HKS spec L vs Thermal

  1. TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    I have started shopping for an exhaust and these two are on my short list. I’m 41 and don’t want anything too loud, no drone. I will be keeping the factory down pipe. Does anybody have any 1st hand experience with both of these? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Akuto

    Akuto Senior Member

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    Buddy has thermal, sounded good and only drones under acceleration.
    I've only heard HKS from outside of the car. I liked the thermal better for sound, IMO.
     
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  3. 23Red

    23Red Senior Member

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    Why does everyone associate age with how loud they want their exhaust to be? I've seen plenty of middle-aged people with loud ass cars and bikes:rofl:
     
  4. OP
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    TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    I think the R attracts enough attention as it is. I find the older I get the more annoying the super loud exhausts get. I also think that having a really loud exhaust invites everyone to want to race at every stop light. I’m sure I will get some grief for this but the car isn’t really that fast. Seems like false advertising.
     
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    TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    It is almost loud enough for me now. I just want a bit more sound and it needs a better tone.
     
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    TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    What was better about the thermal?
     
  7. Akuto

    Akuto Senior Member

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    To me the thermal has a cleaner sound
     
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  8. 123sillyboy123

    123sillyboy123 Senior Member

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    I am 41.
    Hks spec L or legamax will both fit you.
    Zero drone and mild exhaust note.
    Imo, stock exhaust is stupid, the note is just lame. HKS is just abit louder than stock, and comfortable enough for family and kids.
     
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  9. Ctrnut

    Ctrnut Senior Member

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    I have the Thermal exhaust and love it. When cursing its fairly quiet and I find it has zero drown when on gas. Around 2500 rpm sometime I do get a bit of cabin drone but it is marginally louder then stock at the rpm. Otherwise it has a nice deep burble on cold start and is not raspy in sound, kinda like the old v6's of the 90's. Personally for me and I am 37 its the perfect mix of a bit more grunt and not over bearing to where you cannot have a conversation in the car. My wife loves it and the look with the triple tip which keeps that stock appearance.
     
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  10. bbdave

    bbdave Senior Member

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    If you’re keeping the factory downpipe get the Legamax. Heard it in person both inside and outside the car. Very tame with a good note. I’m running the Spec L with a DP/FP combo. Cruising around at any speed doesn’t produce any more drone than factory did. I believe the Spec L is louder side by side though. The legamax was pretty mellow.
    Edit: HKS quality and fit are on point. Don’t know about Thermal
     
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  11. 123sillyboy123

    123sillyboy123 Senior Member

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    Both spec L and legamax sounds pretty similar.. but spec L is light weight..
     
  12. turboR

    turboR Member

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    I own the HKS Spec-L and I absolutely LOVE it. I have had loud ass exhausts on all my cars and I eventually got over it for DD...and I'm only 30 haha. I had the Greddy Tri Tip before this and I HATED it...most droning exhuast I ever owned and it did not sound good. The Spec-L is just loud enough that you know its there and you can actually hear your shifting points. It has ZERO drone, is the best looking dual tip in my opinion, and is super light weight. I also noticed a big improvement via my butt dyno with throttle response and acceleration. It is very quiet when cruising on the freeway, you hardly know its there...no annoying cabin resonance, etc. It has a deeper aggressive sound to it, best of all being when you hit the rev limited it pops and sounds fantastic...and still is not loud at this point. Its qiuet enough to the point that I may go with a catless DP and I have no fear that it will get loud enough to bother me. I come from the EVO world and this is comparable to the Quad Tip Cobb Exhaust for the Evo X in terms of sound level, very tame but yet slightly aggressive sounding, not annoying at all. I included some pics for ya from my install. Sorry but I do not have any sound clips at the moment.

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    TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I think I’m pretty set on Spec L. I think it looks better than the legamax and prefer to save some weight if possible. I’ve been reading everything I can find and so far I can’t find anyone that isn’t happy with it. I’m coming from a GTI with a JB1 and a magnaflow catback. I was happy with the volume level, but it just didn’t have any personality, just deep. From the clips I’ve heard it seems like the Spec L has a little bit of a higher pitch than the legamax and the Thermal. They sound more like the Magnaflow to me. Great post turboR, love those pictures. I figure it’s easier to add some volume later on the spec L than trying to quiet down the Thermal.
     
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  14. bbdave

    bbdave Senior Member

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    @turboR I’m running a the PRL catless downpipe and frontpipe. No regrets. I’m still in the process of breaking it in. From what you posted the exhaust seems to retain many of its stock characteristics even with catless. It sounds very tame with a mild foot. Add some more foot and it becomes aggressive but still not as loud as other setups.
     
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  15. OP
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    TylerTypeR

    TylerTypeR Member

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    Found this video of the legamax with the hks downpipe. A bit much for me but it sounds amazing!

     
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