Fun-Filled Fiesta Rocks

A simple low-cost way to make a car sound brilliant

Fun Filled Fiesta Rocks


James is just 21. His second car, a Fiesta ST is his pride and joy however, the factory sounds didn't do anything for his love of classic and heavy rock – something had to be done!


We met James in his hometown of Macclesfield where he works as a systems designer for the local college he attended from school. His undoubted hard work while undertaking a Business Admin and IT course at his local college obviously caught the eye as he now works for the same college enabling him to remain in this familiar locale.


While growing up, James tells us the family home was always filled with music whether on the kitchen radio or his dad’s system in the living room. At the age of 12, James recognised that the living room system offered a far more immersive listening experience. At the time he was listening to his dad’s collection of classic rock and as he approached his bedroom-squatting mid-teens he had his own separate Hi-Fi system on which he played his dad’s vinyl. His tastes changed and he began to find his own musical identity. Still based around fast-paced guitar and wild drums, James is the first to admit that his taste is not the same as many of his peers but he remains true to the music he likes rather than following musical fashion - hats off to him for that!


James recently got hold of a Fiesta ST. This is his second car, his first having been a Mitsubishi Colt, the front end of which reminded him of the Evo 10 he adored as a youngster! The ST is quite new to him and he admits that it is really good fun to drive and it is easy to tell that he is quite proud of the fact that he has been able to afford one. This has been down to his own endeavours too.


Having driven the Fiesta around for a while, James became increasingly dissatisfied with the on-board sounds. The car is on a lease deal and this precludes big changes to the interior and in any case, he tends to stream most of his music from his Android phone and the standard head unit at least enables him to do this. He went to see FOUR MASTER Car and Home Stereo, a business of long-standing that he had passed many times. “I didn't really know what to expect” explains James, “some of my mates had gone to a large car accessory chain and purchased powered subwoofers that made a big noise but I didn’t feel that I wanted to give up the space and would have had no idea how to wire it all up anyway. Also, most of them are into dance and hip-hop where bass is more important than anything else.”


Fortunately, James chose the right route as Tim at Car and Home Stereo is a huge fan of rock music and has been installing systems into cars for many years. Tim had no hesitation in recommending a pair of Audison Prima APK 165, 2-way components. He has installed many of these to Fords and knew that with a bit of Skinz sound-treatment the Primas would make a huge difference even without an additional amplifier to drive them with. He also recommended a bit of bass reinforcement by way of a Rainbow Intelli 8 powered subwoofer. This is an 8” subwoofer and amplifier built into a compact flat enclosure that Tim knew he could secrete away under the passenger seat. This is a simple installation and very affordable for those wanting a significant uplift in quality on a modest budget.


When I met James, he had just managed to complete the 6-hour run-in period that Tim sagely recommends before the volume is pushed up so we were all set to sit in and give it a listen.


As mentioned above, James’ source of choice is his Android phone. He streams via Bluetooth directly to the standard head unit. James had not really fiddled with the equalisation on the head unit and it was set flat when I jumped in so we were all ready to go.


First up, James played “The Future is Now” by The Offspring. A misleadingly gentle guitar introduction precedes a fast and furious track with all the trademarks of a modern heavy metal track. It was certainly fast paced and sounded crisp and full, filling the car with sound. I felt the track lacked bass somewhat but the soundstage had both width and depth which given the position of the tweeters pleased and surprise me. The tweeters are set well away from the dashboard and fire across the car. I was concerned that this would not help the depth of soundstage in particular but I should know better by now. These Audison Prima tweeters are extremely special in this regard. Despite the “wall of sound” style of the production, it was reasonably easy to separate all of the different elements of the recording. However, the nature of the music and a bit of compression that accompanies Bluetooth streaming is a little two-dimensional so I reached for one of my faithful compilation CD’s


I wanted to work the bass a little and put on “How Come You Never Go There” by Feist. This sounded open and spacious. I got the feeling that the track had been recorded almost live in a huge barn or something in the way that early Neil Young recordings were made. As both artists are Canadian, this may well be the way they do things out there! The production seemed extremely natural with big room reverb clearly audible.

For balance, I put on “Babylon Sister” by Steely Dan. The bass articulation was magic and the whole track has great presence in this car. I played with the bass control and found that both Primas and the Rainbow subwoofer did an admirable job of handling it with no trace of break up or distortion. Finally, I put on an old fave of mine, “The Sound of Muzak” by Porcupine Tree. The drums on this track are ridiculously busy but unerringly precise. The drums and the many textures of the guitars are all faithfully reproduced. The bass was warm and the vocals well balanced.


As a first upgrade, I honestly feel you would struggle to find anything else at this price that would be anywhere near as good. The Primas are in a word, “stunning!”


Huge thanks to James for giving up his time and allowing us to listen and photograph his pride and joy.



James’ Top Five Driving Sounds

“Camouflage” – Sabaton

“The Trooper” – Iron Maiden

“Ace of Spades” – Motorhead

“Apocalypse 1992” – Glory Hammer

“Drink” - Alestorm

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