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Stillen CBE owners regret?

Originally Posted by spearfish25 I have the Stillen and can give an honest answer. When I bought my exhaust, there was no waiting. I wanted something then and it was

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Old 05-05-2010, 07:18 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by spearfish25 View Post
I have the Stillen and can give an honest answer.

When I bought my exhaust, there was no waiting. I wanted something then and it was my best, fastest option. The FI was out then as well, but I didn't want a 4 week wait and there were floating rumors of drone that I will 100% NOT tolerate. So, for fear of drone and getting something I couldn't live with, I went with Stillen over FI. Berk wasn't an option as it was about 6 months down the pipeline still.

Having lived with my Stillen since September, I'm extremely happy with it. I like their large tips and haven't had any problems during install or thereafter. I felt the HFC addition was necessary as I wanted a little more volume out of the exhaust, and the addition did exactly that. For me, it's the perfect level of sound and 'fun'. It rewards a throttle stomp, sounds good at idle and never has any drone.

Would I switch for an FI now or before? No. I still don't want drone and the reviews are more concrete that the FI CBE with HFCs will get you some. Would I wait for the Berk or get that instead now if I could do it over? Potentially. I've heard the Berk in person and it sounds really nice. Lower and louder than the Stillen (both with HFCs). I like the Berk's sound, but I prefer the Stillen tips which I think would lean me to reorder Stillen again. There wasn't any drone with the Berk which makes it a viable option for me, but it's definitely louder inside the car when you're driving. JB1 last mentioned he plans to dynomat because the interior sound is just a bit on the loud side for long trips. No drone, just louder inside the car. In the end, I think Stillen and Berk would be a coin flip for me, but I have no regrets with my Stillen whatsoever.
I think the Berks sound really nice.

One exhaust that I think gets overlooked is AAM Competition's CBE. Two of the guys at our weekly meets have the AAM CBE and HFCs and the cars just sound fantastic. I think my FI sounds amazing, but holy crap, that AAM exhaust is amazing too. I drove one of their cars a couple weeks ago and that growl is just something else.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 370Zsteve View Post
I'm not so sure Semtex agreed with Tony on the cause, either. Tony, as usual, was quick to blame another manufacturer's design.
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Originally Posted by Daishi View Post
because the only difference in the cars was the exhaust.. so naturaly one would assume its the exhaust.
I have no regrets over buying the Stillen exhaust, but you have to look at the context as well. I've had my Z since the second week of Jan 09. I had my Stillen CBE by March, I think? By the time I get the F.I. exhaust, I'll have had almost a good year and a half of usage out of it. Well worth the money. Now, if I only had my Stillen since January of THIS year, then I'd probably feel differently. But the Stillen was the best option at the time, so I have no regrets about going with the then-best option. A better option has now come to market, and I have data that strongly suggests that, when the LTH comes into play, the advantage of F.I.'s CBE over Stillen's is sufficient to justify the expense of switching (which is entirely subjective, of course).

Regarding the above quotes, where I currently stand is that Tony makes a logical argument about the Stillen CBE being a bottleneck. That doesn't mean I believe him 100%; what it does mean is that I think his reasoning is sound enough to warrant taking a chance and spending the money to find out for sure either way (besides, it gives me an excuse to buy a shiny new toy for my Z). It should come as no surprise to anyone that I plan to dyno his CBE when I get it. It will either prove him right, or it will prove him wrong. Notice that Tony is taking a risk too. He knows full well that if he's wrong, I'm going to have dyno sheets to prove it and I'm going to share them with the world. So Tony is risking the possibility that I will have solid independent evidence demonstrating that when his LTHs enter the equation, there is nothing to be gained from F.I.'s CBE over Stillen's.

