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488 with JBL audio issues

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by Harp488, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. Harp488

    Harp488 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2020
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    Dan Harp
    Hello everyone! I own a 2016 488 GTB (LOVE this car!!) that has the JBL Audio system in it. For Christmas this year, I was given a subwoofer from Scuderia Audio. I decided to go ahead and purchase some nice Vocal woofers and tweeters and the JL vx400i amp. Everything seemed pretty straight forward, I took the left and right woofer outputs from the factory amp and used them for the inputs to the aftermarket amp. JL says that the vx400 can take 16 vrms on the input and the factory JBL amp only outputs 5.9 vrms on those circuits. Pretty simple right? Nope! Apparently Ferrari does a self check of sorts at power on and if it does not see the correct resistance of the factory speakers, it shuts the circuit off. This took a little to figure out as it was 5.9 vrms prior to disconnecting and 0.21v after install. We ended up hooking up a factory speaker back up and powering down and then back up and then that speak (only) started working. I was wondering if anyone here has experience in upgrading the audio in the 488 that already has the JBL factory amp. Or a diagram of the input harness from the infotainment system would be fantastic! I know I can ‘T’ into the factory woofer signal for the input to the new amp and have that power my sub, but I would really like to use my new speakers and have the new amp power those as well. I really don’t know a ton about audio and unfortunately there was no one remotely near by that I could take my car to to have it professionally installed. Positive note is I now know how the interior of my car comes apart . Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
     
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  3. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY F1 Veteran
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    May 23, 2013
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    You connected the audio inputs of the JL amp with the amp speaker outputs from the OEM JBL amp ? Serious.

    Please before you smoke your car can i suggest that you go and see a profession car audio installer.

    Or even better contact Scuderia Audio as they have done this many times before.

    I've seen so many cars literally go up in flames at the expense of a few dollars and letting a pro do it.
     
  4. FerrariTexan

    FerrariTexan Rookie

    May 25, 2019
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    “Positive note is I now know how the interior of my car comes apart .” How do you get to the fuse box behind the driver’s seat (rear lower panel). I believe I blew a fuse (F-78 battery charger) and need to replace it. Sorry, I can’t help you with your audio problem... Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Harp488

    Harp488 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2020
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    Dan Harp
    like I said, I would have taken it somewhere if there was anyone around here to take it to. The amplified factory amp output was less than half of the JL’s acceptable input. I did contact scuderia audio and he said what I did should work safely. The main issue from what I can tell is that since the factory amp is not seeing any load (or something?) on the output to the left and right door woofer (because those are just signal inputs now) that is is just turning those circuits off. If I knew what the signal input wires to the factory amp were, I could just hijack those but I can’t find a diagram there anywhere! In the meantime, I will probably just put the factory woofers back in so the factory amp is happy and just use the JL amp to power the sub until I can find some more info.
     
  6. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY F1 Veteran
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    How are you triggering the JL amp to come on ?
     
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  8. Harp488

    Harp488 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2020
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    Dan Harp
    the remote wire to the factory amp. I believe it was blue with yellow tracer. The LED on the amp lights up when you turn the Audio on so I’m sure it is powered on. I think the factory amp is just doing an impedance check and does not like that instead of the OEM woofers, it is just going to the input on the JL amp. I know that the best way to do it is the input from the infotainment module to the factory amp (green connector) I just can’t find a pin out to save myself which is why I hijacked the output because I at least knew which wire went to where. I am going to call the Ferrari dealer where I bought it and see if they can give me the pin out or maybe point me in the direction of someone that knows
     
  9. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY F1 Veteran
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    Ok just making sure you triggered the after market amp on.

    In all of my years in car audio , especially with quality gear never have i heard an amp doing an impedance check. Fact is an amps out put will be based on the resistance of the speaker. Your secondary amp IS NOT providing a resistance / a load . Hence why you got nothing. Its just not how you do it.

    Sorry i cannot believe that Scuderia audio has agreed with this.

    The speaker output from another amp is only a low power signal when the volume level is very low. As soon as you turn the volume up to barely audible you will start to overload the second amp's inputs. At best the second amp will distort horribly. At worst you'll fry the input.

    You need a converter like this

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=2lRQjd%2f2&id=AAD2427192AF008E04CD75B01749E0936143F0A3&thid=OIP.2lRQjd_2V_2gAtqutVSHngHaKX&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fimages-sc1.netdna-ssl.com%2fD%2fInterconnects-KIC13-KISLOC-N-detailed-image-1.jpg&exph=2100&expw=1500&q=how+to+wire+speaker+outputs+to+audio+input+of+an+amplifire&simid=608038997413334684&ck=F9035B758F9DCCCFBBB14C972465964C&selectedIndex=83&FORM=IRPRST

    And even then you need to check the outputs with a cathode ray oscilloscope.

    See a bit over your head . PLEASE do NOT change anything or go to someone who knows what they are doing. DONT FRY YOUR CAR.
     
  10. Harp488

    Harp488 Rookie

    Jun 21, 2020
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    Dan Harp
    Thanks sir! (Seriously) that does make sense and I have no interest in damaging anything on my car lol! I’m trying to find someone that I could bring my car to. In the meantime, I will wire back to factory and just power the sub of the JL amp and leave the rest OEM to make sure there is no frying
     
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  11. SoftwareDrone

    SoftwareDrone F1 Veteran
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    I'm going to take the blame for the miscommunication. Absolutely not Harp's fault.
    To be clear: ALWAYS put the aftermarket amp downstream (i.e. after any OEM amplifier and/or signal input source [infoTainment box, etc.). That way, the only part of the system that knows anything changed will be the speakers, and they're getting swapped out anyway.
     
