Ok, for my first thread on here I thought I'd write a review.
After doing tons of research and listening to way too many youtube videos in my quest for a quiet-but-still-there catback, I finally decided on the P&L Street series. It's a full 3" stainless system which is marketed as having stock noise levels under light load/cruise and no drone.
I ordered it directly from P&L and it arrived withing 4 days of my order very nicely packaged.
Quality was excellent (I believe they use mostly Vibrant components for this exhaust) and the welds were very nicely done. I also got a set of Kartboy exhaust hangers.
I installed it that day with a friend, which went smoothly barring trying to get the damn factory spring bolts back in. The exhaust fit well and had enough room on all sides to fit, even with the shorter Kartboy hangers. It's a little close to the bumper for my tastes, I'm looking into ways to get it to sit maybe 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch lower.
Started it up and my first thought was "oh ****, what have I done?!?!?" It's very much louder than stock at idle, but has a nice deep burble. Nothing annoying, you just kind of sound like an old muscle car while sitting at a stoplight. I've gotten used to the idle. Driving around, it seems very loud to me under acceleration (though keep in mind my only other experience is with a stock exhaust), but one again has a very deep and mellow tone. To me, it sounds better in the upper RPM ranges than the lower ones. It's not boomy, just very attention grabbing. As advertised though, once you're up to speed it is very quiet. Cruising around off the gas it's about as loud as the tire noise in the car, even at highway speeds up to about 70. On my 700 mile trip from CO to MT going 85, it became more noticeable, but my car was over 3000rpm and it still wasn't droning, you could just hear that grumble.
After having it on for a few hundred miles (mostly highway) here are my thoughts:
1) It's decently loud, and almost sounds like a truck at lower RPMs, but it sounds OK imo. In the upper RPMs, it comes alive and gets a great tone.
2) No noise when off the gas and cruising along, minimal when on the gas lightly. No drone.
3) There is a slight rattle at ~2500 RPM under load (accel or decel) right under the armrest. I'm not sure if it's hitting a heatshield or what, because sitting still there appears to be enough room on all sides. Still trying to figure this out.
4) The tip sits a little close to the bumper still, though I've had no problems with melting or anything of that sort. It's not touching the bumper, but it's close.
Here's a video @ semi-cold startup in cold weather, it sounds deeper than this in real life imo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7JkSv24KhY
Overall, it's a very quality piece that I'm not sure is right for me and the needs I have but would be great for the majority of people IMO.
I think I would like something almost stock in noise levels (aka STi catback) better for the kind of driving I do.
I'm happy to answer any other questions you guys have about it.