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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my 16 year old sister just got her license, and she got an 06 Flint Mica tC on the super cheap thanks to my dad's connections in the car biz. It's a perfect little car for her, auto trans, sunroof (duh), "cute little spoiler" (her words, not mine), and best of all, extremely low miles, 28k if i remember correctly.

However, she's been bugging big brother since before she had a permit to put a system in her car.

The problem, she's got very very limited funds.

Here's the criteria:

-Decent sound
-Likely be passive, going active is most likely just going to be too expensive
-Clean but cheap bass. Being around my systems, she's become accustomed to how a subwoofer should sound, BUT, she is also a 16 year old teenage girl and does like to cruise around bumping rap with all her little friends. Thinking single 12, maybe dual 8's or dual 10's.
-Preferably a single 4 channel amp with a small footprint that isn't expensive. 2 channels passive to the fronts, at least 300w bridged for sub duty.

Here's the gear I have that I'd be willing to donate:
-Fuse holder
-Ring terminals, etc.
-Small amounts of sound deadening
-Set of eD 6000sv.2 components brand new in box (unless my buddy's dad decides to use them in his 67 Chevelle Malibu. I offered them to him first, as I'm doing his whole system)
-Some speaker wire

Here's the gear i'm looking at...

AMPS:
- Pioneer Premier PRS-D4200F
- Eclipse XA4200
- Alpine MRP-F600

Headunits:
- Alpine CDA-9884
- Clarion DXZ785USB (if i can find another... not willing to sell her mine i don't think...)
- Kenwood Excelon KDC-X592 (have the 492 in my boat, it does the job and then some, and they are the same price online...)

Speakers:
- eD 6000v2's above that i already have
- PG RSD65cs
- Alpine SPS-600C
- PPI 356cs (maybe...)
- RS180/ND28 (big maybe)

Subwoofers:
- Dayton HO 12
- eD 11ov.2 vented
- eD e3.12
- eD 9kv.2 x 2
- PG RSd 12

Any suggestions/do's/dont's/experience with any of this gear? As long as it sounds pretty good and is cheap, that's all I'm worried about. Pretty sure i'm on the right path though...
 

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You did a lot of research and referencing. I see your price range now. All those headunits are discontinued so you might find a good deal on one locally. I still say look in the classifieds here. You can pick up 2 good amps for the price ($400) of the others. New, the Alpine 9886 is a good deal at about $250 and 2 x Dayton RSS210HF-4 $180. The amp I would still buy 2 used ones. On a side note, if she is like most 16yr old girls, she will have friends in the car and they would appreciate some sound in the back. Add rear fill (2 x 8ohm mids and bridge to amp) and a nice component set (or piece together a woofer and tweeter) up front with good sound proofing. gl
 

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-Preferably a single 4 channel amp with a small footprint that isn't expensive. 2 channels passive to the fronts, at least 300w bridged for sub duty.

Here's the gear i'm looking at...

AMPS:
- Pioneer Premier PRS-D4200F
- Eclipse XA4200
- Alpine MRP-F600
I have been looking at the same kind of amps. For low cost per amp check out MB Quart DSC4125 ($0.26), Cadence TXA3004 ($0.38), XA125.4 ($0.44) and XA175.4 ($0.44). I am leaning toward Kicker 08ZX650.4 ($0.58) for the power and feature set (i.e. speaker level inputs, signal sensing on, differential balancing and silent on-off among others. The Kenwood KAC-4XR ($0.56) is interesting because it has a built-in equalizer, but the power ratings look suspect to me because it is listed as only needing an 8 gauge power wire.
 

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Does she have an iPod? If not, I'm sure at least one of her friends does. Pick a head unit with good (built-in) iPod control, or at least a front panel "MP3 Player" input jack. IME, Alpine has the best iPod interface, but for your sis, a simple front input jack should be just as good, it just won't charge the iPod.

-Head Unit of your Choice

-PG RSD65cs in Front (or the PPI 356cs )

-Keep the factory speakers in the Rear Seat Side Panels (or transfer the stock Fronts to this location) & run them off of Head Unit power (keep them on rear channels to keep the Fader control)

-JBL GTO1214D (dvc) or GTO1214 (svc) 12" SUBWOOFER $85-$90 SHIPPED on eBay or HookedOnTronics - Consumer Electronics @ Top Discounts, or the 10" for a bit less.

