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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally had it with the POS stock Porsche CDR "Walmart" radio. But seems there are still more problems ahead...

After finding a 2 Din frame from Suncoast and a nice Kenwood head unit, it seems that the real problem will be connecting the Bose system with the fiber optic issue. There doesn't seem to be even an overpriced MOST HUR unit that will work on the 981.

That leaves few options that have been outlined on two other threads.

1. Find a 3.1 PCM unit used on eBay and hope to get the dealer to program the VIN via the supplied code. $$$

2. Buy a new 3.1 PCM for $3950 that is Porsche OEM. $$$$

3. Install the Kenwood, and somehow find an amp that plays the weird 2 and one ohm Bose speakers (so far no luck on that angle) (this is the option I'd really prefer, with android auto, hard drive, 2 phone Bluetooth) $??

4. Rip everything out and start over from scratch. $$$$

None of the above options seem really good at this point. I'm not an audiophile (well I used to be until jet noise trashed my hearing!) so the complete replacement doesn't seem worth it.

Any ideas or comments very much appreciated!
 

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I went the "buy a used PCM 3.1 on eBay" route, and I'm happy. I'm certainly not an audiophile either, my hearing has been damaged from firing too many guns w/o hearing protection in my youth. I spent approx. $2000 for everything, PCM, cables, codes, coding, and I couldn't be happier. YMMV
 

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I was quoted "about $2,000" for your preferred option 3...... Still considering it.....
 

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I am actually just planning on upgrading the speakers inside the car but leaving the rest of the hardware intact. I am planning to go to a Focal dealership near me and have them spec out a system for me. I have actually found that I CAN indeed enjoy and discern between good quality mp3s and poorer ones in my Spyder even with the roof down at relatively low speeds like 40 mph or so. So to me it seems worthwhile to get an upgrade. Now that I am used to the Bose I can spot its weakness and though I have tweaked the EQ and stuff around, I am sure the biggest improvement would straight up come from just upgrading the speakers.
 

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If I were to get serious about this I would rip it all out and get modern electronics and speakers that are designed to play well together. This should be doable for less than $2k depending on your wants. I prefer "studio reference" sound rather than "boom and sizzle" so bigazz subs with associated amps are not on the table. For now I suffer the OEM sys most days and when I want to get serious I just use these:
https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE215-...p/B00FYZSTVS#HLCXComparisonWidget_feature_div
 

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If I were to get serious about this I would rip it all out and get modern electronics and speakers that are designed to play well together. This should be doable for less than $2k depending on your wants. I prefer "studio reference" sound rather than "boom and sizzle" so bigazz subs with associated amps are not on the table. For now I suffer the OEM sys most days and when I want to get serious I just use these:
https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE215-...p/B00FYZSTVS#HLCXComparisonWidget_feature_div
Could not agree more. That is the conclusion I have arrived on as well.
 

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The most immediate musical improvement thing everyone can do is sign up for the Tidal music service which has all their content available in CD quality instead of the crappy MP3 files. They allow you to offline your favorite music content into playlists that can be played through the AUX input from the glove box. You can then buy an Apple lightening to USB cable, an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC for $100 (black) or $200 (red), the red obviously being a little better, but either being a massive improvement over the DAC in your iPhone or Samsung. Plugging these pieces in between the phone and the AUX jack will yield major improvements in your music quality. You will then be a mobile audiophile. Yes this means having a cable in the cabin and using the phone to control the music, but it sounds imminently better. If you are on the run just use your bluetooth set up if you have one (this will only ever be of MP3 quality). If your going to be in the car for a while, then pull the cable out and enjoy some better quality tunes. If you already have lots of CDs and can get the songs onto your phone in the CD quality format, then you may not need Tidal. The use of the Dragonfly will help get rid of some of the boom in the OEM Bose system. Of course the highs and the mids will be more open and articulate as well. Whether you have a stock system or a total aftermarket set up, these simple upgrades will do wonders for you listening enjoyment while in your Porsche.

Electronics Cable Technology Electronic device Gadget
 

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OP, I just went the Kenwood Excelon route w/ all speakers and amp upgraded. If you're still looking, I'd love to sell the leftover PCM 3.1, Bose amp and all Bose speakers together. Shoot me a PM and we'll talk.
 

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Tidal/Dragonfly is a pretty useless route to go for a car...

1 - Tidal has limited lossless content (1.4kkbps), it mostly streams in 328kbps which is essentially the same as what bluetooth compresses to
2 - Dragonfly is essentially a pre-amp for headphones only, it's a mediocre processor, not for car audio. You want as few amps used as possible when reaching your speaker due to distortion (yes all amps distort no matter what). Think of Dragonfly as a miniature amp, then going to your Porsche/Headunit processor, which then goes to the bose/aftermarket amp which processes the music yet again, then any distortion caused by the wire quality and speakers themselves.
3 - Not to mention road noise, interior sound refraction, and speaker quality which are the biggest factors in a car.
4 - Streaming depends on DL speed available, you will automatically be downgraded quality whenever you're not receiving enough signal anyways.
5 - At this point you're really just hearing a distortion of the music (that you might happen to like) because you don't have the other support for actual clearer music, Dragonfly works well for headphones though i'll give you that.



@OP, you should be able to use the Kenwood without running into many issues. It's unclear to me if you already have the bose speakers though? I would re-do the whole setup.

Brands to consider if you care about highest quality: Rainbow, Focal, Hertz, Sinfoni, Morel
Budget quality: JL (not so budget, overpriced imo), Image Dynamics, Alpine (except subs), Clarion (only their higher end products), Treo, Helix, SoundDigital (amps), Cerwin Vega (speakers only, stroker and pro series).

