02-15-05, 08:48 PM
I am disappointed, as are many others, with the performance of the sound system in a $50,000 car. I have read the threads about modification of the V audio system and was wondering if anyone could recommend an audio shop in the Chicago area. I live in the Northwest suburbs and am looking to enhance the performance and sound of the audio system in my V without in any way interfering with the operation of the audio/Nav system. I would like more pwer and a stronger bottom end and don't want to do this myself. Are there any professional shops in my area anyone would recommend? Thanks in advance for your help!
Ssmith100 has done a great job modifying his V. Look at his posts, I'm sure you'll find them very informative.
Recently JL audio came up with a new product that allows you to add all kind of stuff while keeping your car's features. It has also been covered here.
02-16-05, 03:18 PM
The solution is to grab the audio signal from the factory nav/sound unit. The downside is the factory unit MAY have built-in equalization, some of which may even be based on volume level. JLAudio is apparently releasing a product (CleanSweep) that can measure these effects and flatten them. Not sure what the GM unit does in this respect, so not sure you need it. Other than that, if you want things stock, you'll probably replace all speaker units in the current locations. If you're only after bass, that could be partially done with just a subwoofer.
Unfortunately, our cars are not designed for sound quality and your new high-performance speakers weren't designed for your car. Although an audio buff will laugh at equalization in a well implemented home audio system, you WILL need a decent amount of control over equalization and cross-overs from sub to full-range speakers. The need for equalization will really solve (partially) two problems: the fact that many high-performance speakers are too bright, and mid-bass problems in the sub and full-range woofers. No, you won't need dozens of channels on the EQ, but 7 channels should help. If done properly, this should be a set the dials and forget kind of thing, not some brightly lit slider arrangement in your dash.
The subwoofer decision will come down to a trade-off of sound quality in the stock location vs. using up trunk space (or building a very $$$ enclosure under the rear deck somehow).
The shame is that many folks spend alot of $$$ on the best components, and although the systems can go very loud, they don't sound very good at normal levels (think hollow and bright with alot of thump). Great for dance music, not much good for anything else.
02-17-05, 02:47 PM
globed70, D148LO, Thanks for your responses. I've seen Ssmith100's posts and am impressed with what he's done. Unfortunately I'm not handy with electronics and would definitely need a professional to do the mods. I'm not looking for major improvement - only something comparable to my wife's T&C minivan and my '93 BMW 525. Compared to them, my CTS-V has no bass response - and I don't like a lot of bass - just a realistic sound. The mid-range and high end sound is decent. So the suggestion of replacing the stock woofer or adding a sub-woofer with a separate amp may be the way to go. Can I do this without impacting the functionality of the existing NAV and Audio system? Also, I want to keep any cutting of any housings to the bare minimum. Appreciate your thoughts.
02-17-05, 06:32 PM
Changing out the subwoofer and adding an amp is a very easy task. Any professional car audio shop should be able to handle this for you. The key is not to let them try and over sale you more than you need. I am very happy now with the audio in my V as I was the same as you and didn't think I had enough low end response. Now if anything I have to much:D (Not really) Seriously, this should be a fairly easy upgrade and as far as modifications to the car, everything can be reversed. The factory subwoofer mounts to a very flimsy piece of plastic that I would recommend replacing. It does have to be cut, but can be put back without any problems later. Most shops will make the same recommendation. You will not impact the factory system at all. The only thing that adding an external amp and a different sub will do that is not the same as the factory sub is that the turn on lead for the amplifier will be on the switched key of the car. The only impact this makes is when you turn off the car (the radio is still on) you will lose the subwoofer. As soon as you open the door of course the factory system shuts down. Unfortunately I have not found a way around this but never listen to the stereo without the key on. I have been doing car audio for about 20 years now and have a lot of experience. The V was very easy to do. I would recommend replacing the factory sub with amp before I added another sub and amp to the factory system. I think it will sound better and be a lot more stealth. I did not want anything that looked added on visible in my trunk. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
02-18-05, 09:26 AM
Thanks Shane, I'll look for a good audio shop up here.