Author Topic: Any car stereo afficianados here?  (Read 7495 times)

Offline gymrat

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
  • Ralph's Brewery
    • View Profile
Any car stereo afficianados here?
« on: June 12, 2012, 07:41:43 AM »
I just got a good deal on an hellaciously well taken care of old Buick. Biggest downside to it is it has a cassette deck. I could almost live with that but the cassette player doesn't work. So I am looking at aftermarket systems. I want just a nice radio with a CD player and a USB port to play MP3s off of thumb drives.

The local auto audio dealer showed me this one
http://mobile.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL029041&pathId=54&page=2

Back in my day JVC was an excellent name in stereo systems, right up there with Bose, but I have been out of the loop on stereo systems since the late 70s.

For what I want a 50 watt system would be fine. Does it even make a difference what I get for an entry level system like this?
Ralph's Brewery
Topeka, KS

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3077
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 07:59:14 AM »
For what I want a 50 watt system would be fine. Does it even make a difference what I get for an entry level system like this?

I don't think so.  Even today's basic decks play MP3s and typically have an input for a usb or iPhone.

You can go crazy and spend huge dollars, but in the $150 price range I don't think there's much significant variation.

The nice thing is, an old Buick should be pretty easy to work on.

What I would look at with one of these decks (if you're looking to have Bluetooth) is how the well external mic works (I assume it has an external mic).  I put a Parrot bluetooth in my wife's Jeep and the mic placement was very important.

If the mic pick-up is bad, the bluetooth becomes useless.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2444
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 08:03:02 AM »
Wait... you can put a new stereo in your car?

Oh that's right, you live where they don't serve as a notice saying "please break into my car!" :)
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2031
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 08:15:19 AM »
Wait... you can put a new stereo in your car?

Oh that's right, you live where they don't serve as a notice saying "please break into my car!" :)

You can put a new stereo in your car too Drew.  You just have to install it it the glove box and leave the hole in the dash with wires hanging out so it looks like they've already broken into your car.   8)

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2031
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 08:18:06 AM »
Back on topic (at least a little bit).  I'm interested in any advice on this topic too.  When I bought my truck, 10 years ago, my SWMBO agreed to let me put in an after market stereo.  I've never gotten around to it and maybe this will be the year (hope springs eternal and all).  8^)

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3077
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 08:30:00 AM »
I can't tell you much about current products out there, but you can do a lot of research on Crutchfield.

I've wired in plenty of stereos over the years, and it's not that difficult if you have a multi-meter and some sense of what you are doing.

The nice thing about car stereos these days is that you can get an aftermarket harness that should allow you to use the factory wiring harness from you factory stereo.  This limits the amount of cutting and splicing you need to do, which is nice.

Plus, since you can get a load of features on a single DIN deck, there appears to no longer be a need for wiring in a CD changer in the trunk.  So you don't have to tear up carpeting to run a cable back there.  Unless, of course, you want to fill the trunk with amplifiers and subwoofers.  In which case I cannot help you.

If you're changing your deck, you really should change the speakers.  Replacing door speakers can be a PITA if you have to pull the whole door panel.  If you decide to do this, and you want to go crazy, you can also get insulating material to put inside the door that helps with the acoustics.

You can also just have Best Buy or somewhere else install the stereo for you, but what's the fun in that?  FWIW, I initially paid to have them install the bluetooth in my wife's Jeep.  They could not make it work and the tech really did not seem too knowledgeable.  I got a full refund and did it myself.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13970
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 10:35:48 AM »
right up there with Bose

In the pro audio world, we have a saying...

No highs, no lows
The sound blows
Must be Bose
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline gymrat

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
  • Ralph's Brewery
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 10:42:35 AM »
dbeechum These new stereos have removable face plates that make a good theft deterrent.

