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Old 10-18-2005, 02:44 PM   #1
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How many watts does one need in a radio? How many speakers?

I've got a 65 convertable. I still haven't decided on a radio or speakers.


I'm looking at the USA5 or 6, with 140watts and seperarte CD changer (best price I can find is 425 & 15 for shipping)

But I see the new aftermarket radios that cant be mounted unless I cut the dash with 200watts or more and they cost $150-200+tax

And then I'm looking at buying an original custom autosound radio (no idea of wattage, but its got the hookup for a cd changer) and its like $25+20 for shipping

Can anyone tell me if I'll even notice the difference between them? I know how the original am radio sounds, and I was somewhat ok with it until my radio station went off the air. And I got a really crappy aftermarket radio/CB but it just sucks (came with the car) in fact if it only had AM it would be worse than the orginal AM radio.


The other question is speaker layout. The dash mounts a 4x10, I think the kicker panel for speakers is a great idea. I don't want to cut my doors. And I'm open to cutting my interior convertable panels to mount speakers there (I've seen 6's but I'm hoping for a flush mount kit, what I've seen at local car shows didn't get me excited) And what wattage speakers do I want, 2way,3way,4way, dual cone. I got no clue. And being that its a convertable there's little room elsewhere and honestly I don't need super premium hear me a mile away set up. I don't really have a budget constraint, obviously I'd like to get it for free (hehe) at most I want to spend a few hundred. But I'm cheap so.....

Thanks, shoot me any ideas please.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:02 AM   #2
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Buy a deck with a remote and mount it in your glovebox.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:53 AM   #3
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Not the style I'm going for. Its a stick shift, so I don't want to fumble with a remote (I'm just not talented enough for that) and I don't want to reach all the way over to the glove box to change the station, I chanell hop a lot and probably end up crashing when I feel the need for another station.
I could mount the deck under the dash or in the console if I put it in. But if the wattage won't make much of a difference I guess I could do the USA05 radio and remote cd changer.. but I don't know what the sound quality difference is.
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:40 PM   #4
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Depending on what you are looking for, you will obviously get a better system going with one of the new aftermarket radios. However, the dash cutting or alternate mounting will be an issue. If you are just looking for some tunes and a decent sound, I think the radio you are looking at will be fine as long as you get a good match on the speakers (speakers that match the output of the radio). If you are adventurous you could get the radio you are looking at and mount an amp in the back and get really good speakers, but it is more work and wiring.
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:53 PM   #5
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The number of watts you need is inversly proportional with your age.

Since it sounds like you would like some power I would suggest you buy a cheaper radio that doesn't have much power and add a decent 4 channel amp, maybe 50Wx4 if you don't want to spend much. The quality of power will be better thus so will the sound. It might cost less as well.
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Old 10-26-2005, 02:34 AM   #6
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Get a radio that you like that will fit your dash but make sure it has low level RCA outputs so it can run a separate amplifier. Then get a separate amplifier and mount it in the trunk. Front and rear outputs are nice along with a 4 channel amp so that you can fade between your speakers so that they are balanced and you can hear them all equally.

A decent branded separate amplifier that is rated at 20 watts per channel will out perform any built in radio power on the market. You have to think that a radio has the tuner section in it taking up about 1/8 of the space within the radio, the cassette or cd mechanism in it taking up about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the radio, the processor section for all of your features and workings, your physical controls, and then finally one or two little IC chips in it that is the "amplifier at X watts per channel". This built in power cannot out perform a decent brand amplifier that has a true power supply (which is usually about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of a separate amp and does not fit in a radio). This power supply steps up the cars 12 volt power to a higher voltage and the amp has a larger gauge power wire that also lets in more current. Remember power is calculated by multiplying voltage times the amperage, and built in amps in radios cannot compare to a separate amp. A true amplifier will give you better sounding bass and less distortion at lower levels and then even more noticeable at higher levels (when cruising and your convertibles top is down) .

