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Discussion Starter #1
I recently just got a 2018 Focus ST. As far as I am aware, the car is completely stock. I do not see any signs of modifications at all. I am looking into purchasing an exhaust system in a couple of months and I am wanting some help as to which one I should go for.

My previous car was a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe that had a 2.4L N/A. I had installed a FlowMaster Super 44 muffler to give it a nice deeper sounding exhaust and increase the volume a little bit. The car had some drone when cruising at 45-70 and I actually enjoyed that a little bit. It definitely increased the volume, but it didn't make it overly loud. It never made me think that it was too loud to the point where I was in danger of getting pulled over or anything. It was probably close to that point. I could clearly hear the exhaust from within the vehicle with the sound system at low to mid volumes. With the sound system cranked up, I could only really hear the exhaust when bring the RPM up past 4500-5000. I absolutely loved the way this sounded and would love something very similar.

I am looking for something for my Focus ST that will operate very closely to the same way my Cobalt did. Now I know acoustics are going to be different because of how the cars are designed differently and everything like that. I am looking for something that has a nice deeper tone to it, nothing too raspy, I don't mind some drone. I definitely want to hear it, but I don't want something so loud that I am going to be pulled over for. Something that I can pretty easily hear with the sound system at around 0-15, but can still hear if the sound system is louder and the revs are higher.

I have looked around at videos, but the issue I have found is some videos of the same exhaust sound completely different because of the quality of the camera/microphone being used varies between videos.

I have liked the sound of the Cobb exhaust, but some reviews say its too quiet. If I am spending $500-$800 on an exhaust system, I definitely want to hear it.

I have really been looking into the MBRP 3in XP cat back. It sounds pretty good from the videos I have seen. I just don't have enough in-depth of a review to know if this is what I am looking for. Reviews vary in some saying they it is great and somewhat loud and others saying it is way too quiet.

I am open to other exhaust systems, but from the videos I have seen, I haven't been too impressed. Again, could easily be the deviation in camera/microphone quality.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Wow. I had the Cobb and it is not remotely quiet. It's probably on the verge of being illegal depending on your location. It had a really sweet tone, but the drone at highway speeds was a dealbreaker for me. It is really well built, and it's almost a shame it gets hidden away as the welds and chrome are a thing of beauty.
You may want to do this incrementally but try an aftermarket downpipe and a resonator delete on the stock exhaust first. The downpipe is highly recommended here if you're looking to eventually tune and other bolt-ons, and the car WILL be louder for sure. There are a bunch of exhaust threads you can look through, take some time and read what they have to say as well.

If you want really different check out Tomei's Ti exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow. I had the Cobb and it is not remotely quiet. It's probably on the verge of being illegal depending on your location. It had a really sweet tone, but the drone at highway speeds was a dealbreaker for me. It is really well built, and it's almost a shame it gets hidden away as the welds and chrome are a thing of beauty.
You may want to do this incrementally but try an aftermarket downpipe and a resonator delete on the stock exhaust first. The downpipe is highly recommended here if you're looking to eventually tune and other bolt-ons, and the car WILL be louder for sure. There are a bunch of exhaust threads you can look through, take some time and read what they have to say as well.

If you want really different check out Tomei's Ti exhaust.
I will look into the Cobb a little more. Down pipe and tune is on my list, but starting with cat back for now because of costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow. I had the Cobb and it is not remotely quiet. It's probably on the verge of being illegal depending on your location. It had a really sweet tone, but the drone at highway speeds was a dealbreaker for me. It is really well built, and it's almost a shame it gets hidden away as the welds and chrome are a thing of beauty.
You may want to do this incrementally but try an aftermarket downpipe and a resonator delete on the stock exhaust first. The downpipe is highly recommended here if you're looking to eventually tune and other bolt-ons, and the car WILL be louder for sure. There are a bunch of exhaust threads you can look through, take some time and read what they have to say as well.

If you want really different check out Tomei's Ti exhaust.
When compare to sound system volume. How well could you hear the exhaust at 15+?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Wow. I had the Cobb and it is not remotely quiet. It's probably on the verge of being illegal depending on your location. It had a really sweet tone, but the drone at highway speeds was a dealbreaker for me. It is really well built, and it's almost a shame it gets hidden away as the welds and chrome are a thing of beauty.
You may want to do this incrementally but try an aftermarket downpipe and a resonator delete on the stock exhaust first. The downpipe is highly recommended here if you're looking to eventually tune and other bolt-ons, and the car WILL be louder for sure. There are a bunch of exhaust threads you can look through, take some time and read what they have to say as well.

If you want really different check out Tomei's Ti exhaust.
Another thing with the Cobb exhaust that makes me steer away from it is the installation video CJPony parts. When testing it at the end, they state often that the exhaust is not overly loud and you can barely hear it. When they are testing it, they are testing with no radio at all.


Also, its not that I don't believe you, but I have a hard time imagining this because this video with the Cobb installation and testing, you can't hardly hear the exhaust at all when he is talking.

 

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Depended on the speed and engine load. On highway I had to definitely have the vol at 15 or more to overcome the exhaust drone. Without sound deadening I was getting 89 dB in the cabin at 100 kph. I wanted quieter so after HushMat in the hatch, and replacing the Cobb with a AWE Touring exhaust (Which I've since added a Vibrant Resonator to), I'm down to 65 dB, which means I can have the vol at 10 or less and still hear it clearly.

Different goals than yours , though. It still roars when I get on it, and still sounds great at idle.

To be fair, I'm also running the stock downpipe at the moment so once I swap that it'll be a little louder again. That'll be about the same time I get a custom tune, colder plugs, and a few more goodies.

