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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
If I wanted to add sound depth without going crazy, what are the options and best value price points?

Can't say the sound is very compelling...our Tiguan is miles better bone stock!
Hi. Just a follow-up to the previous suggestion of front speaker swap only. I just took the factory speakers out and discovered that they are 2 ohm. If you replace them with 4 ohm ones you'll lose volume. So, you need to find high sensitivity 2 ohm aftermarket speakers or invest in an amp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
might be a stupid question but how'd you get around the speaker wire to RCA?? I've never encountered a situation where I've done it
The centre pin of an RCA is + and the outer is -.
Line Diagram Parallel

You can just cut off the wires to any RCA, or buy bare RCAs from Jaycar, and solder new connections but it's much easier to buy something like these:

http://www.kicker.com/KISL

You can get them at JB Hifi.
 

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Excellent thread.
 

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This is a brilliant thread - thank you. I am so glad that getting the speaker wires is easy from the bottom of the dash/transmission tunnel. I have purchased one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VVYL46/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to make it as easy as possible to add some extra oomph to the factory speakers. The speaker wires you labelled for us was marvellous.

Is there also an access to power / accessary power within that thick wiring loom? Or do I need to pull it from the fuse box under the glove box? I will probably end up installing the amp behind the glove box area so should be okay. Apparently it's a small amp designed to run off from the power from the headunit wiring without getting it through the firewall and from the battery.

Would very much appreciate your advice!
 

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Hi. Just a follow-up to the previous suggestion of front speaker swap only. I just took the factory speakers out and discovered that they are 2 ohm. If you replace them with 4 ohm ones you'll lose volume. So, you need to find high sensitivity 2 ohm aftermarket speakers or invest in an amp!
Ohm!!! Focal?

I think you need to listen to Focal speakers, or similar. From your music choices you seem to value natural, accurate voice reproduction and midrange more than forward, bright, exaggerated sound. Focal are renowned for true-to-life sound.
I think most people prefer the feeling of the musicians being in front of them, as if the band were on a stage, with the listener in the audience. Hence most set-ups are front channel biased. Some owners don't have rear speakers at all. You obviously prefer being "in" the soundstage (surrounded). You could opt to forgo the separate subwoofer (or add a small one with its own monobloc amp later) and just get a 4 channel amp and decent (doesn't mean expensive) replacement component speakers for both front and back doors.
You need to find a dealer with a wide range of speakers on demo and then choose the sound you like, rather than letting the dealer, or other owners (like me :)), force their preferences on you.
new path of learning for me coming...

I'm not certain but I don't think so. Obviously there's no noise generator in the boot but I guess there could be one elsewhere. I haven't seen one so far. I have the glovebox out for the audio wiring and behind there is where I expected to find it, if anywhere. The US box is fairly substantial, so I can't think where it would fit otherwise.
Comparing the interior sound to outside the car when my daughter starts it, or drives away, I think the sound is genuine.
What do you guys think?
I'd say no noise generator - Ford Aust. knew Australians aren't soooo gullible. :) Pity it isn't so noisy as on start-up. Might disable the left tail pipe butterfly when SWMBO isn't paying attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
This is a brilliant thread - thank you. I am so glad that getting the speaker wires is easy from the bottom of the dash/transmission tunnel. I have purchased one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VVYL46/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to make it as easy as possible to add some extra oomph to the factory speakers. The speaker wires you labelled for us was marvellous.

Is there also an access to power / accessary power within that thick wiring loom? Or do I need to pull it from the fuse box under the glove box? I will probably end up installing the amp behind the glove box area so should be okay. Apparently it's a small amp designed to run off from the power from the headunit wiring without getting it through the firewall and from the battery.

Would very much appreciate your advice!
Hi. I've never fitted one of these little booster amps but it seems like a good bang-for-buck solution. The front speakers in the RS have an impedance rating of 2 ohms (to get higher volume) but, luckily, that isn't a problem as this amp can drive 4 ohm or 2 ohm speakers at 45w rms. However, the front speakers are marked as 50 watts maximum, which I assume is peak power rather than average/rms. You'd have to be careful not to turn the volume up too far or you could over extend the speakers and physically damage them and/or they could overheat. You'd hear distortion well before that happens but some people just keep cranking up the volume anyway.

The factory rear speakers are 4 ohm but only rated for 25w max. Again, you'd have to keep the volume down to avoid damage.

I don't suppose the little Alpine amp has output gain controls built in. If it does you could calculate the max output voltage settings required for each channel, where voltage to be set = the square root of the speakers rms power in watts times their impedance rating in ohms. Setting these voltages would limit the output of each amp channel to match the speakers and prevent damage. If there are no output gain control settings on the amp (I'm pretty sure there aren't) you would protect the speakers by fading most of the power to the front pair and making sure you aren't turning the volume up above the point at which you start to hear distortion.

