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2013 Audi S6 - Audio System Upgrade

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Old 08-25-2013, 04:17 AM   #1
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Default 2013 Audi S6 - Audio System Upgrade

As has been mentioned more than a few times already, I am something of a car audio nut. We removed the aftermarket system from my previous car before trading it. The majority of that gear will eventually end up in my new S6.

This thread will be my log for everything from the initial research and planning, to the installation and final results.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:52 AM   #2
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Default How To Integrate Aftermarket Audio with the MMI/Bose

The first challenge with integrating audio into the Audi is that we can't easily replace the source unit without losing a lot of functions for the car. The MMI must remain intact and act as the source. Gone are the days when every car had the standard DIN or Double DIN sized openings in the dashboard. It was so easy to buy the head unit you wanted and install it. Now we have radios and navigation integrated into the dash along with climate control, etc...

The solution to this has been to use a line output converter, or signal processor. Instead of using traditional Pre-Amp inputs, these converters can accept an amplified signal and convert that to a pre-amp signal. This allows you to connect aftermarket equipment to the factory amplifier without affecting any of the car's audio system upstream from that point.

In my previous car, we used an Audison BitOne to integrate into the BMW's Logic7 stereo. The BitOne will serve as the brains of my new installation in the Audi.


In addition to the BitOne, there is another piece of equipment which I am researching that will aid in the integration with the Audi MMI/Bose. That device is called the MoBridge M1000-M-DA1.

Click Here for Link to MoBridge site

The MoBridge is a digital pre-amplifier that can connect directly to the MOST fiber-optic network. It then outputs a Stereo pre-amp output via Optical Digital connection. This means there would be no Digital-to-Analog or Analog-Digital conversions, and we will get a digital signal which we can then direct into our aftermarket equipment.

The Audison BitOne has an Optical Digital input. So the MoBridge would connect to the MOST fiber network and output an Optical Digital signal. We connect the digital output to the digital input on the BitOne. The BitOne then processes that signal in the digital realm, and outputs a digital signal to my Audison amplifiers. The Audison amps connect to the BitOne via Ethernet cable. The signal remains digital all the way to the amp, where it is finally converted to analog by high quality, 24-bit Wolfson DACs and then played on the speakers.

I have been in contact with techs at MoBridge for a few weeks already. They have tested their preamp on the latest generation Audi cars, and it works. The only issue they had was with models that have the Engine Auto Stop/Start feature that shuts the engine off while pressing the brake pedal at a stop. The Start/Stop feature was causing their equipment to shut off. They were working on a firmware update to remedy the situation.
But, more importantly for me.... I don't believe the S6 has the Start/Stop feature. So I don't need to be concerned with this minor issue.

A more important issue potentially arises from the Noise Cancellation feature on the S6. Apparently there are microphones installed in the car which detect noise when the engine runs on 4 of 8 cylinders. The mics playback this noise out-of-phase from the Bose speakers to cancel the perceived sound for the occupants. Kind of like a giant set of Bose noise cancelling headphones. While this is a neat feature for a car, it would create problems if trying to integrate a high-end audio system.
I want the BitOne to do the audio processing, not a noise cancelling system from the car.

The folks at MoBridge claimed that the microphones were connected directly to the Bose amplifier. This is a topic which I must research to confirm, but if they are correct then that is excellent news. Since the MoBridge plugs into the MOST network, it grabs the audio signal upstream from the Bose amplifier. Anything that happens to the audio signal from the amp down would be nullified. That would include the noise cancellation, assuming they are correct about the microphones connecting to the Bose amp directly.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Let us know what 4-cylinder mode sounds like once the noise cancellation feature is disabled. Looking forward to your updates to this thread.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:19 AM   #4
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Visited Ultimate Auto yesterday to discuss plans for the audio system in the S6.

