Scold me...

Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
81
Location
Michigan
Alright....

I've looked. I've looked some more. I've spend about 3 hours on the search function, and countless more on crutchfield, ebay, google, etc....

Yup. Sorry. It's speakers again. And the Head unit. That's not so much the issue of what to get, it's just that i have no idea what i'm doing. I've picked out what i want, and what I will probably get.

I know i'm fully capable of doing this all on my own. I like struggling with things, and working out problems, with that satisfaction of "oh i did this all by myself, so that means i'm smart." :D but i have to do it right. and that, im not so sure of.

I'll be the first one to admit it. I'm only 18, and i play sports, do the whole church thing, and try my hardest in school. Ergo, my schedule dosent allow me to fiddle with excess stuff i guess. I make do with what ive got and get done what needs to get done. I have done nothing to the pig buggy since i got it four years ago short of taking off and putting the running boards back on, and slapping one of those cheap sticky pads to the dash to hold my cell phone.

so...

My head unit no longer works unless i force the CD to rape the slot, in which case it will finally accept it 2 minutes later. even then, i'm lucky if it will still be working the next time i start up my car. if that happens, the head unit decides to kick out the CD for about 2 or 3 days, even with continuous raping of the slot the CD goes into.

The speakers are blown. not my doing, it was like that when i got it. I didnt care so much, because i dont listen to my music loudly. but now it just does it all the time, and its throughly annoying.

I have money. that's not really a problem. I save. I dont spend (a lot).

I dont have time. I'm busy, I've accepted that, and i put my priorities first. School, church, sports, etc....

Its my senior year, im taking not so hard classes, so i've decided the buggy deserves a little treatment. (and so do my ears.)

I'm not putting a $2,000 system in my car. I just wont do it. there is no point. i dont want to. college is next year, annnnnd i'm a big fan of investing and saving. (interest!:D ) $150 tops for the head unit, and whatever eclipses i can get for a good price on ebay. sounds good.

I know almost nothing about audio. what goes with what? will what i want, work with what i can get and what i have? i sure dont know.


Head unit

THis is the head unit. im not ordering it from crutchfield, but off of ebay. it's the only one i want, because all of the other ones look like junk, or are too expensive. the speakers will be installed, in retrospect, with whatever this head unit allows.

Speakers

Annnnnd the speakers...well i guess im open to suggestions. but this is the jist of the whole set up. eclipse sounds good from what ive read, and they install easy.

sooooo will the speakers work with the head unit?

will i have enough juice to power this whole set up?

how much power does the stock amp put out, or can i just bypass that and run the speakers directly off of the head unit? orrr will i have to combine the two? how do i do that?

I honestly have no idea what i'm doing at this point. i suppose i could install the speakers with little or no help, but the wiring of the head unit has me a little worried, so does the power issue.

Help would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
865
Location
New York & California
Website
www.rbfilms.com
OK..maybe I can offer some advice here.

I know audio and home theater extremely well as I work in the industry. I may not be an expert in car audio, but I know enough to be dangerous.

First, you need to understand that most after market car stereo systems are nowhere near as good with respect to quality and reliability as the original equipment manufacturer. I know this from conversations with industry associates.

The reason for this is simple. When a major company sells a unit to a car manufacturer, their products have to go through rigorous testing and evaluation to win the business. Can manufacturers have to warranty these units for many years to come for one thing. But more importantly, most car manufacturers do not want to turn off a customer on buying future products from them because they went on the cheap when it comes to something as simple as a stereo head unit. They probably have other ways to cut costs with less noticeable impact.

Also, on most newer / better cars, they hire professional audio engineers and professional acoustical engineers to come in and develop a perfectly EQ'd and Balanced sound system for each specific vehicle. This is not something you can easily do yourself.

Being an extreme and very picky audiophile, I can tell you that I am happy with the upgraded factory systems as they are. I would not touch mine....there is no reason to.

With that said, here are my thoughts.

Distortion is what blows speakers not so much power as long as it is clean.

22 Watts is nowhere near enough especially for someone your age. Heck, I am 48 years old and that would not even satisfy me. I would be clipping that amp on low frequencies in a minute.

