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Thread: Exhaust Nirvana

  1. #1
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    Exhaust Nirvana

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    I'll just leave this right here...

    I read all the exhaust note threads and note that people are spending literally thousands of dollars on aftermarket mods. I watch the videos and listen to the modded exhausts. Then I get into my stock exhaust S4 and think to myself, those aftermarket exhausts sound like s*** compared to OEM. Full of rasp, ugly drone, and harsh tone. Maybe just turn up the volume on your soundaktor? If you are dumping large on your exhaust, I bet you have a vagcom.

    My position is that tuning an exhaust is no different than an amplifier/speaker hooked up to it, when all is considered. Well, actually, it is different, it cost you thousands. A vagcom is what, $100?

    Just sayin'.

    Sconnie

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    Veteran Member Four Rings Dannydyn's Avatar
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    I agree partially. I agree most of the aftermarket exhaust notes do not belong on this car. AWE's Touring sounds too exotic for an Audi IMO, and too boomy at low RPMs (hence I sold it). The X-pipe sounds like a Civic fart can. Some of the louder catback systems are just not right for this car, period.

    With that said, the stock note is pathetic at best. I don't have as much issue with the note itself, as much as the volume level, which is nonexistent. I wish there was some kind of an aftermarket solution to get decibal levels of somewhere between stock and AWE Touring/Miltek resonated. The stock sound level is just sad for a performance sedan.
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    Veteran Member Three Rings Jester2893's Avatar
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    You couldnít have left this somewhere else? We have enough exhaust discussions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine

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    I like my touring, I don't know if I got lucky or what but there is no drone or rasp and it sounds great, throaty. https://youtu.be/yc6ehTjKeck
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    Established Member Three Rings MSq5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    I'll just leave this right here...

    I read all the exhaust note threads and note that people are spending literally thousands of dollars on aftermarket mods. I watch the videos and listen to the modded exhausts. Then I get into my stock exhaust S4 and think to myself, those aftermarket exhausts sound like s*** compared to OEM. Full of rasp, ugly drone, and harsh tone. Maybe just turn up the volume on your soundaktor? If you are dumping large on your exhaust, I bet you have a vagcom.

    My position is that tuning an exhaust is no different than an amplifier/speaker hooked up to it, when all is considered. Well, actually, it is different, it cost you thousands. A vagcom is what, $100?

    Just sayin'.

    Sconnie
    What does the reference to vagcom mean? Are you referring to data logging with Ross-Tech VCDS? Logging with aftermarket tunes for increased power? Not sure what that has to do with the exhaust, unless speaking about increased flow from downpipes and other flow mods before the cats that might have some effect on performance. That's where "vagcom" would come into play. And, of course, that assumes an appropriate tune. Maybe enlighten us?

    FYI: My 3.0 TFSI Q5 is stage 2 and about 420-430 crank horsepower. The stock exhaust is very quiet, even more so than on the S4, but obviously flows quite well. I could use a little more volume without drone, so the quest continues for how to do that effectively. Tuning an exhaust is somewhat like audio - properly chosen straight through resos can attenuate drone without disturbing power or diminishing the remainder of the exhaust "note."
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSq5 View Post
    What does the reference to vagcom mean? Are you referring to data logging with Ross-Tech VCDS? Logging with aftermarket tunes for increased power? Not sure what that has to do with the exhaust, unless speaking about increased flow from downpipes and other flow mods before the cats that might have some effect on performance. That's where "vagcom" would come into play. And, of course, that assumes an appropriate tune. Maybe enlighten us?

    FYI: My 3.0 TFSI Q5 is stage 2 and about 420-430 crank horsepower. The stock exhaust is very quiet, even more so than on the S4, but obviously flows quite well. I could use a little more volume without drone, so the quest continues for how to do that effectively. Tuning an exhaust is somewhat like audio - properly chosen straight through resos can attenuate drone without disturbing power or diminishing the remainder of the exhaust "note."
    Can set the level of amplification on the Soundaktor through the proprietary vagcom interface.

    Sconnie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2893 View Post
    You couldnít have left this somewhere else? We have enough exhaust discussions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    Seemed like a good place to drop it.

