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Technical Any audiophiles on here? Car stereo install

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Nov 30, 2022.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,627


    I have been googling car audio installation stuff and it appears that books ceased to be written on the subject around 2004.

    I want to plan out the stereo system in a couple of projects, because it never fails that you end up reengineering things around the install, after the fact. I want a really decent system, so planning takes thought.

    I hate not knowing how stuff works, so I tend to over-research things. Any advice on where to get good info for a novice?

    I searched the hamb archives, but all I come up with is the little how to posts on a bluetooth receiver. That's a good start, but I am a music guy....gotta have tunes and they need to sound good.
  2. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,276

    from kansas

    I'm with ya !

    In my late teens and early 20's I would sit in a local parking lot putting stereos and tachs in people's cars on Friday and Saturday nights. Made a little extra cash that way and gave this teen age delinquent something better to do with his time.

    Alots changed in stereos since them!

  3. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 26,449

    Staff Member

  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 52,836


  5. I'm with you on the music necessities.
    It depends what you want to use it for, what you want it to look like and what you want it to sound like. Look at my builds for the panel truck and the '41 pickup, both have the same system in it with the panel having more speakers. I have a bunch of old iPods because I have about 13K songs (100gb) and buy the low end cell phone (meaning lowest gb available). So each car has it's own iPod and an iPod with speaker at home and work.

    I went with a Retosound radio because of iPod capability and what it looks like in the dash. Speaker that I spec'ed out to fit the holes (already cut from p/o) and I spec'ed out a sub to fit in a hidden place that's adjustable with a knob hidden on the dash rail.

    Basically they're a box with some circuit boards inside, the face, the knobs are all connected to the body with connectors. You can feasibly have the face and knobs in a different location then the body. There's a few different types of radios out there to choose from or you can always reto fit an original radio with circuit boards. Also you can get ones that have bluetooth to use with a phone or newer iPods.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    Roothawg likes this.
  6. All depends on what you’re looking for .

    Just sound ? Music ?

    clear crisp tones from highs to bass ?

    boom boom tripping granny bass ?

    6x9 three ways are a nice compact-ish speaker to get good bass mid and highs wired through an amp they work great

    component speakers a 2 way with a separate tweeter can be hidden easily as they are small

    8”-10” subs can pack a nice thump and don’t take up a lotta space

    head units can be anything from a Mcintosh head unit $$$$$exy and great sound ,

    to a retro sound

    hidden unit etc .

    really it’s entirely up to what you want then tailor the system to your intended sound and look .
  7. I have been hoarding some Polk Audio Teardrop tweeters for THIRTY YEARS waiting for the right project. The GMC get em. For tweeters placement is crucial. There are some modern all around speakers that will get you your mids and Bass. My goal is to NOT chop up the interior tin. Lavin and I already stream via bluetooth so a good head unit it the glovebox will work. We don't hardley play our CDs at home anymore, just spin vinyl or stream on the TV
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    oliver westlund and Elcohaulic like this.
  8. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,627


    I have 2 -8" subs behind the back seat of the 55. It's a sealed box. It basically takes the place of the cardboard that was back there, right behind the package tray bracing. It's about the size of the shelf behind the seat. That's as far as I got with that one..

    The 56 F100 will probably get an under seat combo sub and amp. The cab is small, so it won't take much. I just wanted to find something on the theory of designing a system. Then I could do the layout to try and maximize the sound in a cramped space. I won't have a head unit, more than likely. I'll use my phone as the controller and volume and run it through an amp. It's when I get into multiple amps is when I get lost.
    Tman likes this.
  9. What is funny is that those of us with Ipods are considered as out of date as cassettes!
  10. I htink @Ryan did the best post on that setup a few years back? Maybe he will chime in?
  11. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,627


    That part I have figured out. I'm more interested in speaker ohms, daisy chaining amps etc.
    Tman likes this.
  12. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,996


    Audiophiles?o_O Before I really thought about where you might be going with this, I was remembering tonguing some old gal's ears one night but I never took it any further than that. There are some things that are too kinky even for me. ;)
  13. Never say never.....
    BJR and alanp561 like this.
  14. I recently as in last few years started collecting the Classic units 130g and above just for that fact. The fact is streaming is still only setup for the masses and a lot of the stuff I listen to or watch isn't on any platform. I've refurbished one iPod to a sd and have another waiting for an upgrade and battery.

