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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I am very pleased with the Harmon Kardon Premium sound option at high volume. The sub woofer really kicks in and the quality is deep, rich and powerful. However, at low and medium volume levels, it sounds pretty blah. Hard to hear the separation and the lows. I remember researching the system here and I believe a few members suggested having the dealer tweek the db's or gain on the sub. It seemed like a common tweak to many owners at the time. I can't seem to find those comments again.

Does this sound familiar and was this a tweak for the short-fall I am referring to?
 

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That was a "fix" for the premium audio, which was the mid-level audio option before they outsourced to HK starting in 2017 I believe. So that fix won't apply to you.

I also have the 900w HK audio and felt the same way. The audio is crisp especially when turned up, but at lower volume levels, the bass disappears. So I had a 10" shallow mount JL audio sub with separate amp installed and removed the stock sub. I also upgraded the front 2 door speakers. This did the trick for me and now I get plenty of hard hitting bass at all volume levels.
 

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That was a "fix" for the premium audio, which was the mid-level audio option before they outsourced to HK starting in 2017 I believe. So that fix won't apply to you.

I also have the 900w HK audio and felt the same way. The audio is crisp especially when turned up, but at lower volume levels, the bass disappears. So I had a 10" shallow mount JL audio sub with separate amp installed and removed the stock sub. I also upgraded the front 2 door speakers. This did the trick for me and now I get plenty of hard hitting bass at all volume levels.
Great feedback, thanks. Yup, I have the same system and we share the same experience. Do you have a link to a thread where you posted details? It does sound REALLY good but only when REALLY loud (which I like). How much did the sub, amp and door speakers run you?
 

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Great feedback, thanks. Yup, I have the same system and we share the same experience. Do you have a link to a thread where you posted details? It does sound REALLY good but only when REALLY loud (which I like). How much did the sub, amp and door speakers run you?

:)
 

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:)
Thanks! Great thread, I need to do some homework on what you did and also curious what this Dragonfly Red thing is. I completely agree, the stock HK system sounds pretty good for most people, but I'm always looking for that little extra. In hindsight, now that you have been using your upgrade for a while, do you think replacing the front door speakers was necessary? Also, if I read that thread right, you replaced the stock sub with the JL sub right? You don't have both powered?
 

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If I am correct, the dragonfly is a DAC that would be used via the car AUX port. So for ex. - iPhone-->Lightening Out to USB--->To DAC--->Out from Mini Jack 2X Cable--->In to car AUX ?
 

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If I am correct, the dragonfly is a DAC that would be used via the car AUX port. So for ex. - iPhone-->Lightening Out to USB--->To DAC--->Out from Mini Jack 2X Cable--->In to car AUX ?
Correct. I was using it in my 2015 with the premium system, which helped a ton. It also helps a ton in ghibils with the HK, but you lose apple carplay because you have to use aux input.

In response to your other comment, I actually think that if I would have just replaced all 4 front door speakers + center and left it at that, that may have given me that bass i was missing at low volume levels and I would have been content. Those made a significant difference. The stock speakers/sub are crap. I'm considering replacing the center speaker too because that one does a lot of work and i'm sure it would sound better with an aftermarket upgrade.

The HK amp powers the door + center speakers and I have a separate amp powering the sub.
 

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Correct. I was using it in my 2015 with the premium system, which helped a ton. It also helps a ton in ghibils with the HK, but you lose apple carplay because you have to use aux input.

In response to your other comment, I actually think that if I would have just replaced all 4 front door speakers + center and left it at that, that may have given me that bass i was missing at low volume levels and I would have been content. Those made a significant difference. The stock speakers/sub are crap. I'm considering replacing the center speaker too because that one does a lot of work and i'm sure it would sound better with an aftermarket upgrade.

The HK amp powers the door + center speakers and I have a separate amp powering the sub.
So you are saying in hindsight you would have skipped the extra amp and replaced all the speakers and sub? That could be affordable.

Losing Apple CarPlay would suck. I’ve waiting so long for a car with it.
 

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Yes, I would start with just all the door speakers and center speaker if I could do it over. My aftermarket door speakers put out a lot more bass than the stock speakers. So if you upgraded all of them, that should give you the missing bass at low volumes.

What's tricky is the stock sub is oval and a weird non-standard size.. i couldn't quickly find one that would fit, but honestly didn't look too hard b/c I had already decided I was also going to add that JL sub plus separate amp. But I'd still start with just the doors/center and give it a good listen and then decide if you want to try and find a sub speaker upgrade too. Or you could always add a separate amp and sub later.
 

