Author Topic: Change my car stereo  (Read 3943 times)

MgoSam

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Change my car stereo
« on: June 23, 2014, 01:55:36 PM »
Ok, I am someone with little experience at DIY, but I wanted to change my car stereo because I usually listen to audiobooks in the car and mine are almost solely on my ipod. The stereo I had only played cds, and so I went to Cruchfield and bought a new stereo and installation kit and rather than paying a mechanic to change it (or Geek Squad), I spent 3 hours this past Friday and changed it myself. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the night, because I did it by myself!

Jack

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 02:09:54 PM »
It's good that you didn't pay an installation fee, but I hope you tried to see if you could just add an adapter to your existing stereo first.

ivyhedge

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 02:34:23 PM »
Ok, I am someone with little experience at DIY, but I wanted to change my car stereo because I usually listen to audiobooks in the car and mine are almost solely on my ipod. The stereo I had only played cds, and so I went to Cruchfield and bought a new stereo and installation kit and rather than paying a mechanic to change it (or Geek Squad), I spent 3 hours this past Friday and changed it myself. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the night, because I did it by myself!


@mgosam: Nice job. One of the best ways to improve the driving experiencing. I've changed the system using reasonably priced components of every car I've owned, save two.


What we science types know is that many automotive systems are better than the vast majority of folks's home systems (and the acoustics are aligned better, as well, for sweet spot listening). Maybe not the most important finding for your audiobooks, but nice nonetheless. Enjoy!

MgoSam

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 09:54:42 AM »
It's good that you didn't pay an installation fee, but I hope you tried to see if you could just add an adapter to your existing stereo first.

I checked and couldn't. The only other alternative was to listen to my Ipod with headphones while driving, in MN you can legally do so with one ear, but it isn't convenient and likely isn't safe.


Stachesquatch

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 12:05:17 PM »
Way to go! I've been changing my radios in cars over the years since I was a kid. Last year bought a $30 radio with line in, USB in and CD (which I won't use) with solid ratings on Ama**** and put it in our 04 Elantra, works great and was so cheap it makes me wonder how they could price it so low.

schimt

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 12:37:02 PM »
I checked and couldn't. The only other alternative was to listen to my Ipod with headphones while driving, in MN you can legally do so with one ear, but it isn't convenient and likely isn't safe.

I prefer an upgraded unit, you can get them so cheap anyways, even a used on on ebay or craigslist. But just an FYI for future reference and for anyone else reading, if your OEM radio had a tape player, there is an adapter for your ipod that is super easy and cheap. Also they make FM transmitters that will transmit the audio and you tune your radio to the same frequency. See the examples below

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-PH-62050-MD-To-Cassette-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0007R4LI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403634961&sr=8-1&keywords=car+tape+adapter

http://www.amazon.com/Patuoxun-Transmitter-Adapter-Galaxsy-Charger/dp/B00GLPG03Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403634750&sr=8-1&keywords=car+radio+adapter

MgoSam

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 01:35:45 PM »
I checked and couldn't. The only other alternative was to listen to my Ipod with headphones while driving, in MN you can legally do so with one ear, but it isn't convenient and likely isn't safe.

I prefer an upgraded unit, you can get them so cheap anyways, even a used on on ebay or craigslist. But just an FYI for future reference and for anyone else reading, if your OEM radio had a tape player, there is an adapter for your ipod that is super easy and cheap. Also they make FM transmitters that will transmit the audio and you tune your radio to the same frequency. See the examples below

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-PH-62050-MD-To-Cassette-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B0007R4LI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403634961&sr=8-1&keywords=car+tape+adapter

http://www.amazon.com/Patuoxun-Transmitter-Adapter-Galaxsy-Charger/dp/B00GLPG03Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403634750&sr=8-1&keywords=car+radio+adapter

My tape deck has stopped working, I did have it inspected and was told that it would need to be replaced. I tried the transmitter on my ipod and the quality was not good at all. I read about 30 audiobooks a year, most of it in the car, so I thought it was worth paying for a new stereo system as a result, but otherwise I would have preferred one of these low-tech fixes instead.

ketchup

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 02:16:31 PM »
My experience with FM transmitters is that they are indeed really bad quality.  I really wanted it to work.

Tape adapters can be fussy, but some of them are decent.  I had a cheapo $3 one that functioned but sounded like total crap, and a name-brand (don't remember the name) $20 one that was decent.  I used it in my dad's car when I was in high school.  Still not wonderful quality, but usable.

Line-in is the way to go, and head units with that feature are pretty cheap these days.  Far better quality connection.  That's what I have in my car right now (aftermarket head unit).

Stachesquatch

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 03:08:24 PM »
I've had success with the FM transmitters when I stay in a rural area area (Like Deadhorse, Alaska).  When driving in cities there were too many competing stations at the range of stations that my transmitter was broadcasting in and I had to 'compete' with local stations, this is why installed a cheap radio in my car with line in.

m8547

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Re: Change my car stereo
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 09:29:18 PM »
I replaced the speakers in my car a couple years ago. For around $60 (open box model) they sound as good as any upgraded stereo that people might pay thousands for in a new car. I only did the front, and the rear is disabled with the fade control, but it's not noticeable in the driver's seat. Bass is lacking, but who cares?

I have no need for a head unit. An aux jack, volume control, and amplifier is all I need.

I was also disappointed in the sound quality from an FM adapter. There's not enough bandwidth to get good sound, and FM broadcast stations have better equipment to make do with what they have than a tiny car transmitter.  Bluetooth A2DP is a bit better, but it uses lossy compression and it's noticeable sometimes.

I'm not sure why driving with headphones in is illegal. If you had a soundproof luxury car with the stereo turned up you would hear just as little of your surroundings as having headphones on. In fact, I realized that I can get the same quietness of a luxury car by putting in earplugs and turning up the stereo. The SNR could be the same (depending on the earplugs and the luxury car) in either case, so audio quality would improve and outside noises would be attenuated by the same amount. I tried it once and it was kind of cool, but it also felt weird.