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Old 04-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bose Speaker Upgrade

I have a 2011 LTZ with the Bose sound system. I am not too impressed with the Bose after having the car for a few months now. It doesn't seem to want to crank up too loud without some distortion and it's not nearly as clear as I would have expected a Bose to be.

So I'm kind of interested in replacing the speakers in the near future (front doors and rear deck, the A pillar tweeters are fine IMO). However, I like the the factory head unit and want to keep that in place. What I'm wondering are the specs of the factory Bose amp so I could find speakers that would be appropriate to replace while keeping the head unit and Bose amp in place. I guess I'd like to find some aftermarket speakers that even compliment the Bose amp if possible.

Im not interested in adding an aftermarket amp / subs at the moment. Maybe way on down the road, but not anytime soon for sure. So is there anything to consider when looking for replacment speakers for the Bose HU / Amp?

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You may think your tweeters are fine, but let me tell you, when I replaced mine, it was a huge difference. Food for thought. They are the last speakers I would upgrade though.

Door speakers will be a piece of cake. I do not know what the wattage the factory amp puts out, but it is sufficient to power nearly any 6.5 inch speaker you would put in.

A note on the front speakers. The system runs on an 8 ohm load. Most aftermarket speakers are 4 ohm speakers. The front speakers run in series from the amp. The nOn Bose systems are that way, and I believe Bose is the same. So the door speaker is 4 ohm, and so is the tweeter. 4+4 to make the 8 ohm load. If you want to confirm this, take one of the a pillars off. It is a piece of cake. Then on the back of the tweeter, it will be stamped with the resistance. I would go with a coaxial speaker in your case, since you are running off the factory amp. If you were to get a component speaker, you would need to find a place to mount the separate tweeter, and run it off of the same channel. So doing a coaxial speaker will just he easier. You will get extra highs that way. If you were doing a full stereo install on the other hand, with an amp and such, I would recommend a component set. But right now, stick to coaxial.

For the rear speakers, I would leave those alone on the Bose system. They are 8 ohm, and replacing that with a 4 ohm would cause the factory amp to attempt to push out twice the wattage since resistance is half of what it is used to, and it cannot handle that. Eventually, it would overheat. You won't notice a big difference replacing those either. Save those until you do an amplifier, if you ever get that far.

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Old 05-04-2012, 06:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks CE for the info, sorry for taking a while to get back to you.

I figured out part of problem with the Bose system... The sound seemed really crappy when I would play music from my iPod. Today I realized that the same EQ setting I used for my headphones on the iPod does not work so well with the Bose stereo in the Impala, haha. I messed with the EQ settings a little bit and now I'm slightly more impressed with the Bose system. The rear speakers actually output a crap ton of bass with the iPod EQ set just right. I am still not too impressed with the front speakers though, but at least the bass that I want is there with the right settings.

So I think I am still interested in replacing the front door speakers and now the A pillar tweeters too as per your suggestion. So I have a couple questions then.

Are there any aftermarket tweeters for the pillars that you would recommend? Any that are a direct fit or would I have to fabricate some sort of bracket to mount them in the pillars? I've never replaced those tweeters before (even with my 09 Malibu which had a completly upgraded system, except for the tweeters).

For the doors, same question, any recommendations for a good all around speaker? I was thinking of going with some JLs. I know they make good subs, but have never bought speakers from them. I agree that I will stick with coaxial for now. I'm not looking for top of the line speakers... but I don't want bottom of the barrel either.

Keep in mind that I'll be sticking with the factory stereo/amp for now and currently have no plans to go any further than that. I just want a little bit better sound for the 2 hours I spend in the car everyday.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Your iPod eq should be totally flat, increasing the bass levels on it ruins the sound.

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Old 05-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think 3/4 inch tweeters should come close to fitting in, but any tweeter you get is going to require from slight modification to moderate fabrication. I have a set of Polk audio dxi1000 tweeters, which are 1 inch tweeters. I had to modify the a pillar to fit them in. I took the pillar off, and cut all of the factory tweeter mount stuff off, then cut out the factory tweeter grille with a dremel. The surface mount tweeter cups fit perfectly in the hole left by the tweeter grille. Then I used some epoxy on the back side to keep the cup from falling out, even though just pressing it in gave it enough for it not to slide out. I still haven't finished them, but this summer I am going to get some body filler, and fill in around the visible side of the mounting cup, sand it down, and probably paint the pillars the mocha color of the dashboard. Here are a few links to some pics.

2012-01-27_20-41-48_632.jpg picture by trumpet_divine - Photobucket


2012-01-27_20-41-39_794.jpg picture by trumpet_divine - Photobucket

2012-01-27_20-41-16_132.jpg picture by trumpet_divine - Photobucket

In all, what I did took me an hour to figure out what to do, and thirty minutes to actually do it. It doesn't look bad at all the way it sits, but I want to get them molded and painted to match the factory.

Just remember when looking at tweeters, get one that includes either an inline passive crossover, or includes an external crossover, so you can plug it straight in to the factory system. I would definitely recommend the Polk audio Dxi1000s. For forty bucks, they are an absolute steal.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info guys... I'll probably get around to this in the next month or so and let you know how it turns out.

I think those tweeter look pretty good just sitting in the old tweeter grill like you have Divine. I may do that exact same thing, thanks for the idea!

And King... you were right. I turned the EQ off on my iPod and it sounds 10x clearer than before. I have a couple albums that sound really really flat and that's why I started to mess with the EQ, but now I think the issue was with the quality of the mp3 and not the EQ setting.

Thanks again guys!

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Old 08-04-2013, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I know this post is over a year old but I am so glad I found it because I am having a similar issue with my bose. The tweet on the passenger side I believe is damaged so I may need to replace it. I wasn't sure that can be done since this car has a factory amp (my last car, a 99 grand prix, had the bose option and I could not replace ANY of the 8 speakers in that car unless I replaced the amp as well) and I know how picky bose amps can be but taking the suggestion from my fellow impala member I see I can replace the door speaker and tweets while retaining the rear speakers and factory amp. Thank you guys for this.

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Old 08-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I didn't think the Bose system was that great either at first, until playing around with the stereo's equalizer and increasing some base and trebble. It actually sounds quite good once you tune it properly.

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Old 08-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^Yup, just wish it went louder. haha And the bass was better, but coming from my system I'm picky.

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Old 09-05-2013, 12:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You know what, I have an LT without the Bose sound system and recently had a rental LTZ with Bose. I really didn't hear much of a difference aside from extra clarity in the back in part with the extra tweets. Honestly it's the only real difference in both systems is the amp, which doesn't do much and the 2 extra tweets in the rear. What I am gonna do is try to get a hold of some original Bose tweets for the rear, strap them and the 6x9 to a passive crossover to keep the setup at 8 ohms. Now to add extra bass, I might add an 8" in the rear deck area where the Bose amp would normally be and add a small amp to run it. Mind you I will keep the stock deck to run all this.

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