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Old 10-15-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 23,193,365 times
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I've never been partial to factory radios, but a thought has dawned over me...

I'm after good sound. I picked up a Delco AM/FM/cassette with built in 5 band EQ. It doesn't sound bad but it's certainly not the best sounding either.

I'm thinking about getting one of those doo-dads that you can convert your factory radio outputs to RCA jacks...then run that into a 4 channel amp to power the 4 speakers in my car (3.5's up front in the dash and 6X9's in the rear deck).

Hopefully this will allow me to drive my speakers with the radio itself at a lower volume but out of the speakers will be high volume clearer sounding sound. Because you know how on radios with internal amplifiers you can only turn them up so loud before they start clipping/sounding distorted.

Any ideas? Input?
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:34 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 16,827,752 times
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You can get a harness (usually manufacturer specific) to convert the factory wiring into something a traditional car amplifier will accept. Or you can splice it yourself if you're up to it, might have to find a wiring diagram somewhere. Once your harness is complete you can run the wiring under your interior trim to wherever you're placing your amp and run the speaker wire (might want to replace this too) as well as the positive/negative wiring from the battery (there's usually a grommet in the firewall that makes this relatively easy). I took out all of the factory BOSE junk out of my G35 and have a amp for my speakers as well as a separate sub amplifier feeding a sub.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 16,827,752 times
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If you're looking to replace your speakers but aren't looking to spend too much I would highly recommend these: Amazon.com: Polk Audio DB651 6.5-Inch Coaxial Speakers (Pair, Silver): Electronics. They sound great and won't break the bank. I just installed a set into our 2006 Maxima to replace the factory Nissan stuff and I was very impressed.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:56 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,400,504 times
Reputation: 6801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
I've never been partial to factory radios, but a thought has dawned over me...

I'm after good sound. I picked up a Delco AM/FM/cassette with built in 5 band EQ. It doesn't sound bad but it's certainly not the best sounding either.

I'm thinking about getting one of those doo-dads that you can convert your factory radio outputs to RCA jacks...then run that into a 4 channel amp to power the 4 speakers in my car (3.5's up front in the dash and 6X9's in the rear deck).

Hopefully this will allow me to drive my speakers with the radio itself at a lower volume but out of the speakers will be high volume clearer sounding sound. Because you know how on radios with internal amplifiers you can only turn them up so loud before they start clipping/sounding distorted.

Any ideas? Input?
I assume you have a GM car, since you have 3.5" in the dash. There are few non-GM cars that came with 3.5". First, I wouldn't do anything less than a CD player. Cassette is long dead. 2nd, your new radio may or may not plug directly into your car's wiring and brackets. If not you'll need a couple adapters to make it work. 3rd, yes, adding an amp will be beneficial BUT not all amps are created equally. Put a 1000 watt flea market amp in there and it will not be any better than the radio by itself. 4th, Don't expect much out of 3.5"s. When you turn up the bass to make the 6x9's thump, you'll be driving the dash speakers equally hard.

Here's a couple excellent websites:

the12volt.com

diyma.com

That's a good start for now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iTsLiKeAnEgG View Post
If you're looking to replace your speakers but aren't looking to spend too much I would highly recommend these: Amazon.com: Polk Audio DB651 6.5-Inch Coaxial Speakers (Pair, Silver): Electronics. They sound great and won't break the bank. I just installed a set into our 2006 Maxima to replace the factory Nissan stuff and I was very impressed.
Since those don't fit OP's car, they're not really a great recommendation, are they?

OP-Polks are fine, and they'll have sizes that will fit your car, but there are dozens of options that will fit and sound good. There are many factors that affect what will and won't work in a given situation, not the least of which are your expectations.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:06 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 16,827,752 times
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Whoops, didn't catch the sizing.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 23,193,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
I assume you have a GM car, since you have 3.5" in the dash. There are few non-GM cars that came with 3.5". First, I wouldn't do anything less than a CD player. Cassette is long dead. 2nd, your new radio may or may not plug directly into your car's wiring and brackets. If not you'll need a couple adapters to make it work. 3rd, yes, adding an amp will be beneficial BUT not all amps are created equally. Put a 1000 watt flea market amp in there and it will not be any better than the radio by itself. 4th, Don't expect much out of 3.5"s. When you turn up the bass to make the 6x9's thump, you'll be driving the dash speakers equally hard.
Yes I have a GM car.

