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Discussion Starter #1
Hoorah! The system is finally installed and playing just wonderfully. Here is the link to the thread of labours with all the relevant pics:

http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101731

System consists of:

Alpine D100 Headunit with Scosche Kit
Pac SWI-X Steering remote control
PAC TR-1 video circuit tweak
Alpine Ipod Fullspeed connector
Audison VRX 6.420 EX ltd ed 6ch amp
Soundstream SCA-8 8 Farad cap
CDT Gold ES 0730 Braxial component system with upstage tweeters (front)
CDT CL-6ex 6.25" coaxial rears with silk dome tweeter
CDT EF-100 10" subs built in "Bob's boxes"
Cabling is Tsunami, decent not over the top
50sqft of edead v1.2 (dynamat equivalent)
40 sqft of pink fiberglass insulation for rear panels.

Labour: 32 Hours by professional installer Steve Hester from Austin, TX (thanks Shane for the recommendation) and about 10 hours of my own doing.


What I wanted is a system that will have very high resolution yet not get on my nerves with overly aggressive highs. I did not shoot for loud but for quality. I also wanted a system that is as stealth as possible because the car is parked outside and I like to have the choice whether I want to show off or not. Moreover, I wanted to keep as much of the trunk as possible and also the spare tire had to still be accessible. I have had high end stereo as a hobby for 17 years so the demands were high. However, the finances did not allow an out of this world system with multiple audisons, custom kick panels for dynaudio or Focal components and the like. The system was as expensive as I could possibly stretch my wallet and my need for justification towards my reasonable side. 10 or 20k systems in a car are nice but that money is better invested in a home system IMHO.

I got what I wanted. :)

Despite my initial disappointment over tingy tweeter sound, the overall balance is now just right. Some very squeaky recordings will still hurt my ears at higher volumes but my home stereo does the same and is definitely tamer than the car stereo. With a little bit of tuning this will be no more problem at all, I believe. The mids and highs and bass are beautifully integrated and all seem to come from the front with a great sound stage. Those upstage tweeters and dedicated crossovers by CDT really work. It is quite crazy how nicely the subs play after their poor out-of-box performance. This shows that the install in a car stereo system is simply extremely important. The definition is great and I can understand every single word sung and every high hat and cymbal played. I listen mostly to Jazz, Pop and Classical.

The system is louder than I can stand if needed but, as I said, it is not needed. The bass plays very naturally with the right mix of punch and warmth now. Spatial representation is amazing for a car stereo. I can point out singers' positions and there is even a sense of depth. I would not have thought that to be possible.

Radio reception is better than stock thanks to the Alpine and the ceramic Huper window tint. But having the fantastic user interface for the ipod (60GB) makes radio a rarely used source.

The DVD picture is crystal clear with good contrast and color right out of the box. Viewing angle is absolutely no problem whether vertical or horizontal.

The amp is particularly nice (and nice looking) with its myriad of installation options and eq, crossover and phase settings. I will certainly use these to adjust the sound further to my liking after the break-in period.

If ever I want more sub output, which I doubt, I might add an Alpine LAT-7 sub box in the trunk. For now it looks as if I won't need it but it is good to know that Alpine also has a very nice sound processor/eq which I can use to take things to the next level. The sound controls on the HU are indeed disappointing for such an expensive unit.

Sorry, for the long thread(s) but I just had to share the excitement for what I consider a successful and very good sounding car stereo in my darling GTO.

Till
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, thanks so much. :) I am pleased to get a reaction on this after about 9 months!

Yeah, it's a nice install indeed, done by a championship winning installer. It is very understated; just the way I like. Which naturally means that when people look at it, it doesn't have that wow-effect of custom plexi or fiberglass work.

Except for the steering wheel control everything works flawlessly. In the case of the steering wheel control, I suspect I need to clean the contacts of the detachable faceplate. I talked to an Alpine distributor and he said they coated them with something and that causes troubles from time to time.

Till
 
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