Video: High-quality Sound in a Convertible

A musician's dream system

By

Charlie Pastorfield

Charlie Pastorfield writes about car audio for Crutchfield. Raised in Connecticut and the U.S. Virgin Islands, he graduated from the University of Virginia, but was having way too much fun to leave Charlottesville. After a long, beautiful career touring the East Coast from Boston to Atlanta as a professional guitarist (Skip Castro Band, The Believers), he married Emilie, had two daughters (Morgan and Emma), and got his first full-time job at Crutchfield. Still an extremely active musician, he's now a member of The Gladstones, a 4-piece group that plays just about anything, and Alligator, an 8-piece band that plays late 60's Grateful Dead.

More from Charlie Pastorfield

In this video, Crutchfield Web Editor, Charlie Pastorfield tells us about the high-end audio system he designed for his Chrysler Sebring. As a professional musician, the car stereo system of his dreams included gear from Boston Acoustics, Eclipse, and a digital equalizer from AudioControl. You'll also get a peek behind the scenes of the installation.

Be sure to watch the second part of this video, "Tuning a High-end Car Stereo System." In it, Charlie tells us about how he got his stereo sounding just right.

You can see the full list of the gear he picked in his entry in our Customer Car Showroom, and read the full story in his blog posts, "Top-down sound."

Video Transcript

Robert: Hi, I'm Robert and this is Charlie. He recently upgraded from a factory stereo system in his car to a really nice aftermarket system, and I asked him out today to tell us a little about it.

Charlie: I bought this car a couple of years ago and I soon became very unhappy with the Infinity sound system that comes in this thing. It just didn't cut it when you had the top down and you were driving down the road. You know, I think a lot of the rules that you follow when you're putting a system in a normal car go out the window with a convertible because of road noise. You've got, whether the top's up or down.there's a lot of noise going on. And I feel like it's more important to get the mid-range and the bass out, and to do that you need subwoofers and you need a lot of cone area in your speakers to get that mid-range that you need to sound full when you're driving fifty with the top down.

Robert: When you were ready to do it a couple of weeks ago we were able to bring in a couple of our pro installers who really know what they're doing when they're tearing cars apart, and they helped out a lot.

Charlie: And the beginning is this. It's the Eclipse CD7200 MK II and it's like the Rolls Royce of car receivers. It's sheathed in copper to keep the electrical noise out of your system and it's got three 8-volt preamp outputs.

Robert: 8-volt?

Charlie: 8-volt.

Robert: So that's plenty of strong, clear signal feeding into the outboard amplifier.

Charlie: It's ready to hurt the outboard amplifier.

Robert: I don't think you're going to hurt this Boston Acoustic amp.

Charlie: Well first of all, before we go to the Boston amplifier we're going to this AudioControl unit here — the DQXS. It's a digital EQ. It looks pretty simple but it's got awesome equalization capabilities.

Robert: Yeah it can do a lot.

Charlie: These controls access this little screen here and they're all multi-function controls so you can really zero in on getting the sound right for your car. So, out of the Eclipse, into the audio control, then from the AudioControl to this Boston Acoustics GT-50, which is a 5-channel amp. 4x50 running the front speakers and then a 400-watt mono sub section that's gonna run the two 8" subs.

Robert: All right. So what's the speaker arrangement?

Charlie: We're choosing these Boston S35 3-1/2's. Big honkin' magnets on them; these things weigh a ton.

Robert: Pretty heavy.

Charlie: They'll go up in the dash, and in the front doors, these Boston SX95's — little neodymium magnets here — these will be the front door speakers. And then in the rear 6x9 slots we're going to attempt to fit these big honkin' Boston 8" subs.

Robert: Now, there is a second subwoofer going in too, but right now it's out in the shop being fitted for a custom bracket.

Charlie: And theoretically all hell is gonna break loose.

Robert: Now if you'd like to learn more about the products Charlie has in his system, look him up in our Customer Car Showroom at crutchfield.com/charliecar.

Charlie: I like it.

Robert: And if you want to learn what will fit in your car, go to crutchfield.com/whatfits or just call one of our advisors. They're at 1-800-555-9408

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