View Full Version : A clue-less dad

04-28-2009, 09:15 PM
I am a 38 year old father of a soon-to-be 16 year son. He bought a Jeep Wrangler with his mowing money as a first vehicle and is looking to put a much better stereo system in it. The wife and I are going to do something along this line for his birthday but I really have no clue where to start so I figured I would take a shot at this forum and see if I could get some info. A few questions are as follows:

1. What constitutes a "good" stereo?
2. What should a "good" stereo (budget minded) cost?
3. Are most stereos now IPOD accessible?
4. How important is the fact that his vehicle is "topless" going to be the components used?

For the record the previous owner installed JVC speakers in the dash and it has a 2-speaker sound bar in it as well. I found the receipt for the stereo that is currently in it and it was a $149.00 JVC detachable face single CD with no IPOD hookup which he wants to replace. There is no amp or sub installed.

Thanks in advance...
Clue-less Dad

04-28-2009, 09:19 PM
does he like pounding bass, or a nice beat? a good stereo system IMO would be a really crisp, clear sound with nice smooth bass good responsive bass but depends on how he likes his music, what does he listen to in terms of music genre?

04-28-2009, 09:19 PM
What would be your budget? It's going to be hard to keep the bass in if he has that soft top, but it shouldn't matter a whole lot for component speakers.

04-28-2009, 09:19 PM

04-28-2009, 09:20 PM
Appreciate the well typed and clearly defined questions, you'll find that alot of the people here will give the new people a hard time. To address your questions.

1. A good stereo, is a relative term. Some say it is overwhelming subwoofer bass ( 10" or larger subs ) others say its a balanced front stage ( the smaller speakers in your doors etc )

It really is up to you, it sounds like he already has a decent basis to build on and if you added a newer cd player ( and yes most are Ipod compatible now )

For the Jeep topless questions, you probably want to check into jeep specific speakers, like the sound bar mentioned. Maybe take a visit to the local 4x4 supplier, our local one carries a large number of jeep stereo stuff. Although items like that sound bar may not sound the best, they will be alot more functional than most.

Really look at what you think HE wants and then go from there.

For your budget you should avoid anything like Pyle, Lanzar, and Pyramid, other brands you see listed on eBay for like $4.99.

A decent cd player should run $200 or so, component set for a very nice sounding front stage can be found for around $100...

04-28-2009, 09:21 PM
the mans asking for audio advice. not setting it up for you to make a smart *** comment

04-28-2009, 09:21 PM
Yeah, like grass.

04-28-2009, 09:26 PM
Id do a couple 10s on 1k if you dont wanna be annoying with the system. Couple nice crisp 10s and some good comps.

04-28-2009, 09:26 PM
I am almost 16 also.. I have been doing this stuff for a year now..
1) I think what constitutes a good stereo is quality equipment and getting the sound you are looking for, going cheap usually never pays off.
2)Depending on how loud you want it, I would say a total setup without installation(new radio, subs, amp, wiring) You might be looking at ~400+, again this all depends on how loud you want it.
3) Most of the new one's are. Mine is a year old and I bought it on a budget so It didn't have it, I purchases the addon for the unit though.
4) I have never hear an install in a soft top or topless car. So I can't help you here...

I would definitely find out all you can about installation or encourage your son to, I make a lot of money installing systems. I am always changing up systems and me and my dad always put them in together, he always wants to know how everything works and he is good at routing wires throughout the car and in the engine bay.. And he is your age too(39)..

04-28-2009, 09:30 PM
People could steal a system pretty easy out of a wrangler too...

04-28-2009, 09:31 PM
the mans asking for audio advice. not setting it up for you to make a smart *** comment

Is that how you look at it? A sarcastic remark it wasn't, so don't put words in mouth, please. Must be something wrong with "mowing" to you but, not I.

04-28-2009, 09:31 PM
What's your budget? Are you gonna be doing the installing yourself?

04-28-2009, 09:32 PM
i had a decent setup in a cavalier convertible...wasnt alot of difference top up or down..but it was a trunk car..

04-28-2009, 09:39 PM
I would look into brands such as Image Dynamics, Focal, Rainbow for door speakers. A good set of component speakers (mid range,tweeter, and crossover) for your doors can be bought for a little more than $100. I personally, if on a budget, would just look at their lower line products. You can almost be guaranteed that if bought from one of those companies and installed correctly then you should not ever have any problems with them. You will want to match up the RMS or continuious power of the component speakers to the RMS of the amplifier. If the component set says 150rms get an amplifier that run 150x2 at the correct ohm load.

