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New to Car Audio, best way to spend 800?

Old 12-14-2008, 03:16 AM
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New to Car Audio, best way to spend 800?

Hey everyone...

I just signed up for this forum because it looks pretty promising, and i need some advice on how to make the best of a small budget to improve my sound as much as possible. i have a 2008.5 mazda 3 and it came with a bose system i'm obviously not satisfied with, so i'd like as much improvement as possible with my budget.

there are a few things i'd like to stick to though, unless thoroughly convinced otherwise.

1) i'd like to keep the stock head unit... since it's already an upgraded system from stock, it should have ample power for door speakers, right?

2) i don't want to screw up the doors on my new car, i'd probably want professional installation and that's where audio shop recommendations would be very much welcome.

3) i'm not a basshead, nor do i want to add an amp and subwoofer yet, because i use my trunk a lot, esp. since i fold down the rear seats to put say.. a bike in there.

so from those, you can tell i'm pretty much just looking for new speakers and an install. i do believe that the head unit puts out good sound quality already, and for 800 i think i only barely have enough money to pay for two pairs of half-decent speakers and install.

they are 6.5" all around (double checked with flashlight, lol), and i'm mainly looking for clarity and balance, although i very much love bass being only 19. i don't really blast my music but i do turn it up to a good volume, about 60-70%.

i've been to best buy to look at their speakers (the best 6.5"ers there were jbls costing 230 a pair, and only 45 a pair to install).. but they sound too bright and lacking in bass.

then i went to the auto sound design shop at highway 7 & old kennedy rd. in markham, and i got a quote from there for vr650csi fronts for 400, vr650cxi
rears for 200, and a whopping 200 for labour. i also asked about water in the doors, and they recommended speaker "hats" (?) for 30 a pair.. and reading about dynamats, they said it'd be 50 a door? or 50 a pair of doors for sound deadening.

i really have no idea what i should do for the best improvement in overall sound... should i get a new deck, 4 channel amp and much cheaper speakers? should i get my doors sound deadened and get cheapish speakers? or should i simply get two pairs of the best speakers i can afford?

if you guys need any further information from me, just feel free to ask
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:24 AM
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If I were you i'd save for a amp, just running off that deck isn't going to make a huge difference in sound quality off deck power. With nice amps like a pioneer or eclipse ICE d class series that are really small you can throw one under the front seats and run 4 speakers off it np. In a new car I don't think you'd have to worry about water in the door unless you plan on mud bogging in this thing :P. $200 install for 4 speakers in factory location probobly using the factory wire is a joke(bad deal). if you amplify the speakers then sound deadning could be useful, without a amp I wouldn't bother.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:06 AM
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Cream soda,

I would upgrade your speakers first as this is where you'll actually hear the difference first. Audition a few brands for yourself with your own music and decide for yourself as you seem to know what type of sound you're looking for. Second, I would purchase a decent 4-ch amp to add some SQ to your setup. No Dynamat. Keep in mind that most of your $800 budget will come from install and cables (amp install). You can always add a small sub + amp later on.

FYI, I hate to semi-hack this thread but I'm currently selling an MTX 4ch amp that will work perfectly with your budget (cheap but quality amp) and future setup . . . I also live in Markham. I just removed my entire system from my Civic. Check out the Classifieds for some of my deals or send me an e-mail at [email protected] if you're interested.

Last edited by RemotelyTurnedOn; 12-14-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:50 AM
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You should build the system over time. Definitely go to a new head unit. Then look at a great set of front speakers (preferably component), a basic but good set of rear speakers (front and rear are 6.75") and a 4 channel amplifier to power them. The amplifier is going to bring the speakers to life. Do not look for tons of bass response in the system until you add the subwoofer. An option here is to forgo the rear speakers for now and use the amp to power the front speakers and a sub, then later expand to a sub and mono amp, rewiring the 4 channel amp to the rear speakers from it's previous sub duties.

