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Car stereo systems?

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The last good car stereo I owned was a Kenwood, run through a Rockford Fosgate amp to a pair of the old style Kicker boxes with the two speakers. All mid price range stuff, man I have never been happier with a purchace my entire life.

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Used to sell car audio. At the time and now the best for the money is Clarion head units and Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, or Kicker amps. JVC, Kenwood, Blaupunkt, Pioneer, and Alpine front ends are ok, but not the quality of Clarion. For speakers components from Boston Acoustic, Focal, Infinity, Polk Audio or similar are worth the investment. For the head unit, get one that either has no amplification or one with audio outputs to run to an amplifier. Separate amps give much, much better sound.

 

You will buy your speakers and amp according to your musical tastes. If you like clarity the Alpine and Kicker will give you that, the Kicker or Rockford Fosgate amps will give you more bass. Look for butyl rubber surrounds on the speakers and avoid paper cones and cardboard voice coils for the speakers tubes. Try for aramid fabric cones or metal cones for best response. Go with multi piece speaker systems with crossovers. Do not buy all in one speakers, they are the cheap way to go and the sound is not good. With separates you get a tweeter that you mount above the dash facing you since highs are directional. You will get one or two additional speakers one that is midrange and one that is lower midrange. They can be mounted in the doors and panels. The bass is delivered by a subwoofer if you feel you need it. A subwoofer requires a lot of power to work properly and air volume behind the sub is critical to its performance. Kicker makes a real good sub for trucks called the solobaric. This speaker is designed to work in minimal enclosures and still provide accurate bass with good volume. Remember that you only need one subwoofer, the frequency this unit works at is not stereo and bass is omnidirectional and is more felt than heard. Make sure that dedicated eight or four gage wiring is run from the power system of the vehicle to the amplifier. 14 or 16 gage to the speakers is fine, maybe 12 to the sub but I would not go bigger than 14 myself. Use quality copper and not aluminum or mixes. For cables standard monster cables are fine, no need to go gold. Unless all the connectors are gold, the lower quality connector governs….

 

Remember, car audio is only two channels, there is no need to go hog wild on multiple amps a simple four or five channel amp is good. Get one that can run down to 4 ohms without problems (2 ohms if you can find one), some speakers will hit that often during loud passages. 120+ watts per channel on the stereo channels and 200+ on the sub channel will assure that you get good volume without too much distortion. The higher the speaker sensitivity rating on the speakers the louder they are for a given amount of energy input, in other words a speaker that has 95 decibels of sensitivity will be louder than a speaker with 85 decibels with the same amount of applied power.

 

Most important is to go listen to them. Take a CD you like and know and listen to different combinations of speakers and amplifiers until you are satisfied with the sound you like. Then buy it there and have them install it.

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The last good car stereo I owned was a Kenwood, run through a Rockford Fosgate amp to a pair of the old style Kicker boxes with the two speakers. All mid price range stuff, man I have never been happier with a purchace my entire life.

 

That's what I'm shooting for.

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Used to sell car audio. At the time and now the best for the money is Clarion head units and Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, or Kicker amps. JVC, Kenwood, Blaupunkt, Pioneer, and Alpine front ends are ok, but not the quality of Clarion. For speakers components from Boston Acoustic, Focal, Infinity, Polk Audio or similar are worth the investment. For the head unit, get one that either has no amplification or one with audio outputs to run to an amplifier. Separate amps give much, much better sound.

You will buy your speakers and amp according to your musical tastes. If you like clarity the Alpine and Kicker will give you that, the Kicker or Rockford Fosgate amps will give you more bass. Look for butyl rubber surrounds on the speakers and avoid paper cones and cardboard voice coils for the speakers tubes. Try for aramid fabric cones or metal cones for best response. Go with multi piece speaker systems with crossovers. Do not buy all in one speakers, they are the cheap way to go and the sound is not good. With separates you get a tweeter that you mount above the dash facing you since highs are directional. You will get one or two additional speakers one that is midrange and one that is lower midrange. They can be mounted in the doors and panels. The bass is delivered by a subwoofer if you feel you need it. A subwoofer requires a lot of power to work properly and air volume behind the sub is critical to its performance. Kicker makes a real good sub for trucks called the solobaric. This speaker is designed to work in minimal enclosures and still provide accurate bass with good volume. Remember that you only need one subwoofer, the frequency this unit works at is not stereo and bass is omnidirectional and is more felt than heard. Make sure that dedicated eight or four gage wiring is run from the power system of the vehicle to the amplifier. 14 or 16 gage to the speakers is fine, maybe 12 to the sub but I would not go bigger than 14 myself. Use quality copper and not aluminum or mixes. For cables standard monster cables are fine, no need to go gold. Unless all the connectors are gold, the lower quality connector governs….

