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Old 07-18-2002, 12:13 PM   #1
DebsVUE
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Default Advanced Audio System

I ordered the AM/FM Stereo 6-disc, CD/cassette and 6 speakers...I was also going to upgrade to the Advanced Audio System but the Saturn consultant said not to...wasn't worth the money. The information I have been reading recommends to upgrade...is there that much difference in sound and if so, can Saturn upgrade the system when the vehicle arrives?

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Old 07-18-2002, 12:17 PM   #2
nps-98SW2
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Default Consultant was prolly right..

For the $$$$ you could easily get something aftermarket installed that would blow away whatever OEM stuff they would put in it at the plant!

Best of luck to you..

Take care,
Nick

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Old 07-18-2002, 12:28 PM   #3
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I second that comment. Just go put the $800, or whatever it is, into a nice aftermarket system. Head unit and all new speakers will probably not be over the $7-800 mark. Of course things get more expensive as you move into amps, and nice subs.

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Old 07-18-2002, 12:39 PM   #4
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Only one concern.

Many nice new cars have been seriously damaged electrically by incompetent audio installs, voiding the customer's warranty.

Also, factory items are covered by 3/36 and, if you choose it, extended Saturn warranty.

Might be wiser to stick with factory offerings unless your needs are exceptional.

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Old 07-18-2002, 01:00 PM   #5
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Good point Bob... hadn't considered that..

But if it truly costs $6-800 for the "upgraded audio" in the vehicle you could easily get a better system installed by local professional audio store (who will stand behind his work).

How did they seriously damage the electronics? Only thing I can think of is if it was like a massive undertaking with big subs/amps etc. Adding an aftermarket deck (especially with wiring harness) and different speakers should do nothing electronically..

Best of luck,
Nick

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Old 07-18-2002, 01:01 PM   #6
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The OEM on the L is a nice unit. made by Panasonic. Did u listen to it at the dealer.?See if they have both and compare (Even in an L but the Acoustics may be different. Of course their are better aftermarket out there but also consider the installation costs if you don't do yourself. Sometimes Besy Buy does free installs (I think they charge you for the kit which can run up to $40.00 ).

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Old 07-18-2002, 01:07 PM   #7
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We have the stock AM/FM/Cassette/CD Player unit in our L300. It has a sub mounted under the back dash. I love the sound. One of the best factory radios I've heard in a long time.....and I'm a musician so my ear is tuned to know the difference between good and bad.

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Old 07-18-2002, 01:25 PM   #8
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How much for the Factory Upgrade of the Advanced Audio? I don't think it costs more than $300....that's what it costs me in my L.

Like BobL mentioned, unless you have exceptional needs for listening, the factory advanced unit does sound quite well.....(A bit subjective in listening manner anyway). it got a sub-woofer too.

I'm tired to rip everything apart just to put in a nice aftermarket units/speakers. Of course it will surely sound better (depends on how much $$ you dump in), I want everything just in factory look and under warranty. Easier for trading-in later too....

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Old 07-18-2002, 03:39 PM   #9
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Depends really...with an aftermarket system, you pay out completely. Factory, you get to roll it into financing.

Its a great factory system. Ive heard some duds, this isnt one of them. I get great highs and mids. The tweets are very impressive. Bass is very good, but its not as loud as my last sub was Not many cars in it's class come with that kind of bass.

Music with lots of high end (big band, classical, jazz, etc) is amazing in sound. Music with bass and lots of punch (rock, rap, etc) sounds pretty damn good for factory, but it could be a little better. I wish i could turn up the bass a little more, and get a bit more power.

My major gripe with the factory system is the volume control. I dont know how to explain this very well, but it goes up linearly -- not taking in account dB increase. In other words, if you want it loud, you end up doing a lot of excess turning to even be able to notice any difference.

Now, i have a 12" sub, 160 watt sub amp, and 4x 6 1/2" infinity kapa's sitting out on the garage. This system is good enough not for me to waste the effort of installing my aftermarket system. Besides, the stock stereo face matches the interior a LOT better than some dinky single Din kenwood stereo.

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Old 07-18-2002, 03:43 PM   #10
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I wouldn't want to finance things unless your getting the 0% for 5 year deal or a low rate. Remember too .. That rate only goes to people with good credit.

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Old 07-18-2002, 03:46 PM   #11
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Can I upgrade to the Advanced Audio System through the Saturn dealership...i.e. can they install it...or did this need to be done at the factory? Thanks for all the input.

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Old 07-18-2002, 04:50 PM   #12
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If you already have it, then it's ok (it came on my car and I had to take it because it was the only black on black L in San Diego).

The CD changer is nice, the speakers are upgraded with better cones. The woofer is a six incher that runs free-air in the back package tray, so don't expect to thump the rearviews. The extra amp that drives it is pretty meager compared to aftermarket amps.

But for an extra $600, it sounds fine, and as a system, will improve the trade-in value of your car.

However, at $595, you can do better in the aftermarket with just a headunit w/25 watts or so per channel and 4 good coaxial speakers like the ones from Infinity or Polk.

However, as someone mentioned earlier, the car stereo places will need to take apart you car to do this ....and as we all know, Saturns don't like to be taken apart and put back together.

Rattle, rattle, squeak, squeak ......

Also, the last time I had a stereo installed they drilled a hole in my gasline, so things can go awry during one of these 'custom installs'.

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Old 07-18-2002, 05:04 PM   #13
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Will the Aftermarket Audio always increase the resell/trade-in value of the car?