I would would focus on a top quality head and suggest a minimum of 60 to 80 watts per channel x 4 to be honest with you. That should be enough for just about anything within reasonable listening levels.

Regarding speakers, that is a more difficult and personal choice.

First, every vehicle interior is different, so what you hear in a sound room is not always what you will hear in your car.

I would go for a speaker that has the sound characteristics you are looking for. If it were me, I would go for very fast, tight, responsive, musical bass. I recommend staying away from fat, muddy, overemphasized, sloppy bass. This is typically what you get out of speakers marketed to guys your age.

I would also go for very open, airy, clean, balanced , well imaged high frequencies and a very warm, sweet, detailed, well imaged midrange. I would use a well recorded uncompressed Jazz or Acoustic album to check the highs and a good jazz or new age female vocalist to check the mids.

Anything less that his will cause you listening fatigue...meaning you can only listen to your system loud for a short period of time before you get the overwhelming desire to run it down. You may get a rush for the first several minutes or even half hour...but you will not be able to listen to it at sustained high volumes unless you have a super clean well balanced system.

Most car speakers tend to sound like crap to me to be honest with you. There are very few that I consider really good. You should go listen to some B&W and Gallo Reference loudspeakers at a high end store first to get an idea of what I ma talking about.

I am not sure who also makes speakers for cars but I do know that a few companies are very good at designing home speakers also make car speakers. Some I have heard and they are quite good.

JBL, Polk, MB Quart, and perhaps even a more exotic Focal JMlab would be good choices.

Also, here is a a link that may help you a bit.

http://www.carstereo.com/help/syst_design.cfm


In the end. everything I mentioned is based on my experience. However, if you are going to listen to a crappy compressed iPod AAC or MP-3 file or even worse yet satellite radio, or anything less than CD quality or better for that matter...such as DVD Audio ....then none of what I said matters. You may as well be listining to a paid of jensens at that point...:)

Best,

Rich
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
1,120
Location
Olathe, KS
I would would focus on a top quality head and suggest a minimum of 60 to 80 watts per channel x 4 to be honest with you...
I've never seen a head unit with that much power, close to 60, but nowhere NEAR 80 x 4. 22 watts RMS isn't too shabby for a head unit in my experience.

That CD player will work. Although you don't need a Double DIN unit, you can get a Single DIN and get the little pocket that goes beneath it.

Those speakers should work (in the door, the speakers will definitely work with the head unit).

It should sound WAY better than stock.

Does that help?

Good luck! :cheers:
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
271
Location
Bolingbrook
This shouldn't be a hard project for you. The head unit you're eyeing should be able to power the speakers adequately. If you were so inclined, you could amplify the whole system with an external amp and it would probably sound better, but this will certainly be an improvement over the stock setup. If you're absolutely sold on that head unit, great. Having owned a couple Kenwoods, I'm not a big fan. The quality is fine, but they seem to make it overly difficult to adjust the sound. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. I'd bypass the factory amps and just run the head unit power. You can get into problems amplifying an already amplified signal otherwise. Also, and you won't like this, there are threads out there about bypassing the amps- just search!:grinpimp: If I remember right, it's just a matter of choosing the proper plugs behind the radio. There are wiring harness adaptors available (even for the speakers), use them! You shouldn't have to cut and splice any wires for a simple head unit/speaker replacement. Check threads about the availability of the harnesses b/c there has been some confusion over the proper one to use to bypass the amp. Good luck. Post up your findings b/c I'm going to be doing this in a couple months.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
1,108
Location
St. Louis, MO
Pigbuggy: I have the same 1996 80 that you do and I love it (though my own 19 y/o daughter drives it more than I do). I upgraded from the factory system to a blaupunkt unit in 2004 when the factory headunit lost it lighting (but was otherwise fine). The blaupunkt didn't last long and I replaced it in August of 2006 with virtually the same unit you are considering (I went with the Kenwood Excelon DPX701 - which I think adds the USB port in the face for plugging in a flash/thumb drive with music files). I also upgraded the factory speakers with Kenwood speakers - I'll have to double check the models if you are interested.

