Sound system upgrades (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 11, 2011
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One of the things I would like to do with my 1998 LC is upgrade the sound system. I want to retain the factory head unit and upgrade the amp and speakers. What up grades have others done? Has anyone been able to upgrade the subwoofer speakers? Thanks in advance
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
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Midland, TX
 
 
Yes, people have upgraded the sub. I am not being condescending but do a search and you will find several threads on upgrades to the factory stereo system. Most of them will be head unit swaps from pre 03 models but there are post from people who did just what you want to do.
 
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I'm about to upgrade mine. INSTALL IS KEY!!!! Sound deadening is a must.
I am going witrh Hertz HSK 6.5" components in the front ORRRR the Hertz Mille 6.5" compoonents. I may use rear speakers for rear fill but there is a chance that will mess with the front stage(sound quality of front speakers).
If I do the rear I will use 6.5" coaxials using maybe the head unit power but you wantto keep the stock HU so typically at least 50 watts to the rears for rear fill.
For the front amp I will be using an ARC sudio KS300.4 bridging the power to the front, which will about 35owatts per channel. THAT'S A LOT!!!! I am going for SQ so to me it is nessissary.
For a sub I will be trying out my JL 8w7 using 500 watts in a sealed box. A sealed box will give you better SQ and a poted box requires less power but is more "boomier". If the the 8wt doesn't produce the sound I want I will try the JL10w6 in a sealed box.
For a HU I will be using a Pioneer double din DVD/Nav. I am waiting on the Pioneer AVIC-x930BT to come out in a couple of weeks. The reason why I like this model is because it has a volume know. i do not want to be searching for a small volume buttome while driving because my 2001 doesn't have steering wheel controls.
 

r2m

Richard
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
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San Clemente, CA
 
 
As suggested by BBQ Boy, you might want to consider a new head unit also.
Both of our 98 LC's have after market head units. My wifes factory one died so we replaced with a Sony single din, that plays everything (on CD that is), has an audio out for pluging in my phone, ipod etc. and a USB port. I actually have all my music on a 32gb thumb drive and that's all I use. I never even use the CD player. Music doesn't skip or anything!
My LC came with the after market head unit. It's a Pioneer, similar to the Sony in my wifes, but without the USB port.
I personnally don't like have Nav in a head unit. It's a pain having to update CD's with maps etc. I just use a my phone with a large screen and GPS. Always up to date, costs less, and I can take it with me when I hike. My phone can do any/everything a double din head unit can do and plugging it into the audio in on my head unit, with all the great sound too! And it works great as a hands free device, which we have to use here in CA.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
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Thanks for the info, I did search before asking, there is a lot of info for the 80 but not the 100. I have been thinking of going with a the JL audio OEM clean sweep interface , alpine pdx-5 channel amp, JL Audio C2-650 Evolution C2 Series 6-3/4 Component Speaker System for the front and JL Audio C2-650X Evolution(tm) Series 6-3/4" 2-Way Car Speakers for rear. My main issue is what to put in the sub location. I do not want a free standing sub box.
 
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Let me just pile on...

PeteB... Can I be honest with you? Dump that crappy OEM head unit!!! It sounds like garbage. I installed a pioneer avic in my 2000 LC yesterday and the fidelity was about eleventythousand percent better. Swapping in an aftermarket deck is sooooo easy. It's literally a 3 minute swap.

Installing a good amp and speakers will reproduce the substandard source perfectly but why go half way. You wont regret the head unit.

r2M personal choices of course but let me say modern NAV headunits are Flash memory based and yeah need to be updated from time to time but your phone is going to have a hard time navigating you when out of network coverage. Plus double DIN headunits have safety features like a large interface for using it in the car and back up camera capability. I have an EVO, an iPhone and an ipad and use the NAV features, but for on road ease of use the double DIN nav is a home run.
 
Joined
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Thanks for the info, I did search before asking, there is a lot of info for the 80 but not the 100. I have been thinking of going with a the JL audio OEM clean sweep interface , alpine pdx-5 channel amp, JL Audio C2-650 Evolution C2 Series 6-3/4 Component Speaker System for the front and JL Audio C2-650X Evolution(tm) Series 6-3/4" 2-Way Car Speakers for rear. My main issue is what to put in the sub location. I do not want a free standing sub box.
JL amps are pretty good but way over priced. heck all of their stuff is. Honestly look at the ARC Audio KS line of amps. Also for speakers look at Image Dynamics, Hertz, Hybrid Audio Technologies and even the Polk Audio MM series. The Polks are great bang for the buck speakers.
Personally I would stay clear of the Alpine amps. being around audiophile people and have installed systems that cost me almost as much as my 100 I would go with the ARC amps. Anyone and no one will argue these amps as being some of the most clean powerful amps at exceptional prices. Robert Zeff, who is a genius in the amp word designed these amps and they are just amazing. i think the KS300.4 is around $390 as a 4 channel amp and is 90 x 4 but that is pure clean power. May be more like 110+ watts per channel. I'm bridging my KS300.4 to the front Hertz speakers to give 350 each.
As far as the stock sub location just forget about it. I have met with several high end custom installers and that area is hopeless. Anything you so put in there is going to sound like complete garbage and will be a waste of money.
Arc Audio

