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Old 06-16-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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I'm the sort of guy who winces whenever I'm driving next to someone with pounding bass, and gives them the evil eye. I could care less about aftermarket car audio. But I went from a Honda Element with a 280-watt sound system and 7 speakers to a Ford Fusion S with 4 not very impressive speakers.. even I can tell that it's really pathetic. What will I have to spend just to hear a noticeable difference? Would I be able to do anything on a $200 budget?
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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ehhh... not really for $200 bucks... You could buy a bazooka bass tube that is self amplified and that would help a little bit.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 14,054,663 times
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$200 is peanuts in car audio. I'm sure you could pick up a used sub/amp on craigslist for that amount to get some decent bass response if the current setup sounds overly flat. I still don't think it would sound that great but it's an improvement.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,746 posts, read 45,894,558 times
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Talk to the guys at Crutchfield, they will have some better speakers that will drop right in with no problems.

True story - I called them a year or two ago and asked for speakers that would drop in to the factory enclosures on my 82 Scirocco. So, I'm asking them about a car that was built 25 years ago, and not that many of them were built at that...no problemo, they knew *exactly* what would fit, made a good recommendation (Kicker I think) based on what I wanted to spend, I installed them in 5 minutes using only the screwdrivers on a Swiss Army knife.

$200 is probably a tight budget, if you plan to keep this thing awhile, consider replacing just the 2 largest speakers first and then do the other 2 when money allows.

Speakers are where you get the most bang for your buck. Or, maybe, thump for your buck...
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Arlington Virginia
4,538 posts, read 8,236,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Talk to the guys at Crutchfield, they will have some better speakers that will drop right in with no problems ...
When I saw this thread, I was going to say the same thing. I bought an HD CD receiver from them for my car that has a separate amplifier system. They provided me a list of exactly the parts, adapters, etc I would need to install the unit. And with the radio they shipped detailed, printed instructions with pictures and wiring diagrams. I had a question during the install which was answered instantly by a live person on the phone. I cannot recommend these people more highly

Crutchfield: LCD TV, Car Audio, Home Theater, Speakers, Plasma TV
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Generally, I am somewhat put off by an aftermarket stereo system in a car, usually they are installed by "zip tie and Scotch-Lok bandits" and the dodgy wiring eventually causes trouble. And don't get me started on nitwit DIY setups that involve wire nuts...

But, if the system was put in using a Crutchfield kit, probably it's OK, these kits have adapter wires that allow everything to plug directly into the factory wiring with no cutting or splicing whatsoever.

I'm a little surprised they don't have any really serious competition; although competing with them would not be for the faint of heart...
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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Simply replacing the current speakers can do a lot, but you have to pay attention to the power needs of the speakers. If the Fusion has an amp built in it for speakers that delivers good power, or if the head unit is powerful enough, you can get better speakers without issue, but if you put good speakers in that don't get enough power, you'll get distortion and risk blowing them.

Since Fusions still use rectangular spaces for radios, putting in an aftermarket stereo with good power will help, or you can try starting with better speakers. Overall, its a system and it should be upgraded across the board if you are going to do it correctly, and that means a head unit, speakers, better wires, and maybe an amp, and maybe a subwoofer. A decent system is typically closer to $1000, but that's in $200 increments: $200 head unit, $200 speakers, $200 amp, $50-70 for wiring and harnesses, $200 sub, $100 to have an installer do the dirty work... This isn't a bass-boom-boom system, this is just a good system that will give you high fidelity, rich sound.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,746 posts, read 45,894,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
Simply replacing the current speakers can do a lot, but you have to pay attention to the power needs of the speakers. If the Fusion has an amp built in it for speakers that delivers good power, or if the head unit is powerful enough, you can get better speakers without issue, but if you put good speakers in that don't get enough power, you'll get distortion and risk blowing them.

Since Fusions still use rectangular spaces for radios, putting in an aftermarket stereo with good power will help, or you can try starting with better speakers. Overall, its a system and it should be upgraded across the board if you are going to do it correctly, and that means a head unit, speakers, better wires, and maybe an amp, and maybe a subwoofer. A decent system is typically closer to $1000, but that's in $200 increments: $200 head unit, $200 speakers, $200 amp, $50-70 for wiring and harnesses, $200 sub, $100 to have an installer do the dirty work... This isn't a bass-boom-boom system, this is just a good system that will give you high fidelity, rich sound.
This is all true, but it's also possible to get speakers that will work with the existing head unit/amp, you can get pretty decent sound out of only 35 Watts, not near as good as the $1000 system you describe here, but particularly if you are replacing worn old paper OEM speakers, I got a good improvment in the 'roc, which is a beater/rat car, for about $50.

That said, if a guy spends a lot of time in his car, particularly you So Cal guys who sit in traffic a lot, good ICE can mitigate the boredom.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:22 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 11,475,898 times
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Yup, just make sure you get compatible speakers if you start there. Crutchfield should know what to suggest if you ask - the main point is its not just fitment, you need to think about power needs too.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:27 AM
 
72 posts, read 197,772 times
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The best thing to replace first is always the head unit. Which should cost around $200 for a good one (pioneer or alpine). never replace just the speakers. I will tell you why; the head unit houses the small built in amplifiers that power the speakers. Fords are known to have cheap audio. Toyotas are pretty decent. crutchfield is a great website to start. prices are kinda high but they have excellent customer service and policies.
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