only do plates look much better, they're also far safer, offer easier access and avoid any damage to the customer's car which is irreversible if they chose to remove the system.
When mounting amplifiers, processors and other hardware, you should never just throw a few self-tappers into the floor of the cars as not only will you be damaging the customer's car, you'll also be exposing the floor to possible water damage such as rust and mold. Therefore we tend to manufacture racks and other mounting systems. Once these components are secured cables must be neatly run to them and secured, they should never just be left in a pile next to the hardware.
Sound Deadening & Diffusion Tiles
Ever heard of a radio studio, television studio or recording studio without deadening? Maybe you've seen a movie cinema with carpet on the walls? Starting to notice a pattern? Even on cheapest of speakers including the factory ones will benefit immensely from sound deadening on the inner and outer surface of panels, giving you much stronger midbass and midrange without resonation. Following this we install a sound diffusion matt; this is placed directly under the speakers to prevent wave reflection. Just make sure that when you're having you doors deadening, you're getting your entire doors deadened.
Enclosure Sound Deadening
Our subwoofer enclosures don't miss out on the deadening treatment either. After they've been sealed we paint the inside walls of all enclosures with a special acoustic deadening paint. This helps to eradicate the resonant 'ring' that enclosures tend to have and makes them stronger overall.
Individual Power Runs
As nice as a single titanic sized power cable might look; many of our systems instead employ completely separate power runs in order to deliver high levels of current to each amplifier individually. There're several reasons for doing this; the main one being that if something goes wrong only one fuse blows, thus leaving your other amplifiers still running and safe. For the separate power runs intrinsically eliminate the risk of adjoining amplifiers being damaged in the case of a catastrophic malfunction.
Another important aspect of installing is the covering of cars parts and panels when working on them. This is constantly overlooked by shops everywhere and it only takes a single negligent act to scratch or even damage a panel. Fhrx Studios always covers fenders, seats, dashes and even entire cars if need be when working on them to ensure your ride stays safe right throughout the installation process. Even when testing for rattles, hands are protected from scratching the body.
Ultra Violet Combat
One of the main enemies of speaker surrounds is ultra-violet light. Yes simple sunlight will completely destroy speakers given time and therefore any speakers likely to see a lot of sunlight such as dash and parcel shelf mounted drivers receive our special treatment. Well it's not actually all that special - we simply install a small piece of speaker grille cloth over the speaker face and this serves to keep the suns damaging rays off the surrounds, hopefully prolonging the speakers working life by years.
Speaker Terminal Connections
When installing speakers one thing you absolutely must ensure is that the terminals are well connected and protected from the elements. We tend to solder all terminals where possible here rather than use crimp terminals because their favourite two traits are falling off and building resistance. Once the terminal has been soldered a simple piece of heatshrink over the whole affair could prevent a possible future shorting disaster down the track.
When running cables anywhere in a vehicle where metal edges are going to be passed, grommets should always be employed. Whether it's through a firewall or through the cars chassis rails under the carpet and out of sight, grommets will prevent the cables rubbing through and eventually shorting out over time which could be fatal. This also includes when you're running cables out to the door mounted speakers. Another issue that could be faced is that as the cables shielding slowly strips away you'll get intermittent shorts as the car bounces around - this will drive you mad long before the main fuse blows.
Earthing Upgrades (Smaller Systems)
The issue being addressed in the photos below is the upgrading of the earth cable. If the connection between the battery and body are not upgraded to equal or exceed the main stereo power cable, then current will not return to the battery, thus making your massive power cable near useless in delivering current to the amplifiers. More often than not though it's the point where the earth is attached that creates the bottleneck, not the cable itself. This is where multiple earth runs come in. For larger systems you should use a dedicated earthing kit (q.v.) but for smaller systems double or triple earthing is adequate. These earths should also run to factory bolts just to avoid drilling any holes and damaging any cars.
