Upgrade to My Car Audio

kcnychief

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#1
I want to replace my current audio system in my car. I have a Honda 2003 Civic and everything is stock at the moment.

What I would like to do, is to be able to play CD's and listen to the radio, and have the same sound quality. If I play CDs now, it's pretty good, but when I turn it to the radio it's much quieter on the same audio levels.

I would assume I would need a new stereo, perhaps new speakers, maybe an amp (or two) and a subwoofer.

Suggestions, thoughts? I know very little about cars and car audio :p
 

Brad

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#2
The first thing that I am going to ask you for is a budget. Starting this project without a budget is like building a computer with no budget....it will get very expensive very quickly.
 

kcnychief

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#3
Somewhat flexible, I spend a lot of time in my car so it's worth it.

I don't know what is reasonable, under 1k maybe?
 

Brad

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#4
It depends on what you want to go for. Most people that compete for SQ (sound quality) have two component speakers up front that are amplified and a subwoofer in the back.

It freaks some people out to not have speakers in the back though, so let me know what you think.

Head Unit:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-NErMWgOSBhQ/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?wm=fp&I=500CDA9857&g=300

Components:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-NErMWgOSBhQ/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=410&I=108607CS

Powered Sub:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-NErMWgOSBhQ/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=51000&I=037ATB10AT

Amp for Components:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-NErMWgOSBhQ/cgi-bin/ProdView.asp?g=120&I=108R7521A
 
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kcnychief

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#5
I would definitely want speakers in the front and back. I would assume that gives the best surround sound experience, no?
 

Brad

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#6
Normally, you would think that, but the sound can be distorted due to the timings of the sound getting to your ears....think of it more like going to a concert...Where are all of the speakers? In the front of the stage. The curvature of the roof also plays a part in bringing the sound around.
 

madmatt

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#7
I have always been a fan of Alpine head units. When I "tricked" out my first two cars I put nothing but Alpine in them. My current car hasn't had the same treatment because that phase has passed (and it has a Bose sound system which is plenty for my old age).

Here are some photos.
 
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Brad

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#8
I have always liked Alpine, which is why I recommended their headunit as well.
 

kcnychief

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#9
I have always been a fan of Alpine head units. When I "tricked" out my first two cars I put nothing but Alpine in them. My current car hasn't had the same treatment because that phase has passed (and it has a Bose sound system which is plenty for my old age).

Here are some photos.
Wow dude, nice unit.

Probably more than I need ;)

Will be going to a shop on Friday to look at some stuff.
 

kcnychief

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#11
I have poked into a few different stores, nothing really catches my eye. That being said, I have an Impala as a rental in California which has XM Built into the dash. That difference, combined with a different sound system is sooooo much better.

The search continues.
 

tom9042

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#12
[FONT=&quot]You talked about playing CD's. Do you also have an ipod or an mp3 player? Then you need inputs for them. You tried XM satellite radio. Would you consider getting that service? These are things to think about for the receiver part of the equipment.[/FONT]
 

kcnychief

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#13
I do have an ipod but I'm not sure I would bother getting one with an interface. However most of the units I looked at had that feature, so it wouldn't hurt.

I do have XM in my car atm, but it's one of the receivers and the sound quality sucks. I want to get an in-dash and upgrade my speakers.
 

failurbydesign

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#14
Stick to online buy and install yourself, its super easy, i like to buy my units from sounddomain.com if you buy a head unit they provide all the instalation parts for free. DO you have an ipod or an mp3 player?

SInce you have a 2003 civic your gauge cluster is nice a colorful (too bad the rest of the button lights don't match) anyways this is a good setup and not too much...

Pioneer DEH-P6800MP If the Pioneer doesnt have the ipod set up, you can get an adapter from ibus to rca..or get the Harmon Kardon drive and play...

Rockford Fosgate Punch P163c Speakers

For like subs and amps, it your choice i like Rockford Fosgate, i have a 1200 watt amp pushing through 1 Rockford Fosgate 400 watt sub, its tonned down so i don't blow it, but it sounds amazing. Try to pair sub and amp ofr the best sound. Oh also why i like the Fosgate amp, you have a seperate control for your amp power, so you dont have to use the head unit..

Great Addition, mine sits under my ebrake so i can tune it without messing with the stereo
 
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kcnychief

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#17
I have thought about it, but not much done yet. I've been very busy lately, and February is going to be an expensive month. Once I get through half of it and get my tax return, I'll probably look at it again.

I want to drive my Civic till it dies, but at the same time it's near 100k for mileage (bought it new 3 years ago). So, I'm on the fence about if I will just replace the car this year too, which would change my mind about sinking anything too crazy into the stereo system.

Thanks for the suggestions :)
 

trainmaster77

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#18
well ... if you plan on turning in your car soon ..i wouldnt upgrade much but the headunit. I used to compete car audio and people rarely changed their headunits after finding one they liked. An example ..there is some old Alpine headunit (back when they were still uber) that people still use today ...and if you were to find it ..would cost you well over a grand ...used.

I would honestly pick up an inexpensive Pioneer with IPOD controls and 3 outputs .... one output for front amp ..one for rear amp (if you have someone in the back they won't gripe cause of no music) and one bigger amp for a sub (500w rms should do for this one).

You probably would increase sound quality 3 fold if you upgraded alternator too (www.mechman.com). I don't know how much you intend on upgrading though. It's amazing how many people forget the most important part of upgrading ..the alternator. If you did get one from mechman ..you can always take it out after you sell your car and get new mounting hardware ..then reinstall it on your new car.

The last time i truly had an uber system ... i used a Pioneer Organic Headunit .... Pioneer DEQ-9200 processor, 8,6.5,tweeter in the front (3 way component) and 2 JL Audio 13" subs with a 1000wrms amp on the subs and a 150x2 wrms amp on the front separates.

Id say stay away from crutchfied ... unless you need the help installing ... you can search the net and probably save at least 50% from not buying at a big box store ..or crutchfield.
 

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