The primary topic covered was speakers for the front stage. In the BMW, I had a set of Hertz Mille 2-way component speakers. (6.5" woofer + tweeter) These were very expensive speakers when I bought them in 2009, about $2500 for the set. (2 woofers + 2 tweeters + 2 passive crossovers) I ran these speakers with active crossover from the BitOne processor.

In the Audi I want to go with a 3-way speaker active-crossover setup in the front. The Bose system already has 3-way speakers which will make the installation very easy. I should not need to cut any of the door panels and I can also keep the factory grills for a completely stealth installation.

The first question was whether to keep the existing Mille speakers and simply add the midrange speaker, or to purchase a whole new set of speakers. This was a question for the guys at Audison/Hertz so we gave them a call. My concern was that my Mille speakers are a few years old and they have made some minor design changes since then. I wanted to be sure that if I purchased a midrange speaker it would work well with the older woofer and tweeter. Luckily, they said this would work quite well, especially with an active crossover. In fact, one of the guys at Audison had added a newer midrange to his own car.

The Mille ML700 midrange speakers are currently on backorder until sometime in September. But I will plan on ordering a pair of these and keep the Mille 6.5" and tweeters. So the topic of front stage speakers is now settled.

I will need to purchase an additional amplifier to power the three-way speakers. I already have an Audison Voce AV5.1k amp which is 5-channels. That amp will run the 2 tweeters, 2 midrange speakers, and the subwoofers. 75 Watts of Class A power to the tweeters, 140 Watts of Class AB power to the midrange, and 1000 Watts of Class D power to the subwoofers. In order to power the 6.5" woofers up front, I need to buy an Audison Voce AVdue amp. This is a 2-channel amp delivering 260 Watts per channel.

I have decided not to install any rear speakers other than the subwoofers in the trunk. Still not 100% decided on the subs, but most likely will be running 2 JL Audio 10W6v3 woofers in a sealed enclosure. Or perhaps I might do 2 JL Audio 8W7 woofers?

Total system power will be 1950 Watts.



Signal chain will be as follows:

Audi MMI
MoBridge DA1
Audison BitOne
Audison Voce AV5.1k
Audison Voce AV Due
Hertz Mille System MLK3 (tweeter, midrange, woofer)
JL Audio subs (10W6v3) or (8W7)?
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Definitely keep us posted on this - I've been waiting for MoBridge to certify their unit for the new S6, as I've got a pair of Arc Audio amps and Focal 3-ways & 13" sub that I'd like to replace the crap Bose system in my S6 with. Not as fancy as your stuff, but I'm sure it'll be worlds better than what I'm putting up with now.

Same as you, I don't intend to put anything in the back besides the sub, I prefer the imaging with music coming from in front of me.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:21 AM   #6
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Definitely keep us posted on this - I've been waiting for MoBridge to certify their unit for the new S6
I've been in contact with MoBridge already, and they said that it works with the latest generation MMI. The only issue they had was in cars with the Engine Auto Start/Stop feature. But I don't think the S6 has that, only the smaller engines.

The issue I am still trying to get confirmation on is the active noise cancellation. We need to know exactly how that is connected to the Bose system, and possibly will need to defeat it.

Another topic I need to get answered is how the tones for the parking assist work. In my BMW before this car, the parking sensor tones would beep via the stereo system speakers. That creates a minor issue for the MoBridge because the DA1 preamp only outputs a stereo signal. So the directional sounds from the parking sensors would be lost, with the tones playing from all speakers simultaneously.

The tech at MoBridge with whom I've been messaging told me that Audi uses separate tone generators for the parking assist that are independent of the Bose stereo system. I remain somewhat skeptical of this, however. I must confirm it on my own.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Good stuff! I think I can live with the parking sensors not being directional, but I'm going to hope the MoBridge tech wasn't blowing smoke because it is nice to know which sensor is going off without looking at the display.

I think the Euro spec S6's have stop/start, but it's not on the ones they ship to the US.

