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Help...me decide on a new system


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 ChrisKula

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Posted November 17 2004 - 10:50 AM

I have a 2005 Honda civic and want to upgrade the audio system a bit. I don't need or want something that can be heard from blocks away, just something cleaner sounding than the factory system.

Will a HU be the best place to start or speakers? Can I add component front speakers eventhough I have only 2 door mounted? How? What companies do you recommend that I look at for HU and speakers....I would like to keep it under $800 Canadian for the whole setup.

Any input or suggestions are much appreciated and thank you in advance!!

#2 of 12 Arthur Legardo

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Posted November 17 2004 - 02:34 PM

Going from personal experience, I would change the speakers and add an amp. Just change the front speakers and you can put more money towards a better quality (4 channel) and/or better quality front speakers. Components aren't really a problem, tweeters can be mounted almost anywhere.

I wouldn't suggestion going to one of those big box stores for speakers, but rather a dedicated car audio store.

#3 of 12 StephenHa

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Posted November 18 2004 - 01:17 PM

given your cost limits start with speakers, don't worry about amps yet, then upgrade teh head unit to one with better power, and features, then go to outboard amps for even better sound quality

#4 of 12 ChrisKula

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Posted November 20 2004 - 08:07 AM

Thanks for the suggestions but should I just upgrade speakers or both the speakers and the head unit. What would make the most sense / difference in sound quality?

Any suggestions as to brands for speakers and head units are appreciated!!

#5 of 12 StephenHa

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Posted November 20 2004 - 02:19 PM

brands is a personal thing, go to specialty stores (not cc or best buy) given your budget just do speakers (a good hu can eat more than half your budget so can a good set of speakers)

#6 of 12 Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 21 2004 - 07:03 AM

Quote:
go to specialty stores (not cc or best buy)

I strongly disagree. Research what you want to buy and then find the store that has your specific item for the cheapest price.

No sense in going to a specialty store and paying a premium on an item that is 15% down at BB, etc.

But if you are going to a store for research purposes, then I agree - skip BB and others and go where they know what they're talking about.

#7 of 12 ChrisKula

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Posted November 21 2004 - 02:43 PM

It seems like speakers are the way to go according to your opinions. Should I look at changing all 4 or just the front 2?? I have read on this forum that the front speakers are the most important so could I just change out the front speakers and then get a new head unit?

How much should I look to spend on each component. My budget is $800 so I should be able to get a decent set of speakers for the front and a new more powerful HU? Does this make sense.

I was looking at Alpine CD/MP3 units and they look pretty sweet, any opinions?
Thanks again for the advice!!

#8 of 12 Arthur Legardo

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Posted November 21 2004 - 02:55 PM

Put more money into the front speakers.

#9 of 12 Jason Kirkpatri

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Posted November 21 2004 - 04:24 PM

I agree with Arthur. Front stage is more critical than the "filler".

#10 of 12 Scott L

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Posted November 21 2004 - 06:54 PM

Alpine's good, the two I've had were really reliable and spit out nice and clean sound. They play mp3s and WMAs alright. I'm very interested in connecting an iPod to it with the AI-Net port and controlling everything from the Alpine.

You should know that controlling the audio on these units is a tad more complex; you don't simply turn up the bass, treble and mid. You have a 4 or 5-band parametric EQ (low to high) where you control the filters for each. You also have to press the EQ button twice, holding it down the 2nd time.. very stupid and inefficient, especially when driving. Posted Image

I first tried an inexpensive 4-band model at first but it didn't give me much control of the mid-range so I went with a 5-band model. Pretty satisfied but I know never to skimp on the HU again.

#11 of 12 Bill O'Brien

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Posted November 26 2004 - 04:33 PM

In my personal experience, I would upgrade the amps first. Stock speakers can take a beating... and after markets really sound like crap when you have a stock head unit driving them. My story: Have a 96 Civic. Upgraded all the stocks to Boston Acoustics Rally and installed a Boston sub (with amp) and was horrendously disappointed by the sound. Upgraded to JBL amp to drive speakers and found tremendous difference.

My personal upgrade path:
1) Amps for the fronts/rears
2) Sub + amp
3) Head unit

Personally... that's the flow I would take if I had to do it again. Upgrading the head unit first is alluring but yields the WORST results (in terms of sound quality). If you're looking for features (ie: a CD player) then go for the head unit at the same time as the sub/amp.

That's my personal opinion.

Regards,

Bill

#12 of 12 Bill O'Brien

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Posted November 26 2004 - 04:38 PM

Addendum:

After reading your original post again... DON'T UPGRADE THE SPEAKERS FIRST!!! I thought so as well and upgraded the stocks to a BA Rally set. What I found was that the stock head unit was unable to drive the speakers (read: it sounded like crap) and that the speakers started to sounds crappier (that may have been psychosematic).

Best of luck,

Bill