Factory Audiophile stereo w/ 6-CD capability vs. aftermarket? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-24-2007, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I just bought an 07 Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4 to replace my 03 Expedition XLT. I heard that the entire factory Audiophile stereo (plus factory subwoofer) works as one unit. Is this true? In other words, swapping out factory speakers for aftermarket or swapping out the factory sub or adding a more powerful amp will ruin the sound quality of the entire system. Although the factory unit sounds impressive, I figured that changing out the factory speakers for Infinity reference series and possibly adding an amp would not hurt, but I don't want to make it sound worse either. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-25-2007, 09:37 PM
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I don't have any experience with the Audiophile setup in the Expedition, but in the SVT focus, replacing the sub did a world of good. The factory 8 in the back just wasn't enough, it stopped getting louder at about 20 or so. Impressive for factory, but very easily made even more impressive.

As far as the cabins are concerned, we didn't change those out. They sounded pretty good as is. But, I could see how changing them out would really screw up the DSP, if you use it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-03-2007, 07:37 AM
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most sound systems in newer cars these days use extensive DSP to make them sound "good". in so doing, all units from the source to the amps & speakers work as one with the DSP. so, theoretically, changing the speakers or amps can have a dramatic difference to the sound. this is why most aftermarket OEM integration processors (such as AudioControl, JL Cleansweep, RF 3Sixty, and Alpine Imprint) are designed to remove the DSP processing to provide a clean signal to allow you greater flexibility in your choice of amps & speakers. what's even worse is the DSP in some OEM units actually changes with the volume, making it even more difficult for aftermarket processors to "fix".
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-16-2007, 06:32 AM
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One reason for my recent car purchase.. Subaru forester.. Standard two-din front dash.. The OEM deck can be pulled in a matter of minutes.. Although I'm intrigued by a couple of the OEM integration systems available.. The RF 3sixty.2 and the alpine PXE-H650 that hasn't hit the market yet.. I'll still probably just swap out to a good head unit..

Reason:
Not-so hi-fi DAC processing from the oem head unit, then being preamped, then amplified, then out to an OEM system to reconvert back to digital, process, de-EQ, then re-EQ, then back to Analog again.. I can't see how it could sound anywhere near as good as just a good aftermarket head unit with excellent dac's and processing for time-alignment and eq in the digital domain.

It's a shame auto-makers insist on all the eq'ing and processing in their proprietary head units, instead of just offering an internal amplifier-defeat to switch to supplied RCA line-level preouts on the back of the head units for upgrading to amps and better speakers and sub. But that would mean less expense, pain and suffering for car-buyers.. Wouldn't want to do that. 'course not.

In the immortal words of Socrates who said.. "I drank what?"


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post #5 of 6 Old 05-16-2007, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babs View Post

I can't see how it could sound anywhere near as good as just a good aftermarket head unit with excellent dac's and processing for time-alignment and eq in the digital domain.

i totally agree. if you are going with an OEM integration processor, don't go all out on speakers & amps because you will not really get it to sound to its full potential. i am currently awaiting the release of the Alpine PXE-H650, but plan to replace my stock headunit eventually... if your stock headunit is simply a sound source then it is a no-brainer to just replace it but if it is integrated with nav, vehicle diagnostics, bluetooth, satellite radio, etc then you think twice about replacing it...
don't even get me started how car manufacturers continually "close" access to their telematics. even making it difficult to replace the headunit without extensive re-modeling of your dash...
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-30-2007, 05:57 AM
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.. And integrating the audio and/or nav with the climate control! Scary.. Making it almost impossible in some cases to upgrade. Real value lack-of for the car buyer.. Even the value-king honda accord now does this.. You'd have to buy a metra dash kit that actually replaces the climate control but allows a din mounted aftermarket head unit, and you lose dual-zone because you're effectively replacing the oem climate control circuitry.

If the OEM head units put out a normal flat audio signal without the pre-EQ'ing designed to entice non-audiophile carbuyers, and at least provided one set of RCA preouts and an amplifier-defeat, then it would be a non-issue.. In that perfect world, you just kill the internal amp, run your RCAs to whatever you want to install and keep on trucking with a relatively clean signal. Even better... How about a completely digital out, without the processing.. Then out to something like an Alpine or other external DAC/Processor.. Oh to dream. Sales guys can't explain the benefits of that so it would be of no use selling cars I guess.

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