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RE: You need a very quiet car to make it worthwhile. My entry-level Camry

It's really not that difficult to best a factory installed system, and for about a third of what the manufacturer charges. The problem is, just as in our hobby, the masses aren't interested in quality, it doesn't sell, so the car shops give the public what they want, a trunk full of bass boxes.

I usually do my own, have for decades, it's where I started biamping back in the late 70's. In 1998 for my wife's Volvo I decided to have a shop do the work, they tried to push a bass box on me but I wasn't having it. The final system consisted of a set of Pioneer components in all four doors driven by a 4 channel Rockford amp, and 2 8" bass drivers in the rear deck with sealed tubes extending to the bottom of the trunk driven by a second Rockford. The head unit was a Pioneer Premier, I can't remember the model numbers of any of the equipment now.

The bass wouldn't rattle your windows when I drove by, but the sound would rival most decent home systems. The installers at the shop were floored, they never thought of doing the bass drivers that way. But I can't blame them, most of the kids that spend large sums on there car sound don't want what I had, they want MEGA bass.

I later did something similar with her Mercedes and the system was a huge improvement, even over the multi amped high end system Mercedes put in there S class cars at the time. At the same time I put together a system in my Chevy Z71 with the goal to do it for a $1000. I went a bit over, I believe the end total was $1200, but the system annihilated every system I had ever owned before. I purchased a demo head unit for under $200, used 2 6"passive bazooka tubes driven by a Rockford Punch 160, a set of Kenwood components in the doors, and 2 pair of Pioneer plate speakers in the dash and rear roof pillars, also powered by Rockford amplification.

Again, the 6" bass drivers wouldn't rattle your windows when I drove by, but the bass was fast, tight, musical, and plenty deep, you could definitely feel it in your gut.


I should add, I currently own a 2009 Mustang GT with the premium sound package, meaning the shaker 500. For a factory system it's better than many, but still only so so. The bass is boomy, the mids thin, the highs meh, and imaging is non existent, we almost never even turn it on.

Edits: 04/12/17 04/12/17

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