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New Doors Speakers

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by Herby1, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Herby1
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    Herby1 VAG All the way

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    Hi everyone,

    I am keeping my original concert Audi Headunit and cd changer but i want t oreplace the speakers in the door because they are not that good on high volume...would it make any difference if i just changed the speakers and not the headunit?

    also what speakers fir straight in without any bulky adaptors?

    Cheers

    Chris
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  3. Randomjim
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    Randomjim Active Member

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    I have jbl components in the front with the speaker adaptors and there good. Didn't find the adaptors to be bulky in anyway.
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  4. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    I think you'll find it's the HU that's not good at high volumes. If you have the non Bose system then the fronts are powered off the HU's internal amp which is only 2 x 20w. Doubt changing just the speakers would make much difference to the volume issue, although it would give you better quality distortion.
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  5. Herby1
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    Herby1 VAG All the way

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    thats exactly what i want...i dont want it too loud... i just want it to sound better with the original unit!
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  6. shufti
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    shufti Member

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    i have some directed audio s550 5.25" midrange, tweeters and crossovers for sale. they fitted straight in my A4 but too small for my A6. I think they are correct size for A3's too?

    i paid £135 and only want £45 inc insured postage. they are very good quality, better than the the usual pioneer, alpine etc

    pm me if any good to you.
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  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 15, 2006]
    "i want to replace the speakers in the door because they are not that good on high volume..."
    Obviously...
    "thats exactly what i want" what? better quality distortion? Wierd
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  8. Herby1
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    Herby1 VAG All the way

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    [Nov 16, 2006]
    Why am i weird???

    the speakers in my a3 are 7 years old......so they are getting worn and dont sound good any more....i need a pair of speakers that will handle the audi headunit on higher volumes! whats so weird about that?!!!!!!
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  9. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 16, 2006]
    The HU only has a 20w output, it doesn't matter what speakers you attach, the improvement will be marginal if any.
    People always seem to upgrade speakers as its the easy option, without dealing with the main reason they sound bad, i.e. the amp driving them is totally underpowered and will be providing a distorted signal before it even gets to the speaker. Speakers don't wear out, they either work or are damaged, there's no middle ground. Installing better speakers can actually put a heavier load on the puny amp and make it sound even worse.
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  10. Herby1
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    Herby1 VAG All the way

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    [Nov 16, 2006]
    oh blimey....ok mate......cheers for all your help.

    is there any way of making it sound better without changing the headunit?

    cheers

    chris
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  11. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 16, 2006]
    Not easily. Ideally you'd install a smallish amp (2 x 40wrms) to run the new speakers from, but Audi make it particularly difficult to do this.
    To get a feed for the amp off the stock HU you'd need to use a wiring adapter as the HU does not use standard RCA's. The adapter then replaces the Audi connector which currently feeds the rear amp/sub, so you then need an additional adapter in order to plug in the rear amp wiring as well as the new one, which is a bit of a pain.
    The easiest way to get the stock system to sound better is to relieve the cabin speakers of any Bass, by installing a proper sub (either a stealth sub or conventional box in the boot). You not only then get decent bass from the system, but you can run the HU on minus Bass settings which will provide more clarity and less distortion from the cabin speakers, enabing them to run at higher volumes without distortion.
    A stealth sub is particularly good as it's completely hidden, replacing the stock tupperware sub with the amp hidden behind the rear speaker panel, so the system looks completely stock.
    I tried everything in the A3 to get a reasonable sounding system, even going aftermarket with the HU, but the 4" front components on their own will never produce quality sound as they are mounted to a flimsy door card loosely clipped to a metal door with absolutely no space. The 6.5" rears have loads of space but again are mounted to a sheet of hardboard which limits the performance of anything you install.
    I upgraded the fronts, then upgraded the rears, then changed the HU, then amped the cabin speakers, but all along the problem was the sub. I added a 300w Alpine 10" sub and this sorted everything. Later needed to reclaim the boot space so started trying to upgrade the stock tupperware sub. Installed a Bose sub, which was better but still used the same plastic enclosure so the bass was woolly and flatulant, which eventually led to building a custom MDF enclosure housing a JL Audio sub. In theory this shouldn't work, the 18mm MDF enclosure is rock solid but way too small and the sub is only 6.5", but the transformation is dramatic. Good clean punchy bass with clarity from the front components. You could spend £120 on new front components with little improvement or £300 on a stealth sub and transform the whole system.
    [​IMG]
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  12. shufti
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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    nice install, have you ever thought of using dynamat for further bass improvement? worked well for me.

    i have a 12" jl sub built in my spare wheel well and it kicks but I'm considering adding a lpg conversion to the car so I will have to get rid of the 12" and was going to add 2x 8" subs in the rear panels where yours are but one either side. I am going to go for the kicker solabaric or the alpine type r's as they require tiny amount of box space to perform.

    Nice to see pics of your sub install, mine will be similar but both subs will be pointing inwards.

