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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well guys, I feel kinda sick right now but I've decided to replace the stock Premium Sound system. I purchased a 6.5" Kicker CompVT sub and amp to replace the stock 6.5" sub...but when I got to the audio shop this morning I was having second thoughts. I've been really unhappy with the mid's and high's in my car and knew I was going to continue to be unhappy even if I upgraded the stock sub.

So...after paying a premium price for the premium stock sound system, I'm removing it all. My car's at the shop now and will retrun with the following..

12" Kenwood Subwoofer
Custom box to be installed under the floor and above the spare tire.
New 3 way speakers up front
New door speakers
5Ch Amplifier

I'm not sure of the speaker brands, they were some Italian sounding brand but I'll re-post when I pick up the car. I would normally do a ton of research before dumping money on this stuff, but one of my best friends owns a very popular car stereo shop and I let him design it. We only used the Kenwood sub because it's the lowest profile thing they have in stock that they can hide under the back trunk area AND still keep the spare tire. (not really of fan of Kenwood, but oh well, I've been out of the stero game for 10 years so maybe they're better)

I'll post pics either late tonight or early tomorrow morning.
 

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Was this upgrade completed? I'd be interested in the pics...especially the new head unit (how it fit in there), amp location, and the custom sub box.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry guys, took the car back to the shop to get some dynomat put in the doors. I'll try to get pics up tomorrow when I get it back.

YuDanja - I didn't replace the head unit. That piece is still all in tact and fully functional.

To All - The system sounds absolutely AMAZING. I've worked in the audio visual industry for 12 years so I know good sound when I hear it, and this car freakin rocks. For those of you that are willing to pay $1300 for the premium audio system, save your money and put it towards what I did. I paid $2500 for my set-up and wish I would have never purchased the premium audio.
 

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I see...so you have all your equipment running off your factory head unit?
I'd like to do the same; just add an amp/sub. I just wish I knew which wires to tap into.




Your friend at the stereo shop didn't happen to document the speaker wire colors for our CT, did he?
 

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I would also really like to know how to upgrade and keep the factory head unit. I have the base system and it's terrible!
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Very nice work. Very clean. I was hoping to see the 12" sub, though...wondering how it fit in there.
 

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Lexus CT200h Speaker System Mark Levinson | CT200h Chat

http://www.geardiary.com/2011/02/18/mark-levinson-helps-lexus-celebrate-launch-of-ct200h/

In reality all Lexus sound systems are created by Harmon International, of which Mark Levinson is a division.

While it does not have the name, the sound system is a Mark Levinson created system.

One of the major reason I am purchasing the CT200h is for the sound system. I will not upgrade it.

Badconexun... you state that "I've been really unhappy with the mid's and high's"... yet you replace the subwoofer??? Which only deals with the LOWS

Finally the Original Deck has the "Equalization" (they spend hundred of hours creating this EQ curve)... that is the adjustment of sound volume levels at low, medium, or high frequencies... although much, much more detailed than the simple sub, mid, high control volumes that come with the factory deck. (Home theater receivers use Audessey EQ to do this). By adding more power (power amp) you boost or increase the low frequencies/volume... this in effects destroys the hundreds of hours of work that the Mark Levinson Engineers have spent on creating the sound field in the CT200h.

I would encourage anyone on this blog to listen to the audio system at factory set levels... don't increase bass, etc... the system is design to reproduce the sound as it was intended in the recording studio. You will find that after a week or two... you actually get use to and enjoy the sound from the Audio System... the THUNK, THUNK, of a sub-woofer is artificial distortion added to what you are intended to hear.

Now... I agree and know that a kick-*** sub-woofer is cool thing to have... but really, really folks... it does not make the sound "better"... it just lets you hear the bass "MORE"... and that may be a personal preference for you... there is a certain reassurance in hearing that thunk, thunk... even though the recording artist and engineers did not want you to hear them.

Cheers - Dave
 

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Hi badconexun,

Are you in Houston?
 

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As a music producer/arranger, I have to say that the CT's sound system isn't have everyone. I find it good for classical and jazz standards, acceptable for rock and country, and terrible for R&B and hip hop. It's not so much the lack of bass, but more on the way they EQed the system.

My last car audio setup was a Forester with a double-din Pioneer deck running factory premium speakers. It had a much better soundstage, and the frequency balance was very versatile. This is the probably the one and only thing I'm disappointed about with my CT.

BTW Dubauskas, badconexun didn't just add a sub/amp, he replaced his front setup as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dubauskus - I replaced my front dash speakers and tweeters, along with the front door speakers. All Audison components. The only stock pieces left are....Head Unit, Center Channel Speaker, Rear Door Speakers.

