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2001 STS
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just want to replace it, plain and simple.
I won't be putting an amp/box, etc. in the car, just too much money.

Anything special to do? Will I get a cleaner and better bass sound if I just swap the BOSE speaker with my choice?

Thanks in advance
Nick
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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7,705 Posts
hmm i don't think any other brand speakers will work in our system without re wiring and bypassing the speakers and amp
but don't take my word for this

but im preatty sure you cant without doing something more
if you want to replace the sub
u might just have to replace with bose sub

maybe this would be better in the Audio Video Sercurity section
if one of the mods move it that way


i think about a year ago when i wanted to change the speakers to Pioneer
but keep my nav unit bose system i was quated a price of outragousness i was not going to spend 1400 on speakers and getting them to work
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
My biggest concern there would be the impedance the Bose amp wants to see across the subwoofer.

Many factory systems use subwoofers that run an impedance that isn't the same resistance as aftermarket subs. If, for example, the Bose sub runs at a native 2 ohms and you plug a 4-ohm sub into it, you'll cut your power the sub puts out in half (double the resistance). If the factory Bose sub is a 4-ohm unit, and you replace it with a 2-ohm sub, you risk blowing your Bose amplifier by introducing too much current to the system. Most aftermarket subwoofers are 4 ohms, so keep that in mind. Sometimes the factory systems have odd numbers (3 ohm, etc), which really makes it difficult since so few aftermarket options come with anything other than 2 or 4-ohm models.

Now, once you figure out what load the factory sub shows the amp, then you can start picking out a replacement sub. BUT you need to figure out airspace, mounting depth, etc. How much airspace is in the factory Bose subwoofer box? Find a replacement sub that requires a similar amount of airspace. Some subwoofers need a half a cubic foot, some need two cubic feet. There is a HUGE difference in sound if you don't use the appropriate airspace - it would sound worse than the Bose if you guessed wrong. :D

Finally you have things like mounting depth to worry about. I'm guessing the Bose sub has a tiny magnet on it; most aftermarket subs will have heavier & larger magnets on the back, which could interfere with mounting locations & depth.

So to answer your question, it's entirely do-able if you take the time to research and figure the above information out. Whether it's worth your time or not is a different story! ;)

I actually am interested in possibly doing this too, although I'd run an external amp to power the sub - I just want that factory sub mounting location. Keep in mind the factory Bose amp won't power an aftermarket sub better than it powered the Bose sub. That factory amp probably puts out such little power, and you have to keep in mind that Bose designed that system to be uber-efficient - which no aftermarket sub will be in that enclosure with that Bose amp. So to answer your question about getting cleaner & better bass sound by just replacing your subwoofer.... Not unless the Bose sub was already blown. No subwoofer you will buy will be designed for that enclosure. Only the Bose was. (Case in point: ever seen JL Audio stealthboxes? They use their lower-line 10" subwoofers yet pound harder than many dual 10" setups and some dual 12's. Why? Design of the enclosure. They are super-efficient).

Unless you're going to power it externally (read: NOT with the Bose amp) and locating a subwoofer that requires the exact same airspace, I'd say you'd probably be doing a lot of work for nothing. ;)
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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I've done more reading and apparently the factory Bose sub is a freeair version? I can't confirm this as I've never bothered to look at mine, but I did read this elsewhere on the forum. If that is the case then disregard my comments about airspace & mounting depth; however you'll still have the problem about efficiency of the sub itself and the fact that the Bose amp most likely won't be powerful enough to make any noticeable difference by switching out to an aftermarket subwoofer.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
:yeah:

The factory sub in your STS has extremely low impedence (1-2 ohms). Aftermarket subs with such low impedence are hard to find. No matter how heavy, expensive or efficient the typical 4 ohm replacement will draw significantly less power from the amp and you will have less bass (probably much less), not more!

Don't be deceived by the light weight of the factory sub and front door speakers. They use a powerful rare earth magnet instead of the much more common (and far heavier for the same power) ceramic magnet. The small powerful magnet allows for the strange, very slim design with the magnet in front of the loudspeaker cone, not behind.

Also, as the previous poster mentioned, enclosure volume is an essential element of proper bass design! Bose speaker systems are notorious for having a mid-bass hump, slow transient response and lack of truly low bass, but they are famous for having extremely well designed enclosures that allow a surprising volume of sound from small enclosures.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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I've done more reading and apparently the factory Bose sub is a freeair version? I can't confirm this as I've never bothered to look at mine, but I did read this elsewhere on the forum. If that is the case then disregard my comments about airspace & mounting depth; however you'll still have the problem about efficiency of the sub itself and the fact that the Bose amp most likely won't be powerful enough to make any noticeable difference by switching out to an aftermarket subwoofer.
Yes, the factory Bose sub is a free air (infinite baffle) design. An automobile cabin with its small volume and controlled ventilation is FAR from a room in a house though... The "suspension" of infinite baffle loudspeakers is significantly stiffer than those designed for use in an enclosure where the air in the enclosure acts like a spring. The stiff suspension usually translates to low efficiency and I suspect that the rare earth magnet and extremely low impedence are very intentional parts of the design.

The Bose system certainly isn't the best car audio I've ever heard, but I will submit that replacement is essentially all-or-nothing lest you wind up with something not as good as the original. To replace all and get better and louder, expect to spend lots of $,$$$ and probably loose lots of trunk space...
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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From my old high-end home audio p/t sales associate:

Of course it's a Bose
No highs, no lows.
 