At some point, if you want to use the full power of the new amp safely while also improving the sound quality, you might want to consider replacing both front and rear speakers with minimum 40 wrms component speakers (2 or 4 ohm). Most aftermarket speakers are rated for at least that power level anyway. They needn't be expensive to improve on the factory ones. You wouldn't need to upgrade the factory wiring at those power levels, so it'd be a simple job to pop the door panels off and swap them over.

I'd use a piggy back fuse to tap power from the fusebox in the passenger footwell, as you already suggested. This add-a-fuse type of connecter will allow you to fit a separate fuse to suit the amp's requirements. They're available from Supercheap Auto, Jaycar etc:

http://www.jaycar.com.au/double-mini-blade-fuse-socket-wire-tap/p/SF5125

Just make sure you don't choose a fuse that's permanently live, or you'll flatten the battery. Let us know how this mod turns out ;)
 

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Hi Bill, couple of questions if you don't mind? I will probably upgrade my speakers and add a small amp, probably not sub for awhile. I reckon I'm happy to spend about $1000 for the speakers front/rear, what do you recommend, I'm a bit worried about mounting depth etc.

Thanks, Jamie
 

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Hi. I've never fitted one of these little booster amps but it seems like a good bang-for-buck solution. The front speakers in the RS have an impedance rating of 2 ohms (to get higher volume) but, luckily, that isn't a problem as this amp can drive 4 ohm or 2 ohm speakers at 45w rms. However, the front speakers are marked as 50 watts maximum, which I assume is peak power rather than average/rms. You'd have to be careful not to turn the volume up too far or you could over extend the speakers and physically damage them and/or they could overheat. You'd hear distortion well before that happens but some people just keep cranking up the volume anyway.

The factory rear speakers are 4 ohm but only rated for 25w max. Again, you'd have to keep the volume down to avoid damage.

I don't suppose the little Alpine amp has output gain controls built in. If it does you could calculate the max output voltage settings required for each channel, where voltage to be set = the square root of the speakers rms power in watts times their impedance rating in ohms. Setting these voltages would limit the output of each amp channel to match the speakers and prevent damage. If there are no output gain control settings on the amp (I'm pretty sure there aren't) you would protect the speakers by fading most of the power to the front pair and making sure you aren't turning the volume up above the point at which you start to hear distortion.

At some point, if you want to use the full power of the new amp safely while also improving the sound quality, you might want to consider replacing both front and rear speakers with minimum 40 wrms component speakers (2 or 4 ohm). Most aftermarket speakers are rated for at least that power level anyway. They needn't be expensive to improve on the factory ones. You wouldn't need to upgrade the factory wiring at those power levels, so it'd be a simple job to pop the door panels off and swap them over.

I'd use a piggy back fuse to tap power from the fusebox in the passenger footwell, as you already suggested. This add-a-fuse type of connecter will allow you to fit a separate fuse to suit the amp's requirements. They're available from Supercheap Auto, Jaycar etc:

http://www.jaycar.com.au/double-mini-blade-fuse-socket-wire-tap/p/SF5125

Just make sure you don't choose a fuse that's permanently live, or you'll flatten the battery. Let us know how this mod turns out ;)
Thank you so much for your detailed answer. I will work on it during one of the weekends when I get some free time. I better think about the difference between the ohms too didn't realise they were different! I will check if they have gain control. I always kept amp gain at less than 50% on previous amplifiers (that goes now 13 years ago my last one...) so should be okay I hope! What happens to the centre speaker? There is a small centre speaker from what I understand?


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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Thank you so much for your detailed answer. I will work on it during one of the weekends when I get some free time. I better think about the difference between the ohms too didn't realise they were different! I will check if they have gain control. I always kept amp gain at less than 50% on previous amplifiers (that goes now 13 years ago my last one...) so should be okay I hope! What happens to the centre speaker? There is a small centre speaker from what I understand?
Don't worry about the 2 ohm/4 ohm thing, it'd only be relevant if your amp couldn't deal with the current demand of the lower resistance. This Alpine unit can. It would also be important if you were using Ohm's law to calculate the output voltage gain settings but this amp almost certainly won't have that option. You'll just get higher volume from the front speakers relative to the rears, which you can adjust with the fader as normal.

The little centre speaker is located under the guage cluster (turbo boost etc) on the dash. Some people just pull the guage mounting up to gain access to the speaker and disconnect it. I'd suggest just leaving it. It will still be running off just the head unit amp anyway, so it's output volume will be much lower than your 4 main channels when run through the new amp. If you wire your new amp to only turn on with the ignition then you may hear just that little centre speaker chirping away quietly when the radio is on but the amp is off!
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
Hi Bill, couple of questions if you don't mind? I will probably upgrade my speakers and add a small amp, probably not sub for awhile. I reckon I'm happy to spend about $1000 for the speakers front/rear, what do you recommend, I'm a bit worried about mounting depth etc.

