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Audi Concert Radio with aftermarket AMPS...

Final 3Green Land Jun 23, 2013

  1. Hi,

    I thought I should start a new thread as I couldn't get a straight answer elsewhere on different audio forums...

    I have tried a search on here but couldnt find a relevant thread hence a new post... Forgive me if it has been covered elsewhere and my search hasnt picked it up...

    I have an Audi A4 B5 with the standard Concert radio Cassette, ISO plugs... I don't really want to change the HU unless it would be to a double Din unit, where I might still face the same questions...

    I have owned the car for many years now and over the last three or so years, I have noticed that the sound quality of the stereo has diminished... ie. the bass drops off the louder the stereo's volume increases. (I see this is mentioned in another thread and I have asked a question there) Can the diminishing loudness function be turned off, so its loud all the time?

    I replaced the speakers with high quality units of the same or higher outputs than standard and kept the same sizes. I cant recall the name of the units but they were over £200 for the set.

    The fronts are components with the little adapter thingy box and the rears are Co axial? Ala standard. The Bass boot speaker has not been changed, but will be along with the amp in a day or two as I have just acquired one to see if that cures the issue, which I fear it wont.

    Now for the questions bit...

    I want to improve the volume and the sound quality at motorway speeds as the stereo is weedy to say the least; particularly noticeable at speed.

    I have been offered a full Bose speaker system and Amps for the car. Should I fit this, activate Bose on my HU or will it make little or no difference? If its a good idea is there an idiots guide as I don't have too much experience of amps and other such like things but am willing to learn.

    If Bose isn't a good idea, is there a way of including an amp or two in the current system to assist the power output? I understand an amp in the front speaker circuit is a possibility but the rears are awkward to say the least; is this correct?

    As I said, I don't want to change the HU so an aftermarket one is out, so all improvements would have to be compatible with the Audi HU.

    Sorry if its a bit of a FSQT but I thought it might be worthwhile asking your advice as I guess many of you would have faced the same or similar issues.

    Thanks in advance. [TABLE]
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  2. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    in all honesty if you have paid good money for front components allready then i would look into amping these up properly
    as this will give a considerable differance
    the only thing i would advise is to fit decent sound deadeneing materials in the front doors
    Dean_T likes this.
  3. Thanks for that...

    I have two amps, both Kenwood, a small two channel and a larger 4 channel with the woofer as well, I might try the two channel one tomorrow and see how it improves...

    Would you have any idea how I would wire the speakers on the four channel one, particularly as the rears are already amped and as far as I know are fed through the amp in the rear of the car, not directly from the HU.
  4. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    if you can give me the model numbers of the equipment i can describe how best to install the equipment to get the best from it
  5. A4 stu

    A4 stu Member

    Without wanting to thread jack I would also be interested in finding out about the bass reduction volume eq mentioned
    by the OP.

    Can it be turned of? Would earthing the Bose pin to activate the Bose mode with its flat output also negate this bass reduction?

  6. Hi Dualmono21

    Sorry I have not listed the model numbers yet, I am working away from home this week and will be back tomorrow evening. As soon as I can I will list the numbers for you. Probably sometime Saturday if that's OK?

    Thanks for your help ...
  7. Right, the Amps are as follows....

    The two channel amp is in fact a four channel as well...its an Alpine 3510.

    The second is a Kenwood 6404, again a four channel Amp...

    The HU is an Audi Concert of 1998 origin, with the small amp in the rear powering the rear door speakers and the woofer... All totally standard, apart from the speaker upgrade as mentioned earlier...

    I eagerly await your suggestions...

    (wheres the eager smiley face when you want one??)
  8. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    the small alpine amplifier you have isnt very powerfull at all
    the kenwood has a lot more power
    can you also tell me which speakers you upgraded to ?
    are you looking to add a subwoofer into the mix also ?

    its possible that if you have good quality front speakers allready fitted that the 4 channel amplifier from the kenwood could be bridged and twice the normal power applied to the front components
    this combined with a bit of sound deadeneing and lining would make a big improvement to your system
  9. A4 stu

    A4 stu Member

    If you are running front components with a passive crossover then the standard head unit is going to run out of puff quite quickly - I know as I currently have the same setup albeit as a temporary measure!

