Total car audio beginner questions

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Mike D., Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all!

    I am thinking about putting a system in my 99 Grand Cherokee to replace the AM/FM cassette thing that came with it. I have a very nice home theater setup for serious listening, I'm not trying to duplicate that in the Jeep, just want something that sounds pretty nice..

    I knew I'd need to put an amp in for the sub, but the sales guy at CC also said I need a 4-channel amp for the speakers in the doors as well, as the sub. The receivers I was looking at all generally have about 20-25 watts x 4.. Given that I won't be listening at real high volumes, wouldn't that be sufficient? Would I have to be sure to get very efficient speakers to go with that level of power?

    The sales guy also said they don't install amps under seats due to over heating concerns. Thus, I'd end up with 2 amps and the sub in the trunk of my jeep. Given that this is the family vehicle when we travel, I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up that much space...


    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Mike
     
  2. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    The CC guy was full of it. Here's a nice Cliff's notes intro to car audio.
    1)If you plan on getting Coaxial speakers, most aftermarket headunits should be sufficient to power them. I'm running my Polk 6.5" coaxials off of my JVC headunit with zero problems. Don't go 4 channel amp unless you buy component speakers would be my advice.
    2)I had an amp installed under the passenger seat of my old car for over 5 years and it NEVER had a problem with overheating. We made a metal kick plate so that way no one could accidentally kick it while getting in or out of the car.
    If you want to retain the cargo space, you could install the amp under the seat and then just unplug the sub and put it in the house. I used to keep a pair of wire caps in my car for just this occasion. Remove the wires, cap them, and then put the woofer inside so that way I still maintained the large cargo capacity of my old wagon. In my new car I bought a Kenwood woox sub which fits under the passenger seat so I don't have to worry about that.
    Better still, check out the JL Audio Stealthboxes.Here's one for the cherokee http://www.jlaudio.com/stealthbox/grcherokee_9900.html Alternatively you could go to a stereo shop and have them fabricate something for you. I'd also strongly reccomend adding some dynamat to the doors. I bought the $20 dynamat xtreme speaker kit and it was probably the best $20 you could spend in car audio. The frequencies are noticeably more seperated with the dynamat. Anyhow good luck!
     
  3. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i'd say this too. you should look into getting components, if only in the future. if you get quality speakers paired with a good amp, i think this can make all the difference, it can sound absolutely fantasitic. and the overheating of an amp under the seat? sounds like the CC guy was trying to save some install time for his buddy in the install bay. car amps dont get THAT hot. and if you can turn it up that loud so it starts a fire in your car, well you will just have to take a cab to get your hearing aid. [​IMG]

    CJ
     
  4. Brad_Harper

    Brad_Harper Stunt Coordinator

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    Adding a 4 channel amp will definitely improve your system. But in most cases the head units offered today supply plenty of power for moderate listening levels. Just be sure to buy high sensitivity speakers if you do decide to go with head unit power. If you do decide on a sub buy a class D amp. They supply plenty of power for any woofer size, they don't get that hot and won't tax your cars altenator. JBL makes excellent and affordable ones. Mount it under any seat without worries.
     
  5. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks all! This is all very helpful.

    One question I have: what is the difference between coaxial and component speakers? I was planning on just replacing the ones in the doors, the 6x9 in the front and "round" one in the back (just 6 inch, I guess is what they are called?)..

    You confirmed what I was hoping, that I could mount a sub amp under the seat and just go with the amp in the head unit. I suppose that I could always add a 4 channel amp in the future if I'm unsatisfied with the results, but I really don't plan on listening at very high levels so I think I'll be satisfied.

    I kind of wanted to do this at CC because I have a couple hundred dollars in gift certificates to put toward the system. Anyone have any recommendations on any high sensitivity speakers, preferably that CC carries?

    Thanks a ton!
    Mike
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    A coaxial speaker is a 2(or more)-way system with the tweeter and mid-range along the same axis (read: coaxial) which would mean that the tweeter is placed immediately in front of the mid-range driver. Whereas a component speaker is separately mounted, like you can mount the mid-range driver one place and the tweeter would be mounted elsewhere.

    Jay
     

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