Car Stereo Enthusiasts here on SBAF?

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by crazychile, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I just bought a new Jeep Wrangler with hardtop and am starting to build a system oriented towards sound quality. It's not the best vehicle for this, but I'm doing it anyway because the base factory radio sucks, and the premium factory systems are expensive versions of suck.

    I'm doing something that'll play loud enough when the top is off but still sound good for the other 95% of the time. I'm still working out all the component details but leaning towards some Hertz separates for the front and an amp that can be concealed in the dash. Undecided on subs. I just don't have much room.

    Back in the 80's to early 90's I did design and install for a living but I've been out of it for a long time. I'm excited to build my first real system in over 20 yrs.

    Anyone else into car stereo? Share your vehicle and system!
     
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  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I never got too crazy into it (like replacing power systems or custom modding panels), but in my less refined youth, I did tool around with my buddy in an old Firebird with 4 8" subs in it. Back then, I didn't really care about good sound, just loud sound. A little later in life (college), I proudly installed a stereo head unit and replaced the stock speakers with some pretty decent Blaupunkt stuff in my girlfriend's soft top Jeep Wrangler. Sounded great for 1 day until someone cut through the soft top and stole everything. Replaced some stock speakers and headunit in a Nissan Maxima with some barely better Sony stuff and lost enthusiasm afterwards. Shortly after that, I got into home theater.
     
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  3. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    I have a 2016 Subaru WRX. The stock system was horrible. I listened to the upgraded system with navigation and that was pretty bad too. I decided I could be better served by purchasing components and doing the install myself.

    I purchased JL Audio C5 6.5" components for the front after listening to them vs the latest Focal hemp drivers on the local shops sound board. The Focal mid actually sounded slightly better but the tweeter ruined it for me. It sounded too sharp and piercing. My previous vehicle had mid tier Focal mids and tweets and I found them fatiguing, even after lowering the tweeters gain. I didn't want to go down that road again, so went for the more coherent, but slightly less analytical JL C5's. The rear doors got the bottom of the barrel JL Audio coaxial, and I turn the gain down on them. They're just there for fill. Again I went with JL Audio for the sub, their 10" 10W6v3 in a fiberglass enclosure that fits into the corner of the trunk and takes up hardly any space.

    OK, JL fanboy here! For my amp the JL Audio HD900/5 powers everything, and is mounted under the passenger seat. I used the stock head unit's speaker outputs spliced into RCA interconnects to feed the amp. I mounted the remote gain knob the sub in the dash, left of the steering wheel for easy access.

    For power, speaker, and interconnect, cables I used Knuconceptz.

    I used Raam Audio's raam mat I had lying around from my previous vehicles install for sound deadening in the doors and trunk. Still a few rattles here and there (phuck), it is still a Suby after all.

    For around $2300 I have a system that absolutely smokes the navigation option for the same vehicle with all audio upgrades, for 2/3 the price. It's not even close. I'm not going to win a sound off or a SPL competition, but I really enjoy my system.

    I wouldn't dump much more money into a car/ vehicle system, it's a losing cause. It's probably the worst environment for audio ever.

    EDIT: I should add I ended up buying the JL gear from ABT because they're a certified JL dealer, and JL is fussy when it comes to warranty work. They has a good sale for the C5's and HD900/5 so that helped sway me in their direction as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  4. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Back in the day (early 90's) when I managed the local midfi home audio and car stereo shop, I went a little nuts on my VW Gti. Since I worked in the industry I was able to buy stuff at 75% off retail through the manufacturers. The only catch was that my car had to be at the shop at least 20 hrs a week for demo. i think I had less that $1500 invested in it including alarm.

    2 prs Boston Acoustics Pro series 6.5 separates in the doors/dash with custom enclosures.
    1 pr Boston Acoustics Pro Series 5.25 separates as rear fill
    1 pr Boston Acoustics Pro Series 10" in custom enclosure in the hatch.
    Driven by 2 Alpine amps (150w/ch) and a Rockford Fosgate Punch 150
    Head unit was a Pioneer Premier.

    No EQs needed. It was pretty flat without and soooo clear. Peak SPL was 128dB. Unfortunately I ran it loud a lot because it was NOT painful. I'm sure that contributed to some hearing loss. I was stupid, but at least I could drown out any kids crappy system playing rap at a stoplight.

    The new system will not play that loud. I'm still toying with the idea of outboard DSP for staging, but it will depend on how much extra room I can find behind the dash.
     
  5. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Nice! I was looking at those JL 6.5s at my local installers and may still go that way. I heard the same thing about the Focals, that the tweeter was too much, although no one has them locally to demo. JL Audio makes a stealthbox that fits my Jeep. It's kinda pricey but I may go that way if I decide to do a sub.
     
