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Old 03-24-2002, 06:43 PM   #1
moss
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Question What should I upgrade first?

My stock headunit, upgrade speakers or add an amp and sub? I want some bass in my sound, which the stock setup has none of.

I'm trying to upgrade conservatively. I'm not an audiophile by any means. But, the only place I ever seem to listen to music is in my car, so I want a pretty nice set up.

So what would you guys consider doing first to get the best bang for the buck? Head Unit, amp and sub or speakers?

Keith
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Old 03-24-2002, 07:35 PM   #2
Heavy Fuji
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Well, after noting some negative comments from those with the factory upgrade I went aftermarket (for the record, I haven't listened to one of these systems). Thanks to Concillian ejucatin' me on the wonderful world of line out converters (loc's-- a search will bring up more info), I picked up a pair from Davis Navone, an amp, and a set of component speakers. The idea that the factory head unit is carp is unwarranted; it's merely underpowered. I'm not interested in love-handle vibrating bass, just higher SQ and this degree of upgrade worked for me. I considered an HU only for the addition of XM radio but went this route instead.
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Old 03-25-2002, 12:08 AM   #3
armand1
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Yes, a pair of component speakers & dynamatting (or equiv) the inner metal door openings will give you surprisingly good sound. Next after that would be an amp. Get one capable of driving a subwoofer, too -- then you can decide down the line if you want even more bass.
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Old 03-25-2002, 01:28 AM   #4
Sobelizard109
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buy my CD player!!!!!!
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Old 03-25-2002, 03:36 AM   #5
Eeyore
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I started with head unit and amp, then added a sub, and finished with speakers. Still have not dynamatted yet. In my opinion, the factory speakers are not that bad as long as you give them a bit more power.

If you like the stock HU, then I recommend getting some LOC's and an amp. You'll get pretty good improvements in sound with that. If you still want more bass afterwards, you can add a sub (for low end) or get new speakers (for mid end).

I'm not sure getting speakers w/o adding an amp or getting a new HU would help much since the stock HU is underpowered.

Also, you should decide if you want to get a sub early. That way you can decide to get just a 4 channel amp (no sub), or a 5 channel amp, or a 4 channel amp for the speakers and a second amp for the sub.

-Eugene
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Old 03-25-2002, 05:12 AM   #6
jasona
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ive upgraded everything EXCEPT my head unit, still using the stock cd player (although its in the glovebox now) head unit is the absolute last thing on my list. my stuff sounds pretty good. it could be better though, but no matter what i put in it, i will ALWAYS think "it could be better"
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Old 03-25-2002, 03:55 PM   #7
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I would buy a H/U first since that's gonna be the accessory that controlls the sound and the higher up you go, you'll be able to control more of what you hear and how the sound comes out. I have an ear for music so I got something that was kinda "up there" so I could control what I wanted to hear. I mean, you could go the route of upgrading your speakers first, but that wouldn't be something I'd do. Just letting you know.
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Old 03-25-2002, 04:03 PM   #8
Tomnel
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I added an amp with a built in EQ and high level line in's and a NEO 20GB Mp3 player (Mounts in the trunk like a changer) and a small 8" JBL tube subwoofer and it sounds great, I may not even put in the Polk 3650's I bought. wanted to keep the stock HU you cant even tell I have anything.

I'm very happy with the way it all turned out.
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Old 03-25-2002, 04:24 PM   #9
Siper2
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Upgrade either the head unit or the speakers, first. If I were you, and you're not looking for anything fancy, I'd upgrade the speakers first by going with a nice set of coaxials. Don't buy anything too expensive that is power hungry, as the stock HU (and most aftermarket ones, for that matter) won't make them happy. Get some middle-road Boston Acoustics speakers, or Polk, or something like that. BA makes terrific, high-end stuff, but they also have some great coax. sets that run from inexpensive lines, to expensive ones. I'd keep it around $100/pr. I guess.

That way, you'll have a stealth setup. Nobody wants to steal a stock head unit. Later, if you decide to upgrade the head unit, you can... and you'll already have the speakers. Plus, the slightly higher power output from the deck will cause a double improvement in sound--the playback ability in aftermarket units is better, plus, more power means cleaner sound.

