27 November 2012
|The Doctor Is In: Scott Buwalda's 2003 Infiniti G35|
The midbass drivers are mounted to thick steel baffles in the footwell area. Attached to the car using a mixture of fiberglass, cabosil and chop matte, these baffles help reduce any tactile resonance. Each speaker is hidden in a custom perforated grill installed into the factory kick panel. Metal behind the speaker was removed to allow adequate airspace to breathe and provide proper low frequency extension. A large vent was then cut into each wheel arch to displace any back pressure outside the vehicle.
The four Imagine 6.5-inch subwoofers (yes, Buwalda uses 6.5-inch subs!) are mounted in a sixth-order bandpass subwoofer enclosure. Each pair of drivers plays into a common ported chamber which is vented into the interior of the vehicle by a lexan tube through the rear seat pass-through. Buwalda notes that the ¼ wave of the sub propagates perfectly at the windshield of the vehicle, giving the illusion that the bass is coming from the windshield, and not the trunk.
In the dash of the car, the McIntosh MCD5000 head unit is mounted in a JDM 2-DIN dash bezel. Touted as the finest deck ever made, it has been extensively reworked by JK Laboratories to match the interior lighting, function with the OEM steering wheel controls, and improve components throughout the audio path. Underneath the head unit is a McIntosh MPM4000 analog power meter which monitors the power to the Legatia L3SEs. This allows real-time monitoring of the small-diameter full-range drivers, important for system longevity, since a 750-watt amplifier is strapped to each mid.
In the trunk of the G35, the sixth-order subwoofer enclosure is the centerpiece of the design. Lexan windows allow you to see the inner workings of the enclosure. A custom carpet covers the floor, and removing it exposes the two-tier JL Audio amplifiers and a custom power distribution system in the tire well. On the back wall, the Bit-Zero “Franken Processor” is surrounded by fiberglass panels covered in matching vinyl.
Buwalda prides himself on the attention to detail. He has actually torn his car apart at IASCA competitions to show the judge’s first-hand the detail in system. All the wiring in the system is wrapped with expanding nylon braids and terminated in heat shrink tubing. A look at the midrange mounts show the mounting hardware is perfectly perpendicular to the driver edge. All the vinyl in the car is from the same dye lot for a perfect match. Hard surfaces were crafted to replicate the OEM surfaces, and Buwalda even claims to know the type, size and pitch of all the hardware used in the system. Impressive to say the least.
I was fortunate enough to listen to the car at the 2012 CES show in Las Vegas. Putting that experience into words is isn’t easy, and doesn’t do the car any justice. It obviously sounded excellent. But what stood out was the depth of the soundstage. It extended out past the windshield, making the performance that much more realistic. The midrange was smooth and very natural. The midbass was tight and fast, and the bass seemed to come from the soundstage itself – a sign of a great design and lack of unwanted harmonic content. It was an awesome experience that will stand as one of the top two or three systems I have ever heard.
Buwalda has won the IASCA Expert Solo championship four times with the G35, but said his competition days with it have come to an end. He retires with a record ten IASCA North American Championships under his belt, said he will spend his days cruising in a ’09 BMW 535i x-Drive. But given his 25-year involvement in competitions we can never completely classify him as ‘retired.’
He told us he recently sold the car to another competitor, who plans on continuing its legacy of domination. Word has it that ECU electronics have already been manipulated and a methanol injection system has been installed, and wheels, tires, and suspension are also on order. Maybe we’ll see the car grace the pages of Performance Auto & Sound Magazine next January - after all, it does seem to be a yearly occurrence! Given the work he’s already done with the car, when the Doctor works his craft, we can only imagine what will happen with the new machine. We wait with bated anticipation!
Vehicle: 2003 Infiniti G35
Owner: Scott Buwalda
Horsepower: 300 hp
Torque: 270 lb-ft
Jim Wolf air filter and intake
Z33 charge pipe
Z1 Motorsports plenum intake manifold spacer
JDM battery cover, JDM engine topper/cover
GReddy exhaust and exhaust tips
Z1 Motorsports (header, up-pipe, down-pipe, y-pipe and cat)
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
BC Racing Suspension coilovers
Circuit Sports (rear traction rods, rear camber arms, rear toe arms, front camber adjustment arms)
WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES
Forgeline ZX3R Wheels - 19 X 9.5 (f), 19 X 10.5 (r)
Hankook Ventus V12 Evo Tires - 275/35 R19 (f), 305/30 R19 (r)
Wilwood Big Brake Kit (14.1-inch two-piece drilled and slotted rotors with six-piston calipers (f), 13.1-inch two-piece drilled and slotted rotors with four-piston calipers (r) and braided lines)
Super Blue brake fluid
Painted OEM (side skirts/valence, front & rear bumper)
Custom machined front grille
JDM-spec black housing lights with dual projector HID assembly
2005 specification trunk lid
JDM dashboard cluster for double-DIN radio
Single dye-lot vinyl of consistent color and grain as OEM upholstery.
JDM-spec. Nissan Skyline V35 steering wheel and airbag
JDM front corner markers
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS
McIntosh MX5000 head unit
Hybrid Audio Technologies (Legatia L8SE 8.85-inch Wide-Bandwidth Midrange/Midbass, Legatia L3SE 3.7-inch Wide-Bandwidth Midrange/Full-Range, Imagine I6SW 6.5-inch Subwoofer (x4), Bit-Zero (Started life as an Audison Bit-One))
JL Audio 750/1 Amplification (x6)
Alarm DEI Viper with remote start, windows up/down, door locks, trunk release
V-Power 12/16 V racing battery
Fuse box Custom
Hybrid Audio Technologies, JL Audio, JK Laboratories, Mothers Polishes and Waxes, and Forgeline.