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Help w/ cheap system

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Mark Hedges, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Well-Known Member

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    The tape deck in my stock car radio is just about dead and I am thinking of replacing it with a CD deck. The car is a 1994 toyota camry. I am not looking to spend a lot of money and I am not looking for loud volume or lots of crazy bass (i.e. no sub). Can anybody make any suggestions?

    I was thinking of just leaving the stock speakers in, but if you guys think I could get much better sound without spending a lot of money I would consider something. I am trying to keep everything under $300, if possible.

    Where is the best place to go for this kind of thing? Is Best Buy a bad idea? Also is it possible to have real imaging in a car? If it is I would consider going over budget.

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. Frank Grimes

    Frank Grimes Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can get good imaging in a vehicle, but that really requires kickpanels. This would run you about $350 at a shop. You may be able to find Q Forms for your vehicle (~120), but they really aren't that well made and can have some bad resonances around 75hz.

    For ~$300, I would run:

    HU: http://www.ikesound.com/product-product_id/1159 or
    http://www.ikesound.com/product-product_id/1232

    Speakers:http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/CRYCXE615

    Amp: http://www.mmxpress.com/autotek/autotek_amplifiers.html (SS200.2)

    You'll get a lot more for your money online than you will in a BB or CC.
     
  3. Diallo B

    Diallo B Well-Known Member

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    Mark,

    Do you know how/are you willing to install car audio components?

     
  4. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how to install car audio components but I would be willing to try it if it isn't too hard.

    I will have to check on the color of the dash lights. I remember them being yellowish.

    Right now my primary concern is the headunit. If I could get much better speakers than the stock ones for very cheap I would consider replacing the speakers as well. Frank mentioned an amplifier. Is an amplifier absolutely neccesary?

    The thing is that the car is starting to show its age and I can't see keeping it for more than 2 more years. So I don't really want to put money into it that isn't neccesary to keep it on the road. But I also need a way to listen to something other than the radio while I am driving.

    I could spend more than $300 if I could convince myself that the money is not better spent on my home sound system! But I really don't want to.

    Do they still make combo CD/tape head units? My car has a blank spot under the stock unit so I think it could accomidate a taller system. I have some tapes that I still listen to on occasion.

    Thanks again!

    Mark
     
  5. Jeff_Krueger

    Jeff_Krueger Well-Known Member

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    You probably have a double Din opening, I think most japanese cars do... and could fit a combo CD/Tape unit if you wanted. Also if you can't reconcile the idea of putting money into a car you will get rid of in two years remember that you can always pull the equipment out and transfer it to the next car. With that in mind you will want to really think about what you want in a car system, and how much time you spend in your car. I've had pretty much the same system in three differnt cars now over approx six years, with the amount of driving I do it just made sense to put more money into the car stereo than home audio because I rarely get to listen to music at home.

    Take a look at all the factors and decide what you want and then set your budget, it will save you money and get you more satisfaction for the money you do spend.

    If you like to DIY then you can also make you money go a lot farther, plus car audio is a pretty dammed cool hobby [​IMG]
     
  6. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at your car's stock speakers. If they are cheapies (e.g., "dual-cone" instead of two-way), you will realize a huge difference if you upgrade to true two-way. Dual-cone is the speaker manufacturer's attempt to get decent highs out of a single driver, whereupon they attach a cardboard cone to the woofer's dust cap to simulate a tweeter. It doesn't do much. decent 2-way 6-inch door speakers can be had for less than $100 a pair.

    Secondly, what kind of features are you looking for in a head unit? Just basic CD playback, or one that can play MP3/WMA files? Do you want to hook up a changer in the trunk?

    With regard to an amplifier, it would help, but these days most decks are "high power," claiming 45-60W x 4, which works out to approximately 20-27W RMS per channel. Better than the decks of yore, but still falling short of a dedicated amplifier, which you probably don't need.

    With regard to imaging, some decks allow you to adjust the delay for each speaker to make it appear as if you were sitting in the middle of the car, equidistant from each speaker. This was a key consideration of my choosing the Alpine 9811, while remaining in my budget of less than $300US for a head unit.
     

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