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1996 Audi S4 - Audio Audi

Video Killed the Radio Car

Jan 1, 2001 SHARE

In his mind and in his car, he can’t rewind, he’s gone too far. Not that Raff Yao would want to; his ’96 Audi A4 is built to the “T” with audio and video goodies. Just speaking with Raff makes it easy to see the enthusiasm he has for his A4, and that’s not to mention how energized he becomes when you compliment his ride. Everything done to his A4 has been a labor of love, and with it, not a corner was cut or a shortcut taken. In the end, all his hard work paid off ten-fold. Is it natural, you may ask, for someone to love their car this much? Raff has never cared what other people think. He knows his car, he knows what he likes, and he knows he likes his car. So the answer would be “yes” for those who follow Raff’s same beliefs.

Raff knew he wanted more than just an average multimedia experience in his Audi. When it came to choosing a video system, Raff had to be cutting edge, it’s just his nature. He knew VCRs were something best left in the past. To that, he grabbed hold of a Kenwood 907 Excelon head unit with touch-screen monitor, added in a Pioneer PDV-10 DVD player, and finished the package with a Sony Playstation. Figuring that was more than enough visual stimulation for any passenger, he started work on the audio.

The consideration put into the audio in this Audi goes beyond that of speakers. Raff needed to be able to distinguish every audible nuance the speakers could produce, thus he opted for the quietly powerful 2.8L V-6 engine over the 1.8T, allowing passengers to listen to the speakers rather than the rev of the engine. To give a sense of ownership to the engine, Raff installed an ITG drop-in filter from LLTEK and followed that with a Focuz exhaust system. The power produced by these two modifications was minimal, but it created the power silently, which was the most important thing, while the DTM-style exhaust tip added to the car’s naturally racy shell.

Next, the audio power and speakers were installed. For that, Raff headed to the same place he had the video toys installed, as that was the only place he trusted to build the car the way he wanted. Sounds Unlimited, in Glendale, California, set to work, and soon enough, Raff’s amp selections, including a Directed 1,100-watt amp and a Bose 200-watt amp, were supplying seamless power to the two 12-inch, trunk-mounted Phoenix Gold speakers and the six Bose speakers stealthily installed in the factory Audi speaker enclosures. Getting the signal from the amps to the speakers is an important job, and Raff wasted no time having Sounds Unlimited route Phoenix Gold four-gauge wiring throughout his ride.

The audio mods were easy as Raff knew exactly what he wanted, and because he knew he needed quiet power, the engine mods were even easier. But once all this was completed, Raff was left with the arduous task of dressing the exterior of the car. That’s not to say that getting a body kit is difficult, but Raff needed something that was more personalized than a lick-n-stick body upgrade could supply; he needed something that would equal his audio and video upgrades. He headed to AVO’s Auto Body Repair in North Hollywood, California, to see what ideas they could throw together. Before long, Raff had color-matched pearl white M3 side skirts and an S4 front bumper from EuroTEK Motorsports. After that, he attached a EuroTEK Type M rear spoiler and a set of LLTEK eyelids. To finish the body package, Raff installed an LLTEK front hex grille and took care of the lighting with Inpro and Bosch clear corners, smoke side markers, and smoke taillights.

After that, Raff had Sprewell Racing in San Gabriel, California, drop his A4 nearly 1.8 inches all around with H&R Sport springs. To match the vicious drop, equally vicious wheels and tires were needed. For that, Raff ordered a set of Quantum TEK alloy S8 18x8 wheels and threaded Falken GRB 225/40-18 tires—the end result being a spectacular fire of curved eight-spokes gripping the asphalt smoothly and confidently as the A4 rolls.

With very little of the car left stock, Raff had only a couple more things that needed customizing before he was happy. Playing off the factory black leather seats, Raff installed a set of AZC white-faced gauges. He followed that by installing a three-spoke Audi Quattro steering wheel and darkening the windows with Touch Tint window tinting. As a finishing touch, the rear A4 badge was pulled and replaced with one sporting the LLTEK name. This badge served a dual purpose: It let people know only the finest products were used in the buildup of this Audi and made some mistake his A4 for an S4.

With everything said and done, this A4 rocks and rolls its way down the freeway, allowing passengers to hear and absorb every musical note from the massively powerful mobiletronics setup. Although the Kenwood head unit is fully capable of supplying excellent radio reception, it rarely gets used for that purpose.

Instead, video games and movies are the star players in this car. Thankfully, video did kill what potentially could have been a bland radio car.

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