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I got the ubgrade JBL 9 speaker sound system in my 2005 Prius, and I have to say I'm not impressed with the sound quality. Is it just me, or is the system not all it's cracked up to be?

I'm going to see if my local high-end auto sound dealers have an affordable calibration service that can tell me why it sounds bad.

Miracle Max
 

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Almost totally absent low bass. Many have added a subwoofer and found the sound very good. I'll do the same when I can find a good mounting location.
 

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I have the system and while I wouldn't say it is impressive, I think it is adequate. I have certainly heard worse.
 

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KTPhil said:
Almost totally absent low bass. Many have added a subwoofer and found the sound very good. I'll do the same when I can find a good mounting location.
Please, let us all know of this. I want to find a decent place for the sub...
 

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I think it's weak at all frequency levels. I was a pseudo-audiophile when younger, but am now too uncaring, lazy and/or deaf to change it.

rpm
 

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No trunk in a Prius (Gen2), and the Nav takes up the space under the seat. I'm considering the rear hatch: good for an enclosure and out of the way, though the slamming may not be good for them, and mounting is a chore there because of this. The rear cargo area needs to remain clear for me, so mounting a Bazooka there, though great-sounding, isn't for me. Just haven't found the spot yet! Maybe a custom-fab of an enclosure to sit in the left rear cubby? Another idea would be to give up the rear door woofers and mount the subs there (still wiring them separately). Anyone tried this?
 

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I added a sub shortly after getting the car. The difference is night and day and I am very happy with the audio now.

Here's a thread discussing the process in depth.

http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=7080

I paid around $150 and did the install myself.
 

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I like music, but I'm not an audiophile. I think the JBL system is fine. It is much better than the stock system which is pretty muddy. I agree that low end base isn't there. It isn't a "thumping" system. But the high end is very good and the midrange seems strong. If all I need is a sub, that doesn't seem like such a bad thing to add.
 

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rpm said:
I think it's weak at all frequency levels. I was a pseudo-audiophile when younger, but am now too uncaring, lazy and/or deaf to change it.

rpm
It can't be weak at ALL frequencies, otherwise all you'd have to do is turn up the volume! Unless max volume is too quiet for you.

You would think that car manufacturers toting lots of speakers in their premium system would include a sub. When I saw the Prius had 9 speakers, I figured the 9th was a sub. After all, why would it need a center speaker? We aren't listening to surround sound sources!
 

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What stock cars come with a subwoofer anyways? Anyone wanting one, whichis a minute fraction of the larger market, should expect to have to install one in the vast majority of production cars.

This seems like a rather silly debate.
 

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Most 6" woofers will be a bit deficient on the low end of the frequency spectrum. It's hard for a 6" speaker to push enough air to be heard (and felt) at low frequencies.
 

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DanMan32 said:
Most 6" woofers will be a bit deficient on the low end of the frequency spectrum. It's hard for a 6" speaker to push enough air to be heard (and felt) at low frequencies.
Felt? Sure.

Heard? No.

A good 6" cone (like what JBL make) can produce some pretty low bass within the hearable range, especially for an enclosed space like a car. Low bass has a lot more to do with ressonance than speaker size anyways. Even many subwoofers use 6" cones, it the enclosure that matters a lot. A 50mm driver can produce great bass for headphones, and a 5 mm driver can produce great bass for earbuds.

People who want to literally "feel" the bass need to install massive air moving sub-woofers, that no car I'm aware of comes with stock. That "basshead" market is a minute niche, usually teenagers. Persoanlly, I think the "boom cars" are exceedingly lame, and leak a lot of bass outside, which is annoying to others and makes the driver look stupid. Ever notice everytime a car drives by going "boom boom" there is always some stupid pimply kid or meathead or otherwise attention starved idiot at the wheel?

Regardless, overpowered bass and balring car stereos is a good way to damage occupant's hearing. That is a fact.
 

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DanMan32 said:
rpm said:
I think it's weak at all frequency levels. I was a pseudo-audiophile when younger, but am now too uncaring, lazy and/or deaf to change it.

rpm
It can't be weak at ALL frequencies, otherwise all you'd have to do is turn up the volume! Unless max volume is too quiet for you.

You would think that car manufacturers toting lots of speakers in their premium system would include a sub. When I saw the Prius had 9 speakers, I figured the 9th was a sub. After all, why would it need a center speaker? We aren't listening to surround sound sources!
I assumed the center front speaker was a tiny subwoofer (maybe a sub-subwoofer). Is that possible?
 

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Nope, not a sub. It can't even be used to feed a mono signal to a sub as it doesn't receive low frequencies. It's just a center mono channel and mid/high frequencies to supposedly fill out the sound stage. I disconnected it as I prefer a better stereo separation. Now if it could produce left+right sounds only (no left only or right only sounds) then it would be good, but it is just mono.
 

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Dan, is this center mono channel "L or R" together? I mean in the Boolean logic sense. This would merely be the combined left and right channels in one speaker.

Or is it more sophisticated and reproduces "L and R"? If the latter, it wouldn't hinder separation, since the common signal would appear to be centered anyway.

I have no idea, but it would be possible to have a center that is the latter, which would strengthen midrange without losing stereo separation. Are they that clever?
 

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I am sure it is AND and not XNOR. I would think it difficult, though admittedly not impossible, to achieve XNOR in analog circuitry.

But then if they digitize the signals, then boolean logic wouldn't be an issue.
 

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DanMan32 said:
I disconnected it as I prefer a better stereo separation. Now if it could produce left+right sounds only (no left only or right only sounds) then it would be good, but it is just mono.
Interesting idea, although it would require some custom sound seperation circuitry.

I was thinking a muted mono center might actually help seperation, within an enclosed space as it would hypothetically allow volume to be reduced. At medium to loud listening levels so much sound is bouncing around inside any car that I find it's difficult to get good seperation anyways.

Maybe someday we'll see interior acoustics modeled in the stereo system.
 
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