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    Thread: Adding subwoofer to Nav/Audio system?

    1. 10-26-2004 12:29 PM #1
      Has anyone had this done? If so, how did it work out? What did you use? Where did they tap in to the existing system for the amp input? Also, has anyone replaced the rear speakers for better sound/better balance? If so what did you use and how are the results? Thanks in advance.

    2. 10-29-2004 02:11 PM #2
      I have added a sub and replaced the speakers. There is not a lot of bass (but more than I had) because I only put a 8 inch sub built into the side wall, but you could add a box and have mulitple 10's or 12's. The speakers sound is clear, bright and a 100 times better. Used a 5 channel amp to power everything.

    3. 10-29-2004 08:42 PM #3
      What speakers did you install and where did you install the sub?

    4. 11-01-2004 11:23 AM #4
      I used MB Quart 6.5 components and the sub was installed in the compartment opposite of the cd changer.

    5. 11-05-2004 06:27 AM #5
      Hey Fatz

      I am insane with the sound out of the "premium" stereo. I have an 04 V8, and am shocked by how little sounds comes from the rear. I really need some advice on this. Is this just the way it is, or is there some sort of Vag Com (or other software) Fix for the front- speaker bias???

      Th front sounds OK, but there is literally 2% out of the back. Its infuriating. I have taken to the dealer and called VWoA and they are "looking into it".

      Here's the thing: If its permanent, then Ill toss the factory speakers and upgrade as you have. Did you do front AND rear, plus sub, or what? Any advice really appreciated. I've posted a few times on front speaker bias, but no one else seems as botheres by this. I am insane with this.

      Thanks!!!! jasonrao@comcast.net


    6. 11-05-2004 10:28 AM #6
      Jasonrao,

      I did replace all the speakers, 6.5 MB Quartz RCE-216 on each door. Left the center channel and added a 8 inch sub in the empty enclosure in the back. All this powered by a 5 channel amp. The sound is very clean and crisp. There is moderate bass, due to the fact I could only fit a 8 in that enclosure. If you want a lot of bass you would need to have bigger subs and put a box in your cargo area.

      I could not take the lack of quality of sound from the factory speakers. If music is really important to you I would suggest you look into changing the speakers. I also got an ipod installed in the cup holder, but the whole install took 2 installers 13 hours to do it.


    7. 11-05-2004 11:58 AM #7
      What kind of amp and sub did you use(brand, Power)? Where is the amp located?
      Also, did you put the tweeters that come with the rce-216 in their factory locations? Front and back?

      Do 6.5 speakers fit into factory locations without adaptors?

      Do you know if they used factory wiring, or did they run all new cables?

      Sorry, for so many questions, but I would also like to replace my speakers.
      Thanks


      Modified by irom124 at 5:00 PM 11-5-2004


    8. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-05-2004 12:30 PM #8
      There is a thread in the FAQ that gives all the speaker sizes.

    9. 11-05-2004 12:44 PM #9
      Fatz,
      Really helpful. Thanks so much.
      I just returned from a few custom car stereo places, that were all somewhat overwhealmed by the prospect of hooking into the Nav stereo. All were worried (one in particular) that the warranty on the Nav system stereo would be void if I started tapping into the radio wiring. Since there is no RCA out, (right spockcat?), this requiires total replacement of speakers, with sep amp.

      Anyway, you're the first person I have found that is as dissatisfied as I am. I have given up dealing with VW on this. There is basically no sound coming from the back of my $50,000 car. Im at the point now where the cost isnt so much a worry as just getting high quality sound is!

      Anyway thanks so much again

      Jason


    10. 11-05-2004 12:55 PM #10
      Irom124,

      I used a JL Audio 8 inch sub and a 5 channel Eclipse amp. I don't have the parts numbers in front of me but I can get them when I get home. The speakers next to the door handle were disconnected in the fron and back. In the front the tweeter was replaced the speakers next to the mirrors and the 6.5 are in the door. In the back the entire speaker 6.5 and tweeter were placed in the door. I don't believe an adoptor was needed because I was not charged for it and I have some for my Acura CL before and they were not cheap. Has far as the wiring I am not so sure I was not charged anything extra. The amp location was tricky especially if you want to keep the entire functionality of the cargo area. In order to put the sub in the empty compartment in the back They built an entire new cover to go over it. It looks like the factory cover except you can not just take it on and off. So the built another one of the enclosure were the cd changer resides and and the amp is mounted along that wall. Since the amp is mounted to that cover and can not be removed to get to the cd changer, the installers seperated the cover with the top 25% being able to come off to use the cd changer.

