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Car Audio Upgrade advice plz

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by soupz, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Hi.

    I've just discovered this forum and think its fantastic forum with all the info I could want. I've just purchased an Audi A3 1999 1.8T three days ago. Great car! but the sound system ruins it. The volume control isnt working and the display is faulty which is why I want to upgrade it.

    I've read about the common fault with these players and their volume control issues. Really sucks!

    Anyway just wanna say big Hello! and ask a few questions.

    1) Apart from the Blaukpunkt Woodstock, are there any other players that will plug straight in with the existing Audi Wiring?

    2) if not, What cables would I need, to fit an aftermarket cd player to make everything work? I'd be agreatfull for parts codes aswell. I think I have the non-bose system! On this page: http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/index.php?cPath=292_294_337 there are 2 cables. Do you know which one I will need? Do I need some sort of aerial booster? anything else?

    3) I've noticed a CD-changer cable in the boot but sadly the changer itself is missing. Will this cable work with any CD player? and will any cd changer work with this cable?

    erm, thats all for now I fink.

    Thankyou
    #1
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  3. col6821
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    col6821 Member

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Hi Soupz

    I've recently fitted a Pioneer HU to my S3 and encountered all the questions above. I tried the Autoleads PC9-401 (I think) ang got way too much interferrence from the rear speakers, so I ran without any optional lead and installed a new amp to power a sub and the rear speakers.
    I was unable to receive any FM or AM transmissions with the OE aerial either so I ended up replacing it with a standard 'powered' aftermarket item (which wasn't as difficult as it sounds).
    If you're interested in keeping the original kit, you'll need AndyMac to answer your questions, and you could then install his upgraded subwoofer option, I'm sure he'll be along soon to help.
    #2
  4. A3_Turbo
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    A3_Turbo Swaying towards IHI....

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Ive done a few things uadio wise firstly i got an uatoleads wiring adapter and bought a Ripspeed DVD headunit from halfords plug in fine and fitted nice.

    Made the standard sub more punchy and also your getting more power through the front speakers as the standard HU is only 25 w i think?

    That sounded good just like that but i wanted more BASS. So i ran a wiring kit through the car and now have a JBL 12" Sub and amp installed much much better.

    I still have the standard audi sub running too at the same time though...


    Jason
    #3
  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Blaupunkt are the only ones that plug straight in as they used to make the OEM head units for Audi until Panasonic/Matsushita took over the contract around 2000.
    The power ISO cable will fit any HU so that's not a problem but you will need to swap the perm live/ignition on live as Audi wire them back to front.
    The main problem is the rear speaker/sub amp which uses a 20 pin mini-ISO connection (the top connector on the back of the HU). This feeds the rear/sub amp inside the tupperware box in the boot as well as the CD changer and the DIS display.
    There are 2 adaptor cables available.
    1. RCA input adapter - takes the rear RCA's from new HU down to mini ISO so you can plug them into the Audi loom.
    Depending on HU you may well get popping from the rear speakers using this as the Audi amp is a bit wierd. Also it will be unbalanced as the new HU will have twice the power going to the front speakers than the feeble 2x20w going to the rears.
    Recommendation: Use this adapter to feed the sub (if you're not planning on a sub upgrade) and disconnect the rear speakers and run new cable from the new HU to the rear speakers. This will sort out the popping and provide more power and better quality to the rears.
    2. The other option is to use the speaker level input adapter which uses a line out converter to take the rear speaker output from the new HU down to pre-out level to feed the rear/sub amp.
    This is the easiest/lazy option & will possibly introduce noise but not really noticeable on just the rears.
    You will need a antenna amp which sits between the Audi aerial and the new HU. The Audi HU has an amp built into the HU.
    http://www.caraudiodirect.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=211
    And also fascia plates to blank off the gaps left by the oversized fascia of the Audi HU.
    No the CD changer cable will not work with any other changer.
    #4
  6. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    #5
  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    That's the speaker input adapter, CAD seem to have stopped selling the RCA input adapter, probably because of the popping issue. you can get it here:
    http://www.nexxia.co.uk/Car_Stereo_fitting_kits/Audi/A3.htm
    It's the PC9-401
    If you rewire the rear speakers directly to the HU then you can still use this adapter to provide an RCA feed to the sub amp. Just ensure you isolate the rear speaker connectors when you disconnect them as they will still be live.
    #6
  8. BrianM
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    BrianM BrianM

