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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone has looked into upgrading the audio systems in these cars yet?

I know that in "some" previous Bose systems the amplifiers were mated to the speakers themselves making partial upgrades very difficult.

In my case I would certainly like to get better speakers in there as well as put better amplification in the car.

Has anyone pulled their doors apart yet to see what size the oem units are?

Thanks!
 

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I was wondering if anyone has looked into upgrading the audio systems in these cars yet?

I know that in "some" previous Bose systems the amplifiers were mated to the speakers themselves making partial upgrades very difficult.

In my case I would certainly like to get better speakers in there as well as put better amplification in the car.

Has anyone pulled their doors apart yet to see what size the oem units are?

Thanks!
This should help ya: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/161052-cts-speaker-sizes.html

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the link!

After reading that thread it seams like (most) everyone is happy with their factory systems (excepting those needing huge bass).

I'm more of a SQ guy and although I don't want to do anything crazy to the car (or add weight) I feel that things could certainly be made better.

Is anyone else less than happy with the stock Bose?
 

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I was wondering if anyone has looked into upgrading the audio systems in these cars yet?

I know that in "some" previous Bose systems the amplifiers were mated to the speakers themselves making partial upgrades very difficult.

In my case I would certainly like to get better speakers in there as well as put better amplification in the car.

Has anyone pulled their doors apart yet to see what size the oem units are?

Thanks!

Here is another thread that I found useful.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-forum-2008-beyond/140898-subwoofer-install-bose-amp-nav.html
 

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Is anyone else less than happy with the stock Bose?
Overall I like the factory system although now that spring has sprung here in Ohio I can now ride with the windows down, I do sometimes wish the system was a little louder. As for the quality of the sound IMO the Bose system does a pretty good job in the reproduction of the music, but that's just my opinion.
 

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I have a JL 10W7 and JL 500/1 amp. A local shop just spliced into the factory speakers (close to the battery) and put a box for the amp jacks. I hooked up the hot and ground wires and was done. They took out the factory sub to get more sound into the car. It sounds good and clear.

Am I missing something or did they totally do it wrong??
 

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While the Nav and 40G drive technology are 1st rate, the audio system sound is o.k. but could definitely be better. If there are ways to make it better without major expense or chopping up the car I for one would be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
While the Nav and 40G drive technology are 1st rate, the audio system sound is o.k. but could definitely be better. If there are ways to make it better without major expense or chopping up the car I for one would be interested.
I agree. My concern regarding hopping off of the Bose amp is that not only would I inherit their DSP, I would also inherit the factory crossover. This would ultimately mean that regardless of what amp/speaker I put in there, it would only play the frequencies that the Bose told it to play.

I'd guess that with some of the OEM interface processors out there you could get some pretty great results. Audison just came out with a unit called the Bit 1 which is supposed to have some pretty state of the art signal processing and digital conversion capabilities. Also, with space for a 9" driver in the front door, you could put one hell of a midbass up front, almost negating the need for a big/heavy sub in the back of the car.

Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted in case I decide t do something custom to the car.

Here's some bad pics of the last car I did. I would not do anything this radical in the V and certainly nothing this heavy.





Hey, now that I can post pics, here's my V!





 

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I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the stock system. There are most certainly better sounding car stereo's out there, though only a few of them are OEM. But, on the whole, I can't really complain about the sound quality. I have always looked at BOSE as producing systems that sound good, not accurate, meaning the sound is manipulated and differs from its source. This is the first BOSE that I feel comfortable saying is pretty accurate. The vocals are clear and well placed, the highs are not fatiguing even at high volume levels, the 9" mid-bass/sub's in the front doors help to reinforce the sound stage, while the 12" sub in the rear deck adds to the low frequency response. The sound is well balanced, and enjoyable to listen to. I know it lacks some of the detail that is present in some of the more expensive OEM systems, or in well tuned after market systems. My hesitance about making modifications to the system is the fact that with all the DSP equalization that is done to match the door speakers to the dash speakers, the cut off points for the mid/high to mid-bass/sub to sub, and not to mention the rear door full range speakers; there is alot of work to keep the coherence of the factory system if you make changes to the speakers and try to add amps. I know that previously BOSE was using speakers with an impedance of .5-2 ohms, which makes it difficult to find speakers that would work well with the built in amp.

