At Car and Home Stereo we have worked on just about every type of car over the years but ones we see a lot are the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. These fabulous cars are a joy to drive but the sound system is sadly lacking especially if the standard head unit is the CDR24. The older cars with navigation are not much better either. With out of date mapping and poor sound, even the ones with the Bose upgrade are lacklustre.
Now, it is possible to improve the sound without changing the head unit and this is something we do for the purists who wish to retain the standard look of the vehicle. However I prefer to upgrade the entertainment system to bring the car up to date and to maximise the performance.
For this piece I will show the stages we went through recently on a 2007 Porsche Cayman S.
This was a typical car with the CDR24 head unit and Bose upgrade. In the past it had been retro fitted with a Parrot Bluetooth system along with an old Dension iPod adaptor. The owner wanted to get rid of all the added equipment and bring the car up to date with a clean, modern navigation unit with Bluetooth and Apple Car Play.
The first job is always to remove all the retro fitted equipment and see what condition the wiring is in.
By doing this we can return the Porsche wiring to an as new standard. We prefer to do this rather than just snip the old equipment out as we believe the final install will be more reliable. It also means we can be sure there will be no loose ends to rattle.
For this upgrade the Bose speaker system will remain but we will change the Bose amplifier. This amplifier is located in the front luggage compartment behind a carpet panel; it is quite small so our replacement needs to be compact also. What is most important is that I need to be able to tune the final system to maximise the performance of the existing Bose speakers, as well as compensate for the acoustics of the car.
Our first choice for the Cayman is the magnificent Audison Prima AP 8.9Bit.
This amplifier boasts 8 configurable, speaker outputs as well as a dedicated pre amp sub output. The AP 8.9 is ideal because the Cayman with Bose is fitted with an eight speaker system and active subwoofer. Since this amplifier is part of the Bit series from Audison it also contains a fully featured digital signal processor. This allowed me the capacity to accurately tune the audio. It also fits perfectly!
We bond an amplifier mounting plate to the original fitting so that no holes are drilled into the car and then attach the 8.9 to that. All cables are loomed with Tessa tape for an OE look and again to prevent rattles. With the carpeted cover back in place, there is no evidence that anything has changed.
The connecting cables are now installed. It would be easier to install the cables first but we want to make sure that everything fits perfectly without excess cables to bunch up or worse to find them too short. Everything is loomed and supported to prevent anything working loose.
With wires and amplifier in place we can at last look to install the new head unit. For this customer we have opted for the brilliant Pioneer AVIC Z710 DAB.
This magnificent unit is very highly specified with navigation, Apple Car Play, DAB/FM/AM tuner CD/DVD player as well as Bluetooth, USB and AUX. It is of course a different shape to the OE Porsche head so we fit a custom made trim piece to blend it seamlessly with the dash. I hope you agree that it looks great in the dash.
This particular car did not have controls on the steering wheel, but we can make sure they are retained if available.
So there you have it, one Porsche Cayman properly upgraded to a truly professional standard of fit and finish. Even though we have not changed the speakers, the sound has been transformed to a clarity and depth that the standard system could not even come close to. If the customer would like even more performance then we can change up the speaker system at another time.
If you would like to know more about how we can improve the performance of your car audio, whatever the car, please feel free to call us on 01625 432707. Or better still pop into our shop on Sunderland Street in Macclesfield.