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  1. #1
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    Lots of Questions - Upgrading A4 (B6) Stereo

    I've spent lots of time reading this forum the last few days and still have a few points i could do with clarification on please people. Any help appreciated:

    The scenario:

    I have a 2003 A4 1.8T Saloon with a Concert II and without Bose.
    I quite like the original stereo but not alot. I am not a boy racer and don't want to fill the boot or spend too much dosh. I simply want a more powerful clearer sound that i can plug my mp3 player into. I've read lots about the Andymac install. This sounds good and i fancy following similar lines.

    1) It seems the first thing i should do is put an 8" sub in the boot. I assume a Stealth Sub is one that fits in discreetly? Is this right and does anyone have a photo of it - preferably in a Saloon? Also an uptodate link maybe to one for sale and a box or do they come as one?

    2) To run it i'm going to need an amp right? Assuming my Sony 444 is ok for this it needs a power supply. This will require running the cables through the car. Is this difficult? Messy? Requires taking rear seats out? Drilling through to engine block?

    3) A further point is that my amp has the read and white audio leads for its sound input. The sound from the current stereo is through speaker wires and connections. Can i chop an audio lead in half and join it to the existing speaker cables?

    4) May have been answered already but does my car have a sub on the rear shelf? Its not a Bose set up.

    5) If i replace the head unit is there any preference over what make i should use in relation to connections ie; Blaupaunkt is a straight swap? I know you can get connections for the other stereo's but they seem to be around 40. I don't fancy the 299 DAB stereo mentioned by Andymac as most of the cd head unit stereo's now can be picked up for around 150 with an Aux input for my mp3 player. Don't forget i'm on a stealth budget hoping the missus doesnt notice the cash withdrawals for these new purchases!

    6) Is there a speaker in the centre of the front dash? I think i read that it is naff and should be cut. Is that the case?

    7) Finally not a question just a proposition of what i plan to do, does this sound ok? Answers to the above may change my plans. I could fit a 8" sub in the boot for the bass with my 4 way amp powering that and the rear shelf speakers. Then a new head unit with 4x45w max could be left to power my door speakers front and rear. How does that sound?

    Sorry for covering points that have probably been answered a million times before and thanks in advance for any help.

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  3. #2
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    1. There's no off the shelf stealth enclosures for the B6 that I'm aware of, so you're looking at making your own, or getting someone to make one.
    2. Cabling is pretty easy in the B6. No drilling required (certainly not in the engine block). You can run the power through the bulkhead via the ECu box. It drops straight into the drivers footwell. Then it's just a case of lifting the plastic trim and running it to the boot.
    3. I presume you mean it has RCA inputs, these are pre-outs (not amplified). You can pick these up from the rear Audi amp, along with the remote on trigger connection.
    4. The Avant has a sub, not sure on the saloon, but I assume it has one in the centre of the rear deck?
    5. Blaupunkt are the only ones that are a straight swap, but if you're dispensing with the rear Audi amp then the wiring isn't a problem, just run regular RCA's to the back.
    6. Yes the centre speaker is awful. Pull the HU, unplug the brown front speaker loom and cut the 2 thin wires running bridged off this loom i.e. across both left & right speaker connections. Wrap some insulating tape round the bare wires on the connector end as these will still be live.
    7. If you're on a budget I'd just do the sub and then live with it for a while. It makes a tremendous difference for very little money especially as you have an amp already. Upgrading just the HU will make little difference by comparison, unless you amp & upgrade the front speakers at the same time.

  4. #3
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    Thanks again Andy. I've spent most of today reading this forum (at work) and very useful it is too. One thing i notice is your name popping up in just about every post!!

    Pleased i'm on the right lines. I'll take a look at the rear shelf speakers / amp / sub and that'll probably help me understand further. Glad to hear its not too difficult wiring through the car.

    I'll keep this up to date as i progress. Anyone got an 8" sub & enclosure advice? Or one they want to swap for some Pioneer 17" components:
    TSE-1775 or TSC 17c?

    Just Thought i'd ask

  5. #4
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    Update and more help please...

    I am about to order the Woodstock DAB54 which is a straight swap electrically for the Concert II. I take it this will power all 10 speakers i already have? I have just discovered i have no rear shelf speakers, only a sub on there! My rear speakers are actually in the rear doors.

