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2002 model S3 without bose - NEED UPGRADE ADVICE!

olly Sep 22, 2003

  1. olly

    olly New Member

    evening all

    I'm about to purchase a nearly-new S3 which seems almost perfect for my requirements. However it doesnt have the bose soundsystem/sub. The head unit is the audi-fitted front loading 6CD and tape combo which I would like to keep, but I'd be grateful for some 'sound' advice on whether i need to upgrade the speakers or just a sub.

    On closer inspection of the boot, the left compartment looks like it contains a sub but im not sure - if it is it's certainly inferior. However the unit looked similar to one i've seen in an S3 with bose. In the right compartment, there is just a space where you would normally find the bose amp.

    I don't want to spend more than 400-500 pounds, and i'm looking for a pure sound with punchy bass in a similar ball park to the bose system.

    Thanks in advance to any users out there who can offer some useful pointers.


  2. mramage

    mramage Member


    Olly, your correct, it is a sub on the left in the boot. As you say though, it's not very good.

    The head unit also has pre-amp out as your rear speakers and sub use it. I'm pretty certain that even on the symphony head unit it's only 1 pre-out.

    Cheapest way to improve the sound is get yourself a 4 channel amp with cutovers for each pair. Use one pair to drive a new pair of front components, the other driving a nice sub. Yes, that means splitting the pre-amp, it's ok. You'll have to hardwire the fader through the amp, but that's the only problem.

    It's exactly that setup I had in my A4. Not ideal, but for the least cash you get the best sound.

    Enjoy the car /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
  3. olly

    olly New Member

    thx mark for the advice. with luck i should have the motor by the weekend - i'm not a particularly handy with electrics in a motor and the s3 doesnt seem like the easiest of cars to run wires so i'll let the local ice centre do it for me. they will do pretty much what you described in your post and the result will be better than the bose system for around the £500 mark.

    I asked them whether it was worth sourcing a 2nd hand bose stealth sub as i'd rather not loose part of the boot space, however they said it was more hassle than it was worth wiring-wise and that the speaker itself is not even a bose - apparently it's a nokia!

    Shame no-one makes a decent after-market sub for the A3. The guy in the shop said he gets a lot of non-bose A3/S3's in and had even suggested the idea to a few manufacturers for what it's worth.


  4. SimonP

    SimonP Member

    I have just upgraded my '03 S3, which I deliberately ordered without Bose as I thought it was rubbish in my previous S3.

    I now have Focal co-ax's in the back, and Focal Polyglass Slim components in the front (I forget the exact model numbers). The stock non-Bose fronts in mine were only 4inch paper cone speakers so no wonder they sounded so poor. The installers said there wasn't much room in the door panels hence the slim components.

    I'm running an Alpine HU though, the 9812RR which does MP3/WMA so I have dispensed with the need for a changer.

    The new HU required us to run speaker cable direct to the rears and bypass the Audi Amp/Sub completely as there were grounding problems giving alternator whine. If you are keeping the stock HU you shouldn't have this problem.

    With the new speakers and dynamat on the rear trim panels (recommended) I think the Bass is better than the Bose system could do - more rounded better overall sound rather than the thump that was all the Bose would do.

    I've been told it's a waste of time trying to get the stock sub working in the boot cubby hole, and I'm considering whipping it out to free up the extra space in the cubby hole. I can't have a sub box in the boot because the boot is crammed full with kit every weekend. To be honest the sound off the improved speakers is such that I'm not worried about the loss.

    Good luck.

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