Audio Upgrade just Radio?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by UsafMoore67, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hello, Zigger:

    I pay people like you to do all my installs. I am not a backyarder.

    Anyone as arrogant as you goes to the bottom of the employment list as far as I am concerned. You don't even know the meaning of the word "tactful". I can only imagine what you tell your potential customers who end up hiring someone else. Sheesh. We have good installers up here that do what you do, but without the arrogant attitude. Apparently you think you are the center of the universe. Obviously you live in a different solar system.

    Speakers first. Period. Head unit can come second. There are actually some OEM units that put out half way decent sound for many consumers. You buy that head unit and you have OEM speakers, it still sounds bad. Sorry if you disagree, but without big paying customers like me, you would be washing dishes for a living. If the consumer is on a budget, this is their first best purchase in an upgrade. He isn't going to a national SPL competition, he wants to drive it to work.

    I don't do competition installs. That is for the cars dedicated to sound competitions. As in the whole vehicle is full of speakers and amplifiers. If that is what you do, fabulous. But let's be real and practical here, not esoteric.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Sorry Have to agree with Zigger.. Headunit is the Best first change out.. A good radio with a built in Crossover can make your factory speakers sound very nice at any Volume. Do the Madbass Cutoff right and you can turn it up Without Distortion..

    As I said above The aftermarket radio will give a bit more power Just enough that your factory speakers will handle them without problems.

    And this os coming from a guy that has been in the 12 Volt and Aftermarket World for over 20 years. Both in retail and on the Vender side. I have sat in Soundproof rooms for Hours just to test speakers... And listin to every brand out there...

    Anyway We wish you the best in your pick and If you need any more help Please Post up and I or someone else here will be more then Glad to help you..
  3. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Couple of resources for you

    Here are a few resources for you that might save some misery and time in your research for your answer. People can disagree about the topic, but you want to hear from consumers, not professional installers, to get consumer feedback on what worked for each consumer. Saying you have spent many hours in sound proof rooms on this topic is equivalent to someone in my profession telling you to listen to their legal opinion because they have spent hundreds of hours doing legal research.

    There is a consumer oriented book available from many sellers, titled "Auto Audio", by Andrew Yoder. If you do nothing else, buy a copy of this book. He goes into all elements of auto audio, likely more than what you want, and he writes in a manner that the end user can understand. He also provides plenty of references to use in the appendix.

    Two on line sources that are worth your time registering on are, and The first one is technical help. Pay attention to the rules for posting, they are more strict than other car audio sites. They do however have some forums to discuss specific parts of an audio system to get feedback about whether what you want to buy is good or bad, etc. This is where there are experienced electronics people, not just "installers" answering questions. I have met a couple of people there who work for or worked for US manufacturers of auto audio equipment. The second is one of several sites you can find on the web for the consumer. You can ask here or on some other sites if you Google "car audio forums". Ask your question here, and ask from the consumers who have done it in a truck for example. Yes, installers and former installers may render opinions, but again you want the end consumer to help you who has "been there, done that".

    What I can tell you as an end consumer is I have had many cars over the years, many with space challenges to install systems, and I changed the entire audio systems, sometimes multiple times, in all the cars and in my current truck, and I appreciate someone else telling me from their own experience what they found that worked. Installers who have a lot of experience in the main stream consumer market have very valuable opinions on making purchases and as to how to go about installations or to tell someone else how to do it. The end consumer is the person who has to live with the work that these people do, and their opinion is what is going to drive the entire auto electronics market. You don't see Orion and Soundstream out there still making US made amplifers that will pump out 1600 watts at 1/2 ohm because most consumers now just want to be able to plug in their Ipod in their car and have some video and navigation. The installers and vendors don't control the demand, the end consumer does.

    I changed head units first in my early cars, like these "installers" suggest. In 100% of the changes, I immediately wanted new speakers because it was obvious that the sound was limited by the speakers. If you have any type of high end home audio system, you know what a bad speaker and poor frequency range sounds like, even in a vehicle, where there is background noise in the best insulated rig. The newer cars and trucks have higher quality audio systems that don't necessarily have to be replaced. Some are integrated with other electronics in the vehicle, making replacement more complicated and in some cases impossible without disabling other convenience features that came with the vehicle.
  4. zigger215

    zigger215 Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Sorry OP :(

    ---------- Post added at 05:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:03 PM ----------

    I feel ya on time spent in a sound room Enkei. Most of the time it's enjoyable, sometimes, not so much. Coincidentally when our time in the sound room begins, we start with headunits....
  5. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Well, since you pay everyone to do everything for you, maybe you should pay someone to write your posts in a tactful manner. You have the gall to call ziggler arrogant, your very first line smacks of " I am rich and I am better than you."

    With that said, The first thing I ditch in a new vehicle is the head unit. You cant add any thing to them "cleanly" have to have an adapter for this and that. In my 20 years of buying car audio I have yet to hear a OEM unit make any aftermarket speakers sound good much less great. Heck they dont even make the OEM speakers sound good right? Thats why you want to upgrade because it sounds sub par!

    My system is in a daily driver truck, its not a show truck. I do however compete in MECA competitions when I get the chance. Cant let all the young wipper snappers have all the fun now can we!

    After the head unit I usually change out door speakers....

    Then its amps, subs, etc...

    P.S. I pay someone to do my system installs. They can do it faster than I can and I am impatient!
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    And what, exactly, is wrong with being a backyarder? I may not be a pro like Zigger or Enkei ... and I'm certainly not out there competing ... but I've got a system that blows the nuts off the stock Bose system. Then again ... a weather radio can do that. LOL

    Seriously, though -- nothing wrong with backyarding if you do your homework and take tips from people who do it for a living.

  7. zigger215

    zigger215 Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    My post wasn't tactful at all...I deserved a little brutal comeback. Sorry surreal, nothing wrong with a backyarder :). I owed the op an apology for contributing to this little disagreement so, here's to hoping we get back on target, I agree with sstoner about the HU upgrade.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  8. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    I have met Many 12 Volt experts From Richard Clark (if you don't know who he is then you don't belong in car audio) to Dave Novone to Alma Gates and her family. And they can all tell you.. Some of the Best installers came from Kids doing it before they even drove a car. They installed for there friends. The Shop I started in back in the early 80's is the shop where Sony Mobile got it's real start. It was in Paramus,NJ. We did all of SONY's work for many years from building the displays to show cars. This shop is also the shop that took LoJack from Mass to the rest of the US, We also helped to start something called Video Bus.. Whats that When ever you see a Big bus with little 5-6 in screens on the roof This is where it got it's start. We would install them in NJ and all over the US.. But from there we opened the First SONY METC in Park Ridge,NJ It is now in Cali. But anyway Time for bed..

    Good Night Boys...
  9. Z-71

    Z-71 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I also have to agree with Enkei and Zigger.I have installed speakers first and HU's first and putting an HU in first made the most difference.Think of it this way Music is the source then it goes to the HU then the speakers...If the music quality or HU suck then it doesn't matter what speaker you have cause it's going to sound bad.
  10. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Using your logic, it is also just as true that if the speakers are bad, you can put in the finest HU on the planet, and what comes out is still junk. So neither position is any better than the other.

    Flip a coin. But to answer the original question you have to make everything the same quality or eventually you will be replacing the next lesser component.

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