I would think you can get the higher quality setup for around $3-4K, or the budget quality for $1.5-2.5K. If you feel comfortable removing interior pieces on your own you can save a large amount of the cost from install as well.
 

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I went with Crutchfield Blaupunkt 640 Unit and wiring harness from Loi at Eurospeed. Total cost $350.00
Took 4 hours to remove (the hardest part) the stock CDR and install the new NAV/Radio - All four of the plastic release clips were broken
Didn't buy the $650,00 MOST wire. Waste of money . Now have ----- on display BUT a great NAV/Radio that displays all the information, three inches from Porsche display.

Now going to change out the paper speakers - Should be easier than the radio
 

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To ViciouS, your facts are way off with the Tidal/Dragonfly.

1. You don't stream with your Tidal account, you offline your playlists at full CD quality onto your phone and then play those songs "AT CD QUALITY" through the Dragonfly into the OEM stereo. Don't CDs sound way better to you than streamed music?
2. Yes it has a small amp in it, which essentially acts only as a preamp before the main amp in the OEM head unit. Now do you want to hear your music through an integrated chip from the OEM unit that only dedicates $5-10 to the DAC operation or one that dedicates almost all of the $100-200 you spend on a Dragonfly to the D to A conversion done by an ESS Sabre DAC.
3. Yes this is true with noise, but then why does anyone spend thousands on car stereos if they don't make a difference over road noise? This is not specific to the Dragonfly nor does it cover up all of its virtues.
4. Again, we are not streaming. And....if you offline some master quality tracks from Tidal, then you can get even higher resolution music such as 96/24 that the Dragonfly can readily decode. How else can you easily add that to your car stereo for a little over a hundred bucks.
5. My ears are just fine, they don't like distortion either, they know what it sounds like, and don't confuse it for better sounding music. Your discussion sounds mostly theoretical, and after 40 years of enjoying fine music myself, I care to base my opinions on what I hear or that of trusted audiophile resource. Distortion in actual usage in this case is not an issue at all. If you use a shielded AUX cable and set the iPhone about 4 bars below the top level, all works well. How can it make headphones and in home stereos sound great but yet do nothing for you car? Hummm

At any rate, each is entitled to their own opinion as has been expressed here. I just don't want someone to miss out on a chance to improve their system because of one person's pessimism and unsubstantiated comments. I doubt he has listened to a Dragonfly in his car or even at all, or maybe his ears are not as sensitive as mine or some of the rest of us. I have owned all four Dragonflys, the original, version 1.2, the black, and most recently the red. Each is a little better than the previous. I have sat in my Macan, the daily driver, and carefully compared all of these devices against each other and the stock iPhone. It is very clear to me through actual experience in Porsches and other vehicles that they sound much better than an iPhone alone. The other day I was driving to the track in my Cayman and noticed the music just didn't sound that good. In that moment I thought was the Macan's stereo that much better than the Cayman's? I had not remembered it that way before, and then I suddenly realized that I was on bluetooth. A few weeks later when returning to the track, I made sure that I grabbed the newly acquired Red out of the Macan and brought it with me in the Cayman.

Hey it is not going to make your system sound like a JL Audio/Focal/etc system, but its not going to cost many thousands of dollars either. You have almost nothing to lose. For $129 to $229, cost with adapter, you can inexpensively upgraded your car stereo. As ViciouS did concede, it also works great with headphones. You can plug it into your home stereo, the portable music player in the garage while we washed our cars today, or take it on the plane when you fly. It sounds light years better than bluetooth and you don't burn up your data on your phone account. To take full advantage of it though, you need a Tidal account with full CD quality or better music tracks. If you are using MP3s with only 256-320K resolution, it won't help nearly as much. CDs at 1,440K have 5.6 times the data available to retrieve more detail in your music. The Dragonflys do a far superior job of organizing those bits of data into beautiful analog music than any Porsche PCM or phone is able to. Try it, you might just like it. If unsure, make the purchase from a place like Crutchfield that gives you a 60 day return policy. Finally, I am in no way affiliated with Audioquest.

Here are a few thoughts from some professional reviewers:

AudioQuest's DragonFly Red puts high-end DAPs on notice | DAR__KO

AudioQuest DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red DACs | The Absolute Sound

https://www.whathifi.com/audioquest/dragonfly-red/review

Another two cents, but just went and listened to the Red versus bluetooth again. Really hard not to hear a substantial difference. The Red is obviously much more detailed and articulate, but it also opens up the soundstage and has much better imaging. The voices come out of the dash and float in space in front of you which sounds much more like a real person singing to you. Pianos, guitars, and drums sound more like the real thing as well. It also tightens up the flabby bass that plagues most car systems, especially from Bose.
 

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I went with Crutchfield Blaupunkt 640 Unit and wiring harness from Loi at Eurospeed. Total cost $350.00
Took 4 hours to remove (the hardest part) the stock CDR and install the new NAV/Radio - All four of the plastic release clips were broken
Didn't buy the $650,00 MOST wire. Waste of money . Now have ----- on display BUT a great NAV/Radio that displays all the information, three inches from Porsche display.
Now looking at replacing paper 6 1/2" door speakers. Anyone have a suggestion of what kind to get.
 

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my 14' cayman is in the shop right now and i'm upgrading the bose system by adding the addison prima 8.9 bit and switching out the door speakers and tweeters with hertz mille pros! i can't wait to get it back without that crap bose in there now...


anyone else do something similar? how do you like it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've finally found a shop near Portland, OR experienced with solving the "Walmart" factory CDR radio problem for my Porsche. I'll retain my Bose speakers, but replace the amps and get a nice Kenwood 2 din head unit all for less than the upgrade would've cost for the PCM upgrade on delivery. I'll post pics and more info once I've got it done. Anyone wants the shop name, PM me. Fingers crossed!
 
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