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  13. SoftwareDrone

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    Disclaimer: If you are going to do this, simply installing the amp inline is one of many steps you need to go through in order to get the system to sound right and not blow up your shiny new amp. PM me for details.
     
  14. MalibuGuy

    MalibuGuy F1 Veteran

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Malibu, CA
    I have some very basic questions. How is the JBL audio system configured. The head unit—Is it 4 channel and how many amps per channel? Then the amplifier—is it be that has an integrated crossover or does the system use dedicated cross overs for the tweeter and midrange/woofer. And did the JBL system feature a sub-woofer?

    Where were these speakers located? Tweeters in the front and top of the dash?
    Midrange woofers in the lower door. Twiddlers or mid range / tweeters behind the seats in the lower B pillar ?
    Subwwoofer along the rear firewall?
     
  15. SoftwareDrone

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    I believe the JBL system has two 8" carbon fiber woofers and two tweeters in the doors, three small carbon fiber midranges and a tweeter in the dash, and two small carbon fiber midranges and two tweeters behind you. No subwoofer along the rear firewall. A total of 12 speakers. The amplifier is over 1200 Watts. On paper, it looks fantastic. In real life, not so much.
    First of all, the sound stage is horrid. When you go to a live concert, the musicians (and therefore the sound) are all in front of you. In the car, any speaker that provides sound frequencies any higher than mid bass need to be in front of you. They call it a "sound stage". IASCA (International Auto Sound Challenge Association) competitors go to great lengths to create special speaker compartments in the front of the car that are precisely angled to fire the sound straight to the listeners, construct special seat tracks that allow the seats in sedans to slide way farther back then normal, etc. to create the best sound stage in front of the listener. Ferrari did it backwards. They have the woofers in front of the listener and midranges and tweeters behind the listener. Great for surround sound, but this is not a home theatre.
    I've had people tell me that simply swapping out the woofers in the doors with some nice Focal 6 1/2" midrange drivers and with no other changes whatsoever results in a significant improvement in the sound. And that makes sense. Anyone who has ran 5 1/4" midranges in their car for any length of time, then upgraded to 6 1/2" midranges could never go back. The 6 1/2" drivers provide depth and will reproduce male voices, tenor sax, mid bass, etc. way better than their 5 1/4" counterparts. The 5 1/4" speakers sound like tin cans in comparison. All of the many midrange speakers in the 458 and 488 premium system are around 4 inches in diameter (I own some). I don't care how many tin cans you have playing music in your car, it's still going to sound like a tin can.
    But don't take my word for it. Quotes from a thread in the 458/488/F8 section:
    "I have the premium JBL and it's rubbish at best."
    "I'm not sure of the exact upgrade cost but it was over 5k . My moms new Camry has a better sound system."
    "My 458 has the JBL Sound system. Waste of money. I actually turned it on once, just to see if it worked."
    "Have you seen what goes into the "upgraded" system? It's a joke."
    "Let me add to my previous comment...i now have my 2017 488 with premium sound.....HORRIBLE !"

    A top flight car audio installer near me was actually flown to France (by Focal) to demo their new Utopia M series component speakers with active crossovers ($14,995.00 retail). Two 6 1/2" midranges and two tweeters for 15 grand. He said they were by far the best speakers he had ever heard. He also said that a car with a thousand dollar set of component speakers and a nice 8" subwoofer in a third order (sealed) enclosure sounds better than the Utopias without the sub. Ferrari kind of had the right idea with the 360/430 hi-fi system (component speakers in the doors, mini subs behind the seats), they just didn't provide enough power and the subs were too small.
    So why did they design the 458/488/F8 system like this? It's basically a real estate problem. A nice subwoofer against the firewall would take up room. The only place to install 8" subs without encroaching into the cabin is in the doors.

    Any competent high end car audio shop could install a sound system in these cars that sounds 10 times better for half the price. That being said, I personally am grateful that, of all the areas that Ferrari could have skimped out on, it was the stereo.
     
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  16. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY F1 Veteran
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    FYI 1999 Australasian IASCA champion . The Ferrari isnt the best car to achieve an audiophile car.

    But speaker upgrades like the Focal and a decent amp will sound 100% better.
     
  17. SoftwareDrone

    SoftwareDrone F1 Veteran
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    IASCA Champion?? That is AMAZING!!!
     
  18. SoftwareDrone

    SoftwareDrone F1 Veteran
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    So MANDALAY, the hot setup for the 488's right now is a VXI amp with built in DSP, a JL FIX 82 to flatten the input and a set of AC-LGD 60 ohm load stabilizers. Takes care of all the idiosyncrasies of the JBL system and provides a pure baseline for the DSP and drivers. Meanwhile, the car has no idea (electronically) that anything had been changed.
     
  19. JSYOLi

    JSYOLi Rookie

    Jan 16, 2015
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    Jersey, UK
    For an Amateur like me, would be able to explain a little more.

    I am looking to upgrade the JBL system but must look factory. Would these changes you mention achieve this and simple swapping out existing parts?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. SoftwareDrone

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    If you are looking for a simple, moderate improvement in the sound, you do not need another amplifier, digital signal processor, etc. Simply replacing the speakers in the doors with some nice high end aftermarket equivalents would give you a very nice improvement both the sound quality and the stereo imaging without any adverse affects to the car whatsoever. The trick is to purchase a kit that contains the necessary hardware that would allow you to install the new speakers without any cutting, drilling or any modifications. PM me for details.
     
  21. MANDALAY

    MANDALAY F1 Veteran
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    And feature Front page 8 page spread Car Audio 1999. Actually the magazine being given away at IASCA finals which i attended in Louisville Kentucky


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