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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a Giulia with the base audio system. I didn't listen before purchase, but should have as the sound is impactless and flat. It's simply worse than any car I've ever owned. There is no dynamic range until volume 20 and it's tiring on long trips. The sound is unbalanced with lots of cross talk from the rear tweeters, forcing the fader to be set forward either the entire way, or at max two clicks back. I love the rest of the car, but decided almost instantly I couldn't live with the audio performance.
Plenty of information and documentation about the audio/infotainment system exists, but it's not collated in one place. I really appreciate all the other owners who've provided this documentation. Unfortunately there is also lots of misinformation and speculation. I'm hoping this thread can be pinned and become a central location of valid information. I've researched the base system more as that's what I have. I hope other owners can help fill in information about the premium HK system and anything else they'd like. Any questions are listed in red.
I have installed/crafted a few aftermarket audio systems, but it's been a very long time and I'm not an expert. If anything here is incorrect or incomplete, please let me know.

Audio Component Details
ETM / Head Unit

Model YearsNamePowerOperating SystemNotes
2017Magenti Marelli EN212V 15A
Genivi Linux
Uses an HTML 5 interface
Giorgio2
This is also used by BMW - NBT Evo ID5/6. The Alfa Romeo unit does not have the CD player or the MOST connector.
EN1 is BMW Entry Nav - NBT
Technical Specifications
2018-2019Magneti Marelli GRG250112V 15A?Giorgio2.5
2020-Name?Giorgio3?
Pinouts
The ETM uses a standard 40 pin Quadlock Connector.
This connector is also used by BMW, Mercedes, VW, etc. The pinouts are largely the same as BMW Entry Nav.
FCA has a page showing all connectors. Chose Platform GA
Mating Side Pin Information
Code:
        6         1       6          1
        . . . . . .        . . . . . .
    C2  . . . . . .        . . . . . .    C3
        12        7       12         7
        4 8     12 16     [          ]
        | |     | |       [          ]
        | |     | |
    C1  | |     | |          O    O
        | |     | |          O    O
        1 5     9 13
C1, C2 and C3 are contained in the Quadlock Connector.
  • Radio C1
    CavCircuitGaugeColorFunction
    1X3040.75GNAMPLIFIED RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (+)
    2X2080.75VTRIGHT FRONT SPEAKER (+)
    3X2090.75YELEFT FRONT SPEAKER (+)
    4X3030.75OGAMPLIFIED LEFT REAR SPEAKER (+)
    5X3940.75GN/BKAMPLIFIED RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (-)
    6X2980.75VT/OGRIGHT FRONT SPEAKER (-)
    7X2990.75YE/BKLEFT FRONT SPEAKER (-)
    8X3930.75OG/BKAMPLIFIED LEFT REAR SPEAKER (-)
    9D1580.35WHCAN IHS (-)
    11D1570.35DBCAN IHS|(+)
    12Z9081.5BKGROUND
    15A9011.5RD/WHFUSE| B(+|
  • Radio C2
    CavCircuitGaugeColorFunction
    1X4600.35WHHANDS FREE MICROPHONE (+)
    2X7120.35WH/BKHANDS FREE MICROPHONE 1 (+)
    3X7920.35BK/VTHANDS FREE MICROPHONE 1 (-)
    5X9710.35RDCAMERA RETURN
    6X4610.35BKHANDS FREE MICROPHONE (-)
    7X9720.35NACAMERA SHIELD
    8X9700.35WHCAMERA SIGNAL
  • Radio C3
    CavCircuitGaugeColorFunction
    1X4890.35RDAUX AUDIO DEVICE DETECT SIGNAL
    2X4860.35WHAUX AUDIO LEFT SIGNAL
    7X4870.35GNAUX AUDIO RIGHT SIGNAL
    8X4880.35BKAUX AUDIO COMMON
    11X4320.35NAUCI SHIELD
Speakers
  • Base - 8 speaker
    CountTypeSizeWΩBrandPart NumberNotes
    4Tweeter25mm/1"154ASK Industries
    a JVCKenwood company
    A10403302 90220027004A 51896526Capacitor of 4.7 uF 50V - Giving a crossover point of 8457 Hz 1st Order (6dB/Octave)
    4Woofer165mm/6.5"204ASK Industries
    a JVCKenwood company
    A01910401 90016442104 518936010
    Standard Lancia, Fiat, Alfa Romeo speakers. Used in Fiat 500 and Opel Corsa.
    Appear to be paper cone with foam surrounds.
  • Mid - 10 speaker w/amplifier
    Not available in US.
    CountTypeSizeWΩBrandPart NumberNotes
    4Tweeter25mm/1"
    4Woofer165mm/6.5"
    1Center80mm/3"
    1Subwoofer6x9"
    I think these are the same as the base with additional locations.
  • Harmon Kardon - 14 speaker w/amplifier
    CountTypeSizeWΩBrandPart NumberNotes
    4Tweeter25mm/1"20128907017104A 50542728 33516
    2Mid80mm/3"2588923022801A 00505396340
    4Woofer165mm/6.5"5048941035601B 00505473920 31416
    1Center80mm/3"2588923022801A 00505396340
    1Rear Deck80mm/3"2588923022801A 00505396340
    1Subwoofer6x9"5068957003001A 00505405550 03516
Amplifier
  • Base 100W
    The base system has no external amplifier, it uses the internal amplifier of the ETM.
    Marketing claims 100 W, and it may be, but at 10% THD! Which is unlistenable. It's more like 84 W. 15A x 14.4V = 216W shared within the ETM.
    EN2 technical specifications show the amplifier as STI TDA7563A
    • SB-I (SB - improved) high efficiency operation the highest 'non - class D' efficiency
    • 4x28W/4Ω@ 14.4 V, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 4 x 50 W max power*
      • ~21W at 1%
      • ~18W at 0.01%
    • Output peak current (repetitive) is 6A x 14.4V = 86.4W
    • Normal Load Detect 1.5 Ohm to 45(?) 70 Ohm
  • Mid 400W
    400W math seems dubious. 30A x 14.4V = 432W. Assuming a 90% efficient class D amplifier, this is 388.8 W RMS.
  • Harmon Kardon 900 W
    900W math seems even more dubious. See Mid.
  • General Information
    • The amplifier is mounted to the left rear quarter panel behind the quarter trim panel.
    • Power is supplied via Fuse F8 (30 Amp) in rear fuse box.
    • It connects to the BCM via CAN bus for control, volume, etc.
    • It receives four channel outputs from the ETM. The amplifier then supplies outputs to each of the system speakers and the subwoofer. Is this ampifier active with filters applied to each channel?
      Mid and HK models run the ETM in Line Driver mode, creating a differential balanced output.
      EN2 Specifications state:
      - Selectable gain 26 dB /16 dB (for low noise line output function)
Information for Adding Aftermarket Components
ETM

