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Discussion Starter #1
I really want to put a changer in my 91 RT/TT. I have considered an FM Modulated one, but am somewhat concerned with sound quality, and honestly, they aren't that much cheaper here than a decent deck (35w x 4) and changer combo. My questions are: How good is the factory head unit/ EQ? i.e. will an aftermarket system sound at least as good if factory speakers are retained, or will sound quality diminish? I also have available a Cobalt 5 ch. bridgeable amp, passive x-over, and a 10" bandpass box (sitting in my vette). Would it be worthwhile to install it to either the existing setup or the proposed aftermarket setup? I want to keep the interior fairly clean and roomy, as I also use the car as a daily driver (and lately spend a lot of time at Home Depot),and don't want to put a lot of $ into this. Any ideas / suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, nice site, Eric.
 
M

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I installed a pioneer 4x35 powered cd player into my 91 stealth R/T. I was amazed at how much better this stereo sounded than the factory. I didn't change out any speakers or anything, just the extra power from the deck made a BIG difference.

Hope this helps!

[This message has been edited by M_A_C (edited January 04, 2000).]
 

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What you do to the stereo depends a lot on what you are looking for and willing to spend. As with some of us on board here, everything went out and was replaced with all new stuff. This not being your case, there are still many options.

First, the stock system isn't all that bad for moderate listening. But the speakers are easily blown with that 63hz band on the EQ. If you aren't gonna go with a factory changer (I think there's one being offered in the Classifieds: parts for sale section), then I'd probably go with an aftermarket deck and changer combo long before I went with FM modulated. Quality is better (frequency response is broader with regular changer). Plus, for the few additional bux, you are buying into a better system with more future expansion capabilities.

If you plan on taking things a little further, you wanna make sure the head unit you get has at least one pair of RCA outputs. Most decks nowadays do. This will allow you to easily add an amp, eq/corssover, amplified sub, etc. Of course by going aftermarket head unit, you lose the steering wheel controls (big deal...)

Going aftermarket has its issues, too. If you get a single DIN head unit, you've gotta fill the hole with either a pocket or custom trim panel. Not all THAT hard... Or get one of the double-DIN units that's out there.

Upgrading the head unit will help with the sound quality. But what will doubly or triply or morely help
is upgradingthe factory front speakers (back ones are less important, plus a pain to get at). Get a pair of good 3-ways to drop in there. I put a pair of Infinity Kappa 6.3's in a friends VR4 and it really sounded a lot better. He did later add an amp to the front speakers as well. The speakers in the dash were just left in there but not hooked up.

Since you're already got that 5-ch amp, use it to run the front speakers (at least) and the sub. If you wanna get adventurous in your interior, dig into the rear speakers and power them.

The bandpass box will be bigger than just a sealed or ported box for a 10" sub (course that depends on the sub too). If it takes more room than you wanna give up, sell it and get a smaller sealed or ported box.

But keeping things simplest, you can start with the headunit/changer, and use a wiring harness to plug into the factory speakers. Then later add aftermarket door speakers, then maybe wire in that amp you've already got. All depends on how extensive you wanna get, money you wanna put into it, and time you have.

EricB

Thanks for the comments
 
J

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Diablo,

I put a Sony FM Modulated changer in my 91 R/T with the factory head unit b/c I like using the steering wheel controls. It didn't improve the sound quality like I had hoped, just gave me the convenience of a changer. However, it certainly does not sound worse. If your goal is to improve the over all sound , I would replace the head unit. It made all the difference in my 95 Avenger.

John
 

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Suthnr pretty much summed it up...

Have a few things to add...

CD Players and changers are capable of 20hz to 20khz (or better) bandwidth. 20hz being the lowest low and 20khz being the highest high that a perfect human ear can hear. An FM radio's spec isn't that good.... I believe that a good FM radio is capable of producing a bandwidth of 150hz to 15Khz (those numbers may not be right but it still proves my point. The low end of the spectrum isn't as critical as the high end of the spectrum. On the high end, detail and "clarity" is missed. Even with factory speakers. Talk to anyone with a good quality sound system. After listening to cd's, FM radio sound horrible. Also, FM radio is inherintly noisy. Your noise floor is much higher than CD. When you use an FM modulated cd changer, you give up sound quality for convenience and ease of installation.... and its cheaper too!

Considering that you already have an amp and sub... (will the box fit in your 3000gt?) I would go ahead and purchase a radio/changer combo.

Jose Soriano
[email protected] www.linkline.com/personal/amahoser
 

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I had a stock deck and changer in my 93 R/T, and also had a 12" sub and 350watt amp in the back. If you want to use the stock deck, you have to get a converter, which is anywhere from $20-$100. I got a $50 LOC4 from Quality Auto. To have enough power going to the amp, you need a line driver. I got one for $120 at Sound track. This just boosts the voltage of the RCAs coming from the converter. I thought the stock speakers sounded just fine, and my speaker in the back hit hard. I had the smallest box I could find for the 12", and had it in the hatch facing the rear. It turned the whole back of the car into a speaker box. I'm about to just get a new stereo for my car, cause mine is so jacked up right now. I'll probably be looking to sell my setup (converter, line driver) and stock cd changer for around $200 if anyone would be interested.

Jason
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Discussion Starter #7
What a great thread! I got useful info from each post. I've decided to do a hybrid, if possible. What I'd like to do is keep the oem head unit/eq, and add an OEM changer (this way I get cd quality sound, AND the steering wheel controls-forgot about that!). But, I'm also going to take it up a notch by adding my Orion Cobalt 5ch. amp, bridged to run a 10inch bandpass box(it fairly small, and fits), and maybe some new front speakers (doors). I'll use my MB Quart x-over to split the sound. Any comments? Whats the best way to access the deck wiring? I was thinking of pulling the pass. side console cover and pulling out the head unit. Is there an easier way, I don't want to do more work than I have to!
 
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