Audio equipment and cars...enthusiast thread...

Something I've noticed; A lot of the folks that love audio also love cars...I simply think it's an enthusiast gene...anyone care to share their thoughts? I have a Paradigm setup....and an M3.
The blue-book of my system is about double of what the blue-book of my car is. I never listen to music in the car and i use my system much more then i use the car. If i had to do without one, i would keep my system, put i couldn't because the car is a need to have like paying taxes is a need to do.
It's a guy thing. I'm fascinated by all things electronic or mechanical that are feats of engineering. I have a Nikon D70 and a 1911 government model .45 automatic which has had a LOT of custom work and sports a hard chrome matte finish and rosewood grips. It is a pleasure to look at and to shoot. I also reload my own ammo. Keith Black hemis that produce 7000-8000 HP and propel dragsters to 300+ MPH in the quarter mile also fascinate me. It's all boy toys. The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Wish I had a lot of money.
I'm the proud owner of a few cars I like. Currently:

1988 BMW M6
1994 BMW 740i
2003 Mercury Marauder

LOL, and my daily driver: '95 Ford Taurus.


Paul :-)
1999 Honda CRV, where are all the boat owners? Rockport 36 fast trawler to be commisioned next month!
harleys are my other passion,the three that i currently own are a 1977 hard tail shovelhead & a 1993 fatboy custom that i use for touring,the third i just bought & its a 1974 sportster.

im going to turn the sportster into a chopper,im going next weekend to pick up the girder front end for it from a guy i know that builds custom harleys.

i never really thought about comparing costs between the two hobbies but the cost of motor cycles can easily get just as out of hand as hifi.

i cant wait for all this ugly nasty snow to melt so i can get the bikes out,im seriously thinking about relocating to atlanta where i can ride year round.

great thread btw,this thread is the reason i cant buy into the whole WAF deal,this kinda stuff is what men do weather its guns,planes,hifi or motor cycles most men i know are intrigued with all sorts of dangerous stuff.

i have a neighbor who's hobby is his front lawn & caring for it,seems like a real bummer of a hobby to me but it must make him happy,maybee if he put a 120 cubic inch v twin motor on his snapper rider i could relate.

I have found this hobby goes hand and hand with High Performance cars and motorcycles. I have a Cary and Sonus Faber set up in my basement listening room with my precious 2002 Audi S4 in the garage.

Tweaks/ Performance Tuning on my S4 include:
Full SuperSprint Stainless Steel Race System Exhaust.
Stratmosphere Diverter-Valves
Custom Mapped AutoThority Performance Software (1Bar Boost)
K&N Filter in OEM Airbox

The Result: 320 Horsepower with 358ft Pounds of Torque put to the ground through Audi's Quattro Platform!

The car is a pure joy to drive and pulls like a freight train to triple digit speeds with ease..


Ah,... I am a typical Saab driver, 2000 9-3 Viggen, comes only with a stick, of course. It's a very practical car, yet it'll beat the pants off any of those fancy-pancy BMW's
Soundwise, it's an all-Kavent set-up(pre-, monos, cdp) and Soliloquy's 5.3 i's.
Chris - S4's are nice cars. I like the older 2.7T's a bit more than the B6. Some of the M3 owners I know are about to defect to Audi when the RS4 hits.
I love to tinker with mys stereo and I'm also looking to buy a 1960 Comet to restore. As far as I'm concerned what you say is true

I have a '96 M3 which I love to death. The stereo in it blows, but it doesn't bother me much.
I really love my silver Porsche 996 Carrera.
Added a B&M short shift kit, new silver interior parts, white guages, an Alpine stereo with a 1000watt Alpine sub amp + 540watt Alpine amp for the Diamond Audio speakers.
Can't figure out which hobby is more expensive or addictive!
I have a son in college. My daughter will be in college next year. I have two more daughters coming up. So it is either a nice car or or a nice stereo system. After all, a car can only take me to limited places. When I relax in my comfortable chair listening to good sounds I can go anywhere.
My favorite car is the Pontiac 1967 GTO. It brings back alot of memories. Maybe some day I'll own one. I did own a 1979 Nissan 280zx from 1979-1984. What I do own now is a Sig saucer P228 pistol, that I had cusotmized...fitted match barrel, trigger and dependability job by Novaks, tritium night sights, laser, Black T finish, and Mitch Rosen custom holster.
Currently enjoying the hell out of my 2004 Mustang GT. Black with the 40th anniversary package with arizona beige racing stripes.

