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A3/S3 Speaker Upgrade - Story so far

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by imported_maviceuk, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    OK - so we have all established that the standard A3/S3 sound system is K r a p. THe Bose (apparentley) is little better.
    I had Chorus HU and standard speaker system in 2002 S3 - sounded really poor

    My mission - to make it better. so........after reading many posts, I started with the speakers.

    I have replaced with DSL classic series (Cheapest in range I think) for approx £85 front and £85 rear (13cm comp B5 front 16cm 226 rear) - dead easy - took about 3-4 hours total

    Difference is immediate - More bass, better treble and basically the system is loads more musical and natural - not strained. Well worth the effort and cost so far.

    Next step ? - need to sort out the Sub - although system now much better, bass still poor - the tupperware sub is pants and basically just thumps without any real 'ring' to it, making the overall sound still sound like it's coming from inside a wardrobe thats in another room, and full of clothes !

    AndyMac sub being considered at moment - maybe could be a bit larger ? fireing upwards where there is a grill into the main car ? dunno yet - hope to discuss with Andy the various things he has tried.

    will update when sub sorted. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #1
  2. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Sorry - Obviously meant DLS Classic series speakers
    #2
  3. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    Noggy that little JL Audio sub is amazing, it's hard to believe that such a small unit can do what it does. You can just replace the speaker in the plastic enclosure and cover it in dynamat but AndyMac's enclosure is very good.

    You'll need an amp to drive the sub but it will be worth it.
    #3
  4. imported_bayliss
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    imported_bayliss Guest

    well, I spent a few hours on saturday making my own enclosure for an 8". I had a bridgeable 2 channel alpine amp, running at 180 watts RMS, but wasn't "that" impressed with the quality/volume of sound. I think it was a cocktail of lack of power and the level of the crossover. So I fitted a Kenwood 4 channel 400 RMS amp behind the rear passenger side panel instaed (like andymac) and an active crossover ontop of the enclosure for accesabillty to tune/adjust.

    I'm more than happy with the sub output which was a cheapy from taiwan or somewhere like that (£20!!)

    hell of a tight squeeze to get an 8" in there; will have to remove whole panel to merely change a lightbulb!! ;( but a small price to pay for such sweet bass! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    I will post some pics (shame I didn't take any of the production stages)
    #4
  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Noggy, that 8" is not powerful enough (75w RMS) and had one customer who managed to blow his up within days (although I think he was taking the p*ss a bit with the volume).
    The 8" can obviously move a bit more within the confines of the enclosure, so you need the dual VC model and run it 2 channel into 2 ohms. This reduces the current going through each VC.
    You couldn't fit a changer on top with the sub facing upwards, it only just fits normally, the seat belt reel is in the way. Also the central locking pump restricts increasing the size of the box toward the light cluster.
    I also looked at making the box taller and relocating the changer, but the rear panel bends inwards the further you go up, so again you're restricted.
    I haven't tried any other brands of sub, originally I only used 6" JL as nobody else did a 6". There are many more 8" units available, but without buying them all and trying them I can't comment. JL make the best subs full stop IMO, so why try to fix it if it ain't broken?

    Alpine 4 channel amps do seem to have disappeared off ebay recently (apart from the pointless F250's & F300's). Any decent amp will work, I just like the bulletproof Alpine design and power. I had a customer (Leddy I think it was)who tried a cheap brand and had no end of problems with interference from the rears. We tried all sorts of additional earthing, new RCA's etc, swapped it for an Alpine as a last resort and problem solved.
    #5
  6. imported_bayliss
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    imported_bayliss Guest

    Andy, somthing i found good when building the enclosure, when using the flexi MDF, I found it wasn't solid enough (even with 3 sheets) so what I used was pinkgrip (http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id=71704&ts=32791) to fill the groves; it's so"dead" and dense, and is a bonding agent too. maybe a better alternative to using saves nails for this?? although saves nail & screws was perfect for building the unit.
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  7. garethj
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    garethj Member

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    AndyMac

    Seconded on the JL Audio subs, they are great, not really worth bothering with anything else for the money they cost.