      It is pretty tough to explain but if you have any more questions let me know. You can email (bourgeos@yahoo.com) or let me know if you need to call me . Or just continue to use this post. It is a pretty hard install due to the fact the touareg is built so well. I was more than impressed with the installation. This is probable the best install I have had and I have had complicated systems in my previous 4 cars.


    11. 11-05-2004 01:50 PM #11
      Thanks a lot, Fatz. If it's not too much trouble, please let us know model of the amp, so we know the size that would fit in that compartment.

      I may decide to tackle this project on my own, as I've installed a few audio systems before. I may want to try running new speakers off the nav radio directly(using built in amp), to see if I get an improvement in sound, and if not satisfied, add an amp and sub. I used to have standard radio, which I replaced with Navi, so my current stereo output is even worse than what you started with.

      It sounds like they used factory wiring, and tapped into it at the same place where your old amp was for new amp and speakers.

      In my case, I'm assuming since there is no amp, the wiring is directly from head unit to speakers, which may complicate my amp install. Another concern is the warranty. It's nice to hear from someone who had actually done it to his car.


    12. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-05-2004 01:51 PM #12
      Jason,
      What output is available from the nav radio has been discussed in the past but never conclusive. I have always suspected that there is a 4 channel output available from the nav radio. If you look at the schematic of the radio in the below picture, you will see an empty plug that I have labeled Audio Output. That plug corresponds to the lower schematic, lower right hand corner. LR-, LR+, LF-, LF+, RR-, RR+, RF-,RF+

      Several months ago, someone told me they tested for an output on those terminals and didn't get anything. I now believe that in order to get the output, you need to use a VAGCOM to recode the radio. I think you need to recode the radio according to the table in this thread, where the third digit is a 4 rather than a 0. http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1643299
      Now someone has to test this theory for me.


    13. 11-05-2004 02:05 PM #13
      Spockcat,

      Wouldn't that be already amplified signal, or pre-amp? I though that when you recode it to "4", it turns on the internal amp.


    14. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-05-2004 02:34 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by irom124 »
      Spockcat,

      Wouldn't that be already amplified signal, or pre-amp? I though that when you recode it to "4", it turns on the internal amp.

      The normal nav output is on the wires marked LO-R, LO-L and LINE. I changed my coding to the 4 and there was no difference in the output on those wires that I could hear over the speakers. But it could be that changing to 4 also puts an output on the 4 channel line. The reason I believe this is because there was one person here that had the base radio (no external amp). They switched to the nav radio. The base radio uses a 4 channel output on a plug just like the one that is missing on the nav radio. Initially, they heard no output. But when they switched radio coding, they got the output.

      I don't know how much this signal is amplified. But I would assume you could add a 4 channel amp in the line once you got the output from the nav radio.

      I will take a look at the parts list and see if I can come up with the plug that fits the empty slot.


    15. 11-05-2004 03:01 PM #15
      Spockcat,

      I was one of the people who had to change coding to make the navi work with stardard radio speakers.
      I recoded it to 0005467, and it started working. Ofcourse when istalling the navi, I didn't not take notice which pins were used in the plug. There was just one plug though(with a release lever), with some empty space.
      Is it safe to assume that standard radio setup use wires running directly to the speakers, with no wiring whatsoever where the amp usually is? If so, then where does the signal get split to different speakers such as tweeters, midrage, etc? Is there a crossover somewhere? Also, do you know how good the internal navi amp is?
      Even if I'm already using that plug, it would still be nice to get part numbers to create a new one, so that I'm not cutting any factory wiring, and can switch back if needed.

      Thanks


      Modified by irom124 at 8:03 PM 11-5-2004


    16. 11-05-2004 04:13 PM #16
      Spock,
      I will be your guinea pig. If you have a cable available, i'll gladly buy one and test.

      problem is, i'm a total VAGCOM rookie. I have no idea where the closest one is, nor do I have any idea what I'm doing. I'm in DC, I'd MORE than glady drive to wherever you are but I imagine that's impossible. Right? I'd throw money at you....http://forums.vwvortex.com/zeropost?cmd=reply&id=16902932#

      Anyway, sounds like I need to recode with a 4, and find a plug that works to drive a sep amp which will in turn will pump up the real speakers.

