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Changing out stock audio system

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Old 12-10-2013, 02:43 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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Default Changing out stock audio system

Hi all,

New the forum. Seeking advice on changing out the stock sound system in my boyfriends (new to us) 2002 Dakota SLT quad cab. His birthday is coming up and I thought it would be a nice gift. However, he travels for work and the truck is not here for me to snoop and measure.

I am hoping to replace all (4?) speakers and the stock deck. From what the internet tells me the speakers are 6.5 all the way around. Can someone confirm this? As far as the deck goes, I would like to get an LCD touchscreen deck that will fit right in place of the stock part without have a gaping hole. Can someone tell me what the specs on this deck need to be?

Current he has no reception on the radio, I'm thinking an after market antenna may be another thing to purchase. suggestions?

Also, was thinking about getting seat/steering wheel covers. The truck is burgundy with grey trim and grey interior. Looking for a vote. If it was YOUR truck would you want grey/black, black/red, or straight black covers? I did find some awesome red speakers that I was thinking would look badass with red/black covers. But the truck isn't "red". Input is much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Last edited by sophia.elrod; 12-10-2013 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:13 PM
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I'm in the middle of an install, myself. Almost went with an LCD but chose another option.

The speakers are 6.75, but 6.5" will fit in the factory spacer or have adapters to facilitate it. Any single din radio should fit. If you're getting one with an motorized LCD, be sure it's one that flips UP and not down. If you buy from Crutchfield.com, they will include the necessary hardware. That includes dash adapter, wire harness adapter and antenna adapter.
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Last edited by Dodgevity; 12-10-2013 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:34 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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Thanks for the info. Can I ask why you opted out on the LCD?

Is anybody familiar with BOSS brand? The speakers I mentioned earlier that I am looking at are Boss, and I see that Crutchfield has Boss decks. I've never really heard much about the brand before and wonder if they are worth getting. I know you generally get what you pay for and they are quite inexpensive.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophia.elrod View Post
Thanks for the info. Can I ask why you opted out on the LCD?

Is anybody familiar with BOSS brand? The speakers I mentioned earlier that I am looking at are Boss, and I see that Crutchfield has Boss decks. I've never really heard much about the brand before and wonder if they are worth getting. I know you generally get what you pay for and they are quite inexpensive.
stick with name brand decks [alpine, clarion, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer]. They aren't something to skimp on. The bad reception may be just a loose connection on the plug in back, or maybe the antenna cable is pinched somewhere.

Depending on what music you listen to, do yourself a favor ahead of time, and get some 600hz bass blockers with the speakers.

If you order from crutchfield, the deck will come with a fitmet and wiring adapters, as will the speakers. Just make sure you select the options under the "what fits my car" system.

some people like infinity speakers and some dont. But i think they have some cheap decent ones, I put them in my front doors and like them. I have some second hand infinities in the back. The bass blockers make a big difference in keeping the audio from getting distorted.
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Last edited by magnethead; 12-10-2013 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:01 PM
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no, our openings are technically 1.5 din but only a single din fits due to the rounded corners. Like dodgevity said, get one with a screen that goes up, else the HVAC controls will be blocked.

http://www.crutchfield.com/app/car/carselector.aspx

yes the prices are high, but they give you all the adapters you need to make things plug and play.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:10 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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I see now that the deck I posted is double din. Woops. Rookie mistake. I know he is a fan of Infinity. I didn't see any touchscreen decks compatible with his truck on Crutchfield. Suppose it doesn't have to be touchscreen but I don't mind buying used if it's a better product for the same price as low quality new.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophia.elrod View Post
Thanks for the info. Can I ask why you opted out on the LCD?

Is anybody familiar with BOSS brand? The speakers I mentioned earlier that I am looking at are Boss, and I see that Crutchfield has Boss decks. I've never really heard much about the brand before and wonder if they are worth getting. I know you generally get what you pay for and they are quite inexpensive.
The Boss brand is pretty much junk, on par with Jensen. Walmart has em too. Again, you can't install 2 din (aka double din) because the dash space won't accomodate. This limits your selection of LCDs greatly.

I changed my mind about an LCD for a few reasons. One was price - since I didn't want to install junk and didn't want to pay 399.00 or above for an LCD. I chose instead, to purchase a Kenwood that links to an android app on my smartphone. My smart phone has a pretty big screen, so I will mount that on the dash with a holder. From there I can play Netflix, etc and connect the sound via bluetooth on the radio or plug into the Aux from the phone's headphone jack. DVD players are becoming passe and my phone can be updated.
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Last edited by Dodgevity; 12-10-2013 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:23 PM
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You could always modify your dash to fit a double din (ie: trim some plastic).

