Mercedes AMG 63 Audio Upgrade.
While the sound of the engine may be music enough for some, others might actually prefer to hear their own choice of music over it if they so wish!
The standard audio system is pretty lacking to say the least; very flat with no bass extension or detail at all. The sound stage is also low down around the driver's knees.
At the heart of the factory system is the Mercedes Comand media and Sat-Nav unit. The vehicle has a factory amplifier which runs the 8” woofers in the doors and the 4” mid-range and tweeters also hidden behind the oval shaped door speaker grill.
In this install we chose an Audison BIT 10 to interface with the factory amp; the BIT 10 will allow us to de-equalise the output from the system and then sum together the subwoofer and high frequencies allowing us to set our own crossover points. It also gives independent 31 band equalisers on each channel to tune the system when complete - all from a laptop!
The now “clean” signal from the Audison BIT 10 is then fed to a JL Audio XD400/4, a very compact and powerful class D amp, which also happened to sound great and be extremely reliable.
The JL amp is used to actively drive a 3-way Rainbow speaker system, actually designed to fit a VW Golf but perfect for this application.
As soon as we began stripping the doors several things became obvious as to why the sound was so bad. Firstly the quality of the drive units, secondly the angle of the tweeter and lastly the fact that the door is being used as a subwoofer enclosure yet there was virtually no sound proofing or vibration absorbing material in the door at all; its like putting a speaker in a baked bean tin!
The first photo shows the standard Mercedes SL speaker arrangement, unimpressive drive units and tweeters pointing at the occupant’s ankles. The second photo shows the up-rated Rainbow 3-way component set; the door has been fully soundproofed and the tweeter angled up to improve the sound stage.
We needed an incredible amount of sound proofing for this install, we applied Dynamat to the inside of the door outer skin, Dynamat to the door inner metal frame, Dynaliner between the Dynamat and the door card and yet more Dynamat to the plastic door card.
The first photo shows the Mercedes SL door card with Dynamat applied to the back, this absorbs vibration and helps stop the plastic door panels playing their own tunes! The second photo shows the Dynamat applied to the door outer skin, we used a double layer behind the bass driver.
When a subwoofer is installed in a door you simply can’t cheat on the sound proofing and installation. Over a day’s work went in to the front doors of this sound system alone.
Once the system was complete the only visible change to the vehicle was the JL Audio remote sub level control and that’s pretty subtle, the one thing that was not subtle was the sound!
Impressive would be an understatement, this car absolutely rocked! The sound quality was in a different league to the factory system, the sound stage was dramatically lifted and the bass was incredible. We spent a couple hours on the Audison BIT 10 fine tuning the system and both the client and I where over the moon with the results.
The fitted cost of the system ended up a little over £2000, money well spent to put the icing on a very impressive cake!