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Just picked up my new '09 Traverse LT two nights ago.

I am kicking myself for not getting the BOSE package option. The high end sound is very thin with no bass. Has anyone upgraded their factory system with aftermarket equipment? What did you do? I'd like to keep the factory radio, but not sure if I should get new speakers, add a subwoofer, and/or add a amplifier or what.

I'm not an audiophile, but I do prefer a rich sound with some balls. I'm am currently underwhelmed with what I've got now. Any suggestions?
 

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I'd be interested to read some replies because I hate the system in my Silverado and wanted to upgrade for some time now but didnt want to spend hundreds of dollars.
 

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Hi Guin,

Lot's of pics and threads on the sister boards. Here are two great visual representations of people putting in an OEM & aftermarket Nav units - the process would be the same regardless of the brand, as long as it is a double-din size. Read through these and you should get the answer of whether you want to do it or not.

From the Outlook Forum
http://www.saturnoutlookforum.net/index.php?topic=294.0

From the Enclave Forum
http://www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=1101.msg13164

Also try this, http://www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=3630.0 , Rexster put in a great head unit - Kenwood DNX-8120 - he added some pics of the final look. He had some of the same questions you had and ended up pretty happy with it.

Good luck with it.
 

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A tip before you change anything. Assuming the STD radio is like the BOSE one, you have to set the EQ on EVERY SINGLE input. That means setting your EQ on AM, FM, XM, CD, DVD, AUX IN, rear AUX, everything. Setting it on one has no effect on the others. A lot of people set it up on one and then listen to another input and think it sounds flat. Terrible design, or at least terribly documented.

Make sure you try that first... :)
 

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Is the Bose radio implied if you have the Bose speakers? My radio doesn't say Bose on it anywhere, but my speakers do. The radio I have is horrible. (1LT model). I did notice you have to set the EQ on every input. That is bogus, but it still didn't improve much. The Satellite Radio sounds almost like Mono sometimes. Regular radio is not much better.

Joe
 

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The base traverse does have a horrible radio. I got the LTZ and it jams pretty good. I haven't had time to mess w/ the audio adjustments yet, but it's 10x louder than the base.
 

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The "Bose" in the Bose system only refers to the speakers. The radio is your standard GM Delco brand. I'm not displeased at all with the Delco part and it's performance. But, I'm displeased in the performance of the Bose speakers. They do sound fantastic to me, but soft to say the least, and the subwoofer leaves a lot to be desired. I've owned a few Bose made systems for my home, and they all seem to be the same. Great low volume sound, but no real power.

My wife drives an HHR with the top of the line model Delco radio (similar to non-NAV Traverse radio) and it has Pioneer speakers. It rocks! The old Malibu my wife used to drive also had an upgraded Delco radio and stock speakers. It was also extremely good at both sound and volume performance. Interestingly, due to the trunk of the Malibu, the bass performance in that car was very strong.

Speakers make all the difference in the world.
 

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Narg -- So what happens when you crank up the audio with the Bose base-model speakers?
Is the sound distorted -- unlike at low levels? Or you still get clear sound, but it just has no ooomph and the base is weak?
(Guess I oughta check it out for sure when I do my test drive -- but I can't imagine it will be any worse than my 4-speaker Hyundai radio now.) ;D
 

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I've got the standard 6 speaker audio system in my 09' Outlook and I had the 10 speaker advanced audio in my 07' Outlook, as far as sound differance I cant tell one bit in the drivers seat but the third row seats on the 09' do not have speakers which is kind of a bummer because there is no sound for the kids sitting in that row. I wonder if the wiring is there and a guy could put some speakers in the empty holes and be done with it, would GM have a different harness for each system? Anyhow I too would like to take out the factory speakers and install some nicer ones but not sure I'll get the bang for my buck because of the head unit. Any thoughts?
 

