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Update on $7,000 GT stereo upgrade

 
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:45 PM
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Update on $7,000 GT stereo upgrade

Finally got the car back from the installer this afternoon.

Pictures tomorrow. But for those following along at home:

1. Ben Hur unit is absolutely fine. I was a little worried about fit and finish, but it looks like it came with the car. The stuff on the dash screen doesn't really work anymore, it says, "Entertainment Unit" or something, so that's a bit weird, if you thumb through the "menu", you can't really do anything except I think look at the gas mileage and set a speed warning (currently at 90 from last owner).
2. Flax Focal speakers are tremendous. I think the tweeters are a bit harsh, but the system is great...
3. ...So great, I didn't really need the sub-woofer. Who knew? The Focal bass response is so incredible that the sub doesn't add much at all. The doors and mirrors shake from the Focal bass response. At one point my left pant leg was being blown by the air.
4. The factory amp is absolutely fine. It has plenty of power, combined with the Focals, I never maxed out the speakers or the amp before it was so loud it was painful to listen
5. I got the Alpine IL-207 it's a great head. No complaints, good HD screen, backup camera works instantly (I had it wired to a "hot" wire so it didn't have to ever wake up)
6. I had them put a permanent mount in for the phone. It's the only way to go in this car, otherwise your phone slides all over the place. With what I call the "Uber driver mount", it faces you and is firmly planted, plus connected via lightning connector. Good move that I was worried about
7. I'm sure the radio doesn't know there are 12 channels, so I kind of crudely "faded" the sound from front to behind the seats, this got rid of the very trebley sound and made it much more bass-oriented. I think some combination of the Ben Hur (it also has "fade") and the Alpine tone/EQ control will be required to fine-tune it.
8. I had them install a USB plug next to an HDMI input (HDMI allows you to stream your phone on the screen if you want. I don't really want, but I bet I use it if I'm stuck in the car waiting sometime.) and they put it where the ashtray went and did a gorgeous job.
9. They replaced the plastic slidely thing under the gear shift, someone on here told me how to source the Audi part, this shop has changed out several of these, I guess they all come in broken.

At this point, other than keyless entry and keyless start (which this shop has done, I didn't ask the price, it takes away one of your keys) there is no difference in technology and look and feel between this 2005 car and my wife's 2017 Cadillac, other than the Bentley is faster and has less plastic stuff in it.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of it and download the splash logos that TeamJones sent me and I'll see if I can get it uploaded. Looks easy.

Was it worth $7,000? Of course not. But in the great scheme of things, I bought my car correctly, it has not a single blemish on it (my wife's Cadillac had dents, dings, looks way worse) so the thing looks like it just came off a showroom floor. With the new infotainment system, it feels like it came off a showroom floor, it is a new car for all intents and purposes.

I recommend doing this project to any on the fence. At least do the Ben Hur and speaker changeout, that will be around $3,500. The speakers don't fit exactly so you'll need to do a small amount of fabrication.



Was it worth $7,000? Of course not. But
 
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the in depth review looking forward to the pics
 
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:42 PM
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Ohhhhhh we have to meet up soon so I can have a listen!!!! Iím off Saturday and the wife and I will be out and about.
 
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by British View Post
Finally got the car back from the installer this afternoon.

Pictures tomorrow. But for those following along at home:

1. Ben Hur unit is absolutely fine. I was a little worried about fit and finish, but it looks like it came with the car. The stuff on the dash screen doesn't really work anymore, it says, "Entertainment Unit" or something, so that's a bit weird, if you thumb through the "menu", you can't really do anything except I think look at the gas mileage and set a speed warning (currently at 90 from last owner).
2. Flax Focal speakers are tremendous. I think the tweeters are a bit harsh, but the system is great...
3. ...So great, I didn't really need the sub-woofer. Who knew? The Focal bass response is so incredible that the sub doesn't add much at all. The doors and mirrors shake from the Focal bass response. At one point my left pant leg was being blown by the air.
4. The factory amp is absolutely fine. It has plenty of power, combined with the Focals, I never maxed out the speakers or the amp before it was so loud it was painful to listen
5. I got the Alpine IL-207 it's a great head. No complaints, good HD screen, backup camera works instantly (I had it wired to a "hot" wire so it didn't have to ever wake up)
6. I had them put a permanent mount in for the phone. It's the only way to go in this car, otherwise your phone slides all over the place. With what I call the "Uber driver mount", it faces you and is firmly planted, plus connected via lightning connector. Good move that I was worried about
7. I'm sure the radio doesn't know there are 12 channels, so I kind of crudely "faded" the sound from front to behind the seats, this got rid of the very trebley sound and made it much more bass-oriented. I think some combination of the Ben Hur (it also has "fade") and the Alpine tone/EQ control will be required to fine-tune it.
8. I had them install a USB plug next to an HDMI input (HDMI allows you to stream your phone on the screen if you want. I don't really want, but I bet I use it if I'm stuck in the car waiting sometime.) and they put it where the ashtray went and did a gorgeous job.
9. They replaced the plastic slidely thing under the gear shift, someone on here told me how to source the Audi part, this shop has changed out several of these, I guess they all come in broken.