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Not sure if it fits or is to your liking but there is an AUDI A3 CONCERT SINGLE CD RADIO WITH CODE for sale on Ebay, item no 270038780554 starting at £25Just bought an item off the guy and he seems genuine, mind you it hasn't arrived yet! Might help you out.
    #7
  9. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Oct 16, 2006]
    Thankyou guys!

    I'm pretty much clear on what to do now.
    I'm gonna get the PC9-401 adapter and a new HU. Also gonna connect the rears to the HU direct.

    Think i'm gonna take my time as its gonna be a pain to route cables undercarpet and stuff.

    I did look at buying a concert HU off ebay for the OEM look but I guess a new system would be better overall for music quality.

    AndyMac, I read post that you make and provide all the bits for the stealth Sub install. Do you still do this and how much is it? I saw that the Sub is in the rear left quarter panel. Does the bass sound different as its not centre in the boot?
    #8
  10. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    The cables just route down the side of the car under trim.
    Yes I still provide the stealth subs.
    Custom stealth enclosure 18mm MDF (satin black with gold speaker terminals, brackets, wiring & wadding) - £95
    JL Audio 6.5" sub (JL-6W0-4) - £85
    Alpine V12 MRV-F405 4 channel 300w RMS amp - £90
    Wiring (40amp power cable, earth lead - £20
    Adapter loom, RCA loom to plug into Audi sub loom - £20
    Optional Installation - £60 (Southampton)

    The sub replaces the tupperware sub in the same location. Bass is not directional so the positioning of the sub makes very little difference. The stealth sub provides really decent punchy bass without the loss of any boot space with everything hidden.
    It's not the door rattling stuff you get from a proper 12" unit in a big box, but somewhere in between that and the standard sub. I actually prefer it to the 10" Alpine unit I have in my A4 as you don't get the really low down droan that can overwhelm the sound on some tracks.
    #9
  11. jbw
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    jbw Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    Soupz - if you can afford one of Andy's stealth subs I strongly recommend it. I bought one and not only is the sound quality excellent but the quality of build is awesome too. :thumbsup:
    Andy provides instructions which, as a novice ICE installer, I managed to follow easily but if you can't spare the time take the optional installation.

    jbw
    #10
  12. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    Hi. Yes, I'm definately going to get one of his stealth Subs! Just waiting for a bit of money and also have to get the HU first then soon, I'll get the order in!

    Is the Amp small enough to be hidden? Also how hard is it to route the cables through the firewall etc? I might have to get the extra installation.
    #11
  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    The amp is pretty big but is hidden behind the rear speaker panel, where there is loads of room.
    The power cable is routed through the bulkhead using the spare grommet up by the pollen filter which drops down into the passenger footwell.
    If you PM me your mail address I can send over the PDF instructions so you can see what's involved. It's not complicated just time consuming.
    #12
  14. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Oct 21, 2006]
    Hi m8. PM sent.

    I've had a look behind the panel and have noticed a Bose Bassbox. Does this mean that I have the Bose speaker system?

