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Anyone here know anything about car audio?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Joe Link, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    So before summer rolls around I'll be doing a bit of work on the audio in my 1980 International Scout 2. Pre-warning, I'm not looking for anything too amazing for this thing. It's old, it's loud, it rattles, and half the year I have to top off which probably isn't great for acoustics.

    When I bought it two years ago it had a 1980's Kenwood tape player, 1990's Kenwood speakers in the doors, and 1980's Pioneer speakers in the rear sheet metal. Last summer I found a good deal on a new Sony MEXBT2700 head unit. My only criteria was price and an AUX input , as honestly anything was an upgrade. I've actually been happy with it and I see no reason to upgrade because I don't think I'd see any real benefit for the cost.

    Having a decent head unit, next I need to replace the speakers. After looking around I decided on going with four 6.5" Polk Audio DXi650 speakers due to looks, price, great reviews, and the requirement that they had to be waterproof. There are probably better options out there but I really didn't have time to research further. Perhaps the biggest plus is the fact that these speakers look somewhat retro in their styling, so they'll fit with the rest of the interior. I'll be installing these in the same location of the existing speakers.

    When I do this install I'll be relocating the head unit from the dash to a Tuffy center console. I figure while I'm doing all this I might as well find an affordable amp , as I've heard these speakers sound much better with a bit of power going to them. I'll be mounting the amp in the Tuffy console, so space is at a premium. I need the smallest amp I can find at a reasonable price. Since I know nothing about amplifiers, I'd like to get some input from you guys. I'm looking at the models below, which all get great ratings. I'm not sure the 50Wx4 is enough power or if I should try to find something compact that can put out 75W-100W. It'd probably be difficult considering I'd like to keep this around $100-$150.

    MB Quart ONX4.80 ONYX 4-Channel Car Amplifier/Amp

    Amazon.com: Kenwood Kac-8405 720-Watt 4/3/2-Channel Amplifier with Variable LPF/HPF: Car Electronics

    Amazon.com: MRP-F300 - Alpine 4-Channel 300 Watt V-Power Series Amplifier: Car Electronics

    Lastly, do you guys have any suggestions for things I should do to make this system sound better in this old rig? Would sound deadener placed in the doors and rear quarters be worthwhile or a waste of money? If worthwhile, what's the best cost to performance deadener on the market now? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Junction City Active Member

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    I've done a couple systems in Blazers and Bronco's so I know a little about the challenge you face in those type of rigs. i.e. they are not conducive to good audio!

    The best combo I've come up with is some decent low/mid range speakers in the door panels and some higher range in the dash area or pillars. Then you've got to do a sub in the rear.

    Have you hit up the Crutchfield site? They have pretty good prices and their tech support is awesome.
     
  3. JackFrost

    JackFrost Central Oregon Active Member

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    Sound deadener works excellent if its applied properly and in the proper places. Check outhttp://www.fatmat.com/kits/fatmat/sheets.html for applications and install guides.
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am sure they still make them but dont recall what they are called. They are basically "boxes" that go in the door. They are "tubs" that fit in the stock holes (or ones you cut) for the speaker. This will give them a closer to proper space.

    Proper space will make all the difference. I have had good $$$$ systems in the past. I have a 26' enclosed trailer that I wanted sound in. I thought about adding stuff to it too but worried about power consumption. I bought a Pyle marine head unit that came a pair of 6" speaker for the whopping price of $65. It is about as cheap as you can get. Initially I did not have boxes for the speakers and it sounded horrible. When I had a chance to pick up the boxes they sound way better. It wont win any sound competitions but I am very happy with it and it does exactly what I expected it to.

    When I had my '75 Jimmy I had 4, 6x9's in boxes driven off a decent amp (dont recall what one) and a pair of 12" subs with a large amp. Even with the top off it was impressive to say the least.
     
  5. PhantomWorks

    PhantomWorks Seattle WA Active Member

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    Acoustics and cars are an oxymoron. You will never, ever get actually good sound in any car. BUT you might get decent and loud. The later is usually what people think off as good...
    Good luck and make it better than the rattling Honda next to you!
     
  6. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    Take a look at audio equipment made for "marine use"! It's the best stuff for this application!

    2cents, from a fellow Scout owner!:thumbup:
     
  7. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    ^ This!

    Marine Stereo Systems and Packages
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I have always wonder why only the cheap brands make marine lines..............
     
  9. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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  10. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Use good wire and connectors.
     
  11. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    & THAT:thumbup:
     
  12. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    get an amp that pushes more than you need. Something I learned better to be overpowered then underpowered.
     
  13. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Seriously?
    If a speaker will take 100 rms and 250 max why get an amp that does rms of 200? (for sake of argument we are speaking per channel)
    Match amp and speakers for power.

    Proper wire, soldered connections, heat shrink (for longevity) and keeping all power wires away from signal wires.

    It like running 400 whp through a stock Honda d15 tranny. Not gonna work for very long.

    Source: experience of 15 years designing quality and long lasting systems

    For what it's worth; I run in my 99 Yukon a very nice setup. Quality sound, clear, and according to the Albany police it's too loud. Over 3k watts, high output alternator, dual Optimas, 4 gauge wiring, and everything is tucked away out of sight. Hidden system.. Except 12's in the cargo space.
     
  14. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Back-fill and sound box metrics are what get the speakers to push the sound foreward and not leech it out the back of the cone into your sheet metal.

    I've done audio in classic Beetles and found that a proper box filled with cheapy fibre-fill from the craft store allows the speakers to really use their potential. Also found that a single channel speaker seems to work best in car audio. Keep your lows, mids, and highs in their own cone and you've got good sound.

    Oh yeah; Sony amps are absolute crap.