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Mk7 Exhaust Tech. How to get the sound you want.

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
There's a constant flow of questions around here revolving around achieving desired sound. With the volume of PMs I've been getting and similar threads started on a daily basis I figured I'd take a few minutes to explain the basics here. This is non biased towards any one set up, brand, or budget. Just a what you'll need guide to help you choose from our growing list of options for these cars. So here we go.

First things first. DRONE. Nobody wants it, here's how to avoid it.

The stock downpipe is the only major restriction in any mk7 exhaust 1.8T/GTI/R. If you leave it in place the stock resonator is sufficient for eliminating drone (buzzing, unpleasant vibrations felt through the chassis of the car...can cause headaches and fatigue and is overall tiring after any amount of time) regardless of what you choose to do with the cat back.

If you upgrade to an aftermarket downpipe drone is going to be an issue without a proper resonator. After tons of research and personal experience the ONLY resonators I'll suggest are long case length/high volume designs. This DOES NOT INCLUDE THE Vibrant UQ or Ultra Quite. It's short case and overall small size (volume as in sq in inside) is not sufficient to stop our engine from droning w/o the restrictive stock DP. This problem also includes the stock resonator so count it out as well. The third set up that flat out won't work is adding multiple resonators...You only need one resonator, having multiple inadequate ones doesn't multiply their effectiveness.

I highly suggest the Vibrant 17950 (3” inlet/outlet). The 2.5” 17930 does not slip fit over OEM exhaust tubing, so if you’re already replacing the midpipe to accommodate the resonator you might as well continue 3” from the downpipe while you’re at it. Of course there are several cat backs that already include a good/proper sized resonator in that location (AWE, APR, CTS) as an option but the Vibrant units can be added to any catback lacking a res.

Cat back / axle back The resonator controls frequency and the muffler controls volume, so now that you've got a frequency that's drone free you're down to adjusting volume. Regardless of cat/catless resonator/non resonated the muffler controls volume (sometimes adjustable if you're cat back is valved like the factory Golf R. You'll want a straight through design to keep it high flow, then select the size based on how much you want to turn the volume down vs not having a muffler at all. Plenty of options mild to wild, as well as OEM+
 
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GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Hopefully we can keep this at the top and avoid answering the same questions all day. If anyone has input I can update the OP, but this covers the basics. Sound is very subjective but this will help give a starting point for building a game plan to meet anyone's goals

Edit: pictures of OEM tubing, slightly oversized so 2.5” parts will not slip fit over it
 
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GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Great job Jake! What about the billy boat timbre cylinder? Worth it?
http://www.bbexhaust.com/shop/universal-timbre-cylinder/

And maybe add a bit about exhaust tips and how they do not change the sound? Seems that question comes up weekly too.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
I've seen mixed reviews on that and haven't seen any personally out in the wild, but I'm sure Sugarmouth will chime in. Would be great with a video clip or something

I haven't run across the exhaust tip thing, just seems like everyone wants bigger tips and more of them than fits my tastes. That's really a preference thing so I'll probably just stay neutral on that. But like AtlantaDad said exhaust tips will have zero effect on anything but appearance
 

teemmy

Ready to race!
Location
bay area, CA
Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
 

Diggs24

Autocross Champion
Location
de plains! de plains!
Car(s)
2015 GTI; 2003 Saab
Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
For you in the bay? Yes. Uphill climbs bring out the worst in drone. For me in these flat midwest lands? Not a big deal. It's quiet on the highway at 70-80 where I am most of the time. Small vibrant and stock resonators with my DP.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Just to clarify - if you get a non resonated catted downpipe (i believe there's a small resonator on the stock downpipe) you recommend only one resonator to eliminate drone and that would be the vibrant one mentioned to replace the long stock one?
Yes, the stock DP has two cats.

Ideally you replace with a 200 cell catted 3" DP and whichever of those two Vibrant resonators match your tubing diameter
 

LastDragon

Ready to race!
Location
Chicagoland
So.... what would happen if you cut out a stock resonator and welded on a vibrant..... with a stock downpipe? I'm just asking to ask. Whatcha think jake
 

PacDawg

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Gilroy, CA
Nice thread op. I'm gonna try the Vibrant 17930 in place of the stock resonator.
I have a catted/resonated DP with stock cat-back setup and don't like how it sounds as is so hoping the vibrant resonator will improve with the sound.
 

AtlantaDad

Go Kart Champion
Location
Cumming, GA
Nice thread op. I'm gonna try the Vibrant 17930 in place of the stock resonator.
I have a catted/resonated DP with stock cat-back setup and don't like how it sounds as is so hoping the vibrant resonator will improve with the sound.
Same setup (catted/resonated w/ stock catback), but I actually kinda like the sound currently. Maybe I won't once the honeymoon is over though...lol. Curious how this works out for you.

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PacDawg

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Gilroy, CA
Same setup (catted/resonated w/ stock catback), but I actually kinda like the sound currently. Maybe I won't once the honeymoon is over though...lol. Curious how this works out for you.

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It doesn't sound bad at lower rpms but when part throttle and after 3k rpm it sounds a bit ricey to me.
 

psychonosspaz

Go Kart Champion
Location
PNW
I'm considering the MAP catted/resonated DP to mate to my magnaflow catback....would you suggest the larger resonator given your description? Would it have space in my current and planned setup?
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I'm considering the MAP catted/resonated DP to mate to my magnaflow catback....would you suggest the larger resonator given your description? Would it have space in my current and planned setup?
I'd buy the DP with just a cat and add the 17950 in the straight part of the magnaflow. I talked a few guys into that already and they love it
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
So.... what would happen if you cut out a stock resonator and welded on a vibrant..... with a stock downpipe? I'm just asking to ask. Whatcha think jake
I don't think you'd notice anything honestly, the stock downpipe is like putting a pillow over a speaker. It takes so much out of the exhaust note that even deleting the res completely doesn't make much difference
 
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