Cars´n Audio Magazine 2 // 2010

Page 1


Magazine nr:2 // May 2010

Alpine Avatar Finnish octavia with movie theme

Multimeda Volvo Lars olssons sq & multimedia bomb

d e t i m i l n U Master d 0 3 3 W M B



BMW 330D Tour by

Henri Ylรถnen & Hellman Audio



Lasses Pioneer S60

Alpine Avatar 2






C a r s ´ n A u d i o M ag a z i n e 2 During the last weeks nine amplifiers has been installed and tested in our car. And the more products you test the more it goes up to you how important it is with a GOOD sounding audio system. I have had the opportunity to listen to some of the best sounding cars in Europe over the years I have been involved in EMMA. Often people tell me that the competition cars are dull and boring. Excuse me?? What?? My reference are that todays SQ competition cars are better than ever, Why?? Simply because the premium products of today are way better than the products from a couple of years ago. And that also to a fraction of the cost. A SQ car is something that you have to experience and it leaves nobody untouched. A bassmashine are something that turns everybodys heads and reaches a wider audience, but the most lasting impressions are

found in the SQ cars, and this is said with my SPL background. In this Mag we finally got hold of the “new” premium machine from Pioneer, the P99RS. I will be honest with you and say that this is the first headunit with time-alignment that finds its way in to my daily driver, and will i every use one without? NO WAY!!! I was one of those who did not se the benefit with a time aligned system in the daily driver. In a competition car, yes we like it!!! In the daily driver it was just not that important, but that part has changed. We have some really skilled installers all around Europe and if timealignment isn’t your cup of tea, use the specialists, you will never go back, I promise you.




Contakt Cars’n Audio Publishing Group AB Hagvägen 44 194 40 Upplands Väsby Sweden

Audio for life

Tel: +46851510535 Mobile: +46706650787 E-Mail: Editors: SWEDEN: Roger Edvinsson E-Mail: roger.edvinsson@carsnaudio. com FINLAND: Mika Lirkki E-Mail:

Competition Partners

It is all about music! För närmaste återförsäljare se vår hemsida

Reference RM6.2 -incredible bass

DLS Svenska AB 5

031-84 00 60 WWW.DLS.SE

Project - Touran The Touran are now ready for the next level. We have manufactured new aluminium platforms for the front doors and dashboard , this will give us the opportunity to fast change speakers in the car. Also a front mounted subwoofer enclosure are in progress at the workshop, this will be used later when we are testing amplifiers and speakers. Damping, cables and batteries are on its way in to the car. A bigger report will follow in the upcoming weeks on




Swedish Finals 2010 20.000


International Open

judge teams

international competition

EMMA Sound Quality - ESPL - EMMA Racing - dBDragRacing - BassRace - Psychlone Registration to:

Enoch Thulins Airport - Vall책kra - Helsingborg



BMW TOURING When Henri sold his heavily tuned Toyota Corolla he decided to build something completely different. He started this project with the goal to create a high quality SQ competition car that also was usable as an every day driver. After hundred of hours the BMW won first place in Master Unlimited class in Finland 2009.

OWNER DATA Henri Ylönen Jyväskylä, Finland B o r n : 1982 H o w m a n y ca r s b u i lt : 3 T e x t : M i k a L i r k k i P h ot o : H e r n r i Y l ö n e n I l k a K o r h o n e n


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Styling and design has always been very important to Henri. So it was obvious that modifications to the bodywork were added to his “to-do” list for this project. Henri used a bodykit from Prior Design and modified it to perfection, “With urethane and fiberglass you can make whatever you want”, Henri says. The quality of the bodykit are fantastic, It fits perfectly and looks very cool. A custom exhaust with dual tailpipes ads a aggressive look to the exterior modifications. One of the positive aspects in choosing a BMW as a project cars is that you will never have any problems finding wheels who matches your car. 20” Lexani LSS-5 chrome/black gives the car an awesome look. Also the engine has got a small upgrade with an ODB-tuning chip which gives a decent 228 hp and 530Nm of torque, The interior has a OEM M-sport kit from the factory. That includes M-sport seats, steering wheel and gear knob.

1010 //




All speakers are from DLS, Nobelium Tweeters and midranges from the UP series are installed in the doors mirror triangles. The install are made from steel, urethane and fiberglass and covered with carbonfiber. Speakers are aimed towards the driver position. 6� midbass from the RA-series are installed in the front doors, also them with a small angle to keep the soundstage stable and high. The DLS logo’s in the front doors are self made by Hena and water cut from a single piece of metal. They have two functions, protection and advertisement for Henas sponsor. The MW10D Subwoofers are installed in a 68 litre vented enclosure in the trunk. The en-

closure are custom-built in fiberglass and the spare wheel is thrown out of the car. Mika Volanen did the great looking upholstery work on the trunk panels and doors.


