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sound quality and the mkv gti

Old 09-03-2007, 10:21 PM
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sound quality and the mkv gti

As everyone knows, the stock stereo in the GTI/GLI/Rabbit/Jetta is not the greatest. With a limited budget in mind, what is the best bang for the buck to improve the sound quality? I am interested in clarity over loudness, and vocals and strings over heavy bass.
I am reluctant to have them change the speakers for the fear of creating extra rattles in the doors, and of the air bags being damaged in the process. Secondly, the new speakers with installation, cost more than a new head unit, or a new amp with installation.

I've been told that adding a good 4 channel amplifier and some new 3-way crossovers will improve the audio quality to the degree that I want. My question is should I just go to the Best Buy and get this
amp and ask them to install the new crossovers as well? Or should I get something else?


I am completely cluless about car audio. I don't even know what a crossover does but apparently it's a big part of the problem.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:05 AM
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I have not heard mk5 factory stereo, but I have a feeling it sounds clean and balanced. The only thing missing is extra bass to fill in the low end, and give it more loudness. Chances are all you need is to add a good sound quality subwoofer and an amp to drive it, and one line adaptor, and some wiring. Install should be done by pros, but should not cost much for this job. Run the bass setting low on the head unit to avoid distortion on cabin speakers, and get more bass from the amp settings.

Wait for more replies and other opinions.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sasha
I have not heard mk5 factory stereo, but I have a feeling it sounds clean and balanced. The only thing missing is extra bass to fill in the low end, and give it more loudness. Chances are all you need is to add a good sound quality subwoofer and an amp to drive it, and one line adaptor, and some wiring. Install should be done by pros, but should not cost much for this job. Run the bass setting low on the head unit to avoid distortion on cabin speakers, and get more bass from the amp settings.

Wait for more replies and other opinions.
to sum it up, the sounds sounds flat and dead. It sounds like your listening to the radio with your hearing aid turned down. you know the sounds is there but the highs are missing that christmas and sparkle, and the bass is missing the punch. I was explaining this on a board for mkv gti's (this was when I wanted to change the speakers) and almost everyone there said that the stock speakers are pretty decent but the problem was in the OEM crossover and that the speakers were underpowered (apparently the speakers only need moderate power ~50W RMS).And most of them said that it would be best to get a 4 channel good quality amp. So would that RF amp be good enough? and would the crossover that comes with the amp be better than the OEM ones?

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Old 09-04-2007, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by blocko7899
to sum it up, the sounds sounds flat and dead. It sounds like your listening to the radio with your hearing aid turned down. you know the sounds is there but the highs are missing that christmas and sparkle, and the bass is missing the punch. I was explaining this on a board for mkv gti's (this was when I wanted to change the speakers) and almost everyone there said that the stock speakers are pretty decent but the problem was in the OEM crossover and that the speakers were underpowered (apparently the speakers only need moderate power ~50W RMS).And most of them said that it would be best to get a 4 channel good quality amp. So would that RF amp be good enough? and would the crossover that comes with the amp be better than the OEM ones?
It appears, that I may not be able to explain to you in lamest terms, as well as some of the other users on this forum. I will respectfully have to pass this thread to other members, and maybe some of our resident vendors would be able to help. As it appears, you may need help from a pro, who may have better patience and knowledge to guide you from what appears to be A to Z in car audio. I am sorry I cant help. I think I may have bit here more than I can chew Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:27 PM
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Lightbulb

My experience with VW systems is limited, but as I recall they were decent quality drivers with inferior amplifier power. The two vehicles I did help upgrade got new amps to power the four corners and appropriate sized sub and amp combos.

One guy even liked the factory deck enough that he decided to keep it, partly for the factory look and partly because it was easy to use....


HTH
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:17 PM
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I don't really know about the V-dub drivers, as I've never really played with them much. That said, it stands to reason that what you're hearing could be caused by the problems you mentioned. My only advice is don't go to a big box store, such as Best Buy. Their staff is minimally trained as best, knowing only enough to empty your wallet. Hopefully either one of the vendors on here will be able to help you out, or you can go to a local independent.

A cross over is what's used to separate the signal going so it goes to the appropriate speakers. High frequencies to the tweeters, low frequencies to the woofers and in the three way system, mid bass-mid range to the mids. This can be a surprisingly complicated piece of equipment that should be made for individually for each set of tweeters, mids and woofers. Without getting into to much detail, they can effect the quality of the sound almost as much as the speakers them selves. New crossovers arenít generally something that available. You can get replacement crossovers for an aftermarket set of speakers but that'll be so hit or miss it probably wont be worth doing. Or you could have someone test your speakers and design a set of crossovers for you. But that'll be MUCH too expensive.

If your set on keeping the drivers that came with the car than I'd have to say either a 4 channel amp or even just a new deck would probably be the best upgrade. Though, I absolutely hate running from a factory decks speaker outputs to an amp. There's so much distortion in most factory set-ups that youíre just amplifying the distortion. A quality deck with a decent DAC and preamp section running line level outputs to an amp will give leaps and bound better sound quality.

From how you describe your taste in sound you probably have your bass set to zero, which would probably make a sub an inappropriate first step. Though, please keep in mind a sub is used for a lot more than just making a loud booming sound. Without a properly set-up sub your still missing a lot of the music. So I do high advocate using a sub.

That said, I wonder if you may have misunderstood why you need a crossover. If you used the crossover in the amp to eliminate the low frequency sounds (which are very hard on a speaker and can ruin them quickly if they aren't made for it) from the factory speakers it would probably go along way to cleaning up the sounds they are able to make. Then you could use a small, 8 or 10 inch sub to fill in the bottom end.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:46 PM
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Keep in mind that you asked the question in the context of a "limited budget" in mind.

With a limited budget, I agree 100% with the sub and amp combo driven with a line driver. It's still your best bet. Get something you can live with and then upgrade the rest if you're not happy from there.

just my $0.02
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:53 AM
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To revive this thread, I understand where the OP is coming from (although I don't have all the answers). I'm in the same boat and in the spring will be installing a small 4-channel amp to power the fronts and a sub in back.

The VW MKV has a set of 3-ways up front. The sound is supposedly flat because of the crossover that's installed. People have swapped the HU to get better sound but still find it flat.

Aside from replacing the speakers altogether, it has been suggested elsewhere that replacing that crossover with an aftermarket, generic 4-ohm 3-way crossover will provide better sound as it can be tuned better to prevent the mid range from dipping.

Another forum posted this link as an example: http://www.cdtaudio.com/pdf/HD30_DT.pdf

$250 seems rather steep, though. Any less expensive options out there?
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:22 AM
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Not too take over this thread in a new direction, but I have a couple of sets of Crystal 3 crossovers left over from the 3 way sets if anyone is interested (6.5/4/tweeter set).

PM me if you want. The MK V was the latest body style made? My buddy had a 95 gti with a great sounding setup in it, but that was a previous gen?
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:32 AM
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Yes - MK V is the latest generation.

Last edited by ljr; 02-07-2008 at 06:37 AM.
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