Any other music lovers / audiophiles have a plan to upgrade the audio? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Any other music lovers / audiophiles have a plan to upgrade the audio?

Thinking how to upgrade the audio in terms of amp, speakers, and sub. Avoiding ordering the proprietary and usually disappointing Bose. First Chevy and first EV, so appreciate thoughts on this. Looking for a balance of preserving cargo and interior space, decent quality sound - not top end - but with bass and something to make the commuting more tolerable.
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 11:25 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I'm not one for modifying a vehicle so I can't help you in the audio department. The stock speakers can't be that bad, can it?
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Looking forward to this first EV as a lifelong car lover! Every one of my vehicles has had tasteful, and fairly extensive modifications, all with an OEM or OEM+ look. Have redesigned and built front and rear bumpers, track parts, etc. But not for the commuter. I've "only" done engine mods and better tires for the car the Bolt will replace, a VW GTI. Yes, there is plenty of anxiety about how I'll fair in no season low rolling resistance tires, no sport/lowered suspension, or AWD. But first things first! How are the tunes going to sound?? : ) Anything beyond elevator music at low volumes generally requires a better amp and subwoofer of some sort for me. Wonder what's under that trunk floor.... looks like there's plenty of space in there without the (hopefully, future) AWD module and motor behind the battery...
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 09:37 AM
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If you lift up the cargo area floor, it looks like you get and extra 3 inches or depth for cargo? Hard to judge from a picture and it should still be there even in an AWD variant.

From the sounds of your past mod experience, I'm sure you'll be able to easily install a new set of premium speakers in there.
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 09:45 AM
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Maybe go with a false floor setup ?? Should be able to get some nice sound out of some shallow mounts and call it day ? Retain space and still have some bump in your trunk lol
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm thinking one (or two) of the (relatively weak) slim powered subs meant for tight spaces, under seats, etc. Some are only about 2.5" in depth, to mount on the rear seat back or the back of the hatch floor. Looking more for cargo space than boom boom, but definitely some natural bass and some ability to handle tha beats, in conjunction with some decent separates up front. Will be looking for an especially efficient and slim line amplifier.
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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 01:53 AM
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Danger...

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Originally Posted by Boltar View Post
Yeah, I'm thinking one (or two) of the (relatively weak) slim powered subs meant for tight spaces, under seats, etc. Some are only about 2.5" in depth, to mount on the rear seat back or the back of the hatch floor. Looking more for cargo space than boom boom, but definitely some natural bass and some ability to handle tha beats, in conjunction with some decent separates up front. Will be looking for an especially efficient and slim line amplifier.
I initially used an underseat sub in my Ford C-Max and it was awful. There was way too much midbass thanks to factory equalization, and by the time you lowered the crossover point to where it wasn't a problem, you'd gone lower than the tiny underseat box was capable of playing!

Ultimately my setup ended up like this: an Audison Bit Ten sound processor to remove factory EQ and substitute my own EQ (it also gave me line-out for a sub), an amp for the four speakers, an amp for the sub, two pairs of JL Audio component speakers (level 5 I think? nice ones), dynamat in the doors, and a Pioneer pancake sub & enclosure in the back.

Does it sound good? Yes, especially after a year of obsessive EQ tweaking. Does it sound good enough to justify my total expense? Absofreakinglutely not.

If I had to do it again, I'd buy the upgraded factory stereo option, and leave it the heck alone other than perhaps to add a powered sub like a Bazooka, Infinity BassLink, or JL Audio MicroSub.

All that said, I'm curious to see how deep the Bolt's trunk well is, and whether the Bose system includes a sub.
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 09:28 AM
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Haven't had any experience with underseat subs to be honest, but I have heard the slim pioneer sub and it was fairly decent. That being said, to get a clean setup with a clean output, the price is usually unjustifiable lol, it's always a major hit that you wish you didn't take but you did anyways.

The depth of the trunk and space available is really what's going to make the difference. Maybe something like an oem audio plus setup in the corner or something ?

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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Electro View Post
Haven't had any experience with underseat subs to be honest, but I have heard the slim pioneer sub and it was fairly decent. That being said, to get a clean setup with a clean output, the price is usually unjustifiable lol, it's always a major hit that you wish you didn't take but you did anyways.

The depth of the trunk and space available is really what's going to make the difference. Maybe something like an oem audio plus setup in the corner or something ?

Since all I care for is sound quality along with just wanting to hear detailed bass, going for something like this shallow mount subwoofer from Pioneer might be it for me:





That along with upgrading the speakers and tweeters in the door should help for overall bass while maintaining quality.

No sound competition setup here

My Bowties:
~ 2013 Cruze LTZ
~ 2004 Express 2500 Extended (work vehicle)
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 09:08 AM
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Replacing the existing speakers and tweeters is going to be the more economical choice for a better sound, feel like extreme sound mod costs too much to be worth it unless you plan to sell a car for profit.
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