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A Few Audio Questions....

Jay FX4

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I have the factory 6-disc changer. Maybe a dumb question...but is it the Pioneer system? It doesn't say Pioneer anywhere on the unit.....
My main reason for asking that leads to my next question. How many watts RMS does my HU put out? I know a lot of the better aftermarket HU's will handle 20-22 watts. There's a Sony I really have my eye on and the RMS wattage is 17. Aside from that low (compared to others) number, the Sony seems to have everything else I want/need, in terms of specs.
The link:http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158GT920U/Sony-CDX-GT920U.html?tp=5684
How much of a real world difference is there going to be between 17 watts RMS and say 20? I feel confident that this HU will provide a much cleaner signal to my speakers, and give the speakers a boost in sound quality. So if that's the case, will the difference in wattage only affect the maximum volume I can use? I would like to avoid an external amp.
I want to start with a HU first. I will most likely replace the speakers later, and at some point I'm going to be adding an Infinity BassLink. I could buy every piece of a great system all at once, but I'd rather build it step by step, so I can make the proper purchases accordingly. The only piece I'm dead set on getting is the BassLink, I'm flexible in all other areas.
I know a lot of you guys have a lot of experience in audio, and I'd really appreciate any assistance you guys can give me in building my system. Thanks!
:icon_cheers:
 
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TerryW

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truthfully you will never miss the 3 watts. With stock speakers exspecially. I personally don't like sony products other than the head units though. Had some bad luck w/ their amps. But they are pretty good for the price range they are in. To me a good Eq is one of the most omportant things in a HU and a crossover so I can control the sounds going through my speakers. I like pioneer units myself.
 

Jay FX4

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Thanks for the reply. I agree with what you're saying about Sony as far as their car audio is concerned. If anything, the only piece of Sony equipment going into my system will be the HU.
At some point I'm going to get either Kenwood or Pioneer 3 and/or 4 way speakers. Like I said, I want to try to avoid getting an amp, since the truck is so tiny. The BassLink will take up enough room as it is, even though I feel it's the best option for sound to size ratio.

Anyone else? What about the stock HU/power questions?
 

Slim

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Okay, I like you so i'll give you my two bits, after years of playing around with this stuff.

First things first - you're planning it wrong. If I may .....

If you want to plan things out then you need a beginning and end. It's paramount to having a plan that has completion in mind. Your plan is not, and to me, is not a plan. If you know what h/u you want then you should be able to have a good gauge as to what speakers you want to buy. You can't sit there and say "i'll see how it sounds" without spending the money to buy different speakers to see how it sounds - you're defeating the notion of a plan in the first place.

ANYWAY ..... buy whatever h/u you can afford that meets your needs/wants (respect and understand the difference between needs and wants please). You can buy h/u's with eq and crossover controls built in, it's up to you. If you buy a unit like this you save space and money, however it can be at the expense of sound quality. Should this matter to you? Well if you think you can hear the difference, and more importantly, if it matters, then purchase accordingly. Personally I could hear the difference with my old Alpine h/u. I was happy to spend the money to have a well-featured unit and save space at the same time.

Speakers - why not buy them now?!?!??! If you want to do the install in stages for other reasons then that's your business, but don't say you want to plan it like this - you're wasting time and money - ALWAYS! Please, trust me here. I've installed enough of my own systems and built for others - if built in stages and without a clue, you waste time and money. I'd say cardinal rule is to purchase speakers with high efficiency. While some might say "listen before you buy" they forget you can't often always do this properly - you need to hear the speakers in the environment they will play it to know how they sound. They never sound the same as in the store!


Agreed with TerryW - no eq then don't waste your time. There's ALWAYS something to correct with the sound in an otherwise stock interior-ed vehicle.


Further - since you want to maximize space i'd like to throw an idea by you. Your ride, your rules, of course. Purchase a stellar h/u. Purchase 4 5x7/6x8 speakers and nothing else. The h/u should be able to do eq adjustments (user is more important than pre-set) and crossover. The speakers should have HIGH efficiency rating (the dB/SPL numbers should be in the 90s, the higher the better). Use the crossover and try to run the fronts at full range and the rears with only bass - old trick, works great. Use the built in eq to get things just right. I used to use an Alpine 9835 for this and it was a real gem!

Sorry it's long, but I like to be thorough. Good luck. Share along the way so other's can learn! :icon_cheers:
 

Jay FX4

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Slim. Don't apologize for the long post, I appreciate your thoughts. I have a few questions (and maybe some disagreements) but it's to get a better understanding, and for the sake of a good sounding system. While I do consider myself an audiophile, a car stereo system isn't as important to me as a home system is going to be. So while I don't want to cut too many corners, I'm willing to settle for less than the absolute best in certain areas.

