Alpine Develops Ground-Breaking Digital 5.1 Surround Sound System For New Jaguar XK

Jaguar XK

Alpine Electronics, the car infotainment specialists, has created a cutting edge premium sound system for the new Jaguar XK sports car. A true 525Watt digital amplifier, revolutionary subwoofer located in the front of the car and Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound technology have been integrated to create a dramatic listening performance.

“When I go to a concert, I don’t have my back to the performer,” says Dave Sheen, Alpine’s OEM Director. “That’s why with this system we have concentrated in ‘front staging’, creating the sound field right in front of you.”

Specifically designed and tuned for the new Jaguar XK, the heart of the system is a new digital amplifier that uses Dolby Pro Logic II home cinema technology to bring surround sound to stereo sources like a CD or FM radio.

Complimenting the new amplifier is Alpine’s revolutionary DLP (dynamic linear phase) subwoofer. A radical departure from conventional designs, it is positioned in the passenger footwell, providing a better radiation of sound, more realistic front staging and accurately concentrated bass.

A centre fill speaker in the dashboard provides the balance of sound for the occupants and ensures both passengers enjoy the sweet spot of the surround sound experience. The no-compromise approach to sound reproduction continues with the mid-bass DDLinear speakers. DDLinear represents the latest thinking in powerful, but lightweight audiophile speakers. Even at high volumes linearity is superb across the entire bandwidth right down to the low bass region. DDLinear delivers the full range perfectly - ultra clear highs, superbly detailed vocals with every nuance noted and bass that’s rich and powerful. Neodymium tweeters complete the hardware line up.

Ideally located in the front doors for violin and piano pieces, the tweeters ensure faithful reproduction of the higher frequencies.

Software has played an equally important part in the system development. Unlike conventional in-car audio systems which focus exclusively on the driver at the expense of the passengers, this system is tuned to ensure all occupants enjoy the ultimate acoustic performance wherever they are seated. The system has the option to further adjust the equalisation or EQ (EQ - sophisticated tone controls which can be changed to change the timbre of sound) depending on the number and position of occupants - meaning nobody misses out on the experience. (Options are driver, passenger and all).

On the convertible model, the EQ adjusts automatically to take into account the roof being up or down. This feature ensures the best sound recreation whether the roof is raised or lowered. Driver interface is through the Alpine touch screen and the entire system is controlled via a MOST protocol, using pulses of light passing through fibre optic cables to command the key components.

The system is the latest collaboration between Alpine and Jaguar, a 14 year relationship that has seen many concept car developments reach production cars. “We first showed digital amplifier technology on the Concept Eight show car,” continues Sheen. “This system builds on that development together with the successes of the current Jaguar premium audio systems. It’s a real privilege to have such a close relationship with Jaguar.”

Published : 28/10/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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