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There is nothing quite like rolling down your windows and cranking up your favorite tunes, especially in a car you love. When your sound system isn't quite up to snuff — which a lot of stock systems aren't — it's up to you to upgrade it to something you really enjoy listening to. That's what forum user LosAngelesGT wanted to do since the 03 Mustang GT Premium he was looking to buy had a sound system that didn't work as well as he liked. Let's take a look at LAGT's problem and some possible solutions.

The Problem – A Mach 460 Sound System

The Mach 460, introduced in 1995 , comes standard on most 90s and 2000s Mustangs, but if you love music it isn't the best system in the world. It doesn't have enough bass, and the sound quality tends to be poor at higher volumes. Unfortunately, it's also an extremely picky sound system — if you try to upgrade it, such as adding a subwoofer or additional amplifier, the sound quality tends to take a hit.

As LAGT found out, replacing the head unit of the Mach 460 makes the sound quality even worse. Basically, you have to replace your sound system with a completely new one, including new wires running to the speakers, or you have to deal with the Mach 460 that's installed.


This is due largely to the fact that the Mach 460 is a low ohm system, making it incompatible with many higher ohm equipment. Additionally, as user MustangJunkie on the StangNet forums found out, the speakers are not wired in parallel — in most cars, your left speakers are wired together and your right speakers are wired together. In Mustangs equipped with the Mach 460, the front and rear speakers are wired together instead.

Improving Your Sound System

What can LAGT and other Mustang owners do to improve their sound system? Plenty of AFM users had ideas. Old Man Poser recommended starting over from scratch, saying he “upgraded piece by piece starting with speakers, then a sub/amp, then another amp” until using an Alpine 4 channel PDX amp. Racin366 said he installed a new head unit and got all the unites working right. It was complicated, but “sounds phenomenal.”

Another idea is to try soundproofing . This can be a great way to make even the lowest quality sound system sound better. Road noise and engine noise both make it harder to hear your radio, so by soundproofing your car, you can make it easier to enjoy your music without spending a ton of extra money to replace your system.

Soundproofing is great because it also helps to reduce the number of distractions you hear while you're driving — which makes your driving safer.


A good sound system can really make or break a car — no one wants to work on long commutes or take road trips if they can't listen to their favorite tunes. We can all learn from LAGT's question. The lesson here is that if you've got a Mach 460 sound system, it's all or nothing when it comes to replacements. If you don't choose to replace your sound system, adding soundproofing to your car can be a great way to make your system sound better without spending a ton of money on a totally new stereo.
 

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