TUNE YOUR AU­DIO SYS­TEM

HOW TO CON­TROL YOUR MOD­ERN FAC­TORY AU­DIO SYS­TEM

NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

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.

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