To be clear, I'm no expert or anything near an expert. I read all I could on this site and really liked alot of it. Most of the work was just more than I had time for (though I hope to come back at a later date and add an amp for the door speakers and an amp for the rear sub along with a nice rear sub that is in the stock location).

In the end, I spent $175 plus shipping by watching alot of auctions on ebay and being quick (they sell for around $265 typically on ebay). The install was super easy - under 30 minutes including soldering and heat-shrinking all the connections using the included harness and a factory harness I already had from the previous blaupunkt install. The unit fits perfectly and looks very nice (I'm still partial to the factory unit though).

Given your current non-working system, I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose. There are many people on this site that have done some amazing things with their systems. Some of it I would love to do as mentioned, while others items are just more than I want for this vehicle. It sounds like you know what you want (and don't want) so don't worry about getting it done. The work you are considering (head unit and door speakers) is fairly easy and there is a lot of help here on mud.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
1,172
Location
San Diego
Here's one piece of advice I think you definitely want to take:

Do NOT start hacking into the existing wiring harness. You can buy aftermarket harness adapters that can avoid this, and in most cases you can get something that gives you a neat, clean install without having to cut or solder.

Circuitcity.com has a pretty decent finder, but double check their results by doing a google search on what they recommend.

If I remember correctly, there are two major brands. Metra is one of them, but I seem to remember a problem with theirs, like not working the sub or something.

Find the metra part number, search for the equivalent, and find someone who's used it successfully. The info is out there.

T.

Note that this isn't a reply to what Meischa just posted. It sounds like he only soldered on the non-toyota harness adpaters, which is no big deal.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
1,172
Location
San Diego
Most car speakers tend to sound like crap to me to be honest with you. There are very few that I consider really good. You should go listen to some B&W and Gallo Reference loudspeakers at a high end store first to get an idea of what I ma talking about.

Rich, everything you wrote is good advice. I went decades without upgrading any car audio because even the best wasn't that good, and anything better than average screamed out to be stolen.

That being said, the new OEM Mark Levinson systems in the Lexus are surprisingly good, and have closed the gap quite a bit.

Note that this is coming from someone with Lexicon/Krell/B&W in his living room.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
865
Location
New York & California
Website
www.rbfilms.com
I guess I am too much of an extreme audiophile...32 years in the industry must have jaded me. I should keep these discussions of the Audiophile / Videophile / Technophile rocket scientist forums I participate in.

I know that most head units are overrated when it comes to power. I bet you a a 22 watt unit puts out nowhere near that at a satisfactory Total Harmonic Distortion rating and I bet you it does not have any headroom to exceed that rating on peaks either.

I suggested 60 to 80 watts plus because then you might actually get an acceptable constant RMS and Peak Power rating that is livable for real world listening by a young guy. Again, if he listens to all his music via an iPOD, MP-3, Satellite Radio, or some other highly compressed format..it won;t matter all that much.

Here are some links that explain some of this in more detail.

http://www.carstereo.com/rayfes/ampspec.cfm

http://www.installer.com/tech/headpower.html

Rich
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
1,108
Location
St. Louis, MO
Very good point tech_dog. My Kenwood came with a harness (to be clear for anyone that is new to this, the harness has a plastic plug on one end that mates to the headunit in typical male/female fashion and a bunch of colored wires on the other end). The harness needs to be wired into the 80's wiring.

As noted, it is not a good idea to cut off the factory plastic plug in your dash and start soldering or otherwise wiring directly into the factory wires. Instead, you can purchase a harness that will have a plastic plug on one end that is designed to fit into your aftermarket stereo, and on the other end it will have a plastic plug that is designed to fit the cruiser's factory harness plug. Make sense?

The other option (that I chose b/c I already had the parts) is to use the harness that comes with your new headunit, then just buy the corresponding harness for your landcruiser. This requires that you make the wire connections between them manually. Though you can use crimp connectors or just twist and tape the wires, I don't like either option. That is why I soldered the connections and covered them with shrink wrap (essentially making the same unit you can buy - again, I already had the parts and the time was minimal so it saved a bit of money and, more importantly to me, a trip to the store).

If you are buying the parts and making the trip to the store (or online ordering), just buy the ready-made connector and skip the hassle. The cost difference should be minimal.

