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Discussion Starter #21
It's a Mazda3 sGT. The OEM Bose system runs through the amp which is located under the passenger seat. Clean, low-level signals are under that seat and can be used to feed the DSP and then AMP. Speaker wires will not be changed until the new speakers go in. Basic power kit for amp will provide new power line. RCA's will be used to transfer signals from current AMP input to new dsp, and RCA's will also connect dsp to amp.
 

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Sounds simple and like you've researched how to do it all... So why aren't you doing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
To be clear, all OEM functions are unaffected with the exception of two proprietary technologies that Bose uses. Neither one of which I care about since they only exist to artificially manipulate the sound. Also, and most importantly to me, is that there is no processing to the signals that we will be using. So it's a basic, unmolested, signal which can be directly amplified or processed and then amplified. As for the seat it doesn't have to come out in order to remove the amp. Assuming that they may want to remove it to make installation easier, there would be no air bags involved.
 

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Because I'm not physically able to carry out the work unfortunately.
Ah. I'd get a 2nd quote. Either that or just skip the 1st stage and do the final install first.
 
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I would agree, if you already know you want to do something else more complex you’re basically throwing away this money.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Yes, you guys are right about this being a waste of money. The only thing I can say is that I don't want to drive 2,000 miles with the Bose system....not a great reason when you look at it logically but it's definitely several full days I'm not looking forward to so I am prepared to spend a bit of cash. I asked about the costs because it struck me as high for the basic nature of the work. To be fair, there aren't that many good shops where I live now so it may well be the going rate....the thing is that if you extrapolate this data and use it to figure out an estimate for an entire system, how much additional would you have to spend for the really time consuming tasks like sound treatments, fabrication, etc.?
 

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Yes, you guys are right about this being a waste of money. The only thing I can say is that I don't want to drive 2,000 miles with the Bose system....not a great reason when you look at it logically but it's definitely several full days I'm not looking forward to so I am prepared to spend a bit of cash. I asked about the costs because it struck me as high for the basic nature of the work. To be fair, there aren't that many good shops where I live now so it may well be the going rate....the thing is that if you extrapolate this data and use it to figure out an estimate for an entire system, how much additional would you have to spend for the really time consuming tasks like sound treatments, fabrication, etc.?
You can't necessarily say it'll be a linear price cha ge. They may be willing to reduce the hourly rate as the amount of work goes up. Keep in mind, it has to be profitable for them, which is much harder these days. If you're bringing your own gear, your own accessories, etc... That doesn't leave much margin for them and so they have to make it in the labor.

If you start bringing them more work to do, they may cut you more of a break on the labor. If you were buying gear from them, you get more of a break as well. To be honest, IMO if you're not doing the install yourself, then you should try to buy as much as possible from your installer, even if it's not the gear the interwebz say you should run. You'll get better results from an installer who is vested in your build with slightly worse gear than one who you're just using for the grunt work for expensive stuff.

That said, I did 700 miles in a 26 foot moving truck with a car trailer behind it with no music at all. Suck it up butrercup and live with the Bose system for the 3 days you'll be driving. You've lived with it up to this point, why waste a high portion of your budget for the build on temporary that still might not sound that great?
 
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I don't need to know any other specifics. That's high.

It is for me any way; I wouldn't pay that much for that. Other than the tuning that stuff is pretty basic. There was a discussion here a while back about what the cost of tuning should be, and I was blown away by what people were saying was a "normal" price for tuning. That could be a big part of the cost. I would pay a decent amount for a tuning because I don't have any experience with it. But I would try to run the wires and connect the amp and DSP myself.
 

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I get that "somewhat" but my next sentence asked about the number of hours.
Not sure I understand what you're getting at, but if you buy gear from them, they're making $X from the markup over dealer cost that they don't have to do manual labor for. If you provide your own, then it's 100% work + extra hassle if they're not as familiar with it or something's wrong. It's an uncharge for the trouble and it's easier (or more lucrative) to apply per hour than as a flat fee.

Back when I was looking at having a reputable local shop do my install, they posted two different labor rates on their wall. If you brought your own equipment it was about 20% more expensive per hour.
 

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I say it takes up 4-6 hours shop time. $120 an hour is a reasonable rate for a shop now. If they have 3 guys and only 1-2 jobs a day that's likely not even enough. For 3 guys it costs me about $135 an hour without any overhead. My equipment is bought and paid for. They have bills every month for location based expenses.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I'm meeting with the installer tomorrow so I'll follow up. I have ONE single component that I already own and I'm willing to buy the rest from them. The guys in the shop all agree that I should use the amp I have. I will probably buy an additional amp but the one for the front stage will be the one I have. It's no longer available and it's as good, if not better than anything they carry. I've opened the budget up for them to sell and install multiple speakers, apply sound treatments, etc. I may also buy a Helix DSP as well as a sub amp, driver, and enclosure. That will easily increase the original bill by a factor of 3, 4, or 5 times so let's see if we can come up with something we are both happy with.
 

