Stealth audio upgrade suggestions for my 08 LT (non-bose) - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

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Old 10-10-2018, 03:13 PM
kcducttaper kcducttaper is offline
Junior Member
2008 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 23
Stealth audio upgrade suggestions for my 08 LT (non-bose)

Basically, as the title says, I'm looking for some stealth audio upgrade to stick in my 08 SWB non-bose TB. When I bought it, it had some Kenwood Road Series 6.5" in the front and rear doors. The head unit was awful, so I quickly swapped that out for a Pioneer double-din unit.

My current problem is that, I've EQ-ed the snot out of it to sound reasonable (massive cut at 100-200Hz and ~7dB boost under 80Hz), but I'm getting bass distortion even at moderate listening levels (roughly talking volume ~75dB). Estimating it out in my head, the speakers have a 90dB/w sensitivity, and my amp pushes 14w rms. That should be more than enough wattage to at least sound full at ~85dB by the time you take into account 4 drivers and cabin gain. When I check my cone movement, it doesn't look to be anywhere near xmax. I'm wondering what are some options to increase my sound quality (specifically low-end) without sacrificing any trunk space.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:31 AM
chasnsx chasnsx is offline
Junior Member
2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Black 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: May 2008
Location: The O.C., CA
Posts: 82
14 Watts rms is not a lot for a mid size SUV even if you have really efficient speakers. The other problem is, speakers designed for a car tend to sound smaller inside of an SUV sized interior. To add to this, the acres of plastic inside a Trailblazer create a lot of acoustic dead spots that the sound just disappears into.

Really you need at least 40 Watts x 4 plus 150 Watts to a 10 inch subwoofer to have a system that doesn’t sound like it is straining to fill your interior. And this is at a minimum.

First, get a small four channel amp and hide it under a rear seat or under the glovebox or in the center console. Wire it to the four door speakers.

Second, add two 3.5 inch coax speakers in the dash. The cutouts should already be there under the defroster panel. This will greatly brighten your front sound stage. Wire them in parallel with the front door speakers, but make sure your four channel amp is stable at 2 ohms.

Third, add a subwoofer amp and a single 10 inch subwoofer in a box that fits into the rear side panel. Several manufacturers make these boxes and they are not too expensive for an unloaded MDF box. They also take up very little space.

These three things will give you a stealth system that delivers the crash, bang, boom when you crank it.
The Trailblazer EXT is great for hauling bonsai trees:
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:12 AM
kcducttaper kcducttaper is offline
Junior Member
2008 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 23
Thanks for the tips! Though, I think our definitions of 'minimum' are different. I build my own speakers and built a 10" for my computer setup that would be absolutely way overkill for a TB. At 20Hz (yes, it goes that low), it literally shakes the floor up and down! However, I'm not interested in volumes like that in my vehicles. For example, I drove a '94 minivan with stock 4x 7 watt speakers that easily had more low end thump than my TB. I'm not cranking to silly levels or anything. It just doesn't have a decent low end at all - even at low volumes.

I'm wondering about getting some 6.5" subs for the rear doors and adding the dash speakers up front since I hardly ever have the radio on with other people in the car. My concern with that would be there's essentially no enclosure for the subs and they would be simulating an infinite baffle setup.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:17 PM
RPatton76 RPatton76 is offline
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2008 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Imperial Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 29
I heard that stock Bose stuff has 8" front door speakers (woofers). Sony used to make an 8" coaxial, long ago, not sure if anyone else does. I definitely don't think you'd get near Xmax with 14 watts. I have the Bose stuff and want to upgrade, but I don't know for sure if there are amps "in" my speakers, or only what is under the back seat, or elsewhere. I know someone makes a sub-box that fits by the back corner and at Crutchfield, they show pods to put more speakers by your feet as well. I like the idea of better dash speakers instead of simply tweeters there.

Rob in AZ <--- Stock CD player is dead & I want to keep steering wheel controls, RSE, satellite stuff, etc.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:32 AM
kcducttaper kcducttaper is offline
Junior Member
2008 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 23
Oh, really? Hmm.... If the Bose stuff has 8" in the doors, I bet I could totally get by with a set of decent coaxials and an amp. As mentioned, I don't need to be heard 3 blocks away or anything. Just good bass definition at highway speeds is about all I'm after.

I build home speakers as a hobby and wonder if I could even use some of those drivers instead of the (let's face it) junk that the big car audio brands are putting out at similar price points. Some have mentioned that the drivers use different materials to handle the hot/cold and humidity stuff, so I may have to look into that a bit more. At the very least, I could get some components and whip up a crossover for them if need be.

I've seen that sub box. It's expensive!!!
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:35 AM
SSdriver3's Avatar
SSdriver3 SSdriver3 is offline
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Trailblazer 4.2 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Black 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 11
Sub box $78, $140 w kicker 12"
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