Automotive

The aftermarket car audio thread : Questions welcomed! :)

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Penalty Box
Mar 28, 2007
2874 posts
358 upvotes
blackdragon12 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2014 10:11 pm
Wow thanks for the detailed response! I will check out those links over the next few days when I get a chance and will post back if I have any more questions!
So I look a look at my rear speskers and it looks like I only have 2 speakers in the back (so I guess I do not have the upgraded option). Will this affect anything?

I was considering these speakers:
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Sound_Ordnanc ... 777p65.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Pioneer_TS_G1 ... sg1644.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Kicker_40CS54 ... 64cs54.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Kicker_40CS65 ... 4cs654.htm
Positive Investing!
Jr. Member
May 1, 2011
167 posts
2 upvotes
Calgary
ScarySkulls wrote:
Feb 27th, 2014 9:04 pm
Cold weather makes LCD screens sluggish to respond and over time, the screens become really sluggish. Likely, that is what you are seeing now. If you have a remote, try adjusting volume etc using that first.

DDX-719 is discontinued, so there is chance you might see some real good price somewhere. Agreed on 790 price right now over many sites in US - it's preety nice!
That said, if navigation as a part of headunit is rally important for you, then Kenwood also makes double dins where the Garmin navigation is baked into the headunit.
example - http://www.kenwood.ca/Car_Entertainment ... Receivers/
Thanks for the info on the screens, i figured the extreme temperatures wouldn't be good for them. I wonder if the newer units hold up better than the old ones?

I'm actually finding it quite difficult to pull the trigger on a new head unit right now. I'm not really sure why, it just seems like everything I look at is decent, but nothing in my price range is really jumping out at me.
Jr. Member
May 1, 2011
167 posts
2 upvotes
Calgary
googoo wrote:
Feb 28th, 2014 1:18 pm
jibs20 According to the manual for the 4200 "The display should be used within the temperature range of -10°C to +60°C (14 °F to 140 °F)" so that maybe what affects you screen...and don't forget that real buttons can still get dirty underneath, start by blowing some compressed air and see what happens, otherwise you may want to do some minor surgery and take it apart until you can remove the buttons and clean the general area......I've done this with regular stereos but never with you type, be careful!
I did notice the operating temperature range of these units, which I found surprising considering the winter climate of a large part of North America. I have considered taking the unit apart and trying to "fix" it, but I'm not really good with stuff like that so I'm leaning towards selling it on ebay with a very clear description of the problems and letting someone who knows what they're doing have a crack at it
Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2008
932 posts
98 upvotes
Montreal, QC
ScarySkulls wrote:
Feb 25th, 2014 9:45 pm
In my opinion, it's worth upgrading the HU. However, you can probably also get away with using the high level input in the amp, driving upgraded speakers. What's your budget like? Can you DIY?
Sorry busy last couple of days, budget 400$, no real car audio experience but have a brother mechanic in the family.
[OP]
Member
Nov 20, 2008
305 posts
73 upvotes
Halifax, N.S.
blackdragon12 wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2014 5:51 pm
So I look a look at my rear speskers and it looks like I only have 2 speakers in the back (so I guess I do not have the upgraded option). Will this affect anything?

I was considering these speakers:
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Sound_Ordnanc ... 777p65.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Pioneer_TS_G1 ... sg1644.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Kicker_40CS54 ... 64cs54.htm
http://www.crutchfield.ca/Kicker_40CS65 ... 4cs654.htm
Thanks for researching :)

Sound Ordnance is not a really a brand that is on top of my list.

Now, onto the car, the only thing that not having the upgraded option affects is that it gives you a free reign on what you want to do! The good thing about putting in good quality car audio is that whenever you sell the car, you can take most, if not all of the gear with you to the new car.

I recommend you install the below -
1) New headunit
2) New front speakers - 6.5" component speakers
3) Amplifier for the front speakers
4) Subwoofer in the trunk, if you feel you need a well rounded package.

I recommended proper full size front component speakers above because I feel they are critical for two main objectives -
- getting good quality sound
- Bringing the soundstage "UP". Think of soundstage as an orchestra playing in front of you. At night, in a traffic free area, close your eyes and crank up the volume. On a well designed system, you would be able to feel the orchestra sitting at your eye / ear level. (A lot of customers have even come back and said that whenever they tried to do it, they could almost pinpoint the "virtual" location of each instrument in the orchestral stage).

Example - something like THIS, but even better if you can find a decent brand on sale for around $100.
[OP]
Member
Nov 20, 2008
305 posts
73 upvotes
Halifax, N.S.
jibs20 wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2014 7:41 pm
Thanks for the info on the screens, i figured the extreme temperatures wouldn't be good for them. I wonder if the newer units hold up better than the old ones?

