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Stock vs. aftermarket sound quality

 
  #1  
Old 02-06-2019, 07:31 PM
NoSecCatfish
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Default Stock vs. aftermarket sound quality

OK, maybe it's me, maybe I have terrible luck, or maybe something is just absolutely wrong with my ears.

Early last year I bought a new '18 Road Glide Special. I had a place in Daytona Beach install a Rockford Fosgate amp and Hertz speakers in the fairing (don't remember the exact model #, but I think they were MPX 165.3's). They also flashed the radio. Basically from the ride home up until I traded in that bike, I was very unimpressed with the system as a whole. It lacked bass/low end compared to the stock system, and just seemed shrill and harsh at higher volumes. I did tweak on the gain levels and crossover points but couldn't ever make it sound "right." It would play loud, but the sound quality of the stock components seemed better. I traded that bike along with my wife's Street Rod 750 on a '19 Breakout for her.

In July I picked up an '18 Street Glide Special. I had the dealer do some misc. stuff before delivery, so I figured I'd have them install a Boom! audio amp and the Boom stage II fairing speakers. After picking the bike up, it was far from impressive and seemed to lack the depth and sound quality of the stock components, and on top of that it didn't have impressive volume and at the higher volume levels it was so shrill and harsh that it was just torturous to listen to.

So fast forward to now... I traded the Street Glide on a '19 Road Glide Special in the Scorched Orange/Black color scheme. I was very impressed with the new GTS radio, and was somewhat impressed with the quality of the stock audio, it just lacked clarity at higher volume levels so it didn't do the greatest at interstate speeds. I've heard mostly good things about the Rockford Fosgate kits, so I decided to try one out. I've seen in a couple of places where Rockford Fosgate claims the GTS radios don't need a flash, so that was a bonus. Well, I installed everything this afternoon and just fired it up in the garage to check it out. Guess what? Same lack of low end as both other "upgrade" systems I've had, and the same harsh mids/highs I had with the original Road Glide install I had done. I pulled the amp back out and again played with the crossover points as well as the gain, but to me it still sounds horrible no matter what I do, especially considering the $900 cost. Luckily I bought the Fosgate kit from Amazon, so I believe I'm going to just put it all back to stock and return the Fosgate stuff for a refund.

I'm going to stick with the stock stuff for the time being, as I'm tired of being disappointed time and again. I don't want to try and mess with a bunch of different combinations of components to try and figure out what sounds good and what's going to work well together. Maybe I'll try and check out some upgraded systems at some bike shows or something and try again in the future, but I'm just completely frustrated at this point. I know that two 6.5" speakers are never going to have deep pounding bass, but the stock system sounds quite decent to me provided that I don't max out the volume. Why then do these aftermarket systems all (from my limited experience) sound so bad? I didn't expect the worlds greatest sound with the Fosgate kit, but I sure hoped it would at least equal the stock setup.

Last thing before anyone suggests it, I did verify polarity of the new speakers and they are both correct. I know what the speakers being 180deg. out of phase with each other will do to your lower end sounds.

 
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:43 PM
Fullbore55
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Lots of tries, sorry you didn’t find better satisfaction.
Did you have stock HU flashed, or use line levelers or DSP?

I replaced boom and speakers in my ‘18 RG and added an amp, and found substantial improvement over stock.
 
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2019, 07:53 PM
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More times than not the flash just isn't enough to overcome and a DSP is needed to help tune the system. The RF amp is mediocre but their speakers flat out suck no matter what you do. The first setup you had with the Hertz speakers would've done a lot better had you not flashed the HU and used a Biketronics Line Leveler instead. Don't give up now, you've just made some uninformed poor choices.
 
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:59 PM
marcodarq
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what part of florida are you in? maybe you could come and check out some of mine or Alex's stuff?
m
 
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:05 PM
NoSecCatfish
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Originally Posted by SBates08 View Post
More times than not the flash just isn't enough to overcome and a DSP is needed to help tune the system. The RF amp is mediocre but their speakers flat out suck no matter what you do. The first setup you had with the Hertz speakers would've done a lot better had you not flashed the HU and used a Biketronics Line Leveler instead. Don't give up now, you've just made some uninformed poor choices.
I was trying to save time/effort and go with a ready to go kit. I've considered the BT line leveler, but I'm just afraid of setting myself up for further disappointment. I will agree on your statement of the RF speakers. I completely unplugged the RF amp and hooked just the RF speakers up to the stock radio, and they sounded poor.
 
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:06 PM
NoSecCatfish
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Originally Posted by marcodarq View Post
what part of florida are you in? maybe you could come and check out some of mine or Alex's stuff?
m
I'm in central Florida (Melbourne area).
 
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:08 PM
packmen21
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Originally Posted by Fullbore55 View Post
Lots of tries, sorry you didnít find better satisfaction.
Did you have stock HU flashed, or use line levelers or DSP?

I replaced boom and speakers in my Ď18 RG and added an amp, and found substantial improvement over stock.
+1
 
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:27 AM
Wam
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You need a DSP and some quality components. I went through numerous setups and while some was good, way better than stock, they still didn't have the clarity and volume. I decided I would try Peter Jenson at Soundz. I am very happy with what he did. Now it's not cheap but he stands behind it. He is in Daytona, go by and listen to his stuff. I am hoping to meet Haze and the guy at lucky 7 while in Daytona to do some comparison. I think what I have is going to be hard to beat. But I'm open to being shown.
 
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:20 PM
NoSecCatfish
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Originally Posted by Wam View Post
You need a DSP and some quality components. I went through numerous setups and while some was good, way better than stock, they still didn't have the clarity and volume. I decided I would try Peter Jenson at Soundz. I am very happy with what he did. Now it's not cheap but he stands behind it. He is in Daytona, go by and listen to his stuff. I am hoping to meet Haze and the guy at lucky 7 while in Daytona to do some comparison. I think what I have is going to be hard to beat. But I'm open to being shown.
Thanks Wam, I will have to check out Soundz... If nothing else I will get to enjoy a nice ride up to Daytona.
 
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wam View Post
You need a DSP and some quality components. I went through numerous setups and while some was good, way better than stock, they still didn't have the clarity and volume. I decided I would try Peter Jenson at Soundz. I am very happy with what he did. Now it's not cheap but he stands behind it. He is in Daytona, go by and listen to his stuff. I am hoping to meet Haze and the guy at lucky 7 while in Daytona to do some comparison. I think what I have is going to be hard to beat. But I'm open to being shown.
Im down for a wager if the meet up happens. Let me know
 

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