    As you have a factory sub then you must have the Avant estate?

    How about running the front components from the Kenwood front outputs and bridge the rear channel outputs for the sub? Either add an aftermarket sub, even a cheap 8" will greatly outperform the factory unit, or if not upgrade the sub's speaker and cover the original box in deadening material?

    I would consider ignoring the rear speakers altogether, they wont add much, if anything, and just drag the soundstage back. No one ever went to a concert and turned their back to the band so the sound came from behind them!

    The older 3000 series Alpine amplifiers are very good, often underated in power but the one you have is very small and to be honest unless you were running an active setup and it was powering tweeters I wouldn't bother using it.

    I have been trying to research the diminishing bass output for a while now with no joy. I have found only two possible options.

    1. Install an active crossover to compensate and add the bass back as it diminishes automatically (£100's!!)

    2. Have the gain on the amps input turned up high so that there is plenty of volume without much output from the head unit. The downside to this is limited volume control ie each 'click' of the volume dial would boost boost the volume up quite a bit so you may end up with only three volume settings - quiet-medium-loud!

  10. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    an active crossover will not add bass back into a system which has allready lost it
    there is a piece of equipment on the market which will though have a look for the "jl audio cleansweep"

    the gain solution wont work either im afraid as youll have too much of a level mismatch between the drivers so itll only work at one specific volume from there on in itll be very bass light or very bass heavy
    you could however try an aftermarket amplifier which has the facility of being able to add a remote bass controller on it
    something like an audio system amplifier would work very well doing this
  11. Totally confused now.....

    The rear speakers are a vital part of the system, I guess you dont have an Avant... if you fade these out you are left with a very weak sounding system...

    Also the sound at a concert is amplified and fed back to you with speakers behind you!!


    the acoustics of the concert hall will allow the sound to flow around you. If this wasnt so, the surround sound system would not be so popular.

    Basic question is,

    I want to improve the volume and the sound quality at motorway speeds as the stereo is weedy to say the least; particularly noticeable at speed.

    I have been offered a full Bose speaker system and Amps for the car. Should I fit this, activate Bose on my HU or will it make little or no difference? If its a good idea is there an idiots guide as I don't have too much experience of amps and other such like things but am willing to learn.

    If Bose isn't a good idea, is there a way of including an amp or two in the current system to assist the power output? I understand an amp in the front speaker circuit is a possibility but the rears are awkward to say the least; is this correct?

    As I said, I don't want to change the HU so an aftermarket one is out, so all improvements would have to be compatible with the Audi HU.

    I havent a clue about crossovers, etc but would like to know if there is anything I can do to improve my system as in my original question...

    What wont work is quite irrelevant really as I am not going to buy something that doesn't improve things, I am interested in if the amps I have already will help the situation and if so, how to wire them in and if not, what I need to buy to sort it out,


    Fit the Bose system I previously mentioned.

    Short of stripping the car I do not know what speakers are in there, I seem to think the fronts were 150w and the rears were 180w... I want the sub retained as bass is what the system is lacking... The speakers were £200 ish, not sure what make but were good quality...

    I also want the rears to work as the system is empty if they are not doing their bit. And when I carry passengers in the rear, dont want the front blasting out just for the passengers to hear.

    Any suggestions please??
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  12. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    i have an s4 avant so am all to aware of rear speakers
    i have been building car audio systems for nearly 25 years , so you may wish to listen to what i have to say

    no concert hall or show i have ever been too has ever had speakers behind me apart from monitors which are a totally differant thing
    music is recorded in 2 channel audio format left and right thats it .... surround sound for movies is recorded in either 5,6,7,8,9,10 through to 16 tracks depending on how advanced your decoder is depends on how many speakers and channels you can decode

    there is no point in having rear speakers in a car unless you prefer the unnatural sound of music played through multiple speakers
    but two speakers which are seperated playing the same signal and frequency is not a good idea

    you say you have upgraded the front components allready and paid over £200
    but are they component speakers or are they co-axials ?
    all these questions help me guide you to get the best from your system
    mister.c. and Dean_T like this.
  13. I forgot to say, I am not interested in a system powerful enough to rupture vital organs and don't want to drive about the towns at night with the system up high making the shop windows bounce, just a system with bass through out the car and a nice quality sound at the higher volume levels as well as the lower down volume range...

