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Old 01-19-2000, 05:45 AM   #1
akuhner
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No more rally car...

Question Seeking Low Budget Advice

Hi,

I'm looking to replace the stock am/fm cassette in my '93 Impreza L with a CD player, and I'd like to add a subwoofer too. I don't know much about Stereos, but I'd like to do this for around $250 - $300. I'm more concerned with getting a good head unit than with the subwoofer. And then, should I go all out and replace the stock speakers? I'm not looking for a bone-jarring system, just something with a CD player (removable face) and a little thump to it. Any advice would be cool.

Thanks,

Alex
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Old 01-19-2000, 06:25 AM   #2
webkris
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Finally - A Stereo forum! It was tough to weed out all the other posts on the main forum. Thanks Alex / Robert!

Now, Akuhner, you CAN do something with $250 - $300. First, might I suggest a head unit. You won't get anything flashy for $200, but a base model Sony CD deck will run you $180. I like the Kenwood stuff, but it gets pricey in the $240 range for their low end stuff. Then for bass - look into a powered bass tube $80 - $100. It's not the best, but with your budget it should sound great! If you are going to upgrade the system later, I would put my money into a good head unit, and NOT buy the bass tube. Save up for a 200+ Watt amp & new front speakers & a sub ($350 - $500). When you are finished, your stereo will sound awesome. More awesome then the stock speakers and a bass tube When buying equipment - ALWAYS consider your upgrade path. You don't want something now you can't use in 2 months. - Kris
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Old 01-19-2000, 07:28 AM   #3
Rick Buckner
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I agree with the Sony and Kenwood. I have both. Sony detachable face CD player and changer in my car and a Kenwood Flip Face disc player in my truck. I would have still had a sony in my truck as well, but the installers that put my last system in fried it, then denied it. Oh well. I had replaced the Sony with a Blaunkuput which I thought was pretty good for the price. For around 250 they have some real nice features. Very good with security if you are worried about that. Some require a card to activate it or a security system code. The only reason that I don't have it is becuase I traded a buddy for the Kenwood flip face because he was afraid that where it was tight in his truck, if it got stuck his wife would break it.
I myself am not a fan of the bass tubes. I would wait until you get some more cash and buy some subs. I like Soundstream but a bit pricey. You can't go with JL Audio either.

[This message has been edited by Rick Buckner (edited January 19, 2000).]
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Old 01-19-2000, 07:36 AM   #4
ColinL
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Is Soundstream still in business? I remember they reorganized last year... wait, a year and a half ago... and if they didn't get stuff straightened out the doors were shutting for good.
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Old 01-19-2000, 09:26 AM   #5
Rick Buckner
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ColinL
As far as I know they are still in business. They have revamped their web site since I visited it early last year. I do know that many vendors quit carrying them around here in Charleston, WV (actually all of them) because Soundstream wouldn't drop their prices to them. I actually have no clue who sells them now. I do love my 2 SPL15s in my truck. Now I need to put a bigger amp on them other than my US-25HCA. (A cheater 25 watt amp)
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Old 01-19-2000, 09:42 AM   #6
ColinL
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That's good to hear. I have an exact component set sitting unused (hell, 90% of my stuff is sitting unused) and one the mids has a blown vc. Maybe I'll phone 'em up for a replacement...
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Old 01-19-2000, 10:11 AM   #7
MPREZYA
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ColinL Soundstream is still in buisness they had to resturcture their finances so they can do everything in house(Believe me I know as I am friends with one of their PR representatives Joe Klusnick the guy who responded to CA&E's allegation they were closing their doors) and are located practically in my back yard in my home town(sacramento though I am stationed in So.CA). BTW ColinL service turnaround was great as I had a power pulsing problem on my first Soundstream Reference 405(wouldn't power up just had the LED pulse) Had it back within 5 buisness days better than new(granted I am local to them so allow a few extra days). Soundstream makes a great product for the money I have a Soundstream Continnium limited edition 5 channel amplifier that is still running strong through 2 owners and almost 8 years of service. BTW I am selling a B-stock Exact 12" for $175 on the market place if anyone is interested and i can get 1 more at the same price. Also I am selling my current speakers (All Boston Pro's) for an excellent price as well as some Sony ES amplifiers. I will even make a package deal for anyone interested in a few of the pieces.
Rich

[This message has been edited by MPREZYA (edited January 19, 2000).]
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Old 01-19-2000, 10:18 AM   #8
ColinL
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Cool. Glad to hear you had a good service turnaround but this won't be a service item... nothing to do with a melted voice coil but buy a whole new speaker.

[This message has been edited by ColinL (edited January 19, 2000).]
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Old 01-19-2000, 07:26 PM   #9
rrsettgast
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Well if I were going to do it over, I wouln't even go as far as components/subs. Despite what others say, the acoustics of the impreza simply suck. I have a great sounding component system at moderate volumes whan driving <40mph. However when driving on highway, I lose a lot of sound purity to wind/road noise. If I want to "hear" the music I have to turn the stereo way up, which means that I will be deaf in about 15-20 years. Of course someone will respond saying that I don't have enough clean power, yet I have clean power up the wazoo.

I would just get a NICE high powered head unit, some NICE 6" coaxial door speakers, and some NICE 6x9's for the rear. Speaker brands are a matter of preference, but I would go with polk's. You may not get the boom, but you save about 50 lbs in speaker box weight/space.

Given the road noise, I probably couldn't notice the difference between the sound quality of a $500 system and a $1000 system.

Randy
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Old 01-20-2000, 07:33 AM   #10
ColinL
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That was me!

Sorry this didnít get written sooner. I was going to reply before but the thread had moved on to other things. Anyway, I didn't mean to offend.