Thanks again Tech_dog for pointing this out.

Here's one piece of advice I think you definitely want to take:

Do NOT start hacking into the existing wiring harness. You can buy aftermarket harness adapters that can avoid this, and in most cases you can get something that gives you a neat, clean install without having to cut or solder.

Circuitcity.com has a pretty decent finder, but double check their results by doing a google search on what they recommend.

If I remember correctly, there are two major brands. Metra is one of them, but I seem to remember a problem with theirs, like not working the sub or something.

Find the metra part number, search for the equivalent, and find someone who's used it successfully. The info is out there.

T.

Note that this isn't a reply to what Meischa just posted. It sounds like he only soldered on the non-toyota harness adpaters, which is no big deal.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
1,120
Location
Olathe, KS
I guess I am too much of an extreme audiophile...32 years in the industry must have jaded me. I should keep these discussions of the Audiophile / Videophile / Technophile rocket scientist forums I participate in.

I know that most head units are overrated when it comes to power. I bet you a a 22 watt unit puts out nowhere near that at a satisfactory Total Harmonic Distortion rating and I bet you it does not have any headroom to exceed that rating on peaks either.

I suggested 60 to 80 watts plus because then you might actually get an acceptable constant RMS and Peak Power rating that is livable for real world listening by a young guy. Again, if he listens to all his music via an iPOD, MP-3, Satellite Radio, or some other highly compressed format..it won;t matter all that much.

Here are some links that explain some of this in more detail.

http://www.carstereo.com/rayfes/ampspec.cfm

http://www.installer.com/tech/headpower.html

Rich
I understand all of that, I was merely saying I haven't ever seen a head unit with that kind of power.

The only way I can see to feasibly get that kind of reliable power is to get an external amp and run the speakers from that.

I don't know that he's going for audiophile sound, just better than stock.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
1,938
Location
Fort Apache: Victoria
If you've got more money than time, why not go down to a local car audio place and ask them?

You don't need to spend $2,000, and a reputable store won't oversell you on anything. Don't go to one of the box stores because the staff are seldom knowledgable, and usually they're kids who focus on too much power and bling. Find a good store dedicated to car audio, and find one with its own install department. Tell them what you want; don't let them tell you what you want.

Example: I've spent $500 on my system, and I love it. I'm 39, so I don't feel compelled to have a system that'll let the folks in the next county know what I'm listening to. I installed everything my self. It's really not that difficult. I think the hardest part is running wires from behind the deck to each speaker position**. You have to take your interior panels out, and you have to be a contortionist. But it can be done in an afternoon.

Here's my cost breakdown (all prices are in Canadian dollars, and in the US everything I list should be even cheaper):

My only criteria is that I have a deck that will control my iPod. I also don't like "bling" I don't need a multi-colour display that will do my ironing and can be seen from space. I like low-key. I found a Pioneer unit that will do that, and it was on sale. This isn't the model I bought, but it's the very similar replacement for it:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/v3/pg/product/details/0,,2076_310069880_338194603,00.html

$120.00

My truck came equipped with four really nice sounding Boston Acoustics SX57 5.25" speakers (one in each door). They, obviously, were free, but each pair listed locally for $100. In reality, one was broken (kicked). I ran the deck on three speakers but that's not really good for it. I couldn't find a set of the BA speakers, so I bought some Pioneers on eBay for $12(!). They don't sound as rich as the BAs do, but they're installed in the rear doors which aren't usually occupied, and the sound in the front (where I am) is more important anyway. But, just for argument's sake, let's buy four BA speakers:

$200.00

The BA speakers are very, very good, but even the best small speaker will not give you gallons of bass. Just like motors, there's no replacement for displacement! Like i said earlier, I don't need to wake the neighbours, so to fill-in the low-end I added one of these small amp/sub combos:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Y4cjE7qntIE/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=51000&I=113KSCSW1

It's a discontinued item and I got one from a wholesaler on eBay for $140 shipped. I was hoping it would fit under the driver's seat, but it doesn't. I attached it vertically to the back of my cargo box, right behind the second-row seats. This little amp/sub is great! It won't shake my truck apart, but it fills the low-end really well, and still packs a punch if I want to listen to Underworld at high volume. It even has a remote switch to turn the frequency and level up and down according to what you're listening to. By the way, I bouht this from www.audiosavings.com, and I can report that it was an awesome transaction. Three days after the order the amp was on my doorstep, and they even called to confirm I received it in good condition. Reputable seller.