To fit the 2-din Alpine headunit Hena had to do some modifications to the centre console. The control panel for the air-condition was too big and the headunit to deep to fit in the OEM position. A 3mm stainless steel plate was made to fix the headunit into the dashboard. The OEM frame are modified and covered with carbonfiber for perfect fitting. A Polished metal frame make installation look finished and follows the theme from the trunk. OEM steering wheel remote are connected to head 12 10

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13 11




unit with a alpine canbus adapter.


The trunk are built entirely of plywood and fiberglass, a cover are made over the amplifiers where Henri has bent plexiglas to avoid visible seams. This provides a clean and unique impression. “It wasn’t easiest part of this project, but I am happy that I did it” Henri says. Metal frames are polished and together with white led stripes it gives a bright and nice lightning to amplifiers.


Henri choose fuseblocks from Audison because there small and stable design, they are made for AFS-Fuses. The distribution block are installed on top of the OEM bat-


tery location which makes the power wiring as short as possible. White LED lightning, polished metal rings and Plexiglas gives this install a complete theme. All wires are covered with nylon sleeving and fixed accordingly to the EMMA rulebook.



The cars is damped from top to bottom with products from Standardplast. Vibroplast, Splen and Bitoplast are used.


Henri has made a very clean looking installations and a stunning exterior on his BMW 330d Touring . Usually this kind of art piece stays inside garage in Finland for the winter but this car is used all around the year. Â

Rengas Nuora ODB-Tuning Mika Volanen




SOUND CHECK Anna Ternheim Shoreline

First impression is high and stable imaging with decent amount of details. Ambience is quite good a piano has nice power, also in lower notes.

Norah Jones Sunrise

K at i e M e l ua N i n e M i l l i o n B i c yc l e s

Powerful bass and it is also quite accurate. It is obvious that system more power whole bass section than usual competition car. Midrange and tweeter is nice with good accuracy.


Johnny Cash

man comes around

His voice had natural warmness on A little “boominess” in midbass area. and its works fine. Guitar needs more Henri thinks that is a system bigair around it to get feeling like live situgest problem and some changes are ation. Tweeter at highest frequencies planned. Norah sounded very nice, needs improving. natural, and maybe a bit too dry. Overall system is exceptionally well balanced. Sound is very neutral. Some little problems exist, but in big picture the system had nice and enjoyable sound.



Dls x-program

X-Program are a compleat new series of speakers and analogue amplifiers from DLS. Its New additions are the three amplifiers and two subwoofers. The amplifiers are available with 1, 2 or 3 channels and have both Hi and lo pass filter design, its also features a subsonic. The subwoofers are available in 10 & 12” and have a dicast frame and a paper cone, They are a perfect tool for a journey deep into bass like never heard or felt before!

Read More


x av -70 b t

Sony has released a compleat new 2din multimedia unit. 7” touchscreen and support for all known sound formats. A lot of work has been done to eliminate noise and the signal & powercircuits are separated in the machine.

Read More


JL A u d i o C5-653

H e r t z HE into

H e r t z P ow e r !

Hertz HE are a compleat new series of amplifiers from HERTZ designed for OEM headunits. The focus has been set to generate the traditional HERTZ sound to a and build quality fare better than other products in the same price range. We are waiting for our sample so we can put in our test bench.

Read More

Precision-built in Germany, the C5-653 system incorporates 6.5-inch (165 mm) woofers with JL Audio’s exclusive DMAoptimized motors and patented Elevated Frame Cooling technologies. The 4-inch (100 mm) mid-range drivers are compact, and feature a unique basket design with detachable ears so that they can be installed in many OEM locations

Read More

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Mosconi A Class Amplifier

Mosconi are now introducing a brand new Class A amplifier. The amplifier are a pure High-End product with 2 x 100 RMS. 100% made in Italy!

Mosconi A-Class use a unique dynamic Class A circuit that combines hi-efficiently and pure sound quality. The production will be in a limited edition and the first amplifiers will be available in JUNE

Read More


av i c - f 20 b t

The system that has every navigation and multimedia feature you’d ever wish for has become even better. The AVIC-F20BT features a 3D interface that makes it even easier to operate. Moreover, you can customise it to your preferences. Turing navigation, communication and entertainment into a truly personal experience.

