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  #31  
Old 6th June 2020, 08:28 PM
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
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Having a look at the view count and seeing that it's growing steadily is cool, but more comments and questions are still welcome.

Last week I mounted the second amplifier in the car and after some consideration I mounted both of them high on the wall towards the backseat in the trunk. To connect the second amp was just as easy as the first one, first cut the wires going from the original amp and connect them to the new amp, and then connect the wires going to the speakers to the new amp. Finding power is also easy as the battery is located in the rear, and there are several ground screws/bolts in the trunk making it just as easy to find ground as well.

But how does it sound? Well, from the previous post it's obvious that I wasn't too happy with bass even after adding the first amp. Now, after installation of the second amp, it's clear that there need to be somewhat a balance in the build and not just do it half way. With the original amplifier the sound was quite good at low volumes, also with the Focal speakers, but immediately when trying to turn up the volume, the sound stage collapses and the sound get distorted and compressed. This doesn't change much with just adding the JBL sub and the first Helix amp, but now after the installation of the second Helix amp, the pieces are starting to fall into place. The sound at low volume is very good, and it keeps it this way when turning up the volume. Even the sub that I wasn't too happy with, now sound much better as the level of all components are more equally matched.

My wife and I had a drive today and she said that the sound reminded her of the sound we have in the living room, and there we have Klipsch RF7 MkIII with two 18" subwoofers powered with Wired4Sound and Hypex amps. And I have to agree, the sound in the car now is very tight with a great sound stage and stress free at all volumes like it should be in an A8. Even the sub now plays so good that the idea of making a box is put far back on the shelf.

The price of this modification adds up to be about 50% higher than the BOSE option you could chose ordering a new car about 15 years ago, taking the inflation into account I guess it will be more or less the same. Haven't heard a original BOSE system in an A8 apart from the speakers I replaced earlier, I'm still convinced that this build sounds way much better than a complete BOSE system. Never heard a B&O system either, so can't comment on that.

To summarize on this project. This project was never done to show off, only to make the music sound better, so I'm quite happy with the result. The finish build is hardly visible from the outside or the inside of the car. The only visible thing is the flush mounted tweeters on top of the dash. In the trunk the amps are mounted so high on the wall towards the backseat that they should never be in the way and the "bottom" of the subwoofer hardly sticks down in the trunk too, but that would differ with another sub. The price is not to be ignored, but in my honest opinion the std no-name sound system should never have been allowed into an A8. I understand that the car need to meet a price point, but the sound from the std sound system is not worthy of a car of the class. Now, after doing this I think the sound is adequate for the car. Not that the sound can't be better, but I think we then quickly start moving into the land of diminishing return, although it would be fun to try out the Ultima or Utopia speakers with their renowned Beryllium tweeter from Focal parred with a multi channel DSP and some amps at the same level as the speakers. Then we would quickly enter the price of the B&O option.

In a couple of days I will write about the last piece in this project, sound dampening the doors.
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2006 Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro Sport
A8 W12/S8 Brakes front and rear (385mm/335mm)
Focal and JBL speakers, Helix amps
S8 anti-roll bars front and rear
Complete rear LED taillight
Xenon fog lights
All interior LED
S8 rims 9x20"
Stage II tune
S8 Grill
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  #32  
Old 6th June 2020, 08:53 PM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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Good progress Thanks for the updates
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  #33  
Old 7th June 2020, 11:58 PM
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
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Thanks again Mikki!

When reading about upgrading the speakers in any car online, you will come across the words "sound damping" and "sound deadening". Some will even claim that if you don't do this, upgrading speakers will (almost) be a waste of time and money.

During the project of replacing the front door speakers, I had a drive in the car with the door panel and the door woofer dismounted, and I was really surprised how much noise it came from the hole where the speaker should be, especially when driving over some wet parts on the road. Initially I've been thinking, this is a A8, not a Golf from the 70's, it shouldn't need any extra sound damping. The experience with the noise coming from the speaker hole made me reconsider.

After some research I went for a brand called Silent Coat and their 2mm option, and I can say immediately that the sheets are very easy to cut with a sharp knife and also easy to apply at 20C and no need for a heat gun at this temperature.

Here are a few photos before and after.











I forgot to take a photo of the opposite side of the last one, but damping material was applied in the same fashion as on the last photo, just try not to add anything where it might be tight like next to the window motor or around the edges and so on. This was done at both front and rear doors. I did all four doors in one day, and had a couple of long breaks and I didn't start very early either. Expect to spend somewhere between 1 to 2 hours on each door from start to finish.

Before the first test drive I expected it would dampen the outside noise a bit, but was unsure how much it would affect the sound from the woofer in the doors. During the first drive it sounded like I was holding my hands 5cm away from the head at both sides. As I are well used to the car, it was obvious that the noise from the outside has been reduced from the sides/doors, but at the same time I was expecting a bit more damping. So from a pure noise damping side of it, I would say it was not worth it. Audi know obviously a thing or two about noise damping the A8. Playing music on the other hand gave much more attack and punch in the mid-bass, and for this I think the job of applying Silent Coat in the doors are worth it. Not exactly the result I was expecting, but still a nice experience to learn about. Still have some sheets of Silent Coat I've been thinking to cover some holes in under side of the parcel shelf to prevent air to move freely from one side to the other of the subwoofer, as this will cancel out the bass.