-Scosche Se12 12" or Se10 10" Sealed Subwoofer Enclosure $29-$35 SHIPPED (whichever one has FREE Super-Saver Shipping from Amazon.com!)

-Infinity Reference 475a Refurb'd (4 x 75w) $135 Shipped at Buy.com - Computers, Electronics, Digital Cameras, Books, DVDs, Music, Games, Software, Toys, Sports or elsewhere.

with

-Clarion DPX2251 (2 x 180 @ 4-Ohm/600w x 1 bridged @ 4-ohm) $175 SHIPPED (Authorized) at Crutchfield: LCD TV, Car Stereo, Home Theater, Speakers, Plasma TV

or

-Clarion DPX1851 850w MONO @ 2-ohms/460w @ 4-ohms $150 SHIPPED (authorized) Clarion DPX1851 Mono subwoofer car amplifier — 850 watts x 1 at 2 ohms at Crutchfield.com

or

Search the Classifieds here for everything!
 

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Maybe you can take a look at the ssastore : they have great combos, not so expensive.
The one with the 2 channel-Sundown amp and the Dcons sub seems really good. She will upgrade later, using this amp for her future new front speakers and a new class D amp for the subs.
This way, you can still keep her factory speakers, without amp. And use only one sub first if you prefer. You can build a small box instead of buying a prefab one; if you still want the prefab, take a sealed one, ported prefab boxes are tuned too high for good listening.
I am not an expert, just my 2 cents!
 

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I agree that rear fill would be a good idea.

Also get a headunit that is simple to use. Most girls don't wanna dick around with funky controls.

My wife loves her Kenwood X492. Simple and sounds good.

I also agree with the 5-channel suggestion. Keep it to 1 amp.
 

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The Kenwood KAC-4XR ($0.56) is interesting because it has a built-in equalizer, but the power ratings look suspect to me because it is listed as only needing an 8 gauge power wire.
This is a completely retarded response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the input guys. the stock headunit has the ipod charging cable, so i can almost guarantee she's going to want to keep that with the new unit.

as far as rear fill, it's a tiny cabin. components up front off any decent power is going to be plenty loud.

I like the JBL GTO 12, didn't even think about that one. Definitely a nice woofer considering price. :)
 

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You can look at the Cadence amps : cheap and reliable.
A good 4 ch amp bridged to the front speakers and to a single sub: that can be good too. But you will not have a lot of power for the sub.
Don't spend a dollar on rear speakers : even when you sit in the back, you still want to hear the music comming from the front, so' buy a really good set of comps for front.
Keep the money of the rear speakers for buying better front components or sub.
 

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It's been my experience that many kenwood decks are diffucult to use. I had an kdc x791 in my GF car and she couldn't figure it out to save her life. Switched her to an alpine and shes been much happier. just food for thought with a 16 yo girl who probably doesn't have alot of driving experience.
 

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I would go with the 4 ch amp, 2 ch front component set and 2 ch bridged to 1 12" sub.
the ppi 356cs are a good deal for the price.
Any 12" sub you can get really cheap.
Good cheap amp:
US Acoustics USB 4085 amplifier - eBay (item 180360326172 end time Aug-20-09 15:56:26 PDT)

+1 on the HU with mp3 input jack, a must for a teenage girl. Someone always has an ipod.
wild_eye,

I totally forgot about that amp (I had linked to it in another "budget" thread)!!! Great choice!

Where are you at in PR??? I had a house in Caguas, then in Rincon (near Tres Palmas), and my GF at the time lived in SJ. I was working for Surfing Magazine as a photographer and went there to shoot photos for a story for the mag...ended up staying for 6 months and then returning for another 8 months, lol. Loved it, but that was back in early '91-'92! I've heard the Rincon area has changed drastically since I was there. Anyway...this is making me feel old, lol...

Back to the topic

norcalsfinest, if you go with the GTO sub, I don't think she'll need to upgrade that in the future...unless she wants to add another one, lol! ;) Amazing sub for the $.

And yeah, why not use the stock HU if it's not too much trouble to tap into for the amps?...Less Bling to attract potential thieves. Only thing is you will be stuck using the Crossovers on the amp (so choose well) and of course the Passive XO on the Components (unless you choose that Kenwood KAC-4xr that was suggested earlier...it has a built-in digital processor FTW.)

