20 years ago I knew my car stereo who's who. Who makes the good stuff these days?... - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012 Thread Starter
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20 years ago I knew my car stereo who's who. Who makes the good stuff these days?...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and really date myself. But the last time I was serious into car audio (early to mid 1990's) a few brands were standouts above the others and I'm wondering if they're still as good as they once were or of the game has changed.

Head Units:
Eclipse and Alpine: Couldn't get better than this. Blaupunkt is another honorable mention. Moving down the scale was Pioneer Elite, Sony ES series, and Kenwood Excelon series (which were all brand spanking new to the game with what they called their high end lines back then).

Cream of the Crop were:
Phoenix Gold, Alpine V12 series, PPI Art Series, and Rockford Fosgate Punch series amplifier. PPI and Phoenix Gold being about the cleanest thing running with Alpine V12 and Rockford Punch being more about brute power back then.
Other Honerable mentions were the Lanzar Opti-Drive series and Orion HCCA for being some of the first 1/2 ohm stable stuff to arrive.

Speakers (Components):
MB Quart, Infinity, and Boston Acoustics all competed for top honors here with BA edging out the other two in sound quality despite coming up a little short on power handling sometimes.

JL Audio, and OZ if you wanted it to sound good. Rockford Fosgate, Kicker, and in particular Ground Zero if you wanted it to slam your brains out.

Power Conditioning:
For wiring, fuze blocks, stiffing caps, alternators, etc.. there was one name, and Stinger was that name..

So fast forward 20 some-odd years and who are the players today?..


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012
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kinda the same, JVC, Alpine...it's just that most cars these days come with really good stereos so the swap is not as common..you should hear the Bose system in my Infiniti...like hearing music for the first time again

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012
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Apline type R is about as good as it gets aftermarket wise. my brother had a whole stereo with alpine stuff and it sounded like you were in a movie theater. it was insane good sound at all levels. Expect to pay ~$1500 for a whole stereo set up
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012
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I really like my kenwood subs, but there amps are trash *WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN SOONER!* I would stick to alpines, there not cheap, but they get the job done
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012
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I know MTX Audio is beastly these days.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nick F View Post
I know MTX Audio is beastly these days.
I was thinking of adding that MTX Thunderform with the built in amp to my Shaker 500 just to give it a little extra oomph.. other than that the factory stereo is tits!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012
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..Blaupunkt was a good name in germany and Becker was even better, but unfortunately Blaupunkt now itīs build in china (like the most stuff) but with cheap pieces and Becker didīnt build radios for the aftermarket anymore.
I have 2 Beckers one in the BMW e34 540 and the other in the e36 328 station wagon and those radios are outstanding.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012
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I've always had good luck with Polk Audio, both at home theater and in car audio, at least for speakers. MTX for sub amps. Alpine for head units.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012
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Good depends on what your ears like and what you are willing to spend.

Lots of the same major players are still there today, but you can really find a lot of quality stuff at all price points.

For my ears, when it comes to speakers, nothing sounds better than Focals. And with Focal you can spend less than $200 or $1,000 or more on a pair depending on what you get from their line. But truth is you will find speakers you are happy with best by listening yourself. Just about ANYTHING is better than the crap that comes from the factory.

The same statement can be made on subs, depends on what you want it to do and how it sounds for your ears as well as how much money your willing to spend.

Alpine and Pioneer are making top notch head units still.

JL Audio, Alpine, Arc Audio, and many others make quality amps. The big with amps is getting "Class D" amps, they are super small, run very cool, and very efficient. Drive lots of power in a tiny package, they can even be mounted upside with no worries about overheating.
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Base 3.7 appearance pack

That class "D" info is great, thanks! I'm upgrading my base 12 3.7 soon.
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2012 Candy Red 3.7 Cyclone {RIP}
2014 3.7 Cyclone DIB\BMR rear lca;s\ American Racing razor 18x9\275/40/18 Yokohama S-drives\Boss 302 strut brace\Airaid "tube"& aFe inverted Dry-S drop-in\UPR catch can\Koni sports\J&M cc plates\DSS 3.5" 1 piece
Bassani\BMR adj. panhard\

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ARC, Zapco, Rainbow, DLS, CDT and Morel all make really good stuff for SQ/SQL.
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The orion hcca series is some top quality stuff. Kinda spendy but the hcca subs have recone kits jus in case u blow it out (if u really can lol) mostly every manufacture of car subwoofers dont offer that option because they see it as a loss of money when the consumer can buy the whole thing over again for full price. Alpine has been stepping it up lately also with there type X stuff. U deff get what u pay for haha
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