View Full Version : Audio options

Low Tide
02-06-2003, 05:30 PM
Just curious, I do not see anything in the forum about the separate amplifier and speaker options that are available.

There is the stock HU-613
It has three amp options: 4x25, 4x50, and 4x75
It has three speaker options: performance, high perf, premium

Then there is the HU-803
It has one option: Audio Max

Who has some knowledge of the differences in specification of the speakers and the amps. There seems to be a question if the 4x75 amp is even available and then a second question about the differences between the speaker packages.

I am interested in what the differences are in the speaker groups. The cone material is likely the driving factor, probably magnet size as well. Seen any specs?

On the amp: power differences are rather clear, but are the THD levels significant?

I know that a couple of you have purchased the upgrade, but what about the options individually. Apparently the HU-613 is very similar in specification as the HU-803, but is four channel limited rather than 4 + center +1 simulated PLII. Otherwise, any major differences?

Any info, prices, experience is appreciated.

02-06-2003, 06:40 PM
Low Tide:

First, I'm no expert in radios, speakers and the like.

What I can tell you is that the HU-801 in my S80 is wondeful sounding. It fills the whole car with glorious music and volume can be turned up to enormous levels without there being any distortion.

We like the in-dash 4 CD changer in the HU-803 and we have no tape cassetts anymore so the HU-613 was not suitable for us.

We've had such good experience with the HU-801 in the S80 and didn't really give it a second thought when considering the XC70's HU-803.

I can't help you on the specs differences other than to say the HU-803 should be a very good radio and CD player. We've had no problems with our HU-801 and would recommend the HU-803 without any reservations.

I'm expecting the HU-803 to sound even better in a wagon as apposed to a sedan.

I have noticed that the face of the HU-801 in our S80 can get very hot and is quite disturbing. It may simply be the great heat given off by the twin turbos and exhaust manifold driving the S80 T6's engine. The engine bay tends to run with high temperatures and the twin turbos sit just on the other side of the firewall behind the center console.

02-06-2003, 10:06 PM
LT I think there are a number of threads on the subject here. As I recall, the HU-803 has the 4X50W amplifier with premium speakers. The difference in speaker quality would be in part the cone material as you surmised (fibreglass vs paper), and also probably a better quality magnet and coil. Not necessarily a larger magnet, but a design that would allow a lot of movement back and forth in a cramped space. Also I think the premium speakers are installed with three in the front doors.

Don't discount the HU-613. It's wiring harness does not support the center speaker, but if you like stereo sound as opposed to surround sound, it's pretty good. It's settings can be modified through hidden menus (http://xc70.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=282) to the point where the unit is almost indistinguishable from the HU-803. The theory is that Volvo deliberately crimped the performance of the unit to encourage sales of the high-end stereo. I don't believe that though, do you? http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

The other thing the HU-613 has is the cassette deck. I use it to play my mp3s on my Rio on the car radio through a slave tape. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Low Tide
02-07-2003, 08:39 AM
Thanks for the post Wiz.  I agree on the speaker portion.  This is likely to make the most difference in any car audio environment.  The HU-613 is still an award winning design.  The HU-803 is likely to have the same components for translation and reporduction in the digital department- regardless of what anyone may think. The difference would be the inclusion of a 3 channel DSP to alow for center output.  In many cases, the 2 channel stereo is going to reproduce sound in that size space with equal accuracy.  So long as the current control is matched with the speakers reproduction capability, then I see no reason.  The problems with distortion are likely to arise if the amp can't mediate the flow or is taxed and on the other end the speakers are banded by flow and range limits- this is hard to write in lay-terms huh?- anyway, I did some searching- and the speaker upgrades and the addition of a stronger amp to propel the larger drivers are likely to be a great combination.  I think it is likely to be about half the cost of upgrading the unit to the HU-813.  Is the 3rd channel worth the extra money?  IMO, no-but I am more a sound purist than one who likes  modern gimic.  I do look forward to tweaking it-  likely there is some truth to the settigs being flat.  This would certainly encourage an upgrade... I do not think it is intentional by Volvo though, rather a manuafacturer that wants to highlight certain tonal qualities.  The DSP addition in the 813 would definately encourage different tonal qualities to help simulate the phantom center rear channel, plus the drivers are small in the rear, so the tonal compensation in the front is likely to be rather warm- that also explains the larger drivers in the front doors.  

