When the DB9 was launched it came with three different levels of audio system as options; 128W, 260W and 950W. At the time they were considered as a quality accompaniment to the cars. Times move on, however, and the radio/CD option is now considered dated. We can offer many additions to the infotainment systems but in this post I wanted to cover the amplifiers and speaker systems.
I managed to find a write up which explains the differences between the options. After that are some of options that we have completed that can offer hope to those owners that are having issues with the factory fitted equipment and the, sometimes, frankly horrifying repair costs.
Aston Martin and Linn Products Ltd are pleased to announce that their brand partnership, which began with the lauded Linn entertainment system in the V12 Vanquish, continues with a bespoke range of audio solutions for the stunning new DB9.
The DB9 heralds an exciting new era for Aston Martin and reflects the direction that the company is now taking with all future models. Using a radical new aluminium bonded frame, the 2+2 DB9 is one of the most sophisticated and technically advanced sports cars in the world. It successfully balances the attributes of a sports car with comforts normally only found in luxury cars.
Such an advanced performance supercar merits only the most communicative and inspirational music and entertainment system, and the three levels of bespoke systems designed and manufactured by Linn for the DB9 deliver flawless performance. Whether listening to the radio, conversing with a friend on the telephone or enjoying a favourite CD, the Linn systems deliver pure and accurate sound.
Ivor Tiefenbrun M.B.E., Managing Director of Linn Products said: “DB9 owners value precision engineering at its best. The Linn sound systems offered with the DB9 are precision engineered to compliment this superb vehicle and complete its sublime transportation experience for driver and passengers. “
Three system levels are offered for the vehicle; the more the system costs the better it sounds. Regardless of the solution chosen, all of the Linn audio components are seamlessly integrated with the 3rd party in-dash 6 CD auto-changer, radio, navigation and telephone systems.
Linn 128W Audio System
Fitted as standard in the DB9, the Linn 128W Audio System is a 5-channel stereo amplification and loudspeaker solution, conceived to deliver clarity and simplicity on the move.
Four 22-watt-per-channel amplifiers, developed from Linn’s latest ultra-linear CHAKRA technology, drive two loudspeakers situated in stereo configuration in the vehicle’s doors. Each of these active loudspeakers contains a 4-inch mid-range drive unit and a 1-inch tweeter.
An additional 40-watt amplifier drives the 8-inch bass reinforcement loudspeaker which is situated between the rear seats. All of the amplifier modules have comprehensive protection circuitry and thermal and electrical cut-offs, and all of the advanced circuitry is housed in a single rugged module integrated into the luggage compartment.
Linn 260W Audio System With Limbik
The Linn 260W Audio System is the mid-level option in the range, offering greater power and the addition of LIMBIK-powered surround sound, delivering superior sound and tuneful performance that is simply totally involving.
At the heart of the Linn 260W Audio System an integrated CHAKRA amplifier module outputs eleven channels of pure, clean power to a total of six active loudspeakers. In addition to the front stereo and bass reinforcement loudspeakers included in the Linn 128W, a fascia-mounted centre-channel loudspeaker and two additional rear loudspeakers complete a full 5.1 solution.
Surround sound processing in the Linn 260W System is handled by Linn’s proprietary Limbik software algorithm which converts a normal stereo signal into 6 discrete channels of pitch-accurate sound, immersing the driver in the performance.
Linn 950W Audio System With Dolby Pro Logic II
For a truly sublime transportation experience, the Linn 950W Audio System sets a new standard of in-car audio reproduction.
The Linn 950W Audio System features reference quality CHAKRA amplification powered by Linn’s proprietary Switch Mode Power Supply technology resulting in substantially greater power output and improved sound quality.
Total amplifier output is 950W, split into ten channels of 75W driving the active full-range loudspeakers and an additional 200W driving the active bass reinforcement loudspeaker. In the 950W system, the bass reinforcement loudspeaker is servo-controlled, using an accelerometer to provide the correct feedback required for pitch accurate performance down to the lowest frequencies.
All of the audio systems operate in conjunction with the navigation system (if fitted) and connect in a closed loop of a fibre optic MOST (Media Orientated System Transport) bus. What this means is that if you want to add anything into the system, like an auxiliary input or MP3 integration, then for best quality you should add in a ‘Gateway’ to this system to make use of the cars amplifier and speaker set up properly.
Problems then arise if one of the components on this ‘loop’ fail. If a component goes down then the fibre optic ring is broken and nothing on the circuit will function. So in effect if the GPS control unit fails, the radio won’t work.
We are beginning to see more of the Linn amplifiers having issues and/or the sub speaker failing. The replacement costs of these parts can be a little scary,
128W – £1128 +VAT Surcharge £565 until they receive the old one back
260W – £3709+VAT Surcharge – £1000
950W – £2637+VAT Surcharge – £3000
The Sub speaker is priced at around £1300+VAT. (These prices current at date of writing 18 Sept 2019)
However there are other options. Whatever happens, to keep the integrity of the original system, you’re going to have to replace the original amplifier with something that can understand the signal coming from the fibre optic system. This can be done in a couple of ways. There is an Australian based firm called Mobridge that make an interface that will replace the part of the existing amplifier that interprets the fibre system and then gives an output of 8 channels of audio through RCA connectors. You will still need an amplifier then to power the speakers and sub speaker, but once you have the Mobridge unit in place then you have a myriad of choice of 5 and 6 channel amplifiers from the likes of JL Audio, Alpine, Rockford, JBL to name a few. Sub speakers can be found ranging from £100 upwards.
Another way to change the amplifier is to use a device from Audison called a BIT DMI in conjunction with one of their amplifiers called a BIT 10. It pretty much does the same as the Mobridge device mentioned previously, the downside, as far as installation goes, is that the original amplifier needs to be left in the fibre optic circuit otherwise the car’s audio system won’t wake up.
The factory fitted speakers offer a warm sound but they are a basic paper cone speaker in a lot of cases and over time they will degrade options are limited given space constraints. Larger speakers can be fitted in the rear 1/4 panels with deft use of MDF collars, the fronts are limited to around a 4″ unit, utilising the original mountings. With time and effort custom mountings can be made to accommodate a slightly larger size speaker. Of course you can go to the extremes and surface mount larger speakers to the bottom of the front doors, but then there is the risk of spoiling the aesthetics of the car with big aftermarket speakers on show. However, it’s your car.. Feel free to make any change you like
Nothing needs programming on the car should you wish to change amplifiers but the wiring can be difficult to understand if you’ve not got experience of car audio system wiring and any changes should be left to experienced engineers.
If you have any questions, please use our contact page or phone us on 01684 276752