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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm having an internal debate. I originally planned on getting a new head unit for my truck (eventually), then upgrading the speakers. That was my first upgrade in my last truck ('97 Ford Ranger). It was easy and made a world of difference. Now that I've discovered I have to get a harness to keep door chimes and an interface to keep my steering wheel controls, I'm wondering if it would be the most cost efficient way to upgrade my sound. Would I get similar results if I kept the stock radio and bought an amp to boost the power to the system (and got new speakers of course)? I know I wouldn't have the equalizer options an aftermarket HU would have, but at least I'd have the extra power.

I don't know much at all about amps and stuff, so if an amp would be a good way to go, would I need a 4 channel amp to boost the 4 speakers? I guess I need a car audio 101 class or something :lol:

Also, from what I can tell, it looks like I have a couple of mid-range type speakers paired with the speakers in my front doors. I haven't taken the door panel off to take a good look. Is that something I would have to take into account when getting an amp? Also, is that something that should be upgraded as well? Ok, I'll stop asking questions and leave it at that! Thanks!!
 

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You'd probably want to just replace the HU and get the harness. If you wanted to use an amp to power your main speakers you'd probably want something like the JL Cleansweep that will remove the factory EQ/Audio adjustments and give you a good clean signal; which you can then send to your own amps, that would of course power your new speakers.

But for the cost of the cleansweep and amp, you might as well just replace the HU with a really nice one! Ditch the factory speakers, and call it a day.
 

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couldnt have said it better myself :great: I'd do what he said
 

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Yep... replace the head unit. I did, it's actually easy to do. It only cost me $40 for the chime harness at wal mart. The install is VERY easy to do too. I don't have the steering wheel controls, but from what I have heard the interface for it is just a small unit that you tuck behind your radio, then the harness from the steering wheel plugs into it, then the interface plugs into the stereo. Other than that, you just connect the wires from the new HU to the chime interface (I used crimp on connectors, they hold tight and won't come off) then plug the interface into the harness in the truck. You will also need the dash install kit that makes the new unit fit in the dash. I am running a Pioneer DEH-P4900iB head unit, with all Sony xplod 4-way speakers in place of the factory speakers, and a 760 watt Pioneer amp pushing a Sony Xplod 10" subwoofer. The whole install was easy. The head unit only took me about 20 minutes to install (I already had the stereo's harness crimped to the chime unit harness) and it looks and sounds great. I have a thread on here about it.

http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10883

There are pictures on there of my whole system. Hope this helps you, if you need any help or have any questions, let me know.:great:
 

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The real question is how much do you want to spend?? How much will you get out of what you listen to and how much you are in your vehicle and who you have with(small kids) . Most people buy more then what they really need or should have in there vehicle. Stereos can get expensive VERY quick and with you wanting to keep your door chimes and sterring wheel controls this can add up quick.
 

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The real question is how much do you want to spend?? How much will you get out of what you listen to and how much you are in your vehicle and who you have with(small kids) . Most people buy more then what they really need or should have in there vehicle. Stereos can get expensive VERY quick and with you wanting to keep your door chimes and sterring wheel controls this can add up quick.

this being true if your anything like me its never loud enough and will be worth the money in the end, music is a wonderful thing, why not try and make it as enjoyable as possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the tips guys!! I will probably go with a new HU. Thanks for the heads up on getting the chime harness at Wal-Mart, Dirtdog! The one on Crutchfield is like 80 bucks!! Does anyone know where to get a cheaper steering wheel interface? The one Crutchfield offers is $70.

The head unit I've been eyeballing is the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X492. I've only owned Pioneer before, so I don't know much about Kenwood. I've heard good things, and they seem to offer more power for your dollar. Anyone had any good or bad experiences with Kenwood?

I haven't done much research on replacement speakers yet. I probably won't be putting in any subs, but I do have an 8" Rockford Fosgate Stage 1 that I had in my old Ranger...in case I change my mind :happy:
 

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I installed a Kenwood KDC-MP3035 a couple months ago and I love it.. Sounds quality got so much better even through the stock speakers and much louder too... Heres a pic of it:

 
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