Upgrading Car Stereo systems

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by rick458, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    When I get a good used vehicle, one of the first things I do is upgrade the sound system.
    My theory is to appreciate a vehicle and give it the attention and good maintenance and preventitive Maintenance they need, It help to really like riding in it.
    Great tunes helps that bond to form for me.
    My latest aquisition is a 2002 Acura MDX with Bose Nav and rear entertainment system.
    It has a 6 disk CD cassette deck and 8 bose speakers, but no way to use Thumb drives, Blue tooth, USB etc.
    It sounds good for a stock system, but there was room for improvement.
    I went to Crutchfield and got a Pioneer AVH-P3400BH and 4 JL Audio C2-600x 6.5" speakers for the doors.
    I put the front JLs in with the stock head unit, stock amps tweeters, subs.
    with just the door speakers replaced the sound improvement is very noticable.
    So do you upgrade your sounds in older vehicles? or not so much
     
  2. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    I just put a Pioneer touch screen stereo in my new Scion TC, it's a $1000 system but got it for $525, plays songs from my IPhone with no cables, bluetooth phone connection built in, Pandora built in, HD radio built in. It's a kicking system, nicest thing I have ever owned.
     

  3. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    This 2002 Acura Has 170,000 miles but drives great, I have put a lot of work into PM,
    The RES (rear entertainment system) does not work at all, Niether does the Dr side back window, everything else is in very good shape, and I love it. It is the Best vehicle "I" have ever had, (Momma gets the nice stuff).
    This deck will do Blue tooth, HD radio, front USB port and front Aux, rear view camera capability, and DVD.
    Driving the JLs with the Bose deck / amps is great
    I need to split the Nav screen off the radio, and put the rear speakers in.
    But I expect great things.
     
  4. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    I used to, but not so much any more.
     
  5. Eric2340

    Eric2340 Infidel :)

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    I had a little TC too and I loved that little car, still amazed at how much "car" I got for the $$ (new).

    Anyway, mine came w/ the factory Pioneer head and a sub unit. I didn't car much for the Pioneer head, so I swapped it out w/ the el cheapo Sony Xplode head I had in my previous Tacoma and it sounded AMAZING! I literally could not believe how loud and how good that factory system was, w/ ONLY the head changed!

    Sadly enough, it was a lease I had to turn in, and I got one of those Camry SE things that looks like a NASCAR race car. :) Love the new car, but the factory stero sucked to no end. :( Tried another (newer) Sony Xplode in it, no dice. :( Wound up having now changed EVERYTHING in the car, and it's still not quite 100% of even what the TC was w/ just the head swap. :( Kenwood head now, Pioneer speakers front AND rear (the rear ones are *****, have to be custom mounted), just not quite there yet. Plan on adding a powered sub to the trunk next, everyone says that will solve my problem (I'm a rocker by the way, not a rap, boom-boom, shake the lisc. plate frame kind of guy :)). Got everything for the last 5 cars from Crutchfield. CAN'T say enough good things about them, or their return policies if you're not happy. :)
     
  6. dan1488

    dan1488

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    haven't upgraded radios in my vehicles in along time. If it plays I am happy. I did put an am/fm 8-track player in my ol Jeep truck though. Nothing like Gary Stuart on 8-track. I like to keep it stock, actually its the first thing I look at when buying used if there is a replacement radio I will pass on it.
     
  7. Cmacc

    Cmacc

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    Often those "premium" brand auto systems used odd impedance speaker systems with very unorthodox frequency response numbers that match the specific frequency/power curves of the factory headunits. Bose is usually the worst to try and "upgrade" piecemeal. If yours worked out, I'd say you got lucky.
     
  8. sombunya

    sombunya Use it up, throw it away

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    Upgrading a car stereo depends on two things;

    How much time do you spend in it and most importantly, are you in to music or do you just listen to music?
     
  9. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    I was very big into aftermarket audio in the eighties and nineties just before factory sound became acceptable. Now, I buy cars with such a great exhaust note that turning on any sound system is counterproductive. I have a MagnaFlow on my Redline that sounds so sweet, I didn't even know I'd lost all my Sirius presets from the battery disconnect installing it weeks before. HH
     
  10. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    I do like to drive, and road trip, and I LOVE music passionately.
     
  11. FLglockdude

    FLglockdude

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    I have added an Alpine headunit, Pioneer speakers and an Infinity subwoofer with Pioneer amp to my Expedition and it is a huge improvement over stock. Completely worth the money in my opinion.
     
  12. Annhl8rX

    Annhl8rX

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    The only non factory stereo I've ever had was the one my dad had put in my car as a high school graduation present.

    These days I listen to talk radio 90% of the time anyway. My truck came with a free year of Sirius/XM, and I never listened to it for a second.
     
  13. sr975j

    sr975j

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    in my 04 Ranger, i got rid of the factory 6 disc AM/FM for an Alpine head unit with Ipod/USB connectivity and satellite radio ready, all 4 speakers were replaced with pioneer speakers that i got cheap from a friend, then put a Kenwood Excelon 10 inch sub with a Polk 850 peak watt amp behind the seat.

    its a badass set up in a regular cab Ranger in my opinion.

    Sam
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  14. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    I installed. the rear speakers today. and made a major difference. all the muddiness is gone from the bass crystal clear vocals nice fill.
    I will swap out my head unit Sarutday.
    I have some smooth Frank Sinatra waiting for the new receiver.
     
  15. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

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    I wish I could upgrade my stereo but BMW makes it damn near impossible.
     
  16. bsg1

    bsg1

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    me too; i'd get a high end stereo installed... and listen to the news while driving.
     
  17. Khufu

    Khufu Pharaoh

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    A lot of cars are using CAN bus to integrate everything (navi system, steering wheel controls, backup cameras, etc). It is making increasingly difficult to change factory stuff out. What is even worse, after a few years most car companies quit supporting Navi updates and you are stuck with outdated maps.

    -Dana
     
  18. bsg1

    bsg1

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    what makes the entire experience even more interesting is... when moron "professional installers" put high priced aftermarket upgrades into the mix, and screw everything up.
     
  19. JRS

    JRS

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    I rip it all out and start from scratch, even if it's a supposed high end factory upgrade.

    For $1500 (your own labor though) including head unit, you can blow away any factory set up out there.

    Spend 300-500 on a deck you want with a 5v pre-out min
    Spend 300 on an amp with low noise and decent RMS rating, that can do low ohm if need be (for the sub)
    Buy a 10 inch DVC sub...200
    Build your own box (I've put them in armrests before)...50 bucks
    Buy 1-2 pair of components (200 per pair) with decent RMS rating (one pair will knock your socks off, use factory speakers in the back, unless you have a junk bose system...in which case use none).....2 pair and you have a kicking system
    Run highs off the deck is deck allows and budget limits to that
    Buy a line driver....100 bucks (for the sub amp)

    If you want to go for a sub 2k system, run the highs off a small amp

    My system ran me about 1500 and puts some guys with "10k" systems to shame.

    Won't rattle your mirrors, but rattles mine, sounds great, and I can play AVI video off my hard drive.
     
  20. JRS

    JRS

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    Yup. Look up PAC audio. Great stuff. Using an adapter to keep my steering wheel controls.