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If I was given the use of a time machine with a limited number of charges, regardless of how few, one of them would be used to travel back in time to spend a day with this car and stereo. The year was 1985 and I was newly out of high school, working as a grocery store bagger while attending college. Most of my spare money went into this car and most of that was used to assemble the sound system. I know my emotions play tricks with me but I remember this stereo sounding so freaking good, I've never had one to give me these kinds of feelings since. I remember it getting loud and I remember it being crystal clear. Impossible, right? Everybody wanted to ride around in my car on the weekends. So many good times happened in this car, so many firsts. We didn't care about imaging or stage height, only loud music attacking us from all sides. I'm not even sure if sound deadening was a thing but that didn't bother us any, we didn't know what we didn't know. Motley Crue, Journey, Rush, Van Halen and I could go on, the great music seemed endless.

The car was a 1974 Malibu which looked similar to the one in this photo with the exact same Cragar SS wheels. The head unit was a Pioneer KE-A330 tape deck with a forever activated loud button. This head unit lined into a Targa HT-7200 Powered EQ which pumped god's wattage into all four speakers. The rear deck speakers were Pioneer TS-6906 that were able to pressurize the cabin into creating kick drums you could feel in your chest. A matching set of TS-168 6.5" three ways sat in the doors. All of us looked forward to driving around with music screaming from the corners. What I wouldn't give to hear this system today. I wish I had photos of it but I didn't know anyone who carried a camera around back then.

Maybe it's a good thing time machines don't exist because, like Saturday morning cartoons, disappointment likely awaits on the other end.

I'd love to hear about ancient systems you remember fondly.



 

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I had a Targa, not that same one in 94. I had a local shop install it around Fort Campbell. Those bastards cut all my wires short, like an inch from the harness. That was the last time any shop has touched any of my systems until I had my pillars done recently. That was a good reminder of why no one touches my 💩 but me. I remember my early stuff being loud and proud. There wasn't Internet at the time, and like you, I just had stuff I could afford on an PFC's budget.
 

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I had a Targa, not that same one in 94. I had a local shop install it around Fort Campbell. Those bastards cut all my wires short, like an inch from the harness. That was the last time any shop has touched any of my systems until I had my pillars done recently. That was a good reminder of why no one touches my 💩 but me. I remember my early stuff being loud and proud. There wasn't Internet at the time, and like you, I just had stuff I could afford on an PFC's budget.
It was because of shops like that I started working on my own vehicles. I learned my lesson after they left tool marks all over my vehicle interior and snapped off a terminal on my new Orion amp that I saved up for six months to buy.
 
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If I was given the use of a time machine with a limited number of charges, regardless of how few, one of them would be used to travel back in time to spend a day with this car and stereo. ....
Maybe it's a good thing time machines don't exist because, like Saturday morning cartoons, disappointment likely awaits on the other end. ....
"SQ is great, but sometimes nostalgia is greater" - @ErinH :)
 

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I don't recall what gear I had at the time as I was going through it like mad in the early days. I want to say I had a Pioneer single DIN, some Pioneer co-axles, Pioneer amps, and some MTX Blue Thunder (I think that's what they were called) 10"s in a prefab box. I remember not being happy with it so I bought an EQ to make it better (louder). When I got shipped to Panama and got promoted to E4, I replaced everything with RF Punch and eventually Power series and then I was happy. I was the only one with a vehicle, so I had the best system around. :ROFLMAO: Gate guards could here me coming from around the mountain to the back gate.
 

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1989 Isuzu standard cab. No AC at first, but it had a top shelf (7 months on layaway) Alpine CD player (790…something), two Rockford Punch 12s, MB Quart components (no idea on the model numbers), a Punch 45 (first Gen) on the components and a Punch 75 driving the 12s. I had some sort of AudioControl EQ wedged between the front seats. I believe it had seven total bands of EQ. GOOD TIMES!

The system in this truck grew over the years and, for the times, it sounded so good!
 

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My first car audio system, in 1986, I installed a 10" Eminence 4-ohm DVC sub, along with a pair of beefy 4" midbass, and a pair of piezo tweeters on the parcel shelf my '71 Dodge Colt coupe; all fed by a Sanyo PA6100 (50W RMS x 2), via a pair of 100 Hz coils. Just a 3/4" plywood baffle and the stock rear seats to separate the front and rear waves. :LOL:

I'm sure it was awful by SQ standards, but with no SQ frame of reference at the time, I thought it was pretty awesome. Trunk open, it was pretty cool for tailgating too.
 

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I’m kinda trying to live those days now, just got this for my every day driver. I’m going to do the best I can with basic gear, have fun with it and be as loud as I can lol. I’m only 33 so I’m from the internet era, but my first truck that I played with had a few simple active setups in it and I swear it was the best sounding thing I have done.

(I’m jealous of you guys who enjoyed the early days!)
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I’m jealous of you guys who enjoyed the early days!
You should be!

I'm not as old as some of these old farts but I've been going to car shows my entire life. I was designing systems 10 years sooner than most.

I have a complete Eclipse system from the early 90's in my 93 S10 Blazer right now. I did it because that's the first system that impressed me.

Eclipse DDL (Direct digital link) Even FM is carried via toslink.