$140

That's $460. Add another $40 for wire, shipping costs, band-aids and coffee, and there's $500 for a pretty decent system.

The four door speakers are run using the head-unit's internal amplifier, and the sub has it's own amp that gets its signal from the RCA output on the back of the deck (it's running the rear channel).

**I didn't have to do this, the PO did it, and did a good job. If my truck had had the factory speaker harness in-place when I bought it, I would have used the adapter that everybody else has mentionsd. That adapter turns a five hour job into a five minute job.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
81
Location
Michigan
I don't know that he's going for audiophile sound, just better than stock.

HA! Pretty much.

seriously though, i really appreciate all the feedback. I am a tiny bit confused though, because one of the links flimpros sent me says that most head units wont put out more than 15 watts of power, yet, your saying that i should get one that puts out 50 or 60 watts... i guess i just dont understand.

I guess my ultimate solution would have been to rip out the speakers, and the head unit, and then just put the new stuff back in. obviously, nothing is ever that easy, so i guess im just looking for the next best thing.

Im really not into the bling stuff, soooo its not like a sales dude is gonna sell me on that point. id much rather it look stock. (thats why the head unit is all black AND a double din...i cant stand the look of a single din and/or with all the silver junky looking plastic stuff on it.) i dont have an i pod ( i think they are a bit overrated, so i got the cheaper (but more annoying) creative zen's that hold like...20 gigs of music. nothing fancy, just pretty straight foward.) id like to hook that up to the head unit somehow, but if not, all ive got is CD's and MP3 CD's. you can hear a difference in quality between the mp3 and the cd, i guess im not really concerned with that.

onto the bigger picture....

Im gettign the head unit. i didnt look at the brand, how much power it puts out, it's illumination in the dark or whatever. i liked the look, its a good price on ebay, and it pretty much does what i want it to do. play cds. thats why i said, "in retrospect, the speakers will be put in with whatever the head unit allows." if i need to put in an amplifier because that thing wont put out enough juice...fine i guess. but then that makes me wonder if this whole setup will just run my battery dead. cant have that now...

so onto the speakers.

havent reeeaaaly decided on what i want to do with them. once again, dont need anything fancy, just something that sounds better than the flatulent farts my stock ones produce. of course i'm not gonna go to wal-mart and get those high quality Jensens you were talking about, but i really don't need a Bose solution to the problem either.....

ive heard good things about the eclipse speakers, but then again, i heard they were sensitive. i dunno honestly.

are there eclipses out there that will work alright with the head unit? with the possibility of not having to spend my money on an amp? i dont care if they are pioneers, kenwoods, or JVC's, honestly, i really dont. i just want it to sound nice, be a quick and easy fix, without spending a lot of cash, but realizing that i dont really want it to sound like total crap when im done with the whole deal.

flimpros, I realize that you have written A LOT down, and i can appreciate your passion for sound excellence, really, i can. I'm sorry if it annoys you that i'm not taking more care and thought into this project than i am. everything you have written, it really has helped. thanks. to be honest i have no idea what the RMS is, or what its function is. i realize that THD is Total Harmonic Distortion...but hows that calculated, and what exactly is it? i dont know what sounds "fat, muddy, overemphasized, and has sloppy bass." to be honest, i dont know what sounds "open, airy, clean, balanced , with well imaged high frequencies and a very warm, sweet, detailed, well imaged midrange." while that sounds like total nirvana, okay..... how do i get that? i'm not looking for a woofer. maybe that will come later.

for now, its 1 kenwood head unit, and 4 speakers (2 fron, 2 back) of whatever brand thats high quality but cheap.

am i just wishfully thinking?
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
865
Location
New York & California
Website
www.rbfilms.com
The Levinson Systems are amazingly good. Most new cars now come with great sound systems. All fo the cars I own have upgraded factory system featuring DVD Audio Playback and DTS Surround capability.

