For you Audiophiles: New Stereo & Speakers? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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For you Audiophiles: New Stereo & Speakers?

Any opinions on the following combo?

New Kenwood stereo/head unit:
Kenwood KDC-BT858U CD receiver at Crutchfield.com



New Polk Audio front 3.5" speakers (in original center dash position in custom bracket for two speakers):
Polk Audio db351 3-1/2" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield.com



New Polk Audio rear 6x9 speakers (in existing 6x9 cutouts in trap door):
Polk Audio DXi691 6"x9" 3-way car speakers at Crutchfield.com



Lots of opinions here on kick panel speakers, removing rear-fill sound, adding door speakers, adding amps and subs, etc., none of which I am going to do. Just looking for an OK setup with a classy looking CD/Bluetooth head unit with better-than-cheapo speakers to use in my existing speaker locations.

Any opinions, good or bad, on the above setup are welcome.

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Old 03-09-2016, 05:55 PM
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Read the reviews at Cnet and Amazon.

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Old 03-09-2016, 06:46 PM
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The head unit looks out of place. I like the Retrosound but it doesn't have CD player if that's something you want included.

I like Polk and Infinity speakers.

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302, C4, P/S, P/B, A/C, FiTech EFI
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:51 PM
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I got most of my equipment from NewEgg. They bear Crutchfield on every price I checked.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:57 PM
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The Retrosound unit would look better, "classy", and still provides all the modern amenities. If your are running 3.5's in the front, just go with two way units for the rear. Two way speakers perform better than three way and three way are not needed when using front fill, especially if you are just powering them off the head unit.

You are close enough to DTLA to take advantage of the electronics district. Go see Junior at A&K electronics on 11th street. He knows his stuff and will get you the speakers you need at the right price. He will recommend an amplifier to make it sound better, but just let him know what you want to do. If you don't want to go with a Retrosound, just get everything from him.

Disclaimer; I do not own anything associated with the above mentioned establishment. I just know what the prices are for equipment before I go downtown and have dealt with a few shops on that street, but the last couple of times there I have found that that guy knows what is good for the vehicle you are using and gives a fair price.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:58 PM
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1) That equipment will be completely lost on our cars regarding sound quality. I went down the same road with a full Alpine "R" system and really enjoy the BlueTooth and memory /disc options, but there are a lot less expensive head units that have those options. But between the exhaust and poor sound deadening (Yes I lined the majority of my panels too) just overwhelm the soundstage that this gear tries to replicate.
2) The placement of speakers (at least stock locations) will not benefit from that level of equipment.
3) As others have said, Ebay and Amazon offer much better pricing than Crutchfield.

I don't want to sound like a naysayer, I'm just trying to relay my experience. If I had it to do over I'd save the extra $500 and buy a lower quality sytem and use the extra $$ somewhere else.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:12 PM
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Good statement of facts by @Wsmatau. I put decent speakers and an amp in my '66 hardtop using a Retrosound Model 2. Then went a got a $99 dollar Kenwood with all the latest tech and some basic 3-way in the back deck & front doors for my beater four door sedan. The sound in the beater was better than the Mustang, so I replaced the decent speakers with quality speakers and better amp for the '66, now it's not embarrassing if I have the sound turned up where others can here it and it sounds far better than the sedan.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:29 PM
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Crutchfield is more expensive but their service is great if anything goes wrong with your item. One of the control arm on the Retrosound I purchased broke and I called them up. They sent me a whole new unit and gave me 60 days to return the damaged unit. Although I only needed one of the arm, the other one was wired incorrectly so I was able t use both arms from the complete unit they sent me and returned the replacement unit with 2 defective arms.

Bought my second unit from JEGS

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Old 03-09-2016, 08:36 PM
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I'm running Infinity 6x9s and a pair of Kicker tweeters in the package tray, a pair of 5.25" in the kick panels and another pair of Kicker tweeters in the dash speaker area. It's all powered by a pair of Kicker amps, a 10" Kicker sub in the trunk and a decent pioneer head unit. A lot of system but has an incredible sound
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:33 PM
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If you are running without a sub, you really need to add a small 4 channel amp to output anything worth the effort and money you are going to spend in these old cars. Headunit amps (It doesn't matter what brand or model or price) put out very little actual clean power across the entire frequency range, are usually rated at 1k hz (where humans hear best = artificially inflated) and push a ton of distortion at anything but stop light listening levels in a stock 6cyl car.

