Help - my stereo is disappointing in 2012 Mustang CS - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011 Thread Starter
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Help - my stereo is disappointing in 2012 Mustang CS

Well, my 2012 CS convertible finally arrived and it is a beaut!!! The only disappointment thus far appears to be the stereo. When you turn up the volume past half there is considerable distortion which is not cool. I had considered upgrading to the Shaker 1000 but decided against it after reading some of the posts in this forum. Unfortunately, my system does not appear to have sufficient power to play tunes at a reasonable level when riding with the top down. So, my questions are: (1) could I get a Ford upgrade to the Shaker 1000 now and is it much better, or (2) can I get an aftermarket amp which would boost the power and give the system a much purer sound. If I could do it over again I would have paid the $1,000 for the upgrade, but, looking for some solutions now. Thanks.


2012 California Special Convertible / Ebony Black / 5.0 liter / MT-82 / GT500 Axle Backs with resonator delete / Steeda Tri-Ax shifter & base bushing / Airaid CAI / BMR LCAs / BMR Relocation Brackets / BMR Adjustable UCA & Bracket / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar / Steeda Sport Springs / GT500 Strut Mounts / Koni STR.Ts / Shaker 500 with Infinity 6832CFs / Redline hood strut / Redline leather shifter & E-brake boots
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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If you are an audiophile then the sound system in the Mustangs is an absolute travesty. Upgrading to the Shaker 1000 will not help you. The main problem is with the speakers and not necessarily the head unit, so at a minimum I would recommend some good aftermarket speakers.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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for a guy like me that is cool with the radio, a burned CD, or hooking in an ipod, I find the system fine.

But....
I am not an audiophile. I find the base stereo system in any car a dream compared to my single under the dash speakers in my old cars.

For someone that finds a great stereo system important, I totally get why you would prefer to optional upgrades.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryyf View Post
Well, my 2012 CS convertible finally arrived and it is a beaut!!! The only disappointment thus far appears to be the stereo. When you turn up the volume past half there is considerable distortion which is not cool. I had considered upgrading to the Shaker 1000 but decided against it after reading some of the posts in this forum. Unfortunately, my system does not appear to have sufficient power to play tunes at a reasonable level when riding with the top down. So, my questions are: (1) could I get a Ford upgrade to the Shaker 1000 now and is it much better, or (2) can I get an aftermarket amp which would boost the power and give the system a much purer sound. If I could do it over again I would have paid the $1,000 for the upgrade, but, looking for some solutions now. Thanks.
The only difference between the 500 and the 1000 is the two additional subs and amp in the trunk. The rest of the system will sound the exact same. At a minimum to improve the sound you will need to upgrade front 5x7 speakers and add a new amp, and add a sub or subs in the trunk with a minimum 500watts. when the top is down the subs in the trunk become far less effective than with the top up. Having a separate remote gain for the sub amp becomes important for tuning the volume between top up and top down. you will need one LOC to get the sub signal from the amp in the drivers front kick panel and another one to get the signal from the front speakers in the amp in the trunk.

2012 GT CS Ingot Silver Vert, Edelbrock E-force supercharger with CAI and 3.5 Pulley, Tremec T-56 Mag, Accufab 84.5, Centerforce DF, Billet Yoke aluminum driveshaft, FRPP 3.73 Rear, MRT Performance H-pipe, Bassani axle backs, JL Audio sound, Edelbrock strut tower brace, JPC adjustable UCA, UMI adjustable panhard bar, KW V3 coilovers, Steeda heavy duty front mounts, Steeda rear LCA's, 20" Steeda Spyders with Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Steeda Big Brake Kit ....... it just keeps going.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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I would recommend starting with a 4 channel amp (50 rms per channel) with your factory speakers. If that's still not the sound you're looking for start upgrading your speakers. I would say go to Crutchfield: Car Stereo, Speakers, Home Theater, LCD TV, Digital Cameras and start looking around.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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I think that when you see how most guys really find an improvement with just replacing the speakers, that tells you that the signal quality of the head unit and the factory amps are relatively clean. The problem with the verts, is they require alot more power than stock to be heard with the top down. Putting 50 watts rms to the factory speakers will blow them up in no time.

If you are looking for sound quality with the top down, your minimal option is replacing both speakers and amplification. Adding subs in the trunk will give your music that fullness that it so desperately lacks with the top down right now. If you own a vert and have a shaker 500, you know exactly how different and lacking the depth of the sound is with the top down.

