Budget: Around $6,000, including parts and installation costs.
Install time: 24 hours
2010-present Audi A7, 2011-present Audi A6, all trim lines with Bose or basic audio system
Head unit: Retain factory head unit, which usually features navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and iPod/ USB capabilities. The factory head cannot be replaced without extensive dash reconstruction.
1. Head unit/amp interface: Install $999 Audison Bit One multi-channel EQ/crossover/timealignment component with summing capabilities in rear trunk/hatch area of car with factory amplifier. Bit One combines crossed-over speaker-level outputs of factory amplifier to deliver full-range signal to JL Audio amplifiers. Unit also enables independent adjustment of crossover points and slope, provides 31 bands of EQ, and offers fully adjustable time alignment. Also takes away factory EQ settings.
2. Front speakers: Add $599 Hertz Hi-Energy HSK165 twoway component speakers in the front factory locations in door and dash to replace factory three-way component speakers, leaving factory midrange in door panels but unpowered. Woofer replaces the factory woofer in doors with custom-built baffles. Tweeter is installed in place of factory tweeter in dash. Custom-built ABS pod angles the tweeters for better imaging. Front doors get Hush Mat sound-deadening material as well as Fast rings, which seal door panel around the woofer to eliminate sound loss behind panel. The Hertz speakers’ passive crossovers are not used. (See amplifier-installation information.)
3. Rear speakers: Add $599 Hertz Hi-Energy HSK165 two-way components in rear-door factory locations. No ABS pods needed for tweeters. Hush Mat installed in doors along with Fast rings to seal door panel around the woofer. The Hertz passive crossovers are used.
4. Subwoofer: Add $199 JL Audio 8w3v3-4 8-inch subwoofer in custom enclosure built into the passenger rear-side panel of the A7 hatch. An Audi A6 would upgrade to a JL Audio 10w3 subwoofer at an additional cost of $60.
5. Amplifiers: Add $969 JL Audio XD600/6 six-channel amplifier, rated at 6x75 watts into 4 ohms to power all front and rear full-range speakers. Add $429 JL Audio XD600/1 mono-block amplifier to power the subwoofer at 600 watts into 2 ohms. The six-channel amp powers the front tweeters and front woofers independently via the Audison Bit 10. The amp’s fifth and sixth channels power the rear component speakers. The amplifiers are mounted on a custom-built panel in the factory spare tire location in the trunk/hatch.
Tying the system together: MESA-brand true OFC power wire, level-3 RCA cables, four 6-inch RCA cables, about 60 feet of 16awg speaker wire, and 8 feet of 12awg speaker wire.
Labor and parts: $1,950, including custom-fabricated enclosure, sound-deadening material, Fast rings, speaker baffles, tuning of the processor. Most tuning done with Bit Tune software, and another one to two hours spent tuning by ear and with an RTA.