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I can only speak of this because I have the Bose 10 speaker system, with the standard radio. The speakers do not make much of a difference. The watt output on this radio has to be like 20 or 30W or something. I can't get the base up to the point to point where I can actually feel air move. Even with my iPod plugged into the aux in, it's weak.

I would look into seeing if the wiring is there, and if so, just have an aftermarket radio put in if that's what you're after. That's assuming you don't need the onStar or other components that are integrated into the stock head unit. I looked into aftermarket stuff a lot with my grand prix. There is a component that you can hook up that keeps the onstar functionality. But the reports of working correctly vary.

This is the unit, of which I speak...and I'm not sure if this works with '09 radios. I was looking into this for my '07 grand prix.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_120GMOS04/GM-Factory-Integration-Adapter.html?tp=3486

I never pulled the trigger on this, because I didn't want to lose the heads up integration with the nav unit. Plus, read the negative reviews of the GMOS 04. They're comical.



Joe
 

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This has come up on all four of the Lambda forums and I simply can't understand whether sound is THAT subjective or if there really is a HUGE difference between each vehicle. Again, I can only speak for my own model - I have an 07 Acadia, non-nav with DVD and Bose 10 speaker surround system. At the highest Bass setting, I can't turn it up halfway or it shakes the mirrors so badly they become unusable. In fact, we keep the bass setting down one notch just so we can turn it up to acceptable levels without rattling everything in the car. It's not like having a 15" sub driven by a 250W dedicated amp or anything, but it absolutely blows away the "premium" BOSE system in my G coupe.

I'm no audiophile, but I like good clean sound and this is the best factory stereo I've ever owned. I wonder if mine is somehow better than others with the same audio setup, or if other people are really that much more discriminating.
 

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Wow. With my bass all the way up, it doesn't come close to rattling the mirrors. I have to Bose 10 speaker setup as well.

It doesn't bother me though, in the end. As long as it sounds decent.

Joe
 

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duayned said:
Narg -- So what happens when you crank up the audio with the Bose base-model speakers?
Is the sound distorted -- unlike at low levels? Or you still get clear sound, but it just has no ooomph and the base is weak?
(Guess I oughta check it out for sure when I do my test drive -- but I can't imagine it will be any worse than my 4-speaker Hyundai radio now.) ;D
When I "crank" it up, it just gets loud (using the XM radio as an example) No distortion or any bad sound. I do dislike that there is no indicator on screen to show the amount of volume used. Getting to the top takes a bit of trial and error at times, or twisting the volume over and over to make sure I'm there. I am also dissappointed in the aux jack. 2 of the 3 MP3 players have a sharp attenuation through this plug making the volume quite low. I do wish GM would have had the smarts to include the USB plug in the Lambda like they are putting in the cheaper Aveo and Cobalts. Plugging in a MP3 player or USB Flash Stick would be so much easier than an AUX port or the over priced, single player only PAL unit you can buy from GM.

In another Lambda forum there is a good post on the Bose amp and it's capabilities. It's not shabby, but not high end either. that's my take. Good, but not great. I'm much older since my last vehicle purchase, and starting to prefer clean sound over loud though. So overall I like the Delco/Bose system. But do wish I could ROCK sometimes ;)
 

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meanwhile, here's another take on the radio

I hear ya, Narg. I'm -- ahem -- "older" now, too, but still like to pump up the old funk jams now and again.
Thanks for the detail about the volume and MP3 port. Those would bother me, too.
It always amazes me how every car has some quirky, irritating, or downright dumb thing in them that makes you scratch your head about how designers overlooked the obvious way real people use things.
Fortunately, it sounds like the Traverse team got the vast majority of the details right, though.

