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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It turns out that my one week old escape limited with moon and "premium" tunes isn't quite so premium. In fact I was questioning myself if there was actually something wrong with the stereo. The bass set 3 notches past center and anything past half way with the treble would be extremely tinny. It turns out that there is something majorly wrong. I tested a CD in my friends 2010 limited and the bass is much more fuller, and the treble is much much cleaner with mid range. sounds like a totally different system. I actually ordered new Boston Acoustic S85's and some sound deadening material because I was so frustrated, I will install everything anyway once it is fixed, now at least it would appear that there would be ALLOT more power to play with than there is now.

I called the dealer and they told me to get it in, and they will take care of it ASAP since it is a brand new vehicle.

What could actually be wrong, to me it sounds under powered and distorted. could it be the head unit, the amp, or a shorted out speaker?

I'm curious and think this thread could be helpful to others with the premium 7 speaker 320 watt option with problems.
 

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I'm still wondering where they get the "320 watt" figure from. I have a 2010 XLT with the 7-speaker "320 watt" premium (snicker) stereo system and the stock stereo that came in my wife's car (A 2002 Samsung SM5) is just as loud/clear as the stereo in my Escape.
 

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shanes said:
It turns out that my one week old escape limited with moon and "premium" tunes isn't quite so premium. In fact I was questioning myself if there was actually something wrong with the stereo. The bass set 3 notches past center and anything past half way with the treble would be extremely tinny. It turns out that there is something majorly wrong. I tested a CD in my friends 2010 limited and the bass is much more fuller, and the treble is much much cleaner with mid range. sounds like a totally different system. I actually ordered new Boston Acoustic S85's and some sound deadening material because I was so frustrated, I will install everything anyway once it is fixed, now at least it would appear that there would be ALLOT more power to play with than there is now.

I called the dealer and they told me to get it in, and they will take care of it ASAP since it is a brand new vehicle.

What could actually be wrong, to me it sounds under powered and distorted. could it be the head unit, the amp, or a shorted out speaker?

I'm curious and think this thread could be helpful to others with the premium 7 speaker 320 watt option with problems.
Well it sounds like you are comparing apples to apples here, with your stock system vs. your friend (with the same vehicle essentially.) The vehicles should have the exact same audio package, as long as you have the subwoofer and he does too. The rest is identical. There are other settings that may affect the sound, like the speed/volume compensator, and the speaker presence location feature (which is a gimmick but I digress.) That said, stock sucks and sucks hard, so upgrading is highly recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My friend has the same exact system in his truck, so as it seems there is a definite problem. The service manager heard it and agrees that it sounds like ***. Tomorrow its getting dropped off and getting a new head unit put in.

4thmeal, I totally agree with you that stock sucks, but this system in the ford isn't that bad since it has a few nice features like sync, ipod, and sirius. I returned the cheaper BA S85 speakers and ordered the JL C2 570's, and will be sound deadening all the doors next weekend I hope.

I am usually all about gutting all the stock stuff, but money says "no" at least for now. I'm sure once the truck is a year old, I'll have some high end components, nice JL amps, and something comparable to a CDX-c90 with dual Burr Brown dac's in the dash. I also used to love my old Eclipse 8454, I tell you I love the looks of that new Pioneer DEX-P99rs. I unfortunately like a Garmin nav over an in dash because it's much easier to see without looking down at the center stack, so I probably wont get a nav deck. So I know I'll be joansing for premo sound but I have to tell myself I must wait lol plus I dont want to get my car broken into. the way the economy is these days it is more of a reality.
 

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fourthmeal said:
That said, stock sucks and sucks hard, so upgrading is highly recommended.
Something about that line just strikes me funny.
:rockon:

I had the base stocker. So I was even below sucking hard. Agreed that the functions like Sync, Aux and USB is cool. But when the sound output is very poor, the best sound going in really doesn't matter. I started with just upgrading the fronts and about 4 months later I had replaced everything, added 2 amps and a sub. It gets very addicting. Just new fronts and sound proofing will make a noticeable difference.
 

