Home » Bose’s Solution For Big Bass Sound In The FD Mazda RX-7 Looked Disturbingly Like Your Guts

Bose’s Solution For Big Bass Sound In The FD Mazda RX-7 Looked Disturbingly Like Your Guts

Rx7 Baseguts
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Recently, our own now-recovering Jason Torchinsky wrote a little bit about his near-death experience with very graphic medical illustrations of what happened, as well as a rather too-graphic written description of loss of control of his lower gastrointestinal system. The above image would appear to be a continuation of Torch’s story but is, in fact, not a human body part and instead an automobile component.

Starting in the late eighties, car manufacturers were all about that bass- the best way to translate that 808-generated sound into your vehicle. Bose started with the system used in the C4 Corvette, which was used almost verbatim in other General Motors luxury cars (and our 1990 Z32, which included a “center channel” below the head unit). The Bass Wars was officially on, with JBL getting into the mix with systems like the one in my crappy 200,000 mile Town Car which actually sounded like some dude in the trunk with a baseball bat against the rear seat back. Bose could not sit on their laurels.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

For home use, Bose had developed something called the Acoustic Wave “Bass Cannon” which sounds at first like something designed to shoot fish great distances but is in fact a long tube that Bose discovered would be the best way to deliver maximum ground pounding.

Bose Bass Cannon 12 26
Bose

This is a cool idea, but somehow a giant tube like that was not going to work in a car, especially a small car like the FD Mazda RX-7 that Bose was tasked with making a sound system for in the early nineties.

Fd Rx7 12 26
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The solution Bose came up with was the same as how the human body deals with twenty-something feet of small intestines and five feet of large intestine; a twisted, convoluted tubing shape that snaked around the inside edge of the RX-7’s cargo space. The shape created the equivalent length of the bass cannon, though it did still take up a lot of trunk space and, jeez, just look at it.

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Fd Rx7 Back 2
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In fact, it looked EXACTLY like a human colon if we’re being honest.

Intestine Image 12 26
Wikipedia

 

There are holes in the rear cargo cover when this Loch Ness monster pokes its heads to give you bass mechanics the thump you need. Googly eyes would look good mounted on the ends.

Fd Speakers 12 26
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Honestly, most low frequency fans took a simpler approach and just mounted foot-and-a-half diameter Cerwin Vega subs into fiberboard boxes where the rear seats would be on foreign market models and let that do the trick. That’s what I would have done back in the day- wouldn’t you?

Sorry, I couldn’t catch your answer; I’ve been having problems with my hearing recently. I’n not sure what’s caused this.

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Logan King
Logan King
4 months ago

As the article mentions, I feel like it would have been a lot easier and just as effective to just put a shaped sub enclosure in the package shelf cubbies where the rear seats were in the JDM FD3S. I did basically exactly that in my C4 (a car that is about the same size and probably has even less room in it) when I ripped all of the Bose stuff out of it and it sounds far better and doesn’t take up half of its main cargo area.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
4 months ago

I learned to get better with my carpentry building subwoofer boxes for my 89 XJ and my 99 Tacoma. Fun times. I now have a permanent tweeter in my ears called Tinnitus.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
4 months ago

Circus Warp used to have a massive pile of bass cannons they’d made out of, uhhh, ‘liberated’ yellow gas main pipes and woofer cones that they’d have in a big jumbled stack out front of their sound system at parties back in the day. Some of these things were 10 feet long and 2 feet wide and they packed a punch, alright. Aaaaah, the 90s…

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
4 months ago

Obviously the thing to listen to in the RX-7 are Borborygmus recordings.
By the way, it is truly remarkable how many bands are named Borborygmus or Borbetomagus , anyway any of the Borborygmi on this.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
4 months ago

It may be intrusive, but it is still better than what they did on my peterbilt. I have a 12 inch sub in the cargo compartment under the bed in the sleeper. Not only does it take up valuable room for tools and fluids, but the only way you hear bass from it is if you are laying in bed. And if I am in bed, I’m not listening to music. So yeah, at least the mazda bose has a reason to exist.