    Much the same as most new Audi's have.
  14. As in my previous post, the fronts are components with the little box thing that links the tweeters with the larger speakers lower in the doors....

    And the rears are co axial. The woofer? is the standard in the left side rear compartment...

    Not been to too many concerts, my ears are still bleeding from my first in '77 ish, Black Sabbath backed up by Van Halen, speakers both in front and behind you... And what an awesome sound!!

    And Ozzy offered me a spliff backstage, they were all p*ssed and higher than the space station....

    Those were the days... and only 14 too! (looked 18 easilly!)
  15. It gets even more confusing when someone starts a hijack...

    I do appreciate your help and suggestions..

    Would it be worth giving the Bose a try? Its only £150 for the whole system out of an Avant 2.8 QS.
  16. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User


    now i know what you have i can better guide you
    the front speakers you have are called compnents this is because the speakers are split into two
    a large driver which does the midbass and midrange and the smaller driver which is the tweeter which does all the high frequencies

    in all honesty i would look into using the small kenwood amplifier you have on your front components
    (if you can tell me more about which brand and model you have installed the better)

    spend a little money on some sound deadening for the doors and some closed cell foam to line the inside of the door with and this will make a big differance
    to install the amplifier youll need a wiring kit with a suitable fuse at both ends of the wire (the fuse protects the wire not the equipment) look for a good quality oxygen free copper wiring kit from someone like car audio direct

    with the 4 channel amp you have a couple of options
    you could bridge the amplifier which basically means you turn it into a bigger 2 channel amplifier instead of a 4 channel
    if the sub is allready powered from its own amplifier then this is in my opinion the best way to go
    you could if you wanted remove the audi amplifier and power the sub from 2 channels of the 4 channel amplifier
    and then use the other two channels to power the front speakers
  17. Is it as simple as wiring the speakers to the out side of the original amp in the rear, and the same in the front but obviously from the out side of the HU?

    Last thing I want to do is blow what I have through my lack of knowledge of adding amps...

    The rear speakers and the sub are powered from the same small oe amp... How does this complicate things?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  18. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    if you have little knowledge and are not confidant in fitting stuff
    id reccomend you visit a specialist installer and ask them how much it would be to install it for you

    where do you live ? if its local to me i will help you and show you exactly how to fit the kit properly
  19. I'm confident with doing the install myself but didn't think you could amplify an already amplified signal...

    I have been to several installers and all they want to do is change the HU, which I do not want to do. I want to keep the car original, not looking tacky with an ill fitting aftermarket HU, which wont match the rest of the interior. And the last few quotes I have had are quite frankly taking the ****, in excess of £1000 to do the job! I mean, do they think I was born yesterday?

    Would the Bose system be worth fitting?

    Can the amps be fitted to the rear speakers and the Sub? They, I understand, only work through the OE Amp fitted in the back...

    These are questions I cannot get anyone to answer.

    I am at the moment in Kent so a 250 mile plus trip isn't doable, but thanks for the offer.

    Can you do a wiring diagram for me to fit the amps into the rear please? I can do the front one easy enough, but its the Amping the already amped speakers I am concerned about.
  20. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    you leave the rear speakers and the rear sub as standard
    that way you still have some control off the headunit
    all you need to do is put power wiring in for the additional amplifier and find the input signal on the original wiring which goes into the std amplifier and convert that to rca then feed that signal into the kenwood amplifier to power the front speakers
  21. I am sorry but I do not want to leave the rear speakers out of the upgrade. That looks like a cheap 'I don't know what I am doing' answer instead of an answer from someone with 25 years experience fitting stereos.

