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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

I figured it's about time to get this thread going. I've spent some time over the last couple of months piecing together my thoughts/plan on how to upgrade the stereo in my S6. It came with the Bose system which is....horrible.

For starters, about the car: Stage 2 S6 (Miltek DP's and exhaust with electronically controlled valves that allow mellow vs loud as hell mode ;) and APR Stage 2 tune and TCU tune), black underneath with a 3M wrap and...a bunch of other stuff. I like to document what all I do with my cars, so you can see more details about the car at FARNY'S6 - Home . I came from a supercharged RS4 which was one hell of a car and you can still read about that one at Documenting THE 2008 Audi RS4 - Home.

Anyway, a couple of pics:





Goals of this install:
  1. DIY it all. I've had prior systems largely installed by others (minus several carPC adventures in the early 2000's which were fun), and for this one, I'm going to do everything myself. Budget is one reason, but largely it's all about wanting to learn. I love digging into something, researching, exploring, learning from others, and giving it a go myself.
  2. Looking for a stealth as possible SQL build. Retaining as much of the trunk as possible and all functionality is a key objective. That means seats still have to be able to fold down, for example. I know I won't be able to retain all trunk space already, so there'll be compromises along the way.
  3. 3-way active setup for front stage, with zero rear fill for the moment (I've rarely used it in other cars, and budget definitely put it on the back burner for now...speaking of which...)
  4. Budget: ~$5k all said and done. Right now, looks like I'm going to come in around $5.5k...close enough ;)

Here is the equipment/setup I've decided on. I should have all of it by end of day:
  • Mobridge DA1 to integrate into the Audi MOST network for best source signal possible.
  • Helix DSP Pro with Helix Director remote
  • Front stage: Morel Elate Titanium 903's (3-way's)
  • Sub: Arc Audio Black Series 12D2
  • Amps: Arc Audio 1200.6 and 600.4. The 1200.6 channels 1-4 will send 150w to each of the tweeters and mids, and channels 5&6 will be bridged to send 600w to the subwoofer. I'll bridge channels 1&2 and 3&4 on the 600.4 to send 300w to each mid-bass
  • Sound deadener: largely sourced from Sound Deadener Showdown. CLD tiles, CCF, and I have plenty of MLV already from a prior home project. I've checked it against some of the MLV specific for car audio, and it's similar in malleability, and is rated at 1lb/ft2 while maybe an 1/8th or 1/16th inch thinner than the SDS MLV. Net/net: it's not Home Depot stuff, works really well in terms of blocking sound, and should do the trick just fine.

That's the high-level. I've already started with the sub box, and once I've uploaded those pics, I'll start sharing the play-by-play here ;)

Thanks to all who contribute to this forum and to those who have already answered specific questions of mine! There are certainly some awesome installs here already specific to the A/S/6/7 which is really helpful for me.

Cheers,
Per
 

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Looks good so far... how long do you figure it'll take you to complete this project?

(if it were me, I'd get on it right now, and have it done by Sunday night)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheers, guys. I essentially have 2 nights a week to work on this, but from July 20-30 I'm home alone and will turbo through stuff then ;)

First thing I've done (only thing I've done so far ;) ), is work on the sub box. Since I want to retain functionality of seats folding down, and want it to be mobile if needed (i.e. disconnect for a trip lugging something or another), and because I wanted a 12" sub (would've been hard to put in the right side near trunk opening as a result), I chose to put the box in this left corner of the trunk. It still allows opening of the ski sack which I use when going snowboarding, and it allows the 60 portion of the 60/40 seat splits to fold down.
Notice the irregular shape up top of the trunk, and also that on the left side, closest to the seat back, the floor has a curve to it which gently changes to be more of a right angle as you go forward (to the bumper). And yes...it's dirty.


So btw, I've never built a sub box before, and I've never fiberglassed anything :)

The sub wants 1.2 cubic feet for a sealed enclosure, so I started with the width to be as wide as possible without blocking up the ski sack fold down, then calculated - roughly - how far forward I'd have to go towards the bumper to get roughly the required volume. After it was all said and done, I calculate the rough shape all up, and it's about 1.17 cubic feet. This video (3 part series) was actually really helpful in planning it out, particularly the angles I wanted so it would back up to the seatbacks as much as possible.

After being convinced that I was a total idiot because it took me so damn long to get all of the measurements right, I ended up with this. The only reason it's even remotely square in the angles is because of extensive sanding I did after the cuts, which I had to do with just a skill saw, lacking a table or miter saw in my arsenal of tools.