ETM is locked to the car via VIN.
Battery
How to Disconnect
Amplifier
  • Input
    • Base: No need for a LOC if the amplifier has high level inputs, can use directly from ETM.
    • Mid/HK: Could be best to change to base mode. @Unique is pioneering this.
  • Power
    The fuses are not all clearly defined in the manual.
    Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016 - 2018) - fuse box diagram - Auto Genius
    • Battery Fuse Terminal
      FuseDescription Amps
      F5AORC System (Pyrotechnic Fuse)N/A
      F71IBS (ABS) 30
      F72BCM 1 70
      F73BCM 2 70
      F74Rear PDC 175
      345 Total
    • Rear Power Distribution Center
      • The rear power distribution center (fuse box) in the trunk is a convinent place to take power for an amplifier from, however it's protected by F74 a 175A fuse off the battery.
        Issues could occur depending on overall power draw with the addition of amplifier power draw, I'm not sure how likely this really is though.
      • Factory Amplifier runs off Fuse F08
      • 175A from battery - 687.5A Total in Fuses? Are fuses normally this overprovisioned?
    • BCM
      • F36 Direct power supply from battery +30 15 Is this the ETM fuse?
      • 70A from battery - 225 A Total in Fuses? Are fuses normally this overprovisioned?
Speakers
System Examples
Audison Thesis Line video features a Giulia QV
Stelvio with Audiotec Fischer M 5DSP MK2
 

