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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, the wifes motor will be done in a month or so and it'll be back on the road after a little over a year. I finally decided to move up from the original 94 CD player (still works great) to something more modern.

I'm really not into all kinds of video, 10,000 watt amps or huge boxes in the trunk. I just want a nice head unit to fit in the dash, very good speakers that fit correctly, frt & rr, without hacking. And I am definately not hacking the dash. So I know I'm stuck with a single din. I say 1.5 din to people and they look at me like I'm from the 60's.

I'm open to any recommendations as to what to put in there. I just want good sound without issues.
 

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depends on what kinda of cd player you want.. for instance.. mine doesn't play cd's.. it plays directly from my ipod, i have a 10 band EQ, and some color options.
 

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Ok, the wifes motor will be done in a month or so and it'll be back on the road after a little over a year. I finally decided to move up from the original 94 CD player (still works great) to something more modern.

I'm really not into all kinds of video, 10,000 watt amps or huge boxes in the trunk. I just want a nice head unit to fit in the dash, very good speakers that fit correctly, frt & rr, without hacking. And I am definately not hacking the dash. So I know I'm stuck with a single din. I say 1.5 din to people and they look at me like I'm from the 60's.

I'm open to any recommendations as to what to put in there. I just want good sound without issues.
Hybrid audio makes great speakers, a little expensive but definetly worth it.
If you want to stick with mainstream, Infinity perfects or kappas will sound good.
Pioneer makes anything you need H/U wise.
 

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for the deck i'd recommend alpine or pioneer.. there both about the same expect 2 totally different designs..

for speakers.. if your looking for budget.. i'd say maybe some lower end rockfords or infinity kappas.. higher end maybe CDT's or rainbow or herTz.
 

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For speakers, are you going to run a 4 channel amp? For a lot of the speakers mentioned here, you'd definitely want a 4 channel to run them. If you don't, the Alpine Type S, Polk DXi, Pioneer A series, or even Infinity Reference speakers would be a great start. To get the most out of most speakers, you'll need an amp. For head units, as said before, Alpine or Pioneer would be a great bet. Kenwood also has some pretty nice models. I also want to throw this out there, I have or currently use everything I mentioned. I'm not just rambling things off here. I've had Alpine and Pioneer head units in my Caprice, Jeep, Jimmy, and S10. I currently have an Alpine 9855 in the Jeep and a Pioneer Premier 800PRS in the Caprice. I ran A series Pioneer speakers in the Jeep before, Type S speakers in the Caprice, Infinity Reference in the Caprice (the 4x6 plate speakers require you to hack up the factory plastic brackets to make them fit), Polks and Alpine Type S in my Jimmy (as well as 2 different Alpines and a Pioneer HU), and an Old Alpine 9807 in my S10. The wife and I ran a Kenwood Excelon 693 in her PT Cruiser until she sold the car in January. We had that in there for a couple years and it was a really nice budget HU.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I want to have a nice looking, easy to control H/U. I'll probably fab up my own billet din plate or just stick with the regular ol' kit. As for speakers I read awhile back there was a set of infinity 6x9's that didn't require hacking the grills in the rear. But I always liked Alpine. I will have a small amp for the rear speakers. Nothing spectacular, just enough to push some noise without distortion.

My wife is a headbanger, so Megadeth, Metallica, etc is what'll be coming out of the speakers. Oh, and probably some salsa music. She's Panamanian. (Army kid).
 

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I'd recommend amping the fronts and rears, not just the rears. If you only amp the rears, you're going to have a stage that's overly biased towards the rear. I don't run rear speakers in either of my current vehicles. I feel they detract from the front stage. I've ran Alpines and Infinitys in the rear and never had to hack my factory grilles to make them fit. The Infinitys came close to touching though with the tweeters.
 

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There is some good advice in this thread already, but let me make it marginally better. I spent the better part of the last hour of my life writing this, so please if you do anything at least entertain my advice before you pull the trigger on any purchasing anything. Impulsive spending/buying is NO good. Espc with things as quirky as Car Audio. There is a lot of bull**** out there and bs advice to go with it... For about $600-800 dollars I can point you to a full system from both a output & sound quality stand point will do WAY better than any "upgraded" factory system (Bose, Harmon, Infinity, JBL & a good majority of the "sq" installs I have seen on this forum...)

Amp - Alpine MRPF-300 second to none on price for quality and power/$, except for JL's JX360/4 which can be had for less than 2hundo - $150-$200 bucks with warranty <-***(important you will be asking this little amp to do alot) Remember class AB's run hot. You can go full range digital (Class D) these days, but I would wait a little longer until they have really advanced the technology. The only class full range D I would do personally is the Zapco C2k 4.0 or 9.0 - maybe a JL HD 900/5 both cost more than this entire system I am ab to outline.

