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Old 07-18-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Good head units?

Ok, I need a new head unit because my speakers, sub,and amp are to strong for my Sony head unit.
So i was wondering if you guys have any suggestions on new head units?

I have:
2 Boston Acoustic dash speakers
2 stock sound bar speakers
2 Kicker KS-6930 speakers
1 10" sub
And 1 alpine amp
If this helps..

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Alpine makes great head units. I have one and love it. It has everything you would ever want, including Ipod and USB jacks

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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What do you mean those components are "too strong" for your Sony head unit? With an external amplifier like your Alpine amp, your Sony should be fine.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
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What is your amp running? I assume it is pushing the sub and not the other speakers. Upgrade the rear speakers and that head unit should work really well. I do not need an external amp with my custom speakers with the exception of my sub. The rear speakers being replaced made all the difference for me.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
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More on what doclouie is saying... if that amp is driving the sub as he says, I was first thinking it was driving the main speakers, then you should do exactly what he suggests by installing more efficient (a higher sensitivity rating) speakers.

The speaker's sensitivity rating makes all the difference in the world when driving it with a stock head unit. If you buy the world's greatest 500 watt speakers that have a low sensitivity rating, say 86 dB, they won't sound as good as decent quality 50 watt speakers that have a higher, like 91 dB, sensitivity rating. In fact, stock head units don't have enough power to drive inefficient speakers so many blame their head unit and not the speaker which is the true cause of the problem.

The lower the speaker's sensitivity rating, the more power it takes to drive them. So an inefficient low sensitivity high quality speaker wouldn't work as well or sound as good with a low power head unit as a medium quality speaker that is efficient with a higher sensitivity rating.

Good speakers will have their sensitivity rating on the box and speakers like Polk are known for having high sensitivity ratings. My Polks have a 91 dB rating and they sound great with my stock Sony head unit.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
your Sony should be fine.

its a sony they are never fine, unless you use them as a paper weight.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
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its a sony they are never fine, unless you use them as a paper weight.
For a few years, Sony had their problems. However, Sony's radios have been fine for several years now, mine works great. And that's coming from an old audiophile who has built high-end amplifiers and speakers from scratch.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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sensitivity does make a little bit of a different but you also have to match the ohms from the speaker to the ohms with the amp when it comes to regular speakers, and subs are much different when looking into the ohms and sensitivity. if your sub has a duel voice coil has more wiring options than a single voice coil. for example a duel 4 ohm sub cna be wired to have a 2 ohm load or an 8 ohm load.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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IMHO,Your money would be better spent on a 4-channel amplifier to run front and rear speakers.No head unit will put out anywhere near enough power to get your mids and highs loud enough to compete with an amplified subwoofer.Although many head units advertise 50 watts per channel and such,that figure is not reality.Nothing beats an amp on every speaker,and most even have on-board crossovers nowadays.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #10
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sensitivity does make a little bit of a different
Uh uh, the speaker's Sensitivity rating makes a HUGE difference. A speaker with a 91 dB sensitivity rating connected to a low power head unit like his Sony when compared to, say, an 86 dB sensitivity rating can make a head unit sound great vs. an underdriven speaker that will sound like crap.

Of course the impedance plays a part but where a car radio is concerned that has a fixed output impedence, choosing the right sensitivity rating will have a far bigger impact.

The problem is that very few people, even car audio enthusiasts, understand this. Fewer yet have even heard of the sensitivity rating but it's part of choosing the right speaker for a low powered car radio. It is less important for a mega-watt amplifier where you can drive even a low effficiency/low sensitivity speaker.

But for the OP who is having trouble driving his speakers with his Sony head unit, his problem is his speaker's sensivity rating. Nothing to do with the speaker impedances. Yes lower speaker impedances can force an amplifier to put out more power but with a stock head unit like a Sony, that is just going to drive up the distortion. Better to have the correct sensitivity rating. Far better.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:14 PM   #11
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It is less important for a mega-watt amplifier where you can drive even a low effficiency/low sensitivity speaker.

yeah, i only go with high end equipment so that is why i don't pay much attention to the sensitivity.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #12
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I understand your thoughts regarding sensitivity!I was a professional Car A/V installer for almost 20 years,and was install manager for several years,and retired from that in 2004,and now do home A/V and automation.However,it really doesn't matter what speakers or head unit you have,it will never produce equivalent volume to sufficiently balance out a heavily amplified subwoofer in the vehicle.The only proper way is to amplify ALL speakers.I could care less about having any of that in my Jeep,because I have worked on way too many that were vandalized due to ease of entry,however I do have a car which has a very nice sound quality stereo in it-Alpine tuner(with zero built-in power)a 200 watt amp on three MTX 8" subwoofers in a custom built fiberglass and wood enclosure,with a 75 watt x 4 Channel amplifier running front mids/tweeters and rear midbass speakers.IMHO,I defy anyone to match that kind of sound quality with a powered head unit,which sounds like canned garbage in comparison to an audiophile quality tuner with outboard amplification!I have a mere Kenwood CD unit in my Jeep,with factory fronts,Boston mids in the sound bar,and an MB Quart 6" mid-bass mounted in the factory console location,running on the factory amp.It sounds ok,but merely ok,compared to my Pontiac!

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