Say ‘Hello’ to our little friend. She’ll blow you away!
Anyone who knows us at Car and Home Stereo will probably know about my Mk2 Golf GTi. I’ve owned this car for nearly 18 years and in that time it has had several jaw dropping audio installations. Every version has left a lasting impression with anyone who has heard it and now it is time to reveal the latest incarnation.
You may have sat in our other demonstrator, the Land Rover Discovery. You can read about the system here http://carhomestereo.co.uk/2016/09/. This car has a system built using Audison and Hertz components. The audio performance is astonishingly accurate with detail and dynamics that never fails to impress. I would go so far as to say that it is unbeatable at the cost; honestly I could sit and listen to it forever.
The Golf is a different kind of beast! This system is not designed to cosset you with finesse no, this one sets out to pummel you into submission. I’ll go through the installation but first some background.
As this car has always had a very powerful system installed it had already been completely treated with Dynamat sound deadening and boy was it going to need it for this one.
Another essential part to any high power install is an uprated battery along with uprated cables to the alternator and ground, we’re going to need a lot of energy for the amplifiers.
Another previous addition was the iPad slide mount I built, who knew how useful that would be for this system.
So let’s introduce X Fire, if you haven’t heard of them yet you soon will. They are rapidly gaining a reputation for incredible performance from their astonishing amplifiers and subwoofers. These are not cheap Far Eastern buy ins but neither are they stratospherically priced exotica. Their amplifiers are intelligently designed with power to spare and features that really add to the installation process. However, for me, the jewels in the X Fire crown are their subwoofers. These things are monsters, from the diminutive 6 inch to the Godzilla like 15 they pack an almost unbelievable punch.
Head of X Fire Jacco Kaper knew about my Golf and contacted me with an offer to help build a new system; I was not going to say no to a European Sound Off champion. It transpired that he was in the UK during October so we scheduled 2 days and assembled the team of myself, Jacco and Chris the UK X Fire rep.
As you may know, I am a musician and Jacco decided he wanted to create an install that reflected this. So while I laid all the cables and carpet trimmed the boot he set about building the sub enclosure while Chris started the installation of the door speakers.
I wanted to use the 12 inch subwoofer but Jacco convinced me that his 10 would be just as good and would work in a smaller enclosure leaving room for the amplifiers. A good call because there were four to fit!
Time was tight so we opted to work through the night building the amp supports and engineering the detail parts. At this point I still did not really know what Jacco had planned.
It’s amazing how cheerful we were at three in the morning!
So come the morning this was where we were at;
The next job was to place everything and start to hook it up. The DSP Pro went under the rear seat as no access was required to this for setting up. The RCA and power distribution was installed through the false floor so no cabling would be visible. I had an old bass cabinet which we cannibalised for the grille and corner protectors. It was at this point that Jacco revealed his vision; he wanted the car to look like I was on my way to a gig and had just loaded up. To that end we used the corner protectors and grille to mimic my gigging bass cab even adding a carry handle though the enclosure is firmly fixed down.
To add to the illusion I built two dummy covers for the amplifiers to mimic amp heads, the inspiration coming from my guitar player’s amps.
The end result is extremely convincing.
Remember I said the iPad build would be useful? Well one of the really cool features of the X Fire DSP Pro is that it has a bluetooth link for control. This means I can remotely tune the system while still in the car without the need for a bulky laptop.
With this app I can fine tune every aspect of the audio system getting everything dialled in to perfection.
So it looks really cool but how does it sound? Well, trying to describe the experience without using expletives is difficult but, it is loud, exciting, powerful, energetic, dynamic and with great clarity. I accept that it will never have the smooth finesse of the Audison system in the Discovery but the Golf has something else; massive authority, you can not ignore it! The two systems are similarly priced but VERY different.
To be honest, words can never do it justice, you just have to come in to experience it. We are on Sunderland Street in Macclesfield if you want an audition but be prepared to have your life amplified!
Special thanks go out to Chris and Jacco of X Fire, Lazeez restaurant Macclesfield for feeding us so late and Margin Music Macclesfield for supplying the carry handles. Cheers guys.