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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2016 Porsche Macan S - stealth SQ build
Howdy all,

I have a new vehicle and I'm back to my old addiction. I feel the need to gut this sucker and refine the stock audio system. Meet my latest project:
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It looks like there is ample room to place subs and amp(s) in the rear hatch:
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The hatch floor is recessed almost 2" below skid plates. This could come in handy for building a false floor:
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A reasonable amount of space under the hatch:
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Even more space with the 8" plastic factory sub removed:
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Unfortunately I don't believe this sucker is going to fit.
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Just too deep if I want to recess it. Also, the diameter is too big for a good fit.
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I'm thinking two 10" drivers or three 8" drivers would work well. More on that in a bit.

Props go out to phroenips for giving me some ideas and inspiration to work on this vehicle.

Ge0
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Its still cold, raining and/or snowing here in Southeast Michigan. So, I have not been outside a lot to mess with my car. However, I have done some planning.

Thinking about sub-woofer options. Look's like I can fit two 10" drivers or three 8" drivers. I'm siding more towards a set of 10's. My idea is to create a false floor and mount the drivers to it. The picture here is a single 8" driver sitting on the sub-floor of the cargo area:



Now onto other things. The front doors have stock 8" mid-bass drivers mounted to the door sheet metal and 3" mid-ranges mounted to the plastic door card. I'm thinking about keeping this configuration but swapping for improved drivers.



The front dash has a set of tweeters to the far left and right sides plus a center channel. Once again, I plan on keeping this configuration but replacing with upgraded drivers. Yes, I plan on running a center channel and hope that Helix has a decent center channel algorithm.




The rear doors are currently configured for 6.5" mid-bass drivers and 1" domed tweeters. However, there is unused space to mount a 3" mid-range as well. I plan to eliminate the rear tweeters. I will start by trying out the 6.5" drivers as L-R rear fill. I'm not sure this is the best option. I may disconnect the 6.5" drivers and add 3" mid-ranges to take over rear fill duty. Those of you who know me know that I feel real strong about using this rear fill configuration to help widen the listening space and increase the over-all room depth.




I also have another possibility for adding rear fill that I may experiment with. There is also room for mid-ranges in the D pillars behind the rear seats. Hmmm... Maybe place rear fill drivers there instead?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK. I figured I need to start somewhere. May as well pick the easier tasks first while the weather is still cold and nasty. Time to do the tweeter install. While not a terribly complicated job it did have its tricks. Doing things in the wrong order can damage the vehicle. So, I decided to document the process step by step.

Remove fuse box cover on both sides of the dash. These are easy enough to remove by hand. Just pace your finger in the access tab near the red arrows and pull outwards. If you don't want to chip your nail polish then you can use a plastic trim tool
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Next, let's tackle the A-pillars. This is perhaps the most difficult step. I've read about folks cracking their windshield trying to get these out. First, remove the access plugs labeled AIRBAG in the upper A-pillar. I found this easiest to do using my finger nails. My plastic trim tools were a little too wide to wedge in there. I didn't want to use a metal trim tool since I didn't want to scratch the plastic finish. Once removed you need to extract the torx head bolts. This is tricky. Loosen the bolt so it is almost out. Then reach in with needle nose pliers to pull it out. Be careful or you might drop the bolt inside the a-pillar.



The next step is important. Pop the upper portion of the A-pillar trim loose by pulling it away from the A-pillar towards the center of the vehicle here (white arrow). Don't try to pull it free. Just pop it loose.



Next, pop the bottom portion of the A-pillar trim loose here (red arrow) then gently push up (green arrow).



You should now be able to remove the a-pillar trim by carefully pushing up the bottom and pulling the top free from the vehicle. Careful, it's rather flimsy in the center where the two pieces are bonded together (red arrow).



Finally we can remove the speaker grill. Some say wedge a plastic trim tool between the speaker grill and dash here:



However, I found it hard to wedge my trim tool in there without risking scratching the dash board. I found it easier to grab the rubber piece here (red arrow) and pull up on it (green arrow). This lifts a corner of the speaker grill so you can get your trim tool in there:



Remove the grill and set it aside. Take note how the rubber part of the trim seats into the dash channel prior to popping the grill back in.

Next, popping the tweeter out is kind of difficult. Push the metal tabs outward away from the tweeter here (red arrows). You can then get a trim tool under the tweeter to pop it up and out. There are no hidden latches in the tweeter connector. Just grab by the connector body and give it a firm tug. Just like your mom always said, don't pull it loose by the cord!!!


 

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Discussion Starter #4
I didn't feel like cutting the wire harness on a $65K car. There was not enough length to crimp on quick disconnects in the tight space between dash and windshield. Therefore, I decided to sacrifice the cheap factory tweeters to make my own OEM connector.

This job was somewhat easy. The connector body was glued on to the back of the tweeter. Just de-solder the connections to the tweeter then pry the connector loose with a Xacto knife and flat head screw driver. Next, trim off the excess plastic with a pair of wire cutters then solder on some pig-tails.