Wood glue, pre-drilled holes for 1 5/8" drywall screws keep it together, and I sealed each seam with silicone. You'll see a couple of empty drilled holes where I drilled poorly :/

To fit as best as possible, I took the router and a 45 degree angle bit to accommodate the rear trunk 'curve' on the bottom:

(I did shave the screw a bit with a dremel to not stick out)



On to fiberglassing the top. Bondo resin and hardener and mat in hand I set to it. After two coats I saw one major air bubble that I wanted to take care of. Sanded everything with 80 grit and laid down one more layer on the outside. Trimmed it with palm sander and smoothed to the edges to get a better sense of where I was at.


After the 2nd coat:


Trimmed and sanded, having taken out the one big air bubble I had:


After the 3rd and likely final coat from the outside:


The seams between the wood and glass all seem good, but I wanted to make sure there are no leaks, so decided to do a layer or two on the inside, too, after using my router and circle jig to cut the hole for the woofer.


To ensure I got the mat flush with the corners, I pre-laid them in, cutting each piece so it can be folder into the corners without bending.



No pics yet after that layer of mat, but it worked out really well and is tight on the corners. At this point I can stand on the glass top without any give..though I may just add one more layer on the inside just because ;)

Fun to learn to work with this stuff! Definitely understood a lot better the need to 'stab' the brush into the mat, and what the mat should actually look like when saturated and devoid of bubbles. Poly fill, terminals are ready to go, need to get the speaker wire next.

That's it for now.
 

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Good job so far.
Looking forward to the end-half of July, to see how it all comes together.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Minor update. Sanded the outside after the final coat and took pics of the inside after doing 2 coats there. I think I'm done with fiberglassing at this point. Enclosure feels very solid, I feel good about it being air tight, too, after doing the inside layers and already having done the silicone. Here's how she looks right now:



Looks like good seams to me...anyone think otherwise?




Test fit looks good:



Got it very tight to the seatbacks which was my goal. Now not quite sure where I'll put the binding posts, though...almost too tight up against the seats!


I have a couple mails out to carpet suppliers. Hoping to get the best match to the OEM, and it's really hard to tell that from online photos. Also about to pull the trigger on the power and speaker cables, and have a Audison 4-way distro block heading my way next week. Next step is probably taking the trunk apart to make the game plan of where exactly I can fit everything in addition to doing the sound deadening. Fun stuff! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice work so far, the box appears to fit like a glove!
Thanks! Hoping I left enough room for the carpet ;)

Had a few more hours over the last couple of days to make progress. Task at this point was to decide on final mounting positions for all of the equipment, that being: Mobridge DA1, Helix DSP Pro, the 1200.6, and the 600.4. I'm awaiting delivery of the distribution block, but think I know where I'll put that already.

First things first: open up the trunk and see where things are now. I missed taking a picture, but where you see the 1200.6 below is where the Bose amp usually is. I wanted to make sure there was enough space for the 1200.6 as it's a good bit bigger than the Bose. Initial eyeball test looks good:


How to mount? I couldn't get any thick wood in there to mount the amp to as I would've run out of height. Time to look and see what's laying around the workshop and found some of this plastic.


Alone, it's not strong enough, bind two sheets together via 3M 90 spray adhesive, and it's strong enough to support, and I only need coverage on the ends, not the entire length of the amp.


Put some carpet on it:


So far so good, but the amp is going to be covering the holes where these strips need to attach to the plastic 'cage', so needed to dremel a bit of the carpet away, and a tiny bit into the plastic. Also, the screws (couldn't use others as the plastic 'cage' has built in threads for the OEM ones) were too round up top, so I had to dremel them down a bit so they wouldn't rub / catch on the amp. Here's a pic of me being halfway done with one of them:


Once mounted:


Test fit looks good:


And it fits well:


Figured out where to put the DSP and the Mobridge, too. Good ole' 3M double-sided tape will keep them in place.


Fits perfectly in the middle slot of the 'cage' which was empty:


So, all situated except for the 600.4. Looking in the wheel well, there's a perfect amount of space for it. Validated that height wasn't going to be an issue either with the spare tire back in:


Carpeted up:


I'll admit the mounting took me a couple of tries, because at first I didn't think of needing the RCA's to plug in, and had it all too far over to the side. For securing, I saw two unused threaded posts in the area, found some pre-drilled straight pieces of metal in the workshop, cut the carpet out in those areas, and then added one more layer of carpet on top.


