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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old June 30th, 2017, 19:46   #16
Mixchump
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Originally Posted by mirage2521 View Post
My biggest complaint is the "premium" Fender audio system. What an incredible disappointment. Has anyone had any luck making improvements on this thing? On my Jettas I replaced the OEM speakers with some Alpines and added a small powered sub woofer and the systems produce sound quality far superior to this Fender. Anyone tried anything short of ripping the whole thing out and replacing it?
Yeah, I feel your pain. I just went from a 2012 Passat TDI (Trendline-Plus with DSG) to a 2015 Passat TDI (Comfortline 'Sport' 6M) and I couldn't have believed that the audio system in the 2015 could be WORSE than the 2012 (which was already terrible) but it is.

Just for context, I'm an award-winning recording engineer / producer up here in Canada so I fully admit that my standards may be a bit higher than most, but my 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon had a really terrific factory audio system, and I was shocked at how bad the 2012 Passat was. I kept thinking that I'd upgrade the head unit, etc., but never got around to it.

This time around, I absolutely HAVE to make a move. It's like listening to a 90's MP3 file all the time. I can't imagine what lengths they went to do destroy the audio this badly, especially considering audio is inherently simple, if you use decent components and DSP.

Anyhow, Just felt the need to corroborate your findings, and I'm on a similar quest now.

I've been looking at the top-of-the-line Alpine unit (with Apple CarPlay), and I think that's where I'll end up.

If I get around to it in the next while, I'll post my results...
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Old June 30th, 2017, 20:23   #17
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Sadly, I think the younger crowd (and those that actually regard (c)Rap as music) are driving the overall voicings . . . loose flabby bass that swamps a lot of other things, etc. I find the Fender, ironically, better than most OEM auto systems, and light years past anything Bose . . . One day, I'll throw my SMAART rig in the car and read it, but not much motivation, since the ability to tweak is minimal . . . as we bothnhave noted, with DSP on board, very few uses for such a pathetic control set . . .

Oh, and I avoid mp3 pretty much categorically . . . . unless I do my own lossless rips, they are missing too much for me - the differences are blatantly audible against a CD or other lossless source. (And don't get me started on the massive high freq rolloff in satellite . . . almost unlistenable . . . ). So, considering the source issues, the auto system is only part of the picture to me.

Last edited by tadawson; June 30th, 2017 at 20:29.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 05:16   #18
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Yeah, I feel your pain. I just went from a 2012 Passat TDI (Trendline-Plus with DSG) to a 2015 Passat TDI (Comfortline 'Sport' 6M) and I couldn't have believed that the audio system in the 2015 could be WORSE than the 2012 (which was already terrible) but it is.

Just for context, I'm an award-winning recording engineer / producer up here in Canada so I fully admit that my standards may be a bit higher than most, but my 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon had a really terrific factory audio system, and I was shocked at how bad the 2012 Passat was. I kept thinking that I'd upgrade the head unit, etc., but never got around to it.

This time around, I absolutely HAVE to make a move. It's like listening to a 90's MP3 file all the time. I can't imagine what lengths they went to do destroy the audio this badly, especially considering audio is inherently simple, if you use decent components and DSP.

Anyhow, Just felt the need to corroborate your findings, and I'm on a similar quest now.

I've been looking at the top-of-the-line Alpine unit (with Apple CarPlay), and I think that's where I'll end up.

If I get around to it in the next while, I'll post my results...
I'm going the route my tech guy recommends for now.

Step 1. A small Alpine sub in the trunk tweak the treble and mid, reducing bass to minimum.

If that doesn't get it...
Step 2. Install some crossovers on the Fender dual voice coil speakers

If that doesn't get it,
Step 3. Replace the Fender speakers

Step 4. Rip the whole thing out.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 05:19   #19
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I have never heard a Dynaudio system in a car, however, I have massive respect for Dynaudio as an audio manufacturer, perhaps an opportunity exists with their B8 offering....
https://www.dynaudio.com/car-audio/car-models/passat-b8

It sounds good on paper but then so did the Fender.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:26   #20
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It sounds good on paper but then so did the Fender.

Perhaps, but Dynaudio has a serious and highly respected reputation for building speakers. Fender really doesn't do speakers, pretty much just guitars and guitar amps. It was simply a marketing ploy that was all buckle and no cattle.
Sort of like Fiat making a racy "Abarth" model and using a muffler manufacturer's name as the touted nameplate.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:35   #21
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Take a look a this Dynaudio link, which is excellent, esp. since they focus on VW.
https://www.dynaudio.com/dynaudio-ac...ound-in-golf-r
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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:36   #22
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Originally Posted by mirage2521 View Post
I'm going the route my tech guy recommends for now.

Step 1. A small Alpine sub in the trunk tweak the treble and mid, reducing bass to minimum.