Ironically, the body diameter of the new tweeters was very close in size to the factory supplied ones. The factory installed metal clips hold the tweeter in nice and snug. Installing the tweeters could not be easier.



The factory trim was snapped back into place without interference



Ge0
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Scanspeak tweets offer a lot more detail than the cheap plastic Bose units. I can now actually hear parts of music the Bose tweeters could not replicate. However, something still seemed off. I could still hear shrillness in some songs that should not be there. Hmmm... What's going on?

Then it occurred to me. There is another set of Bose tweeters in the rear doors. Let's take a peek.

You can remove the rear door mid-range and tweeter grill by hand. Just grab by the red arrows and gently pull towards you.




I found this interesting. I popped off the grill on the passenger side and noticed this tweeter was damaged from the factory:



It's easier to remove these tweeters. Just put your finger through the empty midrange hole (red arrow) and push on the tweeter from behind. Next, release the plastic clips (red arrows) with your trim tool and the tweeters will pop out.



I tried listening to the system with and without decent tweeters mounted in the rear doors.



Having high frequency content near your ears right behind you was screwing up frontal imaging. So, for now I am going to remove tweeters from the rear doors altogether. The signal going to them is full range. I can probably use that for something else in the future.

The door also has 6-1/2" mid-basses mounted below. I may end up using the 6-1/2's for L-R rear fill in the future. Either that or I will install 3" mid-ranges in the factory supplied locations. Either way, the rear fill will be band limited from 250Hz to 2.5KHz. But, that's a project for another day. I don't have the amps I need to complete this configuration yet.

Ge0
 

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...A tremendous service you've provided, sir! All told, this is an e-book for high end installers. Thanks. ...Wondering what source material you used in evaluating your mods and in what format? When reading equipment reviews, I enjoy looking up the reviewers' references on Tidal and discovering new "musiks". As an aside, thanks for demonstrating the superb engineering talent extent in your neck of the (SE Michigan) woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...A tremendous service you've provided, sir! All told, this is an e-book for high end installers. Thanks. ...Wondering what source material you used in evaluating your mods and in what format? When reading equipment reviews, I enjoy looking up the reviewers' references on Tidal and discovering new "musiks". As an aside, thanks for demonstrating the superb engineering talent extent in your neck of the (SE Michigan) woods.
Most of my vehicle specific stuff came from reading numerous posts on this forum and summarizing that information into a workable thread. As far as my equipment selections this takes a lot of research on car audio forums like CAR AUDIO JUNKIES and DIY MOBILE AUDIO. Not an easy task, I have been doing this for over 20 years. I have an idea what I like or don't like.

I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my Macan to make minor improvements in my factory supplied Bose Audio system. I just read like a sponge and post my results here for others to contemplate.

For instance, some folks were having problems removing the A-pillars. I thought I would share my success and prevent others from cracking their wind shields :).

Ge0
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agree, really a super effort here !

Looking forward to you tackling the Centre speaker :)


2016 Macan T
Sadly I can't gain access to re-program the stock Bose amp. They just don't allow access to their tuning software to the public. I am sure I could create an awesome system using existing amplifier hardware if I could re-tune it for new speakers. But, not the case. So, I am going the route of removing the Bose gear and replacing with a Helix DSP amplifier. So far they are the only company who offers a respectful aftermarket center channel tuning solution.

I've made some incredible 2 channel sound systems in the past which were biased towards the vehicles driver. However, without a center channel they sound like crap to a passenger. I want to leverage the center channel to create a sound system that sounds great to both driver and passenger. I know it can be done,. Bose and Burmester come close to showing us. I'm going to spend a few thousand dollars to prove this. Hold onto your shorts. We are off to a good ride.

Ge0
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The level of detail is amazing, well done and well spoken.
Thank you very much. My goal is to provide as much detail as possible so you can read everything that you need to and make your own decisions. If you have additional questions you are most welcomed to ask. I enjoy making this content. Be sure to look for more as I can afford it. I am out of work for the time being. I will continue once the virus passes and I have a little cash reserve. You know, pesky things like mortgage and auto loans have us by the Cajones...

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That's Impressive. I wish today's cars were a simple to do as the cars I grew up with. We could switch out cassette decks in most of our cars in 20 minutes. A little longer if we needed to change some hardware or a bracket. A few guys at school had more in their audio system than the entire car.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's Impressive. I wish today's cars were a simple to do as the cars I grew up with. We could switch out cassette decks in most of our cars in 20 minutes. A little longer if we needed to change some hardware or a bracket. A few guys at school had more in their audio system than the entire car.
My first job at a car audio shop I installed three 15" subs in a dudes car that didn't even run. No wheels, broken frame and drive shaft. He towed it in on a flat bed. Towed it out when we were done. He claims he just liked sitting in it to hear the bass. The engine ran good enough to supply enough power to run the system. Who am I to judge :).

Ge0
 

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Congratulations - a really excellent post. A lot of work to put it together so well done!

I hope that you soon are able to get back to work so you can complete your project.