Wires for the amplifier for a component amp should be pretty cheap. Knukonceptz has decent, non-pricey accessories.

I personally wouldnt even put a subwoofer in an open vehicle like that. Noise violations will come WAY too easily with something like that. And those are very costly. If you do decide to add a subwoofer be sure to hide it extremely well. If anyone sees it, then it will be stolen. You could possibly do like and 8" under a seat and then the amplifiers under other seats??? Custom fiberglass get kind of costly.

A good cd player should run about $200 or more... pretty much you take your pick, or get him to. JCV, sony, power acoustik, dual.... etc. will very possibly give you problems. I would stick with kenwood, alpine, pioneer, eclipse or something like that.

Another key component to a "nice" sounding system is sound deadener. I would go with a minimum of 36ft^2 so you can cover the places you are putting the components it. Secondskin carries a superb product.

Overall, i would go with atleaste a $200 cd player, at least $100 components, a decent 2 ch. amplifier, and as much deadening as possible. This SHOULD, provided you stay away from sketchy brands and have it installed by someone who knows what they are doing, give you a very nice sounding system.

04-28-2009, 09:40 PM
Maybe take a look in the car build log section and see what some of the guys are doing. You will get some ideas of what is going on now in stereos.

04-28-2009, 09:53 PM
First of all...I didnt expect that I would get that many responses in that short a period of time.

To answer a few of the responding questions we hope the budget would be $800.00 or less.

He seems to think that he needs an amp and a sub.

He looked at a Kenwood KDC-MP342U CD player, an Alpine PDX4.150 600W 4 channel amp, an Alpine PDX1.600 600W x 1 amp, Alpine type R speakers, etc., etc. and got a quote from a local car audio shop for about $2700.00 which is what prompted the email.

We are going to install ourselves. We like to tinker and he has shown patience for these things.

As for the "mowing" comment...I have a 20yr old sophomore at UT-K and between the two and the fact that I am still so young and good looking I feel like one of them sometimes more than I feel like an old man or grey-haired father.

Thanks much to all who have and continued to respond with advice - I do appreciate it.

04-28-2009, 10:04 PM
As for the "mowing" comment...I have a 20yr old sophomore at UT-K and between the two and the fact that I am still so young and good looking I feel like one of them sometimes more than I feel like an old man or grey-haired father.

Thanks much to all who have and continued to respond with advice - I do appreciate it.

Yeah, some things are better left unsaid around here.. I was actually awed by it, not the other way around like some people's minds think. And, I knew you would get the help your looking for and, plenty of it.

I hope you the best with your son's project. =)

04-28-2009, 10:12 PM
Thats a good amount of money, be careful buying things off ebay, apparently going local isn't an option either.

I would say at this time guys, start providing this guy with specific options, links included. Make them from reliable sources.

If you link him to something in the classifieds, try to keep it to a seller who has shown he is legit. That would prob. help him out the best.

04-28-2009, 10:14 PM
a good stereo does what the user wants it to...youve come to the right place...stay away from gimmicks and flea market junk...

04-28-2009, 10:27 PM
Dad helping with car audio FTW Good luck pops, your son is lucky

04-28-2009, 10:30 PM
Would you consider buying some used goods? That budget will go a lot further in the CA classifieds.

04-28-2009, 10:35 PM
Is that how you look at it? A sarcastic remark it wasn't, so don't put words in mouth, please. Must be something wrong with "mowing" to you but, not I.

dude don't even start to pretend you weren't attempting to be an ***

04-28-2009, 10:52 PM
First of all, I would like to personally thank you for your son. This is a very cool thing you are doing for him.

As for the Headunit, I prefer Kenwood or JVC personally, but its all matter of opinion. Find the one you like for the price you are willing to pay.

I would strongly reccomend doing the front stage first. Im just assuming that since its a chrysler it has 5x7's up front, but you better make sure what size they are. Pick up a decent component set...Heres a link to a decent comp set for cheap.

To power those, look for a decent 2 channel amp. You do not need a ton of power for the components, so I would reccomend something like:
This would be a very solid amp for this application.