Deck - Kenwood Excelon KDCX396 - $100 with 2 year warranty 4v - 3 pre-outs - iphone/android friendly, all the headunits today pretty much suck, this one is a no frills straight purpose driven budget radio and for that it kicks ****ing ass, oh yah and it changes colors. Ipod hands on/off mode so you don't have to use the radios crap interface when connected via USB, for full spectrum of sound and charging. Using a volume knob to scroll thru a single line of text on an ipod or an android is a MOFO, fine in a sound room, but once your in a car it gets old QUICK. IMO you should go find a used, older alpine 98 series or an older eclipse. But for warranties sake, just go with the excelon, save the headache of tryin to find a repair man for when your old school deck takes a shiznit on you, bc like all decks, they all will in due time.

Components - PG RSD's I can sell you a pair for LNIB pair for $55 plus s/h, I had a customer switch to C2's - and now C5 3ways - most likely will go with Hybrid for the next upgrade), Image Dynamics cheapo line (schwing), *Alpine Type S if your stapped for cash, great smooth well rounded speaker and you can't beat the price BUT I wouldnt go less than JL C2's (love the mid-bass and silk dome tweet) or Hybrid's etc etc (already listed) Please stay away from infinity kapps or reference, I don't know why they are so popular on this forum, but they sound fucccin terrible. spend the extra ten bucks and go alpine type s if you wanna save a little coin - $90-200 (IMO you spend the extra fiffty and go with the hybrid imagine line, you will never want to upgrade) Those imagines rival JL's C5 ($550) component set.Make sure you build plates, you wouldn't take your home theaters cabinent speakers out of the cabs and mount them to the bottom of your TV would you? Car Toy's has a sick deal going on where they can sell you Focal Polyglass 165VB's - which are some of the best components money can buy @ at killer clearance price $294.99, $90 bucks more for a 4yr warranty *importanto on focal, much like JL the repair price is an arm and a leg, and unlike JL focals tend to be really sensitive product) - The VB's are hard to get and most likely the sales person will sway you to buy other products due to the fact that every store in the company only has one pair left and they are their display models and almost every employee has their eye on them for that price... I was selling those speakers for almost double that price 2 years ago, even then it was well worth it. They sound BALLER. Gobs of midbass. The tweeter is a little too bright for me, especially when they make their way out of the demo room and into the car. I sold the last pair of VB's we had at our store for $295 today and used a MRPF-300 to power it, and suprisingly enough with that small 50wrms @ 12 volts from the alpine, this guys F150 sounded like it had subs in the doors - partly due to the fact that we used a 12sq ft of Dynamat extreme I sold at a dollar over cost (cheaper than what I can buy it for with employee pricing lol). I threw a JL micro sub ported enclosure loaded with an W3v3 8" sub on the rear channels of the amp bridged for ****s and giggles to show the customer what he could get out of the amp when he comes back. I was blown away. That doesn't happen much - I am P I C K Y. That 8w3v3 sounded so deep and crisp off of the maybe 145wrms that amp does bridged on a peaceful war-free 73 degree sunny day. This guy ended up spending 800ish bucks with me and getting what sounded to the entire store, like a $2,000+ system should.

Accessories - Kit Harness & Ant Adapt, amp kit w/ RCAs - $55-65

Sub - Old school round solobaric 15 (woowoot), Dayton's entry level DVC 2ohm RS 15 (www.partsexpress.com) kicker comp if your strapped for cash, 12 IDQ, JL 13 W1v3 (coming soon and will rival current W3) - $60-120 (15's ftw) - Don't listen to the people tell you 10's are quicker, better etc. Blanket statement. The more cone area the better efficiency and wider bandwidth . The box is what determines how the woofer sounds, not the cone area. ******If your dead set on not adding a subwoofer, slap yourself - remember that switching to better speakers is not going to give you much if any more bass than factory speakers, as they are designed in mind with a subwoofer. Factory speakers aren't so they boost up bass at lower volumes and attenuate at higher.******** Without bass your missing out on nearly half of the music - no matter what type of music you listen too. Subwoofers weren't designed after or because of rap and thinking that is the point of them is the some of the most ignorant stereo-typical BS ever and grinds my gears to no end.

Box - *second most important pillar of an audio system* DIY it (so you know what your getting and its done correctly) base the build off spec is a good starting point, then go a little bigger on cuft and lower on the tune, manufact specs are the way they are to be "safe" from a longevity standpoint - ported and a low tune will almost always be better in a bang for the buck scenario, espc with a bridged AB amp and espc in a big body - the blanket statement sealed is better is pure ignorance and stems from lazy installers and people who are scared of getting down and dirty and building a proper ported box - $60-80 bucks in MDF and a 6 pack (preinstall) 12 pack(post install) - btw please don't let anyone tell you they know how to build a bandpass unless they specialize in only that and have been doing it for 20 years... No one ever builds one correctly. Just don't do it. These cars love a sub 32hz tune, the lower you tune a ported box the flatter the frequency response will be for the most part, this is some what dependent on your equipment but if you stick with the stuff I have listed you will be safe.

BY Far most importantly, at minimum a $20 speaker kit of dynamat for the 6.5's - you will end up buying more for less later on so you might as spring for the door kit, save the excess for the trunk rattles or maybe the firewall... IF you don't do some type of deadening or build plates for the comp set you are better off just setting the speakers on the floor - atleast it won't be a be a metal to metal mount lol... I just used an entire bulk pack (36sq feet) on the front doors of my 95, complete overkill. I like to call it covering all bases.
 

