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  • Stock hd-unit with aftermarket amp?

    Hey guys, got a question. I drive an 2002 Audi A4. As of now the stock head unit with stock speakers sounds ok. I want to make it better. I want to install a 4 channel amp to power the 4 speakers with the stock headunit, will the addition of the amp to my stock headunit make a big difference for the sound? My main concern is that with the Audi's stock headunit, if i add an amp will it make a big difference to the sound? I really dont wanna change the headunit because it matches the interior of the car. I dont mind changing the speakers though if i need to. Please reply and let me know guys....thank you!!!

  • #2
    4 things to consider:
    1) will adding more power blow the stock speakers.
    2) if you're upgrading your speakers, or it won't (doubtful) you will need an amp with high level, or speaker level inputs. THis requires you, usually, to bypass the stock amp by cutting the wires and splice the wiries for the high level inputs...which voids your warrenty rather nicely.
    3) If you want increased sound quality, without removing the head unit, the best thing to do is to change stock speakers ith your amp. Amp's main purpose in life is to amplify the signal, ie, give power, allowing you to play your music louder and clearer without discernable distortion, but that extra power is no good if you don't have the equipment to handle it correctly (the aftermarket speakers).
    4) For best results, seriously, change everytihing, head unit included. Find one that matches your car interior.
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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. I think I will just put in the 4 channel Alpine amp first with my stock headunit and my stock speakers, see how that sounds, if the quality is not that great, I will consider changin the speakers.

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      • #4
        Welcome. Just remember, that will only work if you havehigh level inputs to your amp, unless your stock unit has preamp outputs AND, you assume the outlined consequences. I really would warn against it as you really could blow your stock speakers.
        Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

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        • #5
          If you can tell the difference between distortion in the amp and distortion in the speakers (or can find someone who can) you'll know exactly which you should replace first.

          BTW, if it is your amp that is clipping, then you are actually *less* likely to blow your speakers with a more powerful amp, within reason, of course. It is not pure power that blows speakers, it is the clipping caused by driving them with an underpowered amp driven too hard.

          -g.

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          • #6
            upgrade your speakers first and see how that goes, for the following reasons:
            1) Its easier
            2) Its Cheaper
            3) You will most likely end up doing it anyway if you are to get an amp installed, so most sensible to do it the other way around

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            • #7
              get rid of your stock head unit.

              1. You'll get a better signal then your stock HU

              2. It comes with a 4 channel amp. It's not alot, but it doesn't take a whole lot to have decent sound.

              3. Easier. If you replace your speakers you have to rip apart half of your car to get to them. With a amp, well you still have to run abunch of wires to run it. With a new HU it damn close to plug and play.

              4. Yes it may be more expensive but you get WAY more bang for your buck. $200 could land you a good HU, maybe even less on e-bay.

              5. As far as cosmetics, change it and in about a week you'll forget what your old one looked like.

              just my 2 cents.

              j

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              • #8
                I thought i posted my reply...apparently not.

                Sorry for not being clear on why the speakers would blow, i just doubted he would have cared. I prefer safe than sorry, that's why i stated it the way i did. I doubt that the speakrs are capable of more than 75W. I never asked for specs on the amp and shouldn't have assumed.
                Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

                THE GF THEME
                Genesis has speed
                Genesis has class
                Genesis sent money
                before your a__;)

                Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

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                • #9
                  The stock radio in the a4 is a decent radio. Its actually a damn good radio. If you want the biggest change in sound, then add a sub. Stay stock with everything but add and amplifier and a single 12 or a couple of 10's. They way i would put it is that adding a sub is a "300% difference". All of the other swap outs (new speakers, amp) are minor improvements
                  Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, i agree the stock headunit on the A4 is not bad at all, but Im greedy I wanted more... . Anyways, I wanted to add more treble to the sound, the stock subwoofer that came with the car sounds ok, Im not too crazy about the bass, I want to improve more on the treble of the sound. With the installation of a 4 channel alpine amp V12, will that give it more treble for the sound? And has anyone installed an amp with there stock headunit in there audi 2002 A4?

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                    • #11
                      Its very strange, but not without merit to request an improvement on the high end. That being the case, I would recommend replacing the speakers with a high end set of components in the front. Just swapping amplifiers will have little effect on the natural charecteristics of the stock speakers.

                      The combination of a strong amplifier with your new speakers can make a difference where distortion and "lack of punch" are evident.

                      As a point of reference, I thought the A4 had a stock amplifier. I would investigate the output of the stock amp and try a simple speaker swap first.
                      Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.

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                      • #12
                        I currently have 2 amps (5 channel soundstream, 4 channel alpine v12), a 12 in. fosgate subwoofer, a pair of kenwwod component. If I were to add my subwoofer, my 5 channel soundstream and change all the stock speakers but keeping my stock A4 headunit, you think that will improve the sound greatly?

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                        • #13
                          yes i do. I think you will notice a huge difference. The trickiest part of the set-up is getting a signal from the head unit. First things first, we need to determine if there is a factory amplifier. You may want to search for an Audi forum and snoop around there.

                          If it were me, i would grab the kenwoods and toss them in as is. Swap out the fronts. See if it makes a significant improvement. Running wires and adding amplifiers is a big project.

                          I'm not sure how good those Kenwood components are. I personally would go all out on the front speaker seperates set, something better than the kenwoods. Maybe use the kenwoods in the rear?
                          Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.

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                          • #14
                            I guess Im gonna have the Kenwoods, the Fosgate subwooder, and my 5 channel amp this weekend. Im gonna bring it to a shop, man its prob gonna cost me at least $150... for the installation. I know the stock A4 headunit is preamped. Hope this upgrade with my stock headunit will sound good...so i can get my rock on rock..... yeah!!!!

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                            • #15
                              lol. check this. Will, in teh classifieds, has a set of phoenix golds, brand new for $60 per pair. You may not know him beyond this thread, but he's pretty hard core compared to us- and you WILL hear the difference. Your A4 takes has these stats
                              1996-2003 A4 Front 5" Rear 5 1/4" , 7"

                              If you have 5.25 in the rear, see him about those. I hear mixed things about 5 channel amps. try to get a 2 or 4 channel amp (4 is better since you can have more options down the road). For the subs, get a decicated amp. More money, but much better since you can match your wattage better. Seriously, check the classifieds. Its proabbly going to cost you about $150 for the parts alone...hell proabbly the amp alone. If it doesn't, something's up. Go to a store like best buy or cirucit city or Fry's. Look at their prices. That's about as good as you get on retail. It only goes up from there. Trust me. I couldn't afford a new amp. I salvaged my amps from my old car, like the Fosgate 4040DSM. THe only reason why i got a Basslink was because it came with everything built in, great reviews...and it was hella cheap off a trade .

                              Also, you should be able to wire this yourself. If you can put a computer in your car, you can easily put a basic system in as well. THe hardest part is figuring out how to get the power from the engine (gotta find a hole or make one). Other than that, its uusally unscrewing a few things and taking apart yourdash, depending on how hard your car is. My celica was easy. This inifniti is a piece of work. Get yoruself an FSM, makes life easier and saves bills on mechanics fees for simple stuff.
                              Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

                              THE GF THEME
                              Genesis has speed
                              Genesis has class
                              Genesis sent money
                              before your a__;)

                              Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

                              Comment

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