I had heard that the mics in the car connect directly to the Bose amp; it may have some kind of internal processing for noise cancellation, which I wouldn't expect to be an issue if the amp is removed.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:42 AM   #8
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To be accurate, the Bose amp is not actually removed. You can leave it in place. It will just be disconnected from the speakers.


I'm looking at a repair manual now and it does confirm that the Noise Cancelling Mics are connected to the Bose Amp. So there should not be any need to defeat that system if using the MoBridge preamp since it should intercept the signal upstream from the Bose amp.

I'm going to make a phone call to the MoBridge offices in California later today to see if I can speak with a tech about it.

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Old 08-29-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Just spoke with the guys in California who distribute MoBridge, Audison and many other brands. They said the DA1 works in the latest Audi MMI, except for the Bluetooth. A third-party Bluetooth system is required that can plug into the MoBridge.

Edit: Upon review of the Bose system wiring diagram I have here, I can see why the MoBridge would cause the Bluetooth to not work. The microphone for the telephone plugs into the Bose amplifier. The MoBridge would effectively bypass the Bose amp, so anything that is connected to the Bose would also be lost.

Unfortunately, that is a limitation which will force me to abandon the MoBridge idea. I don't want to lose Bluetooth, or use a third party option. The integration with MMI is really nice and I want to keep that.

Therefore, my plan will now be revised to simply using the Audison BitOne connected directly to the Bose amp via high level inputs.
We will have to disconnect the Bose AudioPilot microphones that are located in the headliner. There are 4 mics total. They look like little buttons in the headliner, two in the middle of the car and two in the rear.

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Old 08-29-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by subterFUSE View Post
Therefore, my plan will now be revised to simply using the Audison BitOne connected directly to the Bose amp via high level inputs.
We will have to disconnect the Bose AudioPilot microphones that are located in the headliner. There are 4 mics total. They look like little buttons in the headliner, two in the middle of the car and two in the rear.
Why are you set on eliminating noise cancellation? If you can retain it, so much the better, I would think.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Why are you set on eliminating noise cancellation? If you can retain it, so much the better, I would think.
Noise cancellation will not work well with an aftermarket processor. The BitOne needs to have a consistent signal fed into it or else it will affect the processing it is responsible for, and the signal-to-noise ratio.

Bose has tweaked and tuned the audio system to work with their speakers. In order to maximize the performance of aftermarket gear, I need to have a clean and stable signal from the OEM source. The BitOne actually provides a Setup Wizard with a Test CD that helps it to analyze the OEM system for any factory equalization, and then it counters that equalization to yield a flat signal. That flat signal is then processed by the BitOne's internal DSP in a much more advanced way.

If the OEM signal is being dynamically altered by a feature like the Bose AudioPilot, then the BitOne won't have the stable signal required for best performance.


During the installation of the system we will put many hours of labor into sound dampening the car. The combination of sound dampening plus the extra power being added (1950 Watts total) will negate the need for any active noise cancellation.

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Old 08-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Fair enough. Appreciate the detailed reply.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:53 AM   #13
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Great research so far. I have a A6 C7 and want to upgrade the audio as well.

I am assuming you have not upgraded yet. If you have can you post the final solution?

Have you find out the solution for having the Bluetooth working? Are you just connecting the bitone to the high level amp outputs?

Can you share the bose wiring diagrams that you mentioned?

Thanks
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #14
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I'm looking forward to finding out as well - I'd rather not lose bluetooth even though I only use it for infrequent calls in the car, and I'm hoping that what comes out of the bitone is a good enough signal that it sounds a whole lot better than the stock Bose junk when played through better amps & speakers.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:57 AM   #15
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We have not yet begun the installation. At this point, I am awaiting some equipment that is on backorder and a more detailed response from tech support at MoBridge.

As it turns out, there are 7 microphones inside the A6/S6. 4 of those mics are for the Bose AudioPilot noise cancellation. The other 3 are for bluetooth and voice recognition.

