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Old 08-20-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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Exclamation Expert sound system help needed.

Soo I have decided it's time to upgrade my sound system. So far I only put in some Infinity speakers that I had laying around, 6x9 in front and 6.5 in back, I love the way they sound but now I want more. I want to go "all out" (LCD head unit, component speakers, two 10" subs, all wired to apms) but with time, so I thought I would do it in stages since extra cash isn't easy to some across nowadays. Here was my thought for the stages.

1. Sound proof everything, and run all the wiring
2. Install head unit
3. Install amp for interior speakers
4. Install amp and subs
5. Upgrade to good quality component speakers

My question to you is does my idea for the stages sound good? If not feel free advise me of what to change. I'm more of a quality than quantity kinda guy. That is another reason why I want to do this in stages since quality costs. My second question has to do with stage one. What do I need to do to best sound proof my truck( doors, floor, roof, back, wheel wels)? Also where can I get all of the wiring for the system, and how much of it( speaker wire, coaxials, power wires, ground wires, and anything else I would need)? If you think I have missed any components needed for the system please advise me. I have installed a few systems that included only subs. I've never installed an all out top of the line system. Please help, all constructive advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGLuke View Post
Soo I have decided it's time to upgrade my sound system. So far I only put in some Infinity speakers that I had laying around, 6x9 in front and 6.5 in back, I love the way they sound but now I want more. I want to go "all out" (LCD head unit, component speakers, two 10" subs, all wired to apms) but with time, so I thought I would do it in stages since extra cash isn't easy to some across nowadays. Here was my thought for the stages.

1. Sound proof everything, and run all the wiring
2. Install head unit
3. Install amp for interior speakers
4. Install amp and subs
5. Upgrade to good quality component speakers

My question to you is does my idea for the stages sound good? If not feel free advise me of what to change. I'm more of a quality than quantity kinda guy. That is another reason why I want to do this in stages since quality costs. My second question has to do with stage one. What do I need to do to best sound proof my truck( doors, floor, roof, back, wheel wels)? Also where can I get all of the wiring for the system, and how much of it( speaker wire, coaxials, power wires, ground wires, and anything else I would need)? If you think I have missed any components needed for the system please advise me. I have installed a few systems that included only subs. I've never installed an all out top of the line system. Please help, all constructive advice will be greatly appreciated.
you are on track for a great sounding system.. but everything works together. : a good head unit is gonna be a big difference.. get one with at least 4volt preouts... 2nd, i would install a nice 4 channel amp to the speakers you have now, you might be suprised on how well they sound. as far as wiring, thats gonna get expensive. but you wanna use good quality wiring, no sense in going with good equipment and going cheap on the wiring. In mine i have a the pioneer f900bt doubledin nav unit and a pionner 4 channel amp and cheap pioneer speakers in the door and my truck rocks. everyone thinks i spent thousands on my system, whenin reality i just matched everything. i can crank it up.. its loud... clear and im pressive...
i would go to ur local audio shop and ask advice, but as an installer.. not a sales guy.. the installers work with all the stuff and will be more likely to give you an honest answer.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stang88 View Post
you are on track for a great sounding system.. but everything works together. : a good head unit is gonna be a big difference.. get one with at least 4volt preouts... 2nd, i would install a nice 4 channel amp to the speakers you have now, you might be suprised on how well they sound. as far as wiring, thats gonna get expensive. but you wanna use good quality wiring, no sense in going with good equipment and going cheap on the wiring. In mine i have a the pioneer f900bt doubledin nav unit and a pionner 4 channel amp and cheap pioneer speakers in the door and my truck rocks. everyone thinks i spent thousands on my system, whenin reality i just matched everything. i can crank it up.. its loud... clear and im pressive...
i would go to ur local audio shop and ask advice, but as an installer.. not a sales guy.. the installers work with all the stuff and will be more likely to give you an honest answer.
Thank you. I figured if I can get the sound proofing and the wiring out of the way that would cover alot of tedious work and after that it would just be saving up money for all of the other components.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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I think you are on track personally. Head Units blow IMO. I am not saying you dont need one, but it is NOT the most important part of your sound system. If you get a chance to listen to a setup at a shop, and you listen to EVERY head unit they have, EVERY single one of them will pretty much sound the same with a flat eq setting. But when you listen to the speakers, EVERY single time, they will sound different. The speaker is where voltage is converted into sound. It is the last link in the chain, and if you do not have the right speakers FOR YOU, then that is going to make the whole thing fall apart. You can make a great sounding IASCA winning vehicle with a factory head if you have the right processors running the amps to compensate for what the OEM equipment will not allow you to do or control.