Read More

L at e s t I n d u s t ry

n e w s a r e a lway s ava i l a b l e o n :

www . ca r s n au d i o . c o m

19 17


yo u c o m p e t e a n d w i n w i th o u t T w e e t e r s ? Lars Olsson has been seen on interappointment when we came back to national competitions for a couple of Sweden so we could put the car to a years now. With his multimedia Volvo second test. And we can nothing but he has combined a 5.1 and a 2 chanagree with the judges, Lars car has nel system. never ever been even close to this good. The sound are wide open, colS o ca n yo u w i n ? ourful and all those small details you just love to have in your sound. The Y e s yo u ca n ! ODR system makes us enjoy the music and we are finding ourselves to Lars did this at the international sit around and tapping our feet to the EMMA kick-off at AMICOM, in a hard music. No mater what type of music battle with some of the best cars in playing the car just sounds fantastic. Europe. When Lars was preparing this car for judging they found out that a If we are searching for problems there amplifier was broken and there was are a slight little problem the absolute no sound from the tweeters!!! What to highest and lowers notes. But considdo??? Withdraw?? NO WAY, just call ering the subwoofer are installed in in your Team Pioneer friends and let a to small enclosure under the dash them go bananas with the settings. and the smallest speakers in the car are SIX inch we can se past those Cars’n Audio listened to the car at the small problems. show but we just had to book a new








The total impression of the car are very positive and we have to thank Lars that he lent us the car for a couple of hours. The next question now are: What will this car sound like with the tweeters back in action? Can anybody stop Lars during 2010? Be prepared for a surprise when you meet Lars the next time!!!


Skoda Octavia RS Owners

Taneli has for a long time been involved in building show cars, and when he helped Tommi Lunttila to build his Taneli Ritanen & Annu Humalajoki Supra and Mercedes he decided that Jyväskylä one day he will make his own awesome Born: in the 80´s showcar. Last winter that dream came true when he started his AVATAR How many cars built: 2 project. And the long days and nights were spent well...




– Avatar


“W h e n I

wa s lo o k i n g o u t f o r a p r o j e ct ca r th e r e w e r e f e w c r i t e r i a s

th at wa s i m p o r ta n t :

200 BHP,

four doors and

A Skoda Octavia RS 2 from 2006 was chosen to be the project car. The idea was to build a very loud but and at the same good sounding car. Most of the demo cars have a lot of bass and noisy tweeters but you can´t hear any midrange when they use demo settings. “It wasn’t my meaning that the car should

t u r b o ch a r g e d ”

be a sound quality car but good sound came as a side product” Taneli says. The project started in November 2009 and first show was The American Car Show in Helsinki. When you look at the quality of the bodywork and installations you can’t imagine the car is build in only 5 months. 26



T e x t : M i k a L i r k k i P h ot o : M a r ko M e r i k a n t o T a n e l i R i ta n e n Exterior At first sight its hard to find any of the original shapes of the Skoda because there are so many modifications. The widebodykit are completely homemade and designed. Everybody how has tried installing a WB kit knows how hard it is on a four door car because the back doors must be heavily modified. “Getting right gaps on the backdoors was one of the most difficult parts of 27

the project “. The bodykit are made from fiberglass and laminated directly on the car and the car is stretched 5cm on each side. The gas cap is changed to a Sparco model in aluminium and the car are shaved from door handles, antennas and OEM plastic that destroys the new design . Taneli also changes so the trunk now opens with a solenoid.




Major upgrade has been done to the bonnet. Taneli got the idea from a Audi and wanted it to be unique. The frontline of the bonnet are stretched and a steel frame are welded in place and the shapes are then sculptured with urethane and covered with fiberglass for the finishing touch. Also the bonnet are build with perfect precision and the gaps around are just perfect. The end results have similarities with the bonnet of the famous Bugatti Veyron. In the rear the car are rebuild with new custom taillights in steel with lights from Hellas Afterburner series. It changed the look so much that you can never guess what type of car this is when you look from behind. Front lights are changed to Audi replicas, and the engine sound flows through a custom made exhaust system. Of course the OEM suspension are modified and changed to an T/A Technic suspension kit with adjustable ride height. The car rides on a set of full chrome Baccarat Miracle 20” with 225/30 Vredestein tires, maybe this sounds big for an Octavia, but after the modifications they are just a perfect match.


c o lo r o f a n


Good looking show car needs a nice paintjob. After many nights with sanding the car was ready for paint. Taneli choose a Skoda colour called RS Race Blue, this colour was quite similar to the cars original colour, so it wasn’t necessary to paint every small cavity in the engine bay. “Because car is much 29

wider than factory version a one tone paint would look fat and boring”. Taneli early decided that he should use some kind of theme on the paint, but when the project started he had no idea what it should be. A well deserved break from the garage and Taneli decided to spend some time with his girlfriend and visit the cinema. The new Avatar movie was running and this was the birth of the AVATAR theme. The Movie was just released and Taneli was sure that his car will be the first car with paint from this movie. The paintjob was given to Fox paint that did an awesome job creating pictures from the movie on the side of the car and bonnet.