Earthing Upgrades (Larger Systems)
With engineering technology in modern cars getting more and more advanced one aspect that tends to get overlooked by many manufacturers is the over-engineering of the grounding system. They basically provide and earthing system just large enough to handle the factory electrical demands and nothing more. This is even more evident when you add a massive audio / visual system. With this is mind we generally recommend a full earthing kit for the vehicles that receive larger systems as opposed to a few simple earthing upgrades as these kits allow for titanic amounts of current to flow through the cars body which is a must for big systems.
Mounting Baffles & Midranges
When mounting baffles and speakers many people tend to overlook one of the simplest laws of nature; element path. For subbass and midbass to be strong and punchy we need one side of the speaker to remain completely sealed to the other side. This is because when the cone moves suddenly it creates a high pressure cell on one side of the cone while a low pressure cell is created on the other side. Getting back to the law of nature; like water, air also takes the easiest path. This means unless you have sealed your baffles into your door and installed a gasket around your speaker, your air (and bass) simply disappears through the air gap around to the other side. The other main reason for creating a custom baffle is so the speaker mounts via the factory holes and prevents the need to drill metal.
When mounting crossovers out of sight remember that those little terminals are all live and uncovered on many a crossover design. Therefore we tend to wrap each crossover carefully with carpet, plastic or insulation depending on the application; before placing them out of harm's way. When actually securing crossovers we usually just deaden them down; firstly so we're not drilling any holes in your door and secondly so we don't risk bending the comparatively thin circuit boards within. Numerous times we've seen systems have shorts caused by bent crossovers due to over-tightening. Nor should they ever just be stuffed into the bottom of the door. The lower section of your door features multiple drain holes for good reason; you'd be amazed how much water accumulates there during heavy rain.
This is what doors look like when they're done here. From the sound deadening on both inner and outer skin and diffusion tiles placed behind the speakers through to the completely custom made and sealed baffles and gasketed speakers, everything must be thoroughly and meticulously detailed in order to achieve the best possible sound from the drivers. Even doing this door treatment to factory speakers makes them come alive!
Despite their diminutive size, tweeters are actually one of the most important parts of any system as they play much of the information range of frequencies our ears are most sensitive to. This is especially true in a two-way component set. Therefore their placement and angling is extremely important. When physically mounting tweeters in installs where there are no custom panels the tweeters should have their own mounting arm or bridge allowing them to screw into the factory holes without compromising anything within the vehicles interior.
When it comes to the mounting of subwoofers and the design of enclosures we've been there, seen it all and done nearly all of it too. We mount subwoofers free-air; we mount them in sealed, ported and band pass enclosures. Hell; we even delve into the wonderful but weird world of rare porting techniques utilising labyrinths, folded horns and even more bizarre porting layouts. We sometimes mount them facing in, sometimes facing out. In any case though; you can be assured your subbass will sound the best it possibly can here.
Under Shelf Racks
We tend to create and install a lot of under shelf mount amplifier racks. Again; it is very important that the brackets holding these are made to sit on top of the parcel shelf. These then allow us to screw into them (through the many small holes found in most parcel shelfs) rather than drilling self-tappers into your shelf. It takes little fiddling around to get them straight but it's better than damaging your car.
Tight Edge Contouring Tolerances
There is nothing worse than sloppy fitting panels. When making custom panels and contouring them, we maintain they must retain gaps of under 1mm on all edges. Loosely fitting panels not only look bad, but often become dislodged over time. Making the panels to fit is not rocket science however it can take a long time and many attempts; time and care that Fhrx Studios is happy to put in so your install looks like it belongs there as opposed to an afterthought.
Tight Construction Tolerances
Construction is one area where many people let themselves down. Accuracy and tight tolerances are an absolute must when creating a speaker baffles, panels, mounts and enclosures. All Fhrx Studios creations are almost completely airtight from the first cut, well before any sealer or deadening has been applied inside and out; and one should never be able to see sunlight through an edge gap. When it comes to aligning and joining panels precisely we regularly employ lasers to ensure everything is aligned meticulously. Materiel wise our creations are normally made from structural or marine ply for the simpler designs, and fibreglass for the more complex shapes. That said we've made objects from more exotic materials over the years; everything from Kevlar and multi-panel through to porcelain and even one from marble. In short these items should never be made from cheap or inferior materials.