    Would I need a different adapter cable to upgrade the HU? if so, can you recommend somewhere I can get it?
    #13
  15. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 21, 2006]
    Yes you have the Bose upgrade. Have a look in the righthand cubbyhole in the boot and check there is a black amp tucked in behind the rear lights, just in case someone has just added a Bose sub to a non-Bose system. If the amp is there then it's a Bose system. This makes upgrading the HU a bit trickier unfortunately. All the speakers are amped in the Bose system and you can't run any of the speakers off the HU as they are 2 ohm impedance, so will fry the HU's internal amp. Your easiest option is to replace the faulty HU with another Audi one off ebay. If you still want to go aftermarket you will need to use the speaker input adapter that you originally provided the link for from caraudiodirect. This won't be brilliant as it uses a converter to take the amped speaker output from the new HU and take it back down to pre-out level so the Bose amp can amplify it back up again. So the SQ will be compromised and you may get interference. If you use the RCA input adapter then the popping will drive you mad as it will be transmitted through all the speakers, so very loud. A new aftermarket HU on the Bose system may actually make it sound worse rather than better.
    The only other option is to replace all 6 cabin speakers and drive these directly from the new HU, bypassing the Bose amp all together.
    #14
  16. Drizz
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    Drizz Project Plush

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    [Oct 29, 2006]
    Sorry to butt in but what system is my 2.5TDi Avant Quattro Sport (2000V) likely to have? I have a Pioneer DVD/SatNav Head Unit on order and really dont want to change all the speakers. I shall be amping a new sub and amp combo in the boot its just the speakers and aerial im worried about? Have another amp to run speakers if necesarry?
    Thanks for your help....
    #15
  17. soupz
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    soupz New Member

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    Hi.
    Sorry for being so long about all this!

    I have looked behind both rear quater panels and do not see anything resembling an amp at all. I'm assuming that the previous owner must have added this later on. There are no 'Bose' logos on any of the speaker grills at all. The bassbox seems to have 2 grills on it so I think it has 2 miniture subs inside.

    if someone did add this later then how would it be powered?

    overall, I'm assuming that I still have the non-bose system. Anyone offer any more advice on how to determine it more?
    #16
  18. MarcA3Turbo
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    MarcA3Turbo Member

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    In my car (Bose upgrade) 'Bose' appears in the radio display (for a second or 2) when the radio is powered on. There should be a Bose logo on the speaker covers in the lower part of the front door, as well as the ones in the rear quarter panel
    #17
  19. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    The Bose on the HU and the Bose logo's don't always seem to be present. The Bose on the HU can be turned off via VAGCOM, or if the HU has been replaced.
    The sub is definately Bose, and the amp is inside the tupperware box. However you should definately have a small black amp in the righthand cubbyhole, stuffed down behind the rear light cluster.
    You can add the Bose sub to a non Bose system but this would then mean you have no amp for the rear speakers as the nonBose system powers the rears off the sub amp, the Bose system powers all cabin speakers off the seperate amp.
    The OEM HU has no rear speaker output, so if you have the Bose sub, but no Bose amp and the rear speakers are working then the rears must be powered elsewhere. Previous owner has maybe installed a small amp for the rears somewhere else in the car. Should be pretty obvious, have a look at the connector on the sub. In order to connect a Bose sub to a nonBose system they would have to butcher the sub connector as they are completely different.
    The other way to check is to pull the HU and see if the front speaker loom is present. This is a standard brown ISO plug which plugs in above the black power ISO plug and underneath the multi coloured pre-out/CANBUS/CD changer plug. If this is connected then it's a non Bose system.
    If you fancy pulling off a rear panel then the rear speakers will also tell you. Non Bose rears are 6.5" units. Bose rears are the crappiest 4" shyte you've ever seen, they look like something from an old valve radio.
    [​IMG]
    #18
  20. Drizz
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    Drizz Project Plush

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    How do you remove a B5's HU?
    #19
  21. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    With HU removal keys, available from Halfords, ebay or ICE dealer
    They look like this:
    [​IMG]
    #20
  22. Drizz
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    Drizz Project Plush

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    Lovely, thanks mate
    #21
  23. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 10, 2006]
    Go easy though as the metal clips are very fragile and you can easily bend them out of shape and then the whole HU gets jammed in there. Don't use any amount of force with the keys, and pushing the HU into the dash helps as it releases the pressure on the clips.
    #22

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