(I know I'm not scoring style points on this bottom carpet...it was the last remnant I had)


Test fit (one of the earlier ones, I ended up moving it more to the left):


And final fit with enough room for RCA's:


BTW - the factory sound deadening is not bad on this car. I was surprised to find the amount of foam and 1/2" thick carpet/mat throughout, at least. The area behind the 'cage':


Foam in the wheel well:



Next: wait for my power wire and distro block to come in, then do my sound deadening on the trunk, run the power wire, and put the trunk back together (need to deaden the lid yet, too). After that I'll start thinking about the doors i.e. what I need to fabricate in terms of rings and baffles, and progressively pull out more trim from the car to get ready for July 20th-30th when I'll hopefully finish with all of the hardware install.

Again - fun stuff, and great to be able to leverage all the knowledge here to get this far!

Happy 4th,
Per
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all!

Small update from tonight: permanently mounted the DSP Pro and Mobridge, and ran just a couple of wires.

I decided to secure the DSP Pro just a bit more in addition to the 3M double sided tape. Pre-drilled the holes, and used short screws so as not to mess with the radio hardware beneath.




Also found a place for the Mobridge on/off button that needs to be turned off when you bring it into the dealer, otherwise they know you've messed with factory stuff. This location will be easily reachable when everything is all back together. I used a drill, then a dremel and went back and forth with test fit/dremel/test fit/dremel, and about 50 test fits later, it was perfect ;)




Attached the Mobridge to the DSP with the 3M double sided tape:


On to installing a small terminal strip for power and amp-on from the Mobridge, which automatically turns on when sensing a signal on the MOST network. I ran the wires through the 'cage' and mounted the terminal strip:


OCD'ed and soldered and crimped and used ring terminals:



Remote in wire for DSP Pro added:


And some nip and tuck leveraging zip ties and the pre-drilled holes on the DSP to make sure wires don't get accidentally pulled in any direction:



That was it for tonight...short and sweet ;)

N00b question: for running the remote on signals, is there a best practice? Does it matter if I attach both amps to the same terminal that the DSP is hooked up to for remote on? Should I daisy chain the signal instead, i.e. Mobridge connects to terminal strip, to which DSP is hooked, should I use the DSP's 'remote out' to one amp, and then from there to the final amp? Does any of this make a difference (for my setup)?

My plan as of right now is to hook the 2 amps 'remote in' to the same terminal that the DSP is hooked up to on the terminal block. Let me know if I should do otherwise.

Thanks as always,
Per
 

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In their documentation Helix wants to control all amps so you dont have any on/off pops. Does the DSP Pro have 2 remote outs? If so I would use them both to turn on the amps. I have the P Six and it has 2 rem outs.

Nice job on everything so far. Just an FYI...I also installed the On/Off switch for the DA1. I know that all dealers are different, but I have never used it when I have taken the car to the dealer and they have not said a word to me. The car does throw codes because it knows that the stock speakers have been disconnected. Since your car has the Bose amp, I am guessing that would also throw a code.

I have cleared the codes with a VagCom cable and the speaker codes still come back every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In their documentation Helix wants to control all amps so you dont have any on/off pops. Does the DSP Pro have 2 remote outs? If so I would use them both to turn on the amps. I have the P Six and it has 2 rem outs.

Nice job on everything so far. Just an FYI...I also installed the On/Off switch for the DA1. I know that all dealers are different, but I have never used it when I have taken the car to the dealer and they have not said a word to me. The car does throw codes because it knows that the stock speakers have been disconnected. Since your car has the Bose amp, I am guessing that would also throw a code.

I have cleared the codes with a VagCom cable and the speaker codes still come back every time.
Very happy you mentioned the DSP documentation...I hadn't looked. The DSP Pro has one in and one out, so I guess I'll either need to fit 2 remote out wires into its one out, or use a butt connector or something similar to effectively make it a Y cable and feed the amps that way.

Good to know on the on/off switch, too. I'm definitely aware that each dealer is different, and am lucky to have become very good friends with the Audi Master Tech at my dealership who also has moonlighted some at my tuner's shop. He hooks me up in all ways, and whenever I bring it in, he does the work and makes sure no TD1 flags get tripped (since it's tuned). So, this piece wouldn't be a big deal in the end either, but happy to have just put it in.

I haven't done any research on eliminating those codes permanently, and like you say, no biggie, but I wonder if at least some can get eliminated via re-coding (for me, for example, I can likely tell the system it doesn't have Bose so as not to look for it).

Cheers!

-Per
 

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You could also use the terminal strip for the amp remote wires. Just run the remote on from the Helix Pro into the terminal strip and then run both remote wires for the amps into the other end of that terminal. No Y cable needed.
 
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