Just don't buy component/separate speakers without an amp.
Bad! Underpowering them can cause clipping at high volumes, and blown tweeters.

-S2-
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Old 03-25-2002, 04:53 PM   #10
BlueWRXWagon
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My first upgrade will be the H/U. Mainly because I can gut the stereo from my other car for the speakers and amps and subs. But even still the H/U would be my first upgrade.
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Old 03-25-2002, 05:24 PM   #11
dbrown
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Here would be my plan of attack from what I have read from other peoples experieneces and ones of my own. This is based on the fact you will eventually replace the whole stereo in the car and the need to do it over time on a budget.

1) (option 1) Get 4 channel amp for inside speakers (currently use the stocker) and 2 channel amp and a sub. The extra power and crossover in the 4 channel will make the speaker sound better than they currently do.

1) (option 2) Get a 4 channel amp and a sub. Run the front stock speaker off of 2 channels and the sub off the rear 2 channels. Run the stock rears off of the deck or disconnect.

You will use the high level inputs on the amp(s) for now. Have 3 sets of RCA cables run from behind the stock deck to the amps at the time of amp install.

2) Replace front speakers with high end component set.

3) Replace rears with a pair of co-ax of same brand as fronts.

4) Buy a higher end deck with 3 rca outputs w/ sub control.
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:25 PM   #12
krave
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I would say get a head unit first, but I really would recommend you create a plan first...research research research.

If you plan the way you wan't your audio to be, then theres not really anything you need to buy first or last.
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:30 PM   #13
dbrown
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His first concern is adding a little more bass to his stereo. How does upgrading the factory deck address his main concern?
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:43 PM   #14
jasona
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the way i see it a head unit upgrade, yes it helps some, but not enough to make any noticable difference. the stock head unit reads cd's and sends the signals to my amps. thats all i need it to do. all my equalizing is done by on-amp eq's. i am about to add a separate eq also. but having a big fancy eq built into my head unit is worthless to me because i would never use it i would just set all its settings to their minumum values just like i did to my stock one, and leave the equalizing to my amps cuz i have better control like that. i can see how he would benefit from a head unit though, cuz he will probably be running un-amplified full range speakers, in which case a better head unit eq and more head unit power would give a good benefit.
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:51 PM   #15
dbrown
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That is why I suggested the upgrade path I did. Do the amps/sub first. Address the issue at hand (lack of bass) while preparing for upgrades in the future in the most usable manner.

The stock speakers can handle the extra power, just turn the gains down and properly set the amps crossovers. Add the sub and his first concern is set and he is ready to move to stage 2 as time/money permits.
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:55 PM   #16
jasona
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i say dbrown's option 2 would probably be the best choice, a 4 channel amp and a sub, 2 channels to the front 2 speakers and 2 bridged to the sub.
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Old 03-26-2002, 01:01 AM   #17
Tomnel
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Also turning on the high pass filter on the amp makes the stock fronts not work as hard (I am assuming) and they really sound a lot better now, the sub handles the lowend and quite nicely at that.
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Old 03-26-2002, 05:46 AM   #18
makeewak
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I would have to say that dbrown nailed it on the head. If you are really looking for bass, remember you need power for that, I'm sure you want some clarity also. Heres how I started, in order.

1) Eclipse 85w X 4ch Amp & 2ch 130w X 2
2) 2 12" Alumapro w/ a Bandpass Box
3) 4 eclipse 61/2" Point Source
4) Rockford Phosgate 6420 mp3 player.

It was a month and a half project. Trust me, start with a good foundation for creating bass(i.e. amps/sub) then you can start working around your power source.
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Old 03-26-2002, 04:31 PM   #19
armand1
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I would really try to go listen to someone who has any kind of component speakers installed in their car. I was stunned at how bad the stock (not the "upgraded") speakers were once I listened to my components (this was an A/B test, because I initially left the stock speaker in the left door and one component set in the right door).
I upgraded power a bit (doubled) before I replaced the speakers and I did not notice any significant improvement in the stock speakers' sound. The main difference was that it was much easier (lower number on the volume dial) to get them to the point that they were buzzing.
Maybe the MY01 stock speakers are better quality than the stocks on the MY02, but if they're not, at least listen to the difference before deciding to put speaker replacement as a later step in your upgrade adventure.
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