Ferrari Maserati of Vancouver referred the owner of this spectacular 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB to Ralph’s Radio for an audio system upgrade. Ferrari creates some of the most emotionally stimulating drivers’ cars on the planet, but their audio systems are somewhat lacking. This Kelowna-based client owned several vehicles with premium sound systems and wanted his 488 GTB to sound at least as good as those. We worked through a system design with the client and then scheduled an appointment to begin this 488 GTB audio upgrade.
To prepare for the installation, we protected the vehicle with shipping film, plastic sheet and painter’s tape. We removed all the trim panels under the hood of the vehicle to allow us to run Audison Connection wiring for the system. The dealership asked that we ensure everything was easily serviceable, so we employed quick-connects to make everything easy to remove.
The client made it clear that he wanted the car to sound amazing. To fulfill this goal, we planned to use Audison Thesis speakers in the front of the car. A set of TH 1.5 violino 1.5-inch tweeters and a set of TH 6.5 x 6.5-inch midrange drivers would cover the midrange and high frequencies. Our technicians fabricated a set of acrylic plastic adapter plates for the tweeters and midrange drivers.
To mount the tweeters, we had to remove the top of the dash. We spent a full day removing the dash piece while being careful to protect it and everything around it from damage. Once it was out of the car, we installed the tweeters on top of the dash. We used several pieces of Cascade Audio sound-damping material to ensure a perfect, vibration-free installation.
After we installed the mounting adapters in the doors, our team covered the interior surface with more Cascade damping material. To direct all the energy from the speakers into the interior of the vehicle, we installed a set of foam baffle rings. These rings prevent sound from escaping into the cavity between the door trim panel and the metal frame.
Custom Subwoofer Enclosure
To finish off the speaker selection for the system, we employed a pair of Audison Prima APS-10D subwoofers. Our team constructed an enclosure on the small shelf behind the seats. A mix of wood and fiberglass provides a solid foundation for the subwoofers. We wrapped the sculpted front panel of the enclosure in suede. A vinyl-wrapped trim piece with the Ferrari prancing horse embossed in the center gives the system a little added style.
Amplifier and Signal Processor
Since we kept the factory head unit in the Ferrari, we installed an Audison bit One DSP processor in the front of the vehicle. We mounted the processor and the Audison Voce AV1.5K amplifier to a panel at the back of the storage compartment under the hood. The output signal from the factory head unit feeds into the processor, where we can set crossovers and compensate for speaker positioning and the acoustic effect of the vehicle interior with signal delay and equalization.
Our installation team created a vinyl-wrapped shroud to enclosure the amp and processor. A little “extra touch” was the placement of the Personalization Specifications list in the center of the amplifier. Ferrari allows buyers to customize their vehicles with paint colour, wheel, upholstery, badging, carpet and accent options to create a truly unique vehicle. A badge outlines their choices.
488 GTB Audio System Tuning
We used our Audison bit Tune to set all the signal delay and equalization settings in the bit One. The bit Tune uses frequency and phase measurements to set up the system quite accurately. The result is an amazing soundstage and stunningly accurate frequency response that rivals the best home audio systems.
The client had only intended to own the car for a few months, then sell it. After listening to the audio system, he was looking for excuses to drive the car and had no intentions of letting it go. That is high praise!
If you are looking to transform your car or truck into your own personal sound sanctuary, drop by Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver or Victoria, British Columbia, or contact us by e-mail by clicking HERE. We would be honored to assist you.