    I have a bit more space than yourself as I have an A6 avant and no need for a cd changer as I have dvd head unit holding all my mp3's on one disk.

    if herby1 wants to keep the stock head unit what's stopping him using the speaker wires as level input on an amp? Quite a lot of amps have this option and not just the cheap ones. well my pheonix gold amp does and that's hardly a mickey mouse make.
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  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    Speaker input doesn't so a lot for sound quality, you end up with an inferior signal to the amp which has already been amplified badly by the HU and any distortion is transferred to the new amp along with a bunch of background hiss. You can get away with it for a sub but I wouldn't recommend it for front components.
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  14. shufti
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    shufti Member

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    sounds like the audi head units are rubbish!

    glad I ditched mine but on any upgrade i see no point in keeping the audi door speakers. they are really lame and have no build quality or acoustic detail.

    front components is where i would start on any stock upgrade to get some clarity in the front then add some weight with a sub upgrade. no point listening to quality sub when the mids and treble are not up to scratch.
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  15. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    I totally agree if you're upgrading the HU, but by keeping the stock HU you're limiting what you can do. With the A3 specifically just upgrading the fronts does very little, but by adding a sub the clarity is improved tremendously from the stock system. Personally the first thing I do in an Audi is rip out every part of the sound system and upgrade everything, but if you only want to spend £200-300 then you can waste a lot of that on replacing speakers with no return on the upgrade.
    I've installed my stealth sub on S3's after the owners have spent £1k on HU/speakers amps for speakers etc in a deperate bid to get a better sounding system and it still sounds average, when just adding the sub gives them what they want for a fraction of the cost.
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  16. shufti
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    shufti Member

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    it's a tough one as there's an argument for both sides........ take my home system, i have a I have a Roksan Caspian amp but if i run that on a cheap pair of speakers it will sound a load of pants at all volumes. Put my dynaudio speakers on there and the system sings. same goes for the other way round put a cheap amp in line and the speakers aren't no where near potential but at least i'd get some sort of quality at the lower volumes.

    I need my sub in any system and if budget was a real option I'd upgrade the sub for some weight to the system but at worst I'd upgrade the audi front tweeters in the doors and put a capacitor on the mids so they were doing middle to high mid range only and not attempting any mid bass.

    I agree with what you said about ripping out the complete system and starting from scratch. I've heard only good things about your stealth sub.

    good to see your install pics, I'll post mine up once complete. I may just add those 2x 8" subs anyway and still have the 12" jl running. If i do i'll probably go active with the crossovers and ditch the passives in the doors. I have my old trusty denon dca-800 6 channel amp kicking about which would be a great addition.

    I'm getting old now and thought i would have grown out of all this effort by now..... more hard work!
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  17. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    Well I can only go on what I've actually experienced, in an actual A3 with the actual limitations already stated. Yes in theory upgrading just the speakers should give a reasonable improvement. Trust me it doesn't.
    A car sound system is a million miles from a home audio system, there is no real common ground at all.
    You only have 12v to play with - this is probably the biggest limiting factor when it comes to quality amplification.
    You have an acoustically horrendous environment, lots of metal, lots of road noise, electrical noise etc. sapping the bass and clashing with the mids & highs.
    You have no space
    You have speakers mounted in the worst possible locations down by your feet and bolted to a sheet of hardboard loosely clipped to the acoustic equivalent of an oil drum.
    All the home hifi theory goes out of the window. Try putting your home hifi speakers in the car and they sound dreadful.
    You need enormous amounts of power and very flexible EQ to offset the ambient noise. With all the variables it's impossible to calculate what will sound good so you can really only trust your ears.
    If you have a limited budget then spend it on a sub. This will give you by far and away the biggest improvement per pound.
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  18. shufti
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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    home system was just an easy example.

    I've been installing car systems on and off for 15 years from absolute budget pine or boss stuff to hifonics and genesis mid to top end so well aware of all the problems that we encounter for sound improvement.
    I agree on the sub comment for those looking for a weightier system but clarity in a car is important to me and nothing quality will ever come from the stock audi speakers compared to some after market components.
    It's just my thoughts from my experience, not saying I'm right it's an opinion. If I didn't think you needed a sub I wouldn't be running a 12" jl on a rockford fosgate mono block.
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  19. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Nov 17, 2006]
    "nothing quality will ever come from the stock audi speakers compared to some after market components."
    and nothing quality will come from the 20w amp inside the Audi HU.
    Shyte in/shyte out
    Forget the sub that's a seperate issue.
    to get quality from the front components you need to upgrade everything in the chain, including the wiring. Sticking quality components on the end of a shyte signal will give you quality shyte.
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  20. james0808
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    james0808 Active Member

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    [Nov 27, 2006]
    Ive changed the audi amp in my A4 because it stopped working for a cheap sony one and put a rockford amp on a 12" sub in the boot and the difference was unbelieveable.Very cheap to do aswell.If you only want door speakers ive just put a thread in the trading post for A4 bose speakers,don't know if they are any good to you.
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