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I recently purchased a Giulia with the base audio system. I didn't listen before purchase, but should have as the sound is impactless and flat. It's simply worse than any car I've ever owned. There is no dynamic range until volume 20 and it's tiring on long trips. The sound is unbalanced with lots of cross talk from the rear tweeters, forcing the fader to be set forward either the entire way, or at max two clicks back. I love the rest of the car, but decided almost instantly I couldn't live with the audio performance.
For Base system, it should be enough to hook into Fakra interface behind the ETM. There are many Fakra T-harnesses available in the market. Audison, for example, has one along with the decent amplifiers.

Although I have not installed this set (since I have Intermediate Hifi in my car), based on Audison feedback with these you should be able to install quality 8 channel amplifier with built-in DSP without any kind of messing up with car wiring at all. Just plug and play.

Amplifier Audison Bit F8.9:
AP F8.9 bit | Audison - car audio processors, amplifiers and speakers

T-harness BMW (yes BMW, since the ETM was originally developed for BMW):

Extension cable (between T-harness and the trunk, where you want to install the amp): AP 260P&P I/O | Audison - car audio processors, amplifiers and speakers

Speaker cable between F8.9 and the extension cable:

The whole setup can be seen from this document:

Picture on page 4 shows the principle.
 

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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 2.2 150 ATX RWD, 1992 Pontiac Firebird 3.1 V6
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Thanks a lot for that much information!
You are asking if there is bass roll off at higher volumes. I have installed the Focal PS 165 FX in front and Focal PS 165 F in the rear. There is definitely no roll off at higher volumes, BUT:
There is roll off at lower volumes, especially when connecting a phone via bluetooth. When connecting a phone via USB or using a USB stick the roll off is less present, but still there. At one point I had even a 12" subwoofer with a huge enclosure, and even that sounded like sh*t at low volumes.
I hope someone will come up with a solution how to set the base system to Line Driver Mode, so we can hook up an amp without using high level inputs or high level adapters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
For Base system, it should be enough to hook into Fakra interface behind the ETM. There are many Fakra T-harnesses available in the market. Audison, for example, has one along with the decent amplifiers.

Although I have not installed this set (since I have Intermediate Hifi in my car), based on Audison feedback with these you should be able to install quality 8 channel amplifier with built-in DSP without any kind of messing up with car wiring at all. Just plug and play.

Amplifier Audison Bit F8.9:
AP F8.9 bit | Audison - car audio processors, amplifiers and speakers

T-harness BMW (yes BMW, since the ETM was originally developed for BMW):

Extension cable (between T-harness and the trunk, where you want to install the amp): AP 260P&P I/O | Audison - car audio processors, amplifiers and speakers

Speaker cable between F8.9 and the extension cable:

The whole setup can be seen from this document:

Picture on page 4 shows the principle.
There are also generic Fakra connectors available.
I hadn't seen this T-Harness, but it looks like the one Nabucodonosor used the Italian forum used: #215. There are others also.

Why do you think it won't work with the intermediate system? The amplifier is connected via CAN bus, but I doubt it controls volume, it's probably only used for fault detection. There might be a dash light if the amplifier isn't detected or it doesn't have the correct loads on it though.
 

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There are also generic Fakra connectors available.
I hadn't seen this T-Harness, but it looks like the one Nabucodonosor used the Italian forum used: #215. There are others also.

Why do you think it won't work with the intermediate system? The amplifier is connected via CAN bus, but I doubt it controls volume, it's probably only used for fault detection. There might be a dash light if the amplifier isn't detected or it doesn't have the correct loads on it though.
It won't work due to differences in wiring. In base system, the Fakra connector connects ETM directly to speakers. Thus by using T-harness, you can take the speaker inputs, wire them to new amplifier and wire the amplifier outputs back to Fakra connector.

In the intermediate and HK systems, the Fakra connector connects ETM to the Amplifier. Speaker connections do not exist in Fakra connector. Thus, if you use T-harness in this case, you would amplify the inputs of the original ASK amplifier. With Intermediate and HK systems you simply have to hook into Amplifier connector in the trunk instead.