Research the features that are must haves for your headunit in quality brands (IE don't buy Boss or some other off the wall brand), read some reviews and then pricematch to Crutchfield. They are very proud of what they sell is all I will say.

I am too many years out of touch to tell you the best bargain options currently, but some things are tried and true for the most part like Alpine, Focal, some Sony, a fair amount of Kenwood and Pioneer, and if you like highs, Infinity is a great way to go. Polk usually offers some quality speaker sets above their bottom baseline stuff as well. I recommend going to hear them on a sound board at an actual car stereo shop, using music that you are familiar with (IE bring a CD you love) and make sure that everything is turned off, or of the appropriate power. Meaning if you don't want an amp, don't listen to speakers with an added amp, insist you listen to them through the headunit only. Or if you are adding a small amp, don't listen to a set with 150w RMS through it when you are buying 50w RMS. MANY speakers sound really great with some clean power, and a large portion of those will sound like crap through just a HU. I won't dive in to the details. Just be sure to audition what you are planning to run with familiar material (IE you know what the vocals or guitars or bass SHOULD sound like).

If you were further north I would help you out myself.

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Old 03-10-2016, 12:35 AM
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Polk speakers aren't bad at all. I went with kicker component speakers in the rear, modifying to install 3 6x9's. As for deck, I
Love kenwoods, but planning to go retrosound model 2. You can hook up a 4 channel and a sub amp and has Bluetooth connectivity. I usually get my music from my phone anyway.

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Old 03-10-2016, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wsmatau View Post
1)
I don't want to sound like a naysayer, I'm just trying to relay my experience. If I had it to do over I'd save the extra $500 and buy a lower quality sytem and use the extra $$ somewhere else.
Uh, that's hardly a high-end system, it looks like the total is $450-500 ??

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Old 03-10-2016, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wsmatau View Post
1) I went down the same road with a full Alpine "R" system
Can you get a bit less descriptive? Alpine R covers quite a bit of equipment.

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Old 03-10-2016, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpm View Post
Can you get a bit less descriptive? Alpine R covers quite a bit of equipment.
Sorry if it didn't satisfy your curiosity, because it doesn't really help the OP, but my system is similar. Here are the specifics:

Pioneer DEH-80PRS
Alpine PDX-F4
Alpine SPR-69
Alpine SPR-60 (coax)


Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen_wilson View Post
Uh, that's hardly a high-end system, it looks like the total is $450-500 ??
No, not at all compared to some of what is available, but certainly an upgrade over the stock system or what you find in the vast majority of musclecars. If I really want Audiophile quality, I just stay home. Dumping huge amounts of money in a car stereo is just asinine if you really want excellent sound.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:05 PM
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I am a bit of a weirdo I guess when it comes to stereos in these cars. I like them to be heard more than seen. I absolutely hate getting in to a classic car and having a modern head unit glaring back at me. I am in the process of completely redoing my system but what I used originally was this.



It's called a KOS-a300 and basically its an interface that controls the media from your phone. Since honestly I really only listen to Pandora and stuff on my phone anyways. But the main reason it that you can put the small screen just about anywhere and make it hidden. Same with the controller. I then just ran it all to an amp. Honestly if I was not on an Android phone I would still be using it. Works freaking great! But, doesn't play well with Android.

My new system will be using a Parrot asteroid mini also running straight to my amp. This one will allow me to run apps like WAZE and has a better graphic interface. But still the same concept, hard wired remote and a display screen that is easy to make disappear.


Rorin, if you are interested I have no need for the KOS any longer. Like I said, it works great it just doesn't play well with Android phones and I didn't know that when I got it. I also have the optional bluetooth box that allows you to stream music and make calls through your phone hands free. If you want since we are both in LA. I will cut you a deal on the both of them. Otherwise I will just hold on to it as a backup or for some other weird project I do. I'd let em' both go for $100.

Then all you would need is an amp and some speakers and you would end up with a much nicer sounding system that you can customize to fit your interior better.


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