Last edited 4 months ago by Lizardman in a human suit
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
4 months ago

I may or may not have waited too long to eat that fish.

Soooooo, I feel you, RX-7.

Ron888
Ron888
4 months ago

This remeinds me of something similar but different. Didnt one car have special tubing running from the intake to the firewall to enhance engine sounds?Maybe one of the Miata models?

Chemodalius
Chemodalius
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I think they’re far from the only car that has it, but you’re probably thinking of the sound tube on some trims of ND Miata. It runs from the intake to the firewall and a fair number of people remove them either because they don’t like the sound or Miata owners being Miata owners, “weight-savings”.

I still have mine, but every so often I think of at least disconnecting it to see if I can hear a difference. (you have to get a different fitting at the engine end though)

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
4 months ago
Reply to  Chemodalius

The exact opposite of a sound enhancement from an mx5 is what bmw crammed into my r53. If I count correctly the intake on my mini makes 3 90* turns and 1 180* before it makes it to the filter, then another 180 through the filter followed by another 90 and a 45 before it gets to the throttle body.

All of that to quiet the intake and supercharger sounds. It makes the r53 one of the few cars that a cold air intake kit actually does what it says on the box because it replaces all of that with a box that takes air from the high pressure in front of the windshield (the mini is terrible aerodynamically so that is a very high pressure spot) and puts it through a filter then a single simple turn straight into the throttle body. Much better sound, and an actually measurable increase in power.

Ron888
Ron888
4 months ago
Reply to  Chemodalius

Yes that would be it.
I must try to experience it someday.I’m curious where it sits on the spectrum between full-on superbike roar or annoying drone

Last edited 4 months ago by Ron888
Mthew_M
Mthew_M
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I believe you’re referencing the ‘noise pipe’ that VW added to the 2.0T Mk5 GTI to try to ‘enhance’ the sound, since it was ahem, ‘a bit’ disappointing compared to the VR6.

AlterId
AlterId
4 months ago

Entrails of Bass

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago

I used a 300W bridged Alpine amp and an 18″ ported JBL subwoofer out of a defunct Dolby movie theatre but hey a colon works too.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
4 months ago

A kind of bass reflex design known as bass peristalsis

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
4 months ago

This is it. Irrefutable evidence that the mysterious anonymous car designer known as The Bishop and Jason Torchinsky are one and the same person. The clues have been accumulating:

* cold starts somehow uninterrupted in spite of Jason’s incident
* references to body parts and/or functions in articles
* broad and deep knowledge of automotive design arcana
* Jason’s slow descent into madness due to lead acid battery dust inhalation

Wake up, people!!1!

PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
4 months ago

I have believed for a while that Torch and the Bishop are the same person. However , he references owning a 1990s Nissan 300zx and a Lincoln Town Car. Neither of these are air cooled VWs or Chinese mobility scooters with roofs and doors. It cannot be the Torch.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
4 months ago
Reply to  PajeroPilot

It wouldn’t be the first or the last perfidious lie told in the name of maintaining cover.

The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
4 months ago

Multiple personality disorder… Personalities are the same, only the cars are different. 🙂 Let’s ask David if he ever saw them in a room together

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
4 months ago

“It’s not a lie, if you believe it”
-George Costanza

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Wait. This is the first I’m hearing of a W126?

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
4 months ago
Reply to  PajeroPilot

Ahhh, classic misdirection.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
4 months ago

You really feel the base. Especially after Taco Tuesday

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
4 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

Bace. Bayce. Baess.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
4 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

Buttery Biscuit Bass.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=IfeyUGZt8nk&pp=ygUUYnV0dGVyeSBiaXNjdWl0IGJhc3M

Last edited 4 months ago by Gilbert Wham
PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
4 months ago

If this is a bass bowel, the bits protruding though the cargo cover are bass colostomies.

Zipn Zipn
Zipn Zipn
4 months ago

Looks like a basic transmission line for bass. If so, it’s nothing new and Blose (sic but seems appropriate) didn’t invent it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_line_loudspeaker

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
4 months ago

Years ago I had to do some disassembly on the back of one of my husband’s FDs. Basically to get to the relocated battery you have to disassemble a crap ton of the back. I was totally wondering what all was going on with that stuff ????