    I want a good sound from ALL the speakers as I have mentioned in so many posts here.

    Have you ever been in a new Audi? They don't have only two front speakers but a full system working throughout the car with something like 10 or 12 speakers, maybe more. The sound is awesome, and that's not from the Bose system either.

    It is pointless doing anything at all if this is the only suggestion you have.

    I will install the Bose system and see how that one is. Its funny, I have asked a few times what the quality of the Bose system is like and should I install that instead and no one has answered.

    Well that's what I will do, go for Bose.

    If I do ever find an answer to any of my questions, I will start a new informative thread which may help future owners, who want to do the same as I improve the sound quality and bass across all volumes, without resorting to changing the whole system.

    Quite frankly I am disappointed that I have wasted so much time asking questions for them all to be ignored. If you don't have the knowledge or experience it sometimes better to say nothing rather than mislead.

    Mods, can you please delete this thread, its pointless, and is taking up space which is not necessary, and it does not assist anyone here. The questions have not been answered and look like they never will be.

    Teddy seriously thrown out of cot!!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  22. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    i give up

    if you want to fit the terrible bose kit feel free ... it will fit, cost more money and sound halve as good and your likely to have problems with it
    hope this answers all your questions
    good luck with your install
    mister.c. likes this.
  23. So the Bose kit is terrible?

    At last, an answer!

    But the terrible Bose system I think it beats having just two amped speakers in the front!

    Why I cannot get straight answers to straight questions beats me. Its not like I am trying to make money out of it or take over an area of expertise you hold, (doubtful) I just wanted to know if there was an alternative to trashing the whole system, not an option, or a relatively straight forward way of improving the sound quality.

    But thats a secret you will hold forever...

    Apart from 'amp the front speakers' !

    To quote Homer Simpson... Doh!!

    I too give up.
  24. A4 stu

    A4 stu Member

    This is great.

    The Bose system was considered an upgrade back when the cars were new and was arguably better than the standard audio, but, by today's standard even a cheap amp and speakers combination from a respected audio brand like Alpine or Kenwood etc will sound much better.

    A used bose system will mean fitting used components and bose used paper speakers which deteriorate over time ie the sound quality decreases. Personally I wouldn't retro fit the old Bose system, because for less work you can get better results. I suspect there will be big wiring issues as well which will not be easy.

    Ultimately there is a limit to the quality that can be achieved because the standard head unit is not exactly brilliant and again, even a lower end unit from Alpine or Pioneer will be better, full stop, even with the low quality original paper speakers that due to age, use and moisture will have deteriorated in quality and performance.

    The advice you had about amping the front speakers was good advice. Improving the front setup is good classic good advice because its the right advice. Go to any car audio forum and they will tell you that to get good SQ involves removing the rear speakers because having them ruins the sound more than it adds to it.

    The reason the stereo in the Avant sounds weaker when faded to the front is because of the way Audi have wired their stereo up. On your car the sub takes its feed from the rear channel so fade the rear door speakers out and unfortunately you lose the sub. If you left the fader set to 0 so there was equal balance between front and rear, but then physically removed the door speakers so there was no noise from them and only the front speakers and the rear sub were working, it would sound better.

    A modern head unit allows independent subwoofer volume control so even with four speaker channels, if the sound is faded to the front so the rear speakers get no volume, the sub can still be turned up. With the Audi setup you can't do that, it's a case of all or nothing.

    I'm trying to do the same as you - improve the sound and keep the Audi head unit. It's not easy and by keeping it you do limit what you can achieve. It's a bit like connecting a VHS video player into a modern cinema surround sound system.

    So, I have registered with several Audi forums and several audio forums and no one has been able to tell me how to compensate for the bass reducing volume function the radio has other than to install expensive active compensation like the Audisom Bit Ten which takes the output signal from a factory head unit and flattens out any EQ curve and reinstates any lost or decreased frequencies.

