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Amy Slade’s Fairlady Z with Clarion, by Platinum In Car

Sometimes, I write about cars that may be their owner’s pride and joy but are nonetheless old heaps. And sometimes I get close to true show cars that are so posh they are not fit to drive every day. But this time, it was all about the Lady. Or rather the Fairlady as this Z is a FAIRLADY Z. It’s importado from Japan and it had all sorts of mad electronics on board when it arrived. It had MiniDisc and a satnav that knew it was a long ways from Kansas and kept asking Amy Slade, the owner, stuff in Japanese.

La Slade has been a mad petrol head as long as she can recall. A long time ago, she would show up at the Mean Street Cruise in Essex in a green hatchback she called Kermit that was very well turned out and would win stuff in the crowd-reaction determined ‘Best Dressed’ section.

A while later and she has grown up, gotten posher tastes and has been a stalwart on the show car and Nissan scenes for some time. Being an utter sweetie and appearing literally every possible place she could show her car, Amy came to the attention of the folks at Clarion. Their PR people hooked her up and Amy’s car was sent a long way from our native North London, to Coventry to the fitting bay of Lee Dunstan’s Platinum In Car.

Here, full door builds and a rear bulkhead installation were created to the highest quality, since Lee’s work wins sound offs. It has also helped Amy to scoop numerous Best Of Show awards and all sorts else. Her trophy cabinet is needing a rebuild!

The system is exactly as simple as the awesome-sounding one in Lee’s own Mercedes in essence.

Comprising a set of mid/tweet separate component loudspeakers in the doors and a single subwoofer. All running on one amplifier. In Lee’s Merc, each speaker has a channel of amplification of its own but in Amy’s Fairlady Z, we see a Clarion XC6610 six channel amp, that has been bridged to all three sets of channels, to run the WG2520 subwoofer and the front left and right SRP1725S loudspeakers at a phat 250w RMS apiece.

These sweet passive crossovers (that have also been made a feature of in the door builds) are like a traffic cop for sounds as the Americans say. It takes the whole musical signal and splits it up with coils of wire (inductors) and capacitors to send the highs to the tweeter and the lower tones to the bigger midbass driver. The bass tones are split off by the amplifier’s own built-in low pass ‘active’ crossover (it works at signal level inside the electronics, rather than being in the speaker wire and thus ‘passive’.)

The WG2520 subwoofer has a massively rigid metallic cone for best pistonic performance and so help me, Clarion woofers are vastly underestimated. This system made 157dB with 12 Clarions… http://www.talkaudio.co.uk/index.php/index.html/_/features/installations/clarions-las-vegas-12x12-isobaric-boomer-r583

The midbass drivers have cones woven of glass. This fabric has advantages similar to Carbon Fibre and Kevlar but less so, yet still makes the sound crisp and fast as the moving mass is low and the cone flexure is minimal. Glassfibre makes awesome speaker cones, simple rule. Yet at a cost so much lower than the exotic stuff that Clarion can still afford to use a solid metal phase plug in the centre of this speaker and not have it break your wallet.

The extensive work to make it all look so simple and housed would take a while to pen and would be more of a ‘how-to’ than a ‘look-see’, yet suffice it to say that the acoustic performance of these drivers has been optimised by building them into rigid enclosures with very solid front baffles. The trim quality is second to none and the factory look belies the hours of painstaking hand craftsmanship that has gone into the install by Mr. Dunstan.

But the pretty looks and solid craftsmanship are just the start, for Lee Dunstan has the rare Golden Ear syndrome. The tuning of the EQ and the settings of the gains and so forth are crucial and Lee wins contests for clients with how damn good his ears are.
He can tell.

I am going to have another hit of the Z at The Ace Cafe soon, so will make an SQ video of that, too but in the meanwhile, here is the full professional shoot byBlue feather Photography and a few shots of mine (way less cool) and the video material I made. I’ll even include some words from Spike to finish!

The system components are:
Headunit: Clarion NX505E brand new multi media flagship
Secondary screen from previous Clarion system, imported with car.
Amplifier: Clarion XC6610, running all bridged to supply 3 x250w RMS
Component Speakers: Clarion 16.5cm (6.5in) 2-way component system SRP1723S
Subwoofer: Clarion WG2520

First, off to the car wash….

Amy and her Lady

The behind-the-scenes photoshoot video. Starting at the car wash. At just over thirty seconds in, the poor wee lass emits a tiny squeak of “help!” as the camera starts to roll… bless her. Amy was a total star to work with.

Spike’s is way bigger than mine.

Awesome number plate

Rear facing witness cam

Front facing camera

And what they are protecting. This lovely rear bulkhead build..

..and these lovely doors of sweet sound.

This dashful of kit, too.

Fast Amy.


Meet Domo. I bit him when Amy wasn’t looking and Spike went BAM and papped it happening… Trouble is, when I did the gallery and showed her the link, she found the shot. Not good…

This is Lee Dunstan of Platinum In Car. http://www.platinumincar.co.uk/ The man who is beloved of Clarion. And Amy Slade. And Richard Salmon, superstar sound quality sound off contest winner. They all know he is the bizz and has ears of purest unalloyed GOLD!

The picture I got into trouble for… poor Domo.

Now, for true fans, the entire shoot in slideshow format. Simply click here to see the lot. http://www.talkaudio.co.uk/ipb/index.php/gallery/slideshow/album-505/ You can see how a professional photographer applies bracketing to offer a selection of exposures and see how Spike in turn tried tiny changes in angle on certain shots. I have taken the liberty of adding the ones I took of him doing the shoot, as well.

The pictures with the www.talkaudio.co.uk URL as a lower right watermark are the ones I took.The ones with the Blue Feather logo and Spike’s name and number are of course all his…

Sentiments from the Snapper

I was great to be back working on a car install shoot with The Fat Man after a respite of some eight years. Though there were sympathetic words from Clarion’s PR as he asked me if Adam ever stops talking? ( I can remember only once in 12-ish years of shoots together when reviewing B&W demo cinema in Brighton watching A Bugs Life. Over 100 minutes of peace while I snapped away!
I just enjoyed the shoot having a beautiful install as the subject & the luxury of time, to pick the camera angles & if need be use up to three flashes in addition to the ambient light, to get the images I had in my mind. Amy and Lee were great to work with too.
Thank you Talk Audio, when's the next shoot??"
Blue Feather.
T 01727 872850
M 07958 977324

A massive thank you to Mike Hodges of MPH who art the single best PR in UK car audio history and look after Clarion and some other equally prestigious clients. (Really, very few firms employ pro PR and their continuity with Clarion is unequalled.) Mike has hydrocarbon in his veins, has enormous taste and in my case, inestimable patience!

A thank you to Clarion who have been massive supporters of Talk Audio as Site Associates of the top tier since I joined.

Lee Dunstan, audio man-god at Platinum In Car, Amy Slade, superstar Nissan Fairlady Z owner and Take That fan and Steve ‘Spike’ Brown of Blue Feather Photography, ape and horribly good snapperator.


This is a really great build for a lovely person by a top installer. Grade A job all round !