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A3 Concert upgrade

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Leddy, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Leddy
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    Leddy Member

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    [Dec 10, 2003]
    I am currently in the throws of upgrading the standard Concert system in my A3 TS.

    I have already upgraded the front speakers for some Focal components with pleasing results (thanks Lewy!!!) any suggestions for the rear quarters?

    Also AndyMac is furnishing me with a stealth sup and was wondering how the standard rear quarters and sub are wired. I know there is an amp somewhere but how is the low frequency filtered with out a sub channel from the Head Unit?

    Also how does the feeds go to the rears? is it RCA's, speaker cable or a din cable to the AMP? if anyone has a diagram it would be greatly appreciated.

    In closing, i know changing the Concert head unit would greatly improve and simplify the install but i am going for a compromise between quality and stealth (also the fascia adapters look rank and no aftermarket unit matches the A3 interior for my taste).

    p.s. as a side note does anyone know the power per channel the Concert Unit kicks out as my front Focals are unamped and sound good but can't help wondering if the quality would greatly improve with a few more watts!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 10, 2003]
    Hi Leddy

    The amp for the rears is the same amp used for the tupperware sub, it is mounted inside the sub and has a small crossover to filter the low frequencies (see below).
    The output of the Concert HU is 25 watts to the fronts, and the little amp drives 25watts to the rears and 50w (apparently) to the sub. The Concert HU has front & rear lineouts, but they are on a mini ISO connector block, so you need and adapter if you want to by pass the Audi loom (a wise choice), and connect to standard RCA's (see adpater below). The adapter is about £15 available from CarAudioDirect and is the Blaupunkt RCA Yellow.
    The amp uses the 2 rear line outs to feed both the rear speakers and the sub, so there is no non fading pre-out for the sub, so you have to get the gain set correctly on any additional amp you install. One benefit of upgrading the sub, is that you can turn the bass right down to the cabin speakers, so you can crank up the volume a bit more without distortion.
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  4. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 10, 2003]
    The RCA adapter:
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  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 10, 2003]
    My recommendation would be to upgrade the rear speakers at the same time you do the sub. Install a 4 channel amp behind the nearside rear speaker panel, run the rears off 2 channels and the sub off channels 3 & 4 bridged. This will give you a big improvement. There is little point putting more power through the fronts as they are limited by their size and only act as tune up speakers anyway.
    You could either use the adapter above or you can pick up the rear pre-outs off the Audi loom. You can fit big speakers in the rear panels as there is loads of space behind those panels, but you need to make some 12mm MDF spacer rings to mount them on the panel.
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  6. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 11, 2003]
    "There is little point putting more power through the fronts as they are limited by their size and only act as tune up speakers anyway" WHAT?

    Do you know anything about car audio design ?

    Yes the fronts are limited in size but they provide the majority of the stereo image for the driver and front passenger. It is the front speakers that need sorting first and is where the most money should be spent. The lower mid range and bass are filled in by the rears and the sub. The rear speakers are adequate to fill in mid bass, the sub needs sorting as the standard unit is ***** and leaks like a sieve.
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  7. Leddy
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    Leddy Member

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    [Dec 11, 2003]
    Thanks for the info Andy,

    i think i'll break into the loom for the rear as this will save me ripping the dash to bits and running RCA's through the car (I know it's lazy /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif)
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    Hey Gareth, just like you I know nothing about car audio design.
    Your quote:
    "they provide the majority of the stereo image for the driver and front passenger" i.e. tune up speakers like I said. Throw all the money you want at the front speakers, but without decent bass from a sub upgrade and/or rear speaker upgrade the system will sound *****.
    So obviously, to anyone with half a brain, this is where you should start.

    Upgrade the front speakers by all means, but if you'd bothered to read the post, rather than getting an adult to give you the gist of it, you will see I was referring to Leddy's question about putting more power through the front speakers. In my opinion this would only be worthwhile once you have sorted out the bass via the sub and/or rears.