    Noggy, sorry didn't realise you were talking about ebay.
    #7
  8. marctwo
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    marctwo Member

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    I'm hoping to get myself an S3 soon (they keep selling them before I get a chance to test drive!). Anyway, I am probably going to upgrade the sound system and wondered how much the AndyMac sub setup will cost me (including the sub and amp)?

    Is it easy to change the front and rear speakers too? What kind of cost am I looking at for a moderate quality system? Is it going to have an impact on my insurance?

    Sorry for all the questions, I am quite new to all this!

    Marc
    #8
  9. imported_bayliss
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    imported_bayliss Guest

    [ QUOTE ]
    AndyMac said:
    I tried GripFill initially, but it stinks the car out.
    No More Nails doesn't smell and is dense enough to fill those grooves.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    yeah, you're right there!! the pink stuff doesn't seem to smells as strong pretty much already gone (just 2 days)

    they sound great with all that sound proofing in the car!! better than any other install I've done /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
    #9
  10. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Rich, I routed out a rebate along the inside of both sides and then used 3 layers of bendy MDF laminated together with No More Nails and a nail gun to secure it. It's all the more tricky as you have to have a 12mm groove running down the centre for the wheelarch seam.
    #10
  11. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    OK.....latest developements

    the standard Speakers are dead easy to change all round (see first post) - for initial major improvement
    photos attached of audi standard rear removed (hock...spit!) - DLS 16cm went in (forgot to get a pic - sorry)

    The JL sub is tried and tested and seems to be the way to go. 150W unit needed so that it can be driven hard in the small space. Use a good amp with decent power 200W up.

    Andy has tried lots of different designs and seems to have 'evolved' the best compromise in the space avail (but lets face it...these things can ALWAYS be improved)

    So...unless anyone is prepard to do more trial, error and hardwork with different designs then the AMSS is the way to go for the moment.


    PS. The DLS speakers are getting smoother by the day - obviously take a bit of running in. Problem is, this just highlights the problem with the remaining weak link - the ATSS (Audi tupperware substandard Sub) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #11
  12. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Hi all

    Just received my MacStealthSub

    Full respect to Andy - really good build - solid as a rock

    will post some photos soon - hope to install soon too....waiting for the bloomin amp to arrive from ebay sale.

    got all the other parts, cables etc. (with a little more help from Andy finding the the blaupunkt mini iso to rca converter) -- cheers
    #12
  13. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Pics of the MacStealth Sub (as if there weren't enough already posted - but this ones mine!)
    to be fitted in the near future


    #13
  14. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    sh*t - how did that happen? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    Pics attached to this one

    #14
  15. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Long delays due to holidays etc.

    Finally got around to installing the AMSS this weekend but took 8 hours due to the amount of trim etc that had to be removed and me being a fussy blugger. Will take another 2 hours after the 'tuning'to finish putting car back together....good old Audi.

    Will post photos of various stages later.

    Result ?.....Will post tomorrow when I have had chance to audition with a few different discs. Dont want to jump the gun and judge before a good listen and lots of tweaking.

    System is now DLS comps to front, DLS coax to rear, Alpine V12 MRV-f307 amp and MacStealthSub with standard Concert HU (So basically looks standard but sounds V. different) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #15
  16. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Noggy, 8 hours is pretty good, took me longer the first time I did it.
    If you're using the OEM head unit you may find the MRV-F307 isn't powerful enough for the sub, the pre-outs from the Audi unit are a bit feeble. I've used MRV-F400's and have had to jack the gain up on the sub channels to way past what is considered respectable. Hopefully you'll be alright as with the decent cabin speakers you can pump up the Bass setting on the HU without it overloading the front components. This will provide a more powerful signal to the sub channels.
    If you get stuck for an amp I've got a couple of spare F400's in stock.
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  17. Drill
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    Drill Member

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    Hey Noggy, you said the replacement speakers went right in, but I noticed the Audi one has 3 mount points, and the replacements have 4. Did you use an adaptor at all?