    Sconnie

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    Veteran Member Four Rings Dannydyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSq5 View Post
    What does the reference to vagcom mean? Are you referring to data logging with Ross-Tech VCDS? Logging with aftermarket tunes for increased power? Not sure what that has to do with the exhaust, unless speaking about increased flow from downpipes and other flow mods before the cats that might have some effect on performance. That's where "vagcom" would come into play. And, of course, that assumes an appropriate tune. Maybe enlighten us?

    FYI: My 3.0 TFSI Q5 is stage 2 and about 420-430 crank horsepower. The stock exhaust is very quiet, even more so than on the S4, but obviously flows quite well. I could use a little more volume without drone, so the quest continues for how to do that effectively. Tuning an exhaust is somewhat like audio - properly chosen straight through resos can attenuate drone without disturbing power or diminishing the remainder of the exhaust "note."
    I think the OP was referencing VAG-COM with regards to increasing the Soundaktor volume.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    Can set the level of amplification on the Soundaktor through the proprietary vagcom interface.

    Sconnie
    Also, no one has demonstrated any useful increase in power through any of these changes, nor has even mentioned it, but rather everyone touts the sound of their mods.

    Sconnie

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    Senior Member Three Rings Bikel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    Can set the level of amplification on the Soundaktor through the proprietary vagcom interface.

    Sconnie
    While this might be true for B8.5's, the B8's don't have the fake soundaktor. So now what?

    Just sayin'...
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    I don't understand these threads. If you don't want an exhaust, or you think it's a waste of money, then don't buy one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    Seemed like a good place to drop it.

    Sconnie
    It wasnt.
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    Much ado about nothing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tar View Post
    It wasnt.
    I disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    Also, no one has demonstrated any useful increase in power through any of these changes, nor has even mentioned it, but rather everyone touts the sound of their mods.

    Sconnie
    Removing the catalytic converters frees up some power, and also removes a failure point. This is also the cause of a lot of the rasp that you hear guys like me complain about. Many of us are just trying to retain good internal and EXTERNAL sound.

    Regarding comparing actual exhaust changes to physical exhaust components, those two things are worlds apart. It's not just about in cabin volume. If it was I'd just make race car noises with my mouth.
    Last edited by GandalfTheIbis; 06-13-2018 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tar View Post
    It wasnt.
    +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Works2shoot View Post
    I don't understand these threads. If you don't want an exhaust, or you think it's a waste of money, then don't buy one.
    tyring to whore up the ring count on his profile...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannydyn View Post
    tyring to whore up the ring count on his profile...
    Great idea!
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    Established Member Two Rings ClarkGriswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GandalfTheIbis View Post
    Removing the catalytic converters frees up some power, and also removes a failure point. This is also the cause of a lot of the rasp that you hear guys like me complain about. Many of us are just trying to retain good internal and EXTERNAL sound.

    Regarding comparing actual exhaust changes to physical exhaust components, those two things are worlds apart. It's not just about in cabin volume. If it was I'd just make race car noises with my mouth.
    This is the only reason I pay attention to the exhaust threads. I know at some future point my Cats are going to eat shit and I will have to go Catless. I want to keep my stock exhaust, but I have concerns about the drone/sound of a Catless stock exhaust.
    Last edited by ClarkGriswold; 06-13-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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    Can I run two speakers by the exhaust tips and "VCDS" the volume to max?...wait never mind. No soundaktor in my "hoopty" :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ch13f View Post
    Can I run two speakers by the exhaust tips and "VCDS" the volume to max?...wait never mind. No soundaktor in my "hoopty" :)

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    Veteran Member Four Rings LINDW4LL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    I'll just leave this right here...

    I read all the exhaust note threads and note that people are spending literally thousands of dollars on aftermarket mods. I watch the videos and listen to the modded exhausts. Then I get into my stock exhaust S4 and think to myself, those aftermarket exhausts sound like s*** compared to OEM. Full of rasp, ugly drone, and harsh tone. Maybe just turn up the volume on your soundaktor? If you are dumping large on your exhaust, I bet you have a vagcom.

    My position is that tuning an exhaust is no different than an amplifier/speaker hooked up to it, when all is considered. Well, actually, it is different, it cost you thousands. A vagcom is what, $100?

