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Improving the sound quality

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by dougie175, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. dougie175

    dougie175 Member

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    I have had my 2002 A3 TDI Sport for the last year and the stereo system is one thing that just is not as good as I would like.

    Dont get me wrong it is ok, but the quality soon falls off when you increase the volume.

    Im not looking for anything ridiculously loud, Im also not after any more bass as such, just something that really keeps the quality when the volume is raised, I presume the system falls down on the standard speakers?

    Can anyone recommend upgraded unit that do not cost the earth but would really increase quality when playing music a little louder than normal.

    Thank You
     
  2. SiGainey

    SiGainey Member

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    In my experience, upgrading the head unit first will give you more benefit than upgrading the speakers first :)
     
  3. beanoir

    beanoir Large Member

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    +1

    Just finished installing a new head unit this weekend, totally by-passed the factory amp and just driving the speakers from the head unit rather than allowing the amp to power the rears. Sub is still running from the factory amp and signal from the head unit's sub pre-outs.

    Sounds a lot better than it did!
     
  4. dougie175

    dougie175 Member

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    Hmmmm ok, was wanting to keep the HU really as I like the factory look rather than some after market HU

    Im guessing a upgraded OEM look headunit is going to cost alot?

    My car has a Concert II at the moment, when I was younger I used to have a small alpine amp that really kicked out a great sound even from an average head unit.

    I was wondering If I made myself a custom wiring loom to this Alpine KTP-445 Head Unit AMP 4 Channel Amplifier CDA CDE | eBay would it boost the quality and use this as an amp instead of the Concert 2 amp?
     
    #4 dougie175, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  5. 16Klappe

    16Klappe I <3 Panda's!
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    I see this quite a lot, but both of our A3's have got totally epic sound systems in them. Like PROPERLY good, I can't see how you could ever want more than they have standard? I've been in big ICE cars and yeah they are great at shows, but IMO all Audi's have excellent stereos out the box for an every day system.

    And before you mention bass, I am a massive dubaholic.
     
  6. Prawn

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    3 replies and nobody has mentioned AndyMac yet? that's a first.

    Do a search on this forum for the AndyMac Stealth Sub.

    You retain the standard head unit, and add in a custom built 6'' sub enclosure powered by an amp behind the rear door card.

    Andy has made LOADS of these, and from what I've seen, they're superb
     
  7. dougie175

    dougie175 Member

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    Ok well I must be doing something wrong then as Im not looking for bass as such just a nice crisp sound at decent volume, Im not even looking for an ear piercingly loud system I just find the quality quite poor above a volume you could comfortably speak over for example.

    I work at a VAG approved body shop and drive alot of newer audis and I would agree they have fantastic sound systems, even our fabia courtesy cars have fantastic sound system I was really shocked just how punchy and crisp it was the other day which is what made me post here as I want to achieve similar
     
  8. Prawn

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    dude, search for the andymac stealth sub.

    it's EXACTLY what you're looking for, no crazy bass, factory head unit, totaly invisable install. it's exactly what you need.
     
  9. 16Klappe

    16Klappe I <3 Panda's!
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    Probably something wrong with your system then, shorting out somewhere or a weak connection.

    I've never heard a complaint about the standard system other than the rear sub box being made of super thin plastic and being ****e, or if you have a super early car like mine which came with Delta head unit which wasn't powerful enough to light it's display let alone speakers and a sub haha!
     
  10. S3 Rav

    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

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    Not oem but ive got a Rockford head unit which helped alot with the sound.
     
  11. dougie175

    dougie175 Member

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    I cant see it been a bad earth or fault to be honest dont get me wrong the sound quality is ok, Ive just heard better

    Now I have read quite a bit about these AndyMAC Stealth Subs over the past hour and he seems to know what he is talking about and what these systems need to get them sounding right, I have found most of the info I want apart from price lol I just cant find it!
     
  12. beanoir

    beanoir Large Member

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    AndyMac does know what he's talking about, there is no disputing that and he's helped me out a great deal. His sub enclosure is brilliant by the looks and reviews. I'd not knock him at all.

    I considered going that way and getting one of his subs, but you still have a crappy HU and if you want a modern interface for iPod etc then you'll end up spending nearly £400 on the sub and the extra on Denison or Xcarlink to get iPod type functionality, and so thats why I decided to go with a new HU instead that gave me more control over the speakers and power (as the standard amp is so underpowered compared to modern HUs) and built in hands free, bluetooth music streaming, SD card slot, iPod functionality etc for less than half the cost.

    At some point in the future I can upgrade the speakers and sub, but for now I've spent £200 and have much better sound quality, control over the sub separate to the rear speakers and can play modern forms of music from iPod and SD card. I bought a Parrot Asteroid but i'm sure other manufacturers offer similar.

    It's a minefield of choice thats for sure! But as for the standard Audi system sounding good...it doesn't, it sounds gash!!
     
    #12 beanoir, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  13. aragorn

    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!"
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    I've found the Audi speakers are fine, once you back them up with a decent sub, and properly amp the door speakers to give them a decent crisp signal.

    My Avant has a JBL GTO4000 running the four door speakers, some sony amp driving a 12" sub in the boot, and a pioneer head unit, and TBH its so good i couldnt see much point in upgrading the speakers.

    The saloon is a work in progress. I've currently got a JBL 752 running the front door speakers and a pioneer head unit. I will at some point be adding a second amp and a sub.

    It would be worth trying the same approach but keeping the Concert. They have pre-outs, so take them to a pair of proper amps, one for the door speakers and one driving a stealth sub as mentioned above. Infact i think Rasa4 did that on his car, keeping his symphony HU but properly amping the speakers. If it doesnt work theres nothing lost.
     
  14. Diesel Quattro

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    Interesting post, this is what i was looking at, if you buy an after market HUint can the OEM amp still be used and how as know its not simple or so ive been told

    aaron
     
  15. S3quatt

    S3quatt Flat Oot like a ducks Foot
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    Odd one this, I've found with the Bose, it sounds better with the factory head unit & ended up putting it back in. Much sharper sound!
     
  16. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator
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    Bose is very different from non Bose. With non Bose the front speakers are driven by the HU (2 x 20w peak), so more power from an aftermarket HU (2 x 50w) improves the sound. The rears are powerd by a feeble amp which also "powers" the sub, so not much improvment here unless you by pass the rear amp.
    With Bose all speakers are powered by the Bose amp, so there's not a lot an aftermarket HU can do, and you also get a host of issus with popping and interference due to the Bose "strange" amp input stage. you can't by pass the Bose amp without changing all the speakers as they are low impedance units which will fry the HU's internal amp. As said the Audi HU is fairly decent, it's just drastically underpowered, as is the sub. So adding a small active sub and amping the speakers is definately a better invesment than just swapping the HU.
     
  17. dougie175

    dougie175 Member

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    Finished installing my AndyMac Stealth Sub today and I can happily say it is exactly what I wanted from my sound system, it has the sound quality, volume and stealth system I wanted it is perfect for myself.

    Really impressed with how tight the bass is and what an Improvement it has made, one of my best spends on the car, and believe me there have been alot!
     

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