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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-27-2018, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sound system upgrade?

Looking for a sound system and all I saw was old news. Wondering if there was a newer solution, thanks.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 01:09 AM
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My local sound guy is a great auto mechanic.

For interior work his hourly rate is reasonable too.

He's installed a new shifter, skyfall, santana cup-holder (for free), door handle, weather stripping.

I like his work so I asked him to swap out the door speakers with the best speakers he has.

He decided on full sound top of the line Kenwoods.

The installation and the speakers set me back... I recall $240.

But I'm so glad I upgraded. The sound is WAY WAY better.

I'm going to have him swap out the passenger/wolfer next week.

I still have the Saturn radio.

Yeah, it used to be my SL2 - which has a custom sound system had nicer sound... but not now.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 09:44 PM
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The head unit alone will make a big change. With the stock unit I could barely hear the radio with it cranked and top down on the highway. With a new Kenwood unit, I never go above about 50% and this is on the stock speakers. I'd do the head unit first and see where that puts you before doing the rear speakers and sub.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 10:27 PM
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The head unit alone will make a big change. With the stock unit I could barely hear the radio with it cranked and top down on the highway. With a new Kenwood unit, I never go above about 50% and this is on the stock speakers. I'd do the head unit first and see where that puts you before doing the rear speakers and sub.
This. Giving a good signal to everything downstream is much much more important, and usually the biggest bottleneck. I've scoped out total systems on most cars I've had and in many cases a decent HU just wakes everything up and you can understand the gaps in the system. The sky was definitely one of those that just needed a good HU...the monsoon amp seems to have a pretty clean sub cutoff around 100hz and is super easy to EQ since there aren't too many variables in it.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 10:36 PM
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I keep kicking around the idea of going with a new head unit just to incorporate Android Auto. My current unit can control my phone but only through a special HDMI cable and the adapter I have to use for the phone for that cable is VERY fragile. I've gone through three and the current one it broke too...so I just do Pandora through bluetooth. I'd rather have the full function back as I once did. I can't even use the Pandora ap on the head unit without it being plugged in to this cord.


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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 11:34 AM
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Stopped into local car audio shop. Talked about a system upgrade. The initial quote for a basic HU replacement was $757. I appreciate the need to get the proper fit and console pieces but this seems a bit high for just the HU. I guess I'll stay with the stock unit and turn it up.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 12:48 PM
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I'll differ on the order of modification.

I change speaker drivers first. OEM drivers are notoriously the cheapest - shall we agree on 'crap'? You can often effect a noticeable improvement by simply fitting better more expensive drivers - in the Kappas I suggest the door speakers and the tweeters (the rears have less effect on the musical experience, and the subs are hard to find an improvement for using anything like the stock enclosure).

Beyond that the head unit will certainly have limitations, but the advantage of it is that it is an anti-theft device all on its' own - no one will want to steal a factory stereo while they will usually jump at a marketable after market unit.

Frankly, unless you already have a good home stereo, I'd say to put that head unit upgrade money into the home system where you can really enjoy it.
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Last edited by wspohn; 07-26-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-26-2018, 03:15 PM
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I'll differ on the order of modification.

I change speaker drivers first. OEM drivers are notoriously the cheapest - shall we agree on 'crap'? You can often effect a noticeable improvement by simply fitting better more expensive drivers - in the Kappas I suggest the door speakers and the tweeters (the rears have less effect on the musical experience, and the subs are hard to find an improvement for using anything like the stock enclosure).

Beyond that the head unit will certainly have limitations, but the advantage of it is that it is an anti-theft device all on its' own - no one will want to steal a factory stereo while they will usually jump and marketable after market unit.

Frankly, unless you already have a good home stereo, I'd say to put that head unit upgrade money into the home system where you can really enjoy it.
I completely agree with everything written above ^^


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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-27-2018, 10:57 PM
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I just changed my head unit and it was a major difference for me. Before top down I had to crank the stock unit all the way up and I still could just barely hear it. Now, never have to go past half way and I hear it a lot better than the stock unit.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-28-2018, 05:25 PM
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I just changed my head unit and it was a major difference for me. Before top down I had to crank the stock unit all the way up and I still could just barely hear it. Now, never have to go past half way and I hear it a lot better than the stock unit.
Monsoon setup ?

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 09:40 AM
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Can't agree enough with Robo, the first thing to change is the stock head unit, it's an absolute pile of crap. I changed mine to a Pioneer 80PRS anticipating that I'd start replacing the drivers soon after, and guess what--the speakers are just fine, the stock HU just doesn't have the power to drive the system. Could probably benefit some by replacing them, but replacing that garbage stock head unit woke up the entire system and with just a little bit of tuning it sounds clear and powerful and I often sit in the car to just listen to music after I've arrived at my destination.

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 02:40 PM
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Monsoon setup ?
Yes, mine has a Monsoon system.


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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 11:18 AM
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If u want to crank up the sound...why didn't anyone install the USB head unit from any of the chevys? It will rip your speakers apart if u turn it up...that extra amp is all u need when driving with your top down...and u can always upgrade your speakers.

Please don't tell me about sound quality...our cars are not sound proof and when the top is down...u have too much distraction from noises.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by marlboromike View Post
If u want to crank up the sound...why didn't anyone install the USB head unit from any of the chevys?
Blue Tooth, Pandora, Navigation, touch screen, DVD...few other features other than better volume came with it too...
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 03:28 PM
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Please don't tell me about sound quality...our cars are not sound proof and when the top is down...u have too much distraction from noises.
You don't need to be in a cone of silence to enjoy a nicely tuned system, and unless you add a separate DSP to clean up the absolute mess of a signal coming out of the stock deck then a quality aftermarket unit is the only alternative.

I'm a big fan of having the single DIN unit in there as well as it provides easy to reach and useful extra storage space.
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