ECD510, EQS 2000 DSP with 8140 module, EUM 2420 amps, ECD 430 changer, ESG 6.5's, 8's, center channel. EQZ-300 tape deck. A couple of the 7" monitors and the DVD player. It's 90's throwback like you wouldn't believe. Straight audio time machine.
 

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You should be!

I'm not as old as some of these old farts but I've been going to car shows my entire life. I was designing systems 10 years sooner than most.

I have a complete Eclipse system from the early 90's in my 93 S10 Blazer right now. I did it because that's the first system that impressed me.

Eclipse DDL (Direct digital link) Even FM is carried via toslink.

ECD510, EQS 2000 DSP with 8140 module, EUM 2420 amps, ECD 430 changer, ESG 6.5's, 8's, center channel. EQZ-300 tape deck. A couple of the 7" monitors and the DVD player. It's 90's throwback like you wouldn't believe. Straight audio time machine.
Man that’s awesome. I started my journey in s10s and learned a ton in them.

I wouldn’t change a single thing EXCEPT I would need a way to play music digitally. Do you have any pictures on the install? I hope the OP doesn’t mind myself posting pictures and asking you for yours. It’s just cool to reminisce on the days that we will never see again!
 

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Man that’s awesome. I started my journey in s10s and learned a ton in them.

I wouldn’t change a single thing EXCEPT I would need a way to play music digitally. Do you have any pictures on the install? I hope the OP doesn’t mind myself posting pictures and asking you for yours. It’s just cool to reminisce on the days that we will never see again!
In my standard cab Isuzu, there was really only room for one person. 3/4 of my seat was taken up by CD binders. Digital music was a game changer. I had one of the first iPods on the block and I practically invented using limewire to pirate music files. 😂
 

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I had a 1985 grand am with pioneer cassette, pioneer equalizer booster, pioneer ts 6904, pioneer ts x7 and pioneer ts m4. It was so awesome. I’m wanting to rebuild the system in my garage. I have a set of ts x7 and I’m looking for ts m4 if anyone has any just laying around.
 

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This thread is making me arthritis act up 😀
So many memories. I was "installing" equipment by the time I was 13 for my grandfather whenever he needed something done. I think I had a subscription to Car Audio & Electronics before I had a license. My first system was in a Toyota Celica. Pioneer cassette deck and I don't recall the name of the flea market woofers I made a box for without knowing any specs, sounded like ass even to my novice ears. I eventually ended up with Kicker C-10s and a small Alpine amp driving them.

My cousing had a 77 Camaro that I built a box for 4-8" Pyles below the rear deck that damn near rattled the trunk loose.

The first "proper" install I did after reading CA&E for over 3 years was that same cousin who was left some money form a deceased relative. We walked into a real shop and left with the equipment. When we returned due to a faulty subwoofer and popped the trunk for the sales guy, he asked what shop the install.I said I did it and he looked at me sideways cause I was only 16 at the time.The compliments he gave me then as a teen still stick in my head over 30 years later. The one piece of equipment I remember vividly from that install..... a Phoenix Gold MS-275 on the sub. That thing was pretty bulletproof.
 

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I got bit by the bug at 15 in 1991 when big bass systems were becoming cool. I worked my way up to 85 Mustang GT by Junior year in high school, 1993, and had the local shop do a Sony CD, pioneer seperates on carpeted door pods, two Kicker Comp 15’s in the box with the awesome Punch 200DSM and Punch 4040 amps powering everything. Also had a stand alone 3 way Sony electronic crossover and 10 disc changer flushed into the amp rack. Moved on to a completely custom 1992 VW GTI during freshman year of college, and within a few months I had a legit multi time IASCA trophy winning system, as I spent two years going to as many shows I could make it to around my place. Top model pioneer CD and 9200 digital EQ, A/D/S/ 5.25” seperates in fiberglass kick pods, Fosgate punch 8’s in fiberglass door pods and a full b pillar 16 cubic foot sealed painted fiberglass wall with 8 punch 12’s. The hatch was done in one painted fiberglass panel that molded from under the rubber hatch seal around 4 punch DSM amps, 2 motorized drawers that contained 2 additional punch 200ix amps, and a panel that concealed a Rane dual 30 band eq that I had converted to run on 12 volts. Made near perfect RTA scores easy…:) Nobody had ever seen painted fiberglass parts bigger than a few inches in 1995, so every show I went to people were always asking if I bought them and couldn’t understand how my installer pulled it off. That car was so fun. A certain Dr Dre song at high volumes made the seat vibrate in a way that every girl who ever rode with me with that song playing had a similar experience… Unfortunately these are the only two pics I have found of that system, during construction. Below the subs were two red top optima batteries and 6 Phoenix gold 1.2 farrad caps. I think I hit 150 a couple times during competitions.
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I have a complete Eclipse system from the early 90's in my 93 S10 Blazer right now. I did it because that's the first system that impressed me.

Eclipse DDL (Direct digital link) Even FM is carried via toslink.

ECD510, EQS 2000 DSP with 8140 module, EUM 2420 amps, ECD 430 changer, ESG 6.5's, 8's, center channel. EQZ-300 tape deck. A couple of the 7" monitors and the DVD player. It's 90's throwback like you wouldn't believe. Straight audio time machine.
I can still remember trying to imagine what those Eclipse source units might have sounded like as I turned the pages of Car Audio and Electronics magazine as a teen.


We never did end up getting Eclipse in Australia
 
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