Audi TT Magic: Sound System Upgrade

I have worked on a lot of TT’s over the years but this has to be one of the cleanest! I’ve known the owner for many years, and have worked on several of his cars. Initially, this Audi TT was only going to be a simple bass upgrade but things soon escalated…

Assessing the sound system:

The Audi TT head unit is really showing its age and lacks modern features like Bluetooth streaming or Apple Car Play. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to replace it. An ideal modern unit is the Pioneer SPH DA250DAB which boasts DAB radio, Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Bluetooth. This allows access to smartphone navigation, music, messages and much more. We have an excellent installation solution for the Audi TT that seamlessly integrates the new head unit with the Audi dash and electronics so all the steering wheel controls are retained.

This particular TT was equipped with the Bose upgrade, and while that’s better than the Audi system it leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, the front of the car has provision for a three-way component set with tweeters on the dash and locations for a 7cm and up to 20cm door speakers. Since the Audi TT cabin is pretty compact and passengers will be rare, we have no need for rear speakers.

JL Audio:

The brief was powerful and loud with detail and clarity but within a sensible budget. We already knew what sub was to be used; the JL Audio twin 12w0 in their slot ported enclosure.

This is a big box but is a perfect fit for the TT boot, even leaving plenty of space to the rear. It’s a very efficient design yet still benefits from an amplifier with plenty of power. The solution, in this case, was the JL Audio RD1000.1. This high power mono amplifier is incredible value for money as it contains the NexD technology of the JL Audio XD amplifiers but with a simpler crossover section is much less costly.

Once we settled on using this amplifier it made sense to choose matching amps for the speakers. I always like to run speaker systems actively, which in this case would mean 6 channels. The solution: two JL Audio RD400.4. One amp would run the tweeters and mids while the other would be bridged to drive the woofers. These would fit into the recess under the boot floor for a totally stealthy install.

The install begins:

You might notice the USB cable to the left. The other end of this is connected to an Audison Bit 1 processor which I installed where the original Bose amplifier was.

This magnificent unit allows me to tune the audio performance of every part of the system using the onboard digital equalisers, time alignment and level control. The Bit 1 has up to 8 output channels and I need 7 for this setup. It also comes with the elegant digital remote control, which allows the user access to features such as sub-control and different audio pre-sets. This mounts neatly and discreetly in the glove box of the TT.

So, with all this power and processing capability what speakers should we choose? A favourite manufacturer of mine in recent years has been Rainbow from Germany; unfortunately, they’re no longer in business. However, our customer managed to track down a brand new set of the brilliant Rainbow Germanium three-way components.

This set comprises a 17cm woofer, 70mm mid and 25mm tweeter. It also comes with a pair of three-way passive crossovers (but these are not needed as the system is fully active).

Sound deadening with Dynamat:

The first job was to apply liberal amounts of Dynamat sound deadening to both the inside and outside of the door panel. This prevents vibration due to the high power of the speakers and improves the acoustic performance of the Audi door. I manufactured custom speaker mounting rings and thoroughly sealed these to the door. This acoustically isolates the speaker from the door and ensures no moisture can creep into the vehicle. With the door card refitted there is nothing to give away the speaker change.

The Germanium tweeters are quite deep and mount onto the existing dash grill. They do a good job of mimicking the B&O fitting in other Audi vehicles but trust me they sound an awful lot better!

Whilst on the subject of sound deadening, before anything was installed in the boot a full application of Dynamat was used. This prevents the huge sub energy being lost into the metal of the car and being distributed as rattles and vibration. It is important that all the energy is played into the cabin to maximise performance.

Upgrade complete!

This system sounds incredible! With a stunning bass performance that is capable of loosening fillings if the mood takes you but also musical, detailed and with incredible stereo imaging. It will play any musical genre with authority and transforms the driving enjoyment of this stunning Audi TT. In consideration of performance versus the cost, I think this system represents amazing value for money.

If you would like to know more about how we can improve the audio in your car please get in touch. Drop us a line at sales@carhomestereo.co.uk, call us on 01625 432707 or even better visit our shop on Sunderland Street in Macclesfield.

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