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Thread: P38 Audio upgrade

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Rosanna Victoria
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    P38 Audio upgrade

    After years of procrastinating, finally purchased a 1999 P38 with the intention of slowly fixing up and keeping for many years.
    I am thinking about a modern sound system with built in Bluetooth, aux input etc.
    Any ideas and suggestions would be gratefully received.

  2. #2
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    I am not entirely certain what audio system your car came with, but:

    The P38 has separate amplifiers per door, they are built into the door itself and are fairly low power but some guy once measured the subwoofer amp (which is largely built around the same chip) to have 15watt rms (real electrical) output power before clipping. For audio that is quite a lot but it depends on the efficiency of the speakers.

    Having amplifiers per door (and sub) is both an advantage and disadvantage. Replacing the head unit won't work easily without a high to low converter to make sure you do not over drive the amps or use a radio with amp outputs. Then again, the sub has it's own audio feed already so replacing the amp for a more powerful one is quite easy (you only need to run a power feed).

    So replacing door speakers is relatively easy and if you do not need more power it could be done quite quickly. I have found the mid speaker to be the most difficult to find. (a fitting one). The door amp has 2 outputs (it's basicly a stereo amp chip of which both channels are used). One channel drives the low range in the door and the other channel drives mid and high (in the front, the rear doors only have low and mid). iirc the high is filtered by using a cap over the tweeter, thus it get's fed the full spectrum from the mid speaker as well which is normally not what you want in a high end system. Also, again iirc the mid range kicks in at around 200hz. The low speaker also get sub fed.

    in short:

    replacing the head unit requires converter cables and possibly transformers to feed the door amps.
    replacing the rear sub requires a power feed and modifying the audio feed to the aftermarket amp.
    replacing the door speakers is straight forward, they just have to fit (or made to fit )

    lastly: getting more power to the door speakers is one hell of a job, you would need to run your own speaker cables to each of the doors, run the, in the car to an amp (or amps) feed that amp with audio and power, etc etc.

    Personally I think 15 watts of RMS power is quite enough. Maybe not so for the sub but definatly for the doors. If you change the head unit and have an option to filter sub from your front/rear outputs then that is completely sorted as far as I am concerned. More sub power can be beneficial even with replacing the speakers in the cabinet to something more suitable.

    Cheers,
    -P

  3. #3
    p38arover's Avatar
    p38arover is offline Major Part of the Heart and Soul of AULRO Gold Subscriber
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    This might be useful: RangeRovers.net Forum

    I replaced the head unit in mine but I can't find the thread on here or on RangeRovers.net.

    I kept everything except the HU. I did lose the steering wheel controls.

    Yours is a later car with the Alpine head unit so you are better served by suitable replacements which will keep the steering wheel controls.
    Ron B.
    VK2OTC

    2004 L322 Range Rover Vogue 4.4 V8 Auto
    Yamaha XJR1300
    Previous: 1983, 1986 RRC; 1995, 1996 P38A; 1995 Disco1; 1984 V8 County 110; Series IIA



    RIP Bucko - Riding on Forever

  4. #4
    TheTree is offline ChatterBox Silver Subscriber
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    Hi,

    I fitted an android head unit following the example of others here who had moved the HEVAC controller up to the spot where the "sunglasses bin" was.

    To drive the head unit I bought the connector cable and a pair of high quality high>low converters to drive the door amps

    As far as the speakers go I replaced all of the door speakers and made my own 2-way 12DB crossover for the mid to tweeters, replacing the single capacitor which is standard.

    You can view the details here P38 Range Rover Speaker Upgrade

    When I crank it right up i can measure 120DB at the centre console lid, which is enough volume for most people

    Steve
    MY96 4.6 HSE P38. Niagara Grey; "The Phoenix"
    MY99 4.6 HSE P38. LPG, Blenheim Sliver; "Voldemort" burnt to a cinder
    MY79 RR Classic, Gone, MY57 Series 1 SWB, Long gone
    P38 write ups and info on my website http://p38.hts.com.au/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Bairnsdale
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    I'm not as tech savvy as the other guys , but I replaced my old unit with a new kenwood stereo with USB, bluetooth ect .I lost the sub woofer and CD player in the back for my dual battery system.
    There's a company in dandenong that fitted it with all steering controls ect all in working order.
    Works a treat

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    More Info

    Thanks for the comments and advice.
    The unit is Harman Kardon. I am in Melbourne.
    The sound from the unit is quite good but as I want to keep the car for a few years I would like to have Bluetooth, Aux input basically the mod cons and safety features available on more modern vehicles. If I can get this without replacing the head unit then fine but I am at a bit of a loss as to options.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belize View Post
    I'm not as tech savvy as the other guys , but I replaced my old unit with a new kenwood stereo with USB, bluetooth ect .I lost the sub woofer and CD player in the back for my dual battery system.
    There's a company in dandenong that fitted it with all steering controls ect all in working order.
    Works a treat
    Can you remember the Dandenong company, I would like to chat to them.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Without replacing the head unit: YouTube A simple bluetooth thingy to plug into that would be: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jabra-Hands.../dp/B00MPZ6840

    I use both solutions and I am not 100% pleased with it. I bought my P38 with the radio already modified mind you. What happens is that you "plug" the audio from your input directly into the tapedeck pre-amp so when a signal is detected it automatically mutes the radio and switches to the tape instead. Whatever is on at that time will be heard very faintly in the background. Recording an empty CD an putting that in your changer (74 minutes of -blank-) might do the trick but I never got around to testing that. ie. play the empty track from cd all the time (when you use the bluetooth thingy)

    Also, since the input is very sensitive, any and all RF interference will be picked up straightaway and played LOUDly. Connecting my (old) iphone (which still had a 3.5mm jack) directly to the radio would always mean a lot of radio interference from my phone receiving messages, loading a new song in itunes, etc. It was not the iPhone since other tested devices displayed the same symptoms. Trying to isolate the audio signal with a device did not help. From that perspective the bluetooth solution is great since there is no direct connection between the device and the radio

    Again, the input is very sensitive so you'll need to run your audio from say your phone at a LOW level else it will be extremely distorted and it will potentially damage something. The mid-range speakers are especially vulnerable at this age of simply drying out and giving up. Large deflections of the cones due to massive audio input from the radio will ruin them quickly. I've gone through 3 second hand replacements so far... In my case I got it figured out with one exception: when the phone rings. Let's say I have a nice piece of music on, loudly and I am happy as a clam swinging around and someone rings me up; the audio that's playing mutes and the ringtone kicks in full loudness. That takes a swift arm movement to the volume knob

    Having said that; the jabra does come with a built in microphone, placing it properly it does work fairly well. The audio quality of that unit is also very good imho. The only weird behaviour is pairing with multiple phones, my unit will simply allow 2 phones to be paired at the same time so I play some music and the missus get's a message, I'll hear that straight through the music.

    The other option is to replace the head unit and in order to get that to work you might need one of these: Range Rover P38 (94-99) Amplifier interface - InCarTec

    All this is assuming you have the clarion head unit that usually comes with the harman kardon system.

    Hopefully you have enough input for now good luck!

    Cheers,
    -P

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Freeway car audio Princes Highway Dandenong they used to be called something else and they were in Malvern right next to the Range Rover dealership so they re used to working on all sorts of Land Rovers

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