      Any suggestiuons welcome, dont think my local Tweeters can handle this.....

      Jason


    17. 11-05-2004 06:01 PM #17
      Jason,
      I'm also in the area, so if you need to vag something, let me know, and I can do it for you if you stop by.

    18. 11-06-2004 05:39 AM #18
      I would definitely take you up on that. Anytime you are free, I'd love to Vag some of these chimes and try to turn on the RCA channels. Would really appreciate that.

      Feel free to shoot me e-mail. jasonrao@comcast.net Many thanks


    19. 11-08-2004 10:20 AM #19
      I just added a sub this weekend. Used a 1-250 JL Audio amp and a 2-10" sub enclosure from JL as well. Installer tapped into the front speaker lines for audio input to the sub amp. Took them 8 1/2 hours to just get to the battery and hook the thing up properly, but it really does sound great and makes a huge difference. Spent the better part of 4 hours fine tuning the crossover frquency, slope and gain etc to make it sound good and blend properly. The installer commented that even though he was wanting to rip his hair out, the Treg is really well made and well insulated for noise etc.

    20. 11-08-2004 02:01 PM #20
      Those hours are pretty funny, I hope you did not pay high rates. Did they take a break every hour for 30 minutes or something?

    21. 11-08-2004 09:44 PM #21
      Here is my two cents! I also have a 04 V8 with NAV and Upgraded sound system. The system is horrible. Dealer is personal friend and I have "tested" three other Tregs, all the same. Rear fading sucks, phasing sucks, frequency range completely missing, in short, a terrible implementation of the sound system. There is a sound mixer chip on-board the rear amplifier that could possibly be reprogrammed via can-bus (VAG-COM?) to correct equalization, fading and other issues. However, it seems that the only person that may know how to do this is buried deep within VW in Germany. I have been unable to locate any info on this issue. My answer was to gut the amp and speakers and replace same with top-of-the-line alpine equipment. Unfortunately, it ran me $2200.00, but the system is fantastic! There are many less expensive solutions, depending on your personal taste, of course. Good Luck!

    22. 11-09-2004 07:53 AM #22
      Tregman-
      i feel your pain. Both irom124 and I are looking into gutting and replacing most if not all of the system. We have heard that Eclipse PA5532 amp with MB Quartz RCE216 fit well and sound great. Could you give us the stats on what you put in? What brand name, etc. And did they require any special mods? Also do you think your install voids the warranty on the Nav system?

      i believe Irom is replacing everything, I plan to try to add a new 4-channel line off the Nav radio to a new amp to drive upgraded rear speakers and a new subwoofer. This would leave the front as is (for now).

      Thanks for any info.


    23. 11-09-2004 12:12 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by guitarman »
      Also, has anyone replaced the rear speakers for better sound/better balance? If so what did you use and how are the results? Thanks in advance.

      I recently found out it is the amp is the first issue to tackle. As an experiment, I removed the rear door panel and unplugged the factory speakers. Then I plugged in new speakers to see what they would sound like.

      Bass is crap, frequency response is missing. Fader is still way off. The biggest problem is not the speakers. It is the amp and/or the crossover.

      The speakers are far from the greatest, but are capable of putting out much better sound then they are doing currently. The output from the rear amp is the most pathetic that I have ever seen in a car produced in the last 10 years.


    24. 11-10-2004 07:22 AM #24
      Thanks for doing that test, that makes it easier to do a targeted upgrade without ripping out the entire system.

      I have generally found that even stock speakers can sound very good when quality amplification is behind them.

      Improving the amp is sort of a challenge, however, since there is no doubt an electronic crossover in the amp.

      So now the problem (for us DIYers) is:

      1. Find a full range signal to tap into, hopefully line level, not speaker level. Bypass the amp for the rear channel.
      2. Add an amp and crossover for the rear speakers.
      3. Tap back into the existing speaker wiring with the upgraded amplification.


    25. 11-25-2004 11:36 AM #25
      Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

      Here is an update on my install with details for anyone planning on doing the upgrade.

      I've installed an 8" subwoofer, JL 8W7, in a hidden enclosure behind left trunk trim panel.

