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2004 gmc envoy_sle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Generally, "premium" sound OEM stereos have been good enough for my standards in a car. I don't need an awesome system, I just need one that sounds pretty good. I was very happy with the "premium" sound from my '00 Grand Cherokee and my '00 Galant. But, my '04 Envoy SLE stereo is very muffled, especially when I'm listening people talk. It just doesn't have any depth, regardless of what equalizer settings I use.

I want to stay on the cheap for improving my sound, if possible, so I'd prefer to only replace the head unit or just replace the speakers. Which option would you recommend? I'm just trying to get cleaner sound with more depth. I don't need a booming system. Thanks for any suggestions. - Matt
 

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i needed a cheap head unit when my indash broke...just something in between till i save up enough for something i want...i went with a sony xplode...my buddy had one in his ford ranger for 4 years and a girl i dated had one in here 626 and never had any problems...i can't remember the model number but it was less than 100 bucks...i used all the previous mounting hardware and kit that i had in my indash...its capable for xm and hd radio which i thought was a plus...might be a good option it does put out 200 watts total to the door speakers too...might be a good option
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Do you have the original OEM speakers right now? Did the head unit improve the sound fair amount? I think up to $130 for a head unit is fine.
 

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No headunit really puts out 200 watts or 50w x4 like they say. The only way to achieve that power would be 2 ohm's per channel with a very strong signal at the optimum temperature and no additional wire resistance...and the list goes on.

True rms power from a headunit should be relatively close to half that or about 25w x4 depending on the unit itself. Just look at the size of a cheap 200 watt amp, no way that would fit inside a headunit along with a disc player and all the other stuff.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Do you have the original OEM speakers right now? Did the head unit improve the sound fair amount? I think up to $130 for a head unit is fine.
no i don't have oem speakers but i have had an indash with oem speakers...to me it doesn't sound too bad if that is what you are looking for...i wasn't trying to have a huge largely expensive stereo system so to me it worked out just fine...then later on you could find a set of cheap speakers to go in...prob the way to go...and yes no indash puts out their marketed wattage but i was just trying to give you a description of which one it was lol
 

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i had the bose system in my Tb and was happy with the sound. You may want to check into finding a used bose system. i think that people have also had good luck with putting new door speakers in. i think the stock headunit is fine just upgrade the speakers and possibly add an amp.
just my slightly educated:m2:
 

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another thing you could do, it would be a little more work for sure, is put a 4channel amp in, in-between the deck and speakers, this will make a world of difference on your sound, even with the factory speakers it will add more depth in you sound, I did it in my vehicle when I first got it, before I replaced everything, just make sure to tune the amp so that it doesnt blow the speakers, other than that you should be set :m2:
 

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a new HU would be the best thing if you only wanted to do one thing. next would be speakers, then an amp. :m2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't believe I have the Bose system. At least doesn't say Bose on it, so I assume it's just the standard SLE equipment.
 

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a new HU would be the best thing if you only wanted to do one thing. next would be speakers, then an amp. :m2:
This is so right on. I bought a new HU along with 4 new Infinity Reference series speakers. I put the new speakers in and turned the stereo on. Still sounded like muffled barf. The HU made ALL the difference in the world.

I'm not even that big on sound...never really cared, but the stock HU was just sooo horrible sounding I had to change things out. I didn't even get anything too fancy or expensive. I went with the Pioneer FH-8000BT. http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130P8000BT/Pioneer-FH-P8000BT.html?tp=5684 It looks great and it's not overdone, plus it has the BT for my phone.

DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is so right on. I bought a new HU along with 4 new Infinity Reference series speakers. I put the new speakers in and turned the stereo on. Still sounded like muffled barf. The HU made ALL the difference in the world.

