: Suggestions for Audio Upgrades - 2005 CTS



MissusB
01-01-07, 06:39 PM
Hi All-

I am relatively new here and usually hang only in the CTS forum. However, have just discovered this subforum and would like to ask for your help and/or suggestions!

I have a 2005 CTS with the factory XM radio (no Bose). It sounds terrible! I'd like to make some upgrades to get better sound, but have no idea what to look or even ask for.

I've been reading about the JL Audio Clean Sweep and have thought about going this route. Most of the people I have talked to are younger than me and prefer top of the line audio...I just want my system to sound better. I'm in my mid to late 40s and in real estate so need as much trunk space as I can muster. I also have the pass through back seat option and I'd like to be able to still utilize that.

I don't need a super loud system or a lot of thumping bass - just want a crisper, more clear sound with perhaps a bit more volume.

Is the Clean Sweep the way to go? If so, can anyone suggest components to get the sound I'm looking for? I'm open to anything, just need some advice. Can I do anything for $1,000 - $1,200? I don't want to go crazy because I have a feeling that I'll probably end up just selling whatever I install with the car when I trade it in after a few more years. I do understand that the installation is pretty involved.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!

Happy New Year!

yourgmsolutions
01-01-07, 08:53 PM
Hello Missus
So You know XM quality was not the greatest lately. there is not a whole lot you can do about, but of course you can improve sound quality in your vehicle in general. this is my recomendations for You. however, you'll get a dozens more opinions, so I hope you'll make the right choice and will be able to enjoy your audio system
1. Clean sweep will help, but not critical to have
2. 5 channel amplifier a must, for flexibility. Jl Audio / MTX / Phoenix Gold / Alpine / Kicker would be my choice
3. component speakers to replace you front stock speakers try to buy european made speakers, they are the best for sound quality, but not the cheapest ones.but remember, you want to buy something only once. MB Quart / Dynaudio / Focal / Morel / would be my pick
4. pre made box with 10" JL Audio subwoofer (will help sound imaging and does not take a lot of your trunk space)
and most importent. to find a good stereo shop who will not damaged your vehicle.
good luck

MissusB
01-02-07, 10:32 AM
Hello Missus
So You know XM quality was not the greatest lately. there is not a whole lot you can do about, but of course you can improve sound quality in your vehicle in general. this is my recomendations for You. however, you'll get a dozens more opinions, so I hope you'll make the right choice and will be able to enjoy your audio system
1. Clean sweep will help, but not critical to have
2. 5 channel amplifier a must, for flexibility. Jl Audio / MTX / Phoenix Gold / Alpine / Kicker would be my choice
3. component speakers to replace you front stock speakers try to buy european made speakers, they are the best for sound quality, but not the cheapest ones.but remember, you want to buy something only once. MB Quart / Dynaudio / Focal / Morel / would be my pick
4. pre made box with 10" JL Audio subwoofer (will help sound imaging and does not take a lot of your trunk space)
and most importent. to find a good stereo shop who will not damaged your vehicle.
good luck

Thanks so much, gm_geek! You've been very helpful...thanks for taking the time to respond.

Do you have a rough idea of what I might be spending on the equipment you recommended? I've gotten installation estimates and they aren't cheap, but as you said, I know it's important to use an installer who knows what they're doing!

Happy New Year!

yourgmsolutions
01-02-07, 12:40 PM
as far as equipment, you should be in $1000 and a little change, may be less. check prices on-line first, but i wouldn't buy them. problem is, if you'll have any issues, then you are going to deal with sending stuff back, wainting for ever. but if you study prices on line first, then you'll have idea about that product, and will be easy for you to negotiate. as far as labor, $150 - $200 should be the most. of course you are going to hear stories that you drive a cadillac, blah blah blah, but so you know, installing amp and speakers on CTS, is a lot easier then it looks like (all connections are done at factory amplifier, wich located in the trunk, left corner). if helps, i can provide your installer with wiring documentations,(should make his life easier), and less chances to make a mistakes
ps: to bad you are far away from SoCal. other wise. "I would pimp your ride"
:rock:

MissusB
01-02-07, 03:57 PM
as far as equipment, you should be in $1000 and a little change, may be less. check prices on-line first, but i wouldn't buy them. problem is, if you'll have any issues, then you are going to deal with sending stuff back, wainting for ever. but if you study prices on line first, then you'll have idea about that product, and will be easy for you to negotiate. as far as labor, $150 - $200 should be the most. of course you are going to hear stories that you drive a cadillac, blah blah blah, but so you know, installing amp and speakers on CTS, is a lot easier then it looks like (all connections are done at factory amplifier, wich located in the trunk, left corner). if helps, i can provide your installer with wiring documentations,(should make his life easier), and less chances to make a mistakes
ps: to bad you are far away from SoCal. other wise. "I would pimp your ride"
:rock:

Hi again, "Geek"

Hope you don't take offense at me calling you that!

