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  #1  
Old 24th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Default Audio Upgrade HELP!!

Hello all, I know this has been posted numerous times, and after searching through much of the 'damn stereo' thread, I couldn't find what I'm looking for.

I'm about to upgrade the stereo on my '06 2.0t with 150W system.

Here's what I'm planning to do:
Replace factory amp with 420W 4ch Audison
Power front components (6.5" doors and new tweeters) off the amp
Power 10" sub off the other 2 channels bridged
Keep front and rear 4"s powered by HU.

Because there's a lot of electronics in this car ( and I want to keep original HU and all functions) can I just replace the amp and put new wiring in?? Or is there a special 'software function' that needs to be changed...

I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I was hoping I could get a quick answer from someone who has done a similar setup.

Thanks.
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Old 24th September 2006
JonV JonV is offline
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http://www.bcae1.com/
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  #3  
Old 24th September 2006
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stevedol stevedol is offline
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Hi there,

unfortunately you can't replace amp 1 directly because the signal that is fed to it is via the fibre-optic MOST network. You can however disconnect the output, normal speaker wires, or leave them connected to existing speakers, and tap into the speaker cables with a LOC (Line Out Converter) to convert the high-level speaker output to a low-level RCA input for your new amp.
The 2 front door speakers are the only source for a "decent" bass signal in the 150w system. How to add an amp and sub this way is well documented in the Tech.Help section of this site, or just follow this link
http://members.iinet.net.au/%7Emmo/guides.htm
Hope this helps you.
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  #4  
Old 24th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Thanks, that helps a lot!

But you're basically saying that I can't remove the factory amp?? Or I just can't use the pre-existing wiring?
I was hoping to put the new amp in the factory location and use new wiring.
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  #5  
Old 24th September 2006
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stevedol stevedol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigantorTRON
Thanks, that helps a lot!

But you're basically saying that I can't remove the factory amp?? Or I just can't use the pre-existing wiring?
I was hoping to put the new amp in the factory location and use new wiring.
No you cannot remove the factory amp. the audio signal to it is not carried by speaker wires or RCA cables like after market amps are. The audio is carried into the factory amp via fibre optics. The signal leaves the amp via ordinary speaker cables, which is where you need to tap in to obtain a usable signal. Hope this is a bit clearer.
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  #6  
Old 24th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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Hey friend, I have done this project on my 2006 2.0T 150W and periodically post updates about it.

First, as you have heard, the amp under the driver's seat is "part" of the head unit. You can't remove or alter it (you NEED it).

You get the signal by splicing into the front speaker signals AFTER the factory amp. Then you snip the wires going to front speakers and use your new powerful amp to amplify them.

For the sub, bridge the 2 front door channels and mount the sub + amp in your trunk.

New front door speakers are good. You will also benefit greatly by installing new 4" drivers from Infinity or Boston Acoustics (under $80 for either). No amp necessary for these.

My system has Infinity 3012cs 4" drivers in front, Infinity 62.7 6.5" in front doors, Alpine 6x9s in rear shelf (in existing holes). Front doors + rear shelf are powered by a 200W RMS 4 channel Alpine amp. System sounds very good - detailed, smooth and powerful. Installed it all myself so the cost was about $400.

This is a demanding installation so give yourself a month or two to get everything right.
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  #7  
Old 24th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik
Hey friend, I have done this project on my 2006 2.0T 150W and periodically post updates about it.

First, as you have heard, the amp under the driver's seat is "part" of the head unit. You can't remove or alter it (you NEED it).

You get the signal by splicing into the front speaker signals AFTER the factory amp. Then you snip the wires going to front speakers and use your new powerful amp to amplify them.

For the sub, bridge the 2 front door channels and mount the sub + amp in your trunk.

New front door speakers are good. You will also benefit greatly by installing new 4" drivers from Infinity or Boston Acoustics (under $80 for either). No amp necessary for these.

My system has Infinity 3012cs 4" drivers in front, Infinity 62.7 6.5" in front doors, Alpine 6x9s in rear shelf (in existing holes). Front doors + rear shelf are powered by a 200W RMS 4 channel Alpine amp. System sounds very good - detailed, smooth and powerful. Installed it all myself so the cost was about $400.