I'm not even that big on sound...never really cared, but the stock HU was just sooo horrible sounding I had to change things out. I didn't even get anything too fancy or expensive. I went with the Pioneer FH-8000BT. http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130P8000BT/Pioneer-FH-P8000BT.html?tp=5684 It looks great and it's not overdone, plus it has the BT for my phone.DAVE
Thanks for the responses. Especially, this one Dave, which confirms I should start with a new HU, then probably some speakers later. By the way, "muffled barf" is a perfect way to describe the sound in my Envoy!:laugh: I'm looking forward to getting rid of that sound. :thx
 

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Just to throw my :m2: in here. First I liked the term muffled barf that was pretty funny. But this is for everyone that asks the same question and gets a million different answers. The first thing everyone should do before asking others opinions is where do you think the music comes from. Speakers, Head Unit, amplifier, CD, speaker wire, etc.. The answer to that is all of the above.

Why you may ask? Simple formula GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT.

In other words, if you have a POS HU/Amp, POS speaker wire, and POS speakers. Changing the speakers to something nicer and more detailed is just going to bring out more of the flaws that you have with everything before them.

Now if you change the POS HU to a nice aftermarket Pioneer, Alpine, Eclipse, etc HU. Not only are you getting a better CD Player (transport and DAC), Radio, etc, but you are also getting a higher quality amplifier. This less distorted and more detailed sound will improve the sound quality of the overall system for superior then changing speakers. As small of an increase as it may be changing out the speaker wires to a 16/2 twisted pair cable will improve the quality as well. It will cost more money and time then it will improve sound quality, but it will be the best solution in the long run. Speakers are always the last item you should want to change unless of course you have blown them in which case any new speaker you put in you will probably blow as well because you probably don't have enough power to play at the levels you want to be playing at.

Another question everyone asks is: If my speakers can handle 200wRMS does that mean it will be harder for me to destroy them. The answer is two fold. Yes and No. Yes it will be harder to destroy them because they are a more robust design. But No you will probably destroy them anyways because you don't have enough power to properly drive them. More people destroy speakers by underpowering them vs overpowering them. Every speaker can handle more power for small amounts of time especially if there is proper ventilation and cooling around the magnet and coil(s). Though thermal energy/heat is a major factor in the life of a speaker. A distorted signal is the greatest component of this thermal energy/heat.

Has anyone put a DC signal into a speaker before? It causes the speaker to move, but only in one direction and it produces heat from friction (mechanical movement) but moreso from electromagnetic forces (induction). The reason why distortion damages speakers is because when you drive an amplifier beyond its RMS limits it will start to clip the sign wave. This means as the wave reaches its peak instead of it being a smooth curve it flattens off into a DC Signal and its peak voltage for the duration of the cycle. If this continually happens it will over heat the coil of the speaker and burn it up.

Sorry if I am ranting but I just needed to speak my mind after reading the same question for the 100th time if not more.


And the final comment I have. Don't purchase equipment based on specs. Specs can not tell you how something is going to sound. It will only tell you what kindof power it can handle and the airspace required.

I'm finished with my rant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just be prepared for variations of this question to be asked 100x more too. Hope you can avoid the new threads, if at all possible, for sanity reasons. You'll find the same situation on any forum. Same 100s of general questions to you and others, but for me, a specific variation of the general question to suit my situation. I searched and didn't find a clear answer for what I wanted. Hence, my post. This is life in forums. Thousands of questions, many the same. Thousands of rants, many the same, but rarely do either significantly impact the value of these forums. I appreciate the help from everyone.

Now, I'm going to do some research on here regarding my Envoy engine... If I ever need to post another question, I'll see if I can make it a totally new one, that has never been addressed before... but, my guess is not.:)
 

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Just be prepared for variations of this question to be asked 100x more too. Hope you can avoid the new threads, if at all possible, for sanity reasons. You'll find the same situation on any forum. Same 100s of general questions to you and others, but for me, a specific variation of the general question to suit my situation. I searched and didn't find a clear answer for what I wanted. Hence, my post. This is life in forums. Thousands of questions, many the same. Thousands of rants, many the same, but rarely do either significantly impact the value of these forums. I appreciate the help from everyone.

Now, I'm going to do some research on here regarding my Envoy engine... If I ever need to post another question, I'll see if I can make it a totally new one, that has never been addressed before... but, my guess is not.:)
Ranger my rant was not directed towards you specifically. I am glad to see that you did not take it personal; plus I applaud your response. Most people would have just gone off their rocker back at me.

But back on topic. The cheapest thing you can do to improve sound is to change the HeadUnit.
 

