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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I'm looking to get better sound, among other things in my Park Avenue Ultra with the 9 speaker concert system. I'm wondering where the weak point of the system is, specifically if the stock amp is of decent quality.

I'm going to be in the dash installing a navigation head unit with a back up camera and bluetooth and all that good stuff, so I'm going to have everything apart and am wondering where I should draw the line on the installation. I'd love to keep the stock amp and just change out the headunit and possibly speakers and keep the sound stage, because if I replace the stock amp, I'm looking at a massive 6 channel amp or multiple amps, which I'd like to avoid. But if the reason the stock system doesn't sound good is because of that little amp, then my scope of work is increasing quite a bit.

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1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
2007 Jeep Commander Overland Hemi
<\>1998 Oldsmobile Aurora
<\>1995 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
<\>1996 Chevy Camaro 3.8L


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:05 pm 
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Year and Trim: 1993 Buick Park Avenue
1994 Buick Regal Custom
The list of individuals over here that would have addressed that system is relatively short admittedly.

Where are all of the speakers located? I remember some of them being in weird places which is why I ask.

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1993 Buick Park Avenue - 197k - Some odds and ends done - Simply won't die
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1990 Oldsmobile 88 - Gone to a better place


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:16 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
It's a 5 1/4" component set up front, full range in the rear doors (3 1/2"), 6x9 "subs" in the rear deck, and a 3 1/2" center speaker on the dash. The staging and existing crossovers in the factory amp is decent, so it would be great if I didn't have to replace EVERYTHING. But if not many have been there before, I guess I'll just start replacing things until it sounds good! I'll save that little amp for last as it's the only thing I'm really opposed to touching.

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1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
2007 Jeep Commander Overland Hemi
<\>1998 Oldsmobile Aurora
<\>1995 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
<\>1996 Chevy Camaro 3.8L


Last edited by Schlotzky on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:54 pm 
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See what it sounds like with the new head unit. You would be surprised the difference just that makes, when it's adjusted right.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:07 pm 
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Head unit first, for sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:14 am 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
Does anybody know if all the staging and crossovers are set up within the factory amp? That is, if I throw an aftermarket head unit in, will I still have full speaker functionality and correct crossovers and such? I know the Bose systems often put that stuff in the headunit so that the systems don't function properly with aftermarket components. But as far as I can tell, this is a standard GM head unit that shouldn't have any witchcraft contained within.

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1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
2007 Jeep Commander Overland Hemi
<\>1998 Oldsmobile Aurora
<\>1995 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
<\>1996 Chevy Camaro 3.8L


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:08 pm 
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It should be in the amp, I changed the head units in both my old cars that had Bose and never had a problem.

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2004 GTO....LS1, 6MT
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
Sounds good. I just know that the subwoofer crossover in my Camaro's Bose system was in the headunit, so with an aftermarket deck, the sub tried to play full-range and I had to add a passive crossover and it never sounded the same until I ditched ALL the Bose stuff.

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2007 Jeep Commander Overland Hemi
<\>1998 Oldsmobile Aurora
<\>1995 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
<\>1996 Chevy Camaro 3.8L


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:06 am 
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Year and Trim: 1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
I thought I would chime back in for a recap of my findings over the course of the last few months, just in case anyone is interested, or someone comes across this thread in the future.

I have been through a lot with this car and this audio system already in the past couple months, but have some pertinent information to anyone who wants to upgrade the Concert III system, especially in a 1997. To answer the question I asked in the first post: the stock '97 Concert III is by far the weak point of the system.

SPARK NOTES: If you have a 1997 or 1998 Concert III system and you're a bit leery about going full aftermarket, before doing anything else, go to a junk yard and pick up a 99-05 amp. Part number is 09356694. It's plug and play and the sound improvement is vast. I got mine for $15.

The reason I hated the stock system is because it sounded awful. The bass especially was really mid heavy, the cross over in the rear deck woofers was way too high so male vocals came through, the rear deck woofers were way too hot and muddy, and the balance was just not there. Since the trouble seemed to revolve around the bass, I first went to a junk yard and got the rear deck woofers out of a 2003 Park Ave as I heard Buick revised them. In fact they did, and they sounded marginally better; a little deeper bass, a little added bass, and better balance. Unfortunately one of them was blown from the junk car, so I ended up going aftermarket (Alpine) here. The aftermarkets really sounded no better, still muddy and mid heavy with way too high of a crossover.

