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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old November 19th, 2014, 07:09   #1
Judson
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Default Soundproofing a MKIV - How much of a difference?

Folks -

I'm paying a local shop (Stitch Headz here in Cheyenne) to install the soundproofing materials I bought from sounddeaningshowdown.com about two years ago.

Since there's been a lot of talk back and forth in various threads about this, and interest from other members in going down this path, I figured a new thread would be appropriate.

To my knowledge, no one around here has measured decibels before and after. Oddly, general google searches on the 'net has come up with little hard information about just how much soundproofing can help.

Right now at 80 mph on I-25 going south from Cheyenne on somewhat quiet pavement in my MKIV Jetta, decibels are at 80. With the radio on loud enough to hear it, decibels are 83. (It is impossible at this level to use a hands-free phone setup. It is way way too loud.)

A modern Toyota Corolla is a 72 decibels. This is using the very unscientific measure of a decibel meter on my iphone. :-)

So, the question is, why am I going down this road? After all, it's a diesel, not a Lexus hybrid, right?

Well, it's this or sell my car down the road and buy something quieter. And quiet costs money, especially if I want a diesel. Take a used A3 diesel if one can find one, or a Mercedes, or a Touareg, or a newer A6 diesel, and etc. A 2013 diesel of one of these is going to start in the mid $30ks. Mid 40s is more like it. I'm not really interested in spending this kind of money.

So, I'm spending about $2.5k on doing the soundproofing (and having a stereo upgrade while I'm at it). If I can get the decibels down to something reasonable - say 72 - then I'll keep my MKIV long term, which will save me a nice chunk of cash, and make driving my car much more pleasurable as well. If not, then in a couple of years I'm looking at selling her and getting something quieter.

Savannah should be out of the shop by the end of the week.

Jud.

PS I'll list the specs of the stereo install at the end of the week as well.

PPS Some caveats: yes I know there are other things I can do to quiet the car - lower gearing, hood liner, different wheels and tires, etc. If I can get the decibels down now, then all of these things will be done over time to further quiet down the car.
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Last edited by Judson; November 19th, 2014 at 07:21.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 07:32   #2
dmoonen
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All cars are situated around the 70dbish range my bet is most of the noise you have is road noise and vibration from your modifications mainly suspension-bushings-tires. So essentially you made your car more louder and are now trying to make it more quite. If you have the money go for it the cars 13 years old and is paid off and if it makes you keep it longer I say its a better investment then throwing 20-30k+interest down into another car. Just my two cents
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Old November 19th, 2014, 08:33   #3
john.jackson9213
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Glad to see this thread!
I have wondered about using my cell phone (Galaxy S4) as a sound meter. What app are you using and on what phone? I would love to take some sound measurements in my Passat.

I can tell you a longer 5th gear or the 6 speed conversion will make a very large difference in the engine noise. Now wind noise and road noise are what I hear at freeway speeds. I would also like to have some valid before and after measurements.

Look forward to seeing the measured results from your changes. BTW, what did you get from Sounddeadening Showdown and how much did it cost?

Thanks,
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Old November 19th, 2014, 08:49   #4
Judson
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I am using an app called simply "Decibels." Been using it for quite a while. I use it holding it in front of my in the driver's seat, which is all I care about.

Down the road if I keep the car I'll be putting in a 6-speed. I know that will help. Also, I will look into quieter tires, and under-hood insulation. Nothing I can do about the better suspension bushings in the rear, or the H&R springs upper strut bushings - I'm not about to change those out as I really love them.

I have everything from http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/products except the butyl rope. I think it cost me around $800, but can't remember exactly. Got a lot more than needed for my TDI though.

PS He updated his website with cost estimates for different vehicles. For MKIVs, here it is:
http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com...edan-1999-2005
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Last edited by Judson; November 19th, 2014 at 08:51.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 09:49   #5
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I'll measure my car this afternoon.

I've done full door & floor treatment w/ CLD & MLV. Transmission has a 3.16R&P, Exhaust is 2.5" full w/ aeroturbine muffler.

ATMO, it sounds great for an active 2-way + sub.


