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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Simple Sound System

    Hi all,

    First off, I am completely clueless when it comes to car audio, but am willing to learn along the way!

    I am currently looking at upgrading my speakers/headunit/overall sound system in my 5th gen to something that isn't so dated (i.e crap quality). I am by no means a audiophile but seriously the setup in my mothers Mazda 3 - stock, is much better than the ludes..

    Could anyone recommend a set of speakers suitable for my needs? From what I've read people seem to favour components up front, and coax's in the rear. I'm not really interested in a sub, so speakers that can produce decent bass are preferred. Do I need an amp? Can a headunit power 4 speakers well enough?

    Budget is around $600. I know for some this is quite low but as I said I'm not after something that is best in the business, rather a noticeable upgrade from stock.

    Thanks in advance, I know I'm asking alot but if someone is bored maybe you could help me out .

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    First off, I'd say definitely try just swapping out the headunit. I got a massive quality increase when I changed my headunits over. Could also save a fair chunk of money doing it that way, though you never know how much life you'll have left in the stock paper speakers.

    Do you know if the sound system is completely stock?
    Also, in regards to installation, would you be doing it yourself or would you be paying someone?
    Everything buffs out with the right amount of elbow grease

  3. #3
    Senior Member conor07's Avatar
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    Paying someone? For $600 he doesent have a choice

  4. #4
    Silver Member MattR's Avatar
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    I'd get some decent fronts, and a good 2nd hand head unit. I was running my fronts without rears for ages and it was fine (mind you my front splits alone are $700 retail, lol)
    Keep an eye out for sales at JB for headunits and speakers, they often do 30% off
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman View Post
    Did you hear about the Dyslexic Agnostic Insomniac.....

    He lay awake all night, wondering if there really was a DOG....!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyball87 View Post
    Do you know if the sound system is completely stock?
    Also, in regards to installation, would you be doing it yourself or would you be paying someone?
    I believe so, but I'd have to pop the trim to tell you the truth. Headunit is aftermarket, and it does seem to be pretty crappy quality (judging by its features and usability).
    I have found existing sub power and misc. cables under the spare tyre cover in the boot, so they could be aftermarket afterall.

    I'll look at getting a new headunit and see if that makes a difference - I will be getting one anyway so win/win. What features am I looking for techincally? Apart from the niceties; Bluetooth Sat-nav etc.. I've seen they have like "max output e.g. 50w x 4".

    Would be a self install :p . I can use a soldering iron so I figure it can't be too hard (touch wood).

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR View Post
    I'd get some decent fronts, and a good 2nd hand head unit. I was running my fronts without rears for ages and it was fine (mind you my front splits alone are $700 retail, lol)
    Keep an eye out for sales at JB for headunits and speakers, they often do 30% off
    This may be the go. If I get a good headunit do I need an amp?

  6. #6
    Silver Member MattR's Avatar
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    not sure, I'd say for $600, a decent headunit and decent fronts. anything more and you'd definitely need an amp. Having said that, i'm not a pro on this stuff and I believe it will all depend on the speakers that you choose.
    Bare in mind, 6.5inches at the front will need modification to fit especially if it's a deep speaker. So 6 inches is good for fronts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman View Post
    Did you hear about the Dyslexic Agnostic Insomniac.....

    He lay awake all night, wondering if there really was a DOG....!!

  7. #7
    Regular Member
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    I'd say start at a good quality headunit with all the features you want, usually the "3rca, USB/IPOD, Bluetooth" ones anywhere from about $200 upwards have all the same features and will all sound good. 50w x 4 is good, as is MOSFET. But they're generally all have those.

    Good good, DIY is the best! Heaps of write ups and resources for this kind of thing too, good project to start out on


    In relation to amps, almost all speakers are better with amps, they start to give the voltage the speaker needs and wants and this makes it sound a heap better (when tuned right)
    But with a decent headunit and fronts, you should be alright without an amp or anything...for now

    My first car was just a decent Pioneer headunit, 6" Pioneer speakers in the front and 6x9 kicker speakers in the back and that sounded pretty decent.

