Originally Posted by tencrawler
I don't have a total amount in mind, and I kind of want to see what range each component is going to be. I figure I will go with a single sub in place of the stock JBL sub/amp area and leave the drivers side storage intact. I'm always seeing decent deals on DD headunits ($350-$600), but I may be tempted to do something similar to the Navisurfer II
or a 7" to 8.9" built in android tablet dock with a simple single din for basic stereo functions. These are obviously not typical of a budget build, but I think if I take my time and shop around I can pull it off. I am looking to upgrade my speaker sooner than later, but don't have the funds/approval to pull the trigger just yet. Not sure about the crossover setup, will I be taking two steps forward and one step back when I want to make the transition from passive to active? I appreciate the interest, I hope I have given you a better idea of where I am headed. Thanks in advance for your time.
Since you are not doing this all at once, a total budget is not really an issue - each piece can be determined as needed, and you always spend up with a bit more this way!
Head unit and sub (with sub amp) coming later - Active vs. passive is a long debate - if you have time to play, and are OK with learning and trying, then active is a great option, with tons of flexibility. You need to have a channel for each speaker (4 channel or more) and the ability to work with crossovers. Time alignment (delay left speakers so they reach the listener at the same time as the right speakers, helping creating a "center" image, delay sub, etc) is desired, but not necessary. To do this you have to find an active head unit or program for the car PC item you choose, or you have to buy an external processor. This would be the big expense, whit these starting around $450 bucks or so. Not really ideal for a budget system where you want a double din or screen. Much more effective for used single DIN decks, like a Pioneer PRS800 or 880, or various Alpine units.
All that to say, budget, with a desire for a double din, means active will either have to be done with the amps and no time alignment, or you will spend more money on another item.
A benefit to active is you *can* spend less on speakers, as you can buy raw drivers. Or you can spend a lot more...
There are solid speaker choices in every budget range, roughly $125, $200-250, and $300 plus. So throw out a number you are OK with, and let it go from there.
I would typically avoid most stuff available at Best Buy, like Alpine Type S and E, anything Kicker or RF, etc. - but I know several members here really like their stuff, so obviously it is a preference thing.
I would tell you to keep a couple things in mind. 1st, everyone obsesses over subs, but remember - they play the lowest 2 octaves, that human ears have the hardest time hearing - a lot of basic $100 setups will sound GREAT, and can be well integrated and put up against items costing much much more.
Your mids/tweets, on the other hand, play almost all of what is represented in music. Amps can be had pretty cheap, and all they do is amplify the signal presented. If they add EQ or change sounds, they may not be what you want.
Lastly, keep in mind that I am only one person, and you should get multiple opinions, and listen to a few things yourself. Be careful taking advise from anyone that has a dog in the fight (wants to sell you a product) or tells you that anything is best. No such thing.
Oh yeah, caraudiomag.com is starting to do some reviews and such again, and have older reviews on file too.