I was first inspired by John Whitledge's sprinter van and his scientific approach. As an engineering student I knew the pursuit of sound quality in car audio was a matter of breaking down the process into smaller, more simple concepts. My goal was to learn as much as possible, re-use my existing gear, and change my installation a little at a time to hear the differences. I bought some books, found some excellent resources online, and signed up to be a judge for MECA events here on the west coast (best thing ever!).
This is the 2nd car I've built, the first was a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee and I built a transmission line subwoofer to experiment with low frequency extension (the in-car resonant frequency of that sub was 28 hertz and was an absolute joy, I miss it!). The same equipment is being used in both cars except for the subwoofer. Here is the list for the Golf:
Morel Hybrid Ovation 6.5" 2-way component speakers
Alpine PDX-5 5 channel amplifer
Eclipse CD7200 MkII head unit
Focal Polyglass 21 V2 8" subwoofer
sound treatments from Lowe's and sounddeadenershowdown
By experiencing many iterations of the installation in both cars, I am truly astounded by how awesome (and how terrible) the exact same gear can sound. It is so common to see people swapping out speakers and amplifiers because they don't like it, or their midbass driver is muddy, or their tweeter is harsh, or whatever. I am now a strong believer that good installation and good tuning are absolutely essential no matter what price range your speakers and amplifiers fall into.
The subwoofer, sound treatments, and passenger midbass are complete right now. I'll post some more this week, as I want to finish it for the meca competition this saturday in San Jose.
my 6 month old austrailian shepherd, she loves to "help" with whatever I'm doing, often borrowing tools and pieces of hardware