An existing client from San Jose dropped in at California Car Sounds and Tint in Campbell to inquire about an upgrading his 1996 Porsche 993 audio system. We had installed a sound system in his 1973 Corvette and he was very pleased with the work we did. With the Corvette on its way to the Barrett-Jackson auction, it was time to upgrade another of his amazing sports cars. He wanted the 911 to sound great, but given its vintage, didn’t want to modify it significantly.
Some projects are easy to design and execute. This Porsche, however, required some thought and brainstorming. We researched different options for subwoofer solutions and amplifier mounting locations before we started work on the car. While the results seem simple in terms of their execution, the time invested in planning the project is what made it look that way. Our plan would provide the performance he wanted while maintaining the value and integrity of the vehicle.
Head Unit Replacement
The project started with the installation of a new head unit. The client purchased a new single-DIN navigation receiver directly from Porsche. This unit, designed specifically as an upgrade for 993-series vehicles, includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, a USB port, Bluetooth hands-free and more. Designed as part of the Porsche Classic series, the radio styling matches the interior of the vehicle perfectly.
Focal and Illusion Audio Speaker Upgrades
The client chose a set of Focal ES165KX2 6.5-inch components for the doors of the Porsche. We surface-mounted the woofer using their supplied trim ring and grille. The tweeter is mounted above the door grab-handle to provide an excellent sense of soundstage width. For rear speakers, we installed a set of Illusion Audio Carbon-Series C4-CX coaxial speakers in the rear factory locations.
The passive crossover networks for all four speakers are installed on an ABS plastic panel underneath the passenger seat. The crossovers are easily accessible for fine-tuning their various settings.
993 Audio System Amplifier Installation
To maximize the available storage space in the front cargo area, our team created a steel amp rack that bolts to the front strut towers and a factory bolt beside the fuel tank. The rack features round and square tubing, as well as a pair of small plates to which the amp will mount. We used threaded inserts in an HDPE plastic panel to make installing the Focal FDP6.900 amplifier easy.
Once wired and in place, the amplifier appears to float in space near the back of the cargo area. The client retains full access to the spare tire at the bottom of the frunk (front trunk) and to the fuse and relay box near the firewall.
Rear Seat Subwoofer Enclosures
The final step was the installation of a pair of subwoofer enclosures for two JL Audio 8W3v3-4 subwoofers. We sourced the enclosures from Car Audio Innovations. They are designed to fit securely into the area behind the front seats. We finished the enclosures in a carpet that matches the interior almost perfectly. Impressively, CAI offers 35 different carpet colors and can ship samples of each to ensure the match is flawless.
The woofers are protected with a set of SGRU-8 speaker grilles, also from JL Audio.
System Configuration and Tuning
The last step was to set up the crossovers and level controls on the Focal amp to work with the new Porsche Classic navigation receiver. The front and rear speakers have an available 150 watts each and the subwoofers are bridged to channels 5 and 6 of the amp for another 600 watts. Ensuring the crossovers are set properly provides not only smooth frequency response but appropriate power handling for the smaller speakers.
Porsche 911 Audio System
With the 993 audio system dialed in and a final listening session complete, it was time to turn the vehicle back over to the client. He was thrilled with the way the system looks and impressed with the clarity, impact and detail. If you are looking for an audio system upgrade for your classic car, drop by California Car Sounds and Tint. Our team would be happy to work with you to design a solution that looks and sounds great. You can reach us by phone or e-mail to schedule a consultation.