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I'm not really sure what to say here...this system is known to be LACKING bass, not having too much bass. The only real bass comes from the 2 front doors and they only provide limited bass. I was pretty shocked to find this car didn't have a real subwoofer in the back. Also, Sirius has reduced bass compared to the real song the last I checked, though that has been a while (just picked up my 2014 s Touring last week, before that I havent used Sirius in a few years). I don't really know how this system could be unlistenable... Just turn the bass down a few notches and you will hear almost no bass at all. Overall I think the system sounds decent, though I wish it had more lows.
 

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It all depends on the type of music you play. If you're looking for a flat response for things like classical, then yes, the bass -- especially mid-bass -- can be too loud. In fact, my wife complained that the bass was too loud. People who play rock, or hip-hop, or heavy metal, and don't care about balance and just want to be thumped. I like a flat response, but I found that while the mid-bass was strong, Bose put in bass fall-off for the very low bass so the doors didn't come apart. I corrected that with a small, compact, powered subwoofer with the crossover at a lower level and a LOC that let me compensate for the bass fall off. Clarity is very good however.

The other weakness of our Bose system is the very highs and staging. While bass is non-directional, you get the staging and "twinkle" from the highs. I'm going to add a couple of small tweeters to the A-Pillars to help with that. Tuning them into the system so that they blend in is going to be tricker than the bass because you have less adjustment to work with and they don't make a LOC with treble fall-off adjustment.

I don't know why people expect a premium level system in an econobox like the Mazda 3. But it was a better sounding system than any other car I tested in the same price range. In fact, it was even far better than the standard sound system in the Mercedes CLA, the other car I was looking at for $10,000 more.
 

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I'm not really sure what to say here...this system is known to be LACKING bass, not having too much bass.
It all depends on your definition of bass. It has a reasonable steep drop-off after about 100Hz--as any system without a sub would.

But there is that typical mid-bass hump-like you hear in beats headphones. It is so ubiquitous in most of todays audio equipment that it almost sounds normal.

When I measured it on an RTA(nerd alert!!!) and found it was there. That is not a bad thing necessarily. LOTS of people by beats headphones and want that sound.
 

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It all depends on your definition of bass. It has a reasonable steep drop-off after about 100Hz--as any system without a sub would.

But there is that typical mid-bass hump-like you hear in beats headphones. It is so ubiquitous in most of todays audio equipment that it almost sounds normal.

When I measured it on an RTA(nerd alert!!!) and found it was there. That is not a bad thing necessarily. LOTS of people by beats headphones and want that sound.
After adding my AudioControl LOC which compensates for bass fall-off (adjustable), it also had the surprising effect of lowering mid-bass. Theoretically, the LOC tap shouldn't effect the signal very much, but it did it just enough to lower the output of the front door woofers just enough. Wanting a flat response is one of the reasons I went with a small, powered, compact sub rather than a full thumper and the effect is seamless with the system after about a week of tuning and playing with the settings. The front door woofers also put out some lower-mids and I have a very slight drop in those as well. But it did raise the the comparative levels of the mid-highs in the dash which helped a bit with staging. You do realize that the rear speakers are mono, not stereo. Look at the wiring. I was quite surprised to find that out. Now on to add tweeters and tune that in.
 

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It all depends on your definition of bass. It has a reasonable steep drop-off after about 100Hz--as any system without a sub would.

But there is that typical mid-bass hump-like you hear in beats headphones. It is so ubiquitous in most of todays audio equipment that it almost sounds normal.

When I measured it on an RTA(nerd alert!!!) and found it was there. That is not a bad thing necessarily. LOTS of people by beats headphones and want that sound.
Right, that's what I meant. I guess the mid bass it has is just so common now that it seems pretty normal, but its lacking any low bass due to the drop off and lack of a real sub.