Remember, car audio is only two channels, there is no need to go hog wild on multiple amps a simple four or five channel amp is good. Get one that can run down to 4 ohms without problems (2 ohms if you can find one), some speakers will hit that often during loud passages. 120+ watts per channel on the stereo channels and 200+ on the sub channel will assure that you get good volume without too much distortion. The higher the speaker sensitivity rating on the speakers the louder they are for a given amount of energy input, in other words a speaker that has 95 decibels of sensitivity will be louder than a speaker with 85 decibels with the same amount of applied power.

Most important is to go listen to them. Take a CD you like and know and listen to different combinations of speakers and amplifiers until you are satisfied with the sound you like. Then buy it there and have them install it.

 

Thanks for making this so easy to understand. :th: I'll keep in touch and let you know what I'll be going with.

 

 

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What ever you do, avoid the Pioneer with the toggle switch controls at all costs. Nothing wrong witrh the sound but it's so clumsy to work with that I'm having the one that came in my new used truck replaced even though it's only a year old.

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define "decent system" and how much do you want to spend?

do you want a sub woofer?

 

i replaced the factory stereo in my car with an alpine head unit that hooks up directly to the ipod from the rear of the head unit, makes things very easy and you can hide it so it's not sitting out in the car (head unit controls the ipod)

just that one upgrade made the stock speakers sound a ton better, night and day

 

it will always sound better with an amp, but if you go with 2 way speakers instead of separates you can get away with not spending the $$ on one if you get a good head unit

it all really comes down to how good you really want it to sound and how much you want to spend

 

not sure when WV got out of it but quality has changed over the years, sony is now **** for example, many people like the pioneer premier head units, and alpine

 

i recently had a 15 year old linear power amp installed and a set of alpine 2 way speakers in the front doors....sounds very good

it's all relative...

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I 'm printing out skeet's post and bringing it to my car stereo guy when I get ready to buy a new set-up.

 

who do you use?

i have had good luck with auto audio and they will match crutchfields prices...not the lowest out there but a lot of the stuff that you can get cheaper online is from dealers that are not factory certified so you are screwed if anything breaks

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back in the 90's it used to be earthquake subs and woofers and mb quart speakers, alpine head units, is mb quart still around, those speakers had some really good clarity to them,

 

i still have a pair from back then down in the basement ;)

not sure if they are under the same ownership these days

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define "decent system" and how much do you want to spend?

do you want a sub woofer?

i replaced the factory stereo in my car with an alpine head unit that hooks up directly to the ipod from the rear of the head unit, makes things very easy and you can hide it so it's not sitting out in the car (head unit controls the ipod)

just that one upgrade made the stock speakers sound a ton better, night and day

it will always sound better with an amp, but if you go with 2 way speakers instead of separates you can get away with not spending the $$ on one if you get a good head unit

it all really comes down to how good you really want it to sound and how much you want to spend

not sure when WV got out of it but quality has changed over the years, sony is now **** for example, many people like the pioneer premier head units, and alpine

i recently had a 15 year old linear power amp installed and a set of alpine 2 way speakers in the front doors....sounds very good

it's all relative...

 

Never heard a good Sony head unit in my life, ever. Pioneer is ok, but it in the same class as Alpine. Clarion head units are still premier from my understanding. It has been about 10 years but I have tried to keep up with the technologies through friends still in the business. When I was selling it was Clarion, Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, and so on in order of what you wanted to spend your dollars on for the best bang for the buck, if you knew what you were doing. Of course that is not what sold, names sold….Alpine, Pioneer, JVC, Kenwood outsold the Clarion hands down, but that did not mean they were better and these were usually more expensive as well.

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back in the 90's it used to be earthquake subs and woofers and mb quart speakers, alpine head units, is mb quart still around, those speakers had some really good clarity to them,

 

MB Quart is still around, but I don't hear anything about them anymore from the guys. 10 years ago they were right up there with Infinity, Boston Acoustics, Kicker separates, and Polk Audio for the car; I don't know where they are now quality or sound wise so I am not able to recommend or not recommend them.

 

Best advice for speakers is to go listen and choose what sounds good using the material recommendations in my first post.

 

Sad to say that the only speakers I know of not made in the pacific rim are the MB Quarts, which are German. That alone may make it worth the look…if they are still not pacific rim….

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who do you use?

i have had good luck with auto audio and they will match crutchfields prices...not the lowest out there but a lot of the stuff that you can get cheaper online is from dealers that are not factory certified so you are screwed if anything breaks

 

The guy I have been talking to is Eurocar near the corner of Neman Springs road on Shrewsbury ave. I was all set to make a purchase but then spent my budget on a new set of ball joints instead.

 

Maybe after Christmas.

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