As far as wiring it in, ehow.com says on this particular vehicle I would have to take some of the dash apart. I would prefer to leave that to the pros. I won't let stock clerks at Best Buy mess with it either. I am going to take my car to an Auto audio shop.
Ralph's Brewery
Topeka, KS

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2444
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 11:48:48 AM »
Oh yeah, but as someone was kind enough to remind me yesterday by rifling through my car sitting in my driveway (cause I was an idiot and left the doors unlocked) - you have to remember to remove those things!
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 12:01:12 PM »
Oh yeah, but as someone was kind enough to remind me yesterday by rifling through my car sitting in my driveway (cause I was an idiot and left the doors unlocked) - you have to remember to remove those things!

Why I made the decision to buy a house with a two-car garage!

Streaming off my phone is nice and easy with a jack to the car-stereo but I'd rather use bluetooth. In fact that would be a "must-have" in my decision.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 12:05:06 PM »
+1 on Crutchfield.  Easy way to get the proper installation kit and their prices are competitive.

-Sent from the future.

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3077
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 01:11:01 PM »
dbeechum These new stereos have removable face plates that make a good theft deterrent.

As far as wiring it in, ehow.com says on this particular vehicle I would have to take some of the dash apart. I would prefer to leave that to the pros. I won't let stock clerks at Best Buy mess with it either. I am going to take my car to an Auto audio shop.

Be not afraid!!

I had my wife's entire dash in her back seat.  A couple times.

But for me, that's kind of fun.
right up there with Bose

In the pro audio world, we have a saying...

No highs, no lows
The sound blows
Must be Bose

I've heard that before.  Never bought any Bose.  But back in the day Blaupunkt was something.  Dunno if they still exist.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline loopy

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 286
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 05:05:12 PM »
slowbrew/gymrat - I have done stereo equipment for my own vehicles since the mid 90's.  Never in a professional fashion, but done enough that I am familiar with the components and the gotchas you should look out for.  You have gotten some good advice here. 

Crutchfield has a database of literally every car made and what fits where.  as in what size speakers for the front doors, dash, kickpanels, rear seats, back deck, etc.  As in what stereo receiver fits in the opening, and what wiring adapters you will need to connect them and what mounting kit you will need to convert the original oem stereo into a single DIN opening for your radio.  A bunch of people will tell you to go to them for research and then go find the product numbers somewhere else and get it cheaper.  For some folks, maybe ok, but for the do it yourselfer who is not 100% sure what to do, order from them and call the 1-800 number for customer support and they will help you overcome any installation issues you encounter in doing so.  As long as you stick to the "what fits my car" in their system, they will support you in installing it. 

Since you said JVC, I would say .. yikes.  Really, decent stereo equipment is cheap these days, there is no need to go bottom of the barrel for a new stereo. 

Since you have factory speakers, I doubt 50 watts is what you want anyway, more likely 20 watts RMS unless you intend to upgrade those.  I would, but I would not go overboard, maybe some nice 30-40 dollar alpines in the 40 watt range.  You do not need huge watt numbers to produce good sound.  You need a receiver matched with speakers that work well together. 

Give us the model and year of your vehicle and perhaps a target budget and I'm sure myself and or others can help dream up a list of things for you to consider.  Slowbrew - you too. 

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3077
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 07:53:14 AM »
A bunch of people will tell you to go to them for research and then go find the product numbers somewhere else and get it cheaper.  For some folks, maybe ok, but for the do it yourselfer who is not 100% sure what to do, order from them and call the 1-800 number for customer support and they will help you overcome any installation issues you encounter in doing so.  As long as you stick to the "what fits my car" in their system, they will support you in installing it.

I second this.  Their support is great and their people seem to be well informed.

Also, their return policy is pretty good.

I've found their prices to be pretty competitive.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2031
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Any car stereo afficianados here?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 08:17:50 AM »
Give us the model and year of your vehicle and perhaps a target budget and I'm sure myself and or others can help dream up a list of things for you to consider.  Slowbrew - you too.

Thanks for the info.  I'm along for the ride on this one.  I have no plans at this time to upgrade my truck because I start putting 4 kids through college (over the course of 10 years) this fall so it's interesting but not likely right now.  8^)

Paul

Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?