I had a listen to a 300C with Navi & Boston Acoustic stereo System, and IMO it sounds very good......
2tic, you're closer to being on the path to audio bliss than you even might think. Stay the course, my son. Let me tell you why......
The first thing one should learn when becoming involved with high-end audio equipment is that it is all quite subjective. There are many absolutely correct answers to the question "What sounds the best?" ....and there is only one absolutely correct answer to that same question, too. It seems quite the paradox, doesn't it? Let me puzzle you more by adding that there are no wrong answers.....but there are also more wrong answers than you could shake a dead cat at.
How can you have many correct answers....and only one correct answer? No wrong answer, but more wrong answers than you could ever dream of? It's simple, actually. The correct answer to 'what sounds best?' is..... What sounds the best to you. Do not
let someone lead you down the garden path about this speaker or that component....it only sounds good if it sounds good to you. Therefore, everyone has their own idea off what sounds best. Put a hundred people together, allow them time to individually experiment with various bits of kit and you will find nearly a hundred different suggestions about what sounds best.
The wrong answers are the ones that everyone else gives you. If you're neighbour next door likes system A but it sounds to you like utter dreck...then for you, it is as wrong as wrong could possibly be. Do not ever get yourself to the point where you consider this speaker or that component just because someone else
told you it sounds better.
Some quick guidelines of things to listen to would be: tonal balance, accuracy of pitch, timbre, and definition. Just to name but a few...of course.
Too many people fail these above tests....especially when it comes to automotive audio. How many times have you seen...or been passed...by some ricer with half a dozen subs going full tilt? All you heard was WHUMP....WHUMP....WHUMP
Think that sounded good? To you it might....but is it accurate? Which musical instrument can you name that makes a WHUMP
sound? (That's OK, I can't think of any either.)
Or.....perhaps you've gotten into a car....or even someones' living room....where they've turned the treble all the way to the stop? Cymbals don't sound like cymbals....instead they sound like a fish tank full of snakes....."SSSSSSSSSSS!
" Why did they turn it up???? They'll tell you it sounded more clear. Did it? Or did it really only now seem to be more etched than your favourite beer glass??
The goal in true audio reproduction, be it in a car or in your home, is to recreate the sound of actual music. The actual instruments, the actual singers, the actual ambiance of the venue in which the recording was made. While, you may like WHUMP WHUMP
....you'll actually find it rarely occuring 'in nature' as it were.
Does that make 'whump'ing wrong? No, of course not. Remember......if you like it...it's right. But...it isn't real, though, either. With the proper equipment and acoustic treatments, you can
reproduce the true musical experience....right down to who was standing in front of whom (and by how much) and who is 5'2" and who is 6'3". You can have cymbals that sound like cymbals and not just painful noise and hash. You can have drums that sound like real drums....right down to the texture of the skins on the drumheads. They don't sound like thump thump thump. Drums....for those who pay attention....don't thump. At least not unless they're in dire need of head adjustments.
Myself, I would much rather have a system that sounds like a true reproduction of the event rather than one which sounds exaggerated like some audio caricature. Many manufacturers have made their names by selling equipment intentionally out of tonal balance. Polk speakers is a prime example. A great bit of kit of you want heavy handed thump thumping bass. But....after listening to these for forty five minutes, do you want to listen for another forty-five? Or.....are you so fatigued that you'd rather shut it off and go watch golf on television?
All of the above said, I'll tell you what I think about the OEM setup. I have a C-AWD with the 368Watt 7 Channel Upgrade BA System. And, this is the first car I have ever owned which I didn't want to immediately change out everything from the speakers all the way down to the electronics. The BA system indeed sounds very good. It does not image as well as I might like....but I can also say with honesty I have never heard an automotive sound that truly did. But it does better at it than the great majority of installs one is likely to find.
The BA system does get (mostly) right a lot of the other touch-points I mentioned earlier, though. Tonal balance, timbre, definition, etc. True, it loses control at the very highest frequencies, but not painfully so. And it gets a little loose in the (very extreme) bottom end, but not so much as to be thick, muddy, and pounding.
Is it likely to ever approach a good home two-channel system? No. Not now....not even after you throw a tonne of money at it. It just won't happen. My home reference system (click here)
will take a lot
more than this to best it. Certainly no automotive system will....regardless of it's composition.
Do I like the BA system? Yes. Can I listen to it for extended periods of time....such as an 18 hour road trip to a destination six states away....without listener fatigue or painful sizzle and thump? Absolutely. Will it keep me out in the garage when I could walk inside, turn on the system in my listening room, and bask in the warm glow and even warmer sound of several dozen valves? No....what a silly question. But.....it isn't supposed to, either. That is not its' purpose in Life.
For what it is....and what it was designed to be....it is surprisingly a very good accomplishment. I can be quite happy with this OEM system for quite some time yet to come. When I want to just sit down and listen, without distraction, to the "Absolute" of Music reproduced to best possible degree......I'll park the car and go inside without a moments' hesitation. But....when I am on the road and wanting to relax (whether it be the way home from work or on the way to some thousand mile destination)......I will be happy to daydream the miles away in my 300C with this system doing its' thing (of course....fed with the proper diet of software, to be sure).
The best system is one that makes you want to listen to that one more track. That one more album. And then.....one more after that. THAT
is the true yardstick of "what sounds the best."
Listen to your heart. Listen to your soul. Listen to Music. That sound which moves you....THAT
is Music. That sound which speaks undeniably to what is inside of you....THAT
is Music. Music is not whump
is not Music. And for Chrissake, stop worrying about what someone else
likes. What the hell does he know? He probably listens to Barry Manilow.