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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone installed aftermarket audio components? If you have send pics, I am about to close on my 07 Acadia Black w/ Black later this week and I curious to see what people have done with. Also, does the stock head unit have pre-amp outs for aftermarket amps? or can you use the plug from the stock Bose system??
 

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Unfortunately, the base radio does not have pre amp outputs. It is also part of the GMLAN system, so if you replace it, you will lose On-Star, Parking Assist, warning chimes, blinker clicking, and maybe more. There are adaptors out there that retain some or all of these features but even Crutchfield (who sells aftermarket radios) does not recommend replacing the factory unit.

I did change out the speakers on mine (the factory ones are just one-way paper cones in plastic baskets- total garbage) with some Clarion units. They added a lot of upper range but the bottom is still lacking and they don't go very loud (which is OK for me). My next project is a subwoofer, though I'm not yet sure where I'll put it.
 

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When you say 'base unit' which one are you talking about?? With the SLT2, the system is supposed to be a Bose system with Bose speakers. I would hope that the bose speakers are more than just paper cones - although I really haven't looked at them.
 

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Mine is the standard single disc radio with XM in an SLE. It's not a bose system. I have heard but can't confirm that the Bose system does not have pre amp outputs either- it's just speaker level inputs to the subwoofer amp. There is a video that someone made explaining how to remove the navigation system and I don't recall seeing pre amp outputs on that one either. As to the quality of the bose speakers, I really have no idea but the standard speakers are definitely garbage.
 

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jseck2:

Did you have speakers in the 3rd row? I have an SLE with the same setup jsut wondering if you added any speakers to that location and what wires you may have tapped into. If not I would assume you replaced front and rear door speakers only? What sizes are they 6.5"?
 

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No speakers in the third row. It's just the basic 6 speaker system. (2 tweeters in the windshield pillars, and one mid range in each door).

I did take some pictures. It's not too tough, just a little scary popping the door trim off. It takes a bit of force and sounds like it's breaking but it's not. (Out of 30 or so plastic fasteners on the four doors, I did break two- one was still usable, one was not). I'll try and post pictures later, I just drove back from a job three hours away this morning and need to go to the office in a minute to find out where I am going today. Probably another long day for me.

The front speakers are a bit odd. They are in very tall plastic baskets (presumably to make room for the window when down), so I tore off the cones and made a bracket out of the old speaker. I then mounted the new 6-1/2" clarions to the old speaker "body". The rears are a lot lower profile and I just mounted the new speakers to the door directly (had to drill a few holes). Also, the front door speakers are 4 ohms and the rears are 8 ohms. I assume the tweeters (which I didn't touch because I was cocerned about the airbags) are also 4 ohms and wired in series with the fronts.
 

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Were the speakers just plug and play? Did you need to do any splicing to wire the speakers in place of the factory units?
 

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No, you have to splice or cut the factory wires. I just used Scotchlocks and they seem fine. Did it that way in my last car too and they were fine 6 years later. Someone like Scosche probably sells an adaptor but it really is not a big deal to just splice in.
 

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I think for the $250 difference, I would have gone for the factory unit this way if anything happens, GM will fix it for 3 years. Don't know what you will need to do if something crashes with the unit you installed.
 

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I didn't replace the main radio unit, just the speakers- the factory ones are garbage, they are paper and plastic and weigh about 6 ounces total. Not exactly quality stuff. If a speaker dies, I'll just buy another set- the radio itself is warranteed to 100K miles under my extended warranty, so that stays for now.

The car I bought was on the lot... didn't have a choice on the radio. As far as cost, two pairs of decent name brand upgraded speakers cost less than $100 shipped (They were closeout 2006 model year speakers). I would still like a small subwoofer, just haven't decided how I want to do it yet, which will probably cost anoother $150 or so. The Bose is probably a good system, though it looks like the only way to get it in an SLE is with the $2000 DVD or go up to SLT for $4000.
 

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jseck2 said:
No, you have to splice or cut the factory wires. I just used Scotchlocks and they seem fine. Did it that way in my last car too and they were fine 6 years later. Someone like Scosche probably sells an adaptor but it really is not a big deal to just splice in.
Thanks for the fast response. I'm okay with splicing, had to do it on past cars too. I think I was actually getting it confused with an aftermarket headunit harness like you would get thru Crutchfield. Its been a few years since I have installed new speakers in a car and couldn't recall if door speakers were the same way as that. At least now I understand what I am getting into. Been very wary of touching anything on this car still, even though I've torn apart my last cars without hesitation ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the responses folks, I opted for the Bose system and I guess I will just do like my last car and run a speaker-level input -> rca convertor if i cant tap into the stock sub connection. only thing left to really worry about is if my measly pair of RF 8" punch z's will actually fill the cab space :(
 

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Fragsrus,
sorry, I replied to the wrong posting when I commented about a $250 difference between the factory and a user installed unit. It should have been in response to the person who spent $1850 on a DVD/NAV unit that he installed himself when the factory unit was about $2100.
Again, apologies if I confused things.
 

