Automotive

2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Audio Project

Although I love the Cayenne as a “Driving Machine”, many things about German cars that bother me are included in it. Most of which are the “user un-friendliness” within the cabin and centers around the audio interface. I’m not asking for orchestra hall sonic quality. I’m quite happy as long as I can hear the stereo. The problem is the buttons. They don’t use the internationally agreed upon icons we use since cassette tapes were around. Square for STOP, Triangle for Play, Double Triangles for FF/RW… etc.

If that wasn’t enough, this 2008 model year Cayenne was equipped with the PCM 2.0 system. The GPS navigation system works, but the interface makes it a POS. No touch screen, No pointer joystick… it was a no frills spartan system. The audio unit didn’t have a BlueTooth interface, No XM/HD Radio, No Voice control, No iPod/USB interface… No AUX port either. It’s almost like Porsche knew that Porsche buyers buy the car for the brand name and not for it’s convenient features. Of course I forgot, the tires were actually optional on this car. Yes, if your dealer forgets to check the box for tires, this car will arrive from Germany WITHOUT TIRES!!

Anyway, long story short. I hated the Audio/Navi system in this car and wanted to replace it with something aftermarket.There were broadly two choices to go about this.

1) Keep the Bose sound system and replace the head unit only.

2) Chuck the Bose system and replace the head unit, amp, and maybe the speakers.

Oh, did I tell you, I hate Bose? Bose uses proprietary features that make the most mundane tasks complicated. The home theater system in my parents home needs six cables to connect three speakers. How does that calculate? And Bose did it again in this car. They use a proprietary system called MOST (), a fiberoptic network that carries audio and component control signals over a single optic cable. Any replacement head unit must patch into this MOST system or it wouldn’t be able to send the audio signals to the Bose amplifier. Unfortunately, there are no GPS head units out there that can do so… out of the box.

The solution was the MOST-HUR (Head Unit Replacement) adapter from Nav-TV. The MOST-HUR apparently let Alpine or Kenwood head units patch into the MOST network and also retain the audio controls on the steering wheel. Unfortunately, it’s 2011 and Nav-TV stopped manufacturing these adapters, and recently sold out or they disappeared (I dunno, they didn’t return my messages anymore). At $690, it was quite expensive anyways. my contact at Nat-TV has not been good at keeping up with e-mail correspondence.

I wasn’t really thrilled with the Alpine or Kenwood systems either. So, the other solution left was to forget about the MOST and forget about Bose. I would have to install an aftermarket amp too.

There was a car audio shop out in California that installed a Pioneer GPS navi system into a Cayenne using the JL XD600/6. This was a six channel amp, so it would be able to power the front pair speakers, the rear pair speakers, and the subwoofer (bridged). But further investigation told me that there are a total of 14 speakers on 8 channels on the Cayenne. It was almost a pseudo-7.1 surround system (front pair, rear pair, trunk pair, center, and subwoofer).

I thought I’d need to get another 4 channel amp and have a dual amp set-up to drive all the speakers, but what if Bose had it set up where all the speakers were all connected to only 4 outputs – then a smaller middleman processor separated those signals to 8 channels? I didn’t know. So I had two choices. Ask the guy in California or pop out the pillar panels and find out myself…

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