Thanks, Jamie
Hi Jamie, that's really hard to answer. As I mentioned above, I like a really natural, 'as-it-was-recorded' type of sound but many people prefer very warm, mellow tones, or harsher, more in your face systems. I've mentioned Hertz (Italian) and Focal (aka JMlab - French) and they are both multi-award winning companies producing high fidelity but often high priced systems. I would still recommend you audition them; their lower range systems are still better than most other company's highest range ones imo. Autobarn in Elizabeth have a good range of Focal speakers on demo, along with Alpine, Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, Clarion, Kicker etc. Alpine are good if you like the more strident/metal/screamo etc sound. Their amps are very good. Hertz are a bit harder to find but you can audition their range at Tonkins at Mile End. They also have the JL Audio kit that I have fitted. If you do like Focal you get the best prices at ryda.com.au and Hertz best prices are on Ebay hertz items - Get great deals on ALTOPARLANTI, AMPLIFICATORI items on eBay Stores! Tonkins gave me good discount on some bigger items as well, actually.

You can get a great sounding system (amp and speakers) within your budget. I'd probably aim to spend $200 - $250 on front speakers, $80 - $150 on rears (from the same company's range) and the rest on a class-D amp (4 channel, or 5 if you can afford it, in case you do decide to add a sub later). You may find you like some of the less expensive manufacturer's products best, the higher cost of many systems is just brand snobbery and if you can't hear the difference, why waste money? As I said earlier, only you can decide what sound you prefer, so you need to listen to them first. Autobarn Elizabeth is good because you can listen to several systems back-to-back and compare them directly. You can get the items for 20-50% less at Ryda though.

Mounting depth will not be an issue unless you plan on putting 12 inch subs in the doors! The doors are nice and deep if you use mounting rings, or reuse the factory speaker housings as I did. PM me if you need specific advice after you've auditioned a few systems. I'm happy to help with fitting, specialist tools etc if needed (no charge :)).
 

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Thanks Bill for the the advice and taking the time to reply.

Regards
Jamie.
 

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I just want to thank you Bill for sharing and helping others this is one of my favorite threads to follow,,,,too cool,,,,peace,,,:)
 
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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
Update 5 - Speakers and Final Setup

I noticed when checking the front door molex that the black wires leading from it into the doors were unusually large gauge. In this photo the factory speaker wire is on the left, compared to the true gauge aftermarket wires I was using for this install. The top right is 14 gauge, bottom right is 16. The factory wiring in the front door is 14 gauge! Then I check back at the molex photos and the speaker wires leading into the molex are the same size.

Wire Cable Metal


Sure enough, when I check back to the connector in the transmission tunnel where I cut the loom for amp inputs, the front speaker cables below the connector are 14 awg. No need to run new wiring for the fronts (unless your crossovers don't fit in the doors...see below). This gauge will handle 300 wrms. Thanks Ford! I don't remember this being the case in the ST.

For ease of access I actually connected the amp 'speaker-out' cables back into the loom further to the rear in the tunnel. In this photo you can see that it's about 6 inches back from the input connection point. You can see where I cut into the large gauge white, white+brown, white+orange and white+purple front speaker cables at the right side of this photo (the incoming signal connections I made earlier are on the left):

Auto part Vehicle Bumper Technology Car


I usually make MDF rings to mount the new speakers but, as we plan to keep this car for a good while and won't be refitting the originals, I chose to re-use the factory mounts this time. Just cut the frame away at the rear and the rubber around the cone at the front. Note that the speaker here is from one of the front doors and it's 2 ohm, so if you are just planning to swap the front speakers (no amp) you will probably lose volume if you replace them with 4 ohm ones. The rear speakers are 4 ohm, 25 watt.

Audio equipment Loudspeaker Subwoofer Product Electronics


After tidying the mounting ring and drilling the original cable connectors from the little tunnel on the side, so I can feed the new wires in, it looks like this:

Subwoofer Loudspeaker Audio equipment Car subwoofer Vehicle audio


Unfortunately, the front speakers I chose have massive crossovers. I thought the doors would accommodate them, but no, the interior panels are different from the ST and there is no room. The solution was to mount the crossovers side by side under the drivers seat, as I did with the amp on the passenger side. No need to take the seat out. This did mean that I had to feed an extra 16 gauge cable (for the tweeters) through the molex after all. The easiest way was to extend (dremel) the existing channel at the top of the molex and lay the new cable into that recess. A quick spray with IPA lubricated the cable well enough to then pull it through the rubber boot into the door.