Got a custom 3in xpipe installed with straight-pipe setup(no mufflers) and 3.5in chrome exhaust tips and a K&N cold air intake setup.

Damn that car sounds awesome. V8's and above should never have mufflers. I love way it sounds.

Actually, this car has recently stolen my attention from my audio hobby. I have new tail lights on order, and several small interior dressup items along with a black 8 inch attena to replace the sail-mast currently on the car. Next saturday i have an appointment to get my windows tinted.

Future upgrades include a new plentum and throttle body, a diablo chip tuner so i can tune my shift points and engine performance. I also plan to order a set of lowering springs and drop the stang about 1.25inches and get the Mach 1 chin spoiler. Then i plan to remove the current stripes and get either Beige or Ferarri-yellow 10inch wide shelby rally stripes painted on it from the bottom of the front bumber, over the hood, over the roof, over the trunk, down the trunk, and down the rear bumper. My current stripes only cover the hood and top of the trunk.

The biggest problem is the possibility of voiding my warranty, so all the real fun stuff i gotta stay away from. Like superchargers, gears, cams, headers, nitrous...... :)

And seeing as how it is a Ford, that warranty is damn important.

Hell, i only have 5k miles on it and my rear main oil seal started leaking. To fix it they had to remove the tranny and then charged me to cut out a segment of my exhaust (it is all welded together as 1 piece) cause my exhaust is no longer covered by warranty. There was a waste of 160 bucks. ROFL! I love american muscle cars.
Mustang GT is a nice car. $160 is about an oil change for me....sobering huh. Definitely cuts into my audio cash.

Yes, I am eyeing the RS4 myself. I have really enjoyed my S4 and love shocking unsuspecting boy racers as I pull away with ease. The car is really a sleeper if you are not familiar with the potential the car offers.


Mustangs are great fun! I had a 93 LX with H-Pipes, suspension, 355 gears, and a Flowmaster Exhaust System. That car just sounded mean! I loved that car but I drove it a little too hard for its liking.
We then parted ways and I have been a german car junky ever since. I think everyone should own a muscle car at some point. Keep that warranty my friend. They come in handy..



I drive a Segway Human Transporter.
Goes about 8 miles on a 10 cent charge. Zero maintenence, no pollution, no sounds, no traffic and no parking problems.
The most fun you can have standing up!
So how's Dean Kamen doing these days? Segway was a bit of a Anyway, shall I assume that your amp is battery powered as well....Rowland??
for me, i just like classic designs - from electronics, to furniture, kitchen cabinets & appliances, lamps, clothing, and ofcourse, automobiles (although i have yet to learn how to drive...)

i am an engineer/designer wannabe, but too lazy and talentless to be one. so i am literally paying for it (not being an engineer/designer).

i am also just a dreamer who wishes his investments in options will sky rocket someday so i can buy all the great designs of the world.

audiogon, audio asylum, and audio circle are like therapy for me. thank god for them!

Elgordo, You said....

I have a Nikon D70 and a 1911 government model .45 automatic which has had a LOT of custom work and sports a hard chrome matte finish and rosewood grips. It is a pleasure to look at and to shoot.

I can relate.

I have A Nikon F5 and a D1X, plus two Custom Colt Officers 1911's. One custom built by Wilson and one by Carter (about 3K each).

I also love cars, when I was young I raced big block GM stuff (late 1960's), later graduated to Porsche and when I got married and I had to be "responsible, moving into turbo Volvos with approved "hot" after market packages.

Currently I drive a GMC Yukon. It's the appropriate vehicle to haul all my photo gear and keeps me from harm from the crazy drivers where I live.

Still, I look at it and realize I’m becoming too "mature."
ahh, uhurit, my "fancy pants" M3 will eat your Viggen as a light snack. Enjoy your ride without insulting others, especially when your claims are laughable.

