Calling all car audio guru's

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Yeagermeister, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I'm wanting to upgrade my factory stereo. As always my budget is very small. All I am looking for is something that has good sound quality, cd player, maybe HD radio and an aux port. I don't plan on doing anything with the speakers. They are loud enough for this old foggie.

    How hard it is to install it myself? I have never tried to do anything like that before.
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Personally I think it is pretty easy to install a new stereo. You are not worrying about new speakers or amps or anything of that nature so it should be pretty straight forward.

    Take the old one out. Get the new one, follow the wiring diagrams. Connect the wires. Mount the new one securely. Turn on and enjoy.

    Now it can be tedious working in a cramped space. But otherwise it is just tedious connection the wires but not technically difficult.

    Usually the instructions are pretty straight forward. However I did find this with a quick google search and it might help...

    I think the worst part is working in a cramped space and trying to be comfortable laying on your side while doing some of it. The other thing that can be annoying is getting all of the wires pushed back in and having fun with the securing mount some come with...trying to secure a small bolt/screw in such a confined space IF yours would even require that.
  3. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    Making your job even easier would be spending a couple of bucks and buying a wiring harness matching your stereo brand and car make/model. That way you can avoid cutting and splicing wires and if you were to sell the car, you could pop the old factory stereo back in.

    As far as brands go, Kenwood makes good quality stuff that is not marked up too high. Pioneer and Sony ao make good stuff but tend to be higher priced for the same features.

    Check out They can tell you exactly what will fit in your car. You can probably find better prices elsewhere, but they are great source of info. If you do buy a stereo from them, they send you everything you need to install it, including their instructions.
  4. Romo2Dez4six

    Romo2Dez4six Touchdown!!!!

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    easy get the wire harness and mounting kit for your ride and follow the instructions. with the harness all colors match up to the stereo. Alpine is the only way to go and you can get some cheap.
  5. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Can you just buy at Best Buy and let them install it for free?

    That's what I've always done. Actually, I did it at Circuit City, but I guess they're about broke and closed down now. The beauty of them was they'd put in their own adapter, so if you wanted to change after that, you just bought another adapter made for the different brand, and then plugged it right in.

    But if you go to Crutchfield, they include all the wiring harnesses and everyone says it's pretty easy to wire it all up. They include specific harnesses and directions for each brand -- blue wire to blue wire, red wire to red-white striped wire, etc.

    BTW, I'm like you -- no crazy speaker setups, I just wanted something that would play MP3s because my stock stereo wouldn't. Then later I changed to a Sony that plays USB drives. I'm on the road a lot and like to listen to podcasts, so I just plug the USB into my computer, load them up, then plug the drive into the car stereo. It's great -- better than when I used my MP3 player plugged into the Aux port.

    Oh, and get that HD radio and let us know how it goes. :) I've been curious about that, but I live too far from town and from what I hear, if the signal isn't pretty strong it will switch back and forth between the HD and analog, which can be annoying.
  6. Aikmaniac

    Aikmaniac Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to do the same thing in my STi. The stock system isn't that great. I want to go all Alpine (head unit and speakers) but it's going to cost a pretty penny...I'm all out of pretty penny's.
  7. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Well-Known Member

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    I used to remove and install various stereos in various cars, and I believe that the information provided from others here has been great. The difficulty I have now is wedging myself into a tight space and trying to work in close quarters with progressive lenses in my glasses. I have now resorted to getting younger folks without glasses and with better flexibility to do it for me. It generally only costs me a beer or two and they do good work.

    Me best purchase has been a sattelite radio (Sirius) to go with the MP3 player (Sony) and I've been quite happy. The sound quality from Sirius is not particularly good, but it's OK if you have a long drive ahead of you. There are so many good brands of equipment out there that I would hesitate to pick one clearly over another. Other brands previously mentioned here are all pretty decent items.
  8. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    this or car toys - spend like $100 + and they do a base install for free.

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