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      08-18-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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Folks with AA and Remus Sport (MUFFLERS ONLY). Need your input please.

Hey gang, it's looking like I'll have to stay stock, but before pulling the plug on an exhaust (at least for the time being... while I can attend a large meet), would like a bit more input from current/previous owners (with no other modifications please, as they change noise levels).

First, the main reason to replace my stock muffler is it looks like crap. Sound inside the cabin is PERFECT. Outside, mild but acceptable. The looks is what's killing me, but not enough to sacrifice a quiet cabin on trips. Therefore, I was looking for a system that looks nice but it's as quiet as stock inside the cabin, and obviously more aggressive outside. Both the Dinan and Eisenmann are out of consideration because I don't like how they look, plus are overly expensive for what they offer (IMO). Only contenders left as of now are Remus Sport and possibly AA.

The Remus Sport was my choice, but a forum member who used to own it just confirmed what I was afraid of: without resonance chambers, they'd drone somewhere in the rev range. He reported noise between 3K and 3.5K rpm annoying enough that required a downshift (note the M3 is already screaming on the highway in 6th gear IMO). That qualifies as 'drone' to me, and it's right at my cruising range, so unacceptable. Unfortunately everybody has its own definition of drone, but want to hear more comments.

Here's what I want. I initially was asking for a system as quiet as stock, but am going to widen that a little, to possibly include other mild systems like AA, Corsa, etc. My 2 requirements are: it has to have resonance chambers (stock has them for a reason), look nice (I'll determine that, I guess ), and cabin has to be quiet like stock above 2,500 or so (less than 3K for sure). Note that the exhaust can be a bit louder than stock, but as long as it's not louder than wind/road/tire noise, it'd still be as quiet as stock . Wish I could determine that for myself, but will have to rely on your comments to make a decision.

And finally, if I stay stock, I'd like to consider painting the mufler black. That'd probably make it less of an eyesore, but don't want the paint peeling off in a few months. Has anybody done that? Thanks in advance for your help gang. All comments welcome.
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      08-18-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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Yes, I agree. One of the things that I don't like about the Eisenmann is the look. Its just a polished stock looking system and very heavy.

RPI, forget it. From the videos, it looks and sounds terrible IMO.

As far as a system that doesn't have annoying drone, I don't think its all about the resonance chambers really. Exhaust manufactures can do quite a bit with tubing and bends to actually create a good sound and still perform well. Also who knows whats inside the muffler chambers to baffle the sound just right. I think you and I are pretty close to what we are looking for but I may go a bit louder. Not Gintani or Meistershaft loud but louder than stock.
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      08-18-2009, 04:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by EagleEye CA View Post
As far as a system that doesn't have annoying drone, I don't think its all about the resonance chambers really. Exhaust manufactures can do quite a bit with tubing and bends to actually create a good sound and still perform well.
Let me tell you why I think it is. The stock muffler has it, for one. And systems that don't drone at all on other cars, like Corsa, drone on the M3 (several reported that). That means the M3 is more prone to drone than other cars.
Now, what you said is true, but look at the mufflers of most systems: they're straight-thru man (with baffle chambers), even the Remus Sport. My observation is quiet systems like Remus Sport shift the drone higher in the rpm range, and obviously drone less than aggressive systems.

Thanks for your input man. Hopefully we both can learn something new from this thread. If not, stock is really not bad, as we should put more emphasis on function (sound while you drive, which is perfect to me), rather than form (how the car looks, and how it sounds to bystanders). I'm not going with form over function this time . Take care man.
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      08-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Let me tell you why I think it is. The stock muffler has it, for one. And systems that don't drone at all on other cars, like Corsa, drone on the M3 (several reported that). That means the M3 is more prone to drone than other cars.
Now, what you said is true, but look at the mufflers of most systems: they're straight-thru man (with baffle chambers), even the Remus Sport. My observation is quiet systems like Remus Sport shift the drone higher in the rpm range, and obviously drone less than aggressive systems.

Thanks for your input man. Hopefully we both can learn something new from this thread. If not, stock is really not bad, as we should put more emphasis on function (sound while you drive, which is perfect to me), rather than form (how the car looks, and how it sounds to bystanders). I'm not going with form over function this time . Take care man.
You might have a point there. I also started looking at non straight through systems like the meistershaft, borla, amuse and now vanguard. Amuse I hear is really quiet but out of my price range. Meistershaft looks promising but from everything I have seen, way louder than what I want. Don't know much about borla for the M3 but I wasn't too excited about their exhaust on other makes and models. So I am waiting for more details on the vanguard system now to see if its really what they claim it is as far as sound.