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2000 STS, W/Nav
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562 Posts
there is a 12" free air sub that is for sale on crutchfield that i know a few members have installed and were happy with even on the stock amp but i have yet to do it myself and verify that it will work well or how it fits in place
 

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there is a 12" free air sub that is for sale on crutchfield that i know a few members have installed and were happy with even on the stock amp but i have yet to do it myself and verify that it will work well or how it fits in place
do you know the brand of the sub just thinking of heading over there out of curiosity to see what it is and all
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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Just remember that if the factory sub is 1-ohm and you get a 4-ohm replacement unit, understand that you'll be cutting the power the Bose amplifier puts out on the sub channel by up to ~75%.
 

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01 Cadillac Seville STS
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Resistors are your friend. You can use them to get the ohm load to the correct levels to make the factory amps happy.

P.S. anyone know the factory rating for the amp or amps?
 

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2006 STS V8 1SF RWD
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You will have lots of fun trying to drop anything bigger in that mounting location. Sure it will fit a 12" speaker, but you only have about 6 inches below it until it starts hitting supports. Because of the lack of room below the mounting point you will have to get a shallow mount subwoofer as well or hack away a lot of material to make it fit. Most subwoofers that are worth buying are almost 12" deep and weigh a ton. I can almost guarantee the back deck lid will have to be reinforced to handle the additional weight and vibrations from the more powerful speaker.

There was a post earlier that stated it's pretty much all or nothing when it comes to upgrading Bose and that was right on the money. I replaced the stereo in my 2001 STS Bose with Alpine/Infinity/JL and for everything, speakers, head unit, amps, wiring, and installation labor (some of it done myself) it was roughly $2,000. But that was all worth it in my eyes since that car will now blow the socks of any paper Bose garbage.

Bose Other Stereo Equipment
 

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2000 STS, W/Nav
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Honestly I would love to hear an aftermarket system that is custom tuned to the shape of the Seville I agree there is a lack of depth from the sub woofer but honestly its fine I would prefer to keep my ears intact so I can hear later in life, the tuning that went into that car is far more advanced than any of you people who think if you go to best buy and buy the most expensive speakers they have, are the best in the world think again because honestly those so called paper speakers are better than you think.. whats heavier a piece of paper or a carbon fiber or some synthetic material? the paper obviously and that means it can move a heck of a lot faster than those aftermarket and yes paper will not last as long hence the reason they go bad faster than aftermarket, but hey ill pay the price not to mention that sub I beg any one of you to find one that can produce that same amount of bass from the same thin sub without a box in the back dash of a car, now im not here bashing anyone but honestly just chill out on these things, and stop just assuming aftermarket IS ALWAYS the better choice, when yes in a Honda it sure is, but these Cadillacs aren't always the cheapest. Just my 2 cents..
 

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01 Cadillac Seville STS
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I am fairly sure that my speakers in my seville will be replaced with aftermarket speakers with resistors to make the amp happy. I have no interest in spending the same amount for two speakers as I can replace all of them for with aftermarket stuff with including the sub.
 

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2006 STS V8 1SF RWD
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I could care less about some "custom" tuning Bose did in the Seville...All I care about is sound quality and Bose just doesn't measure up plain and simple. I would gladly let another Seville owner listen to the same song side by side in their car and in mine, if they tell me the Bose sounds better they're either deaf or have no idea/don't care about sound quality. The CTS I just bought has basically the same system as my Seville had before I ripped it all out, and it sounds HORRIBLE compared to what I'm used to.So much so that I'm debating on doing the exact same thing to this car....
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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Resistors are your friend. You can use them to get the ohm load to the correct levels to make the factory amps happy.
...except adding resistors doesn't increase power; it increases resistance. You want to go the other way. You're on the right track but have it backwards. :cool:

Honestly I would love to hear an aftermarket system that is custom tuned to the shape of the Seville I agree there is a lack of depth from the sub woofer but honestly its fine I would prefer to keep my ears intact so I can hear later in life, the tuning that went into that car is far more advanced than any of you people who think if you go to best buy and buy the most expensive speakers they have, are the best in the world think again because honestly those so called paper speakers are better than you think.. whats heavier a piece of paper or a carbon fiber or some synthetic material? the paper obviously and that means it can move a heck of a lot faster than those aftermarket and yes paper will not last as long hence the reason they go bad faster than aftermarket, but hey ill pay the price not to mention that sub I beg any one of you to find one that can produce that same amount of bass from the same thin sub without a box in the back dash of a car, now im not here bashing anyone but honestly just chill out on these things, and stop just assuming aftermarket IS ALWAYS the better choice, when yes in a Honda it sure is, but these Cadillacs aren't always the cheapest. Just my 2 cents..
It would be naive to think that because Cadillac (or Bose) put the system in the car, it is the best sound system there is.

Bose was great in that they brought fidelity to cars. But they are certainly not the best. Why do car companies continue to use them? Huge infrastructure, heavy advertising, name cachet, and lowest bidder. None of that equates to quality. Bose will always sound better than a "stock" sytem, but you can always improve sound quality over a Bose. :thumbsup:
 

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01 Cadillac Seville STS
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...except adding resistors doesn't increase power; it increases resistance. You want to go the other way. You're on the right track but have it backwards. :cool:
Adding a 1.5 ohm resistor to a 4 ohm speaker will give close enough to the one ohm of resistance the stock amp wants to see to make everything happy.
 
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