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 FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit

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GMFreak8
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:48 pm

If the amp has the high level leads that's the easiest way to do it. To have a properly functioning stereo you need to connect all the leads (including the front left and right and rear left and right) otherwise your fade and balance controls won't work.

Easiest place to connect the turn on lead is to the ACC power lead on the radio wiring harness or the power antenna turn on lead. Either one will work.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:53 pm

Remote turn on is the orange wire to the power antenna in the trunk.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:09 pm

So even though I'm just going to power the rear channels, all 4 of the speaker inputs have to be made? What happens if I come right off the the 2 6x9 spearkers in the back and run them into the amp? If you come right off the 6x9's to the amp will that lower the impedance of the speakers making the stock headunit get hot? Or will the amp inputs not show a impedance load? Seem's more logical to just go ahead and replace the stock h/u and run RCA'S with a amp turn on instead of worrying about all this junk
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:17 pm

agrimm34 wrote:
So even though I'm just going to power the rear channels, all 4 of the speaker inputs have to be made? What happens if I come right off the the 2 6x9 spearkers in the back and run them into the amp? If you come right off the 6x9's to the amp will that lower the impedance of the speakers making the stock headunit get hot? Or will the amp inputs not show a impedance load? Seem's more logical to just go ahead and replace the stock h/u and run RCA'S with a amp turn on instead of worrying about all this junk

If you are just powering the rear channels with the amp, then just connecting the left and right rear channels would be sufficient. Don't come off the speakers and then to the amp though. You'd be replacing the speakers anyway, so just run wires directly from the existing rear speaker wiring to the amp, and then from the amp to the new speakers. That should work out just fine. You shouldnt have any issues with load.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:21 pm

Only run speaker level direct to the amp if the amp's inputs are "high-level" type. For RCA inputs, use a high-to-low level converter (see earlier pages in this thread).

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:06 pm

Buy a deck, an adaptor plate, and some RCA cables and do it the right way. Factory head units are garbage @ best. I assume he plans on upgrading the deck down the road n e wayz so why do the job twice? Sometimes its better to just double down and do right the 1st time. cool
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:16 pm

Hometown Hero wrote:
Sometimes its better to just double down and do right the 1st time. cool
how true this is,for so many things in life.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:23 pm

You can do it right and keep the stock head. That's what this thread is about. There is no reason to spend extra money on an aftermarket head unit if all you want to do is add a small sub.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:25 pm

it never stops there... is the point I am making you always end up wanting more. Its just like horsepower. 3gears
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:26 pm

AA wrote:
Only run speaker level direct to the amp if the amp's inputs are "high-level" type. For RCA inputs, use a high-to-low level converter (see earlier pages in this thread).
Correct me if I'm wrong but you couldn't run standard speaker wire from the speakers to the amp unless the Amp had "High Level inputs" as they only provide receptacles for speaker wire.
If the inputs required RCA connectors then it would be quite obvious that you would need a high to low level converter.
Am I correct or incorrect.? Or is this just this simple or more complicated than that.?


Last edited by Rickw on Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:23 pm

It's an easy mistake to make. All you do is take a knife and cut the RCA cable at one end, then twist and insert the wires. It can be done, and I'm sure it's been tried, but not the best idea.

Quote :
it never stops there... is the point I am making you always end up wanting more. Its just like horsepower.
I'm perfectly happy with 300 watts and 300 HP. I set out with those goals, I did the job right, and now I like what I have. The key is to make an achievable plan. If you know what you want, and you succeed, the results are more satisfying than if you just start modding stuff with no real end in sight.

Nothing wrong with adding a small sub to an existing system, if that's what you want to do. My stock head died; I bought a new OEM one and don't regret it.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:25 pm

AA wrote:

I'm perfectly happy with 300 watts and 300 HP. I set out with those goals, I did the job right, and now I like what I have. The key is to make an achievable plan. If you know what you want, and you succeed, the results are more satisfying than if you just start modding stuff with no real end in sight.

I have the "tim the toolman" disease though. I upgrade, I'm satisfied for awhile, and then I need more power. *grunts*
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:03 am

AA wrote: I'm perfectly happy with 300 watts and 300 HP. I set out with those goals, I did the job right, and now I like what I have. The key is to make an achievable plan. If you know what you want, and you succeed, the results are more satisfying than if you just start modding stuff with no real end in sight.

