Tim Sutton


  • Location

    Evansville, IN • USA

  • Vehicle

    2019 Toyota Camry XSE

  • Vehicle Function

    Show/competition and daily transportation

  • Individual Affiliation

    Enthusiast and Team Hybrids Member

Competition Classes:

IASCA – Amateur
MECA – Street

Background:

Tim Sutton is from Evansville, IN, and has been a Team Hybrids member since he completed his Candidate Member season in 2018. Tim says he started in car audio like a lot of us when he turned 16 and started driving. In those early years, he says it was all about being loud: a Camaro with four 15s and a Durango with eight 12s were once in his stable. In fact, he says that Durango held an Indiana state SPL record for quite a while.

Sometime around 2007, Tim decided to take a break from car audio.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Tim found himself with a new Lexus SUV and a renewed interest in car audio – but this time, he wanted a more grown-up sound, and so his quest began to build a sound quality-oriented system. Tim quickly found Hybrid Audio Technologies and, as it turns out, a new friend in local-to-him Klifton Keplinger. Tim says Klifton took him under his wing with help designing and implementing his first Hybrid system in the Lexus. Klifton is also responsible, he says, for nudging him into the world of organized sound quality competitions.

Tim jumped in full force and attended every event within reasonable driving distance that first season, starting with the SQOLOGY Clarksville event in February of 2018. That inaugural competition year, he earned a fourth-place finish in his MECA class.

Now:

Tim has a new vehicle for the 2020 competition season and recently summoned a fresh install by Toby Broadfield at Mobile Audio Plus in Bloomington, Illinois. He chose Mobile Audio due to the top-notch work he’d seen them produce and his trust in Toby to ensure the install was the best possible.

With the success he had with the 3-way front speaker set in his Lexus, Tim knew he’d want to keep using the same configuration. He specifically chose a car that would offer OEM speaker locations that would fit his needs. The 2019 Toyota Camry XSE fit the bill with dash-mounted midranges, 6×9 front door locations, and a JBL “premium” system with an available PAC AmpPRO offering for easy factory integration.

Tim wanted an unobtrusive system so that he can haul an EZ-UP along with his and his wife’s luggage when traveling to competitions. Toby kept this in mind when designing the layout of the install to keep the car functional as a daily driver. The electronics are mounted to the underside of the rear parcel shelf, and the subwoofer is installed in an ‘infinite baffle’ configuration, so there is no box. All of the wiring is properly terminated and tidy, with Stinger logos on the heat shrink all facing the same direction – even though they’re out of sight unless you’re hunting for them.

In the cabin, the only hint the system isn’t factory might be the custom A-pillars housing the Legatia X1 tweeters. The factory JBL system has tweeters in the A-pillars, but they aren’t aimed the way Tim wanted, and so custom pillars were made to aim them on-axis. Otherwise, the Legatia X3 midranges and Unity U69S-2 midbasses are tucked behind the factory grills, as if nothing ever happened.

The Zapco Z-series (six-channel) AP amplifier and Z-1KD II (mono) amplifier were chosen based on Tim’s success with Zapco amps in his Lexus. Tim notes that in the first iteration of his Lexus, he was using a different set of amplifiers and that when he switched to the Zapco amps, everything sounded much better. Similarly, he’s again using a Helix DSP Pro mk2 after having good luck with its friendly user interface and reliability in the Lexus.

Tim says he’s purposefully chosen the flagship offerings from each company’s product categories to build a solid foundation for a world-class sounding vehicle.

Team Thoughts:

Tim pursued joining Team Hybrids because he knew it’s a team proven to win. He liked the idea of being on a team with such a track record and knows everyone shares a common goal. He notes that long-time team legend Klifton Keplinger was instrumental in nudging him into the competition scene and that Klif has offered tremendous support whenever he has questions, needs product assistance, or an ear to check his tune.

Upgrades?

Tim is going to enjoy his fresh new system in his fresh new ride…for a minute. As far as speakers go, he says the only reason he’d pursue other speakers is if Hybrid Audio came out with something even better. He also told us he’d recommended Hybrid speakers to more than a few coworkers when the subject comes up. Tim sees tremendous value and quality in Hybrid speakers versus other speakers on the market.

Gear

  • Speakers

    Legatia X1 tweeters
    Legatia X3 paper/dust cap wide-bandwidth midranges
    Unity U69-S shallow 2-ohm midbasses
    Clarus C15SW subwoofer (trunk baffle)

  • Electronics

    Factory Toyota source
    PAC AmpPRO
    Helix DSP Pro Mk2
    Zapco Z-150.6 AP
    Zapco Z-1KD II

  • Wiring

    Stinger copper wiring throughout
    Stinger 8000 series RCAs
    Stinger TOSLINK optical cable

  • Sound Damping

    Stinger RoadKill Ultimate