Interior After modifying the exterior Taneli decided to do the same with the interior. All products are from Alpine Finland, speakers are from the Type-X line and amplifiers are from the small and good sounding digital PDX line. Dual tweeters are installed in the mirror triangles and the front doors are equipped with three 6,5” speakers in each door. One pair produces midrange, and these are angled for better soundstage, the other two pairs are purely for the extra midbass kick. One extra set of tweeters and midrange are installed in the rear doors. Four 12” Alpine SWX subwoofers are installed in the trunk and produces a ton of SPL. The ported enclosures are designed by Mikko Virta, a well known Finnish SPL professor with multiple world records in SPL competitions.

A total of seven screens are installed in car. In the OEM location a Alpine IWA502R headunit are installed. Two screens for backseat passengers are installed in the front seat headrests. The plan was to install two monitors in the trunk but there was so much empty space that Taneli decided to double that amount. All eight amplifiers are installed in the trunk together with PXA-H701 processor. The extra batteries are installed under the subwoofer enclosure. The interior design is clean and simple. Most of the interior parts have white leather upholstery done by Mika Volanen, or they are painted with the same colour as the exterior of the car. This contrast between the blue and white looks absolutely fantastic. Alpine logos are stitched into front seats just to 30



personalize the car a little bit more.

Upgrades Taneli are still planning on upgrades of the car. Karala´s chip-tuning is next step to increase the engine power. Airride suspension is also in the visionaries mind. Small tuning to the sound system to increase the sound quality are planned and later we will see what this car can do in EMMA:s Experienced Unlimited class at competitions.

Rock show Taneli get second price in the styling car category. A his first EMMA competition he got first places in both ESPL (143dB) and Multimedia category


sy s t e m

Head unit: Alpine IWA-502R Processor: Alpine PXA-H701 Navigation: Alpine NVE-M300P Screens: 6x7” Alpine TME-M780 Amplifiers: 4 x Alpine PDX 1.1000 4 x Alpine PDX 4.150 Speakers: 8 x SPX-17REF 6, 5” S h ow s a n d c o m p e t i t i o n s Midranges: 6 x TypeX Tweeters 4 x SPR-13C coaxial So far the car has attended two car shows 4 x SWX Subwoofers and one Emma competition. At The American Car Show, the biggest show Batteries from Optima and wires and in Finland with over 50.000 spectators, installation equipment from DLS the Skoda was selected top ten in the tuning car category. At the Hot Rock & 31





Sound Check I listen to the car with both sound quality settings and with demo settings. In SQ settings only front speakers and subwoofers produce sound. I remember what owner said about project goals when I start listening and at first sight I must say that this setup also produce good SQ. This car isn’t only heavily modified, its LOUD both inside and outside and with good overall spectral balance.

Chris Jones N o S a n ct ua ry H e r e Male voice clear and has good body. Sub-bass has enormous amount of power. Sound stage is in normal place and distance.

Club For Five B r oth e r s I n A r m s I don´t remember when was last time than I listen dual tweeter setup. I was little suspicious for sound stage and stereo imaging. Sound has slightly UN accuracy, but not much. Positioning and depth was ok. Sound has good ambience. Left door had big resonance with some frequency.

Anna Ternheim Shoreline Female voice is natural. At overall sound is easy to listen and has many details.

Rammstein H e i r at e M i ch More volume and you really feel the punch. Even your hair starts moving, even Alpine levels somewhere halfway of the scale.

E d wa r d M aya f e at V i k a Jiguilina S t e r e o L ov e (D e m o s e tt i n g s ) Wow! Much of power in whole area, not only Sub-bass. Tweeters aren’t annoying. Sound level is so high that isn’t wise to continue listening at this level any longer. It was also evening and Taneli’s neighbours didn’t look happy at all when they understood what produced the concert in their backyard.