That's a crock. You can definitely hear it in the cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Depended on the speed and engine load. On highway I had to definitely have the vol at 15 or more to overcome the exhaust drone. Without sound deadening I was getting 89 dB in the cabin at 100 kph. I wanted quieter so after HushMat in the hatch, and replacing the Cobb with a AWE Touring exhaust (Which I've since added a Vibrant Resonator to), I'm down to 65 dB, which means I can have the vol at 10 or less and still hear it clearly.

Different goals than yours , though. It still roars when I get on it, and still sounds great at idle.

To be fair, I'm also running the stock downpipe at the moment so once I swap that it'll be a little louder again. That'll be about the same time I get a custom tune, colder plugs, and a few more goodies.

That's a crock. You can definitely hear it in the cabin.
What about light, medium, and heavy accelerations? If you got the music cranked, does it kind of drown out the exhaust until you are really on it? Does it sound pretty decent with normal music under light and medium acceleration from a stop?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also, its not that I don't believe you, but I have a hard time imagining this because this video with the Cobb installation and testing, you can't hardly hear the exhaust at all when he is talking. It sounds great on the outside, but with the camera on the inside, you can hardly hear it. Now again, this could be acoustics and camera/microphone quality.


 

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I have heard a few times that the Ford Performance exhaust (made by Bosal I believe) is the best combination of sound with subtlety...….
 

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I have heard a few times that the Ford Performance exhaust (made by Bosal I believe) is the best combination of sound with subtlety...….
From the videos, this seems like it's somewhat louder, but also higher pitch. I'm not too impressed by that. To me it just sounds like louder stock exhaust.
 

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I have the MBRP catback installed on mine and I really like it. I was looking for something that sounds aftermarket, but doesn't sound "ricey" and loud/obnoxious. The cabin does get a little loud sometimes in that RPM range you mentioned, but to me, it's tolerable. I really recommend it, it's not loud outside, but it does give the car a low grumble, which sounds refined and sporty to me.
 

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With the Cobb I had no problem hearing the exhaust in the cabin. You could hear it quite clearly over the speakers at WOT no matter how loud thestereo was set to. Like I said, I loved the tone at idle and under medium acceleration and it sounds fantastic when you hammer it, but I couldn't handle the drone at highway cruise. You'll definitely hear all the burbles and pops especially if you don't use any sound deadening. I would also invest in the symposer delete as well. No effect to the burbly exhaust noises, but it helped kill the drone somewhat. Plus, it cleans up the engine bay some and gives you a vacuum source for other guages if you decide to go that way. I bought the Steeda, but Cobb, Mountune and a host of others make them, too.

I believe the FP exhaust is made by Borla, not Bosal. Give the AWE Track Edition a listen on their website. It may be worth looking at as well.
 

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With the Cobb I had no problem hearing the exhaust in the cabin. You could hear it quite clearly over the speakers at WOT no matter how loud thestereo was set to. Like I said, I loved the tone at idle and it sounds fantastic when you hammer it, but I couldn't handle the drone at highway cruise. You'll definitely hear all the burbles and pops especially if you don't use any sound deadening. I would also invest in the symposer delete as well. No effect to the burbly exhaust noises, but it helped kill the drone somewhat. Plus, it cleans up the engine bay some and gives you a vacuum source for other guages if you decide to go that way. I bought the Steeda, but Cobb, Mountune and a host of others make them, too.

I believe the FP exhaust is made by Borla, not Bosal. Give the AWE Track Edition a listen on their website. It may be worth looking at as well.
Do you have any videos or know of any on youtube that is close or shows a similar experience to what you are describing?
 

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I can second this. I have Cobb cbe with stock DP. It does sound nice, but I’m thinking when I add a DP it’s going to be too much for the wife. I’m leaning towards the thermal research combo.
 

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I can attest to the downpipe adding drone. I have a CNT 2 and 1/2 in cat back. Sounded great on the stock downpipe no drone at all. Now that I want to stage 3 and a today 100 cell catted downpipe there's definitely some drone cruising on the highway but it's not bad. What I hate is the slight drone you get with the slightest little throttle input. But I can drown that out with the sound of my passenger door flexing (two 12's on 1800 watts) LOL ?.
 

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I have the MBRP and it has a fair amount of drone at up to about 3000rpm with partial throttle. At WOT it sounds great while at a constant cruising speed it’s fairly quiet inside. Outside, it’s not obnoxious but, you know something is going on. I would add a crackle tune and an open filter or CAI so that you get A better aural experience from the exhaust and the intake (turbo).

I have the COBB AP, stage 1, with a Stratified mild crackle tune and no regrets. My wife thinks it’s a bit loud until I get to cruise speed though.
 

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Do you have any videos or know of any on youtube that is close or shows a similar experience to what you are describing?
Here's one.
Ideally, I'd reach out to someone local to you and give it listen (once this pandemic is lessened). Beyond that, you ultimately have to make the decision.
 

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Here's one.
Ideally, I'd reach out to someone local to you and give it listen (once this pandemic is lessened). Beyond that, you ultimately have to make the decision.
This definitely helps clear it up. I am still leaning towards MBRP. As the video shows, under idle and light acceleration, it's almost no difference. It really shows under WOT. Another reason I am leaning towards MBRP is warranty. I am looking for the 304 steel as I am in Michigan and they use salt on the roads. The better rust resistance will be better. Also MBRP has lifetime warranty. I am surprised that Cobb only has 12 month.
 

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I agree with coolpool on the AWE touring. I have the track version off a Cobb catted downpipe and it is LOUD. Can drone too. I like it most of the time but if I was doing it over I would get the touring. Then you can by the track section separately for about $170. Another one I would look at it the Borla. My son has the Borla catback on his RS with stock downpipe and it sounds great.

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