As far as the original thread topic, I simply appreciate elegant mechanical engineering and beauty. To design something of beauty is one thing...but to couple that with high function & performance is an achievement indeed!
I didn't mean to insult your sensibilities. What is laughable,though, or rather, ironically sad, is grossly overspending money for the sake of prestige, be it a "fine german automobile" or a "giant killer" audio equipment.
But then, to each one his own...
You're making generalizations based on badges instead of looking at what the cars actually are. They are in no way comparable. Saab is a front wheel drive, touring car. M3 is a rear wheel drive sports car. Please point me to the sports car that Saab makes? How about the RWD car that Saab makes? Perhaps the reason I own my car is that it will run to 60 MPH in 4.7 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.3 at 107. Don't know anything about "prestige"; though I doubt you would be feeling any of you ran up against an E36 or E46 M3. (Disclaimer - I am in no way condoning road racing.)
The E46 M3 is one of the closest things to a street legal race car as it gets besides the new Corvette. The M3 sure has come along way since the E30 chassis and the E36. When I went to Skip Barber DS they were still using E30 instruction vehicles and those cars sure would take a beating.

Anyway, Viggens were cool for a SAAB but are definately not a match for most M cars even on a good day with a strong wind behind it..

(Disclaimer: Road Racing is fun!)


I'm your huckleberry...

All in good fun!

I think the key here is the balance of power and practicality. While certainly the RWD and the stiffest chassis possible married to a gas-guzzler of an engine have an appeal in theory, and 0 to 60 digits impress the "little boys" inside of us, and sure make the girls swoon... your kidneys will beg for mercy, rear seat passengers(if you can squeeze any) will do the same and your wallet,unless its bottomless, will cry out loud due to sky-rocketing cost of maintenance.Tried to commute in a street legal race car? Carry your groceries? Go on a thousand mile trip with your family?
Unfortunately, it is just like an audio hobby where a lot of people over-emphasize one feature or purported advantage, throwing around some meaningless numbers while leaving out a bigger picture. Hence, I keep noticing the same "flavor of the day" and "giant-killer" items recirculating again and again while changing hands of those who bought into meaningless or one-sided hype.
I never understood the whole "my car is better than your car" attitude.

There are plenty of cars out there that will outrun my 04 Mustang GT.
Let em.
It makes no difference to me.

Im just proud to be a part of the american icono-classic legacy of Muscle Cars. I love driving it.

You should enjoy the ride for the ride. Be proud of your car and take good care of it.

There are many types of car guys, but these are what i think are the most common.

A) Those who like thier fast car end enjoy the ride and the experience. They do all thier upgrades and work on it because they enjoy it. They have a special relationship with thier car and and really dont give a rats ass what anyone else thinks of thier car. To them, she isnt a posession to boast about, but a friend to cherish. The Car and Driver work together as a team. An adreneline fueled dance between man and machine. They love to talk about cars, but seldom boast or brag.

B)Then there are those who like thier fast car, the experience and all of that, but feel the need to rip on other peoples cars. They dont have a relationship with thier cars like type A, but regard her as property and use her as an extention of themselves and it makes them feel more than what they are. These types also love to talk about cars, but normally just thier car.

There are various shades of driver,

Personally, im Type A.
I avoid street racing, I feel that the other car and driver are trying to interfere with my quality time with the Stang. But sometimes ill go for it. I got in a quick 150-200ft race last night with a suped up Nissan RX-7. I won, it felt good. Not because we beat the other car & driver, but because my car diddnt let me down. I treat her well and she treats me well in return. :)
That sure was a nice RX-7 though, i talked with the owner at the next light for a couple minuits. Nice kid, great attitude.
Mine other obsession is my Porsche 911 (993).
I change motor oil, transmission oil, flush brake fluid, apply some "can't find in regular stores" exotic wax and drive it at 140-150 miles per hour (not very often).
It has Butler Tube amplifier in a trunk, Dynaudio speakers in the doors and Nakamichi 24 bit DAC CD player in a dash. Mix of music from hi-quality audio system, a sound of air cooled motor behind, wind in open is very difficult to find a substitute for it.
Found this on Youtube. This guy got nice truck wheels, tires, and other parts but he needed a new stereo system. His audio system was customized with Audison AP8.9Bit, digital audio processor/eight-channel amplifier, a set of Audison Voce Speakers, and two JL Audio 8-inch subwoofers powered by a 1000-watt JL Audio Amplified.
I am absolutely all about cars and audio gear. Currently driving a 2015 challenger with the scatpac and shaker options. I have had a lot of cars overt the years and a fair amount of gear, cars take the lead by a pretty wide margin. My wife and I just made a list of every thing we have owned since 1977 the list had 51 autos on it some junk, some classic, some average. I have always seemed to keep gear a lot longer than a car but have always had a system. Started with Electovoice speakers, A R table and Lafayette integrated approximately 1974.