The 4 Bose mics all connect to the Bose amplifier.

2 of the 3 bluetooth mics connect to the Information Elec Control Module.

1 of the 3 bluetooth mics connects to the Bose amp.



The MoBridge works by intercepting the MOST bus digital signal before it reaches the factory amplifier. Therefore, anything that connects directly to the factory amp would be bypassed.
Since one of the bluetooth mics is connected to the Bose amp, I need to confirm what effect this would have on the performance of the bluetooth if the MoBridge were used.

Their tech support is working on this answer for me, and said they would get back to me in a couple of weeks.

I feel like a bonehead for not seeing this sooner, but it turns out the Bose AudioPilot can be disabled in the MMI software. So I don't think there is a need to disconnect the AudioPilot microphones after all.




If I can use the MoBridge, then that would be great.
If not, then I will go with the BitOne connected to the Bose amplifier via speaker connections.

The BitOne has 8 inputs available.

The Bose amp has 12 outputs.


I would use the following outputs from the Bose amp if I choose to connect to the BitOne:

Front Tweeter Left
Front Tweeter Right
Front Midrange Left
Front Midrange Right
Front Woofer Left
Front Woofer Right
Subwoofer
Center Channel


The following Bose outputs would not be connected:

Rear Left
Rear Right
Left Surround
Right Surround


I have been told by two sources that the parking sensors have their own tone generators that work independently from the stereo. This is great because I am not going to have enough inputs on the BitOne to connect the rear speaker outputs from the Bose. On my old BMW, the parking beeps worked through the stereo so I had to keep the rears connected to the BitOne or else I lost the beep sounds. This is not so with my Audi, if what I've been told is correct.


I spent some time talking with tech support at JL Audio about recommendations for my subwoofer. We have tentatively come to the conclusion that I should do a single JL Audio 12W7 woofer in a sealed enclosure. My Audison Voce AV5.1k amplifier has a subwoofer channel that is 1000 Watts @ 2 ohms. The 12W7 subwoofer is a 3 ohm speaker. So we are guessing my amp would drive about 750-800 Watts @ 3 ohms. 750 Watts is the recommended power for the 12W7, so they should be a perfect match.


My proposed system design should look like this:

MoBridge DA1 (if possible)
Audison BitOne
Audison Voce AV 5.1k amp (5 channel)
Audison Voce AV Due amp (2 channel)
Hertz Mille System MLK3 3-way component speakers
JL Audio 12W7 subwoofer, sealed enclosure


The Hertz Mille speakers would be installed in the factory locations. Tweeters go in the dash at the corners of the windshield/pillars. Midrange and midbass in the front door locations.

75 watts x 2 tweeter
140 watts x 2 midrange
260 watts x 2 midbass
~800 watts x 1 subwoofer

~1750 watts total


To install the amps we will do the same setup as with my BMW previously. They will fabricate a metal frame that will screw in to the underside of the rear shelf inside the trunk. This will only create 4 points for screw holes in the car frame. The BitOne and 2 Audison amps will mount to the frame so that we minimize the number of screws into the car itself. The Audison amps are internally fan-cooled so they won't overheat when mounted upside down.

The Audi battery is conveniently located in the tire well, which makes life very easy for running power to the amps and DSP unit. The only wires that will need to be run to the front of the car are speaker cables for the Hertz components, and the DRC control cable for the BitOne.

I believe we will put the BitOne DRC inside the storage compartment below the A/C controls, although we have not discussed that part yet.

The JL Audio subwoofer will simply be a wood box with carpet to match the trunk interior. We will have a latch or bracket to hold it in place, while still allowing for easy removal if I need the extra trunk space for a trip.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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I'm looking forward to finding out as well - I'd rather not lose bluetooth even though I only use it for infrequent calls in the car, and I'm hoping that what comes out of the bitone is a good enough signal that it sounds a whole lot better than the stock Bose junk when played through better amps & speakers.
In my BMW I ran the BitOne directly from the Logic7 amplifier. The sound quality is excellent, so don't worry about that.
The BitOne comes with a setup CD that you run in the dash CD player while the BitOne is connected to a PC. The PC software reads test signals from the setup CD and makes adjustments to any factory equalization that may exist in the Bose system. This ensures a clean, flat source signal is presented to the BitOne.


