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Upgrading car stereo? (1 Viewer)

17seconds

root of all aliai
I just bought a 2011 Jetta TDI and the sound out of the stock stereo sucks. I don't want to be bumping down the road with 2 12"s or anything like that, but I'd like to do something to improve the quality. Don't want to replace the head unit - it has everything I need. I mostly listen to Sirius and music off of an SD Card. Again, I like nice sound but don't need massive volume or bass. Suggestions?

I'm thinking just replacing the front and rear door speakers with better 6 1/2" ones. Recommendation on the better bang-for-buck brands? Thinking a sub won't be necessary if they are that size. Should I get an amp too, or does whatever the stock radio put out (what like 10W) do enough?

Hoping I can do this in the neighborhood of $500.

 
Replacing factory speakers will help clean up your mids and highs but are unlikely to give you much "thump" in the lower frequencies. I know you said you're not looking for booming bass, but a nice balanced, tight low end really fills out most car stereo systems.

Unfortunately to get good low end you typically have to add an amp and then a cabinet/sub combo of some sort. For a car that size, a single 8" sub should be plenty to round out an otherwise balanced OEM system. I'd look into Online forums and seek out audio system mods that have been done by others. VW is an enthusiast/modder brand and I'd imagine that a lot of folks have beefed up the factory sound in that ride.

Infinity Kappa and MB Quart used to make very solid mid/high range replacement speakers... not sure if that is still the case or not.

 
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how about just replacing the front door speakers with something that has good mids and highs and then getting a powered 8" bazooka for the trunk?

the car does have tweeters up high in the windshield frame columns

 
how about just replacing the front door speakers with something that has good mids and highs and then getting a powered 8" bazooka for the trunk?

the car does have tweeters up high in the windshield frame columns
Something like that would help a good bit. Understand that your factory amp generally begins seeing significantly more distortion once you hit about 2/3 volume. If your desired listening volume is much higher than 50% volume, then you're going to want to look into changing out your head-unit. YOu'll also want to look into whether that head unit has pre-amp outs or other available outs for the Bazooka sub.

 
Funny, I was look at upgrading my wifes stereo today

She has a 2013 Town and Country, and the stock stereo blows(sound is okay, just not loud enough for her)

I've been told the stock speakers are crap, and I should upgrade the doors with some 3-ways and and amp to give it more umph.

 
I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass

 
I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass
You probably need an amp to drive the speakers.

 
rockaction said:
17seconds said:
I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass
You probably need an amp to drive the speakers.
The volume is barely enough

What I really need is a sub. It's a very trebley/midrangey sounding setup right now. I actually had more low-end with the stock speakers. All the detail is there but no low end.

I don't want to spend any more money though. For now, hoping the tweeters break in a little and soften out.

 
rockaction said:
17seconds said:
I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass
You probably need an amp to drive the speakers.
The volume is barely enough

What I really need is a sub. It's a very trebley/midrangey sounding setup right now. I actually had more low-end with the stock speakers. All the detail is there but no low end.

I don't want to spend any more money though. For now, hoping the tweeters break in a little and soften out.
Car stereo systems get so expensive -- I hear you. But really, if the volume is barely enough, I can't recommend an amp as the -- money aside -- solution strongly enough. Especially if you're driving Focals.

 
rockaction said:
17seconds said:
I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass
You probably need an amp to drive the speakers.
The volume is barely enough

What I really need is a sub. It's a very trebley/midrangey sounding setup right now. I actually had more low-end with the stock speakers. All the detail is there but no low end.

I don't want to spend any more money though. For now, hoping the tweeters break in a little and soften out.
Car stereo systems get so expensive -- I hear you. But really, if the volume is barely enough, I can't recommend an amp as the -- money aside -- solution strongly enough. Especially if you're driving Focals.
5 channel amp and 10" sub would turn the system into all kinds of awesome, I know

 
I used to run an 8" Kicker to fill out bass in my car, it was enough of a thump to fill out the sound but small enough it wasn't booming outside of the car.

My wife who likes a more booming sound, has a pair of 10" subs (don't remember the brand) in a box I built. She is using my old amp, which I think was putting out about 100watts per channel.

I often end up replacing the front door speakers, one of the easiest things you can do to improve your sound. The deck speakers in the back can help but I tend to agree with others that unless you are getting really nice quality there and driving with an amp, you probably won't have much of an improvement over stock.

 
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.

 
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.
I am leaning this way as well, and came across the same article you did. The Pioneer unit does everything I want, and for $100. For that price, I can drop XM at $17 a month, and subscribe to spotify or apple music at $10 a month. (Makes it easier to sell to the wife)

Any info is appreciated.

 
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.
I am leaning this way as well, and came across the same article you did. The Pioneer unit does everything I want, and for $100. For that price, I can drop XM at $17 a month, and subscribe to spotify or apple music at $10 a month. (Makes it easier to sell to the wife)

Any info is appreciated.
I haven't used it but it does seem all you need these days is a Bluetooth receiver these days.

And no, you don't buy a new car when all it takes to modernize your old one is a $100 receiver.

 
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.
Do your current stereos have aux input?

 
Emerson Biggens said:
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.
Do your current stereos have aux input?
The wife's does, mine doesn't. We ended up buying the single din pioneers I listed from crutchfied (complete install kit comes for free from them). Planning on installing it this weekend.

 
Emerson Biggens said:
With the handsfree law in NH now in affect, the wife and I are looking to upgrade our car stereo systems to something that has bluetooth. I've been doing some research, and am looking to FBG's for some advise.

My wife is interested in something like this. I like the idea of a full on display like that and the price is OK (don't really want to go much more than this), but I'm wary of buying this off of ebay, considering it doesn't even list a manufacturer, model, etc. Thoughts?

The other one I was looking at was this one, which was recommended as the best bluetooth car stereo in 2014 by thewirecutter.

Any thoughts, experiences, or advice? Both the wife and I have iPhone 6's too.
Do your current stereos have aux input?
The wife's does, mine doesn't. We ended up buying the single din pioneers I listed from crutchfied (complete install kit comes for free from them). Planning on installing it this weekend.
Cool, was going to say an inexpensive route which I did cost about $25 and it acts just like a built in. It comes on when the car is cranked and connects automatically and turns off when the car does. Music and calls go through the car stereo flawlessly.Like this

[New Version]Mpow® Streambot One Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Car Kit / Bluetooth Audio Music Receiver for Car Stereo Supports Voice Control https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OOZJBPW/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_xmePvbVHYHGR3

But your route is definitely better

 
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I ended up just replacing the speakers for now, maybe forever if I can live with it. It was about $500.

Focal 165A1 in the front

Alpine SPS610 for fill sound in the rear

sound is way, way better but not much volume and bass
You probably need an amp to drive the speakers.
The volume is barely enough

What I really need is a sub. It's a very trebley/midrangey sounding setup right now. I actually had more low-end with the stock speakers. All the detail is there but no low end.

I don't want to spend any more money though. For now, hoping the tweeters break in a little and soften out.
Car stereo systems get so expensive -- I hear you. But really, if the volume is barely enough, I can't recommend an amp as the -- money aside -- solution strongly enough. Especially if you're driving Focals.
5 channel amp and 10" sub would turn the system into all kinds of awesome, I know
I ended up getting a 50W/ch Alpine amp for the focals and just a powered Rockford Fosgate 10" for the trunk to add some low end. Most important thing I added was an AudioControl line-out converter that made the sound 10X better from the head unit.

It's a very nice sounding system that gets loud enough. Not a ton of bass but that's not what I was trying to do.

In the end it cost me about $1,000.

 
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