"Will Paradox Performance Mufflers Work On My Vehicle?"



Thank you for your interest in Paradox Performance Mufflers. This page is a guide to understanding if our mufflers are right for your vehicle. It provides several free resources, including a list of common vehicle mods and how they can affect sound. This page also dives deeper into what results are and aren't typical (and why). Towards the end, we also provide a friendly legal disclaimer. 

All in all, this page exists so that you can make a better, more informed decision as a consumer.

If you have any questions after reading, please feel free to contact us by clicking here.

Note: if you are looking for a technical installation guide, please click here.

Are Paradox Performance Mufflers Right For You?

We designed Paradox Performance Mufflers to be aggressive and deep with minimal exhaust drone. Our universal mufflers fit almost any vehicle with pipe 3.00" or smaller if installed by a professional muffler shop or fabricator.

We designed our mufflers to work with:

      • Most stock/unmodified vehicles of all engine types.
      • Most modified engines up to 900 horsepower (450 per bank) 

For stock vehicles, our mufflers are usually "plug and play". That means you can have a trusted muffler shop or fabricator replace your stock muffler(s) with our universal mufflers (appropriately sized), and leave the rest of your system stock. In our opinion, this usually leads to bold, strong sound with minimal effort and cost.

Of course, you can also do more to upgrade your exhaust, such as delete resonators or have dual tailpipes installed. This may or may not result in better sound. The more variables there are, the more there is to consider. Here are some examples of variables that can affect exhaust sound:

      • Aftermarket performance upgrades including headers, chip tuners, cold air intake, superchargers, etc.
      • 600+ horsepower engines
      • Ultra modified engines, especially 4 and 6 cylinders.
      • Altered emissions, including deleted catalytic converters, aftermarket catalytic converters, O2 sensors, emission control devices, etc. 

Common Modifications And Their Typical Effects On Sound

All engine and exhaust modifications can (and usually will) impact sound volume and sound quality. This is true regardless of the brand of muffler you choose.

Below, we have compiled a list of common vehicle modifications, and how they might affect sound. We hope you find this useful, even if you don't choose our brand. This is not an exhaustive list, and you are not guaranteed to get these results: 

      • Upgrading pipe size can increase sound volume, and in some cases drone.
      • Upgrading to “duals” can increase sound volume. On 6 cylinder engines and smaller, duals are very often overkill and can lead to more issues than gains. Duals are also not necessary for great sound on V8s, especially V8 vehicles made in the last 30 years (but even before), and especially with Paradox Mufflers. People are often surprised by how much full, performance sound can be achieved with a single Paradox Muffler.
      • Deleting catalytic converters and/or emission controls can increase volume and lead to unpredictable changes in sound quality and engine tuning.
      • Aftermarket "High Flow" Catalytic Converters can increase volume, and sometimes cause tuning issues if it is too lightly rated for the vehicle.
      • Aftermarket exhaust pipe kits can vary wildly in quality and effect. Some kits can contribute to drone.
      • Deleting resonators can increase volume. Particularly in 4 and 6 cylinders, this could lead to issues like “rasp”.
      • Turn downs and "dumps" typically cause far more interior resonance and are more prone to drone than tailpipes. This is especially true for cars and SUVs.
      • Long, and/or undersized tailpipes can sometimes lead to a “cackling” sound. This can also happen to exhaust that is not air tight (i.e. has holes, gaps, or poor welds).
      • Long stretches of straight exhaust pipe (roughly 16" and longer) often leads to drone, especially on 3" pipe and larger. Long lengths of pipe should be broken up by subtle bends in order to prevent drone frequencies. This can be a problem with some aftermarket pipe kits.
      • Aftermarket duals can increase volume and "tailpipe sound", which can range from pleasant to the annoying problems listed above.
      • Headers drastically change the sound and inherently effects the emissions systems on modern vehicles. Headers can cause or exacerbate a lot of noises. 
      • Interior & trunk sound insulation and padding can have a significant effect on drone and interior resonance. A lack of insulation can lead to drone, and the addition of insulation can help control it. Thankfully, virtually all modern cars have decent stock insulation.
      • Engine tuning often increases volume. This includes, timing, air/fuel ratio, emission controls, and more. An improper tune often leads to undesirable sounds such as “rasp”, "cackling", "popping", and drone.
      • Any engine modifications such as cold air intakes and superchargers can have varied and sometimes unpredictable effects on sound quality and volume.
      • Aftermarket camshafts, especially high performance, drastically affects sound. They can raise volume, increase bass, and add drone at certain frequencies.
      • Extremely high horsepower engines are louder and therefore harder for mufflers to control. Our current muffler models may not be enough for more than 600 horsepower per bank/side. We encourage you to reach out if you are in doubt.
      • Superchargers can massively impact sound. We recommend contacting us for personalized advice on supercharged vehicles.
      • Ultra modified 4 and 6 cylinders are more prone to sound problems than V8s. Our current mufflers may not be enough for heavily modded 4 and 6 cylinders.
      • Rule of thumb: the more radical your sound already is, the harder it is for a muffler to compensate.