    I've found 6.5" to be swing and miss, some fit, some don't. 6" is definitely a good size to look at. I know some Hertz 6.5" are actually too big to sit in the basket, whereas some MTX Audio 6.5" fit.
    If fitting fronts with a bigger magnet, which you no doubt will, you'll also need to cut the back of the basket in the door trim.
    http://www.preludepower.com/forums/s...d.php?t=240993
    That should help
    Everything buffs out with the right amount of elbow grease

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Just get decent speakers, people
    Go crazy and spend stupid amounts of $$$ on speakers in my opinion I really think it all comes down to the amp your running. If you spend that extra money on the amp you will be amaZed

  9. #9
    Silver Member MattR's Avatar
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    My system is worth about $4k retail. Sounds amazing but for everyday use its probably too much. I can crank it so that you can hear my music 50m back in traffic and it'll still be crisp with no rattling.

    For good quality brands. I recommend JL audio. My whole system is their top line pretty much.

    Go into jb. Get them to play the music you listen to on the speakers you're looking at.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman View Post
    Did you hear about the Dyslexic Agnostic Insomniac.....

    He lay awake all night, wondering if there really was a DOG....!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyball87 View Post
    I'd say start at a good quality headunit with all the features you want, usually the "3rca, USB/IPOD, Bluetooth" ones anywhere from about $200 upwards have all the same features and will all sound good. 50w x 4 is good, as is MOSFET. But they're generally all have those.

    Good good, DIY is the best! Heaps of write ups and resources for this kind of thing too, good project to start out on

    My first car was just a decent Pioneer headunit, 6" Pioneer speakers in the front and 6x9 kicker speakers in the back and that sounded pretty decent.

    I've found 6.5" to be swing and miss, some fit, some don't. 6" is definitely a good size to look at.
    That should help
    Awesome! Definitely leaning towards a decent headunit and some quality splits upfront. Good to know these will run alright directly from the headunit, as I can always upgrade down the road if I'm looking for some more doof .
    Another Q, will the stock wiring be ok for my needs? Just flicked through the link you provided and its not a small task it seems.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR View Post
    For good quality brands. I recommend JL audio. My whole system is their top line pretty much.

    Go into jb. Get them to play the music you listen to on the speakers you're looking at.
    I have heard that JL's are beasts but are priced accordingly as you mentioned :p . JB the best place to look?
    Size doesnt worry me so if 6" fits thats what ill go for. 6x9's will go in the back no issues?

    Oh and huge thanks everyone, helped a ton!

  11. #11
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    Mtx subs ftw

  12. #12
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    If you're not going for anything ridiculous then just get a new head unit and some good speaks. Don't worry about a sub and an amp if you aren't chasing ridiculous quality.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote View Post
    Awesome! Definitely leaning towards a decent headunit and some quality splits upfront. Good to know these will run alright directly from the headunit, as I can always upgrade down the road if I'm looking for some more doof .
    Another Q, will the stock wiring be ok for my needs? Just flicked through the link you provided and its not a small task it seems.

    I have heard that JL's are beasts but are priced accordingly as you mentioned :p . JB the best place to look?
    Size doesnt worry me so if 6" fits thats what ill go for. 6x9's will go in the back no issues?

    Oh and huge thanks everyone, helped a ton!

    The stock wiring should be okay for now, but if you end up adding an amp down the track, definitely look into new wiring.
    JB for JL Audios, see if they'll pricematch Ryda or Soundmaster, unless they have one of their 30% off sales

    6x9" will fit in the stock location, but be weary of the magnet size. Too big and it'll get in the way of the boot tension bars, which means you'll need speakers with smaller magnets or spacers. Keep the stock for now, they're fill anyway. If you find bass or sound a bit lacking, then look at upgrading the rears. I have some cheapo clarions, they sound horrible, but they just help to fill the sound so they sound ok with everything else.
    Everything buffs out with the right amount of elbow grease

  14. #14
    Junior Member lovelyqoo's Avatar
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    All I did was change the headunit and add a sub. Headunit was $110, Sub and amp was 2nd hand $150 all up. DIY install with tools probably max $50. That still leaves $280 for you to spend on other speakers (way more than enough). It can be done.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
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    Update:

    So, I tweaked around with my current headunit settings and got it sounding marginally better. I now have the money to buy a headunit and was looking at some double din systems, and am swayed towards the 6-7" variants (touch screen that is) - I think a good unit would help 'refresh' the lude.

    Now, my current car has a single din, and just a compartment fill underneath. I was wondering how hard it would be to install a Double din unit? Do I need an aftermarket harness or loom?

    Cheers again fellas!
    Last edited by Coyote; 14th May 2013 at 05:36 PM.

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