Charlie P's 2001 Chrysler Sebring
High-caliber Sound in the Car
I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.
For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.
More from Robert Ferency-Viars
- Eclipse CD7200 MKII CD receiver
- Boston Acoustics S35 3.5" speakers
- Boston Acoustics SX95 6"x9" speakers
- Boston Acoustics G108 8" subwoofers
- Boston Acoustics GT-50 5-channel amplifier
- AudioControl DQXS 6-channel digital equalizer
- Dynamat Xtreme door kit
- Dynamat Xtreme bulk pack
- StreetWires wiring
Charlie wanted a stereo system that could handle flying down the highway with the top down. And as a professional musician, his standards for good sound were pretty high. Since he got the car for a good price, he decided he could afford to spend a little extra money on a top-of-the-line audio system.
He chose Boston Acoustics speakers, subwoofers, and amplifier to power and deliver the music. For the stereo, he picked out a copper-plated stereo from Eclipse that was designed for good sound quality — the copper blocks out electrical noise from the car. And he added a digital equalizer from AudioControl for tuning and polishing the sound. Finally, the vibration and road noise was minimized as much as possible with Dynamat noise damping kits.
I ran through our usual list of interview questions to get more details about the stereo system from Charlie.
Why did you decide to upgrade your A/V system?
I love music, and I have a long commute. Even though the factory stereo system was the upgraded Infinity system from Chrysler, it didn't come close to giving me the volume or clarity of sound that I was looking for.
What made these stereo products the right choice for you?
First and foremost, I wanted high-performance sound. When I planned this system, I decided that if I was going to put the time and money into this upgrade, I wanted to go all the way and do it all at once. So I spent a little extra to get the excellent sound quality that I was looking for, and these products fit that bill.
What's the first thing you show people about your installation?
The custom-installed subwoofers in the back seat. I couldn't put a subwoofer box in the trunk because I need all that room for guitars and music equipment, so I knew from the start that I needed another solution.
|Custom-mounted 8" subwoofer where there used to be a 6"x9" speaker.|
What was the most difficult part of the installation?
Of the installation? That was mounting the subs in the back seat. We had to make mounting plates to lift the subwoofers out of the car body to create the depth that was needed. And after that, we still had to use a saw to trim some metal in order for the subs to fit. We had to run a lot of wires too, but once we took out the rear seat, it was a piece of cake.
After the installation, getting it all in tune took a lot of time. I mean, when you just put in a new stereo or a new set of speakers, it's not that hard to adjust the way it sounds. But since I replaced everything at once, I had to get used to the speakers, then slowly start tuning things in. And having that digital equalizer made it more challenging because I had to learn how to use it, but it also made it possible for me fine tune to an incredible degree. That thing is amazing.
What plans, if any, do you have for future upgrades?
At this point, there's not much else I want to do. I have my dream system. The stereo even has built-in Bluetooth® so I can make calls without digging for my phone.
You can read more about Charlie's new system in his blog posts, "Top-down sound. Or check out the short-version in our videos, "High-quality Sound in a Convertible" and "Tuning a High-end Car Stereo System."
|The Eclipse CD7200 MKII stereo has a lot to offer.|
|One of the 3-1/2" Boston Acoustics speakers in the dash.|
|The old factory speaker and the new Boston Acoustics speaker — which one do you think sounds better?|
|The digital equalizer (left) and new amplifier (right), and the tiny factory amp in the background.|
|The amplifier and digital equalizer installed in the trunk.|
|Charlie basking in the good music.|