    My hope is that by earthing the bose pin on the back of the HU which will flatten the audi EQ curve and put the radio into Bose mode, that as part of this mode, the bass reduction is lost because the Bose amp which it would then connect to handles all kinds of high and low pass filtering to the different speakers so it shouldn't be needed, but until I spend the time doing it I won't know.

    I have experimented a lot with different head units and several amps and so far keeping the original head unit seems to mean that aside from keeping the factory look, there will be a headache to get it sounding much better without a lot of work.

    The B5 has lots of audio issues including the poor way in which the speakers are secured to the door cards and not the doors, hence the deadening and wave deflection foam advice.

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
    Tolak and dualmono21 like this.
  25. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    youve been given good advice ... NO !!! the bose system wont sound better than two speakers amped properly
    how many more times do you have to be told
    the problem however is this ... YOU WONT LISTEN and think you know better
    with that kind of attitude it is no wonder you have asked on multiple forums , people whom are trying to help others rarely react kindly to comments such as yours

    as for doubting my credentials
    ive nearly 25 years installing experiance in hundreds of differant cars, ive travelled all over the world both competing and judging car audio competitions for both sound quality and installation
    im a former u.k and european champion .... but obviously i still dont know as much as you

    good luck with the install
    mister.c. likes this.

  26. You have answered your own question... You have been given good advice... NO! correct you have not provided me with any sensible advice as you are so Anal with your two speakers are better than ten attitude.

    If you have all the experience you state, why can you not answer any of my questions apart from your ditch the rear speakers speech..

    If two speakers were the way forward, Why does every manufacturer in the world use more than two speakers in their setups?

    If you were the judge at these competitions you state then the set ups must have been pretty **** to meet with your low standards.

    I asked several questions which you evaded on every occasion. That doesn't indicate to me that you have much knowledge in the ICE world. Your lack of knowledge and your refusal to answer my questions has quite frankly got my back up. You harp on about your experience then say junk the rear speakers, do you know how stupid that sounds?

    I do in fact listen, I hear promises that you will tell me how to wire the system, as I have asked, and your response is cut the rear speakers! Utterly stupid!

    You carry on patting yourself on your back and telling yourself what a wonderful job you are doing, but think of this, if you were as good as you say, why don't you answer my questions and tell me how to wire the rear and front speakers with an extra amp or two in the system.

    But no, lets just evade the subject.

    I will keep trying and I will find an expert on either this forum or elsewhere who can help; The main problems with the other forums I have asked the question on, is the fact that the system has the fronts fed from the HU and the rears and the sub from a small independent amp. No other reason than that. They don't understand the Audi system.

    And neither, it appears, do you!
  27. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    you have been given good advice is a statement , not a question
    try reading and listening before attempting to be clever

    NO !!! the bose system wont sound better than two speakers amped properly
    how many more times do you have to be told... the ideal situation would be simply two speakers one for left and one for right
    but since very very few speakers can produce the entire freqeuncy range manufacturers go with 3 one for midbass and midrange
    one for tweeter and a **** useless subwoofer which does little

    the more speakers you add the more phase differances you add to the sound since all the speakers do not play at the same time or speed relative to your position and contrary to belief more speakers does not equal louder
    when you have more phase differnaces in a system you loose detail ... this is why good systems only have the least amount of speakers they can get away with and are located in front of the listener NOT BEHIND HIM ... NO REAR SPEAKERS
    mister.c. likes this.
  28. Who on earth do you think you are? How many times do I have to be told? You haven't earned the right to tell me or anyone on here anything you silly man. You could try advising them? No just blunder in and force your opinion on us all. You sir, have the manners of a Buffoon and the literacy of a three year old with learning difficulties!

    Go test drive a new car, any one, and then come back and tell me how many speakers it has behind the driver... none? more than two? four? more?

    Even my MGF has two speakers behind the driver and two in the front of the doors.... Whats that all about then??

    Current LR Freelander 2 HSE I road tested for work had SEVEN SPEAKERS BEHIND THE DRIVER, maybe for the passengers to listen to? As mentioned in my post... remember?? No, you just want to 'TELL' people, belittle them with your bullying attitude. You will not listen to whats being said or read what has been posted.

