I was asked to introduce myself. Well I found this forum last few days and thought to sign up to ask some questions and maybe tips. I was a little bit into the car audio back in the late 80's and into 90's. I see things have changed. Many of the brands I remember and mainly the US made stuff has gone away or has been taken over by others that make them in China. I see there are still a few US made equipment left. I remember the swap-meet amps you use to see with the 1000watt $25 brands. That was the day. But anyway, I remember the great US made amps and speakers back then that were awesome and sounded so clean. I am today somewhat confused on what brands today are good and sound clean and most of all reliable. I am 45 now and want quality sound and not just loud SPL. My current vehicle is a 04 Toyo Tacoma X-cab. it is kind of old now but it is paid off, low insurance and I put a motor in it few years ago and it runs great. I plan to do some fix up this year on it so I can dive it another 300,000 miles. It's paying me back now.
I installed a sound system back when I bought it in 04. I designed it myself and bought the equipment and took it to a local shop to install. One Jenson 4 CD changer head Unit and one Blauplunk head unit, yes 2 head units in a double Din opening. Remember that Jenson 4 CD changer hear unit? 2 JBL amps, 2ch amp for 2 Kicker 6 1/2 bass substaions tubes and the 4ch amp for front Blauplunk components and a set of Blauplunk 4x9 fill in rear speakers. I did eventually change out the head units to 2 Alpine head units CDA-9820XM first, then last year a CDE-HD137BT I wanted the USB port. But I still have the rest of the sound system still in truck.
I think the system is getting tired and I think one of my tweeter are gone. So to make a long story short, I was thinking of upgrading and install new amps and speaker. I will still keep the Kicker 6 1/2 substation tube in there. The Kickers were awesome and sad when they stopped making them. They still sound great. A testament to quality manufacturing. The truck has a small cab area so don't need a million watts in there. And the Kickers were just right. They are hard to find used these days and if you do they are bought up quickly. I did find a pair of the 6 1/2 substations on E-bay few years back and bought them quick and there in the garage raped up till I need them.
I do understand most of all the tech stuff of systems and I did design my own system back in 04. So this time around I was looking to upgrade to newer amps and speakers but, I don't know what brands today are good and reliable and sound clean. I have researched on internet last few day and have seen Zed audio, Sundown, Zapco, RE, Helix, RFand others. I have even seen Brax from Germany, wow they are sweet and are handmade to order. But the cost, out of my league. The US made amps are nice and can be expensive. I understand that there are still many brands that are good that are made in china. Brands that are designed here in US but made in china and are good. I even looked at Alpine amps and speakers because I have the 2 Alpine head units and maybe just make it all Alpine system except for the Kicker substations. So I need help to understand from people that are in the business today and have experience with current brands and can help me choose good quality brands. What are good and what to stay away from. I need some honest opinions. I have been reading a few car audio forums including this one for help.
So I thank you for your time to allow me to post my question and comments, and look forward to your help and comments.