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jseck2 said:
.....My next project is a subwoofer, though I'm not yet sure where I'll put it.
Boston Acoustics has Subs that only require 1.5 cubic feet of space behind them for maximum performance. I have one in my Sky and it is awesome. I hope to put one in my Acadia once I get it.
 

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Has anyone who has replaced the factory door speakers with aftermarket (Pioneer, Alpine, etc.) noticed any decrease in volume from the factory head unit? If I'm not mistaken, the factory base radio pushes 22 Watts RMS. Most aftermaket speakers are in an around 50 Watts RMS. I'm thinking about swapping out the factory paper garbage speakers for a pair of Pioneer's but I'm concerned about volume.

On a separate note, has anyone here added a 2-channel amp for the front/rear speakers to their factory head unit? If so, how complicated was it, and were you able to keep the factory speaker wiring?

Cheers.
 

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msmolka said:
Has anyone who has replaced the factory door speakers with aftermarket (Pioneer, Alpine, etc.) noticed any decrease in volume from the factory head unit? If I'm not mistaken, the factory base radio pushes 22 Watts RMS. Most aftermaket speakers are in an around 50 Watts RMS. I'm thinking about swapping out the factory paper garbage speakers for a pair of Pioneer's but I'm concerned about volume.

On a separate note, has anyone here added a 2-channel amp for the front/rear speakers to their factory head unit? If so, how complicated was it, and were you able to keep the factory speaker wiring?

Cheers.
I am keeping the OEM head unit and adding speakers, subs, amps and headrestmonitors. Mine should be done by the end of the month. I will post pics and give you feedback once it is complete.
 

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msmolka said:
Has anyone who has replaced the factory door speakers with aftermarket (Pioneer, Alpine, etc.) noticed any decrease in volume from the factory head unit? If I'm not mistaken, the factory base radio pushes 22 Watts RMS. Most aftermaket speakers are in an around 50 Watts RMS. I'm thinking about swapping out the factory paper garbage speakers for a pair of Pioneer's but I'm concerned about volume.

On a separate note, has anyone here added a 2-channel amp for the front/rear speakers to their factory head unit? If so, how complicated was it, and were you able to keep the factory speaker wiring?

Cheers.
I think you are confusing some of the terms. Aftermarket speakers have a maximum power handling rating (e.g. 50W) but this does not have much to do with the volume. The front factory door speakers are 4 ohms and the rears are 8 ohms. There are also separate tweeters in the front, which I would assume are also rated for 4 ohms (giving 8 ohms total if wired in series). How loud they are for a given power is expressed as SPL (sound pressure level). A speaker with a higher SPL will be louder hooked up to the same radio than one with a lower SPL.

So, assuming the efficiency (SPL) of the speaker is comparable, replacing a 4 ohm with a 4 ohm should be about the same "loudness". The power rating is more for determining compatibility with an aftermarket amp.
 

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jseck2 said:
I think you are confusing some of the terms. Aftermarket speakers have a maximum power handling rating (e.g. 50W) but this does not have much to do with the volume. The front factory door speakers are 4 ohms and the rears are 8 ohms. There are also separate tweeters in the front, which I would assume are also rated for 4 ohms (giving 8 ohms total if wired in series). How loud they are for a given power is expressed as SPL (sound pressure level). A speaker with a higher SPL will be louder hooked up to the same radio than one with a lower SPL.

So, assuming the efficiency (SPL) of the speaker is comparable, replacing a 4 ohm with a 4 ohm should be about the same "loudness". The power rating is more for determining compatibility with an aftermarket amp.
I'm going to have to disagree with you, speakers do have an RMS Wattage rating. RMS is basically the minimum you want to drive a speaker at. A lot of distortion actually comes from speakers being underdriven. Speakers also have an efficiency/sensitivity rating which tells how many db you get when a designated amount of power is applied to it. A higher db sensitivity rating means it takes less power to drive the speaker. The maximum Wattage is just that the max watts that can be applied. Higher max wattage does not mean higher sensitivity, in fact it usually means just the opposite. Check out this website for info http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/learningcenter/car/speakers.html
 

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RMS (Root Mean Squared) is the industry standard method for measuring power (wattage). It is used for measuring both Min and Max Power. A speaker will have a Min RMS wattage to get it to play and a Max RMS wattage it can handle.

Efficiency and Sensitivity are two different measurements but are similar in what they tell you. Sensitivity is in db and is usually between 85 - 95 db for typical speakers. Efficiency is usually between 1 - 10 % and since that number looks low, speaker manufacturers don't normally use it.

SPL (sound pressure level) is the measurement of how loud the sound is in dB. The Sensitivity rating in dB is actually the SPL (i.e. how loud is it) that you get out of an 8 ohm speaker when driving it with 1W RMS. The higher this number the better.

I agree that the Crutchfield link is a great resource.
 
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