As I am sure those of you who have built systems know, changing the speakers from 2 ohm to 4 ohm isn't going to hurt anything, but will limit the amount of power available from the factory amp. Assuming the speakers have the same sensitivity, say 90db/1w/1m, and 64w peak at 2 ohms at the amp. Changing the speaker to 4 ohms would reduce the amps out put to ~32w peak, would lower the max output of the speaker by 3db, which doesn't look like a lot, but reduces perceived sound by half. Which in turn reduces the potential dynamic range of the music, unless you are listening to Metalica's latest release :) . It can also introduce distortion because the speaker isn't receiving the power it needs to physically produce sound. Granted this should only be notice able at higher volume levels, but it is something to be aware of.

I am all for doing what you want to the sound system, its your car, and there is a reason why there are so many different makes of speakers and amps, everyone likes a slightly different sound. For me, I am happy enough with the sound system that I don't want to mess with the issues of possibly loosing the DSP features, or introducing more distortion. I look forward to what all everyone finds out about the current system, and what you all do to address it's short comings, and your own take on what is the best.

~ Matt.

Side Note: I do hate the quality of the sound on XM.... Yuck... I only use XM for the comedy stations and when I am driving and there is no real radio stations to choose from... Thank God for the HDD and iPod connection...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Side Note: I do hate the quality of the sound on XM.... Yuck... I only use XM for the comedy stations and when I am driving and there is no real radio stations to choose from... Thank God for the HDD and iPod connection...
That might be part of my problem. I've only been listening to the radio and xm since I got the car. I dropped my Ipod in favor of an Iphone but can't stand to have my phone in the center storage area. Hmm, maybe a test is in order.

To me the sound just isn't as clear or focused as I'm used to.
 

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If you have the Nav system, grab a concert DVD of good quality, in other words well mastered audio, and put that in. The Nav system will play the DVD's DTS sound track in 5.1, as well as the DD in 5.1 and PCM 2.0. Otherwise, I would recommend the SACD, it is a hybrid so it also has a CD layer, of Ray Charles - Ray & Friends, it happens to be really well mastered. Of course any other CD would work well providing it isn't poorly mastered or a MP3 Rip @160kbps or less... Those are just my suggestions, I am sure you know what your doing.

I also have the iPhone, word to the wise, occasionaly you will need to power down then back on the iPhone to get it to connect correctly... Not sure why, but that has been my experence so far, also I only use the iPhone as a source of music when I am going to be in the car for extended amounts of time... I have been thinking about picking up an iPod nano for use in the car, they are starting to get cheep enough.

~ Matt.
 

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Side Note: I do hate the quality of the sound on XM.... Yuck... I only use XM for the comedy stations and when I am driving and there is no real radio stations to choose from... Thank God for the HDD and iPod connection...
What he said. The sound quality (bit rate) of the digital music from XM is just trash. I think someone figured out that the music bit rate is something equivalent to a 48kbit MP3. And that's pathetic.

That is, in no way, the stereo's fault. XM just sucks, period. At least it does for those of us that can hear the difference in fidelity. :) For me, the only way to fly is the USB thumb drive packed to the gills with my 320kbit MP3s (and yes, I can hear the difference).

jas
 

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Just curious as to your thoughts on the system when listening to a CD or DVD, if you have gotten the chance that is.
 

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Just curious as to your thoughts on the system when listening to a CD or DVD, if you have gotten the chance that is.
If you're directing that question at me, I haven't even bothered. Every CD I care about I've already ripped to FLAC and converted to 320kbit MP3. :)

jas
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just curious as to your thoughts on the system when listening to a CD or DVD, if you have gotten the chance that is.
I haven't actually put a hi-res source into the system but was pretty amazed by the improvements when I plugged my Iphone running basic Itunes/Apple Lossless in.

Overall system resolution, staging and separation were dramatically improved.

I tend to prefer a stage-forward type of sound so I have my fader forward a few steps. I find that I get better better overall subwoofer integration and the front door speakers seem to be doing more of the work. The mids and tweets are far more detailed than with FM/XM only and although not state of the art, I could probably live with them.

If I were to modify the system, I'd probably put better mid-bass drivers up front. This would allow me to run a lower cross over in front and bring most of the bass fundamentals to the front of the car and provide a better overall sense of dynamic scale and attack. Similarly, this would allow me to cross over the sub at a lower point where it would ultimately call less attention to itself (or specifically the back of the car). Just my .02 but I really don't like lots of bass coming from behind me. Bass players never stand behind you at a show. I'd also consider a better sub that could play a bit lower but also stay well integrated with the front stage (transparency is key).