Next, I replaced the head unit, thinking the horrible bassiness was from the headunit. It turns out that was generally true, but it really didn't sound that much better. I generally hate aftermarket headunits because of the build quality and difficulty to use, so I went and spent nearly $900 on a high end navigation/bluetooth/DVD/backup camera etc etc. unit (kenwood) that I figured would maximize my chances of getting something that didn't carry those traits. Long story short, it still felt cheap and was terrible to use, but the sound smoothed out some. Still bassy, still muddy, still not good clarity or balance.

So I pulled the main speakers off the Concert III amp (front doors and rear deck woofers) to an aftermarket 4 channel amp and added a sub. I was surprised how good the front door speakers sounded with just the stock paper woofers amped, so I ran like that for a couple weeks until upgrading. Long story short, I ended up going through three brands (rockford fosgate, polk, and JBL) before deciding on the Polks. I chose to keep the center speaker and rear doors powered off the stock amp for fill, and experimented with turning them off. I found the center speaker does a nice job of pulling the sound stage forward, and really doesn't screw up the stereo imaging as some say, but it was muddy (I attributed this to UV degradation due to it's location). I went through aftermarket here and ultimately ended up pulling a rear door 3.5" from that 2003 junk yard car's rear door (not exposed to the sun like that car's [and mine] trashed center speaker) and it was a nice improvement, but wasn't loud enough to really pair well with the amped doors. The rear doors were basically useless they were so quiet. I tried highly sensitive low impedence speakers in them to no avail and ultimately unplugged the stock amp.

Then, a tree fell on my beloved Buick and insurance deemed it a total loss. I demodded the car, pulling all the aftermarket speakers, amp, the subwoofer, and the high end navigation unit, returning it all to stock less the rear deck woofers. Since this all happened less than 60 days from the upgrades, I returned everything to Crutchfield (excellent company). But I bought the car back and fixed it.

Now, back to the stock system in it's full glory (mostly), I was unhappy as ever with the sound but didn't want to spend the money again on a full aftermarket system, so I decided to look more in to year to year model changes. I found that 1997 had a unique part number to its amp, as did 1998, and then the same part number was used in 99-05 park avenues. It seemed to me that they were tweaking it in these years and I thought maybe things had gotten better. I ended up pulling the tweeters from that 2003, which had been revised, as well as the amp from it. The difference is HUGE. The bass is much deeper, the cutoff frequencies to the rear deck woofers seems to be lowered, and the clarity and power to the rear doors is hugely improved. The front sound stage is more crisp and cleaner and overall the system is just way more balanced. This all with everything else stock, besides the 2003 center speaker, tweeters and aftermarket rear deck woofers. It's not a system to write home about, but to me, it finally lives up to it's "Premium sound" designation, and it's good enough for me for now.

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1997 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
2007 Jeep Commander Overland Hemi
<\>1998 Oldsmobile Aurora
<\>1995 Buick Park Avenue Ultra
<\>1996 Chevy Camaro 3.8L


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:30 pm
Posts: 1
Year and Trim: 2001 ultra
I know this is old,
But I also have a 2001 park ave ultra with the delco with the delco 09356694 amp.
If you like the staging and the setup, and aren't trying to get competition volumes, then yes...keep using this amp.
This particular amp is not like any of he other delco amps. It is only found n the park ave ULTRA and some lesabres. This amp is really an unknown beast of an amp. The peak watt rating is 1000w per channel. My stock 6x9 subwoofers blew, so I built a large box to house 2- 12" radio shack 40-1026(8ohm) subwoofers, and then I bridged the 2 channels for the stock 6x9's by wiring the 2 12" subs in parallel, and then connecting them to the left speaker outputs(originally designed for the left stock 6x9)..... And it POUNDS bass.
I do like the crossover ranges built in to the amp, however, I suggest adding some bass-blockers(bass blocking capacitors) in line with each 3.5" speakers(rear doors, and center top dash), and possibly a cheap passive crossover for the subs.


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