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Discussion Starter #1
I need some honest non-biased advice, which I am having trouble getting because everyone just wants to sell their own stuff. All I want is a CD deck, front and rear speakers and maybe an amp....no sub for the time being. ('86 W126 4 speaker system) What are the best companies for this? I want to listen to music, not trying to impress anyone. I want high quality stuff for sound quality listening. If you want a watch, you get a Rolex...but what kind of stereo do you get?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Depends on your budget.

My personal list is Phoenix Gold Amplifiers, CDT Audio speakers, and Nakamichi head units. These are all quality components. However, the largest impact of sound quality in the car in my opinion is the installation. A well installed budget system will sound much better than a poorly installed high-end system. Hope this helps.
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

Thanks Joe! Well as far as my budget goes, I won't say that it's unlimited, but I am willing to spend what I have to to get what I want. We'll say my budget is generous. I have heard that Nakamichi units are excellent sound quality units, but I have also heard that they are a bit finicky ie skipping and getting hot. What do you know about this? As far as the installation, I am planning on just putting stock sized speakers in stock locations...no kick panels or anything. Can this be made to sound good? And what steps can I take to make sure that I am getting a first rate installation? I can't tell one stereo shop from another. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

One suggestion is that you should dynamat the doors. That improved the sound in my SLK. <br> Re Nakamichis - I have heard conflicting reports from every possible source. Some people swear by them others hate them. I personally wanted to get the CD45z but I opted for a stock Mercedes cd player because I wanted to keep the changer function (using the factory changer). Also the Sound Quality in the OEM head units was pretty impressive. Its a risk with the Nakamichi but I hear that they have improved their reliability and there is a three year warranty on them if you get it from an authorized dealer.
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

Nac's are great for the sound, but poor in reliability in my opinion. I finished the first phase in my sound system in my Benz this week. I installed an alpine 65 watt X 4 channel cd player headunit with my rockford fosgate 500 watt amp pushing a 10 inch sub in a bandpass. everything including behind the stock speakers (which I don't have the $$$$ to replace yet) is dynamatted. I attribute the high power in the headunit and the dynamat to the great sound of the stock speakers as is. <br> My suggestion is replace the stock speakers with polk components, or some infinity components. Especially if your ride has existing tweeters in the dash as mine does. (I plan on finding some JBL GTO Series components for mine though.) For the head unit, alpine is great. Mine never overheats and hardly skips. Pioneer's Premier line is also very good. I went with Alpine because of the extra power. The other piece of advice that I can give you is NEVER buy used audio equipment, and pay attention and take care of all details on the install. That's more important then what you buy.
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

Thank you for all the advice! A few questions...I have 4s in the dash and either 5.25 or 6.5s in the rear..can the 4s in the dash be made to sound good? I know that 6.5s in the front are the best, but I would really like to avoid cutting and kick panels and all that. Remember, all I want to do is listen to quality sound, no shows or competitions. What do you think about this setup...Pioneer Premier or Alpine head unit, MB Quart or Focal speakers (any one better?) and maybe a Phoenix Gold amp? I would try a Nakamichi head unit, but I don't want to risk it especially for how much they cost. As far as dynamatting, do you still need to do that if you don't have speakers in the doors? And wouldn't that be difficult to get the door panels off a Benz since they are so well made? Thank you again from this audio-inept Benz driver!<br>
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

Mine had all 4's in it. I cut bigger holes in the back and threw some 6 1/2s in. Since my front are in the dash, I am going to replace them with 4's and use the stock grille covers to fake out car audio stealing pricks. I was thinking of Infinity 4's, and spending a shit load on them so I get the best possible frequency response range from them. I am going to also put 6x9s in the back, just by cutting bigger holes. I would like to put some subs in it, but I don't know if my alternator can handle it.<br> <br> I have been impressed with Pioneer decks. I have an old pioneer 35Wx4 cd player and it sounds great, despite the speakers sucking. There's really no need for high wattage decks, you are in a car not an arena. My brother and a few friends have the new pioneer decks and they are fantastic. Go to a store and try out the displayed speakers and decks, that's a good way to see what you want and like.
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

No there is no need to dynamat your door if you are not putting speakers in your door. You would only want to dynamat the door if you were or if you were installing a subwoofer.<br> I think that you made some good choices. MB Quart makes a very nice speaker. Everyone knows that the highest quality amp is made by pheonix gold. The question is the extra quality worth the extreme price jump. The gentleman named Nate who left the message above is incorrect about not needing a high powered head unit. The higher the wattage the less distortion in sound you will have as long as the speakers can handle it. The higher wattage a speaker can handle the better it is made. (RMS watts that is.)
 

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Re: Depends on your budget.

But there is no need to have it cranked loud enough for the power amp to saturate like that. Once you start getting over 250 watt subs and all that yeah then you need a more powerful deck. Mine distorts because of the speakers. The actual deck I have has been used along with a 200 watt sub and performed fine. I don't go all out with wattage because I feel it's not necissary.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
IMHO

MB Quarts and Focals are waaay overpriced. I really like the CDT's. You can get a nice pair of 4 inchers for the front and run 6.5s in the back. I also think that the Pioneers are better than the Alpines. Lately Alpine has been turning out a lot of $%*t in terms of quality. Also checkout the Eclipse head units.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I find the Phoenix Golds a really good value. Shop on the net, im sure you can get a nice deal.

Also try this site. The owner, Brian Banish, is a really knowledgeable and nice guy. Im sure he can help you out.
 
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