WTF did they do to your car man?
From what I see, these yahoos know how to connect speakers, but they know very little about installation.
It looks like from your pictures that they wired all 4 of your speakers to a 2 channel amp. I feel for you because I have very little faith that these guys can give you anything decent if that is what they sent you home with. Also, $345 for a P300-2?!?! I paid way less than that for a Power Series T400-4 (4 Channel) amp. I understand some install fees, but wow. I wish you the best man. Some audio shops are just terrible. If they didn't give you fair warning about the 2 channel amp and the fade control, I'd be heading back and raising hell.
Good luck man.
I feel just how bad you think I feel, bottom line is this:
1: Stock stereo sounds GREAT, but it does not have much power.
2. Stock non-B.A. head unit does not have RCA outlets for an external amplifier, so adding an amp means you have to use adaptors, extra money plus you:
a: have to use a four channel amp if you want to be able to fade between front and rear.
b: I'm no expert on auto audio, but I think using the speaker outlets (with the required adaptors) yeilds tones and frequencies which sound muddy on the bass and shrill on the treble. It is also much more difficult to make all the needed adjustments of level output and amplifier's level inputs.
3. I think that if you are not satisfied with the stock non-Boston Acoustics sound system than if you want to upgrade it's sound, you need to start out with a new head unit and dash kit. The Crutchfield shows 168 head units that are compatible with my car, but compatible doesn't mean that they automatically will do everything like bluetooth.. but there are plenty of them that do everthing the factory stereo does pluss some (like a USB for the Ipod which did NOT come in my car). And, btw, my 2012 LS will only wirelessly stream my iphone's phone calls, it will NOT stream the music, for that you have to use the 3.5 MM phone plug. Again, there is NO USB outlet in my car, this is the first thing that bugged me about it cause I new the 2011 had it for sure.
So, starting from a new head unit, you now have RCA outlets to wire-up whichever amp you want to use. From what I read, the rear 6x9's might be able to handle the added wattage of an external amp but most posts say the door speakers will get blown. I can tell you that the factory speakers sound good so why not use them till they blow, maybe they won't.
If you change your rear 6x9's there is a needed adaptor bracket which is sold at Sub-thump, if you don't have them they will not fit and it would be like having an un-tuned ported cabinet. Mine as you see from pics, you can see the speaker grill on the plastic panel thru the holes in the steel deck.
So all this is word up from a non-expert, to non-experts, just to advise you from the logic of somebody on this side of the table. Sure if you take it to a great shop and they use great components, and they install it right, than you don't have to worry. But just make sure the shop you take it too is going to care, is going to install the unit right, locate the amp where it won't get too hot, all of that.
Where am I at right now?????????
Last couple days have not felt like or had time to drive it around and experiment, but a few days ago I did and here is what I found:
The rear deck speaker polarity was correct, can't check the doors without somebody to help me but I think I got to open up the panels anyway....why???
Because they didn't evan solder the rear deck's wires, they were just stuck thru the terminals and twisted (look at the pic I posted earlier of the 6x9, it shows a bit there though I didn't notice it)...so maybe they intended to solder them after everything was hooked up, but the fact is they didn't, and that is over the top slop
So I soldered the 6x9's terminals, no biggie for me I'm into that kinda thing...but I'd have to remove the door panels to check out if they soldered the leads there. Don't get confused, there were no push-on terminals added, the raw wires were just twisted and loosely wrapped around the speaker terminals, as if they were going to solder them on.
They also scratched the hell out of my interior plastic panels which are connected to the rear deck..when I removed it, I didn't cause one scratch at all.
They also left about a dozen of the wire scraps inside the car, you know the pieces that were cut off the ends when they strip the terminals. Yeah, if it was a 1981 Accord, who gives a *)#^# but this is brand new Camaro with less than 2K miles. No biggie to vacuum out whatever they left behind or tracked in, but this place is not where you trust a high-end car. I also had to wipe out the residue of the stuff from the window film which ran down all over the interior.
So, since I can not and would not trust them to touch my car again, than I certainly will not be back there asking about what we can do to solve it's poor sound quality. If everything was done neat and correct than maybe I'd pay the extra money to have a four or five channel amp exchanged for the 2 channel they installed. (five channel version has sub-woofer outlet).. and than maybe buy a sub-woofer if I still wasn't happy.
