T Nation

OFF TOPIC!!! - Car Stereo's

Now that I have the cash, Im ready to pour a large sum of it into a car stereo. Im sure alot of you have some pretty kickin systems, Id just like to get some different oppinions on what brands you’ve found to be the best. Id like to put either 3-10" subs or 2-12" subs into the back of a 96 Honda Civic, buy a new deck,new subs,front speakers,rear 6X9 speakers, and amps to power it all with. My concerns are how 12" subs would sound with faster bass, such as in music like Mudvayne or Slipknot. Should I stick to one brand? Thanks.Feel free to gloat about your systems.

I’ve always used MBQuart mids and highs in all my cars/systems. I would never go with anything else. For bass, I’ve primarily used JL Audio, but I currently have the Kicker L7 series (square woofers) that are pretty cool. JL Audio now has a set that competes with them and they are round. I’ve learned that a round subwoofer is better than square or any other shape.

Another brand I’ve considered recently starts with a T but I can’t remember it offhand. I’ve always liked JL Audio and would most likely go back to them if I sell my current subs or want something different. For the type of bass you want, you will probably want to stick with 8’s or 10’s. A 12-inch woofer tends to be better for those wanting longer, lower bass notes. Definitely check out what JL Audio has to offer. They have some new series of speakers that really kick ass, are durable, and handle loads of power. So you can have less subs taking up your space, but also have more sound than other people with multiple woofers. I have two 8-inch Kicker L7’s, and they are powered by a PPI 800W amp (4-channel running my entire system: two sets of MB Quart premium series coaxial 5.25" and an extra set of titanium tweeters - six sets of tweeters total - as well as my two subs off an Eclipse head unit). My system sounds damn good, and can get very loud if needed. I’ve had this system in my Type R and WRX. It definitely sounds better in a hatchback. I’ve always preferred a nice sound system in a hatchback. It doesn’t rattle as much when you are “bassing out” and the clarity and sound are much, much better.

As far as subs, JL Audio is my pick: far less distortion than the popular Kicker brand. A high quality sub, really. I own two 10’s in a box and love em’. Now for amps. This is where I would make the best investment if I were you. Far and away the best brand in my opinion, as well as with others, is the Rockford Fosgate Punch series. I own two: one a 100 w 2 channel, and the other a 150 4 channel for my doors. I also have an apline cd player and seperate alpine EQ. Howvever, none of this stuff fits in my new Tundra :(. Good Luck!

well if you listen to primarly rock, go with 2 or 4 tens(not 3). 12s are for more for a rap or house beat. the other main factor is cash. i used to work for a car audio shop, and it all depends on your wallet. I’ve seen cars with radio shack optimus line in them and was completly shocked. it basically comes down to the install and box you put them in. find a good shop and check out ome of there work. for speakers and amps stay away from the flea market crap. I like jbl or kickers for subs, and for amps zapco all the way. the trick with amps is that most rate the wattage at peak. yeah it says 400 watts but thats peak not RMS. you want to check for the RMS rating that is what the amp contiuosly puts out. i had a zapco 100rms and it pounded 2 12s. kicker has a line of small inclosure woofers if space is an issue. if i remember correctly a 10" sub only needed 1/2 cubic foot.

I dont personally own any of this equipment, but i went to a show down in Texas. Check out Miami Audio. They have some sweet ass amps, and some amazing subs. They also have all sorts of component speakers, and video screens. Some really nice stuff, i think there site is MAaudio.com


I have a 2000 Mustang convertible that had that Mach “premium” sound system, well I could only stand that for a couple days before ripping it out.

You don’t need 12" subs, I have 2 10" in the “trunk”, and had a custom box made, the custom boxes usually go for $100/speaker around Chicago and you will want one. It is pretty tight, even though they are only Kenwood subs with a 125 max watt/ch Kenwood amp. I play plenty of techno and it sounds fine.

Though I have been thinking of getting some aluminum cone subs (since I used to play bass I get picky), several companies make them, so I would go for that if you have the extra cash. You could even buy one sub really, there’s no real reason you have to have two, you could get a better quality sub and a better amp w/more power and it will probably sound better.

Just don’t go to like Best Buy or something go to a shop that specializes, and don’t let them talk you into a ton of stuff you don’t want.

I basically bought stuff between middle to high end of Boston Acoustic’s line for the speakers, components of course in front.

The only real splurge I made was this $800 Alpine deck that plays mp3 cds, 7 band graphic eq, and has the built in variable delay on each channel, so I can synch up all 4 speakers with the subs so the sound waves hit the driver headrest at the exact same time. The built in amp also sounds awesome.

Altogether, including labor, my system cost $2500. So… don’t forget labor if you are not going to install it yourself.

How did I know before finishing the first three lines of this post that you had a Honda Civic?

oops, sorry, that last post was from me…

just poking fun ;)

This is not a flame, just an honest question. What is the point of buying this car stereo stuff? You don’t need $1000 worth of car stereo stuff for YOU to enjoy the music. It seems you are spending money just to impose your music on everyone in a three block radius. Why?

Even though my system has the potential to be heard far away, it’s all up to the user. Yes, at times, I want my system loud. When you’re driving on the highway at 80+ mph with the windows down, there is a lot of road noise. Thus, being able to turn up your stereo to still hear it clearly, requires you to have a decent sound system. Personally, I rarely have mine up loud. I have spent good money on a high quality sound system that is good enough to compete with, if I so choose to do.