If you want even better sound quality from your iPod, you can buy an iStreamer 12V for about $200. The iStreamer is an outboard DA converter for iDevices. It bypasses the iPod internal DAC and uses an outboard 24 bit DAC that is jitter-free.
The only downside is that you will have to connect this to the BitOne via an AUX input. That means you will have to switch the BitOne to the AUX channel to listen to it, which would mute the MMI system sounds until you switch back to Master.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #17
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Hi subter, thank you for chronicling this build as I am currently planning a very similar one for my 2014 Audi that is being built right now, set to arrive later in October. I have a couple comments and a couple questions.

First, I love the choices of the Audison Voce, BitOne and JL W7 sub.

I used to have a JL 10w7 in their sealed enclosure, powered by a JL 500x1 amplifier in my last car and it was mind blowing how powerful and accurate it was. Additionally, I currently run their Fathom f112 in my home theater and again, just in a class of its own. My only comment for your build is that you if you were on the fence of whether the 10w7 was going to be enough for your setup and decided that you might do the 12 instead.. I can tell you first hand that you will not get the 10w7 and think 'man i really wish my sub hit harder or had more output'. The depth, power, and accuracy of the 10w7 was just incredible and I never felt like I wanted the 12, even for as much of a bass junkie as I am. Having said this, I know the 12 will be incredible as well if you go that route.

Additionally, just to add to your confidence regarding the mobridge, I called their Australia team a few weeks back and got the same scoop regarding the developers having tested it on the 2013 and 2014 3g MMI systems and it working fine, besides the issues you mentioned, so hopefully that will all work well.

One question I had for you is around your decision to utilize the high-level outputs from the stock amplifier vs bypassing it completely, in favor of preserving bluetooth. I have been pondering this one also and currently do not use bluetooth in my car (though perhaps I would want to in this new one). It just seems to me with a setup this great, that you would want to skip the garbage Bose (or B&O in my case) amplifier at all costs in favor of digital all the way?

The second question, which I've never been able to get a clear technical understanding of for both home audio as well as car audio is regarding DAC. If you went digital all the way, using the mobridge and digital all the way to the Voce's, then would it make a sound quality difference if you utilized the Audi iPhone digital connection, Bluetooth audio from iPhone, or connected a standalone digital connection to the iPhone direct from the BitOne? Since the DAC is being done at the Voce in this scenario, I would assume that it would make no difference how the audio was being streamed digitally to the Voce.. Correct? This is the same question that arises in my mind when I have my home theater receiver doing the DAC for audio coming from my iPhone and I compare the methods of fibre optic from my home iTunes vs playing from AppleTV (HDMI to receiver) vs AirPlay from iPhone to AppleTV vs AirPlay from iPhone to receiver directly... This relates to my first question, as bluetooth streaming of audio to the car's head unit is a very convenient way to access audio, but obviously we would want the highest quality playback possible.

Sorry for the long post!
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #18
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Default Any hiss with bitone+logic7

Thanks subterFUSE for the reply.

I am planning to go with the bitone because my MS-8 is a hiss generator machine (let me know if you are in need of one).