Not argueing with ya on this but, not every1 sets a goal and is content with that goal when they have achieved it. Which is why man has always strived to build things better, faster, and stronger. Vehicles are such that you never reach a point of completion because there will always be fixing involved. When 1 tinkers new ideas usually come to mind, with new ideas usually come new additions. Thats just a generalization but its "generally" true.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:21 pm

I agree, but in that case, why not just buy a new car? My goals were planned for this car. I have another car with a completely different set of goals. I may buy another car and set my objectives higher.

You're right that everyone has a different set of standards. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with just installing a sub and keeping the stock head. You can go all out if you like, but that rule doesn't have to apply to everyone out there.

Btw, I've used aftermaket heads in previous cars. I'm familiar with the improvements they give. Part of the reason I kept my stock head is that I tested its capabilities and decided it was good enough for quality sound, with a little tweaking. I don't consider it a step down from aftermarket because I'm not competing, I'm just listening to music while I drive. I'm a critical listener who goes to live shows a couple times per month, and have found the Riviera's stock head can and does perform.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:22 pm

Buy a new car???
Ok now that makes little to no sense. Buying a new car makes sense if your like me and you want a muscle car, a lowrider truck, a 4x4, and a sweet cruiser. All 4 of which cannot be rolled into 1. But if you want a cruiser with HP/good system/ and looks but can't afford another vehicle wouldn't it make more sense to just keep adding regardless of achieving or surpassing set goals?

Not taking away from anything you have done to your ride... its YOUR ride its set up to YOUR likes and dislikes. But like I said before "generally speaking" a little is never eough for "most people". I wasn't saying you did anything wrong by setting it up the way you did. However down the road most people do upgrade their headunit, infact thats usually where they start when building an audio system, I am an audiophile aswell to say the least, and I do know that true good "sound quality" can only be achieved with quality components.

Lets face it a 1990's technology OEM headunit is in no way comparible to a quality aftermarket unit of today. Not in Sound quality, not in output, not in any way shape or form. They are just plain inferior to new technology period. afro
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:09 pm

But the 90's was when OEM heads began to improve a lot. Our head is the same one used in the Monsoon amplified system, which sounded very good. Many folks would not ditch the Monsoon for aftermarket. It had its problems, but they were not related to the head.

Aftermarket heads have more features, offer higher power output, and let you play new forms of media, but if you are ok with playing CDs, and you add EQ, quality amps and sub, and a good pair of fronts, the stock head can and does perform. With some tuning and solid installation, I was able to achieve an acceptable level of quality that I know for a fact is better than many aftermarket heads I've listened to - not just in my opinion, but most of these people agree after listening to mine. They want to know how I did it.

The Concert II system gets a bad rep because its speakers are junk, and the internal amps are weak. If you give it a chance, it will deliver the goods. Everyone likes to believe an aftermarket source is infinitely better than all OEM soources, but very few people bother to try working with the OEM head to see what it can do.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:42 pm

I have to agree with AA on this one. Unless you are going for an all out award winning system I prefer to use the stock HU with quality components to achieve improved sound without sacrificing the stock look!I'm sorry but I love the riviera inerior and don't want to lose the steering wheel controls.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:01 pm

agree

I'm very happy with the stock head. I even spent $140 to put a new tape player in
mine, so I could cycle through all 3 inputs.

The worst part of the system is the "extended range" (like hell!) rear speakers -
they have the frequency response of a manhole cover...

Oh, and if you want to add a couple of Gigs of MP3s to your car, just plug one of these into the power port -
Ridiculously low price, but from the reviews, it ain't bad. Another member bought his parking sensors from the same place,
and they work great... I'm gonna buy one just to have it!
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11218
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:32 pm

AA wrote:

Aftermarket heads have more features, offer higher power output, and let you play new forms of media, but if you are ok with playing CDs, and you add EQ, quality amps and sub, and a good pair of fronts, the stock head can and does perform. With some tuning and solid installation, I was able to achieve an acceptable level of quality that I know for a fact is better than many aftermarket heads I've listened to - not just in my opinion, but most of these people agree after listening to mine. They want to know how I did it.

Your comparing an OEM headunit coupled with probably an 8-12 band EQ to a bare bones aftermarket head unit is an unfair comparison. Hook that same eq to the aftermarket and take a listen. How much did the EQ run you? Buying an EQ can cost more than a decent headunit. If you already had 1 lying around it makes sense to use it but if you had to buy it? Why not upgrade 1nce and be done. OEM headunits THD is substantially higher than aftermarket, automatically putting your sound quality down a level. This is factual information not fairy tales from AC Delco's audio department. I have over 15 years of aftermarket audio experiece I do know what I am talking about.

