So I finally decided to just do it already and had a muffler shop cut out the resonator and replace it with some straight pipe. I haven't driven it more than 5 miles in heavy traffic yet, but here are my impressions so far:
There's a nice, small boost in the volume level, no hint of any kind of droning. I'm happy with the volume increase, it's what I was expecting. I didn't bother doing any before and after recordings since it would probably be an imperceptible difference over an audio clip the boost is so slight (but still a noticeable change, enough that someone who has been in my car enough might ask about it, but no where near as loud as swapping out the mufflers entirely). If the stock volume level is a 3 out of 10, and an AVO catback (which I had on my '10 LGT) was an 9 out of 10 compared to stock, I'd put the volume level of this mod at a 4 out of 10. The volume at idle did not change. The rpm range with the biggest volume impact was 1000 to 2500rpm.
This is where I'm on the fence. It sounds much, much better from 1000-2000rpm, it has a little more bass now than before, which sounds great the way it's muted (rich and full, without being loud or booming, or anything close to it). You might be able to describe the volume increase as going from stock to stock w/ a catted downpipe (if we were talking about a GT).
From 2000-3000rpm, the tone is not what I would have expected, it starts to become a little nasal, more treble, less bassy, and I'd say in this rpm, the volume increase over stock was minimal. So far I'm not thrilled with the tone change in this range, but I don't hate it either, I guess I'm indifferent at this point. From 3000 to red line, it is basically the same tone as stock, just a little louder.
For $65 and 15m of time, there wasn't too much risk I was taking on. Right now it's something I'm going to keep, but over the next few weeks I'll see if it's something I want to stick with or not. The overall boost in the exhaust presence is nice, and I can also tell that an aftermarket exhaust would have been louder than I wanted to go.
I'll update this post once I've had a chance to take some kind of trip on the highway.
Someone was asking before if the resonator was a straight through design, and yes, I can confirm now 100% that it is, and looks actually very efficient. So if you have axle backs and are thinking the resonator might be obstructing some air flow and are considering removing it, it definitely is not. If anything the other joints further upstream in the exhaust (between the cats and resonator) are more restrictive.
Last edited by TheOneDoubleN; 09-26-2012 at 10:34 AM..
Reason: Changed rpm range