Alpine Finland Audiovision S t r at ova r i u s Foxpaint F a l l i n g S ta r Tulosperintä JKL At first notes I had impression of quite Autopuhdistus accurate bass section. Accuracy is surprising good when we remember Antero Jalkanen how many speakers are in this car. Tero Ritanen 33

Teemu Lahtinen Matti Ruuska Tommi Lunttila Tapio Jormanainen Matti Hoppula

EMMA Finland ry. hoitaa Suomessa autoäänentoiston kilpailutoimintaa niin äänenlaatu kuin painepuolellakin ESPL kisojen muodossa. Luokkia riittää aloittelijoista ekspertteihin saakka. Hienommat asennukset ja parhaimmin soivat autot löytyvät täältä. Maamme parhaat saavat edustusoikeuden Euroopan mestaruuskisoihin, joihin osallistuu kilpailijoita yli 40 maasta. Tutustu sääntöihin, seuraa kilpailukalenteria ja ilmoittaudu mukaan kilpailemaan osoitteessa





K i l pa i l u k a l e n t e r i 2010 Kauhajoki Car Show (8.5.2010) EastAudio (22.5.2010) Autostudio (29.5.2010) / Kemora (12.6.2010) / Ahvenisto (19.6.2010) Vaasan YkkĂśsradio (10.7.2010) AudioVision (17.7.2010) / Motopark (24.7.2010) Rotvalli Ruisinki (1.8.2010) / Ahvenisto (7.8.2010) Autocenter (28.8.2010)

K au pp i a s j ä s e n e t


K au h a j o e n

o s a k i l pa i l u


Kauhajoella tämän vuoden kilpailukausi käynnistettiin koleassa kevät säässä. Paikalle oli saapunut 14 innokasta kilpailijaa keräämään arvokkaita sijoituspisteitä finaaliin pääsyä varten. Kuten aiemmat kaudet ovat osoittaneet nämä varhain keväällä hankitut pisteet voivat olla kultaakin kalliimpia kun kauden sijoituspisteitä

lasketaan yhteen. Päivän kovimmat kuuntelupisteet 257 nappasi Jami Skou M3 BMW:llään. ESPL:ssä Avatar teemaisella Skodallaan Ritasen Taneli täräytti päivän kovimmat 143,3 db lukemat. Mukavaa on havaita, että experienced luokissa tullaan tänäkin vuonna näkemään kovaa kamppailua ykköspytyistä läpi kauden.




T u lo k s e t Kilpailija




Toyota Corolla




VW Passat Fiat Coupe VW Passat VW Golf

206 196 192 183

94 97 97 95

300 203 289 278

Exp Unlimited 1 Mikko Laine Volvo S40 2 .Raimo Jaskari VW Passat 3 Kimmo Pihlajamäki VW Passat

200 217 184

97 77 87

297 294 271

Advanced 5ch 1 Jussi Paavola 2 Pasi Lampinen

Skoda Octavia Seat Toledo

205 205

128 123

333 328

Advanced 7ch 1 Jami Skou 2 Kimmo Ala-Keturi

BMW M3 Audi A4

257 248

132 130

389 378

Advanced Unl 1 Jani Uuttu

VW Golf




MultiMedia 1 Taneli Ritanen

Scoda Octavia




ESPL Exp 2W 1 Jami Karhu

Kilpailija Toyota Corolla

dB Kiini 131,8

Yht 320.6

Exp + Unlimited 1 Taneli Ritanen

Scoda Octavia



Exp 2000€ 1 Jami Karhu 1 2 3 4


EXP 5ch Asmo Tillgren Jari Hirvonen Teri Uuttu Samuli Pynnönen

Asen dB Auki 60 128,8 95


E a s tau d i o n

o s a k i l pa i l u


Aurinkoisena lauantaina Joensuuhun Eastaudion järjestämään osakilpailuun oli saapunut 16 kilpailijaa ympäri suomen. Paikalla oli myös muutamia esittelyautoja sekä muutakin mielenkiintoista kalustoa. Muutamat uudet projektit ja päivitykset näkivät täälläkin ensimmäistä kertaa päivänvalon kisa-

kentillä, Team EastAudion VW Beetle varmasti yhtenä odotetuimpana uutuutena. Päivän korkeimmista kuuntelupisteistä vastasi Jussi Paavola Experienced 5-luokan Skodallaan. ESPL puolella Tom Knös tuuttasi 136,90 db ovet auki.