In the high end audio world JL is hated. They make great stuff but there is stuff out there that is just as good but at much better prices.
I use their subs and they are great.
There amps are good not great. Strong and clear but still overpriced for what you can get from other makers.
I hate JL speakers. To me they are verity lackluster. The C2's are good for the price.
I have heard the Polk MM 6.5 components and I was very impressed for what they are. I think I may put them in my wife's Suburban if I do not go with the Hertz HSK 6.5" components. Can be found for about $175 a set. Fantastic price for the speakers. The Hybrid Image speakers are a very very good speaker too.
I know you don't want to and I don't either but serious;y consider replacing the HU.
 
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PeteB - I would think twice about eclipse. I've had there units and enjoyed them but I wasn't to thrilled with their final units. You could alway use a single DIN unit and mount something below or use the cubby box. And by the way I agree that many double DIN units are busy looking - one of the reasons I chose the AVICz120 was it's very clean and understated hardware plus the display turns off with the touch of a button.

BBQBoy - I'm no JL cheerleader but I do find their HD series amps to be pretty stellar - Now that my Avic is installed I'm looking at a HD 900/5, with a JL 10w3 Sub in custom cabinet and undecided on satellites (prob not JL). JL amps are much smaller than competitors and have over 108db s/n... the equiv KS 900.6 has a whopping 77db s/n. Even in the car thats huge and bad. I did note however the KS you intend to use is 95 db s/n which is perfectly fine IMO.

Audio is like debating religion.
 
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I'm with you. I like the look of the oe unit. Mine works fine, and I use a tape unit to connect my ipod. Low tech, but it works and the price is right.
 
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PeteB - I would think twice about eclipse. I've had there units and enjoyed them but I wasn't to thrilled with their final units. You could alway use a single DIN unit and mount something below or use the cubby box. And by the way I agree that many double DIN units are busy looking - one of the reasons I chose the AVICz120 was it's very clean and understated hardware plus the display turns off with the touch of a button.

BBQBoy - I'm no JL cheerleader but I do find their HD series amps to be pretty stellar - Now that my Avic is installed I'm looking at a HD 900/5, with a JL 10w3 Sub in custom cabinet and undecided on satellites (prob not JL). JL amps are much smaller than competitors and have over 108db s/n... the equiv KS 900.6 has a whopping 77db s/n. Even in the car thats huge and bad. I did note however the KS you intend to use is 95 db s/n which is perfectly fine IMO.

Audio is like debating religion.
I agree that he needs to stay away from Eclipde. I use to use them back in the 90's and they were stellar.I also agree that a single din with a cubby din would be a very good option.
The new HD amps are really amazing for the size and power. Clean and strong. BUTTTT they still are a class D a,p and they are EXPENSIVE!!! for what you get. I do not like the KS900.6 and that is why I mentioned the KS300.4. You can buy the XXD2080 for $200 for rear fill if you wanted but honestly I don't see the point in running 80+ watts for rear speakers. That is why you can just power them with just the HU.
ARC is ranked up there with the "higher end" amps such as Audisson. I have actually spoken to a few dealers who sell Audisson, JL and Hertz. When I mentioned that I may go with the HD600/4 to power my speakers then I mention ARC they were like oh wow they are awesome.
I still love the HD amps though. I wouldn't mind running the HD600/4 then the HD750/1 but that would be like $1600.
I spoke with Manville Smith, one of the owners of JL and he loves the XD amps and runs them in his car.
I have heard the ARC amp and the HD amp and I have to say the floor noise on the ARC is nonexistent. One of the most powerful and cleanest amps Iv'e heard.
Robert Zeff is the mastermind in high end Amps.
 
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Dude you could run the Polk MM6501 or the Hybrid Audio's, the ARC KS300.4 and a single din HU and be under a grand and have a awesome sounding stereo. Now the cost of adding a sub and amp will be more.
what is your budget?
 
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Joined
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Avic-z120bt

[Edit]

I went this way for the larger screen over the 900 series. I dont play discs so looking at the slot doenst do it for me. I DO LIKE a volume knob but have adapted to the buttons. They are very fast to react but I would still prefer a knob, but not enough to forego the larger screen.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Avic-z120bt
That is an extremely nice HU. I have always been interested in it but the only thing that held me back is the bottom of the HU where all of the controls are. Do you have a daytime pic that is somewhat close up tat shows how far it sticks out?
 
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I'll put one up tomorrow. It looks really nice in the LC dash panel - second skin. Bottom controls prob extend 10mm beyond the plane of the dash.
 

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