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Car stereo sound system

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by DUK35, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. hey guys - just curious about this. I just got a nice car recently and I'd like to have a nice sound system to go with it. I don't want anything flashy, show quality, nothing loud, nothing over the top.

    I just want a nice sound system so I can go on long drives and listen to nice music. basically - I dunno wanna be a duff duff mobile nightclub along oxford st.

    anyways - my question is:
    to get started - I'll need a CD tuner, an Amp and speakers right?
    can I have one Amp running everything? speakers and tweeters? (option of a soft sounding woofer?)

    how much does it start at? like what's the cheapest I'll be looking at?
    can I install this myself? if not how much will the installation cost?

    thanks guys!
  2. JB HiFi is your friend !

    Also Ipod compatible head units are the in thing now. (if you have an Ipod). You won't regret it
  3. +1 on jb hifi! they rock for the average joe with sound systems.

    How new is the car you have bought?? alot of the time you can install the stuff yourself with minimum experience. have done a couple myself. but with newer cars it gets a little hard to negotiate the dash/center console. if you're not after anything too flash then try to match speakers to the existing holes.
    makes it easier for yourself to install them.

    For sound quality i'd get some decent front splits, and spend a little extra on the head deck. sound will be best when coming from a decent source. IMO.
  4. thanks guys - looks like a visit to JB Hifi for me soon!

    Tis an older model car but the nicest car I've ever owned lol (Europeeeean hehe)

    what are front splits? I keep seeing that around?

    also what are cross overs?
  5. Front splits are basically a speaker that has been "split" into two components. Essentially, you have the woofer located in the base of the door, and the tweeter higher up so that there is less between it and your ears. These are generally more powerful than regular speakers, so you should have an amp powering these. The crossover I believe is a little unit that connects the woofer to the tweeter.

    You should get a new CD player, splits if you can afford them and some good speakers for the back (6x9's or something along those lines). You should have no problems running all of these off one 4 channel amp - just find one with the right power output.

    My own biased opinion is to get a sub as well. Which means another amplifier. 12" is a really good size, although you could get a 10" which shouldn't be as loud. Either way, it shouldn't be too overpowering.

    As far as installing it, I always get somebody to install them - it is worth the extra money. Everyone I know that has had a stereo installed on the cheap by a friend or themselves has ended up with wires hanging everywhere, nothing quite screwed into place, and one guy has an extra hole in his door where they tried to put a speaker but realised there was no room. By paying someone, you get it all out of the way in one day, and there should be less problems.

    For a budget, I would try and go for a CD player around $500, splits around $250, 6x9's around $250, two amps around $300 each, sub around $250 and wiring around $200. Ontop of that is installation, and I have no idea what that would set you back - get quotes :).

    When I got my stereo, I basically picked what I wanted, told them my budget, and watched them work the prices around it. Buying everything in one hit will be expensive, but should save you some cash.
  6. thanks alot man!

    so based on your opinion - the 2 amps I'm guessing is to handle the splits, cos when split the speakers into seperate woofers and tweeters they'll be running on one channel each. so 2 front splits (left right) = 4 channels. and the Sub should plug into the sub outlet on the amp right?
    what's the smallest Sub you can get? wouldn't it be more balanced if I had 2 small subs running on one amp each than a big sub just loading on one amp?

    thanks for the help - I've been DJing and setting up sound systems based around DJ's but in a car it's a whole different story :p
  7. Not quite - each split takes one channel (the amp connects to the crossover of each split, which then distributes the power between the woofer and the tweeter). So a two channel amp would power the splits.

    If you want to power everything off amps, you could get a four channel amp that would power the splits and the 6x9's, then a seperate amp for the sub. With the amp for the sub, you would most likely get a two channel one, then "bridge" those two channels to one channel which would power the sub.

    As for the smallest sub, a 10" is probably it. There are other smaller ones in tubes designed for utes, but I don't think that is a path you want to go down.

    Best thing you can do is go into a place like JB Hi-Fi without your wallet and hassle the sales guy. Don't buy anything on the first trip, but just explain basically what you are after and your rough budget and they should be able to help. Once you've checked everything out, think about it again and if you're happy with what's been said, go back with the wallet this time. They should also be able to give you a demonstration of everything you're looking at so you can hear the quality (this is a crucial step - take a CD in and get them to play it so you can hear how it goes with the music you will be listening to).
  8. wow - thanks man! I've learnt heaps - especially the "don't take your wallet" Part hehehe.

    can't wait to goto JB now.... hopefully i don't come home with a stack of DVD's........ againn
  9. I have a different perspective, if you have a sub 6x9s are overkill as you will already have plenty of bass. Besides which you want your staging to come from the front of the car, not from behind you.

