Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Upgrading from stock car stereo - need advice

DaemonionDaemonion USARegistered User regular
edited October 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Posted this at AVSForums, thought I'd repost here since you're all such a helpful bunch of people :)

I drive a 2004 Tundra Limited and am looking for a clean, dynamic, reasonably powerful sounding system to cover my wide range of music taste at all volume levels. I don't know anything as far as brands, sizes, etc and could really use some help.

Doesn't matter much, as long as it is good value. I do believe in diminishing returns - I don't want to spend triple the amount to get something that is marginally better.

My tastes include:
all kinds of metal, jazz, classical, electronic - particular affinity for low-end and drums

My wants:
Balance, mostly, with a good, clean low-end when songs call for it, but not overpowering when it isn't necessary (like listening to Django Reindhardt, for example). I am a musician of sorts and enjoy discerning between the different roles and nuances of instruments, whether it be violins or a drummer. If an electronic song demands something thick and juicy, I want my system to deliver it (and at high volume, if desired). If a delicate violin/cello piece comes on, I want it to sound clear without a bunch of muddy bass tacked on.

Also to play CDs and have a dedicate auxiliary port for 1/8" to mp3 player.

Other considerations:
I'd rather not put anything in the truck bed, if possible. If my wants require such, then please let me know.

I'm also probably going to need a new receiver and amp and all that, so any help there would also be swell.

I'm going to be in the LA/Orange County area until the 10th of this month; if there are any exceptional places to have this stuff installed please let me know!

I use a Zune HD, if that matters.

Thanks for the help, and if you guys need pics or more information please let me know and I will do my best to provide it to you.

Daemonion on


  • wogiwogi Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Bose is pretty good for the price. Some of their systems can get a little pricey, but any place that sells car stereo systems will probably have a wide range of theirs to offer. Speakers are going to be high quality, regardless.

    wogi on
    -Current W.I.P.
  • b0bd0db0bd0d Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    This is one of those things that's really subjective. My suggestion is to go to Best Buy or something similar and check out their demo area for car audio. Small independent shops are a good bet too, as they're going to know their shit inside and out. If you have a budget and some time, I'd go to a small independent audio shop and explain what exactly you're looking for.

    If you're going to want to have some bass, you're going to have to get some sort of subwoofer. Even if it's a 10" in a box in the trunk, you will notice a huge difference in the low end sound. I'd go with 3-way speakers all around in the inside. Since you got a truck, there's not really room for a sub+box combo. I did find this however: Depending on how much money you want to spend, you could go to real car audio shop and get some custom boxes made. It's going to be expensive though.

    I've always heard that BOSE is okay but not as good as they make themselves to be.

    b0bd0d on
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited October 2010

    You should listen to b0bd0d, a small shop that works mostly with car audio will do the trick, get references for two or three and check the prices.

    I have a setup in my car and sounds pretty well with a couple of Pioneer 6 X 9 speakers 440 watts, and they give me good sound, including two HP 300 watts bullet type speakers for voice.

    The speakers are connected to a 1000 watts car amplifier and lastly to a 12" Subwoofer box with two bass speakers.

    Fantasma on
    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    wogi wrote: »
    Bose is pretty good for the price. Some of their systems can get a little pricey, but any place that sells car stereo systems will probably have a wide range of theirs to offer. Speakers are going to be high quality, regardless.

    NO. BOSE are overpriced. They offer good mid-range equipment at upper-range prices.

    Basically you'll want two amps and five speakers, which can probably be run off the stock head unit.

    A four channel amp running a 6 inch three-way in each door speaker position, and a single channel amp powering a sub-woofer in a matched box under the rear bench.

    Good name brand equipment with a decent warranty installed by a renowned installer will sound better and last longer than cheaper stuff fitted by a 'rims stereos and exhausts' shop.

    If you want to go really big, then you get an aftermarket double-din headunit with the fold-out screen and a million pre-outs, six amps running twelve speakers and two BIG sub-woofers, capacitors for the subs, and an extra alternator and battery. That's thousands of dollars though.

    I would fire you at Alpines system builder, but it doesn't work with Chrome, so I can't check if it even works at all.

    chrishallett83 on
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Three things to consider.

    1. Instead of an auxiliary input for an mp3 player get one with a USB connection. There are loads which have a USB port on the front but much better is the ones with a cable in the back you then put in the glove box or a similar place.

    2. Consider getting a set with bluetooth support for hand less phoning and maybe even audio streaming through bluetooth.

    3. If your car offers an rpm/speed signal then getting a unit which can read it and regulate sound volume accordingly is a nice feature.

    Finally unless you need really loud music then getting a system with a separate amp is likely overkill. A good head unit should do the trick. I'd look at JVC and Blaupunkt.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    When I was changing out the stereo in an old '91 Mustang LX I went here:

    For free when I bought the deck the sent me all the tools and adapters and instructions I would need to install the deck in my car. They also tell you what speakers will fit in your existing speaker frames, what you need, what you can upgrade to and how to do it. Crutchfield is pretty great.

    EDIT: Also, thank you very much. Now I'm looking at what I can put in my Impreza and I really, really, REALLY shouldn't be spending money on car stereo stuff right now.

    Nova_C on
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited October 2010
    I have a JL system in my car right now, a pair of C2 650 fronts, and a 8w3v3 all powered off a 400w amp. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone looking for speakers.

    Before I even did all that, I just replaced the stock head unit with an alpine and while the stock speakers that were in the car before the c2's were pretty beat, there was still a noticable improvement to the sound quality.

    eternalbl on
Sign In or Register to comment.