Modified molex:

Water Cable Technology Auto part Machine


Auto part Machine Gas Lock Gas pump


Installing the crossovers (each the size of a paperback):

Electronics Technology Vehicle Electronic component Electronic device



A few ST audio threads have stated that only max 25mm tweeters will fit in the original front mountings. Here you can see the size difference between the factory version and the 53mm overall diameter Hertz design:

Technology Gadget Electronic device


I simply cut away the various plastic arms and clips that held the original tweeter and enlarged the mounting hole to accept the replacement unit. I mounted the Hertz tweeter to the rear of the bracket using strips of the same self-adhesive sound deadening material that I used inside the doors etc. Many people use a hot glue gun for this (I did for the rear doors) but I was worried about damaging the delicate tweeter membrane in these expensive units. The sound deadener forms a very strong and vibration free bond. There is plenty of depth behind this trim piece for even larger tweeters.


Automotive lighting Headlamp Light Vehicle door Auto part


It all clips back together as normal:

Vehicle door Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part Vehicle


Installing the mid woofers was simple since I'd used the original rings and didn't have to drill new screw holes etc. These speakers are much deeper than the originals but there is still about an inch more room behind them for even bigger units.

Auto part


The factory cable to the rear speakers was not 14 gauge, unfortunately. Possibly 18? Anyway, as the crossovers for the rears were a more normal size, I only had to run one new cable directly from the amp outputs to the door. I cut the original cable behind the trim near the bottom seatbelt mounting point and attached the new cable there. This avoided having to route through another molex.

Tire Vehicle door Automotive tire Wire Auto part


New 16 gauge cable ran to the crossover and then out to the mid and tweets.

Engine Vehicle Auto part Car Vehicle door


All panels back on and seat replaced. The only visual differences in the car are the flush sub grill in the boot floor and the rear Hertz tweeters:

Land vehicle Car Vehicle Vehicle door Compact car


I added a fuse tap to F85 (air con, moonroof, heated seat switches and passenger airbag deactivation switch) in the passenger compartment fuse box to provide the power trigger signal for the amp. This source will only allow the amp to receive power when the ignition circuit is live. This is to prevent the battery going flat, which could happen if the amp was being powered up with the ignition off.

I set the output voltages on the amp before putting the seat back in but then adjusted them with the seat in situ. Plenty of access.

The system sounds fantastic; extreme volume and bass for my antisocial daughter's tastes, but still capable of really nice SQ for me. Thankfully, I had the foresight to mount a remote subwoofer channel level control on the dash to the right of the steering wheel.

Hope your own audio mods go well and that some of this info has been helpful. If you need more details just post questions here, or feel free to PM.

Slainte mhath!
 

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Very nice! I was lucky with my Morel's, the crossover fit right at the top of the door right by the door handle, it was a tight fit but they were small enough luckily that I snuck them in there. I was also extremely lucky with my tweeters. I removed the stock tweeters, cut the two upright posts that aligned the stock tweeter while keeping the little clips, and then just snapped the Morel's into the stock location. They fit beautifully and are nice and snug in the stock location with the clips. The Morel's are a 28mm as well, just had to remove the covers and not use the supplied housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 · (Edited)
Very nice! I was lucky with my Morel's, the crossover fit right at the top of the door right by the door handle, it was a tight fit but they were small enough luckily that I snuck them in there. I was also extremely lucky with my tweeters. I removed the stock tweeters, cut the two upright posts that aligned the stock tweeter while keeping the little clips, and then just snapped the Morel's into the stock location. They fit beautifully and are nice and snug in the stock location with the clips. The Morel's are a 28mm as well, just had to remove the covers and not use the supplied housing.
Hi again. I'm glad you mentioned the tweeter size, I've modified the post above as it was misleading. When I said 28mm I was referring to the voice coil only (a techie comparison due to my background); the diaphragm is actually 35mm and the overall diameter of the Hertz tweeter is 53.4mm without any mount/housing (see photo)!

Most companies quote diaphragm size for comparison to other products, so the factory ones are 25mm, Morel 28mm and these Hertz are 35mm. The large overall diameter is due to the frame structure and rear load chamber being cnc machined from a solid aluminium block, to keep it mechanically inert and reduce resonance.

The factory tweeter has a 25mm diaphragm and is still in the factory housing in the photo, it's 36mm overall without that. That size difference explains why I had to cut most of the clips away. I was careful to retain the top and bottom clips that actually hold the cover in place though, so it all looks completely standard and clips into the car just as it always has. I'm glad I took the gamble re fitting though, these are the best tweeters I've heard in a car.

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I might've missed it, but where did you get your input for the sub or is that just something the amp sorts out with the signals it's already getting?
 
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