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I posted a thread earlier regarding replacing the speaker system in my Cruze while retaining the factory head unit. I spoke to the manager of the shop to further understand what issue I'm facing that is preventing me from installing new speakers, amp, and a sub. I will be posting the information he emailed me below. If anyone has information on this, or has replaced the sound system in a 2015 Cruze LTZ with the upgraded pioneer system please let me know!

"...So, having said that, here’s what the situation is; GM and other carmakers incorporate a system into their vehicles that ties the sound system and throttle together through the car’s computer, or BCM (body control module). The factory sound system is activated when throttling up (stepping on the gas); it does two things when you step on the gas. One, is it creates a low level sub bass output that makes the engine sound “louder”, like you have a bigger engine under the hood. The other reason is… it acts as a type of cancellation system that offsets the actual exhaust system (works on a different sound frequency), so all you really hear is the sound system playing what sounds like exhaust.



This is all done through the car’s computer via a computer CAN wire; when you step on the gas, you are in essence sending a signal to the computer, telling the car’s computer to increase throttle, making the car go. That signal is then sent to the throttle position sensor, which increases the amount of gas being sent through the fuel injection system, thus increasing speed. The car’s computer then sends a signal to the car’s radio, telling it to generate that low level sub bass note emulating the sound of a car revving up; based on how heavy you push the throttle, the output level of the sub bass being generated by the sound system will either increase or decrease.



Now… when an aftermarket sound system is installed (connected) to the factory radio, this sound is amplified relative to the amount of power the aftermarket amplifier puts out. For example, if the factory amplifier is putting out 50 watts of power and you add a 500 watt amplifier to the system, the sound will be amplified 10 times. When this happens, that low level bass note generated by the car’s computer becomes horrendously loud and unbearable. It’s for this reason that it’s virtually impossible to connect anything to the factory radio, unless that programming can be bypassed somehow.



To date, no one that we know of has been able to figure out how to bypass that computer signal. Everyone I’ve spoken with has told me that the only way to eliminate the noise is to change out the factory radio for an aftermarket radio, which at this time is unfortunately not an option for your car…"






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The factory sound system is activated when throttling up (stepping on the gas); it does two things when you step on the gas. One, is it creates a low level sub bass output that makes the engine sound “louder”, like you have a bigger engine under the hood. The other reason is… it acts as a type of cancellation system that offsets the actual exhaust system (works on a different sound frequency), so all you really hear is the sound system playing what sounds like exhaust.
I believe that's true of some performance vehicles, but I don't think that's true of the Cruze. At least, I don't recall anyone complaining about that. What you do run into is the warning chimes can get very loud.


Now… when an aftermarket sound system is installed (connected) to the factory radio, this sound is amplified relative to the amount of power the aftermarket amplifier puts out. For example, if the factory amplifier is putting out 50 watts of power and you add a 500 watt amplifier to the system, the sound will be amplified 10 times.
That depends on what you want out of your amp and where you set your gain levels. If you just want to have better sound, or not distort when you turn it up, then if you set you amp gain to "unity", then you won't have that problem. But if the whole point is to crank it - well, then you'll have a problem.
 

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I posted a thread earlier regarding replacing the speaker system in my Cruze while retaining the factory head unit. I spoke to the manager of the shop to further understand what issue I'm facing that is preventing me from installing new speakers, amp, and a sub. I will be posting the information he emailed me below. If anyone has information on this, or has replaced the sound system in a 2015 Cruze LTZ with the upgraded pioneer system please let me know!

"...So, having said that, here’s what the situation is; GM and other carmakers incorporate a system into their vehicles that ties the sound system and throttle together through the car’s computer, or BCM (body control module). The factory sound system is activated when throttling up (stepping on the gas); it does two things when you step on the gas. One, is it creates a low level sub bass output that makes the engine sound “louder”, like you have a bigger engine under the hood. The other reason is… it acts as a type of cancellation system that offsets the actual exhaust system (works on a different sound frequency), so all you really hear is the sound system playing what sounds like exhaust.



This is all done through the car’s computer via a computer CAN wire; when you step on the gas, you are in essence sending a signal to the computer, telling the car’s computer to increase throttle, making the car go. That signal is then sent to the throttle position sensor, which increases the amount of gas being sent through the fuel injection system, thus increasing speed. The car’s computer then sends a signal to the car’s radio, telling it to generate that low level sub bass note emulating the sound of a car revving up; based on how heavy you push the throttle, the output level of the sub bass being generated by the sound system will either increase or decrease.



Now… when an aftermarket sound system is installed (connected) to the factory radio, this sound is amplified relative to the amount of power the aftermarket amplifier puts out. For example, if the factory amplifier is putting out 50 watts of power and you add a 500 watt amplifier to the system, the sound will be amplified 10 times. When this happens, that low level bass note generated by the car’s computer becomes horrendously loud and unbearable. It’s for this reason that it’s virtually impossible to connect anything to the factory radio, unless that programming can be bypassed somehow.