The only question is knowing the exact cost at this point.  The amp is $200.  The speakers are?  Anyone know?  Kersti- didn't you order the upgraded speakers for the HU-613?

02-07-2003, 10:52 AM
I understood that the amp upgrade also upgraded the speakers, but I am not so sure from the description of the option. As it turns out I ordered 00229 amp upgrade ($200) but they left if off the order and said they would have to add it when the car gets back to the dealer.  Pico de luuks was my source for the speakers/amp upgrade being a combo. Pico can you give us any more information??? I plan to ask at FDC to give more information also.


Low Tide
02-07-2003, 12:58 PM
Kersti,  I sent an email to the FDC (at the request of my dealer) to ask about the upgrade package on the HU-613.  You, I, and our dealers are presently under the same impression as well that the amp included the speaker upgrade for $200.

Alexandra at the FDC forwarded the email request to the FDC staff for details/specs and more info.  She also said that it was official policy now that accessories had to be ordered with the vehicle or at the time of delivery (not in the middle)- but that they would confirm whether or not it could be added at the FDC upon pickup ASAP.  I will post the answer when I get one that sounds official.

Low Tide
02-18-2003, 04:48 PM
All Interested (corrected & updated)-

No new info yet from the FDC workshop. From several members here we can surmise that the "upgraded" (000229) package has in the past included:
1) PA-200, 4x50 Watt Amplifier
2) High-performance speakers (fiberglass cone)

Other pertinent info (variety of sources):
3)PA-300, 4x74 Watt amp exists (price ~370 Euros)
4)Premium 3 way front speakers (separate mid-range woofer) are avail and can be installed into the XC70 without a change to wiring so long as at least the HU-613 is in the car) HU-803 description referes to the speakers as Premium. HU-613 as high-performance.
5)All MY03 and MY04 XC70's with the HU-603/613 or the HU-803/813 do have 8 & 9/10 speakers respectively. (the HU-403 may have only 6).

If you can confirm or refute this info or add additional pricing, please post. Also, all upgrades can also be performed at the dealer under a higher price scheme. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sly.gif

02-18-2003, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the 'upgrade' description LowTide.
I will still try to upgrade at FDC, but my dealer has promised to do the upgrade for the OSD price if I can't get it done there.


02-18-2003, 05:15 PM
I counted (and expect) 9 speakers for the HU-803 MY2003 unit.

a) 4 speakers in front doors (2 each side)
b) Center dash surround/center speaker (one that Nav Sys pops out of http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif )
c) 2 speakers in second row seats (one per door)
d) 2 speakers in rear cago area -- one in each rear pillar post

This makes 9 speakers -- am I wrong about this?

Low Tide
02-18-2003, 05:15 PM
Curious, did you get your promise in writing? I couldn't get it on paper. I hope that there is not any problems- and I trust that the FDC will do everything they can....

02-18-2003, 05:54 PM
No, I probably should have.


pico de luuks
02-19-2003, 06:30 AM
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Low Tide @ Feb. 18 2003,18:48)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">3)PA-300, 4x74 Watt amp exists (price unknown)[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
PA-300 is approx. euro 370.- in the Netherlands (@ the dealer)

Complete 10 speaker set (for HU-613/PA-300 with three way system in front door) is approx. euro 900.- (@ the dealer)

In NL the AUDIMAX (HU-813 + PA-300) comes standard with the 11 premium speakers. (If I&#39;m not mistaken: you can save some bucks in NL by ordering the HU-813 + PA-200 with 9 high performance speakers.)

I don&#39;t have the audio brochure at hand so these are ballpark prices and do include labour....