    2 8" is a lot of punch. I used an 8" powered underseat Kicker on both. Wiring though 2 amps isn't bad, but it's a small cab. Unless you're going for show or listen to something with hardcore bass an underseat should be fine. The hardest part about any stereo install for me is to make it look good (and appropriate) and hide everything.

    Check these out (don't want to embed as this is branching into o/t territory). Damn it does it automatically, SORRY mods:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    Tman and Roothawg like this.
  15. 6x9’s three wars or a 4 1/4” or 5 1/4” three way is a great way to get a good sound in a compact setup

    Amps are easy .

    use to to power up your subs , what is the ohms and wattage of your speakers ? There is a formula

    a 2 channel amp bridged will give you some nice “ OOMppphhh”

    and a 4 channel for your “ sound speakers “

    no need to daisy chain or anything stupid .

    Going into the amp
    trigger ( ignition switched power)
    Power ( constant 12v)

    and speaker wires out .

    I have never liked wiring speakers to a head unit , I’ve always used amps . Easier and cleaner .

    If you can find older stuff from the 80’s snd 90’s your miles ahead

    Sound stream
    Rockford fosgate
    Nachsmichi from the 80’s

    All top names from back in the day , mosfet power and can take a beating , sound , heat and vibration compared to the newer stuff out there .
    Roothawg likes this.
  16. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,627


    See, that's what I am talking about.....I don't know what a bridged amp is . That's what I need to bone up on, the basics.
    210superair likes this.
  17. Roothawg, 210superair and VANDENPLAS like this.

  18. On a 2 channel amp you take the positive from one Chanel and the negative from another channel so doubling your output and making the amp mono .

    hence BOOM BOOM BOOM let’s go back to my room so we can do it all .,…… …….. WOOOOOOOO !!!!!

    I don’t know where you guys are from from car sound systems have gone the way of the do-do up here . No one does it anymore and it’s also hard to find people selling new components .

    80’s snd 90’s everyone had a sound system .
    Roothawg, 210superair and 1oldtimer like this.
  19. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,627


    I went and visited one of the local audio shops and they are helpful as long as you are buying.
    I just don't like the idea of dropping off a hot rod at anyone else's shop. I was looking at some of the install routing etc. and the QC Inspector spidey senses went up. It might get the job done, but it looks like butt.
    Tman likes this.
  20. Don’t have a shop install your system , I have seen way too many fires and damaged components.

    Extension cords
    Masking tape
    Shitty splices and connectors
    Etc etc

    much better off doing it yourself and it’s not difficult at all .
    NoSurf, Roothawg and 1oldtimer like this.
  21. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 3,307


    Keep it super simple. One of these which crank out a great sound. That and a 12v USB feed to it and your phone and you are done. If you have a removeable mount for it you can pull it out and any time and put it on the picnic table etc and not have any power drain on your car.

  22. Lot of talk about playback hardware.

    What is the input source? AM, FM, cassette, mp3, C/D?
    Note, most of these are nontraditional and even more are considered obsolete by many.

    It will determine what head unit will play your tunes.
    Roothawg likes this.
  23. Those work killer! We have a couple
    Roothawg likes this.
  24. LongT
    Joined: May 11, 2005
    Posts: 967


    My brother had one in his '56 Chevy conv that held somewhere around 6-10 records. It was chrome. Worked ok if I remeber.
    Roothawg likes this.

  25. Hopping up vintage Ipods is just a modern form of hot rodding! I have one that needs a new battery.
    Roothawg and 1oldtimer like this.
  26. I can't like this quote enough. Why pay someone else to fuck up your car when you can fuck it up yourself :)....meaning you won't be pleased with the shops outcome.

    I tried this on my girls Studebaker, it had sound coming out that you could hear just fine. But I like music almost as much as I like cars.......same reason I can't stand ear buds.
    Ford52PU, Algoma56, Roothawg and 2 others like this.
  27. Might hop up the second one as I can't work on anything else car related right now. My mom had surgery and I'm living here for a few months.
    Tman and Roothawg like this.
  28. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 26,449

    Staff Member

    Man, all that modern shit is for the birds... put a Reverb in it


    reverb.jpg reverbinst.jpg
  29. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 1,106

    Joe Blow

    If you're using an Ipod (or similar), I used this hard wire system a couple of cars back. Have all my music on a couple of old large capacity Ipods. I used higher end components and it sounded great, not sure if audiophile quality tho. The PAC LC-1 Remote Amplifier Level Controller is still available from Amazon for 9 bucks.
  30. Roothawg likes this.

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