Thanks again for your help. Giving me an idea of what equipment and installation will cost really helps. Although I haven't done much looking yet, anyone I have talked to in my area initially talks about the "dreaded CTS install"...they've all made it sound like a good bit of the cost will be the installation!

I really hesitate to keep hounding you, but I am SO out of my element with this and I'd hate to start this process without at least attempting to do a little research first...I really don't even know for sure what all "components" I'll need to add with a Clean Sweep, but hopefully you or someone here will be kind enough to help!

First of all - from the little reading I have done I have come to the conclusion that I will need the following:

1) JL Audio Cleansweep CL441DSP unit
2) 5-channel amp
3) front speakers (5.25" component)
4) rear speakers (5.25" coax)
5) sub woofer of some sort

Is this correct? This is where it all gets blurry to me because I don't know what is compatible with what. I think I'll probably need to get speakers that will be compatible with whatever "size" amp I choose, but is there more? Do I also need some sort of separate amp for a sub woofer?

For me, keeping my fold down rear seat option available and trunk space at a maximum is essential. I have been noticing some posts about "free air" subs for the rear deck. Does this mean it could just be substituted in the space currently occupied by the current factory sub? Would this allow me to keep the same amount of trunk space and the pass through option as well? Again, I am in my mid to late 40s, am a real estate agent and use my car to escort clients so I don't need anything much more than clearer music quality. I also need my trunk space to haul signs, small remodeling materials, etc. on occasion. I don't need thumping bass or a really loud system, just nice listening quality. I always listen to my music when I'm alone of course, but a majority of the time it will just be background. I am just so tired of driving a Cadillac with a system that really doesn't sound much better than a transistor radio! (Now I'm REALLY showing my age...)

Also - I understand there are a few other units out there that do essentially what the Clean Sweep does. Is this the case, and if so, what would be your recommendation?

I apologize in advance for all of the explaining you are undoubtedly going to have to do with me. I will tell you that I am a blonde and hopefully that will say it all!

You guys are ALL the best! Thanks...

yourgmsolutions
01-02-07, 06:08 PM
First of all - from the little reading I have done I have come to the conclusion that I will need the following:

1) JL Audio Cleansweep CL441DSP unit
2) 5-channel amp
3) front speakers (5.25" component)
4) rear speakers (5.25" coax)
5) sub woofer of some sort

This is where it all gets blurry to me because I don't know what is compatible with what.
I think I'll probably need to get speakers that will be compatible with whatever "size" amp I choose, but is there more?
Do I also need some sort of separate amp for a sub woofer?

For me, keeping my fold down rear seat option available and trunk space at a maximum is essential. I have been noticing some posts about "free air" subs for the rear deck. Does this mean it could just be substituted in the space currently occupied by the current factory sub? Would this allow me to keep the same amount of trunk space and the pass through option as well?

Also - I understand there are a few other units out there that do essentially what the Clean Sweep does. Is this the case, and if so, what would be your recommendation?

...

clean sweep is a good product, unless you can afford to throw a few hundred plus $$$ and get only $50 worth of improvement then get it. other wise, don't really needed
choosing right amplifier, that's important. like I've said earlir. 5 channel will do the job. it will run your front speakers/rear/subwoofer. basicaly all in one.
1. Jl Audio 500/5 is exelent amplifier (bullet proff mashine)
2. if you want hear every single detail of the instruments an vocals. Alpine Digital Theater Amplifier would be exelent choice. MRA-D550
this amp has a great features "time correction" in other words, if adjusted properly,you'll hear every speaker evenly
http://www.alpine-usa.com/en/products/product.php?model=MRA-D550
3. Infinity multi channel amp has a ok review
http://www.infinitysystems.com/caraudio/product.aspx?ProdId='REF5761A'&Ser=REF&Cat=AMP
when selecting audio components, you don't really need to match them by brands, because some companies makes best speakers, some good amplifiers, and so on.
Free air subwoofers is not a bad idea. there are many of them out there, and they are not that expensive.
when selecting speakers, just go to shops, they should have sound displays, so you'll have a chance to compare them

the727kid
01-06-07, 02:15 AM
First off, I own 3 JL Slash amps, so no-one get at me for whatever. But they won't suit what he is looking for to well.

