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#1 rancho_gordo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:22 AM

I just bought a car and in order to get a good stereo, I need to upgrade to packages that I didn't want (seat warmers, cruise control, sporty decals) so I got it with nothing. Years ago I remember my father saying it's better to get it w/o a stereo and then have professionals install a good one. Is this still true? Any suggestions? I don't want the car to vibrate with bass when I come to stop and have everyone look at me but I do want to fight the bad acoustics of a car. Are there speakers that create depth? Does that make any sense?
One friend says i must have a subwoofer but that seems silly to me at my age. But I am planning on keeping the car for years and I see a lot of road trips in my future.
Any and all advice appreciated.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#2 Peter Creasey

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:52 AM

Steve, I've been happy with the factory installed (on Ford Limiteds) system. I wouldn't want to complicate things with an after-market installation.

I received the Sirius package free for 6 months with my Explorer Limited and initially turned up my nose at it; however, I confess that after a while I came to appreciate it. I don't appreciate doing business with Sirius but I do like their product and signed up for it. Their Christmas programming was especially fine but I also enjoy the other channels.
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#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:53 AM

I just bought a car and in order to get a good stereo, I need to upgrade to packages that I didn't want (seat warmers, cruise control, sporty decals) so I got it with nothing. Years ago I remember my father saying it's better to get it w/o a stereo and then have professionals install a good one. Is this still true? Any suggestions? I don't want the car to vibrate with bass when I come to stop and have everyone look at me but I do want to fight the bad acoustics of a car. Are there speakers that create depth? Does that make any sense?
One friend says i must have a subwoofer but that seems silly to me at my age. But I am planning on keeping the car for years and I see a lot of road trips in my future.
Any and all advice appreciated.


There are a number of specialist firms who install and tune sound systems in vehicles, it's a big business. I'd suggest you ask around for suggestions on installers who can fit a sound delivery system to your specific jalopy.

FWIW, I've had great suggestions about experiences with cars at the local car wash. People love to talk about their cars, and all the stuff they load into it.

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#4 bigbear

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:26 AM

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#5 GG Mora

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:24 AM

I hate the way that options are packaged on cars. For example, the Ford Focus I want will require a bunch of stuff I don't need in order to get the heated leather seats that I want/need. That said – factory-installed car stereo systems these days can be pretty fucking good, so unless you're looking for audiophile-level equipment (which it doesn't sound like you are) it may make sense to suck it up and buy the option package.

#6 ghostrider

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:28 AM

I just bought a car and in order to get a good stereo, I need to upgrade to packages that I didn't want (seat warmers, cruise control, sporty decals) so I got it with nothing. Years ago I remember my father saying it's better to get it w/o a stereo and then have professionals install a good one. Is this still true? Any suggestions? I don't want the car to vibrate with bass when I come to stop and have everyone look at me but I do want to fight the bad acoustics of a car. Are there speakers that create depth? Does that make any sense?
One friend says i must have a subwoofer but that seems silly to me at my age. But I am planning on keeping the car for years and I see a lot of road trips in my future.
Any and all advice appreciated.

Why would you not want cruise control when you're planning a lot of road trips? The rest of the stuff I can understand. However, to each his own.

My new Nissan came with their "premium audio system" as part of the package that happened to have all the options I wanted & none that I didn't. The audio is less flexible than I'd expected - I've had rentals, mostly Fords I think, that offer much wider EQ fine-tuning - but still delivers crisp, clear sound with reasonable depth.

It also can be set to automatically increase volume at higher speeds to compensate for road noise, & then back off the volume when you slow down. You can adjust the amount of volume increase. I'd never heard of that before I bought the car but it's a nifty feature. You might find that handy on those road trips. I don't know if after-market systems offer that.
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#7 GG Mora

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:56 PM


I just bought a car and in order to get a good stereo, I need to upgrade to packages that I didn't want (seat warmers, cruise control, sporty decals) so I got it with nothing. Years ago I remember my father saying it's better to get it w/o a stereo and then have professionals install a good one. Is this still true? Any suggestions? I don't want the car to vibrate with bass when I come to stop and have everyone look at me but I do want to fight the bad acoustics of a car. Are there speakers that create depth? Does that make any sense?
One friend says i must have a subwoofer but that seems silly to me at my age. But I am planning on keeping the car for years and I see a lot of road trips in my future.
Any and all advice appreciated.

