It’s been a year since I bought Helmut, my 2019 Porsche 911 Targa, so I gave him some electronic birthday presents.
I bought him off the dealer lot, so I didn’t have the chance to customize it during the purchase process. He had the Bose stereo, and it would be fine for most folks – especially given that the acoustics in an open-top car like a Targa aren’t great anyway, However, I’m really picky about my audio, and I like to play it loud without distortion. (No, not with other people around – just on the open road.) However, I also want it to look factory: I don’t want a big subwoofer box or flashing lights.
Musicar is a custom car audio shop whose philosophy on audio really resonated (HA! get it? RESONATED) with me: they focus on quality reproduction of 2-channel (stereo) sound, very integrated into your car, looking as factory-built as possible. Their installation gallery on Flickr had tons of gorgeous projects like a 991.2 GT3 Touring and a 991.2 Turbo S, both of which showed absolutely beautiful work. Totally lined up with my style.
I shipped Helmut up to their Portland shop for their Stage 3 audio upgrade. They take photos throughout the process, and their work is just phenomenal.
“And hey, as long as he’s up there…”
While I was researching Musicar’s work, I also fell in love with their radar & laser defense systems. They do a beautiful, beautiful job of integrating everything into the car, hiding the detection equipment and integrating the controls into the interior so everything still looks stock. I figured as long as I was gonna ship it up to Portland, I might as well have ’em build that gear in too. They installed an Escort MAX Ci radar detector and an AL Priority laser system.
In California, you’re technically supposed to have a front-mounted license plate, but many people don’t. When I took delivery of Helmut, the salesperson said, “You don’t want me to mount the front plate, do you?” I was surprised – I had just never thought about it, but no, because front plates are ugly as hell on a car like this. Musicar has a neat solution:
Since Musicar has to take the front bumper of the car off anyway to install the sensors, they can also mount really strong magnets inside the bumper. They mount matching magnets inside the factory license plate holder. That way, if you want to put the plate on, like if you’re street parking in an enforcement-heavy area, you can just pop the plate holder out of the trunk and slap it on. Neato!
Around the back side of the car, the license plate plays a role too:
I’m just tickled pink with the end result. The sound is so much more clean, open, and powerful than the stock Bose system. I sat in the car for an hour just absorbing new details of some of my favorite songs. In case you’re curious, this is the TIDAL playlist I used for speaker testing. (I use TIDAL rather than Spotify because they offer higher-resolution streaming.)
I would highly recommend Musicar. Nick and Sean were very helpful and transparent throughout the entire process. Their installation galleries speak for themselves.
I love to see these sort of installations and really appreciate the concept of not needing to see something to know it is there. While not as high-end as your radar install, I have my Valentine One mounted near the rear-view mirror and not in my line of vision. From the outside it pretty much looks like a sensor you see in many new cars. I have the remote display mounted just ahead of the instrument cluster and while this hides the gear indicator, I don’t care as I can see this on the gear selector or the display if manually shifting by using the paddles. It is out-of-sight to others around me and right in front of me. I have the remote audio module on the right knee bolster so I can adjust volume, mute, etc.
The arrangement works well, but I find I’m constantly muting it and have been for years now. I’m very used to it, but if someone else is in the car they always ask why I tolerate it. The V1 has saved me on many occasions, but I’ve been in instant on situations where there really isn’t much defense unless another vehicle got hit by it and I see the quick blip.
James – thanks! Yeah, unfortunately windshield-mounted stuff is illegal in California. They say it obstructs the driver’s view. (sigh)
I tend to agree with the obstructed view thing. Here in Florida, there are people driving around with phones and even tablets stuck to the windshield. With that crap in the way, I know they don’t have good visibility and I doubt they even care. In the event of a wreck that stuff is going to go flying somewhere.
Regardless of laws, a car like yours deserves to have these installs done the way you have. A six figure car with a cell phone mount attached to an AC vent would be a crime. I recall the post when you got the car. I mentioned a neighbor has one in yellow. He lets that sit in the Florida heat 24/7 365 as if opening a garage door is too much to do. Also criminal!
Enjoy the car and congratulations on your success that makes ownership possible.
James – thanks, sir!
There is a saying in Serbia: Bride can be from the village, but car must be from Germany. 🙂
Hahaha, love it!