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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Fellow Saab people,

Have been looking at changing the stereo in my new 2007 Saab 9-3 Vector Sport & have done heaps of reading but am still confused about what to do.
I have the basic 7 speaker setup with 1 amplifier in the boot. The system seems to consist of 2 dash mounted 3 and 1/2 inch mid range units (no tweeters) 2 door mounted 6 and 1/2inch woofers, a centre 4inch speaker and 2 rear mounted 4inch midrange units.

Questions :-

Is it possible to change the rear amplifier?
It seems that there are 4 inputs into this amp FL, FR, RL, RR as well as the amp +/-, remote turn-on, mute? & 7 sets of speaker outputs. There doesnt seem to be any optic fibres in sight so I guess it is safe to assume that Saab no longer use this system in the 2007 model!

Speaker choices, it seems the Boston Acoustics are popular for the 3 and 1/2's, I havent been able to locate any 6 & 1/2 inch door speakers that are 2 ohm, basically the 2 shops I contacted werent terribly helpful. One choosing not to stock Infinity any more.
As for rears, 6X9's should be easy but I dont know if the rears have been HPFiltered if they are I would be wasting my time wouldnt I?
Is there a setting for large rear speakers? that can be changed?

Failing that I can always add an amp & subwoofer I guess if I take the feed from the front woofers?

Also does anybody know if the HPF & LPF are applied in the head unit or does this happen in the amplifier in the boot? If it happens in the amp & I can change the amp I wont run into the filtering problems that Saab insist on doing.


Please can anybody help? Remember this is a 2007 model 7 speaker which seems to have changed a bit from earlier models.

Cheers Teddy

Note I am also in Aus so my options might be limited anyway?
 

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I'm also looking to upgrade my 2007 sound system. I've been doing a lot of reading here, and have a pretty good idea of what other people have done. I had found a thread that listed a bunch of "common" speaker choices, but I can't locate it anymore. I know Infinity Kappa 62.7i was one of them. My question is, wouldn't it be better to match brands as much as possible? Instead of mixing BA with Infinity with whatever else? I'll admit I'm not very knowledgeable about car audio (I'm much better at home audio), and there I always try to match them when possible. I also don't know anything about amplifiers in cars or how to hook them up, but I guess the worst that can happen is I blow something up.
 

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Teddy said:
Remember this is a 2007 model 7 speaker which seems to have changed a bit from earlier models.
I don't know why people assume Saab made significant changes going from 2006 to 2007. They seem to be using the same speakers in the same configuration. What they did is combine the EHU into the ICM, and for 2008 they seem to have combined all the amps into a single unit in the trunk. This smells of cost reduction over anything else.

When they design the speaker topology for the car Pioneer comes and mics the cabin. They adjust levels and EQ to their satisfaction. Since the cabin of the car has not really changed in size or shape, why would they spend money on another EQ session?

Deleting the fiber bus for the audio is also a cost savings. Each amp needed a MOST decoding section in addition to the audio bits. That is no longer necessary. The individual specialized processing chips are the expensive parts in the amps. Probably cut the cost of each amp by 20% or more to get rid of the MOST bits.

Somebody would have to measure the speaker signals to prove what I'm saying, and no one has done anything like that since 2003. The only exception I would grant is the 2008 Bose system. I'm sure Bose did their own design work for the sound, and made sure Saab displayed that Bose logo in all the right places!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ctrlz said:
I don't know why people assume Saab made significant changes going from 2006 to 2007.
Thats why I only said a "bit" :)
Yes the speakers are the same crappy speakers they seem to always be using but deletion of the fibre optics & relocating the amp from under the front seat to the rear, a completely redisgned centre dashboard...etc

Thats enough changes to make some of the info from 2003-2006 no longer relavant...

Cheers Teddy
 

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not sure what has been changed signal procedssing wise between 2003 to 2007, but the 2007 7 speaker setup is completely fed from the amp in the rear of the car, none of the speakers come directly from the head unit, the amp has 4 inputs (front left, front right, rear left, rear right) and 7 outputs (front left, front right, front door left, front door right, front centre, rear left, rear right). Don't know if the front dash and rear speakers just pass through the amp unamplified or get processed in the amp as well. Which is physically different from the way the 2003-2006 speakers were wired and routed.
Steve.
 

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The four inputs from the head unit then beg the question as to wheter they're amplified or not. If they are, you could take any head unit with a low pass crossover and drive the seven speakers without low frequencies and send these to a sub-woofer with a head unit that has sub out. Hmmmm........