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I've been following this thread, for I too would like to "improve" (not totally overhaul) my stock stereo system.

One of the BIG issues I have with a head unit replacement on the TB is the fact that SO much ties into that stock unit. Replacing it is akin to trying to operate the vehicle without its PCM.

How about talking those of us that are not up to speed with all the new converter boxes, taps, et al, into how to do a moderate improvement without breaking the bank and/or rendering half of our factory-designed options obsolete.

I'm all ears! :yes:
 

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I've been following this thread, for I too would like to "improve" (not totally overhaul) my stock stereo system.

One of the BIG issues I have with a head unit replacement on the TB is the fact that SO much ties into that stock unit. Replacing it is akin to trying to operate the vehicle without its PCM.

How about talking those of us that are not up to speed with all the new converter boxes, taps, et al, into how to do a moderate improvement without breaking the bank and/or rendering half of our factory-designed options obsolete.

I'm all ears! :yes:

I'd like to help you out with that. However, I could personally care less about the factory options that are tied into the factory head unit. The only reason I even bought one of the converter boxes was I didn't feel like hard wiring the new HU into the car.
 

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I've replaced the head unit on virtually every one of the vehicles I've owned for the past 35 years (and that is a LOT of vehicles!).

But, with the advent of seriously tied-in systems like those in TV vehicles, you loose part of the factory alarm, the door and key chimes, the rear seat controls, some light features, and probably a few other things that I don't even know about.

While I appreciate a good sounding unit, I don't appreciate a bunch of things that no longer work properly -- especially when it comes to trade-in time, when I'm sure that the dealer will not appreciate the new stereo unit as much as he or she would the factory features working correctly.

So, what do these converter boxes do? Do they restore all the above stuff, or does all that go away?
 

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Same 100s of general questions to you and others, but for me, a specific variation of the general question to suit my situation. I searched and didn't find a clear answer for what I wanted. Hence, my post.
:thumbsup:

Thats all I ask....with over 4700 threads in the audio section, 99% of all audio questions have been asked, fought about, and resolved....but occasionally one comes up that we havent seen before and needs some one on one help:tiphat

How about talking those of us that are not up to speed with all the new converter boxes, taps, et al, into how to do a moderate improvement without breaking the bank and/or rendering half of our factory-designed options obsolete.

I'm all ears! :yes:
Onstar, Bose, chimes, and retained accessory power....those are the ONLY things that may or may not be affected by head unit replacement (depending on which route you choose to take):m2:


I have been working on the ultimate trailvoy audio FAQ (expected next month)....still gathering data on the bose system:coffee
 

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:m2:

Just to throw my :m2: in here. First I liked the term muffled barf that was pretty funny. But this is for everyone that asks the same question and gets a million different answers. The first thing everyone should do before asking others opinions is where do you think the music comes from. Speakers, Head Unit, amplifier, CD, speaker wire, etc.. The answer to that is all of the above.

Why you may ask? Simple formula GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT.
what about a RF 360.2, it takes a garbage signal and you can tweak it, and make it sound 10 fold better.

In other words, if you have a POS HU/Amp, POS speaker wire, and POS speakers. Changing the speakers to something nicer and more detailed is just going to bring out more of the flaws that you have with everything before them.

Speakers are always the last item you should want to change
The last thing, imo, is an amp for your speakers. once you buy a good set of speakers you'll never change them out. you will be changing your 4 channel amp most likely. i will be on my 3rd one in 4 years next month.
But No you will probably destroy them anyways because you don't have enough power to properly drive them. More people destroy speakers by underpowering them vs overpowering them.
the only time you will be seeing the 200 watts is when your at full tilt. so essiantly if my speakers are at 1/2 volume all the time, they should be blown by now. and with impedence rise you will never see full power, and assuming your amp isnt over-rated. and your charging system will allow it.


Every speaker can handle more power for small amounts of time especially if there is proper ventilation and cooling around the magnet and coil(s). Though thermal energy/heat is a major factor in the life of a speaker. A distorted signal is the greatest component of this thermal energy/heat.
Some more than others, :D

I'm finished with my rant.
 
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