Saab audio question…

S-S-S-Something from the in-box:

I have a 2004 Saab Sport Sedan with the original factory Radio and seven speakers. I would like to replace the speakers to improve the sound (the factory system Sucks).

Can you give me any ideas? I checked the Crutchfield website in the USA or do you know if this is relatively easy to do myself, if I buy the speakers. [Do you know] if there’s a amplifier to replace???

That’s from Waldemar in Tampa Bay.

I’ll make this short and tell you that I have no idea at all about changing out the audio system or speakers in a 9-3, but I do know that it’s a common complaint. In the 2007 model, Saab changed the audio system for a generic-looking but much better sounding unit. Pre-2007 cars have the audio system as a rather common complaint. Unfortunately, I stem from the DIN generation, so I have little idea about removing or replacing these integrated factory units.

Ordinarily, I’d refer you to one of the excellent Saab forums and as this is an ordinary day, here’s the link to the best one: SaabCentral.

But perhaps someone that visits here might have an answer or an insight that might be useful. I’m sure there’s more than one person with a pre-07 model 9-3 that’d like to improve their sound quality and would therefore be very interested in the answer.

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  1. I’ve been searching around on this issue for a while too, and the main thing that I have managed to figure out is that the only things that you can replace are the speakers. Due to the car’s use of the audio system for turn signals, navigation and other stuff like that, the only way to change the head unit or put in a better amp is to run a parallel system. Otherwise, your best bet is to put in some new speakers and hope for the best.

  2. Rogan is probably right. There are numerous threads in the Saabcentral 9-3 SS forum on this subject, particularly for the 7-speaker system.
    I’m fortunate enough to have the 13 speaker, 300W system which sounds plenty good enough for me, and from what I’ve read sounds a whole lot better. I know the specs in the owner’s manual are certainly a lot better for frequency response. You can get a kit for this upgrade at GenuineSaab but I know nothing about it and am not endorsing it. But it is the Saab kit.

  3. … I might add though that they got two good reviews (maybe they delete the bad reviews 😉
    #1 The improvement is remarkable! Considerable effort to install, however. The dealer estimated two hours, never having done one. Took the better part of six hours (rear seats out), though only charged for 3.5. There were no instructions supplied for the do-it-yourself type.
    In spite of this one-time hassle, I don’t hesitate to recommend the upgrade.

    #2 This kit transforms the standard 7 speaker system in 9-3 SS Linears into a worl-class sound system that you’d expect to find in cars costing 3 times as much! The kit comes complete with everything you’ll need right down to the fiber optic cables and step-by-step instruction booklet. Do-it-yourself (takes a few hours) or take it to your Saab dealer. To make the ECU “recognize” the new 300W 13 speaker system, you must have a dealer update your car using Tech II. The bass is explosive while the treble is more crisp than you’ll ever imagine. The sound “image” is awesome — whether you listen to Bach or Beyonce, you’ll really enjoy this much-needed sound system upgrade.

  4. Hello. I have the same audio as you but I have done the following mods:

    1: DynaMAT (vibration-damping-mat) around the mid-bases in the front doors. 10415.

    2: Replaced the 3,5″ dashboard-speakers with JL Audio TR350-CXi coaxials.

    3: Disconnected the center-speaker

    The sound is now much better in the front seat. Good luck!

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