A complete Neophyte needs recommendations.


New member
Username: Bleeder

Jville, Fl US of A

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
As a female, there's no question that I know little about car audio and will never profess to. I want to do a major overhaul of my entire sound system is a stock 2005 Ford F-250 Super-Duty. My budget is $1250 total for all components, but that must also include a professional's installation.

So far in the local shops @ town, I like the sound of the Pioneer DEH-P860MP the best so far for the radio/CDplayer, and speaker-wise, the Polk MMC6500 speakers sounded very good... but to be honest, I'm unsure if the speakers would fit in my truck. It's a fairly large and deep speaker, and I'm not sure what size the original speakers are in the first place!

At a limit of @ $1250, I obviously don't want to go overboard, but I certainly want better sound from the crap I'm currently subjected to. I'm completely open to suggestion...Head Unit?, Speakers? Do I add a Sub? So many choices; So many opinions...Have at it! Any advice is appreciated!

Silver Member
Username: Bnd_rulez

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 873
Registered: Mar-05
860 HU is awesome. The MMC5250 would fit according to Crutchfield.

Then you'd need an amp rated at 100X2 class a/b to run the Polks and make them scream.

Is the truck a regular cab, extended, super cab?

Do you want a sub?

New member
Username: Bleeder

Jville, Fl US of A

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
I'm not sure if I need a subwoofer or not....and what's a good amp to add to the system?

Is there a significant difference between the MMC5250 and the 6500's? Should I look at something else regarding speakers? Again, my ceiling would be $1200 max. Thanx!

Gold Member
Username: Theelfkeeper

Stockbridge, GA USA

Post Number: 1402
Registered: Feb-05
thoes Polk speakers are a great set, good choice. you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the MMC5250 and the MMC6500's, just depends on the size speakers that will fit in your car.

they have a 2 and 5/8 inch mounting depth, but if you go to a decient shop to have them installed, they should be able to get them to fit no problem.

Great choice for a HU as well, prob one of the best you can get.

might want to look into an external amp for the speakers to get the most out of them too.

Subs are really a preference i guess, depends on whether you want the bass and since have a truck, whether you have the space!

Have you considered getting the stuff online?? you could still take it to be professionally installed, might save some money that way.


New member
Username: Bleeder

Jville, Fl US of A

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-06
Thanx, and I'll probably buy online, but only if it's an authorized dealer, like Crutchfield, etc....need to make sure the warranty is valid! Will only get the components professionally installed by those that know what the hell they're doing...I won't!!

Guess I have ANOTHER question now...if I go with Pioneer DEH-P860MP at @ $340 and the Polk MMC5250 (X2 sets, front and rear) for $600, that leaves me with only @$300 for Amp and installation...should I choose a different HU or speaker set so i can keep under my $$ mark so I can get an amp?

Difficult question, but I'm serious about keeping everything in the under $1250 range. THANX!!

Gold Member
Username: Theelfkeeper

Stockbridge, GA USA

Post Number: 1413
Registered: Feb-05
well, Crutchfield doesn't have that HU anymore. they are in the middle of switching over to the 2006 models. its like $300 shipped on ebay, but you won't have a warranty. i wanted that model too but from authorized dealer, so i'm just waiting on the 06 models and am going to get the DEH-P7800MP.

decided to get a sub or not??

you do have like the best HU out and Polk's top of the line speakers (other then SR's, which are around $800 a pair), don't have to get the best, you could go down a notch and have a little more for the amp and installation.

the Polk DB models are $153 or $170
or Infinity Reference are $180 or $200
have you looked at the Infinity's??
crutchfield prices.

for a speaker amp, you have several options. you could get a 4 channel and power them all, or just a 2 channel and power the front with the amp and the rears with the HU. a lot of people do fronts on an amp and rears on the HU. from crutchfield, Alpine amps are the best and cheapest they sell in my opinion.

you could do:
Alpine MRP-F250 $200
40W X 4 or 100W X 2
Alpine MRP-F450 $300
70W X 4

Just a 2 channel would cost more and have less power then either of thoes from crutchfield.

also involved in this is going to be speaker wire and an amp wireing kit. an 8 Gauge kit would work fine for either amp, but wouldn't leave much room to add anything else later if you decide to. the kit to get depends on which amp route you decide to go too. Speaker wire is like 20 cents a foot on crutchfield.


Bronze Member
Username: Nanbakat

Mexico CityMexico

Post Number: 16
Registered: Mar-06
In the short term, you might be better served by buying one set of good component speakers (instead of coaxials) for the front and not having any rear speakers. Since you have a truck you probably don't need them. Use the money that you save on the rear speakers (300 bucks) to get a 4-channel amp. Then after connecting the component speakers to channels 1 and 2 of the amp, you have two options regarding channels 3 and 4:

1) Bridge the two channels and use it to power a subwoofer (if you want bass)
2) Reserve the two channels in case you want to get rear-fill speakers later on.