  6. ohhgourami

    ohhgourami Friend

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    Thought about upgrading the sound in my M3 then I realized it sounds pretty decent already. Plus I rather listen to the induction noise of the V8.

    ehhh it's still on the list of possible upgrades. Or should I get an exhaust instead....
     
  7. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    Me do car stereo. I like subs in back seat, not in trunk. Less resonance. Just have to secure them if you want. I like them to shoot straight up to car roof. No ports in my subs either. I put handles on my 10" or 12" sub boxes and lift them in and out of which car or which sub I am using. Sometimes I take out subs for weightloss, beacause of one is a racecar. I have one Cadillac that can handle 4 sub boxes in the back. Never tried it out yet, but the amp for the other 2 subs to make it 4 subs is installed. All my subs are some version of Pioneer Pro stuff. A have Pioneer Stage 4 subs as well. Back seat subbing is great for audiophiles. No BOOM BOOM, just real bass like it should be. Anyway I thought I would chime in and tell you guys about my removeable sub system that I have been using since the 70's.
     
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  8. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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  9. zonto

    zonto Friend

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  10. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    @crazychile
    Jeep eh? Hows about looking at boat stereo speaker stuff for that. The Jeep is a hard thing to get right. Boat stuff makes for some interesting speaker designs that sound quite good. Just a thought.
     
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  11. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    I beg to differ on some comments about car stereo.
    I use the Pioneer with the microphone setup. Works pretty darn good to get proper alignment and time delay. Even without DSP.... a car stereo can be a great place to listen. I have 2 cars now with systems in it, and a third on it's way. Some excitement with blasting a properly setup and wired car system that can't be duplicated anywhere else. My 90' Cadillac is the best suited one that I own. The thick window glass and sound deadining makes for a tight ship. System can draw 320amps at full power.
     
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  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    What alternator are you using that 320 amps are being dedicated to the car stereo alone!?? Are you driving this thing

    Also, CLD and mass loader only get you so far. The best set and forget solution for car and home is still Dirac and only Harman group and bentley, volvo, rolls royce, naim, and BMW have licensed it for car use. It's surprisingly good but it won't turn your car into your home stereo.
     
  13. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    What happened to the good old days (E30 EVO) when an M3 had a stripped interior and thinner rear and side windows to save weight and brake cooling ducts installed in place of fog lamps?

    Get the exhaust. Remove the stereo system. Move on to the next thing that makes the car perform better! |\/|
     
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  14. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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  15. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    I think we've got enough data storage on the interweb to handle both threads.
     
  16. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    One of the reasons why I bought a Jeep (besides always wanting one) was that they are way quieter than they used to be. My buddy and I went hunting last year using his Wrangler Unlimited and I couldn't believe how they had changed.

    I looked at the marine stuff. especially the amps because they're small. My top wont be off that much so I'm probably just going to do regular speakers. Regarding your other post on subs, I'm a sealed box guy all the way. But subs in this Jeep is a long way off, or maybe never.
     
  17. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    @crazychile
    Good luck with da Jeep. Sounds like you have a handle on it.

    @zerodeefex
    Singer Alternator, 3 Batteries, 10 Farad Hybrid Capacitor. 2 Fuse setups (one front and one back to stop fires)
    It still fries Batteries at will. And that's without the last sub amp going. It's a pain in the ass, the electric draw
     
  18. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    Funny thing is that I have not been driving my 2 cars with the massive stereos. My eardrums needed a rest, and I have 5 cars. It was time to drive the other ones and let my brain gel.
     
  19. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    My car has an absolutely terrible sound system. 2006 Toyota Rav4. I feel like they boosted the bass and the treble a lot. Wouldent be too bad, but the speakers cant handle it. The bass is boomy, I can hear a certain point in notes coming down where it changes from a nice bass guitar note to a boom that shouldn't happen. And the treble. Ear piecing, bad, not so clear. I always keep the bass at -4, treble I keep up because if I turn it down I loose too much high end.

    I keep thinking about upgrading it, but I figure a 2006 Rav4 isn't worth putting the money into. Check engine light, vsc light, and 4wd light are more important (and on)
     
  20. ohhgourami

    ohhgourami Friend

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    That was done on the E90 M3 GTS which we couldn't get here in the US. Ducting in place of the fog lamps was using for cooling the steering pump and for intake. Also high strength parts used on this car added a lot of weight. E9X was the first generation to only share 20% of parts with the regular 3 series making them much more expensive [to repair]. Plus side is the chassis can handle a lot more power.

    I'd have to strip out a ton of stuff to save weight on this car which isn't worth doing. It's a nice place to be. Real weight savings won't happen until they make M3's with a carbon tub.
     

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