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Notice how I never ONCE mentioned rear speakers - please please please please please STAY AWAY FROM 6x9's - the 80's have come and gone, leave the 6 pack's where they belong - in the past. It's called car STEREO for a reason, music is recorded in stereo not surround sound. All rear speakers do is give your bitchy rear passengers some tweeters in their ear, and cause major cancelation especially in our cars. If you must do by 9's there are some bad ass, ok not bad ass, but "cool" 6x9 subs out there, if your afraid of sacrificing trunk space or cutting the rear deck to do a larger IB sub in the rear deck. A small amount of trunk space lost for 10 times better sound is a no brainer for most and should be for all. Ridding yourself of the terrible 6x9's will make your substage even more efficient as more air can now pass through the holes left in deck by the much needed removal of the 6x9's. The only reason the factory 6x9's sound good right now, is because currently your front speakers are the biggest POS ever seen in any factory system, our 4x6's. Here's a good story about rear speakers. Rear Speaker Chris: The only installer I met that has ever argued with me that rear speakers are a necessity. Rear speaker Chris was a inbred remedial asinine pos hypocritical womanizing prick. When he wasn't drinking or talking about quitting drinking he was lying. The type of guy that drives a 4.6L Mustang with all the cosmetic mods on his GT to make it look like a Mach 1, with bassani exhaust driving around in 1st gear everywhere, doing burnout's everywhere. In most cases anyone that does car audio for a living and tells you they rear speakers necessity is lying to you to make more money, ala the careful choice of adjectives for this character. I used to work with said ass-hat on a day to day basis and he swore up and down rear speakers made a difference for a surround sound effect - he also swore the W7 sub sounded good due only to its one of a kind "over roll" surround. He also had JL's $1,200 dollar components with absolutely no sound deadening in his doors. The worst part about this rear speaker loving dickhead was he believed his own bull**** and it reflected in his car's install. Sometimes I would turn his rear speakers off to see if he would notice, he never could. Shortly after this argument - his 2nd channel went out on his amp and he had no idea until he went in, to bridge his four channel to the fronts and it went into protect. He didn't want to tell me that he was bridging his amp to the rears, because the day previous I had showed him and a customer in the sound room what happens when you add or subtract rear speakers to a decent system. Nothing. I laughed hard. The only difference rear speakers make is a difference in sound quality and not in a good way.

If you must have rears and must amp them (barf) alpine just came out with a fantastic budget digi 5 Chan, 50x4 + 300x1 (@2ohm) but I have gotten some bitchin' ground noise out of it in older vechiles - so I'd steer away from that... Tho, last week I used one these little guys, in a C5 vette with some type s 6.5"s components mounted on MDF plates with a kicker 12" Comp and it sounded ****ing nuts for the $... Customer wouldn't listen to me and had to amp the factory bose rear speakers - barf, he shoulda bridged the 4 channel section to the front speakers - woulda been even more nuts.... Once it was all installed I showed him what fading the mids/hi's all to the front does. Make his bass louder and his music more clear and centered. I was impressed by the kicker and what it did with that little 5th channel and its over rated "300wrms @ 2ohms". Corvette hatch is a dream for a bass head though.

If you live anywhere near the DFW or any CarToys for that matter - PLEASE Let me know, I can write a hugely discounted invoice and hook you the **** up, you can go in and pick it up from what ever store is near you - we (Car Toys) got a bad rep for price but thats due to MSRP and how it works in Car Audio. If it wasn't for that highly inflated MSRP the fraction of car audio thats left today would be well long gone by now. If there are no Car Toy's near you, go to a legit audio shop that has been around and stable for at least 6 years- make sure you deal with a salesperson for a good amount of time before you reveal your knowledge, (qualify their ignorance by pretending you are - that way you can see their true colors a decide if this is an individual you would like to lines pockets) if after time you explain your situation at any "legitimate" audio shop/salesmen they will work with you on price, tell them your goal. 9 times out of ten they wanna hear the set up just as bad as you. Impala's are fantastic automobiles for putting a system in, if not the best candidates in the fullsize sedan realm... Let them know that you have a huge forum (potential for future business, in their mind) backing you and you will know if he screws you but you must do this all after rapport has been established, don't show all your cards upfront - be kind and I promise you eventually almost all sales people will cut you a deal if you have wasted enough of their time =P Just make sure over EVERY and ANYTHING else that you buy through authorized channels, so your warranty can be honored. Stay the **** away from sonic electronix their prices are good for a reason, (B-stock - hidden warranty - not authorized for half the products they sell etc...) Remember electronics and all the small components inside of them are half reliable at best, in a stable environment like a house. Now factor in that these electronics will be going into really harsh environment - a car - that sees heat cold and rapid changes between the two due to air conditioning and heaters, a car that goes over bumps and and will more than likely be seeing some quick quarter mile times - now that should help you too understand the importance of a warranty - especially on the centerpiece of the stereo - the amplifier.
 
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