Going back to the question of whether or not one regrets buying the Stillen CBE, I think we need to take a step back for a second. I think the question presupposes to at least some degree that if you buy something today, and something better comes along tomorrow, that's cause for regret. This is just my personal opinion, but that kind of thinking will only make your life full of regret. Because let's face it, no matter what you buy today, something better will come along tomorrow. If an exhaust system comes out next month that surpasses F.I.'s, does that mean everyone who bought an F.I. should be kicking themselves with regret? Heck, the 370Z will one day be surpassed (hopefully). Does that mean we should all regret buying the 370Z instead of waiting for the Z35? So I guess maybe I'm getting a little philosophical here, but the point I'm trying to make is that there will always be something better around the corner. Don't let that ruin the enjoyment of what you have today with unwarranted subsequent regret.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:41 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by semtex View Post
I have no regrets over buying the Stillen exhaust, but you have to look at the context as well. I've had my Z since the second week of Jan 09. I had my Stillen CBE by March, I think? By the time I get the F.I. exhaust, I'll have had almost a good year and a half of usage out of it. Well worth the money. Now, if I only had my Stillen since January of THIS year, then I'd probably feel differently. But the Stillen was the best option at the time, so I have no regrets about going with the then-best option. A better option has now come to market, and I have data that strongly suggests that, when the LTH comes into play, the advantage of F.I.'s CBE over Stillen's is sufficient to justify the expense of switching (which is entirely subjective, of course).

Regarding the above quotes, where I currently stand is that Tony makes a logical argument about the Stillen CBE being a bottleneck. That doesn't mean I believe him 100%; what it does mean is that I think his reasoning is sound enough to warrant taking a chance and spending the money to find out for sure either way (besides, it gives me an excuse to buy a shiny new toy for my Z). It should come as no surprise to anyone that I plan to dyno his CBE when I get it. It will either prove him right, or it will prove him wrong. Notice that Tony is taking a risk too. He knows full well that if he's wrong, I'm going to have dyno sheets to prove it and I'm going to share them with the world. So Tony is risking the possibility that I will have solid independent evidence demonstrating that when his LTHs enter the equation, there is nothing to be gained from F.I.'s CBE over Stillen's.

Going back to the question of whether or not one regrets buying the Stillen CBE, I think we need to take a step back for a second. I think the question presupposes to at least some degree that if you buy something today, and something better comes along tomorrow, that's cause for regret. This is just my personal opinion, but that kind of thinking will only make your life full of regret. Because let's face it, no matter what you buy today, something better will come along tomorrow. If an exhaust system comes out next month that surpasses F.I.'s, does that mean everyone who bought an F.I. should be kicking themselves with regret? Heck, the 370Z will one day be surpassed (hopefully). Does that mean we should all regret buying the 370Z instead of waiting for the Z35? So I guess maybe I'm getting a little philosophical here, but the point I'm trying to make is that there will always be something better around the corner. Don't let that ruin the enjoyment of what you have today with unwarranted subsequent regret.
+1 great post
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:44 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Excellent post Semtex. I'm eager to see the results of your testing. Another thing I'd like to add though is that exhausts are a very subjective mod. Yes there might be a difference in power (and we all want more power), but at the same time there is an equally important aspect (in my opinion) which is sound. After all, you are going to be listening to it every time you get into your car. I would say its relatively safe to say you should probably look for something you like rather than what makes marginally more power.

With that said, I personally like the sound of my Stillen a bit more than the other exhausts I've heard so far. I would really have to see a gain of 20-30whp to say I would sacrifice sound over performance and I simply don't see that happening with any newer and better exhaust out there. Maybe once Forced induction becomes a factor and if the Stillen actually becomes a bottleneck (which I don't think it will) it will be worthwhile to change it. Otherwise I don't regret my purchase.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:50 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Yeah see the Stillen is a little too quiet for me. It's too civilized for my personal taste. I have yet to set off anyone's car alarm just driving by with the Stillen CBE. And, well, setting off alarms is an old pastime / guilty pleasure of mine from other cars I've had.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:51 PM   #36 (permalink)
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hahaha I hear ya, I used to do it in my STI all the time. I gotta say, I do wish it were like 5-10 decibels louder sometimes, even with the HFCs and headers.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:57 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Now let me ask you about your ERZ HFC's

I've read all about them and so far it seems they're a steal.

