Help! My car audio is bumming me out!

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neekomax

Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« on: 10 Mar 2013, 05:26 am »
I've got a leased 2013 VW GLI Autobahn w/ Nav, Fender 'premium' audio. I drove Audi A4s for the last six years, and the stock sound systems (Audi Symphony) were just WAY better than what I have now. To wit: The highs are harsh and set me on edge (I have the treble notched down about -3 to compensate), the mids get all incoherent and jumbled at volume, and the bass is mushy AND boomy (also have the bass eq cranked down -3, just to escape that mess a bit). I'm a huge home audio guy, and a former professional musician, so this is uh, way important to me.

So, on to the solution. I have 0 technical skills with regard to installation, so I'm gonna need to spend some dough on hiring an installer. I don't want to spend stupid money on a leased car, obviously, which makes me think I should limit the scope of the project to speakers and sub, and use the OEM amp(s?) and whatnot. It has been my experience in other areas that speakers make the biggest difference, anyway. What do you recommend? I gather that the front speakers are component 6.5"s, and that the tweets in the A pillars require a custom install, the rear doors are coaxial 6.5", and the single sub driver in the trunk deck thingy is an 8 incher. Please feel free to correct me, I just started researching this tonight.

Came across this: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_136C3600/JL-Audio-C3-600.html and this stuff tonight: http://cdtstore.com/cl_series.htm. No idea what I'm doing, though.

My ears and soul thank you in advance.

medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #1 on: 10 Mar 2013, 06:02 am »
It all depends on how much you want to spend...I would concentrate on the front speakers as they will make the most difference.  I would buy from a reputable dealer in your area as you typically will get a better deal.  I like Pioneer's top of the line offerings, as well as Focal, but JL is good stuff.

You probably can get by with the stock head unit and go with an under the seat or in the trunk amp for a sub.  I like rear deck mounted subs, but being a leased vehicle, you will be responsible for any modifications. 

Jim

neekomax

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #2 on: 10 Mar 2013, 06:14 am »
It all depends on how much you want to spend...I would concentrate on the front speakers as they will make the most difference.  I would buy from a reputable dealer in your area as you typically will get a better deal.  I like Pioneer's top of the line offerings, as well as Focal, but JL is good stuff.

You probably can get by with the stock head unit and go with an under the seat or in the trunk amp for a sub.  I like rear deck mounted subs, but being a leased vehicle, you will be responsible for any modifications. 

Jim

Good thoughts, thanks Jim.

I was thinking the same thing, just upgrade the front speakers (6.5" mid woofer low in the door and tweeter in a special 'enclosure' thingy in the A pillars just above the dash), and see how much that improves the sound. As a matter of fact, today, while driving, I faded the sound all the way to the front speakers to see what it would sound like... actually a little better, just left it there. When I tried fading all the way to the rears, it sounded horrible, muffled and just shitty... maybe the rear door speakers don't have tweeters or something  :dunno:.

There is already a sub mounted in the rear deck with an 8" driver. If I just replaced that driver, would that clean up the bass a good amount?

medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #3 on: 10 Mar 2013, 06:45 am »
I would think a better quality sub driver/speaker would make a significant difference.  The rear door speakers are basically fills.  All of what you plan on can be easily restored to original, just keep the oem speakers to reinstall before turning the VW back once the lease ends.

You will then have the good speakers for your next vehicle if needed.

Jim

Doublej

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Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2013, 03:34 pm »
I'd find a VW discussion board. You'll likely find a few threads on upgrading the audio system there.

I would take a trip down to a Best Buy mobile store and also see what they have to say about things too.

The only easy choice you have is to swap out the front speakers and possibly the subwoofer and hope for the best meaning hope that the problem is in fact the speakers and not the head unit.

I would definitely go with a professional installer. You might need to take the door panels off to get to the front woofers. The tweeters seem to be a challenge and then you need a place to stick the crossovers.  I don't know where the OEM crossovers are stuck. They might be hung off the back of the drivers.

Subwoofer is it's own challenge.

Here's a link to what you've got

http://www.fender.com/features/premium-audio/

Keep us posted. I have a similar situation with a purchased 2012 Honda CRV.  I haven't done anything yet as I don't drive it much.



medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #5 on: 10 Mar 2013, 03:47 pm »
I'd find a VW discussion board. You'll likely find a few threads on upgrading the audio system there.

I would take a trip down to a Best Buy mobile store and also see what they have to say about things too.

The only easy choice you have is to swap out the front speakers and possibly the subwoofer and hope for the best meaning hope that the problem is in fact the speakers and not the head unit.

I would definitely go with a professional installer. You might need to take the door panels off to get to the front woofers. The tweeters seem to be a challenge and then you need a place to stick the crossovers.  I don't know where the OEM crossovers are stuck. They might be hung off the back of the drivers.