Heck I might just get different tips and call it day.
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      08-18-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EagleEye CA View Post
So I am waiting for more details on the vanguard system now to see if its really what they claim it is as far as sound.
Forget about Borla; those droned like a mofo on my other cars, so can't imagine how bad they're on the M3 (read a few reports that is was bad indeed, so forget about it).
That Vanguard sounds really nice on sound/video clips, and the current GB price seems great for Ti, but I personally don't trust it for the long run man. And it's not Ti itself, as some manufacturers use it stock (Z06, among others), but most aftermarket systems are just too darn thin. I don't care about a few pounds less; as long as it's lighter than stock (which is not bad, by the way), I'd be happy.

Hey, I just got this from a Remus Sport owner. It was a great way to put the noise inside the cabin:

If I give it a range of 1 to 10, the stock would be say 3, Sports would be about 5.5 to be precise and Race would be about 9. The sports do not drone inside the car at all (might be a teeeenie bit), but the Race drone inside the car would do your head in if you are stuck in traffic going about between 2kRPM to 3.5kRPM

The other owner (wish I hadn't deleted his response) reported drone between 3 and 3.5K on the Sport. Now it's pretty obvious to me this system is nowhere near stock noise level.
The hardest thing to judge is where noise becomes drone, since everybody has a different tolerance. Seems like I'd be borderline at best, so only way to know one way or another is to personally listen to it. I assume this would be the case with the AA too. Well, seems like until I get such offer close to home (preferrably a large meet, where I can listen to ALL at the same time, or somebody passing thru El Paso, TX), or a testimonial from somebody looking for the same thing, I'll be staying stock for now. Hope to hear from somebody on the black paint option. Thanks for your help.
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      08-18-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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I've been using the Remus Sport since the beginning and have been very happy with the sound.
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      08-18-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
I've been using the Remus Sport since the beginning and have been very happy with the sound.
Hey, could you 'rate' it like the guy above? Need something a bit more objective to help us . I'm particularly concerned from about 2,500 (maybe up to 2,700) to about 3,500 rpm, which is my cruising range. I could live with some drone below that range, but not in-between. Thanks man.
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      08-18-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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you know I have never personally experienced anything bad with aftermarket Ti systems from all the people I know. The only guy that had an issue was with the installer thinking he could just wail on the pipes with a hammer. As long as its a good fit and there is no weird stress points, there shouldn't be a problem. The factory hanger points I think keep everything in line and shouldn't too much. I would be worried about hitting something though but that comes with any exhaust I get.

Thanks for the tip on Remus but I kind of already ruled them out prior. Not too crazy about how their muffler looks and don't really want a system I have to cut in the event I change my mind.
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      08-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Hey, could you 'rate' it like the guy above? Need something a bit more objective to help us . I'm particularly concerned from about 2,500 (maybe up to 2,700) to about 3,500 rpm, which is my cruising range. I could live with some drone below that range, but not in-between. Thanks man.
On a stock exhaust (at the moment) with Remus Sport mufflers, drone is nonexistent the 2000-3000rpm range. Race is a different story.

The Sport is a favorite since it has an OEM-like sound when cruising around town and will not attract much attention. but will wake right up when a load is placed on the engine. The rolled tips are a nice classy touch and black painted cans keep the system stealth.

IMHO - it's the Clark Kent/Superman of exhausts.
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      08-18-2009, 07:09 PM   #10
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JC, you and I have had numerous discussions back and forth in PM, so I think I have a pretty good idea of where you're coming from. Based on everything we've talked about, every system out there will involve some trade offs for you, including the stock one. That being the case, you might be best off just powdercoating (not painting) the stock mufflers and calling it a day.
  • AA: Your original post suggests that you're willing to broaden your requirements to include exhausts that have a little more noise than stock below 2,500 rpm, but are as quiet as stock above that. Every aftermarket exhaust will be at least a little louder than stock below 2,500, but based on our discussions, I am certain that the AA is too loud down low for more aurally sensitive guys like you and me.
  • Bastuck: I think the original version for our cars might be perfect for you in terms of sound (many have complained that it is too quiet), but the appearance of the big barrel-shaped one-piece muffler isn't much of an improvement over stock. The new Bastuck looks much better, but might be a bit louder than you want (you'll have to listen to it to be sure though).
  • Borla: I've never heard a Borla setup that didn't have insane levels of drone.
  • Corsa: All reports suggest pretty bad drone on this one too.
  • Dinan: As we've discussed, I think this has the perfect sound for you, but you're not a fan of the black tips or Dinan's treatment of potential customers. Based on what they did to you, I don't blame you on the latter.
  • Eisenmann Sport: Expensive (especially with the connecting pipes), heavier than stock, and the two big mufflers hang down a bit more than you'd probably like.
  • Remus Sport: Sounds like there might be a bit of drone in exactly the wrong rpm range. You'd want to confirm in person, but if so, that's probably a deal killer.

