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  1. #1

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    Default Noob - Start with Amp or Speakers?

    Hi, I am a total novice when it comes to car audio.
    My father is unhappy with the sound coming from his cars audio system. He chose the get the standard stereo when he purchased the car a few months ago. Chevy's that look similar to pt crusier.

    Anyway, the sound is kind of flat with the 6 speaker system (no sub) 2 tweets in the dash, 2 speakers in the front and rear doors. The system has bass, but the clarity and strength (for lack of a better word) of the mids and highs are kind of weak (flat and muffled). The two front door speakers dominate the sound stage.

    He was to get it to sound better without breaking the bank. Not looking for a monster system that rattles the windows and can be heard from a block away, but desperately once a cleaner and stronger sound from the system.

    Should we start with putting in a new amp or speakers first?


    thx Jeff
    TV...............Hitachi 42hdS52a plasma (sexy one with the swival)
    Pre/Processor - Emotiva MMC
    Seven Ch AMP - Emotiva LPA
    Fronts - Tyler Acoustics 7U's
    Center - Polk LSIC
    Sub - DSWPRO600
    DAC - Music Hall 25.3CD - Marantz cc4001
    Blue Ray - PS3
    Speaker cables - Audioquest cv4 dbs
    Interconnects - MIT AVT1's
    Power Filter....Monster HTS 3500 MKII

  2. #2

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    Default

    Are you opposed to getting an aftermarket radio?

    Why do you think the two front speakers dominating the sound stage is a bad thing?
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

  3. #3

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    The soundstage SHOULD be coming from in front of you. Whens the last time you went to a concert and the band was BEHIND you? When you listen to music at home, do yo not sit in front of your speakers?? ;)

    Speakers are the most important part of your system and the biggest improvement in SQ will be there so if youre only going to get one thing, get new speakers.

    That being said, youre really gonna need both cause any quality set of speakers wont live up to anywhere near their potential without proper power so youre gonna need an amp(s).

    Best thing to do is find some good speakers at the price youre wanting and get them. Then choose your amps based on the power requirements of the speakers.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D

  4. #4

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    Hey, Bellmawr, that's right around the corner!


    Anyway, Mac is right. Speakers first. But I would honestly do a head unit. I never like GM's stock stereos especially the Bose stuff. If you want better sound, even entry level stuff will out perform the stock stuff.

    If I were you, I'd spend about $300 on a head unit you like, grab the DB series speakers to go all around and the new PA200.4 4 channel amp from Polk Audio. I don't think you would really need a sub at that point and you can probably do the whole system for less than a grand.

    But that brings me to my biggest point. How much do you want to spend?
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  5. #5

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    Well, gotta admit, the comments about the sound stage coming from the front definately makes sense.

    He is trying to hold it to around 500.00.

    We were looking at the amp or speakers first, see how it sounds, then do the one that was left.

    The Head Unit was a viable option, but that would negate some of the features in the car that come through the head unit that are already paid for. Assumption is that they would get lost (i .e telephone service is managed hands free from the radio with its own number. Got the service with the car.

  6. #6

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    Hey jstas - where r ya in NJ or Philly.

    I just moved back over the bridge to willow grove. Need to update the profile

  7. #7

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    Magnolia

    I work at 1500 Market St in Philly.

    If it was legal and wouldn't get me labeled as a terroist, I can throw rocks or shoot rubber bands at City Hall out my window...if it opened.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrax View Post
    Well, gotta admit, the comments about the sound stage coming from the front definately makes sense.

    He is trying to hold it to around 500.00.

    We were looking at the amp or speakers first, see how it sounds, then do the one that was left.

    The Head Unit was a viable option, but that would negate some of the features in the car that come through the head unit that are already paid for. Assumption is that they would get lost (i .e telephone service is managed hands free from the radio with its own number. Got the service with the car.
    If he is just going to keep the stoack head unit, I supposse that will be fine. The only drawback is that a few stock head units from a few companies have circuitry that limits output levels and dials back equalizer settings to kep from damaging the junk speakers they use. The problem there is that that kind of circuitry can send and aftermarket amp in to signal clipping which is worse than power clipping.

    If he is just going to keep the stock head unit and not throw an aftermarket amp on the system, then going with the DB's all around is a good idea. They are sensitive speakers and easy to drive. They likely won't over-tax a stock radio/amp setup.

    The only reason I'm saying this is because he opted for the standard option and not an upgraded option but wants to keep the stock stereo. For $500 there is not much else you can do. But, if he is willing to throw a little more money at it, get the DB's like I said, grab a Profile California series 4 channel amp and get one of the stock output to line-level active conversion systems from RF or JL Audio or whatever. It'll cost a bit more but it's really the only way to get a sound upgrade for the better. Just swapping out speakers don't change things that much and adding an amp and using the high level inputs usually only results in adding interference and noise to the system.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  9. #9

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    I think if you're just looking to improve the sound and not over do it, since it is your dad's vehicle, you should just replace all the speakers. I used to have a Navigator and all I did was replace all my 4 speakers with 2 sets of components from Kicker but just for 2 sets I paid 500 already. You should have all the mids and highs with 2 sets of components.

  10. #10

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    alpine, rockford and a few other companies sell products that take crappy sound from stock head units and make them sound better.

    no need to change your HU. upgrade your front speakers with some nice polks too.

  11. #11

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    Jabrax,

    I am a big caraudio guy. I think you can pull it off for 500. I use this site sonicelectronix.com and my bestfriend to get all of my gear for my truck. But this site has component systems for kicker, polk, infinity, and other major brands for around 120. Their regular speakers for the same brands are much cheaper. If you let me know what size you need I can show you what they have to offer. It is a great site. And its below store prices. This site is also an authorized dealer

    My truck 2007 avalanche

    Front speakers
    Infinity Kappa 60.9cs components

    Rear
    Infinity Kappa 652.9i

    Subwoofer
    Kicker 07CVR154 15inch sub in a 6.0 cubic foot custom built ported box.

    Amp
    Kicker 08ZX700.5
    its a 5 channel amp with a dedicated mono subwoofer channel that puts out about 500 rms to the sub. It powers my whole system but its big and expensive.

    Power
    Optima yellow top under the hood. Kinetik battery in the back with a voodoo 3 farad cap. My wiring is all rockford.

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