I'm actually finding it quite difficult to pull the trigger on a new head unit right now. I'm not really sure why, it just seems like everything I look at is decent, but nothing in my price range is really jumping out at me.
jibs20 wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2014 7:44 pm
I did notice the operating temperature range of these units, which I found surprising considering the winter climate of a large part of North America. I have considered taking the unit apart and trying to "fix" it, but I'm not really good with stuff like that so I'm leaning towards selling it on ebay with a very clear description of the problems and letting someone who knows what they're doing have a crack at it
Not sure about newer units holding up better than the last ones. At the time when I was doing car audio, I lived in a place where -1 degree C was considered cold enough to shut down people into their homes :)

That said, this is how I told my cousin to do and he has been pretty happy with it -
1) He uses remote starter to start the car a couple of minutes before driving it - helps shave off a crucial few minutes before the cabin starts to warm up.

2) He knows he will listen to the morning news on the local radio for the first ten minutes or so of his drive - He already has the source set to radio, station selected and a comfortable volume dialled in when he parks in the evening

3) He uses the remote to control volume, changing channels etc. instead of using the touchscreen for the first 15 min or so.

Does any of this sound helpful?
[OP]
Member
Nov 20, 2008
305 posts
73 upvotes
Halifax, N.S.
DaSnipe wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2014 11:31 pm
Sorry busy last couple of days, budget 400$, no real car audio experience but have a brother mechanic in the family.
Hmm... You can try to squeeze component speakers in the front and a VFM amplifier in that for now. Are you good at finding deals? :)
Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2008
932 posts
98 upvotes
Montreal, QC
I'm here so that's something for finding deals, going to wait until the summer to start looking tho, right now worried about taxes and bills haha
Penalty Box
Mar 28, 2007
2874 posts
358 upvotes
ScarySkulls wrote:
Mar 4th, 2014 6:24 pm
Thanks for researching :)

Sound Ordnance is not a really a brand that is on top of my list.

Now, onto the car, the only thing that not having the upgraded option affects is that it gives you a free reign on what you want to do! The good thing about putting in good quality car audio is that whenever you sell the car, you can take most, if not all of the gear with you to the new car.

I recommend you install the below -
1) New headunit
2) New front speakers - 6.5" component speakers
3) Amplifier for the front speakers
4) Subwoofer in the trunk, if you feel you need a well rounded package.

I recommended proper full size front component speakers above because I feel they are critical for two main objectives -
- getting good quality sound
- Bringing the soundstage "UP". Think of soundstage as an orchestra playing in front of you. At night, in a traffic free area, close your eyes and crank up the volume. On a well designed system, you would be able to feel the orchestra sitting at your eye / ear level. (A lot of customers have even come back and said that whenever they tried to do it, they could almost pinpoint the "virtual" location of each instrument in the orchestral stage).

Example - something like THIS, but even better if you can find a decent brand on sale for around $100.
Thanks again for the info!

I am pretty new to all this, but how much would 1), 2), 3), and 4) cost all together? If i do get all 4, I will probably need to get it professionally installed cause I have no idea how to. So how much would installation typically be on top of that?

Also when you say good full size front speakers, do you mean 6 1/2" speaker for the 2 front doors?
Positive Investing!
Jr. Member
May 1, 2011
167 posts
2 upvotes
Calgary
ScarySkulls wrote:
Mar 4th, 2014 6:54 pm
Not sure about newer units holding up better than the last ones. At the time when I was doing car audio, I lived in a place where -1 degree C was considered cold enough to shut down people into their homes :)

That said, this is how I told my cousin to do and he has been pretty happy with it -
1) He uses remote starter to start the car a couple of minutes before driving it - helps shave off a crucial few minutes before the cabin starts to warm up.

2) He knows he will listen to the morning news on the local radio for the first ten minutes or so of his drive - He already has the source set to radio, station selected and a comfortable volume dialled in when he parks in the evening

3) He uses the remote to control volume, changing channels etc. instead of using the touchscreen for the first 15 min or so.

Does any of this sound helpful?
Yes that is very helpful, something I will keep in mind for sure.

I have a question about the quality of of the different brands on the market. It has been a while since I last looked into car audio, but I was always of the impression that Kenwood, Pioneer, Clarion, Alpine, and Eclipse were some of the better brands on the market. I'm wondering if that is still the case or if some of these company's have had a drop in quality. I'm also wondering about the quality of companies like Sony and JVC. I guess my question is what brands should I consider when looking for a new head unit?

Thanks
[OP]
Member
Nov 20, 2008
305 posts
73 upvotes
Halifax, N.S.
blackdragon12 wrote:
Mar 4th, 2014 10:40 pm
Thanks again for the info!

I am pretty new to all this, but how much would 1), 2), 3), and 4) cost all together? If i do get all 4, I will probably need to get it professionally installed cause I have no idea how to. So how much would installation typically be on top of that?

