View Full Version : Aftermarket Car Stereo Help

Caveat Emperor
01-18-2009, 11:39 PM
The CD player in my car has always been a little finicky about playing discs, but now it's reached the point where just about everything is skipping and causing problems. As such, I've decided I'm going to buy an aftermarket deck.

Ideally, I'd like to buy something that has good support for the iPod (since I own an older one that I wouldn't mind just leaving in the glove box and locking in), good sound quality, and a decent price point.

Anyone have any suggestions on where and what to buy? It seems like the best deals are online (especially since you can get models from the previous year at substantial discount), but buying from a place like Best Buy gets you installation as part of the cost.

01-19-2009, 12:30 AM
You can probably find better prices elsewhere, but there's lots of good research material at Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/g_300/Car-Receivers.html?c=3&tp=5684&avf=N).

01-19-2009, 03:51 AM
Crutchfield has the best overall stuff. I have always gone to Circuit City to get my car audio because they tend to have a better quality in my opinion, plus their local. Circuit City might not be a bad choice as well because they are going to completely shut down, which might equal some closeout sales.

I have bought an Alpine and an Eclipse head unit. Alpine bombed out after 2-3 years and that is when I bought the Eclipse.

Panasonic sells some pretty good CD players for the price. I would avoid going to cheap though. You pay for what you get. Since they are pretty easy to hook up yourself you can scout around the net and find some that hook up to an ipod/mp3.

01-19-2009, 07:27 AM
I'm not much of an audophile, but you can't really hear that well in the car anyway, right?

I've switched out 3 decks for use with an ipod. The first two were low end Sony models just with an aux input jack. Set me back about $100 bucks each.

I use a 3G ipod, mounted on the dash with a Nyko Universal Car Mount, (retails for $35...I found a deal for $5 and bought 5...can give you one if you want). But there are other mounts out there.

IMO, the 3G ipod is best for this kind of use, since it has BUTTONS. So you can really control the music while driving (even if you shouldn't). And it's old, so I'm not that worried about someone smashing my winshield to get it.

For my daughter's car we went with an "ipod in glove compartment" model (also a Sony) from Circuit City. With install it was about $180.

She likes it...she can forward and backward from the deck and the name of the song comes up on the screen, but the ipod itself has to be set to a playlist before you can start.

Hope that helps.

01-19-2009, 12:27 PM
Crutchfield is definitely the way to go.

01-19-2009, 04:38 PM
Crutchfield is definitely the way to go.


Roy Tucker
01-19-2009, 06:09 PM
I'll third Crutchfield as a good place.

I don't know about prices, but they are exceedingly knowledgeable and helpful. Very customer-friendly too. I had a car stereo that I wanted to move to another car and they spec'ed and quoted every little piece and part. Pre-loaded a shopping cart with the stuff and emailed it to me.

Excellent support and follow-up as I scratched my head as to how to move a car stereo from a '93 Chevy Lumina to a '99 Nissan Altima. By some miracle, it worked after I got done with it.

01-20-2009, 05:26 PM
Its not just the deck you have to think about - look into the speakers too. You may get an awesome deck with 100 watts per channel etc but with dingy speakers you're going to be left with something worse than you began with. If you have the money upgrade the speakers at the same time. To get the music quality from the ipod you can probably settle for a two way deck but if you have a lot of music on cd then a four way is definitely the way to go.

01-20-2009, 11:02 PM
CE, what kind of ride are you toying around in?

One thing I've found that is helpful is try to find a highly active forum on cars that are your make/model, and sometimes they'll have an audio section in there. Many times you may be able to find installation guidance and how-to's from people with your same vehicle and some other helpful tips that could save you a few bucks.