      I've molded the enclosure out of fiberglass. It's bigger than the storage compartment was and goes farther over the wheel well. Volume of the enclosure is around 20 liters and I used pillow filling inside the box to compensate for around 20% or so of volume, since JL recommends 24.8 L. I glued sound deadening material(carpet-like) to all outside surface of the box to keep it from rattling. I don't have any pictures of the enlosure still out of the car, since I only started taking pictures when everything was done except for rear door speakers. With this sub, I can have as much bass as I can stand and a lot more I also protected the sub from moving objects in the trunk with an aluminum sub grill. The sub was connected directly to the amp with a 12 gauge twisted cable.

      Amp is Eclipse PA-5532 5 channel 960 watt. I ran speaker level cables to it from the back of the Nav radio (you can see those going into the amp on the right side of it in the picture).
      I routed the speaker cables under the right side sills/carpet. Speaker cables coming out of the amp are going back behind the radio to use original speaker wiring to drive the speakers. It looks like oem speaker cable is 16 gauge, so it should be enough. My original radio was standard, then I upgraded Nav. So, my speakers were wired directly to the radio. If you have an amp in your car, your speaker output wires from the new amp will have to go where your old amp is instead of back to where the radio is. Then I ran 4 gauge power cable for the amp on the left side of the car to the battery. For ground, I also used 4 gauge cable and grounded it to on of the bolts under rear seats. I used monster cable amp install kit as well as speaker wires.

      I upgraded speakers to component 2-way MB Quart RCE-216.
      Old speakers vs new:

      They come with a midrange 6.5 speaker, a tweeter, and a crossover. For the front doors, I mounted the tweeters in the original location next to the side-view mirrors. For the back doors, I mounted the tweeter inside the midrange speakers. Speakers come with many to mount, so this was one of them. I've decided against mounting the rear tweeters next to the handle, because speaker that is there is much larger and the space would be difficult, but not impossible to utilize for the new smaller tweeter. I didn't want to bother with that, because I never ride in the back seat anyway . Speakers next to door handles were disconnected, could've easily left them connected, since I used factory wiring, but decided to leave them off so they wouldn't get in the way of tuned component speakers.

      As you can see in the pictures, when mounting the speakers, I used gutted factory speakers as adaptors for the new ones, and it came out beautifully.
      Oem speaker with all the excess removed and new mounting plate inserted:

      After removing all unneeded plastic from the oem speakers, new speaker mounting plate just needed to be sanded on the outside diameter in order to fit inside the bracket, it's easier to see on the pictures This way, they are installed very close to the original way. They don't need to be shaved in the back (as in Brad's install) in order to clear the windows because they're sitting so high off the door. I was able to use original rubber surrounds which direct sound output into the car instead of inside the door panel and keep road noise out. I was even able to use factory plug on the speakers and soldered wires from inside the the old speaker bracket from the new speakers( see the pictures).

      I had to drill an additional hole in the bracket for tweeter wiring in the back doors, because original plug only has two pins. This was not excess for the front doors, because tweeter are mounted outside the speakers. I only have pictures of the rear speakers install, but the front doors are exactly the same except for outside tweeter mounting. Here is a picture of the finished rear door install.

      The speakers were riveted back to the door using 3/16" medium length rivets.

      I mounted the front tweeters using the same method of gutting the the stock tweeter and using it's bracket to hold the new tweets. Front and back speakers were exactly the same size and everything.

      Crossovers were mounted without the enclosures they came in, because I didn't want to run into any clearance problems with the door panel.

      I even found a present for myself Techs left this cool LED flashlight under driver's seat carpet(you can only get under there after you remove side sill panels), when they replaced the carpet due to water leakage. This was because some drain tube got plugged by a leaf when the car was seating on the dealer's lot before sale.


      Now for impressions
      After adding the amp and sub, music was drastically improved. After I also swapped out the speakers, sound got more clear and bright. In short I'm very happy with the result, especially the difference that the sub makes
      The amp has adjusments for front/rear gain levels, sub crossover level, and high-pass frequency. With the sub crossover set at 85hz(JL recommended) and sub output level turned up the car can really rumble. Bass and treble adjustments on the Nav are also functional.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.



      Modified by irom124 at 4:42 PM 11-25-2004


    26. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-25-2004 11:52 AM #26
      Lots of work and extra parts and pieces exposed in the car but I bet it sounds nice.

