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Sound System upgrade

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by audi18tdan, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. audi18tdan
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    audi18tdan Member

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    Currently got Alpine x100 HU with standard NON BOSE speakers and amp but want better quality with minmal effort and not too much expense?

    Is it worth as suggested before by Andymac just by-passing the amp and does this also bypass the sub too?
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  3. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    Yes it'll bypass both. It won't improve the quality either just give back the balance. The only way to improve the sound is to add a proper sub or a stealth sub.
    You can upgrade the front components, you can amp the fronts as well but you'll only get a minimal improvement. The sub is the problem in the A3 for some reason and is the single most beneficial upgrade you can do.
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  4. audi18tdan
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    audi18tdan Member

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    [Apr 13, 2009]
    Hi, ok might just maybe upgrade front and rear speakers and i would get a sub but need room in boot.

    I hear you have a better more powerful replacment sub for A3?

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  5. thejoose
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    thejoose Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    Replacing the headunit will give your better sound then replacing the stock speakers will get better still then amping the replacement speakers with be even better again. adding a sub ........you get the idea

    Do it in stages like this until you get to a level your happy with but be warned!

    ICE is a slippery slope - 4 years ago I changed the HU in my ford focus - last year I was competing at the World db Drag finals in a car that did 157dB ON MUSIC with 6 12" subs 9kw of amplification and a shed load of batteries
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  6. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    i £1000 head is still going to sound pants with the oem amp and speakers they are so bad...

    i would replace speakers and amp/sub - if its 8L then andymac stealth sub all the way - plus some front components off the head unit and rear coaxials off the andymac amp all using the factory wiring

    a good compromise without spending silly money - about £100-120 for front components, £50-70 for rear coaxials and £150-200 for anymac sub and 3 channel amp
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  7. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    As said add the sub first. In the 8L I've seen people (me included) spend a fortune on speakers and amps with very little improvement, they finally add a stealth sub and can't believe the difference.
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  8. thejoose
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    thejoose Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    just re read my post and its a little confusing

    A HU swap would be the first thing to improve sound,

    Next up would be changing the speakers

    After that amping the speakers.

    Also Im confused about what Andy was with regards adding just a stealth sub to improve sound - I cant see how adding as sub would improve the sound quality for the front speakers.

    Adding a sub will definitly give you more bottom end but well sound deadened doors and good quality components up front would do more for overall sq
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  9. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    Not in an A3 it wouldn't. Fit what you like but ultimately your expensive components are left flapping about on a flimsy door card loosely clipped to a steel door.
    Adding a sub not only improves bottom end but also allows you to run the cabin speakers with much less bass going to them, so improves clarity and quality.
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  10. thejoose
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    thejoose Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    I agree it is a quick fix but it masks the problem rather than fixes it. plus a sub can only play a certain freq range so 80hz plus is still going to the front speakers (assuming your hu allows that level of control on the output)

    the old 90% installation 10% equipment rule - sound deaden the doors and make decent strong baffles for them. and you should get good results

    You dont need to spend lots on replacement speakers to make them sound good just make sure you install them well.

    A little OT because the original question was for not much effort so back on track sorry
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  11. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    You've obviously never worked on an 8L A3. Everything you say is correct in theory, unfortunately most of it doesn't apply on this vehicle. There is no room for reinforcing the door card in anyway other than Dynamat (unless you're happy to disable the frot windows). There is no way of providing a better baffle for the front components other than custom door builds, so 80Hz is impossible from the front components without a lot of work. A small 6.5" or 8" sub in a good enclosure is capable of providing quite a bit of mid bass compensating for the total lack of bass from the cabin. Not all subs are 80Hz and below.
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  12. thejoose
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    thejoose Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    I didnt realise the doors where such a pain!

    just take the back seats out and wall it

    Job done :)
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  13. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Apr 14, 2009]
    listen to andymac - he has been there and designed a great solution - i took his advice on my 8L s3 and for the money it was a fantastic improvement whilst not losing any boot space and keeping the oem head unit.
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  14. Cali
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    Cali Member

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    [Apr 15, 2009]
    Now Dunk all we have to do is hope Andymac gets an A3 8P so he can design a stealth unit for that.
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