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Fit a Subwoofer to Standard Sound System - Possible?

rozel Apr 5, 2014

  1. rozel

    rozel Member

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    I have tried searching to see if this is possible in my new A3 - anyone?
     
  2. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    Doubt it. You'd need an amplifier to drive the sub and the standard system only uses the MMI inbuilt amp as far as I know.

    I've asked about retrofitting the ASS and you're looking circa two grand!
     
  3. slipped_disc

    slipped_disc Member Audi A3 S-line owners group Manual

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    Has anyone access to wiring diagrams showing the standard audio system and the ASS?

    A comparison of these diagrams would indicate the differences and thus give an idea of the work involved to upgrade.
     
  4. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    According to the parts catalogue there is only one type of 'Audio' wiring loom used on the A3. I have also got access to the 'Current Flow Diagrams for the A3 but they are not very easy to make head and tail off, but I will have another look.
     
  5. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    As I said there is only one wiring loom used for the both systems, standard and ASS but from what I can see in the workshop manual and current flow diagrams the whole audio system is handled by the CAN bus setup and various Control units. I would assume the different systems need different control units to work.
     
  6. rozel

    rozel Member

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    Nice one h5djr - whilst I am an audiphile I'm not paying stupid money for ASS or B & O. But a sub would tighten up the bass l feel.
     
  7. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    Don't think there will be b an easy/cheap option.

    As I said, you'd have to amplify the sub to get it to work and the standard system has no amp at all as far as I understand.

    That's the point of ASS. Not only does it add a centre and sub to the existing speakers, it adds a 6ch amp to drive them all.

    You can't drive a sub from the inbuilt amplifier.

    Only way will be to retrofit ASS/B&O or add in an aftermarket solution.

    One is bloody expensive. The other is expensive and probably invalidates your warranty
     
  8. rozel

    rozel Member

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    No amp? How then does the MMI work and with 80watts x2 in the std setup, something's driving the speakers.
     
  9. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    the so called "80 x 2 watts" is a integrated circuit chip which in reality will provide no more than 2 x 17.5 wrms
    both sound quality wise and price wise the best option is to add an aftermarket amplifier and drive how ever many speakers you wish from it
     
    oufc1976 likes this.
  10. slipped_disc

    slipped_disc Member Audi A3 S-line owners group Manual

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    You audiophiles keep me right with the terminology, but is the boot mounted sub active or passive, i.e. Does it have an integral amplifier?
     
  11. arad85

    arad85 Well-Known Member Team V6 Audi S5 Black Edition

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    The sub doesn't "tighten up" the bass.. it just adds more of it. If you want tight bass, you need a fairly large (and preferably sealed) enclosure and a large driver (far, far larger than in any of the factory add-ons for the A3). At the end of the day, a £255 or £750 adder on the standard sound system isn't going to give you much more than the ability to go loud (or very loud in the B&O case) when you want to.
     
  12. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear. The MMI has an inbuilt amp of course but you couldn't drive a sub from it.

    As with any 'headunit', you'd need a pre-out to send to an external amplifier that would then feed the sub. The audio channel bypasses the internal amplification, is directed down the pre-out and in to the external amp, which then does all the hard work.

    Same principle for your normal speakers as well.

    So, the standard Audi audio has 8 speakers driven off the internal amp. The ASS adds an external amp, primarily to enable the sub to be driven, but also to add additional drive to the standard speakers (plus a centre).

    B&O is the same principle, but with superior components.

    From my experience I've never come across a standard factory fitted 'headunit' (MMI in Audi Land) that has pre-outs. So if you want to add a sub, you have to add an amp.
     
  13. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    https://www.dropbox.com/s/81bsbubhozqigmx/0810160002.JPG

    Just for info really, here is a pic of my Golf that I've just traded in for the wife to buy a new Corsa :wacko: which may help understand.

    So, the blue amp (monoblock) drove the sub. The RCA cable going in at the top is connected to one of three pre-outs on the back of a Pioneer headunit. The amp on the right is a four channel, running fronts and rears. Two RCAs going in, taking advantage of the two remaining pre-outs on the headunit.

