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    Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Hi, I'm looking into upgrading the base audio system in my 2013 Focus ST. I'm not sure yet if I'll do it myself or have a shop do it. Though, today I stopped by a local car audio shop and they were suggesting to keep the stock head unit, and add an amplifier or sound processer + amplifer.

    They said that I would get good sound with this setup, which suprised me as it has been my understanding that if you have a low quality signal from the stock head unit, you can't just fix it with an amplifer, you need to replace the head unit and get a quality signal from the start.

    Can anyone comment on this or have suggestions? Thanks.







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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Can you even change the radio out on that?




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    You may not be able to swap out the radio yet most 2013 cars don't even have harnesses available yet. But you can go with an own integration processor and amp to get what you want




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by pickup1 View Post
    Can you even change the radio out on that?
    Yea you can, I've changed mine out.

    Nevermind, don't have a 2013 lol.



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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Truth be told most late model vehicles have decent headunits in them, they just don't have all the extra features most of us want or the power and speaker quality but that's quickly changing, especially on the 2012-13 vehicles.



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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Yes the HU can be replaced in my car, but I my loose some controls and such.


    As far as I can tell listening to the stereo now, the factory HU seems very underpowered, and audio quality is not so great. That is why I am concerned.


    Though I guess this sound processor + factory HU is an okay solution? Though I'm concerned that I'd be really expensive. The shop quoted me about 1,800$ for front speakers, sound processor, amp install. Is that typical? Think I could talk them down a bit?

    I'm not totally opposed to doing an install myself, but I'm not sure what components to get, and I'm concerned about it getting too involved. I installed speakers and a HU in my previous car, but didn't do any re-wireing or amps.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Using a processor as a LOC will be the best solution overall. You can then add an amplifier for your speakers and for subs if you like while retaining your stock headunit and controls.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Alright, well I guess I'm still a bit confused how the processor makes a bad signal into a good signal.

    At any rate, could you point me in the right direction for what gear would work well together if I was going to do a self install? processor, amp, front speakers, maybe rear speakers.

    Or is $1,800 a reasonable price to have a shop do it? I realize some markup is expected and labor costs. And it would save me some time.


    Also, would it be possible to go with just an amp and front speakers? (without a processor)




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by egroeg555 View Post
    Hi, I'm looking into upgrading the base audio system in my 2013 Focus ST. I'm not sure yet if I'll do it myself or have a shop do it. Though, today I stopped by a local car audio shop and they were suggesting to keep the stock head unit, and add an amplifier or sound processer + amplifer.

    They said that I would get good sound with this setup, which suprised me as it has been my understanding that if you have a low quality signal from the stock head unit, you can't just fix it with an amplifer, you need to replace the head unit and get a quality signal from the start.

    Can anyone comment on this or have suggestions? Thanks.
    You are right the amplifier is used to get the sound louder, It can't improve the quality of sound. Either you will have to go for the new one or there are some other spare parts those enhance the sound quality.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    ask around here you might find somebody that can do the install or might get lucky and have a shop you can drive to. unfortunately some shops will rape you on prices.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by naughtyca View Post
    ask around here you might find somebody that can do the install or might get lucky and have a shop you can drive to. unfortunately some shops will rape you on prices.
    Hey, that sounds great. I'm in Northwest Indinana. I'd be happy work out a reasonable compensation. Which subform is a good place to ask? I don't mind driving a bit either.

    Also, I'm gonna stop by the local shop again today and see if I can get a specific breakdown of what they would install and where. Not sure why I didn't ask for that the first time I was there... or why they didn't offer it regardless. I obviously need to know what they would install to compare to other options.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    I have an audiocontrol lc6i line output converter I can sell ya for $85 shipped. It basically can convert your factory signal to output for up to 3 amps. Also have a bass knob, no cable, to go with it.



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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    its best to get itemized quote with labor and equipments being used and check online if they are raping you on price, they also might be pricing you the most expensive equipment, there are a couple of variable, but don't expect the local shop to beat internet pricing, to be fair they should be at least close not double the price.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Alright, just got back from the shop and this is the itemized quote I got. Let me know what you think.


    $350 - Hertz Energy 165 Component speakers
    $45 - Hushmat and sound rings
    $249.95 - Hertz 2-Channel Amp HCP2
    $140 - Connections Amp Wire 4G
    $399.95 - Audison Bit Ten
    $179.95 - Audison DRC Controller
    $382.5 - Labor (4.5 hrs @ $85/hr)

    $95.54 - Tax

    $1881.14 - Total



    Searching online, I'm still unclear what speakers those are. The guy seemed hesitent to give me specific info. The invoice just said Hertz component, I then asked what model and he said "energy", I had to call back to get "165". Though that still does not seem to point to a specific speaker.




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    Re: Stock head unit + Amp: Good or Bad?

    Alright, I'm pretty sure it's the Hertz ESK 165 speakers.




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