: 2006 STS Audio System vs. 2000 SLS Audio System



NicholasZ
06-16-13, 10:29 AM
So, I've had my 2006 STS for about two weeks now. I also have my 2000 SLS still. Both vehicles have bose cd player systems, neither has navigation (don't know if it was an option for my 2000). Anyhow, my initial impressions are kind of mixed. Don't get me wrong, I love the STS but there are some things that really disappoint me compared to the older SLS. For one, the audio system...to be honest I really think the newer STS system is sub par to the older SLS' system.

I think it has better high end sounds, but doesn't handle the bass as nicely as the older bose system did. I'm not sure if this is a result of amplifier design or the fact that the head unit is made by different companies and doesn't seem to have the same RMS output? I won't compare the two systems as far as interface yet...my personal bias is to the older system because it's a Delphi module that I performed testing on many years ago. So, I'm trying to keep that bias out until I've had a chance to really play with the newer head unit and get used to the differences to make an honest assessment of that. I thought the audio difference might be my personal bias as well but I've had many friends and even my wife express their same disappointment in the newer system.

Anyone else have similar experiences or a difference of opinion? I've been looking into ways to add features to my STS that aren't currently there...but the more I'm messing with this system the more I'm frustrated and about ready to rip all of the stock crap out and replace it! The only thing holding me back is the fact that I do like the factory look and am worried about the look of an aftermarket install.

1BadCadSTS
06-16-13, 11:12 AM
Your sls with Bose has the top of the line system. Your sts without nav has the base Bose system. You missed out by not getting the 15 speaker 5.1 dts system big time.

curtc
06-16-13, 11:24 AM
I know the 15 speaker Bose studio surround system in my 06 blows the doors off ANY factory audio system I've ever heard. I've had an 04 CTS with an 8 speaker Bose system (sucked), an 01 STS with an 8 speaker system (decent), and a 95 STS with a 6 speaker system (sucked). From what you describe it sounds like the base STS system is similar to the one that was in my CTS, lacking low end.

NicholasZ
06-16-13, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the feedback so far, yeah after reading through many of the online reviews I'm getting the same feeling as what you guys are describing. I'm really disappointed that a company like Bose would allow their name to be associated with this base system. I understand it's a "base" system but I expected a better "full" sound.

EChas3
06-16-13, 03:41 PM
1BadCad has it right. While the 'YQ4 - BOSE 5.1 STUDIO SURROUND SOUND' is among the finest OEM sound systems, the standard equipment isn't anything special. Cadillac did provide XM & weather bands but left out an auxillary input. There are options.

But to support the position that not all the Bose 5.1 progress is positive, I do miss seeing a level display when increasing volume during quieter passages. Even a car as quiet as the STS isn't an ideal listening environment for material with very wide dynamic range.

NicholasZ
06-16-13, 03:52 PM
One of the most surprising things about the head unit...there are two FM bands just like in my SLS, but I have to physically switch between the two of them. In my SLS, I have all 6 presets on FM1 and all six on FM2 programmed and can cycle through all twelve with the button on the steering wheel. In my newer STS, I can only cycle through the six on FM1 and have to physically change the band to FM2 before I can cycle through all six of those presets...if I want to go back to FM1, I have to pass all other bands (AM1, XM1, XM2, etc...) before arriving at FM1 again. Just seems like it was programmed by a company that forgot to perform an adequate VOC (voice of the customer) process during Systems level testing! I figured this out during the test drive, you would think people designing this would have figured it out before releasing the product...if they did why in the heck would they purposefully design it like that?

EChas3
06-16-13, 04:38 PM
'Way back in the dusty corners of the forum there is a post from a lead designer from Denso. It was his first Nav/Audio project!

That's two examples of 'negative progress'. (I think VR in general is :horse:)Any others?

DBB
06-17-13, 10:20 AM
The only thing holding me back is the fact that I do like the factory look and am worried about the look of an aftermarket install.

I had the same concern with the Bose base system in my 05 STS. I went with an aftermarket head and added a powered sub to the factory system. I didn't relocate the original factory head because I wanted to remain as stock as possible. The key is finding experienced and quality installers. My installers modified the factory dash kit to keep it all OEM.
117242

curtc
06-17-13, 10:41 AM
That is very nicely done! Looks sharp :thumbsup:

1BadCadSTS
06-17-13, 12:13 PM
Kudos. 1st aftermarket install I can get behind. How'd you do it. Assuming you made a t harness to the head unit for the power wires used the gmos 13 for the amp and then bough a metra dash kit and mated it to the factory radio by removing the 6 disc changer from it.

Charles Warren
06-17-13, 12:20 PM
i have an 03 cts and it doesnt lack lowend, my 2000 dts played deeper than both the 06 sts and 03 cts but the trunk was larger so that could be why but overall the 06 sts with 5.1 takes the award. just know when i put kanye west and young jeezy "put on" in the cts that lil 10 sounds like a 15, and i owned a 2000 sls and it wasnt the same as the 2000 sts but still sounding good. to be honest ive never heard a caddy with a bad sound system my 89 deville with symphonic tape player got me pulled over and cop swore i had a system

DBB
06-17-13, 01:51 PM
Kudos. 1st aftermarket install I can get behind. How'd you do it. Assuming you made a t harness to the head unit for the power wires used the gmos 13 for the amp and then bough a metra dash kit and mated it to the factory radio by removing the 6 disc changer from it.

Thanks but I can't take all the credit. After doing a ton of research on this forum I approached Custom Sounds in San Antonio (San Pedro location). We went with the GMOS 13 and the Axxess Metra ASWC-1 Universal Steering Wheel Control Interface. I bought a Scosche GM5200B 2005 - 2011 Cadillac STS Radio Installation Dash Kit with the intentions of relocating the factory radio to the trunk (toyed with seeing if the lcd and buttons could be separated from stock radio and mounted in glove box. However we decided to leave the radio as is and modify the original factory dash by getting rid of the 6 disc changer and the storage compartment. The Pioneer head unit I chose had enough clearance in the rear (without destroying factory wiring to allow a flush fit. I kept the factory Bose system intact but added an active 10" Kicker PT10 in the trunk to compensate for the Bose lack of low end. The sub is powered by the new radio while the factory system is powered by the factory radio (and the Pioneer unit). For this we installed a toggle switch that can be used to unpower the factory system,but killing personal settings changes. I can kill the factory with the switch or just turn it off by the knob. It's a workaround that I can live with and is really not a hinderance. Technically I can leave the factory radio on run everything through my Pioneer unit. In the end I'm happy with the system and I accomplished my goal which was to add nav,XM,backup cam, DVD playback, Bluetooth, iPod/iPhone connectivity, HD Radio, and some extra low end at no compromise of any luxury amenities and significant loss of trunk space. As a bonus I can unplug the subwoofer by disconnecting a few cables.

Cheers,
DBB

DBB
06-17-13, 01:56 PM
That is very nicely done! Looks sharp :thumbsup:

Thanks!

NicholasZ
06-17-13, 09:10 PM
DBB, I agree that looks like a nice install. Thanks for all of the information about the install and parts used, I definitely think something like this could work.

Has anyone had any experience with the "Rosen Factory Look GM Navigation" systems? Supposedly these can work with factory XM module, OnStar, Steering Wheel controls, chimes, etc. without any additional wires/modules?