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Hi All,

I know some of you have put aftermarket stereo's in your car and I was wondering if you've experienced the same problem I'm experiencing. I had replaced the two front speakers in my coupe with Focal 165KF speakers and powered them with a JL Audio 300x2 amp that sits in the spare tire compartment in the trunk.

After these have been 'professionally' installed, there was a buzz coming out of one of the speakers which was fixed by replacing the factory line out adapter. However, now I hear a high pitched whine that coincides with the rev's of the engine and I also hear the cambiocorsa shift through the speakers. The installer said he tried everything to eliminate this and thinks because of the transmission this will not go away.

Any thoughts? I'm not happy with this sound at all especially since the speakers, amp and installation cost near $2000. In addition, I performed this upgrade hoping to get not just better sound but better low ends. The sound is better, but the bass is actually WORSE than my audiophile 2000 factory sound. I'm tempted to just make them tear it all back out and put the factory setup back in.

Any have similar experiences with the 'whining' noise?

Thanks!!!
 

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The amp is not grounded. Common error but really poor that they'd give it back to you in this condition. I would either tell them to take it back and refund all my money or bring it somewhere else and have them fix it.
 

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Ciao Siciliano Bionde,

What your experiencing is a problem called ground loop alternator whine. It is likely caused by a component of the new audio equipment making contact with the chassis or something else that is grounding to the chassis. Since the amplifier is correctly grounded to the chassis, when another component also makes contact with the chassis, a ground loop occurs.

The shop that installed your new components should address this. It can be as simple as a speaker terminal making intermittent contact with the surrounding body of the car, or something as complex as a wire run under carpet being too close to another wire. Ultimately, the shop should be able to run it down. The transmission excuse is a red herring. Something THEY installed is making contact with the chassis; it's as simple as that.

With regard to the lack of bass, a treatise could be written about speakers, amps, efficiency ratings, etc. Sometimes a cheap speaker will move more air than a more expensive one all things being equal. A quick fix may be to install a Bazooka or similar amplified wubwoofer in the spare tire compartment, or trunk above. I've been using the Infinity Bass Link for this purpose, with good results, though it is rather large and takes up 1/3rd of the trunk. I'm considering a smaller product with the intent of fitting it in the spare tire compartment, just to provide bass you feel more than hear. Bazooka makes a 6" type with a 200w amp that I'm considering. Food for thought. Another thing I would look at are the adjustable input sensitivity knobs on the amp. The amp needs to cook a bit before getting the most out of the speaker. If they have the input sensitivity too low, there won't be any punch. Good luck.
 

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I would agree with a grounding problem being the most likely source of the whine.

On a side note, I was surprised myself at how much better the Auditorium system is compared with the base audio system. When looking at Coupes during my initial shopping, I was convinced I would need to go aftermarket because of how bad the base system sounded; however, when I listened to the Auditorium system in the model I eventually bought, I was pleasantly surprised and decided that it was sufficient for my needs.

In my A4, I went with a PPI amp and an Image Dynamics 10" dual-coil sub, but am still not satisfied with the way the bass turned out. I often feel like the sub was a bad idea and that instead of installing a sub, I should have replaced the rear deck speakers with 6x9's or 8"ers. I think the midbass is what I was missing the most of and the sub just covers too low a range.
 

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You are on the right track...

I began with Focals as you have driven initially with the factory amp.

I then added an Infinity Bass Link with the 4Sc amp module which added 50 watts to the Focals. At this point, just when the Focals began to sound good at a decent volume the amp began to clip.

I then decided to go all out and replaced the Focals with DynaAudio component speakers (6.5inch mid-bass, Separate tweeters), and added a JL Audio Subwoofer, a Single 12inch W6 woofer. I use JL Audio 450/4 to run the Main Dynaaudios and the rear Panel speakers which are Dedicated Mid-woofers 5.25inch. I use a JL Audio 500/1 to run the Subwoofer.

Right now, my system is incredible. I am a pretty serious home audiophile and I often enjoy my car system more than my home set up.

Sorry to get off point., ..But I have run the DynaAudios without a Subwoofer, in the event you do not want a SUB box in your trunk, with the JL 450/4, I could almost live without a SUB since the Dynaaudios have very good bass. The Dynaudios are very inefficient and need LOTS of power tho, your amp will not drive them properly. You will need the JL 450/4 and use the 150x2 configuration.

My entire set up ended up costing slighty more than the $2000 you spent. If you are in Northern CA, the shop who did my system is familar with the car now.
 

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demoe said:
I then decided to go all out and replaced the Focals with DynaAudio component speakers (6.5inch mid-bass, Separate tweeters), and added a JL Audio Subwoofer, a Single 12inch W6 woofer. I use JL Audio 450/4 to run the Main Dynaaudios and the rear Panel speakers which are Dedicated Mid-woofers 5.25inch. I use a JL Audio 500/1 to run the Subwoofer.
eh, since you spent so much on a nice set of Danish speakers, I just wanted to let you know that they're spelled "Dynaudio". :D
 

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The whine is the alternator, not the transmission. If you rev in nuteral, you should still hear the whine. This sometimes requires heavy +12 volt filtering in the way of inductor/large cap. I suspect a ground loop though. If you're musically inclined, rev in time with the music until you get it fixed ;)
 
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