After adding my AudioControl LOC which compensates for bass fall-off (adjustable), it also had the surprising effect of lowering mid-bass. Theoretically, the LOC tap shouldn't effect the signal very much, but it did it just enough to lower the output of the front door woofers just enough. Wanting a flat response is one of the reasons I went with a small, powered, compact sub rather than a full thumper and the effect is seamless with the system after about a week of tuning and playing with the settings. The front door woofers also put out some lower-mids and I have a very slight drop in those as well. But it did raise the the comparative levels of the mid-highs in the dash which helped a bit with staging. You do realize that the rear speakers are mono, not stereo. Look at the wiring. I was quite surprised to find that out. Now on to add tweeters and tune that in.
The sub you put in yours is almost exactly what I would like to add to mine eventually. I bet that makes very a good overall sound. I don't need any car shaking bass, but I do like to be able to hear it.

Also, that is very surprising to hear that the rear is mono, I hadn't noticed that. Good to know!
 

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The sub you put in yours is almost exactly what I would like to add to mine eventually. I bet that makes very a good overall sound. I don't need any car shaking bass, but I do like to be able to hear it.

Also, that is very surprising to hear that the rear is mono, I hadn't noticed that. Good to know!
If I had to do it over, I probably would have put in the 10" unit, and not the 8" version. I'm maxing out the capabilities of the 8" just to get a flat response with no holes. I experimented with pushing it more, and you can't get much more out of it without distortion. The result is great for me, but I'd like just a little bit more cushion. Clarity and lack of distortion are must haves for me. The problem with the 10" unit is that the installation would not look quite as good and you'd have to relocate the LOC. I'm unwilling to give up a lot of trunk space for a sub as I actually use the trunk to carry things.
 
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You might be noticing to much crappy bass. I love lots of clean bass, but I'm very sensitive to crappy bass.

With something that sounds good you can often listen to it A little bit louder.

I turn My bass way down to compensate for crappy bass. Now it does work well at low volumes but is the first weakness I find when turning it up.
 

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You might be noticing to much crappy bass. I love lots of clean bass, but I'm very sensitive to crappy bass.

With something that sounds good you can often listen to it A little bit louder.

I turn My bass way down to compensate for crappy bass. Now it does work well at low volumes but is the first weakness I find when turning it up.
I've tuned my system so it cannot put out crappy bass -- even at higher volumes. That's why it took me a week to tune the system properly -- I kept on testing the limits and making adjustments. You can't really do that in one session because once you have a flat response, you've got to customize it for your specific hearing. Some people have listened to thumping bass so much their ears/minds have adjusted and actually don't hear is as loud as other people do. If you listen to the Beats stuff, you become desensitized to mid-bass exaggeration over time and you crave more. It's just like taking drugs.
 

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The Bose speakers system does not seem to have much base below 100hz but I agree there is too much "booming" mid bass (e.g. between 80hz through 180hz) at the default treble and bass setting. (By booming bass, I mean bass that tend to sound loud but not tight. Basically a messy booming)

After few days of listening to various MP3 files (jazz, classical, pop, europop, jpop, etc), I have settled on the following settings:

Treble: +2
Bass: -5 (yes, that's minus 5)
Centerpoint: OFF (Centerpoint is disappointing)
Autopilot: ON

With this setting, I get pretty good clear mid and high sound without harsh treble and the bass level sounds good enough without messy booming..
 

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You might be noticing to much crappy bass. I love lots of clean bass, but I'm very sensitive to crappy bass.

With something that sounds good you can often listen to it A little bit louder.

I turn My bass way down to compensate for crappy bass. Now it does work well at low volumes but is the first weakness I find when turning it up.
Yes. I felt the exact before I upgraded. In fact, I ended up listening to my headphones on long drives. The midrange and low end was just not tight and enough for my personal taste.

If you listen to music that requires real bottom extension like electronica or dub step the LOC/sub combo may be the best bang for dollar upgrade you can make. However, if you feel percussion and bass lines are too muddy then you may have to consider upgrading the door speakers(and putting sound deadening in the front doors).

Keep in mind that those 8 inch paper unsealed door speakers maybe have 25 watts each. (for example the polk MM series 6.5 woofers use the most efficient neodymium rare earth magnets and can use 90 watts). So they are what they are.

