Stock, it's good enough for NPR which is 98% of what I listen to in the car.
I prefer concentrating on the road, not the music when I'm moving down the highway.
I prefer concentrating on the road, not the music when I'm moving down the highway.
No. Too much outside noise, inferior source quality except for CDs, too distracting for the driver, inhibition from playing realistically loudly (personally, I would be embarrassed to be playing loudly enough to disturb other drivers), cost I would rather save for my home system, and exposure to theft or damage from accident.
OEM has been fine for me, despite not having a Lexus with the Mark Levinson treatment.
used to driver better autos than now, but saving on gas is big deal for me due to the substantially larger driving distances.
before that stock volvo system inside XC70 is fantastic. can't say anything wrong about benz E300 driven prior with harman kardon. I also liked system in 1983 Fleetwood Brougham used to have prior. In Cadillac after auto CD-players came in I didn't want to replace the stock one at all and rather recorded CDs or LPs onto tape and listened there. I have a secondary weekend-driven '94 XJR convertible in collectible condition and admire that original sound system lots.
nowdays i drive '14 subaru XV Crosstrek and would probably think replacing just speakers that don't seem to handle enough bass. the rest of electronics seem to be fine.
Back in the day (late80's and early 90's), I had a top of the line Kenwood cd changer with tuner pack, 2 pairs of ADS separate speakers (5 1/4 inch mids and dome tweeters), 2 15 inch Cerwin Vega subwoofers, 2 JL Audio 10 inch woofers, a 75wpc 4 channel Soundstream amp for the ADS separates, 2 Soundstream 100wpc 2 channel amps wired in mono for the subwoofers, and a 50wpc Soundstream amp wired in mono for the center fill. I also had a Kenwood 10 band graphic eq built into the dash as well as a Audio Control eq in the trunk to tune the speakers. I used all Phoenix Gold (was high end) interconnects and speaker wire. I also had a deep cycle marine battery in the trunk in conjunction with a 1 farad capacitor for storing energy and a dual charging system with high output alternator.
All this was shoehorned into a 1984 Nissan Sentra. I won many trophy's at various events as well as a 1,000.00 store credit for winning Tweeter HiFI car audio loudness war. All this came to a cruel end on the night of December 25, 1991 when the car was stolen out of my driveway. My car was found a month later in a housing project in another part of the state, stripped to the bone. They even took my gas cap and used air cleaner element.
Since then, I have focused on my home system. I had over 6 grand invested in the car system and lost everything. I did all of the work myself.
Good music and sound is important to me in my car as it is at home. It has to be pretty good in the car. Therefore, it is necessary sometimes to upgrade the equipment in the car. A good low noise head unit, crossovers, amplification and speakers, with the correct cabling is a must. For my car, I use Mogami speaker cables and Canare interconnect cables. Very nice for auto use. Morel, Dynaudio, Focal speakers also. Contrary to what some may say, there are some very nice car systems out there. It takes just as much effort to do it well in the car as it does at home. I find that many home audiophiles are really prejudices against auto systems, much the same as low to mid fi stereo/home theater people are against audiophile equipment. They just can't see the justification for expending large somes of money on stereo systems. I find the same to be true for people related to cars and other things. Everything to me is a science and takes much education and knowledge. Nothing really is simple. I love my drives up/down the coast to visit wine country and my friends and I have to have decent sound when doing so.
For my Z06, I pulled out the crappy Bose audio system and added :
Dynaudio 7" component tweeter/midranges with upgraded crossovers in the doors.
Kenwood 8120 Stereo/DVD/GPS head unit with IPOD direct connection to all 5000 music files in Apple Lossless AIFF.
Alpine D600 digital amp
JLAudio sub in the rear
Dynomat sound deadening on the entire door panels.
Pinpoint imaging, tight bass, and great resolution - not a ghetto blaster system.
Did the entire install myself and only took about a week.
Probably the best stereo sound I have heard in any car!
I was heavily into car audio in the mid 80's. Although you cannot match the purtiy of home audio you cannot imagine the bass impact that can be had in a car. Just want to be clear there is no way you can match a quality home system but you can have many exhilarating moments as I'm sure Stereo 5 can attest to. Now I just have a stock car unit as I mostly listen to ESPN sports and 1 jazz station. Thanks for the thread you brought back many memories.
Needfreestuff.....You are right. The bass impact is addicting. Some of the notes felt like I was punched in the stomach. To be honest, that system had nice sound staging, pinpoint imaging and accuracy and it made me want to drive for hours on end. One more song always turned into playing the entire disc and so on.
It wasn't a boom and sizzle sound. It sounded like an excellent high end system. The premium sound system in my 09 Civic SI is supposed to be Hondas best for the car. It's a joke. a 6 inch midbass driver is not a subwoofer but I guess Honda thinks it is. If it weren't for the built in navigation, I would have ditched the system and had a shop install something decent.
Lowrider57.....Yes, it was terrible at the time. To this day, if I get up during the night, I always look out the window to make sure the cars are in the driveway. It really has scarred me for life. Worst part was I only had liability insurance on the car so I got nothing from insurance. I sold the car for 300 to a 17 year old that went to the Voc/Tech school. His class was going to rebuild it as their project. I was very happy to help him out.
I also wanted to mention that the Soundstream amps were considered to be one of the top high end brands at that time, and the amps certainly weren't a class D design.