If that doesn't get it...
Step 2. Install some crossovers on the Fender dual voice coil speakers

If that doesn't get it,
Step 3. Replace the Fender speakers

Step 4. Rip the whole thing out.
Sorry, but what is replacing the sub in the trunk with another sub in the trunk intended to accomplish? I would think (if anyone makes anything suitable) than a line level eq inserted into the system would do the trick as well . . .
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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:39   #23
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Sadly, I think the younger crowd (and those that actually regard (c)Rap as music) are driving the overall voicings . . .
I totally agree with you in that C.RAP is far removed from music !!!
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Old July 1st, 2017, 10:10   #24
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Sorry, but what is replacing the sub in the trunk with another sub in the trunk intended to accomplish? I would think (if anyone makes anything suitable) than a line level eq inserted into the system would do the trick as well . . .
I must admit, I had the same reaction.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 12:50   #25
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Sorry, but what is replacing the sub in the trunk with another sub in the trunk intended to accomplish? I would think (if anyone makes anything suitable) than a line level eq inserted into the system would do the trick as well . . .

I'm not even sure I want to attempt to answer you. Do you understand the difference in replacing a 258cid 6cyl in a CJ7 with a built small block 350cid? Have you actually listened to one of these Fender systems?


The sound tech and myself by the way are of the mindset that the Fender sub is of VERY low quality and anything would be an improvement over it. If the entire Fender system sounds as crappy as it does I cant imagine that any single component is of much quality.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 13:15   #26
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I'm actually beginning to suspect that something is wrong with it. There is simply no way sound quality this low could be considered "Premium"
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Old July 1st, 2017, 13:23   #27
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I'm not even sure I want to attempt to answer you. Do you understand the difference in replacing a 258cid 6cyl in a CJ7 with a built small block 350cid? Have you actually listened to one of these Fender systems?


The sound tech and myself by the way are of the mindset that the Fender sub is of VERY low quality and anything would be an improvement over it. If the entire Fender system sounds as crappy as it does I cant imagine that any single component is of much quality.
I agree the speakers are crap. Since speakers are the last link in the chain and what the sound comes out of, I consider them to be of significant importance-- certainly of more importantance than the head unit, although in a well-designed application they would be very complimentary to each other. That being said, I listen in the midrange, in fact. my hf hearing peters out at around 7khz and I view bass as needed, but I really don't give it a fraction of the importance that I give the mid range. Hence, my puzzlement at you and your 'tech's' zeroing in on the sub.
OTOH, if you listen to Taiko Drums, then I get your thinking.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 13:26   #28
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I'm actually beginning to suspect that something is wrong with it. There is simply no way sound quality this low could be considered "Premium"
Perhaps the first step would be to carry a demo CD to the Dealership and ask to play it in another 15 SEL for comparison.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 13:31   #29
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I'm actually beginning to suspect that something is wrong with it. There is simply no way sound quality this low could be considered "Premium"
Perhaps the first step would be to carry a demo CD to the Dealership and ask to play it in another 15 SEL for comparison.

BTW, I emailed Dynaudio and inquired if the new speakers for the B8 would be a swap for the door speakers in the B7. If they respond and indicate that would be something that could work, I'll post their response.
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Old July 1st, 2017, 15:53   #30
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I'm not even sure I want to attempt to answer you. Do you understand the difference in replacing a 258cid 6cyl in a CJ7 with a built small block 350cid? Have you actually listened to one of these Fender systems?


The sound tech and myself by the way are of the mindset that the Fender sub is of VERY low quality and anything would be an improvement over it. If the entire Fender system sounds as crappy as it does I cant imagine that any single component is of much quality.
I own two (2013 Passat SEL and 2015 Passat SEL), and also actively work in the pro audio world. It's tubby, but I am not convinced that that is due to the components as compared to a by-design voicing/eq problem. It's not like a car trunk is a well designed, tuned, or ported enclosure . . . As I said, one day I'll get bored and profile it with SMAART, but short of that, everything else is a variation on a guess . . . And since we all hear things a bit differently, I was curious . . . and to your initial question, the 258 vs. 350 in the CJ7 depends on your expectations and needs. For many, it may accomplish nothing other than getting to the scene of the rollover accident faster . . . or may be imperceptible to those with a light foot . . . there is no single, obvious answer, so I ask . . .

And you may be right and have a problem or defect. I feel I have a pretty critical ear, and while it isn't stellar, I really don't feel that mine are that bad (and I can typically tune systems pretty close by ear . . . but also have analysis tools . . .).

I do recall someone speculating (not sure if it was ever proven) that on his car, speakers had been installed with the polarity inverted, thus resulting in vague imaging . . . something to consider as well . . .

Last edited by tadawson; July 1st, 2017 at 16:03.
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