Before my CT I was driving a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and an array of Acuras (2009 TL, 2008 TLS, 2008 MDX, 2008 TSX, 2007 MDX, 2007 TL). I have to admit the CT premium sound system was MY least favorite. It did nothing for me. I will continue to tell people to avoid the $1300 price tag for premium audio and spend that money on an after market speaker/sub setup. I listen to everything but hard rock and heavy rap. Mostly mainstream country, top 40, adult contemporary, and some alternative music. I haven't replaced audio components in any of my cars for the last 6 years, but the CT just wasn't cutting it. Very happy now :)
 

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Hey guys I had the boys here at StreetNoyz of San Diego install an 8" diamond sub with a 400 w Blaupunkt amp. I'm super happy with this installation and feel for me the stereo's quality is now complete.

What's unique about my installation is that the guys at StreetNoyz kept and modified the stock sub enclosure! It looks completely stock and my particular amp works with the factory amp and navigation head unit. The amp is also very small and is mounted flush in the spare tire compartment.

They took there time tweaking the sub so it complimented the stock tuned settings and worked with the factory amplifier. Really happy and if anyone would like I can post photo's.

Fire Agate Pearl / Carmel
Premium w/ Nav
Shark Fin Antenna
HID Lights
F-Sport Wheels Ordered
 

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Hi CTSurfer,

Please post pics!
 

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badconexun - Sounds like a great setup. When you get a chance I would really like to see pictures of the sub install. The thought of getting a shallow mount 12" in the car with no hatch space lost sounds great.
 

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Pretty much did the same thing as you. Only difference was installed cutom setup with Headunit in Center armrest, couldn't do the stock headunit,sounded like crap. Hertz Mille 1600 Fronts, JL12W6V2 sub, dynamatted the all doors and trunk, and using JL HD 900/5 5 Ch amp. This current setup matches my old Focal/JL setup in my older vehicule. I am very happy with it and it sounds phenomenal, I posted about this over 2 weeks ago with pics of the custom setup...
 

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Lexus CT200h Speaker System Mark Levinson | CT200h Chat

Mark Levinson Helps Lexus Celebrate Launch of CT200h|Gear Diary

In reality all Lexus sound systems are created by Harmon International, of which Mark Levinson is a division.

While it does not have the name, the sound system is a Mark Levinson created system.

One of the major reason I am purchasing the CT200h is for the sound system. I will not upgrade it.

Badconexun... you state that "I've been really unhappy with the mid's and high's"... yet you replace the subwoofer??? Which only deals with the LOWS

Finally the Original Deck has the "Equalization" (they spend hundred of hours creating this EQ curve)... that is the adjustment of sound volume levels at low, medium, or high frequencies... although much, much more detailed than the simple sub, mid, high control volumes that come with the factory deck. (Home theater receivers use Audessey EQ to do this). By adding more power (power amp) you boost or increase the low frequencies/volume... this in effects destroys the hundreds of hours of work that the Mark Levinson Engineers have spent on creating the sound field in the CT200h.

I would encourage anyone on this blog to listen to the audio system at factory set levels... don't increase bass, etc... the system is design to reproduce the sound as it was intended in the recording studio. You will find that after a week or two... you actually get use to and enjoy the sound from the Audio System... the THUNK, THUNK, of a sub-woofer is artificial distortion added to what you are intended to hear.

Now... I agree and know that a kick-*** sub-woofer is cool thing to have... but really, really folks... it does not make the sound "better"... it just lets you hear the bass "MORE"... and that may be a personal preference for you... there is a certain reassurance in hearing that thunk, thunk... even though the recording artist and engineers did not want you to hear them.

Cheers - Dave
I'm with you. Being a music teacher with 37 years of studio experiance, I love the strait factory sound of my CT system. I could be in the concert hall with a symphonic orchestra and be equilly satisfied.
Don't be dupted in thinking that more distorted base is better. We hear lots of those in the streets. I feel it is more for show than enjoyment.
Ciaoo
 

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I'm with you. Being a music teacher with 37 years of studio experiance, I love the strait factory sound of my CT system. I could be in the concert hall with a symphonic orchestra and be equilly satisfied.
When I took my CT home from picking it up at the garage, I had the iPod hooked up and streaming music ...

When I got home, I didn't want to get out of the car cos :

a) Home for first time with new toy !
b) Duffy followed by The Cardigans sounded awesome.
(The rest did too but the last two were playing when I pulled in to home)

And now I'm wondering why I listen to nasty AM radio on the way to work instead of taking the iPod in ... :D
 

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@Sleepypete
Did you get the DAB radio option? It sounds great in the north east (Newcastle area). I listen to Planet Roc all the time.
 

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Nah - I got an ex-demo (to save me bursting from waiting months for delivery) so while I got a few trim freebies, no DAB which means no LW in the car for Test Match Special.

But ...

I have a cunning plan. Bluetooth audio from phone, phone streaming radio from internet. It worked on a quick test, first proper test will be on the way home from work on Friday - 1st one day international :) Kinda like DAB+ but hoping that the mobile signal supports the internet radio streaming :)
 
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