Could you simply tap into one of the four inputs to the amp with a ground and see if it will drive any old speaker you might have laying around? Is it does, is that your answer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kcaudell said:
The four inputs from the head unit then beg the question as to wheter they're amplified or not. If they are, you could take any head unit with a low pass crossover and drive the seven speakers without low frequencies and send these to a sub-woofer with a head unit that has sub out. Hmmmm........

Could you simply tap into one of the four inputs to the amp with a ground and see if it will drive any old speaker you might have laying around? Is it does, is that your answer?
Yep I will have to try this when I have time at the weekend, fortunately I have a long weekend coming up & dont ahve to be back @ work till Wednesday next week :)

Cheers Teddy
 

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ctrlz said:
I don't know why people assume Saab made significant changes going from 2006 to 2007. They seem to be using the same speakers in the same configuration. What they did is combine the EHU into the ICM, and for 2008 they seem to have combined all the amps into a single unit in the trunk. This smells of cost reduction over anything else.
If the end result is that the stereo in my 2007 sound 10 times better than my 04 (which had 13 speakers compared to 9 in my 07), then I'm all for this cost reduction. Seems in 08 they have just added an second Bose configuration. The other changes happened in 07 - I have just a single amp in the boot.

The only exception I would grant is the 2008 Bose system. I'm sure Bose did their own design work for the sound, and made sure Saab displayed that Bose logo in all the right places!
As they have with the 2007. All the speakers are branded Bose, as is the Amp in the read side compartment. The sound is significantly different, especially in the rear of the car, where the 03-06 models had practically zero bass....
 

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cddakin said:
As they have with the 2007. All the speakers are branded Bose...
Sorry. Forgot Bose was offered in 2007. I doubt this is a popular option. Even the 300W Prestige system has not been popular for the past 4 years. Most in the US stick with the 150 W system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll try and attach the amplifier photo


The only pins I dont understand are the ones that say BU, are these important?
& What aftermarket amps have a mute signal?

Teddy
 

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ctrlz said:
Sorry. Forgot Bose was offered in 2007. I doubt this is a popular option. Even the 300W Prestige system has not been popular for the past 4 years. Most in the US stick with the 150 W system.
It's standard on every Aero, so can't be that uncommon, plus it was even in the loaner 2.0T I had last time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
saab amplifier frustrations!

Had a good dig around in the boot of the car this arvo, it seems both connectors need to be connected (as you would expect) for there even to be a peep out of the stereo.
It looks like the only way to check what is going into the amp is to carefully unwrap about 28 wires which are very tightly wrapped around each other & tap in that way. I am not prepared to do that at the moment so will leave things be for the moment, have seen 3 car stereo places & none of them will touch it! I have emailed Saab but NO reply as of yet & then again I dont really expect one.

I am thinking for the timebeing the best I can hope for is to add the Boston S35's 3 & 1/2 inch for the dash which I have found online from a Sydney store & a pair of Boston SX95 6X9 for the rear parcel shelf to at least improve the highs coming from the rear. The door speakers the only ones I have been able to source here in Aus are the JBL GTO627's 6 and 1/2inch which are 2 ohm speakers.
But interestingly your Crutchfield site says they dont fit???
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?g=52000&i=109GTO627&tp=95&avf=N&tab=features_and_specs

So dont know if I should order them or not??

I can see later on I am going to have to add some amplifiers at least for the rear 6X9's to make em sound decent using a LOC from I assume where the Front Door speakers go? It will probably stuff up the F to R balance though so not sure how I am going to work this crap stereo out....

Teddy
 

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I had JBL GTO 627's in the doors. Perfect fit.

I now have Infinity 62.7i's in there, which I prefer. But the difference is subtle, and I'm not sure I could pass any kind of "blindfold" test. I replace my JBL's because a Saab tech convinced me one was distorting a volume. I had never noticed this while driving, but with the door open it definitely made some noise. Turns out it was the molding attached to the bottom of the door, which could only shake with the door open! I knew because it made the same noise with my new Infinty speakers. But I kept the Infinity's because the bass was a bit punchier and the magnets were made of Neodymium, which makes the back end surprisingly light and small.

I don't think I've ever been disappointed by an Infinity product. Teddy, you tried to contact Saab about audio. I did the same a few years ago, and they referred me to my dealer for all questions. Talk about useless. When I was contemplating buying my Chrysler T&C minivan and had some questions about the Infinity audio package, it took one e-mail and one phone call and I was talking to an engineer in California who helped design the system and was there when they mic'd the cabin! There was no question he could not answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thx for the reply, the stereo dealer stopped selling Infinity about 3 years ago citing "chinese rubbish" Hmm looks like your experiences are different?
He stocks Pioneer/Eclipse/Alpine & pushes Focal pretty hard.