When you were running the bitone directly from the logic7 did you experience hiss?

dy_TX: As far as my research on Bluetooth audio went, although it is digital, Bluetooth audio A2DP does not have the same bandwidth (aka bitrate) as other digital protocols, such HDMI, and therefore the resolution is lower. So depending on the source audio stream there will be digital resampling. Unfortunately it is not a standard and depends on the handshake between audi MMI and iphone. it could be 200kbps, maybe 320 or more.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:37 PM   #19
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cvbmilani: Thanks for the info on the Bluetooth streaming. That was my suspicion, as I have had some perceived quality degradation in my friends' cars that use it. I guess this is another vote towards why I will potentially forego Bluetooth in favor of the MoBridge digital approach.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:18 PM   #20
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Hi subter, thank you for chronicling this build as I am currently planning a very similar one for my 2014 Audi that is being built right now, set to arrive later in October. I have a couple comments and a couple questions.

First, I love the choices of the Audison Voce, BitOne and JL W7 sub.

I used to have a JL 10w7 in their sealed enclosure, powered by a JL 500x1 amplifier in my last car and it was mind blowing how powerful and accurate it was. Additionally, I currently run their Fathom f112 in my home theater and again, just in a class of its own. My only comment for your build is that you if you were on the fence of whether the 10w7 was going to be enough for your setup and decided that you might do the 12 instead.. I can tell you first hand that you will not get the 10w7 and think 'man i really wish my sub hit harder or had more output'. The depth, power, and accuracy of the 10w7 was just incredible and I never felt like I wanted the 12, even for as much of a bass junkie as I am. Having said this, I know the 12 will be incredible as well if you go that route.

Additionally, just to add to your confidence regarding the mobridge, I called their Australia team a few weeks back and got the same scoop regarding the developers having tested it on the 2013 and 2014 3g MMI systems and it working fine, besides the issues you mentioned, so hopefully that will all work well.
Good information. I have used JL Audio subwoofers in every car owned since 1997. My typical setup was always three 10W6 subs in custom, sealed enclosures. My preference is for very tight/accurate bass but with good impact.

When I built the system for my 2005 BMW 545i, I decided that I did not want to lose very much trunk space. JL Audio had a Stealthbox enclosure for the E60 so I went with that. It was a single 12W6 sub in a fiberglass sealed box that only took up the corner cubby on the side. The sound quality was good, but it was a lot less bass than I was accustomed to.

For my Audi, I want to have more bass than the BMW, but I am a little bit restricted because I already have the amplifier that will run the subwoofer(s). The Voce AV 5.1k has a mono subwoofer channel that does 600W @ 4 ohm, or 1000W @ 2 ohm.

The JL Audio W6v3 series subs come in dual 4 ohm voice coils. They can be wired 8 ohm or 2 ohm. If I used two 10W6 subs, then I would have to wire them each as 8 ohm, then together in parrallel which would result in 4 ohm to the amp. That's 600 Watts for two 10's. It will work, but it's a little bit below JL Audio's recommended power for those subs.

The 10w7 & 12w7 subs are 3 ohm speakers. So I could run a single 10 or single 12 and get about 800 Watts out of the Audison amp. I could not do two 10w7 or 12w7 because the 1.5 ohm impedance would be too low for the Audison.

Or I could do a single 13w7. Those are dual 1.5 ohm voice coil, so it could be wired @ 3ohms.

After posing those options to a tech at JL Audio, he suggested I do a single 12w7. He felt that it would be better than two 10W6 subs because I would get more power out of my amp @ 3 ohms vs. 4 ohms. The 800 Watts @ 3 ohms is perfect for running a 12w7.

I may still consider a 10w7 at your suggestion, however. Maybe we will test out a 10 first and then try the 12?


Quote:
One question I had for you is around your decision to utilize the high-level outputs from the stock amplifier vs bypassing it completely, in favor of preserving bluetooth. I have been pondering this one also and currently do not use bluetooth in my car (though perhaps I would want to in this new one). It just seems to me with a setup this great, that you would want to skip the garbage Bose (or B&O in my case) amplifier at all costs in favor of digital all the way?
In theory, yes it would be better to use the MoBridge and keep the signal digital. If I can confirm the MoBridge works 100% with my car and preserves the bluetooth, then I will go that route.