I was debating about going that route but decided to stick with single din because I got a nice deck for free.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:27 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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Happen to know the model number of your Kenwood, Dodgevity?

Since it's a gift I don't want to buy something that will require him to modify the truck as I'm not sure if he wants to go that route or not.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:37 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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When you say that Crutchfield includes install kits, will that eliminate any open spaces/gaps from removing the stock?
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophia.elrod View Post
When you say that Crutchfield includes install kits, will that eliminate any open spaces/gaps from removing the stock?
Yes, but moreso, it's actually necessary so you can mount the radio. You'd need to buy this kit if you don't buy from Crutchfield.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_1209965...t.html?tp=3121

Here is the radio...

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113BT75...D.html?tp=5684
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:59 PM
01SilverCC 01SilverCC is offline
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I will add a different take on OP's question..I have this Pioneer DEH5600HD deck in my truck:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_130X560...600hd&skipvs=T

I absolutely love the sound of my Pioneer. It's on sale at Crutchfield now for $99.99 with free shipping and it is only $15.00 more for the installation kit and wire harness to connect the deck in to the factory radio wiring in the dash. I bought my Pioneer deck at Advance with an online discount code so it only cost me $71.00. I bought my dash kit at Autozone but the Crutchfield dash kit and wire harness fits perfectly, here is a picture of my Pioneer deck installed in my dash with the install kit:



Shot from a different angle:



The 5600HD has phenomenal sound quality and plenty of output power, just has a nice fat sound to it. It has a lot of good tone control adjustments, including a good 5 band equalizer instead of plain bass and treble controls, plus it has 3 different levels of loudness adjustment and 5 different levels of bass boost. It has a few built in eq curves and 2 custom curves you can set yourself. The 5600 is also very easy to operate while driving and I set the colors of the radio display and controls to exactly match my blue-green dash lights. I took the pics above before I set the light colors. Plus you can set the display and control lights separate from each other. In the daytime I set the display to white and buttons to green, at night I have it all green. It's a nice feature to be able to change it up like that and the deck remembers how I have it set so it's easy to change one to the other. The 5600 also has built-in high pass crossovers if needed. They are more efficient, also more adjustable and would eliminate the need for any capacitors or bass blockers.

There are a lot more features to the Pioneer deck but I don't want to preach. It's a good deck for a good price. I also put in 4 Pioneer TSG1644 6 1/2" speakers. I bought my speakers at Advance with a discount code too, and they sound very good for $30.00 per pair. I was stunned by how good the bass response is from just 4 full range 6 1/2's. The highs are bright and sharp too. The whole system has a nice fat sound to it.

If you buy speakers from Crutchfield they also send free plastic mounting plates. I don't like those at all. I made my own mounting plates out of 1/2" medium density fiberboard (MDF). MDF does not resonate or rattle and gives a much more solid mounting provision. You can buy a small sheet of MDF at Home Depot for less than $10.00 and very easily get all 4 mounting plates out of it. Here is what one of my door speakers looks like mounted in the door:



Speaker with the door panel reinstalled:



Crutchfield also provided free help on the phone if you need help with the installation or have a problem with the deck and/or speakers later on. Crutchfield has great service, I can say they have always treated me right. You can get help here too if you need it..

I used Alpine decks for a long time, over 20 years. I don't care for what Alpine has done with their decks the last few years, they make you spend big bucks to get basic features that are found on much less expensive decks. I like my Pioneer both for the sound quality and how easy it is to operate while I am driving. It looks great too. I would say do not buy Boss. It is the same as Pyramid and is junk. Buy a good name brand deck and speakers and it should do fine. Kenwood is nice but IMHO Pioneer blows Kenwood out of the water on sound quality and output power.

