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Old 16 Jan 2008, 10:18 pm
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 55
Default Anyone into high end car stereo?

My "new" used car, a 1999 Honda Civic HX came with a cheap but good sounding stereo system composed of a $149 Kenwood KDC-419 Head Unit and Pioneer Speakers. Playing CDs - it sounds great! Unfortunately I have my best music on an iPod at 256kbps sampling. The iPod music (through a Griffin FM Transmitter) sounds good on my stock stereo in my 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, but in the Honda stereo it sounds fuzzier with less clarity. Tested it with the same song from CD and FM iPod and there was a big sound quality difference! So I'm gonna shell out $375 for an Alpine 9887 head unit + a $30 direct iPod interface! Might just stick with that / no amp / no subwoofer - I'll test it for awhile after I buy it to see if it needs one. But if I had to get an amp, the only one I can think about with audiofile quality is the Soundstream Reference amps! But they aren't being sold anywhere in America despite the Soundstream website that states it in their product line! And if I get a sub, I just want a good sounding controlled bass sub thats small / compact / doesn't take too much space. Just need it to round off the sound.

Then I discovered in car audio forums about how many people whine about modern amps with their cheap "Made in China" quality. They give lots of high praise to "old school" amps of the 90's which were often handmade in America. Now the only Soundtream amp I can get now is the Picasso series which I have not heard much reviews of / maybe it's not desired by the car audio crowd. I just don't know about those JL Audio or Rockford Fosgate 5 channel amps. I'd really prefer sound quality / clarity / accuracy over high watts and volumes. Anyone got a good amp recommendation? How about a compact subwoofer?

Anyone know why I can't get a Soundstream Reference amp in America?

What's your car audio sound system and how do you like it?

What pisses me off big time is that some modern cars have a dash / stock stereo system construction such that you can't install an aftermarket stereo without excessive expense. Just like the new Honda Civic. But Alpine supplies the stereo for Honda, but what if it sucks?

If you got a cheap stereo that sounds awesome and has a direct iPod interface tell us about that too! Sometimes I tell myself not to spend so much on my Honda because if a 100 mpg hybrid car comes out in 2010 - I might just get that! [The next Toyota Prius?]

What good car audio forums are there to look at? Are you a member of any?

I posted this in multiple forums too!
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