Some last words. In my research for this project I came across many answers in different forums telling that "nope, don't do it", when asked about upgrading speakers, adding a sub and/or amplifier in the D3 A8. Not sure where this claims are coming from, but this thread should be a proof of that it is possible and it's actually not difficult at all.

Thanks for reading!
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2006 Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro Sport
A8 W12/S8 Brakes front and rear (385mm/335mm)
Focal and JBL speakers, Helix amps
S8 anti-roll bars front and rear
Complete rear LED taillight
Xenon fog lights
All interior LED
S8 rims 9x20"
Stage II tune
S8 Grill
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  #34  
Old 8th June 2020, 08:37 AM
HPsauce HPsauce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightOwl View Post
So from a pure noise damping side of it, I would say it was not worth it. Audi know obviously a thing or two about noise damping the A8.
I recall when I was sorting out my broken rear window mechanism there was a period when I was driving around with the NSR door card missing.
It was amazing how much extra road noise I could hear from that direction and a door card is such an apparently flimsy thing.....
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2003 D2 FL S8. Irish Green Pearl/Beige. Solar sunroof, auto-dim mirrors, electric rear seat functions, ski hatch retrofit; extended leather. Aftermarket DVB-T, reversing camera and full XCarlink (Bluetooth etc.).
2016 Volvo V40 T5 Cross Country (4WD) with ALL the toys including adaptive cruise etc. etc. Osmium Grey with Blonde/Charcoal leather interior. Polestar performance "optimisation". (A much rarer model than a D2 S8 by the way!)
Finally: gone, but not forgotten.....
1998 D2 PF S8. AgateGrey/Platinum. Every option (I think) except electric rear seats, tiptronic steering wheel, ski hatch, towbar & dimming door mirrors.
e.g. Cruise control, NavPlus/TV, Bose, GSM, Xenons, Solar roof, Parking sensors, Alcantara/leather everywhere of course. (internal dimming mirror added later)
1998 (very early) Ford Focus 1.8 Zetec; ABS/TCS, Heated screen/mirrors, Aircon, Auto-dim mirror, Leather, Trip computer, Cruise control, OEM Ford SatNav with CD changer.
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  #35  
Old 8th June 2020, 10:12 AM
paulrstaylor paulrstaylor is offline
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On my D4 I had a replacement door skin fitted under warranty - on the drive home I could hear the difference. The dealer basically said "no fault found, all in your head", until I took pictures of the opposite door for comparison - seems the sound deadening had not been fitted to the replacement door skin.....

Needless to say, they did resolve at their expense
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  #36  
Old 8th June 2020, 02:32 PM
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
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Interesting comments from both of you, thanks a lot! My idea has been to reduce the noise as early as possible and haven't given the door panel much thought because of this. Maybe it could be smart to add a layer of Silent Coat Isolator directly on the backside of the panel as it seems like it's quite good room between it and the metal plate.
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2006 Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro Sport
A8 W12/S8 Brakes front and rear (385mm/335mm)
Focal and JBL speakers, Helix amps
S8 anti-roll bars front and rear
Complete rear LED taillight
Xenon fog lights
All interior LED
S8 rims 9x20"
Stage II tune
S8 Grill
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  #37  
Old 8th June 2020, 02:48 PM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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I've used Silent Coat on a D2. It did help on that because the original bitumen sheet was dry and falling off so probably wasn't that effective any more. Certainly there was a substantial difference in sound from tapping on the outside of the door skin before and after.

I still need to find a good solution for the inner door frame on the D2 as the plastic bag containing soggy carpet underlay doesn't really cut it I will probably be using some Silent Coat on the door card itself at some point when I get the 6.5" speakers in there.
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  #38  
Old 20th June 2020, 07:02 PM
NightOwl NightOwl is offline
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In light if resent comments above, I've added a layer of Silent Coat Isolator 10 to the sheet of metal behind the door panel. I was first thinking to apply it on the back side of the door panel, but it’s much easier to do it on the metal sheet. Now, it starting to help on the noise damping. Obviously a good idea to use different material together to achieve better damping, but also it seems like the A8 is fairly well dampen from the factory, so adding to this in ways that it is noticeable inside the car, isn’t easy. But now I feel like it’s getting somewhere, the best way to describe it is like the same noise (from the outside) as if I was driving 15-20 km/h (10-13 mph) slower than I actually does, if it makes sense. Have only driven in dry weather lately, so I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes on wet roads, but I can only imagine that it possibly will dampen this noise pretty good too.

A photo of the door.



A photo of the trunk. I’ve cut out some more for the subwoofer and attached the trim better after the photo was taken.



Finally I've come the finale station of this project, at least for now (I think, maybe....perhaps).

Thanks for reading and following the journey!
__________________
2006 Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro Sport
A8 W12/S8 Brakes front and rear (385mm/335mm)
Focal and JBL speakers, Helix amps
S8 anti-roll bars front and rear
Complete rear LED taillight
Xenon fog lights
All interior LED
S8 rims 9x20"
Stage II tune
S8 Grill

Last edited by NightOwl; 20th June 2020 at 07:05 PM.
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