audi a4 focal

Audi Awesomeness

We love building a hidden sound system. The challenge of getting great sound whilst fitting under factory covers is very rewarding, but as you might have guessed this is no such system. Felice is a long-time sound quality competitor and car stereo enthusiast both here and in Italy. He has spent years collecting Focal parts for his ultimate sound quality sound system, and chose us to execute his vision and make that dream system a reality.

One doesn’t collect their favourite equipment to hide it all away, so one of the main objectives of this build was to show off as much of the top-quality gear as possible! We’re going to walk you through the completed build from front to back, to show you what’s gone into this ultimate build.

Best Laid Plans

Getting the car set up right for such a large system was paramount, so we started with 0 gauge power wire from the engine bay to charge two XSpower 100AH deep cycle batteries mounted to a bespoke carrier in the spare wheel well. Focal Elite speaker wire in 12 and 16 gauge connect all speakers, with audio signals handled by Stinger 6000 series RCA leads. The entire car was also fitted out with Focal BAM sound deadening to get the most out of the system, whether parked or driving.

Source and Control

Pioneer’s AVH-8850BT touchscreen source unit starts the signal chain, and a bespoke control panel was CNC-machined in-house to monitor and control the system, sitting next to Audison’s DRC controller.

Focal Point

Focal celebrated their 30th anniversary with a special set of Polyglass component speakers, the 165 v30. This three-way set is featured in the front of the A4, with midranges and tweeters housed in custom A pillars, trimmed in factory fabric. While working on the pillars, the sagging roof liner was also re-trimmed.

Quattro Midbass

Like Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, we’re using four of Focals’s 165 v30 Polyglass midbass drivers to handle midbass duties up front. A second set of door trims were customised with new baffles in the map pocket area to house the dual midbasses as well as a focal logo which we CNC machined in-house. We constructed these baffles to show off the brilliant Focal midbass drivers, but also fit in with the clean aesthetic of Audi’s door trim.

The rear doors weren’t neglected either, being fitted with a set of 165 AC coaxial speakers in a more usual OEM-replacement mount which we made from MDF and finished in a moisture-proof coating.

The Boot

As you can imagine, the boot is the epicentre of such a large build. Taking pride of place are two Focal 40KX 16″ subwoofers, presented in a unique down-firing sealed enclosure. The cabin-side of this enclosure is vented through the ski port which we added by removing the leather upholstery, creating an opening in the seat frame, and modifying the trim to fit with an opening when the armrest is down. It’s highlighted with an edge-lit clear frame as well as the Focal logo. For maximum output, the rear seat can be folded, with an opening along the bottom edge of the rear seat panel to let the subwoofers play freely into the cabin.

Facing the rear, the inside of the subwoofer enclosure is fully finished in two-pack gloss paint, glass mirrors on three sides, a laminated glass window and colour-changing LED lighting to highlight the beautiful 40KX subwoofers and give the installation a huge sense of space.

Sitting rearward of the subwoofers are two FPX 1000.1 mono amplifiers for 2,000 watts to run the subwoofers, and three FPX 4.800 amplifiers providing the cabin speakers with a total of 1,850 watts in their connected configuration, making the system as a whole capable of nearly 4,000 watts of power output.

Flanking the impressive amplifier rack is a pair of Stinger distribution blocks to power and protect the equipment, and an Audison Bit One signal processor.

The equipment is framed and presented by a hand-built boot installation, comprising frame pieces finished in colour-matched gloss two-pack paint, dividers trimmed to match the car’s interior, and chamfered edge-lit acrylic for a stunning end result full of dimension and contrast, while simultaneously tying each section together visually.

The End Result

The sound of this system is much like it looks – huge! With the amount of power and cone area on tap it shouldn’t be surprising to find that the system is capable of massive dynamics, with the 40KX subwoofers being sharp and agile, and the large front stage presenting a big soundstage with fantastic presence and depth. Being a sound quality car, it’s also capable of being tamed into a detailed, subtle and revealing system at the click of a button on Audison’s DRC controller, activating a more linear, lightweight sound.

The Details

While the system creates an instant visual impression overall, there are countless details which make up such an effective installation. We look forward to taking you through these details in future!

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