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A3 Stereo Upgrade

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by confusionhunter, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. confusionhunter
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    confusionhunter Member

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    OK... Ive had enough of the **** stereo in my 98 A3 Tdi.... so Im wondering about using equipment I already have or buying new stuff and selling on....

    Speakers....
    Been doing some reading and need to find some nice 5 1/4 components for the front and 6 1/2 Co axials for the back.
    I do already have some infinity 6.5 components from another car that I wanted to fit, but unless there is somewhere to put a tweeter in the back or fit 6 1/2 in the front I'll have to shelf that Idea....
    Ive read someone has used DLS speaker with some success? Anyone have other recommendations... Ive always been happy with my infinity's.
    Any thoughts?

    I have a 4 channel Kenwood amp I can use to power the speakers using the preouts from the Concert. That seems like a good idea :)

    I also have a 2 channel Apline amp MRP-T130 Bridgeable 1 x100 RMS (180max), that I can use to drive a Sub. Ive read about AndyMacs stealth sub but couldnt see any details, photos. These pics etc don't seem to have come across from the old site. I tried PMing Andymac but his Inbox is full. Anyone have any details?? price etc?

    Lastly The Head unit..... The concert seems ok and I like the OEM look, but I have an Alpine CDA-9813R that I m pretty happy with, With 60 x 4 I may not need to install the kenwood amp BUT then I have a cd changer issue so Im inclined to stick with the concert and use the kenwood.... Anyone have opinions on that?


    Such a shame the stereo is pants..... The wife drive a 2000 Vw Bora SE and the gamma stereo in that with no sub is miles better than the concert....
    Ah well....:)
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  2. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    like wise. The standard in my S3 is the worst factory system i've ever heard. The mk4 golf gets 6.5" speakers in the front doors and the audi is meant to be the premium brand. Highly recommend Kicker amps and speakers, very nice sounding and lots of punch. Not audiophile quality but that type of stuff is wasted on the average persons ears anyway. To joe blogs kicker will sound better as its a warmer sound.
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Here you go,
    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showthread.php?t=21425
    and yes £325 gets you everything you need (enclosure/sub/Alpine V12 F400 amp/wiring & instructions) or I can fit it for you for £60 if you can get down to Southampton. It takes 4-5 hours.
    Adding a proper sub really does transform the sound in the A3. I tried everything (new HU, new speakers all round, amping the speakers, adding a Bose sub) and although it was an improvement it was still a feeble sound (which is why I first developed the stealth sub, as no one else seemed to offer anything that didn't take up boot space). Adding my stealth sub (or a normal sub) is the best single upgrade you can do in the 8L A3. Even if you leave everything else as standard it not only gives you proper bass, but allows you to run the cabin speakers with less Bass so they sound better as well.
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  4. confusionhunter
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    confusionhunter Member

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    Tried PMing but wont let me so I'll pop a post here:

    Hi mate, Thanks for that info, Very interested in the stealth sub. I'll fit it myself as I live in Edinburgh, so may need it posted if I can't arrange to collect. How much would that be?

    What would the cost be without the amp, if you can do that?
    As I mentioned I can use my MRP-T130 with my 4x50 Kenwood effort for the cabin speakers, the alpine would soley for the sub (which is as far as I can tell a similar spec amp if a little older), unless you think the F400 is a far better amp and is worth me sellin my ones on....

    Let me know.
    Cheers.
    Mark.
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  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No problem, I can do as much or as little as you want.
    The F400 is a 4 channel amp, 180wrms bridged for the sub, with 2 spare channels for the rears. This replaces the 50w tri-mode Audi amp that powers both rears and sub with the non Bose setup. If you have Bose then you only need a 2 or single channel amp for the sub.
    The T130 is too underpowered for the stealth sub. Even with 180wrms the F400 has to be on 90% gain for the sub and 40% gain for the rears to match the fronts.
    Unlike a conventional sub the stealth enclosure is really too small to be efficient, so you have to drive the JL unit really hard to get the required punch. Also in order to allow the HU to run at minus 2 Bass setting (with no dedicated sub pre-out) you are starving the sub amp of any additional bass.
    The setup I had in my old A3TS was an Alpine HU (4 x 50w max) driving the cabin speakers and an Alpine T505 (300wrms) driving the sub. This was a really good balance but the HU had a dedicated sub pre-out & fader so far more control over the sub.
    TBH there's very little benefit to be gained from adding an amp for the cabin speakers unless you're going to upgrade the speakers as well.
    I've fitted about a dozen stealth subs with various setups, ranging from totally stock to totally custom, and I still think £for£ the totally stock setup with the sub upgrade is easily the best setup for the money.
    Pricing is:
    Sub enclosure (satin black with gold speaker terminals, brackets, wiring & wadding) - £90
    JL Audio 6.5" sub (JL-6W0-4) - £85
    Alpine MRV-F400 4 channel 180w RMS amp - £90
    Wiring (40amp power cable, earth lead) - £25
    Adapter loom, RCA loom to plug into Audi sub loom - £20
    P&P is £18 via Parcelforce insured 2 day delivery

    You'll only need the adapter loom if your gonna just add the sub/amp to the stock HU (it allows you to plug into the sub loom without cutting the wiring in order to pick up the rear pre-outs, rear speakers and remote on lead). If you are upgrading the HU or adding another amp then you'll have to run RCA's so the adapter is redundant.
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  6. confusionhunter
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    confusionhunter Member

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    ok cool.....
    Well I was going to upgrade the cabin speakers too because in general I not very impressed........ However since you mentioned the sound from the cabin speakers is ok with the bass turned down , I went outside and had a little play..... My conclusion is this..... the back speakers are ok actually, plus the F400 will improve those too.

    But I feel the components up front are pants.... Maybe Ive been ruined by the infinity's I had in the old car. Now from reading what you say Im thinking thet the front might be driven by the std head unit rather than the additional amp that the sub is driven off....... Maybe driveing these of the T130 would help??

    So.... I think Ive been sold on your Stealth box regardless, with the F400.
    So Im might just try that anyway. If Im still pee'd off with the front staging I'll try using my T130 to drive the fronts.

    failing that I can get some DLS-B5A 5 1/4 components £89.99 from Car audio direct (found a post reccommending those) or the Infinity reference INF-REF5010CS just cos Im used to infinity sound bit more at 99 and it isnt clear if they are 5 or 5 1/4 inch. So that sounds like a plan..... What do you think...

    PS PM me with an email or number so I know who do I pay and how ;)
    Cheers.
    Mark.
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  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You have mail.
    The components up front are pants, but so is the location and the mounting. They are screwed to the flimsy door card not the door so you are limited to the SQ you will ever get from any speaker without going with custom door builds. They are only 4" paper cone units with a cheap & nasty tweeter, driven off a 20w internal HU amp. But it's quite a bit of work to replace them and get aftermarket units to fit properly, then rewire them and then mount the amp etc etc. The benefit is that you can then high pass all the cabin speakers which will allow you to control the bass to the sub to some extent without overloading them. The F400 has both hi low pass filters for each pair of channels, so you can low pass the sub and high pass the rears, but your stuck on the fronts unless you use an additional amp.
    I'd install the sub and live with it for a week or two and see what you think.
    You won't believe the difference!
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  8. confusionhunter
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    confusionhunter Member

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    Hmm, Im wondering if I could make some brakets to bolt the speares to the dorr then??? anyway.... first things first...... I'll go check my PM.... :)
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  9. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Bolt them to what though? there's no real inner doorskin
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