Sound deadener by far is the most important aspect of any sound system. Not too mention it keeps outside noise out of the car, and thus helps OEM systems sound better. It lowers the noise floor in the vehicle, and helps to insulate the cabin as well. How could you go wrong doing that first? ANY time I have gotten another vehicle, sound deadener was the first thing I did.

Take your time as it seems you are doing, and you will be more than happy in the end. Have fun and good luck bro.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KAPendley View Post
I think you are on track personally. Head Units blow IMO. I am not saying you dont need one, but it is NOT the most important part of your sound system. If you get a chance to listen to a setup at a shop, and you listen to EVERY head unit they have, EVERY single one of them will pretty much sound the same with a flat eq setting. But when you listen to the speakers, EVERY single time, they will sound different. The speaker is where voltage is converted into sound. It is the last link in the chain, and if you do not have the right speakers FOR YOU, then that is going to make the whole thing fall apart. You can make a great sounding IASCA winning vehicle with a factory head if you have the right processors running the amps to compensate for what the OEM equipment will not allow you to do or control.

Sound deadener by far is the most important aspect of any sound system. Not too mention it keeps outside noise out of the car, and thus helps OEM systems sound better. It lowers the noise floor in the vehicle, and helps to insulate the cabin as well. How could you go wrong doing that first? ANY time I have gotten another vehicle, sound deadener was the first thing I did.

Take your time as it seems you are doing, and you will be more than happy in the end. Have fun and good luck bro.


Thank you. What areas of the truck should be insulated for best results in your opinion?
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:22 AM   #6
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ALL of it. lol. But if you have to do it in sections, start with the outer door skins, then the inner. Headliner, floor, rear of the cab.........etc.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Me and my friend built this. It sounds good and we didnt soundproof anything or run amps to my speakers. But if you are willing to spend the little extra money then do it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAPendley View Post
ALL of it. lol. But if you have to do it in sections, start with the outer door skins, then the inner. Headliner, floor, rear of the cab.........etc.
Wow ok, thats exactly what I will do than. Now what kind of material should be used. Am not trying to go cheap, but I would like to get the best bang for my buck.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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First is the truck a double cab or access cab?

Nothing wrong with doing the upgrades in stages as you suggest, just depends how many times you want to tear you interior open.

1. Sound deadening/proofing.

There are many retailers whom offer an assortment of products. I'll focus on the 3 most common: sound dampening mat, closed cell foam(CCF), and mass loaded vinyl(MLV). Sound dampening mat kills resonances/vibrations in a vehicle but does not sound proof. CCF acts as a decoupler, ie separates the mat from the MLV. By itself it only absorbs certain higher frequency ranges, most of the road noise, exhaust drone, occurs in the lower frequency ranges. The MLV is where the true sound proofing takes place. The MLV sheets weigh roughly 1lb per square foot, and the installation has to by a solid wall of material to be the most effective.

Most people use sound dampening mat and are satisfied. Ideally you would use all 3 products in a sandwich one on top of the other. Sometimes that doesn't always work with space constraints of the interior. Depending on how far you would like to take this step, you can do it cheap or all out, all out gets really expensive with quality products.

www.dynamat.com never used their material, but seems to be the standard that everything is compared too.
www.raamaudio.com Rick is great guy, offers an affordable product that does the job, the material is easy to work with but a little messy, plus tacomaworld members get a discount
www.secondskinaudio.com top of the line products, they have everything you need in one stop but bring money, i'm going to use this retailer for my wife's 09 taco at some point, my 99 ranger not so much
www.sounddeadnershowdown.com the owner of the site, Don, used to test various sound dampening products and now offers his own products, the site is very educational and is the place I'd start to learn about what all the different materials do

Mat to avoid FatMat, used it in my wife's old F150, shit fell off, smells horrible and customer service was non extistent.

