Yesterday, I had the dealer install the Supersprint Race exhaust. In an effort to create a happy (for me) middle ground between improving the sound but avoiding too much noise, I chose not to install the X-pipe and kept the stock resonators. In sum, I am extremely pleased so far. Thanks to Will Turner (from whose company I purchased the exhaust) for his patient advice. I was concerned that the Race would be too loud, but he convinced me that it, without the X-pipe, was the right compromise based on what I wanted. Not surprisingly, he appears to have been right.
Perhaps the biggest improvement is in the area that I felt needed it most -- idle. The rattly diesel noise has been replaced by a fantastic, deep, low, throaty, muscular sound. At idle it is certainly noticeable but not obtrusive. If you stand near the hood, you still hear the stock clicking and clacking, but as you walk toward the rear of the car, the clicking and clacking is gone and the new sonorous tone is present.
The deep note also is very evident when on the throttle. When cruising at street speeds (30-50 mph), the difference is certainly noticeable, especially with the windows down. For me, it produces the effect I wanted -- noticeable change but not tiresome. When the revs reach higher levels, the sound rises in pitch, in keeping with the nature of the engine. Highway cruising is close to stock, but dipping into the throttle reminds that there is a new exhaust back there.
These impressions are the result of only the first 50 or so miles. I expect there will be some changes once the exhaust breaks in. If I can get a hold of the proper equipment, I will try to post an audio clip, although they are not terribly informative. It seems that the main differences between the Supersprint and Eisenmann exhaust are that (1) the Eisenmann is significantly louder and (2) the Eisenmann has a higher pitch throughout.
It also is remarkable how much smaller and lighter the Supersprint units are than the stock mufflers. So, those of you who want to improve the sound but are concerned with creating a car that is too loud, I recommend that you consider this setup. The X-pipe always can be added as the second stage of the process if more sound is desired.
Anyone who is in or near Richmond and wants to stop by for a listen, just let me know.