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Please post your results. I'm pretty much in the same boat with the added issue of a bad AUX jack. Anything I plug into the jack is very weak and often only coming out the right side. That's with trying 3 different patch cables. Pretty aggravating considering the Premium Sound in my 05 blows the 2010 away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nomad60 said:
I'm still wondering where they get the "320 watt" figure from. I have a 2010 XLT with the 7-speaker "320 watt" premium (snicker) stereo system and the stock stereo that came in my wife's car (A 2002 Samsung SM5) is just as loud/clear as the stereo in my Escape.
That would be all PEAK power, at the extreme output. I bet it is about 100 watts rms total including subwoofer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You are so right, the stock sound is crap. The sad thing is that a little sound deadening, slighty better speakers and a little more power could make it worlds more tolerable. Can't wait to do the stinger roadkill mat and jl c2's tomorrow and just hoping it will be on par with the HK system I had in the mini Cooper, which wasn't as good as quality aftermarket, but it was a decent sounding system that wasn't totally begging for an upgrade. It's just that the Europeans put in better stock systems, but you pay for that like anything else. I already see myself doing an amp, sub and component speaker upgrade with the ole income tax return in the spring.

Fourthmeal' what's your take on those 3sixty, cleansweep processors to clean up the sq of the stock hu output for the amps? Is it worth it if I want to keep the stock system for prying eye avoidance, keeping sync, and Sirius? Can these processors really do a nice job or is it crap, I know. Alpine makes one with imprint tech and all.
 

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shanes said:
You are so right, the stock sound is crap. The sad thing is that a little sound deadening, slighty better speakers and a little more power could make it worlds more tolerable. Can't wait to do the stinger roadkill mat and jl c2's tomorrow and just hoping it will be on par with the HK system I had in the mini Cooper, which wasn't as good as quality aftermarket, but it was a decent sounding system that wasn't totally begging for an upgrade. It's just that the Europeans put in better stock systems, but you pay for that like anything else. I already see myself doing an amp, sub and component speaker upgrade with the ole income tax return in the spring.

Fourthmeal' what's your take on those 3sixty, cleansweep processors to clean up the sq of the stock hu output for the amps? Is it worth it if I want to keep the stock system for prying eye avoidance, keeping sync, and Sirius? Can these processors really do a nice job or is it crap, I know. Alpine makes one with imprint tech and all.
Buy the JBL MS8, don't look back. Unless of course you want to buy MY 3sixty.2 and let me purchase an MS8 instead. The extra cost (if any) is well paid for because the MS8 is noise-free, more accurate, and easier to use.

Alternately, you can run a Kenwood X4R (internal processor), or on the other end of cost, a Zapco DC amp which has built-in processing as well.

But the MS8 can be found relatively cheaply out there on the net, it has a whopping 8ch's of signal ability, and even 20W of power per channel for things like rear speakers or maybe even tweeters, so that's a big plus.

PS, speaking of Harmon Kardon, guess who makes JBL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
fourthmeal said:
shanes said:
You are so right, the stock sound is crap. The sad thing is that a little sound deadening, slighty better speakers and a little more power could make it worlds more tolerable. Can't wait to do the stinger roadkill mat and jl c2's tomorrow and just hoping it will be on par with the HK system I had in the mini Cooper, which wasn't as good as quality aftermarket, but it was a decent sounding system that wasn't totally begging for an upgrade. It's just that the Europeans put in better stock systems, but you pay for that like anything else. I already see myself doing an amp, sub and component speaker upgrade with the ole income tax return in the spring.

Fourthmeal' what's your take on those 3sixty, cleansweep processors to clean up the sq of the stock hu output for the amps? Is it worth it if I want to keep the stock system for prying eye avoidance, keeping sync, and Sirius? Can these processors really do a nice job or is it crap, I know. Alpine makes one with imprint tech and all.
Buy the JBL MS8, don't look back. Unless of course you want to buy MY 3sixty.2 and let me purchase an MS8 instead. The extra cost (if any) is well paid for because the MS8 is noise-free, more accurate, and easier to use.

Alternately, you can run a Kenwood X4R (internal processor), or on the other end of cost, a Zapco DC amp which has built-in processing as well.

But the MS8 can be found relatively cheaply out there on the net, it has a whopping 8ch's of signal ability, and even 20W of power per channel for things like rear speakers or maybe even tweeters, so that's a big plus.