At this point, other than keyless entry and keyless start (which this shop has done, I didn't ask the price, it takes away one of your keys) there is no difference in technology and look and feel between this 2005 car and my wife's 2017 Cadillac, other than the Bentley is faster and has less plastic stuff in it.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of it and download the splash logos that TeamJones sent me and I'll see if I can get it uploaded. Looks easy.

Was it worth $7,000? Of course not. But in the great scheme of things, I bought my car correctly, it has not a single blemish on it (my wife's Cadillac had dents, dings, looks way worse) so the thing looks like it just came off a showroom floor. With the new infotainment system, it feels like it came off a showroom floor, it is a new car for all intents and purposes.

I recommend doing this project to any on the fence. At least do the Ben Hur and speaker changeout, that will be around $3,500. The speakers don't fit exactly so you'll need to do a small amount of fabrication.



Was it worth $7,000? Of course not. But
Wow its done fantastic ... well if you can put a video on here and lets listen to the sounds ... nice one mate ...
 
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:55 AM
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Here are some pictures, although honestly, the install (on dash) looks identical to the pics you've already seen from Rico's beautiful car. I forgot to take pictures of the sub and amp in trunk, it doesn't look like anything, a small black box. The sub goes through the ski pass-through, they put a black cloth grille over it (taking out the leather partition).

Sound is absolutely incredible, now that I have biased the speakers away from the front pillar tweeters There is something about the flax speakers that makes drums sound awesome. I am so happy that the stock amp is as powerful as it is...it will blow your ears off with the correct speakers. The old speakers were given back to me, they look very cheap with small magnets.

The following pics are of the radio/Ben Hur install, the phone mount, the ashtray plugs and the ashtray (closed)











 
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:57 AM
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In terms of the info center, here are some pics of what I lost (no big deal, but worth knowing if you do this yourself)




 
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by British View Post
In terms of the info center, here are some pics of what I lost (no big deal, but worth knowing if you do this yourself)



The install looks fantastic ... only thing a don't like is the phone carrier it looks out of place, I leave mine in the glove box don't need to touch it once its hooked up with the USB ... other than that its a nice job, enjoy ...
 
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by British View Post
Here are some pictures, although honestly, the install (on dash) looks identical to the pics you've already seen from Rico's beautiful car. I forgot to take pictures of the sub and amp in trunk, it doesn't look like anything, a small black box. The sub goes through the ski pass-through, they put a black cloth grille over it (taking out the leather partition).

Sound is absolutely incredible, now that I have biased the speakers away from the front pillar tweeters There is something about the flax speakers that makes drums sound awesome. I am so happy that the stock amp is as powerful as it is...it will blow your ears off with the correct speakers. The old speakers were given back to me, they look very cheap with small magnets.

The following pics are of the radio/Ben Hur install, the phone mount, the ashtray plugs and the ashtray (closed)








To be honest the ben hur looks better than expected.

The custom ashtray replacement was a good idea I currently have mine out and store my phone there. My idea was something similar to yours but instead to make a holder for the phone and a charger in the ash tray, although you cannot see the phone easily from there it if you had carplay you wouldnt need to. Just to keep it from flying or sliding around.
 
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr8888 View Post
To be honest the ben hur looks better than expected.

The custom ashtray replacement was a good idea I currently have mine out and store my phone there. My idea was something similar to yours but instead to make a holder for the phone and a charger in the ash tray, although you cannot see the phone easily from there it if you had carplay you wouldnt need to. Just to keep it from flying or sliding around.
I bet it dose sound great, Im glad it got sorted for you, I can't wait till I get my system up and running with the new amps. Yes the stock speakers aren't the full Monty Lol considering its a Bentley. If you ever get the chance make a video and upload it lets have a listen to them sounds over on this side of the pond ...
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr8888 View Post
To be honest the ben hur looks better than expected.