I just quoted on a highly similar system to this the other day. I have posted some stellar deals in the vendor sales section, I encourage you to have a look there. Look to the MB Quart Premium speakers for sure, even their 4 channel amplifier.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:59 AM
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Amplification is a must. Go back to Best Buy and listen to any pair of speakers with and without amplification. Once you hear the difference you'll be convinced that you need an amp. Make sure they have the amp HPF set properly. Sometimes they set the cross-over rather high since they don't want to keep changing amp settings for when they go from a 4" speaker to a 6.5" speaker. Ask them to turn the filter off. Then you'll get fuller bass production from the speaker.
I wonder if you can give us more info on the stock Bose system. I'm curious what the power handling for your stock speakers is. You might just get away with a 4 channel amp powering the speakers, assuming they can handle the new power.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:03 PM
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The stock speakers are a smelly POS. Anything that has the word "BOSE" on it needs to be handled as if it were hazardous waste. $800 can get you a darn fine cd player, top of the line MB Quart 6.75" component speakers and a amp to power them (if you want to use a amp to bring them to life that is) or take out the amp and go for rear speakers. (which you should do anyways to get rid of that BLOWS merde that is in the car now.

PS, wear protective clothing when handling hazardous waste and place into secure container so it cannot make a break for freedom. (or to keep when you get rid of the car to put back in for the next unsuspecting person to use.....)
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:21 PM
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thanks for all your help guys... sounds like i should get at least a half decent 4 channel amp before budgeting for speakers.

do different speakers manufactures sound different? i've noticed that speakers or headphones from the same manufacturers i.e. jbl, hardon, sony... generally sound more or less the same... i can't really describe it except by the feel like they're from their same respective families.

so what do you guys recommend... i've heard about the canadian company kaption, jl audio (which i've been told is king?), infinity, and MB Quart? what do you guys think of alpine? i've tried the top alpines from best buy... 175 dollar type r's? they didn't really sound any better than the speakers i currently have.

i have no clue, should i just pick whatever is from a trusted brand that is in my budget, simply based on availability from the shop? i'm planning on giving audio heaven a visit.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:42 AM
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When I hit the store in the morning I will throw a quote together for you. Now is a ideal time to pick up on some deals. The MB Quart component speakers have a normal retail around the $700 mark, on sale now for $300.00. JL Audio does indeed make good products but when the CDN distributor that we dealers are forced to deal with makes more $ on it than the retailer does (in many cases), I personally do not see how it is my best interest or my customers best interest to deal with them. A side note to this is that again JL Audio does indeed make some great equipment and if it is the right equipment for the application then sure by all means go for it.

Do not buy something just based on availability, if that were the case then the commission sales guy would always sell you what he makes the most money on and not what is best for your application. When I create some estimates it is done looking at a number of factors, the most important is the application. If it is not right, why bother looking at it. I start with the deals first as it allows the customer to get a level of system that perhaps they could not have achieved normally. If it takes it up a notch and meets the application then it is always a good thing. MSN me tomorrow if you like, [email protected] and we can discuss further questions to help you zero in on what it is you are going to look for.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:43 AM
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I can't stress enough to make sure that the HPF filter settings on the amp are set properly for the 6.5's when you're back in BestBuy (or where ever you end up going) I've been to two places, one being FutureShop, where the amps on the sound board have the HPF set high for when they switch over to the 4" speakers. Then when you're listening to potential 6.5" sets, they're not producing their normal range for this very reason. Have the 'help' set the filters properly for what you're listening to.

$175 for Type R's? Co-axial, or Component? The 6.5" Type-R Comp set at my local FM Audio were $320. Compared to the JL Audio C5, at $550, they weren't that bad in my opinion. The JL's were running off a JL amp that couldn't have the High-Pass by-passed. Not that you'd be sending such low frequencies to those speakers, but its good to hear how well they can handle the low frequencies, in my opinion.

I wonder why you're having a hard time distinguishing varying speakers ability to reproduce sound. Some sound 'full'. And some sound 'bright'. Some sound 'clear', or 'muddy'. There are a lot of words thrown around to try and convey how certain speakers sound...
Just pick the ones that sound best to you.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:59 AM
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Diamond Audio's?

i love my set, and if you look at the D6 models, they're beuatiful
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