    Thx /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #17
  18. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    yeh Drill

    Bought at the same time from caraudidirect.
    Work OK but just plastic rings converting 3 holes to 4.

    For the rear cards, just have to cut the panels plastic screw pillars down by 8mm so that the adapters fit flush (no air gaps).

    Used hot glue first but wasn't strong enough (should have known better). I have to take one of the cards back out tomorrow to put the amp in place (now that I am fairly happy with the settings) so will take a pic of the units mounted.
    #18
  19. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Andy

    glad 8 hours is normal - took 12 in the end and amp is still in the boot whilst I tweak.

    The Amp seems more than powerful enough. 2 channels bridged for sub and gain only needs to be on about 75%. Other 2 channels to the rears at about 50% (norm setting on the Alpine).

    I am going through the setting up learning process at the moment - trying different xover freqs, gains, music types etc, etc to get the best balance (sure you've done that a few times !)

    by end of tonight I have settled on 85hz and 75% gain. That gives nice tight bass that doesnt swamp the car. (I note this also tallies with your recommended settings)

    If I havent mentioned before, thanks for all your hard work developing the sub and the instruction manual which proved invaluable.

    The install went pretty much without a hitch, only the hacksawing of the HU connector being a pig (so that the yellow RCA adapter could plug in) and some how managed to hacksaw off 2 more connections than I intended.....ah well, didn't want the dash display or auto off facilities anyway /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif


    #19
  20. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No worries, glad you're happy with it.
    Still don't understand how your S3 doesn't have the multi (mini) ISO connector that comes apart.
    Bizarre. I haven't come across that problem before, but I'm sure I will.
    #20
  21. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    connector was single piece. Has to be cut. Dunno...mine is 2002 Chorus if that makes a difference ?

    I am v pleased with the sub and will post full review when I have auditioned sufficiently and tried different settings, music etc.

    the 307 amp is apparently 90W x 4 max (conservatively rated) so bridged should be >200w to the sub ? - I havent tried to blow out the rear shelf yet but still goes v.load without distortion
    (20 on the HU vol is plenty for me !)

    what power ratings are the 400? - are they older model as I couldnt find one when I looked (ebay)

    the 307 is great for settings, input select, filters, gains etc. - no short phono's needed into sub channels, just flick a switch.


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  22. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 400 is the next model up but from the previous series (replaced by the 407).
    It's 4 x 40wrms @ 12v, whereas the 307 is 4 x 30wrms @ 12v.
    Bridged it's 160wrms @ 14.4v and the 307 is 120wrms.
    But Alpine amps are usually 50% more powerful than the rated spec, so yours could easily be pushing out 180wrms/300w peak which is plenty.
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  23. Leddy
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    Leddy Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    NOGGY S3 said:
    connector was single piece. Has to be cut. Dunno...mine is 2002 Chorus if that makes a difference ?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    My 2002 1.8t with concert was a single plug too, had to take the hacksaw to it as well!
    #23
  24. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    [ QUOTE ]
    Leddy said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    NOGGY S3 said:
    connector was single piece. Has to be cut. Dunno...mine is 2002 Chorus if that makes a difference ?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    My 2002 1.8t with concert was a single plug too, had to take the hacksaw to it as well!

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Not that difficult to do....but make sure you dont turn it through 180 degrees before hacking and end up taking off the 2 middle connections for dash display and ignition off control. (Like wot I did !) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Now i've got to hack again to cut these 2 from the block and hot glue them back onto the remaining connector !! dohhh


    Andy - One for the next issue of your installation guide ?
    #24
  25. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Leddy

    sorry - advise is not for you as you have already done properly

    for anyone else with single connector - see pic above
    #25
  26. Drill
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    Drill Member

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    OK, bear with me since I've little clue when it comes to ICE. If just want to replace the std speakers (I have Bose) then I'll need to find a 5 1/4" Component set for the front, and 6 1/2" speakers for the Rear..... right? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif And how big does the tweeter need to be for the front door??