I never said you had to go compete in DB drags, I noticed every1 here seems to think if you have something larger than a 10 inch sub in your car you should be at SEMA (by adding the EQ n amps,etc.you'll be parked next to me there). You can enjoy music at high volumes without competing, why do people buy large home audio setups??? To enter competitions? No because they enjoy music, some more than others is all.

Trust me the day will come, when u guys will have to upgrade, Cd's are becoming a thing of the past much like the beloved 8 track, or the cassette, or beta max, etc. Sometimes people just need to evolve. cheers
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:56 pm

Hometown Hero wrote:
Trust me the day will come, when u guys will have to upgrade, Cd's are becoming a thing of the past much like the beloved 8 track, or the cassette, or beta max, etc. Sometimes people just need to evolve. cheers
What is the next media coming down the pike beyond CD's.?
I'm semi-clueless and if I were to buy an aftermarket head unit now, wouldn't I have to buy a Cd unit.?
How should I or anyone else prepare for the next form of media.?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:01 pm

Rickw wrote:
Hometown Hero wrote:
Trust me the day will come, when u guys will have to upgrade, Cd's are becoming a thing of the past much like the beloved 8 track, or the cassette, or beta max, etc. Sometimes people just need to evolve. cheers
What is the next media coming down the pike beyond CD's.?
I'm semi-clueless and if I were to buy an aftermarket head unit now, wouldn't I have to buy a Cd unit.?
How should I or anyone else prepare for the next form of media.?
Never will physical media become extinct. CDs will be here just like vinyl records are still around. You might have a CD/DVD/blu-ray combination player in your car in the future, but there will always be physical media. There will always be room for a high quality physical copy. I myself am not moving to anything else besides CDs for music any time soon. The MP3 will become extinct long before the CD (replaced with some other file format).
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:41 pm

I think physical media has its place but i doubt it is in the automotive environment.

Streaming data (the internet) is the way i think automotive media will go.

and your quite right the "MP3" format is not here to stay forever but the way MP3's are stored probably will be around for some time.

I hear that FORD are fitting hard drives to their cars now not just for entertainment but for other in car information ...

a few interesting sites to see new tech in the automotive field

www.mp3car.com
www.digital-car.com
www.centrafuse.com

nigel
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:40 am

Rick tomorrow I'll show you my Pioneer and all the things it can do. Many head units include some form of USB port and aux input for just this reason.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:30 pm

Quote :
Your comparing an OEM headunit coupled with probably an 8-12 band EQ to a bare bones aftermarket head unit is an unfair comparison. Hook that same eq to the aftermarket and take a listen. How much did the EQ run you? Buying an EQ can cost more than a decent headunit. If you already had 1 lying around it makes sense to use it but if you had to buy it?
I found a 5-band Kicker KQ5 parametric EQ for $90 new on ebay. This unit let me dial in on the bands I needed to adjust, so no need for 8-12 (not-so-useful) graphic bands. It's a very fair comparison, because for $90, you could not find a decent head unit in with parametric EQ at the time. Maybe you can now, but in any case, this set-up made the stock head sound great with my speakers (not stock), and it still does 6 years later.

Quote :
Why not upgrade 1nce and be done.
That's exactly what I did. I haven't changed my set-up since 2004, and don't plan to any time soon. The analogy I made before: "why not just buy a new car?" may not make sense to you, but I feel is very relevant, because just like that KQ5 equalizer, the Riviera is an outdated design, replaced with far more advanced and arguably better options. But I keep driving my car, and I'm going to keep using my stock head w/EQ as well. Would I recommend someone buy a Riviera in 2010? Absolutely. Why? Because it may seem outdated, and there may be more modern alternatives, but the quality of the experience this car gives is top-notch. Same with a good stereo set-up. I improved my stereo, but the head was not one of the things holding it back.

Quote :
OEM headunits THD is substantially higher than aftermarket, automatically putting your sound quality down a level. This is factual information not fairy tales from AC Delco's audio department. I have over 15 years of aftermarket audio experience I do know what I am talking about.
I have a little more than 15 years as well, and have read about a dozen books on speaker & system design. I once was on a team that helped Altec Lansing develop their FX line of multi-media speakers in 2005. I own several amps, drivers, enclosures, and head units from the golden age of car audio, sitting on shelves, waiting for their time. We're talking about original RF Punch, a/d/s PowerPlates, Clarion heads & changers, and JL subs. Sometimes I plug them into my 120VAC-12VDC power supply to experiment. I know how this stuff sounds, and I know how our OEM head sounds. I have also heard other OEM heads that really don't sound as good.

