I have recently bought myself a nice little second hand Fiesta XR4. It has the stock audio system and this needs to go ASAP!
The last time I did anything car audio related was when I was a poor highschool student pimping out my mums car with some bargain-basement equipment, and that was nearly 10 years ago. I am well out of the loop when it comes to what's good and what's not good in terms of car audio, though I am a little bit of an audiophile when it comes to my home theatre and my PC music listening/gaming (FLAC or nothing, thanks). That said, I am not an evangelistic audiophile, and I am also not part of the 1%, so I have a budget in mind.
I listen to music (not audio test tones) so massive power is not my aim. Some of the artists in regular rotation for me are Nine Inch Nails, Pendulum, Midnight Juggernauts, Regina Spektor, Cut Copy, Muscles, and recently various dubstep artists.
I want to replace the head unit, ditch the front and rear speakers, and get myself a suitable amplifier(s) and a small subwoofer. I want to keep it looking stock however, so I am going to go with 5x7 coaxials in the front for sure. Given the rear speakers are just behind the front seats, I can imagine having a 'hole' in the sound behind me might irritate me, so perhaps I will do the rear speakers too. Not sure about that yet.
As for the head unit, I have already been recommended the Alpine 117E or the Eclipse CD5030 which both have the two main features I want (Bluetooth, SD/USB), though I really like the look of the Pioneer 8350BT it unfortunately has a 16-bit DAC whereas the Alpine and Eclipse units have a 24-bit DAC (or so I am led to believe). So I'm leaning more toward the Alpine solely because I've actually heard of that brand before and also because it's the least ugly of the two.
I suppose if I go with an Alpine HU I should also choose an appropriate Alpine amplifier. Though that depends on what speakers I want: Soundstream Tarantula SS5.7? I choose these because I have read they are "the best" 5x7 speakers on the market, but I've never heard any of them so how can I say for sure?
Back to the amplifier choice, the Alpine range of amps was also recommended to me. So it would make sense to buy something like an Alpine PDX4.150 for my speakers, and an Alpine MRX-M50 for my subwoofer, an Alpine SWS-1223D.
Car: 2008 Fiesta XR4
Music: Nine Inch Nails, Pendulum, Midnight Juggernauts, Regina Spektor, Cut Copy, Muscles, and recently various dubstep artists.
Proposed HU: Alpine 117E or the Eclipse CD5030 (prefer Alpine)
Proposed speakers: Soundstream Tarantula SS5.7 (want to keep stock look, undecided front only or front+rear)
Proposed speaker amp: Alpine PDX.150
Proposed sub amp: Alpine MRX-M50
Proposed sub: Alpine SWS-1223D
Please bare in mind that aside from a quick review of these forums the only thing I've really done is read manufacturer spec. sheets. If any of these components are totally wrong together, let me know!
Edited by Oblong Cheese, 01 January 2012 - 08:27 AM.