    For a good low cost setup I'd recommend a single 4 channel amp that allows you to bridge two of the channels for the sub. Use the other two channels for the front splits and get a pair of 6" 2 ways for the rear and run them directly from the head unit.

    This configuration works really well and because you're cutting down on the amount of gear you need you can spend a little more getting quality. Also make sure that you invest in good power cables for the amp.
  10. I completely understand - in my car I actually only run splits at the front and the two subs in the boot and that is plently loud enough for me. It's just that every person I have ever spoken to has always questioned why you wouldn't run 6x9's in the back when you've got subs and I've given up arguing.

    Although I would definately suggest getting a seperate amp for the splits and the sub should the funds allow it. It will sound better (in my opinion), and it means you will have more choice in how much power you send to each.
  11. I had a JL Audio tube sub in my old Hilux. It was fantastic.

    I powered that and the 2 front 6" Pioneer splits of the one Cadence amp, and it worked a treat.
    Didn't bother with rear-speakers.

    Considering most people who put 10-12" subs in their cars, don't bother baffling or rubber mounting anything else so their 'sick system' turns into "Nice number plate rattle, ya d1ckhead." I found my tube sub to be decidedly ace.

    They take up bugger all room, too.
  12. +1 don't waste money on rear speakers = 6x9. you better off spend the money on a decent front splits and an 2 channel amp.

    if your budget allows, get a mono amp and a sub. you'll have a nice set of stereo system. :cool:
  13. Jeez, I dunno, any decent head unit will run a lovely pair of 6x9's and some nice front speakers without an amp these days.
    For the price of just these, and the extra hassle of amps and associated wiring, plys a subbie and somewhere to put it, I reckon you can't go past a couple of nice 6x9's and some upgraded front speakers where teh stock ones were. Subs are for pissing off the neighbours. A PROPERLY INSTALLED pair of decent rear speakers will work very well.
    For teh average car, that's all you will ever need.

    Regards, Andrew.
  14. What Typhoon says is pretty spot on.. I once installed a Clarion head unit with some Pioneer 6x9's in the rear and some 4" in the front and mate it had enough grunt to shake the world.. Make sure you get a decent head unit, Clarion or Pioneer are the go, and i would recommend Pioneer speakers..
  15. havent done this in a while.. car stereos..

    basically, 2 amps, one 4 channel, one 2. 4 channel in the rear, 2 channels used to run a sub (bride the channels) other 2 channels for rear speakers. a good 10 inch sub is better for clarity than a dodgy 12 inch, so pay the same money, get a good one. 6" for the rear is fine, its just fill, but if the speakers in there are crap it will take away form the sound. 6 inch 2 ways(component speakers) run off the front amp, and the head unit stands alone. get a decent head unit too, dont go for a generic brand, as it will make any stereo sound crap. get it installed properly too. get the sub in a box, not free standing, and you dont need a ported box as thats just for big bang as opposed to sound quality.

    RMS is the level of output that can be put out without distortion issues, this is an important thing, no good having a 1200W amp, if it only has 100W RMS.
  16. but mate... you'll still have a Volvo :LOL:
  17. I just mounted a thick piece of rubber behind the number plate! \:D/
  18. Absolutely. And the benefit there is that you're amping the sound at the head unit - not after it's travelled through Xcm of wire and connectors picking up noise along the way. Don't agree with you on the Sub though. Sure there's plenty out there designed for just making the maximum amount of noise possible but a smaller, better quality, sub in a proper tuned enclosure is many, many times better than any 6x9 (especially one just shoved into a parcel shelf). And if you use a decent sub it means you're not relying on the speakers for bass just high and mid tones - so you can spend your money on better quality rather than larger cones (i.e. quality 4 inch speakers and a sub is far better than using cheap 6x9s).
    Edit: Oh and as for where to buy JB is great but also check out Jaycar - they don't have a huge range but the speakers they do sell are extremely good value for money - the old man fitted a set to his Volvo and it sounds pretty good, still needs a subwoofer though.
  19. no amount of rubber would stop mine from rattling @ 158.2db :cool:


    don't worry Duke... i'll work out what you need with you on the weekend LOL
  20. No offense, Andrew; and I like a decent and tastefully modified vehicle of which the sound-system is an important part: but that is just an example of "Look at the giant noisemaker I built, managed to fit inside a rolling chassis, and have running off a petrol engine alternator".

    If you can't comfortably drive it - it's stupid.