Also when you say good full size front speakers, do you mean 6 1/2" speaker for the 2 front doors?
When buying a new car, companies usually charge anywhere between $1000 - $1500 for the premium sound option on their cars. The aftermarket scene is not too different and the costs for installing a good entry level system run about the same.

Below are examples of some of the costs involved (+/- 20%)
1) Headunit - Single DINs (EXAMPLE) are usually cheaper. A decent one can be had around $150. Double DIN - usually double the price.

2) Speakers -
Front 2 way component speakers - $150 - $180 (EXAMPLE) for a good entry level system.

Rear fill speakers - You could use your stock speakers or you could drop in a 2 way co-axial speaker set from the same brand as your front components for less than $100.

3) Amplifier -
A four channel amplifier is the most popular and usually a wise option. There is a good variety available and it is easy to re-sell if you ever wanted to upgrade. These are usually around $300 (EXAMPLE)

4) Subwoofer -
A single 12" sub in a sealed enclosure is usually how I liked to do it. But, a well built and tuned ported enclosure is also a good choice.
Depending on what you choose, typical costs run between $180 (EXAMPLE) and $300 for "preloaded" enclosure (EXAMPLE)

5) Installation accessories -
Amplifier wiring kits are usually around $100 (EXAMPLE)

6) Install labour and tuning -
can DIY or call in a professional - Not sure about what the going rate these days in ON, but we can research that.
[OP]
Member
Nov 20, 2008
305 posts
73 upvotes
Halifax, N.S.
jibs20 wrote:
Mar 5th, 2014 11:16 pm
Yes that is very helpful, something I will keep in mind for sure.

I have a question about the quality of of the different brands on the market. It has been a while since I last looked into car audio, but I was always of the impression that Kenwood, Pioneer, Clarion, Alpine, and Eclipse were some of the better brands on the market. I'm wondering if that is still the case or if some of these company's have had a drop in quality. I'm also wondering about the quality of companies like Sony and JVC. I guess my question is what brands should I consider when looking for a new head unit?

Thanks
Those are some of the brands that I like too. Kenwood is my favourite with Alpine a close second. Then Eclipse / Pioneer. JVC is not too bad either. Sony, especially the Xplod series - I used to avoid these like the plague 6 years ago.
Penalty Box
Mar 28, 2007
2874 posts
358 upvotes
ScarySkulls wrote:
Mar 6th, 2014 7:46 am
When buying a new car, companies usually charge anywhere between $1000 - $1500 for the premium sound option on their cars. The aftermarket scene is not too different and the costs for installing a good entry level system run about the same.

Below are examples of some of the costs involved (+/- 20%)
1) Headunit - Single DINs (EXAMPLE) are usually cheaper. A decent one can be had around $150. Double DIN - usually double the price.

2) Speakers -
Front 2 way component speakers - $150 - $180 (EXAMPLE) for a good entry level system.

Rear fill speakers - You could use your stock speakers or you could drop in a 2 way co-axial speaker set from the same brand as your front components for less than $100.

3) Amplifier -
A four channel amplifier is the most popular and usually a wise option. There is a good variety available and it is easy to re-sell if you ever wanted to upgrade. These are usually around $300 (EXAMPLE)

4) Subwoofer -
A single 12" sub in a sealed enclosure is usually how I liked to do it. But, a well built and tuned ported enclosure is also a good choice.
Depending on what you choose, typical costs run between $180 (EXAMPLE) and $300 for "preloaded" enclosure (EXAMPLE)

5) Installation accessories -
Amplifier wiring kits are usually around $100 (EXAMPLE)

6) Install labour and tuning -
can DIY or call in a professional - Not sure about what the going rate these days in ON, but we can research that.
Awesome.

So with my budget right now, I only want to upgrade the speakers. The subwoofer, amplifier, and headunit I will upgrade as time goes on, but not initially.

So would you suggest getting component speakers like this: http://www.crutchfield.ca/JVC_CS_VS608_ ... svs608.htm

or

regular front speakers like this: http://www.crutchfield.ca/Kicker_40CS54 ... 64cs54.htm

Do either of them require anything special to install? IE, will they both work with the factory radio/settings? Also, will they work fine for future upgrades of an amp/subwoofer/etc?

Thanks!
Positive Investing!
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 12, 2007
6018 posts
673 upvotes
Greely
I have a 2009 MDX and would really like to get better sound out of it. However as with a lot of more recent cars, the HU is integrated with the heating controls, etc so I'm not sure there is a HU replacement option. What can I do to significantly improve the sound quality and volume in my vehicle? I'm ok to take it somewhere, but the few places I had been to early in ownership didn't seem to know where to start.

Thanks in advance.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 2, 2008
11526 posts
1440 upvotes
how do i wire a 4ohm tweeter with a 4ohm speakers? parallel or series?? do i need another crossover as well?

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