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Is it worth it to just change monsoon Head Unit?

This is a discussion on Is it worth it to just change monsoon Head Unit? within the Stereo and Electronics forums, part of the General Help category; Hello, I have a 1999 Firebird TA with the Monsoon stereo. I have not liked the sound from the stereo ...

  1. #1
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    1999 Pontiac Firebird TA

    Is it worth it to just change monsoon Head Unit?

    Hello,

    I have a 1999 Firebird TA with the Monsoon stereo. I have not liked the sound from the stereo since day one but am just getting around to doing something about it. I have a head unit in mind, but after reading some post here and in other forums I am beginning to wonder if a head unit replacement would give me better sound. Some people think the problem with the monsoon system is with the speakers and the amp. Since I just plan on replacing the head unit and not the speakers or amps is it worth it?

    I guess my question is for those that have replaced just the monsoon head unit.

    is it worth it to just replace the head unit?

    Thanks.

    Info:
    1999 Firebird TA
    No mods of any sort (Not even a K&N filter)
    Looking at Pioneer DEH-P9600MP

  2. #2
    Rock-n-Roller White Rascal's Avatar
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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    In my personal opinion the problem with the POS Monsoon system is with the HU AND the amp. When I first got my '99 TA I used my O-scope and a calibrated test CD to test the system. After only 23 clicks of the volume control the HU started to clip (distort) the signal. The higher I turned up the volume the worse the clipping got. The POS Monsoon amp uses speaker level inputs to power the door woofers and the sail panel sub-woofers. Since the amp is of such poor quality it adds it's own distortion on top of the already distorted signal from the HU. Because of this it is no wonder that the woofers in the system are blowing all the time.

    IMO the best thing you can do is get a new HU and speakers. The factory woofers are 2 ohms and there aren't any after-market HU's that I know of that can power 2ohm speakers. The HU might be able to handle them at low levels but once you start to crank up the volume there's a good chance the HU will go into protection mode and shut down.
    The White Rascal SOLD
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  3. #3
    ruff ruff rotwiler's Avatar
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    LT's, 3400 stall, FIPK,CB
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    I added a Kenwood stereo awhile back with the rest stock and sounded better than the stock HU. The HU powers the front tweeters and rear hatch speakers so the highs sounded much better than stock and cleaner. May not be cleaner, but sounds much better to my ears. I added 2 10 inch subs and a amp and turned some of the lower bass off at the deck and I can't hear the stock speakers distort like with the stock HU. I just added some front door speakers and they sound much better.

  4. #4
    ls1BrownBoots
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by gbarrkansas
    Hello,

    I have a 1999 Firebird TA with the Monsoon stereo. I have not liked the sound from the stereo since day one but am just getting around to doing something about it. I have a head unit in mind, but after reading some post here and in other forums I am beginning to wonder if a head unit replacement would give me better sound. Some people think the problem with the monsoon system is with the speakers and the amp. Since I just plan on replacing the head unit and not the speakers or amps is it worth it?

    I guess my question is for those that have replaced just the monsoon head unit.

    is it worth it to just replace the head unit?

    Thanks.

    Info:
    1999 Firebird TA
    No mods of any sort (Not even a K&N filter)
    Looking at Pioneer DEH-P9600MP
    I don't care for the sound also, and i want to replace it all, speakers, HU, and amps. I just don't want to lose the volume and other radio controls on my steering wheel, that has kept me from making the change.

  5. #5
    Rock-n-Roller White Rascal's Avatar
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    Arctic White
    '07 Trailblazer LT

    If your new HU has an infrared remote control you can use the PAC SWI-X to keep the use of your steering wheel controls.

  6. #6
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    1999 Pontiac Firebird TA

    Thanks for the replies

    I replaced the HU with the Pioneer DEH-P9600MP and it has made a world of difference. I did not purchase the adapter for the steering wheel controls yet. Crutchfield has an adapter (PAC SWI-PS) to connect the steering wheel controls to a Pioneer or Sony deck, this is a direct connect so you don't have to worry about a IR emitter.

    I will probably replace the speakers and amp later this year.

    P.S. The hardest part of the install was cutting that damn plastic bracket to allow for a longer HU. Other than that it only took about 2 hours start to finish.

  7. #7
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    Sunset Orange
    2002 Z28

    It will still sound ok as long as you use a new HU WITH the factory speakers. If you decided to go aftermarket on the speakers, you'll have a lot of work ahead of you. I just bought a Pioneer 1 1/2 din and still can't hear the new Alpine 6.5 s that I put in the door.

  8. #8
    Junior Member TrikstarK5's Avatar
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    2000 Camaro SS

    I started my upgrades with speakers first. I changed the door, pillars, and hatch speakers with Rockford Fosgates. What a world of difference. I still want to change out the HU as well as get rid of the amp, but for now, the speakers sound much better than the stock.

  9. #9
    ruff ruff rotwiler's Avatar
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    LT's, 3400 stall, FIPK,CB
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    I already replied to this, but I can't stress enough, if your going to replace the HU, make sure you spend a couple more dollars and get one you can adjust the sound with more options like what Hz you want the speakers to play. It really makes a big difference and the stock speakers will distort less if you set them to play at 100hz up for the fronts and 80 hz up for the sailpanel speakers( I also have 2 subs so I don't need to lower freq). Also the rms of the headunit will also make a difference since all the tweeters will be running off your headunit, so the highs will sound cleaner too. If you remove some of the lower bass going through the speakers, they will probably last a lot longer too.

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