Need advice on car audio

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DavidY, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    I have a 96 Mazda Pickup truck. It suppose to have 6"x8" speakers, front and rear (as told by a local car audio rep). I would like to upgrade the original tapedeck and speakers to a CD/MP3 deck (MP3 is preferred, but not mandatory) with decent sounding speakers. A powered sub (1 or 2 [​IMG] ) and amp would likely be added much later....so the new system must be flexible for these additions.
    Yesterday, I looked at a moderately end Pioneer CD/MP3 deck for CDN$570...pricey, but sweet. They didn't have any 6"x8" speakers except for some Pioneer....I was told that 6"x8" are odd ball, and therefore are hard to get if I want "quality" speakers. Since I already have a fairly nice speakers at home (Paradigm Reference), I don't think that I would be happy with the mass market brands. I did check the JBL site, but they don't have any 6"x8" speakers.
    I expect my budget for a deck and quality speakers to be around CDN$500-$800 (US$300-$500) before taxes and install fees. Not sure if MP3 is worth the extra bucks.
    Thanks for any help.
    BTW, I am a HT enthusiast, but am new to car audio.
    Dave
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    One good reference site for beginners to check out is www.crutchfield.com
    You can enter in the make, model and year of your vehicle and they'll give sizes & recommendations for speakers and receivers. They also have a variety of 6x8's and a few CD/MP3 decks.
    If you see something you like you can get it MUCH cheaper at:
    www.zebaudio.com
    www.carmedia1.com
    (not sure if they ship to Canada)
    2 subs in a Mazda... you might wanna think about getting a higher powered alternator. At low RPMs your lights will probably dim when the bass hits.
     
  3. Andy Hardin

    Andy Hardin Stunt Coordinator

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    A few key points to think about.

    First, I don't know what the mounting is for your Mazda pickup, but you can get 6x8 to 6x9 adapter plates. The stick out an extra inch or so. If you have a grill that is very close or a tight mounting area, might not be the best solution. Here is a better one, it will take a little custom fabrication from the shop or you (depending on how handy you are) but the sound will be *much* better. Instead of the 6x8, get a component set that has a 5 1/4 and a tweeter, with a crossover. You can then mount the 5 1/4 in the existing speaker hole, and either mount the tweeter in there are well or even better, mount the tweeter on the door jam. This will improve the soundstage, and improve the overall sound a great deal. I got a set of Infinity Kappas for my car off Ebay for $150 shipped, you will pay that much or more for a quality 6x8 and the sound will not even be near comparable.

    If you run the speakers from the deck's amp, you will be disappointed. It may say 45x4 or whatever, but you are not getting much power.

    If you are building your system in stages, plan it out now and don't deviate from that. That way you will not have incompatible pieces. 2 subs in a truck cabin will be *very* loud.

    One idea I would look at is a 4 channel, bridgable amp. That way, you can have 2 channels for your speakers, and bridge one channel for the sub. Then eventually, if you want to upgrade to a 2nd sub, you could get another amp for the front speakers and bridge both channels for the 2 subs.

    The power from the amp may be an issue, but don't worry about it now. The bass amp in my car puts out 1400 watts rms and has a max. current draw of 104 amps. My alternator puts out 105 amps, meaning my system does not get nearly the juice it needs. It still sounds damn good even though I know it is underpowered a great deal. I was going to upgrade the exectronics, but decided the sound was good enough. The skinny--build your system and worry about that upgrade later.
     
  4. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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  5. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the replies, guys.
    Over the next day or two, I will be looking at the Alpine head units. Not sure what the store sells for speakers...MB Quarts at least.
    As for the speaker size, 5x7 with an adapter is probably the best way to go. If I decide to sell my truck in the future, I could replace the new speakers with the old originals. Boston Acoustics seems to be good value, based on a couple of posters at DVD Talk. Too bad there aren't any local BA stores where I live....and they don't allow mail orders. [​IMG]
    Probably only put in one subwoofer if budget allows. Even one sub takes up a bit of room in a Cab Plus. A separate amp is also possible....but not likely...until budget allows.
    I guess that I should also upgrade the wiring to 4 gauge? Is that right....that seems awfully thick compared with the home stuff?
     
  6. Andy Hardin

    Andy Hardin Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say that 4 gauge for your application is overkill. A one sub system doesn't will not require an extreme amount of current draw and since you are only going into the cabin of a truck, the line will only be about half as long as a car's would be (going all of the way into a trunk).
    This table will show you:
    http://www.crutchfield.com/infolib/S...e-length-image
    Unless your current draw will be over 125 amps (which would be an extreme system), 8 (or even 10) will be more than adequate.
     
  7. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for wire advice, Andy.

    Today, I was looking at Alpine xx58, last year's model at a closeout price of CDN$300 (~US$190). Also, demoed the Focal H series.

    Dave
     
  8. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    David,

    My setup is not nearly as nice sounding as Andy's, but it does the job. I have an 89 S-10 regular cab. I installed a JVC reciever and slapped in a 10" sub. Just the new reciever made all the other speakers sound better. I did have the amp installed because I didn't want to mess with running the rca cables, power cable through the firewall, etc. Also, if you are getting a sub in a sealed box, you might want to stuff it with polyfill. It made mine perform much better. Also, if you have a CD burner, just convert the MP3's to wav's and you can play them in a regular cd player. If you don't have a burner, use the money you would save by getting a regular reciever and buy one. They are VERY handy to have for many uses. Just my $.02
     
  9. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

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    Here's a copy of my post that I had made at DVD Talk...

    Today, I was impressed with the Alpine Type R speakers....more liking to my taste than the Focal Series H....more punchier sound (like the Paradigm Reference speakers I have in my HT). Looked at the Type R 5x7 and 5.25 (6.5 not in stock yet) and Type S 5.25. Preferred Type R 5.25 a bit more than the 5x7 (both were noticeably better than the Type S 5.25). I will probably wait to see if the Type R 6.5 with modifications will fit into the door. The Type X weren't hooked up, but at almost twice the price...they are out of my price range.

    The Alpine 7894 (CDN$550 package price) is not in stock yet (both the 7893..CDN$500 package price and 7892..CDN$400 package price weren't hooked up yet). Was impressed with the 7874 unit.

    Until they arrive, I am currently considering an all-Alpine system for Phase 1...a 7894 head unit and Type R 5.25 or 6.5 front speakers plus the original rears....together for around CDN$800 or so plus taxes and installation and miscellaneous parts.

    A sub and an amp will have to wait til Phase 2.

    Dave

    Clarification: Type R 5.25 auditioned were components, Type R 5x7 and Type S 5.25 were both coaxial.
     

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