To rewind a bit, during the session I soldered the speaker leads and checked the polarity, I switched the speaker leads around so that the left channel is both front speakers and the right channel is both rear speakers. Than I drove it around stopping to make adjustments on the amp which was within arms reach. Making adjustments on the in-put level, the frequency, the "punch eq" and everthing the head's tone controls offer, I still could not achieve a good spectrum of sound quality and it was still tanted with a shrill treble and distortion thru-out with a lack of good tight bass. I know, I know you can not expect 3-way door and rear deck 6x9's to really thump out big bass, that's not what I expect but for what they are, and what it should be, it is defiantly poor sounding.
What is going to be my ultimate solution? Well first I say my solution does not include letting them work on my car anymore, period, I'm gullible at times but I'm no idiot!
If I do have anybody work on it for me, and I don't do it myself (which I'm prone to do since I'm kinda into that)..than I'll make sure the shop will not butcher the car in any way and that can be hard to do, if I had a way to scan their brains than maybe this could have been prevented. About the only way to know is to hear testimonials by many who have had high-end expensive cars audio systems modified there. And make sure it's not just the testimonials of those few select "show boats" which were given the kind of care anybody should expect.
Be specific about what you want the system to do, select the brand and model of the units you want, don't just buy whatever brand they suggest.
If I decide to keep going forward with a hot-rodded system, I think that I'd study up on the topic of using a head unit that does not have RCA outlets for an external amp. Maybe send email or phone some places to ask about that, I might be wrong, adaptors might not be causing the problems I describe (maybe). So to go further down the road with a hot-rodded system, than I'd get either a 4 channel amp or a 5 channel with sub-woofer outlet. Buying a new head unit would mean I'd have to also buy a dash kit, but if your going to do it, do it right.
My other alternative is to try and return the system to factory spec. by removing the amp, re-wiring everything and re-installing the door speakers, and
either installing a new set of factory 6x9's or taking out the new ones and re-installing them properly with the adaptors like those at sub-thump.
One good thing came about from all this though, you know how when you had the key on to listen to the stereo while your parked and you have the door open? You know that annoying ding ding ding ding ding ding door chime, well it doesn't do that anymore, but that is about the only thing which was improved.
Bottom line is if your going to ad an amp to the stock system, (non-B.A that is).. your probably better off starting out with a new in dash stereo unit and required dash kit. This way, you have RCA outlets which are going to give you a cleaner less muddy, distorted sound. I already said this but will repeat for the speed-readers: the factory stereo does not have RCA outlets for an external amp. As for the speakers, use the factory speakers till they fry, if they do than replace them. If you want great gobs of face contorting bass, you'd have to have a sub woofer. Make sure the amp is located where there is plenty of air circulation, make sure the shop uses any needed up grades on the wires or fuses. Read any books on car audio you can find, the more recent the better, and maybe browse thru magazine articles. There are probably online forums (like this one) which are focused on audio systems, which would be your most convenient source since you can search for specific topics. This one is good, not down-playing it but there are probably other forums which are for only the audio system. The online stores which show you what you can put into your car are also helpful, reviews of specific brands, feedback about products, etc. Actually hearing the system in a car like yours which has been hopped-up is also a great help. That way you can note where the amps have been located, types of hook-up wires, speaker wire, anything done to the battery or charging system, type and location of sub-woofer (s).
Again, I'm very thankful for the input offered, I'm open minded and tough skinned, I take no offense if somebody wants to point out simple errors in any assumption I've made. I'm no cheap-ass, I'd given them the permission to use any and all up-graded wires or cables they needed at my expense. BTW, when I called them up Monday, they said they do not refund any money on installed electronics, but they might use what I paid toward upgrades. No surprise there, I don't expect them to work for free or take back stuff that was installed, both these are good reason to do it yourself if you can. I was shocked at what the price was for a brand new amp exactly like they installed if I bought it off of ebay or other retailers. Not talking re-furbs either, I saw brand new in the box never used amps like mine on ebay for about $150 slightly + or less and also higher wattage four or five channel amps for not much more.
Darkrider: please post a link (if any) to your posts which go into detail about your sound system, I just read your upgrade list and see you went whole hog on it. Im in S.E. Michigan, anybody willing to recommend good audio shop in this area (48195) please do so..I'd like to know about any good shops for any performance upgrades I might consider also..all I've done so far is weather tech floor liners and the fudged up stereo.