After admitting I knew virtually nothing about today's auto sound systems, I spent several weeks researching the net and talking to the tech gurus at Crutchfield... and boy oh boy, did I ever find out how much I really didn't' know.....
However, the best part of knowing what you don't know is that you now know what you need to know... the rest is simply understanding.
So, as it turns out, I ditched the Custom Auto Sound 630 for the better RetroSound Model 1 with the correct face plate for the 1966 Mustang dash. Biggest reason was that the RetroSound seemed to be of better quality, had two pairs of RCA line level outputs, switch for antenna and amps, and two (YES TWO) inputs for aux's. The two inputs for AUX was what sold me as I plan on hooking us satellite radio to this system and still want iPod capabilities without having to unplug anything. The second AUX plugs into the face of the unit (like my 2010 Dodge 2500 4x4) and the other AUX is behind the unit (for sat.).
So, in my opinion, without going to DIM, get the RetroSound over the Custom Auto Sound. The knobs on the RetroSound are also made of metal vs. plastic.
I would hope that RetroSound will come out with a model 2 that also is satellite ready to control Sirius on the screen like modern stereos...
The components I selected for the sound system
The first thing to do is decide on what type of bass you want... if you are normal, you would want clean crisp powerful bass. If you are of the abnormal (like the hip-hop crowd...LOL), you would probably want more distorted rumbling for that boom boom boom crap that shakes office building windows, etc.
Once you decide on your bass requirements, you build your system around that. Here is what I selected to achieve normal crisp high-powered clean deep bass.
- 2 Kicker 10CVR104 dual 4-ohm coils 10" subwoofer
- Kenwood KAC-9501D 900watt RMS 1-ohm subwoofer amp with 1 pair of RCA outputs
- 2 Polk Audio MM521 (5-1/4") 2-chnl 90w RMS (200w peak) for kick panels (4 ohms)
- 2 Polk Audio MM691 (6"x9") 3-way 150watt RMS (300w peak) rear deck (4 ohms)
- Kenwood Excelon XR-4S 120 Watts RMS x 4 at 4-ohms
- Tsunami Litewave Series PP92UM-CAP - 2 Farad capacitor
- RetroSound Model One Radio for the 1966 Mustang
Here's a bit of advice on saving money.... get your amps and subs from Crutchfield.
When the subs go on sale, its hard to beat their prices... plus their tech help is by far better than any other online retailer. But the real savings is in their factory refurbished inventory...
I ordered both of the amps from Crutchfield as well, but I ordered factory refurbished units with an added 2 year warranty... which still saved me hundreds of dollars vs. ordering new stock. In my experiences (48year of them), I have found a factory refurbished unit has been looked at and re-certified... new units have not... and with the added warranty, its still a better find than brand new.
The subs were on sale. Buy one at regular price, the second was 50 bucks... can't beat that... along with the immense help they gave to design the entire system.
Polk Audio speakers... bought those on eBay from a company on the east coast. Full factory warranty just as if I paid twice as much from Best Buy or Crutchfield (in all fairness, Crutchfield was running a sale, buy one speaker (pair) and get the other at half price... still good but not as good as the joint on the east coast).
Subs and the Amp
I went with Kicker subs because of the brand and the size and power for what I wanted without breaking the wallet. Face it, we have small cars and this is probably overkill anyways... but that's the way I roll.
When selecting the amp for the subwoofer, it all depends on the sound you want. I like my 80's hair band rock-n-roll so I would want crisp clean bass. The 1-ohm 900w RMS amp fits the bill because of the subwoofers I selected. These will be wired in parallel so they will work properly with the 1-ohm amp. Additionally, I will build sealed boxes (as opposed to ported) for the amps to rest in thus maximizing the power ability and cleanness of the subs' output. Additionally, the sub amp also had one pair of line level outputs that is needed to drive the rears... I'll explain that later (learned that last week too).
The required subwoofer boxes requirement was 0.8 cu. ft. or 1382.4 cubic inches of airspace. This took a bit of doing but I finally designed a pair of boxes that allow for the two 10" subs to face the rear of the car without taking up much trunk space. I will have a separate article on the actual building of the boxes later on. My boxes calculated out to be 1386.5 cubic inches so with that being so close, my ears won't be able to tell the difference.
The sub amp requires a capacitor for safe use
I haven't ordered the capacitor yet, but that will also serve as the power block in the trunk feeding the subwoofer amp as well as the other amp. The overall performance of the system is greatly enhanced by the use of this gem because it safely stores the additional power your amps require that a regular battery cannot deliver.
The RetroSound Radio
I liked it mostly because of the dual AUX inputs (one in front for iPod, etc, and the one in the rear for wired Satellite radio) and the metal knobs. The custom Mustang Face plate works great and fits well. The radio's biggest drawback (as is with any of these retro-type radios) is that it only has two pairs of RCA outputs.. thus providing for left and right - front and back speakers and no provision for a subwoofer.
Originally, I was going to wire it up so the front RCA outs would feed the speakers and the rear channels would feed the subs. This would be fine but then I would lose the fade ability... which in our small cars, probably would be just fine. However, by selecting a subwoofer amp that has one pair of RCA outs that specifically do not rob the transmission of the higher frequencies, I've solved the loss of fade issue.
The front L and R RCA pairs will feed directly to the Escelon Xr-4S amp which in turn will feed the kick panel Polk Audio 5-1/4" speakers. The rear pair of RCA outputs will feed the Mono Subwoofer amp then pass though to the rear speakers inputs on the Excelon thus driving the rear Polk Audio 6''x9'' speakers in the package tray.
click here to view my wiring diagram (use at own risk)
Internal speakers and the accompanying amp
Polk Audio had great reviews and the prices were reasonable. I made sure that the Kenwood amp I selected RMS ratings were in line with the speakers I selected. RMS is the most important number when selecting wattages... not the peak. Also, I made sure that all the numbers and ratings were based on the CEA 2006 Compliant standards.
I'll complete this article once all the stuff arrives and will do a step by step install of all components. Look for my build on the subwoofer boxes to be posted in the next week or so.
My intention was to have a system that was specific to my taste in music and specific to our Mustangs so there was no need to install stereos in glove boxes, etc. I think I've come up with a good mix of components that fit the bill.
What do you think?