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The SQ Car Audio Thread V2

212131 Views 500 Replies 67 Participants Last post by  skills4lou
Welcome to Version 2 of the SQ Car Audio thread!

The last thread got buried and full of information. It's a bit daunting to sort through, so I've created a new one to make it a whole lot easier and to consolidate some of this information. Given the sheer number of questions I get regarding this, I figured I'd create a thread to answer them off the bat.

My mission here is to make competition-level sound quality feasible and affordable so you don't spend the thousands of dollars going through parts only to come back to this point. Read this thread, and you can build on my experience.

Getting Started
To start, you'll want a good idea of basic audio principles so you know what I'm talking about throughout this thread. For that purpose, I've created four basic Audio 101 "lectures" on my website, which you can find in the link below. Start from the bottom. If you have questions, post them here. Don't even bother thinking about SQ car audio until you've read these articles.

Audio 101 - The Xtreme Revolution

I'm sure some of you came here thinking "The sound system in my Cruze sucks, what can I do to make it better? I want some great sound!" I hear that a lot, and I have an inbox full of these types of questions. Before we proceed, there are things I expect of you. If you cannot meet these expectations, you shouldn't be here.

  1. Cost. As a starting point, you should expect to spend $1000 if you want a good set of front speakers with MDF baffles, a proper install with door and trunk treatment, good wiring, and a good SQ subwoofer in a custom box. If don't have at least $1000 or don't want to spend that much, come back when you have accepted the cost of this endeavor. This applies to total installs, not to just a single subwoofer. Some of you will probably say, "but I can do it for so much cheaper than that!" Really? With a passive crossover front component set, a single 8" subwoofer, custom box, two amplifiers, sound deadening, and an AA-GM44 harness, you're right around $930, and we haven't begun to talk about wiring. If you can build the box yourself, you can save some money. Otherwise, I build subwoofer boxes and MDF speaker baffles at what most consider to be a very good price.
  2. Time. If you want a system installed within a week because you just got your tax return, your bonus, or birthday money and can't contain yourself, don't waste my time. It will take you time to choose the parts that are right for you. It will take you time to learn why they were chosen, and why you shouldn't have bought the ones on the shelf at Best Buy. Since you will most likely be installing this yourself (let's be realistic, most shops do shoddy work by my standards), you will need time for that as well. We have some members on this board who can perform high quality installs should you really not want to pull your own trim panels.
  3. Effort. You need to learn at least the basics of audio. If you don't want to put any effort in, don't expect me to help you. I know this doesn't apply to most of you out there, but I'm saying it as a fair warning to anyone who thinks they can have their hand held throughout the entire process. I'm making tools available to you so that you can learn, have true appreciation for what's going on, and put together an excellent system.
  4. Patience. This ties in the last two points, but it deserves its own point. If you order a box and baffles from me, expect to wait a while as I've never yet had a day where I didn't have a box in progress. If it takes me 2 months to get everything done, chalk that up as part of the cost of getting a competition-ready custom made subwoofer box built for cheap. If you find yourself not understanding how something works or how to do something on your car, don't get frustrated. Ask questions, and wait for an answer. Keep in mind that we all have lives outside this forum.

In my next post, we'll move straight to system recommendations.
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Sorry, I could hear you breathing and moving, but nothing else.

Either way I solved this issue by getting rid of the joke of a DSP. If anyone visits this forum I'd suggest staying away from what these people are pedaling. The miniDSP is woefully underpowered and isn't even meant for car audio. That's coming directly from the company that produces it. Just stick with doing what everyone does and buy a reputable brand set of component speakers and save yourself the headaches! There's a reason why they're so popular and why these companies are so successful. They work. Sometimes it's better to stick with the crowd and not follow the 2 people saying that their way is better. I installed a totally different dsp and have no noise issue whatsoever now. I'd say that the average consumer of car audio shouldn't even bother with a dsp. As long as you can set your crossovers and gains don't bother with all of this extra **** these people say matters. The sound isn't improved as much as they try to make people believe it is when you eq or add delays. You'll get more bang for your buck steering clear of it.

Also they say you have to do all of this work with treating your doors and building adapters, Well actually the op guy is trying to pedal "his" adapters and sell you "his" stuff, in order for the junk to sound good they're selling. While I did all of that myself it's not once mentioned that instead of buying all of these separate pieces of equipment, you can actually buy a single unit that handles all of these things. You can buy a Helix M Four DSP which is an LOC, DSP, 4ch amplifier, and more! So while you'll save space and less wiring hassle you'll end up spending less money all together! Like what the hell are these people smoking? These people are just salesmen trying to scam poor souls just getting into car audio. Steer clear and follow the crowd on this one!
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