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First Car - Car Audio Questions

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Jarett


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Posted January 15 2006 - 10:05 AM

Hey all, i've used this for home theater but never car audio, and now that I have purchased my first car - a 1986 oldsmobile cutlass ciera - I have some questions that I hope can be answered. First thing I need to do is put in a new HU, which I will need an install kit for I assume. Will I be needing a harness as well? As far as DIN cd players go, what is good for powering the speakers? I think I will use the HU to power the speakers, and add a amp and sub later. will this work? will i be able to replace the stock speakers use the current wiring? why do people put their subs in their trunk? can i put it in the center of the board below the rear window? i want good clean bass but something that i can really pump up once in a while for everyone to hear> will something like a quatro daytona or something do this? what do you recommend? sorry if things are confusing but rite now i don"t really know whaty i"m talking about thanks jay

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Spencer M

Spencer M


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Posted January 15 2006 - 05:19 PM

first off congrats Jay on the purchase of your first car. Asfar as kits and harnesses go since you have a late model gm car a kit and harness will be easy to find. Metra is what I've always used and most car audio shops stock. Look to spend about $15-30 for both kit and harness. Any entry to mid level cd head unit will work fine. As far as brands go it's hard to beat Pioneer for the price, value and performance. But Kenwood,Alpine,Sony,Eclipse and Clarion all make a very good product. I would stay away from some of the off brands that you might find at some of the big box stores. Most entry and all mid level head units out these days are 45-50 watts x 4 so powering your replacement speakers shouldn't be a problem. The current wiring in the car should work but since the car is 20 years old there might be some speaker wiring that needs to be replaced because of rotting. Onto amps and woofers. Most subwoofer boxes are mounted in the trunk for sound and space reasons. Mostly the latter reason. All after market cd players will have at least one set of rca's preouts to run one amp if you choose to add another later you can split of the one set, but most mid level head units these days have two if not three sets of rca preouts. Also yes you can mount a sub on the rear window deck but you would need to reinforce that rear window deck to handle the weight. You would also need to use a free air response subwoofer (woofer that doesn't need an enclosure to work) which I am not sure many people make anymore. My suggestion for a sub and amp since your new to this would be a factory loaded box. Fosgate,MTX,Kicker etc. All make boxes that come with the subs in them all tuned and ready to go. That with a nice two channel 250-400 watt amp or if you really want to make the neighbors wet the bed at 2am go get a nice 600-1000 watt class D amp. Hope this helps a little bit. -Spencer

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Jarett


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Posted January 17 2006 - 09:54 AM

Man thatnks sooo much for the info that is awesome. REally, clears htings up for me. I listened to the system today and stock it actually insn't that bad. Is there anyway I could hook up an amp to use a sub with the stock tape deack? I kinda like the vintage feel. Also, if that isn't possible, can I just replace it and hoook up a sub and amp and leave the rest stock? thanks

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Colin+M


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Posted January 23 2006 - 02:52 PM

you need a Line Level converter or an amp with High Level inputs like this one here
Navone LOC

I personally use it with aftermarket components and JL Audio amps. I am pleased with it, and i am sure you would be as well.
"I'm your huckleberry"

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   EvanW


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Posted April 27 2006 - 06:46 PM

I have a completely different opinion, never use a head unit to power speakers, they can only power very sensetive speakers anyway, headunits distort tremendously, always go with an external amp even if its something cheap u picked up for 40$ from a pawn shop, a 5 yr old alpine amp rated for 35x4 at 4ohms at 12.5 volts will smash any headunit, most headunits will sound fine at low levels but after a point the distortion and clipping is unbelievable, and as far as head units being 50 or 45x4 thats a big pile of peak lies, most headunits have around 10-18x4 rms at the 12.#-13.# volts car electrical systems produce, stock wiring will work fine as long as its not angel hair 24 ga and even that will be ok, people put subs in the trunk because it give them something to reverberate off( and for other reasons but thats in simple terms and im not gonna go in depth because u seem to be new at car audio) the other reason is u dont want a buncha 15 inch drivers and the hugh enclosures taking up valuble passenger space *hey can i get a ride, sure get in the trunk my subwoofer sits in the passenger seat*, what i suggest u do is get a headunit to start, and put it in though they do distort most stock heads are far worse, then replace ur door speakers ull probably be using coax based on cost, after that put a 4 channel amp in or 2 2 ch amps or a 2 channel amp and wire the pairs of speakers in parrelle since most are 4 ohms and most 2 ch amps can handle 2 ohm loads in stereo, after that i would purchuse a subwoofer and an amp, since ur starting i suggest u get a decently made pre fab box (stay clear of bandpass unless made specifically for the driver it will sound like crap and in any case ull get about 10 frequences loud like 80-90hz and the rest will be almost non existant) sealed for sound quality, ported for loudness though ported still sounds good, as far as an amps concerned ull probably want something class D so it dont suck as much current as ur house (litterally) and stay clear of BS peak ratings cuz that little orion 8002 rated for 800 rms bridged actually puts out about 1100 unclipped at around 14 volts clean power vs that fine lanzar vibrant 4000 watt that puts out about 500 watts clipped at 4ohms at 14 volts. anyway tell me if u have any more questions and feel free to call me or talk to me on aol or msn messanger more in depth always here to help someone out man i dont post my number on the board ull have to email me and i rarely check my emails so email me and leave me a message on the boards ( i rarely come on the boards anymore so dont be discouraged if i dont contact u soon).

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   jimLi



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Posted April 28 2006 - 10:09 AM

Here are some tips from me. Hope it helps. Are you going to do everything all at once or bit by bit? I'll assume that like most youngsters with their first car it will be bit by bit. Step 1: Buy the best head unit you can afford. Make sure to get one with pre-outs for front, rear and sub. Why? As mentioned, head units are too underpowered to drive really good speakers, which are usually inefficient. Luckily, factory speakers are very efficient and will run fine for now. So for now hook up you fancy new head unit to the factory speakers. Yes, you will need a face plate and wire harness kits. Do not try to avoid using a wire harness kit and be sure to solder and heat shrink all the connections. Step 2: This would be a good time to add the sub. A pair of tens with adequate power and a good box. If you like fairly boomy bass go ported but they are larger. Of course you can get whatever the hell you want. Step 3: Change out the factory speakers. Ideally you can amplify them as well. Amped speakers sound the best and will be better balanced to your sub. Shop around at the specialty car audio shops. Find a salesman who you feel comfortable with and tell them your plan and how much you want to spend (seriously). Go with the guy who seems to be the most helpful and honest. Will you install yourself? If so, how good an auto mechanic are you? Are you comfortable taking apart the interior of your car? I think a good car system starts with a good head unit. Cheap out on that part and it will make expanding the system more difficult later.

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