Car Stereo Upgrade: Porsche 911 GTS Edition
Hi, I’m World Wide Stereo Founder/ CEO, Bob Cole, and I love my car. It’s my everyday drive, 24/7 rain or shine, and the factory-installed system made me crazy. When I’m not working in the car, I’m listening to music — and the system just lacked the detail, clarity, and punch that I am used to from my award-winning 2007 Porsche Targa 4S, which was all custom and powered by McIntosh Labs. I didn’t want to go to that extent with this car. I needed better sound, but it’s a leased car, so a stealth installation was a must, with no modification to the existing panels or speaker. So I turned the car over to my guys Frank Polek, who has been my chief installer for over 30 years, and Chris Mulhearn, who heads up the car stereo/mobile department at my Montgomeryville showroom. Three days later and I was rockin’!
Upgrading the audio with Focal speakers and sound insulation.
The ultimate sound studio in the ultimate driving machine.
We used Focal’s ES 165 KX3 3-way K2 Power component speaker system in the doors and dash of the Porsche, as it was very important to replace all six factory speakers with high-quality drivers. All of the speakers fit behind the factory grilles so it looks completely stock, but sounds a whole lot better. But that’s not the whole story. Focal crossovers were used and reside near the amplifier in the front of the car.
To neutralize the door cavities, we used Dynamat sound insulation material in each door. It conveniently comes in a kit (10435 Xtreme Door Kit), which you can check out here. Dynamat also helps to eliminate road noise and keeps the mid-range and mid-bass present in the vehicle.
The technical magic that lets us keep the factory radio and control system intact and functional is the JL Audio FiX 86. This multi-use sound processor is not only pulling an audio signal for us, it’s also summing the audio signals together, and helping us get as flat a response as possible. With how high-tech this car is, as are most new cars, digital sound processors like the JL Audio FiX 86 let us get the best-possible sound quality whenever we want to keep the factory-installed radio/audio system.
Powering the stereo system.
For power, we selected a Focal FDP-6900 6-channel digital amplifier but kept the factory subwoofer. The amplifier was configured to power the midrange drivers and tweeters off of channels 1 and 2, the mid-bass drivers in the front doors off of channels 3 and 4, and the factory-installed subwoofer runs off of channels 5 and 6. A massive improvement.
By breathing new life into that subwoofer, we were able to attain better bass extension for a more dynamic sound. It was also a significant savings, rather than rebuild that area for a more advanced product – but of course, it could be done. I was trying to keep a realistic budget in mind.
Tucking away the new equipment.
To hide (and protect) the electronics under the front bonnet, a false floor was built and carpeted in the same black carpet to match the rest of the surrounding area. I think it actually looks better than factory and doesn’t affect the lease. To showcase the amplifier a bit, Frank cut a rectangular slot into the board and attached a heavy-duty protective wire mesh showing off the Focal Audio logo (which is lit in white when the amplifier is powered on). In the end, it was a simple design, but really added a “wow” factor to the installation.
The factory rear speakers and front center channel were kept in place and are functional, but do not detract from the sound quality of the new audio system. High-performance JL Audio RCA cables and a power kit were used to wire the amplifier into place.
In the end, the Beach Boys and Rachmaninoff never sounded so good. Everything sounded better including those podcasts that I listen to when on the road. I am trying to learn French as Chris and I are visiting the Focal factory in France, and I wanted to be conversant. It is notable that with the new system, this foreign language sounds so much clearer to me. Ooo..La..La
Installing a stealth radar detector & video security system.
The boys finished early, so while I was away they installed a K40 Stealth radar detector, the RL360di. It’s something I don’t use, but I’m guessing when I lend the car out to staff it’s constantly on. Again, it is something that is unseen with the exception of 2 LEDs hidden away in the dash to advise of police activity. (Learn more here.)
They also installed a Blackvue DR750S video system. Two cameras are placed front and rear and record activity when under way. If there is an incident, it continues recording to provide a record of that incident. When not in the car, a proximity detector activates this system when anyone gets too close to the car so that if mischief occurs, it’s recorded in the cloud. All info is accessible from your smartphone.
Rolling up & rocking out.
There you have it! The Porsche 911 GTS is a dream car. We just made it better. If you are wondering what this all costs, the audio system is ~$6,000, the Stealth Radar Detector is $4-5,000 (depending on the car), and the video is ~$999. (All prices are installed.)
Interested in learning more about World Wide Stereo's car installation services? Discover what we can do for you and your car here.
Products used in this project
JL Audio RCA cables and a power kit
K40 Stealth radar detector (RL360di) & K40 laser defusers (DUAL LDO and LTS)
Blackvue DR750S video system & Magic Battery Pack