To date, no one that we know of has been able to figure out how to bypass that computer signal. Everyone I’ve spoken with has told me that the only way to eliminate the noise is to change out the factory radio for an aftermarket radio, which at this time is unfortunately not an option for your car…"






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I'm quite certain that the first gen Cruze does not have faked engine sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, the guy had an issue installing a sub and amplifier in a 2015 Malibu ltz rs a couple weeks ago, and the lady never came back so he could try to find the actual wire, so he (and his technicians) were worried this was going to happen to my vehicle and didn't want me to spend the money and them not be able to guarantee they could fix it.


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But remember the issue with the chimes and clicks. As long as you're not pushing for "loud", you should be ok. Otherwise you're going to have loud sound effects.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I understand. Thank you for reminding me of that. Honestly I not sure what I'm going to do here. I'm worried that I can't afford to replace the head unit right now and I'm also afraid to. And I don't want to put the large amount of money into the speakers and amp without having a guarantee that they won't have that issue. I'm looking for better sound but I also want to be able to put my music louder and I can't do that with the pioneers, they sound terrible. I don't think I mean the type of loud you are talking about, but for all I know I could be. Currently I can't increase volume past 18. I would like to hope that I wouldn't have to with better sound though. I dislike how I can't hear people singing clearly, and the bass is terrible using the rear 6 by 9s. Thank you so much for replying though!


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Currently I can't increase volume past 18.
Because of distortion? In that case, I'd think your plan should work. You're not looking for louder than the original head unit as much a clearer at the same volume.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Because of distortion? In that case, I'd think your plan should work. You're not looking for louder than the original head unit as much a clearer at the same volume.
I don't have enough experience with car audio to say that it is actually distortion, I'm sorry. I just know that I could turn up music using factory speakers in a Pontiac Vibe and it sounded beautiful, and in this car it sounds like crap at any level. Singing sounds lost in the bass that kind of dissipates everywhere, and there isn't much clarity in the music. Turning it louder makes it so I can hear the higher notes better, but it by no means makes it sound any clearer, and the rear ledge speakers sound like they can't handle it even when I turn the bass in the EQ down. :( I love bass, but not when it's this terrible lol.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


Haven't had the chance to get my amp and sub/speakers installed yet - probably end of this week or next week as long as I don't change my mind. But here's a pretty picture of my Cruze. :)


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I know this might sound stupid, but did you try adjusting the equalizer? I have mine set with Bass on 0 and increased the mid slightly and the highs more than the mid. I think my Pioneer system sounds awesome with it set like that. Some bassy songs (or even low bit rate songs) can be over powering on flat eq settings. I wouldn't even dare trying to increase the bass. If your bass is turned up at all, then you have found your problem.

Note- I just noticed you had the subs installed. Looks good! I'll just leave this here in case anyone else is having the same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've had my speakers at negative bass. But I don't want to have to turn down the bass in order to enjoy music. I actually like bass. Which is why I'm upgrading my speakers. And got the awesome subs I posted above. :)


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Your new system looks great. I'm sure it's a nice upgrade from the Pioneer.

I think you had your Pioneer settings wrong. If you had the tone and equalizer setup correctly and were still getting distortion at volume 18 then something was broken in your system.

The Pioneer system is setup as a sound stage with all of the sound on the dashboard. You have to set the equalizer to the middle. Turning it to the back reduces mids and highs and makes the 6x9s rumble. The 6x9s are sub woofers and the rear doors are very low volume so that they don't affect the sound stage. You cannot get mids and highs from the rear. Chevrolet should have included a sheet with the car that explains the Pioneer system. That would have saved me a lot of headache.

I hated mine at first, until I learned how to tune it properly. I was very vocal about my hatred for it, including a few posts on this forum. Now I love it, and I can easily turn it past 30 with no distortion. The mids and highs are crystal clear and the bass kicks very nicely (I did change out my tweeters though, which I wrote about in a different post). The bass is so strong that I can't see anything in the rear view mirror because the windows flex too much at high volumes. I don't turn it that high very often because it scares me that I might pop a window. My tone is set to: high=10, mid=3, bass=3, equalizer in the middle. I never liked that much bass before; now I can't live without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe we are misunderstanding each other. Even turning my bass down, and my treble and mid up it didn't sound right to me. And it pained me to even have to turn down the bass. The bass washed everything else out though. I'm really happy with my new set up. I have a great amp, and the audio shop I went with filtered out all the lower registers to the subwoofer and made my 6 by 9's full range. I now hear everything much more clearly and I can turn my bass up all the way and nothing rattles :) But the main goal of this post was to find out if anyone else successfully added an amp and sub to the pioneer system in a 2015 Cruze ltz rs as I was afraid of running into some snags. Luckily I had no such issues and I LOVE my current upgrade. Still changing out the front tweeters and door speakers though at some point.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I definitely think the way they set up the frequencies to my speakers helped a lot.


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can you tell me what you got done and which components(brand and models) you used....are you still happy with the subs?? cheers...
 
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