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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Assuming the dealership comes through this time (this will be the fourth attempt to get me a car), I'm getting a six-speed with the standard stereo. I wanted the Bose system, but according to them there are none left in the country. How bad is the stock system? Can it be upgraded? What are some options that people have done to it to make it better?
 

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Well if it's the "300" series, it's better than the Bose. But you probably will get the "150" series. Consensus is that all the 2007 stereo options are better than 2006, if thats any consolation. I have the 300 and it's awesome, but I'm no audiophile, so I'm sure others who are more obsessed with car stereos may think it stinks
 

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I've got the 150. I don't think that it's bad at all, with the caveat that I mostly listen to XM through Aux. I also listen to AM talk and one FM station. I've never even had a CD in the slot!

You might want to check around other GM related sites. The '07 radio is just a slightly moded GM radio in things like Saturns, Chevies, and Pontiacs.
 

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Not bad al all. It could be better though for car of this class.
If you want this car give it a try, and if you feel the sound quality does not live up to your expectations, you can go agtermarket. Quite a bunch of options available.

sm0kescreen said:
it says it's a 150W system, so I'm assuming that's the "150 series" you're talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
3rd stone from the sun said:
Not bad al all. It could be better though for car of this class.
If you want this car give it a try, and if you feel the sound quality does not live up to your expectations, you can go agtermarket. Quite a bunch of options available.
Yeah, I know I can replace the speakers, but what I can't do is add any more...that's what I'm afraid I'm going to miss. My A4 has 12 speakers (Bose), and now I'm going to have 6 itty bitty ones.
 

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sm0kescreen said:
it says it's a 150W system, so I'm assuming that's the "150 series" you're talking about.
Within the array of stereos in similar cars, it's solidly in the bottom third. Double whammy, it's also a b*tch to upgrade.

Having said that, it all depends on your perspective. My in-laws, who love to watch movies, have never used anything other than the speakers built into their GE TV. They would love the stock Saab stereo :cheesy: .

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jzirkel said:
Within the array of stereos in similar cars, it's solidly in the bottom third. Double whammy, it's also a b*tch to upgrade.

Having said that, it all depends on your perspective. My in-laws, who love to watch movies, have never used anything other than the speakers built into their GE TV. They would love the stock Saab stereo :cheesy: .

John
Well, my perspective is I spend a ton of time in my car, and listen to a lot of music...and I also like/want the absolute best I can get.

Maybe it's time to see if I can get a 2008 six-speed with premium audio, although my dealer seems to be convinced you can't get a base car with just that option and nothing else.
 

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Like the car, I think the audio is more about finesse than braun. It has some true audiophile qualities such as discreet multi channel amplification and separate crossovers Played within it 's capabilities it has decent clarity, imaging and a nice roundness in the mid bass. I believe the biggest failing is the antenna in the rear window as I have this same head unit in another vehicle that exhibits better performance on FM with a mast antenna.

 

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sm0kescreen said:
Maybe it's time to see if I can get a 2008 six-speed with premium audio, although my dealer seems to be convinced you can't get a base car with just that option and nothing else.
You should be able to order a car with those specs - you might just have to wait a little while.

This is my question - When is the CenterPoint coming, how much better will it be, and how much? I'm worried if I get an 08 now, in 2 months it will be out and replace the Bose premium you can get today.
 

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Upgrading a 2007 MY car (or later) is much easier than a pre 2007 car as it doesn't have the fibre optic MOST network. Some of teh comments in this thread appear to relate to the difficulties in upgrading the "early" stereos (i.e. 2002 - 2006).

Whatever stereo it has fitted, the cheapest and easiest first upgrade would be better quality speakers. The dash speakers make the most noticeable difference for not much cash. If you want awesome bass or incredible volumes then you will be disappointed or need to spend money - if you just want decent sounding music then you may be happy as is or with a speaker upgrade.

Best bet is to try and listen to a car with the stereo that they are offering and make up your own mind - it is a very personal thing afterall. Its kind of obvious that the better stereos should sound better, but whether you feel that justifies the additional cost is only ever your call.