      I am wondering whether there are high quality speaker upgrades available in the stock sizes? Also, would it be possible to add a small amp to the rear speakers to compensate for the poor rear fading of the nav radio?


    27. 11-25-2004 12:07 PM #27
      Aftermarket speakers don't come in stock 8" size(at least I coudn't find any). Even if they did, you would have to make some sort of an adaptor to raise the speaker two or more inches, otherwise they'll interfere with front windows tracks. Even smaller 6.5 speakers mount this way are still pretty tight behind in the back of the speaker.

      Small amps don't usually sound as good as larger ones, but I'm sure you can probalby find a smaller(still not as small as stock) three channel amps. Even this amp is switchablle 3 or 5 channels. Three channels would power two speakers and an amp.


    28. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-25-2004 12:54 PM #28
      The speaker you cut up, 220mm bass according to the list, looks like a subwoofer speaker. I'm no car stereo expert but would you consider it this type of speaker? I don't suppose you have the depth dimension of this speaker? Any other photos of the rest of the door speakers?

    29. 11-25-2004 01:50 PM #29
      The list doesn't seem to be accurate, because both front and rear bass speakers were 220mm, and 4ohm(as you can see from the picture). The list you're refferring to lists both front and rear as being 2ohm, and size of the rear as 168mm. I don't have depth measurments, but you can find out what it is for RCE-216 from specs and oem are about the same depth, maybe 1/4-1/2" less. That is including the 2" or so raising plate. There is very little space inside actualy door opening, probably less than an inch. Yes those speakers were producing all the bass and some of midrange as well. The cone of the speaker looks more like a sub than an allrange speaker.

      JL sub that installed in the back is around 7" in depth, this is in part so the cone can have plenty of travel. I can probably find some low profile subwoofer speaker that would fit in there, but then where do you put an inclosure? By the looks of the oem speaker, it looked like a very plain low quality speaker. You can all parts of it in the pictures, a cone and magnet. Then compare it to composition of a JL sub which you can see on JL's website. MB quart speakers also appeared much more complicated with more parts to it behind the cone than just a magnet.

      I don't think you'll be able to find any high quality speakers in 2.36" size to replace the midrange speakers next to handles. They're held in there with just a spring, so it's going to be difficult to retrofit speakers in there even if of similar size.



      Modified by irom124 at 6:54 PM 11-25-2004


    30. Senior Member spockcat's Avatar
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      11-25-2004 03:45 PM #30
      Thanks for the info. The list is from the Bentley manual. This doesn't mean it is right though. So I will put a notation that the front and rear in reality seem to be 220mm and 4 ohms.

      What is the electronic component above the speaker in this photo? Is this something you added or was already there?


    31. 11-25-2004 04:42 PM #31
      The electronic component above the speaker is a crossover. It comes with the speakers.

      Stu


    32. 11-25-2004 07:44 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by irom124 »
      Here is an update on my install with details for anyone planning on doing the upgrade.

      Wow!! Thanks for taking the time to share with us... it must sound really good!


    33. 11-26-2004 08:27 AM #33
      Yes, that is a crossover that came with the MB Quart speakers. They devide the signal coming from the amp into the right frequencies for tweeters and allrange speakers. There is one of those in each door. What you see is just the board from the crossovers. I've taken them out of their enclosures/boxes to make sure I don't run into any clearance problems. Crossovers are adjactable using those little red tabs that you see for different tweeter db, it's set from the factory at -6db.

    34. 11-26-2004 09:16 AM #34
      what model t-reg do you have? I'm assuming you don't have the air suspension, because I tried putting a sub in that panel, and there was certainly not enough room.

      I instead made a fiberglass enclosure to fit inside the spare tire. Cut a hole in the door there and installed the grille.

      Much to my shagrin, it sounded like crap.
      I put a 12" kicker solobaric L7 in, an it just wasn't right.

      So now I simply just have a pain-in-the-neck external box. However, the air pressure it produces can almost pop my skull like a zit.

      I'll post what my project came out like eventually.

      FKI


    35. 11-26-2004 11:36 AM #35
      I was considering using a 4 inch Q line Quart driver for the speakers next to the front door handles. Do you think they would fit? How hard was it to get the door panels off? Also, did you utilize all the available space over your wheel well for the sub? I had the same idea a while ago, but never implemented it.

      Thanks,
      Stu


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