    Just sayin'.
    Hello, fellow SE Wisconsinite. Waukesha area here! Most would disagree with you about the factory exhaust. While not terrible, it sounds rather gutless, and is easily improved upon with something the AWE Touring which gives a great deep tone, while still being refined. Especially if you're keeping stock (or the AWE resonated) downpipes, this setup is definitely not full of rasp or "harsh" at all. Don't get me wrong- there are certainly exhausts out there that are too loud, raspy and unrefined; I wouldn't want Armytrix, AWE Track, X-Pipe mod, etc. But there are plenty of reasonable options available that reveal a nice tone.

    As to your amplifier analogy. Rather than artificially amplifying the noise, I'd argue that the engine is being artificially muffled- significantly- from the factory, and we're just uncorking it a bit (though still muffled) to improve the driving experience. Stock is so boring.
    -Hayden


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2893 View Post
    You couldnít have left this somewhere else? We have enough exhaust discussions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    One could say weíve... exhausted the subject? :D (I had to)
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    Iíve struggled with the $2k+ that most catback systems seem to be going for, given the marginal performance gains. I scored a BNIB Becker set yesterday for $500 and my shop is installing it tomorrow. Theyíre going to weld probably, to avoid some of the sagging and other issues guys have mentioned having. Under $800 installed doesnít seem bad at all for exhaust. Of course, some people do airbags and lighting kits and all sorts of other things Iíd never spend the money on. To each their own. :)
    2014 S4 Monsoon Grey, bought 6/16/17, GIAC Stage II (DP tune), 180mm CTS crank, CTS SC pulley, CTS intake, GIAC DSG software, Becker/Magnaflow exhaust
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  25. #25
    Established Member Three Rings Morritse's Avatar
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    I don't understand the point of this post. Exhaust is almost purely subjective. It's another mod that people have their own opinions about. This being said, I think OEM exhaust is pretty shit sounding on a 400WHP car. I don't even have soundaktor, but it would be a cold day in hell when I turn up fake engine noise.

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Stop liking what I don't like!!!!

    I'm trying a different route as I also think the AWE sounds like shit. I don't have high hopes that it'll be what I'm looking for but figured it was worth throwing an exhaust system on the car while I was having my blown out cats hollowed out.

    The factory exhaust sound is too tame but it also I think indicates where Audi sees the market for this car. My B8 was greatly improved with sway bars (with metal dog bones), the Canyon Run firewall bar, inserts in the driveline isolators, and Q5/Macan calipers. This car should have come that way but they're trying to soften it up and cheapen it up (though maybe that was always the target for this car). But then we get the B9 with only a slushbox transmission and Camry level exterior styling.

    Sounds like the OP got exactly what he wanted similar to loads of other people who never do anything to the S4 whereas those of us that see it as suboptimal might be the problem.

    Regardless, this will probably be my last S4 as I'll be heading back to a 2-door now that we have an SUV as the family-mobile.

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    Established Member Three Rings brs2c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    Also, no one has demonstrated any useful increase in power through any of these changes, nor has even mentioned it, but rather everyone touts the sound of their mods.
    What you say is true, but only to a degree. Exhaust provides gains if it:
    A) Is a shorter and/or straighter route to exit
    B) Has less obstructions (crush bends or cats etc)
    C) Provides an a better diameter of piping to support a particular power level
    D) Does a better job at smoothing exhaust pulses

    AWE has demonstrated a 9 horsepower gain on a STOCK vehicle. I would venture to guess that the gains from the AWE are from the x-pipe (D), and maybe a little straighter shots through the mufflers (B). However, this is on a stock vehicle with 2.25" piping, which will support a max flow of 416 bhp. However, something making bigger power, like an Dual Pulley Ultracharged car on 104 octane, making 541 bhp is going to see significantly more of an increase, than what was seen from the stock 333 bhp.
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    As I'm new to the S4 platform, I initially researched intake and exhaust, and to be honest - both are kind of disappointing (more so exhaust). I have an s2000, and there is a company called Powerhouse Amuse that makes literal works of art when it comes to exhaust. I got one for the s2000, and when I put it on I could literally hold it with 1 finger as it is full Titanium. Combine that with a very unique deeper sound, and the only thing you have to cry about is the lead time and price tag. I think they would be the only exhaust I would buy for this car - and they probably won't make one unfortunately. I do have an old, indirect contact that is very close to the company so if there happens to be a demand on the board for it we might be able to convince them to do a run of them for our application (doubtful but it doesn't hurt to ask).

