In a bid to display the love and appreciation for automobiles, TarmacTyrants is an auto blog dedicated to all car enthusiasts with interests spanning across exotic supercars to street tuning. It is the residence where opinions are heard, knowledge is shared and ideas bestowed.
For obvious reasons, the GT86 is definitely anything but a quiet car. With the unbearable road noise from my rubbish Michelin Pilot Sports to the screaming noise from the engine's sound generator, the stock OE audio was overwhelmed and is hardly audible. After a month with the car, I invested some dough on a better audio system.
My requirements were simple, I wanted decent audio system to enjoy some jazz and vocals on the road without breaking my bank account or melting my plastic Mastercard. After a little research (been out of touch with the In Car Entertainment (ICE) scene since I was happy with the Mark Levinson in my Lexus for the past 3 years), I went with Rainbow's Sound Line 2-Way SL-C6.2 component speakers with an upgraded Germanium Line T-26 tweeters (with compliments from the Rainbow plant) for the front, a 4 inch 3-way from FLI Audio for the rears and an Alpine ICS-X8 as the in-dash head unit.
To keep within budget, the Rainbows were driven by Alpine's BBX-T600 2-channel amplifier pushing 50W RMS per channel, sufficient for some useful 'punch' across the full range spectrum while the rear Integrator 4 from FLI Audio was driven by the ICS-X8.
While I will obviously not win any ICE awards with this set up, I must say that as an audiophile who once built my own tube amplifiers, the set up sounded more than decent and the Rainbows sounded pretty warm (especially with the higher end T26 tweeters and after the speakers were "broken in" after a month). Generally, the woofers go pretty low with a tight mid bass with crisp vocals and not too bright highs. In short, the Rainbows are a very well balanced set of German speakers for the price. It plays well with jazz, vocals and even has a good 'punch' to it with some R&B and dance tracks!
For what it's worth, my investment of S$2700 on the system was certainly worth the while. Music is now more audible and the driving experience and 'happy' factor enhanced with some relaxation in the cabin.
DVD video playback is now a standard in my 86 and parking is made easier with the aid of Alpine's reverse camera and guides, an upgrade over the silly stock reverse sensor system. As I was on a budget, I have not invested in sound deadening and a sub-woofer but I am sure that's going to be coming next!
So if you have the extra means to better your stock car audio, do it!