This is a demanding installation so give yourself a month or two to get everything right.
Bwik, awesome information man. Just want to clarify one thing you're talking about...
Splicing the front speaker wires after the factory amp will allow me to tap in... do I splice these into RCAs and run them to the new amp?? And then cut the front speaker wires and run those off of the new amp??

I'll be running focal components with tweets and a nice 10" JL or ID sub in the trunk. No 6x9s cause I'm focusing on the front soundstage... I'll probably end up replacing the 4"s in the dash with focals as well. I've heard the dash speakers are actually 3.5s though??

Thanks for all of the feedback guys... I'll let everyone know how the install goes when I get my parts.
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  #8  
Old 24th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigantorTRON
Bwik, awesome information man. Just want to clarify one thing you're talking about...
Splicing the front speaker wires after the factory amp will allow me to tap in... do I splice these into RCAs and run them to the new amp?? And then cut the front speaker wires and run those off of the new amp??

I'll be running focal components with tweets and a nice 10" JL or ID sub in the trunk. No 6x9s cause I'm focusing on the front soundstage... I'll probably end up replacing the 4"s in the dash with focals as well. I've heard the dash speakers are actually 3.5s though??

Thanks for all of the feedback guys... I'll let everyone know how the install goes when I get my parts.
Close. Yeah I think the fronts may be 3.5", whatever the 3012cs are.

When you splice/tap front door speaker signals it = amplified signal so you must use a line level converter to step down to RCA level. Or, your amp may have speaker level input capability. Mine does. I have signal wires going under the carpet to the trunk, then back forward to power the front doors from the new amp. Hard to install but now the doors have much stronger soundstage in the front.

Front dash speaker replacement is key. The stock ones are really lacking if you are into high frequencies. However the stock amp does a good job on these dash speakers so I'd leave their power as-is. Not sure why the doors are so much quieter in the stock setup. I amped them much louder and find the sound much more pleasing now, similar to our other cars. BMW has a great Harmon/Kardon system that I am trying to match for quality in the Saab.
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  #9  
Old 24th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigantorTRON
do I splice these into RCAs and run them to the new amp?? And then cut the front speaker wires and run those off of the new amp??
No. You are neglecting the fundamental component in your thinking, the line-out converter (LOC). This box (and there are many "flavors") takes a speaker-level signal (from the factory amp) and converts it to line-level. The outputs from the LOC feed the RCA inputs on your aftermarket amp.
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  #10  
Old 25th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Thanks for all of the input guys.

One more question:

My amp requires +13.8 Volts to run. I saw in Saba's audio guide that he used the auto dimmer to draw this power from but he didn't say what voltage it's rated at.

Bwik, where did you run the power to the amp from??

Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 26th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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near the rear fusebox there is a factory amp harness. This has power (thicker red/black wires) plus unknown signals. Maybe not enough power for you. But, maybe so. Worst that can happen is you blow the 30A fuse. The dimmer fuse (bottom left 7.5A) works well for on/off, active only when the key is "ON".

I will warn you I have a weird issue right now. My audio feed from the front speakers has a weird clicking/popping from the factory amp. It may be a quirk with my specific amp. New amp hears some clicks in the speaker level audio signal but normally, they were inaudible. These two amps need to learn to get along. Grrrrr.
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  #12  
Old 26th September 2006
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Aero_adam Aero_adam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik
near the rear fusebox there is a factory amp harness. This has power (thicker red/black wires) plus unknown signals. Maybe not enough power for you. But, maybe so. Worst that can happen is you blow the 30A fuse. The dimmer fuse (bottom left 7.5A) works well for on/off, active only when the key is "ON".

I will warn you I have a weird issue right now. My audio feed from the front speakers has a weird clicking/popping from the factory amp. It may be a quirk with my specific amp. New amp hears some clicks in the speaker level audio signal but normally, they were inaudible. These two amps need to learn to get along. Grrrrr.
I have a similar clicking / popping noise through the amped speakers. This is a Saab recognised issue (at least it is with the stock stereo and all we have done is amped the output of the stock amp). It is related to a poor connection at the fibre optics - could be dirt etc in the connection. Mine isn't bad enough to fiddle with but this was to be my first port of call - specifically the connection to AMP1 under the seat - it is difficult to make the connection at the best of times, could easily be some dust in there.