Why would you not want cruise control when you're planning a lot of road trips? The rest of the stuff I can understand. However, to each his own.

My new Nissan came with their "premium audio system" as part of the package that happened to have all the options I wanted & none that I didn't. The audio is less flexible than I'd expected - I've had rentals, mostly Fords I think, that offer much wider EQ fine-tuning - but still delivers crisp, clear sound with reasonable depth.

It also can be set to automatically increase volume at higher speeds to compensate for road noise, & then back off the volume when you slow down. You can adjust the amount of volume increase. I'd never heard of that before I bought the car but it's a nifty feature. You might find that handy on those road trips. I don't know if after-market systems offer that.

Probably not, since it requires an internal microprocessor that can interface with other CPUs on the vehicle network. The feature relies either on an engine speed signal from the engine control module or wheel speed from the brake module. And it's a pretty standard feature. My 94 Saab had it.

#8 ghostrider

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:53 PM

Probably not, since it requires an internal microprocessor that can interface with other CPUs on the vehicle network. The feature relies either on an engine speed signal from the engine control module or wheel speed from the brake module. And it's a pretty standard feature. My 94 Saab had it.

Not having bought a car in 20 years, even air conditioning & cruise control are new to me, let alone that sort of volume modulation on the stereo! :lol:
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#9 hollywood

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:55 PM


Probably not, since it requires an internal microprocessor that can interface with other CPUs on the vehicle network. The feature relies either on an engine speed signal from the engine control module or wheel speed from the brake module. And it's a pretty standard feature. My 94 Saab had it.

Not having bought a car in 20 years, even air conditioning & cruise control are new to me, let alone that sort of volume modulation on the stereo! :lol:

Hey, you're still in business. Saab, not so much.

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#10 Eatmywords

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:26 PM

25 yrs ago I could have provided a couple recs on Benzi box radios (I remember people carrying them around everywhere until the face plates replaced them), front/rear speakers, subwoofers, equalizers and amps. No idea what they offer these days but I imagine over the years, as stock systems have improved, the market has shrunk.

You’re in southern CA, right? Aren’t those Pimp My Ride audio places on every corner?

#11 tsquare

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:58 PM

You’re in southern CA, right? Aren’t those Pimp My Ride audio places on every corner?


Bite yer tongue. He's in beeyouteefull Napa - even North of SF!

#12 Eatmywords

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:02 PM

I just ass-umed he lived closer to the beans and chilies :blink:

#13 rancho_gordo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:49 PM

I just ass-umed he lived closer to the beans and chilies :blink:


Like most of the Napa wine, they're from the nearby central valley and Lodi.

I went to one store and they seemed very busy and irritated. I left with the promise of them calling me with a quote by noon the next day.
At noon, I went to their competitors and they were delighted to work on a "virgin car", completely oversold me and now they're installing a wild system with a subwoofer for much more than I ever would have dreamed of paying, but these guys just seemed to love car stereos and I got caught up.
I'm especially happy that the receiver has an out plug plus a USB port.

Oddly, cruise control came as a standard feature, or I got it by mistake.

Thanks for all the input. My staff here is very young and they are laughing at the idea of "my music" with a subwoofer. Little shits.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#14 tsquare

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:42 AM

Thanks for all the input. My staff here is very young and they are laughing at the idea of "my music" with a subwoofer. Little shits.


Do they all drive clunkers worth less than a few hundred bucks and just plug in their I-Pods with hundreds of dollars in music on them? And plug their ears so they can't hear horns, emergency vehicles, or their passengers?

#15 rancho_gordo

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:18 AM


Thanks for all the input. My staff here is very young and they are laughing at the idea of "my music" with a subwoofer. Little shits.


Do they all drive clunkers worth less than a few hundred bucks and just plug in their I-Pods with hundreds of dollars in music on them? And plug their ears so they can't hear horns, emergency vehicles, or their passengers?


Nail on the head!

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed