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    Thread: Audio system upgrade to Phaeton - need advice....

    1. 10-24-2006 11:27 PM #1
      Well I took delivery of my 04 phaeton and I love it so far. I have a few wierd problems but I am taking it to the dealer tomorrow to sort them out.

      My main question is about upgrading the audio system. I am a bit of an audiofile and find that the factory stereo - while good - is not what I would like it to be.

      I went to a specialty audio installer who has all of the product I want. I am looking to replace the current speakers with JL audio components and run them off of a JL audio amplifier. I also am going to put in a subwoofer box that runs off of another amplifier. There is also another smaller device called a JL audio "clean sweep" that is required to keep the level even from the head unit. I am keeping the factory head unit (the integrated nav/climate/audio system).

      Basically they are going to bypass the current amp system in the car and just rewire everything off of the new amps and clean sweep and replace speakers.

      My question is - will I have or am I likely to have resulting problems from systems in the car that I am not anticipating? I am referring to things that would result from the car being so computerized and monitored - the last thing I would want to do is have warnings all the time that I am drawing too much power or some kind of error message because the car is not going through the onboard amplifiers - or really any other problems.

      The installer says this wont happen - but I trust you guys more than them. I have read hundreds of threads here but have yet to really read where someone did an aftermarket replacement of the sound system keeping the integrated head unit.

      One side note - if I go through with this I am going to have a great IPOD adapter solution to show everyone. This clean sweep product gives you another auxilliary input that they are going to put the ipod in to so that I can have a cd changer and the ipod both working. I will give photos and details if this actually happens.

      SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Am I risking the health of my car in order to get better sound? Should I just not do it? If done right, is there very little risk?

      Thanks in advance.


    2. 10-24-2006 11:47 PM #2
      I have made a number of Audio mods to a number of cars in the past.

      Personally I like the standard Phaeton audion system better than the DSP upgrade system.

      I have heard a system using the Clean sweep and I liked it. If your installer is good (please get and check out references) and makes the rightspeaker selection and does the installation well You will probable like the new system, remembering the Phaeton system is no slouch.

      Goos luck and please keep us apprised of the progress. A white noise input and a frequency plot of the current system performance and the new one would be worthwhile. Be sure to place the mics at ear position while you are in the drivers seat to get the best results. This will also allow the tech to tune the new system to flat response.

      Being an older guy I have the frequency response of my ear /brain combination from Mayo and set my system to compensate for both the performance of the system in the car as well as my hearing. May not be best for passengers but great for me.


    3. 10-25-2006 12:02 AM #3
      Thanks for your quick response.

      I didnt go in to the specifics of what I am going to put in the car because I didnt think anyone would care - but since you asked:

      2 pairs of seperates JL audio ZR series 6.5's http://mobile.jlaudio.com/prod...id=65
      2 amps JL audio 500/1 and 300/4 http://mobile.jlaudio.com/prod...d=254
      2 10" subs JL audio running of of the 50/1 amp
      1 JL audio clean sweep http://mobile.jlaudio.com/prod...d=193
      1 IPOD direct link adapter and power cable

      This will be a significant upgrade to the phaeton system. I do have a great installer and will have all diagnostics done.

      Do you have any experience with doing anything in a phaeton? Were there any problems that came up?


    4. 10-25-2006 12:04 AM #4
      BTW - Im just checking in to my old thread that I started about my new phaeton - and Im really upset I havent checked it in the last couple of weeks because of all the talk about an orlando get together.

      If I missed it I am sorry that I did and will look forward to the next one. I was travelling for 2 weeks and didnt get back to the forum.


    5. 10-25-2006 12:33 AM #5
      All I have done is play a calibration CD thru the system (White and Pink noise and a variety of frequencies) I have adjusted these as best I can considering the limited 3 band equaliser in the standard system. My goal was to get the anlizer display to fit my required acoustic requirements.

      On of these days After I get the phone issue resolved and the NO NAg NAV acceptance issue resolved and the rear seat AC display issue resolved and a Remote starter issue resolved and a power trunk opener and closer then it will be time to tackle the audio. Phew!!! Maybe Houseboat sales will slow down in the winter and I can get back to the Phaeton jobs, I hope so.


    6. 10-25-2006 06:33 PM #6
      I am pretty sure you are heading into uncharted waters with this one. Sounds pretty risky to me. I would never attempt such a project.

      If the installer is so sure that his installation isn't going to mess anything up, then I would have him sign a contract that clearly defines what happens if something does go wrong. i.e. he has to pay VW to fix it.

      I would ask him how many Phaetons has he done this to. The answer is probably zero. If not, then ask for and contact his references.

      I do know that someone here has added a sub to their stock system. That is the only audio mod I've heard of with the exception of Ipod stuff.


    7. 10-25-2006 10:23 PM #7
      To update this thread - after a long conversation this morning with phaeton customer service - and about an hour long conversation with the dealer and mechanic - I am not going to attempt this project.

      They explained all of the possible things that can go wrong, and all of the monitoring systems that can be effected - and it scared me silly.

      Once they told me about the snowball of events that could happen I just decided to live with the stock stereo.

      Thanks for all of the comments here.


    8. 10-25-2006 11:21 PM #8
      Personally I would not give up so fast. Keep searching, Talk to guys that have done Audi's, Tourages, Do a Google on Phaeton Audio upgrades. Modding is a way of life. Of course the dealer and PCC are going to be negative.

      Can you list some of the things that are supposed to go wrong. Heck it is just an audio system. Switching out some speakers and adding some booster amps isn't rocket science.

      This came froom the new Audi Info page

      June 14, 2006
      Audi of America Reveals Model Year 2007 Change Points
      Source: Audi of America

      AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Audi of America, Inc. announced its change points for the 2007 model year today. The 2007 model year will have a strong focus on performance with six new models, all with an emphasis on sportiness. These new models include the Audi Q7 performance SUV, the high-revving RS 4 sedan, A4 and S4 Cabriolets, and the V10-powered S6 and S8 sedans.

      Below is a rundown of the changes made to existing models for the 2007 model year:

      A3 Model Line

      The A3 2.0T will now have an S line Package which replaces the Sport Package from 2006. Equipment content is the same, but the new S line package also receives more aggressive front and rear fascias, and S line badging on the exterior. The A3 also has a new Technology Package. The Sound Package has been renamed the Audio Package. Sirius Satellite Radio is added to the package for 2007.

      The only change to the 3.2 S line quattro® model is the addition of a Technology Package.

      A3 Highlights:

      2.0T Technology Package

      Light and rain sensor
      Audi Phone Preparation with Bluetooth
      Auto-dimming interior mirror
      Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System
      3.2 Technology Package

      Audi Phone Preparation with Bluetooth
      Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System
      Audio Package

      Sirius Satellite Radio
      Bose Premium Sound System with AudioPilotTM
      Symphony II Radio with in-dash 6-disc CD Changer
      A4/S4/RS 4 Model Line

      The S4 sedan receives the aggressive DTM exterior bumpers, including front/rear carbon fiber trim as an option. The redesigned Symphony radio on the A4/S4/RS 4 now has the ability to play MP3-encoded CDs in the integrated 6-disc changer, has a larger screen with larger font, and the deletion of the cassette player.

      A4 2.0T Sedan/Avant Highlights

      Summary:

      Offer structure has been simplified to two main packages (Premium/Convenience), instead of three from 2006 (Sunroof/Premium/Technology).
      Wheels: New design base 16” wheel; 17” wheels: 5 double spoke wheel continues as an option; 3.2 has a new standard 3.2-specific 17” 5-spoke wheel from quattro GmbH.
      Trip computer is available via the Convenience Package
      Driver seat and mirror memory is no longer offered in the 2.0T.
      2.0T models receive 4-spoke leather multi-function steering wheels. 2.0T S line Package keeps 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel, with shift paddles on automatic models.
      Heated front seats as a stand-alone option. Heated rear seats are discontinued on 2.0T models.
      All-season versions of the 18” wheels in the S line and Titanium Packages are now being offered
      A4 2.0T and 3.2 Sedan/Avant/Cabriolet models have full-size spare tires, but now with steel rims, not alloy. S4 Sedan/Avant/Cabriolet continue to offer full-size spare tires with matching alloy wheels.
      A4 3.2 Sedan/Avant Highlights

      Summary:

      Sunroof standard to reduce complexity
      New standard 17” 3.2-specific 5-spoke wheel from quattro GmbH
      3-spoke steering wheel with partially-perforated leather standard
      Shift paddles on steering wheels standard on all automatic models
      Driver seat and exterior mirror memory optional on 3.2
      3.2 Cold Weather Package: heated rear seats
      Rear Parktronic optional
      Sport suspension optional
      S4 Sedan/Avant Highlights:

      Summary:

      New 18” S4 wheel is the only wheel on all 2007 S4 models. It is identical in design to the upcoming 20” S8 wheel.
      Sunroof standard.
      DTM Exterior Package (identical to S4 24quattro) with carbon fiber front and rear spoilers is an available option, sedan-only, USA-only.
      Interior Alcantara® color combinations have been increased. This year, both the ebony/ebony and silver/silver combinations will be offered.
      S4 Sedan/Avant/Cabriolet brake calipers will be painted glossy black.
      RS 4 Sedan:

      The 2007 RS 4 is a new model, so no change points apply. Below is a run down of the package options on the RS 4.

      RS 4 package structure:

      Premium Package: Audi Navigation plus with six-disc CD changer, HomeLink, auto dimming exterior and interior mirror, digital compass in interior mirror, memory for mirrors and driver’s seat positions, Blue Tooth phone preparation, Sirius satellite radio, Bose Premium Sound System with Audio Pilot, heated rear seats, power rear and manual side sunshades, light and rain sensor with “Coming Home” feature.

      Brushed aluminum trim is a fully-available no-cost option
      Sunroof delete available as a factory-order (sold-order) option in all configurations
      A4/S4 Cabriolet:

      The 2007 A4/S4 Cabriolet models are new and have no change points. Below is a highlight listing of the new 2007 A4/S4 Cabriolet. Please visit http://www.media.audiusa.com for further details on packaging and options as they become available.

      All-new exterior design with elegantly sporty styling
      2.0 TFSI developing 200 hp, available quattro all-wheel drive
      3.2 FSI V6 developing 255 hp with quattro all-wheel drive
      4.2 V8 developing 340 hp with quattro all-wheel drive
      S4 and A6 derived four-link front and trapezoidal-link rear suspension.
      New Acoustic Top available reduces interior noise levels (Standard on S4)
      A6 Model Line

      The S line Package will now be available on the Avant. As well, a 19” wheel upgrade to the S line Package is now optional for A6 quattro models. Also the S line Package will now require only the Premium Package, rather than both Premium and Convenience. The highly-anticipated S6 will be launched this fall with the same V10 FSI engine as the S8. The following is a list of change highlights for the A6 models.

      A6 3.2 Sedan and Avant Equipment Highlights

      Summary:

      Trip computer / Driver Information Center will be standard on all A6 models
      A6 3.2 CVT will get a new 16” 6 spoke wheel
      Digital speed indicator in driver information center on all A6 models
      New cupholder (similar to A4) in all A6 models
      New flexmetallic trim will surround the instrument cluster on all A6 models
      New satellite radio antennae (smaller) on all A6 models
      New overhead center console (from Q7) on all A6 models
      CD changer will have MP3 playback capability
      Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel was added to Convenience Package on 3.2 models
      Rearview Camera will now be included in the Technology Package
      Headlight washers were added to the Cold Weather Package
      4 spoke multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles is now included with the S line Package
      19” 20-spoke 2-piece BBS-style wheel is now available as an upgrade when S line Package is ordered
      S line Package now available on A6 Avant
      Leather dashboard from quattro GmbH now available as a stand-alone option
      Quartz Gray Metallic exterior paint replaces Atlas Gray Metallic
      Ibis White replaces Arctic White
      Phantom Black Pearl Effect now available (Brilliant Black remains)
      Daytona Gray Pearl Effect is now available with S line
      Cardemom Beige replaces Beige interior
      A6 4.2 Sedan Highlights