2. Power cable, RCA's, speaker wire

I've used stinger in the past, works well, no problems. I bought the cable locally so the price was a little steep. Some people on the board have used welding power cable in the appropriate gauge for their installations. The colors aren't as bold(bling) however the cable seems to be flexible enough to do the job, which can be a real concern. I recently purchased an amp install kit from www.knukonceptz.com nice product should work as advertised. They also advertise most of the hardware you'd need to install amps, speakers, and head unit RCA's.

Speaker wire is up to you. You could buy a roll of 16 to 12 gauge speaker wire from a home audio store and it will do the job. Smaller than 16 gauge and the wire becomes difficult to work with and 12 gauge can be a bear to stuff through door bellows, and is probably overkill for component speakers.

Any quality RCA cable will do the job, I bought into the crutchfield hype about StreetWires RCA's. Probably could have spent less money for the same outcome. Again www.knukonceptz.com offers various levels of RCA's for reasonable prices.

3. Head units

Personal preference, decide what you would like to do with your system. Do you need the HU processing to adjust cross over points? Are you going to run your system active vs passive? Out of all the stages you listed this is probably the easiest to do. You could probably get the install done in about 8 hours from start to clean up.

4. Amps

Personal preference and how much you want to spend. Space constraints come into play big time with amps, especially in our trucks. Mr. Marv a vendor on this site, has made some beautiful amp racks and sub enclosures that fit behind the rear seats of the double cab. There's a whole laundry list of amps to choose from, do your research and set a budget. I'd install both amps at the same time. If Mr.Marv is building you a custom enclosure/rack the subs will go in at the same time.

5. Component speakers

Every ear is different. If you've run all the wires in the previous steps, installing the speakers in their stock locations will be easy. You can make a shitty speaker sound great in a proper installation and a great speaker sound shitty in a poor installation, install is 90% of the work. Passive components are good for most folks, but if you like to ticker going active properly tuned will give you a better sound being able to pick and choose individual speakers/drivers, this is why item #3 is so important.

www.diymobileaudio.com is a great site that discusses everything car audio and then some. Read all the tutorials and build some knowledge before spending mucho money. I've learned a great deal in the few months since I've joined the forum.

It sound like you have the time to research a little more, no impulse buying, which is good. The steps you've laid out seem logical, but like I said earlier you'll get to know the interior of your Taco very well by the end.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 01YotaTaco View Post
Me and my friend built this. It sounds good and we didnt soundproof anything or run amps to my speakers. But if you are willing to spend the little extra money then do it.
That looks really cool Jordan. Too mych for me though I'm more about quality than quantity. Very interesting setup though.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sweater914 View Post
First is the truck a double cab or access cab?

Nothing wrong with doing the upgrades in stages as you suggest, just depends how many times you want to tear you interior open.

www.diymobileaudio.com is a great site that discusses everything car audio and then some. Read all the tutorials and build some knowledge before spending mucho money. I've learned a great deal in the few months since I've joined the forum.

It sound like you have the time to research a little more, no impulse buying, which is good. The steps you've laid out seem logical, but like I said earlier you'll get to know the interior of your Taco very well by the end.

WOW I can't say how intimidated I became all of a sudden. Looks like i still have mucho studying to do. Thank you very very much for all the great information, much respect for it. As to tearing apart my interior I don't have much of a choice since I know I can't afford buying everything all together and installing it. Once again thank you for your reply and all the amazing information.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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I am CCSS on DIYMA, but I rarely use it. lol I think I go there just to be a jerk. Too many "experts" and opinions that are useless. But thats only MY opinion. HAHA.

