Golf G7 Audio Upgrade Pack – By VW Driver Magazine
“COMPARISON OF SPEAKERS
IF YOU HAVEN’T already got the factory-fitted Dynaudio system in your Mk 7 Golf, there are other options. Not to be outdone by the new hi-fi system in his son James’s up! (as featured in the last issue) Simon Harper started looking at the options to upgrade the sound system in his GTI Clubsport S, which is factory-fitted with the Discover Navigation sound system and the speakers that come as standard in the Mk 7 Golf.
Simon readily admits that it might not seem the most logical step, especially on a lightweight car that is primarily intended for track use. After all, Volkswagen had spent all that time losing weight from the car, going as far as removing the rear seats and in some cases even the air-con system is deleted to save weight. Now he was adding weight by fitting an upgraded sound system, but he blames a visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2017 …
Simon explains: ‘At Goodwood, I came across Four Car Audio with a number of demo cars on display, including a Mk 7 Golf
and a SEAT Leon, and my views of in-car audio were changed forever. I’ve sat in plenty of cars with upgraded sound systems and it has been more about ‘loudness’ than anything else. Indeed, I always thought that it was important to have upgraded rear speakers to fill the car with sound. Four Car Audio have a very different view, though; for them, it’s about improving the sound in the front of the car…
‘At Goodwood, Ed Harmer from Four Car Audio explained how a good system should create a sound stage in the front of the car. He played Adele’s ‘Hello’ and asked me where the sound was coming from. It was as if Adele was in the centre of the dash, just where she would be if you were watching her on stage at a concert. He made the valid point that you don’t go to an Adele concert and turn around to hear her singing behind you. It was all beginning to make sense…’
The Mk 7 Golf at Goodwood was fitted with the Audison Prima package offered by Four Car Audio and so that’s what I’ve gone for in my Clubsport. I’m certainly no audiophile, but I defy anyone not to notice how much more rounded the sound is compared to the standard system. It’s not about big bass; although there’s real depth, it’s the range and richness of the sound that really impresses. Good sound is as much about getting the mid-range and higher frequencies right as anything else and that’s often forgotten in the pursuit of a ‘bigger’ sound’.
The Audison system is ‘plug and play’, comprising upgraded front speakers that fit in the standard enclosures, a 10-inch subwoofer in a custom enclosure that fits under the boot floor and a digital sound processor and amplifier that is discreetly mounted under the front passenger seat.
Simon explains: ‘Just by looking and picking up the Audison Prima front door speakers you can see and feel how much higher quality they are. The speaker fabric is very different and is shaped to maximise the dispersion of sound. The magnets on the back of the speakers are much bigger too. The Discover Navigation System and the speakers in the front door pillars and in the rear doors remain unchanged, so it’s a very clever package with nothing on display to the casual observer.
‘I’m fortunate in also having a Golf R fitted with Dynaudio as my daily driver and it’s interesting to compare it with the Audison system in the Clubsport. Dynaudio is not at all bad and significantly better than factory upgrades I have experienced in cars from other manufacturers. However, I was still genuinely surprised by how much better the Audison system is, in comparison with Dynaudio. It really is a step up in terms of car hi-fi and has opened my eyes and ears to what’s possible inside a car’.
‘The overall experience is, no doubt, enhanced by the sound-deadening fitted inside the front doors. This is a standard part of the fitting process by a Four Master installer and Karl Ward at Ultimate Audio in Bromsgrove did a top job on the Clubsport. I was really impressed by his attention to detail and, although my car is nearly new, I was not at all concerned.
‘So, I hope the Volkswagen engineers can find it within them to forgive me for adding extra weight to my Clubsport S. It might have put on a few pounds but I now have a truly incredible sound system that
I can enjoy as much as I do that sublime chassis. After all, for track days I can easily remove the subwoofer enclosure under the boot floor, so really it’s not that bad!”