If your son is dead set on putting an amp and sub(s) in his vehicle, you better make sure he bumps responsibly. I never "bump" my system within a few blocks of my house, because when people hear my car then watch me pull in my driveway, they know where I live. I also would not reccomend bumping in the school parking lot, which will also direct attention and say "Steal me". Keep it respectful at traffic lights etc. and avoid those tickets!

Now since he wants the bass, I would reccomend going with Knukonceptz for all of your mobile wiring needs. My opinion is probably biased because I live about 20 mins away from them, but they have nearly unbeatable prices and quality products.

For subs, he can find some killer deals on used subs on various car audio forums. Some fairly cheap used subs you will find around would be Fi SSD's lower model RE audio subs, Ive seen a lot of DC subs around, some Treo's, Image Dynamics, and you can find Alpine Type-R's everywhere, and they are actually pretty good subs...these are all examples of quality subs. A single 10" or 12" will get plenty loud in a wrangler so I wouldnt reccomend much more. Make sure you go with dual 4-ohm voice coils because they will run at 1ohm and you can find amps all day that will do solid power at 1ohm. Amps that do power at 2ohms are more expensive and harder to find.

Since you should go with a dual 4 sub, I would reccomend a Hifonics amp, or possible a crunch or cadence. These are all pretty good budget amps, and most of them are 1 ohm stable.

Keep in mind that if you guys decide to do a sub-stage, its all about RMS power, not MAX power. Meaning, if the subs are rated at 600 RMS, you want a amp rated at 600 RMS or better. Headroom is a nice thing to have, as long as he does not crank his gains and fry his sub.

Well, I hope you find my opinion useful, and good luck to you and your son.

04-28-2009, 10:55 PM
Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. I generally buy my products from the forums because I like to support other peoples car audio habit, and get a good price on quality products at the same time.

Im not going to say DO NOT use Ebay...but I will say that if you do, be careful who you buy from. There are some excellent quality dealers on ebay, but there are also some shady characters as well...keep that in mind.

And in case you didnt notice, Sonicelectronix.com is a pretty good place to buy from.

04-28-2009, 10:57 PM
dude don't even start to pretend you weren't attempting to be an ***

dude, dude.. stfu

04-28-2009, 11:05 PM
my two cents....

DOWN FIRE THE SUBS. (helps avoid water damage/any kind of moisture you typically get in jeeps)

BOLT THE SUB ENCLOSURE DOWN. (i think it was mentioned earlier. jeeps are easy to break into. make it difficult to take anything out.)

04-28-2009, 11:06 PM
6.5 Components.

I would look at SSA for subs. I believe they are running a special where you buy the subs, and they make you a custom box, and ship it for free.... That is a very good deal.


05-22-2009, 07:33 PM
Welcome to CA.com.

W8 a minute
05-26-2009, 05:01 AM
As a 40 year old Wrangler owner I can tell you what's going in my Wrangler. Keep in mind that mine is a TJ. I don't think you specified which year his Jeep is?

Here's the breakdown:
Plenty of inputs, good sound, easy to read display, and not many people want to steal a Sony.

Front speakers:
With this adapter:

Soundbar speakers:
The factory soundbar in a TJ comes with 5.25" speakers but 6.5" are easily fitted.

2 of these subs:
In this box (I'm building my own but it is very similar to this one):
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-CAR-AUDIO-DUAL-10-JEEP-WRANGLER-CUSTOM-SUB-BOX-U_W0QQitemZ310140646045QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defau ltDomain_0?hash=item4835d2b29d&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

All powered with this amp (it fits under the rear seat of a TJ):
http://cgi.ebay.com/KICKER-ZX700-5-CAR-STEREO-700-WATT-5CH-AMPLIFIER-AMP_W0QQitemZ310140813968QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCar_Am plifiers?hash=item4835d54290&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

Using this installation kit:
http://cgi.ebay.com/KICKER-DCK4-4-AWG-2-CHAN-AMP-INSTALLATION-KIT-09DCK4_W0QQitemZ200344743129QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2ea57a2cd9&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A10|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0 |293%3A2|294%3A50

Don't let these people talk you into buying expensive gear for a Jeep. The law of diminishing returns apply much sooner in this situation. I was an installer for several years, I'm now 40, I've owned 2 Tj's and 1 CJ and this is what I've bought for my current Wrangler. I also highly suggest a security system with a proximity sensor and disabling the shock sensor.