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I had the same issue with some shops during my install, places like to wrap up the final cost with a nice big bow...!

And to tell you the truth, it's not that they are trying to gouge you, many have a hard time breaking down the various tasks, that is why I made a list of actions and handed it to them, I had it broken down like this:
1. Sub House fab & install
2. Amp install,
3. Sound deadening (parts & labor),
4, New cables and wires,
5. DSP tuning

Then I had them figure the pricing for each line and questioned each one, based on their hourly rate (which was $120/hr)

The above install came out to UNDER $1,400 at one of the best shops in So. Cal.

BTW: they posted a install video of my Passport (super short, but still cool)...
I would never allow a shop to put on line my vehicle they installed gear into, nothing like telling the world, come steal me
 

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It's a Mazda3 sGT. The OEM Bose system runs through the amp which is located under the passenger seat. Clean, low-level signals are under that seat and can be used to feed the DSP and then AMP. Speaker wires will not be changed until the new speakers go in. Basic power kit for amp will provide new power line. RCA's will be used to transfer signals from current AMP input to new dsp, and RCA's will also connect dsp to amp.
Here is the PROBLEM. no matter that the wires are already there and run ,and such, the shop installing your new gear is putting their name on it. So if they are a shop that cares about their rep. They will be checking and replacing, redoing whatever they don't like about the old install set up. As their name will now be on the end product. And today people love to get on the web and put a shop on blast.
So they if they are any good, are going to double check everything, that takes time. rip out anything they don't like and or start over because they don't want to trust someone elses work.
 

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I say it takes up 4-6 hours shop time. $120 an hour is a reasonable rate for a shop now. If they have 3 guys and only 1-2 jobs a day that's likely not even enough. For 3 guys it costs me about $135 an hour without any overhead. My equipment is bought and paid for. They have bills every month for location based expenses.
It really depends on the location. It also depends on the work being done. Some shops do flat rates and some split rates between fabrication and installation. If a local shop charges $120 per hour for car audio installation in Tennessee I’d say that’s high. If your in a high taxed state like Cali, New York, Connecticut, etc then yeah. Based on his list of tasks there is no way I would pay that much.
 

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It really depends on the location. It also depends on the work being done. Some shops do flat rates and some split rates between fabrication and installation. If a local shop charges $120 per hour for car audio installation in Tennessee I’d say that’s high. If your in a high taxed state like Cali, New York, Connecticut, etc then yeah. Based on his list of tasks there is no way I would pay that much.
It's worth noting, TN is not all shoeless ******** with dirt floors. Nashville is one of the most expensive cities in the country. Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, etc are all not as cheap as some are thinking.

Another thing to think about... What if the install goes awry? What if you have engine noise, or it sounds worse than the Bose system, or any number of other possible outcomes? I get the wanting it for the drive, I really do, but there's a lot of risk if you get it done and the results are less than optimal. What if your DSP has noise and they say "well you didn't buy it from us so we can't really help you other Than you can buy a new one and pay us to swap it or we can sell you a DSP and you can pay us to swap that"?
 

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It's worth noting, TN is not all shoeless ******** with dirt floors. Nashville is one of the most expensive cities in the country. Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, etc are all not as cheap as some are thinking.

Another thing to think about... What if the install goes awry? What if you have engine noise, or it sounds worse than the Bose system, or any number of other possible outcomes? I get the wanting it for the drive, I really do, but there's a lot of risk if you get it done and the results are less than optimal. What if your DSP has noise and they say "well you didn't buy it from us so we can't really help you other Than you can buy a new one and pay us to swap it or we can sell you a DSP and you can pay us to swap that"?
Never inferred that my man. I’m in Alabama. Are there shops that charge that? Yes. But the tasks don’t exactly scream that you need to go to an Audio X etc to get it done. You want to go to a premier shop to get it done? Sure. They can charge what they want and get it. The average labor rate per person in an audio shop isn’t $120 per hour. I’m in the industrial electrical control business and I don’t charge that much. And we have a branch in Nashville
 

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Never inferred that my man. I’m in Alabama. Are there shops that charge that? Yes. But the tasks don’t exactly scream that you need to go to an Audio X etc to get it done. You want to go to a premier shop to get it done? Sure. They can charge what they want and get it. The average labor rate per person in an audio shop isn’t $120 per hour. I’m in the industrial electrical control business and I don’t charge that much. And we have a branch in Nashville
FWIW, at best buy 10+ years ago we were charger ing 80 bucks an hour. That was when we had margin in speakers, margin all our other businesses, and install was more of a sales tool than a profit driver. I'm sure the cost to do it now is higher, since margins have come down and in this installs case, it's pure labor, so they'd have to get all their margin from the labor.

A decent installer is gonna be 20 to 25 bucks an hour in wages, not including benefits. Really good may be even more. Then you've got all the other overhead, downtime, rent, lights, insurance, etc... Plus it's not worth doing it if it's not gonna turn a little bit of profit. I don't see 120$ an hour as that insane honestly. That's about what you'd pay for a parts swapper mechanic...
 
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