    So straight swap of stereos and not much sound difference.

    Next step is to fit my own sub into this system. Obviously use the sub pre-out from the DAB 54 and run it through the car to an emp etc but in theory i will still have the stereo powering the existing 10 speakers (including the Audi sub). Is this right? Should i just cut the Audi Sub wire? What about amping my rear door speakers? Seems little point if the front's arn't!

    I've confused myself a bit over my next steps so if anyone can put me back on track that would be excellent. Also where is this darn Audi amp located? Front of the car or rear?

    Help please!

  6. #5
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    The Woodstock is a straight swap wiring wise, though you'll have to pair the perm live with the ignition on live as the Audi wiring doesn't have an ignition on live. This will mean switchin the HU on/off manually. If this is a big issue then you can either take a feed off the fusebox for ignition on, but this will only give you a feed with the engine running or ignition engaged, or there is a proper ignition on on the keyswitch. I haven't got round to rewiring mine, but do plan to do so.
    You'll find the straight swap will give you a totally unbalanced sound as the rears and sub won't be as loud as the fronts and you'll need to fade to rear quite a bit to balance it as the DAB54 is more powerful than the Audi HU.
    The sub out on the DAB54 is a perculiar affair as it runs off a single pin on the power loom and flying leads off the mini-ISO Blaupunkt adapter. I didn't use it and just ran my stealth sub off the rear pre-out as there doesn't seem to be any independent fader for the sub out, so pretty pointless. The Blaupunkt manual is very vague on the wiring config. This is really the only beef I have with the DAB54, why couldn't they include a sub fader and proper sub pre-outs?
    I ran my rears off the DAB54 internal amp, and used a 4 channel Alpine V12 amp to power the fronts and the sub. In this config the fronts are way louder than the rears so if I need more sub I can fade to rear without the rears becoming too loud.
    In standard setup the rears are amped running off the OEM sub amp, so I had to run new speaker cable from the HU to the rear amp (which is the boot BTW). I was too lazy to rewire the doors so just picked up the fronts off the loom at the HU and the rears off the loom in the boot.
    You will also definately want to disconnect the centre speaker as it is tuned to total middle so sounds like a baby crying and distorts easily. It runs off the front speaker loom bridged across both left & right channels, you'll see 2 thinner gauge wires running off one left channel and one right channel. Just cut one of them and insulate the live end for an immediate improvement in sound.
    I found the DAB54 a bit underpowered to run all speakers off the internal amp so would suggest amping the fronts. No point amping the rears unless you care that much about your passengers. I also upgraded the front speakers for some 6.5" Alpine components, which provide a surprising amount of bass for door speakers as they're properly mounted to the door rather than the door card.
    I'd do everything in stages. So install the HU and live with it for a few days. Then add the sub, which will make a big difference. And then if you need to amp the fronts and/or upgrade the front components.
    Last edited by AndyMac; 22nd September 2006 at 19:38.

  7. #6
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    Thanks Andy.

    Just to confirm your setup. You run your Alpine Amp powering stealth sub and front speakers from your FRONT pre amp out. And your rear speakers are powered by the head unit amp using the standard rear line out? If so then the original Audi sub is now redundant yes? Also if this is the case and you want to increase the sub then you fade to front and are increasing the front speakers also?

    Also i am wondering about making my own box for an 8" sub. Not done before and willing to give it a go but thinking i might get better result from buying the Pioneer: TS-WX22A. Read some reviews on another forum and reported to be very good.
    Anyone any opinions?

    Cheers as always.

  8. #7
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    Not quite. I run the stealth sub off the rear pre-outs so I can fade to rear for more bass. As the rears run off the rear speaker outs on the HU they don't overwhelm the fronts even when faded +4 to rear.
    The OEM sub & amp is in my loft to make space for the Alpine amp.
    My concern on powered bass tubes is that they use plastic enclosures and therefore can't handle much power. That Pioneer sub is not much different in design and power output to the standard OEM Audi sub. It might be OK under the drivers seat of a Saxo but I imagine it would struggle in the boot of a biggish saloon like the B6 A4. My stealth sub is driven by 250wrms bridged, and the MDF enclosure provides a totally solid base for the sub to kick against.

 

 

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