      Summary:

      New 4.2 engine now with FSI direct injection technology and 350 hp
      Same highlighted equipment changes as 3.2 Sedan / Avant
      Technology Package, S line Package, Cold Weather Package are same as 3.2
      Stand-alone options are same as 3.2 except for the solar sunroof that is only available on the 4.2 model. Also leather dashboard is stand alone on the 4.2 not sold order like the 3.2.
      Q7 Model Line

      Audi Q7 Performance SUV highlights

      The 2007 Audi Q7 is a brand new vehicle that has no change points. Below is a highlight listing of the new SUV. For more detailed information on the Audi Q7, please visit http://www.media.audiusa.com.

      4.2-liter FSI V8 engine with 350 hp and 325 ft. lbs. of torque
      3.6-liter FSI V6 engine with 280 hp and 265 ft. lbs. of torque available in September
      Six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with full-time quattro all-wheel drive
      42:58 front to rear torque split under normal driving conditions
      Seven passenger seating standard in V8, optional on V6
      Six passenger seating optional on V6 Premium and V8 models (standard on V8 Premium)
      10 cup and bottle holders
      Up to 72.5 cu. ft. of cargo space with rear seats folded
      Optional S line package includes sport seats, restyled front and rear bumpers, full body-color paint, and 21” alloy wheels with performance tires.
      Other major options include the Open Sky panorama glass sunroof, adaptive air suspension, and adaptive cruise control plus.
      A8 Model Line

      A8 General Highlights and Commentary:

      The 20” wheel on W12 has been updated and also added as an upgrade to the Sport Package on 4.2 models. We will see the launch of the 450 hp 2007 S8, with the 5.2 liter V10 FSI engine, this fall. The following is a list of change highlights for the A8 models.

      A8 equipment highlights:

      Summary:

      Brand new 4.2L FSI engine model for 2007 with 350 hp
      All A8 and W12 will get front and rear comfort headrests
      The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Audio System will now be available on all A8, W12 and S8
      Bose Surround Sound System which is standard on all A8 and W12 will get a power increase.
      All A8 and W12 will have a new Driver Information Center
      Rearview camera will come standard with W12 and in Premium Package on 4.2 models.
      Sirius Satellite Radio will come standard on W12 models.
      Full leather upgrade including dashboard will now be available on A8L.
      A new 20” wheel option will be available on W12 and with the Sport Package on the A8 4.2 models. It’s the same style wheel as the 19” RS 4
      CD changer will have MP3 capability
      iPod integration will come as an option beginning later in the model year
      New satellite radio antennae (smaller)
      Ibis White exterior color replaces Arctic White
      Phantom Black Pearl Effect is added to color palette (Brilliant Black remains)
      S8 will launch in the fall with a 450 hp 5.2 Liter V10 engine
      A8 4.2 new Stand-alone Options:

      Bang & Olufsen Advanced Audio System - 1000 watts, 14 speakers
      Sirius Satellite Radio
      The following new options are available on the A8L W12:

      Bang & Olufsen Advanced Audio System
      20” 7-double spoke wheels


      So someone like a better sound system.


      Modified by GripperDon at 9:28 PM 10-25-2006


    9. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-25-2006 11:49 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by flphaeton »
      ...Once they told me about the snowball of events that could happen I just decided to live with the stock stereo.

      That's a wise choice. The issue is not so much one of replacing speakers - that you could probably do without much trouble - it is the problems that would arise from trying to integrate a new amplifier into the control system that is managed by the big display between the two front seats. Personally, I think that would be an impossible task.

      Sorry I missed you when I was in Orlando - I just passed through Orlando this afternoon (flew in from London), but now I am in Georgia, heading north.

      Michael


    10. 10-26-2006 05:22 AM #10
      Flphaeton,

      In my Phaeton, which has the basic 8 channel system, the amp (which is in the trunk on the right) looks suspiciously similar to the one fitted under the front passenger seat in a Mk V Golf GTI I owned for a few weeks. In the Golf that amp was a factory upgrade.

