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Any car stereo advice?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I'm working on my car stereo to try and get a good system going. Right now I've got a Sony 55w CD-player running a pair of 6 1/2" Infinity Kappa Perfect 6.1 speakers in the front. The rest is stock (no amp, no sub), and I've got 6x9s in the back.

The next step is to get an amp and a sub, and then some speakers for the back. The wonderful speakers up front sound pretty weak right now without an amp, so that's definitely first priority.

Sound quality is the most important thing I'm buying for, so do you all have any recommendations for amp and sub (10")? I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get the Infinity Reference series 3-way 6x9s for the back. There are probably more expensive options but I've always been under the impression that back speakers don't need to sound as good as front speakers as they're mostly just filler.

I'm afraid I might have to run two amps for speakers & subs.
post #2 of 15
Great site if you don't already know. http://www.caraudio.com/forum/
post #3 of 15
Do you want to hook up an iPod or hard drive with MP3's on it?

Jon.
post #4 of 15
Skip the rear speakers. They're extraneous. Spend the money on the amp and sub. Get a 4 channel amp: 2 channels for the front speakers, 2 channels bridged for the sub. A single 10 or 12 sealed would be great.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Do you want to hook up an iPod or hard drive with MP3's on it?

Jon.

I already made iPod compatible, so no mods needed here.

Quote:
Skip the rear speakers. They're extraneous. Spend the money on the amp and sub. Get a 4 channel amp: 2 channels for the front speakers, 2 channels bridged for the sub. A single 10 or 12 sealed would be great.

Interesting - so don't amp the rear speakers, just dedicate the CD player to running those? I hadn't heard of this set-up before.

Quote:
Great site if you don't already know. http://www.caraudio.com/forum/

Gonna check that out right now.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD
Interesting - so don't amp the rear speakers, just dedicate the CD player to running those? I hadn't heard of this set-up before.

Not quite. It's pretty common to omit rear speakers entirely. If you prefer, you can run them off your deck at a low gain, but it makes more sense to me to omit them altogether. If at all, they're only for the enjoyment of your passengers; actually, passengers in the back seat never even noticed that I didn't have rear-fill. Decent front speakers, properly powered, should fill the entire cabin with excellent sound.

I used to frequent the forum at www.elitecaraudio.com, check it out.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renault78law
Not quite. It's pretty common to omit rear speakers entirely. If you prefer, you can run them off your deck at a low gain, but it makes more sense to me to omit them altogether. If at all, they're only for the enjoyment of your passengers; actually, passengers in the back seat never even noticed that I didn't have rear-fill. Decent front speakers, properly powered, should fill the entire cabin with excellent sound.

I used to frequent the forum at www.elitecaraudio.com, check it out.

Oh, very interesting indeed. I'll have to see for myself after I put the amp an sub in.

I assume that you have a 4-channel amp running in your car. What brand is it, and would you recommend it to me, based on my criteria?
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD
Oh, very interesting indeed. I'll have to see for myself after I put the amp an sub in.

I assume that you have a 4-channel amp running in your car. What brand is it, and would you recommend it to me, based on my criteria?

Actually, I used to have two amps. My fronts, MB Quart Q's, were getting like 150 watts each, and my subs, JL Audio w6's, were getting something like 600 combined. No rear fill. My amps were Precision Power Instruments (PPI) Power Class. It's been a long time since I was into car audio, back in the day, I had a pretty nice system and was knowledgable. Alas, I don't really keep up anymore, so I just know the basics/fundamentals.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe PPI makes their PC amps in the USA anymore, and quality has gone down. Accordingly, I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for your application. You might be able to find used ones on ebay though. They used to make excellent amps.

Anyway, don't get hung up on the name brand of the amps, they're not critical (assuming 1) you met the minimum threshold for quality and 2) you're not playing the music ultra loud). It's better to spend more on the speakers instead.

The setup I've recommended is no frills, low budget, but EXCELLENT quality wise. I don't really see the need to get multiple amps except in cases where you need 1) a large power discreptancy between front speakers and subs, 2) competition quality sound, or 3) bling factor. In fact, if I had to do my system all over again, and had infinity dollars, I'd have the exact same setup that I recommend now, except use ridiculously expensive gear.
post #9 of 15
Yeah PPI isn't what they used to be, neither are the old biggies like Phoenix Gold etc. Zapco is known to have some of the best amps out there, I'd look into them as an option. They are superclean power and very underrated. A sub I recommend that has a great price is the ImageDynamics IDMax, or their IDQ line if you want even better sound quality, however the IDQ line is less powerful than the IDMAX. The company is known for their sound quality subs.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionology
A sub I recommend that has a great price is the ImageDynamics IDMax, or their IDQ line if you want even better sound quality, however the IDQ line is less powerful than the IDMAX. The company is known for their sound quality subs.
It's actually good to hear that Image Dynamics still makes good stuff. I'm guess I'm not such a dynosaur afterall. I remember waiting with breathless anticipation for the IDmax to release. I also remember waiting for jury to return on the IDmax v. JL Audio w7. Good times
Anyway, I echo visionology's rec of the IDQ. It's an excellent sub and represents a great value as well. It is perfect for your application.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys. I will look into it. Car stereo is ridiculous on eBay. I can't believe the deals you can find on that stuff. For example, my $550 speakers put me back like $120.
post #12 of 15
I highly reccomend checking out a company called Elemental Designs for subwoofers, amps, and components. I've heard nothing but good things about that company. They don't really advertise, but the word in the car audio world is that all their stuff is great.

Otherwise, go for a 12" image dynamics subwoofer. I have one and it's amazing. The sound quality is excellent, but it hits hard when it needs to.

Installation is crucial with subwoofers. You need the right box or you'll have wasted your money. Elemental designs will make one for you, which is great if you're not familiar with basic woodworking.

You definitely want to amp your speakers. They'll sound far better.

The pioneer premier head units are all feature-packed for the money. Alpine's 2006 models are a bit of a disappointment.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD
Thanks for the advice guys. I will look into it. Car stereo is ridiculous on eBay. I can't believe the deals you can find on that stuff. For example, my $550 speakers put me back like $120.

Advice... hmm, don't get an 8-track?

Actually, I do have a little piece of advice for you. There seems to be an increase in the amount of fake/knockoff car parts on eBay including car stereos. Be on your toes (I even heard recently on the newcelica.org forum of fake suspension components, Tein I think, for heaven's sake!)
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre
Advice... hmm, don't get an 8-track?

Actually, I do have a little piece of advice for you. There seems to be an increase in the amount of fake/knockoff car parts on eBay including car stereos. Be on your toes (I even heard recently on the newcelica.org forum of fake suspension components, Tein I think, for heaven's sake!)

I see. Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll never know if my speakers are real or fake, but they had full documentation (and the English was proper ) so I think that's a pretty good sign.

I already have a head unit that I really like. I just need an amp and a sub. I've looked at Zapco but they're *so* expensive.
post #15 of 15
The new JL Audio amps have received some good reviews as well, and are underrated power wise. They are also much cheaper than Zapco. Might be worth a looksee.
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