    Oh yeah, and if I can't/don't find adaptors for the mounting points, how bad would it be to simply "Drill" new holes??

    Thx /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
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  27. S3tony
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    S3tony Member

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    correct.... and 1" for the tweeters goes straight in apparantly mines a bit smaller i think but still holds in place fine......

    cheers tony
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  28. Drill
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    Drill Member

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    Thanks dude /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #28
  29. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Drill, you'll have issues with replacing the speakers on a Bose setup as they are 2 ohm impedance, so the Bose amp may struggle to drive normal 4 ohm components, i.e. you'll lose power & volume.
    You can't drill new holes as the 3 existing holes are on posts that stick out, so you need a ring that mounts to these that you can then screw the speaker to. You can make your own from 12mm MDF very easily, but this does add to the available depth you have to play with which is a bit tight to say the least.
    #29
  30. Drill
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    Drill Member

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    Damn, that sucks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    My tweeter in the drivers door is about shot, what would you recommend then? Replace with the std part? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #30
  31. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're happy with the overall system then I'd try & get original parts off ebay. If it's just a tweeter you could probably get away with buying some aftermarket 1" tweeters and see what it sounds like.
    As it's just the fronts I'd recomend buying some good components and just fade up the fronts to balance the difference in speaker impedance.

    Otherwise you're looking at a big job, replacing the amp and all the speakers.
    #31
  32. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Drill

    just do it....you'll never be completely happy with the bose.
    Change the lot, speakers and sub.

    The adapters I bought for the speakers were OK. Bit flexible, MDF will be cheaper and stronger but more work.

    demo a Macstealth sub and you will be converted

    I am a happy (deaf) man at the mo /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #32
  33. Drill
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    Drill Member

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    Well to be honest I'm actually satisfied with the Bose. I'm no Audiophile (Just an Audiphile /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif) But the buzzing tweeter's starting to annoy the crap outta me. I was thinking that replacing the std speakers with semi-OK aftermarket ones would be an inexpensive alternative. Unfortunately, I need to save my $$$ for repair bills and go-faster bits /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/angel.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/1luvu.gif

    Thx again /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #33
  34. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Yeh Drill, Ive got those Audipiles too. Must be the Leather Recaros in this hot weather
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif

    If it's just the fault on the Bose that's bugging you and you are otherwise satisfied with the system, I dont recommend you audition the MacSub - It will only lead to money spend
    #34
  35. Drill
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    Yeah, TELL Me about it /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif I've been following Andy's Sub "Project" since he started posting about it, and LOVE it, just don't find the idea of the $$ going towards something that doesn't affect the "Ass-Dyno" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif

    I got the Bose cause I didn't want to WANT to change the stereo setup, if that makes any sense /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif And while I know it's not the greatest, it IS plenty for me /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #35
  36. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    Bit of an update

    Put a poxy panasonic little amp to drive the front speakers today to see if any improvement.

    to my amazement there is !. Just shows how crap the Chorus HU amps are. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked2.gif

    Treble harshness all but gone now. I also replaced front speaker cable so not using audi loom. Dont know how much this contributed.

    ANyway, well worth doing as part of the upgrade. I'll try to get a decent amp now I know it improves.

    Anyone know of a 2 channel decent amp, small enough for behind dash, about 25w rms each channel ?

    Andy, any suggestions ?

    For know, this one will stay in
    #36
  37. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    not a good pic --this one better ?
    #37
  38. imported_maviceuk
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    imported_maviceuk Guest

    not really.

    See attached pics of front cards install, DLS B5's and crossovers shown.

    dont you just love hot glue /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #38
  39. paulbinks
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    just replace the front speakers with some cheap 4 ohm components like alpine 5.25" and it will improve you bass etc and the volume difference will be negligable and easily sorted with a bit of fading and the bose amp will thank you for it too.
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #39
  40. Dean_T
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    how are the door cards now you have the fronts amped, much rattling?
    #40

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