However, I have already used the BitOne with success via speaker-level inputs in my BMW. The BitOne was originally designed to work this way, and it works well.


Quote:
The second question, which I've never been able to get a clear technical understanding of for both home audio as well as car audio is regarding DAC. If you went digital all the way, using the mobridge and digital all the way to the Voce's, then would it make a sound quality difference if you utilized the Audi iPhone digital connection, Bluetooth audio from iPhone, or connected a standalone digital connection to the iPhone direct from the BitOne? Since the DAC is being done at the Voce in this scenario, I would assume that it would make no difference how the audio was being streamed digitally to the Voce.. Correct? This is the same question that arises in my mind when I have my home theater receiver doing the DAC for audio coming from my iPhone and I compare the methods of fibre optic from my home iTunes vs playing from AppleTV (HDMI to receiver) vs AirPlay from iPhone to AppleTV vs AirPlay from iPhone to receiver directly... This relates to my first question, as bluetooth streaming of audio to the car's head unit is a very convenient way to access audio, but obviously we would want the highest quality playback possible.
The answer is yes. It does make a difference how you connect your iPod or other sources, regardless if you have the MoBridge or not. While the MOST signal is digital, the original source music must get transferred from the media device to the Audi first. Depending on the source, that process may involve D/A conversion or A/D conversion. Snagitseven has posted pretty extensively on the topic of audio sources and conversion. You can search for his detailed explanation on sources and conversions.


Speaking just to the use of an iPod or iPhone:


iPod/iPhone via AMI cable

The AMI cable does not bypass the Apple internal D/A converter, so the signal gets converted to analog and then converted back to digital before being transmitted via the MOST bus to the factory amp.

Advantage: All file formats supported by Apple are available. WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless. Full iPod control via MMI. Artwork. Gapless playback supported. Browse by Composer supported. (huge feature for me)

Disadvantage: Conversion from Digital to analog and then back occurs. Some quality will be lost.


Bluetooth

With Bluetooth you get some control over the iPhone/iPod, but not the full control like the AMI gets. I do not know the stats on the quality of the bluetooth audio stream, but my gut tells me it is probably lower quality than the AMI cable connection.

Of those two options, I would personally use the AMI cable.




With the Audison BitOne you will also have the option to connect audio sources directly to the BitOne. The BitOne has an Optical Digital input, a SPDIF digital input, and 2 sets of RCA analog inputs. In addition, the BitOne has very good 24 bit Wolfson D/A converters.

In my BMW, I chose to add a small device called the iStreamer 12V. The iStreamer is basically an outboard D/A Converter for iPods. It bypasses the iPod internal DAC, and then converts the signal with its own DAC that is much better. You get a clean, analog RCA output with no jitter. I ran that directly into the BitOne and the sound quality was excellent.

One more option I had on my BMW was to run an iPad with an optical digital output directly into the optical input on the BitOne. The sound quality was great, but the one drawback was that this required the iPad be connected to the USB camera adapter to work. That meant I could not charge the iPad while listening. Of course, there was also the sheer inconvenience of having an iPad up front.

I found that the difference in sound quality of the iStreamer vs. the iPad optical digital connection was not noticeable. Plus, the iStreamer could charge the device while connected.
Convenience won out in that battle.


The only other downside to directly connecting the iPod to the BitOne was that it required the BitOne switch sources from Master to AUX. Master was the connection to the factory stereo. That meant all of the car's audio was muted while playing the iPod. Not the end of the world, but if you were running navigation you would lose the audio prompts. And if someone called me on the phone I had to switch to Master to get the bluetooth audio for the phone.


Lastly, Audison is developing a digital media player for the car which they call the BitPlay HD. It will be 24 bit 192k capable, compatible with FLAC, WAV, AIFF, and other lossless formats. 250 GB hard drive, I think. Will plug directly into the BitOne and give you completely digital signal with no conversions from source to amplifier.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:18 PM
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