Based on data sheet of the amplifier IC used in the ETM it has "line driver" and "amplifier" modes. Thus, it is likely that this functionality is in use with Intermediate and HK system and the volume control is indeed in the ASK amplifier and this works through canbus.

Therefore I suspect I will find proxy bytes for the following uses:
  • Byte, which controls if the ETM is in line driver or in amplifier mode
  • Byte, which controls if the volume control in ETM is active or not
  • Byte, which controls if the intermediate or HK amplifier exists
By comparing proxi data from the different cars, I have so far found that the following changes are evident with different Hifi configurations::

Byte 47: Base Hifi 0, HK: 40
Byte 104: Base Hifi 0; Intermediate 0; HK: 2
Byte 112: Base Hifi 0; HK 20
Byte 114: Base Hifi 70; HK 71
Byte 121: Base Hifi CA; Intermediate D8, HK DA

I think byte 121 controls which amplifier is connected. Other bytes control line driver and volume control settings. But I have not tried this yet and I plan to test this during this weekend.

The best config with a new amp would be to have ETM still in line drive mode, but with volume control active and external amplifier completely shut down. But I need more evidence and everyone could help by posting their proxi data along with the Hifi configuration the car has.
 

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@Unique I have MES Multiplex 4.6. How do I get the Proxi data for posting here? I have the HK audio.
 

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@Unique, as far as I've found bytes from 26-57 should be car configuration regarding what modules/nodes it has. So byte 47 could just tell whether amp node is present or not. It's easy to test that.

I can see that other bytes can have some other values too not only those mentioned.
 

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@Unique I have MES Multiplex 4.6. How do I get the Proxi data for posting here? I have the HK audio.
@Triumph23 in MES folder you can find all log files with all the proxi before/after.

Editable proxi config you can access when in CAN Setup/Proxi screen under "Adjustments" and by pressing ctrl+alt+c
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks a lot for that much information!
You are asking if there is bass roll off at higher volumes. I have installed the Focal PS 165 FX in front and Focal PS 165 F in the rear. There is definitely no roll off at higher volumes, BUT:
There is roll off at lower volumes, especially when connecting a phone via bluetooth. When connecting a phone via USB or using a USB stick the roll off is less present, but still there. At one point I had even a 12" subwoofer with a huge enclosure, and even that sounded like sh*t at low volumes.
I hope someone will come up with a solution how to set the base system to Line Driver Mode, so we can hook up an amp without using high level inputs or high level adapters.
That's disappointing, I was hoping Alfa didn't implement any EQ. The BMW owners report EQ based on the system being Base or HiFi though. Has anyone measured this with an analyzer?

Using a LOC is pointless if your amplifier has high level inputs which are compatible with the ETM differential output. The important questions for changing to line driver mode are:
  1. EQ - If base mode has EQ, will setting line driver mode disable the EQ without other side effects like expecting to be able to communicate with the amplifier?
  2. Output - Does line driver mode change to a balanced differential output?
    Most BMW people say it's a balanced differential signal. There is debate whether this is true. The STI spec looks like a differential BTL signal to me.
  3. Load Detection
    According to the STI spec, line driver mode reduces the ETM output gain by 14dB and changes the normal operation load thresholds from 1.5-70 Ohms to 4.5 to 200 Ohms. This provides a lower chance of noise being amplified. The signal is differential, so any noise should be canceled out by the amplifier and it shouldn't make a huge difference if your amplifier can handle either. It probably doesn't change where volume control is done either.
@Unique seems to be in the best position to figure this out. The STI spec IB1 seems to correlate with what you observed in Byte 47, though the HiFi doesn’t have the values we expected.

Code:
Byte 47: Base Hifi 0, HK: 40
    D7    D4  D3    D0
0x00 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0
0x40 0 0 0 1   1 0 0 0
Bits
D4 Front Channel Gain = 26dB (D4 = 0) Gain = 12dB (D4 = 1)
D3 Rear Channel Gain = 26dB (D3 = 0) Gain = 12dB (D3 = 1)
I looked at 40 and not 0x40... I assume those bytes are in hex though.
 

