View Full Version : New to car audio stuff... where to start? Tips?

07-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Hey guys,

I have a 2003 cavalier (4-door sedan, stock everything, no power anything). It is basically the most plain car that I've ever seen, but I at least want to be able to enjoy some good music in it. Stock, it comes with some 4x6's up in front and 6x9's in the back. I have read numerous other posts relating to a number of topics and am now as informed on the topic as I have ever been. It sounds like I'll probably end up with a new head unit, some 6.5 comps up front (I'll have to drill holes for the tweeters) and some sort of sub in the back. I really don't know much about car audio, but I figure that if I take it one step at a time (and with the help of all of you generous people online) I will be able to get some nice sound up in there.

And here comes the question... If I want to upgrade my car in such a stepwise manner, should my first step be to replace the head unit? I've heard that a good hu can improve the sound that comes from the factory speakers, although my factory speakers seem particularly useless.
I am on a budget here and was looking at the Pioneer DEH-1300MP for $60 on amazon. It has a built-in amp (4 x 50W) and one 2V RCA preout. Do those numbers look alright? I found some Hifonics ZXi 6.5C comps for $70 at onlinecarstereo dot com. Would these run just fine off the head unit, or would I need an amp?... or a better hu?

One problem is that the cavalier's stock head unit is a big old double din, and to get to it you basically have to take apart the whole dash. But I really don't want to buy a double din hu. There is a universal din pocket that I found on crutchfield dot com. Is the fix really that easy?

And lastly, aside from the actual head unit, the din pocket, and a simple harness, is there anything that I'll need to put in a head unit?

Thanks so much. I really don't mind putting the time into my car; I just don't have the knowledge or skill to do it alone. You can comment on any one of my inquiries.... I'll take all the help that you have to offer!

07-11-2011, 05:00 PM
I would first buy a pioneer headunit, then buy some components. I would buy the stuff from an authorized dealer though.

07-11-2011, 05:03 PM
I buy straight from the dealer or Crutchfield, not the most thrifty option, until something goes wrong.
I've yet to buy anything from Sonic Electronix other than a 0/1 cable stripper that I lost already.

07-11-2011, 05:07 PM
Check here for a head unit

Car Audio Stereo - Car Subwoofers - Car Amplifiers and Speakers (http://www.sonicelectronix.com)

Most head units there come with free shipping and free install accessories (dash kit + wire harness). Can find something good for around $100. You will want to get a head unit with at least 2 sets of pre amp outputs if you decide you wanna put an amp to your speakers.