    But rant on as much as you like because, quite frankly there is nothing you could say now that would change my mind about you and your ability in this field. You have shown that you are narrow minded, have a problem when someone questions your statements, you rely on your own self supplied credentials, which to be honest sound like they are sponsored by Walt Disney. You forgot to say how many gold stars you have on your uniform.

    I've got it..... You work for Halfords don't you... go on... don't be shy..... You are a fitter at the ICE desk....

    Carry on building your award winning Chav Boxes...

    Some of us appreciate class and quality; something I doubt you have ever been fortunate enough to experience.

    Oh and one more thing, A quick quiz...

    How many speakers did you have in your award winning systems? It's an easy quiz with only three answers, not too hard either.

    a. 1

    b. 2

    c. more than two...

    And I already know the answer as you well do too.

    I'll give you one thing, you are a true master in the art of fukwittage!

    And just where in front of the driver, in an Audi S4 B6 do you fit this little lot then?

    alpine f1 dvi9990 -pxah990 - alpine d511r
    4 x focal 5ws - focal audiom 6w midrange - focal tce tweeters - velodyne df 12 sc servo controlled subwoofer
    phase linear 4.8kw psu x 2 4 x 1.2skw 2 x 0.6skw
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  29. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    and who or what gives you the right to attack me PERSONALLY for trying to help you ?
    youve been advised by more than one individual what the best method is to improve your system
    your own thread name is titled "audi concert with aftermarket amps" so that is the advice you have been given
    if you dont like the advice either delete the thread or start another
    i will not drop to your level of cheap personal insults

    heres is my install in my s4
    naths audi s4 avant build thread - SQ & Technical - Talk Audio

    it keeps me happy when im not working at halfords
    at the weekends paying for my basic english and dyslexia course
    if you look at my system carefully youll see 8 speakers all in front of the driver and passenger with a ninth in the boot itself
    i could go into a lot of detail about why there are 8 and why they are positioned there but this isnt my thread
    mister.c. likes this.
  30. No ones attacking you, just pointing out how you come across on the forum. Ignorant, arrogant and single minded. But that's just my opinion. Based on what I have seen.

    You go back to your little cotton wool, two speaker world, with all your trophies, for being oh so good at building chav boxes... At least the trophies won't answer back.

    And did you mention that you had speakers behind the driver in your chavmobile, for the passengers, on the other linked forum?? Perish the thought!!

    Would be interested to see where you fit 8 speakers in the front of a B6.. Must be a wonderful sight!! Not.

    And no surprise that there are no pics of the speaker install...
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  31. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

    im the buffoon ,illeterate and a master of fukwittage yet i possess the ability to turn to page 2 of the thread and look at the pictures

    if you turn to page 2 (thats the page after 1 by the way) you will indeed see pictures of the speaker installation , perhaps if you progress further you may even find page 3

    not got a clue what you are on about with rear speakers behind me again i suspect your anger managament issues are clouding your reading ability(im seeing a trend here) , there are no rear speakers behind me except the subwoofer the rear passengers have headphones so as they can listen to
    the rear screen or indeed another source without interferring with what ever the main cabin is listening too ... again if you bother to read it tells you

    as for the chavtastic box ... i await with baited breath pictures of your angry installation
    mister.c. likes this.
  32. You will have a long wait,

    I would never lower myself to your level.

    And I like the headphones idea, they won't have to listen to your drivel then will they.
  33. Jimmybuckrogers

    Jimmybuckrogers Audi OCD VCDS Map User Audi A3

    Wow, 'Final 3Green Land' you need to check yourself.

    Well done 'dualmono21' for taking the time to give some good advice.
    dualmono21 and mister.c. like this.
  34. Time for this thread to be closed...
  35. mister.c.

    mister.c. Active Member TeamMisano Audi A3

    Patience and Saint springs to mind! Thanks for the read.
    dualmono21 likes this.

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