For a different take on the audio gear, The Washington Post car reviewer recently took a 500-mile trip in an LT2 with his family, and here's how he ended it:
"On a closing note, Kafi, our resident audiophile and MP3 expert, wanted me to mention that the Traverse LT2 has "rockin' sound" and "cool hookups." To those of you for whom such things are important, I suppose you know what she means."
Hmm, sounds like Kafi must have had pretty low expectations of an old-folks car. lol
 

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I do agree that the base 6 speaker system is pretty bad. For FM I generally have my EQ set to mid and treble +1 but flat bass and for the CD I have it set to Bass +1, Mids +1 and Treble flat. It seems to help with the clarity of the system, but not much else. With my phone in the AUX port, I usually have to have bass at +4 to +6 and the mids at +2 and the treble flat and it puts up an admirable fight as far as a stock system can go, but to really make it sing I still have to be up it at about 80% volume. A few quieter tracks have to be at 100% on either the CD or AUX, but you can still talk over it if you raise your voice ever so slightly. I've been thinking about replacing the standard speakers with the Bose door speakers at least and then looking at some aftermarket tweeters for both front and rear doors. No one really sits in the 3rd row, unless we are on a road trip, and even then, whoever's in the back usually has headphones. I've also been on the lookout for a nice low distortion amp that I could possibly wire into the factory harness, and I have found a few through crutchfield.com, but that's it. Interestingly enough, I accidentally poked a hole in the passenger side front door speaker with one of the push clips that hold the door on and I can't tell a difference in sound quality unless I put on some Miami bass, and even then, you have to be at about 85% to tell which has the hole.

Thoughts?
 

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It really is a lame system. My 13 year old daughter already blew out the door speakers, which is something I've not been able to do in all my years of cranking my various systems...The Traverse system sounds so flat and has no imaging...

I was able to fully upgrade the system in my 2007 Monte Carlo (has same head unit as Traverse) for under $500. I replaced everything but the head unit. Infinity door and rear speakers, added an Infinity BassLink 10" powered subwoofer, and a Clarion 4-channel amp for the speakers...It sounds every bit as good, if not better than the big dollar, high powered systems I've had over the years...It can be done on the cheap using quality components. Just do your research and remember that more is not always better. ;)
 

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Yeah. I hear ya about it being lame. I did the speakers in my family's '05 Tahoe with the AM/FM/CD/Cassette (non-bose) system. Blew out the rear door speakers with Vanilla Ice one morning while on a military base with the windows up (that was an interesting thing to explain to the madre), so I replaced those with some $50 Pioneers good to 30Hz, but they sounded warmer and a bit muffled compared to a 3 way or 4 way coaxial. Then when the front door speakers went about 2 years later (yeah I know, kinda crazy to me too) I went with some Sony 4 ways that were less bass heavy, but bright and crisp to the point that the factory tweeters were redundant. Best friend got a 2009 HHR with basically the same head unit as the Traverse (and your Monte Carlo) and I COULD NOT make it sound like anything other than a transistor radio in the 5 years that he had it. He wasn't satisfied with it and he didn't want to replace anything in it. He just wanted an Avalanche, but surprise surprise, I blew those speakers out with some Kickstart My Heart this past winter. If you want to hear the setup I had in the Tahoe, I have a video I shot with a Nikon point and shoot, but you get the idea. Clear, crisp, and only slightly bass heavy.

Here is that video I was talking about. U Tube plus /watch?v=W2J9p8czwC4
Front: Sony Xplod XS-GTX1644 4 way 6.5" coaxial speakers. 92dB sensitivity and a 40Hz to 23KHz response range IIRC. Not that deep, but the mids and highs were why I got them.
Rear: Pioneer TS-GT1644R 2 way 6.5" coaxial speakers. 89dB sensitivity and 30Hz to 20kHz response. More for rear fill as the mids would get distorted when the volume was high.

I have dreams for the Traverse if it lasts 200k miles like the Tahoe was going to last, but I'll reserve those for if it actually happens or if my mom decides to downsize to something else. So far, here is the list of that dream setup:

Digital Sound Processor - Helix DSP or Match DSP Same company, different level. Think Chevy vs Cadillac or Toyota vs Lexus. The Helix has Bur Brown Digital-Analog Converters, the Match has Asahi Kasei DACs. I've heard VERY promising things about BB DAC's, but the only way I have heard them is in a headphone amp a friend has who is a hobbyist DJ of sorts. I was nicely impressed.