I've done quite a few installs for family and friends and it's always a challenge to put together a system like this, but it's always fun, too, and you end up coming across some "sleeper" gear that will sometimes perform better in some way than your own "top dollar" personal install, lol! :/

Oh, yeah...it can't hurt to leave the stock speakers in the rear and just run them off the HU's already wired rear amp channels. She can always use the Fader to "eliminate" them if she goes for a SQ purist setup in the future. Even in a small car, my young nieces & nephews complained about not having speakers in the rear where they sat!

That 5-Channel PowerBass amp that BeatsDownLow linked to looks like a GREAT solution as well! You could bridge the stereo channels for more power if she upgrades later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
wild_eye,

I totally forgot about that amp (I had linked to it in another "budget" thread)!!! Great choice!

Where are you at in PR??? I had a house in Caguas, then in Rincon (near Tres Palmas), and my GF at the time lived in SJ. I was working for Surfing Magazine as a photographer and went there to shoot photos for a story for the mag...ended up staying for 6 months and then returning for another 8 months, lol. Loved it, but that was back in early '91-'92! I've heard the Rincon area has changed drastically since I was there. Anyway...this is making me feel old, lol...

Back to the topic

norcalsfinest, if you go with the GTO sub, I don't think she'll need to upgrade that in the future...unless she wants to add another one, lol! ;) Amazing sub for the $.

And yeah, why not use the stock HU if it's not too much trouble to tap into for the amps?...Less Bling to attract potential thieves. Only thing is you will be stuck using the Crossovers on the amp (so choose well) and of course the Passive XO on the Components (unless you choose that Kenwood KAC-4xr that was suggested earlier...it has a built-in digital processor FTW.)

I've done quite a few installs for family and friends and it's always a challenge to put together a system like this, but it's always fun, too, and you end up coming across some "sleeper" gear that will sometimes perform better in some way than your own "top dollar" personal install, lol! :/

Oh, yeah...it can't hurt to leave the stock speakers in the rear and just run them off the HU's already wired rear amp channels. She can always use the Fader to "eliminate" them if she goes for a SQ purist setup in the future. Even in a small car, my young nieces & nephews complained about not having speakers in the rear where they sat!
The GTO sub is looking like a winner for sure. As far as the headunit, the tC has the flip down headunit cover, so i'm not too worried about theft. The car already has an alarm also. The rest of the install will be hidden well. I'd rather not use the crappy headunit and sacrifice quality. My experience with Scion factory units is less than favorable. I've owned 2 xB's and now she has the tC.
 

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Forgot about that flip-down cover over the HU. I wish EVERY car had that! Also, it's good to know that these have a POS head unit...makes sense being that it's Toyota's "budget" line...costs have to be cut somewhere, right?!

Looks like your kid sis is going to have a sweet little system, bro!

Good on 'ya, mate! :thumbsup:
 

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For the subs, you might consider one or two of these:

Parts-Express.com:Coustic US-CX10-04 10" Subwoofer | subwoofer 10 inch car sub auto sub bass driver coustic

You might also consider a pair of the Phoenix Gold Ryval 10s, you can usually pick up a pair for around $80 on ePay.

I would also recommend against Kenwood head units, I've had a few and they are prone to skipping in my experience, as well as having retarded controls. As for Clarion, the Clarion DXZ785USB you mentioned is good, the DXZ385USB is also adequate - that's what I'm currently running and it's been good in terms of reliability and simplicity. A cheap, simple option that I've installed a few times is this Sony. It sounds much better than it should for the price, though it does lack a few fancy frills.

CDX-GT130 | Xplōd CD Receiver | Sony | Sony Style USA

As a few others have mentioned, since she'll be riding with friends you may want to consider a 5-channel amp and rear fill. My top pick for a budget 5-channel would be this Crunch amp: Crunch P5000.5 (cru-p50005) Multi-channel Amps Car Amplifiers Car Audio Car Audio, Video, & GPS Navigation - Sonic Electronix

I have owned and/or installed a handful of Crunch PowerZone amps and they've always done the trick for a good budget install. I also recommend component speakers and/or coaxials by Crunch, simply because of the price and durability. I've been running the same two pairs of Crunch 6.5" components for over 5 years now with no issues. They aren't perfect, but they'd certainly be acceptable to even the most discerning teenager, IMO.

I hope some of that helps, for some reason I've done quite a few "budget setups" over the last year or so. Good luck!
 
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