A long-time friend of the Pinnacle Autosound owner recently came by to see about upgrading the audio system in his Polaris General 1000. After talking a bit with the staff at Pinnacle Autosound they determined what he needed were some serious upgrades. Not only did the General need to have plenty of volume, it also needed to be able to stand up to extreme abuse. The Pinnacle Autosound team was up to the task and the client scheduled a time to drop off the General.
JL Audio Media Master
Our go-to powersports audio source for side-by-sides and golf carts is the JL Audio MBT-CRXv2. The unit is a small, round controller that features Bluetooth connectivity and front mounted buttons for source control. The client wanted something with a few more bells and whistles for his General, though. The radio for him was the JL Audio MediaMaster MM100s-BE. This radio features multiple zone control, a color screen and numerous tone adjustments for each zone. All of the gear we would be installing could be controlled easily from the driver’s seat thanks to the new radio.
To integrate the radio in the dash of the General, we had to fabricate a mounting plate. We chose to make the plate out of black HDPE plastic, because of its good looks and durable construction. The plate was machined on our Shapeoko CNC machine. In the blank space below the radio we used the CNC to pocket a space for a badge insert. We again called on our CNC to machine a red and white insert for the dash insert piece. This helps give the build a truly custom look.
To make sure this General sounded loud and clear at any speed, or any level above or below water, we needed lots of power. Our most rugged amplifiers are the JL Audio MX series powersports amplifiers. For this build we used a 4 channel 500/4 MX amplifier to power the speakers and two 500/1 MX amplifiers to power the two subwoofers. The mounting location we discussed with the client was under the front hood, where they would at least get a little bit of protection.
To mount the amplifiers we once again called on the use of HDPE plastic. We hand machined a piece of HDPE that would fit under the hood and give the proper clearances for factory items also located there. The plate would hold the three amplifiers as well as the power distribution block. As you can see from the photos, it was a tight fit to get all three amplifiers under there. We secured the mounting plate and amplifiers with stainless steel hardware for long service life. All of the wiring was neatly routed and secured in a way that would allow for easy servicing, if needed, later in time.
Speaker System for Polaris Audio
One of the things that we were excited about in this project was getting to use the brand new JL Audio M6 series marine speakers. This was our first vehicle to feature them, and they did not disappoint! To maximize the audio output in the front of the Polaris General we installed two pair of the M6 6.5″ coaxials in the front console area. The space we chose was normally just an open cavity. To mount the speakers we machined two 1/2″ HDPE plates, one for each side. The plates were able to be bolted to the factory trim pieces using stainless steel hardware. We wired up the speakers using special all-weather, high-current connectors. The connectors would make it easy for the client to disassemble the system if he ever needed to go back and service any of the General.
An additional pair of M6 speakers were added to the rear of the General to help round out the sound for the rear passengers. These speakers were surface mounted to an existing flat part of the factory console panels. To help reinforce the mounting we cut out two 1/2″ HDPE reinforcement rings that mounted behind the speakers. This allowed the speakers to securely mount, and helped reduced unwanted flexing of the panel.
Subwoofers Bring Some Serious Bass
The final component of the Polaris audio upgrade was the subwoofer system. The client has the JL Audio Polaris Stealthbox in another one of his side-by-sides. For the General he wanted more output. After looking at the available spaces on the General, we determined that directly under the passenger and driver’s seats would be the idea spots for a pair of JL Audio Tw3 10″ subwoofers. Knowing the abuse and water that this Polaris would see, we knew the enclosures and mounting had to be very robust.
The enclosures were cut out of 3/4″ marine grade plywood, and then assembled using waterproof glue. We then rounded the edges of the enclosures and coated each enclosure with a saturated layer of 1.5oz fiberglass mat. When the fiberglass had cured, our next step was to spray each enclosure with a thick layer of SEM Rock-It Bedliner. The Rock-It spray is a two-part urethane textured coating that dries to form a very durable and great-looking surface.
Securing the enclosures to the underside of the General took quite a bit of time. Our fabricators had to switch hats once again, this time to metal working. One inch square tubing and One inch angle iron were used to fabricate the mounts for the subwoofer enclosures. The mounts were bolted to the frame work of the General with stainless hardware that threads into rivet nuts that we installed. The result were enclosures that were incredibly sturdy and we are sure the General is now even stronger thanks to the added support.
Great Audio Inside AND Outside this Polaris General
One of the things we were concerned with in this project was how low the speakers had to be mounted. Typically in a side-by-side we are mounting the speaker up higher, and many times to the roll cage. We knew the audio on the inside of the Polaris would sound great, but we weren’t sure how it would sound outside. When we finally tuned the system and cranked it up for the first time all our concerns were gone. The music was able to be heard loud and clear not only inside but also far away from the Polaris General. We were excited and knew the client would love his Polaris General audio upgrades!
Here at Pinnacle Autosound in Lake City, Florida, we love working on powersports vehicles. We stock plenty of stainless steel fasteners and plastics, that will hold up in any environment to ensure our installs last the life of our client’s vehicles. If you would like to find out about upgrading your side-by-side, golf cart or motorcycle audio, lighting or accessories give us a call or contact us here.