You mentioned finding the ability to tune the system and of course this is essential to get the best from it. I had the same requirement. I also pondered the sub issue. This is how I dealt with it - might help your thinking:

Installed an Audison Prima 8.9BIT to look after the OEM speaker configuration.
Installed an Audison AP1D amp to drive an Audison DVC 10 inch sub which is a shallow mount speaker with a custom box in the wheel well.
Both amps were located in the OEM amp location back to back - on my MY16 it is in the LHS panel in the boot (trunk to you guys).
See pics - the two amps simply attach back to back, designed to do that and as you can see, fit perfectly in the OEM position.

Need the shallow mount sub due to space limitations as you have noted. We made the box from 19mm MDF (unported of course) and tried to get the maximum volume. The sub was an easy install as the 8.9BIT has a pre-amplified ninth channel to connect to the AP1D then to the sub.
The system was tuned using the Audison BIT Tune Software to suit - so you need to be able to get a hold of this. The local audio shop agreed to do this for a small consideration.
Note that the PCM Sound function remains functional for all parameters.

What I found is that the biggest sound quality improvement with my setup was with the amps (and the associated tuning) followed by the uncompressed file types (I use AIFF), then the speakers (Focal) and sub.

Just a further comment that may help you getting the best from your system:
The MY16 as you would have learned does not natively support uncompressed file types so they can be sorted and searched. Despite Porsche’s claims that it can do this with WAV files, it is simply not possible because WAV does not contain the ID3 tags that are essential for this to occur. However the DAC in the PCM is actually quite good, so here is a way to play quality audio files and massively improve the sound from your system:

1. Convert as necessary the files you require into AIFF/AIF file type. This is best done using a converter that has a tag editor such as Media Center so that you can ensure that all fields are correctly populated.
(AIFF/AIF is an uncompressed file type like WAV, but with ID3 tag support).

2. Using iOS 11.2.2 it is possible to play up to 192kHz 24bit files. I have not tested higher sample rates or bit depths and I have not updated iOS because since setting up my system as that is all I use the phone for and I do not want to risk changing something and not be able to revert.

3. Import the files by drag and drop into iTunes.

4. I found that some album art would not transfer over for some reason, but that is easily solved within iTunes by drag and drop of the art. This was very few albums.

5. Connect to the PCM via USB and go for it. The PCM will play the files (because it sees them as WAV but also picks up the ID3 tags from iTunes ( don’t know the mechanism) so you can search in the PCM normally.

Note that the AIFF files will not play direct via USB or load onto Jukebox as the file type is not recognised – it must be done via an iPod/iPhone device. I purchased an iPhone 7 256Gb, that I leave connected in the car in the centre console - that way when you get in the car it is ready to go and the PCM will start off where you left it rather than go through the process of loading the data again.

Hope this helps with the thinking for your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dude. I've read your posts so much I nearly have your stuff memorized. You offered me a bunch of tips that helped me take the direction I am heading.

Question for you. Did you use a MOST25 adapter to tap into the PCM or are you using high level inputs off the Bose amplifier outputs? The Audison package can do either. Seeing how you placed your Audison gear where the Bose amp was I assume you are using a MOST interface.

I am considering an Audiotec-Fischer Helix solution that will replace the Bose amp via MOST interface and then an 8 channel DSP amp + separate sub amp. Very similar to your Audison solution but with specific processing capability for a proper center channel. I want decent sound imaging in both driver and passenger seats.

The sad thing is that I've studied the Bose amplifier hardware (amps). I think they are very capable but can't do a **** thing with them if I can't gain access to the software to tune it. Ughhh why can't these **** manufactures give us more options. I could save a lot of time and expense if they would have given us an advanced tuning screen with parametric EQ's and some other basics. Freaking BASS and TREBLE controls are near useless.

Anyway, I've created a ton of new content over the last two days. I'll upload it as soon as I get a large chunk of time dedicated to doing so. Yes, creating these posts is very time consuming as you may know...

Ge0
 

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It’s hard to know if someone has taken the time to search existing stuff that might help them, many don’t.
I started with the base system as Bose is rubbish as you know and Burmester is price prohibitive over here, so if you are going to junk stuff better to junk the cheapest.
I did not come across the Audiotec-Fischer stuff. At a quick look it appears very impressive in its setup capability.
Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It’s hard to know if someone has taken the time to search existing stuff that might help them, many don’t.
I started with the base system as Bose is rubbish as you know and Burmester is price prohibitive over here, so if you are going to junk stuff better to junk the cheapest.
I did not come across the Audiotec-Fischer stuff. At a quick look it appears very impressive in its setup capability.
Good luck with it.
A local auto scrap yard near me has a Burmester sub-woofer for sale. Their asking price is $180 USD. That is pretty cheap so I decided to take a closer look. It has a better quality sub-woofer installed than Bose (but still cheap by aftermarket means) but a similar plastic housing and amp design. I was expecting to see a more significant difference. Folks here that swapped out the Bose sub-woofer driver into the existing housing already have a step up over Burmester.

Ge0
 
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