Decibel report to follow shortly...
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Old November 19th, 2014, 09:56   #6
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Tires can have a HUGE affect on road noise in the car.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:34   #7
Judson
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I personally only run Michelins, but they are on 17s now. I could go back to 16s, but generally, I don't think my car will get a lot quieter because of the tires.

I can say this: pavement type can make a HUGE difference on noise!
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:57   #8
tongsli
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Judson,

The Iphone app is not very accurate. We have a decibel meter at work from Radio Shack and it's much more accurate.

It is also very directional how your levels are measured.

That being said, Have you considered putting the sound insulation material behind the plastic wheel wells?
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Old November 19th, 2014, 14:34   #9
john.jackson9213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tongsli View Post
Judson,

The Iphone app is not very accurate. We have a decibel meter at work from Radio Shack and it's much more accurate.

It is also very directional how your levels are measured.

That being said, Have you considered putting the sound insulation material behind the plastic wheel wells?
Two things come to mind:

1) How repeatable is the smart phone app as a sound meter? If it does a good job of repeating the same measurement result, then doesn't that tell me if there has been a measurable improvement or not??

2) How much $$ and which Radio Shack part number?
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Old November 19th, 2014, 14:41   #10
tongsli
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/RadioShack-D...item35dd3808d7

This is the one we have 33-2055. The microphone on the radio shack unit vs the iphone microphone are NO comparison. I've used both side by side and the iphone is less sensitive. The Radio shack unit can distinguish between hi and low frequencies. It also lets you control your sample rate between fast and slow.

You can switch DB ranges using the dial and it will give you max and min values.
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Last edited by tongsli; November 19th, 2014 at 14:45.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 15:12   #11
Judson
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Hey Lito - long time no talk to!

The iPhone app is not accurate but it is consistent. That and my own experience is all I need. Sound is such a dynamic thing and we feel as much as we hear, which no decibel meter can measure. Just ask any recording engineer how hard it is to record something that sounds good in more than one environment!

As my car is already in the shop it is too late to use any other measurement so I will do my best to describe the difference.

I expect that I will just notice how loud the wind and road noise is! But the real question for me to be answered is: is it livable long term?

Thanks for the advice on the wheel wells. I will have to buy something specific to that application as well as the hood stuff. But that is for another year !
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Old November 19th, 2014, 16:27   #12
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It's true regarding poor mic performance on the iPhone. Prior to my test for Judson, I downloaded two different SPL apps.

The first one gave me an average of 68dB and the second was 77dB. Cruising at 70mph in 5th at 2200rpm.

Overall, I would say the sound dampening is an improvement. I'm happy with the results. YMMV.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 16:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judson View Post
Hey Lito - long time no talk to!

The iPhone app is not accurate but it is consistent. That and my own experience is all I need. Sound is such a dynamic thing and we feel as much as we hear, which no decibel meter can measure. Just ask any recording engineer how hard it is to record something that sounds good in more than one environment!

As my car is already in the shop it is too late to use any other measurement so I will do my best to describe the difference.

I expect that I will just notice how loud the wind and road noise is! But the real question for me to be answered is: is it livable long term?

Thanks for the advice on the wheel wells. I will have to buy something specific to that application as well as the hood stuff. But that is for another year !

I'm positive you will be happy with everything. Would love to take a ride at a future GTG.

My buddy is going to do the same/similar with dynamat and I think he's going to line the wheel well plastic.

I have replaced my hood insulation with Dynamat and I have it on my engine cover(underside) and on my steel skid plate. But that's it for now.

L
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Old November 19th, 2014, 17:06   #14
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Tires make a HUGE HUGE difference, I saw 15 db (iPhone) reduction going from Re050's (run flats) that were heavily feathered to a set of tires that were reviewed as quite.

That said, the 2014 is unbelievably quiet at 75, where as the 03 is probably similar to the 13 Camry I had as a rental last year.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 17:19   #15
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I've always thought my A4's were loud. Not engine but road noise loud. Even my new, off-the-lot Golf. Interested in the outcome of this thread. Road noise is always a high priority when buying new tires. Michelins are usually quieter than most, IMO.
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