A Note On Deleting Catalytic Converters and Emissions Controls

Besides not being street legal, deleting catalytic converters and other emissions equipment often opens a Pandora's Box. Vehicles manufactured in 1996 or newer cannot simply have their catalytic converters deleted without causing serious tuning issues. The vehicle must also be re-chipped and re-tuned. Even when "tuned", it is very common to still have tuning issues, which can cause undesirable sounds such as drone. For those that insist on deleting emissions (legal, off road use only), we recommend having it done and tuned by a professional. It can take several re-tunes over the course of several months to get it "perfect", so you should plan on returning to the professional multiple times for tweaks.

In the past 30 years, vehicle manufactures have used catalytic converters to generate the proper amount of heat in the cylinder. Removing catalytic converters changes the amount of heat in the cylinder, which can and usually will throw off tune and can be difficult to compensate for.

It's also worth noting that catalytic converters are usually not nearly as restrictive as is typically assumed. Modern stock catalytic converters add very minimal backpressure. They can clog over time, but the vast majority are required by law to last 100,000 miles. They usually last the life of the vehicle. If you suspect your cats are restrictive, you can have a simple backpressure test done for cheap or free at many muffler shops. If it's clogged, it's best to replace it with an aftermarket converter. 

Exhaust Drone

Exhaust drone is a low frequency vibration and sound that usually occurs somewhere between 1200 and 3500 RPM at highway speeds (somewhere between 60 and 80 MPH). Drone is more than just a loud, low tone; it's characterized by a literal vibration in your skull/bones.

Over the course of several years, we compared our Paradox Mufflers to other performance mufflers with a similar overall volume level. We monitored dozens of vehicles closely, and hundreds peripherally.

We found that Paradox Mufflers typically have less highway exhaust drone than comparable mufflers. This was especially true for simple stock muffler replacements. In many cases, drone was completely eliminated. These tests were on vehicles with 3.00" pipe or smaller. 

The amount of drone control from a muffler is heavily correlated with how loud the system is before a muffler was added. For example, deleting catalytic converters or resonators increases the chance of drone considerably (this is true of all performance muffler brands at comparable volume levels).

On heavily modified or exotic vehicles, the amount of drone reduction becomes far less predictable, as there are many variables that affect sound and drone. Virtually all performance upgrades and mods affect sound and drone, and the more variables there are, the less predictable sound becomes (see above for a non-exhaustive list of variables).

Another factor to consider on vintage and some heavily modified vehicles is carpeting and sound insulation. Modern vehicles by and large have decent to good sound absorption insulation under their carpets. Vintage vehicles can have very thin carpet and often no insulation at all. Sound insulating mats/insulation can make a big difference to drone in these cases.

A muffler is just one part of an exhaust system, which is itself just one part of the overall vehicle. To work properly, the muffler needs to be supported by a properly engineered drivetrain and exhaust system that considers all variables. In most cases, stock exhaust systems on stock vehicles handle this well enough if only the stock muffler is replaced. 

We also found that some people seem to be more sensitive to drone than others, sometimes regardless of their general hearing ability.

Despite our successful experiments and positive feedback, we make no guarantees about the ability for our mufflers to control exhaust drone.


Performance Gains

In general, performance mufflers are more about sound than they are about performance gains. Customers that report power or fuel mileage gains typically get their gains from freeing up unnecessary backpressure.

A common source of backpressure is many stock mufflers, especially most of the giant "suitcase" mufflers. These kinds of mufflers usually have restriction, and high flowing performance mufflers can free up flow in those systems.

We tested the flow of many stock and performance mufflers and found that Paradox Performance Mufflers outflowed all of them. Most stock mufflers had considerable backpressure. Some of the performance mufflers we tested flowed nearly as well as Paradox, but there were also some that performed considerably worse. 

Performance and fuel milage gains are not guaranteed in any way, and can only happen if your new muffler flows better than what it is replacing (such as a restrictive stock muffler or a restrictive performance muffler). Gains are typically mild, and proportional to how much restriction was "freed up".


Other Tips

      • If you need extra sound control, it is possible to run two Paradox Performance Mufflers in-line with no significant loss of flow. Resonators can help absorb sound in the same way.
      • Often, the best sound comes from replacing a stock muffler with a Paradox Performance Muffler, and leaving the rest of the system untouched.



We strive to make the highest quality products possible, and stand behind them with our warranties. However, there are an almost limitless number of vehicles and configurations in the world, and we cannot guarantee that our products will sound or behave ideally on every possible vehicle. While we have went to great lengths to address “exhaust drone” and have received extensive positive feedback, we cannot guarantee that exhaust drone will be completely eliminated or even improved on your vehicle. Although we have had many reports of fuel milage gains and power improvement, these results can only come from our mufflers replacing a backpressure restriction that was causing a reduction of power and fuel mileage (such as an especially restrictive stock muffler). We cannot guarantee that using our products will improve your vehicle in any way, including performance, sound, flow, or efficiency. Our statements have not been verified by a third party and are based on feedback from customers and our own research.

We are not responsible for any injury resulting from the use or installation of our products.



We genuinely hope you found this page useful. If you're ready to try Paradox Mufflers today, click here to shop. If you're not sure yet, don't hesitate to contact us by clicking here.




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