If you don't want bass and don't need rear speakers then just get a two-channel amp.

Just because your truck came with four speakers that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to buy four new speakers. (Think outside the box...I made this same mistake with my first install, too.) If you go with my recommendation you probably will never realize that you don't have the rear speakers installed because your sound will be so good. Trust me on this...

For component speakers look at the infinity kappa line or the CDT Audio ef-61.

That Pioneer head unit you are looking at is perfect.

Crutchfield is way overpriced, but they are good for hand-holding. It might be worth it to buy through them just to get access to their tech support. But that's what we do here for free! :-)

Bronze Member
Username: Nztunez

NelsonNew Zealand

Post Number: 17
Registered: Feb-06
I'd have to agree as well...

1) Skip the rear fill speakers entirely
2) Don't skimp on decent amps.
3) Listen to as many installed systems with different components as you can (yes I realise this is hard and not always practical) to get a feel for what sound you like the most.

Using Ebay is the way to go for the cheapest prices to build a system but you get anywhere from a 1 year warranty to none at all depending on the seller. Make sure and check feedback ratings.

Others may not agree...but I think a really high end HU is somewhat overkill especially when you aren't an audiophile...I know some people who are actually pissed off with too many bells and whistles on the high end models. I'd stick to something in the midrange models from a good reliable company like Alpine or Pioneer Premier.

~$200 HU
~$200-$300 front component speakers (The most important and most subjective to choose in my opinion)
~$200 Amp for front comps
$0 rear speakers (not needed)
~$100-$200 Sub
~$200 Mono D Class Amp for sub
~$250-350 left for installation and materials such as the sub box and sound deadening material which improves sound quality a LOT. Installation makes or breaks your sound system.

That's generally how I'd break it down with your budget in mind.

You will notice the biggest difference in sound in your front components. That's your mids and highs which are the largest ranges in the music you'll be listening to. I would definitely recommend listening to as many different components as possible as they are VERY much a matter of taste. What sounds great to some can sound harsh/ muddy/bright etc to someone else.

I think a great setup when you are building a simple SQ (sound quality) type system is a single set of comps and a single decent sized sub...say 12". You don't need any more than that to get EXCELLENT sound if it's all installed well.

Subs are another matter of preference but anything from 300 watts to 600 watts should be more than sufficient unless you like listening at deafening levels or just want to show off.

Image Dynamics(ID), RE, Adire, Boston Acoustics, Ascendant Audio, Diamond, Alpine, and Stereo Integrity (BM series coming soon), are a few great sub brands to look at. They all have very good SQ and depending how loud you want the subs to be...they should all have something you can afford. JL are VERY GOOD as well but over priced.

A single 12" would be more than enough for a good SQ system.

I personally would say something like an RE SE or Ascendant Audio Assassin would be very nice subs for a good SQ system.

Amps from Orion/Viper, Hifonics, Xtant, PPI (PC or PCX series), Autotek, Phoenix Gold, Zapco all should be within budget with some searching but again best bang for the buck will be from Ebay retailers. You'll need to match up the Ohm rating of your amps to your speaker ohm ratings once you choose them...get slightly more amp power than your speakers are rated for (Example: 200 RMS watts @4ohm per channel amps for 150 RMS watt @4 ohm speakers) that way you won't underpower and "clip" the speakers which can create problems and damage speakers when you turn them up too loud.

And finally...there is a LOT of info on forums like these and hundreds of opinions on what's best so in the end you have to use your own judgement about what is best and stop listening to all the possibilities or you'll never get anything done. Choose something and go for it.

I'd actually recommend installing the stuff yourself if you have even a remote interest as it's actually fun and a learning experience but if you really are extremely wary and don't want to risk anything...then I do understand getting a pro to do the job. I would recommend getting some idea on what good installers are in your area though as some "pros" are worse than amateurs. You'll often be better off if you look around a little and find a contact who is an audio hobbyist...they often take more care and do better jobs than "professional" folks working in audio shops. They can also give you an idea of who the better installers are in your area. Just another option to keep in mind.

Silver Member
Username: Bnd_rulez

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 880
Registered: Mar-05
You'll want a sub. In a truck, I would recommend a 10". I had a 10" Alpine Type R in a sealed box in a Bronco and it sounded primo. Its now in an ext cab Dakota, and it still sounds good.

Skip the rear speakers, if you amp them speakers with a 100X2 amp they will do just fine.

The Polks cost me $180 on eBay and they sound just as good as the 6.5's I had in the Bronco.

Darren M hit the nail right on the head.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us