Whatever Your Budget, We Have a Blueprint for Your Audio System
Scenario: You've built up the performance and looks aspects of your car to your satisfaction (at least for now), but you're lacking in the in-car electronics department, and you're not sure where to go. Or maybe you're interested in car audio, but you lack the experience. Enter Super Street, well, actually it's more like enter Frank Marshall from Haas Entertainment in Culver City, California. Frank has been selling and installing sound systems in every vehicle you can imagine for the past 12 years, so we asked him to diagram three different kinds of buildups for us: one for low-budgets, one for a middle-of-the-road type of budget, and one for people with money to burn. This way, you can take the diagram of your choice, walk into your local audio shop (or give Haas a call) and say, "I want this in my car." See? We made it easy for you. Well, Frank did, really. We just asked.
Low-Budget Civic Audio BuildupUnderstanding
This is a pretty basic system. Up front you've got a head unit, two 6.5-inch separates (each with a midrange and tweeter), and two crossovers. In the back you'll find either 6.5-inch or 6x9-inch coaxials (tweeter and midrange built in) and a four-channel amplifier. The reason for the either/or situation in the back is because some Civics have 6.5 and some have 6x9 coaxials. Crossovers are used only in the front because the coaxials in the rear don't need crossovers.
Cable-wise, you'll need the following:Two 15-ft RCA cables16-ft 8-gauge power wire One fuse holder and fuse 60-ft 12-gauge speaker wireTwo gold O ring terminals (one for the battery and one for the ground)
1. Stereo/head unit2. 6.5-inch separates3. Crossover4. 6.5 or 6x9 coaxials5. Four-channel amplifier
Midrange Budget Integra Audio BuildupUnderstanding
If you're ready to upgrade from a simple aftermarket installation to an even better and more complex audio installation, here it is. There's no special panel fabrication needed, but there has been the addition of a separate CD changer in the glovebox coming off the cassette head unit. For this midrange buildup, we're using 6.5-inch separates at all four corners, so four crossovers will also be necessary. The amplifier in the rear has been upgraded to a five-channel model (with built-in electronic crossover) to accommodate the 10-inch subwoofer that was added to the system.
Cable-wise, you'll need the following:Three 15-ft RCA cables 16-ft 8-gauge power wireOne fuse holder and fuse 60-ft speaker wireOne 8-gauge gold O-ring terminal for powerOne 8-gauge gold O-ring terminal for ground
1. Cassette head unit
2. CD changer
3. 6.5-inch separates
5. Five-channel amp with built-in electronic crossover
6. 10-inch subwoofer
High-End Budget Supra Audio BuildupUnderstanding
This is the most complex of the three buildups. Up front you'll find a motorized radio with LCD screen. Coming off the radio there are a CD changer and equalizer. Speakers up front consist of three-way units (7-inch midwoofer, 4-inch dome midwoofer, and 1-inch tweeter). The 1-inch tweeter and 4-inch dome midwoofer are placed in custom floor pods, and the 7-inch midwoofer goes into the door. There are two crossovers up front. In the rear of the car you'll see two 7-inch separates with their necessary crossovers. We also have two amps back there: one four-channel and one two-channel. Another subwoofer has been added in the back to make a total of two 12-inch subwoofers. Note: This setup lends itself nicely to further electronic upgrades such as a navigation system or a DVD player run off the radio. We haven't included those in this diagram, but you get the idea. The mind boggles at the possibilities.
Cable-wise, you'll need the following:Three 15-ft RCA cablesTwo 3-ft RCA cables16-ft 4-gauge power wireOne two-fuse panel with two fusesOne distributor block for the ground70 ft speaker wireThree gold O-ring terminals
Key1. Motorized radio w/LCD screen2. CD changer3. Equalizer4. Floor pod WITH 1-inch tweeter &4-inch dome midwoofer5. 7-inch subwoofer6. Crossover7. 7-inch separates8. Four-channel amplifier9. Two-channel amplifier10. 12-inch subwoofer
If you don't happen to own a Civic, Integra, or Supra, fear not. We'll be doing this periodically using different makes and models each time. Stay tuned!