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The biggest problem is Digital Signal Processing. There's a lot of it in the Scion (3 car types three choices), the "hear" "feel" "neutral" are examples of the DSP. The Scion has nine choices of ass, unfortunately, not one is "off". The DSP is there on many cars now because DSP is cheaper than speakers. OEM's can build EQ curves to make the $1 speakers sound decent.
If you were to replace the speakers, you're still listening to them through the $1 speaker filter. Whatever aftermarket speaker you select probably will not have the same limitations of the originals.
If you were to replace the deck, the DSP will be gone. Now you can hear what the $1 speakers really sound like (It wont be good). It's pretty easy to swap out the deck in the Scion so the radio replacement option is there. It's not there in all in many vehicles.
I compleetely understand the want to retain the OEM funtionality as well as improve sound. Out of the two choices you have, the lesser of two evils is replacing the speakers.
Personally, I chose to keep the deck add CleanSweep to take car of the DSP. The rest of the system has upgraded speakers and amps as well as Sirius and iPod. Performance-wise aftermarket decks are a lateral move at best but cosmetically and functionally are not up to par in my opinion.
 
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