Good luck on the upgrade. FYI: take your time and make sure you get exactly what you want.
 

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Keep in mind that those 8 inch paper unsealed door speakers maybe have 25 watts each. (for example the polk MM series 6.5 woofers use the most efficient neodymium rare earth magnets and can use 90 watts). So they are what they are.
You do realize the door speakers are ND. Right? Putting the AudioControl LOC in tapping the front speakers reduced the mid-bass exaggeration and it does not sound muddy at all with the volume reduced slightly. I can't speak for other LOC's and their effect. All of the speakers get a bit muddy when the volume is raised -- that is common for almost all speakers. Does it sound as good as the $3,000 custom system I had in my Porsche? No. The only way you can move up to competition grade is to put in a DSP, some good amps, and change out all of the speakers adding tweeters and a sub. I'm not going to put that kind of money into an econobox. Compared to any car in it's class, it's a great system. Once you get on the road, the road noise will mask any deficiencies in any event. This is not a quiet car made for an audiophile level system.
 

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I noticed the system being very boomy in the beginning but once the speakers have broken in the Bass has mellowed out nicely. Now I need a Sub to add low bass and different speakers to add a mid range...lol
 

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You do realize the door speakers are ND. Right? .
Yes that is what I was talking about in the quote. ND stands for Neodymium magnets. They are much stronger than ferrite and you can use a much smaller lighter magnet compared to ferrite magnets. But they don't need significantly less power. Bose has a nice video on them. That was the point I was making with the Polks MM series that also use Neodymium magnets. They are thin and light weight --but take 125 watts(continuous power).
 

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Yes that is what I was talking about in the quote. ND stands for Neodymium magnets. They are much stronger than ferrite and you can use a much smaller lighter magnet compared to ferrite magnets. But they don't need significantly less power. Bose has a nice video on them. That was the point I was making with the Polks MM series that also use Neodymium magnets. They are thin and light weight --but take 125 watts(continuous power).
Actually, from the physics involved, they can be used in a number of ways. If you use similar size magnets but ND instead of regular ferrite, they will use more power. But if you use them to substitute for a large magnet (they can be 1/4 the size and still have the same power), they'll need less power to drive them as power is directly related to mass. Bose uses them to make speakers thinner and lighter and they do use less power which is why the Bose amp is so small -- remember that amp drives 9 speakers. The Polk MM series are primarily component so you're actually driving two speakers, a mid range and a tweeter, and the magnets are larger than the Bose magnets. Driving two quality speakers does increase power needs.

That's why it is not difficult to overdrive the Bose speakers which introduces some distortion. Distortion tends to increase as power goes up. Larger magnets simply allow more control as the power goes up but do not necessarily affect sound quality at lower levels. This is often misunderstood. At lower volume levels, the material and construction used in the speaker is more important to sound quality than the power or magnets used. That's why large array speaker assemblies, like those used in auditoriums, can produce high sound pressures and better quality and why most higher end car systems use 12-15 speakers -- i.e., less pressure per speaker allowing for better quality and less distortion.

Understanding the physics involved, and human sound perception principles, allows me to upgrade the Bose system to achieve quality levels much closer to what you've achieved than you might think. As you've said before, the way we hear sound is related to the weakest link in the system. The Bose system as very good quality mid-range reproduction but our brains are tricked into not recognizing this because the very highs and very lows are reduced and slightly muddy. You bring the whole system up dramatically by just fixing those weak areas. In fact, Bose recognizes that as they put dedicated tweeters and boxed woofers in their very high end systems. They no longer use subwoofers in any of their systems as the boxed woofers (which we don't have) cover the top end of low bass quite nicely.

Again, you have a great system and a very clean solution to the issues. However, I can get 90% of the way there with much less money, and from my perspective, road noise raises that to 95%. The negative part is that my solution requires a lot of tuning and will never be totally perfect -- but it can get awfully close.
 
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