"When I go to a concert, I don’t have my back to the performer” - Dave Sheen, Alpine
Alpine's ground-breaking digital 5.1 surround sound system for new Jaguar XK
Innovative technologies recreate music just as the artist intended
Alpine Electronics, the car infotainment specialists, have created a cutting-edge premium sound system for the new Jaguar XK sports car. A true 525 Watt 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 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, the DLP subwoofer 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 lineup. 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.”
Specifications - Alpine Premium Sound System includes:
* 525 Watt Digital 5.1 amplifier, featuring Dolby Pro Logic II technology
* Four DDLinear mid-bass speakers
* Two soft dome tweeters
* One mid-bass speaker mounted in the dashboard
* One DLP subwoofer and enclosure mounted in the passenger footwell
Dolby Pro Logic II
Dolby Pro Logic II technology processes any high-quality stereo (two-channel) music audio into five playback channels of surround sound. Using a matrix surround decoding technology, Dolby Pro Logic II detects the directional cues that occur naturally in stereo content and uses these elements to create a five-channel surround sound playback experience.
Since 1978, Alpine has been at the forefront of in-car entertainment development, producing some of the world’s most advanced audio systems, on-board navigation and multimedia applications. As a result of focussing exclusively on high-fidelity in-car systems, Alpine has been nominated No.1 for customer satisfaction in the US for five consecutive years and is specified as original equipment in some of the world’s most prestigious marques. Recent developments with Jaguar include the innovative rear multimedia system on the Jaguar XJ and “Pulse Touch” force feedback of the Advanced Lightweight Coupe.
Dolby, Pro Logic, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.