    Incase you haven't heard about them I've included pics below. Get your napkins ready:









    And here is one for an M3 OMG



    I could keep going, but I dont wanna make everyone jealous that we don't have this option... :(

  29. #29
    Veteran Member Four Rings tar's Avatar
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    ^ you should keep mentioning how you have a s2k in every post. We all care so much (we don't).
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    I partially agree with the OP. I think aftermarket exhausts are too costly, and don't improve the sound enough to justify the cost. Most are too loud, have too much drone and rasp/weed whacker sounds. I would personally prefer a throatier exhaust note a la the G35 coupe, and I would pay for something that improved the sound to that level, but when I drive spirited, I'm happy with the noise level of my car, and wouldn't be happier to drop 3k just for more loudness and a less refined note.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tar View Post
    ^ you should keep mentioning how you have a s2k in every post. We all care so much (we don't).
    Ok? There has been constructive context to each post. Sorry youíve interpreted the mention of what car has volks, or which car platform has some pretty badass parts that unfortunately arenít available for the s4 as a negative thing. Get your head out of your ass

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercedesinfarct View Post
    I partially agree with the OP. I think aftermarket exhausts are too costly, and don't improve the sound enough to justify the cost. Most are too loud, have too much drone and rasp/weed whacker sounds. I would personally prefer a throatier exhaust note a la the G35 coupe, and I would pay for something that improved the sound to that level, but when I drive spirited, I'm happy with the noise level of my car, and wouldn't be happier to drop 3k just for more loudness and a less refined note.
    g35 coupe? So the engine in like every mid range nissan performance car...

    VQs don't sound good, definitely not better than s4 with decent setups

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercedesinfarct View Post
    I partially agree with the OP. I think aftermarket exhausts are too costly, and don't improve the sound enough to justify the cost. Most are too loud, have too much drone and rasp/weed whacker sounds. I would personally prefer a throatier exhaust note a la the G35 coupe, and I would pay for something that improved the sound to that level, but when I drive spirited, I'm happy with the noise level of my car, and wouldn't be happier to drop 3k just for more loudness and a less refined note.
    That's pretty interesting, as I was just noticing the other day that virtually every G35 I've seen around town with aftermarket exhaust, makes it sound like a wham'd out fart-mobile. I remember years ago when those first came out, and I happened to have an Altima SE-R 6spd, which was such a sleeper and had a great stock exhaust note. It seemed like a lot of the G35 guys had mean sounding cars. Maybe it's just the poor saps that can afford the old shitty ones now with high miles, but I've not been impressed at all as of late. They've all sounded like the dime-a-dozen Civics that used to roam the streets in the late 90s when everyone with $38 had a bolt-on AutoZone muffler.
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    Established Member Two Rings audigsr's Avatar
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    I just put about 1k miles on my AWE Touring on my car (stock dp) and love the tone of it. I think it sounds a lot better after the break-in period. The cost is indeed more pricey compared to the majority of the import aftermarket companies out there, but that's the price to pay with going euro imo. I've come to terms that everything will be quite a bit more expensive on this platform than what I came from. But god damn does driving the car with the exhaust put a smile on my face. Worth every penny! If a mod gets you more smiles per mile, then that's money well spent.. just my 2 cents.

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    Senior Member Three Rings
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    I really love the VQ exhaust note! If my wife was cool with me getting a coupe (cant because kids), a 370z would of been the first thing I looked at.................

    Before I bought my S4 I was living on youtube checking out exhaust notes (because thats one of the most important to me) and the only S4 that sounded remotely good to me was the 'darth vader' labeled s4, yea that all murdered out one but its also dsg and I hate that shifting/fart. Now that I have my S4 I have the baby resonators cutout and an ecs xpipe to stock mufflers and it sounds perfect cruising around town up to 3500 rpms. As soon as i open it up, it sounds like that raspy weed wacker someone mentioned earlier, very metal tingy sounding, which is not how an S4 should sound.