First, I don't understand how you say my plan isn't a plan. For example, I have no idea how my speakers will sound with a new HU. I know they obviously aren't going to sound as good as higher power, wider frequency response aftermarket speakers. But I know how a good head unit can breathe new life into otherwise mediocre speakers. So how can I know, by changing the HU, that I won't feel that maybe the back speakers sound "good enough" and only want to change the fronts? And if the sound is lacking either in the high or lows, I could buy speakers that would fill the gaps accordingly.
I totally agree with you when you say that listening to speakers in a store is essentially pointless. The truth is you don't know how they're going to sound until they're installed in the vehicle. And the same set of speakers can sound different from one vehicle to the next. That's why I base these decisions mostly on the specs, and to a lesser extent, reviews.
I'll keep in mind what you're saying about using a crossover the filter out the highs from the rear speakers. Ideally, I'd like good full range sound from all 4 speakers, but since the cab is so small it might not be necessary. However, I do keep the fader set just a few notches up from the back, since sitting right next to the front speakers makes them seem louder. I can put the fader all the way up so just the front speakers are working, then bring it back to center, and it sounds the same. I can't hardly hear the rear speakers at all when the fader is centered. But along the lines of what you're suggesting I was thinking about maybe 4-way up front for crisper mids/highs, and 3 or maybe even 2-way in the back for better bass response. Again, how will I know what's going to be ideal if I buy everything in advance?
When you speak of EQ's, are you referring to an external equalizer? Ideally a nice 5-band would be great, but I could do without it. Obviously, a minimum 3-band on the HU is an absolute must. "Presets" are a joke and they're useless to me.
Yeah, I'm a novice when it comes to car audio. The extent of my knowledge consists of swapping out speakers. I have very little experience with HU's and subs. But I'm not clueless when it come to knowing what it's going to take to get a very good sounding system.

If you Slim and/or anyone else has any suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them.....
 
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Slim

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Slim. Don't apologize for the long post, I appreciate your thoughts. I have a few questions (and maybe some disagreements) but it's to get a better understanding, and for the sake of a good sounding system. While I do consider myself an audiophile, a car stereo system isn't as important to me as a home system is going to be. So while I don't want to cut too many corners, I'm willing to settle for less than the absolute best in certain areas.

First, I don't understand how you say my plan isn't a plan. For example, I have no idea how my speakers will sound with a new HU. I know they obviously aren't going to sound as good as higher power, wider frequency response aftermarket speakers. But I know how a good head unit can breathe new life into otherwise mediocre speakers. So how can I know, by changing the HU, that I won't feel that maybe the back speakers sound "good enough" and only want to change the fronts? And if the sound is lacking either in the high or lows, I could buy speakers that would fill the gaps accordingly.
I totally agree with you when you say that listening to speakers in a store is essentially pointless. The truth is you don't know how they're going to sound until they're installed in the vehicle. And the same set of speakers can sound different from one vehicle to the next. That's why I base these decisions mostly on the specs, and to a lesser extent, reviews.
I'll keep in mind what you're saying about using a crossover the filter out the highs from the rear speakers. Ideally, I'd like good full range sound from all 4 speakers, but since the cab is so small it might not be necessary. However, I do keep the fader set just a few notches up from the back, since sitting right next to the front speakers makes them seem louder. I can put the fader all the way up so just the front speakers are working, then bring it back to center, and it sounds the same. I can't hardly hear the rear speakers at all when the fader is centered. But along the lines of what you're suggesting I was thinking about maybe 4-way up front for crisper mids/highs, and 3 or maybe even 2-way in the back for better bass response. Again, how will I know what's going to be ideal if I buy everything in advance?
When you speak of EQ's, are you referring to an external equalizer? Ideally a nice 5-band would be great, but I could do without it. Obviously, a minimum 3-band on the HU is an absolute must. "Presets" are a joke and they're useless to me.
Yeah, I'm a novice when it comes to car audio. The extent of my knowledge consists of swapping out speakers. I have very little experience with HU's and subs. But I'm not clueless when it come to knowing what it's going to take to get a very good sounding system.

If you Slim and/or anyone else has any suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them.....
Apologies for the wait, but you already know why.

My experience with using stock speakers with an aftermarket headunit have always lead me to 2 surprises. The first is that, usually, there is an appreciable increase in sound quality. This in itself isn't much of a surprise, but it's the amount of change that is.

The next surprise is how much louder the system get's when you install aftermarket speakers (with 4 ohm impedance). This can also result in a third surprise as sound quality makes another change here, although not always better.

I've surprised a few people with a very simple/basic install like what you are after (don't read simple/basic as a negative or derogatory comment - less can often be more). I've also been pleasantly surprised myself and I love it when a system like this really impresses people, especially those that say it sounds better then their $4k stereo. :D

Anyway, my advice at this point, since I know you have an aftermarket h/u (care to share which?), is that when you purchase your replacement speakers purchase only one pair, install them in the front and see, ummm hear, what happens. Reasoning is that if you don't like them you're not out so much coin.

Maybe also ask local Ranger owners to come over and have a stereo party. :icon_thumby:
 

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