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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to keep my stock headunit because IMO, all the aftermarket decks look pretty ugly in the dash due to the odd size/shape. However, I read some threads that were bashing the quality of the stock HU, and I was wondering what your opinions were on how it would affect the SQ on my proposed setup:

Stock Headunit
Orion HCCA 6s in custom kickpanels
Orion Xtreme 500.4
JL Stealthbox

Anybody else have some good speakers running with the stock HU? Any complaints/opinions? And if there is anyone in the san gabriel area (so cal) that has a stealthbox, I would sure like to hear it!!
 

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OG e46fanatics lurker!
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you'll almost always get better sq with an aftermarket deck, but if you buy a good loc or line driver to clean up the signal from the stock HU, you'll be alright
 

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Line Driver???? I hear this word often. I will prob be useing a VEN4 to connect factory HU to 2 Jl amps. Is that considered a line driver?
 

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phoenix gold and audio control makes some, there are others...
 

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Well got car back and i have to say im a little dissapointed. Kept the stock HU and i think it was a mistake. Put MB Quart PSC216 components in front (YES u can fit 6.5 in front...coupes anyway). 5 1/4 MB Quart dsd113 in rears and all four powered by jl 300//4. Dropped the w3 in the trunk and its powered by jl 250/1. Anyway.....to say the speakers dont sound as i expected them too. The tweeters sound like air horns. and midbass is lacking. I KNOW THIS SHOULD SOUND BETTER comin from experience.....

i had the lower line Qaurt components in the front and coaxes in the rears of my last car and they were gettin pushed by an old 2 channel infinnity amp.......wasnt even a full 4 channels and this older setup still sounded better than this new setup. My guess is the aftermarket HU which was a decent panasonic sending 4v of preout to the amps made the difference..................ONLINE right now searchin for an alpine HU.:banghead: :banghead:
 

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I think the HU makes the biggest difference in our cars. The stock one sounds like someone covered the speakers with felt, all muffled.. go for a new alpine & please report back how it sounds!
 

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ive heard e46s with stock hu..and man, they sounded nice...might need a line driver...;)
 

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well..........the installer said he tapped into the rear stock amp......I dont know if that means after the signal went through or before and he also said he used the high level inputs on the amp....all i know is it dont sound right.....regardless alpine 7995 is on its way ....just ordered it. Im actually hoping that our stock HU is a peice of **** because if its not the HU......its gotta be the way they installed it and i dont want the headache of arguin with them to fix it... Cant be the Components uses as everyting i got is high end:dunno: :dunno:
 

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Actually, I did the same thing as you.
Stock HU
Soundstream Rubicon 604 ( Balanced Diff Inputs )
BA Pro 6.5's
BA Pro 10LF

And it sounded like crap.

I was set on keeping the stock look and was about to buy a line driver when I found an old Phoenix Gold EQ230 that I had lying around and totally forgot about.

HUGE difference !!!!! Really, with the CD player, the imaging and overall SQ is now 1000 times better. Radio is still so so but the tuner in the stock unit was never that good anyways.




Never mind... I just read that you already purchased a new HU.
 

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Well, I replaced my speakers and amp with a/d/s components while keeping the stock HU. It sounds excellent.

I actually think the HU is the strongest piece of the HK system :dunno:

Sure, replacing the HU may give me a small improvement, but nothing significant with my set up.
 

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:dunno: well i simply cant think of another reason as too my setup would not sound good. I mean i bought the higher line MB Quarts then i had in my other car along with a 4 channel JL amp compared to a ****y 2 channel amp i bridged. My old whip deffinitly sounded better. Im am countin on the alpine 7995 im gettin in a few days to make all the difference:dunno:
 

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I am using the stock HU and I think it sucks. I have a/d/s 346is components in the front, JL 6" coaxes in the back, and a 10" Orion sub all running off an older 6 channel Alpine 3566 amp. I am using the signal before the stock amp into an Audio Control EQX. I have tried playing with crossover points, eq, phase and I just can't get it to sound right. I think it must be the stock head unit. Hollow is the best way to describe the sound.
Right now I am not messing with it any more. As a matter of fact I might be putting all the stock stuff back in. I am pursuing a lemon law claim on my car for repeated problems with the check engine light coming on so hopefully I will be getting a new car out of this and I can start over.
 

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Stock HU

Mine sounded like crap with the stock HU also...until I put an audiocontrol EQ on it. Then I was able to tweak the hell out of it.
That really helped. When you put that aftermarket in..you are going to have to mess with it to get the radio/faceplate to sit flush. Also. Say goodbye to ALL of your AM and FM stations except the couple MOST powerful ones in your area. I only get the FM station that is 2 miles from my route to and from work now.



Question - how come every post i read everyone says "Im putting an Alpine in"?
I think they make crap....but hopefully since I have owned of they have gotten better. I went to college with a girl who was from CA and her family was friends with an Alpine exec or big wig (late 80s early 90s) she said from what she knew shed never buy one! But that was a while ago.
I still wont buy one..not after the lack of customer service I got.
 

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My 2 cents....

You can DEFINITELY make a killer system with the factory headunit, WITH, or WITHOUT a line driver. I can tell you that a line driver off the factory head is the way to go though, since most aftermarket amplifiers run most efficiently with a 4 - 6v preout signal. That's the downfall in most people systems is their preout voltage.

Anyway, as far as being dissappointed in your system Illmatic, the Alpine head will help, but to be quite honest, a JL 300/4 isn't really made for the SQ that it sounds like you are looking for. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent amp, and when installed correctly, on the right set of speakers, it will sound great.

Ya' gotta remember, you could have the best equipment in the world, and it will only sound as good as it's installed. Sounds like your installer ran line out converters after the factory amp. You really need to run a line driver BEFORE the factory amp if you wish to retain factory headunit to get optimum efficiency and amplifier output.
 

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OH, and as for losing the AM/FM reception with an aftermarket headunit, you guys are using the wrong antenna adapters. You need to use the amplified one...looks just like the one you have now, except has a little barrel in the middle of it that send power down the center leg of the antenna.
 
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