    But what do I know, I've only been doing this for 20 years.
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  9. ultramodz
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    ultramodz 06 A4 2.0T FSi S-Line SE

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    sorry to break up the party but you guys should learn to get along!

    the main reason you should invest in good quality front speakers is to provide the correct sound staging, whereby the audio comes from the front of the car.

    it's to do with how frequencies work. bass is less 'directional' than treble. so if you put a sub in the boot, you will still hear the bass more or less as it is intended to sound.

    however, the standard audi speakers are pathetic, as is the wiring. i'm in the middle of a complete overhaul.

    i'm not trying to be patronising - that's when you talk down to someone! (get it?!?) - but you are both right to an extent, but in this case, the front speakers have been designed to meet the output of the standard headunit and will struggle with anymore power being fed to them.

    i'll step down from my box now!


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  10. ultramodz
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    ultramodz 06 A4 2.0T FSi S-Line SE

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    damn it - i just scrolled up and re-read the original question!

    if you only upgrade the rears to match the fronts, get some good coaxials or some 6x9's - they will fit in nicely and will provide a nice bit of mid-bass.

    that's me done.

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  11. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    No need to get so upset Andy, it was a reasonable question, what you said flies in the face of accepted car audio design. The front sound stage is very important yet you seem to suggest it is just there as filler. Just because you have been doing something for 20 years doesn't mean you have been doing it well, Vauxhall have been building cars for 100 years.
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  12. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    Accepted car audio design which includes making a sub woofer enclosure out of plastic, and running low level pre outs to the boot without any screen. Ummm, those Audi guys really know what they're doing
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  13. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    Sorry Andy now you have lost everyone.

    No-one has said that Audi audio design is good (BOSE or not). That is why people spend thousands of pounds upgrading (or completely replacing) their car sound systems. The quality of the components used in Audi's is shocking, the sub and the amp that drives it can't have cost more than a few pounds to manufacture, the speakers are little better. With such a crummy headunit I suppose Audi are at least matching like with like.
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  14. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    But that's my point. In a perfect world you'd strip out everything, including the shockingly bad wiring looms and start from scratch with a quality HU, high power amplification & speakers to all corners, and a quality sub/amp. But that was not what Leddy was asking.
    For better or worse he wants to keep the OEM HU (as you say one of the worst HU's money can't buy), so what is the best approach to get the best out of a bad system?
    I'd always start with the bass. You can make a mediocre system sound fairly reasonable with decent bass. You ain't gonna get decent bass by upgrading the front speakers or putting more power to them. So, you need to start with the sub, which Leddy is doing. My point is that, while you've got the guts of the entire rear of the car dismantled, it would be a good time to upgrade the rear speakers, where just by replacing the speakers you get a big improvement in sound. Given that you're putting a decent amp in to drive the sub, you might as well put a 3 channel amp in and run the rears off it as well.

    Finally with all that completed, the last step would be to replace the front speakers and possibly put more power in. But IMO the ROI on this step would not be as good as step one, as you're limited by the quality of the source HU, and installing a second amp for the fronts is a lot of additional work for limited gain.

    I've found that with step one completed you'll find you can drive the fronts harder as you can run the HU with zero bass or even minus bass, thus relieving the front speakers of a job they are just not up to.
    Like you, I am surprised Bose put their name to the sub standard "Bose upgrade", let alone have the cheek to charge £500 for the privilege.
    Can we call a truce?
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  15. bigvern
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    bigvern New Member

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    having read most posts by andymac,I'd say he kinda knows is arse from his elbows on the ice front.Andy hopefully I,ll be in touch about a sub box shortly /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  16. bigvern
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    bigvern New Member

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    having read most posts by andymac,I'd say he kinda knows is arse from his elbows on the ice front.Andy hopefully I,ll be in touch about a sub box shortly /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  17. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 12, 2003]
    Truce

    On the subject of the BOSE, of the £500 it costs I think the majority of the money goes on the right to use the name on the badges. While people continue to be stupid enough to pay the money, Audi will be more than willing to take it. Just hope that the trend doesn't extend to other parts of the car (i.e. Armani light bulbs).
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  18. ultramodz
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    ultramodz 06 A4 2.0T FSi S-Line SE

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    [Dec 13, 2003]
    that's better... now i don't want to have to tell you two again! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

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  19. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 13, 2003]
    He started it Dad!
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  20. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 13, 2003]
    Now that is patronising (joke!)
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  21. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    [Dec 13, 2003]
    Ultramodz, why do you seem to always post at 4am are you in the UK ?
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