I understand the "nothing less than a CD player" thing....and while I am in total agreement with you, here's why I'm considering going this route....

A CD player = theft magnet. No one gives a cassette deck a 2nd glance anymore.

Plus now that there's such things as iPods around (I do have two), it eliminates the need to keep CD's in the car...plus the iPod is small and I am putting all of my CD's on it. And they still make those cassette adapters that will plug into the iPod.

Now the radio in question is a factory GM din and a half radio. So yes it will fit. However I will have to source up some RCA jack adapters that wire to the factory speaker outputs.

I also agree with you on the flea market amps...like Boss, Kenford, Rockwood...I don't bother with those amps...instead an amp i had in mind is an Infinity 5350A amp. It's a 5 channel 50X4 at 4 ohms and 150 watts X 1 at 4 ohms for a subwoofer....or run a 2 ohm sub and the amp goes to a 300 X1 load. I figure 50 watts of pure power is perfect for my speakers...maybe a little too much for the 3.5's.

I also understand about the bass issue into the 3.5's....I do not plan to run any bass into them...in fact I currently have bass blockers on the 3.5's. And I plan to run a small sub in the trunk to handle the lows, the 6X9's will play the mids and the 3.5's will be the highs.

Also I'm looking into some Infinity 3.5's or possibly some Polk 3.5's to replace the Alpine 3.5's I have now.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:52 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,400,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
Yes I have a GM car.

I understand the "nothing less than a CD player" thing....and while I am in total agreement with you, here's why I'm considering going this route....

A CD player = theft magnet. No one gives a cassette deck a 2nd glance anymore. Lock your doors, and take the face off of an aftermarket CD player. Unless you live in the hood, theft is such a small threat that's it's insignificant.

Plus now that there's such things as iPods around (I do have two), it eliminates the need to keep CD's in the car...plus the iPod is small and I am putting all of my CD's on it. And they still make those cassette adapters that will plug into the iPod. Converting CD's to put on an Ipod, then playing that through an old factory cassette deck via a cassette adaptor must be the Triple Crown of sound quality reduction. I'd definitely find a better way to play your Ipod through that amp.

Now the radio in question is a factory GM din and a half radio. So yes it will fit. However I will have to source up some RCA jack adapters that wire to the factory speaker outputs. LOCs (Line Output Converters) on Crutchfield.com.

I also agree with you on the flea market amps...like Boss, Kenford, Rockwood...I don't bother with those amps...instead an amp i had in mind is an Infinity 5350A amp. It's a 5 channel 50X4 at 4 ohms and 150 watts X 1 at 4 ohms for a subwoofer....or run a 2 ohm sub and the amp goes to a 300 X1 load. I figure 50 watts of pure power is perfect for my speakers...maybe a little too much for the 3.5's.

I also understand about the bass issue into the 3.5's....I do not plan to run any bass into them...in fact I currently have bass blockers on the 3.5's. And I plan to run a small sub in the trunk to handle the lows, the 6X9's will play the mids and the 3.5's will be the highs.

Also I'm looking into some Infinity 3.5's or possibly some Polk 3.5's to replace the Alpine 3.5's I have now.
The amp is probably fine for a modest system. I wouldn't use a 2ohm sub, because that will cut your damping factor in half. You'll get a bit more bass but it will lose it's clarity (tightness). Also, I would run the front and rear speakers crossed over around 60-90Hz, depending on many factors, rather than make the front speakers into tweeters and the rear speakers into mids. Doing that will completely trash the imaging, staging, and front presence. You never want the mids and tweets to be separated by more than 18" for this reason. Try it my way and use the amp gains or radio fader to take a bit of pressure off of the front speakers.

My responses, in bold^^
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:37 AM
 
1,949 posts, read 4,987,047 times
Reputation: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
I've never been partial to factory radios, but a thought has dawned over me...

I'm after good sound. I picked up a Delco AM/FM/cassette with built in 5 band EQ. It doesn't sound bad but it's certainly not the best sounding either.