10001010
10001010
4 months ago

I remember seeing these in the showroom back in the day and the sales guys were definitely showing off the Bose guts in the trunk and the holes drilled into the pedals for lightness. They both seemed futuristic back in the early 90s.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
4 months ago

Had a single 10″ JL sub in a narrow angle box behind the drivers seat in my standard cab S10 in high school and it was damn near perfect.

Years later in a 94 Cherokee I found a 10″ box from subthump that went in the useless cargo cubby on the right side of the trunk.

Both seemed less intrusive and more useful than this.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Tons of cars come factory with the spare tire sub, including my grandma’s Buick Encore.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

As I mentioned above I had an 18″ ported JBL sub out of a movie theatre. That was quite obtrusive. It took up the entire cargo area of my XJ.

I eventually woke up and replaced that monstrosity with a 10″ Infinity driver mounted into my spare tire adapted as an acoustic suspension box. It actually worked quite well. With the spare cover on it was undetectable and took up no room. It took a bit to disassemble but the spare was still usable as a spare should the need arise.

I like your solution better though.

Querty
Querty
4 months ago

Gotta say this Bose system sounds like sh*t

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Querty

Not surprised. I was in the audio/video industry in the 2000s. It was the insiders joke on how Bose stuff sounded like shit, but they did a hell of a job marketing it. Consumers who didn’t know the difference would be enthralled by the performance of Bose speakers, when they were generally marginal, at best.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ariel E Jones
JumboG
JumboG
4 months ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

And they are a pain in the ass to replace because they use a different impedance than ‘normal’ car stereo speakers.

Anakin876
Anakin876
4 months ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

The folks at the Audio Video contractor I worked at the the 90s always sad “No highs, no lows, just Bose.”

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Anakin876

Yep. They always had goofy marketing shit like “Waveguide”. Uh huh. Everyone else just calls that ported. The stuff that really mattered like driver quality, amplifier power etc. wasn’t mentioned. The worst offender was Monster Cable. I feel like the rest of the industry held them in grudging respect for how incredibly ridiculous they managed to market their over priced wire and have consumers go for it. We tried to distribute another brand called Ixos and realized the hard way that Monster had like 90+% of the wire market through aggressive and successful marketing. Consumers knew one thing when it came to wire, Monster. Otherwise they’d look at cables like they simply wouldn’t work. Amazing.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
4 months ago

Yes, but can it produce the Brown Note?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_note?wprov=sfti1

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
4 months ago

Now every time I see one (which isn’t often) I’ll be looking for those little turrets on the package cover.

Carl Nichols
Carl Nichols
4 months ago

I feel like there was a similar option on the first generation Olds Aurora.

VanGuy
VanGuy
4 months ago

Honestly not a bad design IMO.

Meanwhile, in my Prius v I just have a tiny subwoofer (Infinity Basslink Mini) under the passenger seat, and I’m planning to give it a mate under the driver’s seat…basically the only useless available spaces left in the car.

I don’t know why (especially because I don’t consider myself an audiophile), but I much prefer the sound of bass coming from dedicated woofers rather than the door speakers.
The door speakers are otherwise stock and I think it sounds nicer split up that way.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Sparko made some surprisingly good 6x9s that could really take some abuse and pump up the jam. I had a really cheap 300w Class D attached to a pair back in the ’80s that would truly crank without breaking up. Rear deck of a ’70s GM A-Body. Good times.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

At 10% THD, but yeah, they got loud.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago

Tuned-Port Excretion!

Are you an audiophile? Serious question.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

What’d you say?

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
4 months ago
Reply to  The Bishop

Gotta have the best for listening to TheAutopian podcast!!!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
4 months ago

Now we know how Bose made the sausage.

Chronometric
Chronometric
4 months ago

If I had one of those RX7s I would disembowel it.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
4 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

So good.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
4 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

It takes a lot of guts to do that to such a nice car.

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