Nobody here can offer me Inifinity or Boston Acoustics or even JBL, in fact the market seems pretty limited so it looks like I'll have to order all my stuff online & unheard. Guess I will have to trust the reviews of ppl on this site + the comments on Crutchfield.

I'll probably order the 3 pairs of speakers tomorrow & hopefully be able to fit some stuff this coming weekend (damn work always seems to get in the way of any fun stuff)

Have booked the car in for some stereo work on the 5/12 (earliest I can get a booking) & he'll help me with amps & possibly a subwoofer box if I decide to go down that path.

Cheers Teddy
 

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JBL / Infinity to OZ

Hi. You can get both JBL and Infinity by mail order in Oz. I'm in Melbourne and my Infinty's arrived yesterday morning from a US ebay store - here
I haven't had time to fit them yet.
Was pricey, shipping was way more than item but ended up within A$15 of the JBL's you can get in Oz here

I got my Boston S35's from Ryda, very quick delivery, Infinity's took a couple of weeks even with paying $60 shipping!!

Best mod for me has been Saba's tweak using a second hand sony 4-channel amp which lives under the parcel shelf. You don't need mega power mines a 440-ex works well. (things will be different with your setup though)

I used the bass units from split 6x9's on the rear shelf - "Prosonic" brand from good old ebay. Also put some old pioneer 4" on the rear shelf instead of standard. Sounds completely different to the anaemic stock setup.

Cheers T
 

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I have a 05 Aero with a 7 speaker stock setup. When I play music with bass high and volume moderate, i hear distortion (static). when I turn volume control you can hear a poping static. The dealer replaced head unit, speakers and power amp. I still hear it when bass is hugh. Will replacing with better speakers fix the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Follow up from Saab

Well I finally got that call from Saab re the amplifier & stereo upgrades & it seems I am out of luck. Saab Aus dont get many complaints about the stereo (maybe 1 a year & I could very well be that one!) If I wanted the "prestige" system which I think is BOSE I should have ordered it ex-factory, Thx I already knew that. I didnt get a listen to that anyway!

The BU terminals on the amp are part of one of the buses on the car, he talked briefly about a "P" bus & an "I" bus, no "O" bus now thankfully.

He couldnt tell me whether the signal EQ happens in the head unit OR the amplifier, me I expect the Head Unit.

So its pretty much a waste of time trying to change "that" amp as it seems to be very integral to the car with its 4 inputs & 7 outputs not to mention the "bus" signals.

What I have decided though is to change the front 3.5 inch to Boston S35's from RYDA, the rear 4 inches wll be Boston S45's. This should be a fairly easy swapout. I am also adding some Boston Acoustics SX95 6X9's for the rear parcel shelf but will disconnect the Front door speakers, so the 6X9's will only be producing some bass.
I am also going to try an 8 inch Focal subwoofer in the rear parcel shelf & may build a 10 or 12 litre sealed box around this to tighten the bass up a bit if this is necessary? Some ppl say you need infinite baffle subs rather than enclosed subs but we will see.

As for amplification I have purchased an Eclipse Ice power 4X 125W amp XA4000 I think the model is to drive the rear 6X9's & the 8inch sub (bridged mono) I suspect I wll need to run a thickish fused wire (90 amp capability) from the battery to the rear of the boot to power the amp. I dont think the rear relay/fuse box will have enough capacity for this?

Also have purchased the obligatory 4 channel LOC to take the speaker leads from the front doors (for the sub) & the 6X9's I hope what I have planned is all going to work. The amplifer has built in crossovers as well to tune the frequencies as well so I have more flexibility there as well.

I am going to be busy over the next few weeks trying to fit that little lot in..

Cheers Teddy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
nbk4m2a said:
Are you going to replace the two dask speakers and the center dash spaekers?
I am only going to replace the two 3/12 inch dash speakers (Boston Acoustics S35's) like many others have done :)
I may decide later to replace the centre channel but to be honest not that keen on the centre channel anyway..

Cheers Teddy
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Boston S35's are in!

Well on a hot day in the Nations capital (32.7C)
I decided to tackle the front dash speakers after work today.
Thx to the excellent instructions here http://wulfers.net/auto/mods/dashspeakers/index.html
within about an hr I had the Bostons in & pumping, Nice speakers for little money AU$99, I now have tweeters & can hear some top end at last, next job will be the rear speakers, some Boston S45's & then the Boston SX95's 6X9's.

I am now thinking maybe I should return the 4 channel amp & go with 2 amps, a dedicated sub amp (Focal 1.800) which pumps I think from memory 400W RMS into the Focal 8 inch sub that I have bought.
Focal also do a nice little 2x75W RMS amp which should complement the Focal sub amp nicely.

Teddy
 
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