I have a '17 VW GTI Sport. 3600 miles so far. It comes with a lot of nice features but the stock sound system is very average. So I upgraded. The product I chose is best described here  I first heard of them when I contacted my local car audio retailer and asked for their suggestion. At the time I was considering the Helix upgrade. In short. if you have a Mk 7 Golf that did not come with the Fender or best available sound system, this is meant to replace the OEM front door speakers and adds an amp with DSP and a subwoofer that fits nicely in the trunk without interfering with the spare. Some would likely say this set-up properly installed is superior to the Fender system in the 2017 Autobahn Edition Golf-I have not compared them. Once installed, it is 100% seamless by which I mean that there is no visible change whatsoever-OEM head unit remains unperturbed and no change to the trunk visible from the hatch. Audison offers replacement tweeters but also recommends keeping the factory tweeters as they apparently do their job quite well. It does not come cheap-I paid $2,250. The kit itself sells for $1800 with the bass enclosure and I paid about $320 for the labor. It took the shop two days to get it done-into them last Thursday and out Friday afternoon-my guess is that the tech really spent about four hours installing it.The amp has eight DSP factory pre-sets based on type of music and driver position, and offers customization for those that want to toy around with or tweak the adjustments. Mine was set to "Position 8" which is said to be best for acoustic/rock and to equally suit driver and front seat passenger. My installer offered as part of the deal to tweak the settings at any time if I think it needs adjustment. Before I get to the sound so far, about me-I just bought my new '17 GTI Sport a month ago. I know little about car audio but a lot about home audio, a hobby of mine over the last 25 years. I have a home system that would be considered high-end by the most selective of audiophiles- built around Audio Research tube amp/preamps, OK, now finally-my thoughts so far. The difference is not subtle. I did not think the factory system in the '17 GTI Sport was bad-it was fairly good but lacked the degree of clarity I am used to at home and lacked deep bass. Even the factory midrange pales in comparison to the Audison set-up. Now, everything sounds more forceful without sounding loud. The midrange and bass are much improved as one would expect with upgraded front door speakers, wattage (allegedly 300, but pay no attention to billed wattage for reasons I will skip here), and a fairly large subwoofer. This is likely because there is far less distortion-loudness often is perceived due to distortion. So far I have primarily relied on CD's. I have also used my iPhone 7 with Amazon Prime Music-which has surprisingly good sound quality-hooked up via USB to Apple Lightning-and I use an Audioquest Jitterbug at the console end (USB device to reduce jitter). I have only six or seven hours on the new sound system. I have no complaints-the OEM system on a 1-10 scale was a 6 and now it's at least an 8, maybe an 8.5. Is it worth the high price? Worth nearly 10% of the price of the entire car? Those are really hard questions. I am a cheapskate at heart and for now would honestly answer "probably not". I hope to own this car for a long time and I do listen to a lot of music. 

1. old Porsche 911 hot rod ('73 tub, 250 hp motor based on 3.2L; lightened with FG and Al components) - 2nd from top Focal door speakers and an old Pioneer Supertuner - needs a separate amp and maybe I should put my Nakamichi head unit in it

2. VW Vanagon Westy (camper) - lower end Focal speakers in doors & rear; made a big mistake by putting in an Alpine head unit which rarely works; also needs a sep. amp

3. 2010 Subaru Forester, stock sound system - I'd put in a good system but keep waiting for a better model or a Tesla with the off-road capability of the Forester

If anybody knows of:
a. a good SQ head unit with AM/FM
b. that is easy to use
c. plays iTunes tracks/albums well
d. and does not look like some techno-teen wet dream

then please post!  Say up to $400 or so - I am not gonna pay for the high end Sony thing