      I've googled for hours on end to find information about upgrading the audio on the Phaeton, with zero success. However, if you can establish that the amp is the same as the Golf one, there's a good chance you can find someone who's modded "downstream" from that point, i.e. changed that amp and the speakers.

      I'd say don't give up yet. I haven't. I've had a very frustrating exchange of correspondence with VW UK about audio system specs, which i'll write up when I can, but I'm still trying.


    11. Moderator PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-26-2006 08:46 AM #11
      Nick:

      In theory, one could replace the basic 8 channel, 10 speaker amp in the Phaeton with the upgraded 12 channel, 12 speaker amp that is used for the Phaeton premium sound system (the 270 watt system). However... there would be quite a few wiring changes needed, and I think it is possible that the existing 10 speakers in the basic car may not be the same specification as the 10 speakers installed in the same locations in the Phaeton with the premium sound system.

      However, once all the speaker and wiring problems were overcome, the car could simply be recoded to indicate that a 12 channel system was installed, and this could then be controlled through the J523 as if it was a factory install.

      Having said all that, though, I would not advocate attempting it. There are some retrofits, such as sound system upgrades, automatic distance control, and power trunks that involve so many unknowns that it would be difficult if not impossible for us to achieve OEM performance if we attempted to install them... not to mention that they would all be hugely expensive ($2,000 and up) for the parts bill alone.

      Michael


    12. 10-26-2006 09:57 AM #12
      When tweeked the factory 12 channel audio system was the best I have ever heard. It could use I bit more bass. I would never do what you are suggeting. at the most i would try to isolate the high current sub out and add an additional sub to system.

    13. 10-26-2006 01:59 PM #13
      Good step for # 1 then replace the existing speakers with better ones as step #2 All low risk. If you want better sound it will require some work as the existing system is no slouch. Opening the doors ans addinf a tweeter ain the circle mount witha capacitior filter is simple paralled wiring and cap forfilter add good directionallity i would believe.

    14. 10-27-2006 01:41 AM #14
      All good suggestions.

      When talking about car stereo - it is like talking about a woman - there are varying degrees of "good" and what you like. I will say that for a stock car stereo the 12 speaker system is impressive - but for an aftermarket competition quality system it is terrible. It all depends on your goals.

      I was going to spend at least 7K or so in upgraded equipment that would leave the stock system behind.

      My fears come from several people about the drain on the power system running 3 amplifiers and another device called the clean sweep. The monitoring systems in the phaeton are quite integrated and sophisticated and the last thing I want is a warning every time I get in the car because the computer doesnt recognize the car stereo.

      To give you an idea - I had a very highly recommended installer do "exploratory surgery" the other day - to see what he thought he could do. His response was enthusiastic - but there were casualties due to just looking around.

      The ashtray on the passenger side now only stays open because he broke a tiny plastic pin, the PRNDL display in the instrument panel is fully lit so that I cant tell what gear Im in (due to something magnetic under the shift knob), and several mounting pins were broken in the door panel he took off.

      All of these things are being fixed by the dealer and are no big deal - but it scared me straight. If somehow I found someone that had done aftermarket upgrades on several phaetons with great results I would pick this back up - but I just cant find that right now.


    15. 10-27-2006 10:31 AM #15
      The audio system in the Phaeton is about the best car system I have ever heard. But...there is not enough bass.

    16. 10-27-2006 02:44 PM #16
      I wish the Phaeton had Dynaudio, like the Passat. Now VW is going to put Dynaudio in the facelifted Touareg. Maybe the Phaeton will get it next--it's a vibrant, crisp audiophile system. Aftermarket Dynaudio can cost several thousand dollars, so the $1000 for the Passat's Dynaudio was a deal! This is opinion, but Dynaudio definitely exceeds the quality of the 12 speaker DSP we have in our Phaeton.


