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Looking to spend on under $400 on new audio system

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  • Looking to spend on under $400 on new audio system

    So i got tired of the crappy sound from the stereo speakers/head unit in my Jeep (grand cherokee '96) and i've decided to upgrade to something a little bit less cardboard-sounding. I don't really have any requirements, except for an auxliary input for my iPod.

    What would you reccomend doing?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Get a radio with an Aux-In, get some Polk/Infinity speakers?

    If you just want a basic bump, that's pretty much the advice to go with.. unless you're willing to spend more money, don't get 'Component' systems, just get coaxial (the ones that have the tweeter built-in to the speaker)

    Go to a local shop (even BB or CC) and take a look at some radios. Find one or two you like that has the aux-in, then look around online for reviews. Listen to some of the speakers, and while this won't give you an accurate feel of how they'll sound in your Jeep, they'll give you a basic feel for how they sound. I personally like Polk over Infinity, but they're both pretty good. Then weigh how much you want to spend on how they sound to you.

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    • #3
      thanks for your help.

      so basically, i should get a head unit and four component speakers? Would it be possible to add an sub with an amplifier later down the road?

      thanks again!

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      • #4
        http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-06-JVC-KD-G4...QQcmdZViewItem

        http://cgi.ebay.com/Xtant-404M-400W-...QQcmdZViewItem

        http://cgi.ebay.com/Infinity-6010CS-...QQcmdZViewItem

        http://cgi.ebay.com/INFINITY-REFEREN...QQcmdZViewItem

        http://cgi.ebay.com/SOUND-QUEST-SQ12...QQcmdZViewItem

        I did that really quick off ebay and it came to $450 shipped. You would need a box for the woofer and a wiring kit (4ga). You can't be too choosey with that budget but you can get good quality if you know what to buy.
        By winning some auctions instead of buy it now and combining some shipping I think you could do deck with ipod, components, sub and 4ch amp (all new) and just run the factory rears off the deck for some ambient fill for now.
        Then add rears and a bigger amp later (2ch on the sub) but I think from what you've said that this might be enough.

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        • #5
          hehe, dude, if you're looking for a head unit and amp, it van still be done. It takes patience and blessings man. I'll be surprised if my car audio (check my worklog) costs me over $200 shipped, wiring and sound deadening included...

          If you need an amp or subs, let me know, i'm getting a few new goodies that aren't making it into my car.
          Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

          THE GF THEME
          Genesis has speed
          Genesis has class
          Genesis sent money
          before your a__;)

          Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

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          • #6
            I would stay away form JVC h/u, too many problems. Get a Pioneer or an Alpine. Alot better for the money...
            Trying is the first step toward failure

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            • #7
              biggest bang for the buck is adding a subwoofer. It will make the biggest change in sound.

              Then i would replace speakers, amplifiers and head unit in that order. (if HU has enough power, bypass amp)
              Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.

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              • #8
                This is goign to sound weird, but shell out $100 or less for a Dual head unit. Comes with an Aux in usually, with a decent everything. I had one and i had no issues with it, although on huge bumps, the CD skipped. After that, your speakers should amount to anywhere between $100-$200 shiipped. Try sounddomain.com for some good deals on high end stuff. Subs are subs. make sure you amplify them correctly though, or you'll be missing out on everything.

                If you're doing the whole system in parts, will has it right, but if you'rdoing it all at once, speakers, subs, amp, headunit. Why? speakers and subs tell you how many watts you'll need to push and what amp to get. Headunit comes last incase you need an extra preamp boost or you got it all covered and just need to go for best sound.
                Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

                THE GF THEME
                Genesis has speed
                Genesis has class
                Genesis sent money
                before your a__;)

                Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

                Comment


                • #9
                  What kind of music do you listen to? do you prefer to cruise the local high school parking lot for underage ghetto booty by being a rolling bass machine and a backwards hat or are you looking to listen to high fidelity jazz? do you feel comfortable doing the labor yourself or know someone who will do it or does the under $400 also include paying a shop to do it?

                  without knowing teh answers to these questions its hard to say. but in general I would recommend the following for your budget.. this is very sound quality oriented..

                  make or have someone make kick pods for your vehicle, or purchase premade q-form kickpods. factory speaker locations are very limiting.

                  speakers are then the most important thing to spend money on. skimp on the amp and sub, spend the least that makes them sufficient for the job but don't buy a garbage brand (legacy, pyramid, radio shack ..) because they don't put out honest power. look for "old school" high end stuff usually goes cheap on ebay (xtant, phoenix gold, etc.) and is very good.

                  figure out every single piece you want to buy befroe you buy anything, and make sure its within budget and everything is matched properly (most importantly, RMS wattage of amps for speakesr, and impedance).

                  buy everything on forums or ebay. paying retail would really cuts down your options.

                  listen to speakers in the store, get a headunit that looks good in your car and has the features you want. its very subjective so buy what YOU like. but make sure its quality stuff before you seal the deal. (you can ask here or search the web for a general idea) good brands for head unit: Eclipse, pioneer, alpine, nakamitchi, kenwood, mcintosh, blaupunkt. for speakers, jbl, infinity, polk, boston acoustics, mb quart, a/d/s, diamond, jl audio, elemental designs, of course some of these depend on you finding a good deal on used stuff.

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                  • #10
                    ^^all good advice imo. Especially getting into a shop to decide what you really want. Just remember your car is smaller then the show room and you prob won't put your midbasses in their own enclosure. But it's still a great head to head comparison of manufacturers offerings.
                    If you want a better comparison of amps from descriptions check the THD rating (total harmonic distortion). ex. amp is 200W @ .1% THD will be louder and most of all cleaner then one rated 300W @ 1% THD. Generally speaking you can't hear below 1%.
                    Old school Orions and PPI ProMos series were called cheater amps because they rated at .02% or less distortion at 4ohm. That way you can load it down to an ohm without audible distortion and make 4x's the rated power. They can't lie but they can mislead you when you're shopping when you're shopping for a good amp.

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                    • #11
                      For speakers I would recomend checking the sensitivity of the drivers.
                      A speaker that will play 89dB at 1 watt of power will take roughly double the power to play as loud as one that's rated 92dB at 1W.
                      Hope that helps a little in your quest for good sound

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