TUNE YOUR AUDIO SYSTEM
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR MODERN FACTORY AUDIO SYSTEM
LOOKING FOR QUALITY SOUND FOR YOUR LATE MODEL RIDE? WE TALK TO THE PROS AT RAPID RADIO ON ADVANCEMENTS IN CAR AUDIO THAT ALLOW FOR THE PERFECT TUNE
It’s been a long time since we’ve run an audio tech feature because, let’s be honest, there are only so many times you can throw a sub and amp into the boot of your car. However, it seems the audio world has changed significantly since the last time we covered this issue, with latemodel cars requiring much more than a simple head unit change to get the sounds cranking, as most aren’t removable. So, how do you get your late-model car to crank? We spoke to Patrick Artus from Rapid Radio, to find out.
He had a solution for those who have just purchased a latemodel vehice and want to get the most out of the audio set-up. He said that nearly all late-model vehicles have a built-in media player, which is no good for the DIY tuning enthusiast who likes to pull things apart and upgrade as money allows. But you can improve on it, and one answer lies with one of Audison’s most versatile and commonly installed products, the Audison AP8.9 bit amp.
This is one of few options you have if you can’t pull the head unit out of your late-model vehicle, yet want to have things cranking and customized. ‘OEM integration’ is where it’s at right now in the audio scene, and the AP8.9 bit has the ability to connect with virtually any OEM system, even ones with builtin signal processing, thanks to its de-equalization capabilities.
Being able to adjust audio levels via a laptop and crank things up with a powerful amplifier is what the AP8.9 bit is all about. It features eight amplified channels, and you can run numerous speakers off it, eliminating the need for the less than ideal factory amplifier.
In most cases, the factory amplifier and subwoofer (if equipped) can be removed. Once the AP8.9 bit is installed in a convenient location, the factory head unit simply becomes an interface that sends orders down the line to the über-powerful Audison unit.
If you want more bass and power than the AP8.9 bit can deliver, you can run another amplifier and subwoofer from it, to expand the capability of this compact unit even further.
Next, assuming you are like most spaceconscious people nowadays, and don’t want dual 18-inch subwoofers in custom-ported enclosures, what can you do to get that added bass?
Those dual 18s have been pretty much relegated to history, although Rob says they o the odd big SPL set-up from time to time. But these days, slim, high-power 10-inch subwoofers are the business, and sell as soon as they’re put on shelves.
He also showed us the most common setup, one usually installed in conjunction with an Audison AP8.9 bit unit — in a Mazda MPS, for example — the Clarion UB2522XR 10-inch subwoofer, which retails for $249. Magnet technology has come a long way since the early 2000s, so audio manufacturers are able to produce high-power 10-inch woofers that are almost twice as thin as their elder brothers which produce the same amount of bass, for the same coin. Combined with a compact amplifier which can be installed in the spare-wheel well or under a seat, such as the Alpine MRX M55 amplifier, you have a kick-arse set-up that will out-power most bulky 12-inch units.
Other trick additives such as the Alpine RUXknob allow subwoofer-only gain control on the fly, and can be installed in a discreet location.
Next issue we’ll take a look at how far laser jamming and radar technology have come. We assure you, that’s quite a way since you last picked up a Valentine, or a similarly bulky plug-in unit.
When it comes to intelligent compact units, you can’t go past the Audison AP8.9 bit. It’s small enough to fit in the back of this Lamborghini, yet has the power to run eight speakers and has an additional subwoofer-out function.