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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am clueless when it comes to car audio, what everything means

Alot of people are complaining that the 350watt (dont even know what the means) system sucks. And are replacing them.


Now what do you really need to do to beef up your audio? Like i am def. not getting navi due to the price. I do not see a way to replace the stero. But do i have to?


Like what is needed? New speakers? Amps (dont know what that is either lol) Sub's?


Ack i feel dumb
 

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OK - some people are audio snobs. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm just saying that it's relative and you should listen the the stock system yourself to see if you like it. If you do want to upgrade, I'm sure that someone will come up with a solution for the head unit. Even if you don't go that route you still have the option of replacing speakers, etc. with the stock head unit (which will make a difference).
 

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ok well i probably dont know that much more than the rest of the ppl here but i do know some of the basics and some other not-so-basic stuff. ill give you my 2 cents lol.

Ok well i do know that depending on the model that you get (EX or SI), you wont really have to worry about changing out the head unit right away. On most cars, you need to change the headunit because the factory one has no RCA outputs. Because the EX and SI both have the 350 Watt system with an amp and sub, you can bypass the factory amp with a couple of connectors and add your own amps.

When buying your audio equipment, NEVER base your purchase on the Peak Power! ALWAYS look at the RMS Power. The RMS is the amount of watts it can handle continuously while your listening to music. The Peak is how much it can handle at a brief point in your music. The HIGHER the RMS the BETTER!
Look at the RMS for everything audio that you buy. For the headunit you have to look at a few additionals, including Preamp output voltage (the higher the better), FM mono sensitivity(the smaller the better), and CD signal to noise ratio(the higher the better).

IMO- You get what you pay for! for example, your not going to have the same quality if you pay $150 for a sub than if you pay $400 for a sub. It all depends on how Beastly of a system you want. Do you want a system that wont scare a girl away when you take her on a date, or do you want a system that when you turn it up in your front yard, you rattle the windows and doors in your house. or you set off every car alarm you drive by?

IMO-
For Subs, go with JL AUDIO, Audiobahn, Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, MTX or Kicker.
For Amps, go with JL AUDIO, Rockford Fosgate, MTX, Alpine, or Kicker.
For Highs, go with Polk Audio**, JBL Power**, Pioneer, Kenwood
For Headunits, go with Alpine**, Sony, Pioneer,

I hope this helps! :thumb:

P.S. go to https://www.crutchfield.com/S-EBAgLtWnd7b/scgi-bin/catalog.asp?cm_re_o=twzpwy*gzfzkBT*Twfbf and order the free catalog. It defines all the terms that might confuse you and it shows you lots of top audio equipement for your home and car.

Good luck!
 

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I'm an Alpine fan. I just like how you can get a complete car audio/video/navigation system from them. I also get everything from them off ebay so I don't pay their super high prices.

One thing Alpine is known for is underrating their amplifiers. They also produce some of the best amps out there.. very clear signal and sounding, plenty of adjustments, and most come with a display on them. They also don't get too hot if you've ever experienced owning one.

Their headunits are another thing they excell in, even though their style hasn't changed much over the years. They are very featured pack if you read the spec sheets.

As for the best of the best, that's all in how your car is designed, your sound system setup, etc. You can make a almost any system sound good if you are good at car audio.


Elemental designs has some of the best subs out there and as far as speakers, it depends on the style of music you listen to. Infinity and Focal are good if you like classical, high pitched type music. They aren't too good for listening to if there is a lot of bass in the music. Even though the subwoofer produces the bass, its really the low level bass. You still want some midrange or your system doesn't sound complete and you will notice how you are missing a lot of the feel in the "middle" of the highs and deep lows.

If you want something for club music, rap, etc... then look into a/d/s, cdt's, etc..


Give me your budget, type of music, and i'll put together a system for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lets say i listen to techno stuff with alot of bass.... sometimes rock

I dont have a budget but I dont want anything that expensive or that crappy...


lets say i want everything to be descent =)
 

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well if you're replacing the factory system, you'd lose the aux in port. But i'm sure you can wire it into the aftermarket headunit. Basically you'd buy a blank plug and wire the back of the port into it.

As for headunits, I like the Alpine 9853 - its around 350 bucks, you can probably find it cheaper online through ebay.

For a subwoofer, you can go with either a 4ohm 10" or 12" from alpine (type-r version) - a single should be sufficient. But if you're a hardcore bass junky, you might want to go with two. I think 1 10" rattles the car enough..heh For amp, go with the MRD-605 mono amp. It will power a single 10 or 12" subwoofer.

For speakers, you can keep the rears stock, they are pretty much for fill anyhow. If you do want to upgrade, just find something around the 70-120 price range. Use a 4 channel amp to power them along with the fronts.

If you want to stick with Alpine, go with the type-r speakers up front and rear, or type-x's up front. Definitely go with a component system up front. You'd spend about 200-250 bucks for the type-x's but they sound incredible. You can also go with Diamond Audio.. they are harder to find and cost a bit more, but sound great also.