    One headunit, three pre-outs. Enabling front, rear and sub to have amplification.

    The other things you can see are a powersplitter (small box in middle which takes main power from battery and splits it to the amps) and crossovers (two boxes far right) that control frequency ranges to my component speakers up front.

    It's probably little wonder I find the standard audio system....well....a bit ****!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
    ahfh1 likes this.
  14. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    Note to self. Work out how to upload pictures properly
     
  15. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    There is a 'sticky' from the moderator Sandra which gives details of how to upload pictures.
     
    oufc1976 likes this.
  16. oufc1976

    oufc1976 Member

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    Thanks mate. Will have a read
     
  17. rozel

    rozel Member

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    Thank you all for your help.

    I was under the impression that there might be a "remote" cable or something like that, hanging loose from the internal "amp", which could be utilised for the purpose of connecting to a remote subwoofer, connected to it's own amp. This is why I was hoping h5djr could help with a wiring diagram or something.

    I appreciate what's been said but a remote sub would tighten things up, if properly driven.

    The standard system sounds ok to my experienced and old (ish) ears - the treble and mid-range sound as good as anything I've listened to in a standard system in a car. But the bass, whether from the radio or sperate media is poor. It's not that there isn't much of it, there is but it's not good.
     
  18. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    you can buy an adaptor from the likes of autoleads or celsus which clips into the back of your headunit and gives you either a line level just for a subwoofer or a line level at full range to drive a full range amplifier

    its just a case then off adding power wiring and the amplifier
    if your going to the expense of a big amplifier capable of driving all the speakers then , make sure you change the speakers as the standard ones are ****e as are the "upgraded and overpriced" b+o stuff
    you will also need to run speaker cables to whichever speakers your planning on driving

    standard subwoofer is around 6" and is plenty loud enough its simply the enclosure isnt very good
    a larger speaker will enable you to hit lower notes and be a little bit louder
    if you listen to music go for a sealed enclosure , if you listen to rap or dance a ported enclosure , modern music throw yourself under a bus
     
  19. rozel

    rozel Member

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    "Clips Into the back of the headunit" - it is this that I need more info on. We are talking about an MMI unit of some sort rather than a head unit.

    Seems what I want to do has been done on so many vehicles, including Audis but the MMI here seems a different kettle of fish.
     
  20. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    The main unit in the Audi system is what is called the Central Computer which sits in the glove box and has the sockets for the two SD cards. Different ones are used according to the audio set-up installed.
     
  21. rozel

    rozel Member

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    So does anything spring forth from the back of it or are there any input/output sockets do you know?
     
  22. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member TeamMisano Audi RS3 Audi S3 Team Ara Blue

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    £795 is peanuts for a car audio system

    - my current Peugeot 307 has a £2K setup (installed >5 years ago) and sounds a lot better than my S3's B&O

    previous cars
    - Peugeot 205GTI 1.9 had a £1500 setup (installed >10 years ago) before it got nicked by some low life.
    - golf gti had the most expensive setup at £3K (installed 20+ years ago) - most mental system ive had despite being tape/cd based
     
  23. rozel

    rozel Member

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    Lol, then you have money to burn - you will never get a sound system in a car that sounds anywhere as good as something for the same money in a decent sized living room. But each to their own.
     
  24. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    It looks like their is a single 38-pin plug and socket that fits into the back of the unit, plus a separate two pin plug where the MOST fibre optic cable connect for the B+O systems. It's all designed to make initial construction much easier rather than to make it easy for aftermarket changes or additions. The days of individual connection for each component are long gone.
     
  25. rozel

    rozel Member

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    Thanks - maybe somebody will come up with a way to add a SW at some point - here's hoping :) !!
     
  26. royalsteve68

    royalsteve68 Well-Known Member TeamMisano Audi RS3 Audi S3 Team Ara Blue

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    Most oddest comment ever. does that mean I have to drive my living room around then.