T u lo k s e t Exp 2000€ 1 Eetu Lätti

Kilpailija VW Bora

Ääni 177

Asennus 82

Yht 259

Fiat Coupe Citroen MX Toyota Corolla VW Golf

183 145 136 126

88 97 92 84

271 242 228 210

Exp Unlimited 1 Raimo Jaskari 2 Kai Raatikainen 3 Sami Kylmäluoma

VW Passat Scoda Octavia Mazda 626

190 196 118

97 73 91

287 269 209

Advanced 5ch 1 Jussi Paavola

Skoda Octavia




Advanced 7ch 1 Team Eastaudio 2 Minna Kumpumäki

New Beetle Citroen MX

237 194

133 107

370 301

Advanced Unl 1 Eki Havukainen

BMW 3-serie




Adv Pure Sound 1 Team Eastaudio 2 Lasse Eronen 3 Rain Pärnamaa

Mercedes Volvo S60 New Beetle

201 196 183

130 126 122

331 322 305

MultiMedia Exp 1 Tomi Vainikainen

Honda Accord




MultiMedia Adv 1 Tom Knös





ESPL Exp 2W 1 Kyösti Rakkola

Kilpailija Citroen XM

Asen dB Auki 63 133.8

dB Kiini 130.6

Yht 327.4

Exp + Unlimited 1 Tom Knös





1 2 3 4


EXP 5ch Jari Hirvonen Kyösti Rakkola Harri Laukkanen Ilpo Konttinen


Eurofinals - Bern October 5-6 was the date of the European finals of dBDragRacing 2002, the place was Bern i Switzerland. We cruised down together with Team Sweden and were hopeful that this weekend should be a date in the history of dB Drag. Together with us we had Rikard Olofsson who could be the first to win four European Championships, but the competition this year in Extreme 1-2 was tougher than ever. This year he had to face new and loud champions from all over Europe. Together with Rikard there was four other Nordic competitors. Vesa Ahonen in Street 1-2, Team J&J in Super Street 1-2, Ake Georgsson in Super Street 3-4 and TeamLoud in Extreme 3-4. When the weekend was over all of these cars were champions. Team J&J with a new World Record of 170,4dB in SS12 and TeamLoud with a new 5 minute deathmach World record of 169.3dB, a full 3dB louder than anybody else in the world. Deathmach is without a doubt the most cruel thing you can do to your subwoofers and car.

We also saw the first step of a brand new competition Team in Europe. Team Rockford Fosgate lead by the dB Drag Racing legend Clas Nord. The goal was not to win every class but to be there to learn and later take the next step and









Text: Robert Norin Foto: Roger Edvinsson




to have the be the loudest cars on the planet. Clas promised us that 2003 will be the year of the Rockford cars. Team BS Bus was also there this weekend, The car was on its way to the boat terminal to be shipped to America during the next couple of weeks. It was very important that the car was 100% cleared within the rules so they don’t have any problems when they arrive at the World Finals in Nashville. The car uses 16pc Treo 12” subwoofers and 32 amplifiers from DEI Electronics.

They did a fantastic run at Euro finals and scored the loudest registered score ever in the world. 175,7dB is just crazy loud and the competitors at World Finals will have to watch out for this European monster. The respected speaker designer from Digital Designs - Jassa Langford expressed his feelings about the European cars. “If they don’t understand this score in the US they will get BIG problems at the World Finals, and maybe they need to come over to this side of the Atlantic just to witness it themselves”. There were judges from 5 countries at this competition, all to secure a fair judgment were in place and also to together work in the same direction for dB Drag Racing i Europe. A total of 54 competitors from all over Europe competed and there was even a competitor from Trinidad&Tobago, and we complained that we had a long drive. So how did it go for Rikard in EX 1-2? Of course he won his fourth title... Big congrats to all the winners from us!


Cars´n Audio TestLAB

The Seven Amps The development of headunits are moving forward and more and more units have build in time-alignment. To use these features you need more amplifier channels and common solution are to by a four channel amplifiers to your front speakers. At the same time on a beginner level the four channel amplifiers are a cornerstone in a customers audio system, delivering power to a set of front speakers and a subwoofer. We hooked up seven amplifiers in our testrigg and compare the results. The focus of the test are pure Sound Quality, but we will also express our thoughts of the amplifiers


Focal Solid 4 DLS Ulitmate A4 Mosconi AS 100.4 Zachry R490 B2 Quattro Vibe SpaceBox 4 Digital Designs S4a

We used two different sets of equipment during this test. The first are a “in-car” test with front coax speakers together with a subwoofer, The second test are in our Testlab, bi-amping a set of home audio speakers. The source unit in both systems are the new Pioneer P99RS together with Hi-end cables from a well known Swedish manufacturer. During all tests the crossovers in the amplifiers has been disabled and the filters in the P99RS has been used.