Amp - MATCH MA40FX or Helix B FOUR Both 4 channel amps. MATCH is class D with only 0.05% THD and 75w x 4 @ 4Ohm. I don't know what the HELIX is, but it has even less THD at 0.03% and 60w x 4 @ 4Ohm. 15w to me is not that much of a difference since most of the speakers I'm looking at will have to be able to hold 75w to 100w simply BECAUSE of that amp. Yes, I could look at lower powered amps, but that means more distortion and I'm a bit OCD about things like that.

Speakers - Dynaudio Esotec 222 Yes, Dynaudio because I heard them once in a friend's Volvo and I nearly fainted. The smaller 5.75" because I don't think I can fit a 7" woofer in the doors. ;)

What the Trav is probably going to get:
Front: Alpine SP-610c Nice, slightly warmer sound without harshness, nor a thin sound, but with this much EQ going on, I'll probably have to mess with the settings more before I get a real DSP in the car.
Midlevel Option - MATCH MS62C Because I like a natural sound, again without harshness or abhorrent bass, and the silk dome tweeter means the family can listen to it on road trips (G-mama lives 850 miles away and we drive both ways twice a year) and not have headaches.
"Top Line Option" - Focal Integration ISS 165 "Screw the smooth tweeters, I want to hear the guitarist losing his skin cells on the strings!!" :happy: I know that won't happen in THIS setup, but it's nice to know just how accurate they can get.

Rear: Same basic option as front or Pioneer TS-A1605C. the Pioneer A series (?) because of what the system is lacking in the back ANYWAYS *coughclaritycough* However that might throw off the bass response because I really don't think the rear doors were meant for anything other than just rear fill. I've sat back there and there's nothing really special anywhere, so I'm not holding out hope for more than the Alpines in the back.

I have dreams of good sound in what we drive. Money on the other hand, uh-no. Also, my mom doesn't like me taking apart her car while she's napping (I literally dropped the dash on the Tahoe to see why the 12v outlets kept flickering whenever the stars weren't aligned. Thank you youtube.) because she doesn't know when she will need it.
 

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I've got a 2013 with a touchscreen NON-MYLINK..... It sucks. I posted on the audio/video section that once you crank the volume above the half mark, the audio level drop significantly. When the volume is turned down quickly from MAX back to half vol. The audio will SLOWLY increase. I want to upgrade to the factory mylink sat nav (because I will retain all the functions the car has), but I'm worried that it too will have that problem. I came across this on Crutchfield ------Alpine KTP-445U Power Pack------- It claims 45x4 RMS. Runs off of the same power circuit as the receiver (15amp fuse). It is not a plug and play instal. It has to be wired into the system. Crutchfield says it will provide all of the wiring diagrams necessary to make it simple. Also, I want to add the 3rd row speakers very soon!
 

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Now that sounds VERY strange (no pun intended). Has it happened on any/all inputs or just on certain ones? Ours is a 2010 Non Bose, Non MyLink, Onstar equipped 6 speaker system. As far as volume at max, it depends very much on what the volume level of the recording. Some songs on CD you can raise your voice and be heard over, others rattle the mirrors bone stock. I have never heard of something like that happening unless sometging was amiss in the head unit or if a switch was sticking. Have you checked everything to make sure that's not what's happening? Ours came with 76k miles on it, but the steering wheel and gear shift looked like the had never been cleaned since new so I had quite the task ahead of me. It had gotten so bad that the headlamp switch was not salvagable and still feels like it's sticking even after 4 cleanings and 30k miles.
 

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Lol. None taken. I purchased the vehicle last year with 17k on the clock. It was pretty clean and no sticking switches. I think it's a lame processor or filter that will try to prevent me from blowing out a speaker and or my ears. Boooooo :eek:hno:
 
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