Simple: if you value your music experience, you’ll pay the money. It does make a difference. Trust me. And not all of us are trying to vibrate the neighnors windows with all systems. I just appreciate some high quality speakers, powerful amps, and solid but modest sub. Nothing is better than cranking your favorite tune with all the windows rolled down on a clear July night.

I gotta ask… a sound system to compete with?

to a question - its not about just volume, its about sound quality and accuracy

Believe it or not, they have many sound contests that you can win decent prize money for depending on what class you are in (based on the amount of Watts your amp is pushing). These contests are about quality not quantity. They save the loudest sounding car and most bass for the end of the contest. There is a competition for nearly everything. You should know that.

“I had a zapco 100rms and it pounded 2 12s” Do you mean 1000? Ive never heard of rms… From what I can find, it looks like Im going to have the choice of Alpine,Kicker,and Rockford. By flea market brands, Im guessing your talking about brands such as Sony,Pioneer,JVC…In Canada Best Buy is Future Shop. I like my stereo to pound because I also have three friends with car stereos, so its fun to compete with each other.While Im not one of those guys that cruise around with the system up and the windows down, it is a nice feeling to know you could wake the neighbours. Right now I have a Memphis 10" sub,Sony Xplod deck,Kenwood amp,and Orion Speakers. As for Honda Civics, really mine will be the first in my city with a kickin stereo, its mostly the Sunfire drivers who spend 1000’s on their stereos. Thanks everyone for all the advice. Nate, this is a weird question, but Id be happy to explain why Im asking later; do you by any chance only go out with black girls?

wow, some guys (nate dogg) have some expensive taste… MB can be a pricey one. As far as a 12 sounding bad w/ faster bass- nope. IT IS ALL IN INSTALL. a 12 can keep up with any 8 or ten in speed of response, as long as you have the proper install. I recommend the site www.caraudioforum.com for a grand group of very intelligent ppl that love car audio.
as for my own install, i have jl components, pioneer amps and a single Hollywood Sound Labs sub in a regular cab ford ranger. got 300 rms to the sub and 100 rms to the comps. rms is the real rating you need to check on amps. HSL is a phenominal brand, and operates well in small enclosures. I am more than happy with mine. again, for a great group of very informed guys, check out caraudioforum. it is a relatively nice guy site, very little flames, except for a select few asshumps. mention geolemon and shootme, they are great guys and will work with you for the most part, unless you come off like a prick or know it all. as for paying for a custom box- if you have any kind of experience w/ a saw and drill, save yourself the money and do it yourself. a custom box can run you a ton of money, depending on just how custom you want it. as for brands, everyone has their fav., and it is pretty much a pissing contest b/t the top names and a few relative unknowns that produce some phenominal speakers. Adire audio makes some of the worlds best subs. JL, Rockford Fosgate, MTX, infinity, mb quart, etc… STAY AWAY from jensen and pyramid at all costs.

That’s a funny question! Please tell me your reasoning. It must be based on something I’ve said or in how I act on the forum. My answer is no. I have never dated an African American woman. I have nothing against other races, but I personally am not attracted to any women other than white females. I have dated a few Asian women in the past, but I was just not attracted physically enough to continue the relationships. And these were very pretty Asian girls. I don’t know why, but I’ve always been a blonde or brunette lover. This doesn’t mean I exclude someone who is Caucasion but of another background (French, Spanish, etc.). So don’t go flamming me because of my personal taste in women, it’s just me. So why do you ask?

As for car stereos, yes I do have expensive tastes. But I like great sound quality and am willing to pay for what I think is some of the best stuff available. As for amps, in addition to PPI, I definitely recommend Zapco. They make awesome amps. I also think Phoenix Gold, SoundStream, Alpine, Rockford and JL Audio make some good stuff. No matter what, I always go with MBQuart for mids and highs. They totally kick ass for sound clarity.

Boy is my face red,well not really.The reason behind the question is because you are give or take the exact clone of my brotehrs best friend.From your pic in the forum,he looks just like you,only hes more into piercings.The reason behind the question was that I never realised how much you two are alike until this post,because he too is obsessed with having a high-end car stereo.From your posts I can tell you have the same attitude,and the smae taste in brands aswell.And Im sure now you can guess what kind of girls he likes.Man,I would have stuck with the asians :slight_smile:

For my deck I believe Im going to go with Alpine,JL for the subs(2 10’s), and the rest is still a mystery. Im going to make my box myself as I have experience with wood working.My only question now lays in making a ported box or not. I heard you can really mess up the sound if you place your ports wrong.What do ya’ll think of tweeters? Thanks everyone your helping tons.

sorry about that. Root Mean Square (RMS) Measurements: A measurement representing the “average” effective power content in a waveform. For simple sine waves. this is the actaully measurment you want to use when rating an amp.average watt output, forget peak. uh, flea market well it’s just junk, you can tell by looking at it. porting is tricky, not only the location matters but the length & diameter of the port( tube your using to port it. use pvc if you don’t buy some from a shop). I forgot who posted it but the reason you need more than one sub, and i’m sure you’ve heard of this, but it’s called “stero” vs. “mono” (and you can hear the difference).most amps can be wired either way.if your going to make your own box, use MDF wood, and when you calc out the cubic feet needed. make sure it’s internal area, not the outside dims of the box you make.

Wow never thought about interior vs exterior space. Is MDF wood similar or the same as ranger board? Thanks for explaining RMS, makes sense now, I had a friend try to explain it to me which went way over my head.