The custom ashtray replacement was a good idea I currently have mine out and store my phone there. My idea was something similar to yours but instead to make a holder for the phone and a charger in the ash tray, although you cannot see the phone easily from there it if you had carplay you wouldnt need to. Just to keep it from flying or sliding around.

Rico doesn't like it, but I have to disagree with him. A nice, solid mount is an absolute joy, this was a great decision. The phone is mounted firmly, it's tilted toward me. At stoplights I can quickly scroll and look at stuff, I can use my music subscription, which doesn't work through Carplay. FaceID works fine, even from that far away.

I think we went too small with both the sub-woofer and sub-amp.

Does anyone know where the factory microphone is mounted? My hands-free apparently sounds terrible, do I want to replace the microphone?
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by British View Post
Rico doesn't like it, but I have to disagree with him. A nice, solid mount is an absolute joy, this was a great decision. The phone is mounted firmly, it's tilted toward me. At stoplights I can quickly scroll and look at stuff, I can use my music subscription, which doesn't work through Carplay. FaceID works fine, even from that far away.

I think we went too small with both the sub-woofer and sub-amp.

Does anyone know where the factory microphone is mounted? My hands-free apparently sounds terrible, do I want to replace the microphone?
Hello British, The mount is not my choice but if it works for you mate thats great, its only my opinion, it reminds me when I had a mount in the Porsche in the 90s. I didn't mean anything by it mate or to dishearten you.
Yes the mic is above the rear view mirror looks like a speaker there are 2, the one on the drivers side is the mic the other is a dummy. Look at the post " My First Mod" its on the 2nd page Ive posted pics and shown the after market mic fitted in the dummy, hope that helps, One more thing you will have to swop them over so the after market mic is on the drivers side, Carefully remove the 2 speaker looking units with a small screwdriver, there are to bolts above remove them and slide the unit forward towards the wind screen, you can then feed the new mic into the hole and the rest is shown on the Post ...
 

Last edited by Rico.Adams; 05-22-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:50 AM
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British, do you think itís possible to give us thatís interested in this thread a break down on what they charges for each install? I can run the RCAís myself but not having the know how on making the door adapters is where Iíll let a shop take over. I also want to go a step further and while they have the door skins off, put some sound deadening in there also. Iím thinking after I hear your car (if itís still an option) letting your ppl do it since I Know they have the know how.
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TeamJones1962 View Post
British, do you think itís possible to give us thatís interested in this thread a break down on what they charges for each install? I can run the RCAís myself but not having the know how on making the door adapters is where Iíll let a shop take over. I also want to go a step further and while they have the door skins off, put some sound deadening in there also. Iím thinking after I hear your car (if itís still an option) letting your ppl do it since I Know they have the know how.

It's not very interesting, it's just expensive. It was broken down into parts, Alpine head was $700, backup camera was $150, subwoofer, amp and enclosure were probably $150 ea. . The labor was super-expensive, I think $2,000 or so. But worth it, they did an absolutely perfect job, nothing scratched everything fit-and-finish perfect, they couldn't have done better. Certainly better than I would have done myself.

I did this earlier, but here is the breakdown without the cost sheet:

1. Focal speakers from Ebay. $1050 (two boxes 12 speakers match up exactly)
2. Ben Hur from UK, $2,100
3. Install with head, backup camera, sub, sub amp and all labor $4,100
4. Something like 16 hours labor, seemed high until I went through all they had to do then it was fine.

Here is the quote (I have a detailed one in the glovebox that was the bill, they don't seem to want you to shop around.

The Alpine was $700, the backup camera $150, sub, enclosure and sub-amp were $120 ea or so.

I would go with a bigger sub and a bigger amp if I did it again.


 
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:55 AM
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Again, I have a detailed bill with line-item charges, but it isn't very interesting. Pretty much what I wrote.
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by British View Post
Again, I have a detailed bill with line-item charges, but it isn't very interesting. Pretty much what I wrote.

Thanks, seeing that I already have most of it done the install of the speakers shouldnít be that much. Thanks again!

Side note: British, how did they wire up the crossovers that came with the speakers if you know🤔
 

Last edited by TeamJones1962; 05-22-2019 at 04:09 PM.

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