Playing loud clean music is fine on occasion, but itís not good when you HAVE to play it loud to sound the way you want. My neon had a lot of road noise, and I used an AudioControl 4.1 to compensate. Driving around town, fine. Taking a long road trip at 75 MPH, not fineÖ dial in more mid and sub. It was better than nothing, but making the environment better is always preferable to tweaking the sound all the time.

Anyway, you might give a preamp EQ some consideration if you don't have one. I've picked up nearly mint AC 4.1's from rec.audio.car for $125-150 a few times, and PPI PAR-245's for around $250. Check Ebay too, and then there's always retail. *shudder*
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Old 01-20-2000, 08:34 PM   #11
JC
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Here is what I would get:
Pioneer DEH-P2100 $200
JBL Decade 10" $50
Q-Logic Box $80
USX2050 Amp $110
Total: $440
Its over but, it will sound pretty good. You could go cheaper, but you will lose SQ and build quality.

[This message has been edited by JC (edited January 21, 2000).]
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Old 01-21-2000, 02:27 PM   #12
mlomker
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I totally agree with your choice of the US Acoustics amp. I bought Alpines for my system, but the USX is a better buy.

If it were my money, I'd forget about buying a CD and a sub for $300. You're much better off buying a quality head unit that will provide you with expansion capability. The Pioneer heads are a good buy; pick a model with 4 preouts at 4 volts.

I expanded my `96 Impreza in the following order:

1. Head Unit
2. New 6 1/2's front & rear (Boston Rally's)
3. Four Channel Amp/quality power wiring
4. Sub and amp (single 12" sealed box)

I went with an Eclipse head unit, Alpine v10 amps and a Rockford DVC sub. All things told, $1300 or so. I'd gone the Kraco powered sub approach in my thrifty (sane?) days, but quickly threw it away. It's actually cheaper to buy something nice than to throw the cheapies away and buy another one!

Don't forget to beef up your insurance and buy an alarm. I had my first all-Alpine system stolen last October...and your car insurance will only cover the stock equipment (I found out the hard way).



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Old 01-21-2000, 02:44 PM   #13
rao
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The US Acoustics amps do seem to work great, and the price is right.
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Old 01-21-2000, 03:15 PM   #14
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USAcoustics amps are about the best amp per dollar out there..it doesn't get better...
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Old 01-24-2000, 08:49 PM   #15
Chuck
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If you want to do it cheap, go to your local shop and listen to all the head units.Find one you like. Go on eBay and find it slightly used. You'll save yourself quite a bit o' dough and you'll be just as happy. (I found my orig $700 head unit for $280.... yeah.. cheap!) As for a cheap sub solution in a subie... try this out. Skip the sub for now and spend the money on a good set of 6 1/2 coaxials for the front. You may need to make some kustom mounts (like I did for my Quarts), but you should get more noticeable bass from the coax's (in the cabin)than a $80-$100 sub solution (locked in the trunk).
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Old 01-25-2000, 03:32 PM   #16
JC
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I disagree big time. Buying a HU of ebay is a good idea but be careful. As for the sub, no way you are gonna get more bass out of a coaxial than any size sub. This holds true even if you buy components. The sub will be way more efficent because it only produces bass, adding it will also make the regular speakers sound better because they don't have to produce bass. Also, the biggest reason to get a sub is to fight distortion. It will allow you to play music alot louder while remaining clean.
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Old 01-26-2000, 10:19 AM   #17
indysubaru
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My suggestion is to check out:
http://www.ubid.com http://www.onsale.com
and, the favorite... http://www.ebay.com

you are bound to find some great deals on all three of these. I have found some excellent deals on car audio at all of these web sites.
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Old 01-27-2000, 12:15 AM   #18
Basshead
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and then you can't return it when it's screwed up..doh..
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Old 01-29-2000, 08:42 AM   #19
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don't waste your money buying a head unit and sub for @$300,you get what you pay for.buying any thing related to car audio through the mail or internet is a bad deal,re-furbished or b-stock equipment is often not listed until you recieve your purchas,then the nightmare begins.alpine,kenwood,pioneer,and clarion make excellent cd players for @$300.stay away from sony and eclipse,you can get cleaner signal output from a portable cd player,no joke.4v output head units typically start in the $400 and up range.save some money doing the install yourself,subarus are iso-mount units which means you simply screw your new unit in the same way the stock one was.$15 buys the wiring harness which plugs into the factory harness.connecting the harness to the head unit harness is done buy crimping the appropriate wires together,which are explained in the install manuel.@30 to 50 minutes of work saves you @$55.be patient,rome wasn't built in a day,neither is a good audio system.buying quality components will save you both money and big time headaches.......as for all the talk about sound stream....who cares!?!..they were never good enough to justify staying in buisness.dont worry about flim-flam companies that advertise their product before making it to the production line,(i.e."tarantula",the worlds most powerfull amplifier!) ha!!yeah right,make it before you claim it!I could go on,but i won't.any other question about car audio,multi-media or alarms-just ask god,the audio god that is.
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Old 01-29-2000, 11:23 PM   #20
Keirik
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well, here's what i went with.....
for the head unit, Kenwood DPX 400 (about 450 for the deck though)....its great for our cars..cause its both tape and cd in one....and fits perfectly in the double dimm slot...and puts out 44x4w....even come with a funny little remote...as if someone needs that in a car.
for speakers....Boston Acoustic Rally series in the back (amazing sound) (170 a pair), Alpines in the front (90 a pair) (very good sound, wasn't expecting that from Alpines), and Boston crossover w/tweeter for the top front........the only problem with the system is..sounds too good! sometimes I just want to pull on the side of the road and listen....hehe
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