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Newbie needs advice!

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   David Ugan

David Ugan


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  • Join Date: Dec 18 2003

Posted May 06 2004 - 05:56 AM

Hello all. Ok, I've been into home theater for well over a decade now, but now I'm ready to improve my driving experience as well. I have a 2000 mustang gt, and need to overhaul the terrible stock system (its not the mach one system) for around $500 - which would include installation considering I'm not going to do it myself. I like to turn it up too so I definitely would like significant power. I would like to do the whole thing - new head unit, new front and back speakers, amp, and 2 10 or 12 inch subs - however, I'm guessing that's pretty much not possible on my budget. Basically what I'm asking is if you car audiophiles out there only had $500 to improve your system, what would you focus on. In order of importance here's what I was thinking: New front and back speakers New Head Unit (how much rms would i need for pretty loud music if i dont buy an amp?) Amp Subs would a new head unit be that important if i bought an amp? obviously, any purchases that really arent mandatory i don't want to have to make. I don't know what install rates are from a decent place (no best buy, circuit city or any of that crap) so I'm guessing that's going to be quite expensive. Also, could i buy stuff from best buy but have it installed elsewhere? Thanks so much for your help - I can't wait to hear the difference!

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   VinhT


    Second Unit

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Posted May 06 2004 - 07:52 PM

Wow, this is certainly an intriguing challenge! Here is the order of importance (1 being top priority): 1) Front speakers 2) Amplifiers 3) Subwoofer(s) 4) Head unit 5) Rear speakers First of all, I need to say that this will be extremely difficult to budget. Installation alone, will be about $200 (labor + wiring), so I will assume that you really only have $300 to work with. I will use retail products and pricing, since not everyone likes to buy stuff online. Unfortunately, a new head unit is out of the question, and isn't really necessary in your case anyways. We can also toss out new rear speakers as well, since rear fill is perhaps the least important aspect of car audio. . . . After a bit of research, it seems that what you want is pretty much impossible. If you buy retail, then you can get front speakers and an amp. Or, you can get sub(s) and an amp. If you buy online, then you can get front speakers, a four-channel amp, and a sub. However, the quality of the components that fit within the budget are highly suspect. My recommendation is to simply purchase coaxials for the front, a bridgeable two-channel amplifier for the sub, and one subwoofer (plus enclosure). Figure about $100 for each component, and you should be okay. Hope this helps some.
Vinh Tran

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   David Ugan

David Ugan


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Posted May 07 2004 - 12:51 AM

yeah, i pretty much figured $500 wouldnt do a whole lot for me. Hhmmmm, if i could get a place that did no interest financing for a year, id probably bump my budget all the way up to $1000.....but thanks for the advice - it looks like that's what i'll have to consider......damn installation pricing! note: obviously best buy or even hifi buys (theyre a bit more high end) offer awesome financing rates throughout the year....but you guys dont recommend getting install from them right??

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Denton


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Posted May 08 2004 - 07:12 AM

The order of importance list can be argued, but I'd try to do things in a way that lets you upgrade when you can. My recommendation would be a head unit with 3 sets of pre-outs, one of which is "non-fading" for sub use. I'd spend the rest of the money on quality speakers for the front of the car.

That car uses 6x8 speakers. It is easy to fit 5.25 components in there. You might consider a pair of MB Quart Reference series components that are biampable. Install them in the front doors and power them using all 4 channels on the head unit. (Tweeters with the front channels and midbasses with the rear channels.) These speakers are a year or two old but are often available new on eBay cheap.

Next upgrade would be a sub and amp. Install both in the trunk, remove the rear speakers to vent the bass into the cabin. You may very well decide that you have everything you need right there. Or not. Posted Image
"Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye." Bill Hicks

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   David.G


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Posted May 10 2004 - 08:01 AM

mmm....Head unit first. I'm new to this forum but I only do car audio, my friend does Home audio. So here's my advice. Speakers, especially in a 2000 should still be fine to use so that should be one of the last things to upgrade. Not knowing how much you like your SQ, i'd say go with a JVC Arsenal, for your price range. All Arsenal series Cd players come with 24bit convertors which make a huge difference in SQ. Eclipse also has them on their top 2 or 3 models, Eclipse has better SQ too, but also costs more. JVC i believe only comes with 2 preouts but you can get a y rca cord to connect 2 from one preout. I would then go about adding a sub to the car. Elemental Design is the SVS of car audio. Great SQ subs and a good price ( will match almost any sub on SQ, factory direct only). I have an ED sub O-series and its great on SQ and the guys are great people and always have good customer svc. Amps are up to you, for the 500$ you were talking about would get you the cd player and sub, maybe a little change added in, but to get an amp you're looking to go into the 700$ range total. Hifonics is a good brand that is pretty cheap on ebay. You could go for a pretty hefty 4 ch, like 60x4 to run your system. the first two channels run your front speakers(factory for now until you decide to upgrade) and bridge 3and 4 to run the sub. ED K-series subs will do well with a small sealed box running at about 150 RMS. The guys at ED can help you out with power. 500$ is a small budget so plan well, its better to start out with something good than to spend more to upgrade later.
David is the car audio guy, Jason is the home audio so if you see a post in car audio thats David, if in Home thats more than likely Jason. Confusing isn't it!!! Also i hope i am allowed to put my sounddomain down on my equipment page. Its car audio but you guys might enjoy it.


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