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Beginner questions about car audio

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 BradleyS.


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Posted October 25 2004 - 01:57 PM

I just got my first truck and as with most high school kids you have to put a system in it. I'm not interested in anything really expensive and top of the line, just some mid line stuff that sounds good. I have a 2001 chevrolet z-71 extended cab with four doors. I have a few begginer questions about the components.

1. I like alpine head units, but what price range do I need to get into to notice an improvement over the stock unit. I like the alpine 9827. Is this decent?

2. Do aftermarket recievers have better radio reception that my stock unit?

3. Is xm satellite radio night and day better than regular radio?

4. What speakers would you recommend for my car? I dont listen at very loud volumes. I was looking at the Infinity kappa 62.5/63.5i speakers, are these anygood?

5. What kind of sub would be recommended? I dont want to break my windows or be heard from 3 blocks away so I suspect one good sub will suffice my needs. I would prefer some sort of set-up that could go behind or under the rear seat.

#2 of 8 Jason Kirkpatri

Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted October 25 2004 - 03:06 PM

For what it's worth:


No offense, but I'd start checking out some dedicated car audio forums. The HTF can be a good source of info, just a real slow source of info. Posted Image



for starters and keep searching for more. I'm not familiar with Chevy's anymore so I can't really offer any real solid advise.

Edit: try this one too:


33,276 posts in the general discussion area.

Edit #2:


Don't know when the models changed over but maybe that pdf will help you out on the install.


#3 of 8 Brad_Harper


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Posted October 26 2004 - 01:40 AM

1. Almost any Alpine head unit will be better then your stock one. The 9827 has all the bells and whistles you'll need.

2. Your FM and AM reception shouldn't be any better. It is the antenna location and type that makes the most difference.

3. Satellite radio is way way better then FM. It sounds pretty close to CD quality if installed right and the music selection is fantastic. Highly recommended!

4. I have those Kappas in my vehicle and love them. But I like "bright" sounding speakers. You will get a million different opinions on what speakers are the best. Just stop by your local audio stores with some CDs you know well and listen to a bunch of different brands.

5. I would recommend a 10" woofer in a sealed box for your truck. Sealed boxes take up the least space and have the tightest response. Just pick a good Class D mono amp to power it and your set. Woofer brands again are like speaker brands. A rubber surround is a must for a woofer. Avoid foam!

Enjoy your new toys!

#4 of 8 Dean_S


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Posted October 26 2004 - 08:15 AM


I have a very similar truck (99 new-body style ext-cab Z71). Originally, I had just added speakers and amps to the OEM radio, then I switched to an Alpine (one near the top of the line with the folding/hiding faceplate. The change from the OEM HU was a huge improvement in sound quality. Currently, I'm running a Kenwood Excelon 969, DynAudio System 240 MKII, 10" Phoenix Gold X-Max woofer in downfiring box under the rear seat, and 4-ch Phoenix Gold 475ti amp (bridged to 3-ch). I switched to the Kenwood because the Alpine broke after a few years and I wanted Sirius Satellite instead of XM. Both Sirius and XM are comparable in sound quality these days but don't be fooled by the hype...they ARE NOT CD quality!!! They are much better then FM radio but still sound like MP3s due to the compression. My equipment is a little pricey for what you say you are looking for, but you are on the right track and the other advice given here is excellent. Just be sure to Dynamat the doors a little when you install the new speakers and be sure to get a box for your woofer that is the appropriate size for whatever woofer you choose. I've decided to keep my truck a while longer and I'm going to add another amp and change to 4 8" forward firing woofers and bridge the PG amp down to 2-ch to run the DynAudios, add alot more Dynamat (Floor, rear wall, roof, more on the doors). I'm also going to have the headliner recovered with dark gray ultra suede to match the leather color while it's out of the truck...this will make the whole interior the same color instead of dark gray with a light gray headliner.

#5 of 8 BradleyS.


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Posted October 26 2004 - 09:10 AM

thanks for the help guys. I think the infinity's sound just right for me(I'm a klipsch fanboy). Would you recommend the 62.5i or 63.5i kappas? The 62's are 2-way speakers and the 63's are 3-way, so what exactly does that mean? I think I will probably go with alpine 9827 since it seems to be a good value and has a good look. Is there any other way to increase my radio reception? I live in the middle of nowhere but theres a good station in fort worth that I like but theres some static.I also have a few more questions I thought of.

How do I remove my speaker grills on the door panels? They seem so fragile im scared to bend on them to hard.

Is installing the head unit and wiring very difficult? Im fairly good with this kind of stuff but dont want to get into anything I might mess up.

#6 of 8 Dean_S


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Posted October 26 2004 - 09:26 AM

The speakers grills don't come off you must remove the whole door panel but it's pretty easy and takes about 5 minutes. I suggest getting a wiring harness like Crutchfield sells that plugs into the factory harness, then you only need to match up the aftermarket radio wires with the harness (they are labelled) and plug it into the car. This keeps you from needing to cut any of the factory wiring and going back to stock will be easy. You don't have On-star do you???

I'm not familar with Infinity's model numbers but the 2-way will work better in this vehicle since it will be a direct replacement for what is already there.

Once you get satellite you probably won't listen to FM anymore...I haven't. BTW: If you need professional installation I highly recommend Woody's at 5300 Camp Bowie in Fort Worth. I worked there many years ago and still use them when I don't feel like doing it myself, which happens more and more as I get older and busier. JR's in Irving and the Car Stereo store in Dallas are also very highly recommended. I wouldn't trust anyone else in the area with my cars.

#7 of 8 BradleyS.


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Posted October 26 2004 - 12:46 PM

Sorry I forgot to mention it but I dont have on-star. I know I can probably manage to put in the HU and the speakers, but the only thing im worried about is wiring to the sub. What is the best way to go about doing this? Has anyone ever put a svs driver in their car?

#8 of 8 Dean_S


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Posted October 27 2004 - 02:23 AM

That's good that you don't have On-star. Makes the installation of the HU much easier.