Dont be intimidated bro. There are SOOOOO many ways you can go with car audio, its not funny. You just have to decide for yourself what suits your needs the best. The rest of us can only offer opinions. Theres that word again. LMAO.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #13
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I just ordered 3 sets of Monster Cable XLN Pro 2ch 5meter RCAs for $43 a set on Ebay. I feel they are one if not the best cable for the buck.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BIGLuke View Post
WOW I can't say how intimidated I became all of a sudden. Looks like i still have mucho studying to do. Thank you very very much for all the great information, much respect for it. As to tearing apart my interior I don't have much of a choice since I know I can't afford buying everything all together and installing it. Once again thank you for your reply and all the amazing information.
Not a problem, that's why we're here in the first place. As I'm sure KAPendley can attest, some of the folks on the DIY forum can be real pricks, I don't post much but read alot. Some of the information can be real technical, even I don't understand all of it, but it there for folks to read. At the very least I can make some informed decisions, where before I was truly clueless. Before you post over there, make sure you've done a thorough search of the site and google it, they can get really pissy about not searching. Enjoy the blackhole that is car audio
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAPendley View Post
I am CCSS on DIYMA, but I rarely use it. lol I think I go there just to be a jerk. Too many "experts" and opinions that are useless. But thats only MY opinion. HAHA.

Dont be intimidated bro. There are SOOOOO many ways you can go with car audio, its not funny. You just have to decide for yourself what suits your needs the best. The rest of us can only offer opinions. Theres that word again. LMAO.
Well thank you for your kind words of wisdom. I am intimidated but not discouraged. So far all the information I recieved is amazing, and seems to me its more to build a competition sound system. I am looking forward to building a great sounding system but not necessarily one that I would take to competitions, just something I can be very proud of and and one that could imperss others if you know what I mean. Nothing better than the look of shock and amazement on someone elses face. For now I think i just have to figure out what I need and don't need, and than go from there. For example I don't think I need to use all three different types of sound dedner to get good insulation. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Originally Posted by sweater914 View Post
Not a problem, that's why we're here in the first place. As I'm sure KAPendley can attest, some of the folks on the DIY forum can be real pricks, I don't post much but read alot. Some of the information can be real technical, even I don't understand all of it, but it there for folks to read. At the very least I can make some informed decisions, where before I was truly clueless. Before you post over there, make sure you've done a thorough search of the site and google it, they can get really pissy about not searching. Enjoy the blackhole that is car audio
Thank you for the warning, its good to know which ppl you can ask questions and who will get pissy if you ask the wrong thing. I think I misslead you guys when I said go all out since I didn't even think about how intense sound system installation can get when you go competition standard. My mistake on that one. I just have to figure out what I need to build a good sounding system without going as far as cometition standard.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:03 PM   #16
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Thank you for the warning, its good to know which ppl you can ask questions and who will get pissy if you ask the wrong thing. I think I misslead you guys when I said go all out since I didn't even think about how intense sound system installation can get when you go competition standard. My mistake on that one. I just have to figure out what I need to build a good sounding system without going as far as cometition standard.[/quote]

It doesn't need to be a competition setup to sound good, just well thought out with quality equipment. Which is what most people are striving for. Getting a component set of speakers with passive crossovers will probably fit your bill. If you're looking to tinker with different speakers and tuning individual speakers for a dedicated frequency range(s) going active will allow you more flexibility but it takes more time and dedication. The cost between the two is a wash, when you consider the extra time spent combining individual drivers to cover the appropriate frequency ranges, each channel has it own amplified signal, and a head unit which can provide the needed processing to run the show.

You're probably overwhelmed at the moment spend a couple of months reading the DIY forum while you save cash for your system. Give it some time to sink in.

I've never put an active system together, I want to give a go but something about maintaining a house, 2 kids and wife which kinda gets in the way.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:46 PM   #17
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The only one it has to sound good to is you bro. It is YOUR vehicle, so you should do whatever you want with it.

I dont think you have to have a whole lot of sound deadener, or every different type. One layer of butyl mat is plenty, but that stuff turns addictive. I have around 4 layers on my doors and rear panels, and want more. LOL. Its overkill, I just love the weight on my doors when I open and close them, when Toyota never intended for the doors to be that heavy. HAHA.

Just remember this, if nothing else. There is really no such thing as the BEST EQUIPMENT in car audio. There is such thing as junk, but its not hard to pinpoint that. There is such thing as quality, but it doesnt have to be the most expensive. I use the lines that I personally trust, and that I know would take care of me if there was an issue. I have built relationships with Arc, ID, and Second Skin....so my loyalties will always remain with those companies.