Lastly, I'd play with L/R time alignment a bit. Currently the "center" mode seems to provide the most coherent picture but leaves you with a very narrow sound stage. I'd prefer to have the vocals closer to the center of the dash with the sound stage extending across the entire width of the dash board (in the best car setups, the sound stage extends well beyond the boundaries of the car).

Again, this just my .02 and I tend to be picky.
 

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I understand what you are saying about having a solid sound stage in front of you. My ideal system, car permiting, would be a set of 3 way components, placement varied by available locations, with a 1/2" tweeter, 4" mid range, 7-8" Mid-bass. Then two 10" woofers/subs mounted under seat. A 12" sub in the back for ultra low frequencies. Perhaps a set of 4" coaxial in the rear deck only for rear fill/ambiance. I personally prefer bass that is tight and musical. I am also a fan of providing enough amplification for a speaker to reach its full potential and avoid distortion from the amp clipping. I can dream....

As for XM, about the only combination of settings I have found that results in something I would consider listenable is as follows:

Bass: -3 = Reduces the pumped up bass that is apparent on XM
Mid: +1 = Trying to divine some more detail lacking in the vocals
Treble: +3 = In search of what little bit nuance that might be left in the music
DSP: Centerpoint = Normally I would leave it off, but in this case I feel that some sound stage, even if it is all around you, is better than none, Also it seems to kinda smooth out the the EQ settings above.

As always, your mileage my very... If you do make changes please post the pics and details...

~ Matt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I understand what you are saying about having a solid sound stage in front of you. My ideal system, car permiting, would be a set of 3 way components, placement varied by available locations, with a 1/2" tweeter, 4" mid range, 7-8" Mid-bass. Then two 10" woofers/subs mounted under seat. A 12" sub in the back for ultra low frequencies. Perhaps a set of 4" coaxial in the rear deck only for rear fill/ambiance. I personally prefer bass that is tight and musical. I am also a fan of providing enough amplification for a speaker to reach its full potential and avoid distortion from the amp clipping. I can dream....

As for XM, about the only combination of settings I have found that results in something I would consider listenable is as follows:

Bass: -3 = Reduces the pumped up bass that is apparent on XM
Mid: +1 = Trying to divine some more detail lacking in the vocals
Treble: +3 = In search of what little bit nuance that might be left in the music
DSP: Centerpoint = Normally I would leave it off, but in this case I feel that some sound stage, even if it is all around you, is better than none, Also it seems to kinda smooth out the the EQ settings above.

As always, your mileage my very... If you do make changes please post the pics and details...

~ Matt.
This is my dream system...Now if I could only find a way to fit it in the car :crybaby:



Old listening room (build in progress)

 

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WOW... that is awsome. I am guessing here, but those speakers look like they have ribbon tweeter/mid range, and dual 6 1/2" mid bass. That has to sound amazing with the high current tube amp. Very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
WOW... that is awsome. I am guessing here, but those speakers look like they have ribbon tweeter/mid range, and dual 6 1/2" mid bass. That has to sound amazing with the high current tube amp. Very nice.
Good eye. What's not easily seen in the pics is a side firing 10" sub on each tower or a pair of slot loaded 6 1/2 passive radiators at the bottom of each cabinet. Lastly, the whole thing is being managed by a Tact Audio room correction system which manages time, phase and frequency response at the listening position.

Although it may seem somewhat excessive, this has been my hobby for about 15 years and a source of great enjoyment for me.

Here's a pic with the waveguides removed (they're there to control dispersion patterns and help form a true line source between the mids/tweets.

 

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Excessive, not at all. I started work on my first stereo system when I was 10, it was pieces that i had found from my parents and grandparents. It wasn't much, but it was better than my friends boom box's. Purchased my first real system when I was 12. A Technics 120Wx2 40Wx3 Dolby ProLogic receiver and a set of Yamaha speakers. From there I was hooked. Now, keeping in mind money and space is unfortunately an object, I am running a Sony ES DA7100ES receiver (170Wx7 10Hz-70kHz 0.009% THD). Polk RTi 12 front speakers, Cambridge Sound Works MC500 Center, M60 Surround, PSW1000 Sub. I have a PS3 for SACD and Blu-Ray sources. For the money it was the best I could do for keeping a system that could produce a solid stereo sound image, while still handling multi-channel sources.

So, now the real question, vinyl or cd?

~ Matt.

Oh the reason for getting the Polk RTi 12's was I got them for $350 per new, considering Polk listed them at $800 per new, it was hard to pass up.
 
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