Yeah I take it pretty seriously. I actually have a Butler Audio 475 Tube Driver amp that has a couple of 6SL7GT tubes in it. Some high end focal speakers, and an additional sub and amp. Lots of dynamat for vibration control and damping. And of course a good head unit with Bluetooth. CDs still sound the best. A skilled and patient installer is a must. Sounds pretty darn good! Problem is my wife drives the car except when we go on road trips!
Despite the wind and the engine noise, I enjoy Nakamichi and MB Quart speakers - thinking of upgrading to Morels though. Of-course it's not your home main system, but with less than a grand, one can considerably improve the quality in your car, although some luxury cars do have acceptable ones already.
The first one was stolen a month after I put it in. The person broke the window and got his blood all over my seats. They also smashed the in dash unit and damaged the dash itself so bad it had to be replaced. Then they left several of the indash unit's buttons on the floor. Best I can guess it was some out of his mind heroin addict.
Insurance paid for it all. but insane. that was back in 1986.
Next one i installed an amp in the trunk, did the wires, speakers etc. then never used it much. removeable faceplate.
Had that one in that car 13 years.
Now new car..
Never again. Not worth the bother.
Lived in descent part of Brooklyn Bay Ridge and had my windows broke once in a while few times per year.
Wanted to stuff car with x-plosives in anger to stop it, but moved to NC where no problem for past several years with automobiles.
Had once car stereo removed from old Nissan Maxima, but figured I had to ring near-by car services to see if anyone brought any stereo for sale, found the right dood(poor one needed to get dose in sweat and shivering), called 911 and pressed charges. I guess I helped him to get out of needle by placing him to county jail for month or few.
Hah mine was older model 1987 that I actually put an effort to have pioneer speakers and blaupunkt electronics. The stock stereo was really bad and I needed something descent at least. When I spotted broken window and radio simply jerked out by silly one who had no idea how to use tools to remove it properly, I thought of grabbing a crobar, but instead dialed 911 on the way to car service office near 3am. Car service offices were the only place to try to sell car stereos at night quick after 'job done'.
No. I had a real nice system stolen from my car (they were nice enough to unscrew everything and not leave a mess). A week later there were nose and handprints on the side window from whoever stole it looking to see if had my insurance take care of it. It's not worth it unless it comes with the car.
As Timrhu stated, I listen primarily to talk radio.
All the best,
In the 80s I had a nice Nakamichi tape deck
Best sound ever in my car
I made tapes from my 3 head nak at home
It sounded better than my current aftermarket Pioneer audio/dvd/nav/rear camera system in a vw tiguan
An older alpine cd player sounds better too
I use ipods in the glove box, surius, jl audio 4.1 separate amps w a 13" sub that I knob adjust to sound musical yet dynamic in the bass
The car has been insulated throughout
Any head units i should look into? Great cd and ipod sound and interface
I do wonder about how difficult it is to integrate a non-OEM audio system into a modern vehicle given the complex electronics and displays. Also, many modern cars have been pretty extensively engineered from the early design stage with the audio system in mind (even basic body structure is designed for specific speaker placement).
I would be reluctant to mess with the system built into my car. I also have some doubts about how much the sound can be improved given that noise is obviously the biggest limiting factor in sound quality in a car. My car is supposedly quiet (2011 E350), but, I really cannot hear the quieter passages of the classical music that I listen to almost exclusively when I drive.
If I had to pick the "best" sound I heard in a car, it would actually be such a custom, non-factory, installation I heard in an S500; this system utilized a vacuum tube amplifier (fortunately the trunk on this car is large).
None really, now that I'm older I do not spend that much time in my car. However when I was a younger person (teens thru early 30's) I was all about it. In the early 90's I had a Rockford Fosgate Punch 75 under 1 seat and a Punch 150 under the other. Kicker super 2 in the hatchback of my 944 Porsche.Also, I had ADS plates in the doors. With an Alpine pull out CD! Those were the days !! WOW! That car Rocked!
I had to use tie downs to keep my trunk closed for my Wilson Sasha's, so I ended up buying a cargo van. It doesn't handle as well, and when I hit a pothole, I sometimes blow a tube, but overall I'm happy with my decision. If I can just find a way to make the orchestra sound like it's in front of me, I'll be all set. Maybe some mirrors?
I don't hear as many of those 1980's and 90's "booming" systems anymore. Maybe I'm do for a road trip to Seaside Heights NJ.
Short answer: No., but I don't spend a lot of time in cars anymore.
Long answer: Yes, I put a lot of effort (or at least money) into it at one point.
One system was pretty elaborate, and since it was my first oh,la-la sport car from that company in Italy that makes those little red cars, I decided to go all out; tubi exhaust (which of course did everything to make any sound system pointless, it was so loud) and at the time, big McIntosh amp, first rate woofer (I think it was JL) and custom work done to squeeze it, the mids and tweets, the onboard system equalizer/computer and control head into this little sports car. A week after I picked it up, I called the install shop and had him take everything out and return the car to bone stock. (There wasn't even a factory radio at that point, i think, just a blank plate). For sports cars, i wanted to hear what the car was doing.
I did make one other stab with a big luxo-barge at around the same time period. It benefitted from the size of the car and the installer did a first rate job. I picked up the finished product right before we were heading out to dinner with out of town guests. I fired up Bohemian Rhapsody and we all did the Waynes' World thing. Fun.
Now, I just want to hear what is going on around me. If I drive, it is only for fun and I want to hear the car and get a sense of my 'bearings.' But, i guess if I spent a lot of time driving, especially as part of work, and was doing monotonous highway driving (as opposed to spirited canyon carving), I'd want a decent sound system in the car.