I'm thinking about getting one of those doo-dads that you can convert your factory radio outputs to RCA jacks...then run that into a 4 channel amp to power the 4 speakers in my car (3.5's up front in the dash and 6X9's in the rear deck).

Hopefully this will allow me to drive my speakers with the radio itself at a lower volume but out of the speakers will be high volume clearer sounding sound. Because you know how on radios with internal amplifiers you can only turn them up so loud before they start clipping/sounding distorted.

Any ideas? Input?
you still have cassettes?

here is what you will need:

a "last year's model" CD head unit (Pioneer is a good brand) ~!as low as $100

new "name brand" speakers(3 way speakers) - not overly expensive (Pioneer or Sony are fine) ~ probably under $200

a 2-channel amplifier ~ as low as $50

a low to mid level sub woofer (Sony X-Plode or MTX are fine) ~ probably around $159.95

buy the adapter (sold at any stereo installation store) for [Pioneer head unit into whatever your make and model] ~ maybe $14 or it may be included in an installation kit ~ $30.

run your new speakers off of the new head unit. it will produce enough power to run the speakers.

run the sub woofer off of the amplifier. you may need to buy an amplifier installation kit too. ~ $20 or so.


this is the best way to ge a real night and day difference. you will have clear and powerful sounding tunes. your 3.5's and 6x9's are not meant to handle any of your bass frequencies. you NEED a subwoofer to handle this and free up your other speakers to deliver crystal clear mids and highs. it's NOT going to make your windows rattle and make you look like some idiot.

i PROMISE you will get the sound youre looking for if you do this.

so, yeah, you're looking at around $400-$500.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 23,193,365 times
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I actually do have a few cassettes around. I don't listen to them anymore.

Main reason for running the stock tape head unit was (1.) security and (2.) I can save the $$ from an aftermarket head unit to go towards an amp or subs.

vmaxnc, just a heads up I lock my doors on my car, but you seem it has frameless door windows which means you can still easily break into said vehicle.

Most of my tunes now are on iPod. I've got a bunch of CD's just sitting too.

I was thinking of running all my speakers from an external amp. So I am told the ones inside a typical radio are mediocre and will distort at a lower volume, etc. Distortion causes blown speakers and sounds like garbage. So I figure a good 4 channel amp would fix that. Should run the speakers more cleaner.

I don't expect to get bass from anything but a sub.....anything but a sub isn't made for it. That's why I run bass blockers on the little speakers. I will probably later add a small sub to fill in the lows. Thinking about maybe a Bazooka tube...I don't need earth shattering bass (been there, done that) just something to sound good on the inside.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:47 AM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,400,504 times
Reputation: 6801
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
I actually do have a few cassettes around. I don't listen to them anymore.

Main reason for running the stock tape head unit was (1.) security and (2.) I can save the $$ from an aftermarket head unit to go towards an amp or subs.

vmaxnc, just a heads up I lock my doors on my car, but you seem it has frameless door windows which means you can still easily break into said vehicle.

Most of my tunes now are on iPod. I've got a bunch of CD's just sitting too.

I was thinking of running all my speakers from an external amp. So I am told the ones inside a typical radio are mediocre and will distort at a lower volume, etc. Distortion causes blown speakers and sounds like garbage. So I figure a good 4 channel amp would fix that. Should run the speakers more cleaner.

I don't expect to get bass from anything but a sub.....anything but a sub isn't made for it. That's why I run bass blockers on the little speakers. I will probably later add a small sub to fill in the lows. Thinking about maybe a Bazooka tube...I don't need earth shattering bass (been there, done that) just something to sound good on the inside.

Bazooka tubes can sound great, depending on the car. I have a 10" with a JL sub in it that I've used off and on for 15 years, and it still works great. One thing about them, though, is they are not good at reproducing the lowest bass notes. I don't mean rap, I'm talking about musical bass notes, like a heavy kick drum or an upright bass. They also don't "hit" like a properly powered 10" or 12" in a sealed box. BUT for the casual listener they are a cost effective, efficient, and light option. Usually pointing the driver end towards the rear of the car gives the best results, but YMMV.
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