Secondly, if trunk space is needed, forget a sub all together. Here is my reccomendation: Strong components + lots of power. I'm going to toss out a solid amp, a Sundown 100.4. To go along with Rainbow Germaniums, maybe some CDT comps or ID comps, all of which would have great SQ, and strong mid-bass. Any of those sets I would bridge off the amp (360 per side I believe). That right there is $700 if you went with Rainbows. Next I would spend $75 on 36sq ft. of Rammat Deadner and seal up your doors so you get the most out of your drivers. Now that alone should give you a pretty good sound, and strong bass, and excellent clarity. (Forget to mention you should get 6.5" speakers and make adapters for the up sized speaker).

I would find some other mid-bass drivers (prob some CDTs) to run in the rear fill and give them some juice as well (Maybe a Sundown 100.2) and seal up those doors as well.

That would give you good bass, excellent sound and keep your room at maximum and be withing your budget.

MissusB
01-06-07, 09:46 AM
First off, I own 3 JL Slash amps, so no-one get at me for whatever. But they won't suit what he is looking for to well.

Secondly, if trunk space is needed, forget a sub all together. Here is my reccomendation: Strong components + lots of power. I'm going to toss out a solid amp, a Sundown 100.4. To go along with Rainbow Germaniums, maybe some CDT comps or ID comps, all of which would have great SQ, and strong mid-bass. Any of those sets I would bridge off the amp (360 per side I believe). That right there is $700 if you went with Rainbows. Next I would spend $75 on 36sq ft. of Rammat Deadner and seal up your doors so you get the most out of your drivers. Now that alone should give you a pretty good sound, and strong bass, and excellent clarity. (Forget to mention you should get 6.5" speakers and make adapters for the up sized speaker).

I would find some other mid-bass drivers (prob some CDTs) to run in the rear fill and give them some juice as well (Maybe a Sundown 100.2) and seal up those doors as well.

That would give you good bass, excellent sound and keep your room at maximum and be withing your budget.

Hi "kid"-

Thanks so much for your input. I think that gm_geek was right when he told me I'd get a multitude of different responses/opinions. It all helps!

I'll research the ideas you have given me...thanks again!

Happy New Year!

CadillacSTS42005
01-06-07, 09:50 AM
geeks the authority when it comes to the newer STS and the CTS. Im more of a bose 92-05 Gen Lacs
That said some companies i think you should look into are
for
speakers:
Infinity
Kicker

hu:
alpine
pioneer
kennwood
eclipse

subs:
jl audio
kicker
eclipse

MissusB
01-06-07, 09:57 AM
geeks the authority when it comes to the newer STS and the CTS. Im more of a bose 92-05 Gen Lacs
That said some companies i think you should look into are
for
speakers:
Infinity
Kicker

hu:
alpine
pioneer
kennwood
eclipse

subs:
jl audio
kicker
eclipse

Thanks to you as well, "CadillacEtc"! You guys are all so nice to help a girl out. Yes, gm_geek and I have been e-mailing and he has been a wealth of information...he sure does seem to know his stuff!

ssmith100
01-08-07, 04:19 PM
Since you don't have the Bose it will actually be a vary easy upgrade. I would recommend the JL Audio 500/5 amp also along with new coaxial speakers for the front and rear doors. Adding a simple free air subwoofer to the rear deck in th factory opening would also be very benefical and the 500/5 will run everything along with allowing you to keep the factory fading capabilities.

I've upgraded everything except the factory Nav in my CTS-V and kept all the trunk space. Mine sounds 100% better than stock. (XM still sucks though) All signal can be taped before the factory amp and the Clean Sweep is not necassary.

Whover you get to do the work make sure they are familiar with the CTS. A lot of installers out there don't have any idea how to "add on" to the existing system. Yours not being Bose will make this a lot easier though. I did all the work myself. I have a lot of post out there about my audio upgrade if you want to use the search feature.
You might also want to PM "Darkwingfrog" as he has done a pretty extensive upgrade to his CTS.

Pics of under my decklid of two JL audio amps along with a Image Dynamics free air 10" subwoofer. Driver's side rear trunk cover hadn't been reinstalled.

Shane

Shane

MissusB
01-08-07, 06:35 PM
Hi Shane!

Thanks so much for your help as well...after doing a lot more research and getting a few more opinions this is precisely the route I think I'll take!

MissusB
01-08-07, 06:37 PM
...and thanks for the picture, too! Very helpful!

the727kid
01-09-07, 08:06 AM
That's a real clean install Smith. If you ever want more JL amps, I have 3 slash amps for sale.