Here's something to try. Measure the THD from our stock head, and then compare it to an aftermarket head of your choosing. You may think that a stock head that creates, say, 1% THD will sound so much worse than your top-shelf $500 head with .001% THD, but you know what? In a car, at 35 mph, there is so much background noise that it ain't gonna matter. Tests have proven human ears can't perceive the difference, even in silent listening rooms, and furthermore, even the best speaker drivers introduce 2%, 3%, even 5% THD into the final output (music), and listeners still love the sound. Measurable differences are not always audible differences. And sometimes, people actually like a little distortion. Try telling someone with a $10k set of tube driven mono-blocks that the "warm" sound they hear is from 5% valve distortion is a bad thing.

Still, electronics salespeople love to push specs that are measurable, but not really perceivable by ears. It's pure snake oil for the average listener. You really think that 100 ft of Kimber cable speaker wire you paid $4/ft for actually gives you a sonic benefit? Sorry, but you got served. I can wire speakers with 14 gauge 15/ft zip cord from Lowe's hardware and it sounds just as good. Experts have proven it with double blind A-B tests. There is no difference to our ears, but if you measure with special equipment, you might see a slight difference. It's the same deal with heads, amplifiers.

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I noticed every1 here seems to think if you have something larger than a 10 inch sub in your car you should be at SEMA (by adding the EQ n amps,etc.you'll be parked next to me there). You can enjoy music at high volumes without competing, why do people buy large home audio setups??? To enter competitions? No because they enjoy music, some more than others is all.
Don't know if you've noticed, but advances in driver design & arrangement, increased power levels, and new ways to use EQ have resulted in speakers getting smaller over the past 20 years. We don't need multiple 15" subs to get loud and low bass nowadays, and you don't see tower speakers that hog up your living room being as popular, because thinner, smaller, more powerful speakers can achieve the same or better quality compared to larger speakers in the 80s and 90s. You can enjoy music without giant-size speakers.

Quote :
Trust me the day will come, when u guys will have to upgrade, Cd's are becoming a thing of the past much like the beloved 8 track, or the cassette, or beta max, etc. Sometimes people just need to evolve.
The day already came for me about 4 years ago when I started carrying MP3s on my PDA, and now on my iPod Touch. Remember that $90 investment I made in the KQ5 equalizer? Turns out is has an auxiliary input (on back of the unit), so I ran a cable to plug into my iPod and simply press the "A/B" source button in the EQ. Head unit drops out so I can play iTunes.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with using CDs from a sound quality standpoint, and I still do most of my critical listening from disc. MP3s are very convenient, and they sound good enough, but an MP3 does not sound better than a CD. The sacrifice in MP3 quality is so insignificant that it's acceptable, just as keeping the OEM head can be great-sounding, practical alternative to aftermarket - if you fix the real problems: power output (add amp), EQ (pre-amp), and speakers (quality fronts + sub).

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Speaker/Sub/Amp Upgrades with Factory Head Unit   Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:03 pm

Speaking of expensive speaker cable and other 'Unnecessary Equipment'.
When i was researching and buying my first expensive high end car audio system and knew almost nothing, I went to a shop that was known in the area (San Antonio) for building most of the systems that won in the local and national competitions. I went in to pick the owners brains and figure out what to do within my budget. He was most helpful and I remember one of the many things he told me about wires and cabling.
I thought from reading other sources that I had to spend a bunch of money.
He corrected me and showed me what he used for RCA cables on these competition vehicles where the cables would not be visible.
Then he directed me to the local electronics store that sold basic RCA cables 16ft long, for about $3.00 each. And speaker wire and power cable all for cheap money, but more than adequate for my system and acceptable enough for his systems that won trophy's.
Again he said he consistently used this type of wiring where they were not visible and they provided excellent response.
He told me to keep my mouth shut as he had on the shelf all the expensive Kits for amp and speaker installs, but for some reason he took a liking to me and saved me a bunch of money. And to this day i get the basic cabling within the spec's i need from Newegg for not a lot of money.
I've even adopted the theory, as it were, to my home theater cables, HDMI, RCA, etc and have saved a lot as compared to buying all the very expensive Monster cables from the local big box stores. They will tell you, and adamantly try to sell you, all that expensive stuff that is supposedly necessary for quality sound. (Not True) $400.00 for 100 ft of speaker wire is completely unnecessary. It may make you feel good but does nothing to improve the sound over say $50.00 worth of wire.
I buy the quality components such as amps and other equipment but don't need over priced cables for excellent sound.
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