In the early cars the ES70 (4 speaker) base stereo was terrible; the ES150 (7 speaker) was poor and the ES300 (13 speaker) was poor if you were expecting premium audio, maybe average if you just expected a stereo.

Go and listen and hear what you think - my opinion (or anyone elses) is of little importance unless you plan on driving me around everywhere in your car... :cheesy:
 

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I speak from a Pre-2007 Saab so yours may be different, but just in case!!!


The Terms SAAB and Premium Audio should never be used in the same sentence.

The 150W system CANNOT be described as an Audio system. I would barely describe it as a transistor radio!!

If I were to buy my Saab again, I would have walked away from it due to the total lack of audio quality. I have never upgraded any radio in any car in 20 years...... except this one!!

The upgrade money is absolutely comical!!!

Buy a car with the 150W and you WILL regret your entire purchase, I know I did!
 

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I'm no serious audiophile either but I am a musician (my opinion, others may beg to differ...) and really enjoy my music. The Bose system in the 2007 9-3 is not the best stereo I've ever had, but it's not bad at all really. It doesn't have insane bass response or enough volume to shatter the windows, but overall it's really quite nice. Beats the s**t out of my wife's HHR standard stereo, and has much better definition and clarity than my M-in-law's Highlander.

I AM glad however that I didn't get the 150. :cheesy:

Even the rep told me if you like music you're probably not going to be happy with the standard stereo.
 

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sm0kescreen said:
Yeah, I know I can replace the speakers, but what I can't do is add any more...
If you are unwilling to add an amp+subwoofer I expect you will not be happy with your 150W system. Replacing speakers will help a lot, but there will not be enough bass. Bass needs power, and most manufacturers are unwilling to provide the larger amplifiers necessary to drive big woofers at volume.

Based on what I read here, I realized I would be changing speakers and adding a subwoofer before I even bought the car. I also knew I'd be buying the BSR Stg 1.

I do not think there are major differences between the fiber and non-fiber audio systems. If Saab is still splitting frequencies it doesn't matter if they are doing it via fiber or copper. You still need to take the signals off each amp and use them to drive your aftermarket equipment. If the 2007's had RCA line-outs on the back of the EHU, THAT would be something worth talking about, but they don't. I think many "pro" audio installers get confused about what the fiber really means in this application.
 

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ctrlz said:
If the 2007's had RCA line-outs on the back of the EHU, THAT would be something worth talking about, but they don't.
Pretty sure my 2007 has a pair of RCAs going into the Amp (which is in the boot - left side). I will take another look.
 

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The base (150W) is terrible! I had one in the car that I test-drove, it was weak and tinny. Also, the front speaker was already blown (the car only had 65 kilometres (40 miles on it!)

The 300W Bose system is great. I have one in the car I bought. The twin subwoofers have plenty of kick. Only complaint is the look of the radio. To add insult to injury, I saw the exact same one in a Saturn as I was leaving the dealership!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I've settled on a 2.0t with the standard audio system that I'm picking up on Thursday. I just hope I don't regret it. Now I find that I could have gotten a 6-speed Aero for about $5000 more...oh well.
 

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ctrlz said:
If the 2007's had RCA line-outs on the back of the EHU, THAT would be something worth talking about, but they don't. I think many "pro" audio installers get confused about what the fiber really means in this application.
I've never heard of any OE stereo having RCA line outs. The fiber is no obstacle for those who know what they're doing.
 

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People People People ----

The 2007+ stereo is COMPLETELY different from 1975-2006. If you do not have a 2007, pipe down. This thread is about 2007+.

Yes, the 2003-2006 base stereo is crap. Yes, it is hard to upgrade.


However, for 2007 it is improved. How much? Let's have somebody who knows tell us. FWIW, my 2006 is upgraded with around $500 in parts and it sounds excellent.
 

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Owned a 2003 SS Aero with "base" 7 speaker system - absolute rubbish system, not the easiest to upgrade, but perfectly doable.

Traded the Aero for a MY07 UK Vector SportCombi with "base" 7 speaker system - much better sound, still not what I would call "Premium" audio, but a definite step in right direction. Don't know about the upgradability of this system, waiting for a few others to be guinea pigs with the Pioneer Avic D3 before I tear into it.
Steve.
 
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