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Old 12-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #1
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Car Audio

Anyone overhauled their cars audio system? I did slowly over this past summer. Such a pain trying to find the right equipment especially speakers but I finally ended up with a great budget setup.

- Alpine CDE-121 Headunit
- Alpine PowerPack Amp 45 Watts x 4 RMS
- 4 Alpine 60 Watt Coaxial Speakers 240
- 8 inch Sound Ordance 120 Watt RMS Compact Powered Subwoofer - Fits under the seat. And best of all doesn't annoy the neighbors.

All in all I spent like $700 but $150 of that was trial and error.

If I had known what I needed it all would have cost a lost less, as I learned halfway through the process to only pay car shops for installs and not to buy anything from them as their extremely overpriced.

Crutchfield on the other hand is a great place to buy equipment since they include everything or at least discount the parts you need. For example they included something like $30 of materials that I would have been charged for by any audio shop during install on my headunits. They also included a $40 wiring kit for my sub free. Speakers can be a little pricey though if you buy from them. Free 2 day shipping to Georgia was also pretty awesome.

PowerPack is an awesome product to if you're looking for a budget amp. No wiring kit needed all you do is plug into the back of any Alpine head unit and you're done. With a regular amp around the same power level it would have been something like $400 (Amp, parts, labor) all for a 50 watt RMS x 4 channel.

So with that said what do you have? What are you looking into? Etc.
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Last edited by Dirtbag59; 12-25-2011 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Car Audio

- Kenwood kdcx-994 HU
- Rockford Fosgate Prime Amp 500 x 1
- Rockford Fosgate Prime Amp 75 x 4
- Focal 6.5" KR Splits (Pair)
- Rockford Fosgate P3 Sub

I actually forged a friendship with the car audio shop owner and was able to get everything less than retail (especially the components- I saved close to 30 percent through his Focal distributor). Pushing all four channels of the 300 watt amp to the splits and kept my rear stocks powered by the HU (I don't want to interfere with the front stage too much by adding more in the back).

I love my Kenwood, as I've got a parrot mic and bluetooth installed. I sync my iPhone's Bluetooth and when I have it docked, everything's set through the speakers- music, gps, phone.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Re: Car Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbag59 View Post
Anyone overhauled their cars audio system? I did slowly over this past summer. Such a pain trying to find the right equipment especially speakers but I finally ended up with a great budget setup.

- Alpine CDE-121 Headunit
- Alpine PowerPack Amp 45 Watts x 4 RMS
- 4 Alpine 60 Watt Coaxial Speakers 240
- 8 inch Sound Ordance 120 Watt RMS Powered Subwoofer - Fits under the seat. And best of all doesn't annoy the neighbors.

All in all I spent like $700 but $150 of that was trial and error.

If I had known what I needed it all would have cost a lost less, as I learned halfway through the process to only pay car shops for installs and not to buy anything from them as their extremely overpriced.

Crutchfield on the other hand is a great place to buy equipment since they include everything or at least discount the parts you need. For example they included something like $30 of materials that I would have been charged for by any audio shop during install on my headunits. They also included a $40 wiring kit for my sub free. Speakers can be a little pricey though if you buy from them. Free 2 day shipping to Georgia was also pretty awesome.

PowerPack is an awesome product to if you're looking for a budget amp. No wiring kit needed all you do is plug into the back of any Alpine head unit and you're done. With a regular amp around the same power level it would have been something like $400 (Amp, parts, labor) all for a 50 watt RMS x 4 channel.

So with that said what do you have? What are you looking into? Etc.
Totally! Their planning advice, compatibility and support is.....ridiculous
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Car Audio

Speaking of Crutchfield...

They are usually great, but they sent the wrong adapter harness with the head unit I ordered for my brother in law's Christmas gift. So, the car is sitting in the garage until I can source the correct pigtail, which will hopefully be tomorrow.
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Last edited by cpayne5; 12-25-2011 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
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Re: Car Audio

Two 12 Kickers
1000 Watt Cali Pro Amp

Bass goes Ham
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Car Audio

yes. i built a box with my best friend before i moved, he actually had to finish it because we ran out of time. it's a med/lrg sealed. the box before that was a med/lrg ported. i grew tired of the sloppy ported bass, time to tighten up w a sealed.

alpine cda-7897 receiver
infinity kappa perfect 6.5" components up front
infinity kappa 6"x9" 3ways in the rear deck
alpine pdx 4.100 4channel amp
2 alpine swr-1242d 12" subs
jbl 1200.1 mono amp
and a barely useful 1.5 farad cap, i can't even remember what brand it is. it reduces the dim of the headlights by a slightly noticeable amount

in my next car i'm just going to use 1 10" jl audio w6 or w7 in a med sealed box
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Car Audio

I put aftermarket systems in every car I owned up to this point. Acura's have decent audio anyway but it's difficult to replace the head unit and still look halfway decent. I still get goose bumps whenever people talk about audio!!