  36. #36
    Established Member Three Rings Morritse's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 08 2018
    AZ Member #
    418437
    My Garage
    Stage 2 b8 a5 (sold)
    Location
    Berkeley, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh.S4 View Post
    I really love the VQ exhaust note! If my wife was cool with me getting a coupe (cant because kids), a 370z would of been the first thing I looked at.................

    Before I bought my S4 I was living on youtube checking out exhaust notes (because thats one of the most important to me) and the only S4 that sounded remotely good to me was the 'darth vader' labeled s4, yea that all murdered out one but its also dsg and I hate that shifting/fart. Now that I have my S4 I have the baby resonators cutout and an ecs xpipe to stock mufflers and it sounds perfect cruising around town up to 3500 rpms. As soon as i open it up, it sounds like that raspy weed wacker someone mentioned earlier, very metal tingy sounding, which is not how an S4 should sound.
    So fix it then :)

  37. #37
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 31 2008
    AZ Member #
    27118
    My Garage
    eS-4
    Location
    CAL*SO

    Nah I'm fine with it for now. I don't go wot enough that it bothers me. I mainly just want to improve the low rpm cruising around town burble

  38. #38
    Established Member Three Rings DufraineMK6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 09 2017
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    390253
    My Garage
    2014 Monsoon S4 6MT
    Location
    Northern VA

    Quote Originally Posted by SconnieRoadie View Post
    I'll just leave this right here...

    I read all the exhaust note threads and note that people are spending literally thousands of dollars on aftermarket mods. I watch the videos and listen to the modded exhausts. Then I get into my stock exhaust S4 and think to myself, those aftermarket exhausts sound like s*** compared to OEM. Full of rasp, ugly drone, and harsh tone. Maybe just turn up the volume on your soundaktor? If you are dumping large on your exhaust, I bet you have a vagcom.

    My position is that tuning an exhaust is no different than an amplifier/speaker hooked up to it, when all is considered. Well, actually, it is different, it cost you thousands. A vagcom is what, $100?

    Just sayin'.

    Sconnie
    Really? Turn up the soundaktor? Thatís just silly. If anything turn that crap off. You donít have to spend thousands on an exhaust either. Simply replacing your baby resonators with a magnaflow resonated x pipe will vastly improve your OEM exhaust. Another point to consider would be the weight savings with aftermarket exhaust and exhaust tips.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    14 S4 6MT - Sport Diff / H&R Street Performance Coilovers / CW Pro Stage 2 (6-1) 93/E85 Mix / JHM 179mm Crank Pulley (1300mm 7 Rib Belt) / ECS Tuning Flush Kit 10mm F & 12.5mm R / 034 Motorsports Intake Tube W/ AFE Pro Dry Filter / USP Stainless Steel Clutch Line / AWE Touring 102mm Stock Downpipes / Eurocode Trans Mount

  39. #39
    Veteran Member Three Rings $nooze's Avatar
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    Jan 02 2012
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    86066
    Location
    Toronto

    In response to the op.

    I feel with the platform we all share(s4). What is hard to perfect is getting a desired exterior sound with the desired lack of rasp/vibration/drone within the car. In my situation, I'm in absolute awe (no reference to a.w.e. or pun intended) with how my car howls from a position of outside the car when it drives by but being the driver and having to hear the drone between a certain rpm range it takes away until you get to stand outside and hear it again.

    As for cost; we are all posting within a forum for owners of an s4. That means that your already spending a decent amount of money to play with so to speak. Meaning disposable income is clearly a budgeted allocation, it just varies to each individual as to what they will spend it on.

  40. #40
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 14 2017
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    406885
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    Northeast

    Well I'll never get these 8 minutes back..
    2018 Nardo RS3 - Fully Loaded - Milltek Mids, CTS Intake, CC ECU+TCU, RSe10s - 10.90 @ 129.6mph, full weight
    2016 Mustang GT - Procharged - E85 - 772whp
    2003 Mustang Cobra - Whipple - 640whp

    SOLD
    2012 S4, MK7 GTI, 15 STI, 2013 Boss 302, 03 Cobra, 09 WRX, 04 WRX, etc

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