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Yes, I would start with just all the door speakers and center speaker if I could do it over. My aftermarket door speakers put out a lot more bass than the stock speakers. So if you upgraded all of them, that should give you the missing bass at low volumes.

What's tricky is the stock sub is oval and a weird non-standard size.. i couldn't quickly find one that would fit, but honestly didn't look too hard b/c I had already decided I was also going to add that JL sub plus separate amp. But I'd still start with just the doors/center and give it a good listen and then decide if you want to try and find a sub speaker upgrade too. Or you could always add a separate amp and sub later.
Sounds like a plan. Funny how when you live with something for a year or so perspectives change. I have a Rockford Fosgate P300-12 Punch 300 Watt Powered Loaded 12-Inch Subwoofer Enclosure in the trunk of my E39 (BMW). I wanted more bass and it was an easy install just tapping into the low level channel of the existing tiny subs. That said, all the bass comes from the back and at first I thought it sounded great but there is nothing like separation up front. The Bose system in my Infiniti QX60 kicks ass and also has a center speaker, but SUV's are made for acoustics.


in my E39 (BMW)
 

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The best stock audio I've ever had was in my 2013 Audi S5 with the B/O 600W system. Way better than the stock HK 900W system in my Ghibli. I never once considered making an upgrade to the audi, didn't need to. A close second is the 825W Meridian system in my rover sport. You get that separation of highs and lows even at low volumes. And the bass hits really hard, harder than the Audi and it's nowhere even near maxed out. But the audi had the most crisp sound. But neither vehicle can compete with the actual "car sounds" the Ghibli makes of course :).
 

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Oh ya! I forgot about the Bose system in my old Audi Q7! (now my ex wife's). It wasn't B&O, but it did sound outstanding. Audi does sound right, but my QX60 is still the top stock system I have had, trouble is I hate the car. Gave it to my girlfriend. Today's SUV's look like minivans with four doors. Just a bubble on wheels.

Acoustically, SUV's lend themselves to better acoustics.
 

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Had the car a month now and only drive it on weekends. My other cars are Infiniti’s, BMWs and VW. My premium HK needs some help. Maybe it’s the exhaust but as is, I’m underwhelmed.

I’ll start with the 4 doors and center speakers. I’ll do none of this myself, but I am curious how the shop will get at the center speaker in the dash?
 

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My daily is my old BMW E39 with the best audio they had to offer in 2003 and it sounds better. Much better. Accented by the fact that I get in the Ghibli on Saturday and wanting to cruise to some sound and it ain’t there.

For the shop, any direction on doors and center replacements? Like to keep it under a grand.
 

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From research, looks like JBL (which is made by HK) and Focal are direct replacements. JBL options are really cheap.
 

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That was a "fix" for the premium audio, which was the mid-level audio option before they outsourced to HK starting in 2017 I believe. So that fix won't apply to you.

I also have the 900w HK audio and felt the same way. The audio is crisp especially when turned up, but at lower volume levels, the bass disappears. So I had a 10" shallow mount JL audio sub with separate amp installed and removed the stock sub. I also upgraded the front 2 door speakers. This did the trick for me and now I get plenty of hard hitting bass at all volume levels.
 

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Hello Chi Town

I just purchased a 2019 Grandsport with the HK prem. sound system and the sub farts out at high volume also, already getting dealer run around. Could you please provide me with the component specifics you relaced and at which car audio shop and city so i can have my issue resolved in Michigan. Thanks - G
 

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Hello Chi Town

I just purchased a 2019 Grandsport with the HK prem. sound system and the sub farts out at high volume also, already getting dealer run around. Could you please provide me with the component specifics you relaced and at which car audio shop and city so i can have my issue resolved in Michigan. Thanks - G
Search the forum, I previously posted details of my sound system mod, good luck!
 

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That was a "fix" for the premium audio, which was the mid-level audio option before they outsourced to HK starting in 2017 I believe. So that fix won't apply to you.

I also have the 900w HK audio and felt the same way. The audio is crisp especially when turned up, but at lower volume levels, the bass disappears. So I had a 10" shallow mount JL audio sub with separate amp installed and removed the stock sub. I also upgraded the front 2 door speakers. This did the trick for me and now I get plenty of hard hitting bass at all volume levels.
Was hoping to start with an easy fix on the sound system! Can I ask what speakers you upgraded to?
 
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