why did the stock head unit sound better? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2007, 12:54 PM
txcntryboi23
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Hi guys..I dont know alot about car audio, so excuse me if this is alittle off the wall When i got my car about six months ago, i took my car to a audio shop and had them install another head unit in my car since the stock one had no CD player, The head unit that i had installed has also been installed on the last three cars i have gone thru, Well every since the installation i cant help but notice that the factory head unit sounded better then the aftermarket one i had installed.. i dont think it has anything to do with the quality (yea it was cheap lol) becuase the last cars it was installed in it worked awesome. I figured that with the concert sound in my car it would rock.. BUT it really doesent.. i cant increase the bass without the speakers sounding like they are going to blow, and also i noticed the two front door speakers work, and the two back dash speakers work.. but the ones in the back doors do not.. i dont know if the instalation was done wrong, or if its the head unit, or what.. Thanks again Jason
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 11:09 AM
liam
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id say they didnt wire it right, have it checked out by another store or some one who knows more about stereos
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 11:20 AM
White93ltz
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Did you have BOSE? If so, the factory AMP could be messing with the BOSE amp, fubaring the sound... (thats what sum1 told me about why mine sounds off)...


I can definatly explain one of your issues though..

There are NO speakers in the rear door. I'd say that explains why they dont work...
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 11:46 AM
aremsee
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Start by telling us year, make/model of your car. (Even better, add it to your signature.)

You mentioned "concert sound" and "back dash", so I am guessing 94-6 Roadmaster sedan (versus wagon). I am betting on a bad install. Probably phasing is wrong, especially with the front speakers.
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 01:20 PM
txcntryboi23
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awesome yea its a 1995, ill take it too another store to have it checked out.. sure does look like there is speakers in the rear doors
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2007, 08:10 PM
sherlock9c1
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My own experience with GM cars is that the factory head unit ALWAYS has more bass than any aftermarket deck I've ever heard, regardless of price, period. I believe it is because GM designs the head unit and the factory speakers to work together very well. My rule is this: If you're going to put an aftermarket head unit in, plan to add a subwoofer as well, otherwise it will not be as full and bassy as it was.
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 08:19 AM
UndercoverPunk
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My Alpine 9835 sounds DRASTICLY better than my stocker. IDK what the cause of all you guys ailments are, but I've NEVER had a stocker sound better than an aftermarket deck.

I love the alpine in my wagon, and even with just the stock 4X6's in the front doors, I have a lot more midbass than I thought I would. I am taking advantage of the crossover network to kill a lot of the distortion that just comes with running stock speakers at high volumes and low frequencies. I haven't really messed with time alignment or eqing, short of boosting the highest frequencies a bit, but after all, these are stock 4X6's. Can't wait to burn those things. Maybe I'll hook them up to the ZX in a fancy fartbox. See what I can get them to register on the TL.

[ 04-23-2007, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: UndercoverPunk ]
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 09:16 AM
sherlock9c1
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Let's be careful here what we're referring to. When I said the factory head unit was "better bass" - that's literally all I meant - fuller bass with the stock speakers. As for overall sound quality, I agree that aftermarket decks always win. However, the factory head unit runs all frequencies through the speakers, and along the way, it gives a slightly fuller sound than the aftermarket decks I've listened to (with an otherwise stock setup) due to the bass. That said, I've also found the stock head unit will distort at much lower volumes than aftermarket units, and I have to start turning the bass down if I want to increase the volume any more without encountering distortion (I think it's a power saturation issue).

A lot of people without much experience with audio systems perceive "sound quality" as a fullness or even loudness, and usually make a judgment based on the bass (even if it's distorted). [side note - why do you think Bose sells as many of those little $500 clock radios as they do?] On the flip side, most audiophiles actually listen for a lack of distortion, and will gladly tolerate reduced bass for better sound quality in the rest of the spectrum. So even the word "better" means different things to different people.

There are certainly some aftermarket head units that have real amplifiers built into them, and they ARE able to create better bass than the stock head unit; but they are the minority. Most aftermarket head units are grossly overrated on their power output, and I think they cover that by limiting the amount of power they put out in the lower frequencies; it keeps them distortion-free farther up the volume range.

With any speaker, the fewer frequencies it has to create, the better a job it will do at producing the ones it does. This is part of why aftermarket decks have better sound quality - they are able to block the lower frequencies from reaching the stock speakers. Even the act of putting a subwoofer in and then putting a high-pass filter on the stock speakers will significantly improve their sound quality, and thus the overall sound quality of the whole system.

That's my two cents.

[ 04-23-2007, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: sherlock9c1 ]
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007, 10:05 PM
aremsee
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txcntryboi23,

My experience: I have a '96 RMW that came with the factory Concert Sound II system. I installed a Pioneer DEH-P77DH head unit and some Pioneer coaxial 6x9s in the rear. I have not really enclosed the rear speakers, so the factory front speakers (and subwoofer plate) do most of the bass work.

My Pioneer head unit is much louder than the factory head unit. I do use the "mid" loudness setting and typically the "Powerful" EQ setting. My stock Concert Sound II front speakers take it and deliver good bass (for my taste). [The back speakers are junk and should be replaced immediately with any head unit.]

Your front speakers could be toast (even low power amp/head-units can cook voice coils through too much distortion) and/or [very likely] the head unit was installed incorrectly with the front leads not in the same phase. On one of the door speakers, change the leads (in the door or at the head unit). If the bass improves, then the speakers were out of phase. (You will also need to get the "correct" phase between front and back speakers... another topic.)

Two other bits of info...

- Your dash faceplate is very easy to remove. You might want to consider doing the reaserch and checking it yourself. (Will a shop that screwed up, actually admit it and incur possible liability or will they cover it up and say that the factory speakers were junk and now blow?)

- As note before, there are no speakers in the back doors.

Good luck.
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