4x75w 4x85w 4x100w 4x90w 4x100w 4x110w 2x100+2x200w

Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage





D i g i ta l D e s i g n s S4 a

Digital Designs are an well-known manufacturer of SPL subwoofers and amplifiers, and many people are forgetting about the basic design behind the brand are a true SQ product. The amplifier in our test are from the S-series. This amplifier are the strongest in our test with 2x100+2x200W. Our test amp are the first one in Sweden with the new improved cooling profile that will help this power-plant keeping cool. DD S4a have the most flexible crossovers in the test, fully adjustable between 20-5Khz with 24dB/oct, it features Hi-pass on all four channels and also a similar lo-pass crossover on the stronger 200w channels. All crossovers can be switched of separately, The speaker and power terminals are hi-quality and this version have the new upgraded RCA


connectors. In the manual there states that you can use the RCA connectors as hi-level input. We never had the possibility to test this but it sounds like a good solution insted of a separate line-in.

The Sound

This Amplifier shows its muscles as soon as we start playing. There are a lot of power and it takes a firm grip of the music. You can play dangerously loud with this amp without it loosing quality. We miss some details in the hi frequency rage that we enjoyed so much on some of the other amps, and the DD sound are a little to much party and loudness to suit our system. Conclusions A robust and nice amplifier suited for demo and music on hi volume.

Cars´n Audio TestLAB

F o ca l S o l i d 4

The smallest amplifier in the test. Very solid build with a cast alloy heat sink and as stable as an armoured truck. The crossovers are covered by a plastic plate on top of the amplifier. Well protected when its set but it can be difficult to adjust ones the amplifier is installed in the trunk. All terminals are located on one side of the chassis and angled 45-degree and covered by a endcap which uses the same bolts as the install of the amplifiers. This end-cap pressed down our RCA plugs and a little more clearance would have been nice. Specizl made install bolts are included in the box.

Included were also a bass remote to the rear channels, perfect for when used with a subwoofer.

The Sound

Focal Solid 4 gives a calm, relaxed and accurate sound and suits our system perfect. We lack a bit of the drive and power some of the amplifiers in this test delivers.


A small and well built amplifier with balanced an accurate sound. Cars´N Audio Recommendation





V i b e S pac e b ox 4

Vibe Spacebox are a elegant amplifier with hi-gloss black chassis. Vibe includes a polishing cloth in the box and we understand why after we have installed it, its full of thumbprints, but its never any problems wiping them away. The terminals are of standard quality but it’s a pity Vibe has chosen Phillips instead of a Allen key on the screws, you have to be careful not destroying them when you install the amp. All terminals are covered by to end-caps which gives a good looking install. Unfortunately one of the end-caps must be modified if you don’t use angled RCA pluggs. The crossovers are adjustable as Hi or Lo-pass and can be adjusted without tools. A BassBoost control and a bassremote for the rear channels are also included.


The Sound

Vibe Spacebox delivers a unfocused ”loudness” sound where we had obvious difficulties separating the details in the music. We were missing the depth of the sound and when we listened to a music track with a grand piano it sounded more like playing on a electric piano. There were no “body” in the music.


Vibe Spacebox did not deliver at all in our testrigg. We tried different types of setting but we could never get the music to step up the next level. This amplifier where also by far the hottest amplifier in the test.

Cars´n Audio TestLAB B2 A u d i o Q uatt r o

B2 Audio from Denmark sent us there shiny white quattro to play with. The amp gives us a �Retro� feeling and radiates a sober impression. This is a BIG amplifier and the bottom plate should have been covered with some kind of damping material, because it vibrates and makes noises when installed in the car. B2 told us that this problem has been updated on the amplifiers in stock. You can se the B2 family legacy when you are installing this amp. The terminals are HUGE and easily swallows our 50mm2 cable. The power and speaker terminals are located on one side and RCA and crossovers on the other side. The crossovers can be adjusted

as lo-pass or hi-pass. There are also a Bassboost and a subsonic on all four channels. We did not like the plastic potentiometers for crossovers and gain adjustments, there fragile and not representative for a amplifier in this price range. In the box we also found a remote control. Ready to install in the front of the car.

The Sound

The sound gives the impression that its a bit fragmented in the sub and that its not fully integrated with the music. But there are good listening pleasure and we found ourself tapping our feet rather than listening to the details of the music.