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Not sure I have done this right. I went under Proxi setting and took this picture. Is this all?

I have HK audio.

20200502_213534.jpg
 

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"Does anyone know how to remove the storage compartment on the left of the steering wheel?"

There is a T20 screw in the top of the cubby. Just run your hand on the inside top and you will feel it. There is a clip on each side about half way down. Just use a trim tool to pry it carefully out.
 
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Not sure I have done this right. I went under Proxi setting and took this picture. Is this all?

I have HK audio.

View attachment 98238
Looking at the Proxi I posted, Byte 47 has 40 and I have HK amp. What will happen if this is set to 0, will it then work as a base system with amplification by the ETM?
 

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Looking at the Proxi I posted, Byte 47 has 40 and I have HK amp. What will happen if this is set to 0, will it then work as a base system with amplification by the ETM?
I'm sure you'll get blinking odo due to mismatch between car config and actual nodes present on car.

There should be difference in wiring betweeen base and amplified systems so it shouldn't work as base system if you change byte 47 to 0x00
 

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I have now more data to share after some testing with proxi alignment procedure...

In earlier posting I forgot to mention that byte 31 is also involved in this. It seems to be 0 with Base Hifi and 40 with Intermediate and HK. I changed it to 0. Upon next Multiecuscan start Multiecuscan found a "new" ASK/Amplifier node and the value was again 40. Therefore the conclusion is that byte 31 defines whether Amplifier node is present or not. Value 0 = Not Present and Value 40 = Present.

Then I tried setting byte 47 to 0. Upon next Multiecuscan start it was back to 40, but no clear "new module found" was present. It has to be some node, which is not supported by Multiecuscan. And based on Alfa Romeo diagrams, the likely node is "Engine Sound Enhancement module", which is a canbus connected node only present in Intermediate and HK Hifi systems.

Next I tried setting byte 112 to 0. When multiecuscan was performing proxi alignment for ETM node, there was a second of extremely loud voice from the speakers and then silence. If I tried to turn up the volume to maximum, I could hear very tiny distorted sound, nothing else. When setting this byte back to 20, all was back again. Therefore I suspect this is a toggle between "Line Driver mode (value 20)" and "Amplifier mode (value 0)". The external amplifier probably had "input too high" protection on while the value was 0. This would need to be tested better by disconnecting amp and testing the output with real speaker.

Last I tried setting byte 114 to 70 (was 71). The effect was boot of ETM during proxi alignment (therefore the byte had some effect on ETM), but no other visible effects. Therefore based on this test I don't know what it does.

In summary the findings are:

Byte 31: Amplifier node present toggle. Value 0 = Not present. Value 40 = present
Byte 47: Engine Sound Enhancement module toggle. Value 0 = Not present. Value 40 = present.
Byte 112: ETM Line driver mode / amplifier mode toggle. Value 0 = Amplifier Mode. Value 20 = Line Driver Mode


Note: These are my conclusions and use them at your own risk!

I did not test bytes 104 and 121, which also seem to be related somehow.

How can you use these findings?

Intermediate and Harman Kardon setups:
If you want to replace the original amplifier with something else by hooking into Amplifier connectors and disconnecting the original amplifier, you can disable the original amplifier totally by Changing proxi byte 31 to 0 and therefore to get rid of any error codes on dash.

Also, it you plan to disable center speaker in your upgrade, you might want to disable also the Engine Sound Enhancement module, since it is connected to Center Speaker. The module itself is a small metal box close to the amplifier in the trunk.

Base Hifi:
On the other hand if you have base Hifi and would like to upgrade to external amplifier, you might want to try changing byte 112 to 0x20 to switch the ETM to line driver mode.
 

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I'm sure you'll get blinking odo due to mismatch between car config and actual nodes present on car.

There should be difference in wiring betweeen base and amplified systems so it shouldn't work as base system if you change byte 47 to 0x00
If you disconnect the amplifier, you can set byte 31 and 0x00 without any issues. If they are still connected, they are autorecognized and the value 0x40 is back.
 

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@Unique My 2.0 is 38 months old and I don't have engine sound enhancement. My byte 47 is still 40 and I have HK. This contradicts your finding ??
 
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