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Discussion Starter #1
Just looking for a modest and cheap upgrade to my stock gen 8 stereo (no nav)....basically it just sounds awful. What would you recommend? Speaker replacement, powered sub or an external amp? I've had $5k-$7k systems in previous vehicles, so I know I can't expect that, but this factory 'premium' system is garbage. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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First off, expect to get a bunch of opinions on this.

All of the non-navi models are 6 speaker/no sub, right? I'd recommend swapping the speakers out first. In my experiences that's usually the most significant single-step-improvement you can make. 6.5s all around, front doors are a bit shallow if you've got a sedan, you may need to make a spacer (MDF or plastic recommended) to mount them. For the back, you can make a spacer or hack up the stock bracket like some guys do. $175-250 should net you decent speakers all around. If you're creative with the fronts, you can pick up a set of components (separate woofer and tweeter) instead of coaxials (woofer with built-in tweeter) and run the tweeter in or behind the stock sail-panel area where the factory tweeter sits.

Are you happy with the functionality of the stock headunit? If so, leave it. I built my entire system around the stock HU for cosmetic purposes and because it did everything I needed it to (though admittedly I have a separate EQ for sound processing).

After that, you've got a couple options with the remaining $650:

-4ch amp to power all speakers, instead of headunit power. Would also require all the wiring and some type of LOC to convert the stock speaker leads to RCA level. Some amps will take a speaker-level input, in that case the LOC wouldn't be needed.

-Add an amp and sub/box. Price varies of course. The eBay sub boxes from srqcustoms are nice for about $130 shipped but you will lose your rear-seat passthrough. Again, you'll need the wiring. Figure $250-$450 total depending on what you end up with.

-A lot of people swear by these, even on a completely factory stereo:
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-MS-8-MS-D...2TQ2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294857898&sr=8-1
I run one and am very happy with it, though it was the last piece of my system and everything else has been upgraded already. It'll power 8 speakers (channels) with no external amp, you could always add one later if needed (it will be needed if you're running a sub). Setup/calibration is 95% automatic and very easy.
 

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900 on product selection alone is doable..900 after install would be hard to do after piecing in misc wiring, box, some light deadening, and possibly a battery.

I would first do the diy loc/processor. It'll be the cheapest way to get processing. Ms8 would've been cool, but it's not cheap and it'll eat away most of your budget
 

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jperryss is wrong. The non-navi Premium System includes the external amp and 7-speaker system, which includes the sub. Read the sticky thread on the 8th Gen Navi Audio System because the speakers are wired completely different than you would normally expect. The Premium Non-Navi and Premium Navi are the same audio systems with the same wiring.
 

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jperryss is wrong. The non-navi Premium System includes the external amp and 7-speaker system, which includes the sub. Read the sticky thread on the 8th Gen Navi Audio System because the speakers are wired completely different than you would normally expect. The Premium Non-Navi and Premium Navi are the same audio systems with the same wiring.
I was mistaken. My first line was 'the non-navi models are 6 speaker/no sub, right?'. He never responded. And yes, I missed the 'premium' comment at the end.

Anyway, that's one more reason to try the MS8 first. :D It shows up regularly for $500-600, I got mine from a fellow on DIYMA. You'd have to tap into the speaker-lines (for signal) after the factory amp/xover. Might wanna plan your wiring ahead of time, it can take 8ch input and sum it, but it'll require more cable-running than a typical speaker/amp install.

And $350 on top of that would get him a decent amp/sub. Should end up within $100 of the OPs budget.
 
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