There are a couple of other options that might work for you, but are far more expensive than you're looking to spend.

Btw, the Dinan is essentially a straight-through design, but doesn't drone higher up. Perhaps this is due to the use of only one functional tip per muffler.
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      08-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Hey gang, it's looking like I'll have to stay stock, but before pulling the plug on an exhaust (at least for the time being... while I can attend a large meet), would like a bit more input from current/previous owners (with no other modifications please, as they change noise levels).

First, the main reason to replace my stock muffler is it looks like crap. Sound inside the cabin is PERFECT. Outside, mild but acceptable. The looks is what's killing me, but not enough to sacrifice a quiet cabin on trips. Therefore, I was looking for a system that looks nice but it's as quiet as stock inside the cabin, and obviously more aggressive outside. Both the Dinan and Eisenmann are out of consideration because I don't like how they look, plus are overly expensive for what they offer (IMO). Only contenders left as of now are Remus Sport and possibly AA.

The Remus Sport was my choice, but a forum member who used to own it just confirmed what I was afraid of: without resonance chambers, they'd drone somewhere in the rev range. He reported noise between 3K and 3.5K rpm annoying enough that required a downshift (note the M3 is already screaming on the highway in 6th gear IMO). That qualifies as 'drone' to me, and it's right at my cruising range, so unacceptable. Unfortunately everybody has its own definition of drone, but want to hear more comments.

Here's what I want. I initially was asking for a system as quiet as stock, but am going to widen that a little, to possibly include other mild systems like AA, Corsa, etc. My 2 requirements are: it has to have resonance chambers (stock has them for a reason), look nice (I'll determine that, I guess ), and cabin has to be quiet like stock above 2,500 or so (less than 3K for sure). Note that the exhaust can be a bit louder than stock, but as long as it's not louder than wind/road/tire noise, it'd still be as quiet as stock . Wish I could determine that for myself, but will have to rely on your comments to make a decision.

And finally, if I stay stock, I'd like to consider painting the mufler black. That'd probably make it less of an eyesore, but don't want the paint peeling off in a few months. Has anybody done that? Thanks in advance for your help gang. All comments welcome.
Man. You're really gonna hate the set-up I'm going for then.
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      08-18-2009, 07:50 PM   #12
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Wow... looks > sound & performance? just get some new tips man!
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      08-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLud View Post
JC, you and I have had numerous discussions back and forth in PM, so I think I have a pretty good idea of where you're coming from. Based on everything we've talked about, every system out there will involve some trade offs for you, including the stock one. That being the case, you might be best off just powdercoating (not painting) the stock mufflers and calling it a day.
  • AA: Your original post suggests that you're willing to broaden your requirements to include exhausts that have a little more noise than stock below 2,500 rpm, but are as quiet as stock above that. Every aftermarket exhaust will be at least a little louder than stock below 2,500, but based on our discussions, I am certain that the AA is too loud down low for more aurally sensitive guys like you and me.
  • Bastuck: I think the original version for our cars might be perfect for you in terms of sound (many have complained that it is too quiet), but the appearance of the big barrel-shaped one-piece muffler isn't much of an improvement over stock. The new Bastuck looks much better, but might be a bit louder than you want (you'll have to listen to it to be sure though).
  • Borla: I've never heard a Borla setup that didn't have insane levels of drone.
  • Corsa: All reports suggest pretty bad drone on this one too.
  • Dinan: As we've discussed, I think this has the perfect sound for you, but you're not a fan of the black tips or Dinan's treatment of potential customers. Based on what they did to you, I don't blame you on the latter.
  • Eisenmann Sport: Expensive (especially with the connecting pipes), heavier than stock, and the two big mufflers hang down a bit more than you'd probably like.
  • Remus Sport: Sounds like there might be a bit of drone in exactly the wrong rpm range. You'd want to confirm in person, but if so, that's probably a deal killer.