S l u t s at s

B2 has some small problems to sort out, but the listening pleasure are on top.





Z ach ry R490

R-series are a completely new amplifier from Zachry. This is by far the cheapest amplifier in the test. Its delivered in a wooden box and the amplifier gives us a solid impression with its blue illuminated logo in top. The terminals reflects the low price, but works OK as long as you are careful during the install. Crossovers are selectable between lo-pass and hi-pass and adjustable between 50-750Hz.

The Sound

Zachry R490 are very similar to the Vibe Spacebox amplifier. The sound never really releases from the speakers and the soundstage are suffering from this. When we tried different models of RCA cables there was no audible different between our Hi-end cables and a â‚Ź10 cable.



With the price in fresh memory this amplifier are good value for the money. An good example of a budget amplifier more suitable for a pair of coax speakers and a Subwoofer than a active set of front speakers.

Cars´n Audio TestLAB DLS U lt i m at e A4

When the box to the A4 was opened we understood that we have raised the quality one level. This is a heavy and solid amplifier that radiates quality. The terminals are absolute top standard, but why have DLS chosen to use three different sizes of the Allen-keys? Dual power terminals gives you the opportunity to connect a capacitor directly on the amplifier, a very smart solution. All four channels have adjustable Hi and Lo-pass crossover, it also features a multiplier function to maximize the flexibility. The manual are the by far the best one in the test. It shows that DLS has been involved in the business for a long time and other companies can

use this one as education material.

The Sound

Now the pieces fall in place. A wide soundstage with great ambiance and control, its just relaxed listening. DLS A4 is one of the lowest rated amplifiers in the test, but its rock solid down to 1ohm and delivers power to your music. The details in the music are spot on and whatever we played its just delivered a great music experience. The only flaw we can find is that its a little thin in the lowest parts of the sub base.


A very competent amplifier that will take your music experienced far no mater if you are a skilled car audio competitor os just enjoys great sound in your car.






Cars´n Audio TestLAB MOSCONI AS100.4

This is our first encounter with this Italian beauty. Its one of the smallest amplifiers in the test but it gives you a serious impression. All connections are gathered on one side of the amplifier and the terminals are recessed in the chassis. This recess makes it difficult to install our RCA plugs, they have a locking feature and when they are so deep inside the chassis they are impossible to lock, its maybe looks good but check so your plugs really fit in the chassis. Mosconi AS100.4 offers both HP & LP crossover on all channel. All adjustments are hidden under two plastic covers that can be taken off without tools. The build quality of the crossover adjustments and the power and speaker terminals are very good, but why did Mosconi beside to use a simple flat pin connection for the remote? Under one of the covers the mini ANL fuse are installed, the best solutio of all of the tested amplifiers. Mosconi is the only amplifier in the test with a fan installed, but we newer ones heard it during the test.

The Sound

Wow! What a amplifier... A correct, razor-sharp sound that keeps cool and relaxed. Mosconi keep the music together in an exemplary manner and deliver a sound with lots of power and soul. When the volume increase and the music are complex, the AS100.4 lose out on some details in the hi frequencies but it is compensated by the fantastic sound in general.


The most complete amplifier in the test. All details are there and it delivers a sound that touch your soul. We cant wait to put our teeth in its big brother AS 200.4






So did the amplifiers deliver what we expected? We divide this test in to three divisions. First we have the Zachry and Vibe. In a beginner level system these amplifiers will work well. There are some flaws but they will be a good upgrade if your not running an amplifier today. The price of the Zachry amplifier makes it good value for the money. The next division includes Focal, Digital Designs and B2-Audio. DD and B2 are the party amplifiers in this test and the sound from them are very similar. The DD has more power and better build quality but the B2 are a little more fun to listen to in the long run. On the other side of this group we find Focal with a smooth , relaxed sound and more correct than DD and B2, but lacks a little bit of power to challenge the top contenders.


The Winners

Mosconi and DLS are clearly in top of this test. The similarities between this two amps are big. DLS are slightly better in the hi frequency range with a more details and better soundstage, and Mosconi have the advantage in the mid and low frequencies. But the differences are small and changed a little between our two test systems. To take this test to the next level we decided to test these two amplifiers against a well known referenced amplifier, The McIntosh MCC404. Both the Mosconi and the DLS amplifiers are fully comparable with the McIntosh and in the end the Mosconi AS100.4 is the amplifier of the three that we would prefer in our car. Text: Roger Edvinsson @ Cars´n Audio

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