Jimmy
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:26 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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SilverCC, thank you so much. That is extremely helpful! We recently got the truck and he's been away with it more than it's been home so I was having trouble visualizing what the setup actually looked like. That sounds very reasonable price wise as well.. as much as I want him to have something worthy, I am not feeling like money bags right now.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:36 PM
sophia.elrod sophia.elrod is offline
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Found these on sale. Alpine speakers, Pioneer deck? I know they don't have to be the same brand (not that useless when it comes to these things) but I have heard mixed things on whether or not you get better sound if the speakers and deck are the same brand.
http://www.visions.ca/Catalogue/Cate...4&sku=SXE1725S
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:08 PM
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You can mix brands of speakers and decks, it does not matter if they all match. It is best to stop in a Best Buy or other car audio/electronics store and audition speakers yourself before buying. You can read all the reviews online but if you order a speaker without hearing it first there is no way to know for sure if it sounds good to you. Take a flash drive or CD with music you like on it and listen to different speakers and get the ones you like best that fit your budget. Alpine has a good reputation for building nice speakers but again, they are more expensive than some other brands that sound just as good or better. I have never heard those E-type 6 1/2's myself but would guess they are probably OK. Kenwood makes a good cheap 6 1/2" too, it's a KFC G1620:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/6-1-2-2-way-car-speakers-with-polypropylene-cones-pair/4868445.p?id=1218558349623&skuId=4868445&st=catego ryid$pcmcat223000050007&cp=1&lp=7

I heard the G1620's at a Best Buy the other day, they sounded good in the display board. With speakers it is always best to audition as much as you can before you buy. Listen in the store and if you can get a better price online, buy online if the store won't do a price match. Best Buy will price match a few web sites, Crutchfield and Amazon are a couple but it has to be the exact same item and in the case of Amazon, Best Buy will only price match if the speaker is actually sold by Amazon, not one of their third party retailers.

You can get a Pioneer DEHX3500UI CD deck at Best Buy this week for $59.00. It's the same deck as my 5600 just without the HD Radio function. Maybe if you wanted to stop in a Best Buy or some other store and check it out, that's a good price.

There are other good brands and good prices out there too. I just happen to prefer Pioneer and I guess I always will unless/until Alpine gets down off their high horse and sells a good quality deck at a decent price. That is not to say Alpine is bad, their decks always sound great but I just think they can't get their priorities straight on features for the price. If you shop around, read the reviews and get online opinions here and other forums, you will probably find a good system for a good price. Check out www.sonicelectronix.com too, they are every bit as good as Crutchfield, have great prices too and may carry brands or models that Crutchfield does not.

Jimmy
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Last edited by 01SilverCC; 12-10-2013 at 09:15 PM.. Reason: Tried to fix link
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:30 PM
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A couple of other things - if the stock radio is not working, chances are the antenna is OK and the radio is bad. There is a junction for the antenna cable in the passenger's kick panel, maybe it has been pulled loose but more likely there is a problem with the factory radio. One way to test the antenna is if the AM radio works but the FM does not, the radio is the problem, not the antenna. Antennas don't typically fail on their own. Try a new radio first before replacing the antenna.

Also with the truck being an SLT it probably has the amplified Infinity system in it. If it has factory tweeters mounted up on the sail panels on each front door, it is definitely the amplified system. You can wire an aftermarket deck with the Infinity amp and it will sound good. In your case if you are on a budget, you could try just replacing the radio and using the stock speakers, they may still be in good enough shape to use for a while until you want to replace them. If you did go with a lower powered Alpine or Kenwood deck, it would still sound good interfaced with the factory amplifier. You might save some money that way if you find a deck you like that might not have as much output power as a Pioneer or maybe a JVC. Pioneer and JVC use MOSFET outputs and are generally pretty loud on their own.

Jimmy
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:39 PM
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Thank you again, SilverCC. Much appreciated!
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:12 PM
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and don't worry about changing the tweeters. They don't really wear out, and I don't know of any OE fit replacements. And getting to the door speakers is a cake. I did both of my fronts in the parking lot at college, I kid you not.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:56 AM
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You can certainly get basic, good-sounding decks for under a hundred these days. The cost rises as you increase the feature set. In my case, I wanted bluetooth streaming and Android control. The radio came with a mic that I can mount on my steering for bluetooth phone calls. If you live in a state that prohibits phone use while driving, that becomes important. I don't, but I hate holding a phone while driving. Bluetooth streaming can be a hit and miss with sound quality. I heard that Kenwood does real well with that, sounding just as good as wired. Since I'm also installing a power-amp, I opted for 6 channel RCA outputs. Pioneer is a decent make and I've owned a few decks, but I would put the sound processing of Kenwood above them.... apples to apples. Again though, they make very reliable decks that don't break.

I got a pretty good deal on the Kenwood on black Friday. Also installed these speakers JBL speakers. Note that they are 2-ohm, vs 4-ohm. Lower resistance = increased incoming power to them.

Amazon.com: GTO638 6-1/2-inch (165-millimeter), 3-way multi-element loudspeaker: Car Electronics Amazon.com: GTO638 6-1/2-inch (165-millimeter), 3-way multi-element loudspeaker: Car Electronics
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Last edited by Dodgevity; 12-11-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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