On speakers, 2 way, 3way, 4way are all marketing ploys. Go listen for yourself. Get some of the kick panels that are built out to fit a 5 or 6.5 inch speaker in them so that you are not cutting anything on your car and then take them to the local audio store to help get a speaker that will fit in that opening. Remember, the bigger the speaker, the more bass output you will have. Cut a 1/8 Masonite panel or a piece of ABS plastic out from copying an original 4”X10” speaker so that it will fit in the dash where the original speaker was. Then cut out two circles to mount two 3.5" speakers in the left and right of the panel (mount them on the underside of the panel so that they do not stick out and hit your dash first). One speaker will hook up to the left channel and the other will hook up to the right channel. Paint this panel black, or install some grill cloth on top of it to cover the speakers. You can buy this type of speaker setup already in most mustang catalogs along with the kick panels that are built out for speakers. I have never worked on classic convertibles, so I am not sure where other speakers could be or was mounted from the factory, so I cannot help you there.

If you go with just the above 4 speakers in your car, and a 4 channel amplifier, a recommendation would be to make sure your amp has a built in electronic crossover in it. If you turned on a high pass crossover (only allows higher frequencies to pass to your speakers) to the dash, it would let them stay cleaner sounding at higher volume levels. Let your kick panel speakers play full range with no crossover since they have to provide all of the bass that you can get.

With this type of setup, you will be able to hear better sounding fuller range music even with the top down than ANY built in power in a radio.

You do not have to spend an arm and a leg either to get this. You can save a little on the radio since you are not getting a top of the line that has the most power in it (just make sure it has low level RCA outputs). You can even go in steps by purchasing your radio and your speakers and temporarily using the radios built in power to get you by until you can add the amp.

Go by different audio places and listen to different speakers with an amplifier like the one you might want to buy. Take your favorite music to listen to so that you will know if what you are listening to does really sound good or not. The radio itself will not make that much of a difference in the sound as the amp and the different speakers.

I used to be an installer and salesman for car audio for about 10 years, and I hope I have helped you. Just remember not to go off of rated specifications. If you go by liking what you hear and always remember that you get what you pay for in quality, you probably will not go wrong.

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Old 10-27-2005, 11:01 AM   #7
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Most people would be plenty content with the power output of just the head unit itself, especially these days. This is much less painful too. Just hook it up to the speaker wires behind the head unit, no running RCA cables through the car, then speaker wire back through the car the other way to the front speakers, not to mention the power/ground/switched wires you'll need for the amp itself.

Just get 2 ways. I don't think 3 or 4 ways are noticably different than 2 ways. A good 2 way will be much better than a cheap 4 way anyway. 2 sets of speakers, 4X10s and 6.5s will be fine. Many speaker brands are good. I have always been partial to Infiniti.
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:44 PM   #8
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Sounds good I'll probably get based upon this advice, the USA 05 or 06 with the CD changer. Put in the 3" speakers in the orginal 4x10 dash area and get some nice kick panel speakers. If later I decide this sucks I can get an amp or cut holes in the convertable panels in the back seat. Other than door speakers which requires cutting there is probably no where else to mount speakers in a convertable, unless I want to put them in weird and unsightly places.
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:15 PM   #9
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Are these speakers decent?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AG Audio, I've never heard of them before. They sell speakers on ebay. 3 1/2" 200 watts for $16/pr, and 6 1/2" 200watts for 18/pr. Shipping is 7 and 10 respectively.

Anyone have any idea if these are quality compenents?


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...RK%3AMEWA%3AIT


I've got a 65 mustang, planning to run a 140watt USA05 radio unit w/ 10 cd changer with 4 speakers (the above ones). thx for any advice
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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Hey I have a 68 conv. and you will DEFINITELY want the kick panel speakers. Before I got them I not be able to hear the speakers I had in the back seat with the top down at highway speed. I put the kick panel speakers in and now I can always hear them at any speed. Good Luck.
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