Also keep in mind that competitions, as fun as they can be....are really just someone elses opinion of how your vehicle sounds. Who are they to say what YOU like? I plan on competing in the future, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. If they offer advice on ways to improve the sound: ie, staging, speaker locations, tuning....then they probably do know what they are talking about, since they have sat in soooo many different types of vehicles, they know what small changes can make a big difference in sound.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweater914 View Post
It doesn't need to be a competition setup to sound good, just well thought out with quality equipment. Which is what most people are striving for. Getting a component set of speakers with passive crossovers will probably fit your bill. If you're looking to tinker with different speakers and tuning individual speakers for a dedicated frequency range(s) going active will allow you more flexibility but it takes more time and dedication. The cost between the two is a wash, when you consider the extra time spent combining individual drivers to cover the appropriate frequency ranges, each channel has it own amplified signal, and a head unit which can provide the needed processing to run the show.

You're probably overwhelmed at the moment spend a couple of months reading the DIY forum while you save cash for your system. Give it some time to sink in.

I've never put an active system together, I want to give a go but something about maintaining a house, 2 kids and wife which kinda gets in the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KAPendley View Post
The only one it has to sound good to is you bro. It is YOUR vehicle, so you should do whatever you want with it.

I dont think you have to have a whole lot of sound deadener, or every different type. One layer of butyl mat is plenty, but that stuff turns addictive. I have around 4 layers on my doors and rear panels, and want more. LOL. Its overkill, I just love the weight on my doors when I open and close them, when Toyota never intended for the doors to be that heavy. HAHA.

Just remember this, if nothing else. There is really no such thing as the BEST EQUIPMENT in car audio. There is such thing as junk, but its not hard to pinpoint that. There is such thing as quality, but it doesnt have to be the most expensive. I use the lines that I personally trust, and that I know would take care of me if there was an issue. I have built relationships with Arc, ID, and Second Skin....so my loyalties will always remain with those companies.

Also keep in mind that competitions, as fun as they can be....are really just someone elses opinion of how your vehicle sounds. Who are they to say what YOU like? I plan on competing in the future, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. If they offer advice on ways to improve the sound: ie, staging, speaker locations, tuning....then they probably do know what they are talking about, since they have sat in soooo many different types of vehicles, they know what small changes can make a big difference in sound.
Thank you both for your help so far, I'm sure I'll end up needing more eventually. So far I've been looking around on DIY and reading up on a bunch of threads. I think I'm going to go with speakers with a passive cross over sine it looks like the active ones are quite more involed, maybe down the line I'll look into the speakers with the active crossoves. Image Dynamics seem to be the speaker of choice on DIY for the most part, I might go with those, haven't looked at the prices yet. If you know of a site where I can find these for a reasonable price let me know. As to the sound deadner I'm pretty much decied that Raamat will be my choice. It seems to be the most affordable and good quality. I still have to research wires soon. But this is the update as of now if you were interested. I'm looking forward to your opinions if you have any.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:26 PM   #19
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One thing to consider: it can get to be a pain tearing everything apart repeatedly. If it was me, I would save and get all the parts assembled first and then when ready, start doing the install and stay on it until all finished. It is a lot of work to do all the stuff you are looking at doing and better to just do it once and get it over with. Just my opinion...
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commtrd View Post
One thing to consider: it can get to be a pain tearing everything apart repeatedly. If it was me, I would save and get all the parts assembled first and then when ready, start doing the install and stay on it until all finished. It is a lot of work to do all the stuff you are looking at doing and better to just do it once and get it over with. Just my opinion...
Thank you for your opinion. As a matter of fact I've been glued to DIYMA for about a week now and was thinking the same, seeing that just tearing the interior out can take a couple hours... So I fugured I can slowly get everything I need for the install and stash it untill I have everything, and than install it with a buddy. I did notice that mojority of installs have alot of components that I didn't even know existed. Would you or anyone know if I can install a good sounding system with the following or would I need more?? If so what else would be absolutely necessary??
-Sound deadener
-Yellow top Optima battery
-LCD Head Unit
-Speakers (edit: was thinking passive crossover componet speakers, still trying to decide on that)
-Subs
-An amp for each
-Capacitor
and of course wires for the whole system
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