You're happy with them still? I know you haven't dyno'd them. I don't want to be stupid but, as they're cheaper, they don't sound any different to other HFC's do they? Other than wondering that it seems they'd be on par with the others on the market.
I'm really happy with the ERZs as well. You absolutely can't beat the price. As for quality, I had no issues with the install (save the Nissan bolts being biatches) and I think they've stood up well to the ultimate test...

I live in Chicago. I drive my car all winter. When I jacked up the car for the spring oil change and brake pad swap, the ERZ cats look brand f'ing new. They must be entirely made of 316 stainless because they are the most corrosion resistant part of my car now!

No CEL in 2000+ miles.

As for comparative sound, I've never heard the ERZs vs Berk or Stillen HFCs with the same catback exhausts on the cars. I think they add hiss like any HFC and they open up the exhaust similarly too. For $360, I have nothing but a smile on my face.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:04 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Wow...you guys that are saying it's too quiet are starting to worry me. I'm thinking of trading in my Nismo for a Stillen because I'm looking for more depth and volume. Now you're making me wonder if it won't be much louder than what I already have...
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:25 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Wow...you guys that are saying it's too quiet are starting to worry me. I'm thinking of trading in my Nismo for a Stillen because I'm looking for more depth and volume. Now you're making me wonder if it won't be much louder than what I already have...
dont compare the Nismo sound to the Stillen sound bud, its not even close. With HFC's, my exhaust is PLENTY loud.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Yeah its not that its quiet, its just not supercar loud.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:52 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I have the Stillen CBE and I wouldn't change it even if someone gave me a complete FI setup for free. I've owned my Z since Jan 09 and I've had Stillen's CBE installed for 9 months. The Stillen surpassed all my expectations. I had no install issues, no fitment issues, no problems whatsoever. I am completely satisfied with it. I love the sound, the power, and the looks, especially the aggressive tips.
I'm also running Berk HFCs and the combo is incredible. At first, the exhaust note was a little loud but after a week of driving, it settled down nicely. Now, the sound is nothing short of inspiring. I can really feel the power gains too.

No. I have no regrets at all.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:33 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Great write up Spearfish....and +1 Rep for you as well....

I have personally heard a Stillen Exhaust...One of the guys out here has one on his 370Z...Really reminds me of Semtex's car since they are the same color....I'm not too sure if he has HFC's on it, but when he opened that baby up, Let me tell ya' it sounded really nice to hear it live....Hearing his car with the Stillen exhaust made me realize that all these vids really don't do the exhaust justice....
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Great write up Spearfish....and +1 Rep for you as well....

I have personally heard a Stillen Exhaust...One of the guys out here has one on his 370Z...Really reminds me of Semtex's car since they are the same color....I'm not too sure if he has HFC's on it, but when he opened that baby up, Let me tell ya' it sounded really nice to hear it live....Hearing his car with the Stillen exhaust made me realize that all these vids really don't do the exhaust justice....
couldnt agree more, my Z's exhaust note has been likened to an F1 car, very racey sounding, which is the note that I absolutely love.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:30 PM   #44 (permalink)
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dont compare the Nismo sound to the Stillen sound bud, its not even close. With HFC's, my exhaust is PLENTY loud.
What I cant hear you over my exhaust.
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:00 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Ive also got the Stillen cbe with berk HFC's. I bought it from a member here on the boards and got a pretty good deal on it. I must say I've been really happy with it since day 1. No problems with the fitment or install. Its plenty loud enough for me and also has virtually no drone. Wierd how some people want their car even louder cuz I'm usually the one always wanting something louder. I used to have a full catless wrx with a full race exhaust(no resonators) and the stillen/berk hfc fills my need in terms of loudness goes. It really opens up when you get on it. Maybe I'm just getting old haha....

The only real gripes I have about it is the tips stick out further than I'd like. I know for some ppl it's lined up pretty flush with the bumper but mine does stick out a bit. I don't mind the large tips, I"m just not too crazy about them sticking out further when looking at it from the side. The only other thing is the catback is pretty heavy. The muffler weighed a good amount more than the stock muffle and I was pretty suprised when installing it. But overall I really like it and wouldnt trade it today for the FI, Invidia or berk.
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