The ELS System in the 2006 Acura TL, the JBL System in my daughter's 2007 RAV-4, the JBL System in my 2006 Land Cruiser, and the "dare I say it" Bose system (I hate Bose) on the Infiniti M45 all sound very good.

I am not sure what they put in the 80 Series Lexus I have but it is OK...nowhere near as good as the others....but good enough. I don't need to change it that's for sure.

Rich

Rich, everything you wrote is good advice. I went decades without upgrading any car audio because even the best wasn't that good, and anything better than average screamed out to be stolen.

That being said, the new OEM Mark Levinson systems in the Lexus are surprisingly good, and have closed the gap quite a bit.

Note that this is coming from someone with Lexicon/Krell/B&W in his living room.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
865
Location
New York & California
Website
www.rbfilms.com
You may be right...I don't know car audio that well...but I do know the puny transformers they have in these units is the limiting factor.
He should look at very efficient speakers then..:)

Rich

I understand all of that, I was merely saying I haven't ever seen a head unit with that kind of power.

The only way I can see to feasibly get that kind of reliable power is to get an external amp and run the speakers from that.

I don't know that he's going for audiophile sound, just better than stock.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
226
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I know i'm fully capable of doing this all on my own. I like struggling with things, and working out problems, with that satisfaction of "oh i did this all by myself, so that means i'm smart." :D but i have to do it right. and that, im not so sure of.

I understand your concerns about the complexity of the job, because I am also young (19). I owned a 90 4Runner before my '94 80 and that is where I learned everything I currently know about cars. My head unit came with the 4Runner, but it liked to come unplugged from the back side. I decided one day I was sick of it and ripped into the dash. Within hours I had the dash off and on, and knew what I was doing for later repairs. It may look daunting, but nothing you cant do with some simple hand tools and a little time. If your looking to get into your truck more, I highly recommend the FSM. That saved me with the 4Runner and paid for itself many times over. Now out of high school, I miss all of the time I used to have with trucks!!!:rolleyes:
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
81
Location
Michigan
so i now have the new head unit, the kenwood dpx-301 that i talked about earlier. what now? it came with a wiring harness adapter thing that on one end has the plastic plug you hook into the back of the new head unit, and on the other end has a bunch of color coded wires that dont attach to anything. (that i assume attach to the factory system.)

can i just connect the wires from the new unit to the wires of the factory system, by crimping and soddering? or does that not work? do i bypass the factory amp? how do i do that? do i need a wiring harness?

i really have no idea what i'm doing. i mean, i know i could probably do this, but i really dont feel like screwing something up and redoing it. i kinda just want to get it right the first time. yea? sounds good.
 
Joined
May 4, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Central MN & TN
OK..maybe I can offer some advice here.

I know audio and home theater extremely well as I work in the industry. I may not be an expert in car audio, but I know enough to be dangerous.

First, you need to understand that most after market car stereo systems are nowhere near as good with respect to quality and reliability as the original equipment manufacturer. I know this from conversations with industry associates.

The reason for this is simple. When a major company sells a unit to a car manufacturer, their products have to go through rigorous testing and evaluation to win the business. Can manufacturers have to warranty these units for many years to come for one thing. But more importantly, most car manufacturers do not want to turn off a customer on buying future products from them because they went on the cheap when it comes to something as simple as a stereo head unit. They probably have other ways to cut costs with less noticeable impact.

Also, on most newer / better cars, they hire professional audio engineers and professional acoustical engineers to come in and develop a perfectly EQ'd and Balanced sound system for each specific vehicle. This is not something you can easily do yourself.

Being an extreme and very picky audiophile, I can tell you that I am happy with the upgraded factory systems as they are. I would not touch mine....there is no reason to.

With that said, here are my thoughts.

Distortion is what blows speakers not so much power as long as it is clean.

22 Watts is nowhere near enough especially for someone your age. Heck, I am 48 years old and that would not even satisfy me. I would be clipping that amp on low frequencies in a minute.

I would would focus on a top quality head and suggest a minimum of 60 to 80 watts per channel x 4 to be honest with you. That should be enough for just about anything within reasonable listening levels.