Low Tide
02-19-2003, 08:33 AM
Kersti et all-

Another update. &nbsp;According to the FDC, they were &quot;instructed&quot; by VCNA that the &quot;RETAILER&quot; would contact those of us interested in the audio upgrades to discuss installation at OSD pricing in the brochure. &nbsp;There was no further comment. &nbsp;

The numbers the Pico gave (THANKS&#33http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif are in line with the FDC pricing (roughly).&#39;

Just a confirmation too- &nbsp;The PA-200/ +8 upgraded speakers is priced at &#036;200 including labor for MY03 OSD delivery. &nbsp;

Pico, if you have a chance, can you take a look at the brochure and post any additional specs? &nbsp;I am going to check with my &quot;RETAILER&quot; about the US OSD pricing. &nbsp;

Kersti, with FDC deferring to VCNA, I think that it is more important for those interested to get something a little more specific from our OSD agents at this point. &nbsp;It is important to point out that there is no assertion as to whether the FDC can/will still perform the install or whether the &quot;process&quot; simply needs to involve the retailer rather than customer directly. &nbsp;The answer also does not imply that a US install is required for these options. &nbsp;Closer- but not definative by any means.

02-19-2003, 09:07 AM
My dealer all along discouraged any options they could do from being done at FDC. I had to beg to get the rear spoiler and reversing radar done at the factory. So the question is-
Is there an advantage to factory installation over dealer if the price is the same?


Low Tide
02-19-2003, 09:18 AM
Assuming that the dealer installed options are the same price and that the warranty is attached to the 4/50K US warranty, then I do not see much difference- &nbsp;that assumes though that the quality of the install is the same and that there are no hidden charges. &nbsp;I am definately not willing to pay more than the OSD price for an option I requested from my retailer. &nbsp;That being said, I would prefer that the work be done at the FDC.

02-19-2003, 09:21 AM

My understanding of FDC installation vs. Dealership installation is that the FDC installation provides a new car warranty of 50K/4yrs for any accessory they add/install whereas the dealership can/will only provide a 1 yr Volvo accesory warranty (not sure about labor costs).

My position is to get most if not all my accessories installed at FDC. Only as a last resort will I defer to having the dealership add accessories.

02-19-2003, 10:51 AM
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (kersti @ Feb. 19 2003,06:17)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">So the question is-
Is there an advantage to factory installation over dealer if the price is the same?Kersti[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Warranty issues notwithstanding, I would always take a factory install during build over a dealer install. QA during the factory build should be better so (theoretically at least) long-term reliability should be higher.

Low Tide
02-20-2003, 10:42 AM
Okay- here is the definative link on the MY03 Audio options available for order, along with specs and all the related info you will need. &nbsp;Its a PDF doc, and printing page 8,11,12 will give you the pertinent XC70 info. &nbsp;


Now, let&#39;s just get the US dealers to acknowledge that we are trying to help them. &nbsp; http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/crazy.gif &nbsp; When the orders are placed, the emphasis on the exact WORDS used means a lot to the customer. &nbsp;Premium, High Performance, Performance- those subtle differences mean different things to the factory. &nbsp;Everything shouldn&#39;t simply be called premium. &nbsp;It can lead to things getting dropped from the order form....

02-20-2003, 11:46 AM
Low Tide:

Your persistent research into the Audio Biology (http://sc2.vcc.m.volvocars.se/bilder/pp/s60/options/audio/audio.pdf) is a valuable piece of the &#39;puzzle&#39;. Many thanks.

This will hopefully allow me to understand why the +&#036;1000 for the HU-603-&gt;HU-803 upgrade. On the face of it it appears to be related to upgrading to 4-disc CD changer, possibly better speakers(kinda doubt this though) and Dolby Surround Sound Logic. The &#036;1000 upgrade price on reflection appears rather absorbent. The big appeal to me was the *in dash* 4-CD changer. The remote located 6 and 10-CD changers didn&#39;t meet my requirements. I only wish the CD changer could read/play MP3 CDs.

I&#39;m no audio technical expert and have the HU-801 in our S80 and like it&#39;s sound reproduction very much. My sales person and Jason(OSD/VCNA) recommended the HU-803 and was subsequently pursuaded http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Low Tide
02-20-2003, 12:11 PM
If you want my opinion. I am expecting the HU-613 with the High-performance speaker/amp upgrade. &nbsp;I am still tempted to go for the HU-803. &nbsp;I understand that it can be upgraded at the FDC, but waiting for a confirmation.

I have listened to both, and they are very similar as base systems. The HU-803 at &#036;1000 is a leap, but if you subtract the &#036;200 for the OSD upgrade on the HU-613, you are left with &#036;800 for the extra speakers in the dash, CD changer and the PLII processor. I suspect that the changer will account for about &#036;400 of that. The center channel acts to widen the soundstage and give some depth to the range. It is a pretty small speaker though. The PLII DSP adds depth (whether accurate or not) to both the front woofers and the rear pillar tweeters. I think the most noticable difference is in the perception of a complete sound stage.