2012 GT CS Ingot Silver Vert, Edelbrock E-force supercharger with CAI and 3.5 Pulley, Tremec T-56 Mag, Accufab 84.5, Centerforce DF, Billet Yoke aluminum driveshaft, FRPP 3.73 Rear, MRT Performance H-pipe, Bassani axle backs, JL Audio sound, Edelbrock strut tower brace, JPC adjustable UCA, UMI adjustable panhard bar, KW V3 coilovers, Steeda heavy duty front mounts, Steeda rear LCA's, 20" Steeda Spyders with Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Steeda Big Brake Kit ....... it just keeps going.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011
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Now, I think my Shaker 1000 sounds absolutely fantastic. But then again, I'm not too into having perfect sound for my music. My Saturn Ion had only 16 watts so upgrading to the Shaker 1000 is a HUGE gain for me. It has pretty good bass for me, my Shaker 1000 shakes every damn window on my car and makes my trunk shake violently, which is very noticeable.. Even one of my friends made me play some Waka Flaka bull**** against my will and he said my sound system was "sick", which I'm guessing was a good thing. And a couple months ago, I even had some black guy at a stop light give me a thumbs up because of my Shaker. I mean, I was playing some Screamo, but still, it had major bass in the song. Metallica's song One, now that song I love jamming to with the speakers on high. But kids at my school have aftermarket amps and subs that are so much better. To be honest, I'm more into exhaust than a speaker system.

If you're an audiophile, then get aftermarket. I wont be replacing mine and I like it, but aftermarket would be better for your situation. Especially since you say you have a convertible.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011
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see if you like anything on this page Sound System

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011
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I'm thinking about getting a pretty solid JL Audio system. Planning to get:

1 Mustang Stealthbox: Ford Mustang Coupe '10-Up - JL Audio

1 C5-653 3-piece-per-side component speaker setup (for front... will require some custom brackets): C5-653 - Car Audio - Evolution® - C5 - Component Systems - JL Audio

1 C5-570x 1-piece-per-side coaxial speaker setup (for rear): C5-570x - Car Audio - Evolution® - C5 - Coaxial Systems - JL Audio

1 HD750/1 amp (for sub and rears... maybe I'll need the 1200 :\): HD750/1 - Car Audio - Amplifiers - HD - JL Audio

1 HD600/4 amp (for front speakers): HD600/4 - Car Audio - Amplifiers - HD - JL Audio

1 Cleansweep (for flattening stock EQ curve): CL441dsp - Car Audio - OEM Interface - OEM Integration - JL Audio

I'd be pulling out the stock door subs because the Stealthbox should be more than enough bass, and be *better* bass, and also I've heard leaving them in can cause cancellation issues with the Stealthbox. The C5-653 6.5" mid-bass speakers would then go in the place where the door subs used to be.

If anyone sees a problem with this configuration feel free to tell me... I'm not very knowledgeable on car audio.

2012 Mustang GT Premium (Manual), Sterling Gray, Brembo Package, 3.73 gears, Electronics Package, Comfort Package, HIDs, backup camera, Koni Yellows, Steeda Sport springs, Steeda HD mounts, UMI panhard bar, Borla S-Type catbacks, MGW shifter, Driveshaft Shop carbon fiber driveshaft, RTR wheels, Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Roush front fascia, DG Custom hidden fog billet grille, Roush lower billet grille, Roush front and side splitters, DG Custom quarter window louvers, GT500 rear diffuser
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By the way, a far more cost effective approach than I just listed would be to substitute in the C3 and C2 speakers for the C5 speakers I have listed above... they're like half the price, dropping the price by a good $600-$800.

C3s/C2s have better bang for the buck. I just listed the C5s as a pretty premium setup... doubt it's worth the amount it costs But I'm an audiophile.

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I picked up some Boston Accustics SE85 5x7s for my door speakers after reading several reviews here on AFM. The first thing I noticed was a heavy treble bias, but also extreme clarity. I turned down the treble a bit to match the stock door subs, and I have been enjoying the sound for the past 6 months.

I am a musician and audiophile but have never spent serious money on a car stereo, just home electronics. However even with this simple setup the stock audio system has been a real pleasure.
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BTW, don't go to "Crutchfield and look around". Go to a local car audio dealer and listen. How the hell else are you gonna find what sounds good? Looking vs. listening. Hmm....

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I thought the music was under the hood? Seriously though, I have the shaker 5oo and it seems to have plenty of volume, just sounds muddy on some songs. I getting buzzing (as in blown speaker) when listening to talk radio. I am going to be upgrading the door 5x7 to Alphine S very soon and dyno matting the door subs, hopefully this will cure the buzzing and add definition and clarity.

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I replaced the door speakers with some $100 kicker ks68 speakers and it made a HUGE difference. Very happy now with modest investment.

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I've done some upgrades to my base stereo and everything is much better. XM and radio is still a little disappointing, but Pandora and CDs sound great. This issue has nothing to do with the equipment as xm and radio have lousy signal quality.


Received 7/2/10: 11' GT base with 3.73,
Installed: Steeda CAI, SCT, Steeda tune, GT500 axlebacks, SVT leather wheel, Infinity Kappas, Boston amp, Bazooka powered sub, yellow fog light bulbs, dark front corner lights, GT500 splash guards, tint, SVE Drift matte 18"x9" wheels with 265/40s and SVE 1" drop springs, Koni Yellow, HP+ pads, brake duct coolers with CS front lower and splitter
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