In most cases I don't think so.....sometimes you may even lose money by the need from dealer to restore the factory unit.

Again if you don't plan to own the car forever, better just Opt for the factory Advanced Audio.


Quote:
Originally posted by L300Boy
Depends really...with an aftermarket system, you pay out completely. Factory, you get to roll it into financing.
Unless you pay out the aftermarket completely in Cash. You end up paying more by using credit card.

And Car financing rate is always lower than Credit cards. (Not to mention O% 5-year term these days) I don't see why you couldn't pay out the Factory advance audio either, just dump in the same amount of initial downpayment equal to the Advance audio Options.

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Old 07-18-2002, 05:52 PM   #14
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No, it wont, in fact it detracts.

My statement:

"But for an extra $600, it sounds fine, and as a system, will improve the trade-in value of your car. "

Was targeted towards the factory systems. They indeed add value on the trade-in.

Now if you sell it on the street, the aftermarket setup (if done properly and amtched well) will pull in certain buyers more so than the stock setup.

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Old 07-18-2002, 06:18 PM   #15
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Is the "Advanced" system the same as the Monsoon systems in other GM cars, but renamed to seem exclusive to Saturn?

Just curious.

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Old 07-19-2002, 04:44 AM   #16
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If you plan on selling your car back to Saturn or happen to total the car, I would suggest keeping your original items. When I tottaled my car, I feared I wouldn't be able to get my deck back. The insurance said I could get it IF I put something back, so I went down to the collision place, spent an hour or so getting all my upgraded things out and replacing the stock items. I think also have heard Saturn say they will charge extra if you don't have stock HU.



I could be wrong and might be different for each case though.....

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Old 07-19-2002, 06:27 AM   #17
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1st a question. Does anybody know where the subwoofer goes in the LW?

2nd some input. You'll get better quality for the money if you buy aftermarket. If you're not going to keep the car for a very long time, don't bother aftermarket as you won't get the money invested back.
We went to put the advanced audio system in our LW (which can be done at the dealer) but because it was not ordered from the factory, it would have cost us almost $1000 to do because they'd have to rip out almost everything.
What we ended up with was the system with the tweeters in the doors, small mid-bass drivers in the lower parts of the doors, and no subwoofer. I really don't like the sound of those tweeters in the rear.
I ended up replacing the rear speakers with better quality speakers and disconnected the rear tweeters. The rear tweeters are closer to your ear than the front ones which is a major faux-pas.
I have LOTS of extra audio equipment sitting in my garage but I hesitate to install it in the LW. I think the stock head-unit with better quality speakers and an amplified subwoofer is where I want to go, hence, my first question. I'd like to put the subwoofer where it belongs when it comes from the factory but have yet to find where it goes on the LW.
Best of luck. Here's my advice. Go and listen. If you like one, or the other, or both that's great. It's purely subjective. If it sounds better to you, it IS better.
Bill

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Old 07-19-2002, 07:40 AM   #18
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Dizzy It's not a subwooofer..

If what one poster said is true (6" open air speaker) then I'd assume it is either mounted on the back deck or behind one of the back seats w/no box.

I don't even know if you could call it a subwoofer at a whole 6" around (is it powered by an amp at all?)... I don't think you'll be able to find a comparable aftermarket 6" sub, the best you could do is buy a pair of 6" component speakers but that'll cost you a comparitive arm and a leg for one speaker w/three extras you won't use.

If you plan on owning your car for a long time I'd definately opt for something aftermarket, quality *far* superceeding that of factory OEM equip. at half the price. You could get a nice 50 watt x 4 MP3 capable deck for ~$200 and 4 nice 2 or 3 way 6.5's for ~$60 a pair on line which would *blow away* the best audio system that Saturn installs. Professionally installed for another $100 and you've saved yourself a pretty penny, have high quality components, etc.

If you use a wiring harness on your deck, once it comes time to sell it's as easy as unplugging the current deck, sliding the stock one in and plugging it in.

Take care,
Nick

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Old 07-19-2002, 10:48 AM   #19
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From what I understand about the Advanced Audio system, the "subwoofer" is indeed powered by the amp. From what I understand, there are two "boxes" in the upper part of the trunk by the package shelf. The subwoofer is located in the left (driver's side) box, mounted on the bottom of the package shelf.

Either way, I know quite a few L owners (very happy ones at that), and I've ridden in and driven L's with and without the advanced audio. To me, the difference is noticable. The Advanced Audio is a much better system, IMHO. I have the stock "advanced" Honda audio system in my Accord, and Saturn's Advanced Audio system blows it completely away, no contest.

So Advanced Audio owners, enjoy it, it is worth the money.

Ed

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Old 07-19-2002, 11:58 AM   #20
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Default Re: It's not a subwooofer..

Quote:
Originally posted by nps-98SW2
I don't even know if you could call it a subwoofer at a whole 6" around (is it powered by an amp at all?)... I don't think you'll be able to find a comparable aftermarket 6" sub, the best you could do is buy a pair of 6" component speakers but that'll cost you a comparitive arm and a leg for one speaker w/three extras you won't use.Take care,
Nick
I've got a bunch of old audio equipment including a couple 6" subwoofers which aren't too shabby for a 6". I used to install them, etc when putting myself through school. These days, an audio system can't take predacence over the cars functionality so I'll try and squeeze something that has the right Q parameters into the package shelf in the rear and put the amp on the other side.

I bet that the next poster is correct in that the advanced audio system is better but listen for yourself.

ps. Thanks for the info about the LW sub location.
Bill

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