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Old 25th July 2007, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Radio Sounds Great, CDs Sound Terrible

Hello,

I have a 2006 Ford Focus with factory head unit that has a 6 disc CD changer. I recently replaced the factory speakers with my own DIYs with Peerless woofers and SEAS tweeters, plus installed an Alpine 4 channel amp.

When I listen to my satellite radio, the music is clean, smooth and clear, just the way I like it. But when I play CDs on the head unit they sound overly bright and harsh in the mids and highs - very metallic.

What could cause this? Could the electronics in the head unit/CD player do it? The DAC? I've never experienced this before and since the speakers sound so nice with the radio I can't imagine it's them.

Any/all advice would be helpful and I'll be happy to supply and additional requested info.
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Old 27th July 2007, 03:05 AM   #2
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Did this just happen when you replaced the speakers and did the amp?
Iv'e seen this happen at our shop... the problem is that the factory head unit used some sort of DSP and uses that to correct for the craptacular factory speakers. Now that you have decent speakers you get to hear the factory head unit in all it's glory.
The reason why it sounds good on radio and not on cd, is because A) the dsp is only active during cd opporation, or B) the dsp is on all the time and radio sounds good becasue it's all compressed, same as xm.. sorry it's comressed. CD's are not, as much.
The solution.. new head unit.
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Old 27th July 2007, 03:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. "Did this just happen when you replaced the speakers and did the amp?"

Well yes, I'm pretty sure - I did play CDs on it with the craptory speakers before installing the new ones & amp, and I don't recall hearing much difference, but that could be just because the originals were so bad the difference was inaudible.

I hadn't considered the possibility of built-in DSP- I haven't read anything about it but it's possible it pumps in a huge amount of mids & highs to compensate for the low fidelity of the standard units.

I'd like to get an aftermarket head unit anyway - if it doesn't change the sound I'll know to work on the speakers - I'd just like to have a better sound system all around.

While we're on this subject, are the head unit & CD changer separate pieces? Will an aftermarket unit just plug into the existing changer? If not I don't mind ditching it - it's a pain to use & I don't need more than one anyway. I'm also a little concerned about the auxillary volume controls I have on my steering column - wondering if they will still work or if they have a unique connection to the factory unit that the aftermarket one won't have.

Thanks again.
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Old 27th July 2007, 06:05 AM   #4
ppia600 is offline ppia600  United States
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Wow I'm amazed the satellite radio sounded good in the first place.. DSR has become progressively more compressed and even more metallic over the years, I stopped listening back in 02 I believe
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Old 3rd August 2007, 05:18 AM   #5
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depending on your cd changer and choice of head unit.. they will plug into eachother. And Periphial makes a peice so that you can keep your stering weel controls.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by j_dunavin
depending on your cd changer and choice of head unit.. they will plug into eachother. And Periphial makes a peice so that you can keep your stering weel controls.
Thanks J - got a website/retailer for Peripheral?
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