Just a thought.
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  #13  
Old 26th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Could the popping be due to the fact that you're running an amplifier off another amplifier??

If the signal is coming from Amp1 maybe the speakers are being overpowered??
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  #14  
Old 26th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero_adam
I have a similar clicking / popping noise through the amped speakers. This is a Saab recognised issue (at least it is with the stock stereo and all we have done is amped the output of the stock amp). It is related to a poor connection at the fibre optics - could be dirt etc in the connection. Mine isn't bad enough to fiddle with but this was to be my first port of call - specifically the connection to AMP1 under the seat - it is difficult to make the connection at the best of times, could easily be some dust in there.

Just a thought.
Mine is a specific clicking pattern. Not random noise, but 3 clicks: 1, 23.... 1, 23..... 1, 23.... 1,23.... every 1.5 seconds. Not very loud but audible whenever the factory amp is on. Weird thing is, speakers cannot reproduce it (so it's not part of the audio signal per se), only the new amp which listens to the speaker signals and somehow pulls these clicks out into the audible range. Very weird
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  #15  
Old 26th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Maybe your speakers are out of phase?? Have you checked that thoroughly??

Also, is there any downside to running the line out converter from the factory amp?? It seems kinda strange that I'll be running an amplified signal into another amplifier.
Also, if I understand this correctly, I'll splice into the cables going to the door speakers to add the line out converter. So I'll have 2 channels (4 wires) going into the converter?? Or am I missing something here? Is there a lead for the audio upgrade that I could use for signal??
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  #16  
Old 26th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigantorTRON
Maybe your speakers are out of phase?? Have you checked that thoroughly??

Also, is there any downside to running the line out converter from the factory amp?? It seems kinda strange that I'll be running an amplified signal into another amplifier.
Also, if I understand this correctly, I'll splice into the cables going to the door speakers to add the line out converter. So I'll have 2 channels (4 wires) going into the converter?? Or am I missing something here? Is there a lead for the audio upgrade that I could use for signal??
Could be out of phase but I do not think so. The amp wouldn't know the diff anyway i dont think.

You must use a speaker to line-level converter whether it's external or built into your amp (labeled "speaker level input").

2 channels going to converter, 4 wires. If need be, you bridge that signal into 4 channels for rear + doors. You can adjust relative volume at the amp but your fade control up front will not work anymore (everything is considered front now). The rear signals are allegedly not usable. Hope this helps.
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  #17  
Old 26th September 2006
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stevedol stevedol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik
Could be out of phase but I do not think so. The amp wouldn't know the diff anyway i dont think.

You must use a speaker to line-level converter whether it's external or built into your amp (labeled "speaker level input").

2 channels going to converter, 4 wires. If need be, you bridge that signal into 4 channels for rear + doors. You can adjust relative volume at the amp but your fade control up front will not work anymore (everything is considered front now). The rear signals are allegedly not usable. Hope this helps.
Are you using external line-level converters or ones built into your amp? I had a similar clicking when I connected into my amps inbuilt level converters, I then bought two seperate converters and spliced them into the signals at source. This not only removed the clicking but also boosted the volume & quality of the signal.
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  #18  
Old 26th September 2006
bwik bwik is offline
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Initially used the built-in converter. It sounded good except for the clicks. Then I got a new converter as an experiment. So far the clicks are even worse yet the signal is weaker. Will experimentmorethis evening.
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  #19  
Old 26th September 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik
Initially used the built-in converter. It sounded good except for the clicks. Then I got a new converter as an experiment. So far the clicks are even worse yet the signal is weaker. Will experimentmorethis evening.
Check your ground.
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  #20  
Old 26th September 2006
gigantorTRON gigantorTRON is offline
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Stevedol,
Did you splice in after the factory amp or before??
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