My last system was a clarion unit and 4 channel amp to infinity kappa speakers and an MTX 2600 amp paired to 12 inch MTX Pro sub.

My one complaint about crutchfield is they originally talked me into pairing other subs w/ that MTX amp and the amp blew every single one...rockford, infinity kappa and one other I believe. Finally I called MTX home office and the guy asked why I wasn't using their subs since they're matched to the amps...the MTX subs were fantastic I should have started out w/ them. Not sure how good they are now???
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Re: Car Audio

I used to be WAY into car audio, but is it truly a noticeable difference if I put in new speakers?

Basically, I have a 2004 Mazda3. When I got it, I LOVED the sound of the speakers and didn't want to mess with anything. Last year, I got tired of CDs and bought a new head unit with USB input. The car already has tweeters installed, but is it going to make a difference if I put in aftermarket stuff? I have 6.5" all the way around.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Re: Car Audio

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Originally Posted by TheMalcolmConnection View Post
I used to be WAY into car audio, but is it truly a noticeable difference if I put in new speakers?

Basically, I have a 2004 Mazda3. When I got it, I LOVED the sound of the speakers and didn't want to mess with anything. Last year, I got tired of CDs and bought a new head unit with USB input. The car already has tweeters installed, but is it going to make a difference if I put in aftermarket stuff? I have 6.5" all the way around.
In my experience only if you get an amplifier for the speakers. I made the mistake of getting new speakers before I could afford an amp (you should really get them all at the same time as aftermarket speakers sound like crap without them and it's easy to blow factory speakers with them.) and for a while I was longing for my factory speakers back as with some speakers I tried the bass was virtually gone and with the Alpines they were overpowering and annoying (still haven't figured out why that was the case).

Now with the speakers amped up and comparing them with my brothers factory speakers in his Camry I can definitely tell the difference and in my situation I didn't get a traditional amp, as the power pack just plugs into the back of most alpine head units (save like pre 2004 models).

I also notice that I use my sub a bit more though to round out the sound, nothing major just a powered 120 watt unit that fits under the seat. When I first got it though I was only using it 25% of the time. Now it's more like 95%.

Long story short, if you get new speakers prepare to get an amplifier of some kind. In many cases aftermarket speakers are worse than factory speakers when they don't have an amp but much much much much better when they are properly powered.

And the best part is you can do it without being like the local high school kids that spend like $5,000 on subwoofers and bass and $5 on their actual speakers. Which to me is like putting 10 tablespoons of BBQ sauce on your plate for one ounce of steak.
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Last edited by Dirtbag59; 03-27-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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Re: Car Audio

Cool, thanks for the advice. I noticed that on my younger brother's 1996 Civic. He put in a head unit, aftermarket speakers, and I wasn't SUPER impressed. I was really trying to avoid buying amps and all that, but if that's what it takes I'll do it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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Re: Car Audio

Well, I'll throw in my 2 cents....
As DB says, it is all about matching the correct components together. If you do not know what you are doing (and I do not), spend a little time reading and learning. I love Crutchfield, but someone in this thread had a bad experience with them. I have always profited from their advice and if you choose wisely, much of the stuff is "Plug n Play"....no wiring. Speaking of wiring, make sure your speaker wiring, ground, etc will be heavy enough to handle your expansions. I am confident that there are many other organizations that offer similar services as well.
Forums....imagine that, are extremely helpful as they are....chocked with full metal jacket electronic guys that love nothing more than advise and research.
You can spend a fortune, but it is not necessary for killer sounds in your machine.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Re: Car Audio

whatever it is, make sure you listen to it for awhile before you spend any money. that's the best advice i can offer. tweeter may have what you're looking for
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Re: Car Audio

whos tweeter?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:29 PM   #14
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Re: Car Audio

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whos tweeter?
maybe they don't know tweeter in detroit rock city?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #15
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Re: Car Audio

seriously, should i talk to tweeter? im so new to stereo stuff.

does he work at crutchfield?
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