PS, speaking of Harmon Kardon, guess who makes JBL.
Thanks Fourth,

The Kenwood X4r with an AudioControl LOC would probably be the most affordable way to go I would think. That JBL looks really nice but $700 is out of budget, and Zapco, that is premo stuff. I see it comming, like Sinister said and I'm very familure. Yes this stuff is very addicting :D . I remember with the Honda Element I used to have I went from a Pioneer deck to a few Eclipse units since the CD sound was so clear, and 6-7 years ago they had a few nice ones out CD8443, 8454, 8455, then I tried a really nice used CDX-C90 Sony ES which in my opinion was the best CD player ever created. I remember those days were allot of fun but allot of $$$ spent as well, Thank god the decks all had great resale value, especially the Eclipse stuff since their stuff could only be had at small high end shops back in the day. Once we are spoiled with great SQ its all over. I guess the only way I would be pretty happy with stock would be to get a Lexus with the Mark Levinson, or a Jag XJ with the Bowers and Wilkins system, both I heard, and both are very good for what you get. Why Ford has to cheeseball us with crap even for an upgraded system. Maybe they would sell more cars if they teamed up JBL again and put an exceptional stock system in their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
4thmeal, I got all four doors sound deadened, I pretty much covered the inner skin, and strategically placed pieces on the outer skin, also reused the buttle stuff from the moisture barrier for impact beam and such. After that I installed the JL's WOW huge difference in bass response and overall better sound, BUT I want more. Looking like the purchase of a LOC, processor, or that Kenwood you were talking about with the processing built in.

In your opinion, were you happy with the processed sound of the stock HU. Personally I like smooth lush sound, and not a harsh digital overly crisp sound. can this be done or is the preamp and 99 cent DAC a real bottle neck here? I know if the volume is turned past 60% it's crap past that point, so i'm guessing even with a real amp and processor backend there would be a volume % limitation as well. If can get decent sound up to 59.999% that would be fine, I just don't want to shell out a grand for a nav deck yet.
 

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shanes said:
I got all four doors sound deadened.... After that I installed the JL's WOW huge difference in bass response and overall better sound.
Shanes, I checked out some of your latest posts and see you've now swapped out your HU. But I'm considering what you did for your first step (sound deadening + JL C2s only with the stock premium HU). Just curious if the sensitivity of the JL C2-750x was noticably any different than the stocks? Did you notice any decrease in output at the same volume levels when you jumped to the C2s? Also, I see fourth usually just recommends swapping out the fronts and leaving the rears stock but it looks like you swapped out all four. Would you still swap all four if doing it again?

TIA,

Bruce...

2010 Mariner Premier with factory nav/premium sound
 

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I had C2 5x7 in all fours running off of deck power with deadening. It sounded cleaner than the stockers, but I don't think it was notably louder. It had a fuller sound, but some of that was the deadening (before I did the MLV/CCF) and some of that was the speakers. After going with power to the speakers they sounded a LOT better.

But the XLT stock radio really needs to replaced to get a good sound. I personally like a bit of rear fill to blend in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Brucem3,

Like Sinister said, The stock deck needs to go. I ran the C2's off stock HU power for maybe 2 weeks and couldn't wait any longer. Yes i sounded a bit cleaner and definitely fuller, mostly because of the dampening material. Main problem is the fact that there are no mid-range freq's , and the highs are crappy. The stock HU just doesn't have the quality electronics which could make this happen. Hip Hop or club music might sound decent with the better speakers, but forget Metallica, it will sound like *** :stop: :shrug:

Currently, I am running the AVIC 920bt with no aftermarket amp except the factory sub and its teeny weenie amp, C2's up front with stockers in the back. It is amazing how much better an aftermarket deck running 14 watts rms can sound louder and cleaner than the stock 320 watt system lol. I do have a set of C3's that are going up in the front, also the C2's will be moved to the back. Probably in the spring an amp. and better 8" sub in the stock enclosure will be in the works.

As you can see.. this all can be addicting, and you are better off cutting to the chase and ruling out the stock HU completely, if anything the C2's are a good choice for both the stock HU, and an aftermarket HU with amp. You might want to consider something like the C3 components for the front, which seem efficient enough for deck power and great for an amp.
 

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Hmmmm...

I was seriously thinking about putting Alpine SPR-57C's in the front and replacing the stock sub with a Kicker CVT84 in my 2010 until I get back to the states but after reading and re-reading a lot of these threads, I don't know if it'll be money well spent. I'm not mechanically inclined so tearing apart doors, dashboards etc isn't someting I'd be willing to try, especially with a new vehicle. But the sound quality of the "premium sound system" is pretty horrible so I was hoping that at least the aforementioned upgrades would help out some.
Does anyone know if the Kicker sub would be a straight plug and play replacement or would I need new connectors from the stock amp to the sub? Also, is the stock a 2 or 4 ohm?
 
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