Cannot spot the subwoofer enclosure in these photos? Neither can thieves! Fhrx Studios not only specialise in big, bright and showy installs but also stealth ones that are far removed from prying eyes. Hidden systems and stealth enclosures are fast becoming more and more desirable these days with crime on the increase and this will remain the case until we're legally allowed to shoot thieves. So if you have a showy install full of two-pac and lights and are concerned about who might be watching next time you open your car, perhaps it's time to think about hiding it all?
Source unit looms are not the only looms that need to be neat and tidy for looks and safely. Many alarms run into all kinds of problems due to wiring going simply everywhere. We tend to tie each alarm item separately and then hide them securely away somewhere making them very hard to find. You should never just tie all the excess cable up and stuff it under the dash in the hope that no one ever looks under there.
Alarm Hardware Mounting
When it comes to the physical mounting of alarms, we follow the same stringent procedures as we do when mounting other accessories such as fuse holders (q.v.). This means no cutting or drilling of metal to hold the components, especially under the bonnet where trigger switches and sirens are often just self- tapped in to accommodate an often rushed installation.
Reverse cameras don't escape the custom mounting treatment either. We quite often weld up custom brackets to hold reverse cameras in place from factory screw locations. Utilising this methodology we again avoid drilling any holes in your car. Additionally; upon the sale of the car, the camera can go into your new vehicle and everything returned completely to factory.
Source Unit Installation
Posting up photos of dash installs might seem a little boring as every shop in the country installs source units however if you look closely you'll notice ours deck installs are just a little different in that we don't just settle for an off-the-shelf dash kit. We actually make many small and subtle modifications to the various mounting kits we install do make the source units look at home. If this cannot be done we even sometimes just make our own dash kit completely from scratch to make source units look factory fitted.
Gauge pods, controller pods and general pods to hold all matter of gadgets are another thing we're constantly asked to manufacture here at the workshop. We generally make them from fibreglass but from time to time utilise much more exotic materials. So if you have a swag of gauges you need a mounting plate manufactured for, feel free to contact us!
Twin Source Units
Many cars have a fully integrated source that compliments the lines of the dashboard. Fitting an aftermarket radio in can be difficult. There are various ways to get around this including the utilization of dash kits however due to the relatively high cost of this option some people just choose to simply leave the factory head unit in place and add a totally separate aftermarket source unit near it. Utilising this method requires some creative wiring to protect the factory unit but it can be done.
Dual Battery Systems
Our dual battery systems are not only used in cars with large audio / visual systems. Many off-road enthusiasts, rally drivers, emergency workers, outback tourers and tradesmen also employ dual battery systems too in their associated vehicles. With either an automated or switchable isolation system that allows one battery to be used for worksite or campsite duties while the other is kept charged to ensure the car starts when needed.
System Tuning & Component Analysis
The more processing abilities a system has the better we can tune it to sound, and even the most modest of system's will still possess basic tuning abilities. This is conducive to us carefully testing, measuring and evaluating various aspects of not only the components themselves but the entire install overall; thus allowing us to obtain the best possible sound from it. The same can be said for high end installations too. No matter what the price tag one cannot simply plug everything in and push the vehicle out the door. The laws of physics care nothing for price tags. Once any system is installed, regardless of price; there are sonic anomalies and audio phenomenon aplenty to overcome. We defeat these issues not only with our experience and ears but also using all matter of instruments such as real time analysers, oscilloscopes, dB meters, software simulators, CAD programs and many more.
Checks, Images & Videos
Upon the commencement of each install we run through everything on the car from how many kilometres it's done and how much fuel is on board through to going over each and every little blemish on the interior and exterior. Upon the conclusion of the install, we give each customer a CD, DVD or memory stick containing all digital photos and videos, letting them see the build-up process and how their install came about. This also helps them if they wish to make small changes to their system as they can see where all the components are placed and where all the cables run too.