So long as the speakers are upgraded and the amp added to the HU-613, there is not a lot of immediate difference. Both are pretty powerful systems. If you want the centre addition and the wider soundstage + the changer, then the &#036;800 is well worth it. I am still divided, but trying to work through the options. For me and for a couple of others (ie Kersti) the HU-613 upgrade was for some reason not added to the order- or at least single out as an option. That is the reason for the research and the extended attempt to bring clarity to the topic here for future OSDer&#39;s and special order people alike.

There is a real difference in semantic marketing description by the dealers here in the US and what the factory calls its specific options... differences yes. I still am not sure exactly who is right, but the literature clears a lot up.

Anyway, I hope it helps this forum.

02-20-2003, 12:43 PM
Nice post, LT http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif . Volvo is confusing in its literature on the audio, and that extends to the sticker specification that comes on the rear window of a new car.

My sticker says HU-613/6 speakers, but there are actually 8 speakers in the car, bass + tweeter in the front doors, bass in the rear passenger doors, and tweeters in the rear pillars.

One thing to consider is that if you get the HU-803 with the center channel speaker in the dash, then you can&#39;t have the navigation system in your car as well. They can&#39;t both occupy the same space.

Low Tide
02-20-2003, 12:48 PM

FYI- &nbsp;I did read that the HU-803 is compatible with the nav system... what changes is the size of the speaker- w/nav it is shared in the same compartment- speaker size drops to 4&quot;x6&quot; . &nbsp;My guess is that the reduced size of the woofer will reduce range and effectiveness of the center channel in PLII , not only that, but the screen will likely be suject to some vibration- so long as it is damped, then great, if not, then you&#39;ll hear it rattle a bit... eventually. &nbsp;Just a guess though, but probably not too far off from reality.

02-20-2003, 12:59 PM
hey - egg on my face - http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/crazy.gif http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/hehe.gif That a MY2003 thing or is it also true for the &#39;02? (In the &#39;02 the upgrade was an HU-813.) http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/lookaround.gif &nbsp;I&#39;m sure I read somewhere that the two couldn&#39;t live together. &nbsp;http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif

02-20-2003, 01:03 PM
I&#39;ve researched the Nav Sys w/HU-803 wrt to centre dash speaker. There&#39;s no change in speaker dimensions with or without Nav Sys. The speaker grate opening is purposely made large enough to allow the inclusion of the Nav Sys screen option with standard HU-803 speaker.

This makes sense as what caused me to research this was the fact that in my wife&#39;s S80 w/HU-801 the centre speaker grate is huge and much larger than the speaker dimensions hidden beneath.

The screens robustness wrt to speaker air compression waves is something to be reckoned with I suppose and hope Volvo has looked into that.

Maybe Hans at FDC will address that issue promptly for me http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

02-20-2003, 01:10 PM
I stand corrected&#33; &nbsp;http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

02-20-2003, 01:29 PM
wiz: I also stand corrected as Low Tide has the correct info. It&#39;s true that on the S80 there&#39;s no centre speaker dimensional change w/Nav screen but there is on the XC70 as the grate opening is smaller than on the S80 and consequently the XC70 centre speaker dimensions do have to be reduced to accommodate the Nav screen. &nbsp;http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Low Tide&#39;s info was confirmed by the XC70 michro fiche diagrams that I had my Parts Dept person review for me. There was no mention of what the reduce speaker size was though -- it&#39;s simply indicated as being smaller.

Low Tide
02-20-2003, 02:08 PM

Think of it as &quot;updated&quot; rather than &quot;corrected.&quot; I think that the shifting of the audio section of the XC70 is rather funky- and it well could have been the case earlier- or so it was related to you. Armed with the &quot;updated&quot; info we can all make better choices- its just a shame that we have to find the info and double check it in the first place.

02-20-2003, 03:53 PM
Your point is that we have to go digging for it - and you&#39;re absolutely right. Volvo have a long way to go in providing their customers with up-to-date, accurate information. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/unhappy.gif