Again, I like Alpine because its easy to get, the Type-X's aren't so mass produced like the -S's and R's..and the system just sounds great to an average listener.

The amp i'd recommend for the 4 channels would be the Alpine 345- its around 230 bucks.

All in all with wiring you are probably looking at 1500-1700 depending on what wires you use. RCA's can range from 20 bucks each to 100 bucks each. If you like clear music, spend somehere in the middle - around 50 bucks and you won't have a lot of interferance. The wires are definitely shielded a lot better.

If you need installation help, send me a PM. If you need it done, send me a PM :)

I should have my system done around christmas time. I'll be doing sirius radio with PS2 hookup.

I can make your steering wheel controls work by wiring the steering wheel buttons into the remote control. So if you use your remote a lot, you'd have to purchase a 2nd one seperately to use the rest of the commands.

PM me your number if you'd like to speak in person about this.
 

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Does anyone know what would be a good 8in sub to swap out for the stock 1 in my EX? Or what is the correct terminology is for the 8in speaker I'm looking for? Is it called an open air speaker? Since it is not in a box? I'm looking for a little more thump would swaping just this 1 8in. Speaker improve the bass.
 

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06civicex said:
Does anyone know what would be a good 8in sub to swap out for the stock 1 in my EX? Or what is the correct terminology is for the 8in speaker I'm looking for? Is it called an open air speaker? Since it is not in a box? I'm looking for a little more thump would swaping just this 1 8in. Speaker improve the bass.
not going to happen. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, get a basslink from Inifinity.. comes with the sub and amp for around 250-300 bucks, plus spend another 30-50 on wiring and your set.
 

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Kabs said:
damn man.... thank for the info... def printing this out


time to start savin up... wasnt expecting 1.5k =P but i gues its time for me to get a job lol

i can get you a system for under a grand and it'll still sound decent.

for a headunit, stick with something from pannasonic or jvc - get something with cd/mp3 - can get some good deals on ebay for under 250 bucks

amps, go with US Accoustics. I have a 2 channel amp for sale.. 50w x 2 @ 4ohm

keep your stock speakers and run them off the headunit directly (saves you a few hundred there)

go with a basslink for the subwoofer.. a little more thump then stock, but cheaper then the alpine setup.. or go with the alpine sub and US Accoustic amp, can do it for the same price as the basslink setup probably and it'll sound better.

For front speakers, find a component system for under 150 - something like type-r's or maybe even something from pioneer
 

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decided to make a seperate post but here's my idea in building a complete system if your very short on cash. It seems to have worked for many, many people.

HEADUNIT: Replace your headunit first. The headunit is what controls your audio system. You'll need it to produce a clear sounding system.

Now here's where it gets tricky. If your car comes with a factory amplifier, I recommend bypassing it. (You can also just remove it from the car to save space under your seat or such).

Since you bypassed the factory amp, how will your speakers get an audio signal??? Well here's my suggestion, if you plan on upgrading your speakers, run new speaker wire from each of the speakers to the trunk. Then run 3 RCA's to the trunk from the headunit (1 for the front channel, 1 for the rear channel, 1 for the subwoofer). If you don't plan on upgrading your rear speakers, don't run the extra RCA or speaker wires from the rear speakers. Stock speakers are good enough for rear fill.. you want all your sound to be up front. That is your 'stage' area.

Get an RCA to speaker wire convertor for around 20 bucks. This lets you use your RCA's and speaker wire to the speakers for now. You just upgraded your headunit, ran new speaker wire (probably better then the stock wires) and your system is starting to come together.

Now here is your decision. You can either add a subwoofer and amplifier or add front speakers and an amplifier.

If you are doing the subwoofer and amplifier first, you'll be adding a lot of bass to your system with control from the amp and headunit. You'll also be drowning out your sound with the extra bass, so make sure you have some extra $ in your budget to upgrade the front 'stage' speakers soon.

Once you have upgraded your headunit, added speakers and a subwoofer, and amplified your speakers.. your system is probaby sounding great right now. Depending on the number of amps you have, you might want to add a capacitor or two to have more power 'on demand' for the amps. You might also want to upgrade to xm/sirius radio or add a navigation system. Whatever you do, plan ahead with your system. Always go 1 gauge higher with your power wire to accomadate more amps. Get better shielded RCA's and speaker wire to reduce unwanted noises. You may also want to add some sound deadener to your vehicle to reduce road noises and keep the sound in your vehicle more.

I hope this little article helps everyone out when designing and planning a system.
 

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if you want to keep the factory radio.. your sound system can still be improved, but i wouldn't go all out with equipment unless you plan on upgrading your headunit later.

Basically just grab the audio signals (wires) right from the factory radio before it plugs into the amp. Get the wires from the radio converted into RCA and install the rest of the equipment like usual.

For just adding a subwoofer, its fine keeping your factory radio. But if you upgrade your speakers and subwoofer and the last thing stock is your radio, then ask yourself this... is it worth spending 1000-1500 on audio equipment to sacrafic control and quality for another 250-300 bucks on a new receiver?
 
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