Subwoofer is it's own challenge.

Here's a link to what you've got

http://www.fender.com/features/premium-audio/

Keep us posted. I have a similar situation with a purchased 2012 Honda CRV.  I haven't done anything yet as I don't drive it much.

Best Buy :lol: 

Jim

Doublej

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medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #7 on: 10 Mar 2013, 07:18 pm »
Doublej:

Even Yugo's deserve better than Best Buy 8)

Jim

neekomax

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #8 on: 10 Mar 2013, 08:16 pm »
I'm not necessarily against using Best Buy as a resource, especially since I'm trying to keep things within a budget, considering I'll have to pay for two installs- the initial one, and the one to return the stock stuff at the end of my lease in 3 years. If Best Buy helps keep the cost down, and I'm able to get decent stuff- and/or the install- a bit cheaper, so be it. Actually, got a very good center speaker there recently, the Andrew Jones Pioneer SP-C22, for a really good price.

Meanwhile, I sent a message to this garage that did an APR Stage 1 ECU upgrade on my old A4, explaining my situation and asking for a referral or two for a good car audio retailer/installer to consult with. But I would like to be as educated as possible before I talk to any pros.

I also posted a thread at vwvortex, a huge car forum, mostly about VW and Audi. Found some threads there as well talking about speaker installs in these cars, the door panels definitely get taken off, and the 6.5" speakers have to be drilled out as they are installed with rivets... thanks VW  :finger:. Haven't found out much about the tweeters in the A pillars, but I'm not hopeful that it's going to be a simple (hence for me, cheap) swap. This one guy said that he had the dremel out the ones in his Golf, and then weld the new ones on. Jebus.

Here's that thread if your interested... http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5981998-What-should-I-upgrade-to-get-better-sound-in-my-GLI-w-Fender-audio-...-Not-impressed

Also, I really want to know the exact specs of all the stock parts, so I know how to match impedences, power handling etc....

nature boy

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #9 on: 10 Mar 2013, 09:47 pm »
Try the DIY Mobile Audio forum.  Plenty of seasoned gear heads and installers hang out there.

NB

neekomax

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #10 on: 10 Mar 2013, 10:12 pm »
Try the DIY Mobile Audio forum.  Plenty of seasoned gear heads and installers hang out there.

NB

Thanks for the tip! Checking it out.

medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #11 on: 11 Mar 2013, 04:22 pm »
Try the DIY Mobile Audio forum.  Plenty of seasoned gear heads and installers hang out there.

NB

NB:

Let's try to grow this circle and not send people away.  Maybe some of the DIY'er here will chime in, which there are many.

Thanks,
Jim

neekomax

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #12 on: 11 Mar 2013, 04:27 pm »
Anyone know if these would be a good choice for my front speakers, seems like a great price...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0024JARH6/ref=nosim/diymacom-20

Will these fit? I'm thinking I might just leave the stock tweeters in the A pillars, disconnect them, and find a good place that I can mount the new tweeters, doing minimum damage to the door. Is that feasible?
« Last Edit: 11 Mar 2013, 05:42 pm by neekomax »

medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #13 on: 11 Mar 2013, 05:00 pm »
The link took me to kindle devices.  Adding tweeters will cause more problems.  You can do it yourself, but a good dealer/installer will save you in the long run in this instance.  You have to deal with the factory install and then mount the tweeters in a component speaker where they don't cause damage or require modification.  They deal with these types of problems all the time.

Just about any decent aftermarket component will be better than the factory speakers.

Jim

neekomax

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #14 on: 11 Mar 2013, 05:44 pm »
The link took me to kindle devices.  Adding tweeters will cause more problems.  You can do it yourself, but a good dealer/installer will save you in the long run in this instance.  You have to deal with the factory install and then mount the tweeters in a component speaker where they don't cause damage or require modification.  They deal with these types of problems all the time.

Just about any decent aftermarket component will be better than the factory speakers.

Jim

Sorry, link works now.

So, you recommend getting ones that can be mounted coaxially, and not f'ing with the stock tweeters (save disconnecting them, of course)? I don't love the idea of having the high frequencies aimed at my legs...

medium jim

Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #15 on: 11 Mar 2013, 10:28 pm »
No, they can mount them in their own pod that attaches to the door beams without issues, or into the factory spots already cut out.

Jim

Doublej

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Re: Help! My car audio is bumming me out!
« Reply #16 on: 12 Mar 2013, 03:14 am »
More on what's in there now

https://www.panasonic.com/business/automotive/fender/about/system-configuration.aspx#

I would start by replacing the front speakers with separates, and not downgrade to a coaxial design.