      Modified by PCpassat06 at 2:50 PM 10-27-2006

    17. 10-27-2006 07:45 PM #17
      Personally I think the Phaeton's audio system has plenty of bass, but only if you tweak the EQ. When all Eqs are at zero, things do tend to sound a bit thin. However, the bass that is reproduced is actually quite accurate.

      Bass heads may want to try this before adding subs etc:

      The knee jerk response to a bass deficient system is to crank the bass EQ. Sure that gives you more bass, but it also produces a phase shift in the bass spectrum, which can color or muddy the bass.

      Instead of cranking the bass EQ, try reducing the treble and the midrange EQs by about 4 or 5 clicks. This will increase the relative output of bass without introducing audible phase issues to the bass frequencies.

      It is actually possible to create a DSP based EQ that does not alter phase, but that technology does not appear to be present in the Phaetons EQs or any other car audio system for that matter.

      All that being said, I would still like to have a big fat sub mounted in the rear deck with the appropriate dedicated subwoofer controls.


    18. 10-30-2006 12:53 PM #18
      How fickle the ears can be. Just listened to Pink Floyd's The Wall album in the car. Always seemed to be an album with nice full bouncy crisp production.

      Blown away by the sound. Couldn't even criticise the bass: plenty of it with both depth and bite. All 3 of the kids in the car liked it too, though they have now gone a bit deaf.

      Any of you out there with that album - I recommend it heavily, starting with "The Happiest Days of Our Lives", at about 2/3 of full volume, loudness on, bass at -1, treble at +1.

      Upgrade project now on hold.....


    19. 10-30-2006 05:34 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by uk_nick »
      How fickle the ears can be. Just listened to Pink Floyd's The Wall album in the car. Always seemed to be an album with nice full bouncy crisp production.

      Blown away by the sound. Couldn't even criticise the bass: plenty of it with both depth and bite. All 3 of the kids in the car liked it too, though they have now gone a bit deaf.

      Any of you out there with that album - I recommend it heavily, starting with "The Happiest Days of Our Lives", at about 2/3 of full volume, loudness on, bass at -1, treble at +1.

      Upgrade project now on hold.....


      I've got it. Excellent recording. Analog tape sounds great.

      They used one of my favorite synths on it. The EMS VCS3.



    20. 04-25-2012 07:21 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by flphaeton View Post
      Audio system upgrade to Phaeton - need advice....
      I am embarking on exactly this journey myself and will keep you posted.

      All of you people who thing the stock audio system in the Phaeton is adequate are partially deaf -- and be thankful -- if your hearing was up to snuff you'd be as appalled as I am at the factory sounds.

      My first step was to pull off the door panel and open up the left rear of the truck, the most appalling thing about the Phaeton's system is that they went to very great lengths to get such a terrible system.

    21. Member wouterjansen60's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 07:49 PM #21
      I did add a active subwoofer in the trunk. This only can be done realy by a professional installer who have experiene with Bentleys as Phaetons are rarely done. If you go for a trunck subwoofer, a 700 W unit is needed due to havy trunk "firewall"

      See thraed :http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...e-Repair/page2

      Wouter

    22. 04-25-2012 08:44 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by wouterjansen60 View Post
      I did add a active subwoofer in the trunk. This only can be done realy by a professional installer who have experiene with Bentleys as Phaetons are rarely done. If you go for a trunck subwoofer, a 700 W unit is needed due to havy trunk "firewall"

      See thraed :http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...e-Repair/page2

      Wouter
      I wish you had finished that thread with more photos, but I've bookmarked it for the wiring legend.

      I plan to do the work myself, since I have as much experience as any sound tech would, heh.

      I had considered adding just a subwoofer but the fact is, the rest of the system sounds like crap as well, so...why not do as much as possible?

    23. Member wouterjansen60's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 03:12 PM #23
      At your service, here a result picture. You are a brave man to do this job yourself !


    24. 04-27-2012 03:07 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by wouterjansen60 View Post
      At your service, here a result picture. You are a brave man to do this job yourself !
      Thanks for the photo.

      I'll post things as I update them, as of now I'm saving up for equipment. A recent purchase of a $7000 ZF tranny has tapped out my Phaeton fund.

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