I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI

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stereocilia

I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« on: 10 Nov 2012, 01:45 pm »
Maybe this topic is better-suited to the "cars and bikes" circle, but it does directly affect vehicle acoustics so I'll put it here and let moderators decide.

I am so annoyed that my car has this thing called a "soundaktor" that plays a recording of engine sounds using the firewall and windshield as a loudspeaker mostly during acceleration events.  After disconnecting it, the car is quieter and more pleasant to drive.  Of course, anything to lower noise will improve audio system performance.   So, VW makes a quiet cabin and then adds noise.  I thought it was an April Fool's joke when I first saw this.  I assure you, it is real.

Here's a link among many.  I did find an easier way to disconnect it than the one shown here:   http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44880

JohnR

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #1 on: 10 Nov 2012, 02:27 pm »
That's hilarious. No off switch  :duh:

medium jim

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #2 on: 10 Nov 2012, 05:14 pm »
As the Facilitator of this circle I have voted to keep it here!  Maybe it will be the post that drives this circle back on the map!!!

Jim

P.S. I bet it is easier to sneak home at night after some after hours partying!!!

richidoo

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #3 on: 10 Nov 2012, 06:15 pm »
Thanks Jim for not binning it, a worthy topic if there ever was one.

I've owned a few VWs, pre-soundaktor. We were gonna buy an EOS in 2008, but it was so damn loud and rough sounding my wife couldn't stand it and bought a BMW instead.

I have always thought it would be cooler than neon ground lights or hideous fiberglass body panels to install hifi quality hi power waterproof speakers under the car or in the engine compartment and play engine sounds like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Straight pipe V8, whatever. Jet engine would be funny, coming from a Honda civic low rider.

srb

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #4 on: 10 Nov 2012, 06:28 pm »
I have always thought it would be cooler than neon ground lights or hideous fiberglass body panels to install hifi quality hi power waterproof speakers under the car or in the engine compartment and play engine sounds like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Straight pipe V8, whatever. Jet engine would be funny, coming from a Honda civic low rider.

Or the unmistakeable knocking diesel sound of a large Peterbuilt taking off in 1st gear.
 
Steve

medium jim

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #5 on: 10 Nov 2012, 06:40 pm »
Maybe hook one up to an electric car that sounds like a F1 car.  The possibilities are endless.

Jim

stereocilia

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #6 on: 10 Nov 2012, 07:40 pm »
You can find before/after vids on the interwebs, but the difference is actually greater than sound in the videos capture.  Maybe this is what they were thinking: it's analogous to having wheel covers over steel wheels that look like racing wheels.   Somebody at VW (it's actually an Audi part that also appears in the TT) thought they were being clever by using an acoustic rather than a visual ruse.  The BMW m5 also plays recorded engine sounds, by the way.  Here's a car and driver article about it.   http://www.caranddriver.com/features/faking-it-engine-sound-enhancement-explained-tech-dept  I suppose they are also trying to please car reviewers who like to say nice things about how sweet the engine sounds.  More nice things said by reviewers means more sales.

I HATE the idea and everything it stands for, and based on what I've read I'm not alone.  The people who want their cars to sound louder generally only want that as a sign of some performance benefit.  Everybody else should want the lowest noise floor possible.  It's easy to think of why:  music sounds better, communication is easier, emergency vehicles aren't masked, stress is lower, the Bluetooth microphone works better, your can hear what's actually happening in the engine like the cool sound of the turbo whine and so forth.

One of the few complaints about the car until now was the overly-growly engine.  My wife's Passat had the same motor, and  I always wondered why mine was so much angrier sounding.   I put up with it and ignored it because I thought there was some performance or cost reason.  In fact, VW spend good money on making my car noisier and my stereo sound worse! 

Oh, and VW, please explain this:  "you can't fake fast" advertisement.  http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40486

medium jim

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #7 on: 11 Nov 2012, 02:56 am »
At first I thought it was funny, the more I think about it, the more disturbing it is.  Fake engine sounds to sell cars.  Makes one wonder what else is faked to sell you something.

While this circle is about audiophile mobile stereo, I think this thread transcends and I will allow this to be a good thread to expose other fake things if that is ok with the OP.

Jim

stereocilia

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #8 on: 11 Nov 2012, 03:42 am »
I'm okay with this thread going off the rails.

More fake stuff that pisses me off:
--exterior window "shutters" that aren't even the right size to cover the windows even if they could close (I have them on my house, too)
--simulated gear ratios in cvt transmissions
--fake "stitches" printed around the soles of dress shoes and boots
Many years ago I once saw an 3-band graphic equalizer on a k-mart rack system (SoundDesign I think) that had 6 handles.  They were connected in pairs behind the faceplate.

Now I'm starting to wonder about the dust caps that look like phase plugs.  Maybe that one's legit, but after being duped by vw I'm skeptical of everything.

orthobiz

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #9 on: 11 Nov 2012, 03:52 am »
Maybe it all started with fake wood.

Paul

srb

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #10 on: 11 Nov 2012, 04:36 am »
There are a few cars that attempt to do just the opposite of adding sound, with noise cancellation techniques, including the Honda Odyssey minivan.  They sample cabin noise through a microphone(s?) and play it back through the stereo 180 degrees out of phase to help cancel engine noise.
 
Some people have complained of headaches, and I guess there is a control to turn it off.
 
I read that the Toyota Prius has a system to brodcast fake engine noise outside of the car to provide awareness to pedestrians when it is in electric-only mode.
 
Steve

neekomax

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #11 on: 31 Jan 2013, 04:32 am »
Awwwww maaaaan. I really liked the cool sound my '13 GLI makes, thought it was some sort of tweak that VW did to the exhaust. Now that I know it's fake... Kinda ruins it. Wish I never saw this thread, ignorance is bliss.  :(

stereocilia

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #12 on: 2 Feb 2013, 04:39 am »
I read that some people are re-connecting it and somehow ignoring that it's fake.  Maybe they think it's authentic because it's part of the original design.  Whatever.  Not me.  I'm just glad I found out about it now.  How much would it suck to find out the day after selling your car after seven years you could have disconnected the soundaktor?

TheChairGuy

Re: I just disconnected "soundaktor" in my GTI
« Reply #13 on: 2 Feb 2013, 04:19 pm »
Nutty...reading up on this a bit and it says BMW and Mini also 'fortify' engine sounds thru means, as well.  Ford Mustang, too.