    I agree its hard to get a decent purist sound but it is getting better and manufacturer installed systems like the B&O are ok. Most systems like the audi advanced system are naff, though a lot are worse.

    It also depends upon what music you play and how much of a custom build you have as all that glass and metal don't help. I play anything from vocal trance, mainstream dance, drum and bass, some pop music, some rock music, etc
    I thought all audi drivers were rich.

    I have a decent sound system in my home, albeit an av system - yahama, kef and REL based
     
  27. rozel

    rozel Member

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    Think you have just confirmed what I said :)
     
  28. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    Quite honestly I think the only real way to do it is to think very carefully about what you might want BEFORE you place the order for the car. If you think you may want something better than the standard installation he must add the ASS or B+O system as part of the order. At £255 for ASS and even £790 for B+O neither are that much more on a 20-30k car.

    If like me you never listen to music in the car, then there is no point in paying out for something you won't use. The great thing is that Audi give us the choice, but it does mean these days we have to do the research, make the choice and accept what we order. Adding 'bits' after the car has been built can work out very expensive. This does not only apply to the Audio system but to many other components as well.
     
  29. Mostly Grouchy

    Mostly Grouchy New Member

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    Has anyone actually listened to the three options side-by-side and done a direct comparison before ordering? I would be really interested to know how much of an improvement the additional options provide for the money. It is very difficult to judge these things when people have already shelled out and are suffering from self-justification or buyers' remorse.
     
  30. rozel

    rozel Member

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    I agree fully.

    But I had no choice when ordering the car as I got a cancellation and it was either a case of waiting the usual 3 months and the cost of hiring a car in the meantime or accepting the cancellation, which was the standard spec A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI SE 122 - it was the engine/suspension I really wanted.

    I have had tons of cars over the years and have added after market systems into them - this time I am not going to pay stupid money or shell out the money that Audi want for Retro Fitting, even if it were possible. The B&O system seems well over rated to me, from what I have read and certainly do not wish to change to ASS which again is way to costly for what it provides.

    No I just want to add a Subwoofer (with an amp to drive it) and would have thought this were possible, once the wiring can be fathomed out.

    How long, may I ask has the A3 8v chassis been on the market? I would have thought this would have been something that could have been worked out since then perhaps?
     
  31. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

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    One thing I have definitely found during the past 30 years of purchasing an Audi is that you need to plan well ahead. My next door neighbour has a VW Passat Estate and he most surprised when he went into both a VW showroom and an Audi showroom that he could not have another new one or an A4 Estate in a couple of weeks time when the company lease on his existing one ran out.

    When I collect my new 8V from my dealers, probably next week, I think it will be the shortest lead time I've ever had with an Audi. Eight weeks from order to manufacture and only eight further days until it was in the UK. My current 2012 8P took 20 weeks.
     
  32. rozel

    rozel Member

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    If you can plan that way all well and good. In the event that I want another Audi in 3 years time, given I purchased on PCP, then 6 months before my agreement runs out I will check things over. But that said I am not buying for the sound system in a car, there is so much more about cars to consider before attention focuses on the sound system - see my mini A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI SE 122 review here for example.

    I am not regretting at all having the standard sound system but just want to know if it can be improved upon by adding a sub, that is all :)
     
  33. dualmono21

    dualmono21 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    and anyone who knows anything about audio reproduction knows its not the equipment its the installation that makes the difference NOT THE EQUIPMENT

    i sold my home system as it didn't sound as good as my car and i was using atc sl50 active speakers at nearly 10 grand a set
    the stuff i use in my car is in my signature

    its easier to get the sound correct in a car than it is in a home as you have so much more adjustability than a home system
     
  34. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

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    There are circuit diagrams in the workshop manual, but they aren't particularly interesting - just shows the speakers being connected to the amp for ASS and B&O, with a mic for B&O as well (for the cabin noise compensation). The B&O amp is connected to the MMI via a fibre optic cable as well.
     

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