There are a couple of other options that might work for you, but are far more expensive than you're looking to spend.

Btw, the Dinan is essentially a straight-through design, but doesn't drone higher up. Perhaps this is due to the use of only one functional tip per muffler.
Thanks for the summary. With this thread, I kinda learn a lot of many different exhaust systems. It looks like I'm going to Dinan - I don't mind non-functional tips but it sounds like that's the exact sound I want.

Really, thanks guys for sharp questions, answers and awesome summary!
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      08-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for the summary. With this thread, I kinda learn a lot of many different exhaust systems. It looks like I'm going to Dinan - I don't mind non-functional tips but it sounds like that's the exact sound I want.

Really, thanks guys for sharp questions, answers and awesome summary!
Check out the recent thread I started when I was debating different exhausts. Toward the end, I posted a pretty thorough review of the Dinan.
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      08-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #15
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Hey man! I would go with AA because it's bolt-on. For the Remus don't you have to cut the stock piping?
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      08-18-2009, 11:47 PM   #16
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If you buy Eisenmann connecting pipes, you do not have to cut into your stock exhaust when installing a Remus. The connecting pipes + Remus make it a true bolt on application like AA or Dinan.
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      08-18-2009, 11:56 PM   #17
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Personally, I'd probably go ahead and get the Remus Sport and connecting pipes. Worst case scenario, you hate it, but get the stock unit powdercoated in the meantime. Then go back to stock and sell the Remus and connecting pipes for almost what you paid for them. You'll have no problem selling them.
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      08-19-2009, 12:10 AM   #18
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JC, you and I have had numerous discussions back and forth in PM, so I think I have a pretty good idea of where you're coming from.
Man, that was an awesome review buddy. It'll help a lot of people on my same boat. Many thanks again.

Need to go drop my daughter to her new college, so won't be around for a few days. Hope to find in my porch the perfect exhaust when I come back . Thanks a million to all members who have contributed; this is a great crowd . Take it easy, and keep it going while I'm away. Take care all.
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      08-19-2009, 12:54 AM   #19
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I haven't personally heard it, but I would add Milltek to the list of candidates. Not so big in the US but they do make good quality exhaust systems. See http://www.milltek.co.uk/media.file.cfm?fileid=566 - I had a full Milltek system (including down pipes) on my old RS4 and it only droned at 1500RPM which wasn't an issue. The catback system was quite a bit quieter, almost like stock just slightly louder.

Another option would be Akrapovic slip-on system, but reasonably pricey since it is Titanium...

Final option would be to get your stock exhaust system polished or similar to make it look nicer...
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      08-27-2009, 09:49 PM   #20
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That Vanguard sounds really nice on sound/video clips, and the current GB price seems great for Ti, but I personally don't trust it for the long run man. And it's not Ti itself, as some manufacturers use it stock (Z06, among others), but most aftermarket systems are just too darn thin. I don't care about a few pounds less; as long as it's lighter than stock (which is not bad, by the way), I'd be happy.
Dude get the Vanguard man! I just had mine installed tonight it is simply sweet. No drone, sounds badass under full throttle - I gave a supercharged Camaro a run for its money just on the freeway right now - definitely feeling a bit more push mid-range / top end.

As for titanium, I had a Fujitsubo titanium exhaust on my G35 coupe for like 70,000 miles - no problems whatsoever, pulled it off (when I sold the car) cleaned it up, and got more than half of what I paid for it! Flip side I had my VW SUV's stock exhaust crack on me in 25,000 miles... go figure...

Vanguard Titanium FTW!
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      08-28-2009, 12:49 AM   #21
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One of the best benefits about the Remus Sport besides it being a good buy, is it'll be a subtle increase in sound/sound quality over stock, and if you ever want more just slap on an x-pipe and it'll sound great.
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      08-28-2009, 10:24 AM   #22
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Thanks for your input gentlemen. For now, I hope my $20 paint job (ceramic header paint) lasts long enough while I have a chance to hear the recommended systems by myself. Want to do it right this time. Will check the southwest regional forum from time to time for a meet in Albuquerque, which is 270 miles away. The closest large TX city is at least twice as much, so out of the question. Thanks again for all the help .
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