Regarding speakers, that is a more difficult and personal choice.

First, every vehicle interior is different, so what you hear in a sound room is not always what you will hear in your car.

I would go for a speaker that has the sound characteristics you are looking for. If it were me, I would go for very fast, tight, responsive, musical bass. I recommend staying away from fat, muddy, overemphasized, sloppy bass. This is typically what you get out of speakers marketed to guys your age.

I would also go for very open, airy, clean, balanced , well imaged high frequencies and a very warm, sweet, detailed, well imaged midrange. I would use a well recorded uncompressed Jazz or Acoustic album to check the highs and a good jazz or new age female vocalist to check the mids.

Anything less that his will cause you listening fatigue...meaning you can only listen to your system loud for a short period of time before you get the overwhelming desire to run it down. You may get a rush for the first several minutes or even half hour...but you will not be able to listen to it at sustained high volumes unless you have a super clean well balanced system.

Most car speakers tend to sound like crap to me to be honest with you. There are very few that I consider really good. You should go listen to some B&W and Gallo Reference loudspeakers at a high end store first to get an idea of what I ma talking about.

I am not sure who also makes speakers for cars but I do know that a few companies are very good at designing home speakers also make car speakers. Some I have heard and they are quite good.

JBL, Polk, MB Quart, and perhaps even a more exotic Focal JMlab would be good choices.

Also, here is a a link that may help you a bit.

http://www.carstereo.com/help/syst_design.cfm


In the end. everything I mentioned is based on my experience. However, if you are going to listen to a crappy compressed iPod AAC or MP-3 file or even worse yet satellite radio, or anything less than CD quality or better for that matter...such as DVD Audio ....then none of what I said matters. You may as well be listining to a paid of jensens at that point...:)

Best,

Rich


Execellent write up sir and I am firm believer in OEM no matter what! In fact my head unit is doing the same thing spitting out discs accepting some playing with a mind of its own. I went and priced the OEM unit at my dealer it costs a whopping $800 but, well worht the price of admission giving your insight. I would suppose it would last as long as I own this vehicle! :cheers:

Kunal
 

johnny4ever

Test appropriately
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
853
Location
Central Texas
Website
www.popartdavis.com
Really?

So the underpowered, no low end havin, spontaneous cd ejecting piece of 1997 crap is better than a new head unit?

Having trouble with that concept.

Please enlighten me. I would not want to spend $800.00 for a dealer replacement to have the same low quality sound no matter how durable it is.

J
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
33
the head unit your looking at is 22 watts rms x4 ch. devide that by four speakers thats only 5.5watts per speaker, i doubt you'll be happy with that. id go with a alpine cda-9856, great looking unit,18 watts per channel rms. play mp3's and has a high speed usb support for direct interfacing with your ipod so you can navigate our playlist from the deck, and at less than 200 dollars is a heck of a bargain. as for the speakers, first and most important, is ask a prefessional what will fit, look to spend 200 on good quality front speakers, 100 on rear "filler sound" speakers. that deck will more than power 4 speakers. amps come in to play if you want start forkin out the dough for components, but once you go with amps youll want a eq you clean the signal befor it heads off to the preamp. for speakers i recomend mb quart, or alpine, but many brands are good enough for what you want. i had a pair of eclipse, they were ok, sounded a little "tin cannish". but 500 bucks will be sounded pretty good in the lc, for a 1000 go with components in the front 2 ways in the back, zapco spl-4 or arc audio eq and a 4 channel amp with a thd <.02 and rms wattage arround 60 or 70 x4.... alittle dynomat in the doors will help the sound too, will also reduce road noise
 
Joined
May 4, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Central MN & TN
So the underpowered, no low end havin, spontaneous cd ejecting piece of 1997 crap is better than a new head unit?

Having trouble with that concept.

Please enlighten me. I would not want to spend $800.00 for a dealer replacement to have the same low quality sound no matter how durable it is.

J

What I meant to say is if you spend 200 bucks for a head unit dont expect for it to perform any better than the OEM you have in the car. In fact it wont last but maybe 5 yrs tops until you need a new one thats all!:rolleyes:

My .02
Kunal
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom